It all started when a client showed up at my office a couple weeks ago bearing a signed copy of Maneet Chauhan’s new book Flavors of My World. While I didn’t know anything about this chef (I don’t have cable – it’s really a blessing as if I had Food Network I may never leave the house), it was an amazingly thoughtful gift indeed and what’s not to love about such a nice surprise in the middle of the work day?
Then last week I was lucky enough to attend the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago and there she was again – Maneet Chauhan – the second speaker of the day. What a great opportunity to find out more about the author of my newest cookbook first hand.
We were going to a BBQ last weekend and I tend to like to bring something unique – in part because I don’t want to repeat someone else’s efforts (nothing like three potato salads and no other side dishes showing up) but mostly because I like to try new things, introduce others to new things, and make something memorable. Plus I’m on this quest to pull down a cookbook each month I’ve never made something out of it and crack the pages – this month the cookbook just happened to be brand new.
Chef Chauhan made a less boozy version of this drink during her demonstration and it looked interesting but I have to be honest – one of the main reasons I chose it was that a lot of the recipes in the book are filled with ingredients that might be a bit of a challenge to find or I’d end up buying lots of specialty items for one recipe that then I may or may not use again. Besides the garam masala (which can be found at Whole Foods), all the other ingredients were familiar and easy to locate.
There were a lot of wrinkled noses when folks saw me putting an avocado in their cocktail, but I think that I can easily tout that I made a believer out of each and every one of them – even the guy that professed to hate avocados. The drink was beautiful, delicious and had a silky texture. The only downfall was that I didn’t have enough ingredients to make seconds.
Trying something new on a group is always a bit risky and doesn’t always pay off, but it sure is awesome when it does.
Garam Masala Alpukat
Adapted from recipe in Flavors of My World by Maneet Chauhan
1 ripe avocado
3 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1 cup (about) milk
3 Tbsp chocolate syrup (more for garnishing)
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 oz coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua
1 oz Irish crème liqueur, such as Bailey’s
Squirt chocolate syrup to make pattern around the inside of 4 dessert drink glasses. Set aside.
Cut the avocado into halves longwise. Remove the seed and scoop the avocado into a blender container. Add the condensed milk, 1/2 cup of the milk and enough ice to form a smoothie consistency. Blend to mix. Divide evenly among prepared glasses.
Blend the remaining milk, chocolate syrup, garam masala, coffee liqueur, Irish crème liqueur and enough ice to form a smoothie consistency in the blender. Divide evenly over the avocado mixture.
Garnish with additional chocolate sauce. Serve immediately.