Lifestyle

Let it Rain: Monsoon Favorites {Featuring Sugar & Spice by Radhika}

Hey guys!

I am so glad that the rains are finally here! Delhi really needed the weather to change.I have a love-hate relationship with the Monsoon season. Even though the temperature does cool down considerably, it’s gets to be extremely humid & sticky (sigh). Today, I share with you  how I try and make the best out a rainy day.  Having followed Radhika’s blog Sugar n Spice by Radhika for a while now, I can confidently say that I am in love with every single recipe she has posted till date. I wanted to bring the best possible recipes for you to enjoy while sipping a hot cuppa coffee and who could be better than Radhika herself to share some her favorites. If you love these recipes, go on to her blog and see more food magic happen!  Moving on, I have also shared some of my fashion and beauty favorites for the season! From bags, shoes to hair masks, I have all my staples covered.  Finally, I want to thank each and everyone one of you for following me on Instagram! We have crossed 1,000 followers and I can’t even begin to describe how much that means to me! Please do spread the love 🙂

 FASHION AND BEAUTY

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1. Transparent Bag: Come monsoon and I bring out my transparent bag to use when I’m going out for a quick errand. Since this bag is quite little I can carry only a couple of my essentials (Click here to see what’s in my bag ) but nonetheless, it works really well to keep things from not getting wet. I also love the hint of noon that literally brightens up a dull gloomy day. I got this one from Metamorphosis last year! They do have some really nice Monsoon totes this year so can’t wait to get my hands on them.

2. Jelly Flats: I try my best to ensure that most of my accessories are waterproof and hence another set of items I am loving are Jelly sandals. Though I absolutely love Rain boots, especially The Hunter Boots, for Delhi rains, jelly sandals to the job well! Both the pairs (Hot pink with gold details and Transparent with Pearl details) are from River Island. To be really truthful, I love wearing these on a non rainy day too! 

3. Waterproof Mascara: When it comes to my beauty and hair care routine, I try and keep it as simple as possible. The main problem I face around this time is frizzy hair and dry skin. For makeup too, I try keeping it minimalist sticking to waterproof products. Currently, I am absolutely obsessed with Maybelline’s The Falsies Volume Express Mascara. I don’t know how this Mascara works but it’s absolutely magical! Not only is it volumnizing and waterproof, it’s totally clump free as well! It really lengthens the lashes without making them look spider like. 

4. Soap & Glory Body Wash: For skin care, I’ve been using Soap & Glory’s Foam Call (Dual use shower and Bath Body Wash). This is handsdown one of the best body washes ever! Foam Call is formualted with M-SUDS moisture system molecules and grapeseed EFAs to reduce the drying effects of your daily soap up. Along with this body wash, I like using the Butter Yourself Body cream. It basically is a ludicrously fruity blend of super smoothing Shea Butter, orange waterjuice, fig pulp extract amd almond, mango and moringa oils. It is specially formulated to soothe and soften even the driest skin; it works wonders on rough elbows, bumpy upper arms and flaky lower legs – boosting hydration and richly nourishing the skin with melt-while-you-massage. Both these products are available across Sephora India stores.

5. DIY Hair Mask: Frizzy hair is one of my pet peeves and I try my best to avoid the same. My first trick is to cold rince my hair after shampooing and conditioning it. This smoothens the hair cuticles and prevents humidity from causing any catastrophic effect. Also, never ever leave the house with your hair damp—anything short of absolutely dry hair tends to frizz up quickly. As you all know, I love my home made Hair masks and of course, I couldn’t restrain my self from sharing one more with you all. For this hair mask, all you will need is a small cup of olive oil ,half a cucumber chopped and one egg. Mix all these ingrdients in a bowl and leave them on for atleast 2 hours. Rinse it once with green tea cooled down (This really works!) and then shampoo your hair like you normally do!

6. BOOK: Often rainy days are spent sitting at home and relaxing. My perfect day would be to sit in a cozy spot with a hot cup of coffee, a yummy snack and a fun gripping book! After having heard so much about #GIRL BOSS by Sophia Amoruso, I finally decided to give in and buy the soft copy. The hardcover copy is a tad bit expensive and since it’s imported it takes a while to reach India! The kindle edition however is extremely convenient and a lot cheaper too. This book is a MUST-READ for every girl! Though it’s a simple read it definitely does shout out to you and connect to you, especially if you’re a young entrepreneur. Read this interview with Sophia Amorosue on Elle Magazine to know more about the book and the author herself!

7. TV SHOW: Okay, I admit it. I am absolutely obsessed with binge watching TV shows. This season, I have been watching Vampire Diaries, religiously. I don’t understand of how foolish I could be to not have watched this show earlier. It was probably my hate for Twilight that kept me away from anything Vampire related. This show however is my new favorite since Gossip Girl ended (which was long, long ago). From mindless drama, love triangles to some serious vampire fiction, this is the perfect show to watch if you’re into additive teen-flicks. Though it’s not a really ‘intelligent’ show, it’s actually a lot of fun! 

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FOOD (Recipes by Sugar & Spice by Radhika)

1. Chocolate Chip Banana Bread “Moist, fluffy, subtly sweet..this Chocolate Chip Banana Bread has many fans! This banana+chocolate combination is sinfully delicious..try this recipe to taste a piece of heaven! “Despite their name, Banana breads actually don’t taste like breads at all. They’re more like sweet, moist cakes that are amazingly fluffy. Why they’re called breads is beyond my understanding, probably because they’re ideally made in a loaf tin giving it that “bread” look.. but who cares what they’re called as long as you can get a piece with some hot coffee. Absolutely perfect for a rainy day.” – Radhika

banana bread 1 INGREDIENTS

  • Flour, 2 cups
  • Baking Powder, 1 teaspoon
  • Salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Softened Butter, 1/3 cup
  • White Granulated Sugar, 1/2 cup
  • Eggs, 2 (at room temp.)
  • Overripe Bananas, 3, mashed into a paste
  • Buttermilk, 2 tablespoons (you can substitute it with yogurt)
  • Vanilla essence, 1 teaspoon
  • Chocolate Chips, 3/4 cup (plus extra to sprinkle on top)

 METHOD

In a bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder and keep aside.

In a separate bowl whisk together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the eggs and whisk gently for a minute. Please make sure the eggs are at room temperature. Cold eggs won’t mix properly. Add in the mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla essence.

Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients little by little until everything is properly mixed and a thick batter is formed. Do not over mix the batter or your bread will turn tough and rubbery. Fold in the chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.

Transfer to greased loaf tin (9×5 inches) and bake for 45-50 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or until a skewer comes out clean. I normally take out the banana bread and cover it loosely with foil paper after 20 minutes and then continue baking to avoid heavy browning on top. For best results keep checking your bread every 5 minutes by inserting a skewer after 40 minutes. Stop baking once the skewer comes out clean with a little chocolate and crumbs.

Transfer bread and cut into pieces once it has cooled down a bit. Serve for breakfast or with evening tea! I gobble it up as a late night snack too.. its perfect everytime.

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 2. Corn Fritters with Simple Red Chili Salsa  ” A cup of tea with these Vegetarian Corn Fritters is all you need to comfort you on a rainy day! Perfect for this season..these fritters are bite sized and taste great with fresh Red Chili Salsa. Monsoons are here and all you need is a cup of tea and a few pakoras to comfort you but what if I told you there’s a way to jazz up your good ‘ol pakoras in no time? My corn fritters are crispy and flavorful, basically comfort food at its very best! If you’re on a diet now is the time to look away because they’re deep fried (as if your pakoras are not :p)  and I have no intention of changing that. Deep fried food has its own charm..yes its unhealthy..yes its fattening..but lets just reserve that argument for some other day. Because right now all I want to do is marvel at these mini crispy balls of sweet corn fritters aka modern corn pakora.” – Radhika fitters1 Serves: 2-3      Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

For the Red Chili Salsa

  • Tomato, 1, skin peeled off
  • Red Chili, 1
  • Garlic Cloves, 3-4
  • Salt to taste

For the Corn Fritters

  • Onion, 1
  • Fresh Red/Green Chili, 1
  • Garlic Cloves, 4-5
  • Coriander, a handful
  • Canned Sweet Corn, 1 cup (Please Note: 1 cup = 240 ml)
  • All Purpose Flour/Maida, 3 tablespoons
  • Corn Flour, 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil for Deep Frying

 METHOD

Make your red chili salsa by grinding all the ingredients under “for the red chili salsa” with a little water until you form a smooth salsa dip.

For the fritters, grind together onion, red chili, garlic cloves and coriander in a blender with a little water until everything is smooth and paste like.

Add in the sweet corns, flour, corn flour, salt and pepper to it and mix. You should have a thick batter that’s not watery at all.

Heat oil in a pan and when its hot drop bite sized amount of batter into it. Take out the fritters when they’re golden and crispy.

Serve with the red chili salsa immediately. They turn soggy when cold.

The Corn Fritters recipe has been adapted by Rak’s Kitchen. The Red Chili Salsa is Radhika’s mom’s recipe. 

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3. Crunchy Caramel Popcorn “These crunchy butterscotch-ey caramel popcorns are the real deal! They are ready in a jiffy, take zero effort and taste divine! You’re never going to buy caramel popcorn again after reading this.” – Radhika

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INGREDIENTS Makes: 2 regular sized popcorns    Time: 10 minutes

  • Butter, 100 grams
  • Caster Sugar, 125 grams
  • Clear Honey, 2 tablespoons
  • Plain Popcorns, 2 packets (without salt) (I’ve used Act II ‘Natural’ popcorns)

METHOD Start with making your popcorns as per the directions on the packet. Once the popcorns are done leave them to cool in a bowl while you prepare the caramel. For the Caramel: In a pan on low flame, melt butter, caster sugar and honey until the sugar dissolves completely. This will take a few minutes. Once the sugar has melted and the mixture appears a little foamy, increase the flame to high and boil the caramel for 2-3 minutes or until it reaches a golden color. Keep stirring constantly and scrape off the bottom ever so often. Switch off the flame once the caramel reaches a golden color and pour it all over the popcorns. Using two spoons mix the popcorns while coating the caramel onto them. Transfer them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and line in a single layer to let them cool for 15 minutes. Once the caramel has cooled and popcorns are crunchy break them up into individual popcorns (they will most likely stick together because of the caramel). Enjoy these crunchy caramel popcorns with your favorite movie! Store these popcorns in an air tight container for up to 3 days. For the best crunch, consume the same day. Radhika’s TIP: To get rid of the caramel from the pans and bowls, simply fill them with hot water and leave them for some time. The caramel will come off on its own. Repeat if necessary. popcorn2

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Hope you enjoyed this post! If you have any queries, email me at sarasuri@gmail.com and I will get back to you 🙂 Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook & Instagram. PS: An extremely exciting collaboration & giveaway will be up on the blog super soon, so stay tuned!

Mélange of Musings is a blog by Sara Suri. She's currently pursuing a Masters in Sociology but through this blog that shares her gastronomic adventures, travel tales, Delhi diaries and fashion & beauty takes.

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