Mango Lassi – Delicious Summer Delight

mango lassi

Who can resist fleshy, sweet and subtly-sour mangoes ?  Well, this luscious, refreshing drink made by the pulp of mangoes and yogurt  will win your taste buds instantly.  It acts its way to cool you down from within and quench the constant thirst during intensely hot  summer season.

Believe me, you literary feel the ‘silkiness’ in your tongue, while slowly sipping this delicious juice; at the same time feeling the sweet scent of a mango orchard tantalizing your nostrils.   This feeling itself is refreshing and joyous.  Also, by adding sugar, a perfect balance to the sweetness of the mangoes and the sourness of the yogurts is achieved.  It is such a good combination that delivers a heavenly outcome !

I personally prefer canned Kesar or Badami mango pulp to any other one that gives a distinct creamy and silky texture to this drink.  Also, it’s a real advantage that using this, you can make mango lassi, a well-known quench buster in the Indian sub continent,  even when the mango season is not around.  Apparently, here in the UK we get them only for a few weeks, in  June and July.

It’s so easy to make this; you just have to load everything to the blender jar in one go, including the ice cubes and then process for about 1 min.   Churning with ice cubes enfolds a beautiful texture and overall coolness, so mark it as a must.

You will need :

 Mango pulp  1 cup
 Plain yogurt (Full Fat or Fat Free) add full fat yogurt for a silky texture  1 cup
 Sugar  3 tbsp
 Water  2 cups
 Ice cubes  5

Let’s make it :

  • Drop everything into your blender jar and churn in high speed for 1 min.
  • Serve immediately!
  • Yummy !!

 

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Delicious Fruit Custard – Fresh fruits in scented banana custard cream

fruit custard

 

When served chilled with a scoop of ice-cream or just on its own, no dessert can compete with this beautiful, relatively-healthy fruit custard.  Now that the summer is around the corner and different varieties of fruits and berries are in abundance, making this delicious fruity dessert could be a real joy!  I have noticed that the oranges and clementines taste more delicious in summer months than in the winter.  Adding a lot of it will give this dish a noticeable zing !

As for the custard, no other flavour will beat the  banana flavour as it goes deliciously well with this dessert. Also, to give an exotic look you can add vanilla ice cream topped with coloured sprinklers or scatter some jelly cubes.

I believe that this is the best way to sneak a lots of fruits into kids’ diet without much cajoling.  If you are serving for kids under 5 years, make sure to cut the fruits into small pieces to avoid any chocking hazards.

This is very easy to make, once you gather an assortment of fruits and a packet of  Laziza banana flavour custard powder.

Let’s make it: 

Custard it

  • Follow the instructions in the back of the packet and make the custard and leave it to cool.
  • Cover with a cling film and place the dish in the fridge.

Slice it

  • 1/2 hr before serving, sllice fruits and collect them in a bowl.

Go for bananas, oranges, apples, mangoes, kiwis, red / green grapes, cherries, blue berries, papaya, pinapple

Chill it

  • Add the fruits to the custard cream and mix.
  • Place in the fridge until chilled.

Serve it

  • Place a scoop of ice cream or toss some jelly cubes and sulthanas just before serving.
  • Serve within an hours time.
  • Enjoy the delicious melody of fruits laced with scented banana flavour custard.

Tips :

  • Remember to mix the required amount of custard powder in a small amount of milk first and then gradually add to the boiling milk while stirring as per the instructions in the packet.
  • Keep stirring the boiling milk with custard until it thickens slightly.  Do not stop stirring or else it will burn from the bottom.  Also, you have to stir it even after taking out of the flame to avoid forming any lumps.
  • I add 2 tbsp of sugar to 2 tbsp of custard powder for a sweeter taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Creme’ Caramel Pudding – Made with condensed milk and baked in the oven

This is my  easier version of Creme’ Caramel Pudding, made with condensed milk and baked in the oven.

This oven baked version is a real bliss on a busy day, when you’re cooking 4 dishes at the same time for a party or for an elaborate meal.  Just stick the pudding into the oven, set the timer and forget about it.  While you are attending to numerous other stuff, the oven will bake it to the perfection and could be cut into several dainty blocks, making it easier to serve.  Hence, this will be ideal as a dessert for a larger gathering.

Let’s make it:

You will need only these few ingredients :

 Condensed milk can  380g or 400 g (small size)
 White sugar  1 tbsp
 Water 2 cans from the empty condensed milk can
 Lemon zest/Vanilla  1 lemon peel grated into tiny pieces and  Vanilla 2 tsp
 Eggs 6 large

Set the oven to 180 C

Caramel it 

  • Sugar 5 tbsp
  • Water 1/2 cup

caramel

  • Place sugar and water in a pan and boil in high heat.
  • Do not stir with a spoon because the caramel can stick on it.  Hold from both ends and shake the pan from time to time.
  • The caramel will turn into a lovely golden colour after a several minutes.
  • Immediately,  switch off the flame and take the pan out.
  • Straightaway, pour the caramel on to the bottom of the pudding bowl or tray.

(This will stick like glossy glass onto the bottom but do not worry.  While baking, it just adjusts into a lovely treacle.)

Butter it :

  • Just after pouring caramel into the tray, take a little butter onto your hand and rub it around the tray so that the pudding will not stick to the tray/bowl once baked.

Blend it :

Into your blender jar, pour the following:

  • Condenced milk tin.
  • Wash the tin and two tins of water
  • 6 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp of sugar.
  • Blend in high speed exactly for 30 seconds
  • 2 tbsp Vanilla and lemon zest

Blend in high speed exactly for 30 seconds.

Pour it :

  • Pour the creamy liquid into a tray.
  • Place the pudding tray on another wider tray filled 1/4 of it with water. (Double boiling)

Bake it :

  • Cover the pudding tray loosely with a foil or you can opt for not covering it
  • Gently place the double trays in the oven and bake for 40mins or until baked completely.

Serve it :

  • Let the pudding sit until completely cooled off.
  • Place in the fridge.
  • Cut into equal size squares and scrape them out, dipping a flat knife or a spatula to the bottom.  Then, scoop out some caramel juices and pour over the pudding squares before serving.
  • Yummy!!

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Strawberry Jam – A very British, strawberry jam recipe with white sugar

Get the best British strawberries to make this jam for an unforgettable flavour! These beautiful strawberries, with their succulent juices and the beautiful red colour, will give a gorgeous ruby shade to your jam and it will taste something you have never tasted before!

strawberry si

I used normal refined white sugar in this recipe, which is bit more wallet-friendly than jam sugar used in my previous post of strawberry jam.  With jam sugar, you get a more jelly-like consistency, whereas, this recipe with white sugar,  gives a  softer, spreadable and more liquid like results.

I personally like this jam as it has a very homemade touch to it.  Lemon juice,  acts as pectin, in addition to  generously enhancing the taste.  The combination of these three ingredients is just heavenly and tastes very British too!

The most important advice about making this jam is that you should never exceed the cooking time even by a minute, which could potentially spoil everything right in front of your eyes.  Therefore, strictly stick to 20 minutes for the whole process of cooking.

You simply need the following 3 ingredients and a thick bottom wide pan :

 Juicy good quality strawberries washed and dried ( stem removed)  850
 White granulated sugar  740
 Lemon juice  1/2 lemon 


Summarised timings for your convenience:

  • 5 min – low flame – to  dissolve sugar
  • 15 min – high flame – to boil the syrup
  • 1 min – to settle

 Now, let’s make it,

  • Cut the strawberries into small pieces, leaving  little baby straws  or  bigger pieces here and there.  Finding a little whole strawberry, while spreading the jam on your toast, all unexpectedly  is a real joy!

strawberry jam

  • Now drop sugar, lemon juice and strawberries in to a wide, heavy bottom pan.

strajam

  • Heat the pan under low flame for 5 mins allowing the sugar to dissolve.
  • Give a good stir and increase the flame to high.
  • Rapidly boil the syrup for exactly 15 mins while stirring now and again.
  • Remove the scum from top while it is boiling.
  • Immediately after 15 min, give a good stir and switch the flame off.
  • Let the jam sit in the pan just for 1 min.
  • Quickly, empty the whole pot to prepared jars and let them cool down.

straw jam1

  • Tightly  close the jars and place in the fridge, sticking a pretty label.
  • Mission accomplished !
  • Store in the fridge.

A very sweet afternoon tea time treat 

  • Warm up two crumpets in the microwave for 1 min.
  • Spread butter generously.
  • Spread a generous layer of jam on top.
  • Yum!

straw crum

 

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Caramel pudding – Steamed caramel pudding made with milk

caramel pudding

My favourite dessert since childhood, caramel pudding, is now my little son’s favourite too.  My mum used to make this with condensed milk which, undoubtedly had a very smooth, rich and creamier texture, but In the process of trying to produce the same, more healthily,   I came across this recipe from an old recipe collection.  You can either steam this or bake in the oven.  However, steamed pudding has such a delicate texture, which I am addicted to.

Creme’ caramel pudding made with condenced milk baked in the oven recipe : 

http://happyrecipes.co.uk/creme-caramel-pudding-made-with-condensed-milk-and-baked-in-the-oven/

Get ready with the following items:

 Whole milk  2 cups
 White sugar 3/4 cups
 Eggs (large)  4
 Vanilla essence and lemon zest  1 tsp each
 For the caramel
 White sugar  5 tbsp
 Water 3 tbsp

Let’s make it 

Heat it :

  • Pour milk into a pan and  heat up until it reaches the boiling point. (Do not boil)
  • Mix vanilla, switch off the flame and let the milk cool down.

Blend it / Whip it:

  • Drop sugar and eggs to the blender
  • Whizz just 5 seconds. (do not over do it as the sponginess of the pudding will be affected)
  • Now, slowly pour into the milk.
  • Whip with a hand whisker until frothy.

caramel ppp

Caramel it :

  • Drop sugar and  water into a small pan.
  • Bring to boil.
  • Let the syrup turn light brown. (Do not let it turn too dark as the syrup will taste bitter)
  • Add 1 tbsp of hot water and let the syrup bubble away for a minute and switch off the flame.
  • The caramel is ready now.

Steam it :

  • Pour the caramel into the pudding bowl and circle around so that the caramel stick onto the sides of the bowl
  • Rub butter all around the bowl
  • Pour the milky liquid in
  • Cover the top tightly with a foil
  • Place a close fitting plate on
  • Fill a large pan half with water
  • Dip the pudding bowl slowly into the middle of the pan
  • Cover the large pan with a foil first and then close with the lid.

caramel pppp

  • Place the pan on stove  under high flame and steam for 1 hr.  Check the water level half way and pour boiling water if needed.

caramel p

Cool it :

  • Take the pudding bowl out and let it cool off completely.
  • Place the bowl in the fridge.
  • Once chilled loosen from around

caramel pp

  • Then place a flat, wide plate on top of the pudding bowl and gently turn the bowl upside down
  • Give a gentle knock on the bottom of the bowl.
  • Slowly, lift the bowl up

caramel pudding1

  • Voila !!! your pudding is out, sitting primly with a pool of caramel juices
  • Cut nice triangles and serve with juices
  • Yummy !!!

Caramel pudding -bigTip: To make cute individual puddings for kids, use several ramekin bowls .

caramel pudding22011-11-19-RUP-pecan-pie-ramekins-bowls2-500w

 

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Chocolate finger crackers – A kiddies party treat

dav

The creation of these attractive chocolate fingers are my little son, Viyath’s idea!

Being very adventurous by nature,  he never misses an opportunity to experimenting.   Having bored with eating the same old chocolate fingers, he dipped them in pretty sprinklers to give them a brand new party look. Having been delighted at it, he  waved a couple of them to me and announced,  ” Mama, I made chocolate finger crackers !” at which point that I instantly thought it was a perfect addition to my blog.

  • First of all, you need to dip one side of chocolate fingers just 10 seconds in hot water for chocolate to melt for a bit.

nfd

  • Then, dip them one by one in colourful sprinklers. ( Throw a lot of sprinklers in to a wine glass which makes easier for you to dip chocolate fingers)

nfd

  • Now, arrange them side by side on a plate and refrigerate for 10 mins.
  • Ready to serve on a plate or placed on a cupcake case.

nfd

 

 

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Sri Lankan Watalappan – Made with jaggery and maggi coconut milk powder

watalappan

There is no better way to describe this pudding, usually reserved for special occasions as a “heavenly treat”.

This coconut custard pudding, made from coconut milk and jaggery – a solid form of sweet made from an extract from a tropical palm tree. It has a Malay origin and is  traditionally made by steaming it in an aluminium pudding basin, dipping  in to a large saucepan half filled with water.

However, you can also bake it in a Pyrex dish in the oven without  going through the  hassle of steaming, but the texture of the pudding is slightly less spongy and creamier than the steamed one.  If you fancy the original taste, do not hesitate to steam it and you will love it!!

I make this pudding,  using Maggi coconut milk powder, instead of fresh coconut milk or tinned coconut milk, which makes things much easier and quicker.  Also, the texture of the pudding comes out  much firmer.

So, give it a try today !!

What you need:

 Maggie Coconut Milk Powder 6 full tablespoons
Palm jaggery (Brown) 1 round
Brown sugar 2 tbsp
Nutmeg -grated (essential item for this pudding) 1 full tsp
Salt pinch
Eggs (large) 5
Water 1/4 cup

coconut jaggarypalm jaggery

Let’s make it :

Knock it

  • Place the jaggery round in a bag and knock it with a rolling pin until powdered.

Blend it

  • Now, drop jaggery, eggs, coconut milk powder, grated nutmeg, salt and 2 tbsp of water into the blender jar.
  • Whiz only 30  seconds.  More mixing will loosen the pudding.
  • Sieve through a siever.

Oven it

  • Pour the liquid into a pudding basin, cover tightly with a foil and steam.  Or, pour into a Pyrex dish, cover with a foil, place the dish in a baking tray, half filled with water and bake in the oven at 200 C for 30 – 45 mins. (This is called double boiling method)
  • After 45 mins take the tray out, remove the cover slightly and insert a skewer and check if it comes clean.  If so, the pudding is ready!  If not, place it in the oven for another 10 mins.
  • Take the dish out, open the foil cover and let it cool off. (You can sprinkle some roasted or raw cashews on top at this point)

Serve it

  • Stab the skewer in the pudding to make several tiny holes.
  • Pour some coconut treacle or golden syrup on to the top,
  • Let it rest.
  • Place the pudding in the fridge and cut into perfect squares before serving.
  • Yum !!

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Blackberry Jam – Homemade summer treat

blackberry jam4

Now that the summer is at its peak, blackberries are bursting on every bush, basking in golden sunshine, looking plump and juicy, trailing along, arching to the paths .  On our daily walks on tiny paths running through shady woods, I cannot resist picking handfuls of  juicy blackberries  with my little son in tow; we both end up gobbling them up.  Afterwards, it is all giggles and sticking our tongues out to check whose is the more purplish!!

The other day, I picked a basket of blackberries from the brambles and made this beautiful jam. I mentioned ‘beautiful’ because of its rich blend of  purple and magenta colours.  You can either pick them yourself  for free or just buy a punnet or two from the supermarket to make this jam.

 Not much complications, not many ingredients and as easy as it sounds, this is a real treat for this summer!!

All you need are :

  • 350 g Plump and juicy blackberries
  • 350 g caster sugar
  • 1/4 lemon

Let’s make it:

  • Place blackberries  in a heavy bottom pan so that they wont easily burn out.
  • On medium flame let them boil for 3-4 mins.  You will see all the juices from the fruits run out and bubbles foam on the top.

blackberry jam

  • Add 350 g caster sugar and lemon.  Stir through.
  • On medium flame, let them bubble away for 8  mins.  Keep stiring.
  • Switch the flame off and let the jam cool off in the pan itself.

blackberry jam2

  • Store in a glass bottle.
  • Enjoy on a buttered toast!!
  • Yummy !!

tip:

  • if you do not fancy the bits in it, mash the fruits with a wooden spoon while boiling.
  • store in the fridge.

blackberry4

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Rulang/Sooji/Semolina pudding – A velvety pudding with sweet milky taste

Semolina pudding

This  sweet treat, so light and  velvety is a real winner on a balmy summer day to serve around after the main meal or as an afternoon snack.  If you serving this to kids, you can even mix colours to make it more inviting!

It is so simple to make this, because you might probably have all the neccessary ingredients in your pantry cupboard rather than having to run to the shops.

Semolina is a good source of vitamin E and B, both are essential for good immunity.  Zinc and magnesium found in semolina are beneficial for the health of your bones and nervous system. Also it is a nourishing source of energy for kids and adults alike.

It is important that you cook the pudding until it comes to a ball and no longer sticky.  This right consistency will give your pudding the velvety texture and firmer squares when  it comes to cutting.

What you need to make it:

Semolina (Rulang/Sooji) 75 g
Sugar (white) 150 g
Butter 50 g
Milk 500 ml
Salt 2 pinches
Raisins 2 tbsp

Let’s make :

Divide it

  • Divide 500ml of milk into two parts.
  • Soak semolina in one half of milk
  • Keep aside the other half

Melt it

  • In a wide pan add 50g of butter and melt under low flame
  • Add the plain half of  milk and 150g of sugar and 3 pinches of salt
  • Boil until bubbles form on top while stiring continuously

Add Semolina

  • Reduce heat and add the other half of milk soaked with semolina.
  • Add currents.

Stir it

  • Keep stiring until thick.
  • The mixture will come together as a ball after 10 – 15 mins.

Pour it

  • Immediately, switch off the flame and pour the mixture into a Pyrex dish rubbed all sides with butter
  • Let the pudding cool off and place in the fridge
  • Once properly chilled, you can cut it into perfectly dainty squares.
  • Serve in a pretty dessert cup

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Sauw / Sago Caramel Pudding – A cooling dessert for Summer!

Sago pudding

This sago / Sauw pudding  is a perfect summer dessert due to its high cooling effect and to enhance its taste and appearance, I added some caramel into it.

Quite interestingly,  tossing a heap of cinnamon powder gives such sweet aroma and a soothing effect on the tummy too.   Sago seeds

What you need:

Sago seeds  (small) 3/4 cup
Water 1 cup
Brown sugar 2 tbsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon powder 1 tsp
Raisins A fistful
Cashew (optional)
Milk (coconut milk or fresh drinking milk) 1 cup
Jaggery – grated  1/2 cup

Make it:

  • Soak sago seeds in plenty of  water for an hour or two to soften them. You will notice that the sago seeds soaked up all the water and heaped up in double the amount.
  • Drain the water and keep aside.
  • Place 2 tbsps of brown sugar on to a small pan.
  • Heat it up on high flame.  You will notice the sugar is slowly melting into a brownish lava.  Let the sides go dark brown  and bubbles bobbing in the middle.
  • Pour a 3 tbsp water onto sugar caramel and stir until all crystals dissolve.
  • Now add the grated jaggery.
  • Pour 1 cup of warm water and let the jaggery dissolve, making a brown liquid.
  • Add the soaked sago seeds and cook while stiring.  If the water is not enough add more.
  • While cooking process is progressing add  sugar, salt, cinnamon powder and throw a fistful of raisins. Continue stirring until all come together as a ball and no water remains in the pan.
  • Quickly add milk.  Cook continuously stirring for about 6, 7 minutes until everything comes to a sticky lump.
  • Close the flame, pour the pudding into a Pyrex dish. (wash the dish with cold water before putting the pudding in.  This will easily make the pieces come out when you cut the pudding into squares when serving).
  • Arrange cashew halves on top if you prefer the creamy bite of cashew along with the pudding.
  • Now, place the dish in the fridge.
  • Cut into squares and serve with runny honey, maple syrup, golden syrup or coconut / Kitul treacle drizzled on top!!
  • Yummy !!

Sago pudding2

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