Chai ka Masala

Masala Chai…Although I don’t drink tea on a regular basic, my family is addicted to it. My mom and dad needs a hot cup of masala chai first thing in the morning. Their day does not start without a kadak chai ki pyali  ( a strong cup of tea ) and so is the case with many Indians. Chai is an integral part of Indian life style and each house hold has it’s own measurements and method, although milk, sugar and tea leaves remains a constant. This Chai masala is a blend of various spices which gives the Chai a unique flavor. You can store it in an airtight container and can add a little bit of it to you tea. I will be sharing the method to make the India chai very soon. Here is the recipe to make the masala for chai.

Preparation time – 10 minutes
Making time – 5 minutes
Yields – 1 cup powder

All you need is

Cloves – 14 cup
Green cardamom – 14 cup
Cinnamon stick – 14 cup
Black peppercorns – 14 cup
Dried rose petals – 2 tbsp
Fennel seeds Saunf – 2 tbsp
Dry ginger powder – 2 tbsp
Nutmeg jaiphal – 1 ( crushed )

Method of preparation

Mix all the ingredients in a blender and blend to make a coarse powder.
Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Use 14 tsp of this powder for 2 cups of Indian masala chai.

Recipe of Masala Chai Here.

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Summer Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

When I was younger I was a strictly-chocolate gal. I didn’t like vanilla anything, and unless it was a smoothie, I didn’t like fruity desserts.

I didn’t really feel like smoothies were a dessert though, and sometimes I still don’t since I don’t mind at all having them for my breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack… In fact I dearly love a good smoothie. And I did as a kid. But I didn’t count it as dessert and when it came to dessert, it had to be chocolate.

Since then however, my tastebuds have…. matured.

I’m not saying chocolate is childish or immature. I have a deep respect and devotion to chocolate. 

But as I’ve gotten older I’ve developed a love and appreciate for many tastes and flavors I never would have approached as a younger me.

 Now I love just about every type of treat, sweet, and decadent dessert imaginable.

And fruity desserts are definitely included in there. 

I think the turning point was actually a strawberry shake.

A very particular strawberry shake. 

I have three older brothers (and many sisters but we will ignore them for a moment), and having older brothers taught me to be tough and independent. They stood up for me when the need arose, but on a day to day basis at home, they teased me relentlessly.

I’m not complaining, I’m definitely a better person for it. 

But growing up, we were all close in a punch-in-the-arm-means-I-love-you kind of way. We never said it out loud. 

Those of you  have older brothers know that it is the role of the brother right above you to do the most teasing, bullying, pulling of hair, and tattling. It’s just his job. And my brother carried out his role with gusto.

So when the time came that he would be leaving for a couple of years to live in another country it was good riddance. 

I thought I wouldn’t miss him one bit.

Until the strawberry shake. 

Shortly before he left, he unexpectedly picked me up from school and took me to lunch.

We’d never used our free agency to choose to spend any time together so I really didn’t know what to think of the whole thing. 

While we were out, he took me to get a shake. He was paying and he chose the flavor, strawberry. I silently thought to myself Yuck! and wished he’d ordered chocolate.

But while we shared that strawberry shake and talked like friends I realized that we had a lot in common, we’d been through so much together, and honestly and truly, I was going to miss him.

Suddenly it hit me that he was going to be gone for a really long time and that these were probably the only few minutes I’d have him to myself before he left. 

The rest of that strawberry shake tasted different.

I savored each bite as I tried to memorize and take in every moment with my brother. 

All too soon the lunch outing was over, my brother was gone, and my last memory of him for two years was our strawberry shake.

And during those two years I never ordered another chocolate shake. Only strawberry. 

I wasn’t even sure why I was doing it and it surprised anyone who was around since I’d always been so loyal to chocolate and shied away from strawberry dessert anything.

But for some reason it made me feel closer to my brother. And by the end of two years, I really loved strawberry shakes.
I think that was where it started. My fondness of fruity desserts. 

I can trace it back to that strawberry shake in an old Iceberg restaurant with my big brother.

So I guess thanks is in order. 

Because, just look at this ice cream. Not one ounce of chocolate but oh. my. word. SO good. 

And years ago I wouldn’t have touched it with a ten-foot spoon.

Don’t worry, I still adore chocolate. But me and this strawberry cheesecake ice cream have a special connection. 

A big thanks to Anyonita Nibbles for featuring my Brownie Pancakes with White Chocolate Chips

Anyonita Nibbles


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Basundi

Basundi is a traditional Indian dessert famous in Maharashtra, Gujarat and some parts of Karnataka. It is basically a thickened and sweetened milk flavored with saffron and cardamom and lot of nuts are added to give it a nice crunch. When ever we have sudden guests at home and there no other option to serve for desserts, basundi is my dessert of choice. Before starting to cook, I put a pot with milk on simmer and by the time I am done with my cooking, my basundi is ready too. If you are in a hurry to serve, just keep it in the freezer for an hour or else refrigerate for a few hours before serving. Here is the recipe.

Preparation time – 5 minutes
Cooking time – 2 hours
Serves – 4

All you need is

Full cream milk – 1 and 12 liters
Saffron – a generous pinch
Sugar – 2 tbsp ( you can adjust the sugar according to your taste )
Cardamom powder – 12 tsp
Rose water – 14 tsp
Slivered almonds, pistachios and cashew nuts – 14 cup

Method of preparation

Put the milk in a heavy bottom pan.
Heat till it comes to a boil.
Take 2 tbsp milk from it in a bowl.
Add saffron and keep aside.
Simmer the heat and let the milk thicken for almost 2 hours.
Keep stirring in between.
When the milk is reduced to 13 rd, add saffron soaked in milk, cardamom powder, sugar and rose water.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add the slivered nuts.
Chill nicely before serving.

Notes

Keep in mind that basundi with thicken a little more while cooling. So keep the consistency accordingly.
The consistency of basundi is like that of condensed milk.
If you like your basundi very creamy and smooth, just blend it in a blender before adding the nuts for a few seconds to give that silky smooth texture.
Do not blend when the basundi is cold otherwise butter may separate.

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Ooey Gooey Hot Fudge Sauce

Remember how I said even though I’ve developed a fondness of fruity desserts, I still completely adore chocolate?

Yeah.

That’s pretty much all that needs to be said.

One can never have too much hot fudge sauce, right?

I mean,  you can just keep piling it on that bowl of ice cream and there never comes a point where I think, woah, slow down…

Nope. 

Just keep it comin…

I could probably put hot fudge sauce on just about anything but my very favorite is a big fat bowl of cold hard ice cream. 

There is just something about that hot-cold combo that just gets me. I’m big fan of pairing opposites when it comes to flavors and foods. Like salty-sweet, and hot-sour, and creamy-crunchy. 

Whenever I have hot fudge sauce these days I get some freshman-year nostalgia. When I would shamelessly pile hot fudge sauce on top of my BYU Creamery chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. 

If you haven’t had BYU Creamery ice cream, you are seriously missing out and need to but it on your culinary bucket list.

Its freaking fantastic. 

Annnnnnd now I’m craving it really really badly. 

Good thing it’s only an hour away from me! Do you think I could get it home before it melts??

Ah! An cooler! I’m totally packing one with ice and making the trip. 

So worth it. And this time around I’m drowning it in my hot fudge sauce!

Just a little disclaimer: this stuff is RICH and ooey gooey messy wonderful. Just a heads up!

*Oh, and keep an eye out, I’ve got some super tasty recipes to pair with this amazing hot fudge sauce coming up for you in the next few days that will blow your mind!!

 Today I’m linking up with:
Lil Luna
High Heels & Grills
This Silly Girls Life
The DIY Dreamer
My Girlish Whims
Buns In My Oven
Lamberts Lately
House of Hepworths
The Shabby Creek Cottage

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Dal Makhani

Dal makhani is a very famous Indian lentil preparation. It is a Punjabi recipe which is very delicious and flavorful. In the ancient times, the dal was cooked overnight to give it a very creamy and rich texture. But to keep up with the modern times, the recipe has been modified and pressure cookers come in the scene. The dal is soaked overnight and then cooked till it is very soft and tender. A tadka of tomato puree and curd with other spices is then added to the cooked dal. Dal makhani is one of my favorite recipe to cook when I have guests at home and it has always been appreciated. Do give this recipe a try. And do not forget to leave your feedback in the comment section. Thnx. Here is the recipe.

All you need is

Khadi urad Whole black lentil – 1 cup
Chana dal Bengal gram – 2 tbsp
Rajma kidney beans – 12 cup
Ghee – 4 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 12 tsp
Onion – 1 (chopped)
Ginger – 1 tsp ( grated )
Tomato puree – 6 tbsp
Curds – 6 tbsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Butter – 2 tbsp
Cream – 14 cup
Kasuri methi – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method of preparation

Wash and soak rajma, urad dal and chana dal in enough water overnight or for 8-10 hours.
Add rajma, urad, chana dal, salt, 2 tbsp ghee, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder and salt in a cooker.
Add 5 cups of water and cook till the dal is done.
Mash the dal slightly with the back of a ladle.
In another pan, add the remaining ghee.
When the ghee is hot, add the cumin seeds.
When the cumin seeds starts to splatter, add onions.
Fry till they become translucent.
Add tomato puree and curd.
Fry for 2-3 minutes and keep stirring continuously to avoid the splitting of curd.
Add grated ginger and garam masala.
Cook for another 2 minutes.
Mix the dal in the pan.
Add butter and cream and cook for 2- minutes.
Add kasuri methi and cook for another minute.
Garnish with fresh cream and coriander.

Serve hot with naan.

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Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough-nut Ice Cream Sandwiches


Yeah that’s right, I did it. 

Donut ice cream sandwiches. 


It’s either brilliance or madness, I’m not totally sure which yet.

I didn’t even know if it would work really.

But you better believe it did.

These little babies were a home run!  Who  knew you could put ice cream between two donuts and eat it all in one scrumptious bite? 

Leave it to me to dream up something crazy like this.

The donuts themselves were soft and doughy, but still firm. Perfect for sandwiching some cold vanilla ice cream. 

When the ice cream soaked into the donuts a bit and had a chance to meld the flavors together, it was D.E.lish.

The hot fudge sauce was actually an afterthought, truth be told.

But a really really awesome afterthought.

These wouldn’t have been nearly as amazing without all of that incredible sauce oozing all over them.

I was a little nervous about photographing them because they didn’t appear to be photogenic at first glance. 

Tasty? Yes. Beautiful? Eh…. 

But look how cute they turned out!

You can’t tell me you don’t want to put one in your pocket and take it home with you. 

Well, maybe not your pocket… That could be rather disastrous. What with the chocolate and the ice cream and everything.

Might not be the best idea now that I think about it.

I had to act fast to get these shots. 

One: I really really really wanted to eat them.

And two: I was shooting outdoors.

In 89 degree heat.

And, ice cream sort of melts…

In case you couldn’t tell.

So these ones got a liiiiitle bit messy. 

But if you’re not willing to get a little messy in the kitchen, chances are you’re not going to have very much fun either. 

Take my 20th birthday for instance. 

The Fiancee shoved a whole birthday cake in my face. 

Yes, the whole cake.

See?



I was still finding bits of frosting in my hair and ears three days later.

But I’ll never forget that birthday.  Messes can make for great memories.

And pictures! Look at all that yummy melty ice creamy donut goodness happening. I love it. Definitely worth the mess. 

**I used this Ooey Gooey Hot Fudge Sauce  and this donut maker for this recipe!





I was also featured by What’s Cooking Love?

What's cooking, love?

Thank you!

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Butter and Garlic Naan

Naan… I love this bread with any kind of Indian curries. It is usually my bread of choice when visiting an Indian restaurant. It was one of the first things that I learned to cook in my kitchen and with time and making it again and again, I have finally got a fool recipe that works for me every single time. I made naan in an electric oven, I made it in a pressure cooker too. But after making it on a griddle which is turned upside down, no other method charms me anymore. I have found my trick. My naan now comes out wonderfully soft and chewy with the most perfect brown spots on the surface. I have already shared the recipe and trick to make plain naan sometime back, but this time I made butter and garlic naan and thought to share it as well. Here it is.

All you need is

Maida All purpose flour – 4 cups
Baking soda – 12 tsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 12 tsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Yogurt – 14 cup
Milk to knead the dough
Oil – 1 tbsp
Garlic – 3 tbsp ( finely chopped )
Butter  – 2 tbsp ( melted )

Method of preparation

Mix maida, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and yogurt in a bowl.
Add milk and knead a soft dough.
Oil a bowl and transfer the dough in the oiled bowl.
Cover the bowl and keep in a warm place for 1 hour.
Heat a griddle ( tava ).
Make small balls of the dough.
Sprinkle a tsp of chopped garlic on the platform.
Dust and roll the dough ball over the garlic to make thin naan.
Apply water on the top surface of the naan.
Keep the naan on the griddle with garlic side up.
The naan will stick to the griddle because of water applied.
Now turn the griddle upside down over the high flame.
Cook till brown spots appear on the naan.
Turn the griddle and cook the naan for 20-30 seconds.
Remove using a tong.
Apply butter generously on the Naan.
Serve hot.
You can make these naans and store in a hot box a few hours prior to eating.

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25 Fourth of July Food Ideas!

I absolutely love the fourth of july! The barbeques, the family time, the FIREWORKS, and of course… the food!!!

 I’ve been almost overwhelmed by all of the incredible ideas circulating out on the web lately so I’ve compiled a little round-up of some fantastic ideas to share with you! 

Now the only trouble is trying to narrow it down!!! 

22. 4th of July Lemonade- Being Creative to Keep My Sanity

23. Red White & Blue Candy Coated Marshmallows- Just Us Four Blog

24. Surprise Inside Flag Cake- I Am Baker

25. Fourth of July Ice Cream Cake- BittersSweet

Aren’t these ideas adorable! I’m so excited to put these to good use in a couple of weeks for the holiday! Enjoy!

*Please pin recipes from originial sources, thank you!

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Aam Panna

Summers have hit Bangalore and the heat is unbearable. My apartment gets the morning sun which during the winters is a blessing, but for now it starts to get hot as early as 8 in the morning. Although I am complaining of the heat in Bangalore, to be fair it is nothing compared to what Northern part of India experiences. Temperature in May and June reaches a scorching 49-50 degree C and with the heat waves accompanying the high temperature, it is even worse.

Aam panna is a very refreshing drink which my mom used to make on a everyday basis in the months of summers and it was the first thing which was served when anyone entered the house, battling the sun and heat. Although the temperature in Bangalore never goes that high but it is still good to sip on this delicious drink once in a while.

As most of Indian recipes, the recipe to make Aam panna differs from person to person. Some add mint and some do not. Some peel the raw mango before boiling and some do not. I personally like to boil the mangoes with the skin on as gives a typical flavor to the drink and the addition of fresh mint paste takes it to a different level.
So here is my recipe to make this refreshing drink. Do give it a try.

All you need is

Raw mango – 12 kg
Sugar – 1 and 12 cup
Roasted cumin powder – 2 tsp
Black salt – 2 tsp
Fresh mint – 1 cup
Ice cubes

Method of preparation

Wash the raw mangoes and put them in a pressure cooker.
Add enough water to cover them and cook till soft. ( One whistle on high and 2 on low )
Cool.
Remove the skin of the mangoes.
Mash to take out all the pulp.
Do not discard the water.
Add 5-6 cups of water.
Grind the mint leaves with little water to make a paste.
Add ground mint, sugar, roasted cumin powder and black salt to the mango pulp.
Mix well to dissolve the sugar.
Adjust sugar and salt according to your taste.
Add more water if required.
Chill it for a few hours before serving.
Pour the panna in glasses.
Add some ice cubes.
Garnish with mint leaves.
Serve chilled.

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A Few Favorites

I’m gonna be honest. This week has been absolutely insane. I had a project due, a midterm exam, we closed on the house (yay!), packed up our apartment, started moving, and my beloved DSLR (fancy) camera broke in the middle of a shoot.

It’s been a joke.

So, that being said… I’m a little behind in everything and decided to share a few of my favorite posts from this week instead of giving you a new recipe of my own. Hope you don’t mind!

I promise I’ll have some fantastic recipes coming up!!

In the meantime, take a look at these!

Enjoy! 

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