For those who agree books and coffee are two life's greatest pleasures! Here is my take on gourmet blend. Enjoying a great cup of coffee is an obsession to me! And why not, I need some "Me-Time" to get relaxed before I bounce back to my routine commitments!
I play some soft music on the back ground, before I intend to blend the beans! As it is all set for brewing...I slowly move to the patio. This is the moment I take time to gaze at the nature's art work! I pay attention to the details... whether it is adoring the dew drops glitter on the rye grass, watching the birds taking a dive into the woods, listening to the murmur of bumble bees, butterflies buzz over my flower bed, bright sun-beam through the clouds, distant kids playing trampoline...by the time, my coffee should be ready!! All set, am ain't attending phone calls at this hour. Yes, that's how I get deported to my dream land with a mesmerizing book and a cup of love-portion!
Starbucks Coffee Beans - roasted 4 teaspoons
Sugar to taste.
Blend the beans and brew them as per requirement. Either strong and bold (or) light and mild.
Home Made Hot Chocolate Drink:
Cocoa powder 1 spoon
Gourmet coffee 2 spoons
Brown sugar as per taste
Farm fresh milk 2 cups.
Make a strong decocotion with coffee powder, set aside.
Add sugar and cocoa powder together and mix well using warm water. Heat this contents for few minutes, followed by add warm milk plus fresh coffee...pull the drink to bring some foam.
Serve warm to energize your day.
Badam Palu. Badam Pal. Almond Milk. Raw Almond Milk - Warm Almond Milk. Bedtime Almond Milk.
Its time to post some milk alernate(cow's milk)recipes for my Vegan buddies. Inspired by bunch of Vegan-Vegetarian friends, I started appreciating greens and vegetables lately, but havent switched from my carnivore diet plan, yet...still going on:) Anyhow...coming upon to the recipe, its rich in protein, tryptopan present in them...helps to fall asleep and stay asleep(most important for insomia), and it turned out nearly silk and smooth(nearly, okay). However it is bit labour intensive, but worth it.:)
Almonds 1 cup
Milk 1 cup
Sugar to taste
Saffron few strands
Piyal Seeds 4-7
Soak almonds in warm water, peel the skin off. Wet-grind them with milk or water, Run throw the strainer. Slightly warm the almond milk, add the other ingredients.
Serve warm as a bed time drink.
Saravana Bhavan Style Masala Paal:
Towards Madras, many highway restaurants have this special beverage on their menu 'Spiced Milk'. The milk is reduced into half of its original content by constant boiling over low heat. The addition of almond puree, piyal seeds, saffron and cardamom makes it highly flavorful. They smartly place their huge vessels filled with 'Masala Paal' outside their restaurants...definitely there will be a person sitting next to it, stirring it constantly. Its a way to tempt the passengers to indulge in their place. And who could possibly resist this aroma, right.
Farm fresh whole milk 1 litre
Almond puree cup
Saffron 1/4 spoon - powdered
Cardamom 6 crushed and powdered
Sugar to taste
Piyal seeds (sarai parupu)4 teaspoons
Nutmeg 1 small crushed
Cinnamon 1 stick
In a wide vessel, heat milk with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg. Boil milk over low heat for more time. Once the milk is reduced to half of its originally content, filter the same..throw away the spices.
Now tot his reduced milk, add saffron, sugar, almond puree and piyal seeds. Boil briefly.
Serve warm as a bed time beverage, dose off:)
Madras Filter Coffee:
Grandma's Filter Coffee. Mommy's Filter Coffee. Madras Filter Coffee. Iyengar Filter Coffee. Agraharam style Filter Coffee.
My Mommy is a big time coffee lover in the family. She used to prepare it, in a much authentic way...probably the way she adopted from my Grandma. Buy coffee beans, roast it to perfection(that is each week), powder them (just before preparing it)...filter it - 'Besh besh romba premadhama irruke' (Wow wow too good). This was a ritual until some few years ago. Later, she switched to a particular brand 'where they freshly prepared ('Roast & Powder') right in front of you! Mommy used to send her servant to buy 'coffee powder' from that particular shop...almost every 5 days once. Hmmm, so very particular about the aroma and flavour.
I am ain't that good with these kind of stuff...always lived alone in the hostel/flats...all I know is 'One should not hate the food, that is presented in front of you'. Anyway...I too enjoy Mommy's filter coffee!:)
I remember this vividly, summer(2003, I guess)..myself and my brother visited home at the same time! Yeah, it happens once in a blue moon! So mommy took us to Valparai (Located at Western Ghats) for sight seeing. It is also called as 'Cherrapunji of South India'! Valparai is all like stretches and stretches of Tea estates, (and coffee plantations?)...mostly owned by private companies. It is a thick reserve forest...elephants and Bisons...and all.
We happened to take a stroll in the industrial site that day. A very good gentleman tried to explain us things around. 'How they harvested tea leaves, sun dried it, ground it...whatever the tedious procedure took to bring perfection in the granules..how it reaches packaging stage..how they approach distributors..sell them to a retailer and stuff like that. He was all blah blah, from morning till afternoon! Somehow, he finally concluded 'this is how they prepared tea'! My brother asked 'Why the hell you guys struggle so hard for a cup of tea...you could have done with just 1rupee in a nearby tea kadai(shop),lol.
Anyway, I remember all his sarcasm...miss the fun lately. Wish, things were the same..as it used to be back then! Did I mention 'Valparai' happens to be my Mommy's favourite place in the Universe...
Ingredients:(makes for 2)
Coffee Beans 4 spoons (toasted beans, okay)
Granulated Sugar to taste (Mommy uses 3/4 spoon for a cup)
Farm fresh whole milk (1 cup)
Traditional Coffee filter/ Coffee maker will do.
I am not good with 'roasting the beans to perfection, so used the one here (pre toasted, dark ones)
Grind the beans.
Add the coffee powder to the basket/filer and a spoonful of sugar, right now.
Yes, yes that's right in the filter...this gives a nice tint to your coffee.
For every 2 spoons of powder, add 1 cup of water...wait till it percolates completely.
Well, to this strong decoction, add the remaining sugar. Mix well.
Finally add steaming hot milk to it. Coffee ready.
Traditionally they either use steal or silver wares, to serve this coffee. Both are good conductors of heat...so, be careful...while handling or sipping! Always ceramic mug, is my choice tho'.
Tulsi Ki Chai:
Tulsi Tea. Tulasi/ Tulsi ka Chai. Holy Basil Tea. Sacred Basil Tea. Thulasi/ Thulsi Tea recipe.
The Botanical name of this humble herb is Osimum sanctum. The plant is considered sacred by Hindus. It originated from India. Well...again there are 3 or 4 species. Except few, most of them are consumable. The plant is very aromatic, the leaves and inflorescence(flower) are edible here.
Traditionally most of the medicinal plants identified were considered holy and sacred by our ancestors....maybe its a way to protect the ecosystem and balance! When they impose religious faith on an important plant/animal (totem worship is prevalent among old civilizations like China, India, Mayans and Aztec) it is handed down with care to next generation, preventing extinction! That is a way beyond of thinking. I used to get the same feelings when the Rajasthanian tribes worship their black buck, it was on verge of extinction...Govt imposed rules to protect that bird & also announced it as State Bird of Rajasthan. Tribals are really aware of these Eco balance and stuff than educated people sometimes. West always accused Indians for slash & burn system and brown cloud. When tribal only ate the older animal or very young and feeble(which has high mortality rate & they never killed an animal / plants in their peek breeding season) some forest rangers, rich Babus and British hunted and exploited for game and pleasure(during modern history time). Anyways, am I missing the story here! All I am saying is....protect the ecosystem! Do not exploit, pluck the medicinal plants leaves only when there is a need! Try to save a few seeds, as modern life style is not supporting very well for natural pollination.
Science of Basil Leaves:
On general any Basil leaves has an important constituent 'adaptogen', an anti-stress component. Relieves depression related symptoms upon regular consumption. As most of the herbs it is loaded with anti-oxidants....yeah yeah so fights with that free-radicals and reduce oxidation. Besides it has several physiological significance, expertise in pharmacology are working on it....claiming their effect as anti-inflammatory agents, antibiotic, improves one's immune system, lowers blood glucose level, lowers blood cholesterol, lowers triglycerides level, lowers blood pressure. Some sources say chemotherapy for cancer patients shows significant effect, when they fed their patients with these leaves.
Common Medicinal Uses: Popularly known for its cold and cough concoctions. Has an amazing properties to remove severe bronchial phlegm. The decoction of these leaves works well for sore throat, done this tons of times, as a kid. Sure its a good home remedy for cold & flu, I have seen asthma patients chewing these leaves regularly.
Caution: It has severe anti-fertility effect...that is why Hindu priest have them daily in their holy water. So take them wisely only when it is necessary. If you're smart enough, use them as a contraceptive concoctions. It does have a birth control agent.
Holy Basil leaves 10-12
Granulated black tea leaves 1 spoon
Cardamom pods 1 or 2 crushed/ use powder
Ginger 1" grated
Honey 2 heavy teaspoons.
Use fresh or dry holy basil leaves for making this tea. It works both the way.
Heat water, along with tea leaves, basil leaves, cardamom and ginger. Decant the supernatant.
Mix honey and serve. Serves best on a rainy day, winter and flu infected days.
Ginger Tea. Adhrak Ki Chai.
Honey is the first-known sweetener to man. Pure honey never spoils! That right never spoils!! It is packed with nutritional and medicinal properties! It has been shown to kill bacteria, heal wounds and reduce inflamation. From time immeroial Eyptian and Indians used Honey in their medicines....to mix their concoctions. Applied them to war wounds or minor burns.
Nutritional Info: It is a combination of simple sugars-glucose, fructose, maltose and sucrose. Real honey breaks down slowly in the body than refined sugar! So it gives longer lasting supply of energy. So....that is why it helps to control craving! I prefer to add honey to my warm lemon juice....early in the morning, for all the above reasons!
Its good for Sore throat! Honey works well to clear voice(after cough and cold)! It is used to treat ulcer, constipation and BP.
Fresh Ginger - 2" peeled & Grated
Granulated Tea leaves 2 spoons
Honey/sugar to taste
Using mortar and pestle...mince grated ginger. Do not waste its juice.
Now mix this ginger and tea leaves to a pot of water. Bring this to boil. Let this stand in medium heat for really long time. So that the tea leaves & ginger flavour steeps well into water.
Filter and mix with honey. Serve warm as a mind booster. I prefer taking this in the afternoon....when I really feel low and dull.
Lemon Honey Tea:
Lemon Tea. Neembu ki Chai. Neembukaya Chaya. Elimicham Pazha Tea.
Fresh lemon juice from 1 fruit
Granulated Tea less than a ¼ spoon(or as per taste)
Honey/sugar 2 spoons
Heat 1 cup of water with ¼ spoon of tea leaves in it. Let it boil really well. Filter and discard the leaves.
To this tea decoction, add honey and lemon juice. Mix well.
Serve warm in a small tea cup.
Adhrak Chai. Adhraki Chai. Inji Tea. Allam Chaya.
Rich Granulated Tea – 1 spoon
Ginger 1” size – peeled and semi crushed
Milk 1 cup
Sugar 1 ½ spoon
Boil ginger and tea leaves in ½ cup of water. Let it boil really well. Then filter them.
Heat milk in a separate pan. Let it come to boiling point. Allow it to boil at least 2-3 times.
Now add sugar and tea decoction to this milk. Mix them till foamy.
Serve warm in a small tea cup.
Vanilla Coffee. French Vanilla Coffee. Coffee with Chicory. Instant French Café.
Well……I have great passion towards ‘coffee’. Always I do experiments with a cup of coffee, myself. Before handing it down to others. This is 100% my own such experimental blend! It tasted good to me. Generally when it comes to ‘coffee’ there is no such thing ‘formula’ for its perfection. Each and every single person(not even family) has their own combination(formula).
I always enjoy my coffee with my friends. If your friend is also a coffee lover……then no need to explain the lovely time! Hmmm…..I wish, I could see my friend ‘Kranthi’ to share this mug! Hope…..she would agree with this ‘French Vanilla’ without any argument!
Instant Nescafe powder(strong version) 1 spoon
Chicory Powder ¼ spoon
Vanilla essence few drops(as per taste)
White chocolate powder 1 spoon
Medium Brown Chocolate powder ¼ spoon
Sugar 1 spoon(or as per taste)
Whole milk – well boiled 1 cup
Dark Chocolate shavings – for decoration
Variation: In the place of first two ingredients, one can simply use brand name ‘Bru’ Coffee 1 spoon(which has chicory already in it)
In a large coffee mug, add sugar, vanilla essence, white chocolate powder, medium brown chocolate powder, chicory and strong coffee powder.
Add few spoons of cold water. Mix this thoroughly. Maybe till sugar dissolves and all the ingredients dissolve properly.
Now stir in steaming hot milk in this set-up. Mix vigorously using an electric shaker. Let it come to foamy on the top.
Decorate with dark chocolate shavings on the top!
Sukku-Malli Coffee:(Tamizhar Style)
Sukku Kaapi. Sukku Coffee. Sukku Tea. Sukku Chaya. Ginger Coffee. Dhania Tea. Adrak Chai. Allam Chai.
Dry ginger(sukku) 1/2 cup
Black pepper 1/2 cup
Coiander seeds 1 cup
Cardamon seeds 1/4 cup
Ingredients Needed - Just Before Serving:
Sugar/palm sugar(karuppati)2 spoons
Milk 1 cup(optional)
Ghee 1-2 drops.
Sun dry...all the above mentioned ingredients. Then blend them into fine powder.
Now in a regular milk kettle, heat 1/2 cup of water. Add sugar/karruppati and 2 spoons of above powder. Bring it to boil. Filter it.
Serve the supernatant. Drizzle few drops of ghee on top.
In a regular milk kettle, warm 1/4 cup of water. Add sugar + 2 spoons of above prepared powder. Bring them to boil. Filter them.
To this supernatant add 1 cup of warm milk. Serve hot.
This is one of the refreshing tea/coffee I ever had. Very aromatic and healthy drink. Its good of digesion. So give a try.
Cocoa is rich in antioxidant. Its better to have cocoa drink than regular coffee and tea.
Cocoa beats depression mood. It helps in fighting cancer. Its the perfect drink for smokers.
Cocoa powder 1 spoon(unsweetened)
Sugar 1-2 spoons
Whole Milk/Half and Half/Tetra pack Milk - 1 cup
In a milk kettle, add cocoa powder, sugar and few spoons of cold water to it. Mix it thoroughly.
Heat this mixture for few seconds. It thins out a little while heating.
Then add milk to it. Now heat them....till milk boils for once. Remove from heat.
Filter it to serving cup. Use a foam beater to bring it to foamy state. Serve warm.
For Black Coffee: Add 2 cinnamon sticks along with 2 spoonfull of coffee, while brewing. Then as usual add your sugar to taste. Brisk it in a short cup.
For Regular Coffee: Add 1 stick of cinnamon while boiling milk(1 cup) and add as usuall 1/2 spoon of instant coffee powder and sugar. Make it real foamy before serving.
Other Method: Mix 1/4 spoon of ground cinnamon powder with instant coffee powder-1/2 spoon, further add brown sugar-1 spoon and 1/4 spoon of vanilla extract. Mix them real good.....until its fine and dusty. Now run a mug full of warm milk over it. Then filter the same.....serve hot in short cup.
Its better to use dry mint flakes than fresh here. 1/4 spoon of mint and 1 spoon of tea leaves. Boil them in 1/2 cup of water.....until dark brown and bubbly. Filter it atleast twice. Then add 1/2 cup of warm milk. Stir in sugar as per taste. Serve warm.
Rich flavoured instant coffee powder 1 spoon
Caramel candy 1
Condensed milk 1 spoon
Farm fresh milk 2 cups
Sugar 1 spoon
Fresh cream 1 spoon for decoration
Cocoa powder 1/4 spoon for decoration
Boil milk.....until it reduced into 1/2. Like 2 cups of milk should come to 1 cup. Boil over sim-medium heat for long time. At the same time.....milk should not be burnt too.
So....to this well reduced milk, add caramel candy and condensed milk. Let it melt in the boiling milk.
Mix them thoroughly. Turn off the stove. Remove from stove top. Then add sugar and coffee powder. Mix well.
Never try to heat coffee after adding coffee powder to it. It not only reduces its flavour.....it turns to acidic nature. Which will give you bitter taste. So....its always like this. Heat only milk and then add coffee powder. Not while still on stove top.
Pour them into serving mug. Drop a spoonfull of fresh cream over this. Drizzle cocoa powder over this. Serve really hot.
Pepper In Milk. Spicy Hot Milk.
Its generally suggested....when you have cold and cough or flu. Even during sore throat. It makes you to feel better. The curcumin present in the turmeric and pepper helps to cure sore-throat and inflammation! As it is proved to control cancer, adding a pinch of turmeric to your regular milk diet is better! Afterall this natural coloring agent helps to prevent naseau(during pregnancy/lactation).
Whole milk 1 cup
Sugar 1 or 1 1/2 spoon
Turmeric powder 1 pinch
Ground black pepper less than a quarter spoon
Add all the above said ingredients to milk.....boil it.
Milk turns to pale yellow color. It gets this color from turmeric. Turmeric is antibiotic.
Have it warm enough.
Mughalai Masala Chai:(Iranian Style)
Hot and Spicy Tea/ Masala Tea.
Actually tho' its spicy tea....it could be counted as health drink here! I have added Star Anise....which actually enhances iron absorption! Mint leaves and fennel seeds are not only mouth refreshners...they promote quick digestion! Ginger has anti-inflamatory properties. It protects the stomach wall from the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs!
Tea leaves 1-2 spoons
Cinnamon sticks 1" size
Star anise-just 1 or 2 asters
Cardamom 1 pod- semi crushed
Mint leaves 4-6 leaves- tear and crush
Ginger 1" size peeled and semi crushed
Sugar 3 spoons
Water 1 cup
High fat milk 1 cup
Add all the above said ingredients in a kettle. Let it boil well. When aroma fills the room.....remove it from the stove.
Filter it.....atleast for 2 times.