Desi Ishtyle Quenchers!

Yes, we know, we’ve taken quite a hiatus from our blog posting, and we apologize (we do welcome brickbats in our inbox just in case you feel like, er, venting). Anyway, we’re back and we promise you the blog posts will remain just as awesome as they used to be 😀

Summer is officially here and the sun is not being friendly to Bangalore at all this summer. The scorching heat, bad heat waves and humid weather is tiring us out way too quickly and making us uber thirsty. While we never run out of a stash of our chilled beers, we decided to put together a list of some great thirst quenchers for the season desi style.

Lassi:

You couldn’t have been living in India without being familiar with this wonderful drink. Traditional Lassi is a savoury drink sometimes flavoured with ground roasted cumin while sweet Lassi on the other hand is blended with sugar or fruits instead of spices. Enter any Punjabi household and watch how the refills of your Lassi never stop as you wolf down the Makki di rotis. (for the summer, we suggest a refreshing Mango Lassi, a recipe of which could be found here)

 

Kokum Sherbet: 

Kokum Sherbet is synonymous with Indian coastal cuisine and is an extremely popular drink in Mangalore and Konkan regions of Maharashtra and Goa as well. This drink is made from Kokum extract, sugar, and a hint of Indian spices and is extremely refreshing. Kokum Sherbet is an immediate acidity reliever, and is also popularly used in cocktails in Goa to give your drink that kick. Click here for a refreshingly easy recipe of Kokum Sherbet.

 

Aam Ka Panna:

A sip of this fresh, tangy drink really marks the beginning of summer. This sweet, sour and spicy drink is largely consumed in Northern parts of India and renowned for its heat resistant properties. It’s a simple drink made from raw, green mangoes, blended with peppercorns, sugar and a dash of spices to bring that zing into this drink. Beat the heat this summer by storing up the Panna in jugs in your refrigerator. Find an easy recipe here.

 

Nannari: 

This lesser known yet delicious drink comes from the herb ‘Sarasaparilla’, a wonder herb, otherwise known as Nannari. The root of Nannari helps in curing many infections and regular intake of it keeps the body cool, especially during summers. The Nannari syrup is simply made of ground Nannari root, water, sugar and lime juice. This syrup is then used for making that cool Nannari Sherbet recipe. Find the recipe here.

 

Jigarthanda:

Jil jil Jigarthanda is an extremely popular summer drink having originated in Madurai. Jigarthanda literally means cooling the heat, and the ‘Jil Jil’ means ‘Cool Cool’ denoting that the drink cools your body. This is an extremely rich drink and comprises of cold milk, malai, ice cream,  Nannari syrup and Agar Agar (China grass) or Badam pisin (now used in most shops). It is extremely popular in Madurai as it is vastly available in road-side pull ins and small shops. Get a fun recipe here.

 

So those are our favourite desi coolers for the summers. How are you beating the heat? Leave your comments below, and keep Zoinking! 🙂

Advertisements

Donna Hay here to stay! :)

We love food, and everything to do with food. Which also means we love watching our food and cookery shows (you can find our post on food shows here). Having seen pretty much all the reruns of Nigella Lawson’s specials and Jamie Oliver’s oomph, we just found our new favourite food show on TLC – Donna Hay – Fast, Fresh and Simple. Her show lives up to the title – the beautiful Australian chef does indeed make food that is fast, fresh and simple.

Donna Hay

Donna’s first television series reveals what makes her recipes, books and magazine so well-loved and admired. The show showcases the natural charm and passion Donna brings to the world of cooking. A relaxed and composed cook, Donna shares her tricks and tips of combining fresh and pantry ingredients to create fast and simple dishes, presented in her signature style.

What we love about the show is that Donna uses simple, and easily available ingredients while cooking, and tends to use incredibly easy cooking techniques too (we hate those shows that ask us to ‘fold’ and cut ‘juliennes’ perfectly). And she doesn’t just wow us with the easy to cook food, she presents it beautifully and the food is really delicious too (we’ve tried it).

Many say that Donna Hay is the new Nigella Lawson; mainly so Nigella’s show finally came to an end a year back, and TLC decided to stop airing the reruns. Hence the new and ‘fresh’ show from Donna Hay. #DonnaHay also became one of the most trending topics on Twitter, once the show began to be aired on TLC.

Before we finish, we’d like to share this wonderful Cheat’s Chocolate Fondant recipe of Donna Hay. We tried it at home, and we were actually able to make it this beautiful! 🙂

Cheat’s Chocolate Fondant: (Serves 4*)

The uber dee-lishious Chocolate Fondant! 🙂

Ingredients:

50g plain flour, sifted
55g icing sugar, sifted
90g ground almonds
2 egg whites
100g butter, melted
160g dark chocolate, melted
4 small squares dark chocolate

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F).
  2. Place the flour, sugar, almond meal, eggwhites, butter and melted chocolate in a bowl and mix well to combine.
  3. Spoon half the mixture into 4 x ½-cup capacity (125ml) lightly greased dariole moulds. Divide the extra chocolate squares between the moulds and top with the remaining mixture.
  4. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until cooked but soft in the middle. Stand in tins for 5–7 minutes before turning out.

That truly is a delicious recipe. We hope you enjoy it! Are there any Donna Hay (or any other cool Chef) recipes that you’ve tried and liked? Do share them with us! 🙂

*That’s if 4 people eat one fondant each – 4 fondants in total. So if you have a guest like someone who works at Zoink!, be rest assured that it would ‘serve’ only one 😛

Book of the Month: Like Water for Chocolate

Must read for food lovers.

Recipe books are not thrilling for the typical reader and story books are not thrilling for cooks. But when a love story is poured into a recipe book, you have a combination that is arousing to the senses like few other books would ever do.

Laura Esquivel gives you a story of a woman in love and whose only outlet for expression – passion, agony, ecstasy that is being in love- is through food. The title ‘Like water to chocolate’ refers to the Spanish phrase which alludes to the boiling point of extreme emotions like anger, passion and sexuality.

Love and Food.. the two essentials!

 

 

We all have our moments when we reached out to food to express. Sometimes it’s eating that tub of ice cream or a bar of chocolate when you had the most horrible day. Or baking a cake because you can’t contain the excitement or just want to try something new. Or missing Amma’s mango chutney she makes whenever we fall sick. Or eating ginger cookies and getting nostalgic about the ones that grandma used to make 🙂 And just like food is universal, so is love. We’ve had our crushes, fallen in love, got bruised, picked up the pieces and for some lucky people, had their happy endings.

Which is why when the combination is put forth, the result is something which is entirely relatable and yet, Laura’s added her own secret ingredient which makes it equally elusive and magical.

The book is told in 12 parts, one for each month of the year and each starts with a recipe. When we start reading , it seems more like recipe book which incidently has a story woven in. But slowly and steadily, keeping the kitchen and cooking as the central point, she builds her characters and the complexities between them. The main point of the story revolves around Tita and Pedro who are unable to come together because of social customs and traditions. It is Tita’s joy,frustration,anger which gives fruit to marvelous culinary delights and recipes.

One of the things we loved about the book was the revelation of ingredients- the various permutation and  combinations which we had not though of before. One of the key turning points in the book revolve around quail in rose petal sauce.  Rose?! Who would have thought of adding roses to meat? Then there are the culinary secrets, like how to make the most perfect cup of hot chocolate! How are we not supposed to love such a book?

It’s hard to believe that this is Laura Esquivel’s first book because she displays a wonderful sense of balance. Sometimes she overwhelms you with recipes, the descriptions of it’s preparation and we are lost, mesmerised by the scents that’s arising from the stove.

Then just as suddenly we are swept away in emotions and drama of the story. More over the language is highly reminiscent of Marquez’s “One hundred years of solitude”  since it’s written in ‘magical realism‘. It’s a work of a wonderfully talented writer who knows her food.

All in all, whether you are someone who loves to read or just someone who loves food and cooking then this is a book that you have to get hold of.

Ps: Do let us know what you thought about the book. Or if you try one of the recipes! 🙂