Mango Shrikhand

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Whats you favorite childhood memories associated with mangoes? For me ts definitely Aam Shrikhand (and also Aamras). A bowl of this beauty makes everything about summer good. Fresh mango puree mixed with the creamiest homemade yogurt – and I am already salivating! I made this Mango Shrikhand a few days back and it screams summer. My summer happiness would be incomplete without this delicious dessert or accompaniment.

While I miss my mum’s and nani’s Mango Shrikhand, but this sunny beauty is my new friend this summer. What are you waiting for when such simple pleasures can be made in no time.

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 3 cups)

  • 3 medium sized alphonso mangoes, skin removed and chopped
  • 2 cups homemade hung yogurt
  • 4 tbsp jaggery powder (you can adjust it depending on the sweetness of the mangoes)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • slivers of 7 – 8 almonds
  • 1/2 tsp unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 5 – 6 strands of saffron

METHOD:

  • In a blender take the chopped mangoes, cardamom powder and jaggery powder and blend it into a smooth puree.
  • Fold this into the hung yogurt and chill until you are ready to serve.
  • Garnish with almond slivers, pistachios and saffron strands and serve immediately.

P.S: You can serve this with Aloo Parathas, Puris or have it as is.

 

Masala Chaas

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Summer is incomplete without a chilled glass of delicious Buttermilk aka Masala Chaas. There are so many variations of this simple cooler and you can’t get enough of this throughout the summers. Every family has their own special (and favorite) Masala Chaas recipe and so is mine. Making a glass of buttermilk rekindles childhood memories every time. And now time had completed a full circle. After school routine at home was gulping down my mum’s special Chaas and she never failed to add her touch of love by making so many varieties. I thoroughly enjoyed it! And now when my son comes back from his school is when I serve him buttermilk during summers.

A classic Indian beverage with so many good properties that you need to include in your diet plan – aids good digestion, good for gut, body cooler and packed with flavor. Make your glass now!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 3 – 4 people)

  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cup chilled water
  • 1 tsp roasted cumin powder/ jeera powder
  • 8 – 9 curry leaves
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 green chillis, split lengthwise
  • 1/4 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cooking oil
  • 8 – 9 ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • salt for taste

METHOD:

  • In a blender put yogurt, chilled water, roasted cumin powder, salt and half of the ice cubes and blend it until it becomes slightly frothy.
  • Heat a tadka pan. Put oil, mustard seeds and let it crackle.
  • Add curry leaves, grated ginger and green chilli and saute for 10 seconds.
  • Put this tadka in the yogurt and water mix and stir it.
  • Now take serving glasses and divide the rwmaining ice cubes evenly between them. Equally divide the chaas amongst the serving glasses.
  • Generously garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy!

Methi Malai Paneer

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Its raining here incessantly in Bangalore and all I was craving was a bowl of comforting paneer curry with some fluffy rotis. And such delicious cravings need to get fulfilled and hence Methi Malai Paneer happened in my kitchen. Being an ardent fan of paneer, this recipe is one of my family favorites. A few handful basic ingredients in the kitchen come together beautifully to make a stunning curry. The lush methi leaves, the delectable gravy and my ever favorite grilled paneer cubes.

So just when you thought paneer dishes are all the same and quite boring, this recipe is a winner. Try it and you’ll fall in love with it.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 3 – 4 people)

  • 200 grams paneer, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups fresh fenugreek/ methi leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 15 – 16 cashew nuts, soaked in a small bowl of water
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 green chilli, split lengthwise
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp dhaniya powder
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup fresh cream
  • 2 tbsp dried kasuri methi leaves

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METHOD:

  • In a kadhai take 1 tbsp oil and put it on medium flame. Add cumin seeds and saute it until it crackles.
  • Now add onion and saute until its translucent to light brown. This would take about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Now add tomatoes, garlic, ginger, green chilli, cashews and a little bit of salt and saute it until the tomatoes are cooked and mushy.
  • Take it off the stove and allow it cool down completely.
  • Once cooled, mixer grind it into a smooth paste. You can add 1 – 2 tbsp of water if required.
  • Now take another kadhai on medium flame and take 1 tbsp of ghee in it. Add the tomato – onion puree in it. Add turmeric powder, dhaniya powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and a bit of salt and let the paste cook until its releases some oil.
  • Now add 1/3 cup water to this an let it cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.
  • Now add the fresh cream and keep stirring it until its well incporporated into the paste to avoid the cream from splitting.
  • Add methi/ fenugreek leaves to it and let it simmer for 4 – 5- minutes.
  • Now add paneer cubes and honey and let it simmer for 2 – 3 minutes. Alternatively you can grill the paneer cubes on a griddle pan and put it inside the gravy righe before serving.
  • Garnish with kasuri methi leaves and serve.

 

Lemon Blueberry Mini Loaf Cake

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My all time summer favorite combination is Lemon and Blueberry, and when you combine them in a mini loaf, they are irresistible! While I enjoy baking almost anytime of the day, I usually have sudden morning cravings for freshly baked goodies. And this no fail classic comes to my rescue every time. Its almost like saying that when life gives you lemons, you make these Lemon and Blueberry Mini Loafs.

The burst of freshness from the blueberries and the tang from the lemon, these mini bundles of wowness is not to missed this summer. They are an epitome of summer yumness. Buttery, lemon-y and yummy!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 4 – 5 mini loaf cake)

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I used fresh blueberries)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 80 grams jaggery powder or granulated white sugar
  • 60 grams butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp heaped baking powder
  • 1/ 2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

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METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 170 C for atleast 15 minutes. Butter or spray your mini loaf tins. (I used a mini loaf liner hence didn’t have to butter or spray)
  • In a bowl take the blueberries, 1 tbsp of flour and toss together until bluebrries are all coated with flour and keep aside.
  • In a bowl whisk together whole wheat flour, lemon zest and baking soda and keep aside.
  • In a another bowl take the butter and beat it using a electric beater until soft. Add the jaggery or white sugar and beat it until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
  • Add 1 egg and beat it until just incorporated. add lemon juice and beat it for 10 – 20 seconds.
  • Now add the flour mixture and milk and fold it gently until the mixture is just incorporated.
  • Add the blueberries and fold it gently into the batter.
  • Transfer the batter equally into the baking moulds and bake it for 28 -30 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done, let it cool down and then dive in!

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.

 

 

Mayo Pasta Salad

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A bowl of scrumptious salad, freshly prepared chilled juice and a bite sized healthy desserts is what I usually crave for during the days when the temperature is soaring. Vibrant, fresh and delicious is what salad means to me and this Mayo Pasta Salad is my definition of a boring salad made exciting. I am sure by now you must be knowing how much I love my food and that I can’t eat the same thing day in and day out. Given this, I cannot thrive on leafy salads all the time and this salad fits in beautifully in my meal plans.

I throw in all the bits of veggies kept in the fridge, play around with a few dressing ideas and tada! my salad in ready. Creamy, crunchy, spicy and sweet – all packed in a single bowl of this mayo pasta salad that you ought to fall in love with this!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 4 people)

  • 1 3/4 cup uncooked fusilli pasta
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, blanched
  • 3/4 cup peppers, diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise (I used store bought mayonnaise)
  • 6 tbsp yogurt/ hung curd (I used Epigamia Artisinal yogurt)
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha Sauce (I used Bhut Sriracha Sauce)
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

METHOD:

  • Put a pot of water along with a tsp of salt on stove and bring it to a rolling boil. Once done put the uncooked pasta and let it cook until al dente.
  • Once it is cooked, drain it and run the pasta under tap water and keep aside.
  • In a bowl whisk together yogurt, sriracha sauce, mayonnaise, salt and pepper until its smooth.
  • Take a bowl add all the ingredients – peppers, broccoli, pasta, parsley, cilantro and mix it gently.
  • Add the dressing and toss it until all the ingredients are well coated.
  • Garnish with berries 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!