Monday, 24 February 2020

Khus flavored lemonade/ Lavancha nimbe hannu Sharbat/ Vetiver lemon juice

Khus root/ vetive/ Lavancha or Ramacham (Malayalam) is a magical herb having number of health benefits. Though it is well known in India and other Asian countries, it is not too popular in other countries! When I mentioned that it is a magical herb, I meant it and it is because this specific herb is not only good to our health but also growing this helps the ‘Earth’ in many way. The root structure of this grass helps in retaining rain water for good amount of time and hence helpful in recharging water source when it rains. It prevents soil erosion and supports in filtering water which results in pure water bodies. It controls pests in the farm naturally to some extent.
When coming to human health it is natural coolant, which brings down body heat to normal level. It hydrates body and satisfies one’s thirst on drinking this herb infused water. It is beneficial in burning urination and other burning sensation because of acidity. I learnt from a friend, who is an Ayurvedic practitioner that it also works as remedy for fever. The aroma of this root has the capacity of mood relaxation. It is good for the health of hair and skin by using orally or externally.
Today I am sharing a recipe of making lemonade with the lavancha infused water. This is perfect to keep ourselves cool during hot summer which has made its entry! When I made this for the first time last week I liked the flavor very much. I wasn’t aware that in Kerala, people make the concentrate / squash of this water with sugar and keep it handy to make the juice as and when needed! I learnt about this when my blogger friend Shri Kripa mentioned about it couple of days back. Thanks akka for letting me know about this.

Please note that you can use freshly prepared khus infused water with dry roots or you can use Khus / lavancha water concentrate.

Khus flavored lemonade

Preparation time: 10 minutes, if infused water is ready
Serves: 2
Lavancha/ khus root infused water – 2 glasses, click here to know about this 
Sugar/ jaggery/ honey – as required
Lemon juice – 2 tsp (of 1 lemon)
Salt - a pinch (optional)
Ice cubes – 4 (optional)

  • In a mixer juice jar, take infused water, sweetener, lemon juice & salt if using. Blend it so that everything combines well to make the lemonade.
  • Transfer the juice to serving glass and serve with added ice cubes optionally.
  • Enjoy this healthy natural cool drink to stay hydrated and relaxed.
Lavancha nimbe hannu Sharbat

  • To make plain lemonade, use plain water instead of infused water.
  • This way you can get various flavors in your juice.
  • You can use khus infused water or 5 ml of pure Khus essential water + 2 glasses of water
Vetiver lemon juice

Monday, 17 February 2020

Gulab Jamoon with rabri/ rabdi/ Jamoon soaked in sweet condensed milk

Gulab jamoon is one of evergreen desserts originated in Indian subcontinent and very popular in other Asian countries too. It is generally loved by all age groups and handy in making them when jamoon mix/ flour is ready. So it is most popular among party dishes too. There is another reason for its popularity as it tastes great either hot or chilled and it blends well as combination with ice cream when jamoon served it hot. Here is one such combination, which is nothing but jamoon served with chilled rabri or rabdi. This is a delicious twist to the regular jamoon.
Rabri is another Indian sweet dish made with full fat milk which is so generic, can be consumed as it is or it can be added as main ingredient to make other sweets such as shahi tukda/ bread pudding, rasmalai. This rabri will make best kulfi on freezing!
Now let’s come to the recipe part. I am not focusing on making of jamoon here, which can be easily followed by the ready jamoon mix. I did the same!

Gulab Jamoon in rabdi

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Serves: 4
Gulab jamoons – 10-12, Soaked & removed from sugar syrup
Milk – ¾ ltr
Sugar – 4-6 tsp, or adjust as required as jamoon has sugar in it
Saffron – 1 pinch
Rose gulkand/ essence – few drops if using essence. I used 1 tsp homemade gulkand
Chopped nuts (pista & almond) – for garnishing
Corn flour – 1 tsp (optional)

  • Follow the instructions as mentioned in the jamoon mix pack to make gulab jamoons. Keep the jamoons ready. If you have your recipe of jamoon making from scratch, then follow it.
  • Now, keep milk to boil in a heavy vessel, stirring it occasionally.  Clear the sides using the spatula in between.
  • When it starts boiling, add in sugar & continue to boil.  Add saffron/ gulkand and mix well.
  • If using corn flour, then dissolve it in 2-3 tsp of milk or water in room temperature and add it to the boiling milk. After adding it, you need to stir continuously in order to avoid formation of lumps. Adding corn flour saves time in thickening of milk.
  • If not using corn flour, then boil until milk thickens and reduces almost to half the initial quantity.
  • When rabri reaches the right consistency, switch off the stove. Allow cooling.
  • For better taste, chill the rabri in refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  • Serving: In a serving bowl, add 3-4 tbsp of rabri and 2-3 gulab jamoons.
  • Garnish with chopped nuts, dry rose petals or saffron and serve.
Jamoon soaked in sweet condensed milk

  • Jamoon can be served with hot rabri too. I like the taste when chilled.
  • It is suggested to add jamoons to rabri just before serving so that the shape and structure of jamoon remains intact.
  • You can adjust the sugar level in rabri as you like. Add sugar thoughtfully, as jamoon is sweet already.
Gulab Jamoon with rabri