I Love India – Homemade Lassi and Falooda

This classic sweet and salty mint lassi is very popular in the northern Punjab, where field workers use it to replenish their bodies with both salt and sugar whilst refreshing and cooling themselves with the buttermilk, mint and cumin seeds. Easier to digest than milk and yogurt, buttermilk is considered a light and healthy way to get your dairy, but now most of us just blend yogurt and water together until we have a light frothy lassi.

Put a spin on the classic lassi and turn it into a lassi float – the slight sourness of the lassi has to be a great balance for the ice cream – and they really work together a treat; complex but easy, and much more sophisticated than a soda float.

For an extra dimension, make it into a falooda, a colourful part-drink, part-dessert dish that you eat with a spoon. It is delicious and lighter than many puddings!

Classic sweet and salty mint lassi; serves 1

  • 180g (3⁄4 cup) plain yogurt
  • 120ml (1⁄2 cup) water
  • 2tsp sugar, or to taste
  • pinch of salt
  • 1⁄3–1⁄2 tsp roast and ground cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp. shredded mint leaves, or dried mint
  • crushed or shaved ice, to serve

Blend together the yogurt, water, sugar, salt, cumin and half the mint. Stir in the remaining mint, taste and adjust the sugar and yogurt. Chill, before serving with crushed or shaved ice.

Lassi floats; serves 6

  • 480g (2 cups) chilled plain yogurt
  • 400ml (12⁄3 cup) water
  • 5tsp sugar, or to taste
  • crushed ice, to serve
  • 6 small scoops of ice cream

Blend together the yogurt, water and sugar until light and frothy. Adjust the sugar to taste; the amount you need depends on how sour the yogurt is. Pour into glasses furnished with some crushed ice. Add small scoops of your chosen ice cream. Leave for 5–10 minutes, then serve.

Falooda; serves 6

Soak 5tbsp of black chia seeds in enough milk to cover them for approximately 20 minutes, or until they plump up. Cook 80g (2¾oz) falooda sev noodles (Indian cornflour noodles available in most Indian food stores), or some thin rice noodles, according to the packet instructions. Mix these together with a little coloured syrup (either grenadine, violet or the more traditional rose syrup). Divide the noodles and syrup between glasses; there should be 1 teaspoon of the syrup per glass. Add the chia seeds on top, pour over your lassi, prepared as per the recipe above.

Enjoy!

For more delicious recipes from all over India check our “I love India” cookbook by Anjum Anand.

*Photo credit: Martin Poole

 

15 Delicious Rhubarb Recipes

Rhubarb, that weird looking vegetable, commonly mistaken for being a fruit is packed with goodness, minerals and vitamins all of which can be greatly beneficial for our body. This is the first eatable plant that has grown in our garden (not counting the spring onions) so I was on the lookout for some new recipes to inspire me; I really had no idea rhubarb could be so versatile… it turns out there is so much more you can do with rhubarb than the “go to” recipe of rhubarb crumble :-)Rhubarb, that weird looking vegetable, commonly mistaken for being a fruit is packed with goodness, minerals and vitamins all of which can be greatly beneficial for our body. This is the first eatable plant that has grown in our garden (not counting the spring onions) so I was on the lookout for some new recipes to inspire me; I really had no idea rhubarb could be so versatile… it turns out there is so much more you can do with rhubarb than the “go to” recipe of rhubarb crumble 🙂

Green Salad with Roasted Rhubarb, Goat Cheese & Tarragon Vinaigrette

Mini Strawberry Rhubarb Hand Pies

Orange Rhubarb Giant Financier

Rhubarb & Ginger Tartlets with Pistachios

Rhubarb and Hazelnut Cake

Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

Rhubarb Berry Jam

Rhubarb Cream Cheese Cake

Rhubarb Rose Dark Chocolate Parfaits

Rhubarb Shortbread Bars

Rhubarb Strawberry Chia Jam

Roasted Aubergine with Rhubarb Salsa

Roasted Chicken with Smashed Peas, Roasted Rhubarb and Aleppo Honey

Spring Rhubarb Frangipane Chevron Tart

Summer Rhubarb Chicken Salad

Do you like rhubarb?

What’s your favourite way of preparing it?

Rhubarb, that weird looking vegetable, commonly mistaken for being a fruit is packed with goodness, minerals and vitamins all of which can be greatly beneficial for our body. This is the first eatable plant that has grown in our garden (not counting the spring onions) so I was on the lookout for some new recipes to inspire me; I really had no idea rhubarb could be so versatile… it turns out there is so much more you can do with rhubarb than the “go to” recipe of rhubarb crumble.

Smoked Mackerel Breakfast Salad

Fast and easy to prepare, this salad will provide everything one might need for a good start of the day, including plenty of protein.

Fast and easy to prepare, this salad will provide everything one might need for a good start of the day, including plenty of protein.For years our morning meal has contained a single item… a coffee. Well, we both aren’t morning eaters and the very idea of solid foods in the earlier hours of the day just isn’t very appealing to us, normally but things can change… Lately, we have swopped sitting in the office in front of the PC for more physical work like gardening or woodworking. This change has forced us to reevaluate our eating habits. We are now much more inclined to have a proper, high protein breakfast which will keep us going till lunch or maybe dinner time, depending on how busy we are. We have started to experiment with different food combos and this salad is just a perfect result from this experiment. Who would have thought that fish and a white cheese could go so well together? I know it might sound a bit off but don’t diss it before you try it. The smoky taste from the fish rounded out by the creamy white cheese, the mildest hint of mayo zinged to the heavens when a piece of spring onion is bit a truly wondrous combo.

Ingredients:

  • 500g smoked mackerel
  • 150g soft white cheese*
  • 3 eggs
  • 2tbsp mayonnaise
  • Handful of chopped spring onions
  • Fresh cracked black pepper; to taste

*if you are in the UK you could check your local supermarkets’ Foods Of the World fridge section and see if they stock a Polish white cheese called twaróg  – it will work perfectly 🙂

Method:

Put a pan of water and 3 eggs on to boil, when done remove from the heat and allow to cool.

De-bone and flake the fish, then place it in a bowl. With a fork, mash it up a bit to reduce in size any large clumps of fish.

Add the white cheese and mash some more.

Once cooled and peeled, roughly chop the eggs and add to the bowl of fish and cheese. Sprinkle the spring onion over the top, add the mayonnaise and finally crack some black pepper and stir gently till everything is just combined.

Serve as a salad or even as a sandwich filling, it works perfectly both ways. And if you have any leftovers after breakfast time, pop it into the fridge and use as a dip for some crackers come evening time.

Enjoy!

Fast and easy to prepare, this salad will provide everything one might need for a good start of the day, including plenty of protein.

Morning Fruit Booster Smoothie

A fresh and zingy morning smoothie which will wake you up and help you stay energized for those busy hours to come.

A fresh and zingy morning smoothie which will wake you up and help you stay energized for those busy hours to come.Sometimes it’s really hard to wake up in the morning and once we are up even a cup of coffee can’t always help us to stay awake. Well, next time you have one of those mornings, try my fruit booster morning smoothie. It will definitely help your energy levels peak and it will also provide your body with some much-needed vitamins and microelements.

One thing to remember: quality over quantity! Good quality ingredients are becoming harder to come by. Low-quality food, including fruit and veggies, is cheap but at the same time worthless to our body. I know it might sound like a no brainier to some but always buy organic ingredients… yes, I know they cost more but we are what we eat… I think it is better by any measure to buy less of something and get to truly enjoy its real taste rather than a big plastic-wrapped bag of intensely farmed produce at a knocked down price. That’s not to mention the benefits obtained from eating healthy naturally grown foods. Thus ends the sermon, now what do we need for that pick me up smoothie…

Ingredients:

  • 250ml chilled coconut water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 large red grapefruit
  • 1 orange
  • 1 pear
  • 1 red apple
  • Ice cubes (optional)

A fresh and zingy morning smoothie which will wake you up and help you stay energized for those busy hours to come.Method:

Wash and quarter the apple and pear.

Wash and peel the banana and orange then chop into smaller chunks.

Chop in half and remove all the red flesh from the grapefruit. If you have a sweet grapefruit or you don’t mind an abundance of zinginess you might just peel and chop it. I normally just add the fleshy parts without any of the white pith bits which separate the segments as these can be very bitter.

As for the preparation part of the process simply add the coconut water into your blended, pop all your prepared fruits in and blend for 10-15 seconds on a high speed or until it is visibly smooth.

Serve over ice if you fancy a colder refreshment.

Enjoy!

Morning Fruit Booster Smoothie. A fresh and zingy morning smoothie which will wake you up and help you stay energized for those busy hours to come.

Triple Chocolate Almond Brownies

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookies and a cake.

Purposefully made to not be a sweet as traditional brownies whilst retaining all the wonderful flavours you would expect they offer a more intense experience. The chewy middle encapsulated with a crunchy exterior is complimented with the nuts for that pleasing crunch the mouth adores and all backed up with a small tingle from the coffee buzz… could you ask for more.

Ingredients:

  • 150g dark chocolate; roughly chopped
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 115g butter; cubed
  • 100g almonds; roughly chopped
  • 55g plain flour
  • 50g white chocolate; roughly chopped
  • 30g drinking chocolate
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 1tbsp instant coffee
  • 1tbsp filtered hot water
  • 1/2tsp vanilla essence

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookies and a cake.Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare an 8-inch square tin by lining it with baking paper, unless you, like me, bake in a silicone tray in which case no lining is necessary.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, over a very low heat melt the butter and dark chocolate slowly. Once melted remove from the heat and add the sugar, stir constantly until it is all dissolved.

Put aside the mixture to cool down.

In a small cup mix together the hot water and instant coffee and again set aside to cool; once cold add the vanilla essence.

Beat the eggs with a fork or whisk in a small bowl or cup.

In yet another bowl sift the flour and drinking chocolate together.

Once your dark chocolate has cooled down to around room temperature pour into a mixing bowl and then add the whisked eggs, the coffee and vanilla mixture and stir the mix until combined.

Fold in your flour and drinking chocolate; finally gently fold in the chopped almonds and white chocolate chunks.

Spread the mixture out evenly in your pre-prepared baking tray and bake for 28-30 minutes or until just set in the middle… avoid over baking as over baked brownies will tend to be dry and hard, I like to check on them once my timer hits the 25-minute mark just to keep a close eye on them.

Remove from the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.

Cut into your desired serving portion size and enjoy!

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookie and a cake.