Chiku/ Sapodilla and Ginger Jam

Chiku/ Sapodilla is definitely a delicious fruit but is not high on many fruits lovers list. During my growing up days I never liked Chiku, Infact eating chiku was mandatory on a day after Diwali as it used to be one of the fruits in Pooja ki Thaali. My grandmother loved eating chiku but had to leave when her Diabetes got a bit out of hand. So chiku stopped making appearances at home expect Diwali and I used to be happy skipping chiku counter at fruit market.

Left the comfort of home for hostel and sudden awakening for all that taste of home I started feasting on them during all my Monday fasting, don’t like the mess food fasting and I’m missing home moods.

Till I met my life saver friend, Chiku was just a fruit eaten with spoon for me. She had a way with food, she simply knew the way around taste with minimal ingredients, there I saw her whizzing this Chiku shake, trust me by that time I was total oblivious of anything apart from mango, banana and almond being added to milk in name of shake. She poured in our usual glasses with a generous help of Glucon-C, I kept staring at her with utter disbelief that how am I supposed to drink this sugar load, but Zing, it not only tasted amazing but with that added power we could manage a good practice run for Half Marathon.

By now that I’ve experimented with few combinations, I wanted to make a move away from too sweet chiku jam. So tried adding punch with Ginger and twist with pepper. Twinkle toes as suspected wouldn’t show any interest, but you see, the color is a huge relief for me (I can easily hide it under Nutella and she wouldn’t know). Oh yeah forgot to mention the flower hat and those Disney sunglasses, Twinkle toes is turning out to be a Diva already. Picks up her styles and simply wouldn’t step out till she’s admired herself in the mirror, even if its her gear before she steps out in sun. So I thought let her favorite things rest near the jam, as she was quietly doing her homework in the background,sigh,kids grow up so fast

Preparation time- 10 minutes

Cooking time – 10 minutes

Ingredients

Chiku/ Sapodilla – 1 kg

Sugar – ½ cup

Ginger grated – 2 tbsp

Peppercorns – 15

Lemon juice- 2 tsp

2 sterilized jam jars

Method – Peel chiku, cut and remove the white pith and the seeds. In a heavy bottom pan add chiku, sugar and ginger. Cover and let it sit in a cold room overnight or at least 24 hours. As its really hot here, so made the pan sit in a water bath to keep the temperature in control. Put the pan on low flame, add lemon juice and crushed peppercorns, stir slowly. Meanwhile put a plate in the freezer for the jam consistency test. Let it simmer for 5 minutes, remove from flame, blend, back on simmer for 5-7 minutes. Take out the plate from freezer, add a spoonful of jam on plate, if it sets and is not runny Jam is done.  Pour in sterilized jars, close the lid, turn them upside down. As I do not add extra preservatives, In the weather conditions as here, the shelf life is 15 days , once opened please refrigerate and consume within 10 days.

Carrot, Mango, Coconut water and Strawberry Smoothie

While talking one day to my dietician friend Debjani https://instagram.com/gupta.debjani?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y= , she recommended drinking coconut water daily for glowing skin, digestion, heat etc. and to add carrot and some fruits to make a glow drink. Well, this suggestion of hers came really handy, not for skin glow though (I’m yet to try and test for it) but definitely as a cooling smoothie in this heat. In my previous post I’d mentioned about Heatwave and Twinkle toes still going to school. Well, she has been unwell due to heatwave and all my regular old remedies came to test as she’s getting really choosy along with being cranky with weakness. So apart from changes in her diet and break from school, I decided to give this smoothie a try. As this one has Coconut water, Carrot and Mango I was sure that her need for staying hydrated with adequate supply of minerals and vitamin might be met with this smoothie while being delicious as well. First attempt in making her drink was a bit hit n miss, but next day with umbrella on her glass, next day with strawberry, she actually frowned but still finished her glass❤️

Preparation Time – 5 minutes

Cooking time – 2 minutes            

Ingredients

1 cup coconut water

1 carrot peeled chopped

10 strawberries

1 cup mango pulp

Method – Blend all and serve.

Muskmelon Strawberry Smoothie

“Kharbooje ko dekh kar Karbooja rang badalta hai”, Jitni garmi utna meetha Kharbooja, Kharbooje ke baad don’t drink water, these are just a few of tag lines that do rounds every summer season. My entire childhood I remember every summer season my grandfather used to take me to vegetable market, taught me how to sniff out the sweetest muskmelon, “Sniff out” yes that’s how one eventually gets the whiff of distinctive sweetness of the muskmelon from the twig end. After bringing it home granny used to wrap it in either a towel or wet sack and kept it under the earthen pot overnight. I used to eagerly wait for the lunch because its only then the muskmelon used to be served, Ohh the sweet juicy taste, Mangoes are super delicious but for me nothing beats the light refreshing taste of muskmelon.
Temperature here is soaring and no respite from Heatwave in sight. Schools are still running and summer vacation yet to start. Travelling from school in such high temperature , even if a kid is hungry, just wouldn’t like to eat anything solid properly. Twinkle toes comes back at 2:30 pm, light lunch followed by Wall-E and goofing around, she needs her “Mumma Tummy thoda sa empty” meal pretty soon. This smoothie came to my rescue. It has Muskmelon, strawberry and banana. Ask her or her father to eat any of the fruit apart from banana its a big NO, their fruit dictionary starts and ends on banana. Smoothies and fruit cream are my only way to give them disguised fruit servings (shhh). I’ve used frozen strawberries here as it gives a better result. Twinkle toes did come back few times for her sip from red straw carefully weighing her options so that mummy doesn’t make her finish the glass

Preparation time – 5 min
Cooking time – 2 min

Ingredients
Muskmelon- 1 cup
Strawberries- 200g if frozen / 8 if fresh
Really ripe banana –

Method – Blend all, and enjoy.

Kairi Ka Panna

Childhood and the food memories, the nostalgia tugged inside those memories awakened by aroma, taste and mere mention is precious. I’m from North India-Rajasthan to be precise, summers here are tough and bring Heatwave and heatstroke with them. Its really essential to follow few rules if one wants to be fit during this tough season, many swear by eating white onions, covering head is mandatory, not drinking water immediately after you’ve arrived from hot sun, keeping amrit-dhara handy and yes drinking Kairi ka Panna, so many ways have been adopted and followed generation after generation. How and when did I start drinking this delicious Raw Mango drink I don’t remember, but all I remember is Summer vacation, Jaipur, post 11am it was mandatory to take one full glass of panna and then only step out of house if needed. Just imagine humble raw mango as such a great antidote for heat stroke, nature is just amazing. years have gone by, places changed, not anymore in Rajasthan but yes Delhi is similar when it comes to summers, so the routine continued, except it wasn’t mom, but me who had to get into the labor of making it. I must confess, all my food habits changed since I met my husband simply because we are in every sense East n West. Being lazy enough to simply make anything for myself, this drink stood times. Every summers I made and yes eventually got to the exact taste, the way Mom made. To all wondering did twinkle toe likes it, NO, she simply runs away every summer the moment I take it up to her, lets see, maybe my genes might kick in soon.

Preparation time- 10 min
Cooking time – 5 min

Ingredients

Raw Mango – 500g
Dried Mint leaves – 1/2 cup
Salt- as per taste
Sugar- 1/2 cup
Black Salt – 1 tbsp
Roasted Cumin powder – 1/2 tbsp
Red chilli powder – pinch
Water – 2 cups

Method

Boil the raw mango with 1 cup water. do not discard the water. Mash the mangoes in the water carefully and scoop off the pulp from peel. In the blender, add the pulp along with the spices and 1 cup water. Blend till smooth. Add water to dilute more if required, add ice cubes, serve.

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