Category Archives: Drinks | Juices |Beverages

☆ MANGO MILK | MANGO SMOOTHIE ☆

I see mangoes everywhere I go, mangoes hanging down from homegrown mango trees, farmer’s market, grocery stores and on the home front too, T who loves mangoes, is always tugging at my sleeve asking for a Mango Milkshake or a Mango Lassi or maybe even a Mango ice cream, whenever we step outdoors. In fact, she gravely announces to me yesterday “Maa, I think I have ‘Mangoes going extinct’ phobia”. Are those fantasy fiction library books to be blamed?!

A tough ask now would be, to think of anything but Mangoes!, this reminds me of ‘The Popular Hilsa fish Story’, an interesting story, that I would like to share with you.

Once upon a time, Hilsa fish, being available only once a year had everyone’s attention and interest. Come Hilsa fish season, house wives exchanged recipes, shopkeepers haggled with customers over the latest price of Hilsa and fishermen talked about catching the biggest Hilsa of the season.

The then ruling King, Krishnadevraya was surprised to see even his ministers discussing Hilsa fish rather than important state issues, unable to bear this anymore, he announced a reward to anyone who could bring to the palace, a big Hilsa fish from the market, without a soul talking about it.

Tenali Raman, the court jester takes up the challenge. Next morning, shaves off, half his beard, dishevels his hair, covers himself with soot, wears torn and tattered clothes and walks out of the house looking like a tramp but please note, royally jostling a Hilsa fish in his hand. People, shocked by his appearance wonder, if he had finally gone mad. The palace guards, who hardly recognised him, went inside to inform the king. The king summoned Tenali. One look at him and the King laughed and announced Tenali, the winner of the challenge. No one had noticed the Big Hilsa Fish, in the hands of his clever and witty court jester.

Forgot about the mangoes for a while, did we? Maybe a reward for me would be in order, right?!

Coming back to our subject, a trivia on mangoes is that, the lovely colour of the mango is called ‘Mambazha colour’ in Tamil and is a very popular colour choice for the famous South Indian traditional Kanjeevaram Silk Sarees.

Personally, love to gorge on the juicy mangoes, as is, but if you are toying with the idea of civilizing them, Mango Milk | Mango Smoothie is the way to go. 

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Mango Milk with the ‘Mambazha colour’ saree as backdrop

 Prep time : 15 mins; Serves : 4

Ingredients  :

  • Mangoes ( Alphonso | any variety, fully ripened) – 6
  • Milk   – 1 Liter
  • Brown Sugar – 8 – 9 tbsp s
  • Green Cardamom – 1
  • Saffron – 3 – 4 strands

Method  :

1. Peel and crush the cardamom to fine powder in a mortar and pestle

2. Boil the milk, then add add sugar, saffron and cardamom powder when hot. Let it cool down then strain the milk with a strainer.

3. Chop the mangoes into small pieces and puree them in a blender. Add the cooled, boiled, strained milk to the mango puree and mix well.

4. Refrigerate for 4 hours or more before serving it chilled.

Options :

1. You can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the Mango Milk and call it Mango Milkshake.

2. Vegan version – Blend Almond Milk, sugar and the mango puree. Chill and serve.

To make your own Almond Milk, soak about 250 gm of Almonds in warm water overnight. Peel and blend them with about 4 – 41/2 cups of water, adding the water gradually, in installments, to get the required consistency.

This ‘Mango Nectar’ must be savoured slowly, spoon by spoon!

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Mango Nectar

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🍋 FRESH LIME JUICE | LEMONADE | NIMBU SHERBET | NIMBU PANI 🍋

“It’s HOT! It’s HUMID!”, we utter

“This year’s the hottest”, echoes every summer

Mercury reaches 39 C, Breaking news play

Guess now it’s official! Touché

Fresh lime juice, a quick-fix potion

Refreshing, energising, thirst-quenching solution!

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Fresh Lime Juice

Prep time : 15 mins ; Serves : 4

Ingredients  :

  • 1 juicy medium to large lime or lemon
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups of water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 6 – 9 tsp of sugar

Method :

  1. Cut the lime into 2 halves and squeeze out the juice into a vessel. Strain the juice to discard the seeds.
  2. Lime juice + water+ salt+ sugar. Mix well till completely dissolved. Chill and toss in a couple of ice cubes, just before serving. Cheers!

Variation :

  1. A pinch of black salt powder, roasted cumin powder, chaat masala powder, pepper powder, dry ginger powder, cardamom powder, few crushed mint leaves can be added to make Nimbu pani aka Shikanji or shikanjvi.
  2. Use clear soda instead of water, to prepare fresh lime soda or add a pinch of Eno to make the juice frothy.
  3. Sugar may be replaced with Jaggery syrup or honey.

Tips :

Taste the juice before serving. Quantity of sugar and salt may vary, according to taste and sourness of the lime.

 

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Chilled lemon sherbet

☆ CHAI | TEA ☆

The rain has lost its fury and become a drizzle. It is calm and serene, except for the pitter – patter rhythm of the falling drops. Pools of water forming puddles in strange patterns. Cloud enveloped sky, mossy stones and the earthy scent of rain – Petrichor. Monsoon season here. Perfect day to curl up with a book and a hot cup of Chai | Tea!

Before Chai | Tea, about the book, ‘Scion of Ikshvaku’ based on Ramayana, by Amish Tripati. Finally read the book! Late in the day and for whatever it takes, my two cents on it  – The book is worth a read but certainly no epic!

However, this classic Mint Tea recipe is!

1T
Classic Mint  Orange Pekoe Tea
Prep time : 5 mins; Cooking time : 15 mins; Serves : 4

Ingredients (organic and natural) :

  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup boiled milk
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp loose orange pekoe tea or any other choice of black tea
  • 4 – 6 tsp sugar
  • 1 inch piece ginger
  • 10 – 15  fresh mint leaves
  • 3 cardamom pods
  •  1/4 tsp or a tiny piece of nutmeg

Method :

  1. Peel and finely powder the cardamom pods and nutmeg in a mortar and pestle. Peel and finely chop or grate the ginger piece.
  2. Take water in a pot | saucepan | vessel, add the loose tea leaves, mint leaves, grated ginger and sugar. Bring it to a boil, then add milk and ground (cardamom + nutmeg) powder. Stir things around. Boil for another minute or two. Switch of heat.
  3. Strain the prepared tea through a fine mesh sieve and divide equally into 4 cups. Discard the tea leaves along with other added herbs and spices.
  4. Go on grab your cuppa of piping hot tea!

Variation :

  1. Tulsi | Holy Basil tea can be made by replacing mint leaves with fresh Tulsi leaves.
  2. One can replace fresh ginger with dry ginger powder | chukku podi.

Vegan Version :

Skip milk, replace black tea with green tea, add it after switching of heat and seep it for 10 mins, in the above recipe.

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Mint Green Tea

☆ FILTER COFFEE | KAPI ☆

“Maa, it smells like Rangan Thatta” says my little one, as I secure the door locks and settle inside the car, along with my freshly ground, Peaberry Coffee Beans powder pack. Her olfactory receptors, couldn’t have been tuned on, more right.

Rangan Thatta, my Appa | father, was ever game, for ‘another cup of coffee’. In fact, I thought, exactly a year and a half back, that his last words would be ‘Coffee’!
Coffee, Cricket (the sport) and Chembur (suburb of Mumbai – his first home), would most certainly, have been his top favourite ‘C’s’.

A simple man, of not many words, he opined “True love, needs no exhibition”. The most challenging life lesson, he has given, which I am yet to grasp fully is, one does survive the loss, of a dearly loved one.

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Appa, this one’s for you – I do see one smiley ‘POP’ up there!

Prep time : 30 mins; Making time : 5 mins; Serves : 4 – 6

Ingredients (organic | unrefined) :

  • Coffee Powder ( freshly ground preferably, Peaberry or any variety) – 3 tbsp s heaped
  • Water –  1 1/2 cups approximately
  • Dairy Milk – 1 liter
  • Sugar – 1 1/2 tsp or as per taste
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Storage container, holding the 1st coffee decoction and Filter, holding the 2nd coffee decoction.

Method : 

1. Put coffee powder in the top compartment of the coffee filter. Bring about 3/4 cup  of water to rolling boil. Pour water gradually, initially, just wetting the coffee powder and then slowly pouring the water, till the brim. Set aside for 30 mins. 1st coffee decoction, which is really strong, is collected in the bottom compartment of the filter. Store this in a container. Follow the above procedure again and prepare, a 2nd coffee decoction, which will be less strong.

2. In the meantime, bring milk to boil and switch off heat.

3. 1 – 2 tbsp s of 1st coffee decoction (or 2 – 3 tbsp s of 2nd coffee decoction) + 11/2 tsp sugar or as per taste + 3/4 cup milk passed through a strainer, in that order, to make one cup | tumbler of strong aromatic coffee.

Cook’s note :

1. Swish the coffee, back and forth, once or twice, between the Tumbler and Davara or any holding container, until frothy.

2. Add a drop of coffee decoction, on top, just before serving.

3. Freshly brewed coffee decoction and freshly boiled milk, give best results.

4. To prepare light coffee, reduce the quantity of coffee decoction and increase the quantity of milk.

5. Coffee decoction, can be prepared in an electric coffee maker too.

Vegan Version : 1 – 2 tsp of 1st coffee decoction (or 2 – 3 tsp of 2nd coffee decoction) + 11/2 tsp sugar or as per taste + 3/4 cup hot almond milk (heated on a low flame) and passed through a strainer, in that order, to make one cup | tumbler of strong aromatic coffee. Use lesser amount of coffee decoction for the Vegan version, as it may tend to get overpowering.

For the caffeine in the Coffee, to work best for one’s health, it should preferably be had after food and in limited measure.

Steaming Hot Coffee at your service. Appa, this one’s for you, do I see one smiley ‘POP’ up there?!

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Filter Kapi in a ‘Davara Tumbler’

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☆ BUTTERMILK | MOR ☆

‘Weather’ or not you like it, it is HOT.

Though not ready to discuss winter either, the subject leaves me cold. My younger one (currently taking her job, as my editor, pretty seriously) reads this and says ” Punny Mummy”.

Refreshing, chill, cool Buttermilk | Mor is offered as a welcome drink to guests, especially in small towns and villages of South India, to beat the tropical summer heat.

Any day, a healthier and tastier alternative to bottled drinks to quench your thirst.

Methods : 2; Prep Time : 10 mins; Serves : 4

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Refreshing and Cool MOR
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Give me some MORE

Ingredients for Method I :

  • Curd / Yogurt – 1 cup
  • Water – 4 cups
  • Finely chopped Green chilly – 1
  • Ginger – 1/2 an inch piece
  • Green Raw Mango – a small piece about 2 inches
  • Curry leaves – 3-6
  • Coriander leaves – 3 sprigs
  • Mint / Pudina leaves – 3-4
  • Rock Salt – to taste

Method I :

1. Finely chop the green chilly, coriander leaves, mint leaves, curry leaves, then finely grate the ginger and raw mango.

2. Whisk the curd along with water to a smooth buttermilk consistency, then add the finely chopped green chilly, grated ginger, grated raw mango and salt. Garnish with finely chopped mint, coriander and curry leaves.

If this wasn’t easy enough, you have an even more easier version of Buttermilk | Mor

 Ingredients for Method II :

  • Curd / Yogurt – 1 cup
  • Water – 4 cups
  • Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida / Hing powder – 1/4 tsp.
  • Dry ginger powder – 1/2 tsp (an alternative to grated ginger)
  • Dry mango powder / Amchur powder – 1/2 tsp (an alternative to grated raw mango)
  • Curry leaves – 3-4
  • Rock Salt – to taste

 Method II :

Whisk the curd along with water to a smooth buttermilk consistency, then add all the remaining ingredients and garnish with curry leaves.
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