Tag Archives: recipes

8 Indian Summer Drinks & Recipes to Beat the Heat

31 Mar

As the mercury rose in an unprecedented fashion as early as in February this year, I have been busy researching on ways to keep my family in good hydrated condition. Apart from drinking plenty of water, what is of importance in summer, is to have a lot of vegetables/salads, fruits and the right amount of salts/minerals added to fluids. Unfortunately, feeding kids with vegetables and fruits is not exactly a successful mission from my experience and hence I thought of trying various juices, shakes and smoothies this time around.

What is given below is not entirely my inventions but mostly influenced by recipes of summer drinks available on the web. However, since I have been making one different drink per day, I got to experiment a lot with various combinations. The theme is broadly around plenty of citrus juices, seasonal fruits and at times with milk products. My favorite flavors like fresh mint leaves and ginger adding that extra punch.

Before heading on to the recipes, please note that, for the sake of brevity, I am not writing these recipes in professional style. Also, unless specifically mentioned all recipes are to serve two people.

So, here you go.

1. Aloe Vera Lime Juice

Last week, we did a round of pruning of our plants (whatever was left there, that is) in the balcony and got plenty of Aloe Vera rinds. While I was wondering what to do with it, I stumbled upon a recipe on the web which I modified a bit to make this refreshing juice.

aloe vera lime juice - summer drinks images

Ingredients: Aloe Vera gel – 2 tablespoons, Juice of two Limes, Salt – ¼ teaspoon, Sugar – 4 to 5 teaspoons, Water – 1½ cups, Ice cubes – ½ cup

Method of Preparation: Pour Aloe Vera gel, Lime juice, Sugar, Salt and about 50 ml of water into the blender jar and blend well for about 20-30 seconds. Add the remaining water and ice cubes and blend further for about 10 seconds. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Tip: Aloe Vera can be mildly toxic if you do not extract the gel carefully. The yellow part or latex between the skin and the gel contains ‘Aloin’ which shouldn’t be consumed at all. If the gel extract is transparent without any traces of yellow (as shown in the picture below), then it’s very safe to consume it. In either case, do not add more than a tablespoon of aloe vera per glass of juice.

aloe vera gel

2. Double Citrus Juice

double citrous juice - juice drink image

Ingredients: Freshly squeezed orange juice of 2-3 navel oranges, Juice of two limes, Water – 1 cup, Salt – ¼ teaspoon, Sugar – 3 to 4 teaspoons, Ice cubes – 4 to 5

Method of Preparation: Just blend everything together in a shaker or blender and enjoy!

3. Spicy Buttermilk

This is something that we used to make back home in Kerala. I just modified it a bit to suit my current taste (medium spicy and mildly sweetened)

spicy buttermilk - indian spicy buttermilk recipe

Ingredients: Refrigerated curd – 250ml, Water – 150ml, Salt – ½ teaspoon or as per taste, Sugar – ½ teaspoon, Shallots / Sambar onions – 2 to 3, Green Chilli – 1 (small), Ginger – ½ inch, Curry leaves – 7 to 8

Method of Preparation: Blend curd, water, salt and sugar well for about 20 to 30 seconds in a blender / mixer. Coarsely crush pealed shallots, green chilli, ginger and curry leaves in a mortar. Add it to the blender along with the rest and blend for another 3-4 seconds. Refreshing spicy buttermilk is ready!

The color of the buttermilk may vary (light green or mild pink) based on the leading ingredient.

4. Kiwi Smoothie

Kiwi fruits seem to be suddenly cheaper in the Indian markets (due to excess import?). I saw them in the More Supermarket for as low as 14 rupees apiece last week and decided to experiment with the same in multiple ways.

kiwi smoothie recipe

Ingredients: Kiwi fruits – 1 (Pealed and chopped), Chilled milk – 1½ cups, Water – ½ cup, Sugar – 4 to 5 teaspoons, Ice cubes – 5 to 6

Method of Preparation: Blend kiwi fruit pieces, Sugar and water in a mixer or blender for about 30 seconds (or until no small pieces of kiwi fruits are seen). Now, add milk and ice cubes and blend for another 15-20 seconds. Pour into a glass and enjoy the smoothie!

Tip: You can add half a banana, while blending the kiwi, to make it an even richer smoothie with a better flavor. Yes, Kiwi and Banana can go well. In fact, I had made that once but forgot to click a picture

5. Minty Watermelon – Lime Juice

Water melons are indeed the fruit of the season. But did you know that some lime juice and ground mint leaves can turn your humble watermelon juice into an exotic Mocktail?

minty watermelon lime juice recipe

Ingredients: Cut Watermelon pieces with seeds – 5 to 6 cups, Juice of 1 lime, Fresh Mint leaves – 8 to 10, Salt – ¼ teaspoon, Sugar – 3 to 4 teaspoons, Ice cubes – 5 to 6

Method of Preparation: Blend everything together (including the seeds in the watermelon) for about 20 seconds. Pour into a glass and garnish with 2-3 fresh mint leaves and enjoy!

Tip: Try another variant by replacing mint leaves with ¼ green chilli while blending! This has more punch in it.

6. Lime – Ginger Juice

This is one of my all-time favorites and this is what we usually offer to our guests in the summer.

Ginger Lime Juice image

Ingredients: Juice of 2 limes, Extract of 1” ginger piece, Salt – ¼ teaspoon, Sugar – 4 to 6 teaspoons, Ice cubes – 5 to 6, Fresh mint leaves to garnish

Method of Preparation: Blend everything (except mint leaves) together for about 10-15 seconds or until the sugar completely dissolves. Pour into a glass and top with mint leaves. You can try garnishing with crushed mint leaves as well. I usually, chew the leaves after I finish the juice ?

Tip: In order to extract the ginger juice, first crush it in a mortar without any water and squeeze out the juice. Then crush it again with a teaspoon of water to get some more of it squeezed. Filter this extract before adding to the blender.

7. Lazy Lassi

This is our good old Lassi that doesn’t need any introduction.

simple lassi recipe

Ingredients: Curd – 400 ml, Sugar – 5 to 6 teaspoons, Salt – ¼ teaspoon, Edible Rose Water – ½ teaspoon (OR Cardamom powder ¼ teaspoon), Ice cubes – ½ cup

Method of Preparation: Blend everything together for about 20 seconds, pour into tall glasses and enjoy!

Tip: Many Rose water brands (including Dabur) that you see in the market are good for cosmetic purposes alone and hence not edible grade. Hence, double check before buying the same

8. Kiwi – Lime Juice

This is another super-refreshing drink for the summer!

kiwi lime juice

Ingredients: Kiwi fruit – 1 (Pealed and chopped), Juice of 1 lime, Sugar – 4 to 5 teaspoons, Salt – ¼ teaspoon, Water – 1 ½ cups, Ice cubes – ½ cup

Method of Preparation: Blend kiwi fruit pieces, Lime juice, Sugar and Salt along with some 50 ml of for about 30 seconds so that a neat pulp is formed. Add the rest of the water and ice cubes and blend well. Pour into a glass of water and consume immediately (If you are storing in the fridge, mix well before drinking as kiwi juice – just like freshly made pineapple juice – will have the fruit parts floating after a few minutes)

Bonus Tip

Convert it into something exciting: Barring the ones featuring milk products, any of the above drinks can be quickly converted into a summer cocktail by adding 30 to 45 ml of your favorite spirit while blending ?

Make these summer coolers at home and let me know how they turned out to be.

Kerala Style Sardine Curry (Mathi Curry) Recipe

25 Apr

sardine currySardines are one of the cheapest and healthiest fishes available in India. They contain plenty of unsaturated fat, Omega-3 fatty acids and minerals and hence extremely good for your health when consumed in steamed or curried form and not as fried fish – although fried ones taste exceptionally good. In the state of Kerala, the fish curry made out of Sardines (Mathi or Chaala in the native language) is probably the most common lunch dish among non-vegetarians that comprise of some 90% of the Kerala population.

Fish curry in Kerala style comes in three or four close variants and they are fairly easy to make. The secret to making lip-smacking fish curry lies in the quality of ingredients used – primarily the coconut and the fish itself that has to be fresh and cleaned really very well (Read: Not like how your vendor does it).

Let us now head over and see how my variant of Sardine curry recipe looks like.

Ingredients

  1. Indian Sardines (aka Indian Oil Sardines) – 1Kg, cleaned & cut into 2-3 pieces
  2. Mustard Seeds (big) – One pinch
  3. Shallots – 1 cup, finely chopped
  4. Ginger – 1/2 inch, sliced lengthwise into 3-4 pieces
  5. Garlic – 4 to 5 cloves, sliced lengthwise
  6. Green Chillies – 2, split (once lengthwise)
  7. Curry Leaves – 10-12 leaves
  8. Salt – 1 teaspoon
  9. Cambodge (Kokam) – 3-4 pieces (Soaked in water for 15 mins)
  10. Coconut Oil – 2 tablespoons
  11. Kashmiri Chilli Powder – 1 teaspoon
  12. Regular Chilli Powder – ½ teaspoon
  13. Coriander Powder – 1 teaspoon
  14. Turmeric Powder – ½ teaspoon
  15. Fenugreek Powder – One pinch
  16. Fresh Coconut – ½ portion, scraped

Note: Ingredients from 11 to 15 can be replaced with 3-4 teaspoons of Eastern or Nirapara brand of Fish masala powder. I personally use the Eastern brand

For decoration & seasoning:
– Curry leaves – 1 string
– Shallots – 2, vertically sliced to make thin separable rings
– Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon

Preparation

Grind ingredients 11 to 16 (Kashmiri chilli powder to coconut) into a fine paste after adding adequate water.

Heat a seasoned earthen pot (or non-stick pan) and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to it. When the oil is really hot, add mustard seeds and wait till they crackle.

Add chopped shallots to it and sauté it in high flame till it turns light brown and soft. Add ginger-garlic slices, green chillies and curry leaves and stir fry for about 30 seconds.

Add the ground paste to it, about 1½ cups of water and soaked cambodge (along with the water used for soaking), salt and mix very well.

Add fish pieces and make sure that they are immersed well in the masala. Cook in high heat till it starts boiling and cook in medium flame further for about 8-10 minutes occasionally (every two minutes or so) shaking the content by holding the edges of the earthen pot rather than using a ladle to stir.

Turn of the flame and add the string of curry leaves on top to garnish.

For seasoning, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil in the seasoning tawa and add the shallot rings to it. Stir fry till they are dark golden brown and add it along with the oil to the fish curry.

Serving Suggestion

Mathi Curry can be served hot with steamed white rice or boiled red rice while another popular combination is Kappa (Steamed Kasava or Tapioca) which is one of the staple foods in Kerala.

Bonus Tips:
Sardines need to be cleaned really well even after your fish vendor has done a decent job. It has to be without any stain or blackspots on the inside part and no scales whatsoever outside. Rub them and wash well with crystal salt for extra cleaning.

Coconut used should be really fresh, slightly sweet and full of milk and that makes all the difference.

KFC Krushers based Cocktails

19 Apr

KFC India recently launched some refreshing and sparkling variants of KC Krushers (known as KFC Sparklers abroad) for the summer. I have been experimenting with KFC Krushers to make some cocktails and found two of their variants extremely good for making instant cocktails.

KFC Krushers Cocktails

KFC Krushers (Image Courtesy: Kfc.co.in)



The Kentucky Fried Chicken Krushers variants that are good for making cocktails are:

  • Vanilla Blue
  • Virgin Mojito

Both of them are available at Rs.49/- in India which means that you have the possibility to make some refreshing cocktails under Rs. 100/-

So what are the cocktails that you can mix with these summer drinks?

Blue Lagoon

Well, the original Blue Lagoon contains Curacao but our instant KFC Blue Lagoon can live without that.

Method of Preparation: Mix 60 to 75 ml of Smirnoff or fine Vodka with KFC Vanilla Blue sparklers and there you go!

Mojito

This is no brainer! Add 60 ml of Bacardi or any good white Rum to KFC Virgin Mojito Krushers. Stir well and top with some crushed ice. Your KFC Mojito Cocktail is ready.

Since the Virgin Mojito from KFC already contains enough fresh mint leaves and lime wedges, you don’t need to add anything else.

How’s that?

Try them and let me know your feedback. And don’t hesitate to come up with your KFC Krushers cocktail variants and share as comments here.

Enjoy the summer!

Ultimate Summer Drink – Watermelon Chilli Punch!

14 Mar

Well, I have been experimenting with watermelon based drinks – both alcoholic and mocktails – since the summer began. Here is an absolutely refreshing watermelon drink for you!

I am not sure if anything like this exists, but I just called it Watermelon Chilli Punch!

watermelon chilli punch

Ingredients (To serve Two)

Watermelon – 1/2

Lime – 2

Salt – 1/8th Teaspoon

Sugar – 3 Tablespoons (or as necessary)

Green chilli – 1/8th of a long chilli (Max 1/2 inch long)

Ice cubes – Two cups

Drinking water – 1/2 cup

Method of Preparation

In a blender add salt, sugar, lime juice from the two limes and green chilli. Cut half of a watermelon into cubes and add the same to the blender. Add water and Ice cubes and blend well for 10 to 15 seconds.

Pour into your favorite cocktail glass (typically highball) and enjoy!

As we all know, watermelons are excellent for hydrating your body in summer. What you probably don’t know about watermelon is the secret in its seeds. Watermelon seeds contain zinc and selenium which is said to be good to fight even cancer. And the seeds have powerful anti-oxidants to maintain a healthy heart. With a lot of lime juice added, our drink is enriched with Vitamin C and other essentials. Then the sugar provides much needed glucose and salt essential minerals in summer! Finally, to make it real Indian stuff, we have the chilli punch added!

Experiment with it or its variations and let me know how did you find it.

And never throw away the seeds. Blend them with your juice and to make things better, pick those watermelons with not so blackish and hard seeds.

Enjoy the Indian summer!