I have a confession to make!! When I first started baking and the recipe would ask for vanilla extract, I would reach out to this tiny bottle labelled 'Vanilla Essence' that was available in most Indian stores. It is only once I started blogging and reading and sharing that I realised that I was doing it all wrong. Turns out that tiny bottle was all fraud! I read closely, and horror of horrors, the label had not a mention of the word "vanilla" in the ingredients list. Instead, I read the word "artificial" and even worse, "caramel flavouring"!!
Well, you learn! While vanilla extract is still not easily available in the Indian market, the even better option is to make the stuff at home. All you need is a clean glass bottle (in my case, an old soya sauce bottle that I sterilised), some vanilla pods and vodka. The only hitch, you have to wait for eight weeks before it is ready for use. Else, you will land up with vanilla-flavoured vodka!! (Label credit, here)
This takes barely about two minutes to put together and you will see the difference for yourself!