Summer Special – Homemade Iced Teas


Peach Iced Tea

Peach Iced tea from Olive Kitchen and bar. It was an Instagram event where I gone.

 

I am more of a coffee person but I absolutely love Iced Teas and Tisanes. I am sure you know the difference between Tisane and tea. Tisanes are fruits or herbs steeped in boiling water (no actual tea leaves, Camellia sinensis, are included).

These Iced tea here are made with either Darjeeling Tea or CTC Assam black tea. These aren’t Tisanes. Have I confused you ? :p

Maybe it is time to have some delicious Iced Teas. The good thing about making Iced Teas at home is the freshness and the purity. No artificial flavors, coloring or high sugar content. They are better than the soft drinks and packaged commercial beverages. So infuse your teas with whatever seasonal herbs/spice or fruit you like and drink it fresh.

These recipes have a Indian touch to them. I have tried to create some unique tastes so feel free to change the measures as per your taste.

First the basic Iced tea – You can either make a cold brew or a hot brew and chill it. I prefer to chill a hot brew for it is quicker.

Always add boiling water to the tea leaves and not the opposite, that is the thumb rule. Always prefer more leaves to make the tea stronger than to let it seep for long time. This will make the tea bitter. Cool the tea on counter before refrigerating otherwise it will cloud and won’t look so presentable. Always use double the quantity of tea leaves for iced teas from what you would use for hot tea. Darjeeling tea needs to be cooled quickly or else the flavor substances in the tea will get oxidized. Loose tea leaves are the best. Most of the teabags are synthetic. Tea leaves also makes a full flavor brew so go for them, invest in good tea. Use minimum sugar/honey etc. but that is personal. I don’t like my teas taste like a sugar syrup. 😛  Talking of sugar syrup, you can make some and use that instead of granules as it will dissolve nicely. Use honey for the best result and if you like it. Iced Tea brew can be kept in the fridge for two three days or frozen for using while travelling.

Basic tea recipe – Keeping the points above in mind, put the tea leaves of your choice in a heat resistance jug or kettle, pour boiling water over them and let them seep for the time required for that particular tea. Once the color and flavor is achieved, strain and cool it on the counter and chill in the fridge. Now you are ready to make any of your favorite Iced Teas.

1. Refreshing Fruity Tart Kokum Infused Iced tea 

Kokum/ amsul or fruit of Garcinia indica plant is sour in taste but full of health benefits. Kokum sharbat is part of my childhood and one of my favorites. Here we give a twist to classic Iced green tea with this lovely sun dried fruit.

To make this you will need:

  • Sun Dried Kokum/Amsul Fruit Petals – 4-8 pieces
  • Sugar – 1/2 Cup
  • Water – 3 Cups
  • Green Tea Loose – 8 teaspoons Or Green Tea Bags – 8
  • Finely Chopped Fresh mint – 2 teaspoon
  • Ginger Juice – 1 Teaspoon
  • Lemon Wedges – 6-8
  • Honey – As per taste and If not using Sugar

Instructions – 

  1. Properly rinse sun dried kokum and soak it in a cup of boiling hot water for 30 minutes.
  2. Once the fruit is pulpy and soft mash and rub it with your fingers to release all the juice and strain it from a strainer. Press the pulp nicely so all the juice releases.
  3. While the kokum is soaking finely chop washed fresh mint leaves, take out juice from fresh ginger and cut small lemon wedges.
  4. In an ice cube tray place these three things in small amount and add water.
  5. Freeze till ice cubes are formed. You can make these ice cubes in advance too or just mix the three ingredients in the Iced tea once made.
  6. In a pot boil the water. In a pitcher place the tea bags or loose green tea leaves and pour the boiling water over it.
  7. Cover and let it seep for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Always use twice the amount of tea leaves when makes Iced Tea than you would for hot tea. Don’t seep it longer or the tea will taste bitter.
  9. Remove the bags or strain the tea leaves once you get the desire color and flavor.
  10. Add the sugar and stir well so it dissolves completely.
  11. Let it sit on the counter till it cools then refrigerate, It will become cloudy if you keep warm tea in the fridge.
  12. In a jug add the cold tea brew and kokum juice and mix. Check for sweetness and add more if you prefer sweet tea. I keep it mildly sweet.
  13. Add the mint, ginger juice and lemon wedges if using directly and mix.
  14. Fill the serving glasses with lemony gingery minty ice cubes and pour the kokum infused iced green tea.
  15. Serve it fresh and chilled.
 You can alternately Add some kokum pieces to the strained hot tea and let the fruity tart flavor get infused in the tea. Remove it before pouring in the Jug. 2. Add honey instead of sugar if you so desire. You can also use sugar syrup instead of granular sugar. It dissolves better. Use ready-made kokum sharbat concentrate if you do not have fresh or dried fruit. One teaspoon per glass is good enough.
2. Tangy Sweet Amm Panna or Raw Mango Panna Iced Tea 
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I love the mango nectar iced tea made with ripe mangoes but this one with raw mangoes is unique in taste. I made it with a mix of Darjeeling and CTC Assam black tea. Usually I leave a few chunks of slightly crushed raw mango slices in the jug and dont use lemon. Slightly ripe raw mango gives it another twist. Equally good. Needs little honey/sugar too.

Ingredients:

  • Tender Raw Mangoes – 2 small or 1 big
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup or Honey as per taste
  • Lemon wedges – 4-5 ( Optional)
  • Raw mango slices – 4-5 ( Optional)
  • Fresh Mint Leaves – 8-10 crushed
  • Darjeeling Tea leaves + CTC Assam Tea – 6 Heaped Teaspoon + 3 Flat Teaspoons
  • Water – 3 Cups
  • Ice Cubes | Crushed Ice – Made from 3 cups of water

Instructions :

  1. Make ice from the three cups of water in advance.
  2. Wash the mango and boil or roast it till soft. Cool and take out the pulp in a ceramic or glass bowl. Let it cool.
  3. Once cool, put the pulp in blender and add sugar to it. Blend till a smooth texture is obtained. Take it out in a bowl. Mix crushed mint leaves and Refrigerate.
  4. In a pot boil 3 cups of water. Once it begins to boil add CTC tea leaves and then turn off the flame to add the Darjeeling tea leaves. Cover and let it seep for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Take out the ice and crush it properly. Place it in a pitcher and pour the thick tea brew to quicken the cooling process as Darjeeling tea changes in flavor and taste if allowed to cool on its own for a longer time.
  6. Once the tea is cool put it in the fridge.
  7. In a serving jug add the aam panna and top it with cold tea brew. Check for sweetness and add honey or sugar syrup if required. Tea should taste tangy so do not sweeten it too much.
  8. Add more ice cubes to the glasses when ready to serve.
  9. Garnish with lemon wedges/ raw mango slices and mint springs.

You can also roast the mango on direct flame of stove or preheated oven at 200 degree for 30 min depending on the size of the mango. Wrap it in aluminium foil and place on the rack. to get gorgeous roasted mangoes.  You can use organic jaggery instead of sugar or honey. Just ensure that it dissolves nicely. You can make the aam panna concentrate beforehand and use when required. 6. A little ripe green raw mango will give a different flavor and it tastes awesome too.

 

3. Tipsy Fruit Infused Spiced Tea 

Fruit infused spiced ice tea with cinnamon, Clove, ginger, lemon, mint, apple, orange, pomegranate, honey and almost frozen Darjeeling tea. This is a vodka Iced Tea cocktail for those who love a dash of alcohol. A match made in heaven.

Ingredients: 

  • Darjeeling Tea Leaves – 12 Teaspoons
  • Honey – To Taste
  • Cloves – 5-6
  • Cinnamon Stick – 2-3 inch broken in half
  • Ginger – minced and peeled 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon / Lime – cut in wheels/ wedges – 1 each
  • Lemon juice – 2 tablespoon
  • Orange – 1 medium cut in wedges or wheels
  • Apple – 1 cut in wedges or wheels
  • Mint – 1 teaspoon crushed
  • Honey | Sugar – to taste or Sugar
  • Pomegranate pearls – 1/2 cup slightly crushed
  • Water – 4 cups + 2 Cup
  • Vodka / Gin – 60ml

Instructions – 

  1. Add lemon juice and a little sugar ( two tablespoons) to 2 cups of water and freeze as ice cubes.
  2. Wash and cut all the fruits and squeeze some lime juice over them. Refrigerate wrapped in a cling wrap.
  3. Mince ginger and collect all the spices and tea leaves.
  4. Boil the remaining water along with ginger and spices.
  5. Once water comes to a boil add the Darjeeling tea leaves or any other tea leaves of your choice and seep according to the tea leaves. Darjeeling will take 3-4 minutes. Add more leaves to make a strong brew. Do not seep longer.
  6. Once you get the desired flavor and color, strain the tea leaves, spices and ginger. Add sugar and stir to mix well. If using honey add it in the pitcher when ready to serve.
  7. Immediately pour the tea on a cupful of crushed ice to hasten the cooling process so the flavor doesn’t get oxidized. Chill it for a while in the fridge.
  8. Before serving, throw in the cold fruits and half of the lemony ice cubes in a pitcher and add the chilled tea
  9. Add vodka / Gin ( you can increase the quantity if you desire but 60 – 90 ml is good enough) . Stir properly.
  10. Now throw in the lemony ice cubes and some chilled fruits from the pitched in the glasses and pour the chilled Iced tea vodka brew.
  11. Garnish with lemon wheels and mint springs.
  12. Serve chilled.

You can use Green tea also for this recipe. Use any fruits or spices you like. Same with the alcohol. Omit Alcohol if you are not in a mood for a tipsy drink.  Keep it simple and flavorful. Too many flavors will ruin the taste.

(This won the first prize in the Better  Butter Summer Drinks Contest)

4.  Iced Pomegranate​ Green Tea

With dash of ginger juice, lemon wedges and cold press fresh pom juice frozen as ice cubes to add some drama. Slightly sweetened with honey this is sheer bliss.

I often make ice cubes by placing, crushed mint or fruit pieces or lemon pieces in the ice tray and pour water to make ice cubes. They look pretty in the drinks. One can freeze juices too in the similar way. Maybe a separate post for that sometime.

Ingredients –

Green Tea Bags – 8

Water – 6 cups

Honey – to taste

Pomegranate pearls – for ice cubes and garnish

Cold Press homemade Pom Juice – 1/2 cup

Fresh Ginger Juice – 2 tablespoon

Lemon Wedges – a few

Instructions:

  1. In a heat resistance jug or kettle place the teabags. Boil water and pour over the teabags. Cover the lid and Let it seep for 3-4 mintues or till the desired strength and color is achieved. Remove the Teabags and let it cool. You can alternately use Green tea leaves.
  2. Once the tea is cool, add honey and stir nicely then put the tea in the fridge to chill.
  3. Take a good ripe pomegranate, peal and take out the pearls in a bowl. Transfer the pearls to a zip lock bag and squeeze and press till the pearls release the juice. You can use the cold press juicer. Do not use the commercial poem juice.
  4. Strain the juice into a small jug or glass.
  5.  Take out the chilled tea, mix ginger juice, lemon wedges and pom juice and stir well.
  6. In the glasses add lots of ice cubes or crushed ice and pour the Pomegranate Iced Tea over them and garnish with lemon wheel or wedge.
  7. Serve Chilled.

 

You can be more adventurous and make your own Iced Tea combinations using different  things. Let me know if you make any of these.

 

Cheers!

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Vodka Bael Squash Mojito – A Classic Cocktail With An Indian Twist


There was a time I really relished cocktails and experimented with it too. Then times changed and I slowly lost touch of making them. Yesterday while making making Bael (Bel) sharbat or panna I decided to experiment with this classic Mojito by giving it an Indian twist. The original Cuban Mojito calls for white rum but I really don’t like white rum much so I opted for Vodka, in this case OPM ( a Triple Distilled Luxury Spirited Russian Vodka).

On tasting I realized one could also make it with Absolut Citron. Must try that some time. This one has a refreshing sweet, citrus, mint flavor with a unique taste of Bael fruit which is hard to describe. This drink is incredible. Though I feel one will have to develop a taste for it.

Ripe Bael or Stone Apple has a sweet taste and often emits a sugary and musty aroma which I love. Usually we make the bael murraba or bael chutney with it if not making the refreshing bael squash or sharbat which I used in this recipe. I wonder if wood apple is the correct name for bael fruit. Maybe someone can guide on this. I prefer to call it Stone Apple. The fruit has medicinal values and is highly nutritious.

Now for the Mojito 

Ingredients :

  • Bael/Bel/Stone Apple Panna concentrate
  • Freshly Cracked Black Pepper – Just a sprinkle for each glass
  • Salt – To rim the glasses
  • Vodka – 60 ml of your choice of Vodka
  • Ice cubes

 

Method –  

  1.  Use the Bael Panna recipe link to make Bael Panna.
  2. Omit Jaggery for making mojito and use sugar. Also omit roasted cumin seed powder.
  3. For the Mojito – Muddle the mint leaves with the lemon juice and lemon quarters in a cocktail shaker or a jug with a muddler or back of the rolling pin..
  4. Add the Bael panna, vodka and ice cubes.
  5. I tweaked the classic Mojito here and omitted sugar syrup and carbonated water/soda
  6. Close the cocktail shaker and shake well. If making in a jug just stir in all the ingredients.
  7. To Serve- Rim two tall glasses with salt (Optional). You can use normal table salt or powdered rock salt for an extra kick.
  8. Fill the glasses with lots of ice and pour the Wood Apple Vodka Mojito. Add a dash of freshly cracked black pepper for that zing. You can omit if you do not prefer it.
  9. Garnish with mint sprig and lemon wheel/wedge.
  10. Serve chilled.

 

You can make the bael panna in advance and refrigerate it. I sometimes like the taste of ginger juice in it but have not tried it in this cocktail. If you are adventurous go ahead and experiment. Let me know if it works. Someone suggested a dash of cayenne pepper instead of black pepper. I am not sure. 😛  I used 2 parts Bael panna to one part vodka but you can change it to your liking. Keep the mint and lemon low key to get the full flavor of the fruit juice.

Sorry about bad photography skills and for not using proper glasses etc. I am passionate about making stuff but do not have the finery to display.

Hope you enjoy trying out this.

Salud!

 

 

 

 

Tangy And Sweet Citrus Smoothies And A Ruby-Red Mocktail


I got some bright yellow Malta Fruits ( a variety of blood orange grown in Uttarakhand, India) and Limes a few days ago and apart from eating them as whole fruit, I made some awesome smoothies and detox water with them. You can substitute it with oranges, or any other variety of citrus fruit.

Use of organic fruits ensures that the zest and peel is safe to use. Loaded with vitamins especially Vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium, calcium, natural acids and enzymes, these refreshing immunity boasting smoothies are part of my daily diet these days. I eat citrus fruits with abundance. Their use in recipes not just enhances the flavors but also helps in absorption and use of other nutrients like iron from iron rich foods i.e spinach, beetroot etc.

Lemons, oranges, maltas, grapefruits, limes, all are rich source of phytochemicals and have  cancer fighting, disease fighting antioxidant properties.

Citrus fruits are low in fat & calories and have low sodium & low cholesterol. They are the best natural diuretics that help detox your body of harmful toxins. Make your own detox water with a variety of citrus fruits for best results. We will talk about it in another post.

Blend them whole with  berries, bananas, dates, kale, baby spinach, apples, pears, mango, papaya, carrots, pineapple, kiwi. They pair well with almost all fruits and many of the vegetables. Use mint, cilantro, ginger where ever you feel they go best. For the base, I use coconut milk, home-made yogurt, dairy milk, vanilla ice cream or vanilla milk, almond milk or just blend with frozen coconut water cubes.

You can add soaked beaten (flattened) rice, oats, puffed amaranth seeds etc as a bonus healthy ad-on. I have not yet used the citrus fruits with skin for smoothies but I keep the mesocarp, which is full of nutrients, intact in the smoothies or parfait.

1. Lime and Lemony Malta Smoothie With Ginger has a refreshing blend of citrus flavors. The fresh ginger juice adds a kick to the taste and enhances the flavors too. The lemon and lime add zing to the sweet malta. Ginger is good for sinuses and soothes a sensitive stomach. All the three citrus fruits give plenty of Vitamin C and refreshing taste to the smoothie.

Wash, peel and cut the 1 malta and 1/2 lime. Put them in the blender jar. Extract juice from 1/4 inch of fresh ginger root. Add to the fruits. Add juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon of organic honey (optional). You do not need to add any liquid to make this smoothie but if you want to enhance the flavor you can add Greek yogurt or natural home-made yogurt, frozen tender coconut water cubes or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This one doesn’t have any add-on.

To extract the juice of fresh ginger root. Grate the ginger and gently squeeze all the juice from it. Add a teaspoon of water to the grated leftover and give a good squeeze again to extract whatever is left. Use it fresh.

Once all the ingredients have blended well, pour the sunshine smoothie in a glass and add 1-2 crushed fresh mint leaves before serving. Serve all smoothie absolutely chilled.

2. Power packed Five Fruits Smoothie 

This delicious smoothie has the goodness of dates, banana, apple, malta and lime. Full of nutrition this is not just filling but also has a delicate caramel flavor to top it all.

To make this power packed smoothie you need

1 Malta/orange

1/2 Lime

1 Apple

1 Banana

5 dates (pits removed)

Pure vanilla extract -1/2 teaspoon

Hershey’s caramel syrup (optional) to drizzle

Soak the dates the night before in a little hot milk or water. Once cool, keep it in the fridge. Cut the bananas and freeze them in a zip-lock bag. Cut the apple with the skin and place that too in a zip lock bag. put the bags in the freezer the night before.

When making the smoothie wash, peel and cut the malta and lime. Keep aside.

Add chopped banana, apple pieces, softened dates (with the liquid), malta and lime pieces and the vanilla extract in this order. Blend the fruits for 1 minute at high-speed or till all the fruits have blended smoothly. Freezing the fruits gives the smoothie a creamier texture. You can use them without freezing too. If you do not have a powerful blender then blend the dates to a smooth paste separately and then add to the smoothie.

Pour this part creamy part juicy smoothie in a glass and generously drizzle the caramel syrup on top.

This refreshing glass of goodness will keep you going nicely all through the day. You can add 2 teaspoons of soaked oats, soaked flattened rice flakes or popped amaranth seeds to make it even more healthy and filling.

Tip – Add coconut cream for an awesome refreshing taste. Skip Caramel syrup if adding this. It tastes out of the world.

3. Mango, Carrot Smoothie With a Citrus Boost

I love mangoes and this vibrant glowing smoothie. I add a little ginger juice to spice it up. Yes, I am a bit obsessed with ginger in smoothies just like I love the garlic in pasta. That’s me 🙂

This energizing smoothie is my favorite. It provides100% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C & A and a good dose of folate and B1 vitamin along with other nutrients.

To make this you will need:

1 ripe mango

1 carrot medium size

1 malta/orange or any other citrus fruit

1/2 a lime

2 tablespoon of soaked oats (optional)

juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon fresh ginger extract

a few leafs of mint

Instructions:

Wash, peel and cut the mango into cubes.

Wash, peel and grate the carrot. I used the English carrot in this one but I usually make it with the winter’s local red one. It has a sweeter taste.

Peal and cut the malta and lime into pieces. Make sure all the fruit pieces are of equal size for a smooth blend. Put all the fruits in the blender jar.

Now, I did an interesting thing with the ginger, lemon juice and mint.

Put fresh ginger,extract, lemon juice, three pinches of salt and crushed mint in a glass and add enough water to make 4-6 ice cubes. Mix it well. The mixture should taste like a gingery lemonade. Freeze this in an ice-cube tray an hour before you make the smoothie. It gives an exotic note to the drink.

Add a few of these frozen cubes to the other ingredients and blend until smooth.

Pour it in a chilled glass over the remaining frozen cubes. Sprinkle some roasted oats and garnish this delicious smoothie with a lime wedge.

I don’t need to tell the health benefits you will reap from this one. It is a great post workout drink. Most of these smoothies have no added sweetener. The sweetness comes from the fruits so select your fruits carefully.

You can always make your own variations of these smoothies by adding or removing some ingredients but keep the base citrus.

After this wonderful citrus bonanza of healthy smoothies here is a bonus mocktail that is my personal favorite any time of the year.

The gorgeous ruby-red Pomegranate Lime Ginger Ale Mocktail

I love pomegranates and would rather eat them than blend into drinks but this particular one is irresistible. Whenever I have to use pomegranate juice in a recipe I prefer the home-made cold press juice. It is more flavorful and nutritious than the market one. This particular mocktail, or cocktail if you add alcohol to it, has to be made fresh. You can not make it beforehand. I also make pomegranate lemonade. You can add vodka to make a delicious cocktail. I am not a fan of white rum.

For this lovely mocktail I made some ice cubes by dropping 2-3 pomegranate pearls in water while setting the ice tray. They look beautiful in the drink.

It is super easy and is ready in less than five minutes.

Ingredients:

1 cup cold press juice of organic pomegranate

1 can of ginger ale ( I used Schweppes Original)

1/4 cup Thin Julienne of lime and ginger

Few fresh sprigs of mint

Salt – to salt rim the glass and a little to add to the drink (optional)

To make the cold press juice, take the juicy pearls of organic pomegranate. Place a muslin cloth in a sieve. Place this sieve on a measuring cup. Now put the pomegranate pearls in it. Rub, press and squeeze with your fingers till all the juice is released. You can use a juicer with cold-press too. (I don’t have it)

Two medium size pomegranates gave me 1 cup of fresh ruby-red super sweet juice.

In a pitcher add ginger and lime Julienne, a little salt and lemon juice. Add fresh mint leaves and with a wooden muddler just give a few gentle twists to bring out the minty aroma. Don’t over do it or crush the mint otherwise the drink will taste bitter. Add the chilled pomegranate juice, top it with ginger ale and ice cubes, Stir and pour it in cocktail glasses. Garnish with lemon wedges. You can salt rim the glasses before pouring the drink.

There is nothing more refreshingly fruity than this Mocktail.

If you add lemonade or sparkling water instead of ginger ale you will have a gorgeous pomegranate mojito. It is as good as this one but I love ginger ale and prefer it over mojito unless of course one is adding vodka to it. 🙂

Just look at this beauty. It will ceases all your troubles in just one sip.

Hope you enjoy making these healthy fruity drinks.

I will look forward to your variations of these.

Cheers to good health and happiness.

A Delicious Dates Banana Surprise Smoothie


We are into second week of September and it is still incredibly hot. I can tell from the afternoon sun flooding my room that winter is standing at the threshold waiting to step in anytime. As a healthy diet change I am using fresh fruits and home-made yogurt / Almond milk / Soy Milk / etc to make delicious smoothies. A quick wholesome breakfast drink that sometimes has a surprise ingredient just to make the mornings interesting and creative. A good start, I say.

I went for my second sitting for molar root canal today and the dentist told me to eat something soft so instead of having this in the breakfast I had it as a late afternoon tummy filler.  :p

Using home-made cultured yogurt is the best thing you have for a healthy digestive system. We were brought up on home cultured yogurt. We would always keep a little culture to set the new batch of yogurt and if we forgot, mom would send us with a little katori (bowl) to get it from neighbors. We would knock on all doors till we found a home that has home-made dahi and ask for a jaman (culture). Frankly it was a tad bit embarrassing so the best way to avoid it was to remember to save some jaman without fail.

These days a range of packaged yogurt is available easily. I use the one from ‘Mother Dairy’ for convenience but now I want to get back to setting my yogurt at home.

Full of protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12 Yogurt is very good for intestinal flora. I have a weak digestion so love to include a lot of yogurt in my diet.

This smoothie is a perfect blend of bananas, dates, almonds and a surprise ingredient that you will soon discover. 😀

High in protein, rich in taste and texture, this is one of my favorite smoothies. You can opt for milk, soy milk or almond milk instead of yogurt. It is your personal choice.

To make this refreshing smoothie you will need :

1 ripe medium size banana

6 dates ( soaked if using dry ones)

6 Almonds – soaked and pealed

1/4 cup Yogurt

Pure Vanilla or / and cinnamon powder  – just a little (optional)

and my surprise ingredient

a handful of soaked poha (beaten or flattened rice)  (about 3 tablespoons 🙂

I use poha because it is probiotic, prebiotic, and gluten-free food. It is low calorie, nutritious and gut friendly too.

I also use popped amaranth/ramdana or rajgira grains sometimes which is our indigenous substitute for quinoa. It is much cheaper and is equally nutritious, if not more. We will discuss its goodness in another post.

So once you have all the ingredients ready, here is how you make this lip smacking smoothie,

1. Wash poha under running filtered water in a sieve to drain out the water. I soak it overnight or for at least an hour in the yogurt that is to be used for the smoothie. Just the way we make dahi poha ( yogurt poha).

2. Wash, cut and soak the dates (seeds removed) in a little warm water/milk to soften them.

3. Soak the almonds ( I use sweet California almonds) overnight in a bowl of water. Keep it covered. In the morning discard the water, wash the almonds and remove the skin.

4. Chop the banana and place it in a zip lock bag. Place this in the freezer.

5. In a blender add yogurt, soaked beaten rice, banana pieces, dates and crushed almonds.

5. Add a dash of Cinnamon or/and a few drops of pure vanilla. (optional)

Remember to add the ingredients in this order for a rich, thick ,smooth texture.

Now cover and blend for 10 seconds at high-speed or till everything blends smoothly.

Pour it in a glass for an early morning power packed goodness.

The natural sweetness of dates is enough but if you wish you can toss in a teaspoon of organic honey.

It is in a way a healthy start to the day and a complete breakfast as far as i know.

Delicious too. 🙂

Smoothie don’t always need a milk or yogurt base. Next time we will do something different. Watch this space.

*You can replace Poha with oatmeal too.

Recipes: Gourmet Coffee


Get Creative with Coffee


There is something magical about the aroma of fresh roasted beans, which wafts out of a gourmet coffee. The irresistible smell just beckons you to take that first sip of the delicious brew that starts the day with its wake up aroma and completes the perfect meal with a gourmet flourish.

I love to experiment with my cup of coffee at times and the results are amazing. India is still waking up to the gourmet coffee culture. Most of us enjoy the regular plain coffee but some, like me, prefer to indulge.
Add your favorite spirit and the cup will seem lighter on the tongue.

When you add flavorings such as chocolate syrups, or caramel to name a few, these additives give your coffee a unique taste that is qualified as Gourmet Flavored Coffee.

From its humble origins in Ethiopia, coffee has grown to become a craze in our world.

How can one make a great Gourmet Coffee?

The process of roasting is crucial to coffee. If you under roast your coffee your coffee turns out weak, and if you over do it your coffee tastes burnt. Make sure the coffee is freshly roasted. The freshness of coffee beans will start to decrease once the coffee beans have been ground.
When brewing gourmet coffee, it is essential to combine several factors that will make your cup of coffee a dreamy blend of flavor. Gourmet coffee is in itself delicious, but it is even better when made a certain way.
Select only the finest gourmet coffee beans.

Opt for bottled waters for brewing but avoid distilled water.
Be sure to measure your coffee/water ratio appropriately. Use two tablespoons of ground coffee per six ounces of water (or 3/4 cup water). This ratio produces strong, rich gourmet coffee.

Some have compared specialty gourmet coffee to wine as far as aromas and flavors go. The characteristics of gourmet coffee however, are more even complex than wine.

Gourmet coffee flavors include : almond, amaretto, Irish creme, French vanilla, Swiss mocha, vanilla, chocolate, mint, peppermint, pumpkin spice and just about anything else you can dream of.

Creativity is the key to a good gourmet coffee. One does not have to go to Gourmet coffee parlors or buy expensive mix, just let your imagination go wild and make your own cup of delight.

Coffee does not have to be mealtime related. Try these for refreshing cool drinks any time of the day…

Hot gourmet coffee should be just warm enough so that the flavors melt and spread evenly on your taste buds. So take your first sip, enjoy the aroma that the perfect marriage of warmth and liquors provide, take another sip and savor the experience.

1. Mint Cocoa Coffee

1 0unce of chocolate mint liqueur

Dash of shaved chocolate

Whipping cream (if desired)

Regular coffee

Method:

Brew your regular coffee, add the shot of liqueur. Add some whipping cream if desired and sprinkle with shaved chocolate.

Enjoy the delicate aroma and taste.

2. Cafe Amor

1 oz. Cognac

1 oz. Amaretto

5oz. hot fresh coffee

One dollop unsweetened whipped cream

Method:

Pour liquids into a heated mug. Top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Let the flavors melt in your mouth.

3. Spirited Coconut Coffee

1oz. Irish whiskey

1/4 oz. cream of coconut

6 oz. hot coffee

Whipped cream

Method:

Combine everything except the cream in a heated mug or tempered coffee
glass. Top up with dollop of whipped cream.

Pull the blinds and relax in your favorite chair. Sip the magic slowly.

4. Orange Cinnamon Delight

Ingredients:

One medium orange

Seven whole cloves

2 cups milk

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp rum extract

2 inches of cinnamon stick

2 cups coffee

Method:

Peal the orange and set aside and squeeze the juice; add water, if necessary, to make 1/3 cup.

For making the spice bag, place orange peel, cinnamon, and cloves in a double layer square piece of 100% cotton cheesecloth. Bring up corners; tie with a string.

In a large saucepan, combine orange juice, spice bag, water, milk, brown sugar, cocoa powder. Bring them to boil and remove from heat. Cover and let it stand for 10 minutes.

Remove spice bag. Stir in rum extract. Divide equally between 4 8-ounce cups of coffee.

This is an awesome blend of fruity flavor, heady rum and intoxicating coffee. A must try for all the coffee lovers.

Now that you have some of the tried and tested recipes from my creative kitchen, go on and indulge your self. Call friends over, have a great time.

this is an old post. will try to put some pix soon

Creative Recipes with Apple Cider


Apple Cider is one of the most loved drink all over the globe. Apple cider is not only delicious but also has great health benefits. It has natural antioxidant values and has vitamins C, E and beta-carotene (vitamin A), pectin and vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, Sulphur, iron, and fluorine which combines to protect against the cell damage that can lead to cancer and cardiovascular disorders. But the drink should be had in moderation to protect the liver.

It can be used creatively in any kind of alcoholic or non alcoholic drinks.
Here I share with you some of the wonderful recipes that can liven up the atmosphere of any get together and if you are drinking alone, there is nothing better than an Apple Cider delight.

1.
Lemony Cider

Apple Cider-120ml

Bacardi Rum-60ml

Sugar syrup- 10ml

Lime juice -10m

Crushed mint -A few leafs

Method:

In a cocktail shaker pour all the ingredients and shake well.

Pour in a high ball glass.

Serve with crushed mint on top.

2. Brainstorm (shooter)

Tequila- 45ml

Apple Cider-15ml

Put the ingredients in a shaker with lots of crushed ice.

Shake well and drain it into a shooter glass

Drink in one sip.

3. Punchy Cider

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Water

1 cup Sugar (or less, to taste)

3-4 inch sticks cinnamon

2 table spoon Whole Cloves

1/8 table spoon Salt

750 ml Burgundy or other red table wine

2 Cup Chilled cranberry cocktail

1 Bottle Chilled apple cider

Method:

In saucepan bring water, sugar, spices and salt to boil.

Simmer 10 minutes on low heat

Strain-out and discard the spices

Cool the syrup.

Combine spiced syrup with wine, cranberry juice cocktail and cider.

Pour into punch bowl.

Add ice and lemon slices. (Ice Thin lemon or lime slices)

Source: Calgary Herald Dec 15/93 from the collection of K. Deck

4. Spiced Apple Cider (32 drinks)

Ingredients:

3.5 fresh Apple Cider

1 teaspoon chai masala

Chai masala recipe:

Perfect freshly ground spices (masala) mix, like cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom and pepper.

Combine ingredients & simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve hot and use cinnamon sticks as stirrers. (Makes 32 drinks)

5. Hot apple cider (great for sour throat)

Ingredients:

1/4 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp honey

Method:

Add boiling hot water to mix it.

A little lime juice and stir.

Sip slowly.

Drink Recipes : Creative Cocktails


Let us have some fun with cocktails. One can do wonders with mixing the right ingredients in right proportions. enjoy these awesome recipes from my bar.

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1595991/drink_recipes_creative_cocktails.html

Bar n Grill …some more fun


This post is in continuation from the previous one on drinks. Loaded with some scrupulous recipes and tit bits about drinking… so relax ,make yourself your favourite drink and read on …

* DARK HORSE

Dark Rum-60ml

Cranberry juice -90ml

Orange juice -90ml

Dash of fresh lime juice

Fill a tall glass with ice.Pour orange juice ,lime juice .top it up with cranberry juice .gently float dark rum on top …

(to float rum put a tea-spoon with its back side  on top of glass n pour rum slowly on it)

Garnish with slice of pine-apple or sweet lime

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* CLASSIC GREEN

Creme DE mint -30ml

vodka-60ml

In a tall glass pour the two ingredients one after another .top up with sprite and sprinkle lots of ice on it

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* BANG BANG

Vodka -20ml

tequila-20ml

rum-20ml

whiskey-20ml

bailey’s -20ml

put all the ingredients in a shooter glass or test tube. top it up with Bailey’s .

Taken in one shot as a shooter

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*serve chilled .

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Having a hangover after a night of revelry ..have a shot of campari straight ..it will kill the hangover or even a shot of dark rum would do the same .

To keep the margarita more frothy ,put 20ml of pine-apple juice ..it will give it nice taste froth n body

USE LEFTOVER ROTIS OR PITS BREAD TO MAKE SPICY SNAKES ..CUT THEM INTO TRIANGLES and deep fry them ..put lots of chat masala or any spicy garnish ..and they taste better than nachos ..

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some very popular dishes to go with your drinks

* Amritsari Fish Fry

Surmai(or kingfish ) fillets. Wash and dry.
Blend in 3 to 4 tblsp of Besan, 3 tablespoon of Yoghurt, 2 tblsp lime juice, 1 tsp Ajwain, 1 and 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp haldi, Salt to taste. 1 tblsp ginger-garlic paste. Blend it a smooth paste. Apply to the fillets and leave it for an hour or so. Saute fry . Serve with lemon and onion rings. Tastes yummy.

***

* BATATA BOMBS WITH SPICY CHUTNEY

Makes 2 bombs.

Ingredients

2 large potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 tablespoon butter

For the paneer filling

1/2 cup grated paneer
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
1 green chilli, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
2 tablespoons chopped mint
1/2 teaspoon black salt (sanchal)
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste

For the topping

serve with green chutney

For the paneer filling

1. Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds and asafoetida.

2. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the green chilli, paneer, black salt, salt and mix well.

3. Add the coriander and mint and mix well. Keep aside.

How to proceed

1. Cool the potatoes completely. Cut each into 2 equal parts and scoop out the centres leaving an empty shell.

2. Fill in the paneer mixture and sauté the potatoes in butter till the outside is lightly browned.

3. Place each half on a serving plate and top with green chutney.

4. Serve immediately.

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* Pepper Chicken

pepper chicken

chicken breast-1kg
curd -400grms
ginger freshly ground= 5 table spoons (not ready-made paste}
garlic freshly ground-3tbl spoons
peppercorns -freshly ground (coarse)-4-5 tblspoons
salt-to taste
butter -to sauté

method

wash chicken breasts and make slashes in each one.
mix all the ingredients and rub into the chicken.let it marinate overnight or at least 6hrs
take a pan heat it and melt butter. arrange 2-3 pieces of chicken and let them sizzle …pour the marination on to each one so that the whole thing is used

on slow heat make them brown from both sides and check if that are done …
take out on kitchen napkin and then serve hot with mint chutney.

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*BREAD PIZZA

bread pizza this is very good …at least my kids love it

bread (brown or white)
tomato ketchup
cheese
any seasonal veggies like capsicum ,tomato , onion,mushroom,anything
oregano seasoning or pepper salt
butter

take a slice of bread apply a little butter .spread tomato ketchup .add finely chopped veggies.add grated cheese ..sprinkle seasoning or pepper .heat oven .grill for some time till slice is toasted and cheese melts .
let it cool a little .pack.
you can make it in a pan also, for that take toasted bread

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SOME MORE AWESOME DRINKS

* pure sin  (shatbhi basu’s recipe)

Ingredients:
crushed ice
45ml Irish whiskey
15ml Irish crème liqueur
2 tbsp cream
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 tbsp frozen raspberries
2 tbsp frozen strawberries

chocolate stick & a sprig of mint
large margaritaMethod:
Put 1 scoop of crushed ice in a blender.
Add all the ingredients and blend till smooth.
Pour it into the glass. Garnish & serve.

SHOOTERS
SOME OF OUR OWN
trickytiks
Gin-20ml
vodka-20ml
rum(Bacardi)-20ml
shaken together with dash of lime and sugar syrup.taken as a shot . 😀
Blow job
Tequila-20ml
vodka-20ml
rum(Bacardi)-20ml
gin-20ml
topped with whip cream
pour all ingredients in a shooter glass .top up with whipped cream .
watch out for more … 😀

Behind Bars


A cocktail party inspired me to write a blog about some of the fantastic drinks which can be easily made at home .many of these are our own innovations or rather experimentation ,rest ,the usual mind blowing ones , a hit at every get together .

so here is a famous toast
Here’s to the men that we love
Here’s to the men that love us
But the men that we love ARE’NT the men that love us
So to hell with the men, here’s to us.

1. Brandy blazer

Add the following to an Old Fashioned glass –

two small (30ml) shots of cognac,

one sugar cube,

an orange twist and a lemon twist.

Flambe the mixture, stir well with a long bar spoon,

extinguish the flame and strain into a snifter glass.

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3.Cape Codler

Pour in ice cubes with 8 small measures of Vodka.

pour in 300 ml cranberry juice.

a little lime juice.

Stir well.

place a lime wedge in the drink.

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4.Leechee Oasis

Large Vodka
Dash of Litchee crush or to taste ( for those who need it a tad bit sweet )
lots of crushed ice
soda

shaken………..

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5.Long Island Iced Tea

1 part vodka
1 part tequila
1 part rum
1 part gin
1 part triple sec
1 1/2 parts sweet and sour mix
1 splash Coca-Cola
Mix ingredients together over ice in a glass. Pour into a shaker and give one brisk shake. Pour back into the glass and make sure there is a touch of fizz at the top. Garnish with lemon wedge .

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6.Screwdriver

2 oz vodka
5 oz orange juice

Put 3 ice cubes into a glass. Pour in vodka. Fill the glass with orange juice, stir, and serve.

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7.Spicy Winters

Red wine – 1 bootle , Brandi—3tsp – Fresh orange juice -1litre Cinnamon – 2 sticks Cloves -8 Nutmeg powder – 1tsp Honey -3tsp Orange slices Pour wine into saucepan &warm gently , add brandy , orange juice,all above spices &honey, keep stirring until mixture gethot &honney melts. Add orange slices , turn down heat, simmeringslowly for 10-15 min.Serve immediately

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8.BAY BREEZE

vodka-60ml.
orange juice-60ml.
cranberry juice-60ml
top them with soda or 7up

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9.Margrita

taquila-60ml
lime juice -30ml
dash of pine apple juice
shaken in blender with ice
gives best results
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10.Planter’s punch (all time fav)tall whiskey glass

orange juice-120ml
pineapple juice-30ml
topped with dark rum
float the rum ..method- place the spoon so that the back of spoon is on top slowly por rum on that

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11. Lipstick on your collar

orange juice-90ml
cranberry juice-50ml
top it with limca or seven up in a tall glass

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12&13.TWO PEACHY COCKTAILS i LOVE

peach schnapps-30ml
vodka-30ml
top with seven up

PACK IT WITH LOTSA ICE AND ENJOY

shooter
peach schnapps-30ml
vodka -40ml
3-4 cubes of ice (shaken)
take it in one shot

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14.ROCKET FUEL…..shooter
whisky-20ml
vodka-20ml
gin-20ml
dark rum-20ml
dash of lime
shaken with ice and taken at one shot.

shooters are great for parties .they save your drink consumption 😀

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15.BAT Bite

11/4oz.Dark Rum
4oz.cranberry juice

combine in an ice cube filled highball glass .drop a lime wedge into the drink …enjoy d bite .

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16.Baby Eskimo (Ritu’s pick)

2 oz kahlua coffee liquer
8 oz milk
2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Thaw ice cream a little, mix all the stuff with a wooden spoon
Serve in a tall slim glass

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17.Lemonade slushie
1 part Malibu coconut rum
1 part frozen lemonade concentrate
1 part ice

Blend into slush.

18.Purple Passion

1 1/4oz vodka
6oz. grapejuice

pour vodka over ice cubes in a highball glas.fill with grape juice .stir.

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19.Captain’s Tropical spiced Tea

1 1/4 Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
5oz iced Tea
1/2tsp lemon juice

combine all ingredients over ice in a highball glass .stir .garnish with lemon wedge.

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20.Hawaiian Lemonade

1 1/4 vodka
4oz Lemonade
2oz pineapple juice

put everything in a shaker .shake well. .serve in a crushed ice filled collins .garnish with lemon wedge .

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21.cool breezer

creme de ment-15ml

vodka -45ml
seven up

take a tall glass .fill it up with lots of ice .put creme de ment ,vodka n topup with chilled seven up…serve

22.Blow Job

* 3/4 oz. Irish Cream (Bailey’s)
* 3/4 oz. Kahlua
* Top with Whipped cream

Glass to Use
Shot glass
Mixing Instructions

Combine Kahlua and Bailey’s in a shot glass, and top with a puff of whipped cream. It must be shot without using your hands!

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23.MATADOR

11/4- TEQUILA
2oz-pineapple juice
1/20z.lime juice

shake with ice .strainover ice cubes in a goblet..garnish with lime wheel

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Many more to come ..will keep on adding ….till then ..cheers ..Rock On