Advertisements

Category Archives: Beverages/Drinks

Summer Fun with Kopparberg Cider Cocktails – Recipes for Swedish Mule and Sgt. Pepper

Yup, I know I wrote summer. Though ‘autumn’ is in officially, we all know that summer has not truly left us yet letting us enjoy all the backyard barbeques, beaches, short dresses and thongs just a little while longer this year.

Apart from doing all this, I got to enjoy my summer a bit more. An exciting project with Social Soup and Kopparberg Cider where I got to don the role of ‘Summer Ambassador’ along with a bunch of other totally cool and fun loving people.

Now I am a big cider fan; I love it for its refreshing and fruity flavours. So naturally I was pretty excited when Social Soup got in touch with their latest project – an Instagram based Kopparberg campaign for the release of its two new flavours in Australia.

Kopparberg Elderflower & Lime Cider and Kopparberg Strawberry & LIme Cider - launched in Australia - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Let’s talk a bit about Kopparberg and what makes me so excited about these two new flavours.

Kopparberg is a premium Swedish cider that takes its name from the beautiful town Kopparberg in Sweden where it is brewed. What makes this cider extraordinary in flavour is the soft water used along with the fermentation of the fruit. This soft water is exclusive to the region of Kopparberg and has a unique mineral content which draws out the natural flavour of the fruit.

Apart from the traditional apple and pear cider (considered to be the best selling in the world), Kopparberg has now launched some interesting flavours like Mixed Fruit, Strawberry and Lime, Naked Apple, Elderflower and Lime etc….

Grilled Scallops with Garlic Butter and Chillies served with Kopparberg Elderflower & Lime Cider - thespiceadventuress.com

And I am going to talk about Elderflower & Lime and Strawberry & Lime today….

Elderflower and Lime – just wow! Amazing is the word guys; it had the most beautiful sweet flavour of elderflower coming through with just that hint of lime for that citrus burst. As much as I love my pear cider, I have totally fallen head over heels with this one. A clear winner and a must try!

With Strawberry and Lime, I had my reservations. But it turned out to be much better than I expected. Usually I find berry flavoured ciders and pre-mixed drinks too sweet and tangy. But this one, inspite of its berrylicious flavour, was more balanced.

But it’s the Elderflower and Lime that is the clear winner for me!

Kopparberg also shared with us a bunch of cocktail recipes using their latest flavours – simple and interesting drinks that can be made in a jiffy for your cocktail Fridays or for those backyard parties. In fact, it makes a great excuse to invite some friends over, pour out some cocktails, make some great food and chill out.

 

So with the long weekend upon us, I decided to share two of my favourite cocktails recipes using both the flavours.

Sgt. Pepper

The traditional Sgt. Pepper (a cocktail steeped in history) gets a cider twist!

A peppery kick to the sweet tangy freshness of the Strawberry & Lime completed with the undertones of vanilla. Finish off with crushed pink peppercorns for that extra spice kick!

Sgt. Pepper, a Kopparberg cocktail - A peppery kick to the sweet tangy freshness of the Strawberry & Lime completed with the undertones of vanilla - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

Sgt. Pepper, a Kopparberg cocktail - A peppery kick to the sweet tangy freshness of the Strawberry & Lime completed with the undertones of vanilla - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

  1. 200ml Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime
  2. 5 cucumber rings
  3. 2 tsp vanilla sugar
  4. 30ml freshly squeezed lime juice
  5. 5 crushed black peppercorns
  6. 3 crushed pink peppercorns (optional), for garnish
  7. 2 cucumber rings, for garnish
  8. 1 lime wheel, for garnish

Method:

  1. Add the vanilla sugar, black pepper and lime juice to a tall glass.
  2. Stir till the sugar has dissolved and then add the cucumber rings.
  3. Add the ice cubes and top with Kopparberg Strawberry & Lime cider.
  4. Sprinkle with crushed pink peppercorns and garnish with cucumber rings and lime wheel.
  5. Enjoy!

Sgt. Pepper, a Kopparberg cocktail - A peppery kick to the sweet tangy freshness of the Strawberry & Lime completed with the undertones of vanilla - thespiceadventuress.com

 

Swedish Mule

‘Move over Moscow Mule, the Swedish Mule is here to stay!’

With the freshness and slightly spicy undertones from the ginger, zingy bursts of passionfruit and the sweet refreshing vibrancy of the elderflower and lime, the Swedish Mule is an awesome cocktail and one to be included in your repertoire.

Kopparberg Elderflower & Lime Cider - a premium cider from Sweden - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

 

Swedish Mule, a Kopparberg Elderflower & Lime Cocktail - Freshness and slightly spicy undertones from the ginger, zingy bursts of passionfruit and the sweet refreshing vibrancy of the elderflower and lime - thespiceadventuress.com

Swedish Mule, a Kopparberg Elderflower & Lime Cocktail - Freshness and slightly spicy undertones from the ginger, zingy bursts of passionfruit and the sweet refreshing vibrancy of the elderflower and lime - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

  1. 200ml Kopparberg Elderflower & Lime
  2. 2 inch ginger; finely chopped
  3. 1 large passion fruit
  4. 2 lime wheels, for garnish

Method:

  1. Peel the ginger skin and add the finely chopped pieces to a tall glass. Muddle it lightly to release more spice and flavour.
  2. Scoop out the contents of half of a passion fruit into the glass and mix with the ginger.
  3. Add ice cubes to the glass and fill with the Kopparberg Elderflower & Lime cider.
  4. Garnish with the remaining one half of the passion fruit and lime wheels.

And as always…..drink responsibly!

Swedish Mule, a Kopparberg Elderflower & Lime Cocktail - Freshness and slightly spicy undertones from the ginger, zingy bursts of passionfruit and the sweet refreshing vibrancy of the elderflower and lime - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored post but Kopparberg and Social Soup provided me with the cider packs.

Advertisements

Chambord Margarita

Christmas is almost here, isn’t it?

Well, technically there is more than a month but anyone who hosts a Christmas dinner or party would know the pressure and the need to prepare ahead of time. I have not yet decided if it is going to be a Christmas party or a New Year’s one that we are doing. We tend to alternate it every year as our anniversary also falls during the New Year’s time.

Now I have already started to look for recipes, inspirations and ideas for the party. And the first one I wanted to get sorted was a party cocktail. Believe my luck when I received a bottle of Chambord as part of a work assignment.

chambord

For those who aren’t too familiar, Chambord is a black raspberry liqueur that is crafted in a French château in the province of Chambord. The liqueur is a delicious combination of the freshest blackberries and raspberries which are first soaked in French spirits to get an infusion and is then masterfully blended with cognac, vanilla, herbs and other extracts.

I have been wanting to try out this liqueur which comes in a beautiful deep reddish black bottle ever since I first laid eyes on it. But it is slightly on the pricey side and so was reserving the purchase for a celebration time. But as luck would have it, I got this bottle which I am currently carrying around like a baby.

Ok to get back to the recipe, I wanted to make a simple, tried and tested cocktail using Chambord which is also perfect for the warm, summery Christmas that we have down in Australia.

And a margarita seemed to tick all the right boxes. It didn’t need many ingredients, is simple to prepare and can be made in large batches relatively easy during a party. Winner!

3

1

2

The Chambord Margarita is light and refreshing; sweet, fruity and citrusy but above all, the prettiest cocktail I have made in a long time. A beautiful blush of pink that tastes as delicious as it looks!

And I admit I got carried away clicking this beauty.

4

5

7

Recipe Courtesy – Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:

Sugar syrup:

  1. 1 cup sugar
  2. 1 cup water

Lime salt:

  1. Zest of 1 lime
  2. 2 tbsp sugar
  3. 2 tbsp salt

For the cocktail (makes 2 glasses)

  1. 6 oz silver tequila
  2. 3 oz fresh lime juice
  3. 2 oz sugar syrup
  4. 1 oz Chambord

Method:

To prepare the sugar syrup:

  • Heat the sugar and water in a pan on low heat till completely melted. Cool before use.
  • Can be stored for up to 2 weeks inside a refrigerator.

To prepare the lime salt:

  • Process the lime zest, salt and sugar in a food processor or blender to evenly mix. Store in an airtight container.

Now comes the Margarita: (For 2 glasses)

  • Rub a lime wedge over the rim of the margarita glass and dip in the lime salt.
  • In a cocktail shaker, add ice cubes followed by 6 oz silver tequila, 3 oz lime juice, 2 oz sugar syrup and 1 oz Chambord.
  • Shake shake shake….shake baby shake!
  • Strain the margarita into the glasses and serve chilled.
  • Drink Responsibly.

 

6

8

Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored post, but I did receive the Chambord for free. 

 

 

 

No Udder Dairy Free Yoghurt + Recipes for Green Smoothie and Coconut Yoghurt Zucchini Dip

Important: Please read this before you proceed. 

No Udder and NuLac Foods has bought to my notice that the coconut yoghurt has been recalled due to a cross-contamination issue. Those of you who are allergic to dairy products or vegan or do not include dairy products in your diet for any personal/medical reasons, kindly return  the products to your nearest supermarket for a full refund.

For anyone else, this product is not dangerous in any manner and poses a risk to only those mentioned above. The company assures me that the product will henceforth be released only after revised and strictly enforced quality checks. Please get in touch with the company if you need further clarification on this.

Here is the statement from the company;

‘A statement from the owners, John Gommans and Penny Gandar.

We are taking note of all your comments and we fully appreciate all your concerns.

Our first priority in the recall was to protect those at health risk from the dairy contamination. We have followed the Health Department guidelines in this recall. As well as following these proscribed procedures we also wish to convey that we are personally devastated that this need for a recall has occurred. We are acutely aware of the needs of our allergen free, dairy free and vegan customers and to provide a product people could trust.

We do also process dairy products, our procedures and staff training have always been committed to preventing contamination. Our staff are dedicated and care very much about the quality of our products. We have only sought and used ingredients certified to be allergen and dairy free and are shocked to find that a contamination has recently occurred. We are re-testing and investigating all aspects of the ingredients and manufacture but until this is completed we are unable to give a definitive reason for what has happened. We deeply regret what has occurred and that we have lost the trust of our dairy free and vegan customers.

We are truly sorry.’

 

My love for smoothies has become legendary on my Facebook page.

It all began when I started sharing pictures of my daily morning smoothie with my readers. And soon, there were so many people writing to me asking for more recipes, tips, blender brands, dairy-free options etc…. While I could answer most of the queries, I really did not have much information when it came to dairy-free or vegan friendly options.

So, I was quite thrilled when NuLac Foods wanted to partner with me to develop some recipes for their new range, No Udder Dairy Free Yoghurts. Just what my readers were asking me…..

NuLac Foods is an Australian company that develops both dairy and dairy-free products. All NuLac products are prepared from the highest quality ingredients which are sourced from their own and other farms across Australia. And above all, the products are free of preservatives, colours, additives or flavours – natural and pure. Love their philosophy of being a local business using local ingredients which always reflects on quality.

NuLac has several different brands and two of their highly popular ones are ‘No Udder’ and ‘Alpine’. And it’s No Udder that I will be speaking about today as it is the dairy free and vegan friendly one. The range includes No Udder Almond Yoghurt, Coconut Yoghurt and Coconut Probiotic Drink.

Available at most supermarkets and independent stores in Australia.

No Udder Almond Yoghurt Green Smoothie:

The dairy free almond yoghurt is a great substitute for milk in your daily smoothies. It is not only a good source of calcium but very low in saturated fats and contains a good amount of dietary fibre.

1

I admit I was a little skeptical about how it would taste but I actually liked it very much. It was sweet and creamy with that hint of almond flavour; but somehow it also reminded me of this coconut milk pudding.

And since we are on the topic of good health and nourishment, I decided to use the No Udder almond yoghurt as the base for my green smoothie. There is a good amount of pre- and probiotics in this one and at the same time, it is super delish too.

2

Ingredients:

Makes 3 glasses

1. 1 ripe avocado
2. 1 ripe green pear
3. ½ ripe red apple
4. ½ banana
5. 2 cup greens (I used chard, use any you wish to)
6. ½ cup parsley
7. 1 tbsp chia seeds
8. 200 ml No Udder almond yoghurt
9. Water/ice
10. ¼ tsp cinnamon powder

Method:

Blend all the ingredients with enough water or ice until smooth.

Note:

• The beauty of this recipe is that it is a basic guideline to making your favourite green smoothie. As mentioned, use any kind of greens you wish to.
• Rotate between chia, flax or hemp seeds and add nuts if you wish to.
• Use coconut yoghurt instead of almond for a sweeter and creamier smoothie.
• You can use regular milk or yoghurt too.

3

OCT (1)

No Udder Coconut Yoghurt Zucchini Dip

With live probiotic cultures, the No Udder Coconut Yoghurt is an extremely healthy option and one that is dairy-free, vegan and vegetarian friendly. It is sweet and creamy, perfect for smoothies, desserts or as a snack but I am thinking savoury.

1

Yoghurt dips are a common feature of most meals in Meditteranean, Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. In India, it is often referred to as ‘raita’ in Hindi. And there are hundreds of raita varieties that exist depending on the cuisine of each region.
Today’s recipe is a savoury yoghurt dip, adapted from a common preparation of Kerala known as pachadi.

The coconut yoghurt is sweet and deliciously creamy which makes it the perfect base for finely chopped zucchini sautéed with shallots and a hint of spices. This is a delicious yoghurt dip that makes the perfect accompaniment to flatbreads for your mezze platter or to accompany your favourite lamb curry or to pair with that delicious pilaf/pulao.

2

Ingredients:

1. 1 medium zucchini; finely chopped
2. 400ml No Udder coconut yoghurt
3. 2 shallots; finely chopped
4. 1 tbsp crushed cashewnuts (optional)
5. 1 tbsp vegetable oil
6. ½ tsp mustard seeds
7. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
8. ½ tsp red chilli powder
9. 2 sprigs coriander leaves; finely chopped
10. Salt, to season

Method:

• Whisk the coconut yoghurt till smooth and without any lumps.
• Heat oil in a pan and crackle mustard seeds.
• Then add the shallots and zucchini; sauté for about 2 minutes on medium to high heat stirring constantly.
• Next lower the heat and add the turmeric and chilli powder. Mix and also add the crushed cashews.
• Sauté for another few seconds, remove from heat and mix through half of the coriander leaves.
• Allow to cool.
• Once cooled, add most of the mixture to the beaten yoghurt and season with salt. Mix well to combine.
• Garnish with the remaining mixture and coriander leaves. Refrigerate till serving time.

Note:

• Again, a very flexible recipe; substitute zucchini with baby aubergines, squash, beets or just nuts.
• Use cow’s milk yoghurt if you wish to.

4

3

Disclaimer – This post was brought to you in partnership with NuLac Foods but the recipes and opinions expressed remain my own.

Lychee and Cardamom Bellini

2015 has been an absolutely rocking year for me so far. There have been so many unique experiences to add to my book of memories. And today I am going to share one such experience with all of you.

Earlier this year, I got the opportunity to attend a ‘Spice and Wine’ Masterclass held as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Chef Adam D’Sylva of Tonka and Shashi Singh of Avani Wines took us through a learning process on how to pair and match wines with Indian spices and flavours.

11

All of us who attended the event were encouraged to participate in the #socialfeeds cookbook competition hosted by Bank of Melbourne who was the official sponsor of the festival. I can’t seem to turn down any challenge these days and to cut a long story short, one of my recipes was chosen as a winner in the contest. And that meant, my winning dish gets to be featured in an e-cookbook curated by none other than Chef Benjamin Cooper of Chin Chin. The book is a first of its kind featuring recipes from home cooks across Victoria and is a beautiful showcase of how important food is to Australia and drawing inspiration from the multicultural vibe of this country.

(My winning dish was Fish Mappas – a traditional seafood preparation from the backwaters of Kerala, India which I am sure many of you have already seen on the blog. If you would like to download this ebook, just visit here. It’s free!)

Apart from this, there was another special prize….a copy of ‘Chin Chin – the Book’ by Benjamin Cooper. A collection of amazing recipes from Chin Chin, with a lot of detailed information on basic Thai cooking like making curry pastes and broths from scratch.

chin chin

This cookbook is going to be a much treasured one, not just for the beautiful memories now associated with it but also because I finally get to learn how to make these curry pastes from scratch, a long cherished culinary activity I have wanted to indulge in.

But today we are not having a Thai curry although the weather is just perfect for it. The cocktails included in this book were rather fascinating and so today, we are making a simple Bellini with Asian flavours.
Cocktail lovers would know this one for sure; for all others, Bellini is an Italian cocktail traditionally made using peach nectar and Prosecco sparkling wine.

But instead of using peach, today we have a Lychee and Cardamom Bellini. As far as cocktails go, I fall in the ‘rarely make and often drink’ category. So this Bellini was exciting as it was a very simple recipe with easy to find ingredients and hardly require any bar accessory as such. A simple blender would do the job!

1

A very refreshing drink and one more suited for the summery months; but I don’t mind drinking this all year through. The sparkling freshness of the Prosecco, tangy sweetness from the lychee sugar syrup and just that hint of spice from the cardamom….this Lychee and Cardamom Bellini is just gorgeous.

Even though my photographs don’t do any justice to the actual drink, I strongly urge you to give it a go if you are a wine drinker.

2

Ingredients:

(To make 1 drink)

1. 30ml lychee and cardamom syrup
2. 90ml Prosecco
3. Lemon slice/twist, finely cut; to garnish
4. Lychee, to garnish

For the syrup:

(Makes enough syrup for 10-12 drinks)

5. 250gm white sugar
6. 5 cardamom pods
7. 1 can lychees

Method:

To make the syrup:

1. Heat 250ml warm water and 250gm sugar in a pan. As it starts to boil, crush the cardamom pods and add to it. Continue to heat till the syrup turns aromatic and turns a shade or two darker (should take approximately 15-20 minutes). Remove and allow to cool.
2. Blend one can of lychees along with its syrup till smooth.
3. Combine equal quantities of the sugar syrup with the lychees to get the lychee cardamom syrup.
4. Store in a bottle and refrigerate; use as necessary.

To make the Bellini:

5. In a champagne glass, pour 30ml of the lychee cardamom syrup and then gently top with the Prosecco.
6. Garnish with a lychee and lemon twist.

3

d

Banana Coffee Smoothie

My first post for 2015 has to be about coffee – my poison!

2

I had been a ‘milk drinking’ gal for the longest time. But while doing my Master’s, I realized that my humble glass of milk could not keep me awake during the long, intense (and sometimes, boring) lectures on genetics, virology, immunology etc….

My classmates recommended the strong, dark potion called coffee sold at our in-house café, and that’s how the addiction started. This particular brew was full on – high on sugar, high on caffeine and the habit stuck.

Today, I simply cannot function without my cuppa coffee. For a brief period, my caffeine levels were dangerously unhealthy but luckily, common sense and will power prevailed. I have cut down my coffee intake to 1-2 cups a day now. But I still need it high on sugar, high on caffeine. And whenever I order my cappuccino at a café and say 3 sugars please, I still get the ‘3 sugar-really-look’?

When I first saw this smoothie on Nigella Lawson’s (well, who doesn’t know the domestic goddess) channel, it was love at first sight. Coffee with banana…..what a delicious way to hide my caffeine beneath a lot of nutritional goodness!

3

The banana coffee smoothie is the simplest one to make. I always store peeled bananas in my freezer; it comes so handy to whip up a smoothie and you don’t need to hunt for ice too. The smaller varieties of banana work best as these are sweeter and you don’t need to add any extra sugar; and if you must add honey to sweeten the smoothie.

While in India, I was a Nescafe girl but here in Melbourne, Moccona is my go-to instant coffee powder. It’s rich, dark and delicious…..and makes me the perfect cappuccino.

So if you are a coffee lover like me, then this smoothie is a must try…a great pick-me-up for those rushed mornings when you need more than a caffeine kick. And if you don’t like coffee, you can still make this smoothie; just replace the coffee with chocolate – as my son has it!

5

Ingredients:

1. 2 small bananas; fresh or frozen
2. 1 cup milk
3. ½ tsp Moccona medium roast coffee (adjust measurements to taste)
4. ½ tsp honey
5. Ice cubes, optional

Method:

1. Blend all the ingredients together into a smoothie consistency.
2. Enjoy your caffeine kick!

4

Tomorange

Autumn has set in and winter will soon be here. But since the rest of the world is welcoming spring and summer, I decided to post this healthy thirst quencher today.

Tomorange = Tomato + Orange. Simple!

Not a combination that you thought of? Surprisingly, these two go very well together and it is a beautiful experience to taste both these fruits (yes, tomato is a fruit) at the same time.

We are generally fruit lovers at home. And I always advocate eating whole fruits whenever possible as these provide you with wholesome nutrition. But juicing is a great way to include fruits or veggies in your diet that you do not otherwise enjoy. My hubby is not very fond of tomatoes (how can someone dislike tomatoes?). Well, he does and I found this a perfect solution to feed him some.

When you first take a sip of this juice, you experience the fresh citrusy taste from the oranges which slowly paves way for the sweet savoury tanginess of the tomatoes. Loaded with nutrients, this drink is not just refreshing but extremely hydrating and a great immunity shot. And what a pretty colour combination!

Recipe Courtesy – Natalie Savona

Tomorange - thespiceadventuress.com

Ingredients:

1. Ripe red tomatoes – 4
2. Oranges – 2

Note – No added sugar is necessary for this drink.

Method:

• Blend the tomatoes till smooth. Strain into a bowl.
• Squeeze orange juice in another bowl.
• Add orange juice to the tomato juice little at a time. Keep tasting so that you get the balance right.
• Garnish with grated orange zest and serve chilled.

Mango Lassi ‘Popsicles’ – Guest Post from Feeding the Sonis

Time flies by with reckless abandon – it is already April and time for the next guest post on my blog.

My guest blogger for this month is no stranger. Most of you would be familiar with Sanjana of Feeding the sonis especially after the recent guest post that I was invited to do for her blog. Yet another good friend that I have found in my new home country. Our shared passion for food was just the tip of the iceberg. As we got to know each other better, we realized that we are quite similar personalities; I can feel a lifetime friendship budding here….

Coming to today’s post, the word ‘popsicles’ leaped out at me when Sanju sent me this post. What a brilliant idea! Most of us love mango lassi and the thought of this sweet, rich, creamy lassi as a frozen popsicle excites me beyond measure. I am sure this one is going to be a big hit with Adi. And I know what to make for dessert the next time I have guests over. Thanks Sanju…..

image (10)

Without much further ado, handing over to Sanjana for her recipe.

‘I would like to share with you my beverage recipe for a mango lassi (mango yoghurt drink) which is quick and easy to make. All you need is a blender and you’re good to go. I often make a little extra so I can freeze it and what do you get? A mango lassi frozen pop of course! A two in one recipe…a combo deal. Now that’s what I call killing two birds with one stone…not literally of course! My daughter absolutely loves this. Hope you enjoy this as much as we do.’

image (7)

Ingredients:

Serves 4

1. ½ cup mango – sliced (fresh or canned if not in season)
2. 1 cup yoghurt
3. ¼ cup chilled milk
4. ¼ cup chilled water or ice cubes (optional – use water only if a thinner lassi is preferred)
5. ¼ tsp green cardamom powder
6. 4-5 strands of saffron

Method:

• Grind and powder saffron strands and add to the milk to infuse flavour and colour.
• Peel and slice mango. Add the mango slices into the blender and puree it first.
• Then add yoghurt, milk with the saffron, cardamom powder and blend till smooth. Add a little water if a thinner lassi is desired.
• Pour into a fancy glass, garnish with a pinch of cardamom powder and enjoy. This beverage is best served chilled.
• Pour into popsicle containers and freeze for awesome mango lassi popsicles.
• Enjoy.

Picture1

image (8)

image (9)

Punjab de Beer!

Before you start getting ideas, this is the modern Anglicized name for the humble chaas…..

001

Chaas is a traditional refreshing buttermilk drink served at all restos or dhabas serving North Indian cuisine but is more popular in Punjab, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

I had my first glass of chaas at the ‘much famed’ Gyan Vaishnav Dhaba in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. It was served in tall dark beer bottles and hence the name. This rustic, refreshing, chilled drink that the serving boy recommended (I asked for Pepsi!) went amazingly well with hot buttered tandoori rotis, paneer butter masala and roasted pappads. It was love at first taste…..so much so that I had this same meal combo every Thursday for 2 years of my college life (why Thursdays? Because we had the worst dinner in our mess on that day – oily soggy baturas and bland chole).

002

Though it is lassi (sweet buttermilk preparation) that gained global recognition, for me it will always be chaas. Though I love the South Indian equivalent of this drink (that’s a whole different post), my first preference will always be chaas.

Basically, chaas is a refreshing buttermilk drink which is subtly spiced with chat masala, cumin, black salt and asafetida. The chat masala and black salt is what gives this drink its unique flavour. It is extremely simple to prepare and is one of the healthiest and cooling drinks to combat the summer heat.

Recipe Courtesy – Tarla Dalal

003

Ingredients:

1. Fresh plain curd/yoghurt – 2 cups
2. Cumin seeds/jeera powder – ½ tsp
3. Ginger paste – 1/4th tsp
4. Green chilli paste – 1/4th tsp
5. Black salt – ½ tsp
6. Salt – to season
7. Vegetable oil – 1 tsp
8. Cumin seeds/jeera – ¼ tsp
9. Asafetida/hing – a pinch
10. Water – 2-3 cups (depends on thickness of curd)
11. Coriander leaves – for garnish

Method:

• Blend curd, cumin seed powder, ginger paste, green chilli paste and black salt along with water.
• Temper cumin seeds in hot oil. Remove from flame and add a pinch of asafoetida.
• Add this to the buttermilk, mix well and season with salt.
• Serve chilled with finely chopped coriander leaves as garnish.

005

004

Lemon Mint Cooler……….beating the Oz heat!

 

(Updated with new photographs)

Anyone who complains of ‘the Indian summer’ has never been to Australia! The temperatures soared to a 46°C this year and I thought I was going to melt away to nothingness. The heat is so dry and brutal and literally burns your skin and insides too.

Being my first summer here, I must say I was not adequately prepared or I would have stocked up on more refreshing drinks. But I did make a few, mostly classic summer drinks, and all which are common in India.

And the first one of these was the lime mint cooler. A summer drink which features on every restaurant menu in India. I love this drink because it’s cool and refreshing and I also love mint. A very simple drink to prepare – like the name, all that you need is lemon and mint.

Lemon mint cooler - a refreshing summer drink - thespiceadventuress.com

 

In this recipe though, I have used a mix of both fresh lemons and a lemon cordial – the job’s much easier when you want to make large quantities. Get the freshest bunch of mint that you can find in the shop; it makes all the difference to the taste.

Lemon Mint Cooler – my fave summer classic!

Lemon mint cooler - a refreshing summer drink - thespiceadventuress.com

Lemon mint cooler - a refreshing summer drink - thespiceadventuress.com

 

 

Ingredients:

(Makes 1 litre)

  1. 2 cups Bickford’s Lime Juice Cordial
  2. ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  3. 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  4. ½ cup brown sugar
  5. Ice cubes
  6. Chilled water
  7. Lemon slices, for garnish
  8. Mint leaves, for garnish

Note – The measurements are only approximations and you need to keep tasting as you go as the tanginess of the lemons and size of the mint leaves, all make a difference.

Method:

  • Blend the cordial, lemon juice, mint leaves and sugar.
  • Pour into a large jar and add chilled water to make up the volume to 1 litre. Taste and add more lemon juice/sugar/mint as required.
  • Pour into a tall glass over ice cubes and garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs.
  • Enjoy!

 

 

Lemon mint cooler - a refreshing summer drink - thespiceadventuress.com

How are you beating the heat this summer?

Apple Tropics

Like I have mentioned before, I hardly own any cookbooks. I always tend to note down recipes in my little black diary from books, Internet, blogs, television etc…. After moving to Melbourne, I enjoy the free library service offered here, viciously attacking the cookbook section (I am sure I will not be able to go through each of these in this lifetime).

The only cookbook I actually own is one gifted by my husband – a random act of love that sweeps me off my feet every time I lay eyes on the book. Nothing rare or unique, the book is titled ‘101 Fantastic Juices and Smoothies’ by Natalie Savona – a collection of fresh fruit juices and smoothies with information on nutrients contained in each drink.

The book is a health freak’s delight! I am no health freak but I am a juice freak and I love the innumerable combinations detailed in this one. Though the book has been in my possession for over 5 odd years, I have actually not tried anything before. But recently, happened to bring it out from my storage with a vow to make each of the 101 drinks outlined in the book.

So the first one in the list is Apple Tropics – a tangy, tropical delight perfect to beat the scorching heat.

apple

 

1

This drink is an energy booster and great for immunity and digestion. Contains a myriad of nutrients like vitamin C, beta-carotene, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, folic acid, sulphur and potassium.

Ingredients:

1. Ripe, red apples – 3, washed and cubed
2. Ripe pineapple – ½, cubed
3. Passion fruit – 1/2

Method:

• Blend the apples and pineapple well. Do not pass through a strainer to retain the fiber content.
• Scoop out passion fruit flesh into the drink and stir before serving.

Note – No extra sugar is needed and if you prefer it sweeter, add honey which is a healthier option.

2

 

Do you prepare fruit juices and smoothies at home? What are your favourite combinations?

%d bloggers like this: