|After preparing any of these recipes, please offer the food to Lord Krishna before serving. Here is a summary of the procedure.|
|1. Do not taste the food while cooking.|
|2. After cooking, place the food on a plate for offering to Krishna. This plate should not be used for any other purpose.|
3. Set the plate before a picture of Lord Krishna.
|4. In a devotional mood, ask the Lord to please accept your offering.|
|5. Repeat several times the Hare Krishna maha-mantra Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare/ Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.|
|6. Afterwards, remove the food from the offering plate. This food and any food remaining in the cooking pots nay now be served.|
|Notes on Ingredients|
|Almost all of the ingredients in this cookbook will be familiar to you and readily available at most food stores. A very few items, however, may have to be purchased at specialty shops.|
|· hing - also known as asafetida, this spice is used in several of the recipes and can serve as a substitute for garlic and onions, which are not offerable to Lord Krishna. Hing may be purchased at most Indian, Chinese, or Middle Eastern specialty shops.|
|· garam masala - a mixture of spices, typically including ground coriander, ground cumin, and ginger, available from Indian specialty shops.|
|· garbanzo bean flour - available at Indian specialty shops, where it is called "besan flour." Garbanzo bean (or chickpea) flour may also be found at Middle Eastern specialty shops.|
|· tofu - this protein-rich, cheeselike substance prepared from soybeans is available from most health food stores and Oriental specialty shops.|
|· Chinese sesame oil - this roasted sesame seed oil, with its unique nutty flavor, is available from most Oriental specialty shops.|
|· filo - thin sheets of pastry available from Middle Eastern or Greek specialty shops.|
|Specially Prepared Ingredients|
|Curd and ghee are two easy-to-make basic ingredients of many recipes found in A Higher Taste. They have no substitute. Curd is a light, natural, protein-rich cheese. Ghee is the purified essence of butter. The butter you bring home from the store is eighty-percent butterfat, eighteen-percent water, and two-percent protein solids. If you slowly cook the butter, the water boils off and the protein solids separate from the butterfat. Finally, you are left with a golden liquid that you can use for deep-frying. The advantage of ghee is that it does not smoke, bubble, or burn, as butter does, at high temperatures. Also, ghee does not require refrigeration for storage. No cooking oil can match ghee for its pleasant taste and ease of digestion.|
|Place five pounds of butter into a large, heavy saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring
occasionally, until the butter melts and comes to a boil. When the surface of the butter is covered with a
frothy white foam, reduce the heat to a very low temperature. Simmer, uncovered and undisturbed, until
the gelatinous protein solids have collected on the bottom of the pan, and a thin layer of pale golden,
crusty solids has formed on the surface. The cooking time will be about three hours. With a wiremeshed
skimmer, skim off the thin crust on the surface. (If you don't have one, you can use a large, metal spoon.)
The ideal finished ghee is crystal clear and pale gold in color. Ghee becomes dark when it is cooked on
excessively high heat or is cooked too long.|
Arrange a strainer, lined with three thicknesses of cheesecloth or one thickness of good quality paper towel over a large pan or bowl. Don't use paper towels with plastic reinforcing threads, as the plastic will melt. Ladle the clear ghee through the filter system to collect the protein solids from the ghee until you have ladled off as much clear ghee as you can without disturbing the milky solids on the bottom of the pan. These solids may be discarded.
Be sure to cool the ghee to room temperature before covering. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry place, or refrigerate. Ghee that has been well purified, filtered, and properly stored will last for months. After ghee has been used for cooking it can be strained and stored in the same manner.
|½ gallon milk|
|5 tablespoons strained lemon juice|
|In 1-gallon pot heat milk on high heat, stirring occasionally, making sure that milk is not sticking to bottom
of pan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and add lemon juice.|
Stir gently around sides of pan until all the milk has separated into curds and whey. The liquid (whey) should be clear. If not, add a little more lemon juice. Turn off heat.
In a colander place cheesecloth and strain curd. (Whey can be used in soups.) Rinse the curd with cold water.
Gather up sides of cheesecloth and twist to seal curd tightly inside. Put something heavy on top of the curd to press it (a heavy stone or a pot filled with water).
Keep the weight on anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the recipe.