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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sweet Yogurt Sundae with Saffron & Pomegranate

Sweet Yogurt Sundae

The moment my toes met carpet this morning, I could feel 12,035 pounds of heavy clouds whoosh towards my home, settling just above my tangled mess of hair. I should have just made myself a bloody mary, grabbed a bag of peanut M&M’s and surrendered back to bed, as there was no way that I would come out ahead at the end of this day. I knew it was over. I had an out of control problem and needed to address it head-on.

(sigh) “I’m sorry, Emeril. I’ve got to give you up, sweetie 

What I once called a “collection” had turned into an embarrassing epidemic. The books covered my kitchen counter, littered the floor like a trail of cookie crumbs leading from bed to bookshelf and completely took over every available dry, horizontal surface in my home. Every day at 5pm, it was the same routine – shuffle books from kitchen counter to dining table to make room to cook. Then shift the volumes back to the kitchen for dinnertime. Just last night, I spent 2 hours searching for my laptop, only to find it wedged between the Bread Bible and the past 6 years of Food and Wine.

But oh how I love my companions! In the late hours of the night, I love caressing Tyler’s, Giada’s and even Raichlen’s glossy pages of beautiful, lusty photographs of food. My husband is secure enough in our relationship that he lets Rocco hang out at the edge of the nightstand, just inches from my sleeping head.

No. I had to let go.

It was time to de-clutter. Wiping off yesterday’s black eyeliner that streaked down my cheek, I cradled Nigella and whispered, “Honey, it’s better this way, your Coconut Macaroons never really came out that great anyways.” With a single deep breath, I looked away, turned her face down and tearfully trailed my finger one last time along her spine.


Then suddenly, I heard a dull “thump” at the door. It was my prince, Amazon, who rode in a big brown truck coming to rescue me from this silliness. He quickly snapped me right back with the RRRRRIIIIPPPPP of the packing tape being torn off.

Ahhhh….dreamy Hari Nayak and his Modern Indian cookbook greeted me with a welcoming, warm cover that seduced me with exotic combinations of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, coriander and cloves. He even whispered sweet promises with innovative spice techniques like dry-toasting saffron threads for a smooth, creamy dessert.

So smitten I was with Chef Hari’s book that I emailed him for 3 signed copies for you. Oh, I know it sounds like I’m try to clutter your home with another cookbook, just so I could feel a little better about my situation. And yeah, ok, you got me there. But how could you resist recipes like Marsala Mashed Potatoes, Tamarind Rice with Roasted Peanuts and Pink Peppercorn Chocolate Truffles?

Quickly glancing back at the Tetris-like piles of books, I smiled sheepishly. I’ll try again tomorrow.


Sweet Yogurt Sundae with Saffron & Pomegranate


Sweet Yogurt Sundae with Saffron & Pomegranate

Servings: 8 Prep Time: Cook Time:
Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 2.26.21 PM

My version is a bit different from Chefs Hari and Vikas - but definitely inspired by their spice combinations. Straining the yogurt creates a creamy, rich dessert without the calories of let's say, ice cream or creme fraiche. Instead of straining plain yogurt, you can use unstrained Greek yogurt. Use whatever fruit combinations you like, I love the festiveness of pomegranate and kiwi. Fresh grated cinnamon would also be a great addition. I would have loved to have pistachios in the dessert too! Inspired by Modern Indian by Hari Nayak and Vikas Khanna


4 cups plain yogurt
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 pomegranate
2 kiwis
large pinch of saffron strands


1. Line a large sieve or colander with cheesecloth. Place colander over a bowl. Place yogurt in colander to drain for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. Discard the water (or whey.) Turn the yogurt into a bowl and mix in the honey, nutmeg and cardamom.

2. Lightly toast the saffron strands in a small dry skillet over medium heat, until brittle. Let saffron cool on plate and with your fingers, finely crush the strands. Cut kiwi into small pieces and remove the seeds from the pomegranate.

3. Layer yogurt, fruit and saffron in dessert cups.


This next recipe was also inspired by the book – I would have never thought to combine vanilla and sweet chili sauce for a salad dressing, but let me tell you, it was wonderfully sensuous. Seared Scallops with Vanilla & Sweet Chili Dressing.

113 Responses to “Sweet Yogurt Sundae with Saffron & Pomegranate”

  1. Neece — 11/21/07 @ 1:25 am

    Oh Jaden, you’re wicked. This looks so delicious! It is making me terribly hungry with nothing even remotely that good in my fridge. Whatever will I snack on? It’s past midnight after all.
    You have such a way with words, and food. :)

  2. you already have my entry! :) Carrot Chutney.
    Grin, I am going to make the sundae for thanksgiving treats.. i have all the ingredients at home… it sounds heavenly.

  3. leanne — 11/21/07 @ 2:34 am

    Saag paneer is one of my favorite dishes to make, and it’s not even that complicated. Once, I even made the paneer from scratch!

  4. Suganya — 11/21/07 @ 2:43 am

    One of my recent finds Cauliflower in coconut-chickpea gravy, has become my absolute favourite.

  5. Christima — 11/21/07 @ 2:47 am

    Um, I filled in my name like it said above, but that shouldn’t have gone there. Jaden, if there’s any way to rectify my ignorance PLEASE take my name off of link 5! It should say Carrot Halwa :/

  6. Gaby T. — 11/21/07 @ 3:05 am

    yay!!! a new contest!

  7. Love the yogurt sundae! Could you skip the draining and use Greek yogurt instead? I love that stuff!

    The Spicy Green Beans with Potatoes is one of Nita’s recipes at Casa Italia. They do Indian takeout every Thursday. She is a great cook!

  8. zoe — 11/21/07 @ 3:29 am

    I’ve linked to a semolina halva recipe, but not on my site, as I haven’t blogged about it before, although it is one of my favourite things to make for crowds!

    the link is to the closest recipe I could find, my adjustments: I use whole cardamom pods, more honey than sugar, if I don’t have ghee around the house I just go ahead with clarified butter, definitely add raisins, and usually chuck a handful of nuts on top of each bowlful, rather than stir in, especially if I am anticipating keeping leftovers in the fridge and eating it for every meal until it’s gone because it’s so good you just can’t stop eating it. you know, cos you don’t want the nuts to loose their crunch. enjoy!

  9. I’m so sorry Jaden…I made the same mistake again…so #10 and 11 are both me!! I love your contests, and this book sounds like a fun read. The yogurt sundae looks lovely…I’m sure it tasted very fresh and satisfying too :)

  10. zoe — 11/21/07 @ 3:32 am

    I mean go ahead with UN-clarified butter, if I don’t have ghee! duh.. must have been distracted by the serious halva cravings that have kicked in….

  11. sia — 11/21/07 @ 4:52 am

    Jaden, i am just out of my bed and here drooling… my keyboard is all messy. with sleepy eyes i entered my name instead of dish name. can u plz delete #12.
    LOL…r u seriously trying to get rid of cookbooks??? i can easily dump nigella ;)
    Paneer Koftas in Creamy Saffron Gravy is one of my fav recipe which i learnt from my mom. its sinfully delicious and i usually made big batch for myself ;)

  12. daphne — 11/21/07 @ 5:12 am

    oohoooo! I’m so in this contest this time!!! I need that cookbook given that I need to impress by FMIL…. haha.. I love Indian food! #14 is my entry. =)

  13. andreea — 11/21/07 @ 5:44 am

    one of my favorite idian chefs (with a twist) at the moment: atul kochhar

  14. Shella — 11/21/07 @ 5:47 am

    You make that simple yoghurt look so very exotic!! Nice show. Meanwhile I am pitching in for the free book. I dont have a cookbook of my own yet – yes its true, blv me. I have till date used the internet for the recipes I cook, or have used recipes handed down to me by elders. So I really would love to have a cookbook. So here’s my favorite recipe from my own blog – Alu Methi.

  15. LunaPierCook — 11/21/07 @ 6:15 am

    I love Chicken Curry, and have linked to Mark Bittman’s version. To give it a more northern twist I’d replace the raisins with dried cranberries, and use chopped chives with the cilantro as a garnish.

    Jaden, you know darn well how much you’d end up regretting getting rid of those books! Just have Scott add another room to the house as your library … ;-)

  16. Nupur — 11/21/07 @ 6:44 am

    The rajma (kidney bean curry) that I have linked to is proof that 4-5 everyday ingredients can come together to make a drop-dead-delicious Indian dish.

  17. Nags — 11/21/07 @ 7:12 am

    just made this dish last weekend and fell in love with the rich gravy! sigh.. if only i had more recipes to learn from… from, say, a new cookbook ;)

  18. Krizia — 11/21/07 @ 7:32 am

    I know mango lassi isn’t an entire Indian dish, but I always order it when it’s not cold out and I’m at an Indian restaurant. There are so many Indian restaurants in Berkeley! I actually do my homework at this place called House of Curries :)

    Speaking of the honey in your yogurt sundae, you should write about honey one of these days! Honey confuses and intimidates me, sweet as it may be <3

  19. Erin — 11/21/07 @ 7:58 am

    This book looks so interesting. I love Indian food and am trying to learn more about cooking it.

  20. blair — 11/21/07 @ 9:52 am

    Oh. how. yummy!

  21. Cath — 11/21/07 @ 9:53 am

    If you ever stop publishing such great looking food, and brilliant recipes I might one day lose the spare tyre hanging around my middle! But then again, please don’t stop, because you will rob me of the pleasures you keep throwing in front of our faces.

  22. Amanda — 11/21/07 @ 10:06 am

    Aaahhhh…the favorite of my exotic lovers – Naan. Simple and breathtaking if cooked correctly. This recipe looks delicious.

  23. veron — 11/21/07 @ 10:09 am

    Oh God, you remind me of myself. I’ve developed an addiction for French cookbooks lately and I’ve been hugging my latest one to myself last night . I even brought it to work this morning.

  24. Danielle — 11/21/07 @ 10:20 am

    All you had to do was email him and ask? I should try that sometime! But for now, I’d like to be entered into the drawing, please.

  25. Samantha — 11/21/07 @ 10:32 am

    Those scallops look beautiful. If I don’t win the book, I might just have to buy it on my own (but then it won’t be signed so I’ll have to wait until the contest if over). Jaden, my husband and I feel your cookbook pain. We have one 6 foot bookcase in the kitchen dedicated only to cookbooks (my husband had to build it because we couldn’t find one with shelves big enough for our oversized copies of La Technique and La Methode) and just had to add another to the living room. It’s so hard to part with even one!

  26. Miss T — 11/21/07 @ 10:36 am

    Looks like a great cookbook! One of my favorite recipes is Madhur Jaffrey’s Indian-inspired Pink Shrimp. I like to serve it with cardamom rice.

    Piles of cookbooks everywhere, including the nightstand? Oh yes, right here.

  27. Donna Steinhorn — 11/21/07 @ 10:53 am

    Ah the cookbook collection sickness. I have it bad. At last count (and I stopped counting) I had over 1000 cookbooks. I just love reading them, gathering inspiration, and of course, cooking from them. I have two cookbook bookcases in the kitchen, and entire wall of cookbooks in the living room, and more in various spots throughout the house. My current favorites, and they change monthly, sit on the counter just beckoning to me….cook, cook. And of course, eat, eat.

  28. Meeta — 11/21/07 @ 11:26 am

    Oh this is an awesome looking dessert – slurp – may I have another?

  29. Marce — 11/21/07 @ 11:36 am

    Im not that original this time, mine is grilled tandoori chicken, its just sooooo good, and not too bad for you either.
    And I feel you about the cookbook collection, mine is getting a bit out of control, my library needs rearranging ASAP… of course, that doesnt stop me from trying to get another cookbook!

  30. claire — 11/21/07 @ 12:34 pm

    actually, none of my favorite recipes are on the web. My Indian cooking teacher shows us “hands on” and we take notes, and pictures, and that’s it! I need a good book, though to add to my repertoire

  31. Rina — 11/21/07 @ 12:40 pm

    Jaden, a perfect low cal dessert. The picture looks so colorful. Loved it.

  32. Brilynn — 11/21/07 @ 12:50 pm

    Mmmmm mango lassi… it’s the perfect accompaniment to any spicy Indian meal.

    And for the record, I’m an expert tetris player, so if you need help finding a place for all of your cookbooks, I can do that…

  33. Ashwini — 11/21/07 @ 12:50 pm

    Just when I patted myself on the back that I didn’t write my name I realized I didn’t give the right link!! So could you please delete # 28?
    My dish, Minced cauliflower is a delicious twist on the staple vege.
    Loved the yogurt… gorgeous photo.

  34. Deborah — 11/21/07 @ 11:57 am

    Is is so bad that I can’t even list a recipe, because I’m not really familiar with Indian food?? That’s why (if I don’t win ;) ) I should go pick up a copy of this book!!

  35. melch — 11/21/07 @ 1:17 pm

    I love Indian food! I need to learn how to cook it, though. I hear it’s labor-intensive and that usually scares me away from attempts.

  36. Patricia Scarpin — 11/21/07 @ 1:18 pm

    I was talking to my sister about how I’m craving pomegranates right now – I want a spoon, Jaden, please! :)

  37. Kaykat — 11/21/07 @ 1:29 pm

    Wow! This yogurt looks delicious – I’m a huge fan of straining the yogurt before mixing fruits and nuts in – it really intensifies the flavors and texture.

    Hmm … now you’ve gotten me thinking about my fave recipes – sometimes that’s too hard for a diehard foodie! :)

  38. sandeepa — 11/21/07 @ 1:32 pm

    ERROR ERROR ERROR….can you please delete 31 :)

    Instead of giving name of the recipe I typed the blog name and that too with a typo

    Pretty, pretty please

  39. Caroline — 11/21/07 @ 2:11 pm

    I too have a cookbook obsession! Am hoping this Chicken Tikka recipe will do the trick!

  40. ilingc — 11/21/07 @ 2:30 pm

    Jaden, you’re a cracker! If I left any of my cookbooks lying on the kitchen counter my bf’s mum (whom I was living with) would swiftly dump them back in my room before I can even say that I’m done cooking/baking with it.
    My room on the other hand, is a different story…. LOL

  41. Beaulotus — 11/21/07 @ 2:32 pm

    Just bought myself a few from Amazon and am expecting the Hub to freak out due to lack of space…Would love to have a modern Indian cookbook, we all love Indian food in this household!

  42. Beaulotus — 11/21/07 @ 2:37 pm

    And forgot to say that you are full of wonderful ideas as usual :-)

  43. deena — 11/21/07 @ 2:49 pm

    it’s turnip season — try the turnip curry!

  44. Laura — 11/21/07 @ 2:54 pm

    The Creamy Chicken Curry and Basmati rice with saffron and cardamom are my votes – that site is a bit obscure and hard to find unless you know the google search, but it’s hands-down the best general how-to on making an awesome curry that I’ve ever found.


  45. sandeepa — 11/21/07 @ 3:01 pm

    The Hyderabadi Marag is a beautiful mutton dish. It has an Arabic origin and was then blended with Indian cooking. I heard of it first at the blog Trial & Error and then made it. Tasted heavenly, the link links to Trial & Eroor blogs recipe, though there are variations out there

  46. ilingc — 11/21/07 @ 3:49 pm

    Hi again Jaden,
    I just added #36 – Vangyachi bhaji or Eggplant and Potatoes curry. It’s one of my favourite indian curries but I’ve never really made it. The link I added is the one that sounds the most authentic and looks the best out of all the ones that I found. :)

  47. Jeffrey Bary — 11/21/07 @ 3:55 pm

    Tandoori Chicken: There are many recipes for Tandoori Chicken and I’ve tried many of them. I found that the best includes yogurt in the marinade and an overnight soak.

  48. Kate — 11/21/07 @ 4:01 pm

    I stumbled upon your site by while searching for a jap chae recipe and this is by far one of the best food blogs I’ve seen online. Your recipes are easy to understand, your photos are beautiful, and most importantly, your personality just shines through every post. Keep it up Jaden. I am now one of your loyal readers…I check your site everyday.

  49. shivapriya — 11/21/07 @ 4:01 pm

    Ooops!!!! You already have my recipe. Somebody already enterd me :). I was totally confused and typed it again.. Can you please delete #41.
    That sundae looks scrumptious.

  50. shivapriya — 11/21/07 @ 4:18 pm

    #3 Aloo paratha is my recipe.

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