Feature | What’s Hip in Food This Summer? #onlinecontest #foodpanda #icecream

‘Ice cream is my comfort food.’
Jessie Ware

What's Hip in Food This Summer?This must be the creamiest, most indulgent tub of ice cream I’ve dug into of late. The flavours were natural, the ice cream smooth, creamy and not too sweet, the online ordering process even smoother. After ordering it quite effortlessly on a snappy and easy app, it was home delivered in under an hour  The ice  cream was as good as expected. I’d heard great reviews and it certainly didn’t disappoint! It was the smooth process via foodpanda that actually took me by surprise as I’ve had some terrible other online app shopping experiences of late!Foodpanda.inAs time goes by, foodpanda is constantly evolving, getting better and better. They listen, are eager for feedback, and then work on it. My last experience was slightly bleh because of the pizza we ordered, the pizza company, an MNC, sorely lacking. Not the panda to blame, yet I was curious this time around. And what a pleasant surprise. Things worked like clockwork, the app interface snappy and pleasing. Confirmation messages, a call from the service provider, the happy panda face had me smiling right back! An hour from placing the order, the bell rang and hello, there was ice cream!!

Foodpanda and  Ice-Cream, PiccoLickoYesterday was well spent ‘eating’. The day began on a very indulgent note as a bunch of us tripped excitedly across Chandni Chowk,  cameras in hand, for a food photo walk. The place was buzzing with social activity rater than business activity since it was a day of celebration, Eid. We hit the road quite early and there was no end to the indulgence. Returned home and headed to my parents for a sumptuous lunch, and swore I would never eat for the next few days!Chandni Chowk, Delhi 6, Darter photowalk

Nagori halwa, Delhi 6Today had to be a rather low key diet day. It began with thoughts of just water all day, then maybe milk, yes a bowl of fruit would be good! Then along came this very fun offer from foodpanda, tied to a contest, and I caved in to temptation! Pick a trend, order, take pictures, blog about it. foodpanda is an up-and-coming website that operates by delivering food from a wide range of restaurants to either homes and/ or offices in 100+ cities in India. Ice-Cream, PiccoLickoA meal wasn’t on the radar, but given the beautiful, rainy weekend, some indulgent low fat ice cream seemed like the next best thing! To make it interesting, I paired the Butterscotch Caramel Cake Ice Cream with a slice of eggless wholegrain chocolate chip pie I baked 2 days ago, and Mango Mania with freshly cut mangoes and sprigs of mint. Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream was good on it’s own. Just too good! So, What’s Hip in Food This Summer?

FoodpandaFor me, ice cream is Hip in Food This Summer! Eat anytime, store ahead, get creative with it, or then just DIG IN! It’s a fun contest, a simple one that spoils you too as you get vouchers to order the food you blog about!  More information here, and the rules here. Hurry because the contest is limited to the first 40 participants.

“The best food items everyone should try out this summer”

Join the contest for a chance to win an amazing prize! If you are a blogger and you like to consider yourself a real trendsetter, don’t wait up. Be the one to decide what’s going to be the hottest food trend this summer.

Complete these 3 easy steps and win!


1. Go on foodpanda.in and order your choice of the ‘most hip’ food items
2. Take a couple of stunning pictures
3. Write a blog post and express your choice of this summer’s next top food trends.

See. As simple as that.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking |GF Blueberry & Mango Yogurt Trifles … Mother Dairy #SummerOfHappiness #dessert #healthy

“Bread, milk and butter are of venerable antiquity. They taste of the morning of the world.”
Leigh Hunt

GF Blueberry & Mango Yogurt Trifles GF Blueberry & Mango Yogurt Triflessummer of happiness in ever sense of the word. It’s a celebration of flavours, of the season, of delicious, healthy things in life. The good thing is that the Blueberry & Mango Yogurt Trifles recipe is very doable, quick and quite hassle free. Almond meal in the sponge makes it gluten free too! Play around with ingredients in your pantry and fridge, skip the almonds if you are catering to nut allergy or don’t have any on hand. Substitute the nut meal with plain flour or 1/2 whole wheat + 1/2 all purpose flour.

GF Blueberry & Mango Yogurt Trifles Mother Dairy #SummerOfHappinessThe idea is to enjoy every season in the most delicious way. An even easier way might be to omit the sponge completely. Layer fresh fruit and Mother Dairys creamy and yum fruit yogurt, chill for a bit, and voila – light, healthy, refreshing summer dessert. Or make a granola fruit yogurt parfait with granola, fruit and fruit yogurt. It’s the Mother Dairy #SummerOfHappiness. Explore how much easier can it get with their line of products. For me fruit pairings are fab, specifically yogurt with fruit in any possible way, and summer is the best time for it!Mother DairyI am a through and through dairy lover. I can live forever on dairy products – milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, flavoured yogurts. It’s no coincidence that you will find loads of recipes using dairy on my blogs. Yogurt, buttermilk, cream, cottage cheese are some things I use really often. Panna Cotta, layered cream cakes, cookies, cakes, smoothies, desserts in glasses, cheese from scratch. Did I forget smoked butter paneer, the quintessential Indian Kadhi, savoury buttermilk lassi, buttermilk chicken pizzaKadhi  Indian yogurt curry

White butter and gheeClarified butter? Yes please! I collect top of the milk cream and churn out sweet butter every week. Gives me all that I need for baking. You will also find me making ghee or clarified butter every alternative weekend. Pure liquid gold. Nothing like a drizzle of ghee on a dal, a tadka of ghee to a kadhi, or naans smeared with this good fat. Say what you may, but I am old school here. Butter and ghee are good fats, and make food taste great when used in moderation. For other times, there is always cold pressed sesame oil, virgin olive oil, or good old mustard oil!

GF Blueberry & Mango Yogurt Trifles So, when I saw the ongoing challenge ‘Summer of Happiness‘ at Mother Dairy it was back to the good old days and a wave of nostalgia hit me. Back in the late 1970’s when we returned from a posting in Bangalore, we lived in the Central Vista Officers Mess for a couple of months waiting for regular accommodation. School was CJM at Gol Dak Khana, New Delhi. Every morning my mother drove us to school in a rickety old olive green Fiat, MEV6909 {the number still imprinted in my head}. Because we refused to drink the watery warm milk served in the Officers Mess, it was routine to stop by Mother Dairy, glug a tall glass of milk down right there every morning, and then be dropped to school. I cannot imagine doing that now, be seen glugging milk with wild abandon at the familiar blue and white Mother Dairy kiosk in school uniform, yet the taste of pasteurized milk ‘from the tap’ is a happy memory, a nostalgic connect. GF Blueberry & Mango Yogurt Trifles Decades later, I used to take my little one to buy milk, pop the token or ‘coin’ into the slot at the kiosk, telling him that there was a cow on the other side that delivers milk. For several years he naively believed me, and still laughs each time we pass the kiosk or stop by to buy something from there. I suspect a lot of folk might have carried similar tales to little ones back then, the fascination writ across faces completely worth every token of milk drawn! Kids are less gullible now, and Mother Dairy has moved on from milk and butter to a lot more!

The journey seeing them expand has been a fulfilling one. I still remember the first tub of blueberry yogurt I raced home with, and the whoop of delight my daughter let out. It was her favourite one, a product that till today remains on top of her list. Then came more stuff and we were spoilt for choice. Mishti Doi, Aam Doi, Mango Yogurt, Blueberry Yogurt, Mango Lassi, Strawberry Lassi all regulars at home. GF Blueberry & Mango Yogurt TriflesEven though I set yogurt at home everyday, my Creamy Dip is always from a tub of Mother Dairy yogurt {nothing else works as well}. Quark, a soft, unripened curd cheese, is also something I regularly make, always with full fat milk and cultured buttermilk from the blue and white kiosk! Quark on hand opens the door to so many more recipe ideas.

GF Blueberry & Mango Yogurt Trifles As I wrap up, I’m going to leave you with another collage of things I have made over the years using dairy products. Hope that inspires you to get motivated, begin thinking and create a recipe for this ‘Summer of Happiness‘. From smoothies, to cheesecakes, to desserts in glasses, to savoury curries, korma, buttermilk chicken, pancakes with fruit yogurt, dream on!

Summer of Happiness. PAB It’s a simple challenge, sweet or savoury is up to you, maybe both sweet & savoury in one! There are seven products you can choose from; details here. Take a look at the seven delicious recipes Chef Vikas Khanna has created for the Summer of Happiness, one that is more inspiring than the other. He talks about enhancing flavours, playing with textures, pairing dairy with interesting ingredients, spicing things up, and last but not the least, presentation.

GF Blueberry & Mango Yogurt Trifles Submit innovative recipes at Summer of Happiness using any of the 7 products, and the best recipes will win goodies from Mother Dairy. 

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Product Review | Smoothies & Coolers … summer is here. #CreateFearlessly with the Hamilton Beach Multiblender

“You become about as exciting as your food blender. The kids come in, look you in the eye, and ask if anybody’s home.”
Erma Bombeck

#‎CreateFearlessly‬ ... with Hamilton Beach India & BlogAdda @ PABThe first words that grabbed my attention as I received the box were ‘Good Thinking‘…and that spiked my curiosity. Raised my expectations too! I’d heard great reviews about the Hamilton Beach line of products, and I have to say I am not disappointed. After a couple of mix ups and delays that are best left forgotten, the Hamilton Beach MultiBlend Blender and Chopper finally landed up on my doorstep, part of the #CreateFearlessly initiative, an association between Hamilton Beach India and BlogAdda.

#CreateFearlessly Starwberry Kiwi SmoothieI was quite pleased to be at the receiving end. A good quality kitchen appliance makes me want to sing out loud. With summer here in full force, or rather full steam ahead, an efficient hard working blender is more than welcome. So is a very happy kid who stepped out of my shadow and now wants to blend everything in sight, especially strawberries! That I am having a blast with it is an understatement.

Strawberries‘This is so easy and fun”, he declares, tossing in his once favourite fruit salad into the blender, pours in a glug of lychee juice and WHIRS it off! Withing minutes he sips from a tall glass … “It’s delicious! Made it myself! Can I do this everyday?”

#CreateFearlessly Starwberry Kiwi Smoothie 2Between frozen strawberries, fresh kiwi and orange tang, and fresh strawberries, fresh kiwi and lychee juice, he’s become quite a pro. The old Osterizer had kept me company for many years, but didn’t have such a ‘crowd appeal’! It was time for change, and this change is the best one!  A friend inboxed me the other day on FB asking for a recommendation for a blender for smoothies, juices etc. I have the Thermomix which is my first love, but cost is an issue there.

#CreateFearlessly with Hamilton Beach & BlogAdda @PABThe Hamilton Beach Multiblender gets my vote. I love the feel, and I love the design. The colours are all me. Standing tall in black with stainless steel accents, it’s got a much lighter body that I imagined. The spout for drip free pouring is fantastic. Very sturdy too, what with a 1.4ltr BPA Free shatterproof Tritan jar. Easy clean up as well. With 12 blending functions, it’s perfect for smoothies, purees, chopping and grinding … and a lot more.

One of the first things I made for ‘me‘ was a summer favourite, buttermilk lassi {video above}. It is savoury, it is garlicky and it is most delicious. Into it go things I like love. Bunches of fresh curry patta plucked straight off the tree in the backyard. Fresh spring sprigs are giving way to more mature young leaves, and they taste delightful. Also thrown in green chilies {as many as you can handle}, loads of garlic {or ginger if that is your call}, Himalayan pink salt, a dash of aesofoetida {hing}… and the blend begins.

savoury buttermilk lassiMy lassi is best slightly chunky, but you can process it more at a higher speed to get it smooth as silk! Customise it to your palette. Add a cucumber, maybe a dash of lime juice. You can even give it a sizzling tadka! Then more blending happened. Between sweet, malty cheeku/sapota milk shakes nostalgic of trips into Old Delhi, and mango yogurt strawberry shakes, we’ve been having quite a smooth time of late.

#CreateFearlessly Chikoo shake Did I forget the apple, cucumber, celery smoothie this morning? Yes that too happened. Did you hear #CreateFearlessly? Throw everything into the blender, throw caution to the wind, blend and drink up. I am currently catching up on fibre, with some yumminess thrown in. I can see some deep, delicious cold coffee creeping in some time soon.

Apple, cucumber, celery smoothie 2Next on my list to experiment with is a go at the chopper that comes with the blender. That’s a neat separate attachment, and I cannot wait to use it. Until then, have a smoothie good time. If you are looking for a blender that stands tall, is efficient, light and means business, then look no further. The Hamilton Beach Multiblender seems kid friendly too. The only thing missing was an inspiring colorful recipe book, but then again smoothies and shakes are no brainers. Time to #CreateFearlessly, think out of the box and enjoy blending magic in your kitchen.

What is your favourite ‘creation’ in a blender? I’d love to try it!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India