Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Spice & Herb Chai

"Drink your tea slowly and reverently , as if it is the axis on which the Earth revolves- slowly, evenly,
without rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment. Only this moment is life"
Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Guru

Remember when you were young and you really wanted to grow up and do grown up things ....I remember that feeling and also remember throwing a tantrum every time mom said I couldnt have tea because tea was for grown ups and not for 7 year olds like me.

So after repeated performances of throwing my head back falling on the floor and kicking my legs all round I guess my mother got sick of me and decided to fix this once and for all !

She did give me tea but as you will discover in a bit there are no tea leaves in this recipe ...its more like a herbal infusion and boy did it make me feel good and grown up and responsible and prim and proper all at once :))



Growing up in Dehradoon this herbal infusion had many benefits .....ofcourse it prevented me from embarrassing my mother in front of her friends - all she had to do when tea was served was to tell me that I could go home and have my very own cup of grown up "tea", so I dint need to do my very special performance:)) !Winters were cold in Doon and while growing up cough and cold were dear friends of mine......so this herbal "tea" helped soothe sore throats as well!


To this day I dont drink tea or coffee ....I think my "tea" tastes better than the real deal .....

So today I thought I'd steal a little time for myself and stop and do something I havent done in a long time...call an old school friend I havent spoken to in 10 years and make me a cup of tea my way!

Herbal "Tea"

Holy Basil (Tulsi)  leaves
1" piece of cinnamom
4 cloves
8 whole pepper corns
1 green cardamom
1 black cardamomLemon grass leaves/ stalks

Combine all of the above with water . Boil for 15 minutes . Strain. Sweeten with honey.

Did I mention brewing this will make your kitchen smell like lemon grassy- cinammony heaven! 

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Modaks for Lord Ganesha

Lord Ganesha is traditionally invoked at the beginning of  all good en devours \ as he is known to remove all obstacles.

Ganeshji is  the Hindu God of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune! 

Lord Ganesha is a complete Foodie ....no wonder then that he is my most favorite deity ....so the easiest wat to Lord Ganeshas heart is through his belly. Modaks   ...sweet filled dumplings are his most favorite thing to eat .....

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi May Lord Ganesha bless you with good luck and prosperity and all thats pure and beautiful!

Here is what you need :

For 12 modaks you need :

For the dough :

1.5 cups rice flour

1.5 cups water

 A pinch of salt and 1 tsp oil

For the stuffing

1 small sized fresh grated coconut

1/2 cup jaggery grated ( I dont like my modaks very sweet , increase if you do)

1tablespoon khus khus

2-3 green cardamoms crushed , a tiny pinch of nutmeg powder

To steam : Turmeric Leaves (optional)

To serve : Warm Ghee

In a hot pan add grated jaggery and coconut . Cook till jaggery melts . Add poppy seeds and elaichi powder along with nutmeg. Cook for 2-3 minutes . Turn off gas .

Boil water in a vessel . Once it boils add oil and salt. Slowly add rice flour and stir with a fork so that no lumps form . Keep covered for 10 minutes.

While the dough is still hot shape into a round put the filling in the centre and shape to form a "potltee".......use a modak mould to get a nice authentic shape . Here are some pictures :))

 Line your steamer with turmeric leaves .Turmeric leaves add a wonderful deicate flavour while steaming. Place modaks inside the steamer and steam for 15-20 minutes.

Serve hot with ghee!

May Lord Ganesha bless us all with good health , wisdom and prosperity !