Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Papaya Milkshake

The temperature has been found soring even higher this week touching the absolute 40 deg C.

Breakfasts are more of toasts and fruits along with fresh, plain, chilled yogurt or mildly spiced buttermilk, fruit juices or preferably shakes. I still had the remaining half of a Ripe Papaya, the first half which I served with the toasts, yesterday.

Today when Pongal, Chutney and some Puligojju barged in as the breakfast menu the papayas went into the cold milk which came out pretty as Chilled Papaya Milk Shake.

I have never made this before and was so refreshing and filling (I skipped Pongal and the accompaniments) and absolutely comforting.In spite of being a Papaya Hater, I Loved this drink since it didn’t have that ‘strong flavour’ of the fruit; the part, a papaya hater really dislikes.

Here’s how I made the drink,

Boiled and Chilled, Fat free milk- 3 cups

Ripe papaya , cut into half inch cubes-a large cup(more or less)

Sugar- 7-8 tsps or as you prefer

Ice cubes- a few

Powder sugar. Pulse/whip the fruit along with it.Add the ice cubes and the chilled milk and pulse again until well blended.Pour into glasses and enjoy the fresh milk shake.

It is not advisable to store the ‘shake’ as you might be doing with the other fruit shakes as this one tends to get curdled soon, though edible. I presume it is due to the enzyme Papain, present in the fruit which does so while blended with milk.

This goes to Srivalli's Thanda Mela, the summer drinks event, celebrating 3 years of her successful blogging and to Indrani's Spotlight event of Summer Food and Drinks.

Just a few shots to see what sunlight can do to this Drink...

Something which really interested me with the drink was the change of colours I noticed while I placed the glass near the window, the usual spot.

It had more of a rich golden yellow-orange hue.


...while with the lesser light, the papaya shake looked naturally pretty with its mild pink colour.


When all the 3 colours of the drink; ‘golden yellow-orange-pink’, combined, were captured.

'Pretty' healthy drink...na?? ;)

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Simple Lentil and Vegetable Soup

The Hot Summer days are back with the fierce merciless sun spitting out 'Fire!'
I dare to stay a longer time in the kitchen with elaborate meals and it's definitely not a good time to whip up soups.
Invariably my family prefers a comforting bowl of any vegetarian soup for dinner after a heavy Sunday lunch, irrespective of the season.

And now with my Blog which has just turned 3, I surprisingly realize I’d never posted a single ‘Soup recipe’ till date!!
So, here’s a 'Simple', 'Nourishing Bowl' of Soup with 'no butter', 'white sauce' or any 'thickening agent'.
This 'low calorie comfort soup' recipe serves 4 large bowls.

To Start -

Get ready with 1/3 cup of red or green lentils, rinse and soak in luke warm water for an hour or so and pressure cook till soft with water at least twice the depth of the lentils.

You need 2 cups of Vegetables in all.

Mince Finely, a few leaves of Spinach, a small piece of Cabbage, Carrot, 1 or 2 Beans, 1/4th of a Capsicum,a Cauli flowerette(Sorry! if there isn’t such a term in the English Dictionary :)) a button mushroom, half tomato(I avoided this), a few fresh coriander leaves, a small onion,a large clove of garlic and half a green chilly(optional).
Feel free to throw in a tbsp of fresh peas and corn kernels each….and yeah!..if you are lucky enough to find a cube of paneer smiling at you in the freezer, cut it into tiny bits(after immersing in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes) and let her join the above ;)

Transfer the above chopped veggies to the cooked gram. The water level should at least be an inch above them. Add enough salt and pressure cook till one whistle. Remove from fire and let the steam vent out by itself.
Open, check salt and serve hot with freshly crushed black pepper.

This is one of the most comforting and easiest soups which you can never stop with just one-soup-bowl-serving :).

Let the soup be watery. If you prefer Broth, simply strain, and Slurp on with pieces of bread or bun, dunked in.

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