Banana Almond Mint Smoothie 


Banana almond mint smoothie.

One more healthy, yummy, chilled and refreshing drink to beat the heat.  And yes very easy to make.

Smoothie is an easiest way to nourish your body with essential nutrients. It gives you essential minerals and vitamins too. You need only some fruits, milk or yogurt and a blender to make this healthy and yummy drink.

Bananas are available in every season and packed with vitamins and minerals.

And almonds are excellent source of vitamins and heart healthy monounsaturated fat.

Yogurt has been consumed by humans for hundreds of years.

It’s very nutritious, and eating it regularly may boost several aspects of your health.

For example, yogurt has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, as well as aid in weight management.

Source 

You can take all three in a delicious way. Just blend everything and its ready. You can add ice cubes and enjoy as a chilled drink. I have used everything frozen so didn’t used ice cubes. You can add cinnamon or cardamom powder if you don’t like mint.

Recipe 


Yogurt – 1 cup

Banana – 2 peeled and chopped

Almond – 5 – 6 soaked and peeled

Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon

Mint – few leaves

Honey or sugar – 2 teaspoon or to taste

Ice cube – as require

Shredded almonds, lemon wedge and mint string for garnishing

 

 

Method 


Combine every ingredients. Blend until smooth and frothy.

You can add cinnamon or cardamom powder if you don’t like mint. You can add raisins or any soaked dry fruits of your choice.

Taste and add more honey, sugar or lemon juice if require.

Pour the mixture into your favourite glass. Add some ice cubes if require.

I have used everything frozen so didn’t used ice cubes.

Garnish with shredded almonds, lemon wedge and mint string.

Serve chilled.

Enjoy…….

Gazpacho Or Cold Soup 

Gazpacho 

In this hot weather we want some no cook dishes, right? 😀

Yes we enjoy smoothies, cooler, mojito and different types of fruit juice and mocktails in this season. 

Now what about some refreshing  chilled, yummy and healthy soup made of raw vegetables and fruits. Nothing is better than a bowl of gazpacho in summer. Some crisp toast and a bowl of chilled no cook soup, perfect dinner for summer. 

Gazpacho is a Spanish cold soup made of raw vegetables.

You can get one more cold soup recipe here.

Our this week’s 91st #Foodiemonday bloghop theme is #20minutes recipes. My contribution is this chilled, refreshing, healthy and yummy gazpacho. 

If you have all the ingredients in your pantry  you can make it in a jiffy. Just chop and blend. Keep it in refrigerator and serve chilled or add some ice cubes. 

Instead of sugar I have used grapes and watermelon. Fruits made the soup delicious and healthy. And both are easily available in this season. I have used almonds to give a creamy texture. 



Recipe 



Chopped tomatoes – 3 cup 

Cucumber – 1 small peeled and chopped 

Onion – 1 small chopped 

Garlic – 1 clove chopped 

Capsicum – 1 small chopped 

Seedless watermelon cubes – 1/4 cup 

Grapes – 1/4 cup

Chopped cilantro – 1/4 cup

Vinegar or lemon juice  – 2 tablespoon 

Almonds – 1/4 cup soaked and peeled 

Olive oil – 1 tablespoon, optional 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Chopped tomato, cucumber, onion and cilantro for garnishing



Method 


Taste the chopped cucumber. It shouldn’t be bitter. 

Combine all the ingredients. Blend in a mixer grinder. 

I have made it smooth but you can keep it little coarse if you like. 

I have used vinegar, you can use lemon juice too if you don’t like vinegar. 

Taste and adjust salt, pepper and vinegar or lemon juice if require. Drizzle olive oil. I didn’t. 

Garnish with chopped cilantro, tomato, cucumber and lemon wedges. 

Keep in refrigerator and serve chilled. Or you can add some ice cubes if you want to serve it immediately. 

Serve with crisp toast. 

Enjoy the delicious, refreshing and chilled gazpacho or cold soup.

Baked Dudh Puli (Guest Post For Pushpita Aheibam)

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Baked dudh puli.

Puli is another name of pithe and dudh means milk in Bengali. Its very famous in Bengal. Different types of pithe are used to make in every Bengali homes on Makar Sankranti.

Its my first guest post and I am very happy because I am sharing this post with my loving sister, friend and very talented blogger Pushpita. Visit her blog Ei Gi Chakhum for different types of recipes, specially Manipuri cuisine along with fusion and regional culinary delights.

Pushpita is an Economist, a freelance writer, a doting mother, a homemaker, a very helpful person and a food enthusiast. Thanks a lot Pushpita for inviting me to write a guest post for Makar Sankranti. Wishing you a blessed year ahead.

In west Bengal its known as Poush Sankranti/Poush Parbon or Makar Sankranti. We celebrate it in the last day of Bengali month Poush.

Making of pithe or puli is must in every Bengali home to celebrate this harvest festival. Rice flour, coconut or date palm jaggery or khajur gur are mainly used in these special kind of sweets.

Dudh puli is basically rice flour dumplings stuffed with coconut, date palm jaggery or khajur/nolen gur, khoya/mawa or dried milk and dry fruits and cooked in date palm jaggery or khajur/nolen gur and cardamom infused milk.

The stuffing is same as Gokul Pithe.

Puli or pithe in cardamom and Jaggery infused thick milk taste heavenly.

Now coming to the recipe.

We make this puli or pithe every year but never baked it. But Pushpita want the puli baked. So Pushpita here is a baked version of dudh puli for you 🙂

Recipe 



For rice dumplings 

Rice flour – 1 cup

Hot water – 1/2 cup

Salt – a small pinch

For stuffing 
Khoya or dried milk  – 2 cup grated or mashed

Coconut  – 1 cup grated

Date palm jaggery/khajur gur  – 1 cup grated

Dry fruits of your choice

For thick milk 


Milk – 6 cup

Date palm jaggery – 1/3 cup grated or broken into small pieces

Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon

Shredded almonds and dry fruits to sprinkle

Method 

Heat a pan and add khoya or dried milk. Saute for some time. Stir continuously. Add the grated coconut and date palm jaggery.

If you don’t have this jaggery use sugar. Add 3/4 cup and mix well. Keep stirring. When the jaggery or sugar melted taste it then add more if require.
Add dry fruits. I usually use cashew nuts and raisins. You can use any dry fruits of your choice.
Saute till the mixture dried up completely.

Switch off the flame and let the mixture cool.

In a bowl mix rice flour and hot water. Mix with a spoon. Then knead well with hand quickly. Make a smooth dough.

Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan. When it starts to boil reduce the flame. Let it boil on simmer 30 minutes.

Take small balls out of the dough and make it flat with your palm. Stuff little khoya/mawa or dried milk, coconut and jaggery mixture in the middle. Seal the edges to make it semi circle or a cylindrical shape. My mom used to make it small cylindrical shape so I like to make it in that way.

Stuff all the dumplings.

Now add cardamom powder to the milk. Mix and add the dumplings one by one in the boiling milk. Stir gently to avoid breaking the dumplings. Let it cook for 30 minutes more  on simmer or until you get your desired consistency.

Add the jaggery and mix well. Its ready.

Place the dumplings on a ovenproof tray. Pour the thick reduced milk on it. Sprinkle shredded almonds on it. You can use any dry fruits of your choice.

Bake in preheated oven at 200° on upper rack for 15 – 20 minutes or until the colour becomes light brown.

Serve hot. It will be soft before baking but becomes little hard when cool after baking. Reheat it to make soft again whenever you want to serve.
You can store it in refrigerator for 3 – 4 days. Just microwave for 30 – 40 second before serving.

You can skip the baking if you like. Serve stuffed rice dumplings in flavoured thick milk. It will be delicious without baking too.

Happy Makar Sankranti in advance to everyone 🙂

Khajur Gur Or Date Palm Jaggery Oats Dry Fruits Cookies 


Khajur gur/nolen gur or date palm jaggery oats dry fruits cookies.

A totally guilt free healthy cookie for you and your kids to munch and enjoy the delightful taste. Taste of dry fruits and aroma of date palm jaggery or khajur gur/nolen gur makes the cookies heavenly.

Khajur/Khejur/nolen gur or date palm jaggery derived  from the sap of date palm tree. Which is collected and cooked for long time and then cool to solidify.

Its famous in Bengal. Well known as patali gur used in many desserts in winter like nolen gur rasgulla, sandesh, paesh or kheer and many more. All are lip-smacking dishes.These delicacies makes my Kolkata visit in winter more enjoyable 🙂

This post is going to be a part of #Foodiemonday bloghop theme is dried fruits.

I have made many desserts with date palm jaggery but never used it in cookies. Poush Sankranti or Makar Sankranti is around the corner. And we use this Jaggery in all the special delicacies on this auspicious occasion. Every year we make gokul pithe, paesh, patisapta, ranga aloor pithe, muger pithe etc on Maker Sankranti or Poush Parbon. I remember my mom spent whole day to make these delicacies. And for us it was a feasting day.

This time I have used this date palm jaggery in cookies for a change. And loved the aroma and taste. I have used homemade fresh butter in it. Wholewheat flour, oats, dry fruits and jaggery makes the cookies healthy too.

Date palm jaggery or khajur gur is the most nutrient rich variety of raw jaggery. Its loaded with vitamins and minerals and an excellent substitute for sugar. Sugar gives you only sweetness and contains no  nutrients.

Whereas jaggery is healthy and natural sweetener because its processed without any artificial or chemical ingredient. Iron rich jaggery increases hemoglobin level and treats anemia.

Recipe 


Whole wheat flour or atta – 1 & 1/2 cup

Butter – 1/2 cup

Jaggery or gur – 1/3 cup

Powdered sugar – 1 tablespoon

Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Baking soda – 1/4 teaspoon

Cardamom powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Raisins – 1 tablespoon chopped

Cashew nuts – 3 tablespoon broken or chopped in small pieces

Almond – 2 tablespoon broken or chopped in small pieces.

Method 


Preheat the oven at 180°.

Grease a baking tray or line with parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking powder, soda and cardamom powder. If you want you can use all purpose flour/maida instead of wholewheat flour/atta.

Mix butter, grated jaggery and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Beat well. If you don’t have date palm jaggery, you can use traditional cane jaggery too.

Add dry ingredients and chopped dry fruits. You can use any dry fruits of your choice. My son love cashew nuts and don’t like raisins much. So I have used less raisins. Add as per your choice.
Make a semi stiff dough. If your dough is not stiff enough to roll keep the dough in refrigerator for 10 – 15 minutes covered. Or if you feel its not smooth sprinkle little milk.

Roll It with the help of a rolling pin. Roll out into 1/4″ thick.  Cut with a cookie cutter. Use any shape of cookie cutter of your choice.

Bake in preheated oven at 180° for 7 – 8 minutes or until the edges becomes light brown. It will be soft in the middle and becomes crisp when cool.

I have turned upside down and bake for 2 – 3 minutes more to bring some colour on other side too.

Let the cookies cool down before serving.

Enjoy the crispy crunchy delicious khajur/nolen gur or date palm jaggery cookies.

Amla Murabba Or Gooseberry Jam


Amla murabba or Gooseberry jam.

Amla or Gooseberry is known as super fruit because its provides many remedies for diseases so its used for treatment in Ayurveda.

Amla is a powerful antioxidant and remedy for skin, hair and weight-loss. its slow down ageing, fight against heart disease and reduces blood sugar and high in digestive fiber.

Amla is a rich source of vitamin C and a very effective remedy of allergic reactions. Mainly its give a tremendous boost to the Immune system and detoxify the body.

If you are suffering from seasonal allergies this murabba is best for you. I have got the recipe from my elder brother Abhijit Mallik. He gave me the recipe of Santha Boudi. Thanks a lot to both of you. Yes its worked for me but not immediately worked after 10 – 12 days. And now I am happy that I don’t need that antiallergic tablet anymore. So take a murabba daily to boost your immune system.

You will love the delightfully flavoured soft cooked sweetened gooseberries.

Recipe courtesy of my sister in law Santha Mallik. I have added some flavour in it as I love my recipes flavourful 🙂

You can remove it’s sourness by picking and soaking overnight in chemical lime or chuna mixed water.

I didn’t because my brother said that don’t remove anything from this super fruit. Keep it with all it’s goodness.

According to Ayurveda, Amla fruit is sour and astringent (kashaya), sweet (madhura), bitter (tikta) and pungent (katu) in taste (rasa), has benefits (gunas) include light (laghu) and dry (ruksha), post digestive effect (vipaka) is sweet (madhura), and has cooling power (shita virya).

Recipe 
Amla or Gooseberry – 1/2 kg

Sugar – 1/2 kg

Salt – 1 teaspoon

Keshar or saffron – a pinch

Cardamom powder – 1/2 to 1 teaspoon

Method 


Boil the amla with sufficient water and 1 teaspoon salt. Water should cover all the amla or gooseberries.

Boil for 10 – 15 minutes. Wash the gooseberries with cold water immediately after boiling. Wash thoroughly.

Wipe with clean kitchen towel. Prick with knife or fork.

If you don’t like it’s sourness you can soak the gooseberries in 1 teaspoon chemical lime or chuna mixed water for overnight. Just prick and soak. Then wash thoroughly and boil with water. You can get chuna or chemical lime in any pan or betel leaf shop.

Add sugar in it. Cook again on low flame till the sugar dissolve. Stir occasionally. Cook for 10 minutes or till gooseberries become tender transparent.

Add cardamom powder and saffron. I have used 1 teaspoon cardamom powder but if you don’t like it add only 1/2 teaspoon.
I want the sugar syrup thick. If you also like thick syrup remove the gooseberries from syrup and boil the syrup on high flame for 10 minutes more. Add the gooseberries in it again and boil for 5 minutes.

Switch off the flame. Let it cool down completely. Cover and keep aside. Next day store in a airtight container.

Store it in a clean and dry jar and keep under sunlight for few days or until gooseberries soaked sugar syrup and becomes soft.

 

You can enjoy this cardamom and saffron flavoured soft cooked sweetened gooseberries as a dessert too 🙂
May your life become colourful and flavourful. Stay healthy stay happy!!

 

Note –

Some more way to make this murabba.

After boiling in water dry the gooseberries well with kitchen towel. Marinate with sugar and keep under sunlight for 8 – 10 days. You don’t need to cook it with sugar. It will be soft and cooked well in sunlight.

Or

Wash, wipe and chop or grate the gooseberries. Put in the jar and pour honey over it. Honey should cover all the gooseberries. Place the jar under sunlight for 8 – 10 days or until gooseberries become tender.

Or

If you don’t want to take it sweet. Just chop in small pieces. Marinate with rock salt or black salt and keep under sunlight till the gooseberries become dry. Its very good for digestion too.

Chocolate Vanilla Fudge 


Chocolate vanilla fudge. 

Diwali is around the corner. Diwali or Deepavali is the festival of light and one of my most favourite festival. Its a most glamorous festival in India. Decorated homes, fireworks display, prayers and thousands of lamps are lit to create an atmosphere of joy and festivity.

Our this week’s #Foodiemonday bloghop theme is #Diwalispecialsweets. My contribution is this essay and yummy fudge.

 Sweets are distributed to the friends on this day. This time try this easy and super delicious sweet for the festival. You don’t need any fancy ingredients for it. Only milk, little sugar, milk powder, vanilla essence and cocoa powder. Simple isn’t it? Surprise your guests with this super yummy homemade sweets.

Recipe 


Milk – 2 litter 

Milk powder – 1/2 cup 

Sugar – 2 heaped tablespoon 

Vanilla essence – 1 teaspoon 

Cocoa powder – 2 teaspoon 
Shredded chocolate to sprinkle 

Method 


Boil the milk in a heavy bottom pan. Let the milk cook on low flame. Stir occasionally. Scrape the sides to avoid burning.. Milk will be changed into a thick mass.

 It can be take 2 to 2:30 hours. After reducing I have got 1 and 1/2 cup tightly packed khoya/mawa or dried milk. You can use same amount of store bought mawa/khoya or dried milk  too. 

Heat a nonstick pan. Add the dried milk or khoya/mawa. Cook on low flame for 10 minutes. Stir continuously. Add the sugar and milk powder. Taste and adjust the sugar. I like less sweet. 

Cook for another 6 – 7 minutes or until it leaves the sides and becomes dough like consistency. Keep stirring. Add vanilla and mix well. Switch off the flame. 

Let the mixture cool down.  Knead well with hand to make it smooth. Divide the mixture into two equal parts. 

Mix cocoa powder in one part. I have kept the vanilla portion little thick. Divide the mixture as you like. 

Place a piece of aluminum foil on a plate. Set the cocoa powder mixed mixture on it. Make the shape square. Set well with your palm. 

Now set the vanilla portion over it. Set it with your palm again. Sprinkle shredded chocolate over it. I have used Morde chocolate bar you can use any dark chocolate. 

 Let it set for an hour. Cut in square shape before serving. 

You can keep this fudge in refrigerator for 3 – 4 days.

Khejur/Khajur Gur Kheer/Nolen Gurer Payesh or Rice Pudding With Date Palm Jaggery

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Khejur/khajur gur Kheer/nolen gurer payesh or rice pudding with date palm jaggery.

#Foodiemonday #Bloghop #Theme. Its our 25th bloghop event. So we decided to make something sweet this week to celebrate silver jubilee event.

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Kheer or payesh is one of the most famous desserts in Bengal as well as India.
Serving Kheer or payesh is must in every Bengali home on birthdays or any auspicious occasion.

Its a signature dish of Makar Sankranti too. We use date palm jaggery or khajur/khejur gur instead of sugar on this day.
This jaggery is available only in winter. And taste and flavour is heavenly.

Palm jaggery is the most beneficial and nutrients rich variety of raw jaggery. It is prepared from palm tree extract and is loaded with minerals and vitamins.

This pudding/kheer or payesh is very easy to make. You need only 3 ingredients. Milk, rice and date palm jaggery or khajur/khejur gur.

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Recipe

Full cream milk  – 1 and 1/2 litter
Rice  – 5 teaspoon

Khajur gur or date palm jaggery – 1/4 cup or to taste

Cardamom powder  – 1/4 teaspoon optional

Cashew nuts – 3-4 teaspoon or as much you like

Raisins – 3-4 teaspoon

Method

Wash the rice properly. Drain and keep aside.
Soak the raisins in water.

Heat milk in a large heavy bottom pan and let it boil.
Add the rice and let it cook on simmer. Stir in-between and scrape the sides of the pan.

Cook on low flame till the milk thicken. Keep stirring to avoid sticking at the bottom . If you do not stir, it might get burnt at the bottom.
Burning smell can spoil the kheer.

When the kheer get rich creamy texture and rice cooked add date palm jaggery, cashew nuts and raisins. Mix well and taste the sweetness. Add more if require.

Remember to add the jaggery at the end. Jaggery can curdled the milk if you add it at the beginning. Switch off the flame.

Add cardamom powder if you want. I love the jaggery flavour. Its pure bliss so I didn’t use cardamom or anything. Mix well.
Let it cool.

Garnish with sliced almonds and cashew nuts.
Enjoy the rich creamy rice pudding or khajur  gur kheer/khejur gurer payesh chilled or hot as you like.
I like it chilled.