Crème brûlée {Caramel Custard} featuring Urban Dazzle

IMG_62831Hey guys!

Hope youre enjoying the long weekend and the festive season! This is one of my favorite times of the year not only cause the weather begins to change in Delhi {thankfully} but also cause of all yummy food in the Ram Lila Maidans, Durga Puja Pandals or even our very homes! 

I must admit, I am not a sucker for mithai and never have been but since I have been a child, there’s one dessert that I just cannot say no to and that’s CARAMEL CUSTARD! Through the years, whenever we are all in a festive mood {especially during Diwali and Christmas}, I pleade my dad to make this dessert for me (the recipe is his baby). FINALLY, I decided to go ahead and get the recipe from him and decided to try it out on my own!

I really try my best to stick to portion control which can be really hard during this festive time! Left to me, I can happily finish the whole plate of this divine dessert. I don’t have the biggest sweet tooth on the planet, so you can imagine how delicious this Creme Brulee is! I came across these individual serving size ramekins on Urban Dazzle and I was like a kid in the candy store. With EXTREMELY reasonable cooking, baking and home ware products, this online store needs to be the place where you head for all the Diwali gift shopping {You can win some for free too! Check out the end of the post for that}. It offers some great discounts on really chic and modern products.

So now, without me going on further, here are the photographs and recipe of the light yet fluffy Creme Burlee AKA Caramel Custard! Enjoy 🙂

Crème brûlée {Caramel Custard}

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Ingredients:

 150 ml Milk

1 Egg

2 spoons of Caster Sugar {You can use normal sugar too though caster sugar works better}

6 spoons of Normal Sugar

1 pinch {1/4 teaspoon} Cinnamon Powder

Large Baking Dish {For a water bath. The amount of water depends on the size of the Baking Dish. I used this one from Borosil}

Baking Ramikens available at Urban Dazzle

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Recipe:

1. Take the milk, egg, caster sugar and cinnamon powder and mix well into the bowl. 

2. Take a spaucepan and put it on heat on your stove. Pour the milk and egg mixture in this saucepan and let it cook for 2-3 mins. (It should not come to a boil). Remove from heat once done.{This process is basically creating the custard}
 
3. Next, in another saucepan, take 6 teaspoons of sugar and let it caramelize. This is called the  dry caramelization method which involves heating sugar on its own until it liquefies, then caramelizes. The sugar is able to liquefy due to it’s high water content. As the sugar is heated, this water is released. You can stir the caramel with the mixture till its golden brown but make sure not to overstir it. {This will help you if you want to know how to caramelize sugar perfectly.}
 
4. As soon as the sugar is caramelized, pour it in the 4 ramekins one by one.{1/4th of the mixture in each ramekin}. Each ramekin’s base needs to be covered in an even coat {This basically acts like a base layer on which the Custard will be poured. Once the custard will be inverted- It will be the top coat}
 
VERY IMPORTANT: As soon as you remove the saucepan from heat{ in which you have caramelized the sugar}, it will solidify in a couple of seconds which can be extremely frustrating since you need to pour the caramel in  4 ramekins before it cools down. In order to overcome this problem, take each ramekin at a time- hold the ramekin in one hand, take the saucepan in  off the heat from your other other hand and pour 1/4th of the mixture quickly creating a thin equal layer in  the ramekin. Put the saucepan back on the heat immediately. Now take the second ramekin,  take the saucepan off from the heat and pour the next 1/4th part of the caramel in this ramekin. Put the saucepan back on the stove. Repeat untill all 4 are ramekins have a base layer of caramel. {Just ensure that the caramel in the saucepan doesn’t cool off and solidify before youve poured it in the ramekins. Don’t worry when the layer of the caramel soldified as soon as its poured into the ramekins. That is bound to happen}
 
5. Next, take the custard {Milk- egg mixture}  you prepared and pour 1/4th of the mixture in each ramekin over the caramel layer.
 
6. Take a baking dish and fill it half way with water {Creating a water bath}.
 
7. Place the ramekins in this water bath and cover this dish with the ramekins in with foil. The water bath should reach only half way of the ramekin’s height. {Like this picture which is not clicked by me}
 
8. Put them into the oven which would be pre-heated on 180 degrees for 10 minutes.
 
9. Let the caramel custard bake in the oven for 50 minutes.  To make sure you haven’t over or under cook them, after 45 minutes, open the oven and insert a butter knife in one of the ramekins. If the knife comes out clean, it means it’s cooked. 
 
10. Once cooked, take the individual ramekins carefully  out of the water bath and and leave them out to cool for at least 30 mins
 
11. Place in the fridge once cooled  to chill them. When you want to serve them, you can carefully invert each ramekin onto a plate OR serve each of them in the ramekin itself.
 
 If you dont have ramekins, dont worry! You can buy them at a great price on urbandazzle.com. 
{You can also just create the caramel custard in one baking dish. For this, all you need to do is- Take a baking tin/dish, pour in  the caramel base layer and then pour the custard on it. Let it bake the oven for the same time period. I prefer using small ramekins though since it’s always more fun to have your own individual serving! It looks much neater when serving too}
 
GIVEAWAY: TWO WINNERS – OPEN ALL ACROSS INDIA!
 
If you want to win these ramekins where you can make tons of recipes such as creme caramel, baked eggs, bacon with potatoes or in fact anything as an individual serving, enter this giveaway!
 
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Rules:
1. Upload a picture of your favorite food during the festive season/holiday time. Something that you love eating- whether it’s savoury or sweet during your favorite time of the year- whether it may be Diwali, Pujo or Christmas!
 
2. You can use a picture that’s already uplaoded on your Instagram account {clicked by you}. Just follow the next few steps. 
 
3. tag @melangeofmusings and @urbandazzle
 
4. tag atleast 3 friends
 
5. There will be TWO WINNERS! 
 
6. Contest will close on 9th October 2014
 
Good luck everyone!
 

I Say Organic : Vegan Recipes {Oven Baked Vegetables + Colocasia and Spinach} & Giveaway!

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Hi guys!

If you have been following my Instagram account or even this blog, you’d know that I absolutely LOVE eating healthy {atleast i try! } I am a firm believer of the fact that healthy food can be really yum and scrumptious too. One can be on a diet but that doesn’t mean that they need to starve themselves or only eat salads {which can get a bit boring after a while}. Since I try my best to incorporate as many vegetables as possible to my diet, I have been on the lookout for where to buy good quality, clean organic products. With the market being flooded with overpriced vegetables that have been imported god knows how many days ago, the sad truth is that even though we think we are eating healthy, we aren’t. Full of pesticides, we are constantly infusing our body with everything that we should be. 

I came across www.isayorganic.com a while ago and couldn’t have been happier. Organic {Farming methods that do not involve using any kind of chemical pesticides, fertilizers, genetically modified seeds (GMOs), preservatives and additives }  healthy eating is really picking up and nothing could be better than a home delivery service where you can shop for your groceries online!  What’s important here is that not only do they sell clean+safe food {void of any chemicals}  but also recongise and support the farmers who grow this food. Another thing I personally love about I say organic was the simplicity of their website. It’s easy to browse through and one can find exactly what you’re looking for in no time.

Since I have posted tons of non-vegetarian dishes on this blog, I thought it would be fun to go ahead and prepare some exciting Vegetarian/Vegan dishes and share with recipes with you all! I ordered the 6 kilos assorted vegetable pack. This is what came in the pack:

 Potato – 1 Kg 
Onion – 1 kg
Tomato Desi – 500 gm
Cucumber – 500 gm
 Green Chilly – 50 gm
 Lemon – 100 gm
Mint – 100 gm
Garlic – 100 gm 
Bhindi – 500 gm
Brinjal – 350 gm
Bottle guard 500 gm
Chaulai Saag – 500 gm
Pumpkin -500 gm
Arbi -350 gm
 Along with this pack, I also added some Zuccini and a bottle of Organic Mustard Oil.
 
Since I live in Gurgaon, my ordered reached on a Thursday {Orders reach Gurgaon on Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday} . All the vegetables were neatly delivered in brown paper bags on a large tray. They looked really fresh; definitely a recent produce!
 It’s really important that we start paying more attention to our health and really consider buying organic products which don’t only carry the label but are instead sourced from farmers new you! 
 
[GIVEAWAY AT THE END OF THE POST]

IMG_6222Recipe One: Oven roasted vegetables with full pods of garlic and rosemary, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil

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Ingredients:

2 Potatoes

2 Onions

2 Garlic pods (full)
 
3 Bringals
 
2 potatoes
 
1/4 Zuccini 
 
100 grams pumpkin
 
2 Tomatoes
 
1 Arbi (Colocasia)
 
Rosemary leaves 
 
Olive Oil
 
Salt
 
Pepper
 
Lemon
 
Procedure: 

1. Cut all the vegetable as shown in the photograph below.

– Garlic pods would not be cut and would be placed as it is. 

– Tomatoes would be cut in halves

– Onion would be cut in halves

– Pumpkin would be sliced (4 slices)

– Brinjals would be cut in half

– Arbi would be sliced thinly {Like potato chips}

– Zucinni would be sliced diagonally

2. Place these vegetables them on your oven proof baking tray 

3. Keep the oven preaheated to 180 degrees celcius for 20 minutes

IMG_62324. Drizzle {very generously} the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle roasemary leaves, salt and pepper (according to taste) for the added flavour.

5. Take out the tomaotoes from this baking dish and place them in another plate for now. DO NOT put them into the oven.

6. Once the oven is pre-heated, place the vegetable dish  into the oven and let them bake. 

7. 45 mins later, open the oven and quickly place the tomatoes into the dish (make sure youre wearing mittins)

8. Now, let the vegetables bake for another 15 mins.

9. The cooking time in total: 60 mins.

Check if they’re done. My baked vegetables were cooked well within 60 mins after the oven was pre-heated for 20 minutes. They should have a lovely shine to them and shouldnt be shriveled up (over-cooked)

10. Take the dish out of the oven. Take out the full garlic pods and squeeze out the pulp and mix it throughout the dish. Do that with the onions as well. Make sure the onions and garlic are evenly distributed throughout the dish.

11. Squeeze one lime and serve hot.

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 Recipe Two: Arbi & Chaulai Saag { Colocasia and Spinach}

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Ingridients For the Saag

500 grams Spinach (Chauali Saag) 

3 tablespoons Mustard Oil

Haldi Powder (1 pinch)

Zeera Powder (1 teaspoon)

Salt (to taste)

1 tomato

Dhaniya Powder (1 pinch)

Red Chilly Powder (1 pinch)

Chopped Garlic (1 teapsoon)

For the Arbi

300 grams Arbi (Colocasia)

Salt (to taste)

Ajwain (1 pinch)

Haldi (1 pinch)

Dhaniya Powder (1 teaspoon)

Heeng (1 pinch)

Zeera Powder (1 pinch)

3 tablespoons of Mustard Oil

3 Green Chillies

1 Lemon 

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Procedure:

For the Saag: 

1. Take 3 tablespoons of Mustard Oil in a wok and bring it to a smoking point.Let it cool down. 

2. Add the Zeera Powder into the wok.Roast it for a few seconds.

3. Add the garlic untill it turns a light brown.

4. Take one totmato and chop it in really small pieces. Add it into the wok.

5 Next, add all the other spices and let them cook for a minute.

Haldi Powder (1 pinch)

Dhaniya Powder (1 pinch)

Red Chilly Powder (1 pinch)

4. Take the Saag (roughly) chopped and sautee in the wok with the spices and tomato for 5 mins.

5. Add salt to taste.

For the Arbi: 

1. Take the Arbi and bring it to a bowl in a pressure cooker (3-4 whistles)

2. Once done, take out the arbi from the pressure cooker- peal and dice into squares (or however you like). Keep side

3. In a pan, take the oil, bring it to the smoking point and let it cool down.

4. Add the Zeera powder and let it roast.

5. Next, take the green chilies and sauteee them.

6. Add the other spices

Ajwain (1 pinch)

Haldi (1 pinch)

Dhaniya Powder (1 teaspoon)

Heeng (1 pinch)

7. Let the spices and chilly cook for a minute and add the Arbi into the pan.

8. Stir fry the arbi with the spices for 3 minutes. Add salt to taste.

9. Squeeze half a lime on the arbi for some freshness.

10. Serve the two dishes together for a perfect meal.

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GIVEAWAY!!!!

You can win the  SIX kg organic veggie pack along with the Mustard Oil for yourself! Just follow the simple steps on Instagram OR/AND Twitter {Whatever you prefer!}

Instagram

1. Follow @isayorganic and @melangeofmusings on Instagram 
2. Comment on the Giveaway picture {uploaded by @melangeofmusings} telling us what you would like to create out of this veggie basket. Be as descriptive as possible! {You don’t need to write down the recipe! Just tell us what dish you would like to prepare using the I say Organic Vegetables 6kg pack}
3. Tag @melangeofmusings and @isayorganic on your entry!
4. Tag atleast 2 friends in the same comment
{You can repost the picture to increase your chances of winning 😉 }
 
Twitter
1 Follow @isayorganic and @sarasuri on Twitter.
2. Retweet and Reply to the giveaway tweet {tweeted by @sarasuri} of what you would like to create out of this veggie basket. 
 
Rules
1. The giveaway is applicable for only DELHI NCR residents
2. You can repost/ tweet us as many times as you like.
3. The giveaway will close on Saturday 27th and the winner will be announced on the 28th of September, Sunday.

 Good luck! 

 

The Ultimate Breakfast {Part II} French Toast two ways : Sweet vs Savory

Heyy guys!

About a month ago I did a really simply post on my version of the Ultimate breakfast pancakes. I received a lot of a love from you all so decided to do a part two of my breakfast series. We all have certain dishes that we associate with our childhood and for me French Toast has got to be one of them. {French toast is really as indian as it gets #Queen} Growing up, I went through phases of switching between the sweet and savory versions and had a love-hate relationship with both of them. Since everyone has their own preferences, I decided to go ahead and make BOTH the versions for you. As the weather is slowly changing (thankfully), I love me some good comfort food. Both these versions are definitely not for someone on a diet but EVERYONE deserves a cheat day, yeah?

Savory: Parmesan and Basil French toast seasoned with Rosemary leaves

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 Serving; Three French Toasts

Ingredients: 

3 thick slices of Brioche. {You can use any bread really. Just make sure that it’s atleast a day old and the slices are thick. I personally love Brioche which works really well with Parmesan.}

3 eggs

Half a glass of milk

Salt + Pepper (to taste)

1 tablespoon Basil Powder (This is available in most well equipped grocery stores. You can use finely shopped basil leaves too)

Vegetable Oil (3-tablespoons) OR Butter (2 tablespoons) 

1/2 a cup Grated Parmesan 

4-5 Rosemary leaves

Recipe:

1. Whisk together eggs, pinch of salt , pinch of pepper, milk, basil powder and ONLY half of the Parmesan Cheese that you grated in a bowl. {Keep the remaining half of the cheese aside}

2. Pour this mixture in a shallow large dish which is preferably square or rectangle in shape. {Will make it easier for the bread to soak}

3.Heat your frying pan/skillet (non stick preferable) and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Let it heat.

4. Switch on your oven and let it heat on a 180 degrees celcius.

5. Meanwhile, take a piece of bread and let it soak in the dish.  Be careful and don’t let the bread break. If the bread is french and it soaks for too long, chances are it will get too limpy. Flip the bread to the other side when one side is completely soaked.

6.. Take the bread out of the dish and place it in the frying pan. Fry the bread on each side for 2-3 minutes untill golden brown. 

7. While your slice of bread is frying, soak the second slice of bread in the dish. Once the first slice is done, the second slice is ready to be fried.

8. Add the remaining tablespoons of oil for the third slice to be fried.

9. Once all  slices of French toasts are fried, place them on a baking tray and sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese and rosemary leaves. Put them into the oven for 5 minutes. {Keep an eye on the oven and make sure the the toast doesn’t burn}

10. Take them out of the oven and they’re ready to serve!

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Sweet:Vanilla and Cointreau French Toasts served with Maple Syrup 

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Serving: 4 Large slices of French Toast

Ingredients: 

4 Large Slices of Normal White Bread . {You can use any bread really. Just make sure that it’s atleast a day old. I personally love using the classic white bread which works really well for this version of the French toast}

4 eggs

2/3 a glass of milk

A small pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

4 tablespoons Vegetable Oil 

2 teaspoons Butter {Only if youre using Cointreau}

3 tablespoons of Cointreau  OR {If you want to make the recipe without Alcohol, use 3 tablespoons of Orange Juice instead}

1 tablespoon of Sugar {Optional}

Caster Sugar {Optional: I love the snow flaked look}

2 scoops of Vanilla Ice-cream {Optional}

Maple Syrup (Depending on how much you like)

Recipe: 

1. Whisk together eggs,vanilla extract, milk and salt in a bowl. {At this point, you can add 1 tablepoon of sugar if you like you French toast will sweet but I don’t since I will be serving it with Maple Syrup and Vanilla Ice-cream anyway} If you’re using Orange juice instead of Cointreau, then you need to include the Orange juice right now itself. The Cointreau however does NOT have to be included in the mixture right now.

2. Pour this mixture in a shallow large dish which is preferably square of rectangle in shape. {Will make it easier for the bread to soak}

3.. Heat your frying pan/skillet (non stick preferable) and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Let it heat.

4. Meanwhile, take a piece of bread and let it soak in the dish.  Be careful and don’t let the bread break. If the bread is french and it soaks for too long, chances are it will get too limpy. Flip the bread to the other side when one side is completely soaked.

5.. Take the bread out of the dish and place it in the frying pan. Fry the bread on each side for 2-3 minutes untill golden brown. Here is when your own taste buds come into play. I like my French toasts a little more well done and crisp {as show in the photographs} so I do fry them a little longer.

6. While your slice of bread is frying, soak the second slice of bread in the dish. Once the first slice is done, the second slice is ready to be fried.

7. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil for slices 3 & 4 to be fried. 

8. Once all for slices of French toasts are fried, place them on your plate the way you like them to be served. I cut them diagonally making 8 triangular pieces in total. 

8. In the same frying pan used to fry the french toasts add in two teaspoons of Butter. Let it heat a little pour your cointreau into the pan. This process is basically flaming the cointreau. Wait for less than a minute untill a yellowish syrupy mixture is formed and pour on top of the french toasts. 

9. Add 2 scoops of vanilla Ice-cream and maple syrup to make everything yummier.

 

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The Ultimate Breakfast {Part One} – Oatmeal Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Sauce and Bananas

Hey guys!

If you don’t this about me already- then here it is: I’m a sucker for having a big breakfast! I just cannot get my self to have simply have one fruit or a cup of tea/coffee and leave home for the day. No matter how late I’m running, breakfast is one meal that will enter my tummy. Come weekend, and things become easier where I can have this meal without worrying too much about rushing out. I can laze around and take my time to enjoy my favorite meal of the day. Having a scrumptious breakfast also really helps after a long night of drinking!

Pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast meals and I just can’t get enough of them! {Oh, where have you eaten the best pancakes? Do let me know in the comments below!}. However, they aren’t the healthiest of dishes which can be a bummer. Just to be a little clearer, a heavy scrumptious breakfast can be really healthy too – packed with fibers, good carbs and proteins. So, in this post, I am going to share with you a recipe of Oatmeal Pancakes with Dark Chocolate Sauce and Bananas.

I am not a recipe developer so this Pancakes Recipe is actually my recreation of Sally’s Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I cannot even begin to tell you how much she inspires me! If you haven’t come across her blog, you really must check it out! I am really new to baking and her recipes make my day!

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So with no further ado, here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (123g) whole wheat. {I used Aata}
  • 1/2 cup (40g) oats. {I used steal cut oats}
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon {dalchini} powder. 
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup (240ml) milk 
  • 2 Tablespoons dark brown sugar or stevia. 
  • 1/4 cup (63g) Curd 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Oil Spray/ Olive Oil/Coconut Oil {I used Olive Oil Spray}
  • 100 g of Dark Chocolate {One Bar- 10 squares}- Mine was 85% Cocoa By Lindt
  • One Banana

Method: 

For the pancakes: 

1. Toss the dry ingredients in one bowl-  flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.

2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Then Whisk in the brown sugar and yogurt until no lumps remain. Whisk in the vanilla until combined.

3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Stir gently until just combined. Do not overmix the batter. 

4. Take a griddle or a non stick frying pan on medium heat and coat with cooking spray or oil.  Once hot, take an ice cream scooper and drop one scoop of the batter on the frying pan

5.  Cook until the edges look dry and bubbles begin to form on the center or sides, about 1 minute. Flip and cook on the other side until cooked through, about 2 more minutes. Before cooking the pancakes, spray oil each time. 

6. Serve hot with the Dark Chocolate sauce  and banana pieces. 

For the chocolate sauce:

1. Take your chocolate slab and break it into pieces and put in a microwavable bowl. 

2. Option 1: Put it in the microwave for 30 seconds- take it out and stir. Then put it again for 20 seconds, take it out and sir. Finally put it in again for 10 seconds, take it out and sir. Repeat this process untill the chocolate is melted.

Option 2: Melt the chocolate on a double boiler. That is, heat a sauce pan with water and place the bowl on the sauce pan {Basically avoiding direct contact of the bowl with the flame}. 

3. Once the chocolate is melted, it would be thick and gooey. To bring it to the consistency of a sauce, add a bit of milk and whisk. Repeat the process until it reaches the consistency you would like it to be. 

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What I love the most about Pancakes is one can play around with so many different flavours and fillings. Having looked at these ingredients, I am sure you’ll realize how healthy and nutritious these pancakes are. They don’t use any butter or maida and yet are so fluffy and moist. I added the dark chocolate sauce for a little bit of indulgence, but you can totally avoid doing that and just use a spoon of chocolate sauce or/and maple syrup.

Stay tuned for part two 🙂

Have a yummy weekend!

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The Perfect Breakfast Smoothie: Summer Edition

Hey everyone!

I shared a Mango Smoothie picture on my Instagram and Facebook accounts a couple of days ago and promised to share the recipe with you all! So here it is 🙂 This Smoothie is really simple to prepare and exceptionally healthy! It is in fact a complete nutritious meal in itself.

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Before moving on to the recipe, I wanted to list down some of the benefits of each of these ingredients. It’s important to know what exactly we are consuming and why rather than following the current health fads.

Flax Seeds: Ranked as the most powerful food in the word it has tons of benifits which include:

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids, “good” fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
  • Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75 to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
  • Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.

Mango: Mango is an excellent source of Vitamin-A and a good source of potassium.Mangoes contain 25 varieties of carotenoids and and they are enriched with a high amount of Vit C as well which helps maintain a healthy immune system.It also helps to maintain the alkaline balance of the human body because it contains elements like malic acid, tartaric acid and also a very good amount of citric acid.Like papayas, mangoes also help in improving digestion because it is very rich in fibres. Mangoes are enriched with antioxidants and this helps in cell rejuvenation and cell repair. They also help to detoxify skin from inside and also prevents occurrence of acne.

Oats: Oats absorb the extra fat & flush it out of the system. Soluble fibre in white oats can help in weight control as it can replace high fat and calories in food and can lead to reduction in total calorie intake. A diet which is rich in oats may also help stabilize blood glucose levels, which could help people with non-insulin dependent diabetes. Oats also  have some unique fatty acids & antioxidants which together with vitamin E slow cell damage & have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer.Oats are low in fat & salt and they are a good source of natural iron. Being a good source of calcium, they are ideal for heart, bones & nails.

Honey: Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease. It is also anti bacterial and anti fungal. It’s definitely my perfect replacement for sugar.

Yogurt: One serving is a significant source of potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid). Yogurt also contains B12, which maintains red blood cells and helps keep your nervous system functioning properly. Yogurt has probiotics, beneficial bugs that live in your digestive tract and help crowd out harmful microorganisms that can cause intestinal infections.

Chilly: All that heat you feel after eating hot chili peppers takes energy—and calories to produce. Even sweet red peppers have been found to contain substances that significantly increase thermogenesis (heat production) and oxygen consumption for more than 20 minutes after they are eaten.

Ginger: Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of essential nutrients in the body. Ginger clears the ‘microcirculatory channels’ of the body, including the pesky sinuses that tend to flare up from time to time.

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Ingredients:

1. 1 Mango (Minus the centre seed)

2. 1 Cup Yogurt (Preferably made at home)

3. 1 tablespoon of Honey (Or stevia)

4. 1 sachet Flax Seed Powder (Or Chia seeds)

5. Quarter cup Rolled Oats

6. 1 teaspoon Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

7. 1 Red Chilly

8. 1 small piece of ginger (1/4 the size as shown in the image)

9. 2-3 mint leaves

10. Crushed Ice

Method:

Simply blend all the ingredients in a Blender and reach a smooth yet thick consistency. If the Smoothie is still way too thicj, you can add a little bit of water to thin it down. You can also add a little extra Honey or Stevia depending on your liking since the Ginger and Chilly do give it a nice hit!

Once the smoothie is ready, pour it into your favorite glass and garnish with a mint leaf!  It doesn’t have a very long shelf life and will last in the fridge for about an hour or hour and a half at the most. Post that, the Oats will get a little too mushy and the Smoothie will become watery.

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So there you have it! The perfect breakfast on the go. Oh, and how cute is this bottle?

If you do make this smoothie! Please upload a picture on Facebook/Instagram and tag @melangeofmusings 🙂 Stay tuned for the next post and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook! I am going to have an extremely fun giveaway as soon we hit 1k followers on Instagram! 

Bernado’s {Goa in Delhi}

Hey Everyone!

Now that I’m done with my first year Masters’ exams, I realized that even though making a quick trip to Goa would be ideal, it is highly unlikely! What could then be better than having Goa just a few minutes away from home? Bernado’s, a humble little restaurant in Supermart Market (Gurgaon) clearly did the trick and made me fulfilled my Goan food craving.

I went to Bernado’s on Mothers Day and did expect to find it packed, which it was. Once you enter the little restaurant, there’s a sign that reads ‘ We’re open! Please come in’. You need to knock on the door and someone will open the door for you. (This is done for purely practical purposes so that the warm draft of air doesn’t enter sabotaging the air conditioners cooling) Nonetheless, it’s almost like visiting a family friend’s house for lunch which gives such a warm feeling. Moving in, one will see about five tables with pretty vintage floral tabling cloths and glassware. I simply loved how this placed spoke so much for it’s self without being pretentious in anyway. It was no fuss and all food. Bernados’ is run by a couple, Mr and Mrs Fernandez that’s precisely one of the reasons why the experience is just so real and cozy. The decor, lighting and music is really minimal but truly does have a charm to it.

As soon as we entered we were guided to the only empty table by the window where we took ours seats. Mr Fernandez himself came to take the order and asked us if we want to try something particular. I was in moods for Prawns and hence our first starter was Prawn Recheado ( 8 pieces of Prawns filled with spicy and tangy recheio masala – red chillies and spices ground in goan vinegar and shallow fried). Along with this, we also ordered the Peixe Frito (Fillets of fish smeared with spices and shallow fried). Both the starters were truly spectacular where the seafood was perfectly marinated and fried. The prawns had the tangy touch of vinegar but they were fried in butter which gave covered them in a coat of smooth heaven that melted in one’s mouth. The fish fillets were extremely yummy as the skin had the perfect crispy glaze almost shimmering when kept on the table under the sunlight.

For the main course, we ordered the  Vindalho de Parco (Diced boneless pork marinated over night with spices and Goan vinegar  and cooked slowly) and the Caril de Camaro (Traditional Goan Prawn curry cooked with goan spices and coconut flavoured with kokum). I did want to order the Chorizo Sausages but Mrs Fernandez came during our little chit-chat told us that the sausages takes a couple of and they’re available on the menu only once they’re ready. {So, they should be available by Thursday } Along with the Pork Vindaloo and Prawn Curry we ordered a portion of white rice and Pau (bread). They had other rice options as well, from Red Rice to Prawn Sausage Pulao and Goan Sausage Pulao! The main course was really delicious as well but the starters definitely stole the show. The Pork Vindaloo was spicy as promised but the Prawn Curry was a lacked a whee bit of spices. Nonetheless, when eaten with the pau and vindaloo, the flavours really did compliment each other and provided for a balanced meal.

Finally, for dessert we ordered the classic Bebinca.. *slurps*. Bebinca in a nutshell is a cake made out of a rich batter of flour, sugar, ghee, eggs and coconut milk flavoured with nutmeg baked in layers. This dish was absolutely divine and I was definitely transported into a foodie paradise. Having tried Bebinca in Goa, I was expecting certain flavors but Bernado’s really went far ahead of my expectations.IMG_4707

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photo (28)Prawn Recheado

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photo 3 (5) Caril de Camaro

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I highly recommend this little restaurant tucked away in Gurgaon. For all who don’t know Supermart Market, just find your way till Gallaria Market. It’s pretty close from there and is really worth the hunt. What makes this restaurant special is that the food was fresh and cooked with love along with being extremely delicious of course. The food was decently priced where a meal for two can cost you about Rs.1200 or so. Bernado’s is prefect for a summer afternoon lazy wholesome meal post a couple of chilled beers at home. (Make sure: they don’t serve liquor).

I would love to know about your experience at Bernado’s so please do leave a comment below and let me know what all you enjoyed! If there are any other places you want me to review, keep me updated and I’m on it! 😀

Till then, happy eating!

Here’s a lovely interview of the couple by one of my favorites: Little Black Book Delhi! }

Bake with me {Dark Chocolate Cake}

Hey everyone!

I guess I couldn’t stop my self from writing my weekly post! It was my dog- Pluto’s birthday on the 1st of May and like every year, I decided to bake him a cake! Baking is definitely not my forte but I do love trying my hand at it! I used a recipe from bbc.co.uk but added my own twists to it (especially by adding the dark chocolate). The original recipe does have an icing as well but I decided not to make that since I decided to have the cake with vanilla ice-cream and a little bit of hot chocolate sauce instead.

Here’s the recipe. Hope you try making this at home. It’s really, really easy!
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Ingredients 

  • 225g plain flour
  • 350g brown sugar
  • 85g cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 250ml  milk
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 small slabs of dark chocolate
  • Baking pan/tin, oven, electric whisk , mixing bowl , measuring spoons, wooden spoon

 

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final2You can use Caster Sugar/Brown Sugar/Stevia – whatever you prefer! Initially I  was planning to use Stevia and hence photographed it, but then later changed my mind and decided to stick to brown sugar)

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final5Ideally one should be using 125 ml of oil but I just put it about 80 ml and the recipe worked perfectly well! 

final6I absolutely LOVE dark chocolate and so decided to add it to my recipe for the extra bitterness. If you don’t like that bitter-ish after taste, you could replace these with milk/white chocolate!

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 180C.

2) Grease your baking tin/pan with vegetable oil or butter

3) Melt your Chocolate slabs in the microwave or by double-boiling it.

4) For the cake, place all of the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa power, baking soda, baking powder) into a large mixing bowl. Combine them will with a wooden spoon

5) Once all the dry ingredients have mixed well, add in the milk, eggs, melted chocolate, sugar and vanilla essence and whip the mixture well.

6) Add in vegetable oil to make the mixture a bit more smooth and silky.

7) Pour the cake batter between into your baking tin and bake in the oven for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

8) Once ready,remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool completely, still in it’s tin.

9) To assemble the cake, run a round-bladed knife around the inside of the cake tin to loosen the cake. Carefully remove the cakes from the tin

10) Serve the cake with hot chocolate and vanilla ice-cream since it doesn’t have any icing!

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This cake was absolutely a delight to have and I’m so glad it turned out well. It wasn’t super sweet at all cause of the dark chocolate but since I had it vanilla ice-cream on the side, the flavors balanced each other. Even though it was Pluto’s birthday, he didn’t get to have more than a little bite for this cake is not really ‘dog friendly’.

Here are a couple of pictures of the birthday boy-

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DIY: Momos and Thukpa at home

Hello Everyone!

My exams are around the corner and going out and eating out has drastically reduced for me.  I decided to indulge in a home cooked meal of Thukpa and Momos recently and thought it would be fun to write about the recipe of how we make the meal at home. Thukpa and Momos are definitely two dishes that I just can’t get enough of and can have them anytime of the year. For me, they clearly under the category of comfort food and making them at home is ideal as they are cooked exactly to my taste and preferences.

The recipes that I have listed below are how Thukpa and Momos are made at my home. There are tons and tons of variations of these recipes and there’s no one fixed formula. These are the flavors that my family and I enjoy the most (after having tried and tested a few different recipes) and hence we stick to these ingredients and cooking style.

The recipes listed below are for approximately 27-30 Momos and Thukpa for 4 people. The Momos had a Chicken filling and the Thukpa too used a Chicken Stock. If you are vegetarian, a mixed vegetable stuffing can be for the Momos and Vegetable Stock for the Thukpa. Traditionally however, Beef stock is popularly used in the Tibetan style of Cooking Thukpa. The Momos on the other hand can also be made out of a Meat (lamb/pork/beef) mince.

Momos – མོག་མོག

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Ingredients For 30 Large sized Momos
500 grams Chicken Mince (Keema)
3 medium sized Onions
50 grams Ginger
1 pod of Garlic
3-4 Green Chillies (depends on how spicy you like the stuffing)
100 grams of Maida Flour
100 grams of Wheat Flour
Salt (Depends on taste)
Mustard Oil
Light Soya Sauce (Depends on taste)
A bunch of Coriander Leaves
1. Mix the Maida and the Wheat Flour to make a dough just like you would to prepare Puris. Make sure your dough is prepared one hour before you start making your Momos. Cover the dough with a cling film and let it rest so that the gluten releases.
2. Peal and dice the onions, ginger and garlic pod into very small pieces and mix them into a bowl.
3. Take the bunch of coriander leaves, chop it up into small pieces.
4. Mix all the above ingredients with the chicken mince in the bowl.
6. Add a little salt and soya sauce to the mixture. (This depends on your taste)
7. Take 2 full table spoons mustard oil in a small pan and heat it to the smoking point.
8. Let it cool down a bit (it should not become cold) and pour it onto the chicken mixture.
9. Fill up the last container of the Momo Maker with water. Grease the other  2-3 containers of the Momo Maker with oil.
10. Take the dough out of the cling film. Pat it with some Maida and make small balls to roll out small puri like circles.
The circle should be very thin and it’s circumference should be as much as a regular sized bowl (katori). Roll out at least 5-10 at once for conveniences’ sake.
11. Take one circle of dough and put it in your palm. Take 2 spoons of the mince and place it in the middle of the circle.Pinch and seal the sides. (There are numerous ways this can be done. Click here for one tutorial).Place it on one of the trays that have been brushed with oil.
12. Repeat the process for all the other Momos and place them on the different trays/containers.
13. Drizzle mustard oil on all the Momos they’re all placed and ready to be cooked.
Imp Momos. All the containers with these uncooked Momos should be placed on top of the bottom container only when the water is boiling. The first container shouldn’t take more than 7-8 minutes.There after the preceding containers take 2-3 minutes more.
17. Once the Momo trays are ready one by one, serve the home made Momos with a home made fiery red chilly chutney.
The Red Chili Chutney 
Take 15 red chillies and keep them in hot water for 30 minutes till they swell up. Take 7-8 garlic flakes, 2 tomatoes , 1 teaspoon of sugar , salt to taste and vinegar, sesame oil (worth on bowl).In a blender put all the above ingredients with a little bit of the water that was used to soak the chilies. You can add more sugar if it’s too fiery. Peanuts can also be added to this recipe while blending the chutney. This is like a variation of the Indonesian Sambal.

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Thupka ཐུག་པ

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For the Stock (Chicken/ lamb/beef)
Take 500 grams of chicken (wings, neck)/lamb (shank)
1) In a cauldron , pour 3 litters of water,  the chicken , salt to taste , 1 stock of celery, 2 carrots, 3 bay leaves , 5-7 pepper cons, 1 full onion pealed and bruised , 20 grams of ginger (bruised in the middle).
2) Let this mixture boil for at least 1.5 hours. Keep on removing the foam that may form as a layer on top.
3) After 1.5 hours, strain this mixture in a Muslin cloth/ strainer and the stock is ready which would be used while preparing the soup.
Note: In Tibet, rather than a chicken stock, beef stock would be used traditionally. If you are vegetarian then you can follow all the steps minus the Meat.
Ingredients for the Thukpa
3 carrots (Shredded into thin long pieces)
50 grams ginger (Shredded into thin long pieces)
250 grams cabbage (Shredded into thin long pieces)
 50 grams of garlic (Minced)
1 big Onion (Chopped)
250 grams Mushrooms (Sliced)
Boil and keep some One packed of fresh Noodles. Once the water drains out, add a little bit of sesame oil and mix the noodles.
2-3 Green chillies (depends on your taste preference)
Coriander (for garnishing)
2 Tomatoes (Chopped)
500 grams of Shredded Boiled Chicken (Brest/Thigh).
1) In a Wok, take Oil (2 tablespoons). When hot, put in the ginger and green chilies- sautée them of them.
2) Then, put in the onions and let them turn translucent.
3) Next, put in the garlic and sautée.
4) Before the garlic turns brown, put in the tomatoes and carrots and sautee.
5)Then put in the mushrooms and cabbage.
6) Keep sauteeing the mixture and add a little bit of Soya Sauce and salt to taste. Make sure you taste this dish as it keeps proceeding.
7) Finally put in the stock into the wok of the sorted vegetables and let it come to a boil.
8) In a bowl, put in the noodles, shredded chicken pieces  and pour this soup.
9) Add coriander for garnishing.
PLEASE AVOID  Ajinamoto.It’s extremely harmful for health. Even though it does taste really, really good, it’s a banned ingredient.

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I hope you try out any of these recipes! If you have any doubts on how to go about with them or are confused with any of the steps, feel free to contact me! I’m no expert at all and the recipe is my mom’s. However, I can definitely help 🙂 Also, as I said before, this is the way we enjoy our Thukpa and Momo dinner but there are tons of variations and there’s always scope to experiment. We normally make our Momos out of Maida but this time, we decided to make them in a 50-50 ratio of Wheat and Maida so that they are much healthier! The good part was that there was no difference in terms of the taste and we found them as yummy.

Enjoy!

Cooking with Cookfresh

Hello!

Recently, I had posted a short review about Cookfresh on my Facebook page when I ordered from them for the first time. I have been cooking quite a bit lately and hence I decided to call them again for another meal! (I just couldn’t resist). I was extremely content about my experience this time as well and decided to blog it 🙂

Before I move onto my experience, this is how it works – Go on to the Cookfresh Website and choose a recipe you’d like to get delivered to your doorstep! While choosing the recipe, you do get to see the Calorie count for the meal along with seeing how many people it will serve. Once you place your order you can pay using Cash on delivery or use their payment gateway. When I placed my order, I also received a phone call asking me for a confirmation of time of delivery making it really easy for all you working folks.

This time I ordered the Penang Fish Curry as opposed to the last time’s Pasta! Panang curry takes it name from the city island off the West coast of peninsular Malaysia, Penang, or Pulau Pinang in Malay. This type of curry is richer, and creamer than than a Thai Red Curry.

When I received my Cookfresh box, along with a really pretty recipe card I received box all ingredients measured, chopped, sliced or simply prepped up for me. The recipe was to the point and really easy to follow. Having tried the Penang Curry before, I did come to the conclusion that the recipe was upto the mark and pretty authentic! Though this this recipe didn’t have Peanuts which is usually a crucial element of the Penang Curry, I really didn’t miss them much. I was happy with the fact that along with the ingredients for the fish curry they also sent one cup of uncooked white rice as an accompaniment. The fish was really fresh and neatly packed in a clean box. The smallest of smallest ingredients were also put in little zip lock pouches and labelled well. Since, all I had to do was follow to the recipe to the T, I didn’t have to break my head over constantly ensuring the balance of flavors for the Penang curry paste and the brown sugar were already measured out to reach a desired optimum.

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Here’s the recipe that’s available on the Cookfresh Website as well!

  1. Place a large non-stick wok or wide frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the oil and stir-fry the sliced onions for a few minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
  2. Return the pan to a low heat, add the coconut cream and the curry paste and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Pour over the coconut milk and stir in 50 ml water. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  3. Put the lemongrass on a board and cut in half. Bash with a rolling pin to bruise and flatten the stalks – this will allow their flavour to escape more easily into your curry. Add the lemongrass, lime leaves, and sugar to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes more, or until the sugar dissolves, stirring.
  4. Add the green beans and simmer gently for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until almost tender. Stir in the peppers and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring regularly. The coconut curry sauce needs to be bubbling gently but constantly to cook the vegetables.
  5. When the green beans are tender, taste the curry sauce and add more fish sauce if necessary. At this point you may turn the heat off and let the curry sauce stand until the fish is ready to be cooked.
  6. Season the fish with ground black pepper. Stir the fish into the curry and cook for a further 5 minutes. Turn the fish in the sauce every now and then, but stop as soon as you see it beginning to flake.
  7. Scatter the crisp onions, coriander leaves and roughly torn basil on the curry and serve.

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This is the box that I ordered last time – Penne Alla Vodka! I have written about this particular box here. I HIGHLY recommend this pasta.

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As I mentioned in my previous review, there are a couple things I would want to point out. Firstly, even though the website gives you a calorie count of the meal, I would love to see many more healthier quick meal options. Secondly, I did feel that it is a tad bit expensive for the simple reason that in the end of the day a person as to cook the meal on their own. The good part is rather than serving a single person, the the meal is  good enough to serve 2-3 people depending on how hungry they are! It also saves you the troubles of going to the grocery store and buying full packets of ingredients you may not ever use again.

If you live in Delhi or Gurgaon and want to try it out, here’s an  20% discount on Cookfresh, here’s a  coupon code that you can use from my side  – MMHEALTHY

Ill see you soon! Another post this week itself 🙂

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