This week I’ve been following Rick Stein, a famous British chef, as he goes on exploring the different cuisines around India in search of the perfect curry. What makes a good curry? Sensual spicy aromas or thick, creamy sauces? Rich, dark dals or crispy fried street snacks? Rick takes his viewers on a journey through India to unlock the secrets of these complex and diverse flavours through his TV show, Rick Stein’s India. His travels take him to the heart of Indian cooking through both long-held traditions and modern techniques of food preparation.

He uncovers recipes for fragrant kormas, delicate spiced fish and slow-cooked biryanis, all the while gathering ideas and inspiration for his own take on the perfect curry. In the misdt of all the spices and dishes heavily laden with desi ghee, he introduces to his viewers a delicate sweet dish, flavoured with saffron and rosewater. Nimish, a beautifully creamy dessert from Lucknow – the land of Nawabs – is a refined treat said to be better than kulfi, the common Indian ice cream. Traditionally, nimish is served covered with chopped pistachios and bits of edible silver leaf.



450g/1lb double cream

50g/1¾oz icing sugar

1 teaspoon rosewater

Pinch saffron strands

100ml/3½fl oz milk

Few chopped pistachios

Edible silver leaf


  • Warm milk and soak saffron strands for 15 minutes till well infused. Whip cream in a bowl till soft peaks just start to form.

  • It is important not to over-whisk. Sift in the icing sugar, then add the rosewater and the cooled saffron milk plus the strands.

  • Whisk together for a minute until it is smooth and a few bubbles appear on the surface. Pour gently into small serving bowls.

  • Chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Decorate with sliced pistachios and edible silver leaf and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Fit for a Nawab