Posts filed under ‘Summer coolers’

Memories of IFBM2014 & The Sparkling Himalayan spritzers

As I watch the rain pouring down outside my window, all I can think of is that the last time it rained this heavily, I was on my way to the first ever Indian Food bloggers meet. Excited and enthusiastic to meet my ‘friends’ the journey from Nasik to Bangalore via Mumbai did not seem as boring . Any apprehensions I had about the IFBM ,were put to rest with the warm ‘Hi’ from Deeba & Sanjeeta, as soon as I stepped into Aranha home, our abode for the next two days. (Thank you Sanjeeta for all your efforts in organising & co-ordinating for our accommodation)That night the residents in & around Aranha home had to bear with some very high decibel , nonstop banter intercepted only by fits of nonsensical laughter, from a bunch of mad Food bloggers. The last time I had such a hilarious time was when I stayed in a hostel during my Masters. We also managed to squeeze in a late night trip to Adigas for the famous filter Kappi.


Even the heavy Bangalore traffic did not dampen our spirits as we maneuvered our way to Adiyar Anand Bhavan for an early morning breakfast –both days I had crisp Dosa accompanied with an array of chutney’s. I specially loved the Curry leaf chutney.

After exchanging pleasantries with the ever helpful and courteous staff of the stunning Aloft Hotel Cessna park (the IFBM venue) all I remember is being engulfed with warm hugs and Hi’s from all my ‘Friends’ I have known through their blogs for years.


The rest of the two days went in a daze, with some candid moments captured by my lens and others etched forever in my memory. Though the highlight for me was meeting all the bloggers, I also returned back motivated by the knowledge exchanged during the inspiring sessions by eminent bloggers, panel discussion and the Masterclasses by the two Masterchefs .

And yes we brought back cartloads of Goodies. I had to buy a bag in Bangalore even after sharing some of the goodies with my friend there.A huge thank you to all the generous sponsors.


When I decided to be a part of the IFBM, I had thought of it as a great opportunity to meet all the bloggers whom I had interacted with over the years. But IFBM 2014 was much bigger and grander than what I could imagine and exceeded every possible imagination. Everything was so meticulously organized, thanks to the awesome organisers{Arundati (Escapades) and Aparna (My Diverse Kitchen), Revati (Hungry & Excited) and Nandita (Saffron Trail)} who worked tirelessly to make it such a grand success. Hats off to you ladies  and Thank you once again for all the hard work .You rock!

A special mention for the amazing staff and management of Aloft Hotel Cessna park, Bengaluru. I was overwhelmed by their hospitality. Each meal was carefully planned around a brilliant theme and tastefully created .The stunningly display instantly put all us Shutterbugs to work. Thank you Aloft Hotel, Cessna Park, there couldn’t have been a better place to host the first ever IFBM!

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I have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms post the IFBM. This post was long pending, but how do you put such an exhilarating experience into words?This is just a snapshot of my euphoric experience at the IFBM2014. Food blogging for me will not be the same again. I have come back refreshed, inspired and motivated- all things much needed for this blog here. The media coverage post the event was like the icing on the cake. You can read a detailed account of the conference and the media coverage on the IFBM FB page

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Many of the contests related to the event are still on. The one from Soulfull won me a gift voucher! The sparkling Himalayan contest is still on.  We were gifted a bottle of sparkling Himalayan water at the IFBM and the bottle safely made its way back to Nasik.

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With the of Betel/‘Pan’ leaves creeper thriving in the rains, I am trying to use the flavourful leaves wherever possible. I tried recreating the Indian ‘Meetha pan’ flavor for a refreshing Meetha Pan spritzer with the Himalayan sparkling water.


Every time I see the star fruit at the fruit vendor’s stall, I have to buy it. The starfruit was then paired with cucumber & some Jal jeera masala for a very Chatpata Starfruit-Cucumber spritzer

spritzer 205

 Meetha Pan Spritzer

Makes about 1 tall glass


2 young Betel leaves torn into pieces

½ tsp Fennel seeds

1 polo ring crushed

1 tbsp Rose syrup

2-3 tbsp fresh pomegranate juice (I added this just for the colour)

2 tsp fresh Lime juice

A bottle of Himalayan Sparkling water

4-5 Ice cubes

Rose petals for garnishing


Rub a lemon wedge around the rim of a tall glass.

Turn the glass upside down & dip the rim in caster sugar.

Invert and add the torn Betel leaves, crushed polo ring  and Fennel seeds.

Use a muddler to lightly crush and mix everything.

Add the Rose syrup,Pomegranate juice & Lime juice (you may adjust quantities to your taste)

Add ice cubes to the glass and pour sparkling Himalayan water over it.

Garnish with fresh rose petals and serve immediately.

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Chatpata Starfruit- Cucumber Spritzer

Makes 1 glass


3-4 slices of starfruit

4-5 round cucumber slices

1 slice of a tangerine cut into wedges

½ tsp Sugar

5-6 mint leaves torn

1 tsp Jal jeera powder

1 tsp fresh lime juice

1 pinch crushed black pepper

4-5 Ice cubes


Muddle together the starfruits, cucumber,Tangerine wedges & mint leaves in a serving glass

Add  the Jal Jeera, sugar, Lime juice,crushed black pepper and mix.

Add ice cubes & pour sparkling Himalayan water over it

Serve immediately

August 23, 2014 at 10:46 am 3 comments

Soul..err..Sol Kadhi and a Quiz

Sol Kadhi..or is it Soul Kadhi? 🙂

Chilled refreshing Sol Kadhi a perfect antidote for the soaring temperatures!

This soul pleasing, palate teasing drink is native to Goa and konkan region of Maharashtra.

Kokum the key ingredient used in this soothing drink has many culinary and medicinal uses. Dried rind of Kokum fruit known as Amsul is a regular souring agent in Maharashtrian cuisine and is used in typical Maharashtrian specialties like Usal and Amti.

Kokum also aids digestion and has a cooling effect. Kokum juice is a regular refresher in my home during summer months just like Nimboo Pani (Lemon juice). I love eating the sweet and tangy Amsul pieces as it is; settles down the stomach nicely! 

One of the most popular and signature preparations using Kokum is Sol Kadhi; Coconut milk flavoured with Kokum juice and some other spices. A relatively simple preparation if you have coconut milk handy. My mom extracts the coconut milk at home, a bit laborious but homemade fresh coconut milk makes the Sol Kadhi all the more flavorful.

I made this Sol Kadhi for the Chaat party we hosted last week. I used packaged coconut milk since I made it for around 20 people.

I used unsweetened Kokum juice (not syrup) locally known as Kokum Aagal to flavour the coconut milk. The Kokum juice apart from its flavor gives a lovely pinkish tinge to the coconut milk.


Sol Kadhi recipe


2 cups Coconut milk

~ 4 cups water

2 tsp Kokum Aagal (alternatively soak the Kokum pieces in water and grind)

½ tsp green chilli paste

¼ tsp garlic paste

Salt to taste

Cumene powder and coriander or mint leaves for garnishing


Blend all the ingredients except the garnish together.

Chill and Garnish with cumene powder/coriander/mint leaves.

Serve the chilled Sol Kadhi as it is or with rice.

And now for the quiz….

Can you guess what are these rolls? They make a scrumptious, eyecatching snack for kiddies! 


Update: Nupur, evolving tastes, Deepa you are bang on target! Congrats and thanks all of you. These are indeed Spinach, Beetroot and Plain dosas layered with some Chutney podi in between (you can also use some ketchup), rolled and cut into pinwheel like pieces!

April 7, 2010 at 3:51 pm 8 comments

Summer salad

Summer is here and as I have mentioned earlier several times this is not one of my favourite months. The soaring temperatures and longer days are not for me; but I look forward to the grapes and mangoes that this season offers!

Summer is also the season to enjoy some delicious fruity salads!

This salad was accidentally discovered when I wanted to put together some leftover fruits.

The Green color of the apples (Granny Smith Apples) is very soothing in this heat. All similar coloured fruits and veggies are thrown together in this Salad with a dash of Mint, salt and pepper and some lime if you don’t mind the extra tartness.

Summer Salad recipe


2 Green apples washed and grated (I did not peel them)

1cucumber peeled and grated

½ Raw mango peeled and grated (adjust the amount depending on the tartness)

8-10 mint leaves

Black salt to taste

Black Peppercorns crushed

Lime juice (optional)


Mix the grated Apples, Cucumber and raw Mango.

Tear and mix the mint leaves.

Sprinkle the black  salt. (I added salt to as soon as the apples were grated)

Add pepper.

Add a dash of lime juice. (Depending on the tartness of the mango)

Mix once again and serve.

March 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm 9 comments

Friday Cooler

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That’s a Round up of all the Friday – summer coolers posted on my blog so far.Summer’s almost over here, we already had some pre0-monsoon showers.

Next Friday stay tuned for some Monsoon Magic here on my Blog. 

Hope you enjoyed all the Summer coolers.

June 8, 2007 at 4:49 pm 1 comment

Friday Cooler- Chikoo Shake


Regulars to my blog will know how much fuss I have been making about the rising mercury here. I am glad to tell you all that you won’t have to read about it anymore. Light pre-monsoon showers have lowered the temperature making the heat bearable, though it has become a bit sultry.

A glass of Chikoo shake in this weather is not only refreshing but filling too -forgot to mention cheap, since chikoos are quite easily available at cheaper rate. _________________________________________________________                                                            Chikoo Shake recipe

makes: 2 glasses


Peel, Deseed and chop 2 Chikoos. In a blender add the chopped chikoos, 2 glasses of chilled milk , 1tsp drinking chocolate and honey/sugar to taste. Blend nicely and serve immediately.

June 1, 2007 at 2:09 pm 5 comments

Friday Cooler – Health in a Dip


Chilled Green tea infusion flavoured with Lemon, honey and some saffron is enough to rejuvenate you in these hot summer months! So dip your way to good health with this Iced Green tea.  __________________________________________________________                                                            Iced Green Tea recipe

Makes: 1 cup


Boil 1 cup water and pour it in a cup. Dip a Green tea bag (I use Tetley’s plain Green tea) in it for few seconds. Remove the tea bag immediately. Chill the green tea infusion to whatever temperature you like. Squeeze some lime juice and add to the tea, add some honey and 1-2 Saffron strands for flavour and a lovely golden yellow colour.

Alternatively add 1-2 spoons of orange juice or any other juice to the infusion along with the lime juice and honey.

That’s it your healthy ‘Cuppa’ is ready.

May 25, 2007 at 4:39 pm 2 comments

Friday Cooler- Beetroot Kanji


What’s that Red wine??…………..that’s Beetroot Kanji! 🙂

I learnt this from my Punjabi colleague, who also taught me Makki di Roti – Sarsoon da saag.

This tangy Beetroot kanji is quite popular in North India.

Health, Nutrition, taste all in one Beetroot Kanji is this week’s Friday Cooler.


Beetroot Kanji recipe

Makes about 3  glasses _____________________________________________________ 

Wash, Peel and Cut Beetroot into cubes (I have used 2 Beets to make about 3 glasses of Kanji). Add about 3 glasses of water. Add ½ tsp Black salt, ½ tsp mustard powder (rye powder).Adjust this proportion to your taste. Mustard powder gives a nice punch to the Kanji.Mix nicely. Cover the vessel and keep aside for about 2 ½  days. 

Separate the lovely Wine red Kanji from the beetroot ‘Chunks’ and chill in the refrigerator and serve immediately.

beetkanji2.jpg This Beetroot Kanji does not have a long shelf life. So finish this as fast as you can. It starts turning brown in color if kept for a longer duration.  The ‘Beet chunks’ themselves are quite tasty to eat as it is. Another variation with this Kanji is the addition of equal amounts of carrot and Beetroot, instead of just beets.

May 18, 2007 at 10:38 am 6 comments

Friday Cooler-Masala Taak (Spiced Buttermilk)


This week’s Natural summer cooler is Masala Taak. Unlike the cokes and colas these coolers are natural ,with no preservatives,no synthetic colours, no synthetic flavours..100% natural.I have no idea why some people still prefer carbonated drinks to our natural coolers and you will be surprised there are quite a few of them!Anyways, a glass of Taak flavoured with spices like ginger, coriander leaves, chillies, cumene and black salt, is all that it takes to refresh you in this scorching heat! 

So say no to colas and carbonated drinks and yes to Masala Taak.. J Cheers!


Masala Taak recipe _______________________________________________ 

Whisk together curd, some greenchilly paste, some coriander leaves ,a pinch of black salt, a pinch of roasted crushed cumene seeds and some ice cold water to make thirst quenching and refreshing Masala Taak! ______________________________________________

Blooming Curry…..


Pretty white flowers on the curry leaf plant in our garden

May 11, 2007 at 3:29 pm 6 comments

Friday Cooler – Kairee Panha (Raw Mango Juice)

The mercury seems to be still on the rise here and the heat is becoming unbearable. A glass of Kairee Panha is like an ‘Oasis in the dessert’! 🙂



Kairee Panha recipe _______________________________________________ 

Pressure cook 2-3 raw mangoes. Cool, remove the skin and the seed if it is hard. Add about 1 cup sugar or jaggery (proportion to suit your taste) to the mango pulp. Use a blender or food processor to homogenize the pulp. Preserve this stock in the refrigerator and use it as and when required.

In a glass add 1-2 tbsps (depending on the tartness of the mangoes) of the Panha pulp. Dilute with cold water and refresh yourself with this wonderful and healthy summer cooler!

May 4, 2007 at 4:15 pm 9 comments

Tomato Cooler

This year it looks like we are going to have an early and a very very hot summer-The mercury is already soaring to 38-39 oC and its only March end! This is not one of my favourite seasons.

Though I have a few reasons to look forward to summer: -it’s the time to enjoy luscious ,delicious ‘King of fruits’ -Mangoes and it’s the time to enjoy chilled juices, shakes, icecreams and all things cold!

Tomato cooler is a very healthy, tasty and a hassle free juice. I learnt it from one of my friends. She made it often for me when I was pregnant.Now we make it regularly and today I specially made it for JFI Tomato hosted by the wonderful RP of My Workshop.


For Tomato Cooler you need: for 3-4 glasses 

4-5 Red ripe tomatoes

1 tsp sugar 

1tsp cumene seeds roasted and slightly crushed

½ tsp table Salt

Black salt as per taste 

Cook the tomatoes with 1 glass of water, sugar and table salt  in a pressure cooker.Cool and blend the tomatoes to a smooth paste. Sieve if required. Adjust to a juice like consistency using cold water. Season with roasted, crushed cumene seeds and black salt. Serve Chilled tomato juice-to beat the heat! 

Tip:You can also add 1-2 pieces of Beetroot while cooking the tomatoes for a nice red colour.  

Other Tomato recipes: Green Tomato Chutney

April 1, 2007 at 9:17 am 5 comments

June 2021




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