Watermelon Agua Fresca

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Hope you all had a good weekend. We had a good one that included our usual weekend chores; cleaning, laundry, grocery and along with that we threw in a mix of Blueberry picking fare. We had been planning for the blueberry picking for a long time now, but it materialized only last week.

We went there with another friend of ours and it was fun time both for kids and adults as well. Fresh, luscious blueberries hand picked right off of the farm; close to the nature as we could get and it was a wonderful experience. In the two and half hours that we had been there, we managed to get close to a galloon of blueberries, all for a decent price.

The only complaint we had was the scorching summer heat. Well it was the end of June and in the state of Texas what else could we expect?  The less said about the heat the better. It was a payback time for all the good time that we had there. End of it all, we were craving for ice cold water and fresh juices, to quench that never ending thirst.

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Sol Kadi/ Konkani Style kokum Kadi –II

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Kokum is the dried skin of a fruit related to mangosteens.The outer cover of fruit is dried in the sun to get Aamsul or Kokam/Kokum. It is used as a slightly sour spice in recipes that yields peculiar taste and dark red colour. It is a preferred substitute for tamarind in curries and other dishes from Konkan. It is very abundant in the west coast region of India and hence an integral part of Konkani cuisine. These are called ‘bhirnda sol’ in Konkani. 

At home I use the Kokum to make Kokum kadi.  I have already posted one version here before, this does not use coconut in it. This version that I have posted here uses coconut milk along with garlic and green chillies. This is referred to as Birinda Sola Kadi in Konkani. We enjoy drinking this Kokum kadi especially during hot summers as it has a cooling effect on the body. This can also be consumed along with food or after dinner and tastes terrific when used as an accompaniment with Varan Bhat/ Daali thoy (Konkani daal).

This drink has combination of sweet, sour, hot and tart taste which is hearty and refreshing. The sour taste of the peels is neutralized by the addition of coconut milk and jaggery. 

Studies have shown that this fruit can reduce fat, cool body, purify blood and also reduce cholesterol. Check out the other health benefits of kokum here.

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Slushy Strawberry Smoothie

Hope you are all having a good weekend. The weather here in our neck of the woods is pretty good, with pleasant mornings, evenings and warm afternoons. On Saturday morning, the weather was just perfect for the kids to play their soccer match. They have practice during the week and the actual match during the weekend. It’s amusing to watch the tiny tots play; of course, they don’t go by the book, they bend the rules, fight, fall and yet have fun. (Mind you, I am talking about 4 year old’s here). Here are some observations from a novice mom who  sits and watches from the sidelines.

It is not uncommon for players on the field to: 

  • Kick the ball into the opponent team’s net, display a proud look and rejoice for scoring a goal. Of course, the coaches play along and give them the hi-fi’s!
  • Cry, shreikh and run to mom/dad because somebody else in their team scored a goal.
  • Fight with fellow player because he/she refused to share the ball.
  • Fall on the ground and throw a fit just to draw some attention from the coaches and parents.
  • Leave the ground while in the middle of the game and play on the nearby slides instead.
  • Throw the ball using hands, instead of kicking. 

Have I mentioned that nobody keeps track of goals while the kids play? It is all done in good spirits, mainly with intention of learning and enjoying.

After we got back home from the match, we felt like drinking something cold and filling. We still had plenty of strawberries left over from an earlier loot; so I decided to put them to good use and made this quick and easy Strawberry Smoothie, which I adapted from here.


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Slushy Strawberry Smoothie


  • 6 medium strawberries
  • 1.5 tsp of sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup of ice cubes


  • Blend strawberries with milk till well. Now add the ice cubes and blend on high.
  • Add sugar and blend again about 1 minute. Serve cold.

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