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.

 

 

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

 

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Hunting for an easy peasy recipe for a non chocolate cookie – these bright buttery cookies are soon going to be your elixir for happiness. While chocolate cookies are almost everyone’s favorite, these lemon – thyme cookies are magical! Shortbread cookies are an epitome of glamour and simplicity. They are fun to make – quite therapeutic and almost like your canvas where you can play around with different flavor combination and make these little heart wonders.

Bright and buttery – these lemon and thyme cookies are perfect additions to your breakfast as well as tea time table. The freshness from the locally sourced fresh lemons and the fragrance from fresh thyme makes you want to go for another bite. Absolutely scrumptious. Minimal ingredients, fool proof recipe and these little indulgent and melt in your mouth cookies are ready in no time.

Share some love with these cookies!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes around 16 – 18 cookies)

  • 1 cup multigrain flour + extra for dusting
  • 113 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 35 grams granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • few thyme leave sprigs, for garnishing

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl beat butter and sugar until they are smooth and creamy. This would take around 40 – 50 seconds.
  • Now add vanilla extract and beat it for 20 seconds.
  • Add in multi-grain flour and salt and beat it on low speed for 40 – 50 seconds , until its just combined.
  • Now to this mixture add lemon juice, lemon zest and thyme leaves and beat it for 30 seconds.
  • Transfer the mixture to your kitchen top. Make sure that the kitchen top is lightly floured. Combine the entire dough mixture. Do not over mix/ over knead it.
  • Flatten the dough mixture into a disc shape, cling wrap it and put it the fridge to chill for atleast 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile pre heat your oven to 180C for atleast 15 minutes. Line your baking sheet with a parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge. Lightly flour the surface. Roll out the dough to a 1/4 inch think circle. Take heart shaped cookie cutter and cut out the cookies.
  • Transfer each cookie to the baking sheet. Garnish it with thyme sprigs. Allow the cookie to bake in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes or until the cookies are light golden brown.
  • Once done, take it out from the oven and allow it to cool completely and enjoy!

 

 

 

Tomato and Feta Galette

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Looking for an easy and delicious baking project (aka fun) for this weekend – get ready to be smitten over by this Tomato and Feta Galette. Fruit Galettes are too mainstream, a warm savory pie is what you need for these beautiful chilly evenings. Rustic and comfort is what this galette is all about.

I personally love pies, whether it is sweet or savory. However I am kinda lazy in making pies at home. It stresses me out. There are way too many do’s and don’t. I guess I should take up a challenge soon to make pies at home. Nevertheless galettes are the closest and  the easiest free form pies where all the goodness is tucked in together and put into the oven. And now I guess you know why I love galettes. The look absolutely gorgeous. Throw in ingredients you love you are done!

Tomato and Feta Galette is a classic one. The buttery flaky crust, the creaminess of the feta and the tangy-ness from the cherry tomatoes makes you fall in love with it. Try this recipe over this weekend and I bet you’ll love it as much as I do!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 – 9 inch pie)

For the galette crust:

  • 175 multigrain flour + extra for dusting (you can use all purpose flour also)
  • 113 grams cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 3 – 4 grams salt
  • 4 – 5 tbsp ice cold water
  • 1 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten (optional)

For the filling:

  • 1 larger onion, diced
  • 16 – 18 cherry tomatoes, halved or used as is
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 8 – 10 fresh basil leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly grounded black pepper to taste

METHOD:

  • In a bowl take multi grain flour, salt, sugar and mixed herbs and mix it well,
  • Using a pastry blender or two forks, cut the butter into the flour until it forms coarse crumbs. It is okay to see small chunks of the butter.
  • Now add the ice cold water a couple of tablespoons at a time and bring together the dough.
  • Dust the kitchen top with flour and transfer the dough on it. Add more water if needed and bring it together to make a ball. Cling wrap it and refrigerate it for an hour atleast.
  • Once its kept in the fridge for sometime, preheat your oven to 200C for atleast 15 – 20 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Once the dough it chilled, take it out and roll it out to 15 inch circle. Transfer the pastry to the baking sheet.
  • Now place the chopped onion on the rolled out pastry dough keeping around 2 – 2.5 inch gap from the edges.
  • Take half of the feta crumble and sprinkle it over the onion layer. Sprinkle some salt and pepper too.
  • Now layer it with whole cherry tomatoes, halved cherry tomatoes or a mix of both. Sprinkle the remaining crumbled feta on top.
  • Fold the edges over the tomatoes gently or make pleats if necessary. Garnish it with a few leaves of basil.
  • Take the lightly beaten egg and using a pastry brush, brush on the folded edges which will give it a nice golden color.
  • Allow it to bake for 25 – 28 minutes at 200C or until golden crisp brown.
  • Once done, transfer it to a wire rack and allow it to cool. Make slices and serve!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Rajma Masala (Kidney Beans Curry)

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When I think about Indian comfort food, Rajma Chawal tops my list every time. I am not the kind of person who loves to eat Indian food everyday, but eating different cuisines and combinations each day, Rajma Chawal provides that brief hiatus where I go back to my roots, simple home style food where the magic of spices is unparalleled.

As a child mum used to make different versions of Rajma – sometimes without onion garlic, sometimes with a bit of cream and sometimes with potatoes in it. I enjoyed all these different varieties, but my favorite was the one which my friend used to get in her lunch. I remember gobbling down her entire lunch in school on days she got Rajma. I often tried to replicate her recipe, but failed each time. I think that it is the world’s best Rajma chawal and my friend refuses to share the recipe.

Each bite of this curry unveils the perfect blend of Indian spices. The melt in your mouth rajma (kidney beans) along with a flavorful onion-tomato gravy instantly can win anyone’s heart. Pair it with basic steamed rice, pickled onions and papad – quick and easy meals are sorted!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

  • 3/4 cup uncooked rajma (kidney beans), soaked overnight
  • 1 cup onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 – 5 -cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chili, cut lengthwise
  • 1 – 2 bay leaf
  • 4 – 5 curry leaves (optional)
  • 1 inch ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp rajma masala powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp  garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp kasuri methi (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • pinch of baking soda (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped for garnishing
  • lemon wedges, to serve

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METHOD:

  • Drain the water from the overnight soaked kidney beans and transfer the beans to a pressure cooker. Add 3 1/2 cups of water, bit of salt and baking soda in the pressure cooker and close the lid. Allow the kidney beans to cook on medium flame for atleast 4 – 5 whistles. (You can let it cook for more whistles until the beans is tender and cooked).
  • Once the whistles are done, allow the steam to escape on its own. Take the rajma out and drain the liquid. Do not throw it away since we will use it later.
  • Meanwhile take the chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, garlic cloves and ginger and make a fine paste using a mixer grinder.
  • Put a sauce pan on medium flame. Add ghee. Once hot add the cumin seeds and allow it to crackle. Add the green chili, curry leaves and bay leaf and saute for 10 – 15 seconds.
  • Now add the tomato- onion paste and cook it on low flame. After a minute or so add salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, half of rajma masala and let the mixture cook until all the moisture is evaporated. This will take about 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Once cooked add the cooked kidney beans along with the remaining rajma masala and give it a quick stir.
  • Add the rajma stock (and more water if you like it watery), cover it with a lid and bring the curry to boil.
  • Add kasuri methi and adjust for salt and spice levels and let it cook for another minute or so.
  • Now garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice.

Enjoy!

Sabudana Khichdi

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Eat Eat and Repeat! Its that time of the year when the festive bells are ringing everywhere. The excitement and glint is everyone’s eyes is unparalleled. Not only because is time for merry making but also because everyone gets to eat abashedly. The kitchen is beaming with a plethora of yummy dishes each day. Some traditional and some not so traditional dishes. All diets comes to a halt because it’s time to eat, enjoy and celebrate.

Today marks the auspicious start of Navratri. Brings back tons of childhood memories. The elders in the house would fast for 9 days, the entire house adorned with vibrant flowers and offer prayers to Goddess Durga. When we talk about fasting, the first dish I relate to is Sabudana (Tapioca Pearls) Khichdi. I absolutely love it, period. Mum used to make so many different dishes out of these white edible pearls like Sabudana Vada, Sabudana Kheer but I am completely smitten by my mum’s Sabudana Khichdi.

The perfectly soaked tapioca pearls, the tempering from basic Indian spices and those crunchy peanuts on top – I can eat the whole thing at once and mind you anytime of the day! So whether you are fasting in the coming days or no, this dish is literally clean comfort food. Quick to make, yummy to eat!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 – 3 people)

  • 1 cup sabudana (tapioca pearls)
  • 1 medium sized potato, peeled and chopped into cubes or slices
  • 1/2 cup slightly crushed roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 green chili, slit lengthwise
  • 7 – 8 curry leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chili powder (you can adjust the spice level based on your tolerance)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt, to taste
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish

METHOD:

  • Soak the tapioca pearls in a bowl of excess water overnight. Once soaked strain off the excess water and let the tapioca pearls rest for atleast 20 -25 minutes so that all the water is drained.
  • Meanwhile take a saucepan and put it on medium heat. Once its heated add ghee.
  • Now add cumin seeds and let the seeds crackle. Add curry leaves and green chili and saute for a few seconds.
  • Add the potatoes and saute for a couple of minutes. Add salt and allow the potatoes to cook constantly stirring it to avoid it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add little water to avoid that.
  • Once potatoes are 95% done and there is no water, add the crushed peanuts and saute it for 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Add the chili powder and allow it to cook.
  • Lastly add the tapioca pearls and cook for 2 – 3- minutes until the pearls are soft and almost transparent.
  • Drizzle some lemon juice and stir it.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

 

 

Sesame Crusted Baked Mushrooms and Paneer

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My favorite ingredients in an oven baked version – yum! The flavor blast in every bite of this dish makes it a complete winner. I love and kind of prefer baking and roasting veggies in my small little oven rather than boiling and (over) cooking them on stove. Couple of reasons – put everything in the oven and it does the rest. You get time to focus on other errands simultaneously. Secondly, its definitely healthier and tastes darn good.

Make a single batch of sesame roasted mushrooms and cottage cheese or a huge batch, this gets over in no time. Whether you want to upgrade your appetizer game in a part, top it up as an add-on to your lunch meal or eat this as is, you’ll definitely obsess over it again and again. Its simple, its quick and super delicious.

This recipe is adapted from Sarah Jampel’s recipe for Crispy Sesame Baked Tofu and Shiitake Mushrooms. The ease of her recipe and the use of pantry staples makes me fall in love with it.

Soft and tender from inside, crunchy from outside, the flavor combination is stunning. The umami from the mushrooms, nuttiness from the flecks of sesame seeds and the aromatic oils – all this comes together beautifully. Hearty and healthy – this dish is here to stay!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 1 -2 people)

  • 150 grams mixed mushrooms ( I used a mixed of button and shiitake mushrooms)
  • 200 grams cottage cheese cubes (you can use tofu also)
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 1/2 tbsp mixed sesame seeds + extra for garnish
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • handful of micro greens, for garnish

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 220C for atleast 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside.
  • Wash and clean the mushrooms. Cut the mushrooms into medium slices. Make sure not to cut it think since it will burn too easily in the oven.
  • Take half of the above mentioned quantities of – cornstarch, vegetable oil, sesame oil, mixed sesame seeds, chili flakes, soy sauce and salt – in a bowl. Put the mushrooms in it and toss it so that all the pieces are well coated.
  • In a another bowl, take the cubes of paneer/ cottage cheese. Add the remaining amount of cornstarch, vegetable oil, sesame oil, chili flakes, soy sauce and salt, sesame seeds and the entire Panko bread crumbs quantity.
  • Make sure to toss the cottage cheese gently in the mixture and ensure its generously coated.
  • Place the mushrooms and cottage cheese cubes on the parchment paper. Make sure that the pieces are places beside one and another and not stacked one top of the other.
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the pieces are golden brown and crisp.
  • Take it out of the oven, mix it up, serve on a plate and garnish with micro greens.

Bon Appetit!

 

 

Granola Breakfast Tarts

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Its time to awaken your taste buds and kickstart your morning in a healthy, hearty way! I love to have a sumptuous breakfast, the kind where the entire breakfast table is adorned with fresh juices, freshly baked breads, brewed coffee, perfectly cooked eggs and a beautiful breakfast dessert tart. Oh gosh! I am already dreaming about it. Very rarely my breakfast table looks so full that I am spoilt for choices. All I try to do is make one or the other dish of my dreamy breakfast table on and off. Once such dish is the fabulous breakfast granola tart.

Fancy to look but simple to make, these tarts can appease your sweet cravings in a nutritious way. Loaded with heavenly flavours, these tarts makes mornings happier and merrier. The stunning granola crust, the fresh juicy fruits and luscious yogurt – all come together beautifully. Indulgent but definitely healthy. So just when you were craving dessert for breakfast or breakfast for dessert, we got you a solution!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 3 – 4 inch tarts)

For the tart:

  • 1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats (I used Quaker oats)
  • 3 /4 cup finally chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup finelly chopped hazelnuts
  • 75 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature + extra for greasing the tin
  • 1 tbsp mixed sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the filling and topping:

  • 180 grams plain Greek Yogurt (I used Epigamia Greek Yogurt)
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar (you can use honey instead)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp black chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 small green apple, thinly sliced

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METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 160C for atleast 20 minutes. Grease the tart tins slightly with melted butter and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile take all the dry ingredients for tart crust – Oats, Sesame Seeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts and Cinnamon – and mix it in a bowl.
  • In another bowl whisk together melted butter and vanilla extract and then add it to the dry ingredient bowl.
  • Using a spoon mix the entire granola mix. Now transfer 1/3rd of the mixture to one tart shell. Using the back of your spoon press the granola mix towards the edges of the shell. Make sure that there are no gaps left.
  • Put these tart shells to bake in the oven for 18 – 20 minutes.
  • Once done, using the back of your spoon, press down the granola mix and then allow the tart to cool completely in the tart shell.

For the filling:

  • While the tart shell is cooling down, we can make the filling.
  • In a bowl take greek yogurt, agave nectar (or honey) and vanilla extract and whisk it using the wire whisk.

For assembling:

  • Once the tart base has completely cooled down, demould it carefully.
  • Divide the yogurt mixture between the 3 tart shells and fill it completely.
  • Garnish with pomegranate arils, green apple slices, chia seeds and any leftover granola and serve!