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Beat the Heat Series ~ Cold Coffee Recipe with Filter Decoction

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The mercury touched 45 degrees C yesterday.  it was unbelievably and unbearably hot. K has refused his morning coffee all of this summer and prefers to have a glass of cold coffee. I joined him with a glass of my own yesterday. I made mine with filter coffee decoction, since we dont have instant coffee at home. It was the most soothing drink to chill with.

Cold Coffee (makes 2 servings)

1 cup strong filter coffee decoction

250 ml frozen milk (i stock extra milk in the freezer for emergencies, i used this. alternatively use 2 cups of very cold milk)

3 teaspoons of sugar (add more or less according to preference)

8 cubes of ice (increase if not using frozen milk)

Put all the ingredients in the blender jar of a mixer and whizz for a minute in short 10 second bursts, till everything is incorporated and frothy. pour into tall glasses and enjoy.

Beat the Heat Series ~ Strawberry Lassi Recipe

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Its all Valli’s fault…there she posted a status on fb asking what everyone’s favourite lassi (yogurt drink) was….and i replied with an choice between Rooh Afza and strawberries… i just couldnt concentrate on my work after that cos i kept thinking of the boxes of frozen strawberries i had in the freezer…. around 3 p.m, unable to take it anymore and taking solace in the fact that i needed this somehow to think clearly on a hot summer afternoon, i was slurping on a glass of thick delicious strawberry lassi to die for…. make it and see how addicted you can get….

Valli’s having a summer fest with cold treats for the season…sending off this lassi there~

Strawberry Lassi (serves 2)

1 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, hulled, washed and chopped roughly

1 cup ice cubes

1 cup plain yogurt ( i used home made 3% fat, but anything will do)

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup water

2-3 tablespoons sugar (optional, i didnt use it, depending on how tart the strawberries are)

take all of the ingredients in a blender jar and whizz for 1 minute in short bursts till everything is well blended and you get a thick frothy lassi. check for sugar and adjust bu adding if needed. if too thick, add 1/4 cup of cold water. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Beat the Heat Series ~ Iced Lemon and Mint Tea

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With the temperatures in Hyderabad already touching 42 celsius, it isn’t my favourite part of the year…. i still have to wait for the mangoes to appear so i can take comfort and manage the heat….but i promised to crib less (!) about the heat this year and explore foods that can cool me down quite literally!!

Its been a busy two weeks, I cant even imagine they went past so soon….Amma sure has a hectic social life, much more than mine! She leaves on saturday. Today was the day to check if all the stuff she amassed bought over this visit can be packed … in the midst of bringing down the suitcases and helping her sort things out, I needed to have a cold drink or I was sure to burst a blood vessel, it was that hot, I kid you not!

I promptly went to the kitchen to see what i could get. I am not the fizzy drinks person, unless its spiked strongly :), we also dont store too many boxed juices, I was out of yogurt so i couldnt make my favourite Lassi, we didnt have any fruit either so fruit juice too wasnt possible. Then i saw the chai…i have quite an assortment of flavours…..all those books and magazines i read with references to hot summer afternoons spent sipping iced tea on the porch came flooding as i stood there with the cabinet door open, looking at the boxes of teas….

lots of crushed ice and mint leaves, a cup of hot water and one tea bag later, i was a happy woman….sipping like i was featured in a magazine!! Try it, it was super refreshing.

Am sending this to Valli’s Thanda Mela head over there for summer treats

Lemon and Mint Iced Tea (makes 2 tall glasses)

1 tea bag lemon flavoured tea

1 cup hot water

2 cups very cold water

few sprigs fresh mint leaves

1 cup ice, crushed

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1-2 teaspoons sugar (optional)

Immerse the tea bag into the hot water and cover and leave to infuse for about 2 mins. In the meanwhile, crush the ice and add equal amounts to the two glasses. lightly bruise the mint leaves with the back of a spoon or a muddler. divide equally and add to the crushed ice. Remove the tea bag from the hot water, add the sugar and cold water and mix till the sugar has dissolved. add the lemon juice. pour over the crushed ice and mint into the tall glasses. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Serve.

Mango Lassi – Recipe to beat this blessed heat

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mango lassi

Its so hot in Hyderabad, that i wont even make a joke of it. and the one thing that makes the summer a little bearable is Mangoes. Alas,  this time around, with some unseasonal rains in december last year, the mango crop has been dismal. which automatically translates into a dissappointing supply in the market, and what’s available isnt very good either. the fruit are harvested when still green and then ripened. ofcourse the best way to do this would be to allow the fruit to naturally ripen on the tree, or at least not take the aid of chemicals. reality and market conditions are contrary to this and we have had a plethora of patchy, sour mangoes this far.

I usually wait till the “good ones” start coming into the markets, but it was difficult to exercise patience, especially with the heat reminding us it was summer at its worst / best. Was very unhappy that they were unripe and sour. With the heat being what it is, a chilled yogurt based drink with loads of ice is just right. keeps you hydrated and is a great way to start the day especially if you dont feel like a warm / hot breakfast. K and i usually down a lot of buttermilk and lassi during the hotter parts of the year. one favourite is the rooh afza lassi and ofcourse, who can refuse a mango lassi? its ok to use a less than very ripe fruit in this, the sugar more than makes up for it. i used honey to make it a tad healthier. try it, you will love it.

Mango Lassi (makes 2 beer glasses full)

2 cups natural unsweetened yogurt (i used home made)

2 cups skinned and cubed mango peices

sugar / honey to taste (i used 3 Tablespoons)

1/2 – 1 cup water

2 cups of ice cubes crushed

how to make the lassi: put all the ingredients except the ice cubes in a blender jar and whizz for a few minutes using short pulses till everything is incorporated. this will result in a rather thick  liquid. use a few tablespoons of water to get the desired consistency. it should be a tad thinner than condensed milk. check for sweetness and adjust. divide the crushed ice between two talol glasses, pour over the ice and serve.

Baking Escapades #17 – Spice it up!! Whole Wheat Ginger Cookies and Masala Tea Recipe

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The Monsoon is my favourite time of the year…..i forget about the wetness and the slush and the inconveniences people face…..i love to curl up on a chair, feet nicely tucked under me and sip on a cup of hot spicy tea…..sweet and strong and flavoured with ginger…..i love the smell of the earth after the rains wash it….

This year we almost didn’t have the rains….there was talk of the rains having failed and all that… affects the entire ecosystem…..reservoirs dry up which badly affects water and electricity supply….i was saddened that I wont have my favourite season……and then it came upon us…..later than usual….but in full gusto… has been raining pretty incessantly for the last couple of weeks…..just the perfect time for some ginger spiced cookies and ginger chai…..

I made these cookies from sunitha’s blog…..infact Deeba mentioned them and I was interested..i tried them and we loved them….just the right chewiness…..spiced and very mildly sweet….what’s more…they’re made of whole wheat flour…..these cookies have become rather regular at home….its just that the rains have made them all the more special…..

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