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This gorgeous chilled delight is actually more of a dessert than a drink and you will probably need a spoon to finish it after you are done with the drinking part. There are so many components that go in the making of falooda yet it is pretty simple to assemble once you have all your ingredients ready. While it is believed to originate from Persia, falooda is now well known throughout the Asian subcontinent under different names. In Mauritius we enjoy it as alouda, a flavoured milk drink with toukmaria/basil seeds and la mousse/jelly.  In addition to these, our refreshing strawberry falooda recipe from Sailu’s Food, is further enriched with chopped fresh fruit and falooda sev, topped with a scoop of boysenberry ice cream but you can try mango if berries are quite not your thing.

STRAWBERRY FALOODA

Ingredients:

2 cups full fat milk

1/2 cup strawberry jelly

5 tablespoons rose syrup

1 teaspoon basil seeds

1/2 cup falooda sev

5 pistachios, sliced

5 almonds, sliced

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Candied cherries, for garnish

Method:

  • Bring milk to boil in a heavy based pan and simmer till it reduces to 1 1/2 cups. Remove from heat.
  • Bring to room temperature. Add 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons rose syrup to the milk, mix it well and chill.

  • Make jelly as per packet instructions. Cool and refrigerate, then cut it into small cubes and set aside.
  • Make falooda sev as per the instructions on the packet. Place in cold water and refrigerate until use.

  • Falooda sev can be replaced with wheat vermicelli. Cook vermicelli in water, drain and use as for sev.
  • Soak the basil seeds in about 1/3 cup water for 20 to 30 minutes and allow them to bloom. Set aside.

  • Chill serving glasses in the fridge for half an hour. To assemble falooda, take the chilled serving glass.
  • Add one generous tablespoon of rose syrup to each glass, then add 2 tablespoons of the jelly cubes.

  • You may add fresh chopped fruit of your choice like mango or berries after layering with jelly cubes.
  • Add 2 heaped tablespoon of bloomed basil seeds over jelly and layer it with 1/4 cup of falooda sev.

  • Slowly pour chilled rose milk till 3/4th of the glass. Next add two scoops of vanilla ice cream on top.
  • Finally drizzle some rose syrup, garnish with sliced nuts and a cherry. Serve immediately. Serves 4-5.

Strawberry Falooda

I believe this to be my greatest discovery this summer. While I cannot honestly fathom how I did without this heavenly mango drink for so many years, I have a good mind to catch up on what I’ve been missing and I strongly urge you to do the same if you have not already done so. Mango mastani is a thick blend of fresh mango puree, chilled milk and vanilla ice cream topped with nuts, tutti fruit and candied cherries. I do not think that the term ‘milkshake’ really does it any justice to the mango mastani, which originates from Pune, Maharashtra in honor of the beautiful queen Mastani, wife of Maratha Peshwa Bajirao I. The love story of these ill-fated lovers has been over the years retold through novels, Tv series and movies, the most famous being Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani, released in 2015. The recipe for this refreshing royal beverage, from Cook with Manali, has been tweaked to include mango sorbet as I was running short of vanilla ice cream and it serves to enhance the mango flavor, which can only be a good thing here.

MANGO MASTANI

Ingredients:

2 large ripe mangoes

1 cup whole milk, chilled

1/2 cup whipping cream

5-6 ice cubes, crushed or whole

2 tablespoons sugar, to taste

1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

4 scoops vanilla ice cream

2 tablespoons chopped pistachios

2 tablespoons tutti frutti

2 glazed cherries

Few mango pieces

Method:

  • Peel the mangoes and remove all the pulp. Blend all the ingredients till smooth.

  • Pour into serving glasses, fill the glasses 3/4th leaving some space for ice cream.

  • Add 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream to each glass. Garnish with the chopped nuts.

  • Top with tutti frutti, mango and cherries. Serve immediately. Makes 2 servings.

Mango Mastani

The one vegetarian dish I always order whenever I am eating out at an Indian restaurant has to be paalak paneer. Though I may sometimes be tempted by dal makhani or baigan bharta when I look up a menu card, my final choice has to include the famous spinach gravy from North India even when I happen to order a thali meal for a quick lunch. With time, I learnt to make paalak paneer at home combining young spinach leaves from the local market and freshly made cottage cheese to match the ‘restaurant’ taste and texture of the restaurant of this favorite dish of mine. The recipe, from MyFoodStory, is one I have used many times with consistently outstanding results using minimum effort. The bright green spinach colour comes through nicely and the gravy gets much of its creamy texture from a blend of cashew nuts and tomato puree, which is best enjoyed along with a spicy masala curry and piping hot naans.

 

PAALAK PANEER

Ingredients:

5 cups spinach

1-2 green chilies

5 garlic cloves

1-inch fresh ginger

1/2 cup cashew nuts

3 tablespoons olive oil

1-inch cinnamon stick

1 dried bay leaf

2 cardamom pods

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 large tomatoes, chopped

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

2 tablespoons kasuri methi

2 tablespoons heavy cream

200g paneer, cut into cubes

Kitchen salt, to taste

Method:

  • Blend together fresh spinach leaves, chilies, ginger, garlic cloves and cashew nuts in blender.

  • Add 1/2 cup water and blend till smooth. Heat olive oil in a pan, add cinnamon and bay leaf.

  • Add cardamom pods and saute the spices for one minute, then add minced garlic and onions.

  • Cook onions till they are translucent and add tomatoes, coriander powder and salt to the pan.

  • Mix and cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes till the tomatoes are soft. Pour in spinach mixture.

  • Add kasuri methi to the pan and mix well. Bring to a boil and turn the heat down to a simmer.

  • Cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Check for seasoning and add more salt, if it is required.

  • Add cream and paneer to gravy. Mix gently so as not to break paneer and cook for one minute.

  • Ladle the palak paneer into a serving dish and serve hot with naan or rice. Makes 6 servings.

Paalak Paneer

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