Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Summer Special | Banana Gulkand Milkshake

With the temperature soaring, I have given up on my evening cup of tea. It becomes impossible to enjoy anything hot even in the evening. So my cuppa chai is replaced by milkshakes now. Since bananas are a staple in my fruit basket and since they taste great in milkshakes, i find myself making banana milkshakes oh-so-often. The latest twist to the milkshake is from the addition of gulkand to it and it tastes out of the world.

The milkshake utilizes just two main ingredients other than milk- sliced bananas and gulkand.
banana gulkand milkshake ingredients

I don't add ice cubes to the milkshake. I normally set aside 2-3 glasses of boiled milk in the fridge these days specifically for milk shakes. I don't like the milkshake too thick, so I water it down sometimes too, since the bananas already add a lot of body and thickness to the milkshake.

Gulkand is a welcome addition since it adds a whole new taste to the milkshake and prevents the need to add extra sugar. Gulkand is made from rose petals and sugar and is an ayurvedic remedy to cool down the body during summer. It regulates the body temperature, alleviates constipation and acidity and soothes any kind of inflammation in your digestive tract. What more do you need to cool yourself down this summer?! Onto the recipe now.

Preparation Time - 3 Minutes
Cooking Time - Nil
Serves - 2

Ingredients for Banana Gulkand Milkshake  

1 Banana sliced ( I use the large robusta variety, use 2 if using yelakki) 
1 and 1/2 tsp Gulkand 
1 glass chilled Milk 
1/2 glass water (skip if you like a thick shake)

Method to prepare Banana Gulkand Milkshake 

Simply add the banana and gulkand in a blender with a little bit of milk. Whizz for a minute to make a smooth paste. Add the milk and the water to this and mix well. Serve immediately. You can pair it with you breakfast or like me use it for an energy boost in the evening. 

banana gulkand milkshake

Monday, March 10, 2014

Summer Special | Beetroot Raita

The summer is upon us and for once I am not really craving for anything hot and spicy or fried to eat in the evenings. A few slices of cucumber or a bowl of watermelon gives me way too much more happiness than what a plate of pakoras can give. I know it is only for the time being and when the Mumbai monsoon unleashes its wrath, I will be back to making hot and spicy food items to satiate the food cravings while watching the rain. For now, am making light food items on a daily basis - things that are packed with cooling vegetables, with lots of fiber and water. As I drew up this week's menu, I figured that I might as well start off a series of the summer recipes that I am making these days to keep the body cool meal after meal. Kickstarting the series is a favorite - beet root raita. I normally make it with leftover beet root poriyal. This time, I made it from scratch I added fresh beets mixed with leftover onion-red chili chutney. It so happens that there is always 2-3 spoons of chutney that remains after breakfast, which certainly is not enough for another meal. So I always add leftover chutney into a raita rather than adding ground or grated coconut. It takes ten minutes to make this velvety pink raita and tastes out of the world.
beetroot raita

Preparation Time: 10 Mins
Cooking Time: 10 Mins

Ingredients to make the Beetroot Raita

1 large beetroot or two small ones, finely chopped/ grated
1 red chili
1 cup beaten curd
1/2 onion finely chopped
salt and sugar to taste
fresh coriander leaves for garnish
Grated coconut - i used leftover chutney
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp urad dal
a pinch of hing

Method to make the Beetroot Raita

Wash and clean the beets. Peel them and run them in a food processor with a red chili or finely grate them.

chopped beetroot

In a pan, heat the oil and add mustard and wait until it splutters. Now top with the urad dal, hing and red chili ( if not added into beetroot) and roast for a minute. Add the beets to this and fry well. Sprinkle some water onto this and let it cook. It takes about five minutes tops.

frying beetroot

While this is frying, beat the curd and add the chopped raw onions to it.
curd with onions

Season the curd with some salt and sugar. Add salt to the beetroot as well.
You need to add lots of fresh coriander into this or any raita to add a lot of freshness and flavor into the dish.
fresh coriander

Now if you are using fresh coconut, you could grate it or whizz it in the mixie with the red chilli and add it to the raita. I had my leftover onion chutney which had onion, coconut, tamarind and red chillies.
red chutney
Now all i did was to let the beets cool. I mixed the beets with the curd, added in the chutney to it, adjusted the salt and garnished it with the coriander leaves!

beetroot raita

You can serve the raita with both rice and roti. You could eliminate the onions if you don't like the smell of raw onions , but trust me, that's what adds the extra taste to it! It is simple to make and really cool on the stomach. What's more, in ten minutes, you have an extra dish on the table!