That’s right, I made my own vanilla extract… at home! And it’s one of the easiest little DIYs to ever come out of my kitchen. You know it, I know it, the pure variety is just so expensive to buy in Mumbai and the imitations are well, just that. But if cost isn’t on your mind, lately we’ve had this problem to deal with too. Why bother with doing the rounds of stores when just two ingredients and a few spare minutes at hand will give you the real deal?
A clean and sterilized glass jar is a good way to get started. Treat yourself to good quality vanilla beans, you’re only going to need 3 of them, the kind that will wrap easily around your finger without breaking. Slit the beans down the centre and place them in the jar. Since this is my first batch, I went with the traditional route of pouring a cup of vodka in the jar to immerse the vanilla beans. I’ve been reading about rum making a great pairing with vanilla beans too, I’ll probably get hold of some white rum for the next batch. Tightly seal the jar, shake it, and store it in a cool, dark place, like your crockery cabinet (now you know where mine is!). And then… wait for two months! And whenever you find yourself thinking about it, remember to give the jar a good shake. Pro tip: don’t open the jar after you’ve given it a vigorous shake, not unless you want to stain your new pair of white jeans. Not that it happened to me… maybe… anyways, it smells divine!
Here’s a re-cap: