Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Apple Salad - Go healthy with Washington apples!


Apples are Really Good For You! Eating fresh apples is always good for you, but to get the full nutritional benefits associated with eating apples you should eat at least one fresh apple every day.

I was sent some fresh Granny Smith apples by the SCS Group and Washington Apple Commission for me to taste and make something. What can be more refreshing than a salad. This is how I like my everyday salad.

Ingredients

Fresh Granny Smith Apples-2
handful of walnuts (slightly toasted)
Romaine Lettuce- 1 cup
handful of Mint leaves
Italian seasoning-1/2 tsp
lemon juice- 1/2 tsp
olive oil- 1tsp
any cheese (optional) - 1 tbsp for sour taste

Preparation

Wash and dry the apples, lettuce and mint leaves. chop them roughly into bite size and toss them in a bowl. Add toasted walnuts, Italian seasoning, olive oil, lemon juice and mix. I do not add salt.

Granny Smith apples are green, extremely tart, crisp, juicy and versatile. They are popular for making Pies.
Apples have lots of health benefits like cancer prevention, healthy lungs, heart disease and stroke prevention and weight loss!
For more information visit bestapples.com

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Paper Boat Drinks to quench summer thirst!

Day by day I float my paper boats one by one, down the running stream.
In bid black letters I write my name on them and the name of the village where I live.
I hope that someone in some strange land will find them and know who I am.
I load my little boats with shiuli flower from our garden, and hope that these blooms of the dawn will be carried safely to land in the night.
I launch my paper boats and look up into the sky and see the little clouds setting thee white bulging sails.
I know not what playmate of mine in the sky sends them down the air to race with my boats!
When night comes I bury my face in my arms and dream that my paper boats float on and on under the midnight stars.
The fairies of sleep are sailing in them, and the lading in their baskets full of dreams.

Paper Boats by,
Rabindranath Tagore.

I was very much carried away by the Paper Boat website. Couldn't believe someone has created a drink with a concept of bringing back childhood memories !


Paper Boat, much like the Tagore poem, claims to send these drinks, these culinary messages to those who have never tasted such concoctions. And of course to those, who long for the days gone by. Of homemade Aamras, Jaljeera, Kokum, Aampanna, Kala Khatta and many other secret recipes.
 
Inspired by these famous lines….. four industry veterans Neeraj Kakkar, James Nutall, Suhas Misra and Neeraj Biyani coming from varied backgrounds, these Founding Fathers who are also nicknamed as The A-Team and Fantastic Four are the power behind ‘Paper Boat’.


Imli ka Amlana
A refreshing ale from the hills of Marwar, usually had a bowl of tasty khichda, the amlana is a testament of the region’s victories and
celebrations. A drink fit for the grandest of events, Imli ka Amlana offers to your palate something you thought was long gone - an
element of surprise. The tang of tamarind coupled with the
complimentary zest of cinnamon (and some other secret spices), this is the definitive sweet-sour (and spicy) ale for the centuries
Jaljeera 
 A hot summer day is magnified tenfold in India. The sun, once a trusted ally, is now a vengeful god charring its antlike populace. Don’t worry he’ll calm down in a while. But till he does, what respite does a mortal have against the might of distant nuclear fusion of a main-sequence star that constantly turns hydrogen into helium*? The answer descends from the heavens in the form of Jaljeera - The perfect infusion of cumin, lemon juice, black pepper and rock salt that functions both as an electrolyte AND an appetizer. Perfect for those summer days, those heavy meals, those elaborate family functions... Actually, you don’t need a reason to drink Jaljeera, you just need to be.
Golgappe ka Pani
Nothing makes you stop in your tracks in a harried evening like the sight of a Golgappewala (Or Panipuriwala. Or Phuchkawala. Or Patashewala. The list goes on.) The very thought of a Golgappa can make you salivate like you did the first time to had one. You couldn’t believe yourself. You couldn’t believe that they could make food taste like this. But they did. And we bring you the same Golgappe ka Pani. Well, minus the aftermath of the gastrointestinal horrors that you might or might not have faced.
 Aam Panna
The pre-vacation between your actual summer vacation and the last day of the final exams.The buffer time it took for your teachers to grade you, to graduate you into another class. That was the window of The Kairi. There was something poetic about raw, unfledged mangoes enticing our fully formed taste buds. Like it was another fruit altogether. Mixed with spices, mint and served cold, almost inversely to the soaring temperatures outside. You gushed it down in a single gulp. But the moment lingered forever.


Jamun Ka Khatta
Jamun Kala Khatta is not quite the Kala Khatta (of chemical Gola stain fame) you grew up with... A paradox of sorts, this Kala Khatta, dark purple and not black, dates all the way back to the year 100 AD. Made at the peak of civilization, this drink was called Raga. And those who had it, described it as music for the taste buds. (They also described actual music as fragrance for the ear.)
Therapeutic as it is tasty, they say Kala Khatta can be used to cure a host of ailments. (Hangovers? Certainly!) But don't take our word for it. Try it out. Take a little swig. Fancy a gulp. Infer a chug. Who knows? You might even describe it as a great novel for the nostrils.

Kokum
 A berry belonging to the mangosteen family and largely indigenous to the western ghats, Kokum is a specific affair. Seemingly made exclusively for the South Asian palate (it grows nowhere else in the world!), Kokum, with its unique zest, is certainly a taste to reckon with. And eventually accept defeat to.
And the sherbet made from Kokum berries, a hint of cardamom, cumin and sugarcane extract has been described as the reason why Ratna fell and decided to name an entire district after the incident. But Ratnagiri's dubious nomenclature aside, Kokum is a relaxant, an anti-oxidant and an appetizer. So when you treat yourself to Kokum, Kokum treats you back.

 Aamras
During summer, there is barely a home in western India, be it Gujarat or Rajasthan, that doesn’t partake in the festivity that is Aamras. Sometimes, they have it with milk, sometimes rotis and if time and patience allow, they even make sweets out of it. But the best way to go about Aamras is to have it directly as is. The way the ancients intended. Without preservatives or artificial flavour. Without frills or hassles. An honest treat for an honest day’s work. A silkesque ale cascading down your throat - Soothing, serenading and more importantly, lingering. To remind you that the mango is indeed the true king of the fruit realm. And that we cannot help but submit to its tasty tyranny.

My personal favorite is chilled Aam panna for this summer and for the kids its needless to say!! All are their favorite!

The Best part I like about the website is Hope Floats
It is a lovely initiative to gift a bit of childhood to kids who really need it. For every Paper Boat you make, the paper boat people will give INR 20 to facilitate the education of an under-privileged child somewhere. All you have to do is make a simple paper boat, take its picture and upload it on their Facebook or Twitter page. This way you will help a child who is in need.

So quench your thirst with theses drinks which have a touch of tradition and memories!

 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

7th blog Anniversary with Magnum Icecream

It's been an amazing journey so far, I lost track of time and forgot that my blog is now seven years old. Didn't know that when kids grow older our responsibilities multiply! I am hardly posting recipes and only doing the review part these days.

A big "Hearty Thank You" to all my readers and visitors for your support, patience and encouragement all through these years. Please keep visiting and commenting. This keeps me inspired to blog. This year started with a big bang for me! I got the meet the very handsome and modest Indian celebrity chef and restaurateur Kunal Kapur and attend his masterclass!

Kunal Kapur is one of the most celebrated faces of Indian cuisine today. He is Chef extraordinaire, TV show host, winner of several culinary awards and the author of recently launched cookbook- ‘A Chef in Every Home’. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one cuisine in the world and empowering everyone through power of cooking to become self-sufficient. Chef Kunal (Executive Sous Chef, The Leela, Gurgaon) has been recognised amongst the Best Chefs in India by National Weekly Magazine - India Today. Recently, the Food & Nightlife Magazine adjudged him as the “Gourmet Guru”. He has been honored as one of the Top 20 chefs of India.

The event started like an interactive session with the chef. It was real pleasure to meet him. He started asking us about chocolates, the various types, test to identify the  best chocolate and how Magnum is different! We got 3 samples of chocolates and were asked to do a taste test.
For me eventually all were chocolates but I liked the bitter sweet one better and it was a nice start up!
Then came the tasting of Magnum Ice creams which was served in 3 different flavors. Chef Kunal Kapur wanted us to take the first bite and asked us how it feels after the very first bite! We were all speechless and were more keen on continuing the ice cream :)
Next was the creativity part. We got divided into teams and were given some ingredients along with the ice cream. We had to create something out of the given items.
I grabbed a few ingredients and found some gummy bears so we all decided to create traffic signals and a sundae out of them. This is what it eventually turned out to be :)

Though we all ended up with messy and sticky fingers we had so much fun creating it all! But the chef  created his master own piece which was standing out amongst us !

He even explained how to get the angry look of the bird with the placement of its eyes! That was simply awesome!
The event happily came to end with some refreshments, photo sessions, autographs, and goodie bags!



About Magnum:
Unilever’s biggest impulse ice-cream brand globally, Magnum not only dominates entire Europe but also is making giant waves across U.S., Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. Its currently sold in more than 40 countries.Made from the finest Belgian chocolate and velvety smooth ice-cream, each bar of Magnum is crafted skillfully from bean to bite to invoke a sophisticated sensuous sensation, keeping perfect balance between bitter, sweet and milky. It’s a luxurious choc o-bar on a stick, fairly sophisticated flavors — vanilla wrapped in a neat, sturdy shell of Belgian chocolate.Magnum strongly believes " A day without pleasure is a day lost... " .They say if you haven't tasted Belgian chocolate you haven't experienced pure pleasure.
Magnum in India :
After a successful launch in Chennai last year ,the impulse ice cream brand is all set to make waves this summer in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune.
Magnum ice creams are made with 100% pure Belgian chocolate. They are delicious, creamy ice-creams covered in a thick layer of Belgian chocolate shell
Magnum’s “distinctive crack”- The sound and sight of the Belgian chocolate shell breaking when one first bites into the ice cream is signature Magnum
Magnum is one of the world’s largest chocolate ice cream brands and is owned by Unilever. As Unilever’s biggest impulse ice-cream brand globally, Magnum not only dominates Europe but is also making waves across the U.S. and Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. 
Magnum truly is an intense and remarkable experience of pleasure. It delivers pleasure experiences that are sensorial and intense, the kind that leaves you completely satisfied. It has a perfectionist approach.  From crafting to ingredient selection, there’s attention to every detail
Flavors available in India :
Classic: Plain vanilla ice cream covered in Belgian milk chocolate shell. Perfect for those who don’t like too much frills while enjoying an ice cream bar.

Almond: Plain vanilla ice cream covered in Belgian milk chocolate shell with almond nuts. Perfect for those who like some crunch in their ice cream.

Chocolate Truffle: Plain chocolate ice cream with chocolate truffle syrup covered in Belgian milk chocolate shell. Perfect for the chocoholics out there who like a good mix of creamy and bitter chocolate ice cream.
My Hearty Thanks to Sameer Malkani of Food Bloggers Association, India (FBAI) for sending me the invite and making it a memorable evening for me!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pav Bhaji Bread Bowl and Pav Bhaji tikkis

Pav Bhaji being everyone's favorite I thought of giving it a new make over :) So I thought why not make a bread bowl. My kids loved the idea!
I received some samples of vegit's Pav Bhaji mix which is a ready made Pav Bhaji mix. Awesome isn't it! Why go through an elaborate time consuming process of making bhaji when we can do it in minutes.

  
 
Preparation 

Heat 50grams butter in frying pan on a low flame. Add 100grams chopped tomatoes and fry on medium heat for 3-5 minutes.
To this add 100grams of pav bhaji mix and mix well on a low flame. Add 500ml water and stir on a low flame for 15 minutes till water is absorbed.
Mash the pav bhai and garnish with fresh coriander leaves and half tsp. butter.
To make the bread bowl, the buns should be firm. Gently scoop out the upper part of the bun with knife and spoon. Place some bhaji inside it, top it with butter and serve warm with lemon wedges and chopped onions!



Pav Bhaji Tikkis
 
Follow the exact procedure given above to make the Bhaji. Make the bhaji a little dry leaving very little moisture so that tikkis can be made.
Make the patties/tikkis and coat them with bread crumbs. In a pan/tava add 1tsp oil and place the tikkis. Fry them till golden. Serve with ketchup!

About Vegit
Vegit, an agro division of Merino group and a leading brand in ready to cook segment, announced expansion of its product portfolio in Bangalore market with the launch of ever famous Vegit Pav Bhaji for the Retail HORECA (Hotel, Restaurant & Catering) segment. Priced at Rs. 60 for Retail, Vegit will now be available with a range of 9 new snacks mixes along with its flagship product ‘Aloo Mash’ (Potato Flakes), thereby strengthening its presence in Indian market. 

Keeping in line with the tradition of offering tasty, nutritive food that offers immense convenience, Vegit Pav Bhaji mix offers 100% classic Indian flavor and its preparation involves only 10% of time and effort on cooking, without missing the taste of traditional pav bhaji. Vegit Pav Bhaji mix comes in an innovative refreshed, clutter free packaging, which brings convenience into your kitchen.

Vegit products are healthy and contain the much essential vitamins and nutrients. The USP of these products “Hamara Mix, Aapka Twist” being that they can be prepared as it is or with a “Twist” as the consumer is free to experiment and modify the dish as per their taste buds.

Vegit has a wide array of products starting from the flagship products Aloo Mash (Potato Flakes) to 9 mouthwatering instant Indian snacks viz Pav Bhaji, Burger Patty, Aloo Tikki, Aloo Bonda, Soya Rolls, Cheese Balls, Hara Bhara Kebabs, Shammi Kebabas and  Veg cutlets.

Vegit is the agro division of Merino Group, spread equally between making of Potato Flakes and sumptuous Snacks Mixes and is committed to providing an international standard products that has been domestically produced. The integration of complete agri operations from tissue culture to food processing has assured the consistent supply of best quality products and has established a sustainable market for itself both with the domestic and international buyers.
Vegit offers a range of snacks mixes which are all simple, fast, neat and ready to make and also exports the products and reaches out to the retail sector and also the industrial catering units, restaurants and hotels. For more information visit Vegit at www.vegit-merino.com and www.merinoindia.com