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Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate

“A land of promise, a land of memory, a land of promise flowing with the milk and honey of delicious memories!”
Alfred Tennyson

Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate might well be the simplest thing to enjoy this season. It’s simple things that matter, and with recipes like these, ingredients are of prime importance. You can’t go wrong if you use good quality ingredients. This Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate is just that. Indulgent too. Made with Premium Milk from Mother Dairy, single origin couverture chocolate, dark cocoa, vanilla beans and spices from South India, it’s hard to go wrong. The milk was the biggest surprise though!Rich Spiced Hot ChocolateIt’s the best milk I’ve ever had! Words of praise from a dairy lover at home, one who lives to enjoy a chilled good glass of milk. The genes are the same. I love everything dairy too, but I am always surprised by how advanced his taste-buds are. One sip of the newly introduced Premium Full Cream milk from Mother dairy swiftly knocked his current favourite from another brand right off. It’s so good that I don’t even need flavouring mama he exclaimed!Mother Dairy Premium MilkThis new variant from Mother dairy which has the highest FAT content of 7% along with 9% SNF is ideal for those looking for a rich milk diet and also for folk like us who enjoy making home-made sweets, ghee and curd. It offers 15% extra malai {cream} in comparison to full cream milk. For someone like me who makes clarified butter / ghee at home every weekend, this new variant is ideal. I increasingly use clarified butter or ghee in baking now, and as my preferred medium of fat in cooking now that winter is here. The greens use mustard oil, and almost everything else goes the ghee way! Tadka is always ghee, the ‘icing on the cake’! Sarson ka Saag, Mustard GreensThink little ghee cakes, think shortbread with ghee, think stuffed radish and cauliflower parathas, and think dollops of melting homemade sweet butter on hot sarson ka saag! After all in India, Ghee is equivalent to love. Finger licking good stuff this! There is just so much you can do with this indulgent product. I can only imagine setting Greek yogurt at home now. Also simmering a rice pudding into creamy goodness, maybe a tapioca pudding or a chocolate oat pudding too.

Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate

Rich Spiced Hot ChocolateWith a traditional Indian households still enjoying the top of milk cream for so many reasons, the malai that the premium milk yields is impressive. Just 2 litres boiled, cooled and chilled overnight offered almost a cup of malai. This Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake is a nostalgic favourite with ‘top of the milk cream’ or ‘malai’. It brings back memories of  the quintessential ‘malai’ or ‘top of the milk cream’ cakes from yesteryear. Decades ago, every Indian household use to boil milk, collect the top of the milk cream, use some as is and  make sweet butter of the rest. The more adventurous ones used to bake a delicious homey comforting cake with ‘malai’.Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake, Malai CakeThen the mind wanders into more delicious spaces like a lighter panna cotta, maybe a Vietnamese coffee. The possibilities are endless as I grabbed the few remaining pouches from the kid who is happy to guzzle down his new favourite. To prove my point to him that the milk makes things oodles better, I quickly stirred him a Rich Spiced Hot Chocolate. With winter around the corner, this drink is a winner, a simple winner! It’s a great hit with kids and adults alike. In summer I’d do a chilled version in bottles which is equal fun and very addictive!Masala Kadhai DoodhThen to dive into the past, how can I not make my husbands childhood favourite, a Masala Kadhai Doodh. This is where dessert meets milk, a quintessential Indian favourite, a concoction you would find across North India. It’s simple, it’s bursting with goodness and flavour AND a big hit always. It’s quite similar to a thandai, infinitely customisable.Masala Kadhai DoodhMasala Kadhai Doodh is simply simmered with a powdered nut & spice mix in a large kadhai or wok for the flavours to steep and milk to thicken. Only with this high fat content milk, the time to thicken is substantially decreased. I used a mix of almonds, melon seeds, cardamom, nutmeg, a pinch of turmeric and saffron.Gajar ka halwa, Rich Indian Carrot PuddingWe are a dairy loving home, and I set yougurt at home everyday. With quite a welcome high fat content, Mother Dairy’s Premium Milk yields far tastier home made yogurt, paneer, quark etc. It is also far easier to use in puddings, traditional kheers, halwas. With winter here a gajar ka halwa is calling my name. Simmered in this beautifully thick milk, I can only imagine how good the end result will be. What would be your favorite way to use this?

Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate
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Good quality ingredients and a simple simmering results in this indulgent Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate. Use a full fat milk like Mother Dairy Premium Milk for best results.
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Good quality ingredients and a simple simmering results in this indulgent Spiced Rich Hot Chocolate. Use a full fat milk like Mother Dairy Premium Milk for best results.
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Instructions
  1. Place milk, star anise, cinnamon, vanilla bean and sugar in a heavy bottom pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes for flavours to steep.
  2. Add the chocolate and cocoa powder, stir often to mix, and simmer gently until the chocolate melts.
  3. Sieve and serve immediately, else steep for an hour, then reheat and sieve before serving.
Recipe Notes

Note: You can add a shot of Baileys irish Cream for an adult version. You can also add or remove spices as required. This also makes a nice chilled spiced chocolate milk. Stir well or sieve before serving.

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Terra vegetable chips ... & dip

“The preparation of good food is merely another expression of art, one of the joys of civilized living…”
Dione Lucas

Terra Chips might well have been the answer to my savoury cravings. Might also be the answer to fun and exciting snacking options especially for kids! As the weather cools down, as I travel a bit, there is always need to leave something nice, fun, different for the kids at home. They constantly feel peckish and there is only so much I can bake / cook! Last week I was in Bangalore for a shoot. Was quite happy to leave these beauties from Terra Chips as a treat for the hungry monsters that live at home!

Beets & Terra vegetable chips Yes I’ve bought a microwave gadget that allows me to make dehydrated chips at home from scratch. Yes I can and have made beet, sweet potato, apple chips at home. That was when I was a supermom and could do everything and more. Sadly, time flies and and energy doesn’t last forever. For times like these how wonderful to have on hand chips made from real whole vegetables! That’s Terra Chips for you, made up of all the fun and most colourful root vegetables you can think of. Each chip quite literally handcrafted with a unique character of it’s own.Terra vegetable chips Think the humble beet, exotic purple potato, much loved sweet potato, batata, bright carrot, earthy parsnip, kabucha, coconut, plantain and then think of all the great crisp taste you get in every bite. Our absolute favourites were the blue potato and sweet potato chips. I paired these colourful, almost fascinating beauties with a tomato & black truffle salt dip, and a garlicky quark & green onion dip. The quark dip is simple. Smooth whisked quark, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic and salt. The other recipe is below. So much yumminess and such a great hit.Beets & Terra vegetable chips When you have vegetables this crisp, rustic and earthy with flavours that explode in your mouth, you know they’ve got it right. The kids had a brilliant time crunching through each, guessing which veggie it might have originated from, figuring out the spice mix. We had sea salt & Mediterranean in our lot, both equally good.Terra vegetable chips ... & dipThe colours have me fascinated, the camera working overtime, It’s hard to put either the camera or the bowl of chips down. I’ve always enjoyed dehydrated fruits and vegetables. These made with exciting roots that go beyond the humble potato have me smitten! Try these with either of these two dip, else with another favourite, the Persian Roasted Eggplant Walnut Dip on the blog.

Terra vegetable chips Tell me what your favourite dip to pair with these #TERRAadventures might be!

Tomato Black truffle Sea salt Dip
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Tangy and deeply flavourful, this dip keeps for long and goes well with chips. Use as a sandwich spread or pizza sauce too.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Tomato Black truffle Sea salt Dip
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Tangy and deeply flavourful, this dip keeps for long and goes well with chips. Use as a sandwich spread or pizza sauce too.
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2-4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in pan. Add green onion, celery and garlic. Saute until soft.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer gently until tomatoes are soft, pushing gently with back of spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning if required. an add a small dash of lime juice if desired.
  3. Cool and serve with chips
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 Chole Masala / Curried Spicy Chickpeas ‘Hard & dry, a chickpea is inedible. Hard & dry, a heart is unlovable.
Presoak it in dance, music & art.’
Khang Kijarro Nguyen

Chole Masala / Curried Spicy Chickpeas  the way my Mum makes them. Try as I might, my chole masala flavours are always different, the taste not quite not same. Must be a thing of the hand, the way she cooks them, but it’s a simple dish which makes me hungry for more. So now I let her make them for me which she gladly does.  Chole Masala / Curried Spicy Chickpeas Chole Masala / Curried Spicy Chickpeas  is a quintessential recipe from the Indian sub continent, one of the most popular perhaps. Every house has it’s own recipe, and you can keep them as spicy or light as you like. The Chole Masala / Curried Spicy Chickpeas are a meal in themselves, a treat for someone like me who would rather just enjoy them like a one bowl meal. Sliced onions to top them, finely sliced green chilies, a squeeze of lime juice, sometimes some crispies sneaked in! You get the drift!! 

Chole Masala / Curried Spicy Chickpeas My mother often calls me in a hurry to pick them up as she makes them, wanting us to enjoy them warm. Often as things go, I am out or in the middle of something. The good thing about her cholas are that she makes them in large quantities, and they taste even better after an overnight rest. All you need to do is reheat them and dig in! That’s just where this the latest addition to my kitchen is quite handy.Chole Masala / Curried Spicy ChickpeasThe Milton MicroWoW Casserole is microwaveable {dishwasher proof too} with stainless steel inside which makes it absolutely unique. It allows you to microwave your food and also retain heat of the food in the same casserole for 4 hours. Such an innovative concept; one we loved the minute we heard of it.

 Chole Masala / Curried Spicy ChickpeasLike me, if you set curd/yogurt at home everyday, this casserole doubles up as a curd maker. With winter around the corner, when I am constantly looking for warm spots for the curd to set, I think my search ends here! Until then, this is a great way to store ice cream for a short while. Seems to pack quite a punch, quite like the Chole Masala / Curried Spicy Chickpeas !My mum’s recipe is simple, and a little different from how I cook them.  Chole Masala / Curried Spicy ChickpeasMost of her recipes, like this one, are based on andaaz, or eyeballing of ingredients. A little of this, a pinch of that, toss something in. Oh did I forget that? Never mind, maybe next time. I’m sure it’ll taste fine, a little different perhaps. As all mothers cook, recipes are generally ‘taste as you go‘, and that’s the best way to cook really!

 Chole Masala / Curried Spicy Chickpeas

 Chole Masala / Curried Spicy ChickpeasI love the idea of new kitchen gadgets, cookware & bakeware, also the fact that there is so much creativity out there. I think the casserole is going to very handy & welcome in my kitchen as I’m out of home a fair bit too. The feeling that I’ve left the option of warm food for someone is comforting! How do you folk manage?

Choley Masala / Curried Spicy Chickpeas
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
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Chole Masala / Curried Spicy Chickpeas is a quintessential recipe from the Indian sub continent, one of the most popular perhaps. Every house has it's own recipe, and you can keep them as spicy or light as you like. This is my mums. Most of her recipes, like this one, are based on andaaz, or eyeballing of ingredients. A little of this, a pinch of that, toss something in.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Choley Masala / Curried Spicy Chickpeas
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Chole Masala / Curried Spicy Chickpeas is a quintessential recipe from the Indian sub continent, one of the most popular perhaps. Every house has it's own recipe, and you can keep them as spicy or light as you like. This is my mums. Most of her recipes, like this one, are based on andaaz, or eyeballing of ingredients. A little of this, a pinch of that, toss something in.
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
1.5 hours
Ingredients
Chana Masala
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Drain the overnight soaked chickpeas, wash well, and place in pressure cooker with enough water to cover them, about an inch over.
  2. Cook under pressure on simmer for a 45 minutes to an hour until soft and almost double in size.
  3. Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp mustard oil to a heavy bottom wok/kadhai.
  4. Add the sliced onions and fry until golden brown. Make sure they don't get dark brown or the flavour gets bitter.
  5. Add the ginger, green chilies or red chili powder if using, or both, chana masala and tomatoes.
  6. Saute over low heat until the tomatoes are mushy soft and leave oil.
  7. Add the cooked soft chickpeas and toss well to mix in masala, reserving the liquid for later. Add as much of the liquid as you like, stir well, adjust seasoning, turn the whole prep back into the cooker and give the chickpeas one more pressure. This will allow the spices/masalas to be absorbed by the chickpeas.
  8. Serve with naaan or rice. Or like me, serve in a bowl with a squeeze of lime juice, sliced onions, ginger, fresh coriander and some sneaked in crispies!
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