Mango Iced Tea

Iced tea is a refreshing change. While iced tea with lemon is great on its own, flavouring it with fresh mango puree makes it extra special. 

For Syrup:
  1 cup sugar
  1 cup water

The rest:
  2 teabags
  3 cups boiling water
  1 cup fresh mango puree
  1 teaspoon lemon juice
  A pinch of salt
  Ice, to serve

1. To make the syrup: Add the sugar and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from stove and set aside to cool.
2. Add the teabags to the 3 cups of boiling water, cover, and leave to brew for 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Remove the teabags and discard. Leave the tea to cool.
4. In a large jug, mix together the cooled tea, mango puree, lemon juice and salt.
5. Sweeten the tea with the simple syrup, according to your taste. I added 4 tablespoons, but you can add more or less according to your preference.
6. Refrigerate the iced tea until you’re ready to serve.
7. Serve over ice.

Mango Halwa

“The king of the fruits," mango fruit is one of the most popular, nutritionally rich fruits with unique flavor, fragrance, taste, and heath promoting qualities. Mango is one of the delicious seasonal fruits grown in the tropics.

This halwa basically involves adding mango puree to a classic sooji halwa. 

  4 tbls ghee
  3 cardamom pods
  ½ cup sooji (semolina)
  2 cups water
  1 cup milk
  1¼ cups mango puree (2/3 mangoes)
  ½ cup sugar

1. In a large cooking pan, heat the ghee.
2. Add the cardamom pods and fry until fragrant.
3. Add the sooji and fry on low heat until it turns light golden brown.
4. While the sooji cooks, add the water, milk, and sugar in another saucepan and heat on medium-low until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is just bubbling at the edges.
5. When the suji has browned, add the hot water-milk-sugar mixture while stirring constantly.
6. Continue to cook the halwa on medium heat until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
7. Add the mango puree and continue to cook until you have a soft halwa consistency. The halwa is done when you see the oil separate from the halwa.

Serve warm or cold, garnished with nuts.

Prepare Raw Mango For Fancy and Practical Eating

1. Hold the mango on its side and cut down on either side of the central seed. You will end with two big “halves” plus the central seed.
2. Place each half on the cutting board with peel facing down and cut the exposed flesh in a horizontal and vertical pattern, taking care not to cut too deep through the skin.
3. Then invert the whole half to push out the cubes as shown in the photo above.

Tahini and Date Cookies

These dense cookies are somewhat a cross between shortbread and naan khatai, with a wonderful sesame flavour and are not too sweet on their own so the date filling complements them perfectly. 

¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup tahini
1 cup plain flour
¼ cup caster sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
2 tbls sesame seeds (optional)
½ cup chopped dates
½ cup water

1. Preheat the oven to 180F (350C).
2. In a large mixing bowl, add the butter, tahini, and sugar, and beat well until well combined.
3. Add the flour and mix with a spatual or large metal spoon. 
4. As the dough starts to clump, add the milk, a tablespoon at a time, and keep mixing until you have a stiff dough.
5. Take 1 tablespoon portions of the dough, shape into round balls and roll in the sesame seeds, if you’re using them.
6. Place each cookie dough ball on a greased baking tray, place your thumb on it and press down gently to create a hollow centre. (The dough may crack around the edges; that’s fine.)
7. If you do not want to use the date filling, flatten the cookie dough balls with the back of a fork and bake as instructed.
8. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, until the bottoms of the cookies are lightly browned.
9. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool completely.
10. Meanwhile, to make the date filling: Add the dates and water to a small saucepan and cook on medium-low heat. 
11. Mash the dates with a fork while they cook and keep stirring the mixture so that it doesn't burn. When most of the water has evaporated and you have a jam-like consistency, remove the mixture from the stove and allow to cool.
12. When the cookies and date filling have cooled, fill the hollow centres of each cookies with the date filling.
13. Decorate with nuts or more sesame seeds to serve.

Mango Mousse Trifle

“The king of the fruits," mango fruit is one of the most popular, nutritionally rich fruits with unique flavor, fragrance, taste, and heath promoting qualities. Mango is one of the delicious seasonal fruits grown in the tropics.

This trifle elevates the simple mango without much effort. I’ve left out trifle standards like custard and jelly here, but you can add more layers if you wish.

½ lb plain cake, cut into cubes
2 large mangoes, peeled and cut into large cubes
4 tablespoons caster sugar
1 cup mango puree, chilled 
1 cup whipping cream (heavy cream), chilled
½ to 1 cup icing sugar, sifted

1. In a bowl, add mango and caster sugar. Mix well, cover, and leave for 20 minutes.
2. In a large glass serving bowl, add cake in an even layer and then top with mangoes.
3. Prepare the mousse: Using an electric beater, whip the cream until stiff peaks form (when you remove the beater from the cream, the peaks formed should hold their shape).
4. Add the chilled mango puree and ½ cup icing sugar, and continue to beat until well combined. taste the mousse and add more sugar if desired.
5. Spoon the mousse over the mangoes in an even layer.
6. Cover the trifle and refrigerate, preferably overnight.
7. Decorate with chopped or sliced mango and serve.

Yummy toast

A wholesome snack made with chicken and egg as a light dessert for summer days.

  Minced Chicken 300g
  Bread slices 4-5
  Garlic-ginger paste 1tbsp
  Green onions 1
  Egg 1
  Cornflour 2tbsp
  Parsley, chopped 1/4 bunch
  Oil for frying
  Boiled egg 1
  Black pepper 1/4tsp
  Tomato ketchup 2tbsp
  Mustard paste 2tbsp
  Sesame seeds 1tbsp
  Salt as a taste

1. Blend minced chicken, raw egg, boiled egg, cornflour, green onion, oil, garlic-ginger paste together. 
2. Add chopped parsley. Cut bread into square pieces. Spread mixture on the pieces and fry. Decorate the fried slices with tomato ketchup and mustard paste.

Shanghai rice

  Boiled rice 300gm
  Eggs 3
  Oil ½ cup
  Button mushrooms 1 cup
  Green onions 2
  Garlic 3-4 cloves
  Capsicum 1
  Carrot 1
  Black mushrooms 3-4
  Prawns 300gm
  Peas 1 cup
  Oyster sauce tbsp
  Worcestershire sauce 2tbsp
  Black pepper (ground) 1 tsp
  Black pepper (crushed) ½tsp
  Chinese salt 1tsp
  Salt to taste

1. In a frying pan, heat oil and add garlic. Stir till it turns golden. 
2. Add prawns and cook for two minutes. Add beaten eggs and let it cook for two minutes. Now add button mushrooms, black mushrooms, capsicum, carrot, peas, green onion and mix together. 
3. Then add boiled rice, Season with salt, ground black pepper, crushed black pepper. 
4. Add Chinese salt, oyster sauce, Worcestershire sauce and mix it well. 
5. Serve hot.

Paneer peray

  Cottage cheese 500gms
  Khoya ½ cup
  Sugar ½cup
  Almond and pistachio 50g
  Crushed cardamom ½tsp
  Kewra 2tbsp
  Powder milk 4tbsp

1. Chop almond and pistachios and keep aside. 
2. Break cottage cheese into little pieces and add sugar to it. 
3. Heat the mixture in a pan, on low heat. 
4. Add kewra water, most of the chopped almonds and pistachios and mix well. 
5. Leave some nuts aside for garnishing. After three to four minutes add khoya in it, the mixture will start to thicken. 
6. Turn off the flame and pour mixture onto a plate. Let it cool. 
7. Make balls, garnish with more almonds and pistachio and serve.

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

  1 Kg broccoli, stems removed (can use vegetable peeler to peel, then slice and eat like celery), large florets cut, yielding about 8 cups of broccoli florets
  Salt for blanching water
  2 strips of thick-cut bacon (about 50 Grm), cut crosswise into 1/4-inch wide strips
  1/3 cup all purpose flour
  5 eggs, beaten
  1/2 cup cream
  1 cup whole milk
  2 to 3 tsp of freshly cracked black pepper 
  1/2 tsp salt
  2 tsp Dijon mustard
  250 Grm cheddar cheese, grated

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (1 Tbsp salt for 2 quarts of water). 
2. Add the broccoli florets and boil for 3-5 minutes or until just tender enough so that a fork can easily pierce the floret, but still firm. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. 
3. While the water in step one is coming to a boil, cook the bacon pieces on medium heat in a frying pan until lightly browned, but not crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess fat. Set aside.
4. Preheat oven to 425°F. Butter a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. In a bowl, whisk the eggs into the flour, then whisk in the cream and milk. Add the black pepper (more or less to taste), salt, and mustard. Mix in about a third of the cheese.
5. Place the parboiled broccoli florets in the casserole dish, sprinkling about a third of the cheese over the broccoli florets as you lay them down. Sprinkle the bacon pieces over the broccoli. 
6. Pour the egg, cream, milk, cheese mixture over the broccoli, moving the broccoli pieces a bit so that the mixture gets into all the nooks and crannies. Sprinkle the casserole with the remaining cheese.
7. Bake for 25-40 minutes, or until set. Once the top has browned, you may want to tent with aluminum foil to keep from burning.

Yield: Serves 5 as a main course, 10 as a side.
Cook time: 1 Hour

Black Bean Soup

  2 Cup (450 GRM) dried black beans, rinsed, soaked in water overnight or 6 hours, drained
  450 GRM smoked ham hock or shank
  2 bay leaves
  5 cups water
  1/8 tsp baking soda
  1/2 tsp salt
  4 Tbsp olive oil
  1 large yellow onion, chopped fine
  1 medium sweet potato, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (can substitute 2 large carrots)
  1/2 carrot, chopped fine
  1 celery rib, chopped fine
  1/2 tsp salt
  4 medium garlic cloves, minced
  1 Tbsp ground cumin
  1 tsp chile powder
  2 cups chicken stock
  1 Tbsp molasses
  1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  3 to 4 Tbsp lime juice (can substitute lemon juice)
  Chopped fresh cilantro
  Sour cream
  Avocado, peeled and chopped

1. Place beans and ham hock in a thick-bottomed pot. 
2. Add 5 cups water, bay leaves, salt and baking soda. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer. 
3. Cover and let cook for 1 hour 30 minutes, until beans are tender. 
4. Remove bay leaves. Remove ham hock from the pot. Cut ham meat away from the bone and cut into small, bite-sized pieces, set aside.
5. Heat olive oil in a large 8-quart thick-bottomed pot on medium high until the oil is hot, but not smoking. Add the onions, celery, sweet potato and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and softened, about 10-15 minutes. 
6. Reduce heat to medium, add the cumin, chili powder, and garlic, cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly. 
7. Add the beans, their cooking liquid, chicken stock, molasses, and bell pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes.
8. Remove 4 cups of the soup (about half of it) to a blender. Purée until smooth and return to the pot of soup. 
9. Add back the ham pieces to the soup. Add 3 Tbsp of lime juice. Adjust seasonings. If on the sweet side, add a bit more lime juice. Salt to taste.
10. Serve with garnishes. 

Makes 8 cups. Serves 6.
Note: The soup may continue to thicken. If you would like it thinner, just add some water to desired consistency.


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