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Bela Pana is offered to Lord Jagganath as prasad or summer juice in Odisha and it act as an antidote for sun stroke also. This is one of the healthy and natural juice which would keep our stomach cool and filled, and guard us against the summer heat.


To identify whether the ‘Bael/Bela’ is ripe or not, first smell the fruit if it smells sweet then snap the stem off the pit and if the pit is orange its ready and ripe, but if its yellowish it’s still under done .


A ripe wood apple or Bael has laxative properties and is considered very good for digestion. Bael fruit juice is best remedy to reduce constipation and stomach pain. This contains laxative properties to clean and tone the intestines. Drinking this regularly for 2-3 months will reduce sub-chronic constipation. You can drink twice a day to ease stomach pain for kids. Add some black pepper and salt to the juice to remove toxins from the intestines.

Bela Pana is one of the healthy and natural juice which acts as an antidote for sun stroke. It is an excellent cooler for stomach during summers and can be consumed to get rid of heat or Loo. It is easy to make and need very simple ingredients. You can make it sweet and salty it depends on your taste and like.

INGREDIENTS :
  • 1 medium size Wood Apple/Bela
  • Juice of ½ a lime
  • 1 tsp Black pepper powder
  • Springs of Fresh mint
  • 4 glasses of Chilled water
  • Ice cubes to serve
PREPARATION:
  1. Crack open the Wood apple, scrap out its entire pulp using a spoon into a glass bowl/vessel. Pour 2 glasses of chilled water till the entire pulp is covered in water. Cover for minimum 1 to 2 hours or till you are ready to serve.
  2. Before serving, serve, strain the entire thick pulpy wood apple juice into a larger bowl through a large strainer . Press  down the pulp with a spatula to completely extract the juice.Discard the remaining seeds, fibres etc left in the strainer.
  3.  To the juice add the remaining 2 glass of chilled water. Stir well and add the lime juice and black salt, pour into your serving glasses and top up with ice and a spring of fresh mint.

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As you know that I am doing a concept series #flavorsofregionalcooking
along with some of my blogger friends , Preethi from Preethicuisine and Pushpita from pushpitaschakhum and plan to cover a state each month and explore its cuisine during the entire month. Last month we have covered Karnataka and made some delicious food from that region and you check all these recipes under #flavorsofregionalcooking .

This month we are planning to cover the beautiful cuisines from the state of TamilNadu and its my pleasure to introduce Sathishkumar Shanmugam, a Human Resource Professional by qualification and the author of the blog Tastepot who has written this guest post on Tamil Cuisine for us to understand and cook throughout this month.

His roots are of Indian origin but he was born and brought up in Sri Lanka. His family has been residing in Sri Lanka for the last couple of generations for now. His family are Indian Tamils and their food is a mix of Indian, Sri Lankan and Malaysian cuisines. Head over to his blog to know about his foodjourney and this talented homechef. Here is what he has to say about Tamil cuisine and this yummy Pallippalayam Chicken Curry.

Pallippalayam Chicken Curry

The Taste of Tamil Nadu

Tamil cuisine is entirely fascinating and it’s not only about Idli, dosa and sambar. Tamilians practise a grand cuisine which is a blend of various local cuisines within the state. It is one of the oldest and best cuisines practised in the world. Some of the classical Tamil literary works mention that Tamilians are well-known for the best culinary practices, hospitality and offering food to others.

The Ingredients

Rice in different forms is the most common ingredient used in day to day food preparation. White rice varieties are the most consumed rice varieties in recent days whereas Kavuni, Samba, Kaikuththal Rice are the indigenous rice varieties used for food preparation in the olden days. With rice like Kambu (Pearl Millet), Samai (Little Millet), Thinai (Foxtail Millet), Kelvaragu (Finger Millet), Panivaragu (Proso Millet) and Karuvaragu (Kodo Millet) used for preparing the main course.

Regionally vegetables namely Brinjal, Raddish, Drumstick, Ash Gourd, Snake Gourd, Pumpkin, Yam and Raw Banana are used for making the curries. Potatoes, Carrots, Cabbages, Beans, Ladies Figure have also become a part of routine Tamil food after the arrival of the British to India. The curries are usually made with either Moong dal or Thoor Dal.

Anjarai Petti, the well-known masala or spice box is something you can find in every Tamil households used for storing the important spices used in daily cooking. Though the literal Tamil translation of spice box means a five chamber box, the modern dabbas contain not less than seven chambers. Depending on the cooking style of the family Tamilians store Mustard Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Urad Dal, Channa Dal, Fenugreek Seeds, Pepper Seeds, Coriander Seeds and Dried Chillies. Spices like Cardamom, Cinnamon, Bayleaf, Cloves, Mace, Nutmeg, Poppy Seeds, Anise and Sesame Seeds are stored separately or bought as and when it is required. These spices are used at a minimal level in daily cooking.

Dried Chillies, Corriander, Turmeric, Cumin and roasted spices are usually powdered are stored separately in buckets and bottles. Garlic, Ginger, Curry Leaves, Green Chillies, Tamarind and Coconut are usually used in making the curries. For tempering Coconut Oil, Sesame Oil and Ghee are used and for frying, either Coconut Oil or Groundnut Oil is used; Ghee in some rare occasions. Samipparai or Vaipparai (Store Room) is the place where these are stored and the lady of the house is responsible for the store room normally at any home.

The Routine Food

Day of anyone living in Tamil Nadu normally begins with a filter coffee or milk tea. Tamilians prefer steamed foods and pancakes for breakfast and dinner as mentioned in Sanga Literature centuries ago. Certainly, Dosa is an invention by Tamilians. The traditional breakfast foods are Idli, Puttu, Idiyappam, Kozhukkattai and Pongal along with pancakes like Dosa, Appam and Paniyaram made with rice flour and other grains. Each of these items goes with different side dishes. Idli, Pongal, Dosa, Kozhukkattai and Paniyaram are served with Samber & different types of dry and wet chutneys, where as Idiyappam, Appam, Puttu are served with Kuruma (Korma), Sodhi (Vegetable Stew), or Sweetened Coconut Milk. Parota, Poori, Chapati had been a part of Tamil cuisine only in the recent past.

Rice is a staple food and the main course for every day. Plain rice is accompanied by curries with vegetables and lentils. Vadas, fried chips, and Payasam appear on the leaf during the feasting days. A normal meal ends with plain rice with rasam or curd. These are the various types of curries and side dishes in Tamil cuisine.

  • Thuvayal – Spicy Chutney
  • Sundal – Boiled and Stir Fried Peas
  • Poriyal – Stir Fried Vegetables or Spinach
  • Varuval – Pan Fried Vegetables
  • Aviyal – Mixed Vegetable Curry with Curd & Coconut
  • Masiyal – Mashed Vegetable Curry
  • Pirattal – Semi Dry Vegetable Curry
  • Pachchadi – Cooked Vegetables mixed with Curd
  • Koottu – Vegetables or Spinach Cooked with Dal
  • Paruppu – Cooked Lentils mixed with Ghee
  • Sambar – Curry with Vegetables & Pigeon Peas
  • Kara Kuzhambu / Vaththal Kuzhambu – Spicy Tamarind Curry
  • Mor Kuzhambu – Butter Milk Curry
  • Rasam – Tamarind & Tomato Soup

On the other hand, Tamilians have lots of variety or mixed rice recipes as quick lunch options. The followings are the different types of mixed rice had for lunch:

  • Sambar Sadham – Rice Cooked with Lentils and Vegetables
  • Puliyodharai – Tamarind Rice
  • Ezhumichchai Sadham – Lemon Rice
  • Thengai Sadham – Coconut Rice
  • Thakkali Sadham – Tomato Rice
  • Mangai Sadham – Raw Mango Rice
  • Milagu Sadham – Pepper Rice
  • Thayir Sadham – Curd Rice

For nonvegetarians, Tamil Nadu always has a lengthy list of dishes. Tamil Nadu has its own Biryani recipe which originated from Dindigul. Jeeraga Samba is the indigenous rice used for making Biryani here. Biryani is accompanied by curries with Mutton, Chicken, Country Chicken and Eggs. Tamil Nadu has a long coastal line & seafood like Fish, Prawns, Crab and Squid is also equally popular like poultry. Tamilians prefer sea water fish more than freshwater fish. Seafood curries are usually made with tamarind juice and coconut milk, especially when it comes to fish; it has to be prepared with these. There is a saying in Tamil ‘Newly married daughter in law’s cooking skills are measured by her fish curry. Fried fish like Vanjiram (Sheer Fish) Fry is quite popular in this part of the country than other regions.

The Banana Leaf Meal

A Tamil lunch is incomplete without a full course Tamil Vegetarian Lunch popularly known as Thala Vazha Illai Sappadu (Banana Leaf Meal) comes with not less than 20 items on the leaf. A full course banana leaf meal accommodates all the Arusuvai (six tastes) mentioned in Sanga Literature namely; Inippu (Sweet), Pulippu (Sour), Uvarppu (Salty), Kasappu (Bitter), Uraippu (Pungent), Thuvarppu (Astringent). These different tastes indicate the different emotions a person comes across in his/her life and accepting it.

Serving food on the leaf has few procedures to be followed. The leaf should be washed and cleaned well. The bigger side of the leaf has to be on your right-hand side.  First the sweet is usually served. Then uppu, pazham, vegetable curries and fried accompaniments are served. Rice and Variety Rice are usually served only when the person/guest sits to eat. Then one by one sambar, kara kuzhambu, rasam, mor kuzhambu are served. Payasam is usually served at the end and some prefer having payasam before having rice with curd.

The Local Cuisines within Tamil Nadu

Just like all other states and countries even within Tamil Nadu, there are lots of variations in the method of cooking and recipes. Sangam Literature had differentiated the land they live with different names as follow Kurunji (Mountains), Mullai (Forest), Marudham (Agricultural Lands), Neithal (Seashore), Palai (Dried Wasteland). Foods consumed were different among the people based on the land they lived. Availability of ingredient in the locality, weather conditions, religion and traditions, the lifestyle of the people, migration of people from other regions in the last few centuries have influenced the food practices among the people in Tamil Nadu in the modern days.

  1. Kongu Nadu Cuisine: The cuisine practised by the western part of Tamil Nadu. Since it shares its borders with Kerala and Karnataka, this cuisine has lots of similarities to them. People from this region were into agricultural activities for generation. Their food is usually prepared with fewer spices available in their locality. The use of coconut oil and coconut in the dishes makes this region’s food distinguishing one. Some of the popular dishes of this region are Santhakai, Ulundhu Kali and Kachayam.
  2. Chettinad Cuisine: The cuisine practised by people in Karaikudi and nearby areas. People of this region have migrated to various parts of the world during the British era due to the non-supportive climatic conditions of the region to do agriculture in this region. They also brought in lots of changes in their food habits due to this when they returned to India. Paniyaram, Chettinadu Chicken, Idiyappam, and Kozhukkattai are few the iconic Chettinadu dishes.
  3. Nanjil Nadu Cuisine: This is the culinary practices followed by people in the southernmost Tamil Nadu. This area is very closer to Kerala and this cuisine again shares lots of similarities with Kerala Cuisine. Nanjil Nadu Fish Curry, Ripe Banana Bajji, and Coconut Halwa are the specialities of this region.
  4. Arcot & Chennai Cuisine: The culinary methods practised by people in the northernmost Tamil Nadu. Being the most urbanized part of the state, this region has also contributed a lot to Tamil cuisine. The recipes of this region have a heavy influence of Andhra Cuisine because of the location and Telugu settlements in the region centuries ago and migrated population from other states. Still we do have few specialities of this region. Arcot Biryani, Kanchipuram Idli, Makkan Peda and Mushroom fry.
  5. Madurai Cuisine: The cuisine followed by Madurai and central region of Tamil Nadu. Pandya dynasty ruled this region for centuries. Sometimes the spongy idlies are called are Madurai Jasmine Idlis means soft as Madurai jasmines. Jigarthanda and Kari Dosa are some of the popular dishes in Madurai.
  6. Tanjore Maratha Cuisine: During the 18th Century Marathas had built their empire in Thanjavur region and settled here with a huge number of Maharashtrians. Though the present generation has almost lost their roots in Maharashtra, their cuisine keeps it alive to an extent. This also led to significant changes in the food style of people in this region. The well-known Tamil Sambar originated from this region when the chef at Sambhaji Maharaj’s palace experimented a curry with toor dal and tamarind. Paruppu Poli, Surul Poli and Somasi are some of the Maratha influences in Tamil Cuisine.
  7. Tamil Brahmin Cuisine: This is more community based cooking rather than the regional. The cooking methods followed by Tamil Iyer and Iyengar come under this broad topic. The food here is purely vegetarian and prepared with fewer spices. Akkaravadisal, Maavadu, Puliyodharai, and Kai Murukku are some of the Tamil Brahmin specialities.

Pallippalayam Chicken Curry

Pallippalayam Chicken Curry is one of the delicious and spicy non-vegetarian curries of Tamil Cuisine. It originated from the village Pallippalayam of Erode district. As I had already mentioned most of the people of this land were into agricultural activities for their livelihood. So cooking is just done once or twice a day as they start the day very early for agricultural and farming activities and complete the day with the sunset. As a result, they selected the recipes with a few steps and fewer ingredients available in the region. This is hot plain rice makes a simple and best combination.

Ingredients Required:

  1. Skinless Chicken (Big Pieces) – 01 Kg
  2. Turmeric Powder – 0.5 Tablespoon
  3. Red Chilli Powder – 01 Tablespoon
  4. Pepper Powder – 01 Tablespoon
  5. Chopped Coconut – Few Pieces
  6. Chopped Shallots – 150 Gm
  7. Chopped Garlic – 50 Gm
  8. Red Chillies – 10 No
  9. Curry Leaves – Few
  10. Coconut Oil – As Required
  11. Salt – As Required

Steps:

  1. Wash the chicken pieces thoroughly and keep it aside.
  2. In a pan heat little water and boil 05 of the dried chillies for 10 minutes. Keep it aside.
  3. In another pan add enough coconut oil to pan-fry the coconut pieces and fry it until it turns golden brown in colour. Keep it aside.
  4. In the same pan heat a little oil. Add few curry leaves, dried chillies, garlic and shallots. Saute it well.
  5. Blend the boiled chillies to a fine paste with a little of the sauteed shallots and garlic mix.
  6. Add the chicken, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, pepper powder and the dried chilli paste. Mix it well.
  7. Add little water to the curry and let it cook until the chicken pieces turn soft and dry.
  8. Once the chicken pieces are cooked well and the remaining curry leaves and fried coconut pieces. Stir it well and continue to cook it for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve the chicken curry with hot rice or roti.

Notes:

  1. Usually, this curry is made with country chicken. But if you do not find it in your region you can prepare this with the normal chicken.
  2. In some families, they have a tradition of adding garam masala to the curry. Its usually not added to the curry.

The post Pallippalayam Chicken Curry-celebrating Tamil Cuisine appeared first on .

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Mangalore being a coastal town, gets a bountiful catch of sea food which is then distributed across the states. Like any other city on the coast, it also has its own unique fish recipe. This fish curry I made using the Kundapur masala which I had made earlier  . The addition of grated coconut in the paste beautifully balances the  the spiciness that comes from the chilies  and goes well with boiled white rice. I’m sure you would just love this typical mangalore style fish curry and would want to make it again. This curry is my way of understanding the #flavorsofregionalcooking which I am currently doing along with my friend Preethi covering the state of Karnataka.


You can check other recipes from Mangalore such as Mangalore Buns or ‘Banana Buns’  , Kori Gassi(Mangalorean chicken curry ) to know more about the cuisine from the area.For this regional cooking Preethi has made hulled millet Guliappa, a famous breakfast recipe from Udupi. Do visit her page to have access to this beautiful recipe.

The star ingredient of this Fish Curry recipe is the Kundapur masala powder made with Byadagi chillies. The flavour and colour the chillies impart can be seen from the curry itself.

Mangalorean Fish Curry Recipe

  • 500gm black pomfret (or any sea fish like white pomfret, Mackerel or lady fish)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 green chilli, slit
  • 1 lemon-sized ball of tamarind
  • 1onion, (1/4th for the masala and 3/4th for the curry)
  • 4 tbsp Kundapur masala
  • ½ cup coconut, grated
  • 4 to 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • Water for cooking

Method

  • Marinate the fish in a bit of salt and turmeric and keep aside for 10 minutes.
  • Put the tamarind in a little warm water and then squeeze out the pulp. Set aside.
  • Make a fine paste of ¼ th of a large onion, half cup coconut, tamarind water and 4 tbsp of kundapur masala.
  • Heat the oil in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds and let them crackle. Then add in the curry leaves and the chopped onion, Cook till the onion turns translucent and then add in the spice paste, and a little more water and cook till it comes to a boil.
  • Add in the fish and cook for another 5 minutes. Check the seasoning and take off the heat and serve.

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What is Kundapur Masala:

Kundapur also known as  Kundapura, lies approximately 100km away from the beautiful coastal city of Mangalore in Karnataka, India from where this recipe has originated. Mangalorean cuisine is the conglomeration of cuisines of different ethinic communities such as Bunts, Billavas, Goud Saraswat Bramhins, Mangalorean Catholics,Mogaveeras and Bearys. This spice mix known as Kundapur Masala or Kundapur Taal Masala Powder is said to have originated from the Bunts community.

How to make Kundapur masala powder:

Kundapur  Masala Powder is a perfect balance of spices like coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, peppercorns, cumin seeds, dry red chillies and dehydrated garlic that creates the right flavor balance in the dish that you use. This  can be used for adding flavor and balance to the everyday dish. This powder can be stored in an air tight container for later use. This is a  very versatile blend of spices that lifts any dish in terms of flavour and aroma. It is something like the Bafat masala powder used by
the Catholic community of Mangalore.

When I had started blogging, I came in contact with many bloggers and some of them have still part of my everyday life and Preethi who blogs at Preethis Cuisine is one among them. Both of us are full time working professionals and time to do regular blogging is a major constraint for both of us. Despite this we try to do blogging during holidays to keep alive our passion for cooking and learning new recipes.

During our one such conversation we found the only way to be regular in blogging will be to explore various cuisines atleast once a month and thus this concept of exploring #flavors of regional cooking came into our mind. This is an open concept where we will pick up one State a month and learn its spice blend and certain traditional recipes and share it in our blog.

Thus the first in this series is the cuisine from the state of KARNATAKA, which has a melange of influence of Kerala in the South and Maharashtra in the north, along with its own rich gastronomic history.
Each region of Karnataka has its own specialty of cuisine which are mainly – North Karnataka cuisine, South Karnataka cuisine, Kodagu cuisine, Udupi cuisine, Mangalorean cuisine, North Canara and Navayath cuisine.
Compared to other South Indian states , the spice level of Karnataka’s cuisine is one of the mildest because of the use of palm jaggery in their cuisine, with the exception of North Karnataka cuisine, which is a bit spicy.
Most of the desserts are non-dairy products and sweetened with jaggery.

In North Karnataka , Rice and sorghum are the staples food of this region, whereas South Karnataka cuisine is dominated by steamed rice and finger millet. The  Coastal Mangalorean cuisine  uses Curry leaves and coconut, along with local spices in their dishes. The famous local dishes include Kori Gassi, Neer dosa, Kori Rotti, Mangalore Buns to name a few. The Kodagu cuisine consists of spicy curries either from meat, chicken or pork and the core ingredient that adds the tanginess to their dish. is the kachampuli (vinegar) ,known as Kodampuli/Kudampuli (in Kerala) and Panapuli (in Coorg). The Udupi cuisine consists of mainly vegetarian food that makes use of jaggery, rice and coconut.

Coming back to this recipe of the Kundapur powder, which is a family recipe from one of my follower Anupama Shenoy who happens to be a true blue Mangolre girl. I have made this powder as per my requirement and if you wish to make a larger quantity you may have to increase the quantity.
This recipe calls for dehydrated garlic cloves( by roasting the unpeeled garlic cloves in a pan on medium to low heat until crisp ) and if you donot have access to it, then you can use garlic powder also. N

Ingredients:

  • 8 to 10 byadgi chilis ( I use half quantity of Kashmiri red chili  )
  • 1 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 8 -10 dehydrated and unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp oil
Instructions
  • Heat oil in a medium-sized pan and at medium heat.
  • Add chilies to it and roast them till an aroma emanates from it.
  • Remove the chilies and keep it aside.
  • Then roast remaining ingredients (coriander seeds, cumin seeds, pepper seeds, and fenugreek seeds) for a minute or till it turns aromatic. Set it aside to cool it down.
  • Transfer them to a blender along with the chilies and dehydrated garlic cloves and grind them to a fine powder. Store it in an airtight container for future use.

The post Kundapur Masala Powder-Spice Blend from Karnataka appeared first on .

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Macha Haldipani is not a simple fishcurry from Odia kitchen rather it has my whole childhood memories woven around it. As a child , I love having fish, its always, rice, dal, and fish fry after coming back from the school. During those days, we used to have morning school and I would come back around 11 in the morning and straight head to the kitchen to check what my mother has cooked for lunch. The lifting of the lid and the aroma of he food always lingers in my momories, the simplicity of her recipes cooked with so much love for the family members have till inspired me to cook my meal at home.

Summer in Odisha is very harsh and it affects the way we eat our food. The bowl of Pakhala replaces the hot steamed rice of the winter. To combat the scorching summer heat, she would serve my siblings a variety of vegetarian dishes along with the Pakhala bowl but for me always this Macha Haldipani because I was always a sick child and eating Pakhala was a strict no for me.

My mother makes this curry specially in hot summer months because at that time our body requires something light and nutritious . While many families shy away from preparing non veg during summer, she used the locally available ingredients and suits it to her convenience to prepare this curry.

Macha Haldipani/ Fish cooked in Turmeric water - YouTube

For this recipe ,my father would bring only fresh water fishes because it is sweet in taste and the meat is soft . Mom would then wash and smear salt and turmeric to it and pan fry them in mustard oil , as this would enhance the flavor and allow the fish to absorb the spices better. She never deep fries her fishes as it makes it hard and chewy. But if you do not have access to river water fishes, you can use any fish you have.

This simple fish curry made with fresh turmeric root and buttermilk is so thin and light which would just be suffice enough to enjoy the true flavours of the fish. To bring sourness to the curry, Torani(fermented rice water) is used, but I have replaced that with buttermilk to make it suits to our pallet.

Ingredients

  • 500 gms Fish(I have used Pohala here)
  • 2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder + 1 Tsp grated turmeric root for the curry
  • 400 ml thin butter milk
  • 1/2 tsp panch phutan
  • 4 nos green chilies
  • 6 to 7 curry leaves
  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, ground to paste
  • 4 Tsp mustard oil for cooking + more for pan frying the fish
  • a handful Coriander leaves, chopped

Instructions

  1. Wash and clean the fish pieces, smear them with salt and turmeric. Leave aside for 10 minutes.
  2. In a wide pan, heat enough mustard oil to fry the fishes.Fry the fish as lightly as possible, because over frying will spoil the taste of the fresh fish. Just two minutes on each side and its done.
  3. Heat 4 tsp oil, add panch phutan. Once it starts spluttering , add the minced garlic.
  4. Add the green chilies, curry leaves and then the onion paste.Keep sautéing till the onion leaves its raw smell and looks brown, add salt, turmeric roots/ powder and fry lightly.
  5. Once done, add 400 ml buttermilk and give it a good stir. Let it comes to a boil and add the fish pieces carefully and let it simmer for five more minutes.
  6. Adjust the seasonings and stir in the chopped cilantro leaves.
  7. Switch off the heat, close the lid and let it stand for five more minute before serving it with steamed rice.

The post Macha Haldipani- fishcurry in Turmeric water appeared first on .

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Lassi is a very popular drink during summer where this thick and creamy drink is just the perfect thing to sip on .  This inclusion of yogurt doesn’t just aid digestion, but also cools excessive heat or hunger . Lassi can be made sweet or salty as per preference .The salty lassi is usually flavored with cumin , salt and chaat masala , whereas the sweet lassi has yogurt, water and sugar in it. Lassi can be customizable as per your choice of flavors.

You all are must be wondering why I am posting a Lassi recipe way ahead of summer , but hold on there is a reason to this. This Lassi is not a regular one but made with Beetroot juice to bring out this beautiful light color to the lassi.

As a woman we all face this problem of Hormonal imbalance which can be caused by a number of factors, like medical history, family genetics, environmental toxins, stress levels, and diet. This sometimes leads to weight gain/loss, fatigue, anxiety, depression, digestive issues, insomnia, loss of appetite, even hair thinning and hair loss.To counter this many women turn to hormone replacement therapy (HRT) , but there are many ways to balance our hormones naturally with diet also .

As women approaches menopause, the liver become overworked due to clearing the excess hormones. Beetroot are a nutritional powerhouse, best known for supporting the liver and cleansing the toxins out of the liver , besides this they are rich in iron, b vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and folate. Drinking beet juice can have a positive influence on menopause symptoms like mood swings, insomnia, and dizziness .

For this simple and divine Beetroot Rose Lassi, I use beetroot juice that gives this lassi it’s alluring pink color. Pour this delicious Lassi into a beautiful serving glass and top it with some chopped pistachios.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup beetroot juice
  • 1 tbsp Rose water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 6-7 Ice Cubes
  • 1 Rose Flower or Petals for Garnishing

Instructions

  1. In a blender jar add yogurt, milk and blend it till smooth.
  2. Add sugar, beetroot juice, rose water, salt and blend it well.
  3. Now lastly add water, ice cubes and blend it till smooth and frothy.
  4. Pour into the serving glass, garnish it with chopped pistachios and rose petals and serve chilled .

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Banana tree is one plant whose all part can be consumed – be it the banana leaf ,banana stem, banana flower or the banana fruit. Banana flower has a lot to offer in terms of deliciousness and has a very distinctive flavor to it.I have seen my mother cooking this dish since childhood and always shy away from making this because of the tedious process of cleaning it. But with practice and useful tips from my mother, now I am able to handle this banana flower with ease. banana blossom contains antioxidants that reduce the risk of cancer causing free radicals in the body and significantly reduces blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. banana is a rich source of iron and banana flower has a higher content of iron than the banana fruit itself. You can make a lot of recipes with the banana flower and this no onion garlic banana Blossom Curry is one such delicacy that you will love to give it a try.

Ingredients:

  • 1 no banana blossom/Flower , peeled, cleaned and chopped(3 cups)
  • 1 no lime squeezed into 500 ml water
  • 1/4th cup grated coconut
  • 1 Potato , cut into cubes
  • 1 Tomato, chopped finely
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 no Bay leaf
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 Green Cardamoms
  • 1 Black Cardamom
  • 2 Dry Red Chilies
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tsp cumin powder
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 8 to 10 sundried lentil Badis
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Let’s cook:

  • Peel, clean and chop the mocha. Remove the outer cover and a tiny black stick inside of the flowers. Cook the flowers in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles with pinch of  turmeric powder and salt.
  • Let the pressure cooker releases the pressure naturally, drain the water and mash it lightly and keep the flowers aside.
  • Heat oil, fry the badis and potatoes and keep aside.
  • In the same oil, add the cumin seeds, once it starts to splutter, add the bay leaf, green cardamom, cinnamon, black cardamom , dry red chillies.
  • Now add the ginger paste and saute till the raw smell goes away. Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt and cook till oil comes out of it.
  • Now add the grated coconut and mix well. Now add the boiled banana blossom and mix well.
  • Sprinkle the badis and add the chopped coriander leaves and serve it with steaming-hot plain white rice and dal.

The post Banana Blossoms Curry- No Onion & Garlic Recipe appeared first on .

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This is a very versatile and fast cake recipe. This moist and delicious Banana Cake is my all-time favorite banana cake recipe, made completely from scratch. This warm banana cake  recipe, made using the ripest bananas can be served with the afternoon Tea/Coffee. How much I try I am always left with overripe bananas that is too ripe for my liking, so I use them in making cakes or Malpua, a thin , crisp pancake dipped in sugar syrup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4th tsp salt
  • 3 nos overripe banana
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3rd cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4th cup condensed milk
  • 3/4th cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Lets learn how to make it:

  • Preheat the oven at 180 degree and grease a baking pan.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients like all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sieve and keep aside.
  • Peel , Mash the banana and keep aside.
  • In a bowl, add the oil and brown sugar. Mix well and add the condensed milk. Keep stirring so that it mixes well.
  • Now add the mashed banana and mix everything well. Now add the cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Now add the dry ingredients alternatively with milk till no lump is found.
  • Pour in a baking pan and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree for about 35 to 40 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool, slice, serve and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee.

The post Tea Time Banana Cake appeared first on .

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This Strawberry Cake is the perfect way to celebrate the abundance availability of strawberry this season. It’s eggless, moist and toped with juicy strawberries . I had been to the departmental store to pick up these strawberries because I had to do a product styling for  Pushpita’s-homemade food. I ate most of it and the rest I decided to use in making a eggless tea time cake.

I was thinking of baking this cake in February but cannot wait that long for this cake which smells so DELICIOUS because of the use of cardamom in it. It’s light, springy, perfectly sweet, hinted with warm cardamom flavors, and studded with fresh strawberries. Basically, this cake is best used with a cup of tea or coffee , however you can eat it anytime of the day.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 10 to 12 fresh strawberries, sliced

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180*C. Line a 7″ round pan with parchment paper. Chop the strawberries and keep aside.
  2. Shift all purpose flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and keep aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat oil and sugar till it is mixed and then add yogurt and mix everything well .
  4. Mix cardamom powder and gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients alternatively with the milk. Do not over-mix.Fold in some strawberries into the batter and transfer the thick batter to the cake pan. Arrange rest of the strawberry slices on top.
  5. Sprinkle a tablespoons of castor sugar on top. Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

The post Tea Time Strawberry Cake appeared first on .

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Victoria Sponge Cake was the favorite sponge cake of Queen Victoria, and has since become a tried-and-true recipe for tea-time sponge cakes. The Victoria Sponge Cake is generally filled with jam with a dusting of sugar over the top. In England, you will find this well-risen, sugar-dusted layer cake in every coffee shop, café and bakery you walk into.

If you are in a hurry to make this cake, you can place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix it quickly . Make sure all the ingredients for the cake and buttercream should ideally be at room temperature. Take your butter out of the fridge and let it soften at room temperature overnight. You can find how to make a eggless version of this cake here.

The preserves are a prominent feature of this cake, so make sure they are the best you use in this recipe. When I decided to make this Victoria Sponge Cake, I cannot wait to open the jar of Strawberry spread from Pushpita’s-homemade food . I love all her products because it’s homemade, preservative free which makes these products much sought after by her buyers. Recipe adopted from Here.

IngredientsFor the cake:

  • 225gm all purpose flour
  • 225gm caster sugar, plus a little extra for dusting the finished cake
  • 225gm white butter at room temperature, plus a little extra to grease the tins
  • 4 nos eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2tbsp milk to loosen the batter
  • a pinch of salt

For filling & decorating

  • good-quality strawberry or raspberry jam
  • whipped double cream 
  • powdered sugar for dusting 

InstructionsFor the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease and line two 20cm /8 inch cake tins. Use a piece of baking paper to rub a little butter around the inside of the tins until the sides and base are lightly coated, then line the bottom with a circle of baking paper.
  2. Shift the all purpose flour, salt and baking powder twice so that it gets mix evenly.
  3. Place the sugar and butter in a food processor and mix till smooth . Then add the eggs one by one and mix properly. Now add the dry ingredients alternatively with milk and mix thoroughly, but be careful not to over mix. The finished mixture should fall off a spoon easily.
  4. Divide the mixture evenly between the tins and use a spatula to gently smooth the surface of the cakes.
  5. Bake the cakes on the middle shelf of the oven for 25 minutes. Check them after 20 minutes. The cakes are done when they’re golden-brown and coming away from the edge of the tins. Press them gently to check – they should be springy to the touch. Set aside to cool in their tins for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the tins and carefully turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack. Set aside to cool completely.
  6. To assemble the cake, Spoon on strawberry preserves . Top with a generous layer of whipped cream, then the second layer of cake. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with hot tea.
  7. Cooled cake layers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and stored in the freezer for a month or two. Thaw at room temperature, then decorate with spread and whipped cream and serve.

The post Victoria Sponge Cake appeared first on .

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