Aam Panna (Raw Mango Drink)

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Scorching heat, the summer holidays, a chilled glass of a tangy and sweet Raw Mango drink that mum used to make before I headed out to play – all that and more is so synonymous with Indian summer season. This Raw Mango Cooler aka Aam Panna is a summer to-do in almost every Indian household. It reminds me of my childhood in every way. Being a mum of a 2.5 year old makes me relive my summer childhood days with my son with this cooler almost every day.

This thirst quencher is made with green raw mangoes along with spices and tastes absolutely delish. Make a huge batch and you won’t be surprised that it will get over so soon.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 6 – 8 people)

  • 3 medium sized Raw Mangoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp roasted cumin powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar (you can adjust this depending on your preference)
  • 12 – 15 fresh mint leaves + extra for garnishing
  • 1/2 tsp rock salt (optional)
  • 8 – 9 ice cubes
  • chilled water (according to the consistency you desire)

METHOD:

  • Take the chopped and desseded raw mangoes along with some water and pressure cooker it for 3 – 4 whistles or until its tender and cooked.
  • Once done, let the steam escape and let the mixture cool down completely.
  • Take all the ingredients – cooked mangoes, cumin powder, sugar, rock salt, ice cubes and fresh mint leaves along with some water and blend it to make a puree. (You can store this puree for a couple of days).
  • Take the puree, add some water (depending on the consistency you like for your drink), mix it well and serve in glasses.
  • Garnish with fresh mint leaves, roasted cumin powder and ice cubes and serve.

 

 

Banana and Nutella Quick Bread

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It’s time to reveal my secret (not so secret anymore) elixir for times when I am down and out – Banana and Nutella Quick Bread! I made this bread with ragi and oats flour and it all about comfort and yumness! Tried, tested and never failed with this recipe. And I hope you now understand why it’s my favorite – super easy, super quick and no scope of messing it up!
The freshly grounded cinnamon-y flavor to the nutty flavor from the flours, everyone’s favorite Nutella to the goodness from the banana in every bite, makes it a delicious dessert to dive in all through the day. Breakfast, lunch or dinner – you’ll fall in love with it.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 – 9 inch loaf)

  • 100 grams oats flour
  • 90 grams ragi flour
  • 3 ripe bananas, medium sized
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup palm sugar
  • 2/3 cup olive oil + extra for brushing
  • 100 grams melted Nutella

METHOD

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile spray or brush you baking mould with oil and keep it aside.
  • In a bowl sift your flours, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon powder and whisk it. Add chia seeds and keep aside.
  • In another bowl mash the banana using a fork into small chunks. Add oil, sugar and vanilla extract to it and mix it well using a wire whisk.
  • Add the wet and dry ingredients and fold it until just combined.
  • Transfer half of it to the baking mould. Put half the Nutella and using a skewer make a design. Repeat the process.
  • Allow it to bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done take it out of the oven. Allow it to cool. Then slice it up and serve!

Thai Rainbow Salad with Ginger Soy Dressing

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I have started to believe that I have a thing towards fresh produce and making everything from scratch whether its salad dressings, breads, ghee and possibly everything within my scope. There is still a long way to go, lot of skills to learn however I am loving this. Using local and fresh ingredients rather than frozen ones adds such a depth of flavor and a feel good factor in everything you make. The effort that goes in making everything perfect for your family and friends, making everything pure and good is a true epitome of love and affection.

This salad is all about freshness – delicious and crunchy ingredients, a flavorful dressing, beautifully tossed together and yay! its ready. A perfect way to welcome the summer and enjoy every bit of homemade thai flavors.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 4 – 5 people)

For the salad:

  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup red carrots, julineed
  • 1/3 cup mixed bell peppers, julineed
  • 180 – 200 grams rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 red chilli, for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup soy
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp honey (optional)

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METHOD:

For the dressing:

  • Whisk everything together until incorporated and keep aside until ready to use.

For the salad:

  • Take a bowl filled with boiling hot water and place the rice vermicelli noodles in it. Let it soak for 2 – 3 minutes or until the noodles is cooked.
  • Once done drain it and wash it with tap water. Allow the water to completely drain off.
  • In a large bowl mix together red cabbage, cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, coriander leaves, black sesame seeds and noodles and toss it so that everything is almost evenly distributed.
  • Add the dressing and toss it.
  • Garnish with red chilli, peanuts and coriander leaves and serve!

 

 

Gharwali Khichdi

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Basic homestyle khichdi is my synonym for comfort food. There is nothing better that can remind you of clean and sumptuous home food than this Khichdi. A bowl of piping hot Mixed Dal Khichdi, a generous dollop of ghee and a fragrant tadka – a complete one pot meal and definitely your answer to a lazy day food.

 

Growing up in a Marwari family, khichdi was a pretty regular affair in the kitchen with so many different variations. Not only was it served with homemade ghee but also with kadhi, pickle, papad, fried munchies and curd. A simple dish was ornated and with that extra touch of love (read Ghee!) from grandmom made it even more delicious. Light on the tummy, nutritious and yummy, this lentil and rice concoction has been one of my all time favorite Indian meal. You definitely can’t go wrong with this one!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 1/4 cup uncooked lentils, soaked in water for 30 minutes (I took half moong dal and half Toor dal)
  • 1 green chili, split lengthwise
  • 2 – 3 dried red chilli
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cardamom pod, seeds removed
  • 2 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ghee + extra for garnishing
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • hing, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped cilantro leaves, for garnsihing
  • fried onion, for garnsihing

METHOD:

  • Take a saucepan and put it on medium heat. Meanwhile wash the lentils under water a couple of times.
  • Once the saucepan is heated, put ghee. Now add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, hing, green chili, red chilli, grated ginger, bay leaf, cloves and cardamom pod and saute for 10 seconds.
  • Now add the washed lentils and stir for 40 – 50 seconds.
  • Add some salt and turmeric powder and mix it well. Add 1 cup of water and mix it. Cover the saucepan and let the lentil for 10 minutes or so.
  • Once half done, add the washed rice into the saucepan and give it a good stir. Add more salt and around 2 1/2 cups of water and stir. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let the mix cook for 20 minutes or until the rice and lentil is perfectly cooked.
  • Once done, transfer it to a bowl, garnish with coriander leaves, fried onions and a generous dollop of ghee and dig in!

 

Boozy Christmas Bundt Cake

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A Christmas tree is dressed up beautifully and my house is looking festive. Those lil shining stars hanging from the tree, those bright red socks hanging all over the house and bright lights all around the tree – what a pretty sight! While my house is ornated beautifully, my food table looks prettier. Latest on my holiday table is this Boozy Christmas Bundt Cake. It has all the Christmas feel that you are looking for.

Christmas week often reignites childhood memories. School closed down for the festve season, some chilling out scenes with friends, lots of bakery hopping to grab the newest dessert in town and then praying to Santa to give the best gift possible. Ah! I miss those days. While official holiday is slightly difficult now, the rest still holds true. Those delicious Christmas puddings and Bundt cakes were always a hit in my family. This recipe is inspired from my childhood memories and I have added a slight Boozy twist to it. Loaded with the goodness of rum soaked dry fruits and the warmth from the spices is surely going to make this cake a hit in the Christmas get together this year. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 bundt cake)

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricot, finely choppes
  • 1/4 cup raisins, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dates, finely choopes
  • 1 cup rum (or brandy)
  • 2 cup all purpose flour (you can also use whole wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup granulated brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ts baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp walnut, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp candied orange peels, finely chopped (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

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METHOD:

  • Soak cranberries, cherries, apricots, raisins and dates in rum in a glass jar for 2 days to 15 days.
  • Now preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes. Butter your bundt pan with butter properly and keep aside.
  • Now in a bowl mix together oil, water and brown sugar until incorporated well. Now add vanilla extract and whisk it well.
  • In another bowl sieve flour, orange zest, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, dry ginger powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda and keep aside.
  • Now add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold in gently making sure no lumps are formed.
  • Now add walnuts ad candied peels to the mixture and fold the batter gently.
  • Transfer it to the prepared bundt tin and put it to bake at 165C for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Enjoy!

Cranberry Jam Shortbread Bars

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What is Christmas without getting your hands dirty in the kitchen and baking some lip smacking desserts for your friends and family. The festive mode is on. Even my social media pages is enjoying the festive cheer. Infact I think my Instagram is on a sugar high! Its loaded with stunning images of some amazing desserts and cookies and I can’t stop drooling over them. Boozy cakes to edible wreathes, gingerbread cookies to cookie boxes, apple pies to cranberry pies – its all there. Yes I feel the sugar overload too but its all about celebration and merry making. In the middle of this cheer, don’t miss out on baking these Cranberry Jam Shortbread Bars.

These bars is everything you would want in your dessert – sweet, tart, earthy and super easy to make. The homemade Cranberry Jam lends a freshness to the whole dessert. Buttery, crumbly, soft and delicious is all what this dessert is about. Perfect for a get together this Christmas. Make sure to make a double batch, because its a guarantee that one batch will not be sufficient. Just when the cookies and pies were getting  commonplace, bake these holiday special Cranberry Jam Shortbread Bars.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 9 bars)

For the shortbread bars:

  • 260 grams whole wheat flour
  • 220 grams unsalted butter, room temperature + extra for brushing the mould
  • 80 grams light brown granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder (optional)
  • pinch of salt

For Cranberry Jam: (Recipe on the blog)

  • 200 gms of cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 120 gms granulated white sugar
  • 3 – 4 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

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METHOD:

For Cranberry Jam:

  • Wash the cranberries properly. Take the cranberries in a saucepan along with sugar ad water and let it cook on low-medium heat.
  • Keep stirring it occasionally. Once the berries have softened by 60%, take a potato masher and gently mash the entire mixture.
  • Let the berries cook more and it will soften completely and start to thicken.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat, stir in lemon juice if needed and allow the mixture to cool.
  • Once cooled transfer it into a clean, moisture free glass container. Keep it in the fridge until consumption.

For Shortbread bars:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes and butter the baking pan and keep aside. (I used an 8 inch baking tin)
  • Meanwhile beat the butter until smooth and pale. Add granulated white sugar and beat for 40 – 50 seconds until creamy.
  • Now add vanilla extract and beat it for 20 – 30 seconds.
  • Add whole wheat flour, salt and nutmeg powder and beat on low speed until it just comes together. Make sure the clumps are still there and it doesn’t form a proper dough.
  • Transfer 2/3 of the dough to the baking tray and press down evenly. Now using a fork prick the bars and allow it to bake for 15 minutes or until the sides are slightly brown.
  • Once done, allow it to cool slightly and evenly spread the cooled down cranberry jam leaving some gap on the edges.
  • Crumble the remaining shortbread dough on top of the jam evenly and gently press the dough down.
  • Allow this to bake for 22 – 25 minutes or until the crumble is golden brown on top.
  • Once done allow it to cool on the wire rack. While it is sightly warm, cut it into 9 bars of equal sizes. Once it cools down completely, remove it from the baking tray and eat!

Christmas Sandwich Cookies – Dulce De Leche Sandwich Cookies

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Which is your favorite holiday cookie? Is it the Christmas special gingerbread cookies, some healthy oatmeal cookies, everyone’s favorite chocolate cookies or these drool worthy Dulce De Leche Christmas Cookies. December is the cookie month and there is so much excitement in my kitchen about it. Simple ingredients coming today everyday to create some new magical cookie. The latest on the block being these Dulce De Leche Christmas Sandwich Cookies. Totally festive and delicious in flavor. Every since I made a batch of these cookies, I think I have a crush on these. It got over from my kitchen in no time and its no exaggeration.

Buttery and loaded with the goodness of Dulce De Leche, these wonders are the prettiest things to gift this Christmas to your near and dear ones. The enticing smell of the freshly baked shortbreads wafting from the oven to the lip smacking Dulce De Leche, what a winning combo! The beautifully carved out stars, christmas trees in these cookies is surely to take you to Christmas cookie heaven. The fun day is just a week away and it’s time to make these beauties right away.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (makes 12 sandwich cookies

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour + extra for dusting
  • 60 gms icing sugar
  • 220 gms unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup store bought Dulce De Leche (I used store bought Dulce De Leche)
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl, beat the unsalted butter until its smooth and pale. Now add the icing sugar and beat it for 40 – 50 seconds until its smooth and creamy.
  • Now add vanilla extract and beat for 10 – 20 seconds.
  • Add all purpose flour, whole wheat flour and lemon zest and beat it until just combined. There may be crumbs which is completely fine. Do not over beat it.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and bring the entire dough together and flatten it in the form of a disk, cling wrap it and put it in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to an hour.
  • meanwhile line a baking tray with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Once the dough its slightly firm, roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Using a cookie cutter cut out round cookies of 1/4 inch to 1/3 inch height. Transfer it to the baking tray.
  • Now take smaller cookie cutter of different shapes and cut out the center of half of the cookies.
  • Put this baking tray into the freezer for 10 minutes. Once done put it to bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
  • Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely on the wire rack.
  • Now take a whole cookie and spread 1 tsp (or slightly more) amount of Dulce De Leche evenly, keeping some gaps on the edges.
  • Take a cookie with some shape carved on it and place it gently on the above cookie.
  • Repeat the same with the remaining cookies and enjoy!