Tuesday, July 23, 2013


~ Berrylicious  !! ~

For my lil one and me the berry addiction is still up .
After having loads of Jamun froyo bites through out the week
we still want to add a kick of many more berries to our 
daily breakfast too . Right from relishing big bowls of mixed 
berry  salads ( read spinach, apple, plum  and  cherry salad ) to 
adding some to my oatmeal  to packing a handful in lil ones tiffin 
 we  are tightly in the grip of berry fever and greatly  enjoying it too. 
With a big bag of frozen strawberries in hand , loads of fresh fruits 
in the fruit basket , beautiful flowers in bloom and a wonderful
 weather - what more  can  life ask for ?

We are enjoying our humble jamuns every bit . Ripe juicy booties
 sprinkled with some black salt just tastes absolutely heavenly and all the 
more with a gush of cool breeze lazed with the earthy aroma of wet soil. 

It seems that during this season , my camera is always hungry for 
colorful captures .While my better half and lil one were at the florist
 picking up some gorgeous roses and marigolds  for an upcoming 
worship ritual , I was  busy capturing  the myriad colors  at
  the nearby temple.

As per our local  calendar the holy month of Shravan has started .According
 to the Indian mythology this period is dedicated to the God of rain and water.
The markets are flocked with colorful flowers ,wood apple (bel) leaves, fruits 
of the angel's trumpets ( datura) and other paraphernalia required
 for the deity offerings.  

The magic of  the rains beautifully makes everything sparkle- the vibrant
 trees, the cool winds  and the charisma of temples flocked with devotees
 and  flower vendors  presents the most picturesque sight . 

Shravan is the month of Jamuns too , and truly this time I have immensely 
experimented with the berry . Right from the Jamun froyo  to Jamun 
smoothie to jamun compote filled purple party cake (that I had made to treat 
our  friends  this Sunday, post the long swimming session ) , the humble
 berry  for me has  truly been the king of the fruits this season. 

While I made some smoothie for lil one , I mixed some gorgeous 
purple puree to the bowl of my humble oatmeal too .....the amalgamation 
of the rich flavourful Jamuns  with some honey turned out 
absolutely wonderful !!!! I must  freeze loads before the season ends . 

Jamun Smoothie

 This easy to whip pixie looking smoothie is perfect to win over 
not only kids but adults too ........


2 cups  yogurt, 1 cup jamun fruit de seeded , 2 tbsp honey* , 
a sprig of mint for garnishing 

Blend the  de seeded jamuns along with honey  in a food
processor/ mixie  till smooth. Mix in yogurt and whisk for another 
10 secs . Pour into glasses , garnish with a sprig of mint and serve. 
* Adjust honey as per the tartness of the fruit 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fro yo bites

~ Frozen yogurt  Bites  ~

Summer is the time of juicy colorful luscious berries and fruits . 
Although  Indian summers cannot be associated with  strawberries
( these usually leave our markets by mid of March ) but their absence
 is filled by several local temptations like purple Jamuns or Indian plums, 
glorious red cherries , apricots, nectarines, peaches, litchis and luscious 
 laquats. Through all the summer days the refrigerators are stocked with 
mangoes ,watermelons and muskmelons too. Fruit shakes, crushes, lolliez  
and juices beautifully pamper our taste-buds throughout the scorching
 summer season. 

Of all these fruits the purple tropical berry Jamun truly defines the Indian 
summers. With its unique tangy taste and a subtle aroma this deep purple
 berry  is a rich source of large number of vitamins, minerals and iron. 

As per our Ayurvedic text , the fruit is a great liver stimulant and is extensively 
used for treating diabetes . Its gorgeous purple colour is greatly loved by kids
 because it magically turns their tongues deep purple . 

Fresh ripe jamuns sprinkled with black salt just tastes heavenly. Jamuns make me 
nostalgic.. As a kid I used to spend hot summer days watching my grandmother 
making its vinegar - the procedure of fermentation used to be extensive but the taste
 of dunken onions and raw mangoes in homemade vinegar was surely a treat . 
Mom used to deseed and juice these purple jewels with some pomegranate 
pearls and  black salt for a glass of perfect thirst quencher . The extra tart ones 
were used to make some tangy compote (was called launji or galka ) which 
was served with potato parathas . 

Another most loved thing of this season were the gorgeous periwinkles and
 asters that we were allowed to pluck only while going to the temple. 
I used to be naughty sometimes and used get up early and have the immense joy of 
plucking almost all the flowers (as a result of which mornings ended with 
 good great scoldings )..

My daughter is very fond of frozen yogurt and on every visit to the market 
she loves to indulge into some . What could have been a better excuse than to 
treat her some on a warm sunny sunday. We have been making jamun juice 
ice candies  since long but this time it had to be something different. 

With a big bowl of chilled jamun , some yogurt and honey - purple dreamz were
 just freezing time ahead. It turned up to be a great Sunday activity too , while lil 
one was happily squishing and squeezing the jamuns , I was busy preparing hung 
curd and choosing our favorite molds. 

Fro  Yo  Bites 

Even if you don't have any fancy ice cream maker , this simple wholesome 
recipe with just four ingredients will leave all the tiny mouths craving for some
 more . No doubt it lacks the creaminess of the market version but I bet its 
much healthier and cheaper than its store bought counterparts.....

2 cups hung curd *, 2 cups jamun fruit de seeded , 5 tbsp honey* , 
pinch of black salt. 

Freeze the de seeded fruit for 2 hours. Blend frozen jamun  in a food
 processor/ mixie  till chunky add  hung curd , honey and black salt as 
quickly a possible .Whisk for another 10 secs till smooth. Pour into 
molds and set till done . Unmold and serve .

*(make your own hung curd by tying 4 cups home set curd in 
a folded muslin cloth for 3 hours , use the curd whey / water for adding
 a tang to soups and  gravies) 
* Adjust honey as per the tartness of the fruit 


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