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India

Mango Smoothie Bowl #Foodventures #AxisBank #DiningDelights
“Fussing over food was important. It gave a shape to the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner; beginning, middle, end.”

Robert Hellenga

Summer Mango Smoothie Bowl, another thing off my bucket list, the most beautiful way to begin the morning. Colourful beginnings!! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say bring it on! This one was fun to make, thinking ingredients, plating {or rather bowling} it, adding bits and bobs to the top. So much went into it, near raw other than the yogurt, very in season, a  mélange of flavours and textures.For me, an edible pot potpourri, inspired and exciting. With the first one down, my call was, “This was fun, now can someone set me a bowl everyone morning please!!Summer Mango Smoothie Bowl The inspiration came from Ruchiras smoothie bowls each more delightful and colourful that the other. Inspiration really gets me going, food shared the best thing ever. Talk about breakfast and it’s amazing to see how different cultures wake up to the most important meal of the day. Granola, crepes, vadas, puris, kachoris, omelette, fruit bowls, smoothies, waffles, pancakes, overnight oats, avocado and egg on toast are some of the simpler everyday options.Overnight Thandai Oats with peaches and plumsMy recent overnight oats were a great experiment and now find a spot in the fridge every night. It’s a really convenient way to wake up to healthy ready made breakfast. Grab a spoon, dig in. I change the flavours with fruit in season and experiment as I go on. The main characters in the story remain the same – oats, milk/yogurt/coconut milk, honey, basil seeds, watermelon seeds. Peaches, cherries, stone fruitFruit in season breaks the monotony. Mango, peaches, apple, banana, strawberries rotate. Pie spice, cinnamon, thandai mix, pepper, nutmeg, saffron. You get the drift! It’s always fun to explore something new and different apart from the regular old breakfast choices we usually have.Thandai 1000Step out of home, travel a bit, within the city, country or overseas and new frontiers open up. Food and flavours begin to get magical, new and interesting. For someone who constantly cooks at home, hands that cook in other kitchens are fascinating. They offer exciting experiences, food adventures! Here are some breakfast stories, delicious bites mainly in pictures and in no particular order. Actually just as they tumbled out of my head when I read about #Foodventures by Axis Bank Dining Delights!

Vishwanath ki gali, Banaras 2016We sleepily got off the train in Benaras early one winter morning, a hungry foursome, and hit breakfast street quite soon. The city has a reputation and we knew where to head. Can there be anything better than fresh garam kachoris, sabzi and jalebis straight out of the pan? Perhaps not. Kachori with Sabzi, Banaras 2016

Jalebis being made, Banaras 2016Perhaps yes if you add some famous Pehelwaan ki lassi to wash down breakfast. Nirvana. Life accomplished. Pahalwaan Lassi Wala, Banaras 2016

Pahalwaan Lassi, Banaras 2016Ticked off list, but ‘will be back soon‘ recorded.

Switzerland, SwissMade GrandTours

Mandarin Oriental Geneva, Switzerland, SwissMade GrandTourFly across the globe. Switzerland, where I was last year at this time, a European breakfast will spoil you for choice. Every city we traveled to had a different layout, a regional offering, local produce shining through, breakfast an elaborate ceremony, fit for a king, something to sit and enjoy.SwissMade GrandTour PAB MeiringenTuck in. Cheese, yogurt, fresh baked breads, fruit, coffee, tea, eggs galore, cold cuts, fresh milk, best way to breakfast. Did you hear me say “Serve me breakfast and I shall be happy!” ?Tea, Pillaiyarpatti, Karaikudi, Chettinad, South India Swing back to India, a trip into the heart of the South, Karakudi held us mesmerised earlier this year. It was a trip of a lifetime. Same feeling – breakfast is a celebration. Breakfast, Chidambaram Vilas, Karaikudi, Chettinad, South IndiaSimple, flavourful, delicious and so much variety. Almost always ‘from the frying pan onto the plate‘, whether it was the elaborate ‘eat till you drop luxury at Chidambaram Vilas‘ or the street food at the temple at Pillaiyarpatti with the most refreshing filter coffee and finger licking good vadas. Memorable, satisfying and an absolute joy.

Street Breakfast, Chettinad, South IndiaAnd then there was the absolutely amazing breakfast with peacocks and neelgai as company at Lakshman Sagar in Rajasthan? Sunrise, Lakshman Sagar, RaipurBreakfast was an eye opener there. Breakfast at Lakshman SagarElaborate, each morsel served with love, truely regional and so much variety. Breakfast day 1 was something like this – fresh orange juice, maize dalia, googri {overnight soaked and cooked wheat kernels and horsegram}, sapota/cheeku jam, gum berry jam, fresh fruit, gur/jaggery, boora, honey, achaar, masala omelet, fire roasted tomato. Nothing refined or processed. Experiencing it was pure joy.Field breakfast, Lakshman SagarIf that wasn’t enough, one morning we trudged across the countryside for a breakfast in the fields! Field Breakfast, Lakshman Sagar 2Get closer home, one trip into Old Delhi and you’ll be cured of any breakfast woes. Nagori halwa puri, nimbu ka paraatha, sweet lassi, hot jalebis, garam chai, then begin again! Breakfast in Old Delhi, Delhi 6If you are stuck with the same old routine of toast and cheese, wake up and smell the coffee! Rustle up something fun and interesting {or bribe some willing soul to do it}. Better still, get out and explore. Make the mornings matter!

Oh, and did you know you can go beyond just egg and toast for breakfast? Here take a look at these #Foodventures by Axis Bank Dining Delights !


Mango Smoothie Bowl
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Colourful beginnings!! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say bring it on! This Mango Smoothie Bowl was fun to make, very in season, a mélange of flavours and textures. For me, an edible pot potpourri, inspired and exciting.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Mango Smoothie Bowl
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Colourful beginnings!! They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I say bring it on! This Mango Smoothie Bowl was fun to make, very in season, a mélange of flavours and textures. For me, an edible pot potpourri, inspired and exciting.
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Stir the mango puree through the yogurt until uniformly mixed. Adjust sweetness if required.
  2. Ladle the mango yogurt into 2 breakfast bowls.
  3. Top with the remaining ingredients.
  4. You could always just mix everything through too, yet it makes the first meal of the day attractive this way, garnished with love!
  5. Use any seasonal fruit, berries, nuts etc.
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Dhungaar e keema, Smoked Indian lamb mince “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.”
Ruth Reichl

Dhungaar-e-Keema  or Smoked Indian Lamb Mince is a quintessential recipe from the Indian subcontinent, one that is as simple as it is flavourful. The recipe is quite basic, the underlining key words characteristically ‘andaaz‘ and ‘bhuno‘, terms very familiar to how we cook in this region. Andaaz referring to eyeballing ingredients, and bhuno, ‘the quintessential stirring and roasting’ that gives Indian cuisine its essential character. Kebab spice mix Be it kebabs, kormas, bhuna gosht or then keema like this, the spice mixes are generally region specific. This Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Lamb Mince is minimally adapted from an old one from @ My Tamarind Kitchen, a blog written by Scotland based Sumayya.It’s an old familiar recipe, one that has roots across this region, North India and Pakistan. It’s strange how similar the culinary vocabulary and cooking methods are. Dhungaar e keema, Smoked Indian lamb mince My mother and her friends, who I owe a lot of my initial recipe repertoire to, always had the same two favourite words, ‘andaaz’ and ‘bhuno’. The  story was the same with my aunts who I used to pursue relentlessly in an attempt hone my abysmal cooking skills. These words were firmly rooted in the North Indian cooking lingo of the past, a reflection of how recipes have evolved down the ages. We’re down to measures now – teaspoons, tablespoons, cups, grams, ounces in cookbooks, yet ‘andaaz ‘or eyeballing in Indian cooking still rules the kitchen!Spices for a smoked Indian lamb minceFor recipes other than baking I still pretty much eyeball what goes in, merrily tasting and tossing as I stir. Andaaz is my way to go too. No better way to cook I’d say, though maybe not the ideal ‘cookbook’ for newcomers on the scene, or for people alien to a particular cuisine. The good thing is that I am an obsessive ‘picture taker’ for steps of cooking, and especially when cooking with spices as they keep me fascinated. As a result of that, I usually know how the recipe has progressed and what went it.

Spices for a smoked Indian lamb mince

Dhungaar e keema, Smoked Indian lamb mince 1000 2This time was of course no different even though I followed Sumayyas recipe pretty much. The steps were familiar since most of our curries follow the same pattern. The only thing different about her recipe was that no powdered spices were included, something that I found quite interesting. I don’t think I’ve cooked often with only a smattering of whole spices and not even a single teaspoon of coriander powder or turmeric.

The Masala Dabba / Indian Spice Box

The Masala Dabba / Indian Spice BoxI did add a few whole spices of my own though. Star anise for one. A new found love for a spice I barely cared for. Shooting for our Masala Dabba series I fell in love with it because of the way it looked. So I included it in a sangria, then in a panna cotta. Then one trip into the heart of South India to Karaikudi,and I was sold on it. It’s quite an integral part of Chettinad cuisine, often thrown in in wild abandon, the aromas filling the air the minute star anise hits hot oil.

Sunset, Chidambaram Vilas, Karaikudi, Chettinad, South India

Karaikudi, Chettinad, South India

Chilies from KaraikudiAlso in went bay leaves, a gift from the garden of my mother’s friend who lives in the UK, but grew up here in India. She carried a bag for us, for me especially, since she knows how fond we are of her recipes, a lot of them inspired from Pakistan. Bay leavesShe influenced a lot of my recipe and cooking processes when I had just got married, gingerly stepping into the kitchen for the first time. The rest of course is history …  the recipe follows!Dhungaar e keema, Smoked Indian lamb mince

Cooking | Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Lamb Mince
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
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Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Indian Lamb Mince is a quintessential recipe from the Indian subcontinent, one that is as simple as it is flavourful. The recipe is quite basic, the underlining key words characteristically ‘andaaz‘ and ‘bhuno‘, terms very familiar to how we cook in this region. Andaaz referring to eyeballing ingredients, and bhuno, the quintessential 'stirring and roasting’ that gives Indian cuisine its essential character.
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Cooking | Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Lamb Mince
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Dhungaar-e-Keema or Smoked Indian Lamb Mince is a quintessential recipe from the Indian subcontinent, one that is as simple as it is flavourful. The recipe is quite basic, the underlining key words characteristically ‘andaaz‘ and ‘bhuno‘, terms very familiar to how we cook in this region. Andaaz referring to eyeballing ingredients, and bhuno, the quintessential 'stirring and roasting’ that gives Indian cuisine its essential character.
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 15 minutes
Ingredients
Keema
Whole garam masala
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat some ghee/clarified butter in a heavy bottom and add the khara masala/whole spices and saute until fragrant. Throw in the chopped onions and stir fry until light golden brown on the edges. Add the ginger garlic and saute for a further 2-3 minutes, until the raw smell has disappeared.
  2. Now add all the chopped tomatoes and roast well until almost dry, then add the mince. Stir in well to mix, then roast over high heat until the meat is no longer pink. Season with salt.
  3. Then add the yogurt, stirring constantly to roast/bhuno until the yogurt has been absorbed and is no longer white. Cover the wok/pan with a tight fitting lid, reduce heat to lowest, allowing the mince to slow cook in it's own juices.
  4. Check once in a while to make sure it isn't catching the bottom, giving it a quick stir. A heavy bottom good quality pan really works well here. cook until the liquid has evaporated and the colour is nice and reddish brown. As Sumayya says, 'bhuno-ing the keema is key!'
  5. Add loads of fresh chopped coriander and green chilies. Cover and allow to dam for a about 5 minutes, then turn off heat and let it stand. I f you wish to smoke the mince, please see instructions below.
  6. Smoking the Keema: Light up a piece of coal over the gas fire. Make a tiny bowl with an aluminium foil. Place the hot burning coal in it and quickly drizzle a few drops of melted ghee/clarified butter over it. The coal will begin smoking immediately. Tightly shut the lid and leave for about 15-30 minutes.
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Wholegrain Cinnamon Oat Waffles with Clove Ice Cream “Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos.”
Don Kardong

Wholegrain Cinnamon Oat Waffles with Clove Ice Cream. It’s no secret that I have a deep love for spices, for styling them, experimenting with them and of course including them in my dishes. While I don’t like over spicing my food, it is fascinating to discover how far you can go with them. My favourite spices of course are cinnamon, star anise and clove especially since they work so well with desserts and bakes. Gur Panna Cotta With Candied WalnutsThe spice infused Gur Panna Cotta With Candied Walnuts that I developed for askme with cinnamon, star anise and cloves was a runaway winner.
Masala Dabba… as was this Sangria Mocktail.

Sangria MocktailWhile I use the three together often, the last was just 2 days ago in this finger licking good Gosht Do Piaza or Mutton Stew, it’s rare for me to go solo with clove. I love the flavour, but find it difficult to capture the essence stand alone. Cloves; laungThings I love clove in – mulled wine, spice infused sangria, spice shortbread, infused orange juice, preserves. Cloves are also packed with goodness they say.
Cloves 1000 2So when I heard of the Baskin Robbins Clove Candy Crunch Ice-cream from a friend, I just had to go and experience it for myself. Cloves in ice cream? Never heard of that before, and am so glad I tried some. Cloves have a deep lingering flavour, something I struggle to recreate at home. Clove Ice CreamOne icy bite down and I just knew it was magic! Intriguing, exciting, different, in fact so unique! The cloves shining through, I knew this would pair beautifully with Wholegrain Cinnamon Oat Waffles that I make so often when it rains.
Wholegrain Cinnamon Oat Waffles with Clove Ice Cream Kill two birds with one stone they say. Romance the monsoons with the best of both worlds I’d say – clove and cinnamon, ice cream and waffles, indulgent and healthy. Doesn’t get much better than this. And of course if you have ‘ouch’ super sensitive ice cream teeth like I do, then makes sense to reach out for this new clove toothpaste. Yes, you heard me right. Clove there too! Colgate Sensitive Clove helps you enjoy your favourite ice cream without worrying about sensitivity. Reminds me of the ‘laung ka tel‘ {clove oil} that my aunt used to recommend using years ago!Clove Ice Cream, and clovesSo here you go. Hope you enjoy this magical combination as much as we did. We even had some in Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches, then a Cookie Ice Cream Cake. Simple and fun. Line a baking tin with cling wrap. Crumble cookies, press into a baking pan to make a layer, top with softened ice cream, followed by another crumbled cookie layer. Freeze for 6-8 hours, better overnight. Spread over with unsweetened mascarpone cream, a dusting of cocoa powder, and chocolate shavings! Enjoy!Cookie ice cream sandwiches, Cookie ice cream CakeThese Wholegrain Cinnamon Oat Waffles {GF} with Clove Ice Cream turned out to be the perfect pairing while it rained a few days ago. Hot crisp waffles and delicately flavoured clove ice cream, try them now. You can thank me later!Monsoons, North India

Wholegrain Cinnamon Oat Waffles {GF}
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Wholegrain Cinnamon Oat Waffles are the best treat for breakfast and for a snack, even doubling up as a quick delicious dessert. Pair them with clove ice cream and watch the flavours come alive on your palette! I keep a jar of ground oats on hand in the pantry. These waffles are the best ever!
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Wholegrain Cinnamon Oat Waffles {GF}
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Wholegrain Cinnamon Oat Waffles are the best treat for breakfast and for a snack, even doubling up as a quick delicious dessert. Pair them with clove ice cream and watch the flavours come alive on your palette! I keep a jar of ground oats on hand in the pantry. These waffles are the best ever!
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
8 minutes
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place buttermilk, cinnamon powder and clarified butter in a measuring jug and microwave for 30-45 seconds until butter melts. Whisk in the egg and honey.
  2. In a large bowl stir together oat flour and baking powder. Pour wet mix into dry and stir until just mixed. Leave to stand for 10 minutes while you turn on the waffle maker to preheat it.
  3. Pour half the batter in and cook according to manufacturer instructions, 5-8 minutes, until golden brown and firm to touch.
  4. Serve with topping of clove ice cream.
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