Cheese Crusted Garlic Bread

Soft, buttery, oozing with cheese and herbs …oh so garlicky! Garlic Bread 🍞 it’s the perfect accompaniment to my soups, salads, pastas….almost everything!! I can never refuse a warm slice of Garlic Bread… Can you? πŸ˜›

I really don’t remember the first time I had Garlic Bread…I just remember having one slice after the other and enjoying every bite…no ketchup / dips or salsas needed…at least for me. However it goes really well with my Spicy Mayo DipΒ .☺️

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Garlic Bread is typically made with French Baguette…by slicing it diagonally and smearing it with some olive oil..minced garlic..some herbs and / or mozzarella or some cheddar…drooling!!!

However, I have used another recipe and made my Garlic Bread from scratch..and it’s super – duper easy! Its yummy and uses all the ingredients that are readily available in every kitchen. Besides, baking my own bread makes me all proud! πŸ˜‹ ☺️ Here goes the recipe …

Yield: 2 breads 7″ each

Equipments: large mixing bowl, parchment paper / aluminium foil, baking tray, measuring cups & spoons, a kitchen towel, a small bowl, a spoon.

Ingredients:

Bread:

2 cups APF (maida)

1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast / instant yeast*

salt to taste

1/4 cup olive oil (you can use refined oil too)

3/4 cup warm water

a pinch of sugar.

1 tsp dried Italian herbs (you can use fresh herbs too)

Garlic butter:

5 tbsp softened Amul butter (salted,if you have used unsalted butter then pls season it with salt & pepper)

4 nos minced garlic cloves

1/4 tsp chilly flakes

1/2 cup grated Cheddar Cheese

1/2 tsp dry Italian herbs

Method for the Bread:

Take the warm water in a cup, sprinkle sugar and active dry yeast into it, cover it and let it prove for approx 10-15 mins (if using instant yeast, pls skip this step, add it directly to the flour and other ingredients*). Next, in a large mixing bowl add the flour, salt, dried or fresh herbs. Mix it thoroughly and make a well in the centre and pour in the frothy yeast if using the active dry yeast option along with oil. Mix everything and make soft dough. Cover it with a kitchen towel and set it aside for 1 hr 15 mins for the first proving. After 1 hr 15 mins…punch the dough down and let it prove for the second time for 45 mins. After 45 mins, shape your dough into a large bread or into two breads. Set it on baking tray which has been lined with aluminium foil / parchment paper. Set it aside for 30 mins.

Method for Garlic Butter:

Mix the butter and minced garlic and set it aside.

Assembly:

Preheat the oven @ 200’C for about 10 mins. Brush the top of the proved breads with the garlic butter and sprinkle the chilly flakes and the Cheddar, dried herbs. Bake for 25 – 30 mins or until it turns golden brown around the edges and the Cheddar will have turned crisp. Voila! There you go…πŸ˜€ that wasn’t tough right?!

Serve it warm with any dips or ketchup..or if you’re like me..have them own their own!

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Happy Baking!

Love,

Shreya πŸ’•

Crispy Sabudana Wadas in Appe Pan / Crispy Sago & Potato Croquettes in Aebelskiver Pan.

Its Spring time…which marks the beginning of Chaitri Navratris…when we Hindus worship Goddess Durga for 9 days while we fast. The 9th day signifies the end of the Navratris & it’s celebrated as Shri Ram Navmi.

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So I thought I should start my fasts by making an all time favourite of mine. Something so easy, healthy and yummy!! Sabudana Wadas…or Sago & Potato Croquettes but I have chosen to make these in an Appe pan /Aebelskiver pan. Although these Wadas or Croquettes can easily be deep or shallow fried, I prefer them with as little oil as possible. Trust me, the taste won’t be compromised 😊 They are crispy on the outside and creamy and soft on the inside. Just as the deep fried ones would taste.

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One can have these Wadas / Croquettes even when you aren’t fasting (yeah, I do that a lot) 😜 they can be excellent snacks for tea times too..or for a filling breakfast.

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Let’s start with the recipe, it requires a bit of prior prepping..πŸ˜€

Yield: 15-17 small Wadas / Croquettes

Equipment: Appe / Aebelskiver pan, a mixing bowl, a couple spoons & forks.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Sabudana / sago

3 nos medium potatoes boiled and mashed

2 nos green chillies finely chopped

1 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped

1tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup roasted, husked & roughly crushed peanuts

Sendha namak / Himalayan Rock salt to taste ( you can use regular salt too if you are not fasting)

1/2 tsp roasted cumin pwd

a pinch of sugar (optional)

oil as required

Method:

Wash the Sabudana / sago under running water till water runs clear. Soak it overnight in a little water, just enough to cover the Sabudana / sago (even soaking for a minimum of 4-5 hours works well for me). Don’t keep any excess water while soaking.

Next, once the Sabudana / sago is soaked, mix all the ingredients together except the oil in the mixing bowl using a fork and make sure there are no lumps in a potatoes. Heat the Appe pan / Aebelskiver pan, add a few drops of oil in every indentation.. Make small balls with the batter and place in the pan. Cook for about 2-3 mins on the first side on low – medium flame else they will remain uncooked from within. Now turn them over and cook for a further 2 mins. They will get a rich golden – brown colour on all sides and will crisp up as well. Do the same for the entire batch. Serve them hot with any dip / sauce of your choice. Since I was fasting, I had them with some plain curd and fruits. That simple!! 😘😘

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Happy fasting everyone!

Love,

Shreya 😊

Multi – Seed Whole Wheat Crackers with a Spicy Dip.

Crackers & Cheese…I love them! They are so crispy, crunchy and go really well a variety of sides…😁 perfect for parties or just some lazy munching. And I am a fan of munching..especially while I am parked Β on my couch, watching television πŸ˜‰ and so does Mr. PP 😍

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But you see, we like healthy munching… Something light and yummy! And for that purpose, I always keep some popcorn ready in my pantry, along with some homemade ‘mathris‘ ..a kind of deep fried Indian savoury crackers. But deep fried isn’t always a healthy option..so we end up with oil free popcorn or some fruits for snacking..

So, I always try coming up with fun ideas for snacking. One such idea of mine is crackers… Healthy crackers!!! With a yummy, easy to do dip.. πŸ‘ŒΒ Crackers are nothing but savoury mathrisΒ ..simply baked. They are oil free and therefore a healthier option. They are a version of bread, except that crackers are very crunchy and crispy… usually small in size, either round, square or rectangular…but I am adventurous when it comes to shaping these …I put my cookie cutters to optimum useπŸ˜€ …crackers can be flavoured with herbs, cheese, etc..anything that takes your fancy. Like I have used multi – seeds like poppy, flax & sesame seeds to make them healthy (seeds are known for their dietary fibre, omega 3 fatty acids and are fantastic anti – oxidants…a must in everyone’s daily diet ☺️) along with wholewheat flour. Crackers are often served as a palate cleanser between courses of a meal.

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i like serving my crackersΒ With some kind of dip or a salsa… However they taste great with cheese, preserves or peanut butter…or even soups. So this time I did a spicy dip for my crunchy munchies!!! The combination is superb…a finger licking good dip with some crackersΒ are light on the stomach and yet filling. Anyways, let’s get on with the recipe…πŸ˜‹

Yield: 20-22 medium sized crackers & a small bowl of dip.

Equipment: a large mixing bowl, a rolling pin, a sharp knife / cookie cutter, parchment paper / aluminium foil, a skillet, a spatula, baking tray, a cooling rack

Ingredients:

For the crackers:Β 

2 cups wholewheat flour

3 tbsp semolina (sooji / rava)

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp (for topping) mixed seeds (poppy, sesame & flax..feel free to use any seeds)

salt to taste

1 tsp dried mixed Italian herbs

1 tsp chilly flakes

1/4 tsp coarsely ground black peppercorns

3 tbsp Β + 1 tbsp (for greasing) oil

1/4 cup water (use more or less as needed to make a dough)

For the dip:

5 tbsp eggless mayonnaise ( can use with egg too)

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1 pinch salt

1/2 tsp garlic pwd

1/2 tsp paprika

Method for the crackers:

Mix all the dry ingredients in the bowl using a spoon. Take the water and 3 tbsp of oil in a glass and mix them well. Use this mixture to knead a semi stiff dough with the dry ingredients. Knead for at least 5-7 mins to make sure the ingredients have amalgamated well. Cover the dough and set it aside for 20 mins.

Preheat the oven @ 200′ C. Prepare the baking tray with the parchment paper or aluminium foil. Brush it with some oil. Set aside. Now, knead the dough once again for a couple of mins and grease your work surface, using the rolling pin, roll it out to a thickness of about 3mm. You can cut the rolled dough using a knife into squares / rectangles / diamonds or use a cookie cutter for any desired shapes. Next, place these shapes slightly apart from each other on the prepared baking tray…brush each of them with some oil and sprinkle some mixed seeds. Press the seeds down onto the dough a bit. Bake these for about 20-25 mins. Once done, open the oven door for 30 secs and close it again to let the crackers sit in the warm oven to crisp up further for about 5 mins. Remove the tray after 5 mins and transfer the crackers onto the cooling rack. Store them in airtight containers or serve immediately. πŸ˜‹

Method for the dip:

Mix all the ingredients together and serve….that easy, right?!!! 😁

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Hope you will enjoy these as much my hubby and I did!

Love,

Shreya πŸ’ž

Mint & Kiwi Sorbet!

Summers are going to be relentless… And they are just beginning! I need to have something very cool and light…something other than ice creams! Β Although, I enjoyed my No Churn Orange Ice Cream to no end, I wanted something lighter and more refreshing this time around.
Something which I hadn’t tried making at home yet but absolutely loved! πŸ‘Œ 😊 Sorbets! πŸ’ž

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I adore Sorbets! They are so incredibly fresh and flavourful without being too loaded with caloriesπŸ˜›

For those who haven’t yet tried it so far or heard much about it, Sorbet is a frozen dessert made with mildly sweet water flavoured with purΓ©ed fruits or liqueurs…whatever one prefers😬

Its different from an ice cream where air is whipped into the cream base and then frozen, Sorbet is frozen to become ice-like but has a very smooth, pulpy texture.

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I had first tasted a SorbetΒ ages ago at a Gelato outlet here in Mumbai and fell in love with the texture and the fruity flavours! It was Kiwi & Melons πŸ‰πŸ‰So tropical, right?! Perfect for a hot, sunny day 🍧 πŸ§β˜€οΈ..neither icy nor juicy..somewhere in between…a delight for a ice lolly lover like myself πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹

And it’s really a boon to know that it’s super easy to make these…so here comes the recipe.

Yield: 2-3 servings

Equipment: a medium sized stainless steel /aluminium bowl, a bender, a saucepan, a spatula, fruit knife, a fork.

Ingredients:

4 nos. green kiwis peeled and chopped

5 tbsp sugar (add more or less as per personal preference)

1/2 cup water

14-15 nos. mint leaves washed and roughly chopped

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Method:

Place the stainless steel or aluminium bowl in d freezer to cool at least 1 hr before you begin prepping. After an hr, proceed with making the sugar syrup by heating the water and sugar in the saucepan over low heat while stirring it constantly. Once the sugar has melted and dissolved completely, turn off the stove. The sugar syrup is a basic syrup with no-thread consistency. Put the syrup in the refrigerator to cool for 10-15 mins.

In the meanwhile, blend the chopped kiwis, mint leaves & lemon juice until smooth without any bits of fruit in it. Add the sugar syrup to the blender and blend once more. Now transfer this mixture into the cold stainless steel /aluminium bowl and freeze it for 2 hrs. Now, remove the bowl and using a fork, mix the mixture once. You will notice that there will be ice crystal formation which is normal, it should be that way. Repeat this step again after 2 hrs. And freeze again for another hour or so. Even overnight freezing is perfectly fine.

Now the Sorbet is ready. To serve, place the bowl containing the ready Sorbet at room temperature for 15 mins, it will loosen slightly and become pulpy, using spoon or a ice cream scoop, fill the serving bowls / glasses and garnish with mint leaves! Tada!! 😊 there you have a very fancy, shmancy dessert ready! With minimal efforts!😜

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Until we meet the next time….

Love,

Shreya ❀️

No Churn Orange Ice Cream!

Its sweltering hot out here in Mumbai … Well, what else did I expect? πŸ”₯β˜€οΈ I haven’t stepped out of my house during the day in the last few days… The thought itself makes me melt… 😰

I just want to sit in my room, with the blinds all drawn and something cool to sip/ eat..whatever! A couple of weeks ago when the temperatures had began soaring I cooled myself off with my Minty Pomegranate Mock MojitosΒ πŸΉπŸ˜‹ They were so refreshing!

Well, I did need something to cool myself & Mr. P.P. off again..but something a bit more filling πŸ˜› Didn’t want to do a drink yet again. So thought of Icccccccceeeee Creeeeammmm!!! LoL! 🍦🍦okay! So who doesn’t perk up at the thought of a bowlful of rich, creamy, cooling ice cream?! I simply go weak in my knees with one look at an ice cream πŸ˜€Infact, I love my sittings with the dentist precisely for this reason! I get ice cream…prescribed by a doctor! 😝😜now who wouldn’t love that..!

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And yes! I don’t make my ice creams the fussy way…no churn! Yes! My recipe is super duper , easy peasy kinds…prep the ingredients in just under 15 mins, drop everything to set in an aluminium or stainless steel / plastic container & stash it in the freezer for about 5-7 hours! That’s it. What remains now is ‘eating’ the ice cream…yes! It’s that easy. Even a child can do that without any fuss. Not to forget, it’s eggless! πŸ˜‡πŸ˜

And as for the flavour, I have chosen something just as bright as the summer sun! Oranges & lemons… They spell summer with their bright colours and such fresh, citrusy flavours πŸ‹πŸŠ along with a hint of vanilla beans added for that earthy, heart warming aroma… I am sure you are salivating! πŸ˜› I had made this ice cream last year too, for the first time. And I absolutely fell in love with the taste..its tangy, slightly bitter and of course deliciously creamy!

Anyways, enough yappity-yap for now, I want to go have my ice cream so I’ll just get on with the recipe 😬

Yield: serves 3-4

Equipment: electric whipper, a large whipping bowl, a spatula, measuring cups / spoons, grater. Juicer (if using fresh orange juice), a knife

Ingredients:

200 ml Amul whipping cream

1cup Orange juice (canned or fresh) 250 ml approx

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tbsp orange rind (grate the orange skin slightly for this)

1 vanilla bean pod

1 cup superfine sugar (pwd sugar if you have got that)

Method:

Keep the cream, whipper blade attachment, whipping bowl in the refrigerator for 30 mins prior to actually prepping the ice cream base.

Once that’s done, add all the ingredients in the whipping bowl (scrape the vanilla beans out of the pod and add that).

Using the whipper on high / turbo setting, whip for 7- 10 mins or until you achieve soft peaks. Turn off the whipper. And pour everything into the container you are using to set the ice cream and cover it before putting it into the freezer for 5-7 hrs. That’s it! Serve once set..! πŸ¦πŸ˜›

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I am am off for my second bowl…what are you waiting for?! Go, make this right away! 😁

Love,

Shreya ❀️

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Aromatic Garam Masala – North Indian All Spice Mix.

"Something smells good ..what's cooking today?"Β 

I hear this so often when Mr. PP walks into our home after work.. He always knows what’s smelling good but loves asking me the menu for dinner! 😬

Not that there’s some sort of feast being cooked by me for we prefer light, healthy and traditional North Indian fare for most days. And I keep it elaborate on Friday nights &/or Saturdays too… πŸ‘Œ Sundays are all about brunches & breakfasts for dinner!!! Ya, we do that a lot, and eat out to try some of the new eateries…or revisit our old haunts. It’s a welcome change 😜

Anyways, what does smell good is a basic stir-fry of cauliflower & peas or a simple dal tadka…reason being my special Garam Masala Mix (North Indian Style All Spice Mix).

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It’s my mom’s recipe..and I haven’t changed a thing. I make it every month, just enough so that it lasts for about a month or so and make a fresh batch again. That way I know it’s going to taste fresh and aromatic! πŸ™ŒπŸ™Œ

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I add the spice to mix to most of the traditional, North Indian food that I prepare on daily basis and trust me, the aromas are so earthy and heady…I can smell them around the entire house!

As a kid, I hated it when my mom added the Garam Masala to any of the curries /veggies. LOL! I didn’t mind the whole spices as I could pick those out of my food. I grew fond of it’s flavours very late in life 😝

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I actually smile to myself each and every time I am making this spice mix..πŸ˜€

Anyways, I guess you would pretty much know the ingredients that go into making this Masala, however they could be some ingredients which you would not be well acquainted with as the Garam Masala made in every household is slightly different with the basic flavour being the same.. So here comes the recipe. πŸ˜‹

Yield: Approximately 50 gms

Equipments: A large skillet, measuring cups / spoons, a heavy duty dry blender (most homes have this, a basic mixie), a clean dry jar (preferably a glass jar, as spices keep better in these).

Ingredients:

1 tbs each of Jeera seeds (cumin), Dagadphool (black stone flower)

8-9 nos dry whole red chillies

1/2 tbs each of Akkhi Kali Mirch (black pepper corns), Shahi Jeera seeds (black cumin seeds)

9-10 nos. each of Laung (Cloves), Chotti Elaichi (green cardamom)

3-4 nos. Badi Elaichi (black cardamom)

1 no. 3″ piece Dalcheeni (cinnamon stick)

5-6 nos. Tej Patta (bay leaves)

1 no. Javitri Phool (mace flower)

1-2 pinches Jaiphal pwd (nutmeg pwd)

1 no. Anasphal (star anise)

Method:

Heat a skillet on low – medium heat for a couple of mins. Add all the. Above ingredients to this hot skillet and dry roast them for 4-5 mins, making sure that they don’t burn or change colour. Use a spoon to move around these whole spices to ensure the heat gets distributed evenly. Turn off the heat and remove these now warm whole spices in a bowl to cool a bit. Once they are cool enough to touch, put everything into the blender jar, and dry grind them to a fine powder or a slightly coarse powder, the choice is yours! πŸ˜‹ I keep mine slightly coarse.

Store this masala / spice mix in a clean, dry glass jar, preferably in the freezer (it’s humid in Mumbai so I keep mine in the freezer along with any other spice mix / masalas). They will be fresh and last for almost 2-3 months.

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Hope you will try this recipe and savour it’s rustic flavours!

Love,

Shreya ☺️

Dahi Wadas on a Skewer!

I have to have Dahi Wadas for Holi! Not having them is simply not an option πŸ˜€ My mom makes the yummiest Dahi Wadas ever!!! And I simply follow her recipe to the ‘T’ 😘

But deep fried Wadas can become a bit too heavy for us…specially when My hubby is perpetually on a diet!😰 I always have to be careful about calories and stuff like that whenever I’m cooking… Not too easy to do but i have that covered in my own sneaky way…πŸ˜‰

Dahi wada recipe North Indian dahi wadas Appe pan dahi wada How to make dahi wadas Dahi bhalle recipe Imli chutney recipe Party food ideas Indian food recipe Polkapuffs

Every dieters’ dream..the indispensable ‘appe pan’../ aebelskiver pan. I am sure almost everyone of you out there has one… Small or large..cast iron or non-stick! They all work wonders. I’ve been using it for over a year now and don’t think I would be able to function without one. All my Wadas today are made my magic pan πŸ˜‰ with very little to no oil at all. Seriously good and no worry of they being oily & greasy.

Dahi wada recipe North Indian dahi wadas Appe pan dahi wada How to make dahi wadas Dahi bhalle recipe Imli chutney recipe Party food ideas Indian food recipe Polkapuffs

The Wadas were light, fluffy & so soft just like the ones we deep fry.

And to make it bit more special and colourful, I infused the curd with saffron strands …and presented them on Skewers!!!! πŸ‘ŒπŸ˜‹ 😎 Now, who doesn’t like food on a stick! I mean we gorge on kebabs & tikkas all the time.. That’s where I got the idea from! And My dear hubby was indeed impressed πŸ’–

Dahi wada recipe North Indian dahi wadas Appe pan dahi wada How to make dahi wadas Dahi bhalle recipe Imli chutney recipe Party food ideas Indian food recipe Polkapuffs

You can present them in the traditional style or put them on skewer sticks…whatever works for you! 😊 Here comes the recipe..

Yield: 21 small or 12-14 large Wadas

Equipment: Appe pan / Aebelskiver pan, skewer sticks, a blender, a large mixing bowl, 2-3 bowls, spice mixer, 2-3 spoons, measuring cups/ spoons, a small saucepan, 2 glass jars

Ingredients for the Wadas:

1 cup skinless white urad dal (black lentil) soaked for 6-7 hrs

10-12 nos black peppercorns

2″ pc ginger

3 nos green chilly

1/2 tsp red chilly pwd

1 pinch hing (asafoetida)

salt to taste

oil as required (optional)

Method for the Wadas:

Grind together all the ingredients mentioned above to make a smooth paste using little water. The paste should not be runny. It’s supposed to be thick and sticky. Let this batter / paste sit for 30mins. Whisk the batter vigorously using a spoon for at least 4-5 mins. This will make the batter very light and airy and will ensure that the Wadas are soft.

Dahi wada recipe North Indian dahi wadas Appe pan dahi wada How to make dahi wadas Dahi bhalle recipe Imli chutney recipe Party food ideas Indian food recipe Polkapuffs

Now heat the appe pan, add a drop of oil if needed in every section. Now drop about a 1.5 – 2 tbs of the batter in every section and cook for 2 mins on the first side, then using another spoon flip them over to the other side and cook for another 1-2 mins. Repeat this for the entire batch of the batter. And set aside the Wadas to cool a bit. Then dip them in some warm for 10 mins then drain the water. Squeeze out the extra water. This is done to just soften the wada a little more. Set them aside.

Ingredients for the tamarind chutney:

1 cup tamarind pulp

3 tbsp pwd jaggery (use more if you like)

1/2 tsp each of red chilly pwd & roasted cumin pwd

1/2 tsp crushed saunf Dana (fennel seeds)

1/4 tsp salt

Method for the tamarind chutney:

Heat the saucepan, add the pulp along with the jaggery pwd and stir till the jaggery dissolves completely and the concoction simmers slightly..then season with the above mentioned ingredients. Cook for another 5-7mins. The concoction will thicken slightly. Turn off the gas and let the chutney cool down completely before you store it in a clean, dry glass jar. Set that aside for now.

Ingredients for the green chutney:

1/2 cup coriander leaves washed, dried & roughly chopped

1 no raw mango peeled & cubed

salt to taste

1 tbsp tamarind chutney

1-2 nos green chillies

6-7 nos cloves of garlic

Method for the green chutney:

Put all in the ingredients mentioned above in a blender with a little water and pulse for a couple of mins. The chutney will have a smooth texture. Store the chutney in a clean & dry glass jar.

Ingredients for the saffron infused curd dip:

1 cup thick curd

2 tbsp warm water

15-20 strands of saffron

Himalayan pink salt to taste

Method for the curd dip:

Dilute the saffron with the warm water for 20 mins or until it releases a rich yellow /ocher colour. Mix this yellow saffron water with the curd & the salt. Beat everything well and set aside I refrigerator to cool for 15-20 mins before using it.

For the plating & garnish you will need:

1 tsp roasted cumin pwd

1tsp red chilli pwd

Few pomegranate seeds

2 tsp coriander leaves chopped finely

Plating:

Put 2-4 Wadas on a single skewer stick, drizzle some of the curd dip, tamarind chutney, green chutney. Sprinkle some roasted cumin and red chilli pwd. Add a few pomegranate seeds /jewels. And a final flourish of coriander leaves! VoilΓ ! Do the rest in a similar way & serve right away.

Or just serve in platters like we usually do! ☺️

Dahi wada recipe North Indian dahi wadas Appe pan dahi wada How to make dahi wadas Dahi bhalle recipe Imli chutney recipe Party food ideas Indian food recipe Polkapuffs

Hope you will make these soon and enjoy them as much as I did!

Love,

Shreya 😊

Thandaai Mousse!

Holi is officially here and I can’t wait to dig into the dahi wadas, the malpuas, gujiyaas, rose sherbets and of course the Thandaai!! 😊

Did you notice that I didn’t mention colours, water, pichkaris anywhere when I speak about Holi. That’s because I don’t do no colours & water and all of that which people like Holi for!! 😬 I have never played Holi except for the one instance when my Bro-in-Law forcefully applied some colour on my face & I rushed to wash it off…LOL! This was ages ago… But it did happen & that was it.. Never again I let it happen again. I perfectly enjoy watching everyone else play around and have fun but I keep my distance….πŸ˜‰πŸ˜πŸ˜

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Well, I am sure everyone knows that Holi is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Phalgun in India. And every state has its own traditions. It’s also known as the ‘spring festival‘ as the gloom of the winters is completely taken over by bright & hearty colours of the summer days! πŸŒžπŸƒπŸ‚ on the eve of Holi, Hindus across India light the holy fire & offer rice & lentils & jaggery to the fire God ‘agni‘.

So, how could I be far behind in making some traditional delicacies for this festival of colours & joy… And my hubby too enjoys the yummy food made on this day…although he too is like me and avoids colours & all the other craziness associated with this day (read ‘bhaang‘ the intoxicating drink) πŸ˜‰

And Thandaai is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Holi! I mean my family hails from Varanasi/ Benaras (U.P.) where it’s the most popular drink for Mahashivratri & Holi. So it would be shame if I can’t make these right! 😝

But I didn’t want to do a regular traditional Thandaai this time around, though it’s too yummy to not have some and I will eventually make some of it too. So earlier this morning I asked Mr. PP if he’d like some mousse with the flavours of Thandaai ??

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And he readily agreed to try something new.. I was excited and got on with the task (not that there is much to do coz it’s really easy to make the Thandaai mix). And the mousse is simple too as I have made an eggless one. Here comes the recipe.. πŸ˜‡

Yield: 2-3 servings (used medium sized glasses)

Equipments: electric whipper, a blender, piping bag, large mixing bowl, a spatula

Ingredients:

12-15 nos. almonds

10-12 nos. pistachios

6-9 nos. cashew nuts

1 tsp poppy seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

10-12 nos. peppercorns

1 tsp watermelon seeds (magaz)

10-12 strands of saffron soaked in 2 tbsp of warm milk.

200 ml full fat chilled whipping cream

1/2 tsp cardamom pwd

50 gms icing sugar( add more as per your taste)

2-3 drops rose water

Method:

Keep the mixing bowl and the whipping blades in the Β refrigerator for 1 hour before you start whipping the cream. Next soak the almonds, pistachios, poppy seeds, watermelon seeds, fennel, peppercorns, cashews in some water for 30-45 mins. Then peel the almonds and discard the water in which these ingredients were soaking. Now add these ingredients into the blender jar along with the saffron-milk infusion & cardamom pwd to make a smooth paste. Keep this aside for later use.

Now use the chilled mixing bowl and whipping blades to whip the cream until it reaches soft peaks (4-5 mins approximately on high). Slowly incorporate the icing sugar into the whipped cream and continue whipping on high until it reaches stiff peak (10 mins approx). Fold in the ground mixture gently. Cover the mixing bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for 1-1.5 hours.

When you have to serves these babies, fill the piping bag with the mousse and pipe it into the serving bowls / glasses. Garnish as per your choice. You may add a few dried rose petals too! 🌹🌹

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Hope you will try this recipe and enjoy it with your friends and family!

Love,

Shreya😊

Masala adapted from here.

Virgin Pomegranate Mojito | Pomegranate Mojito

Virgin Pomegranate Mojito | Pomegranate Mojito is a refreshing, delicious and easy to put together mocktail! This mocktail is loaded with fresh fruitiness from the pomegranate juice and the mint makes it so fresh. Perfect drink for the summers!Β 

Virgin Pomegranate Mojito | Pomegrante Mojito

Virgin Pomegranate Mojito | Pomegranate MojitoΒ can be made at home with just a handful of ingredients!! I love mocktails that can come together within minutes with the very little hassle. ThisΒ Virgin Pomegranate Mojito | Pomegranate MojitoΒ is everything that you need to beat the heat, it’s super refreshing! The fresh mint compliments the pomegranate juice so well along with the punch from the limes! The heady aroma of the mint does it for me, it refreshes me no matter what! Once the summers hit, I am constantly looking at ways to include mint in our diets and what better way than this?! Fresh mint tastes the best andΒ Virgin Pomegranate Mojito | Pomegranate MojitoΒ has a whole lot of it πŸ™‚

Virgin Pomegranate Mojito | Pomegranate Mojito

Virgin Pomegranate Mojito | Pomegranate MojitoΒ has my heart particularly because it is simply so pretty. That hue! I mean who would not like drinking a mocktail as pretty as this?! Pomegranate juice indeed has the most pretty color and the greens and the yellows along with it make it look so appealing. You can add this to your weekend barbeque meu or for a kid’s birthday party spread. it is versatile and so easy to put together! A handful of ingredients and about 15 minutes is all you need to put them together!

If you liked this recipe, you’ll love my Pineapple and Rose Cooler, Virgin Mango Mojito, Strawberry Iced Tea, Raw Mango Cooler (aam panna). These are alcohol free and taste absolutely amazing.

So let us make ourselves some mojitos!!

Muddle the mint leaves and lemon wedges in the mortar pestle (save some leaves n lemon slices for garnish).

Crush the ice cubes in the blender but make sure it still has some ice chips / rough chunks in it.

Choose the glasses you want to use for serving these mojitos.

Add some crushed ice, top it up with half the muddled mixture (serves 2 hence using half the quantity).

Add 2.5 tbsp. of sugar syrup in each glass, add 1/4 cup of the pomegranate juice and top it up with approx. 100ml Sprite.

Add the garnish and some more ice chips.. Served chilled!

Virgin Pomegranate Mojito | Pomegranate Mojito

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Virgin Pomegranate Mojito | Pomegranate Mojito

A delicious, refreshing and alcohol free drink is perfect to beat the heat and comes together in minutes. 

Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2 persons
Author Shreya Ashish Tiwari

Ingredients

  • 2 nos. lemon cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 5 tbsp simple sugar syrup
  • 200 ml Sprite/ 7UP
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice fresh/ canned

Instructions

  1. Muddle the mint leaves and lemon wedges in the mortar pestle (save some leaves n lemon slices for garnish).


  2. Crush the ice cubes in the blender but make sure it still has some ice chips / rough chunks in it.

  3. Choose the glasses you want to use for serving these mojitos.

  4. Add some crushed ice, top it up with half the muddled mixture (serves 2 hence using half the quantity).

  5. Add 2.5 tbsp. of sugar syrup in each glass, add 1/4 cup of the pomegranate juice and top it up with approx. 100ml Sprite.

  6. Add the garnish and some more ice chips.. Served chilled!

Recipe Notes

You can always adjust the sweetness to your liking.

You can coat the rims of the serving glasses with some cayenne pepper or salt.Β 

Love,
Shreya

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Virgin Pomegranate Mojito | Pomegranate Mojito

Strawberry Panna Cotta

Strawberry Panna Cotta is an Italian dessert that looks and definitely tastes very sophisticated and fancy but it is very easy to put together. It takes very few ingredients and less than 20 minutes to prep the panna cotta. Doesn’t that sound good?!! A fancy dessert at home and it takes so little to put together.

Besides, one can do many variations with the basic vanilla panna cotta. I’ve topped the panna cotta with a delicious strawberry gelee. If you do not have strawberries, you can sub them with any berries or seasonal fruits. You could even serve the panna cottas plain and dust them with a bit of cocoa powder. That tastes so good as well πŸ™‚

Strawberry Panna Cotta is the best make ahead dessert that you can put together for parties, potlucks, showers, etc. They look so pretty anyway and one could serve them in tiny shot glasses or some champagne flutes, etc.

Strawberry Panna Cotta

Strawberry Panna Cotta can be made either with gelatin or agar agar. Gelatin is a non veg, odorless and tasteless material that is made by boiling together the bones, skin and cartilage from animals. It is primarily made from the by product left with meat processing factories. So, yes, it is non vegetarian. However, we can use agar agar in place of gelatin for making desserts, etc. It is obtained from some sea weeds and has no animal extracts.

Strawberry Panna Cotta

Let us make some panna cotta.

For the Panna cotta –
Soak the chopped agar agar or the powder in the warm water for 10-12 minutes until completely dissolved.
In a heavy bottomed sauce pan stir together the cream, milk and sugar for the Panna cotta.
Let this mixture simmer gently on the stove until the mixture comes to very gentle boil, keep stirring the mixture with the wired whisk.
The sugar has to melt completely.
Once it has come to the boil, turn off the heat and add the dissolved agar agar mixture to the cream & mix well with the whisk.
Pour this mixture into the serving bowls /jars and place them in the refrigerator to set for at least 4-5 hours.

For the strawberry gelee layer –Β 
Hull and clean the strawberries. Chop them roughly and set them aside.
Dissolve the chopped or powdered agar agar in warm water for 10-12 minutess. It’s be dissolved.
In another saucepan add the strawberry chunks and sugar.
Stir them together on gentle heat until the sugar has melted completely.
Now add the dissolved agar agar mixture to the strawberry coulis and stir well.
Strain the mixture and discard the thick puree. Reserve the strawberry jelly mix.
Remove the set Panna cotta bowls /jars from the refrigerator & pour a slightly thick layer of the strawberry jelly mix.
Set the bowls / jars back in the refrigerator for another 1-2 hours for the gelee to set.
You can garnish them as you please and serve cool.

Strawberry Panna Cotta
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Strawberry Panna Cotta

A delicious, fancy yet easy to make Italian dessert is perfect for every occasion. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 persons
Author Shreya Ashish Tiwari

Ingredients

For the Panna Cotta

  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 1 cup full fat milk
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 4 tsp chopped agar agar strands 1.25 tsp agar agar powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup warm water to disolve the agar agar

For the Strawberry Gelee

  • 1 cup fresh strawberries
  • 3 tbsp castor sugar
  • 4 tsp chopped agar agar strands 1.25 tsp agar agar powder
  • 2/3 cup warm water to dissolve the agar agar

Instructions

For the Panna Cotta

  1. Soak the chopped agar agar or the powder in the warm water for 10-12 minutes until completely dissolved.

  2. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan stir together the cream, milk and sugar for the Panna cotta.

  3. Let this mixture simmer gently on the stove until the mixture comes to very gentle boil, keep stirring the mixture with the wired whisk.
  4. The sugar has to melt completely.
  5. Once it has come to the boil, turn off the heat and add the dissolved agar agar mixture to the cream & mix well with the whisk.

  6. Pour this mixture into the serving bowls /jars and place them in the refrigerator to set for at least 4-5 hours.

For the Strawberry Gelee

  1. Hull and clean the strawberries. Chop them roughly and set them aside.

  2. Dissolve the chopped or powdered agar agar in warm water for 10-12 minutes. It's be dissolved.

  3. In another saucepan add the strawberry chunks and sugar.

  4. Stir them together on gentle heat until the sugar has melted completely.

  5. Now add the dissolved agar agar mixture to the strawberry coulis and stir well.

  6. Strain the mixture and discards the solid berries.

  7. Remove the set Panna cotta bowls /jars from the refrigerator & pour a slightly thick layer of the strawberry gelee mix.

  8. Set the bowls / jars back in the refrigerator for another 1-2 hrs for the gelee to set.

  9. You can garnish them as you please and serve cool.

Recipe Notes

You can make a vegan version by using soy milk and soy cream in place of regular milk and heavy cream.
You can even sub coconut milk and coconut for the regular milk and heavy cream.Β 

Hope you make these soon.
Love,
Shreya.

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Strawberry Panna Cotta

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