Category Archives: Drinks

Green Smoothie with Kale and Peaches

Kale and Peaches smoothie

A semi seasonal combination, Kale and Peach smoothie is truly my go to second breakfast combination these days.

As part of the move, we found our Magic Bullet. I love it for its one container usage – prep/make and drink from same container makes it prefect for on the go food recipes, not to mention one less container to wash. So we have begun making smoothies. They are great way to incorporate greens, veggies and fruits.

A Vitamix would make it even smoother and kid friendly (green leafy bits would be blended real fine) but this works for us for now.If we do find ourselves drinking a lot of smoothies consistently then we will consider an upgrade but so far I am a fan of the magic bullet.

Without ado, here is my ginger spiked green smoothie recipe.

Kale and Peaches smoothie

Green Smoothie with Kale and Peaches Recipe

  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen peach slices coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • 4-5 Kale leaves ( Washed and coarsely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

1. Start layering the coconut milk, frozen fruits, kale and ginger in the magic bullet container. Screw on the blades and give it a whirl till its all blended and smooth.

Divide into 2 small glasses or one tall one.

Serve immediately.

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Last of Summer: Mango Panhaa

Green Mango Cooler Panha

Mango Panhaa is a green mango cooler made by steaming raw green mangoes with cardamom and saffron. It is usually made in bulk and stored as a concentrate in the fridge throughout summer.

Growing up, freshly squeezed juice was a rare treat so mango panhaa, lemonade and rooh-afzaa were our go to thirst quenchers. Packaged juice was not common in our household. Mom always made this every Sunday and we used to drink this whenever we came back home after playing with friends. Whenever we had guests come over unexpectedly in summer, they were offered this to quench their thirst. It is refreshing and cooling.

Very similar to the Bengali Aam pora shorbot, this is made by steaming the mangoes rather than roasting them. It is very fragrant due to liberal use of cardamoms and saffron. You can add sugar to the concentrate or adjust it while serving. Paprika and cumin powder can also be added to enhance the taste though I love the basic cardamom mango goodness.

Mango Panhaa Recipe

  • 3-4 firm raw mangoes
  • 3-4 cups water (to boil mangoes)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 – 15 cardamom pods shelled and seeds crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon rock salt

1. Boil the mangoes in water for 15 -20 minutes till soft. Alternately pressure cook them for 2 whistles. Let cool.

2. Peel the mangoes and remove the pulp. Mash the pulp so there are lumps.

3. Add sugar, water and salt and stir over low heat till well mixed for about 5 – 10 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, and then add cardamom powder and rock salt. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let cool.

Bottle in an airtight container and refrigerate

To serve

1. Mix 1 part panhaa concentrate with 3 parts water. Stir well. Adjust salt and sugar per taste.

Ice Apples Orangeade

Ice Apples Tadgola

Ice apples or tadgola or Munjul are in season! And most people don’t know about it.

This is a very low key Indian fruit which is in season in May and comes from the palm trees. A bit like tender coconut, it is full of minerals and is really refreshing on a hot day. Unfortunately not many people know about it – like the “jaam“, “ber” and “jamun“. Every summer my cousins used to visit me from Nagpur. They would come with baskets of oranges. They would spend summer with us and we all used to go to swimming class in the mornings. After the class, mom used to buy tadgola ( as ice apples are called in Marathi) for all of us. We used to stand under the hot sun waiting for the peeled and cored fruit.  We relished the little squirt of water from the plump fruit and then dig into its meat. Yum! Sometimes we used to all have tender coconut.

Ice apples whole fruit

Street side ice apples seller

Recently, I found a street side vendor who was selling these. We stopped the car and asked him to give us a dozen ice apples. The vendor cored out the plump chunks of ice apples from the whole palm fruit and then gave us a dozen. We ate most as is, but I wondered what else could I use them for? As they are very similar to a lychee in taste, I considered making a martini, or a mousse or a pudding. But then as we had tender coconut and oranges on hand, I made a summer drink out of them. Freshly squeezed oranges, coconut water and chopped up iced apples made a colorful summer special.

Ice apples are available at many places across Mumbai and Hyderabad. They are sold by small street side vendors. In Hyderabad they are usually sold in the morning in little carts covered with leaves. If you love local seasonal fruits then it doesn’t get any better than this. There are many more summer fruits vying for our attention now that we had our fill of mangoes – jamun, jackfruit …yipee!

photo

But back to this orangeade, it was like recreating summer magic in a drink. Cousins, swim lessons, fights, gossip. Give  it a try with fresh or drained canned lychees. I am sure it will be a hit and add tropical flair to your summer days!

Ice Apples Orangeade

Serves 2

  • 3 ice apples chopped ( about 6 – 8 fresh lychees)
  • Juice from 1 orange
  • Water from 1 tender coconut
  • 1 shot orange vodka (optional)

1.  In a shaker, add ice cubes, and all the ingredients. Shake, shake, shake.

2. Pour in two glasses. Chill. Serve cold.

Enjoy!

Home Made Mango Juice

MangoJuice

What do you do with the skins of mangoes and the seeds after enjoying mangoes? Discard it. Don’t you dare! They are perfect for making mango juice. Its anyways what most of tetrapak mango juice makers use with a bit of real pulp to make “real mango juice”. Added sugar, color, preservatives and god alone knows what else to increase shelf life, add color and make it smell like real juice.

It’s just very easy to make homemade juice from left over skin and seeds. I get to control the quality of mangoes , amount of salt and sugar and can spice it up with flavorings of my choice ( paprika, cumin powder or red pepper). The color and the taste are all natural.

I used Alphonso mangoes as they are my personal favorite but any other would work just fine. Just add  more sugar if the mangoes are bit tart. also, use less water if you like your juice to be thicker.

This is perfect to be hydrated on summer afternoons when plain water is just a bit meh.

Homemade Mango Juice Recipe

  • Skins and Seeds of 4 mangoes
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (adjust based on how sweet the mangoes are)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of black pepper  or paprika or cumin powder

1. Turn the skin inside out. Soak the seeds and skins in a bowl of potable water for 10 minutes with sugar and salt. If you are not squeamish, give the seeds and skins a good rub. The juice and even some pulp will be released as you soak.

2. Squeeze off excess water from seeds and skins in a separate bowl. Discard the skins and seeds now. Retain the juice – water.

3. Add the juice from step 2. into bowl from step 1.

4. Add black pepper or cumin powder. Taste and adjust seasonings. Let this cool in the refrigerator.

Serve chilled with ice or as is.

Cinco de Mayo – Watermelon Mint Horchata

Watermelon Mint Horchata

Margarita’s are Mexico’s national cocktail. When you plan a fiesta they are the star’s. Horchata is what you drink the day after to cure the hangover. so in anticipation of partying this weekend for Cinco de Mayo; I am posting a hangover cure.

Besides being a hangover cure it’s also a cooling refreshing drink for hot summer days. Watermelon and mint add to the traditional cinnamon and rice recipe.Plain cinnamon and rice tastes just as good though watermelon and mint add tropical twist to the classic.

Give it a try this weekend – it’s a tasty non alcoholic alternative for your Mexican themed party!

Watermelon Mint Horchata Recipe
Serves 4

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 2 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup watermelon pieces
  • Handful mint leaves

1.Soak  rice, pumpkin seeds and cinnamon stick for 4 -6 hours in 2 cups water.

2.Grind the soaked mix, sugar, watermelon and mint with 2 more cups of water. Strain. Add 1 cup of water. Refrigerate for couple of hours.

3.Serve chilled over ice with some watermelon wedges and mint leaves.

Thandai – A refreshing Milk Drink for Summer

Thandaai

“Mamma lets buy a rickshaw.”

A very specific and a very unique ask from Varun. Ever since our move Varun is fascinated with auto rickshaw’s and scooters – so much so that he insisted that we buy one this past weekend.

I took it lightly and it resulted in a crying fest. The only way I could console him is that we can’t buy one as I didn’t know how to drive one. And also that the stores are closed on the weekend.

Thandaai ingredients

On and on the discussion continued, sometimes appended with a ‘please’ and other times with cries. I was fed up not knowing how to change topics. So we decided to make something together. A thandai came up to my mind – a milk based drink with nuts, seeds and pepper. A touch of saffron adds to its taste and color. It’s usually made in summer and is THE drink for the festival of Maha Shivratri and Holi where it is spiked with Bhaang.

Thandaai being made in grinder

Varun helped me – rather created a mess with poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Then he helped me shell the cardamoms. A whirl in the grinder, the mix was ready. This powder can be stored in any cool place for weeks. Boiled with milk and then chilled for a few hours, this mix elevates plain milk into a creamy nutty drink. Replace with almond or soy milk to make it dairy free. It makes a refreshing snack on a hot summer day which is already making an appearance here.

Thandaai mix

Thandai Recipe

Makes 2 servings

For the Thandai mix

  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds or saunf
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 9 – 10 green cardamom shelled
  • 10 – 12 peppercorns

To Make the drink

  • 2 cups Milk ( Regular, soy or almond)
  • 4 tablespoons Thandai mix
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Few Saffron Strands

For garnish

1. Whirl the ingredients in the  Thandai mix in a coffee grinder or the small masala grinder till nuts are finely chopped and mixed well.

2. Boil milk with sugar, thandai mix and a few saffron strands. Let cool for 4 – 6 hours.

3. In the serving cup, put a dollop of gulkand or a few drops of rose-water. Add the cooled thandai. Garnish with chopped nuts and a pinch of saffron.

Serve immediately.

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