Traces of the Jewish Community in India can be tracked back nearly 3000 years ago when they landed on the pristine Malabar Coast of India. They were sailors in the fleet of King Solomon sent to purchase spices, animals, and precious metals.
The oldest known Jewish Colony is Bene Israel on the Malabar Coast. According to historical evidence, this colony was formed by survivors of a ship wreck in the second century B.C..
A second group of Jewish People are believed to have migrated to India around 70 A.D. after the destruction of the second temple in Jerusalem. This group came to be known as the Cochin Jews, as they landed in the Port of Cranganore, an ancient port near Cochin.
While religious practice remained the same, other customs merged with those of local traditions. Indo-Jewish flavorings give a glimpse into this merge with dishes such as molagachi (mahogany chicken and black pepper), ellegal fish (spice rubbed fish with herb salsa) and coconut based deserts. The families strictly followed the Sabbath, its customs, and Kosher Laws. The men wore mundu (malabari sarong), while the women wore flowing silk saris with sparkling jewelry.
Traditional Indo-Jewish Sweet Delicacy From the Malabar Coast
Spiced Coconut Rice Pudding
Makes 6 Servings
1. Pour coconut milk into a medium-sized heavy bottom saucepan.
2. Rinse the rice and add it to the coconut milk, simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
3. In a small pan, add the ghee, dried fruit, almonds, and cashews. Toast for 10 minutes on medium heat.
4. Now add the garam masala and the vanilla extract to the rice mixture. Stir well until it thickens.
5. Stir in the toasted nuts & the dried fruits. Reserving some for the garnish.
6. Serve the coconut rice pudding in small cups or bowls and garnish with the nuts and the dried fruits.
2 cups SoDelicious CoconutMilk Lite
1/3 cup basmati rice
1/2 tsp Kashmiri Garam Masala
1/4 cup dried cranberries and golden raisins
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped cashews
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs ghee for toasting the nuts and the dried