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

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Undhiyo a fabulous Winter food !


I Wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New year !
Whenever I go to Rajasthani restaurants and eat Undhiyo I wanted to replicate it at home and after much research came up with a successful one!
Followed a little of Tarla Dalal and a little from Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe !

Ingredients   

• Potatoes,2 inch cubes 2 medium

• Purple Yam (kand),2 inch cubes 400 grams

• Papdi dana 1 cup

• Surti papdi , split 1 cup

• Brinjals , split with steam  6-8 small

• Raw bananas, 2 inch pieces  1

 For the Masala Paste

• Fresh green garlic, finely chopped  1/2 cup

• Fresh coriander leaves, chopped  1 cup

• Coconut, scraped  1 cup

• Green chilli paste  2 tablespoons

• Sugar  2 tablespoons

• Lemon juice  1 tablespoon

• Ginger paste  1 tablespoon

• Salt  to taste

• Oil  to deep fry

• Carom seeds (ajwain)  1 teaspoon

2 pinch of soda bicarbonate

For Muthiya  

• Whole wheat flour (atta) 1 cup

• Gram flour (besan) 1/4 cup

• Fenugreek leaves (methi),finely chopped 1/2 cup

• Turmeric powder  1/4 teaspoon

• Red chilli powder  1 teaspoon

• Salt  to taste

• Sugar  1 teaspoon


Preparation

To make muthiyas, mix all the ingredients and three tablespoons of oil into a stiff dough. Divide into small portions and shape each into one-inch long half-inch thick rolls. Heat sufficient oil in a kadhai and deep-fry the muthiyas on medium heat till cooked through and light golden. Drain and place on an absorbent paper and set aside.
Surti papdi is a variety of broad beans. Papdi Dana are shelled beans from the same surti papdi.

Mixed together all the vegetables with a little salt and pinch of soda bi carbonate and set aside.  Grind half the grated coconut,  green chilli paste, coriander, for the marination.  Add half the coconut mixture to the Surti papad and papdi dana and mix.  Add the remaining coconut mixture to the other vegetables. 
For the stuffing mix together green garlic, coriander leaves, coconut, green chilli paste, a pinch of sugar, lemon juice, ginger paste and salt in a bowl. Stuff some of this stuffing mixture into the slits of brinjals and raw banana pieces. Heat two tablespoons of the oil left after deep frying. Add carom seeds and saute. Add papdi dana and surti papdi and stir. Add half a cup of water and salt, cover and cook for two to three minutes. Open the lid and sprinkle a little of the stuffing mixture. Place the brinjals in a layer over this. Sprinkle a little of the stuffing mixture over this too. Place the raw banana pieces in a layer and once again sprinkle some of the stuffing mixture. Over this place a layer of the fried potatoes and purple yam and sprinkle the remaining stuffing mixture. Drizzle two to three tablespoons of oil all around and over the top. Toss lightly. Cover and cook on very low heat for ten minutes. Open the lid and place the muthiyas, cover once again and cook on very low heat for about half an hour or till all the vegetables are completely done and soft. Serve hot with puris or rotis !

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And the winner is ....

Firstly, thanks to all the participants for their lovely wishes and comments. I was away from my blog as my kids had exams... Hoping to post something this week :)

My Kids have selected 2 winners randomly ! They are Preety and Sharanya. Congratulations to you !

My Hearty Thanks to all of you and Cuponation for making the event a success!

Advance Ugadi wishes to all !

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Gujiya and a Giveaway on my 6th blog Anniversary


Neivedyam is going to turn 6 in March and what else can be a better way to celebrate than a lovely giveaway to all my readers. First get a virtual taste of this delicacy Gijiya and later we can talk on the giveaway:)

Ingredients

For Outer Covering:

2 cups refined flour (Maida)
3 tablespoons oil + to deep-fry

For Filling

2 1/2 cups khoya/mawa, grated and roasted
3 1/4 teaspoons desiccated coconut
15 cashew nuts, chopped
15 almonds, balanced and chopped
20 raisins
A pinch of nutmeg powder
1/4 teaspoon green cardamom powder
10-12 saffron strands
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup grated choclate (optional)

Preparation

For preparing the covering, sift refined flour and rub in three tablespoons of ghee or oil.  Add cold water and knead into a stiff dough.  Cover it with a damp cloth and set aside.  Add powdered sugar and khoya in a pan. Heat it on low flame and mix the sugar and khoya well. Other way is to buy sweet Khoya and skip adding sugar. Add desiccated coconut, cashew nuts, almonds, raisins, nutmeg powder, saffron strands, sunflower seeds and green cardamom powder to khoya and mix well.  Add grated chocolate and mix properly. Remove from heat and let it cool.

With oiled hands divide dough into small balls.  Roll out dough balls into small puris(flat roundels).  Place the stuffing on one half of the puri.  lightly dampen edges and fold the other half over the stuffing and press edges firmly. I did the sealing with my hands. You can do it with fork too.  Keep gujiyas covered with a damp cloth.  Similarly use up all the dough and stuffing. You can do it with a mould too or roll out puris, cut with a katori(metal bowl of four-five inch diameter) to get a proper round shape. Heat sufficient oil in a kadai(wok) and deep-fry gujiyas on medium heat till golden brown.  Drain and place on an absorbent paper.  Let them cool slightly before serving, as the stuffing inside may be very hot.

This recipe is adapted from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

Now lets get into the details of the Giveaway.
Here you have a chance to win 2 gift vouchers one is a flipkart e-gift voucher for Rs 700 for the readers in India and the other is Amazon gift card for 15USD for the viewers of USA.

You can post your comments form 1st March to 31st March. The winner will be declared in the first week of April.





Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yam n flat Beans Subzi


Ingredients

2 cups yam (cleaned, washed and cubed)
1 cup flat beans cut into 2 inch size
1 inch ginger
2-3 tbsp tamarind pulp
1tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp dry coconut powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

for tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp chana dal
2 dry red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
roasted cashewnut for garnish (optional)

Preparation

After cleaning the yam and cutting into cubes add 2 cups water to it. Pressure cook yam and broad beans separately in the cooker for 2 whitles. Do not add water to the broad beans. Once the veggies cool down, drain the extra water from the yam. In a pan add 2 tbsp oil and fry the yam pieces till slightly brown and crisp. Set aside.
In a pan add the tempering ingredients in the given order and let them splutter. To this add finely chopped ginger, the beans and fry for 2 minutes. Add tamarind pulp, dry coconut, coriander powder, tumeric powder and mix well. To this mixture add yam pieces and salt. Mix well and cook for few more minutes.
Garnish with cashewnuts or coriander leaves and serve warm with roti or rice.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sweet Pongal with Brown Rice Poha

Ingredients

2 cups brown rice poha (Flattened rice)
1 cup moong dal
1 cup Jaggery
3-4 tbsp ghee
3 tsp cashewnuts
3 tsp raisins
3 tsp grated fresh coconut
almonds and walnuts to garnish

Preparation

Wash the poha, drain and set aside. Wash moong dal and Pressure cook it adding 3 cups of water for 3 whistles.
Melt the Jaggery in a pan with very little water (1/2 cup ) and strain it to remove the impurities.
In a pan add 1 tsp ghee and fry the nuts and raisins till golden. Set aside.
In a bowl add poha, dal and jaggery and mix well. Heat a heavy bottomed pan with remaining ghee and add the poha mixture. If you like you can add 1/2 cup milk. I did not do that. If you feel the pongal is too dry you can add 1/2 cup of water. Add the dry fruits and  grated coconut. Serve hot.


This recipe can be made very quickly especially during festivals like Sankranti, Vasant panchami etc. and can be offered to God.