We’re kicking off the festive season in this week’s Chefs Series. This Sunday is Stir-up Sunday – the traditional date to start your Christmas Pudding and leave it to rest for a few weeks before cooking ahead of the big day. From celebrated Chef Vivek Singh comes this delicious twist on the seasonal classic – Garam Masala Christmas Pudding.
One of the most respected chefs in the country, Vivek Singh has a refined approach to Indian cuisine, changing the perception of Indian food in the UK. He introduced his restaurant, The Cinnamon Club, almost twenty years ago with a vision to deliver the very best modern Indian cuisine. Encompassing the varying flavours and assorted ingredients of different regions, dishes are immaculately presented and designed to reflect the culinary traditions and depths of Indian cooking. Now you can bring his vision home with this Christmas Pudding.
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• 100g/4oz dried apricots, chopped (to about the same size as the
• 100g/4oz dried figs, chopped (to about the same size as the raisins)
• 100g/4oz dried black currants
• 100g/4oz seedless raisins
• 100g/4oz sultanas
• 75g/3oz candied lemon and orange peel, finely chopped
• 50g/2oz almonds, finely chopped
• 50g/2oz walnuts, finely chopped
• 50g/2oz pecan nuts, finely chopped
• 50g/2oz pine nuts, finely chopped
• 50g/2oz brazil nuts, finely chopped
• 50g/2oz cashew nuts, finely chopped
• 1 tsp ground garam masala
• 1⁄2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
• 150ml/5fl oz dark rum
• 4 tbsp brandy
• 1 orange, zest and juice
• 1 lemon, zest and juice
• 225g/8oz salted butter
• 225g/8oz muscovado sugar
• 3 free-range eggs
• 150g/5oz plain flour
• butter, for greasing pudding bowls
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- Place all the dry fruits, nuts and spices into a large bowl and mix together thoroughly. Add the rum and brandy and mix together well with your hands. Cover and leave it overnight to soak in the flavours. (We macerate the fruit and nuts for at least a month).
- Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time and continue mixing until all the eggs are incorporated into the mixture.
- Fold in the flour and the soaked fruits and nuts.
- Divide the mixture between two greased 1.5 litre/2.5 pint heatproof pudding bowls, filling almost to the rim, then smooth down the surface. Cover each bowl with a large square of greaseproof paper, then cover that with a large square of aluminium foil. Tie the two sheets tightly into place under the rim with string, leaving long ends of excess string to make a handle. Loop one of the excess string lengths over the pudding basin and slide underneath the taut string holding the sheets in place on the other side. Bring up the string and firmly knot with the other piece of excess string, to form a secure handle to lift the pudding in and out of the water.
- To cook, stand both puddings on a trivet in a large, deep, heavy-based pan (or each pudding in a separate pan). Pour boiling water into the pan(s), enough to come about halfway up the sides of the bowls.
- Cover the pan(s) with a lid or a dome of foil and boil for seven hours. Check the water level regularly, topping it up with more boiling water as necessary to keep the bowls half submerged.
- After seven hours, remove the bowls from the pan and leave to cool. Untie and remove the foil and greaseproof sheets and replace with clean, dry sheets of both greaseproof paper and foil.
- Store in a cool, dry place. To reheat at Christmas time, return to a pan containing a few inches of boiling water, cover and steam for two hours, checking the water levels now and then, until completely heated through. Serve with warm custard flavoured with nutmeg.