Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Spicy Ginger Cookies, Indian Way (Eggless), Paired With Dragon Fly Tea


Everyone knows that tea to English is like picnic indoors, so what if they can’t grow it-but it is indeed their national drink. In time of a crisis or mid-afternoon when one is feeling a bit peckish, nothing else will do but a nice cup of tea. India is the hub when it comes to tea cultivation, but what Indians have is black tea with some milk and sugar. Only after coming to the UK I saw innovative flavours of tea such as mint, jasmine, fruity, winter spice, white tea and what not.

Being a tea lover/addict, I am always keen and ready to try new fresh teas. DragonFly’s Pure Camomile organic infusion is my current obsession. Camomile literally means 'earth apple' because the scent of the flowers is reminiscent of fresh apples. This tea is mildly sweet, delicate and fragrant with intense golden colour-comforting and soothing for sure. Another thing that I loved and enjoyed about Dragonfly tea was the excitement to tear the sachet and read a tea quote; all the quotes are so creative that it will surely bring a smile on your face. Go to http://dragonflytea.com/ and explore yourself a world of tea that is loaded with fresh, original and new tea flavours.



With hot and delectable under tones of warm earthy essence of tea, all you need is something sweet and sharp to nibble. Ginger cookies came into my mind-these cookies have spiky ginger taste and are mildly sweet. This is an eggless recipe and all you need are four ingredients and there you will have perfectly crunchy ginger cookies. This is one bowl recipe, no melting, kneading, chopping is needed- just mix and bake-how simple is that?? These are not typical Christmas ginger cookies, not at all- they are spicy, crisp and a bit Indian.
Below is the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 cup all purpose flour/maida
5 tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch baking soda
2 tablespoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon chai massala (see notes)


Method:
In bowl mix everything together and from dough.
Cover the dough and put in the fridge for 1 hour.
After 1 hour preheat the oven at 170C.
Line a baking tray with grease proof paper/baking paper and keep it ready.
Divide the dough in 10 equal portions and make small smooth balls and arrange them on the baking tray, keeping gap in between.
Take a fork and applying little pressure flatten the cookies (like a pattie) such that you see fork marks on it.
Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye and see it doesn’t burn. You will know cookies are done when the colour changes. Cool them on a wire rack.

Notes:
These cookies might appear soft when they are hot, once cooled, it will be crunchy.
You can use any sugar-white, castor, brown, demerara sugar. I used brown sugar as it gives nice brown colour.
You can also roll out the dough and use any cookie cutter for different shapes.
Chai massala is available at any Indian grocery store. I used this one.
These cookies are not very sweet, if you like more sweet taste, then roll these cookies in icing sugar when they are slightly warm.
Baking time also depends upon oven to oven, so please keep an eye and use your own judgement.


Serving suggestions:
Serve with tea and coffee.
Just break these cookies roughly and mix with your morning cereals, smoothies, milk shakes, cold coffee.
Top these cookies on icecreams, brownies or cakes with some sweet sauce.
Wrap up these cookies and gift to your friends and family for new year or just like that.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Roasted Winter Soups Recipes


Winters-the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire; it’s the time for home :) I get warmth in my mind and heart when I hear the word ‘soup’ in winters. Soup understands you so well on wintery cold day, it soothes you, eases you and refreshes you in and out. Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavour.

Roasted soups in winters-my first love! The fact is, when you roast any fruit or vegetable, it releases its own juice and fragrant due to which the profile value of it intensifies. After roasting you are left with strong smoked burnt flavour which is so sharp and intelligent that you will be hooked forever.If you want to enjoy winters and find comfort in food, here are Roasted Winter Soups Recipes that you must try this year.

Roasted Bell Pepper Basil Soup: Sweet and aromatic will be the best words to describe this soup. Smoked capsicum lends sweetness whereas Italian herbs like basil and oregano balances the whole story.

Roasted Tomato Garlic Soup: It is a punch of flavours and a great makeover to old tomato soup. It uses black pepper and one secret healthy ingredient, result- Rich and velvety taste. Indeed a complete mood up lifter!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup: Olive oil, Indian garam massala and creamy yogurt all lends this soup a perfect wintery touch of smoked flesh and warmth. Very strong flavours and a texture to die for.

Roasted Chilli Tomato Soup: Peppery, fiery and hot-oh yes if you love spicy hot soup, this soup will now be your new favourite. The tang of tomatoes and charred chillies balances the essence of the soup brilliantly; with every sip the zest of smoked chilli is exceptionally reassuring.

.....Cold night, large sweater, bowl of soup, good book and soft socks- enjoy winters and stay warm everyone :)