Aam Panna (Raw Mango Drink)

_DSC0797

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.

_DSC0808

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.

 

 

Christmas Sandwich Cookies – Dulce De Leche Sandwich Cookies

_DSC0295 (1)

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.

_DSC0298 (1)

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)

_DSC0284 (1)

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!

4-Ingredient Homemade Cranberry Jam

_DSC0277

Jams often reminds me of my childhood days. It transports me back it in time when mum used to generously slather store bought jam on a piece of bread and then tummy was happy! The fridge door was usually adorned with a plethora of beautiful and colorful jars of jams – berry, orange and lots more. To me jam making always seemed like a difficult process, until I tried to give it a shot. My first homemade jam was a strawberry chia jam and believe me it was darn delicious! I realized how very few ingredients can be turned into something so wonderful and addictive. With Christmas approaching, I have already begun the multitude of baking sessions in my kitchen. This Cranberry Jam is a must try. Layer it on your toast, swirl it in your festive loaf cakes, fill it in your cookies – it tastes delicious.

A quick, 4 ingredient recipe is sure to win everyone’s heart. Planning to gift homemade goodies this Christmas to friends and family or planning to make some dessert for the party, this Jam is the answer to all your needs.

_DSC0286

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 1 cup)

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

METHOD:

  • 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.

 

Spiced Semolina Cake with Orange Drizzle

_DSC0188

Simple ingredients, quick recipe and an addictive cake – this Spiced Semolina Cake with Orange Drizzle is juts about that. Its getting quite cold back in Bangalore and all I am craving for is nuts and spices for the extra warmth. And then its December where I don’t need any additional excuse to make homemade cakes. My kitchen smells amazing – some nuts and fruits soaking in booze at one end, cookies baking in the oven, fruits being converted into jam on the stove top, cake cooling down and cream getting whipped up elsewhere. Amidst all this its me – an excited soul who is loving every bit of this scene in my kitchen.

Suddenly my mum calls and tells me she made this amazing semolina cake loaded with nuts. Ah! My to do baking list just increased slightly and I set to make this cake since I had everything stocked up at home. The crumbly cake loaded with the goodness from different seeds is a perfect accompaniment during tea time. Garnished with toasted nuts and a tangy orange drizzle, I have got my go to recipe whenever I want to bake something quickly. Delicious, moist and super easy. Try it now!

_DSC0184

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes a 8 inch cake)

  • 1 1/4 cup semolina
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature + extra for preparing the baking tin
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (you can use granulated white sugar too)
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 1/2 tbsp mixed seeds (I used pumpkin, melon, flax seeds and chia seeds)
  • 1/2 cup blanched almonds
  • 2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • few strands of saffron
  • pinch of salt

METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 200 C for atleast 10 minutes. Spread the blanched almonds on the baking tray and allow it to toast for 8 – 10 minutes or until just slightly brown.
  • Once done, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely.
  • Again Preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Take 2 tbsp of milk and soak the saffron strands in it for sometime.
  • Meanwhile take the cake mould, slightly butter and flour it and keep it aside.
  • Now in a bowl whisk melted butter and brown sugar until a smooth mixture is formed. To this add semolina, whole wheat flour, salt, , orange zest, cardamom powder, mixed seeds, saffron soaked milk, curd and milk and fold in gently until well combined.
  • Allow this mixture to rest for 5 – 10 minutes.
  • Lastly add baking powder and baking soda and fold the mix gently until just combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to cake mould and allow it to bake for 30 – 35 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Take it out of the oven and allow the cake to cool completely.
  • In a bowl take fresh orange juice and add icing sugar and stir until completely dissolved.
  • Take the cake, generously drizzle the orange juice mixture. Garnish with toasted almonds, pistachios and dig in.

Tiramisu Truffles

_DSC0254

I think I have a love affair with Tiramisu. Whether I am browsing through cookbooks, magazines or wandering through cafes, Tiramisu often enraptures me with its grandeur and look. Each layer shouts of decadence, deliciousness and elite-ness! It often inspires me to go back to my kitchen and create that beautiful dessert. And then the complexity of things and my laziness brings all that inspiration to a pause.

Nevertheless this time I garnered all the courage to make something simpler but definitely packed with all the goodness of Tiramisu and hence came the existence of these Tiramisu Truffles – a flavorful melange of awesomeness – Coffee, Rum and Chocolate! For a coffee lover in me, this dessert in by far the easiest and my most favorite one.

The creamy mascarpone with perfectly sweetened lady finger sponge crumbs, the bitterness from the coffee and the spike from the rum – all blend in beautifully to make this delicious little truffles. Make these little treat bombs for yourself, store in the freezer and enjoy because you truly deserve every bit of it.

_DSC0266

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Make around 18 truffles)

  • 24 lady finger sponge
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • 2 tbsp Baileys
  • 3 tbsp rum (you can choose to add more if you like)
  • 1 tsp coffee powder
  • 2 tsp water, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups semi sweet or dark chocolate, chopped roughly
  • 1 tbsp coffee granules , for garnishing

_DSC0261

METHOD:

  • Take all the lady finger sponge and crush it to fine crumbs in a food processor. Once done keep aside 1/1 2 tbsp of this mixture in a separate container. To the remaining mixture add granulated white sugar and whisk it.
  • In a bowl mix together coffee powder and water and stir it until the coffee granules is completely dissolved.
  • Now take the mascarpone cheese in a bowl and whisk it for 30 – 40 seconds. To this mixture add baileys, dissolved coffee mixture and fold it gently using a spatula.
  • Add the sponge and sugar mixture and fold it gently. Lastly add the rum to this mixture and fold it gently until completely incorporated.
  • Make sure the texture of the mixture is not very gooey. It should be like a chocolate cookie dough. Put it in a container, cover it and put it in the fridge to harden a bit for 30 – 40 minutes.
  • Meanwhile using a double boiler method, melt the chocolate chunks. Once melted keep aside for the mixture to come to room temperature.
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Now take the mixture out and form balls of equal size (as shown in the picture) and place it on the parchment paper with some distance between the 2 balls.
  • Put it back in the freezer for 10 – 15 minutes. Take it out and dip these balls into the melted chocolate mixture one by one and then place it on the parchment paper.
  •  Sprinkle the chocolate coated balls with the fine crumbs you had kept aside in the first step or with coffee granules.
  • Keep the mixture again the freezer for 10 minutes before enjoying it. To store the remaining, transfer it to  a container and store it in the freezer until you want to consume.

Enjoy!

_DSC0256

Coconut Panna Cotta with Pomegranate Coulis

_DSC0111

Amidst the hustle bustle of a normal day of my life, I often take a step back, sit down and relax. And my connotation of relaxation often means digging into a sumptuous dessert even if its bite sized. Little sugar pleasures lets me retrospect things happily. The point is that I love rich indulgent desserts. I do try to control my cravings or substitute it with healthy alternatives, but I simple love them.

Coming to  indulgent desserts, Panna Cotta tops my list. Sweet, creamy and utterly delicious! Bursting with the sweetness from coconut milk and the freshness from pomegranate coulis, you can’t stop in a bite. Luscious and jiggly, this dessert is a party winner. For me panna cotta is like a blank canvas – some basic methods to follow and then you throw in whatever you enjoy. The fridge does its work and you have an absolute sensational dessert to woo you!

So whip this up now and enjoy!

_DSC0105

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 6 people)

  • 1 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup low fat milk
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp gelatin powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ice water
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar (you can also use caster sugar)
  • 1 – 2 tsp cornflour
  • mint leaves, to garnish

_DSC0107

METHOD:

  • In a small bowl take ice water and put it the gelatin powder and let it soak for 6 – 7 minutes. The gelatin will bloom.
  • Meanwhile, take a pot and pour coconut milk, milk and sugar into it and let it heat on low flame. Make sure to keep stirring at intervals.
  • Do not boil the milk, it needs to be hot.
  • Once this is done, add the bloomed gelatin to the milk mixture and keep stirring in on low flame for 40  – 50 seconds. The milk should not come to a boil. Also make sure there is no lump in the gelatin.
  • Turn off the heat and take the mixture and pass it through a sieve so that in any little lumps can be removed.
  • Let the mixture cool for 10 – 12 minutes, before you evenly  divide it between 6 glasses.
  • Once it poured into the glasses and cooled, put it the fridge to set for atleast 8 hours (preferably overnight).
  • For the pomegranate coulis, put pomegranate arils, 4 tbsp water and sugar in a saucepan on low flame and let it cook.
  • Once the pomegranate is soft and leaves it juices, add lemon zest. Dissolve cornflour in the remaining water and make sure there is no lump.
  • Now add the cornflour mixture to the cooking pomegranate mixture and let it cook for 40 – 50 seconds on low flame, until the mixture thickens.
  • Allow it to cool completely. Pour it over the coconut panna cotta once its set.
  • Chill, garnish with mint leaves and serve.

Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies

 

_DSC0153

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!

_DSC0143

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

_DSC0148

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!