Mixed Berry Smoothie

It is getting very close to the Memorial Day weekend and that means the summer is just around the corner. Even though it is an unofficial start, the temperature here in Texas is giving us a feel of what is in store for the next 4 months or so. With the winter being mild, the experts are predicting hotter than usual summer, so let us see how that is going to be. The temperatures now have climbed to the upper 90’s (F) and it is hot and sultry both inside and outside.

Anyway on the brighter side, the days are getting longer and the sun does not set until after 8:00 PM. So that means that it is still bright after coming back from work. It is such a positive feeling to come back home to bright light to open the blinds, open the back yard and let the natural light in.

The other good thing is the availability of fresh bounty of fruits especially the berries in the grocery stores. We usually buy a bulk of it either to snack, add it on salads and in lemonade, some berry drinks.One recipe that you cannot go wrong with is Berry smoothie. This fruity beverage laden with milk and yogurt is quick fix and delicious too. It is guilt free, fills you up and healthy too. Since smoothies use whole fruit and not just the juice, you get the benefits of fibre, minerals and the vitamins.

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup berries (fresh/frozen) ( such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries or combination)
  • 1 cup milk ( I used 2% milk)
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt ( I used fat free)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup/ sugar/honey
  • 5-10 ice cubes

Method

  • Put the berries in the blender and give it a quick zip, so that the berries are pureed.
  • Put the remaining ingredients including maple syrup/honey to this and blend.
  • Blend on high until it mixes and is smooth.
  • Add more milk if the smoothie is too thick.
  • Serve immediately.

Aloo Methi/ Potato Fenugreek Dry Curry


A classic combination of potatoes and fresh fenugreek leaves makes this one of the much loved curry by young and old alike. This delectable curry involves cooking potatoes in a mixture of onion, methi leaves along with tomatoes and other spices. Some people use tomatoes while others do not, I prefer using it as it makes the curry moister.

The fragrance and flavor of fresh fenugreek is good enough to make the curry delicious, however I add a coarse powder of fennel and coriander and make it even more appetizing.

Use fresh methi leaves instead of the frozen ones as it gives a big flavor boost to this dish. This curry tastes delicious with hot rotis/chapathis/phulkas.

Serves: 3-4 people

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 medium potatoes
  • 1 small onion (chopped )
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes (chopped)
  • 2 cups of fresh methi/fenugreek leaves (stems removed)
  • A pinch or two turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
  • ½ Tbsp grated ginger
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds/dhaniya
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • Oil
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  • Peel the potato and dice it into small cubes. Boil the potato separately in sufficient amount of water along with little salt. Make sure that the potato is not completely cooked.
  • Powder the fennel seeds and coriander seeds together coarsely.
  • Clean the fenugreek leaves and chop it finely. Make sure the stems are removed.
  • Take a heavy bottom pan; add about 2 Tbsp of oil. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and let it splutter.
  • Add the grated ginger diced onions and sauté until it turns transparent. Add the chopped fenugreek leaves and stir until it is almost cooked.
  • After the chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric, and green chillies and mix well.
  • After the tomato is slightly cooked, add the cooked potato to this and mix well.
  • Add the coriander fennel powder, salt and oil if necessary and make sure the potato is completely coated. Stir until potato is cooked.
  • Serve hot along with roti or hot daal/yogurt rice.

Quick and easy Boondi Raita


Boondi Raita is a traditional North Indian raita, served during festivals and weddings.

It is one of the quickest raita to make. It is especially easy if you have the store bought boondi stacked up in your pantry. We usually have one type of boondi in our house and so it is easy to prepare. This serves well with rice dishes like pulao etc.

Ingredients

  • 4-5 Tbsp Boondi (salty and spicy)
  • 1 cup yogurt/curd
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • 1 Tbsp chopped coriander for garnishing
  • Salt for taste

Method

  • In a bowl, beat the yogurt until it is even and fluffy. Add little water or milk if it is too thick.
  • Note: After adding the boondis the yogurt will become thick, so it is better to keep this yogurt with a buttermilk consistency.
  • Add red chilli powder, chaat masala and salt to yogurt and whisk well.
  • Add the boondis and stir it in gently.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately. You can refrigerate it if you want, but we prefer this warm.