Ever since I learnt how wonderfully fragrant real vanilla is, I’ve wanted to get my hand on the real stuff. Although vanilla grows in South India, it’s mostly exported, having hardly any use in Indian cuisine. When I finally found vanilla beans at a gourmet store I was ecstatic! I started thinking of all the recipes I’ll use them in and how aromatic my desserts will become with the real vanilla bean.
To have a subtle flavour of vanilla in almost everything, I made vanilla sugar and vanilla extract. You can use vanilla sugar in place of granulated sugar. Use it to flavour tea, coffee, cookies, cakes, pies or sprinkle on fruits – whatever you fancy. You can use the homemade vanilla extract in place of the store bought extract and have a more pronounced flavour of the vanilla. My extract is only two days old but it already smells so good!
Used vanilla pods (after having scraped off the seeds for something else)
2 cups granulated sugar
- Place the vanilla bean into a airtight glass jar and completely cover it with the sugar.
- Shake the container once a day.
- The sugar is ready to be used within a day.
- Just keep topping up with more sugar and beans as you need.
180 ml vodka
4 vanilla beans (or more)
- Split the vanilla beans, then cut into half and drop it into a sterilised bottle with vodka.
- Give it a good shake everyday.
- The extract will be ready for use in 6-8 weeks. You can let the beans remain in the bottle.