Desserts | Orange Flavored Couscous with Passion Fruit Sauce and the Traditional Lapsi – A Risk Well Taken
“Gudia, I would like to eat our simple and traditional food” informed my paternal aunt during her first visit at my home. The very popular rustic treats from rural India Daal Baati and Lapsi (couscous dessert) are on her menu for most of the days. “But both the recipes are way too simple, your small Gudia of yesteryear knows to cook many varieties now, aunty” I tempted her with many food choices. “Some other day, this time lets keep it simple” and she changed the topic of conversation. Huh..of all the exotic desserts I know she opted for Lapsi, a simple 3 ingredient recipe!
To impress her with my cooking skills, I tweaked the traditional couscous dessert Lapsi and gave it a makeover. The recipe is slightly inspired by Chef Bobby Chin’s cooking show on TV on Middle East cuisine. The following dessert is cooked in orange juice with loads of dates and berries in it and served with Passion fruit sauce.
This tropical fruit with sticky crunchy seeds inside and surrounded by sweet & sour viscous juice has strong floral aroma. I got the yellow variety of Passion fruit here which are more acidic & sour than the sweet and aromatic purple variety.
The fusion dessert is very filling, yummy and healthy with zero oil or butter in it.
Traditional Couscous Dessert – Lapsi
- 1 cup of broken wheat/couscous
- 2 cups of hot water
- ½ cup of jaggery
- ½ cup of ghee
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- Handful of nuts (almonds/cashew)
Method; Heat 1/2 cup of ghee in a thick bottom kadai or wok and dry roast the couscous (Dalia) in it. Keep the flame low and continue roasting till the couscous turn light brown in color for about 7-10 minutes.
Though roasting the couscous before cooking gives a wonderful flavor, my mom sometimes avoid this step. She says that roasting the couscous gives a slightly chewy and hard textured dessert.
Add hot water to the roasted couscous and stir it to mix well. Cover the wok with a lid and let it cook for about 10 minutes on low heat. Do not stir.
Grate the jaggery and chop all the nuts coarsely, add them to the couscous in the wok and mix thoroughly. Take off the dessert from heat.
Let the cooked couscous dessert stand for 5 minutes.
Serve the couscous dessert Lapsi in individual bowl sprinkled with more nuts and melted ghee.
Orange Flavored Couscous Dessert with Passion Fruit Sauce
- ½ cup couscous
- 1 ½ cups of water
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 3 tbsp. organic palm sugar
- 1 tsp. orange rind/zest
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- 2 tbsp. Dried fruits
- A pinch of salt
Passion fruit sauce
- ½ cup passion fruit pulp
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup sugar
Method; Mix honey and palm sugar in half a cup of water and bring to a boil. Add chopped apricot, Goji berries, raisins, cinnamon stick and other dried fruits of your choice. Simmer for 10 minutes and take off from heat. Let it cool, pour orange juice in it.
Boil 1 cup of water, add couscous and a pinch of salt in it. Cover the vessel and cook for 4-5 minutes. Pour the above orange and palm sugar liquid in the couscous and cook for another 2 minutes.
Take off the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and fluff cooked couscous with a fork.
Passion fruit sauce; Boil sugar in water for 5 minutes and add passion fruit pulp to it. Keep boiling for another 5 minutes and take off the heat. To take out the juice from Passion fruit, take out the pulp from the fruit and mash it with hands or just blend the whole pulp for a second in a blender. Let it cool.
Serve the orange couscous pudding in individual bowls and serve with Passion fruit sauce.
The sticky seeds of Passion fruit gives the dessert a sweet floral tart flavor and crunchy bites.
And for being on the safer side I made both the versions of dessert, the traditional Lapsi and the fusion orange flavored couscous recipe with Passion fruit sauce.
Any guesses on which dessert was the hot favorite of the day?
- The cooking time for couscous will vary depending upon the variety used in the recipe. Some couscous variety is very fine and will cook faster.
- Replace cardamom powder with fennel powder in Lapsi recipe and enjoy another scrumptious variation.
- Shredded coconut added to the Lapsi recipe gives it a wonderful taste.
- The more ghee (clarified butter) you add to the Lapsi recipe the more tasty the dessert would be.
- You could add white sugar in place of jaggery in Lapsi recipe. Jaggery gives a wonderful fruity aroma to the recipe.
- Add cranberries, raisins, cherries, dates or blueberries to the couscous pudding.
- A dash of lemon juice added to the passion fruit sauce would give a wonderful flavor.
- Replace palm sugar with plain white sugar or brown sugar.