Monday, 26 February 2018

Thandai Lassi | Holi special Yogurt Drink

  


In India Holi is a national celebration where children and adults play games in the streets, throwing beautiful vibrant colored powder (gullal) at each other. While most of the Indian festivals involve some degree of rituals, Holi is all about fun, revelry and mouth-watering delicacies. During Holi all people rejoice with colors, foods, and drinks to express happiness and symbolically celebrate life with the victory of good over evil. The festival of colors, as it is better known as, is the most awaited and liked festival for people of all ages.





Families exchange variety of sweets, while traditional and special dishes are given the Holi treatment a fresh flavors. People celebrate the festival by smearing colors on each other and then head to the dining area to feast on special Holi delicacies. There are many Indian specialties that are made only on Holi, including sweets and snacks with Thandai and yummy savory snacks. This year, also I have come up with a refreshing cold beverage with a fusion touch of thandai masala powder to celebrate Holi known as Thandai Lassi. 




    Well, Lassi is a chilled sweet yogurt drink which is a traditional drink of North Indian state of Punjab, but it is popular world wide. For the celebration of holi, I have added the thandai masala powder as a flavoring while preparing the lassi. The preparation of this flavorful thandai lassi is so easy and quick. Within a few minutes of preparation, one can relish this cold beverage. Surely this thandai lassi will be loved by everyone as compared to any plain, minty or fruity flavored lassi on the upcoming Holi festival. So below is the details method of preparation of this luscious cold beverage Thandai Lassi.





    Preparation Time : 5 mins  |  Cooking Time : 0 mins 


    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Yogurt (chilled and thick)
    2 cup
    Milk (chilled)
    ¼ cup
    4 tbsp
    Sugar
    3 tbsp
    Rose water
    2-3 drop
    Chopped nuts
    For garnishing



    Method :
    1. In a blender jar take thick yogurt, milk and sugar.
    2. Blend it thoroughly for at least 3-4 minutes till the sugar dissolves.
    3. Add the thandai masala powder and rose water.
    4. Blend it again to create a frothy layer.
    5. Pour into serving glasses, put some chopped nuts and serve chilled immediately !



    Notes :

    • The amount of milk can be adjusted depending on the desired consistency of lassi.
    • Curd and milk should be chilled.

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    This 'Thandai Lassi or Holi special Yogurt Drink' is contributed for 43 Healthy Wellthy Cuisines where the theme is 'Holi with Fusion'. Here are more similar recipes shared by our Healthy Wealthy Group members as Thandai flavoured cookiesThandai MousseMini Rasogolla Rava thandai.

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    Rabdi with Thandai flavor | Thandai Rabdi



    Holi is known as the festival of colors in India. Celebrations are typically marked by the splashing of colors on family and friends. It is a spring festival and also the happiest and most colorful religious festival of the Hindus. It is celebrated on the first day of Chaitra. On this occasion we forget our old quarrels and mix with all freely. At least for one day we forget social distinctions completely and there is no difference between the rich and the poor. Holi gives us a great joy. Since Holi is approaching, so the Foodie Monday Blog Hop team has come up with a theme as 'Holi on my platter'. I have prepared a fusion dessert with a touch of holi festival, named as Thandai Rabdi and contributed for the theme.


    Well, who doesn't love rabdi or rabri !! Though I am not at all a fond of sweets, but still I love to prepare rabdi for my family. This very rich dessert, rabdi is made by condensing full fat milk in a large open vessel until it reaches approximately 1/3rd of the original amount. To this traditionally delicious dessert, I have given a fusion in the form of thandai masala powder. First the full fat milk is thickened, then flavored with the thandai masala powder along with sugar and some rose essence. The thandai powder is a semi-coarse or fine mixture of cashews, almonds, pistachios, melon seeds, fennel seeds, rose petals, pepper corns, green cardamoms, poppy seeds, saffrons and many other according to individual preferences. Holi festival means thandai masala flavored dishes are must to be prepared for celebration. 




    Thandai and thandai rabdi are both milk based chilled sweet dishes with the touch of thandai masala powder. But thandai is a beverage prepared by just adding the thandai masala powder to the simple boiled milk, where as thandai rabdi is a dessert by adding the thandai masala powder to thickened or condensed milk. The thandai masala powder used here is homemade and also the ready-made powder from market can be used instead, but if using the market brought powder, then just adjust the sugar quantity as per the sweetness desire. So for this coming Holi, do make this fusion dessert as rabdi with thandai flavor at home and enjoy with your loved ones. Lets go in details.




    Preparation Time : 2 mins  |  Cooking Time : 1 hrs

    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Milk (full fat)
    1.5 lt
    5 tbsp
    Sugar
    3 tbsp
    Rose essence
    ½ tsp
    Sliced nuts
    For garnishing


    Method :
    1. Boil milk in a broad and heavy bottomed pan over medium heat.
    2. When milk starts to boil, reduce heat to low. 
    3. Stir at regular intervals of 3-4 minutes and also scrap all the cream chunks which are being stick to the side of the pan.
    4. Cook until milk is reduced to 1/3 of original quantity.
    5. Then add thandai masala powder, rose essence, sugar and stir to mix well. 
    6. Again cook stirring in between and scraping the cream chunks.
    7. Continue for 8-10 minutes more or until the thick and grainy texture of the rabdi is achieved.
    8. Turn off heat and allow the rabdi to cool at room temperature. 
    9. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.
    10. At the time of serving, just pour in serving bowl topped with sliced nuts and serve chilled !



    Notes :

    • Always prefer to use broad and heavy bottomed pan, otherwise milk will stick to the bottom easily.
    • Do not stir too much while cooking. Keep some interval of stirring, otherwise the cream will not form perfectly.
    • The amount of thandai masala powder can be varied as desire.

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    Thandai Masala Powder (without Sugar)

    The Spring Festival of India, Holi is a festival of colors. This is celebrated in the month of Phalgun (February-March) according to the Hindu calendar. Holi is one of the major festivals of India and is celebrated in most of the states of India. However, each region has its own variations of Holi with a large local influence. Although the festival originated in India and is still widely celebrated there as a religious festival, it has been adopted in many places around the world. Some of the biggest celebrations take place in the temples of Vrindavan, a town in the Indian northern state of Uttar Pradesh. According to legend, the Hindu god Krishna played Holi with his consort Radha. On the day of Holi, people throw colored powder and liquids at each other. The festival also symbolizes a new beginning for Hindus to end conflicts and let go of emotional impurities from the past. Along with variety of colors, people likes to enjoy variety of food as well. 




    There are a lot of traditional delicacies that are relished on Holi festival for making the occasion even more enjoyable. Among all, thandai is a refreshing milk beverage specifically served during Holi. Thandai is mainly prepared by using a nut and spice mix powder known as thandai masala powder. Basically the thandai powder is a semi-coarse or fine mixture of cashews, almonds, pistachios, melon seeds, fennel seeds, rose petals, pepper corns, green cardamoms, poppy seeds, saffrons and many other according to individual preferences. 


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    These ingredients present in the thandai even have a few health benefits.
    • Fennel Seeds are full of antioxidants, anti-flatulance, and cooling properties.
    • Pepper corn has medicinal properties that prevent the formation of intestinal gas, stimulate the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach which helps in digestion. Peppercorn also promotes sweating and urination for removing waste from our body.
    • Melon seeds are a good source of energy, protein and iron.
    • Rose petals are rich in vitamin C,D,K and E and other organic acids like malic acid, citric acid and pectin which help in building a strong immune system, strengthening the digestive system and detoxifying the urinary tract and kidneys.
    • Poppy seeds contain minerals like iodine, manganese, zinc, magnesium and copper. The presence of linoleic acid in poppy seeds protects the body from heart attacks and other heart disorders.
    • Saffron has many therapeutic applications in many traditional medicines as antiseptic, antidepressant, antioxidant, digestive, anti-convulsant.



    Though associated with festivals like Holi and Maha Shivratri, thandai is a preferred cold beverage throughout summers in India. These days, anybody can get the ready made thandai powder or thandai syrup in market. But those are much loaded with sugar. So instead of using that, do prefer this homemade thandai powder. Instantly anybody can prepare and store for later use. Using this thandai masala powder, one can prepare many other things like traditional thandai, thandai cheesecake, thandai rabdi, thandai lassi, thandai kulfi, thandai cookies, thandai cakes and many more. Some of these, I will share in my next posts, so stay tuned ;) .Below is the details method of preparation of thandai masala powder.

    Preparation Time : 15 mins  |  Cooking Time : 5 mins

    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    Almond (Roughly chopped)
    4 tbsp
    Cashew (Roughly chopped)
    4 tbsp
    Pistachio (Roughly chopped)
    5 tbsp
    Melon seed
    4 tbsp
    Poppy seed
    2 tbsp
    Whole black pepper
    ½ tsp
    Green cardamom seed
    1 tbsp
    Fennel seed
    1 tbsp
    Dried rose petal
    3 tbsp
    Saffron strand
    few


    Method :
    1. In a pan, first dry roast chopped almonds, cashews, pistachios lightly. Transfer to a plate and allow to cool completely.
    2. In the same pan, again dry roast melon seeds. Soon these will start spluttering, then transfer to the nuts plate and allow to cool everything completely.
    3. Now take a blender jar and using a dry kitchen towel, wipe out the inside of the jar making sure that the jar is completely clean and dry.
    4. Next put all the ingredients listed along with roasted and cooled nuts and melon seeds in the blender jar.
    5. Then pulse to a fine powder keeping some gap in between pulsing. That means, don’t just put the blender on high and leave it to get the fine powder. Since nuts are being used so by continuously pulsing oil may secret from the nuts and also the perfect texture of the masala powder may not achieve. So pulsing for a few seconds, then checking the texture, then pulsing again will prevent any imperfect texture of the thandai masala powder.
    6. Now sieve the powder on a plate and again grind the coarse ones till everything sieved out.
    7. Finally using a clean spoon, put all the sieved powder into an air-tight container.
    8. Now the thandai masala powder is ready to be stored and used whenever needed !



    Notes :

    • This thandai masala powder can be stored for 2 months in an air tight box. 
    • Always pulse to a fine powder keeping some gap in between pulsing. That means, don’t just put the blender on high and leave it to get the fine powder. Since nuts are being used so by continuously pulsing oil may secret from the nuts and also the perfect texture of the masala powder may not achieve. So pulsing for a few seconds, then checking the texture, then pulsing again will prevent any imperfect texture of the thandai masala powder.
    • The ingredient's measurements can be changed as per individual preference.

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    Monday, 19 February 2018

    Eggless Hedgehog Cookies with Orange flavor



    Food art means the arts of preparation, cooking and presentation of food, usually in the form of meals. Food brings out so many different reactions in people. Some people are drawn by taste, however some others might be tempted by its smells and visual appearance. For thousands of years, people have sought not only to make food taste better, but great progresses also have been made in making food smell and look better. After all, no one wants to eat something that doesn't look appetizing !




    Art has featured food for thousands of years. It is basically the one thing to make a platter visually appealing. Although, there are specific peoples often known as food artists who dedicate their time to turning edibles into visuals, but anyone can try their hands. Art can be experienced through many ways, but all most everyone can experience the art through food because of the daily impact and history that food has on every living being.





    So if anyone stops to think about the role that food plays in our lives is notably significant. What we eat fully reflects our lifestyle, culture, preferences and beliefs. It is difficult to argue the importance of food, however it is possible to argue its importance in the world of art. Monday is here again and the theme for 132nd Foodie Monday Blog Hop is decided as 'Edible Food Art'. So I have prepared one baked dish, Hedgehog Cookie as contribution of mine. 


    Well, these hedgehog cookies are completely eggless and I have flavored them with oranges since oranges are in season. The cookies are first shaped as body of a hedgehog and after baking they are finally decorated as a complete hedgehog using some melted chocolate, roughly chopped tiny cashew pieces and chocolate sprinkles. Here I have used roughly chopped tiny cashew pieces and chocolate sprinkles for reflecting those spines of a hedgehog. You may use any other things to become more creative. Kids'll definitely enjoy this if involved in preparing the whole process. Without taking time anymore, lets go in details.




    Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 20 mins

    Ingredients :        

    Ingredients
    Measurements
    All purpose flour
    1 cup
    Powdered sugar
    ¼ cup
    Butter
    100 gm
    Orange essence
    ½ tsp
    Orange zest
    ¼ tsp
    Salt
    1 pinch
    Dark chocolate chunk / dark chocolate chip
    ½ cup
    Chocolate sprinkle
    As needed
    Cashew (roughly chopped to tiny pieces)
    As needed


    Method :
    1. Preheat the oven at 180 deg C.
    2. Take butter (at room temperature) and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl.
    3. Using a whisk, mix well until a creamy texture comes out.
    4. Then add orange essence, orange zest and whisk again to mix everything well.
    5. Next add all purpose flour, salt and fold gently to form a soft dough. If the dough becomes crumbly, then add 1-2 tbsp milk. If the dough becomes sticky, then add 1-2 tbsp flour more.
    6. Take 1 tbsp of dough, shape into a ball, pinch any one side of the ball to make the face of hedgehog and finally place over a baking tray lined with baking paper.
    7. Repeat for rest of the dough and arrange all the hedgehog shaped cookies over the baking tray having 2 inches space in between.
    8. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.
    9. Once done, take out the cookies from the oven. Allow to cool on the baking tray for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
    10. Meanwhile melt dark chocolate chunks by using double boiler or just microwave for 1 - 1.5 minutes. Stir in between until smooth.
    11. Pick one cooled cookie by holding the pinched area (face of the hedgehog) of the cookie, dip into the melted chocolate leaving the face area uncovered so that 2/3 rd top-area of the cookie will be covered by chocolate.
    12. Allow excess chocolate to drip off the cookie and immediately sprinkle some roughly chopped tiny cashew pieces or chocolate sprinkles over the chocolate covered area.
    13. Place on a plate lined with baking paper. Take a toothpick, dip in melted chocolate and then make eyes and nose in the chocolate uncovered face area of the hedgehog cookie.
    14. Repeat for rest hedgehog cookies and allow to harden the chocolate completely.
    15. Refrigerate all the hedgehog cookies in an airtight container and while serving, take out from refrigerator and serve !



    Notes :

    • The dough has to be a smooth and soft texture. If the dough becomes crumbly, then add 1-2 tbsp milk. If the dough becomes sticky, then add 1-2 tbsp flour.
    • Don't worry if any cracks appear while baking the cookies, because those cracks will be covered by melted chocolate at last to give the final look of a hedgehog.
    • Any other coating can be opted instead of roughly chopped tiny cashew pieces and chocolate sprinkles.
    • If butter is salted one, then skip using salt along with flour.

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    Eggless Hedgehog Cookies with Orange flavor recipe is linked to this week Fiesta Friday co hosted by Abbey and Antonia.

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    Saturday, 10 February 2018

    Eggless Rose Thumbprint Cookies




    A thumbprint cookie literally means a cookie pressed with the thumb in the center and filled basically with jams or preserves. These cookies are also known as butter balls. Basically the bread like dough is first rolled into balls and then an indentation is created in the center with the thumb. The jam is either filled in the indentation before baking the cookies or after it has been baked. The basic ingredients include sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, all purpose flour, salt, nuts, jam, vanilla etc.





    But now-a-days, these thumbprint cookies are coming with many variations. The center filling may include chocolate kiss or toffee or pumpkin butter instead of jam or preserves. It really depends on recipe and personal preference. The preparation method remains the same. Some people mostly prefer to add the filling after baking in order to prevent breakage or leakage. Typically, the cookies do not require additional garnishing. Adding some jam in the indentation (center) makes the cookies look more appealing. These have become extremely popular all over the world and also fit for a perfect snack item. 




      This coming week the world would be gearing up to celebrate the Valentine's day and there are many multiple ways to express the love. Keeping that in mind, I have just prepared some rose flavored thumbprint cookies which are bit pink in color and hence will definitely spread some romantic treat to the eyes and the palate as well. Some of my other collections you might have interest as





      Well, these pink beauties are completely egg-less and made up of whole wheat flour. Also no baking powder and baking soda are used in this cookies. With just few ingredients, one can easily prepare this rose thumbprint cookie during the Valentine's day celebrations. These look perfect and taste even better. So lets go in details.




      Preparation Time : 10 mins  |  Cooking Time : 20 mins 


      Ingredients :        

      Ingredients
      Measurements
      Wheat flour
      ½ cup + 2 tbsp
      Powdered sugar
      ¼ cup
      Butter
      ¼ cup
      Rose essence
      1 tsp
      Pink food color
      Few drops
      White chocolate
      ¼ cup



      Method :
      1. Preheat the oven at 180 deg C.
      2. Shift wheat flour in a bowl and keep aside.
      3. In another mixing bowl, take butter (at room temperature) and powdered sugar. 
      4. Whisk until creamy and fluffy using hand / electric whisk.
      5. Next add rose essence, few pink food color and whisk again until everything incorporate well.
      6. Now add the shifted wheat flour to the fluffy mixture and mix well to get a dough.
      7. Take 1 tbsp of the dough and shape in to a ball.
      8. Similarly, make balls from rest of the dough.
      9. Place all the dough balls 1-inch apart from each other on a baking tray lined with baking sheet and bake them for 8 minutes.
      10. After 8 minutes, take out the baking tray from the oven.
      11. Press the center of each cookie using the back of any small spoon or a melon baller. 
      12. Bake for another 8-9 minutes.
      13. Meanwhile, melt the white chocolate using a double boiler and keep aside.
      14. After 8-9 minutes, take out the baking tray from the oven and allow to cool down completely.
      15. Then fill the indentation of each cookie with melted white chocolate and allow the filling to set until firm.
      16. Store in an air-tight container !



      Notes :

      • The dough has to be non-sticky texture. If the dough becomes crumbly, then add 1-2 tbsp milk. If the dough becomes sticky, then add 1-2 tbsp flour.
      • Butter should be at room temperature. Also if not using salted butter, then add 1 pinch of salt along with flour while making dough.

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      This 'Eggless Rose Thumbprint Cookies' is contributed for 42 Healthy Wellthy Cuisines where the theme is 'Pyaar Ka Tyohar'. Here are more similar recipes shared by our Healthy Wealthy Group members as skillet brownie sundae , gulabJamun muffins, eggless persian love cake, chocolate walnut fudge, nutty cuppies, custard pie pudding , eggless strawberry mousse.


      Sharing this recipe to CookBlogShare and also to Fiesta Friday this week co hosted by Laurena and Jhuls.

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