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Saturday, April 16, 2016

Mango Lassi Recipe | How To Make Mango Lassi



Mango Lassi Recipe: Aam ki Lassi is a chilled flavoury beverage (originates from Punjab) which is very simple to make and best to beat the heat during summer. The mere mention of Mango Lassi brings a smile on my face as during summers, as I fondly remember after coming back from school Mom used to keep two tall glasses ready filled with creamy Mango Lassi. Juicy ripe mangoes when blended with yogurt, saffron infused milk, cardamom and little bit of sugar. Trust me there is nothing more refreshing than chilled aromatic Mango Lassi ! For flavour mostly cardamom is used but you can go for variations like adding rose water / vanilla. Lassi can be made with various fruits but Mango being the King Of Fruits justifies the tag. I have posted many summer drinks in my earlier posts e.g. Salted Chaas, Strawberry Milkshake, Kiwi-Cucumber Juice, Shikanji, HoneyDew Melon Juice, Black Grape Juice and Papaya Orange Juice. All these summer drinks are sure to reduce dehydration and temperature. 


For Lassi select only Alphonso variety as it is very sweet in nature as compared to other varieties and free of any fibre. You could also use canned mango pulp. Always use fresh yogurt to cut down the sourness in the final outcome. Homemade yogurt is any day preferred as in summer we set yogurt at home almost daily.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup Mango, cubed and chilled
1 cup Yogurt (chilled)
1/2 cup  milk
2-3 tbsp Sugar (more or less as it depends on the sweetness of mangoes)
A big pinch of Saffron
Few chopped Pistachios 
3-4 Ice cubes (more ice cubes will make it watery, which shouldn't be with lassi)


Method:

Before you start make sure the yogurt and mango cubes are chilled. As Lassi should be served chilled and creamy.

Take out 2 tbsp of milk form 1/2 a cup and warm it. Add saffron to it and keep aside. Our saffron infused milk is ready. In a blender add cubed mangoes, yogurt, sugar, milk and saffron infused milk. Blend it well to make a thick but pourable creamy lassi. Check and adjust the sugar in lassi as per your taste. Add cardamom powder and ice cubes and blend for few seconds. Serve in 2 large glasses or small 4 glasses. Garnish with chopped pistachios and enjoy this refreshing summer drink !

read more.. "Mango Lassi Recipe | How To Make Mango Lassi"

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Chandrakala / Suryakala Sweet Recipe | Indian Festival Sweet


Holi is round the corner, just like any Indian festival, Holi without  sweets is unimaginable. So how about making homemade Suryakala or Chandrakala for this Holi? Since this is a North Indian sweet so the availability of this sweet in Chennai is a rare dream. So why not by putting little effort floor your guests and family by serving Chashni (sugar syrup) dipped Chandrakala which looks beautiful with spiral border.

Suryakala is round where as Chandrakala is half moon shaped sweet. The filling is same in both, only difference is Suryakala is sun shaped sweet and Chandrakala is half round. So serve this delightful sweet along with other Holi special dishes like Mawa Burfi, Lady Kenny, Kucho Nimki, Kalakand Sweet, Thandai, Gujiya to name a few. So see you again friends till then Happy Holi to all the readers who celebrate the festival of colours.

Ingredients:

For the filling we need :
1/2 cup Mawa (Dried Milk), room temperature
1/2 cup Khopra/ Desiccated Coconut, 
1/3 cup Bhura / Powdered sugar
1/4 cup Suji / Semolina
1/2 tsp Cardamom powder
1/2 cup dry fruits like broken cashews, walnuts, raisins, pistachio and 2 tbsp Chironji
Few Kesar strands
2 tbsp Ghee

To prepare the dough for Chandrakala we need
2 cups of Maida / All purpose flour
2 tbsp Ghee
Water to knead the dough

To decorate you need Chandi varak, rose petals and some broken pistachio

Method:
In a bowl take all purpose flour and make a well in the center. Pour ghee in the well and combine well. Start mixing with your hand and add water little by little to make a soft, non sticky pilable dough. Cover and keep aside for 30 minutes.


Mawa is missing here as I forgot to place it in the tray.

Take a pan and add 1 tbsp ghee, fry all the dry fruits in it till you get nice aroma. Spread it on a plate to cool down and later roughly blend it {Keep the nuts slight coarse to have good crunch in the filling}. 

Fry Mawa in a heavy bottom kadai till it turns brown. Take it out and keep aside. In the same Kadai add remaining ghee and fry suji till it turns light pink (do not let it turn brown or roast more). Add desiccated coconut and stir for a minute. 

Add sugar, fried mawa, coarse dry fruit, cardamom powder, kesar strands and mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Filling is ready to make Suryakala.

Divide the dough into 10 lemon sized balls, keep them covered with a wet muslin cloth to avoid the dryness of dough. Take two balls and roll them into equal size pooris {diameter of the pooris should be 2-3 inches and should be rolled in a way that the corners little thick}, place stuffing on one poori, wet the edge of the poori with water or milk for binding, now place the second poori on top of it and seal the edges. 

Twist the border to make spirals. Arrange them on a plate and keep them covered with a wet muslin cloth. When 3-4 Suryakalas are ready, heat ghee or oil in a frying pan and start frying the suryakala on low heat until golden color from both the sides.

In another burner prepare sugar syrup for suryakala, it should be of one string consistency. This will take 5-6 minutes then turn of the burner. Now a blog reader friend suggesting me sometime back that if you put few drops of lemon in the chashni then it will stop the crystallization of the sugar syrup. And now I practice it regularly !
Put the fried Suryakala in the sugar syrup and coat the syrup on both the sides. Fepeat the same till you are done with all the suryakalas. Garnish the Suryakalas with chopped pistachios and silver varak.



read more.. "Chandrakala / Suryakala Sweet Recipe | Indian Festival Sweet"

Monday, March 14, 2016

How To Make Fruit Salsa | Salsa Recipe



Summer and Fruit Salsa are the best combination. Ahha music to my ears. Donning many roles it can be served as an appetizer, dessert or even snack party item ! Depending on the availability of fruits it can have riot of colours on your serving bowl. Each fruit has a different color and texture which makes it pleasing for eyes. Fruit salsa can be sweet, tangy or a combination of both. I love adding fresh mint leaves in my fruit salsa but remember not to go overboard with it !

Serve this fruit salsa with tortilla chips for your next snacks party and believe me your guests will come back for second serving. Just pick and choose fruits of your choice and here you go...

Ingredients:
(Feel free to choose your fav fruits )
8-10 Strawberries
2 Kiwi, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup Pomegranate seeds
1 orange 
1/2 cup diced Muskmelon
Few grapes ( I used green and black) 
2 tsp Muskmelon seeds
1 tbsp fresh Lemon juice
Fresh mint

How to Make Fruit Salsa:
Well hardly much effort to make this light, lemony and minty flavour fruit salsa. Peel the kiwi and remove the stems of strawberries. In a bowl whisk together all fruits and add lemon juice. Place a cling film over the serving bowl and put it in the fridge to chill before serving. Serve with tortilla chips and sprinkle some mint leaves. Enjoy !

read more.. "How To Make Fruit Salsa | Salsa Recipe"

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Musk Melon Juice | Kharbuja Juice | Easy Juice Recipes


How To Make Musk Melon Juice: Well it's not rocket science to make fresh juice of musk melon when market is flooded with abundance of them in our part of nation. A very refreshing juice which has lot of water content which is ideal for hot and humid weather. Cantaloupe which is also known as Musk Melon or Kharbuja (specially in India) is mainly found in India as soon as the summer hits the region. According to Wikipedia: Muskmelon is a species of Melon that has been developed into many cultivated varieties. There are many varieties such as Honeydew, Crenshaw and Casaba. Just like it's earthy appearance it is very sweet in taste and loaded with lots of minerals and vitamins. Because of its higher water content it helps to stay hydrated during hot and humid season. Did you know that Musk melons are very low in calories (100 g has only 34 calories !). Not to mention another benefit of this aromatic fruit which is an excellent source of vitamin A. ,So let us learn today how to make fresh juice out of it. You can also check more Summer special juice posts just by clicking on these links : Fresh Kiwi Juice, Shikanji, Strawberry Milkshake, Black Grape Juice, Plum and Sweet Lime Juice  

Ingredients:
1 Muskmelon, ripen
2-3 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Lemon juice
1/4 tsp Black salt
Water as needed
Ice cubes, to serve (optional)

Method:
Wash and cut the musk melon into two halves, remove the seeds and you can keep these for later use ( you can add them to your soups and salads). Remove the outer layer by using a sharp knife. Cut into pieces and put it in the blender along with water, sugar and black salt. Blend well and check the consistency, if you find it very thick then add ice cubes and blend for one more time. Add lemon juice and stir it nicely. Now I do not strain it as it locks the nutrients of the fruit. If you wish to strain pour it into 2 serving glasses. Enjoy !

Notes:

  • You can replace sugar with jaggery to make it more healthier.
  • Do buy ripe musk melons for making juices.
  • Add water depending on the consistency of the juice you wish to.




read more.. "Musk Melon Juice | Kharbuja Juice | Easy Juice Recipes"

Monday, February 15, 2016

Beetroot Pulao Recipe | Preethi's Electric Pressure Cooker | Beetroot Pulao



Beetroot Pulao or Beetroot Rice recipe is an excellent way of encouraging kids to eat healthy food. I have mentioned it umpteenth times in past about my love for one pot meals. So much easier to put everything in a same pot and TaDa your are done ! Paneer Pulao, Masala Khichdi, Egg Biryani, Mumbai Tawa Pulao Recipe are to name a few which I have posted in past.
This ain't any secret that I love beetroot, the bright color attracts my attention and the beautiful color it adds to any dish is the charming factor of beetroot. My post searched recipes are Beetroot Lolipops, Beet-Aloo'r Torkari, Beetroot Soup to name a few. But my proud recipe which has been tried by several readers and co-blogger friends is Bengali Style Beetroot Chop. I have lost count of the number of readers who came back to me with superb feedbacks. 
Sindhi Biryani Masala actually cuts down the sweetness of beetroot in this dish and makes it slightly spicy. Well my son enjoys it whenever I pack him this as lunch box tiffin.
I am sure you are going to love this colored one pot rice with raita and salad.
 Friends, btw can you imagine a day without your kitchen gadgets ? I am totally dependent on kitchen gadgets for my daily needs. So I carefully choose and use kitchen appliances which are easy to use, hassle free, safe and efficient. So when I was approached by Preethi Kitchen Appliances Pvt. Ltd; for trying their Electric Pressure Cooker I readily said yes. It was more so to check the quality and cost effectiveness of this brand. This company is based out of Chennai and is a well known brand across the country. When I probed more about the company I became aware that what began as a humble mixer-grinder enterprise in 1978 has grown exponentially. Their Auto Cooker/Warmers, Induction Cook Tops, Electric Pressure Cookers and Coffee Makers are just among a few products that have found a home amongst families across the world. What I liked most is that they have constantly upgraded products to improve the quality of life for many families.


 Unlike in old times when the mere mention of pressure cooker used to frighten many homemakers due to safety reasons. Well not anymore. Today's electric pressure cookers are life savers in terms of reducing cooking time and loaded with safety backups. The inner body is non stick so it saves oil and cleaning after cooking is a breeze !

Some of the key features of the electric pressure cooker are as follows:
  • 1   Accurate pressure and temperature control system
  • 2   Cool touch handle for safety
  • 3    Anti steam ejection technology
  • 4    Digital Timer and preset function
  • 5    Micro computer control/Soft touch controls
  • 6   Texture control function
  •  On demand pressure function
  • 8   24 hour present timer
I     Being a big fan of one pot meals as they are quick and wholesome meals,  I tried my first one pot meal with Preethi's Electric Pressure Cooker and voila ! It came out fantastic ! 
       
    Ingredients:
    2 cup Basmati rice, Soak for 20 minutes
    1/4 cup Cauliflower, bite- sized florets 
    1/4 cup Beetroot, grated
    1/4 cup Green peas
    1/4 cup Corn
    1/4 cup Carrot, diced 
    2-3 Cardamoms
    1 small Javitriphool
    1 inch Cinnamon
    5-6 Pepper balls
    2 tbsp Ghee
    1 1/2 tsp Sindhi Biryani Masala (A spice store which has some very authentic spices, check out the link)
    Salt to taste
    4 cups of water
    
    Method:
      Rinse basmati twice or thrice and then soak it for minimum 20 minutes. Soak the cauliflowers in warm water with some salt and later drain out the excess water. Connect the power cord to the wall socket and switch on the electric cooker. Soon display will be on and a light will blink with a beep sound. Select 'Pulao/Biryani' on the control panel by pressing gently the button. 


      Select the texture mode and heat ghee in the inner pan and add raw spices, fry till it leaves aroma. Stir fry the carrot and cauliflower florets, this would take about 2-3 minutes. Add peas and corn and saute for 2-3 minutes again. Do sprinkle some salt to it. 
   
      

      Add rice, mix gently and add sindhi biryani masala along with salt. Stir gently and saute for a minute. Add grated beetroot now and you will see the color of rice changes into beautiful tone. Add 4 cups of water, mix well and now close the lid of electric pressure cooker.

    

      
       Now the pressure will build up. After cooking time, the cooker will give beep sound and it will automatically go to Keep Warm mode. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then position the pressure release valve to release steam and open the lid. Voila ! Your Beetroot Pulao in an electric pressure cooker is ready. I found it very convenient and easy to use.  


    


read more.. "Beetroot Pulao Recipe | Preethi's Electric Pressure Cooker | Beetroot Pulao "

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Strawberry Jam Recipe | Pectin Free Jam


Making strawberry jam from the scratch is perhaps one of the most rewarding life skills when you have strawberries in abundance. My process is Pectin free and I use fewer ingredients and no preservatives at all. Pectin is used as a thickening agent in jams. But  I just thicken my batch of jam by cooking it a bit longer. As you know all fruits contain pectin so it will help in jelling.


 I add lemon juice, cinnamon stick to it that certainly helps to fill the pectin quota and a hint of cinnamon adds a lovely twist to an old favorite. Both are subtle in the final product, yet they add a fruity fragrant in this preservative free strawberry jam ! So if you love strawberries, do give this a try !

Ingredients:
1.5 cups of Strawberry
1/2 cup Sugar (depending upon the sweetness of strawberries adjust it)
A very small stick of Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Lemon Zest
1 tsp Lemon juice

Other Items we will be needing:
Small jars for storing the jam
Potato masher
A small plate to test the consistency of the jam at the end (Keep this plate in the freezer section few hours before you start making strawberry jam)

Method:

Wash and hull berries, discard any rotten ones. Cut them into medium sized pieces and mix with sugar. Keep this aside for an hour (this step is done to draw out their natural juices). 


Next, place them in a wide thick bottom pan along with lemon zest, lemon juice and cinnamon stick. 

Mash berries with a potato masher and in between skip the foam as it is boiling. Bring strawberries to a boil and reduce to simmer. 

Keep stirring the mixture for next 15-20 minutes to avoid it getting stick to the bottom.



 Now comes the part where it needs to pass the chilled plate test. Take out the small plate from the freezer and place a drop of jam onto the plate and let it rest for 30 seconds. Tip plate to one side, jam should be a soft  mass that moves slightly. 
Not there yet.....

And if it is runny and thin then put the pan back on heat, boil the jam for another 2-3 minutes before testing the jam again.
perfect texture...

Remove jam from heat and allow it to cool a bit before transferring jams to sterilized jars. Seal and store in the fridge for upto two weeks.


They are too yummy not to eat right away ! Well I always make it in small batches and goes fast !
read more.. "Strawberry Jam Recipe | Pectin Free Jam"

Monday, December 14, 2015

Steamed Chicken Dumplings | Edible Kadam Phool


During the past week or two due to flood there were many times when we as a family used to huddle together and talk about our everything under the sun. Thanks to none of the distractions like Phones, TV or Internet not being available. Chennai was drowning ! And help poured in only after national news declared Chennai as a disaster zone.


 This is when we realized that how we should utilize every moment positively while being together. One of such conversations was about my  70 year old father who even after retirement is fit as a fiddle. Even now as soon as the clock strikes 2 pm my Dad could  be seen sitting in front of television to watch cookery show in a local TV channel. Such is the enthusiasm to learn new dishes even at this age post retirement. And whenever there is something special on show he notes down the ingredients and recipe for me. Later he passes on the information to me. This Kadom phool look-a-like dumpling is one such dish ! The kadam flowers have large and attractive globular heads which made it easy for me to add in generous amount of fillings inside. So here is my new recipe after a hiatus of more than 2 months..

Ingredients:
250 gms boneless Chicken
1 big Onion, finely chopped
2-3 Green chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp grated Ginger
1 tsp minced Garlic
Salt to taste
1 cup Basmati rice
1 tsp Garam masala
To be served with Coriander leaves and red chili sauce

Method:
First of all soak the rice for 30 minutes and drain off excess water. Spread the rice on a muslin cloth. Keep aside.
 Run the minced chicken in a grinder to make a smooth paste. When it is half done, stop the grinder and add green chilies along with the chicken paste. Grind it for one more minute. Transfer it to a mixing bowl, add ginger, onion, garlic, garam masala, salt and mix well. Divide the mixture into 10-12 round balls. 

Grease your palms with little oil and take a small ball of chicken mixture and roll them in rice. Pour water in a pressure cooker, oil the idly stand and place the chicken balls coated with rice on it and place it inside the cooker. 

Close the pressure cooker without vent weight. Steam for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 minutes and then open the lid. Run a spoon around the chicken balls to remove it from the steam plates. Serve hot with chopped coriander leaves and chili sauce. 

read more.. "Steamed Chicken Dumplings | Edible Kadam Phool"

Monday, November 2, 2015

October Fest @Hard Rock Cafe, Chennai


Who wouldn't like to enjoy good food with great music? Situated at a very busy place, in Phoniex Mall where after  a round of shopping you can enjoy with a group of friends. I have been to Bangalore's Hard Rock Cafe and like there, here too you would get traditional rock music flavour. So when I got an invite for the same I gave it a nod as there I would get to see their October special menu (available till 8th november). You can place yourself in front of the big projector which will entertain you. 

We started with their mocktails which to me was on a sweeter note so I requested them to dilute it with soda. It was served in a manson jar and the food photographer inside me wanted to take it back home ;-) hi hi


My friend had ordered The Hummus Platter and I decided to taste their Carnival Fiesta- Fries as anything with garlic plays music in my ears. Cajun spice dusted crispy chilli garlic dust fries with BBQ spiced hand pulled Chicken & smoked Chicken frank spices, served with tangy Salsa & Cheddar cheese sauce.

"LA Confidential" sounds familiar with a popular American TV series! But it is actually a Double Decker crispy Vegetable patty & crusty potato patty layered with tangy spiced Chipotle Mayo served with smoky dip &chili fries.

Just after that we were served with Mexi Cali Burger whose main part was a Tangy Chili Chicken patty topped with citrus mayo and smokey relish. Accompanied with spicy chili fries. 

Next came Jamican Hotty Submarine a typical Caribbean wholesome meal which is charred grilled smoked chicken frank stuffed subroll topped with Jamaican spiced stir fried veggies with tangy cajun barbecue mayo served with spicy chili fries.

For dessert I had Baked Cheese cake which I found to be just melting inside my mouth and a perfect finale to the excellent culinary experience.

So overall I am convinced that like a true Global brand Hard Rock Cafe,Chennai presents us a awesome combination of good food enjoyed with equally wonderful music. So, would definitely return back with family and friends real soon.      

read more.. "October Fest @Hard Rock Cafe, Chennai"

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pizza Trail at California Pizza Kitchen (15th Oct- 15th Nov)

   

In my earlier posts I have already written a lot about California Pizza Kitchen's expertise in preparing traditional Pizzas and giving them a certain twist so as to make them unique in front of conventional ones. So without any further ado I would like to go straight to their latest event that is the above mentioned title.
The theme Around the World in Ten Pizzas emphasizes upon the pizzas that we might not have ever tasted earlier. They are customized as per certain countries taste and ingredients. Food lovers can now indulge in ten lip smackingly delicious pizzas  from across the world at one place.
The new menu which showcases pizzas from 10 different countries would be available between 15 October- 15 November 2015 @ California Pizza Kitchen all over India.
Since we are non-vegetarian, all our ordered dishes were the same.

To quench our thirst we ordered 'Malta & Pom', which had Malta oranges, orange juice, pomegranate seeds with a dash of grenadine and a hint of red bull. One can't complain after that !



For appetizers we chose Charmula Fried Fish evenly fried served with lime creme sauce and salad. I liked the crisp coating outside and soft juicy fish.

 Next was Lebanese Grill Chicken, needless to say my son ate most of it. Spicy, tender and nice blend of flavours.


Then we went for the pizzas for which we had arrived. Peri Peri Pizza was a traditional crust pizza  from South Africa. It's base is filled with mushroom peri peri sauce and the topping had bell peppers, black olives, cottage cheese with fresh cilantro. Peri peri sauce has a reputation of  being highly spicy, however I didn't find it as much spicy as expected.

Then we ordered All American Cheese Burger Pizza, which had a wholesome presence of sliced chicken patties and host of freshly sliced veggies with generous amount of cheese.




My vegetarian friend on the other side of the table had ordered Harissa Pizza (kick of garlic marinade sauce with bell peppers, fire roasted chili and cottage cheese) and Frijoles A La Mexicano. Frijoles A La was a crispy crust pizza with spicy bean sauce, red peppers with Mexican chili topped with crispy tortilla chips. Tasted a small portion of the above as I couldn't resist to taste them. 


One can't leave CPK before tasting their desserts be it their trademark Tiramisu and Red Velvet Cake. AS they say desserts don't go to your stomach but straight to your heart. 
read more.. " Pizza Trail at California Pizza Kitchen (15th Oct- 15th Nov) "