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Category Archives: Beverage

Wow your kids with watermelons

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Wow your kids with watermelons

photo-122 photo-131 It is the season of watermelons…



Juicy watermelons are packed with goodness of antioxidants. Research has shown that watermelons boost heart health and are an excellent source of vitamins A , C, B6 and potassium. Here are some watermelon treats for kids.


Watermelon Pops


Cut triangular watermelon slices.

Remove seeds and insert a stick.

Chill for at least one hour in the fridge.

Watermelon Star and Heart Pops

Use a star cookie cutter/heart shape cutter to cut out shapes Insert a popsicle stick Freeze for at least an hour.


Minted Watermelon Popsicle


1 watermelon

2 tablespoon sugar

Sliced fresh strawberries

Some chopped mint leaves


In a blender, puree watermelon along with sugar and mint leaves and pour into popsicle molds . Drop in sliced fruit, insert caps and place in freezer.

You can also use ice-cube trays and insert popsicle sticks halfway through freezing.

Serve when frozen.

Fresh Watermelon Juice


Chop watermelon into slices after removing the green portion.

Add a little water, sugar, salt, pepper and dried mint powder and puree in a blender. You can also add finely grated ginger if you like.

Pass the juice through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds.

Add some fresh lemon juice and stir well.

Decorate with a sprig of fresh mint and serve chilled with ice cubes.

Click here to read more on the health benefits of watermelon.

Kaanji – the drink divine

Kaanji – the drink divine


It’s the season for kaanji, India’s  best answer to Pinot Noir!

There’s a subtle crunch of the carrots, and the heady mustardy flavor that almost waltzes on your taste buds with every sip of this drink divine. In short, carrots and spice, and everything nice equals Kaanji.


This heady beverage is made mostly around Holi, the festival of colors in India, and goes well with pakoras and gujiyas. Not only is kaanji flavorful, it also helps in digestion.

I have grown up seeing street vendors rolling their carts on the crowded streets of the Doon valley, displaying kaanjis in jars covered with a red cotton cloth, sprigs of coriander, lemons and some masala concoctions sitting next to the jars. Many would provide that extra oomph to the kaanji by virtue of their vadas that would soak in the kaanjis.

We as kids, often looked at the carts with such longing in our eyes. Were we to taste the manna? No, we were denied outright, but then that stern ‘No’ was from a six-footer Kumaoni Brahmin grandfather, who had just descended to the plains of lower Himalayas from Gangtok, Sikkim. He too, I am sure wasn’t introduced to the gastronomic joys of Kaanji.

But we were not easily dissuaded. We would find ways to make it a point to visit our Punjabi neighbor’s to wish them a most joyous Holi, and would also carry a thali containing gujiyas and some home-made namkeens, duly covered with a vintage crochet laced hand-made table cover, with tiny red beads dangling from the edges.

This particular white table cover was handmade by my grandmother, a short, petite woman with the biggest red bindi. Her table cover would make guest appearance only on special occasions like Holi and Diwali, and was strictly reserved for covering thalis. No, not even my aunt was ever allowed to use it to as a dust protector for her Murphy radio.

After my marriage, I came to Delhi and found out that my mother- in law was quite an expert on kaanji and pickles!

For a couple of years, I have been a witness to my mother in law, doling out gallons of home made kaanji from her huge glazed earthenware jars. Now of course, with time, my mother in law has receded from the kaanji and pickle scene.

Since I am in India at this time of the year, when the vegetable shops are flooded with these black carrots. I just thought of returning the favors to my mother in law by making some kaanji for her. Did she approve of the finished product? Yes, she did!

The recipe is very easy but remember this calls for the black variety of carrots. In case, you do not have access to black carrots, you can always use the red ones, the color would seep in the drink from the beet.



4 Black carrots

2 Beetroots

8 cups water

2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. mustard powder

1 tsp. red chilly powder


Wash, peel and julienne the carrots and beetroots.

Boil and cool the water.

Mix the salt, mustard and chilies with vegetables.

Transfer into a big jar. Add water. Stir well.

The drink would be ready in 4 to 5 days. Keep it in the refrigerator now.

Serve chilled, garnished with a mint sprig and a slice of lemon.

(Source: a hand me down vintage recipe)


For those looking for a perfect recipe click here

You can watch a video here:

Mango Shake

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Mango Shake

It’s the mango season…

 Mango shake is a very popular summer drink in India.It’s popular not only for refreshing taste but also for it’s health benefits.

I vividly remember those scorching summers in Delhi, as my son and I would trudge home from school, every time he came across the milk shake stand in the vicinity of our home, he would  just stop there and  tell the guy…bhayya ji ek milkshake dena. Then he would turn around and say…ma, it’s okay right? Ofcourse he will have me stumped…but it was always a pleasure to see the guy peel the mango, dice it, mix in some milk , cardamoms and blend it with a whirr. I can not forget the look on my son’s face, those sparkling eyes as he sipped the milkshake with such relish, balancing the straw, his huge backpack and visually proud of  his milk moustache.


2 mangoes, peeled and chopped or 1 cup mango pulp

2 cups milk, chilled

1 tbsp sugar (optional)

¼ tsp green cardamom powder( optional)

1 scoop of vanilla ice cream (optional)


Mango Shake

Mango Shake

Blend in the mango slices with milk and serve chilled. Garnish with a sprig of mint, mango slice or a strawberry.

(Variation: You may add 1 banana to the shake for that extra dose of potassium and fiber)