Lagan nu cushtrarr

Lagan nu cushtrarr

Bombay caramel pudding

Mr Todiwala's Bombay
Helen Cathcart

A traditional Parsee-style baked custard, a must at festive dinners and at weddings. It’s rich and flavourful and its worth using whole milk for the extra-creaminess. If you are watching your weight, go for semi-skimmed instead.


Quantity Ingredient
1.5 litres whole milk
2 tablespoons caster sugar, or to taste
4 eggs
1 tablespoon rose water
1/2 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
10-12 blanched almonds, sliced
1 tablespoon charoli or toasted pine nuts
10-12 blanched pistachios, sliced


  1. Heat the milk in a heavy-based non-stick saucepan and bring to boiling point. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for about 1 hour until it is reduced by half, keeping the sides clean. To do this you need a pastry brush and chilled water. As soon as the milk is simmering, brush the sides with the wet brush. Do this every few minutes to prevent the thickening milk sticking to the pan. Take care not to use a dripping brush, as that is likely to dilute the milk.
  2. Also use a flat, preferably wooden, spatula to keep scraping the bottom so as not to allow the milk to burn. If you notice any formation on the bottom of the pan when you stir, it is advisable to change pans and check rather than to scrape the bottom and end up with burnt bits in the custard.
  3. Ideally the milk should turn nut-brown and give off a nutty, toffee aroma. When the milk is reduced to about 750 ml, stir the sugar until dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add a little of the reduced milk and whisk rapidly, then gradually whisk in all the remaining milk (always add the milk to the egg, never the egg to the milk).
  5. Taste and add more sugar if desired, then stir in the rose water, vanilla, cardamom and nutmeg. Whisk well or, better still, use a hand blender to get a really smooth texture.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Strain the mixture into a 1 litre baking dish.
  7. When you are ready to bake it, sprinkle the nuts evenly over the surface. For best results place the dish in a baking tin containing 1 cm boiling water. This will prevent the custard from baking too rapidly and curdling.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 160°C and cook for 40 minutes or until set or when the tip of a knife inserted in it comes out clean. The colour on top needs to be golden. If not, and the pudding is cooked, gently brush a little melted butter on the surface and place under a moderate grill to brown. You may have to rotate the dish to get an even colour.
  9. Leave to cool until warm or completely cold so the custard sets firm before cutting into pieces.
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