Monday, July 17, 2017

Akki Payasa/Rice Pudding/Pal Payasam/Per Paramanna/Rice Kheer using Sugar


Who doesn't like kheer/payasa ?. Payasam is one of the traditional desserts of India and usually this dessert will be served at the end of the meal. This is a slow cooking recipe prepared in an open pot. Here rice is cooked in full cream cow milk.Sugar will be added in the second stage and cooked till it reaches creamy texture. Adding cardamom powder and saffron makes the dessert very flavorful and delicious.

This is an old ancient recipe and it is called "ksirika" (milk pudding).The below recipe is just as mentioned in one of the books of Ayurveda without any shortcut/twist. 

Health Aspects:Rice kheer/payasa is difficult for digestion and causes flatulence. Also mitigates pitta and bleeding disease.
 Our ancestors used to offer this delicious payasam to goddess Lakshmi every Friday and then consume it as prasadam. Suggest you to try out this slow cooking recipe from your end  for upcoming "varamahalaxmi vratam".


Ingredients:

1/4 cup rice
4-5 cups whole milk/full cream milk
4-5 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
3 tsp ghee
1-2 tbsp broken cashews/ almond / raisins
5-6 saffron threads

How To Prepare ?

  • Wash rice and soak it in water for about half an hour.After 30 mins,drain well and keep it aside.
  • Heat the milk in a thick bottomed vessel ( I usually use stainless steel pressure cooker). Add the drained rice to the milk. [ You can crush the rice in hand before adding too]. Keep the heat in low to medium and keep stirring the kheer in every 2-3 minute.

  • Meanwhile crush the cardamom and soak the saffron in 2 tbsp warm milk. Fry cashews in 2 tsp of ghee and keep it aside.
  • Once the rice is cooked ( it takes 20-25 minutes) , add sugar and safforn.

  • Let it cook again for another 20 to 25 minutes on medium low heat till it reaches creamy texture.Now turn off the heat. Add cardamom powder at the end and mix well. Garnish with fried cashews . [I added finely chopped almond instead of cashews]


  • Serve hot or cold and enjoy.
          
 Thanks so much for going through my recipe.Kindly get back to me with your comments. .Please do share it with your friends and family if you like the recipe :-)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Must try Local Culinary Specialties of Italy - Quick Guide

Being vegetarian , its always tough to try unknown local food just like that during our travel. I visited Italy in June 2015 but missed to pen down my experiences :-). Cherishing my good memories here by writing a post and sharing with you all.
 Couple of things keeping the food related stuff aside.
....In 5 days three different cities of Italy can be visited on your own easily covering all major attractions. They are Rome, Florence and Venice [ We did this along with our 20 months old son ]. 
....Secondly,I really appreciate the way they have preserved their history, friendly system put in place for the visitors/tourists and support from the localities. Really amazing and Hats Off.

Let us dive right into my experiences related to food.

Gelato : This is the special ice cream originated in Italy. Gelato is an Italian word meaning "frozen". Gelato is made with a base of milk,cream,sugar and flavoured with fruit & nut purees . It is generally lower in fat, but higher in sugar, than other styles of normal ice cream. You can make out the difference when you have it. I just loved the unique texture and taste of this icecream. Gelato will be served in many ways like cup, cone, sandwich, cake etc. I had it in cone ( look at the pic below). You will find many shops and lot of flavors to choose.Easy to grab one.. Do Not Miss it ...

                                                            

                                        

 Spritz : This is an alcoholic beverage originated in Venice. To keep it simple, this is prepared by mixing equal proportion of white wine and soda water. Served in a glass by garnishing orange wedge. Looks like , style of preparation varies from town to town of Venice. This is served as appetizer. To know about the history and detailed method of prep , please click on this link .
  I tasted in Venice. It was almost end of my Italy trip, the day was very sunny and I enjoyed tasting Spritz ! Loved the ambiance as we sat outside the restaurant. Venice is a place to get lost :-). I had fun getting lost and finding a way out in Venice ... 


        



Italian Pizza: I am sure there is no need of any explanation for Pizza... Most of us are fond of Pizza nowadays. Get it into any pizza point in Italy and try Italian Vegetarian pizza.100% pure vegetarian pizza are served in most of the restaurants. Crust is really thin and very tasty. Instead of electric oven, special built in traditional wood or coal fired brick oven is used to bake pizza here. Nowadays, these setups are seen in many of the Italian Restaurants in India too. I had it in Florence. Again, Florence is a beautiful city where you can roam around and explore many things. There are plenty of coffee shops in the heart of the city where you can sit,relax and have coffee along with various kind of biscottis !! . If you are a cookie lover , you will enjoy tasting /eating many kinds of tasty cookies in this place.






Thanks for Reading my post ...Love to hear your experiences too  :-)
Have a Nice Day!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pudina Panaka( Fresh Mint Juice)

"Panaka" is nothing but refreshing drink. This is served as "welcome drink" in almost all parties in India. Today I will be sharing panaka (fresh juice) which can be made using pudina/mint leaves. All the ingredients used in this recipe [ mint leaves, ginger,jaggery, lemon) have got lot of health benefits. Specially this juice helps in digestion. Serve this refreshing drink chilled :-). 
Without wasting any time lets dive right into the recipe ......





Ingredients:

handful of pudina / cleaned mint leaves ( tightly packed)
2-3 tsp of grated ginger
pinch o salt
3-4 tbsp of jaggery powder or grated jaggery
1 tbsp lemon juice ( increase if you like tangy flavor)

For serving :
ice cubes
chilled water

[ plus and minus the quantity,end of the show make sure you adjust sweet: sour : salt  !!!!!]

How To Prepare?

  • Transfer mint leaves , ginger , salt and jaggery into a mixie jar along with 1/4 cup of water . Grind everything together for a minute or so. Make sure everything is ground properly . Now add around 1/2 cup water again and blend it for 2-3 seconds.

  • Now filter the juice and add lemon juice.Mix it well and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.You will find some residue when you remove from the fridge. You can discard it if you don't like that in the juice.


  • Adjust the salt, jaggery(you can use sugar instead of jaggery ) accordingly at this stage.Add in chilled water if you want to dilute the juice.Serve this chilled refreshing juice along with ice cubes on top.
                   


Thanks so much for going through my recipe.Kindly get back to me with your comments. .Please do share it with your friends and family if you like the recipe :-)