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.

Black Forest Muffins

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all, they can be on your table within the hour! Though they do taste better if you can resist until they are cooled completely 🙂

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all they can be on your table within the hour! Almost everyone loves a classic Black Forest Gateaux but who has access to or even afford one every day? So as we fancied one but didn’t have access to one our creative juices started to flow and this is what we came up with – a black forest muffins!

Ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125g flour
  • 25g organic unsweetened raw cocoa
  • 4 eggs; separated
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 75g cherries in juice; drained

For the syrup:

  • 3tbsp cherry juice
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 1tbs cherry liqueur

For the decoration (optional):

  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 10 cherries
  • Chocolate shavings

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare 10 cups in a muffin tin tray by lining them with paper muffin cases or lightly greasing.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, on a low heat melt the butter and sugar, gently bring to the boil and cook for a minute or two stirring constantly till the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat, transfer into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.

In a clean and dry bowl whisk the egg whites until peaks form.

Once the butter and sugar mixture has cooled down, stir in the egg yolks followed by the vanilla essence, then sift over flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix well.

Then gently fold in the cherries and whisked egg whites.

Spoon the batter into the earlier prepared muffin cases and bake for around 15 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch, use a wooden toothpick to check, it should come out clean when you stick it into the middle of the muffin.

Whilst your muffin are baking mix up the syrup by combining all the listed ingredients. If you are struggling with dissolving the sugar simply heat the cherry juice up a bit.

Once the muffins are baked remove from the oven and whilst still hot slowly drizzle a little bit of the syrup mix onto each muffin. It will give them a wonderful shiny finish 🙂

If you are opting for the fully loaded version of the muffin with whipped cream then whip the cream (I don’t add sugar but if you fancy more sweetness, you might want to add a tablespoon of icing sugar… or two) so it is ready for serving.

Once you are ready to eat, simply decorate your shiny muffins with the whipped cream and place a cherry on top; finish with some chocolate shavings sprinkled all over…

Perfection!

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all they can be on your table within the hour! In the past we used to only bake these muffins for special occasions, especially if we opted for the whipped cream finish but lately we have decided that actually, every day is a special day, so why not treat ourselves for no particular reason at all!

What is your favourite special occasion dessert?

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all they can be on your table within the hour!

12 Delicious Winter Salads

12-delicious-winter-saladsAre you fed up with all those heavy cold-weather meals? Fancy something a little lighter after the Xmas feasting, that is still super tasty and yet easy to prepare? Well, look no further… today I want to share with you a round-up of 12 delicious winter salads, based on seasonal ingredients, which will definitely help to lighten things up.

baby-kale-and-roasted-cauliflower-salad-with-pomegranatesBaby kale and roasted cauliflower salad with pomegranates

chickpeas-pomegranate-salad-with-lime-dressingChickpeas & Pomegranate Salad with Lime Dressing

hearty-radicchio-salad-with-roasted-potatoesHearty Radicchio Salad with Roasted Potatoes

kale-and-clementine-winter-saladKale and Clementine Winter Salad

lemon-garlic-roasted-brussel-sprouts-with-zucchini-and-pomegranateLemon Garlic Roasted Brussel Sprouts + Zucchini + Pomegranate

roast-beetroot-salad-with-lentils-fennel-and-blood-orange-in-a-blood-orange-dressingRoast Beetroot Salad with Lentils, Fennel and Blood Orange in a Blood Orange Dressing

shaved-brussels-sprout-and-cranberry-saladShaved Brussels Sprout and Cranberry Salad

vegetarian-olivier-salad-salada-russaVegetarian Olivier salad (Salada Russa)

watermelon-radish-and-spinach-salad-with-barleyWatermelon Radish and Spinach Salad with Barley

winter-kale-beet-saladWinter Kale Beet Salad

winter-salad-with-brown-butter-dressingWinter Salad with Brown “Butter” Dressing

winter-sweet-citrus-salad-with-pomegranate-pistachiosWinter Sweet Citrus Salad with Pomegranate & Pistachios

 

I hope this small selection will get you inspired. Yes, salads are more of a summer dish but who said we can’t eat them in winter too, especially as they use proper seasonal produce?

What’s your favourite winter salad?

Are you fed up with all those heavy cold-weather meals? Fancy something a little lighter after the Xmas feasting, that is still super tasty and yet easy to prepare? Well, look no further… today I want to share with you a round-up of 12 delicious winter salads, based on seasonal ingredients, which will definitely help to lighten things up.

Super Green Morning Smoothie

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.Every single ingredient brings something to the table:

Water – essential for good hydration; promotes weight loss and helps to flush out the toxins from our body.

Spinach – not only is it high in proteins and fibre but it is also loaded with microelements and vitamins like A, B6, C, E and K just to name a few.

Kiwi – with its low GI, high fibre content and alkaline properties kiwi is a perfect morning fruit, which adds tonnes of vitamin C, vitamin E and antioxidants into the mixture.

Matcha – super high in antioxidants helps to increase our energy levels, endurance and concentration but at the same time, promotes calmness and relaxation.

Wheatgrass – it contains chlorophyll, which is a natural liver cleanser and detoxifier; additionally it contains all minerals known to man, as well as many other vitamins.

Chia seeds – low calories, high in fibre and proteins, just what you need in the morning.

Protein powder – well this one is optional but if like me, you are struggling with food in the morning, I would highly suggest adding some into your smoothie to boost your protein intake, which will help with metabolism and keep you fuller for longer.

So let’s mix!

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.Ingredients:

  • 250ml filtered water*
  • 1 large organic kiwi; peeled and halved
  • 1 scoop of diet whey protein powder**
  • 1 large handful of fresh organic spinach***
  • 1tsp organic chia seeds
  • 1/2tsp organic matcha
  • 1/2tsp organic wheatgrass

*as its winter time I don’t like my smoothie too cold in the morning so I don’t use chilled water, but come the warmer weather, you can use chilled water or reduce the amount of water and add a good handful of ice cubes on top

**I like strawberry flavour from PhD

***frozen would work great too

Method:

Well, you will need a blender, a high power one would be ideal.

Simply pop all the ingredients into the blender bowl, starting with water, pop the lid on and blend.

I start with variable 1, turn it to 10 and then swap too high for around 10 seconds or so. In this time frame, my Vitamix will have blended everything nicely, including the chia seeds and kiwi pips.

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.Serve and enjoy!

This super green, high protein morning smoothie is packed with goodness, which will allow you to really kick start your day.