Custards are harmless desserts, I mean it is as good as a milk shake without grease or loads of sugar. We can enhance its goodness with fresh fruits and flavours. I use china grass alias agar-agar as the solidifying agent, it is a vegetarian substitute for gelatin and I learn it has certain health benefits as well.
1. Milk - 1/2 litre
2. Sugar - 4 tbsp
3. Custard powder - 2 tbsp
4. Strawberry - 8-10
5.Strawberry essence - few drops (Skip if your custard powder is flavoured or you don't have essence)
6. China grass - 1 tbsp (if it is available as strands take say 5-6 of them)
Step 1: Boil milk with sugar in a thick bottomed pan.
Step 2: In few spoons of cold milk dissolve the custard powder.
Step 3: Boil 1/4 cup water in a cup and dissolve china grass in it. Strain it if necessary.
Step 4: Slowly pour the custard mix into the boiling milk and keep stirring to avoid formation of lumps. Add essence if you are using it.
Step 5: Switch off the stove and pour the dissolved china grass into the custard. Let it cool down for sometime.
Step 6: In the mean time wash and cut some strawberry slices and arrange them flat in the bowl you are going to set the custard.
Step 7: Chop or pulp the rest of the strawberries and mix it in the custard.
Step 8: Pour the custard slowly into the bowl and set it for at least 6 hours.
Step 9: Take a big plate whose circumference is larger than the custard bowl's; cover the plate upside down over the bowl and now topple it. Tap slightly if it is not coming onto the plate.
* Pineapple/ Raspberry/ Mango and Vanilla are other common flavours of custard pudding. Caramel forms the crust for vanilla flavour instead of fruits.
* The stiffness of custard pudding depends on amount of china grass used and creaminess depends on custard powder and milk.
* Use bowls without inside grooves else the fruits don't stay in place, also while sliding out they may get broken.