Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Don't Cry Over Split Milk - Part I

In India, many of us still boil milk, even when it's delivered to us in plastic packets labelled 'Pasteurised'. Since most regions of India are pretty hot for most of the year, milk tends to turn. Once boiled, it is safe for most of the day but needs to be refrigerated if kept for a longer period. Come summer, vile curses erupt from sundry Indian kitchens as folks discover the milk has split.

I've had so much "Waste not, want not" dinned into me that I tend to try and make use of all leftovers and such. Thus I've had a long struggle to find a way with whey. For, when milk curdles, it leaves whey. 

Now, if you don't catch the split milk soon, it tends to smell disgusting and is no longer fit for experiments. Ways with whey that I'm going to reveal are best undertaken if you catch the milk in time, when it's just turned or begun to. 

Alternatively, and that is much wiser, curdle your milk on purpose to be on the safe side. 
Anyway, once the milk is split and you've boiled it for a bit, you'll see that the solids have separated out from the whey. While the solids can be used for all sorts of dishes, not everyone might care for the taste of the whey. 

There are a number of ways to use up the whey, but I finally found what suits me. I turned it into soup. 
Well, my soup was more or less made that way. 
Whey Tomato Carrot Soup
1-2 tomatoes
1 carrot
1 onion
6 cloves of garlic or less
1 green chili pepper
A few pepper corns
A small bunch of coriander leaves
1 bay leaf or tejpatta
11/2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1 Tbsp refined flour
About half a litre of whey

Lightly saute the chopped vegetables, pepper and bay leaf in one tablespoon of butter/oil. Bring them to a boil and cook until soft in the whey. Alternatively pressure cook them in a container in a pressure cooker, without water (of course you have to add water in the body of the cooker and stand your container with vegetables in it). I'd say just give them a couple of whistles or cook for 5 minutes or less after the cooker hisses.

When cool, blend the solids in a blender. Add to the whey and bring to a gentle boil, stirring constantly so that it doesn't curdle. 

Add salt somewhere along the way. It's better to add with caution.

Heat the rest of the butter/oil gently and add the flour.  Saute lightly for about a minute. Pour in the soup, little by little, stirring frequently to blend well.

Serve with a dash of cream and garnish with a leaf of mint. 

I presume you know how to make your croutons!
I just heat up a batch of oil in a deep pan and deep fry cubes of bread. 

Stay tuned for Part II where I show you how to make my favourite sweet, rasagulla, with the solids left over from splitting the milk.

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