I’ve been lazy lately. Well, not in the kitchen. It’s just that I did not feel like blogging after a weekend of cooking and baking. I dunno how those working mothers manage to write at the end of a long tiring day. I cannot quite picture myself there :S

Tuna salad is my staple lunch when I’m home alone. It  is a one-bowl recipe that can be whipped up in minutes. You can have it on its own or along with fresh baguette or sandwiched between slices of your favorite bread for a light picnic meal.

SIMPLE TUNA SALAD

Ingredients:

1 can [185g] Tuna Solid in Oil or Brine

1 large red onion, diced

1 large tomato, seeds removed and diced

1-2 green chillies, finely chopped

1-2 tbs fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

2 tbs sweet corn kernel or chopped baby corn

2 tbs fresh pineapple, diced

Green olives, optional

Method:

  • Drain tuna well and place in a large clean bowl.
  • Add all other ingredients. You can add/delete/substitute ingredients according to taste & availability.
  • Combine with tuna until evenly distributed.
  • Toss lightly with 1-2 tsp of  light mayonnaise and 1/8 tsp pepper/paprika or any salad dressing of your choice.
  • You dnt need to add salt/oil as the tuna will provide all this.
  • Makes a good filling for sandwich breads. Serves 2.

I’ve been wanting to make yogurt at home for days. The price tag on store bought individually packaged cups is very off-putting. These days I find the Panier de Yoplait shooting upto Rs98.89 😦 That kinda encourages me to make my own. The advantages, other than saving a few rupees, are many:

1. You can pick any flavour you fancy other than what you see on the shelves. You can experiment with fruits, spices and extracts to personalise your creation. Dnt be over-enthusiatic though!

2. You can always change your mind and stop the yogurt-making proces at the point that suits you. If you cnt stand the long hours of waiting for your yogurt to set, you can always give it a strong stir and turn it into thick refreshing lassi.

3. Homemade yoghurt tastes great and is free from the harmful unhealthy preservatives and sweetening agents used in the industrially processed ones. Health benefits relate to improved digestion and make it a choice ingredient in ayurvedic medicine.

4. If you dnt use all of it, you can always refrigerate the amount left or use it in cakes and desserts. You can use it to replace milk, buttermilk or sour cream and expect a fluffy texture.

5. If you are of the environment-conscious type, you’ll be happy to hear that homemade yogurt cuts down pollution by eliminating the use of those many plastic containers.

And lastly you’ll have the satisfaction of making it from scratch. The main ingredient here is a tbs of patience, a cup of patience and a whole lot of patience. My yogurt got converted into lassi, largely owing to the family’s impatience but I wnt complain. There can be no better drink that a cool mildly flavoured lassi to end a meal.

A brief about this refreshing Indian milk-based drink before coming to the actual recipe. Lassi is famous throughout India especially the northen state of Punjab as you often get to see in Indian movies. It is served in tall copper or pewter glasses with a dollop of desi ghee or clotted cream. A salted version also exists.

LASSI – INDIAN MILKSHAKE

Ingredients:

6 cups milk

1 cup plain unsweetened yogurt

2 tbs sugar

2-3 tsp almond paste

Few strands of saffron

Pistachios, for garnish

Method:

  • Place milk in a heavy bottomed saucepan under low heat and stir regularly until it starts frothing. You can do this in a double boiler to prevent milk from burning.
  • Remove from heat and cool for a minute. Pour into a large container with a well fitting lid.
  • Dump yogurt into hot milk and stir lightly. This starter yogurt contains the bacteria that will cause the rest of the milk to curdle.
  • For lassi, you can use the mixture after 2-3 hours of setting time. It will be thick and runny with the lower portion slightly wobbly. Stir vigorously to combine solids with milk and chill.
  • Before serving, stir in sugar, saffron and almond paste. Sprinkle with pistachios or nuts of your choice. You can flavour with fresh fruit purée like mango or strawberry.
  • To make yogurt, close container and leave indisturbed in a warm place for at least 6 hours or overnight. Once it appears to have set, move to refrigerator and store till ready for use.
  • Keep some aside as starter for another batch. You can safely store it in a clean container for about a week.

The starter yogurt reminds me of my high school chemistry classes. Sulphuric acid manufactured by from sulphuric acid 🙂

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