Hot Summer Days call for Cold Falooda!

Falooda – a drink for the hot summer with Rose, Cream and yummy ice-cream

Falooda – a drink for the hot summer with Rose, Cream and yummy ice-cream. Hot Summer Days call for Cold Falooda!

by Rita Jamshed Kapadia

In the Persian language it is called it Faloodeh or Paludeh.  The Indian word “Falooda” is a Hindi and Urdu word.  Falooda is Bengali as well !

Serves 4

Prep time 15 minutes

Cooking time 0

Ingredients

  • 6 tbsps. of Falooda Sev (broken into small pieces)

  • 4 tsps. of Tookmuria (subja seeds)

  • 900 ml (1 1/2 pint) milk

  • Sugar * Diabetics can leave out the sugar or replace with sugar substitute

  • 4 tsps. rose water or rose syrup or 1 drop of rose essence

  • 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream

Method

  1. Boil the Sev in water for 3 minutes or till soft and drain

  2. Soak the Tookmuria (subja seeds) in 1/4 pint milk

  3. Mix remaining milk and sugar and pour into 4 tall glasses

  4. Divide the seeds, milk and cooked Sev into 4 glasses layering each glass.

  5. Pour the rose syrup on top which being heavier will drift down making a lovely swirled effect. Alternatively use Orange Syrup and Orange Falooda Sev

  6. Chill in refrigerator

  7. Before serving add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, Orange Pineapple Icecream

  8. Serve with a saucer underneath for spills and a straw for drinking. I add a piece of fruit to complement like Pineapple chunks, Starwberries, Blueberries or even a rose petal.

Homemade Toddy

Homemade Toddy

Activated a little yeast in warm water and sugar.

Add store bought coconut water and keep it in a warm dark place for four days.

Takes longer here due to the colder climate.

by Colin Silveira‎

A selection of recipes from a bygone era when food was cooked over wood stoves.

Parsiana August 7, 2016 – A selection of recipes from a bygone era when food was cooked over wood stoves. By Farrokh Jijina.

Pickled Lady’s Fingers, Daal Madrasi and Coffee Jelly.

Parsiana August 7, 2016 - A selection of recipes from a bygone era when food was cooked over wood stoves. By Farrokh Jijina.

RE-Print of Original Gujarati Volumes available as a paperbacks in new glossy paper. Printed in USA. Click below to purchase:

Vividh Vani by Meherbai Jamshedji Wadia RE-PRINT
Article – http://www.parsicuisine.com/reprinting-culinary-heritage/

Check out ENGLISH Translations done by Rita Kapadia HERE.

The place of Tea in Indian Culture

Indians love tea, they are crazy about it – and they even have a special word for it – chai.

India is one of the largest tea growers in the world. Tea is grown in the north and the south – in exotic places like Munnar in Kerala, Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiri Mountains. The tea gardens are a sight to see. Beautiful terraces are carved into the earth and from far they look like manicured gardens. Tea from Darjeeling and Assam is world famous for its aroma and taste.

Tea was introduced in India by the British during early 1900’s, those were early days of the British Raj. Large swaths of land were converted for mass tea-production.  Ironically, the British introduced tea in India to break the Chinese monopoly. Tea was originally consumed by the westernized Indians, but it became widely popular over time. Today, looking at the popularity of tea one cannot tell of its origins from China.

But the story of story of tea in India goes beyond the tea gardens in exotic mountains and valleys, covered with mist and lush greenery. Tea is woven intricately into the Indian social fabric.

Chai is the common equalizer in India – from the rich to the poor. No matter what their position in life, an Indian relishes a cup of tea. The rich ones have their tea served in fancy tea-pots, delicate porcelain cups on well laid out tables with cookies and pastries. The not-so-affluent have it in more humble settings. But the joy and satisfaction is the same.

No matter where you go in India, even the remote village, you are likely to find a tea-stall, with a Chai-walla brewing the concoction, squeezing every last flavor. There is always a crowd of eager and tired folks waiting patiently for their chai. Tea re-vitalizes your body. It is a great anti-oxidant.

India has one of the largest railway networks in the world. Every train station has tea-stalls. Hawkers carry tea-buckets doling out hot cups to weary travelers as the trains pull into the train stations. One of my enduring memories growing up in India is traveling on the train in the sleeper-coach and waking up to the lilting calls of the tea-hawkers.

There are many stories of how tea brings people together. When you visit friends – tea and snacks are probably the most common offering. A cup of tea bonds friendships and heals differences. A guest rejecting an offer of a cup of tea may even hurt their feelings. The ultimate bonding is sharing a cup of tea – between two people – albeit in different saucers. When you visit a commercial establishment, as a sign of respect for the customer, tea is offered. Read more in my cookbook for Tea.

Recently, I was invited to speak and present “The Place of Tea in Indian Culture and the Kerala Tea Gardens” at the Boston Athenaeum. Here is a short synopsis. I am delighted that my Cookbooks were displayed and showcased in the museum! Thanks Hannah Weisman!  Hannah is the Director of Education at Boston Athenaeum.

The museum is a historical place and encourages historical books. The Boston Athenaeum is steeped in history. Founded in 1807, the Boston Athenæum is one of the oldest and most distinguished independent libraries and cultural institutions in the United States.

Tea / Chai Recipes:

 

PARSI CONNECTION WITH THE SODA/AERATED WATER INDUSTRY

Parsi connection with the soda and aerated water industry

I can be reached at dinyar.patel@gmail.com. Thank you for any assistance which you might be able to provide.
I can be reached at dinyar.patel@gmail.com. Thank you for any assistance which you might be able to provide.

I am Dinyar Patel,  a professor of history at the University of South Carolina, currently based in Mumbai on a Fulbright fellowship where I have been researching some aspects of Parsi history. I would like to ask my readers for assistance with one topic of interest: the Parsi connection with the Indian soda or “aerated water” industry. In particular, I am interested in the history of the longstanding Parsi soda companies: Duke’s, Roger’s, Pallonji’s, etc. I have already interviewed a member of the family that ran Duke’s, a former manager at Roger’s, and I have been consulting newspaper sources and Parsee Prakash. I would be very interested in talking with any members of the families that ran the other soda companies, anyone who worked in a soda factory, as well as anyone who might have relevant source materials (such as company reports or publications).

I can be reached at dinyar.patel@gmail.com. Thank you for any assistance which you might be able to provide.
I can be reached at dinyar.patel@gmail.com. Thank you for any assistance which you might be able to provide.

Parsis were pioneers of the soda industry in India and other parts of Asia where they settled in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In India, at least, the aerated water industry originally catered to a British clientele, but soda consumption quickly became popular within the community. It may interest readers to know that the earliest reference that I have found, so far, to raspberry soda in Bombay is from 1907, manufactured by Duke & Sons and sold for “12 annas, per dozen.”

I can be reached at dinyar.patel@gmail.com. Thank you for any assistance which you might be able to provide.

Tea of India – Chai

Chai is the common equalizer in India – from the rich to the poor. No matter what their position in life, an Indian relishes a cup of tea. The rich ones have their tea served in fancy tea-pots, delicate porcelain cups on well laid out tables with cookies and pastries. The not-so-affluent have it in more humble settings. But the joy and satisfaction is the same.

A good cup of chai is the answer to body aches, headaches and the morning blues.

Call it “Chai” or “Choi” or “Cha” or “Tea” the joy of having chai is awesome.

Ingredients for 2 cups of chai (tea)

1 tsp black tea (use 2 tsp if stronger tea is desired)

1 tsp Lemon Grass (Leeli Chai) leaves washed and finely chopped

1 tsp Mint leaves washed and finely chopped

1 cup water

1 cup milk

Method

Boil water, lemon grass and mint (see video)

Add milk (see video)

Make the Ukaro (see video)

Pour into cups and enjoy piping hot.

Chai with Lemon grass + Mint

I am curious why some Parsis say “choi” instead of “chai” (tea) ?

Almond Milk

If you have lactose problems, this milk will help. Easy to make at home.

Almond Milk is very easy to make and it is so much better than the supermarket versions.

Much tastier and NO SUGAR.

Almond Milk Recipe

Ingredients

1/2 Cup Almond Flour *

2 cups water

Method

To make Almond Milk follow these steps:

Soak half cup of almond flour overnight in refrigerator.

In the morning, crush in a blender.

Add real milk (optional) to make this creamier or skip to keep it  Gluten free.

Drink immediately or refrigerate for use later.

Enjoy with added sugar, I like it without sugar.

Add a touch of Vanilla Essence (I used this product)or Almond Essence.

Can be used as substitute for some milk related recipes

* Almond Flour is made from almonds that have been blanched to remove the skins, then ground to a fine texture that is great for baking.

It is a go-to ingredient for gluten free and low carb baked goods, and a must-have for paleo and other grain free baking recipes.

leukemia and lymphoma

It’s time to play Kick the Can—of soda, that is.


In a 22-year landmark study published in  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition involving over 125,000 people, significant links were found between daily intake of aspartame and the development of leukemia and lymphoma. ( 1) These findings are consistent with previous studies in animal models:
https://dailyhealthpost.com/aspartame-is-linked-to-leukemia-and-lymphoma-in-landmark-study-in-humans

Tukhmuria, Sabja, Tookhmoorya seeds

Risks and Benefits of Tukmaria Seeds

Tukmaria Seeds (ocimum basilicum) are also known as tukham malanga. They are holy seeds in many Asian countries, due to their exceptional qualities.

Precautions
Tukmaria seeds should not be given directly to children, since they can choke on it.

A word of caution. In case of pregnant women, these seeds are known to lower down the levels of estrogen in the body. It is best to consult your doctor if you’re pregnant or suffering from any other ailments before adding sabja seeds to your diet.

Pregnant women or those who are trying to conceive should not intake Tukmaria seeds since they can lower the estrogen levels in the body and prevent pregnancy.

Risks Of Basil (Tulsi) During Pregnancy:

  1. Do not consume basil seeds during pregnancy, however. This is advised against by many gynaecologists and doctors as they can have uterine contractions, which can further result in miscarriage. Further, the seeds can also increase the flow of blood and hence stimulate menstruation.
  2. In case you are taking anticoagulant drugs, basil should be avoided as they have blood-thinning agents.

  3. Eugenol is present in basil, and this can trigger heart rates, mouth burns, and giddiness and also can lead to culminate coma. Hence take doctors’ advice always before having this regularly.

  4. Do not have basil leaves, at least two weeks before a Caesarian delivery or surgery.

  5. Excess of intake may bring down blood sugar, which is not good. The low blood sugar levels in case detected in pregnant women should avoid having this basil herb for health of both mother and fetus.

Basil, in general, is safe to be taken during pregnancy in moderate amounts. You can use it as a mild seasoning to flavour your food. However, it makes sure to wash basil properly before consumption.

Precautions To Take While Consuming Tulsi During Pregnancy:

If you would like to avail the various health benefits of the holy basil during the pregnancy period and make it a part of your diet, then you will be needed to undertake the following precautions to ensure safety for both you and your baby.

  • Do not consume it in excess. The Herbalists suggest the consumption of only 115 ml of decoction of the herb three times a day.

  • Wash the herbs thoroughly before use to wash out the bacteria, parasites, which may lead to food-borne infections like toxoplasmosis and listeriosis.

  • Always consult a doctor before you make tulsi leave in pregnancy diet.

Although tukmaria has been part of a balanced diet in many countries for ages, it is almost unknown in many western countries. In part due to the success of their “cousin” chia seeds, they are now being discovered and gaining popularity in Europe and America.

Tukmaria seeds are highly nutritious and are very low in calories. They have more protein content than chia seeds and have lower calories making them the Asian super food. Tukmaria seeds have high fiber and mucilage, which helps in lowering constipation by promoting bowel movement, induce satiety, detoxify by reducing the assimilation in the gut and helps in weight loss by slow conversion of starch into blood sugar.

Tukmaria Seeds are very high in medicinal value and consuming them, one can get rid of some common yet painful diseases like diarrhea, weight gain and many others. They can become a part of balanced diet and are gaining popularity in Europe and America due to their high nutritional content.

Tukmaria seeds are considered holy in their native South-Asian countries like India, Indonesia, Taiwan and many more. These seeds are black in color and look somewhat similar to their western cousins-chia seeds.

Tukmaria (pronounced as Tookhmoorya seeds) are Holy Red Basil or Tulsi Seeds.
Although somewhat similar in nutritional properties, Tukmaria seeds are more versatile and have higher medicinal value. They have 19.6% of proteins and are larger in size than the chia seeds. Tukmaria Seeds have exceptional health benefits and have high medicinal value. They are also known by the names of Sabja or sweet basil.

Plant Description


The scientific name of Tukmaria seeds is Ocimum Basilicum and belongs to the basil family. It is a native to India and the South-Asian countries having a tropical climate. It is highly medicinal herb, which to around 30-130 cm tall having small white flowers arranged in a terminal manner. The flowers soon give way to the seeds and Tukmaria seeds are collected. The plant has more than 150 varieties has been cultivated since 5000 years in these areas. This annual herb has long silky green colored leaved growing opposite to each other.

Tukmaria seeds are collected from the Sweet basil plant, which needs a hot and dry climate to bloom. It is cold sensitive and needs sunlight for a healthy growth. The leaves may wilt from excessive watering or full sunlight, but can recover if kept in shade and water is given moderately.
The steam bear the flower spikes and one the flower matures, the stem becomes woody. The small white flowers produce tear shaped black seeds called Tukmaria seeds. These seeds swell to 30 times their size when soaked in water and have a gelatin covering. They are very bland and but give a crunchy feel when chewed just like the chia seeds.

Nutritional Value of Tukmaria Seeds
Tukmaria seeds have a high percentage of about 42% carbohydrates, 20% proteins and almost 25% fats. They have exceptionally high fiber content. In just 4 grams of Tukmaria seeds, there is more fiber than an entire bulb of lettuce. They have almost negligible calories and have alpha-linolenic acid abbreviated as ALA acid. It is highly beneficial since it has Omega-3 fatty acids.
They are also high in calcium (244% of recommended daily dose (RDD)), magnesium (178% RDD), iron (499% RDD), potassium (56% RDD), folic acid (78%RDD) and vitamin E (53% of RDD).

Health Benefits of Tukmaria Seeds
The health benefits of Tukmaria seeds are numerous and if consumed regularly as part of a balanced diet, one can remain fit as a fiddle. Some of the major health advantages are:

Constipation
It is a common problem in many households and almost 90% of the people suffer from it.

The Tukmaria seeds have a mucilaginous gel around their inner covering, which is when soaked in water, start acting like an emollient. It has a laxative effect due to the high fiber content and smoothes the mucous membrane and helps in the bowel movement.

For constipation, Tukmaria seeds should be taken with milk before going to bed. Its high fiber content helps in the prompting the bowel movement in the morning.

Appetite Suppressant
Obesity and weight-gain is a widespread problem and people everywhere are getting enrolled in weight reducing programs. Eating Tukmaria seeds help in reducing weight since they work as an appetite-suppressant, if taken before meals. The main reason is their low calorie content and high nutritional value. The person does not feel hungry after eating these seeds and their high nutritional value ensures that there is no nutritional deficiency in the body. The main reason they help in weight reduction is the ALA acid present in the seeds that helps the fat burning metabolism of the body.

Tukmaria seeds should be eaten before meals to make the stomach feel fuller and reducing over eating. It should be taken by mixing them with yogurt and fruit as a snack to relive hunger.

Feeling of Fullness
The Tukmaria seeds convert into a gel when they are soaked in water and slow down the metabolism of the body. In simpler words, they make the feeling of fullness last longer and the person does not eat. Therefore, they decrease appetite, weight and even diabetes by the slow conversion of carbohydrates into blood sugar.

Coolant Properties
Tukmaria or Sabja seeds have high coolant properties. They are consumed in summer to keep the body cool. They absorb the body heat and cool down the system instantly. When the seeds are taken with rose petal water or jam (Gulkand), they become doubly effective as a body coolant.

Prevent Diabetes
People having type-2 diabetes should consume Tukmaria seeds in their diet since they curb this deadly disease. These seeds have the properties to regulate blood sugar levels and maintain the diabetes.
The Tukmaria seeds should be soaked in water and mixed with cold milk to make a healthy diabetic drink without any sugar. It will not only curb the diabetes, but also make the person healthier with its nutritional content.
To make the drink tastier, few drops of vanilla can be added. If one has protein allergy, then Tukmaria seeds can be added to non-dairy milk like soymilk or even drink with cold water.

Acidity and Heartburn
Tukmaria seeds do wonders for acidity and heartburns. They act as a base and neutralize the acidic effect of the HCL in the stomach. They also have high mucilage, which soothes the lining of the stomach and relieves the burning sensation due to acidity.


Instead of taking tea, coffee or cola, Tukmaria seeds with milk or rose petals jam (Gulkand) should be taken to get instant relief from stomach burns.

Recipe: Falooda

Skin Infections
The antibacterial and antifungal properties of the Tukmaria seeds help in the treatment of skin infections. Studies have shown them to be highly beneficial in treating psoriasis, eczema and other skin diseases.
If one suffers from skin allergies, he/she should crush the Tukmaria seeds and mix it with hot coconut oil. Once mixed thoroughly, the oil should be strained and used in affected area.

Healthy Hair
The high content of vitamins, especially vitamin K in the seeds helps in keeping the scalp, hair and skin healthy. They make the hair shinier, bouncier, add volume to them due to its high proteins, and iron content.

Cough Relief
Tukmaria seeds have antispasmodic properties, which mean they help relieve the tension in the spastic muscles and relax them. This property helps in controlling and reducing whooping cough. It also soothes hiccups, tics, nervous irritation and other respiratory problems like flue, cold and cough.

Stress Reliever
Tukmaria seeds have calming properties, which have a soothing effect on the brain. It relieves stress, mental fatigue, migraine, depression and tension. They also improve the mood and make the person happy.

Aid in Digestion
Tukmaria seeds are carminative in nature, which means they have volatile oils helps in reliving gas from the gastrointestinal tract. They provide relief to bloating, indigestion, stomach cramps, flatulence and many more.

Inflammation
The high anti-inflammatory properties of the Tukmaria seeds help in relieving pain, inflammation and swelling. It has been used since ages in Ayurvedic for managing the formation of plaque in blood vessels and swelling in arthritis.

These properties lower the cholesterol level, so basil seeds reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, heart attacks and strokes.

Detoxifying Agent
Tukmaria seeds help in cleansing the blood and relieves vomiting and nausea. In addition, food poisoning and the gut can be cleaned through the consumption of these seeds. They also flush the kidney through their diuretic functions.

Increase Body Immunity
Tukmaria seeds have flavonoids vicenin, orientin and beta-carotene, which increase the immunity of the body. The flavonoids help in cellular protection against radiation.

Anemia
The high content of iron in Tukmaria seeds helps in the treatment of anemia. They can be soaked in water and chewed.

Mouth Ulcers
The antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial properties of the seeds and basil help to prevent cavities, mouth ulcers, bad-breath and even plaque in the mouth. The seeds can be chewed simply as a mouth freshener to get rid of any of these problems.

Cancer
The Omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidants in Tukmaria seeds reduce the production of free radical in the body and reduce degenerative diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s diseases and many more.

The other health benefits of Tukmaria seeds include an effective digestion, detoxifying agent since it removes the waste from the gut and making the health healthy by lowering the blood-cholesterol levels.
They also help in skin infections and respiratory diseases.

Traditionally, they have been used as a stress reliever in many Indian and Chinese medicines. Therefore, Tukmaria seeds are an inexpensive and highly beneficial addition to a balanced and nutritious diet.

How to Eat Tukmaria Seeds
Tukmaria seeds do not have a taste of their own, but give a crunchy feel when chewed or a jelly like texture when soaked in water. Their bland taste makes them a great addition to any recipe and adding the advantages of the seeds to the recipe. They are used in desserts, drinks, salads and even cakes as a binding agent.

One can simply mix the seeds in salads, yogurts, soups, muesli, breads, crackers and even pasta dishes.

For consumption for health benefits only, one spoon of Tukmaria seeds should be added to one glass of water and left for 15 minutes. The seeds will swell up to 10-20 times of their volume and then one can drink this water and eat the basil seeds. Soaking the seeds in water helps in releasing their mucilage, antioxidants and digestive enzymes.

Benefits Of  Tulsi Tea During Pregnancy:

The name of holy basil also knows Tulsi, is a part of the mint family. Which is well-known for its sweet and spicy fragrance which is very close to that of clove. The herb offers us various health benefits and may also help when consumed at the time of pregnancy. However, we cannot use it as a substitute for conventional medicine. Every pregnant woman must take care of her health to ensure that her baby is born without any complications, and both she and her baby’s health is excellent. Most of the experts recommend that women who indulge in activities like healthy eating and drinking. As much as possible and avoid certain foods and beverages, which can cause adverse effects on her health. Hence, one of the most commonly recommended drinks for pregnant women is a herbal tea, and the best one being the tulsi tea during pregnancy.

Reference #1

https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/7-surprising-health-benefits-of-sabja-seeds-1437915

Reference #2  https://stylesatlife.com/articles/basil-during-pregnancy/

Risks Of Basil During Pregnancy

Risks Of Basil (Tulsi) During Pregnancy:

Do not consume basil seeds during pregnancy. This is advised against by many gynaecologists and doctors as they can have uterine contractions, which can further result in miscarriage. Further, the seeds can also increase the flow of blood and hence stimulate menstruation.

In case you are taking anticoagulant drugs, basil should be avoided as they have blood-thinning agents.

Eugenol is present in basil, and this can trigger heart rates, mouth burns, and giddiness and also can lead to culminate coma. Hence take doctors’ advice always before having this regularly.

Do not have basil leaves, at least two weeks before a Caesarian delivery or surgery.

Excess of intake may bring down blood sugar, which is not good. The low blood sugar levels in case detected in pregnant women should avoid having this basil herb for health of both mother and fetus.

Basil, in general, is safe to be taken during pregnancy in moderate amounts. You can use it as a mild seasoning to flavour your food. However, it makes sure to wash basil properly before consumption.

Precautions To Take While Consuming Tulsi During Pregnancy:

If you would like to avail the various health benefits of the holy basil during the pregnancy period and make it a part of your diet, then you will be needed to undertake the following precautions to ensure safety for both you and your baby.

Do not consume it in excess. The Herbalists suggest the consumption of only 115 ml of decoction of the herb three times a day.

Wash the herbs thoroughly before use to wash out the bacteria, parasites, which may lead to food-borne infections like toxoplasmosis and listeriosis.

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers:

Q1. Can Pregnant Women Eat Basil Leave Directly in Salads?

Ans: Basil pregnancy has a lot of benefits that make it an excellent herbal supplement for pregnant women. Although an overdose of it can irritate the uterus, so it is advised for a pregnant woman, not to have more than two basil leaves in a day. Basil being rich in vitamin K, plays a vital role in making sure that your health remains good and your baby is safe inside your womb during the pregnancy period. You can certainly eat basil leaves during pregnancy directly; however, make sure you wash them properly before eating them. The germs present might have adverse effects on your body.

Q3. Is It Safe To Use Basil Oil During Pregnancy?

Ans: It is not safe to use basil oil during pregnancy. It is so because it is thought that basil oil contributes to abnormal cell development, which makes it hazardous for the fetus. Eugenol, which is the oil present in the basil leaves, tends to have dangerous effects on the health of the developing fetus. The oil in the herb can lead to an increase in your heartbeats and causes throat and mouth burn, shallow breathing, seizures, dizziness, blood in the urine, and come in some extreme cases. Hence you should avoid the consumption of basil oil during the pregnancy period.

Reference   https://stylesatlife.com/articles/basil-during-pregnancy/

The Forgotten Christmas Pudding

Rhea Mitra Dalal mixes and steams portions of Katy's Christmas pudding made with fruits soaked in alcohol for over a year at her Belvedere Road kitchen. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar
Rhea Mitra Dalal mixes and steams portions of Katy’s Christmas pudding made with fruits soaked in alcohol for over a year at her Belvedere Road kitchen. Pics/Pradeep Dhivar

Nothing makes a better end to a Christmas dinner than a rich, dense Christmas pudding. Home chef Rhea Mitra Dalal is keeping the steam and spirit alive.

The days are getting cooler and it will be winter soon. We found a nice article on the forgotten Christmas pudding.

On Belvedere Road in Mazagaon, we look for a signboard for Katy’s Kitchen. We’re told they make the best Christmas pudding in town. Minutes later, we are escorted by a staffer to an old, one-storied building. Walking up its high stairs, a toasty, intoxicating fragrance of goodness simmering on a warm afternoon engulfs us. Home chef Rhea Mitra Dalal welcomes us into what looks like a one-room kholi, lined with old trunks, vintage chairs, white tables, large degs or aluminium pots and intricate railings of windows from a long, long forgotten Bombay.

Dalal’s love affair and entrepreneurial association with food started in 2000, when she married into a Parsi family that had an established catering business. In 1976, Dalal’s mother-in-law, famed cook and archaeologist Katy Dalal had started a catering service from her home in Fort and expanded it into one of the best in the business. “She was happy to have me join in, bring new ideas to the table and be a helping hand. When she passed away 10 years ago, I changed the name from Dalal Enterprises to Katy’s Kitchen in her honour. Most of our staff is trained by her,” says Dalal.

Katy had travelled the world with her shippy husband, being adventurous with food and experimenting with local delicacies. One such find was the Christmas pudding they tried in England. The taste had stayed with Katy for long after and she recreated the recipe, referring to a couple of books. Eventually, she started making it for family and friends, and later, clients. “She was very confident of her recipe and the result had been consistently good; so, we took the plunge. Even today, making Christmas pudding is my most precious activity in the year. I feel I am carrying her recipe forward, hence the name Katy’s Christmas pudding. She may not have invented it, but she did things her way.”

The preparations start a year in advance, when Dalal soaks raisins, fruits and spices in brandy and rum for the next December’s batch. “I find it amusing how it has become a trend for five-star hotels to organise the annual cake-mixing ceremony one month before Christmas. The fruits need to be soaked for long for the flavours to develop. One year, when we couldn’t make puddings, and the fruits kept soaking until we made a batch the following year; the clients had loved it the most. So last year onwards, we started to make an extra batch that would be used two years later,” says Dalal.

Pudding V/S Cake

Puddings don’t have the bulk of the flour, nor are there leavening and rising agents. Its density comes from being packed with rich ingredients like almond flour, apples and vegetables. Also, since it is steamed, not baked, the balance is different, as is the texture. The pudding won’t rise more than half a centimetre.

Katy’s Christmas pudding is priced at Rs 1,700 (large), R900 (medium), and available on order Call/WhatsApp 9820904694

Photo credit – Aaron Santos

When the fruit is drained, the Dalals retain the beautifully flavoured mother liquid that keeps maturing over the years. The soaked fruit is well-drained and added to the final mix of flour, almond flour, sugar, jaggery, butter, eggs, apples and vegetables to achieve a multi-layered taste. It is packed densely in a mould, sealed and steamed for around six hours to be thoroughly cooked through. “The pudding is thick and because it is in a sealed container, steam doesn’t get in easily. It has to heat uniformly and cook through the middle,” says Dalal.

 

The first batch of Katy’s Christmas puddings are steamed by December 1 so that they can be couriered to the outstation clients. “What’s Christmas without a Christmas pudding after all,” smiles Dalal. “These can be had immediately or when well-sealed and refrigerated, even after a year,” she adds.

Katy Dalal, my mom in law, started a catering business from home many years ago. As she tried out new dishes and cuisines her popularity grew as did her skills and knowledge in the kitchen. One of her biggest successes has been the Christmas Pudding with Brandy Butter.

I started helping her with the making after K and I were married and I always found it to be one the most fun things to do with her. I like to believe it also made her happy to see me pitching in.

Piles of raisins, black currants, dried prunes and a host of other, then unfamiliar, ingredients would be cleaned  and then put in a huge plastic barrel. Then endless bottles of rum and brandy would be poured in, and K would also fling in the leftovers from random opened bottles of wine and other suitable liquor that was handy. In a week the alcohol would have to be topped up as the shriveled fruit would be plump with the booze and would have risen way above the alcohol in the barrel. The barrel would be sealed up and forgotten till a week before Christmas.

Large quantities of juicy red winter carrots have to be grated. Along with this a mountain of apples are grated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh bread crumbs, white flour, demerara sugar, molasses, candied ginger, ground almonds, butter, freshly powdered nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom, and eggs are all mixed in a huge vat. The soaking fruit is drained and then added to the mix.

 

 

 

 

 

The tins are buttered and lined with butter paper. Then the pudding mix is filled in, topped with a circlet of butter paper and then sealed either with a lid or with aluminium foil. The larger pudding moulds come with a lid, the smaller ones don’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steam the puddings for 4 hours and they are ready to be dispatched. We recommend that the puddings be steamed once again for an hour before serving.

The brandy butter is a delicious accompaniment to this pudding. Blend regular salted butter with powdered sugar and a generous dash of brandy. Chill the butter till it is nice and hard.

Ma in Law would serve the pudding with a dash of drama. She would light half a cup of brandy and pour it over the pudding. We would put off the lights of course!

I have taken over the mantle of Christmas Pudding maker now. And I look forward to Christmas every year when we do a special Christmas menu and these traditional Christmas Puddings.

 
Photo credit – Ketan Pandit

You can purchase Katy Dalal’s “Delicious Encounters: Innovative Recipes Parsi, Indian and Western Paperback Cookbook” for a low price from here:

Shab-e Yalda: When Light Shines and Goodness Prevails

Yalda on December 21 is celebrated in many parts of the world. Eating watermelon in the winter is believed to keep you healthy in the new year. Watermelon seeds are one of the items in the health food – parsi vasanu and the gujarati word is “char jat nu magaj”.

Yalda Festival  Table

(Shab e Cheleh)

By Rita Jamshed Kapadia

Shab-e Yalda: When Light Shines and Goodness Prevails

Everywhere in the world, people observe various seasonal days of celebration during the month of December. Most are religious holy days and are linked in some way to the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere. Yalda, an ancient Iranian Festival, is celebrated on the eve of the winter solstice and goes several thousand years back in the country’s history. The tradition originated from the Mithraism religion. “Yalda” is a Syriac word meaning birth, and it was believed that Mithra, the Persian angel of light, was born during that night, which was then called Yalda.

Yalda is  a Syric word imported into the Persian language by the Syric Christians. Early Christians linked this very ancient Persian celebration to Mithra, goddess of light, and to the birth anniversary of Prophet Jesus. Ancient Iranian Zoroastrians believed that on December 21 darkness is defeated by light. On this night, family and friends get together. Dried nuts, watermelon and pomegranate juices and delicious snack are served. Classic poetry and old mythologies are read aloud.

As the longest night of the year, the Eve of Yalda (Shab-e Yalda) on December 21 is also a turning point, after which the days grow longer. It symbolizes the triumph of Light and Goodness over the powers of Darkness. During this night, Iranian Americans, along with Iranians around the globe, hold gatherings and stay up late, eating pomegranate, watermelon and a variety of nuts. They also read poetry, especially by the poet Hafez, who is a highly respected and adored 14th-century Persian mystic poet. Hafez’s poetry books have been gaining a foothold in American classrooms and popularity among Americans. Here is a line in the poetry of Hafez that I found interesting – “Look at the sun in quest of light, you may find it.”

Many varieties of fruits and sweetmeats are specially prepared for this festival. In some areas it is believed that forty varieties of edibles should be served during the ceremony of the night of Chelleh. The most typical is watermelon especially kept from summer for this ceremony. It is believed that consuming watermelons on the night of Chelleh will ensure the health and well-being of the individual during the months of summer by protect­ing him/her from falling victim to excessive heat or disease produced by hot summers. Another common practice on the night of Chelleh involves young engaged men. The bachelors send a platter containing seven kinds of fruits to their fiancées on this night. The girl and her family can return the favor by sending gifts back for the young man.

The Parsi community has been celebrating with a “Haft-seen Table”  at Navroze (Nawruz) events, why not celebrate with a “Yalda Table” in the December Holiday season as well ?

FEZANA requested to create some yalda recipes. Being a indian where Yalda is not celebrated by my Parsi community, this was a challenge. Many days of research and creating  food using water melon, pumpkin seeds and other middle eastern foods, I have these easy to make Recipes for the Yalda Night below.

Here are 3 recipes created for your Yalda Table.

Sweet & Sour Pomegranate Drink

Sweet and Sour Drink

Nutty Feta Cheese Spread

Nutty Feta Cheese Spread

Sweet and Salty Spread to go with your favorite crackers !

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Snack

Pumpkin seeds are also called “Magaj” or “Magaz” in India and are highly nutritious.

These seeds are one of the ingredients in the parsi favorite “Vasanu”.

Fruit Kebabs

Simple watermelon and feta cheese kebabs.

The flavor of watermelon and feta cheese explodes in your mouth. Try it sometime.

Kebabs2

Enjoy!

– Rita Jamshed Kapadia

About Rita: Since 1999, Rita Kapadia, founder of ParsiCuisine.com, has provided recipes, food news, health tips and articles on this website. Recently, Rita has published several Parsi Cuisine cookbooks. Cookbooks are sold on Amazon.com worldwide. Our Parsi Cuisine cookbooks are a labor of love. The cookbooks began in an effort to maintain and preserve our recipes and traditions for the next generation, many of whom have been raised in USA, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Canada and other countries outside of India.

Milk Peda

Doodh Peda

#Doodh #Peda #Homemade #MilkPeda #Recipe #Diwali #Special #Sweet #doodhpeda #diwali2019

Doodh Peda | Sweets & Savouries
Sweets are those delicacies that make a definite appearance in every Indian festival and function, be it Diwali, a housewarming party or a wedding function. And doodh peda is one of the most common sweets at these occasions. Yet, most people prefer to order them from sweet shops rather than preparing them at home. Maybe they believe it to be a hard to prepare sweet. Yet, I believe that Doodh Peda’s are one of the easiest and simplest sweets to be made. Here is a simple recipe you can follow to prepare those Heavenly and Delish Peda’s without much hassle.

Ingredients:
Milk – 1 liter
Fresh Paneer – 200 gms
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Rose water – 1 tsp
Milk powder – 75 gms
Sugar – 6 tsp
Ghee
Saffron

Method:
1.Boil a litre of whole milk in a wide saucepan.
2.Once it comes to a boil, reduce the flame to a medium high.
3.Let it boil until the quantity of the milk reduces to half and thickens. Keep stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom surface.
4.Once the milk quantity reduces, add the fresh finely grated paneer to the saucepan.
5.Reduce the flame and gently mix it in.
6.Now, add the cardamom powder, rose water and milk powder. Keep stirring the contents as you add each ingredient.
7.Add about six teaspoons of sugar. Mix the contents until the sugar is properly blended in.
8.Now, cook it on a medium flame until it is of a thick and dry consistency.
9.Once the moisture is completely evaporated, turn off the stove and keep it aside to cool the mixture.
10.Once the mixture is cool, grind it using a mixer to get a nice and smooth consistency.
11.Now, dab a little bit of ghee in your palms and take a bit of the ground peda mixture in your hands.
12.The ghee won’t let the Peda mixture stick to your hands.
13.Roll the mixture into small balls and using your fingers gently dab them to form small even shaped peda’s.
14.Garnish it by sprinkling some kesar over it.
15.Your Doodh Peda is ready to be served.

Tips:
1. Make sure you dab enough ghee on your palms as the ghee won’t let the Peda mixture stick to your hands.
2. Since it is a milk sweet, consume it while still fresh. Do not let it get stale.
3. You can increase or decrease the amount of sugar added based on your preference.

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Doodh Peda

Doodh Peda#Doodh #Peda #Homemade #MilkPeda #Recipe #Diwali #Special #Sweet #doodhpeda #diwali2019Doodh Peda | Sweets & SavouriesSweets are those delicacies that make a definite appearance in every Indian festival and function, be it Diwali, a housewarming party or a wedding function. And doodh peda is one of the most common sweets at these occasions. Yet, most people prefer to order them from sweet shops rather than preparing them at home. Maybe they believe it to be a hard to prepare sweet. Yet, I believe that Doodh Peda's are one of the easiest and simplest sweets to be made. Here is a simple recipe you can follow to prepare those Heavenly and Delish Peda's without much hassle. Ingredients:Milk – 1 literFresh Paneer – 200 gms Cardamom powder – 1/2 tspRose water – 1 tsp Milk powder – 75 gms Sugar – 6 tsp GheeSaffronMethod:1.Boil a litre of whole milk in a wide saucepan. 2.Once it comes to a boil, reduce the flame to a medium high. 3.Let it boil until the quantity of the milk reduces to half and thickens. Keep stirring so that it doesn't stick to the bottom surface. 4.Once the milk quantity reduces, add the fresh finely grated paneer to the saucepan. 5.Reduce the flame and gently mix it in. 6.Now, add the cardamom powder, rose water and milk powder. Keep stirring the contents as you add each ingredient. 7.Add about six teaspoons of sugar. Mix the contents until the sugar is properly blended in. 8.Now, cook it on a medium flame until it is of a thick and dry consistency. 9.Once the moisture is completely evaporated, turn off the stove and keep it aside to cool the mixture. 10.Once the mixture is cool, grind it using a mixer to get a nice and smooth consistency. 11.Now, dab a little bit of ghee in your palms and take a bit of the ground peda mixture in your hands. 12.The ghee won't let the Peda mixture stick to your hands. 13.Roll the mixture into small balls and using your fingers gently dab them to form small even shaped peda's. 14.Garnish it by sprinkling some kesar over it. 15.Your Doodh Peda is ready to be served. Tips:1. Make sure you dab enough ghee on your palms as the ghee won't let the Peda mixture stick to your hands. 2. Since it is a milk sweet, consume it while still fresh. Do not let it get stale. 3. You can increase or decrease the amount of sugar added based on your preference. WEBSITE: http://www.21frames.in/homecookingFACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/HomeCookingShowINSTAGRAM – https://www.instagram.com/homecooking…TWITTER – https://twitter.com/VentunoCookingA Ventuno Production : http://www.ventunotech.com

Posted by Home cooking on Wednesday, 23 October 2019
Surti Papri

Surti Papri Chicken, Mutton or Lamb (with vegetarianism option)

Surti Papri Chicken, Mutton or Lamb
(Vegetarians can leave the meat out)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs papri (surti Papri can be found in Indian Grocery Stores. Threaded and broken into 1 inch long pieces) see picture below

  • 1 lb Mutton, Chicken or Lamb

  • 3/4th tsp ajwain (bishop seed or called ajmo)

  • 2 onions thinly sliced

  • 2 whole pods of garlic, unpeeled or 10-12 cloves

  • 2 potatoes quartered, unpeeled

  • 3-4 baby brinjals slit in 4

  • 5-6 tbsp oil

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

  • 2 tsp red chilly pwd

  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste

  • 1/2 tsp green chilly paste or 2-3 green chillies chopped fine

  • Salt to taste

Method:

If possible Marinate all of the above ingredients for 2 hours for maximum taste!

  1. In a heavy bottomed pan  heat oil add onions and ajwain.

  2. Fry onion till light golden in color.

  3. Add ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste, all dry spices and salt.

  4. Let all the spices sizzle, add the vegetables including garlic.

    Let the veggies cook on a low flame for several minutes covered. Add water if it begins to dry up.

    Check if vegetables are done, dry up all water.

    Serve hot with wheat rotli / chappatis.

  5. This recipe can also be made with mutton, you will need to add the mutton before the veggies and let it simmer till it absorbs the spices. Pressure cook for 2 whistles n dry up water after the meat is cooked thoroughly.

This is a sample recipe from our cookbooks

Surti Papri
Surti Papri
Kharvas, Bali, Bari, Colostrum - Milk pudding

Kharvas, Bali, Bari, Colostrum – Milk pudding

Kharvas, Bali, Colostrum – Milk pudding by Pariz Neville Gandhi

Kharvas, Bali, Bari, Colostrum - Milk pudding
Kharvas, Bali, Bari, Colostrum – Milk pudding

खरवस or milk pudding is made using the cow or buffalo colostrum, the first form of milk following the birth of a new born. This is commonly made in Maharashtrian households. It is prepared by steaming a mix of colostrum, milk and jaggery or sugar until it coagulates into a jiggling solid. This is flavoured with Cardamom, saffron or nutmeg. The amount of milk added to colostrum depends on the day it is extracted. First days colostrum is diluted with equal amount of milk for making this pudding.
I used pressure cooker for steaming this pudding. The pressure cooker separator pans were used for steaming. The top of the separator should be covered with a lid. I allowed it to steam for ten minutes on low flame after the first whistle. After the steam settles, take out the separator allow it to cool down. Then shift them in the refrigerator for few hours. Cut into square shapes. It tastes best when served chilled. Do not remove the lid while refrigerating.

Ingredients


1. Colostrum 1/2 litre
2. Milk 1/2 litre
3. Jaggery – 200 gms
4. Cardamom powder- 1/4 tsp
5. Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp.
6. Kesar – 1/8 tsp (optional)

Method


Mix colostrum and milk. Add Jaggery and stir till it dissolves completely. Add cardamom powder. Heat the kesar strands slightly and crush them with fingers. Add it to the milk mixture. Check if the Jaggery is dissolved completely. Steam it in a pressure cooker using separators. Fill each separator with this milk mixture up till about two inches. Steam, allow to cool and cut into cubes. Serve chilled.

Editor’s Note: We used to enjoy this in Ahmedabad, it is delicious. Bali or Bari in gujarati, if I remember right.

Folks the cow produces extra colostrum milk and the calf cannot drink it all! So no harm done to cow or calf relax.

The Bari also spoils very fast so it has to be consumed right away, it is very rich in nutrients.

Yazdani Bakery

There are many Irani Bakeries in Mumbai, India. You must have heard of the Kayani Bakery, but have you heard of the Yazdani Bakery?

Yazdani Bakery is an Irani cafe or Persian style bakery in Mumbai, India.

The bakery was opened in 1953 by Meherwan Zend, an Irani baker. All products in the bakery are handmade, and baked in diesel ovens. The bakery draws a lot of visitors, particularly international visitors especially Germans. The building, built in the early 20th century, was originally a Japanese bank, which was later sold off. On 11 December 2007, the bakery was felicitated by Maharashtra governor SM Krishna the Urban Heritage & Citizens Award.

Old-school bakery/cafe offering Persian breads, baked treats & chai in simple, colorful surrounds.

Address: 11, 11A, Cawasji Patel Rd, Kala Ghoda, Fort, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, India

The Story Behind One Of Mumbai’s Oldest Standing Eatery That Belongs To A Yazidi Family: Yazdani Restaurant & Bakery.

Parvez Irani could be any old man sitting on the counter of a restaurant collecting cash. He’s so much trained in his trade that the best of corporate employees could be put to shame with his no-nonsense demeanour and a poker face determined to get work done well. He can be quite intimidating at first, but it’s his eyes that say a different story. Literally, a different story, because his eyes have a sharp hint of grey in them, a trait of the Yazidi community from the West Asia.

Someone once told me that Parsi and Irani bakeries are different, and asked Parvez the same to clear my doubt. Parvez immediately rubbished it and said, “The only difference between us is that the Parsis came 1200 years ago and we came about a hundred. But we’re the same people and every ritual and practice we follow is exactly the same,” he shares with us.

Travelling through the time

Entering Yazdani bakery is like stepping into a time warp. You’re immediately transported into what would look like the 1950s, exactly when the bakery was established. The narrow lane near the Horniman Circle, Fort was really busy on the Tuesday afternoon we visited.

The lane itself mirrors the good ol’ Bombay, but swanky Mercs and posh BMWs passing through the lane are major old-world-charm killers. The bakery, on the other hand, has a wall full of posters and advertisements from the yesteryears, with grandfather clocks hung on two walls. Even the menus displayed outside and inside are written with a chalk on a wooden blackboard.

Parvez tells us that when Babri Masjid was demolished, leading to riots in 1992 in Mumbai, Parvez recalls that Yazdani was the only open bakery in that area, providing food to those stranded and homeless.

“No police or politician made any attempt to come and shut us down. And this support from the people still stands with us,” he tells us proudly.

This is evident when we look around the place that is so sturdy and teeming with regulars and the frequent knells of ‘Bun-Maska-Chai” booming through the room.

Something old, Something new

The first Starbucks café in Mumbai had opened in Horniman circle’s fancy Elphinstone building in 2012, and lives up to the hype of its name – a comfortable, classy café with a perpetual coffee aroma for the company. It’s air conditioned, unlike Yazdani bakery which is barely fifty meters away from the international franchise outlet.

And yet, Yazdani has a large and loyal fan following. May be it’s the feeling of having time travelled into a classic Irani restaurant in Mumbai, or simply the dollops of maska in the bun-maska they offer, Yazdani is full of character – just like your favourite old book lying rugged on your shelf.

Parvez’s father had set up Yazdani Bakery & Restaurant in 1950, which Parvez joined in 1959. “People used to be so large hearted back then. My father used to give away food to the poor just like that,” Parvez gestures ‘giving away’ with his skinny, wrinkled hands. “Sometimes, people would not have enough money and even then my father would let it go. The Nehru government had hiked the rates of maida and there was not much of a scope for profit. But still, my father said that the difference of one naya paisa should go into the stomach of the customer and not our pockets. Since then it became a norm to give the leftovers to the poor. This, was until we could afford a new fridge,” Parvez laughs and points at one standing at the corner of the restaurant.

Parvez’s family has been into baking for a long time. He tells us that his ancestors were bakers in Iran and were bakers after they came to India. His grandfather had opened a bakery somewhere in Mumbai, where his grandmother used to make bread while his grandfather sold it. Yazdani was later set up in 1950 after his father decided to let go of a partnership business and set up his own.

British architecture under the blue sky

The structure of this bakery with its sky blue exterior and red painted roof stands alone among the elegantly carved British architecture on one side and neat commercial buildings on the other. And it’s surprisingly bigger on the inside – huge table to knead dough and large ovens to bake, and still, so much of room left that one could get their dance rehearsals done while the bread baked in the ovens. Yazdani bakery still uses an old style bread cutter, which is quite fascinating but efficient nonetheless. Stacks of hot dog buns are perhaps the only embellishment in the otherwise faded blue interiors and high vaulted ceiling above.

It looks like the Irani bakeries of Mumbai are living on borrowed time from three different generations. They serve the same dishes they did back then, and have people loving it, but are slowly being swamped by a different generation who loves polished wooden floors and a crowd that loves imitating an accent.

The speciality of the bakery – bread pudding usually gets only hours after it is made.  So we sort of made ends meet with an egg puff, bun maska and chai. There’s a lot more they offer – the apple pie, carrot cake, fiery ginger biscuits and muffins – all of which almost get over by the end of the day. Parvez’s son Tirandaz may be slightly less perky than his father, but still, has an interesting perspective regarding the death of the Irani café culture in the city. “The new cafés that are taking over the city are very fancy and have more facilities, but I wish that old places like these are retained and managed well. Our coming generations are so much in awe of the westernised world that they will voluntarily not take over the family business or manage the bakery. I would still wish that this bakery went on forever,” he tells us.

Is the change good?

Places like the Yazdani bakery are rare. When nobody provided livelihoods to people, the bakeries and restaurants did. Less than a dozen people work in Yazdani, and have been for almost all their lives.

Irani bakeries and cafes may look ordinary from the outside and may seem mundane to those who are ignorant to the beauty of the antiquated, but always have something fun to tell. Right from the exteriors to the people who visit it, Yazdani takes you on a trip to a less polished, raw and ragged Mumbai – the one that told tales of its initiation, survival and how it still stands undeterred and moves on but still retains its glamour.

Source: https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/the-story-behind-one-of-mumbai-s-oldest-standing-eatery-that-belongs-to-a-yazidi-family-yazdani-restaurant-bakery-326632.html

Apple Pie
Apple Pie

Chocolate or Coffee Almond Lassi

Where there is chocolate, there is magic! ⠀
It’s International Chocolate day!

Wrapped in deliciousness, holds childhood memories, stress buster, mood lifter and what not. Let ’s indulge in some chocolate lusciousness together.

Chocolate or Coffee Almond Lassi Recipe

Total Time: 2 mins melting chocolate + 3 minutes of grinding

Serves: 3 people

Ingredients

200 gms chilled thick yogurt ( you could also use hung curd if you wish)
2 tbsp water
100 gms dark chocolate chunks (substitute chocolate with coffee – less sugar)
4 tbsp nutella at room temperature
2 tbsp cocoa powder
8 to 9 toasted or roasted almonds sliced into juliennes
2 tbsp caster sugar Or brown sugar( I prefer less sugar you can add more if required)
a pinch of salt
few ice cubes(optional)

Method
Combine chocolate, cocoa and nutella into a microwave bowl with 2 tbsp water. Microwave on high power for 60 secs Or until melted.
Allow the chocolate to come to room temperature.
Now mix melted chocolate, some toasted almonds, chilled yogurt, caster sugar and some ice cubes if using.
Grind them into a processor until they all mix evenly.
Serve chilled in tall glasses Or matkas Or metal glasses. Decorate on top with reserved toasted almond juliennes.

Tip:

It will be better if use chilled yogurt than ice cubes. As ice cubes will make your lassi more thinner.
You can bake almonds for ten mins at 200 °C. Now chop them into juliennes with a sharp knife.
Also don’t mix hot melted chocolate with yogurt. Allow the chocolate to come to room temperature then mix with other ingredients.

Note: Substitute chocolate with coffee – less sugar

#HappyChocolateDay #ParsiCuisine

Some interesting tips for mothers – before and after pregnancy

Household tips before and after pregnancy by Thrity Tantra

A few tips – Pre and post Delivery of the baby……
These tips are traditional from personal experience only. In case of any medical conditions, please consult your doctor without fail……Click Here to view and download

A few recipes – Pre and post Delivery of the baby……(including Rawa Kanji, Rabri, Multigrain Porridge, Bajri Roti, Jawar Omlette, Moong Dal Chilla, Gunder Laddoos)

These recipes are traditional from personal experience only. In case of any medical conditions, please consult your doctor without fail……

Click Here to view and download

Have a wonderful pregnancy and delivery and a healthy & happy baby!!

Best Wishes…………….. Thrity Tantra

Salted Lassi with Coriander and Cumin

Drink Indian Cumin Lassi

  • without sugar. Great for Diabetics. 

Salted Lassi is healthy and nutritious for your body. This drinks is like the indian chaas which is very good for the digestion. Enjoyed as a breakfast drink to cleanse the body of toxins.

Ingredients:

Plain Yogurt 1 cup

Water 1 cup
Coriander leaves 3
Cumin powder a pinch
Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

Wash coriander leaves and grind them with little amount of yogurt using a juice blender.
Add remaining yogurt, cumin powder, a cup of water, salt and blend again thoroughly.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Raabri or Kaanji Masala Mix

This is an energy drink best taken at breakfast time. Increases your energy levels for the day and keep you vitality strong. Good for nursing mothers and pregnant mothers.

Keep this Raabri/Kaanji masala prepared for winter and enjoy your cuppa once in a while or regularly!

Research suggests that our brain and body thrive on variety. The 11 nutrient-rich ingredients of raabri / kaanji work together as a potent energy offering many health protecting properties.

Please not this raabri / kanji health mix is NOT the same as the Indian dessert called Rabri and sold by GITS brand and other companies.

RECIPE #1 for Raabri / Kanji Masala Mix

Ingredients
200 grams Singoda Powder
100 grams Gahvu Nu Dudh Powder
10 grams Gokharu Powder
50 grams Kamal Kakri (Lotus root) Powder
25 grams Pipri mul Powder
15-20 grams white pepper powder
25 grams soonth / ginger powder
10 Safed Musli powder
100 grams Char Magaz powder (watermelon seeds ground)
150 grams Almonds (ground powder)
100 grams Pistachio (ground powder)

Pure ghee to roast, Nutmeg powder and Cardamon Powder is optional.

Note White Pepper, Soonth will be slightly spicy hence add less as per taste.

If ready made powder of any above ingredients is available you may buy or else grind each ingredient separately and mix well.

Add almonds, pistachios and cashew powders – makes this very rich and nutritious.

Store in an airtight jar.

Method to make Raabri / Kaanji

1 to 2 Cups milk or as needed.

1 – 2 Tbsp Pure Ghee or as needed

2 teaspoonfuls of the Raabri / Kanji Masala

Saute in a little pure ghee and then add 1 cup milk gradually & stirring continuously. Add more milk if it gets thick.

Simmer, stirring continuously till it boils for about 15 minutes.

Remove from stove. 

Mix cardamom/elaichi and nutmeg/jaifal powder & drink it hot. With a spoon since it will be thick, creamy and pouring consistency!

Add a tsp of sugar if desired. Enjoy!

These Indian ingredients can be purchased in a desi / gujarati indian grocery store. To help locate an item talk to the Gujarati person since these are terms from India. Translation of the above ingredients are as follows. (Amazon carries some of these as well, though I prefer the local Indian grocery stores)

Singoda Powder

English: Water chestnut or caltrop. Bengali: Singhara. Water chestnut or caltrop, is an aquatic plant belonging to the genus Trapa. The edible part is actually a large seed, which is surrounded by an odd-looking fruit.

Ginger Powder (Soonth)

Jaiphal Nutmeg
Javantry Mace

Elaichi Cardamom pods or powder

Gokharu Powder

Kamal Kakri Powder


Safed (white) Musli powder

White Pepper Powder

Char jaat nu Magaj or Watermelon seeds

http://FiestaFriday.net

Dudh Puli by Mitali Singer

Dudh Puli

Contest Entry for Cuisinart 2019 Event *

“Dudh” means milk in Bengali and “puli” is another name for pitha. Dudh puli can be described as rice flour dumpling with coconut filling.

by Mitali Kumar

Ingredients:

2 cups coarse semolina

3 cups water

2 cups fresh shredded coconut

1 cup date palm jaggery

2 tablespoon of sugar

3-4 green cardamom

 ¼ gallon of milk

1 tablespoon of clarified butter( ghee)

Method:

In a non-stick pan heat ghee then sauté shredded coconut for few seconds, add ¾ cup of jaggery, ¼ cup of milk, mix it well. Cook it in a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens (should not be too dry). Turn the heat off and add cardamom powder. Take it out in a container and let it cool. This mixture will be used as filling for Puli.

Then boil 3 cups of water in a non -stick pan, in a low heat add semolina. Mix it well with spatula first. It will look like a lump. Turn the heat off, wait for a minute or so until it’s not too hot. Knead it with hand for approx. 3 minutes until the dough is smooth.  It should be done while the dough is still warm.

After this make round balls( approx.12 balls) out of this dough . Use little bit of ghee just to oil your palm so that the shells will not stick. Roll each ball into flat circular dumpling shell of about 3 inches diameter. Wet the edges using few drops of cold water with the help of your finger. Fill each Puli with 1 tablespoon of coconut mixture or less and seal with all sides nicely.  Finish making all the Pulis the same way.

In a non- stick pan add the rest of the milk and let it boil in low medium heat, keep stirring frequently, then after 2-3 minutes add sugar and stir it nicely. After this turn the heat really low, add Pulis in milk very gently. Cover the pan and let it simmer for about 6 minutes and turn them once very gently. When you feel the surface of the pulis are little slippery, then you know Pulis are fully cooked. In the end add rest of the jaggery. Let it boil for about a minute in a low heat and then turn the heat off. The whole process of boiling pulis will take about 8 minutes. Delicious Dudh Puli is ready!!  You can serve this warm garnished with sliced almond!

Dudh Puli by Mitali Singer
Dudh Puli by Mitali Singer

Dudh Puli by Mitali Singer

* CUISINART 2019 is another novel concept event from Calcutta Club USA, building on the exciting foundation of CUISINART for the past three years, the live Indian culinary contest. Fusing food, music and art, Cuisinart hosts a fine South Asian style cooking competition among non-professional chefs followed by a live art with music session for charity.

Irani Choi or Chai ( Spice Masala Chai)

Serves 6

Ingredients

Spice ingredients for one pot of tea:

  • 1/2 of a star anise star

  • 10-12 whole cloves

  • 7 whole allspice or 1/4 tsp ground allspice powder *See photo below

  • 1 heaping teaspoon of cinnamon bark (or 2 short sticks)

  • 7 whole white peppercorns

  • 1 cardamon pod opened to the seeds

Other ingredients:

  • 1 cup water

  • 6 cups whole milk

  • 2 heaping tablespoons of a high quality full-bodied broad-leaf black tea (Ceylon, or English Breakfast if a broad-leaf Ceylon is not available)

  • Sugar to taste

Method

  1. In a 2-qt saucepan, add spices to 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil; remove from heat; let steep for 5-20 minutes, depending on how strong a spice flavor you want.

  2. Add 4-6 cups of whole milk to the water and spices. If you don’t have whole milk, you can also use non-fat or low-fat milk, just add some cream to it, a few tablespoons. Bring the milk and spice mixture just to a boil and remove from heat.

  3. Add the tea to the milk and let steep for 5 to 10 minutes to taste. (Option at this point – reheat to a simmer and remove from heat.) You can add sugar at this point, or serve without sugar and let people put the amount of sugar in they want. Traditionally, sugar is added before serving.

  4. Strain into a pot. Serve.

  5. Add sugar to taste.

Click here for recipe of Parsi Chai (with Fudina and Leeli Chai)

I am curious why some Parsis say “choi” instead of “chai” (tea) ?


Ginger Tea

Ginger raises new hope in fight against ovarian cancer

Polly Curtis
The Guardian, Tuesday 18 April 2006

Common ginger may be the next weapon in the battle against ovarian cancer, scientists have suggested. Laboratory studies have shown that powdered root ginger could be as effective as chemotherapy for treating ovarian cancer.


When research-grade ginger – which is free of additives – was applied to ovarian cancer cells in Petri dishes it proved to be as effective as platinum-based chemo therapies for stopping cell growth.


The US scientists behind the research are particularly excited because ginger seems to offer a two-pronged attack on cancer cells: it makes them commit suicide, known as apoptosis, and self-digest, known as autophagy. It offers the hope that when one form of attack starts to fail the other will kick in.

“Most ovarian cancer patients develop recurrent disease that eventually becomes resistant to standard chemotherapy – which is associated with resistance to apoptosis,” said Rebecca Liu, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Michigan medical school, where the research was carried out. “If ginger can cause autophagic cell death in addition to apoptosis, it may circumvent resistance to conventional chemotherapy.” The scientists stressed these were preliminary findings.

Ginger is known to ease nausea, and it is being investigated for use to lessen the side-effects of chemotherapy and prevent bowel cancer. But the research into its use to treat ovarian cancer is at an early stage.
“This study doesn’t mean that people should dash down to the supermarket and stockpile ginger,” said Henry Scowcroft of Cancer Research UK. “We still don’t know whether ginger, in any form, can prevent or treat cancers in animals or people. And there is always the possibility that eating lots of ginger or taking ginger supplements might interfere with chemotherapy or be harmful to health.

“Scientists have previously found that ginger extract can stop cancer cells growing in the lab, so it is possible that a chemical found in ginger could form the basis of a new drug. But much more work is needed before we can draw any firm conclusions.” Ovarian cancer is the fourth most common form of the disease among women in the UK, with around 7,000 cases diagnosed every year. US research earlier this year suggested that the spicy component of jalapeno peppers, capsaicin, shrinks prostate tumors in mice.

Recipe of Ginger Tea

 

Ginger Tea

Saffron Angoori Rabdi – sugar free


Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

3 cups low fat milk
8 rasgullas , cut into halves
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cornflour dissolved in
1 tbsp low-fat milk
4 tsp sugar substitute
a pinch cinnamon (dalchini) powder

For The Garnish
a few strands saffron (kesar)


Method
Soak the rasgullas in water for 1 minute, drain and discard the water.
Repeat step 1 for 4 to 5 times, till all the sugar has been removed from the rasgullas. Keep aside.
Heat the milk in a non-stick pan and add the lemon juice drop-by-drop stirring continuously to get a grainy texture.
Add the cornflour mixture to the milk and mix well. Cook till the mixture thickens.
Add the sugar substitute and cardamom powder, mix well and cook for a minute.
Remove from flame and keep aside to cool.
Add the rasgulla pieces, stir gently and keep refrigerated for at least 1 hour.
Serve chilled garnished with saffron.

Tips
Adding lemon juice drop-by-drop to the milk not only imparts the desired grainy texture but also prevents the milk from curdling.

8 Popular Tea Bag Companies that Contain Illegal Amounts of Deadly Pesticides

There’s nothing nicer than sipping on a warm cup of herbal tea on a cold midwinter’s day. But besides being tasty and warming, tea provides a host of different health benefits – that is, unless your tea is soaked in pesticides.

The investigators found that over half of all teas tested had pesticide residues that were above the legally acceptable limit. Multiple chemicals were found in 8 out of 10 teas, with one brand of tea containing over 22 different types of pesticides (Uncle Lee’s Legends of China tea brand).

A large majority of these pesticides are currently being banned in several countries due to the health risks they pose to works that handle them, and the negative effects they have on the environment (as well as the health of those that consume the products).

Greenpeace also released a study exposing many popular tea brands that contain high levels of pesticide residues – some which even tested positive for DDT, an incredibly toxic pesticide that was banned years ago.

And yet another round of tests conducted by Glaucus Research found that 91% of Celestial Seasonings tea tested had pesticide residues exceeding the U.S. limits. For example, Sleepytime Kids Goodnight Grape Herbal contained 0.26 ppm of propachlor, which is a known carcinogen under California’s Propsition 65.

Tea Bag Companies That Contain High Levels of Pesticide

The tea companies that were found to contain the highest pesticide levels were as follows:

• Brooke Bond
– Red Label
– Red Label Natural Care
– Red Label Special
– 3 Roses Natural Care
– Taj Mahal

• Celestial Seasonings
– Authentic Green Tea
– Antioxidant Max Blackberry Pomegranate
– Antioxidant Max Blood Orange
– Antioxidant Max Dragon Fruit
– English Breakfast Black K-Cup
– Green Tea Honey Lemon Ginger
– Green Tea Peach Blossom
– Green Tea Raspberry Gardens
– Sleepytime Herbal Teas (Flagship)
– Sleepytime Kids Goodnight Grape Herbal

• Golden Tips
– Nilgiri Tea
– Pure Darjeeling Tea
– Assam Tea

• Goodricke
– Chai Strong CTC Long Leaf
– Roasted Darjeeling – Orange Pekoe
– Thurbo Flavoury Darjeeling Tea
– Thurbo Flavoury Darjeeling Tea

• Kanan Devan

• Kho Cha
– Darjeeling
– Masala Chai

• King Cole
– Orange Pekoe

• Lipton
– Clear Green Tea
– Darjeeling Tea
– Pure Green Tea
– Yellow Label Black Tea

Ref: https://www.cbc.ca/marketplace/m/blog/full-tea-test-results

Your co-hosts this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes

Sandhra

An ancient delicacy. Sandhra are fluffy white pancake like delicacy. They are made from rice flour that is kept to rise. You got to make them to know the taste of bygone days!

Here is the much sought after recipe.

Makes 25

Ingredients

3/4 kg. Rice Flour

4 cups milk

900 gm. Ghee

2 cups fermented toddy (or fermented coconut milk)

900 gm. Powdered sugar

100 gm ghee to grease plates

5 Almonds blanched and slivered

Method

  1. Mix one cup flour into the milk and stir in the ghee.

  2. Place on fire and keep stiring till it boils.

  3. Remove immediately and cool.

  4. Pour this in to the rest of the flour. Add toddy and mix thoroughly.

  5. It should be consistency of cream.

  6. When dough is well risen, mix in the sugar

  7. Grease 5 metal plates with ghee and pour mixture in carefully.

  8. To steam the Sandhra in the traditional manner, place a large metal stand or ring in a very large vessel.

  9. On this stand, stack the 5 plates, with 2 crossed sticks between each plate.

  10. Place vessal on fire with hot water reaching just below the stand.

  11. Cover vessel and steam till Sandhra are set.

  12. Remove from plates and cool.

  13. Repeat till all are done.

  14. When cool wrap in a napkin cloth or foil so they do not dry.

  15. If desired, Sprinkle almonds on top when serving.

From Cookbook: Parsi Cuisine Manna of the 21st Century: Indian Parsi Cuisine Available as a Kindle or Paperback Edition.
by Rita Kapadia (Author)

Written for today’s generation of cooks and food enthusiasts, the cookbook “Parsi Cuisine Manna of the 21st Century” by Rita Jamshed Kapadia provides a treasure trove of recipes, along with an immersive cultural experience for those seeking to understand this ancient and timeless cuisine of India.

With classical and regional Parsi / Parsee recipes as well as an introduction to Parsi heritage, history, and culture. The book’s full color photographs are intertwined with descriptions of ancient and modern Parsi ceremonies, poetry, folktales, travelogue excerpts and anecdotes.

The ”Parsi Cuisine Manna of the 21st Century” is a labor of love. The book began in an effort to maintain and preserve our recipes and traditions for the next generation, many of whom have been raised in India. Today, as accomplished adults in their own fields Rita’s children encouraged her to write this book for their generation.

Lemon Grass: Leeli Chai/Lemon Grass Health benefits

Lemon Grass

Lemon Grass” or “leeli-chai” and has healthy properties. You can find it in chinese markets in water containers. Here is an article on the benefits of Lemon Grass, you may find interesting.

This is Indian Lemon Grass called Leeli Chai in India:

 

Lemon grass is a perennial, aromatic tall grass with a light lemon scent used for culinary and medicinal purposes. For centuries, herbalists have used the herb as an effective digestive tonic and nervous system relaxant. Lemon grass oil is used to help clear blemishes and maintain balanced skin tone. Lemon grass is also used as an insect and mosquito repellent. Now, according to Israeli scientists, they can add cancer prevention to the list of attributes associated with lemon grass.

If you are a cancer patient in Israel, your doctor is telling you to drink fresh lemon grass tea on the days that you go in for radiation or chemotherapy treatments. Ben Gurion University of the Negev researchers made a discovery last year that the lemon aroma in herbs like lemon grass kills cancer cells in vitro, while leaving healthy cells unharmed. In a fascinating article published in the Health section of Israel21c, it states that the study found the citral in lemon grass causes cancer cells to commit suicide in a process called apoptosis, a mechanism called programmed cell death. A drink with as little a one gram of lemon grass contains enough citral to signal the cancer cells to commit suicide.

It all began when researchers at Ben Gurion University of the Negev discovered last year that the lemon aroma in herbs like lemon grass kills cancer cells in vitro, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

The research team was led by Dr. Rivka Ofir and Prof. Yakov Weinstein, incumbent of the Albert Katz Chair in Cell-Differentiation and Malignant Diseases, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at BGU.

Citral is the key component that gives the lemony aroma and taste in several herbal plants such as lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), melissa (Melissa officinalis) and verbena (Verbena officinalis.)

The BGU investigators checked the influence of the citral on cancerous cells by adding them to both cancerous cells and normal cells that were grown in a petri dish. The quantity added in the concentrate was equivalent to the amount contained in a cup of regular tea using one gram of lemon herbs in hot water. While the citral killed the cancerous cells, the normal cells remained unharmed.

The findings were published in the scientific journal Planta Medica, which highlights research on alternative and herbal remedies. Shortly afterwards, the discovery was featured in the popular Israeli press.

Why does it work? Nobody knows for certain, but the BGU scientists have a theory.

“In each cell in our body, there is a genetic program which causes programmed cell death. When something goes wrong, the cells divide with no control and become cancer cells. In normal cells, when the cell discovers that the control system is not operating correctly – for example, when it recognizes that a cell contains faulty genetic material following cell division – it triggers cell death,” explains Weinstein. “This research may explain the medical benefit of these herbs.”

The success of their research led them to the conclusion that herbs containing citral may be consumed as a preventative measure against certain cancerous cells.

As they learned of the BGU findings in the press, many physicians in Israel began to believe that while the research certainly needed to be explored further, in the meantime it would be advisable for their patients, who were looking for any possible tool to fight their condition, to try to harness the cancer-destroying properties of citral.

That’s why Zabidov’s farm – the only major grower of fresh lemon grass in Israel – has become a pilgrimage destination for these patients. Luckily, they found themselves in sympathetic hands. Zabidov greets visitors with a large kettle of aromatic lemon grass tea, a plate of cookies, and a supportive attitude.

“My father died of cancer, and my wife’s sister died young because of cancer,” said Zabidov. “So I understand what they are dealing with. And I may not know anything about medicine, but I’m a good listener. And so they tell me about their expensive painful treatments and what they’ve been through. I would never tell them to stop being treated, but it’s great that they are exploring alternatives and drinking the lemon grass tea as well.”

Zabidov knew from a young age that agriculture was his calling. At age 14, he enrolled in the Kfar Hayarok Agricultural high school. After his army service, he joined an idealistic group which headed south, in the Arava desert region, to found a new moshav (agricultural settlement) called Tsofar.

“We were very successful; we raised fruits and vegetables, and,” he notes with a smile, “We raised some very nice children.”

Related Recipes and Articles:

 

 

Indian Leeli Chai / Lemon Grass / Cymbopogon citratus

Thai Lemon Grass found in Thai, Asian and Chinese stores in USA looks like this:


Lemon Grass found in Thai, Asian and Chinese stores in USA

Detox Juice

Serves 2

Ingredients:

• 1 cup (chopped) spinach leaves (without stems)
• 1 cup chilled fresh orange juice
• 1 cup cubed mango
• ¼ cup (chopped) fresh mint
• 2 medium ribs celery (finely chopped)
• ¼ cup (chopped) flat-leaf parsley

Method:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender.
  2. Keep blending it, until it is a smooth puree.
  3. Pour into two chilled glasses.
Best wishes for a very Happy Navroze for you and your family,

Seven recipes to celebrate Parsi New Year 2017

Satisfy your Parsi Food cravings. We hope you will cook delicious, mouth-watering food with the recipes, cookbooks and videos provided on this site.

Get $5 off our books for the coming Parsi New Year Celebrations. 

Apply Discount Code “AFDX5BD5” * Sale ends August 31, 2017 Click on image to go to the Amazon Create Space shopping cart. Next, add the book you want and then apply discount code. Proceed to check out.

Commemorated in a grand and elaborate fashion, preparations for  Navroze begin well in advance. Houses are cleaned to remove all the cobwebs and painted new. They are then adorned with different auspicious symbols, namely, stars, butterflies, birds and fish. New attires are ordered and made especially for the festival. On the day of  Navroze, people dress in their new and best clothes and put on gold and silver kustis and caps. The doors and windows are beautified with garlands of roses and jasmines. Color powders are used for creating beautiful and attractive patterns, known as rangoli, on the steps and thresholds. These intricate and creative patterns display the sanctity of the festivals. Moreover, fish and floral motifs are a favorite among rangolis and considered highly auspicious.

Guests are welcomed by sprinkling rose water and rice, followed by applying a tilak. Breakfast usually consists of Sev (a vermicelli preparation roasted in ghee and choc-a-bloc with dry fruits) which is served with yogurt and enjoyed by young and old alike. After breakfast, it is time to visit the Agiary or Fire Temple to offer prayers. Special thanksgiving prayers, known as Jashan, are held and sandalwood is offered to the Holy Fire. At the end of this religious ceremony, all Parsis take the privilege to exchange new greetings with one another by saying ‘Sal Mubarak’. Back home, special delicacies are made marking the lunch as an elaborate and delicious affair.

Various Parsi dishes, such as Sali boti (a mutton and potato preparation), chicken farchas, patrani machchi (fish steamed in a leaf), mutton pulao and dal, kid gosh and saas ni machchi (a thick white gravy with pomfret) jostle for space on the table. However, the most significant dish that forms an integral part of Jamshed Navroz celebrations is pulav (rice enriched with nuts and saffron, aka biryani). Besides, plain rice and moong dal are a must on this day. Desserts too are not behind in terms of variety, the most important being falooda. It is a sweet milk drink made from vermicelli and flavored with rose essence. Lagan-nu-custard, or caramel custard, is another favorite on this occasion. The entire day is spent by visiting friends and relative and exchanging good wishes and blessings.

Suggested Menu for the Navroz day:

sev 002

Breakfast 

 Parsi Sev Sweet Vermicelli (shown above)

 Parsi Ravo (Sweet cream of wheat)

BREAKFAST: Akuri
BREAKFAST: Akuri

Akuri

Lunch

Khari Maachi (served with Mora Dal Chawal / Parsi Dhan Dal ) Recipe 1

 Dhan Dal (Steamed Rice with plain dal) with Khari Fish

Fried Fish
Fried Fish

Tareli Maachi

 

Dinner

Chicken with Apricots / Jardalu ma Marghi
Chicken with Apricots / Jardalu ma Marghi

 Chicken with Apricots / Jardalu ma Marghi

Dessert

DESSERT: Lagan nu Custard - garnished with almonds, pistachios
DESSERT: Lagan nu Custard – garnished with almonds, pistachios

 Lagan nu Custard

Batasa – a favorite biscuit snack. Good with Tea or Coffee anytime! 

Batasa

 

Yogurt Shrikand in Red White and Blue

 

Yogurt is hung to make it thick. Garnish with fresh blueberries, sliced almonds and serve shrikand immediately.

Makes: 2 Servings of Shrikand.

Ingredients

2 Cups Plain Yogurt
1 Pod Cardamom
4 Tbsps Sliced Blanched Almonds (optional)

Fresh Blueberry Fruit (optional)
Sugar to Taste

A drop of red and blue food color (edible color)

Method

  1. Crush the cardamom pod and remove the seeds and grind the seeds into fine powder.
  2. Tie plain yogurt in a clean muslin cloth and hang it in refrigerator (tie the ends of cloth to the rack) for 6 – 8 hours with a bowl underneath to collect the whey. Alternatively, hang it above the kitchen sink for couple of hours and then refrigerate for an hour or so.
  3. Remove the thick yogurt and mix in sugar, cardamom powder.
  4. Divide into 3 mixing bowls, stir in red and blue food color in two bowls, keep the 3rd white.
  5. Layer each into serving cup, I used a cocktail glass for special color effects.
  6. Garnish with sliced almonds and serve shrikand immediately.

Suggestions: Use full fat yogurt for better taste.
Variations: You can also add honey instead of sugar if you wish.

 

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Falooda Ice-cream Mawa Cake

Layered Falooda Ice Cream Cake

(cardamom flavored cake layered with falooda ice cream)

by 

Kshama Parikh is an artist and a blooger. Kshama’s blog is KesarLilly.com 
Kshama also blogs in the Facebook group Foodaholics in Ahmedabad

#Parsi #Cuisine

The word Parsi means Persian and it is evident that Parsi cuisine is influenced by their Persian roots as much as it is by the food culture of their adopted home, India.

Me being me wanted to create something extravagant in terms of flavours and visually of course! 😜 My thoughts behind this pastel pink cake is to pay a little homage to the Grand Parsi Cafes and their fading elegance illustrating vintage Bombay. ***In my head this is what the ‘Memsahibs’ of Malabar hill would indulge into during a tea time conversation with her equally fancy friends at one of these Parsi cafes in Bombay.

So Falooda derives from the Persian word ‘Faloodeh’ and I also wanted to make the signature Parsi Mawa Cake hence I combined the two and made an ice-cream cake with flavours of Persia which has always had a strong influence on the Parsi cuisine such as ROSE, SAFFRON, PISTACHIOS etc.

Recipe

For Falooda ICE-CREAM

Heat 200 ml of evaporated milk in a pan and bring to boil. Add sugar and rose extract. Let it cool. Add lightly whipped cream (200ml) to it and fold in well. Add a drop of pink gel, cardamom powder and saffron. Beat this mixture with an electric mixer for 5 min and put it in a freezer. After an hour beat this mixture again and refreeze it until you are ready to use. (I made my ice cream on Monday  and was nibbling on it for a couple of days before it served the purpose.

For the cake. I followed the Chiffon cake method as the mawa would make the cake extremely dense anyway and I am not a fan of to dense cakes. So to make it a little lighter I followed the light airy chiffon cake method which helped a little in retaining the airiness.

For the cake

Beat egg whites of 3 eggs to form a soft peak. In another bowl take the egg yolks of two eggs and one whole egg. Beat until frothy. Add one cup sugar, 2 cup flour, pinch of salt and 1/2tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp cream of tartar. Add 3 tbs oil. 1/2 cup milk. Beat well again. Add mawa, cardamom powder, saffron extract and beat until everything is well combined. The amount of sugar is entirely personal choice. Now carefully fold in the Meringue which was prepared earlier. Transfer the batter into lightly greased aluminium tins and bake for 45 minutes at gas mark 5.

Once the cakes cools slightly remove it from the tins and place it on wire racks to cool completely. Soak chia seeds in water and also boil rice noodles. Defrost the ice cream so it is soft enough to be assembled between the cake layers.

Now in a non-stick tin (the one which has separate base and side) assemble the cake and ice cream. Cake at the bottom, topped with ice cream then another layer of cake and then more ice cream to finish off. On the top most layer, mix soaked and drained chia seeds and boiled and well drained rice noodles. Freeze this for at least 3-4 hours.

Remove the ice cream cake 10 min before serving and garnish. Carefully separate the base from the sides and dig into the ever so delicious ice cream cake!

The Secret History of Shiraz Wine

By Anahita Shams

Persian miniature painting of a 14th Century Persian court banquetMusic, poetry and wine-drinking at the court of 17th Century Persian ruler Shah Abbas

Until the Islamic revolution, Iran had a tradition of wine-making which stretched back centuries. It centred on the ancient city of Shiraz – but is there a connection between the place and the wine of the same name now produced and drunk across the world?

“I remember my father bringing in the grapes and putting them in a big clay vat,” says California-based wine-maker Darioush Khaledi, recalling his childhood in pre-revolutionary Iran.

“I would climb on top and smell and enjoy the wine.”

Darioush’s family was from Shiraz, a fabled city in south-western Iran, whose name was once synonymous with viticulture and the poetry and culture of wine.

He remembers happy evenings when the family would gather, sipping wine from clay cups, and reciting lines from the 14th Century Persian poet Hafez.

“It wasn’t just about drinking wine,” he says. “It was an adventure.”

The world Darioush remembers came to an end in 1979 when Iran’s new Islamic rulers banned alcohol.

They shut down wineries, ripped up commercial vineyards and consigned to history a culture stretching back thousands of years.

Does this ancient jar hold the key to the provenance of Shiraz?

Ancient residue

An ancient clay jar has pride of place at the University of Pennsylvania museum in Philadelphia in the US.

It was one of six discovered by a team of American archaeologists at a site in the Zagros mountains in northern Iran in 1968.

The jars date back to the Neolithic period more than 7,000 years ago, and provide the first scientific proof of the ancient nature of Iranian wine production.

Chemical analysis on one of them revealed that a dark stain at the bottom was actually wine residue.

“This is the oldest chemically-identified wine jar in the world,” says Prof Patrick McGovern.

The first evidence of grape cultivation in Shiraz came around 2,500 BC, when vines were brought down from the mountains to the plains of south-west Iran, the professor says.

By the 14th Century, Shiraz wine was immortalized in the poetry of Hafez, whose tomb in the city is still venerated today.

“Last night, the wise tavern master deciphered the enigma,” he wrote. “Gazing at the lines traced in the cup of wine, he unraveled our awaiting fate.”

Persian miniature showing wine drinking
The wine-pourer or “saghi” had a special role in the ritual of Persian royal banquets.

Image copyright SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

In the 1680s, a French diamond merchant, Jean Chardin, travelled to Persia to the court of Shah Abbas.

He attended elaborate banquets and recorded the first European account of what Shiraz wine actually tasted like.

“It was a very specific red,” says French historian and Chardin expert Francis Richards. “It was a wine with good conservation because generally the local wines very quickly turned to vinegar.”

But is there a connection between the “dark red wine that smells like musk” immortalised by Hafez, and the Shiraz wine drunk across the world today?

Bottles of Shiraz with ancient Persian designsNapa Valley vintner Darioush Khaledi emphasises Shiraz’s “Persian heritage”

The first stop in my research is one of France’s most famous vineyards in the Rhone valley in the south and home to the Syrah vine.

According to local legend, the Hermitage vineyard was founded by a 13th Century knight called Gaspard de Sterimberg, who brought back a Persian vine from the Crusades.

Grapes growing on vine
Syrah grapes at the world famous Hermitage vineyard in southern France

The names Syrah and Shiraz are often used interchangeably. Could Syrah be a corruption of Shiraz and prove a Persian connection?

The definitive answer came in 1998 when DNA testing was carried out on the local vines to pinpoint their origin.

“Some people think it comes from Persians and others from Sicily where you have Syracuse city,” says grape geneticist Jose Vouillamoz. “But today we know all of that is wrong.

“Testing was done by two different labs,” he continues. “And it was really a surprise to find out that Syrah is a natural spontaneous crossing between two local vines from this area.”

So wherever the name came from, it seems there is no genetic connection between Syrah grapes and the wines of ancient Shiraz.

But the trail does not end there.

Portrait of James Busby
James Busby, seen as the father of the Australian wine industry

Outside of France, the biggest producer of Syrah in the world is Australia and the wine is always called Shiraz.

This can be traced back to a Scot called James Busby who exported Syrah vines from the Hermitage to Australia in the 19th Century.

His first consignment of vines was labelled “scyras” which many thought was a misspelling of Syrah.

But when I re-read his journal, I came across a line which proved he knew about the Hermitage Persian vine legend.

“According to the tradition of the neighbourhood,” he wrote. “The plant – scyras – was originally brought from Shiraz in Persia.”

At that time European wine-makers sometimes imported wine from Persia to add sweetness and body.

So perhaps Busby hoped the ancient name Shiraz would add some Persian mystique and flavour to his New World wine-making endeavour.

Echoes of Persepolis

The United States imported Syrah vines in the 1970s and the wine is always marketed under the Syrah name – with one notable exception.

Darioush Khaledi, a son of Shiraz, is the proud owner of a 120-acre vineyard in California’s Napa Valley producing what he insists on calling Shiraz wine.

“My French friends say Shiraz/Syrah comes from the Rhone and [has] a 500-year-old history,” he says. “But if you open an atlas of the world there’s only one place in the whole world called Shiraz and it has a 7,000-year-old history of wine growing.”

Carved columns at entrance to winery
Image caption Persian-style columns at the entrance to the Darioush winery in Napa Valley

He highlights his Iranian heritage in the vineyard. The entrance to the main building is lined with Persian-style columns reminiscent of the ancient city of Persepolis.

The day we visit, his marketing manager Dan de Polo is holding a wine tasting for a group of Chinese buyers.

“What’s great about Shiraz is that it’s always been a very soulful wine,” he tells them.

Soulfulness, spirit and poetry – words that come up time and again when talking about Shiraz wine.

And for Darioush, and for me, I think that is what matters most.

It is not about the DNA of the grapes, it is about the link Shiraz offers us to the spirit of our faraway homeland and the romance of its fabled wine.

Masala Chai ( Spiced Tea)

A cup of tea shared with another person is known to create a new karma each time. So next time you have a cup of tea with someone, have good thoughts, and share good words.

 

Health value: Antioxidant

Removes Headaches, Muscle aches, soothes and relaxes.

Ingredients:

2 cups water

4 tea bags, black tea

2 cups milk, or lowfat milk

4 slices fresh ginger root, about 1 inch thick

1-1/2 Tbsps. honey

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. sugar (optional)

Instructions:

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add tea bags, reduce heat, and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove tea bags, add remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes. Strain and serve. Serves 4 cups.

 

Cookbook: Tea of India

 

The Lazy Gastronome

Drink Coffee! It won’t give your heart extra beats

By Scott Maier on January 26, 2016

NEW YORK– You have another reason to drink that cup of coffee. Researchers including an Indian-origin medical student now report that regular caffeine consumption does not lead to extra heartbeats, which may lead – in rare cases – to heart- or stroke-elated morbidity and mortality.

The study, led by researchers at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), measured the chronic consumption of caffeinated products over a 12-month period.

“Clinical recommendations advising against the regular consumption of caffeinated products should be reconsidered as we may unnecessarily be discouraging consumption of items like chocolate, coffee and tea that might actually have cardiovascular benefits,” said senior author Gregory Marcus, health cardiologist and director of clinical research.

“Given our recent work demonstrating that extra heartbeats can be dangerous, this finding is especially relevant,” he noted in a paper published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Excessive premature atrial contractions (PACs) have been shown to result in atrial fibrillation, stroke and death, while excessive premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) have been shown to result in increased heart failure, coronary artery disease and death.
In their study, Marcus and his colleagues analysed 1,388 randomly selected participants.Both abnormalities have been tied to caffeine consumption through studies and trials but these studies were performed several decades ago and did not use PACs and PVCs as a primary outcome.

Of the total participants, 840 (61 percent) consumed more than one caffeinated product daily.

The researchers found no differences in the number of PACs or PVCs per hour across levels of coffee, tea and chocolate consumption. More frequent consumption of these products was not associated with extra heartbeats.

“This was the first community-based sample to look at the impact of caffeine on extra heartbeats, as previous studies looked at people with known arrhythmias,” said lead author Shalini Dixit, medical student at UCSF.

“Whether acute consumption of these caffeinated products affects extra heartbeats requires further study,” she said.

Recent growing evidence indicates the potential cardiovascular benefits of several common caffeinated products such as coffee, chocolate and tea.

The result is uncertainty in counselling patients on consumption of these products, with patients possibly reducing their intake to avoid presumed cardiac issues.

Article Source: https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2016/01/401416/regular-caffeine-consumption-does-not-result-extra-heartbeats-study-shows

Other related article by David Liu – https://www.healthiery.com/side-effects-of-coffee/

Related Recipe

 Coffee Walnut Cake

Coffee Lassi (Diabetics can substitute chocolate with coffee)

Coconut Milk

coconut milk
coconut milk

Hindi Name: Nariyal ka doodh

Coconut milk is obtained from grated coconut kernel. It is a very popular ingredient in South East Asian cuisine. The rich taste of coconut milk is due to the high oil content. It can be consumed raw or used as a substitute to milk in the preparation of various dishes. In some countries, it is also used to make a type of summer drink or added to cocktails. Coconut milk is also preserved and sold commercially in a tetra pack.

While adding coconut milk to curries you can avoid curdling of the milk with these tips. After adding the coconut milk keep the heat low and do not let it boil. Keep stirring frequently while adding the coconut milk and also while it cooks for a couple of minutes. Let it simmer uncovered. If this doesn’t work mix a teaspoon corn flour to the milk and then add it.

Nutritional value

  1. It is packed with vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6 as well as iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

  2. It contains high levels of saturated fats therefore its consumption is advised with care.

  3. Coconut milk also has medium chain fatty acids that may help promote weight maintenance without raising cholesterol levels.

  4. Coconut milk contains lauric acid, also found in mother’s milk that is known to promote brain development and bone health.

  5. Coconut milk is a great source of Vitamin E that helps in the nourishment of the skin.

Parsis liked to eat British fare, specially during the pre-indence days, during the British Raj.

Vividh Vani Recipe: Toad in a hole

Toad in a hole trsnlated from the Vividh Vani Cookbook
Toad in a hole trsnlated from the Vividh Vani Cookbook NOTE: Parsis liked to eat British fare, specially during the pre-indence days, during the British Raj. Translated Gujarati to English Recipe.

Very old parsi dish made during the British Raj.

Translated recipe from an ancient cooking book “Vividh Vani” (click for a free download)

Very tender goat meat from the neck 1/2 ratal cut into small pieces and washed well .
Very fine milled wheat flour #1 ground 15 Tola
Milk 1/2 Sher
2 eggs
Salt to taste 1 tsp
Butter as needed

Beat the eggs with a fork till fluffy
In a pie dish that is buttered, place the meat.
Sprinkle salt.
In a enamel dish, beat the flour into the eggs, using milk as needed. No lumps. Keep for 3 hours in a copper vessel .
Pour this mixture over the meat and bake till golden brown. In the old days there were no ovens, just a bhathi which is like a fireplace.

You can substitute goat meat with cold sausage or chicken.

This is a translation from Gujarati to English with old measures from the Vividh Vani cookbook. See Guide of old measures to convert.

And this is how the British do it now a days.

Bitter Gourd, Bitter Melon, Karela Juice

Karela or Bitter Gourd, Bitter Melon has many health benefits. The main being regulate the blood sugar and hence it is very good for diabetics.

detox

Karela Juice Recipe

Ingredients – Makes 1 small glass
1 Karela Big
salt to taste
lime/lemon juice as per taste

Few slices of cucumber for garnish

Method
Wash the Karela.
Remove the seeds.
Cut into small pieces.
Puree it in a blender or is you have juicer you can use that. If using blender you can add little water. About 1/4 cup will do.
If pureed using a blender, pass it through a sieve.
Add salt and Lime/Lemon juice to the collected juice.
Serve with cucumber slices for garnish.

Note: This is really bitter, but the benefits are in this bitter part. I just had drop of it and could not have more my whole food pipe is reacting to it and I can feel the bitter taste all the way down.

But if you have Diabeties, this is a good home remedy.