Are you ready to Jam?! :-D

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Toast to the perfect toast! 🙂

Sometimes the only perfect way to start your day is by taking a bite out of the perfect toast fresh and still warm, with butter melting all over and that slight sweetness and tartness that comes with the orange peel grated into your marmalade on top! According to us, while buttered toast by itself is a treat, the cherry on top is having your favorite preserve by your side to add the right amount of sweetness. 

Jam by no means is a recent phenomena. There are mentions of jam recipes in the earliest cook book written in 1st century Rome. It is speculated that jams, jellies and preserves are most likely to have started in the Middle Eastern countries where there are plenty of fruits and sugar. By preserving it, they could enjoy the yummy taste and nutrition of fruits all year long.  

They found their way into Europe when the Crusades returned with their spoils ( who knew it included Jam recipes!! 🙂 ). Marmalade though is said to have a more royal beginning. The legend goes that in the 16th century , when Mary Queen of Scots got sea sick, her physician mixed orange and sugar to help her seasickness. In fact some even suggest that word ‘marmalade’ comes from the phrase “Marie est malade”  meaning ‘Mary is sick’ but we don’t think that’s very likely! Either ways, it became an instant hit with the royalty and if you visit the Queen for tea, for sure you’ll see a small pot of marmalade sitting right beside your tea cup! 🙂

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Perfect for almost anything!

The best thing about jams though are the fact that it’s an accompaniment for almost anything. As a spread over cakes, scones; for a quick fix we have spread it over chapattis and made sweet rolls for a bite on the go; to add a different flavor with ice creams or cheese cakes.

And we found this awesome and unique recipe which is sure to a favorite of any jam lover : The Banana Jam.

Ingredients:

  • 50 Plantains (the small and over ripe is best suited) 
  • Sugar – 750gms to 1 kg ( depending on how sweet you want it)
  • Orange juice- juice of 5 oranges
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Going bananas over jam! 😛

Method:

Boil the plantain in a cooker. When cool, strain the juice and discard the residue. To this add sugar (quantity may vary according to the sweetness of the plantain- this is usually trial and error) and cook till thick, add the orange juice and remove from fire when it attains the consistency of viscous liquid. The color will be a deep-almost-black purple in the jar. 

Enjoy with almost anything – appam, puttu, idyappam and of course bread and butter. 🙂

Do let us know how your version worked out! 🙂

 

 

To Leh and Back! :)

So one of our Zoinkers! visited the beautiful city of Leh recently and had a few foodie pictures to share. According to her, Leh (located in the state of Jammu & Kashmir) is not one of the strongest foodie places in the country for gourmands, but due to its picturesque view and landscape, is a must visit.

The view of Leh from ANY angle is simply breathtaking!

And while we were walking about, the delicious aroma of Aloo Tikki wafted through the air and caught our attention.

We managed to click something without letting our drool fog the camera lens.

And the long wait finally came to an end. Aloo Tikki and Chhole basted with mint and tamarind chutney. Yum!

And also indulged our sweet tooth with some de-lish garama garam Gulab Jamun.

And then snuck back for a crispy Dosa.

A visit to Leh without a visit to a local Tibetan restaurant is just not done.

A bowl of hot, steaming Thukpa. We found this okay, and also noticed that most of the dishes here had way too much soya sauce in them.

No, they’re not all the same. Each one has a different level of spice in them.

Jalebis occupy a special place in our hearts and their glass shelves.

These Mutton Momos were really good. They were from a small restaurant called Tibetan Corner.

Now this, was some good Thukpa. Some veggies, delicious soup, noodles and Momos. Quite a filling dish, and this was only a Half Bowl, priced at Rs. 80.

This is nothing but a bowl of mutton broth, which is constantly stewing in the kitchen. Perfectly flavoured and comforting.

Half Plate of Lamb Chowmein priced at Rs.40

This amazing chutney with their guarded secret ingredient was spicy, packed with a hundred flavours and brought every dish to life.

The kitchen team behind the awesome food at Tibetan Corner.

We also took a walk along the market picking up nuts, figs and the like.

And there are a plethora of options to choose from. You would have to bargain a lot with many sellers, if you’re not a local.

And then we stopped for another plate of Momos. The appetite is never satiated. Sigh.

Rinchen Cafeteria is located in Khardungla pass, the highest motorable pass in the world at 18,380 ft, making it the highest cafeteria in the world.

Where they had a fun Maggi story that was very enticing.

So we were enticed and tried a bowl of hot, yummy, the most tasty Maggi at the highest cafeteria in the world! 🙂

And also learnt about the benefits of black tea.

As well as the Siachen Glacier, which we thought all of our Zoinkers! should know about.

And this is us signing off with a last shot of the breathtaking view from the highest cafeteria in the world. Enjoy! 🙂

Book of the Month: A History of the World in 6 Glasses

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Unique Perspective of world history!

Must be the summer heat because we can’t seem to stop talking about liquids! So it just made perfect sense to pick up Tom Standage’s A History of the World in 6 Glasses. Honestly, the book surprised us. To begin with, the concept of charting the world history through how beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola are drunk itself is so unique and we confess, seemed fantastical. But Standage’s book turned out to be a crash course in ancient, classical and modern history peppered with stories that are relatable with our everyday life. After all who will not be able to understand the magical powers of beer bringing civilization together, or coffee being the stimulant for Renaissance? On the other hand, when we look at the fact that 3 of the drinks contain alcohol and the other 3 caffeine, it does makes sense how the world’s inspirations and influence would be traced down to the discovery or invention of these drinks!

The language is crisp and a refreshing change for a book loaded with (in any other hands would read boring) historical facts.But Standage does a brilliant job of keep it in the easy reading section. It’s the kind of book that one would enjoy reading while travelling, both stimulating and light ( just like any of the 6 drinks he talks about!!)

It’s the kind of book after which you would never look at your favorite drink the same way again! Here’s to quenching our thirst for knowledge and new horizons! Let all raise our glasses to that! 😀