I am not a Parsi, but does that stop me to celebrate the Parsi New Year or Navroze? So here I am with this freshly baked Lagan Nu Custard to celebrate the Parsi festival in perfect Bawi style. Being able to cook or bake has its own advantages. Yes, it takes time to cook or bake, but it’s a great way to learn and be active at the same time. Although I do eat out, I have reduced the frequency because I rather enjoy eating food that is lovingly homecooked with the freshest ingredients, with the amount of each ingredient double-checked according to my taste preference. For example, I know exactly how much sugar I have added to this Lagan Nu Custard and I can always monitor, reduce or swap any “unhealthy” ingredient in a dish, if required.
I am a fan of Parsi food, be it the Patra Ni Macchi, the Berry Pulao, Sali Boti or the Dhansaak. Today’s Lagan Nu Custard, the first Parsi dish that I have tried baking, was a success! I am so motivated by the ease and flavour of this dish that now I made up my mind to experiment and learn more about Parsi cuisine by cooking/baking those popular Parsi dishes myself. I shall try some of those popular Parsi recipes very soon in my kitchen. Stay tuned to my social-media updates to know more on this.
My Lagan Nu Custard needed a generous sprinkle of Charoli or Chironji seeds, but since these were not there in my pantry, I replaced them with sliced and toasted almonds. Almonds tasted pretty good as a garnish, and so were the raisins. Although I know that vanilla and rosewater are generally added to this Parsi recipe, I didn’t add either of these in my version: the reason being my love towards green cardamom and nutmeg. As I didn’t want to mask the wonderful flavours of these two spices in my Lagan Nu Custard, so I completely omitted vanilla. Please add it in your recipe if you feel so. As there was no “eggy” smell in my final dish, I was happy with my minimisation and non-overlap of distict flavours and aromas. Instead, my Lagan Nu Custard had a bit of natural caramel flavour on the top because of adding partially refined sugar in the milk, instead of white refined sugar. Yes, I added Demerara. That too, I added in minimal quantity, so that my custard had a hint of sweetness, but not overly sweet to kill your fitness goals as well as your tastebuds altogether!
I toasted my raisins and sliced almonds in ghee, before adding these to the custard. In the end, the raisins had a nice, caramel flavour and the nuts were well-browned and crunchy in my Lagan Nu Custard. This dish is easy to bake and nutritious too, as it has eggs and milk. My kids loved this and I am glad they did. These are better than their usual feast of donuts and cream-laden cakes. And being an Indian fussy mother, I loved the fact that they loved this dessert. With the feedback I got “in house”, I am going to make my version of this Lagan Nu Custard often.
Lagan Nu Custard (Parsi Wedding Custard)
- Full-cream milk: 1.25 l
- Freshly made nutmeg and green-cardamom powder in equal quantities: ¾ tsp
- Condensed milk: 1/4th tin
- Demerara sugar replace with regular sugar if you wish: Amount may vary according to taste preference. I used one small bowl.
- Ghee or butter: 1 tsp
- Eggs beaten, at room temperature: 5
- Toasted and slightly salted sliced nuts _Charoli_ or Chironji preferable: to garnish generously over the custard; I used almonds instead
- Raisins: slightly toasted with little ghee
- Boil the milk and then simmer, stirring continuously, unless the milk reduces to almost half.
- Add the condensed milk and stir. Add the sugar in batches, so that you can keep a tab on the sweetness. Add more or less, according to your taste preference.
- Mix-in the powdered green-cardamom and nutmeg into the milk. Stir and cook for another 5 min on simmered flame.
- Switch off the flame and wait until the milk is just warm. I could touch the bottom of the utensil, which was just warm enough. If the milk is hot, you might end up with curdled eggs!
- Add the well-beaten eggs slowly (in batches) and lightly mix the slightly warm milk and the eggs with hand. Let this rest for 5 min. Strain the mixture through a muslin cloth.
- Grease a large ovenproof dish with ghee. Pour the mixture into the dish.
- For the first 30 min, bake in the lower rack at 220C.
- Twenty minutes later, the custard looks almost set. Add the nuts and raisins over the custard and transfer to the middle rack. Bake for another 15–20 min at 200C. The top of the custard should look “set” and not wiggly.
- Switch off the oven and leave the custard there for 30 min.
- Remove the custard after 30 min and chill in the refrigerator. Enjoy after a few hours.
Happy Parsi New Year everyone!
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