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Showing posts with label drinks & beverages. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drinks & beverages. Show all posts

Friday, May 26, 2017

Kala Khatta (Jamun) Mojito

Black Plums or Jamuns may be not be considered in the same league as the venerated Mangoes, but this summer fruit packs in quite a punch. Both in terms of taste and nutrients. In fact, it is one fruit that can take care of most of the disorders that are associated with the consumption of excess mangoes. For example, stomach pain and diarrhea are readily cured by drinking the fruit juice or even chewing on the tender leaves !!

But the single most therapeutic property of this fruit is the ability to keep the blood sugar levels in check. A fact that has been exploited to the hilt by Patanjali which manufactures the 'Jamun Sirka', a product that flies off the shelves at an alarming rate. Even my diabetic MIL vouches for the effectiveness of this product. 

Today's recipe is all about a flavor derived from this fruit which I must have eaten by the kilos during my childhood days in Rourkela. The Java plum trees are naturally abundant in the hilly regions. The very popular 'kala khatta' is a mixture of black plum juice, a strong squeeze of lemon, a good dash of black salt and some sugar to balance it out. For something that is considered synonymous with the very pedestrian ice lollies, the Mojito is a much needed haute makeover for this crowd-favorite.

Read on for the recipe -

Ingredients - 

  • 12 Ripe Black Plums (Jamuns)
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 tsp black salt
  • 4 tsp sugar syrup
  • chilled soda water
  • a mixture of red chili powder and salt for rimming the glasses ( 1:4 ratio )
  • 4 shot glasses
  • 2-3 sprig mint leaves

Preparation - Using a sharp knife, remove the flesh from the ripe fruits.

Cut the lemon into two halves and rub the half over the rim of the glasses. Dip the glasses in the salt and red chilli mixture. Let it dry for a few minutes. 

In each glass, put some fruit, mint leaves and black salt. Muddle it nicely with a muddler.

Add the lemon juice, sugar syrup and fill the rest with the soda water.

Garnish with mint leaves and lemon slices if desired.

Serve immediately.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Salted Caramelized Lime Mojitos

The tang of the lime. The freshness of the mint. Just the right amount of sweetness. The tingling sensation of the sparkling water on the palate. The subtle scents tantalizing the nostrils. The green sprigs soothing the tired eyes. And i am in mocktail heaven. No less !! These days I am addicted to mojitos in a big way and have been experimenting quite a bit.

However, the Caramelized Lime Mojito is adapted from www.storyofakitchen.com .  Caramelizing the limes adds a subtly different flavor (and a a little bit of bitterness too) to the regular drink. The bitter notes need more sweetness to create a balance. But I felt that a touch of salt instead of more sugar did the trick for me. Plus the ombre effect added by the caramelized lime juice ( don't stir before serving ) is quite a treat for sore eyes !

Now that's just another amazing mocktail/drink that you can try serving during a Holi brunch/lunch . With the temperatures soaring, coolers are more than welcome. Even more so than the usual oily snacks served during Holi. Go for some baked Dahi Bhallas or even a green banana dahi wada made in appe pans by none other than my talented blogger friend Parinaaz (recipe HERE)!!

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins
  • 3 lemons
  • a handful of mint leaves
  • sugar syrup as per taste
  • 600 ml sparkling water
  • ice cubes
  • sugar for caramelizing the lime
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Cut 2 of the limes into halves. Dip the flat side into the sugar and place on a non stick skillet . Cook on low temperature till they caramelize . Take care not to burn.

Remove and keep aside till they cool down. Squeeze the juice into serving glasses.

Assembly - Add a few mint sprigs to each glass. Muddle a bit. Pour some of the sugar syrup and then pack with ice. 

Top with the sparkling water taking care not to stir/move the contents else the ombre effect will be lost !

Sprinkle the salt immediately before serving.

Cheers !!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Sol Kadhi

Though I have not really explored Goan and Maharashtrian cuisine, there are some dishes which I come across quite frequently. And one of them happens to be the 'Sol Kadhi'. This is a very refreshing drink that is served with the meals that usually consist of rice and a non-vegetarian side. The sourness of the kokum and the sweetness of the coconut combine in this dish to lend it a very fresh flavor that is simply incomparable.

So, when I got some Kokum on my hands, this was the first recipe that I had to try. And it turned out to be delicious even though I have not followed the authentic recipe. Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -

  • 8 Kokum pods
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1 green chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 pinch cumin
  • salt to taste
  • a sprig of coriander for the garnishing

Preparation - Soak the Kokum in 2 cups of hot water for half an hour. Rub them and squeeze out the juice.

Similarly add some warm water to the grated coconut and give it a buzz in a blender jar. Strain to extract the coconut milk. Repeat 1-2 times.

Grind the cumin seeds, green chili and garlic cloves into a coarse paste. Add to a blender jar containing the coconut milk and kokum juice. Blend for 1 minute to bring the flavors together.

Strain and pour into glasses or small cups. Garnish with some chopped cilantro . Serve.

Note - The drink tends to settle down if left standing for a while. So, give it a stir/shake just before serving.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Spiced Mango Lemonade with Basil seeds ( Vegan Mango Drink )

When it comes to mangoes and mango recipes, a mango milkshake hardly makes it to the list of my favorites. I tend to find it too sweet and heavy to digest. So, I usually stick to my aamras. But lately, the mango lemonade has been a regular on my menu. On most days, I prefer to have a swig in the hours between breakfast and lunch as my energy levels tend to dip after 12. A lemonade with honey as the sweetener is my go-to drink. However with mangoes being very much in season, I do add a bit of the pulp to my lemonade. The result is a yummy cooler with the right balance of sweetness and tang.

To spice up things a bit, I add some powdered dry ginger ( excellent for keeping the digestive system in order ) and some powdered fennel ( an excellent coolant ) to it. For added health benefits and to keep the body cool during summers, throw in about 1 tsp of soaked basil seeds (subza) into each glass and you have the perfect example of 'Health bhi Taste bhi' on your hands. Though it is a bit high on the calories, it is still loaded with nutrients (and free from additives) unlike any of the store bought coolers. Try it and you won't regret it !!

Read on for the recipe of this wonderfully delicious and healthy natural cooler -

Preparation time - 10 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 cup mango pulp/chunks
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sugar syrup (as per taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 pinch dry ginger powder (saunth)
  • 1 pinch fennel powder
  • 1 tsp basil seeds ( soaked for 3-4 hours )

Preparation - Take the mango pulp/chunks, sugar syrup, lemon juice , dry ginger powder, fennel powder and blend till smooth. Dilute with as much water as you need.

Place the soaked basil seeds in a glass. Pour the mango lemonade gently over it. Chill for 15-20 mins, Serve.

For sugar syrup - Take 1 cup sugar and 2 cups water in a saucepan. Place it medium heat. Boil till sugar dissolves. once syrup becomes sticky, remove from flame and cool down.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Roasted Aam Panna ( Aka Smoked Mango Nectar )

Beginning with the day the first blossoms were spotted on the mango trees to the day when the last fruit of the season was plucked ( or brought down by the rains ), a period of sheer madness would descend on the household. The mornings would begin with a round of close inspection wherein each and every branch was inspected for the tiny fruits ( amba chaana ) that emerged slowly amidst the masses of sweet smelling flowers. Multiple sighs would follow each tiny fruit that was found lying on the ground. And since a lot of then actually dropped off, one can easily imagine the plight of the poor family member who did the inspection and broke the news to the others.

An agonizing period of waiting followed till the tiny mangoes turned somewhat bigger and plumper. Not they hadn't ripened. But one could still savour them raw in the form of many chutneys, an occasional pickle or the most awaited combination with some salt and red chili powder. Such simple bliss. Sadly, it would easily turn into sheer agony when one went overboard with the mangoes or the red chili powder. And when such occurrences turned frequent, the elders would take turns ensuring that we did not venture too close to the mango trees.

But the elders were not the only ones who kept the kids in check. Tradition demanded that the first fruit be offered to Lord Krishna on Dola Purnima ( Holi ). And a rather strict grandmother ensured that the mischievous kids fell in line with that diktat of hers. The stories concocted by her would seem dubious in hindsight but at a young age, they instilled enough fear in mind to quell any lingering notions of mischief.

However, once the curfew on the green mangoes got lifted, they would lose their charm all too rapidly. Everyone looked forward to relishing the sweet flesh of the ripe yellow ones. And most of the ripening would be done at home. Once the mangoes reached a certain size and took on a particular hue, they would be plucked carefully and tucked into a dark corner within the house to ripen in the safety of those bamboo baskets. Apparently, homo sapiens are not the only species who enjoy this delicious fruit. Other species ( and your neighbors too ) can also take a shine to this rather yummy fruit . Hence, the extra protection, though painful at times, is always recommended.

But everything is forgotten once the mangoes start to ripen and fill the house/garden with their excruciatingly sweet smell. Suddenly mangoes are a part of every meal. For mango lovers like me, this period of sheer bliss is nothing less than an annual honeymoon. And a guaranteed one too. This is often followed by a period of abstinence (thanks to the overdose of mangoes) which is quickly replaced by renewed enthusiasm as the mango seasons draws to an end. And finally one says goodbye to the mango with a heavy heart. Sigh !!

But worry not. This is just the start of the mango season and the recipe that I am sharing is one made from the green mangoes. 'Aam Panna' or the green mango drink is sheer delight on the senses. It is a traditional summer cooler which is a great way to beat the heat without resorting to bottled drinks with loads of added chemicals. While panna is usually made from boiled mango pulp, I have roasted the green mangoes to infuse the flesh with a smokey flavor. Also, I have used jaggery instead of sugar which makes it all the more healthy.

Read on for this refreshing recipe -

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 green mango
  • 3 tsp jaggery or as per taste
  • 2 pinch black salt
  • a pinch of table salt ( recommended for the sour mangoes )
  • 2 pinch pepper powder
  • a pinch of cardamom 
Preparation - Wash and dry the mango. Roast it on the gas burner on a low to medium flame till the skin is 60 to 70 percent blackened.

Remove and cover with a steel bowl. Keep aside till it cools down. Peel the burnt skin and chop the flesh.

Transfer the flesh to a blender jar along with the remaining ingredients, 2 cups water and a few ice cubes. Blend together.

Serve immediately. Else keep it chilled and serve within a day or two.

Note - The color of the panna will vary according to the sweetener used. Sugar will give it a pale yellow color while jaggery will give it golden brown to richer brown tones.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tiranga Faluda

Its that time of the year yet again. The tricolor hues seem to be floating everywhere around me. Even my kid is wearing it to school today. And not to mention all the lovely blog posts that have been popping on my screen over the past week. This one however was conceptualized almost a fortnight back for the second round of the Borosil-Indiblogger contest that I did not win. It seems one needs past laurels as well as a good sales pitch to reach the podium finish in such contests. Anyways that's in the past now.

The recipe that I am going to share today is a simple one. I have used mango, vanilla and kiwi as the flavours in the this recipe. But one can go for any three flavours that one likes and use a bit of edible food color to get the right shade. I would have liked a thicker consistency for the faluda but unfortunately there was an 8 hour long power-cut on the day and my ice creams just melted off. While it does not look as good, it does taste great. Very apt if you are entertaining any friends over the long weekend. Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients -

  • 12 tbsp subza (basil) seeds
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice-cream 
  • 2 scoops mango ice-cream
  • 2 scoops kiwi ice-cream
  • 2 tbsp mango crush
  • 2 tbsp kiwi crush
  • few drops of orange food color ( or saffron instead )
  • few drops of green food color
  • chopped cherries for garnishing

Preparation - Divide the subza seeds into 3 portions. Add each portion to 2/3 cup warm milk. Add a little green color and 1 tbsp kiwi crush to one cup. To another cup, add some orange color and 1 tbsp mango crush. Soak for 1-2 hours.

Mix in the remaining mango and kiwi crush with 2 scoops of mango and 2 scoops of kiwi ice-cream respectively .

Assembly - Take some clean glasses . First add a little of the green colored subza mixture. Top it with the Kiwi ice-cream.

Then add another layer of white colored subza mixture topped with the vanilla ice-cream.

Finally add the layer of orange colored subza mix topped with mango icecream.

Sprinkle the cherries on top.

Serve immediately.

Note - I have not used sugar as the crush and ice-cream add a lot of sweetness to this dessert. But one can add some sugar as well as per preference.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mango Lassi ( 2nd Version )

This yummy mango lassi does more than just beat the summer heat. The medley of flavors unleash a state of utopia that remains throughout the day. I find it the best way to end a rather frugal lunch consisting of rotis, dry subzi and some salad. The rose syrup and rose essence used in this recipe are the underdogs who steal the limelight without one even realizing it.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 5-6 mins

Ingredients -

1 cup diced ripe mango
1 cup fresh yogurt
3/4 cup chilled water ( or as per desired consistency )
a pinch of cardamom
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp condensed milk
1/2 tsp rose water

For the garnish -

1 tsp subza(basil) seeds
2 tbsp rose syrup
1 tbsp water

Preparation - Soak the subza seeds with rose syrup and water in a small bowl. Leave aside for 2 hours.

Take the mango cubes, sugar, condensed milk and 1/4 cup water in a blender jar. Buzz for a few seconds till the ingredients come together. Add the yogurt, remaining water, rose water and cardamom powder. Buzz for a few seconds more. The mango lassi is now ready.

Put some soaked basil seeds at the bottom of the glass. Gently pour the lassi into the glass and finally add some more soaked basil seeds on the top.

Serve immediately.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Ragi Buttermilk

Another healthy and traditional drink from Odisha. A few days back I had posted the recipe for Ragi Sharbat (sweet) on my blog which elicted quite a few surprises. Most people were not aware that Ragi can be consumed in the raw form. Here is the savory version of the drink which can be best as 'Ragi Buttermilk'.
There is yet another version in which Ragi flour is dissolved in 'Torani', the water that is discarded after cooking rice. But I will leave it for some other time.

Read on for the recipe-

Preparation Time - 5 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 tall glass buttermilk
  • 2 tsp Ragi flour
  • 1 tsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/3 tsp chopped green chilli
  • 1/3 inch ginger (finely grated)
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Throw in all the ingredients in a blender. Buzz for a few seconds.

Pour into a tall glass with a few ice cubes thrown in.

Serve immediately.

Note - If you do not have buttermilk available, make your own. Take 3-4 tsp yogurt with a glass of water in a blender and buzz for 1 minutes. Throw in some ice so that the fat separates out and floats to the top.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Mandiya Sharbat (Ragi/Finger Millet drink)

Summers in the Western parts of Odisha are a scorching affair. Temperatures that hover around 50 degrees Celsius and hot searing winds make life miserable. Apart from having Pakhala, a watery rice dish that is known to have cooling properties, people prefer all sorts of chilled/cooling drinks . Little wonder that the sale/intake of soft drinks shoot up sharply. ( If you tend to disagree, try and remember when was the last time you were served a traditional drink at someone's house.)

But there are a whole lot of natural drinks that were very popular in Odisha till a few years back. Bela-panna, Lembu pani (lime juice), dahi sharbat (kind of lassi) , gholaa dahi (buttermilk) and mandiya sharbat (ragi drink)were the drinks of choice.

Ragi or Mandiya is known for its cooling properties on the boy and is regularly consumed as Ragi malt/porridge(palua in Odiya) down South. While it is usually consumed in the cooked form, people in Odisha make a simple cooling drink with Ragi powder and a little sugar/jaggery/mishri. Some fresh curd and very little cardamom may also be added to improve the flavor. The drink is usually consumed in the morning on an empty stomach but one can have it at any time of the time.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 5-6 mins

Ingredients -

3 tbsp Ragi powder (Mandiya Chuna)
2 tsp powdered jaggery
1/2 cup fresh yogurt
180 ml water
a pinch of cardamom (optional)
2-3 ice cubes (optional)

Preparation - Take the ragi powder, jaggery, water and cardamom powder in a blender jar. Buzz for 1-2 minutes till jaggery gets dissolved.

Strain the liquid to remove any undissolved solids. ( One can also drink it without straining. )

Pour into a tall glass and stir in the fresh yogurt.

Add ice cubes and serve immediately.

( The drink tends to separate into layers if allowed to stand. Nothing to panic about. Just stir again and drink it. )

Notes - There is also a savory version of this drink. Will publish it soon.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Watermelon Lemonade (Detox Mondays)

A perfect thirst quencher for the scorching summers!!A tall glass of watermelon lemonade provides more than just the day's supply of antioxidants (watermelon is rich in lycopene). Loaded with vitamins and minerals, it is a very powerful cleanser and diuretic ( speeds up the removal of toxins from the body which catapults it to the league of detox drinks ). It also helps regulate the blood pressure and blood sugar levels when consumed on a regular basis. The watermelon seeds are iron rich so think twice before discarding them.

Check out the recipe-

Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients -

2 1/2 cup watermelon cubes (seeds removed or you can keep them)
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar syrup
few mint leaves
ice cubes

Preparation - Take the watermelon cubes along with water in a blender. Buzz for a minute or two. Use a strainer to get a clear juice or use can even drink it as it is (which will be thicker).

Put some ice cubes and crushed mint leaves in a tall glass. Pour the watermelon juice. Add lemon juice and sugar syrup.Gently stir in to mix all the ingredients.

Serve immediately. (Do not mix the lemon if you are going to keep it in the fridge for a few hours)

Note - Use of sugar syrup is optional.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Adraki Chaas (Ginger Buttermilk)

Another easy to make buttermilk recipe. I think m getting hooked to these!!!!!!! Read on:

Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1/2 glass yogurt
  • 1 1/2 glass water
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp black salt (kala namak)
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Take all the ingredients in a blender. Buzz for a minute.

(Add some ice cubes to the blender jar. This will not only chill the drink but all the fat will also float to the top and can be easily removed.)

Pour into glasses and serve.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bela Panaa

The Bela Panaa is a drink made out of the pulp of the wood apple . This is a fruit that one can find in abundance in Odisha as the leaves are an important part of the ritual worship of Lord Shiva. While the pulp ranges in color from a pale yellow (almost whitish) to a robust orange, the flavour of the flesh also varies widely. Some are sweet while others can be quite astringent with hints of bitterness.

Inspite of all the variations,  the fruit is widely consumed due to its medicinal properties. It is an excellent coolant and is supposed to prevent heatstroke. Apart from that, it is good for the bowels and alleviates any sort of gastro-intestinal distress during the hot months. Most people consume it in the form of a plain sherbat with just the deseeded pulp, some sugar and a tinge of souring agent like curd or lemon. But for the Maha Bisubha sankranti or the Odia new year, a more opulent version called the 'Bela Panaa' is prepared in most homes.

Read on for the traditional recipe -

Preparation Time: 10-15 mins


  • Ripened Bela/Wood apple/Elephant apple ( 1 no)
  • curd ( 1 cup )
  • chenna/curdled milk ( 1 cup ) or 3 rosogullas
  • ripe banana ( 1 no)
  • sugar ( 3 tbs )
  • ice-cubes
  • black pepper powder ( 1/4 tsp )

Preparation: Break the shell of the wood apple on a hard surface and scoop out the
yellow flesh.

Put the yellow flesh in a mixing bowl and add 2 cups of cold water. Mix the flesh with the water using your fingers to extract the juice.

Strain the juice using a sieve. Transfer the remaining pulp back to the mixing bowl and add 1 cup cold water and extract any remaining juice.

Strain the juice and throw away the pulp.

Add sugar, banana, chenna/rosogulla, curd and black pepper. Mix well using your fingers.

Pour into glasses & top up with ice-cubes. Serve chilled.

Note: Bela ( also called Bel) pannaa is very popular in Orissa during the summer months.

It is offered to Lord Shiva on Panaa Sankranti day which falls on 14th of April.

The leaves of this plant are also offered to Lord Shiva along with milk. Consuming a fistful of these leaves is supposed to reduce blood pressure & diabetes.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Neer Mor / Spiced Buttermilk / Masala Chaas (Detox Monday Recipe)

(A Big Sorry for being late by a whole day!!!!)

Surprised. How can buttermilk be classified as detox food ???? It is just another dairy product.

But that's the magic of this humdrum ingredient (Don't they say the most common/easy solutions are often the most overlooked ones) . Even though it is derived from milk, it is strong cleansing properties. Much revered in Ayurveda, buttermilk has more of lactic acid than milk and hence it is loaded with gastrointestinal benefits. With the digestion process improving, the excretion or throwing out of toxins from the body is increased. A glass of buttermilk with 1-2 teaspoons of coriander juice serves as a very good detox drink.

Now that you know where to search when looking for a quick detox, making some buttermilk is quite easy. Just add a cup of yogurt with 3 cups of water in your blender and buzz away for a few minutes. Voila....homemade buttermilk is ready. Most Indian homes use a hand churner for making buttermilk. It is a long steel/wooden rod with circular blades at the bottom. But a blender will do as well. (In fact we can make it using our hands too but it takes long time)

Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients -

2 glass buttermilk
1/2 tsp finely chopped coriander
1/4 tsp finely chopped curry leaves
1/5 of grated ginger
1/4 tsp finely chopped green chilli
a pinch of pepper powder
a pinch of roasted cumin powder
salt to taste

Preparation - Take all the ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.

Pop it into the fridge for 1/2 hour. Remove and mix once again.

Pour into glasses and served chilled.

Note - This can also be consumed by all those who are fasting for Shri Ram Navami .

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Panakam/Panagam (Ram Navami Special)

Panakam is special jaggery drink prepared in Andhra and Tamil Nadu on the occasion of Ram Navami. An interesting blend of spices is used in it and that is what gives it such a unique flavor. And it is quite easy to make when you have all the ingredients in your kitchen/pantry. It is prepared a few hours before serving and tastes best when chilled.

Read on for the super easy and very healthy recipe:

Preparation Time - 5 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 glass water (200 ml)
  • 2 tsp powdered jaggery
  • a pinch of soonth/saunth/dry ginger powder
  • a pinch of pepper powder
  • a pinch of cardamom powder
  • a dash of lemon (this is optional and is not used traditionally)
  • a few basil leaves (optional)

Preparation - Dissolve the jaggery in the water with constant stirring. Strain to remove any impurities.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir a little.

Serve chilled.

Note - Panakam along with Vadapappu (a mix of soaked yellow moong with coconut, raw mango, lime juice, salt and chilli powder) is the traditional offering on Ram Navami.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Shikanji (North Indian style lemonade)

With the summers fast approaching, lemonades are becoming a regular feature in my home. While the traditional lemon drink served in Odisha uses just sugar and a pinch of salt apart from lemon and water, down South they sprinkle it generously with mint leaves. Different from these two, the North Indian version is a little more spicy. It makes use of black salt 'kala namak' and roasted cumin powder along with the other ingredients. It is popularly known as 'Shikanji' or 'Shikanjvi' and is widely available at roadside stalls throughout summer.

Most of us adore the plain old nimbu-pani and this version just adds a refreshing twist to a crowd favorite recipe. Lemon being high on the list of 'Detox foods', with its properties of being a blood purifier and a cleansing agent, sip on a glass or two everyday without guilt. (Just try to replace the sugar with some honey/sugarfree if you watching weight). Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 5 minutes

Ingredients -

1 big lemon
5-6 tsp sugar
2 pinch roasted cumin powder
1/5 tsp black salt/kala namak
2 glasses water ( about 500 ml )
Ice cubes (optional)

Preparation - Cut the lemon into two halves .(Check the pic below to see how the lemon should be cut so that maximum juice can be extracted. You will be surprised as to how many folks are ignorant about this simple trick)

Take the water in a blender/juicer jar. Add the sugar, black salt and squeeze in the lemon. Blitz till the sugar is dissolved.

Pour in tall glasses. Add the roasted cumin powder and ice cubes.

Serve immediately.

Note - One can also some fresh mint leaves to this preparation.  You can also add the cumin powder during the blending stage instead on sprinkling it later on.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Gulkand and Kesar Milkshake

Superhero Panda is all exhausted with the enormous task of saving the planet. He goes to meet Dr. Panda. The latter advises him to drink two glasses of milk everyday. But our Superhero hates the white stuff.

Doc Panda calls up his Mama. "You know Mama has a solution you everything", he tells to our Superhero.
So, Mama comes up this refreshing rose and saffron flavored drink.

Superhero gulps it down in no time. Doc Panda suppresses a smile when he sees Superhero back on his feet.

Read on for the recipe of Superhero's energy potion :

Preparation Time - 5 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 glass cold milk
  • 2 tsp gulkand or rose jam
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • 2-3 ice cubes (optional)

Preparation - Soak the saffron in 3 tsp of warm milk for 10 mins.

Add all the ingredients to a mixer jar. Buzz for a few seconds. Yummy milkshake is ready.

Pour in a glass and serve.

So, our Superhero Panda is all recharged and is back on his mission to save the Planet.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Amba Panaa ( Raw mango drink for Holi / Odisha style Aam Panna)

This is a special drink prepared in Oriya households on the occasion of Holi or Dola Yatra as it is commonly known. Small processions of Lord Krishna and his consort Radha ensconced in a 'Doli' or 'palki'  do the rounds of the city. They visit peoples homes where prasad is offered to them.

In keeping with the tradition of offering seasonal produce to the Gods before consuming it, the first mango of the season is offered to Lord Krishna and his consort when they visit someone's house in Odisha. While some people offers the green mangoes itself, others prefer to make a sweet drink out of it. As it is made primarily for offering to God, it is a rather simple drink without too many ingredients. And the green mangoes are neither roasted nor boiled like they do it for the 'Aam Panna' consumed mostly in north.

Read on for the recipe -

Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Ingredients - 3-4 tsp raw mango paste, 2-3 tsp powdered jaggery, 2 pinch pepper powder, a few sweetened boondis, 250 ml water.

Preparation - Mix the raw mango paste, jaggery and pepper powder with water. ( Use a mixer/blender for quick results)

Garnish with the sweetened boondis. Add a few ice cubes if you like.


Note - This version of the Amba panaa is offered as Prasad to Lord Krishna during Holi. However, if you making it on a regular day, add some roasted cumin-chilli (jeera-lanka) powder and black salt to enhance the flavors. Also, it tastes best when made with semi-ripe mangoes but they are difficult to come by before the month of April.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Chattua Panaa

'Panaa Sankranti ' or 'Mahavisubha Sankranti' which falls on 14th April signals the beginning of the Oriya new year. On this day, a special drink is offered as prasad and is also widely consumed by the masses. Various regions within Odisha have their own localized version of this drink, but the two most popular ones happen to be the 'Chattu Panna' and the 'Bela Panaa'. While the former has a base of roasted gram dal (sattu in Hindi/chattua in Oriya) along with fruits, the latter is made from the pulp of the fruit of the Elephant apple tree. This tree is more commonly referred to as the 'Bel' tree and is sacred for most Hindus, particularly the Shaivites (devotees of Lord Shiva).

You might be wondering as to the timing of my post. Well, it has started getting a little hot and we are drinking a lot of juices/liquids these days. So, when it came up during a recent discussion that India has such a huge variety of drinks to offer, we tried to do a verbal recall of the stuff that we have tried till date. Now even my husband found it hard to recall that we have this 'delicious 'Panaa' to Odisha's credit. Hence an attempt to bring the focus back on this special drink that is both healthy and filling. Read on for the recipe:

Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Ingredients - 3 tsp chattua ( roasted gram dal flour ), 1 small banana, 1/2 of one apple, 2 tsp yogurt, 3 tsp chenna ( panner ), 1 tsp sugar or 1.5 tsp powdered jaggery, a pinch of cardamom, 1/2 cup milk, 1 tsp freshly grated coconut for garnishing.

Preparation - Chop the banana and apples into small pieces. Lightly crumble the chenna/paneer.

Transfer everything into a grinder jar. Buzz for a few seconds till the sugar gets dissolved.

Check the consistency. While it is generally kept thick, you can add a little more milk if you prefer a thinner consistency.

Pour into a glass and garnish with grated coconut. (Add 2-3 ice cubes if desired)

Serve immediately.

Monday, February 24, 2014


Maha Shivratri is the single most important festival for the Shaivites or the devotees of Lord Shiva. It is widely believed that whoever worships the divine Lord in a particular ritualistic manner on this day will have his wish fulfilled. This festival is more commonly observed by the married womenfolk who pray for the well being of their husband and son(s). Some unmarried girls also keep a fast to attain an ideal husband like Lord Shiva.

People who observe the day get up early in the morning and take a dip/bath in a holy river. They then wear new clothes and duly visit a Shiva temple. Abhisekha or 'giving bath' to the Lord is then done with milk, yogurt, ghee, honey, sugar and milk (this concoction is also called 'Panchamrit'). Finally a 'Bilwa patra' or 'Bela patra' with 3 leaves is placed on the Shiva Linga (to cool the short-tempered Lord). Most folks observe a fast throughout the day and only eat food the next day after the 'Deepam' is placed on the apex/top of the temple (sometime after midnight). A few even give up water for the entire day.

While no Shivratri is complete without an offering of 'bhang' or cannabis to the Holy Lord, the medium is usually different. In Orissa some people offer it wrapped in betel(paan) leaves while in the North, bhang is usually mixed in 'Thandaii' or in sweets. Thandaii is more spicy and flavorful version of the regular 'Badam milk' that is popularly consumed in South India. It is very common during Shivratri and Holi. With spices like green cardamon, khuskhus, rose petals and fennel, it is known to keep the body cool during the Summer months.

A few years ago I had not even heard of it but today I am able to succesfully make a batch at home. Thanks to all my blogging friends (especially Deepa from whom I first heard about it). Here is my version of the very refreshing drink called 'Thandaii':

Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients - Milk ( 1 liter ), almonds ( 16-18 nos ), cashews ( 10-12 nos ), khuskhus ( 1 1/2 tbsp), watermelon seeds (magaj) (1 1/2 tbsp), fennel ( 1 1/2 tbsp), green cardamon (4-5 nos), peppercorns ( 1 tsp ), saffron ( a few strands ), rose water/essense ( 1 tbsp/few drops) (use fresh petals if you find some, the dark pink ones are best), sugar ( 1 cup or to taste ).

Preparation - Soak the almonds, cashews, khuskhus and watermelon seeds togather. (remove the almond skin once it is soaked)

Dry roast the peppercorns, fennel and cardamom till it gives off a fragrance.

Cooking - Bring the milk to boil in a thick bottomed vessel. After it boils for 5-6 minutes, switch off flame.

Add the sugar and saffron strands to the still hot milk. Mix gently so that the sugar dissolves.Allow to cool.

Transfer the roasted spices to a grinder and make into a paste. Add all the soaked nuts and spices and grind everything till it becomes very fine. Add a little water to thin the consistency if it is getting too difficult to grind. Add this paste along with rose essence to the milk and allow to stand for 1 hour.

Use a cloth to strain and transfer the milk into another vessel (an earthern pot would be ideal but do not worry if you cant find one)

Refrigerate for a few hours.

Garnish with silver foil (warq)/rose petals, nuts and a few strands of saffron and serve chilled with some Gujiya (Karanji).

Note - Fresh rose petals if used, need to be ground along with the nuts and spices.

I have not used any bhang (cannabis) in this preparation. If you want to make bhang thandaii, soak 10-15 cannabis leaves along with the nuts and follow the same procedure as detailed above.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Masala Chai ( Tea with spices )

Its been raining incessantly for 5 days now. The laundry baskets are spilling over and the house smells of half-dry clothes. No sunshine greets me as i wake up in the morning. The pitter-patter of the raindrops against the glass windows seems to be drowning out every other sound. The only saving grace to such a gloomy morning being the luscious verdant carpet that covers the open fields in sight.

I steal a sideways glance. Little angel is sleeping blissfully ensconced in his blanket. The sight of his innocent face always manages to lighten my mood. I tuck the blanket around him once again and step down from the bed. Hoping fervently that the newspaper guy is not late, I open the door. Today's edition of TOI greets me back. I pick it up lovingly and step into the kitchen. Need something special to warm up the house and dispel this dank musty feel which seems to hang in the
air. Its too early to bake a cake, so I settled for a cuppa of Masala chai instead.

Time to wake up hubby. Putting the water on the stove to a boil, I called out to him. Managed to wake him up but not without a few grunts and grumblings. Tea was served by the time he freshened up. Nothing better to drive away the blues. Before taking on the day, we savor these tranquil moments spent every morning with the newspaper and tea.

Here is the recipe for my special and always dependable 'Masala chai':

Preparation time - 10-12 mins (serves 4 )

Ingredients - milk ( 2 cups ), water ( 2 1/2 cups ), sugar ( 4 tsp ), tea leaves ( 4 tsp), ginger ( 1 inch ), cloves ( 2 nos ), cinnamon stick ( 1/2 inch ), green cardamon ( 1 no ), star anise ( 1 no ), peppercorns ( 6-7 nos ), bay leaf ( 1 small ).

Preparation- Bring the water to boil in a saucepan. Add the crushed ginger and all other spices. Boil for 5 mins. Strain the water, remove the spices and put it back into the saucepan.

Add sugar and tea leaves. Boil for 2-3 mins.

Add hot milk and simmer for another 2 mins.

Strain and serve hot with khari biscuits/cookies.

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