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Archive for July 15, 2014

PRODUCT: Gourmet Lassi From That Indian Drink

We wish Ipshita Pall would invite us to dinner. Now that we’ve had her lassi yogurt drink, we’re dying to taste her food.

Ms. Pall is a trained French culinary chef experienced in Indian-Latin fine dining.

We enjoy all lassi, but so far, we like That Indian Drink’s products the best. Chef-crafted, they use fresh fruit instead of purchased concentrates and purées. And oh, the spices!

The spices make a delightful difference—so much so that Chef Ipshita and her husband, Amrit Singh, were convinced to sell it commercially (their company is called The Indian Milk & Honey Co.). The result are three flavors, each more wonderful than the next:

  • Alphonse Mango Lassi
  • Blueberry Cardamom Lassi
  • Raspberry Cinnamon Lassi
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    The ingredients include rBST-free lowfat milk, fruit, live active cultures, cane sugar and spices; 130 to 150 calories per eight-ounce serving. That Indian Drink isn’t just good, it’s good for you!

    Each bottle delivers more than a full serving of fruit, 7 grams of protein, dietary fiber, probiotics, antioxidants and addictive deliciousness.

       

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    Blueberry Cardamom is one of four delicious fruit flavors. Photo courtesy The Indian Milk & Honey Co.

     
    Look for That Indian Drink at Whole Foods Markets and other natural foods channels. Here’s the store locator.

    WHAT IS LASSI?

    Lassi is a traditional Indian-style yogurt-based drink blended with ripe fruits and spices—in essence, the original smoothie.

    The word “lassi” means “yogurt drink” in Hindi. The light, cool and creamy beverage originated in India around 1000 B.C.E. The probiotic cultures in the yogurt are believed to have healing properties in Ayurvedic medicine.

    As with kefir, another yogurt-based beverage that originated in the Middle East, lassi can often be tolerated by lactose-intolerant people. The probiotic bacteria compensate for the lack of an intolerant person’s production of lactase, the enzyme that digests milk proteins.

     

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    Surprise friends and family with a refreshing
    glass of Lassi. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE
    NIBBLE.

     

    Lassi is a simpler recipe than kefir.

  • Kefir is made by adding a colony of bacteria and yeast to milk.
  • Lassi can be made simply by mixing milk or water into plain or flavored yogurt. Some historians believe that lassi may have been created as a way to stretch yogurt in the bowl, by stirring some liquid into it.
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    You can find plain lassi, sweet lassi and savory lassi.

    Depending on the milk with which it is made—cow, goat, sheep, soy, water buffalo and yak—the taste and texture of the drink will vary widely.

    WHEN TO DRINK LASSI

    In India, lassi is served as an apéritif, drunk savory with meals, enjoyed sweet as a light dessert, or as a healthful sweet or savory refreshment at any time of day.

    Savory lassi is a perfect drink with spicy Indian food. Sweet lassi—yogurt and fruit often blended with ice cubes these days—is a smoothie, appropriate for a quick breakfast, a light lunch, rejuvenating snack or a light dessert.

     

      

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    RECIPE: Homemade Tomato Ketchup

    Not surprisingly, cookbook author Danielle Walker makes her own condiments. Why? They deliver better flavor than mass-produced products, and in the case of tomato ketchup and barbecue sauce, a better sweetener than high fructose corn syrup, and less sweetener.

    Danielle is following up on her the Paleo Diet-focused Against All Grain (10 months on the New York Times Best Sellers list) with the upcoming Meals Made Simple (out September 2nd, but you can pre-order now).

    You can make your own ketchup in just five minutes of prep time, plus 45 minutes of cooking. How can you resist the opportunity to impress your palate, your family, your friends?

    After you’ve made your first batch, you can experiment with your favorite seasonings: chipotle, curry, garlic, horseradish, jalapeño, sriracha, whatever.

    Danielle chose honey as the sweetener in her recipe, but you can use agave (just use half the amount, since it’s twice as sweet), maple syrup, even cane sugar.

    RECIPE: HOMEMADE TOMATO KETCHUP

    Ingredients For 2 Cups

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 26-ounce jar or box tomato purée
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 whole cloves*
  • 10 whole allspice berries*
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    homemade-ketchup-daniellewalkerMealsMadeSimple-230r

    Make it yourself! Photo courtesy Danielle Walker.

     
    __________________________
    *If you’ve had these spices on the shelf for years, they’ve lost a lot of potency. It’s time to buy fresh versions, or “borrow” some from a friend or neighbor.

     

    lumberjack-cheddar-swiss-230

    It tastes even better with quality ketchup.
    Photo courtesy Cheese & Burger Society.

     

    Preparation

    1. PLACE the oil in a deep skillet or saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes, until fragrant.

    2. ADD the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and reduced by half.

    3. REMOVE the onion, cloves and allspice. Bring to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator.

    Variations

    Make the ketchup without the cloves and allspice. You can divide it into half cup batches and flavor them accordingly (seasonings provided per half cup of ketchup).

  • Chipotle Ketchup: 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin, chipotle chile powder and lime juice
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  • Cranberry Ketchup: 2 tablespoons chopped fresh or frozen cranberries, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice.
  • Curry Ketchup: 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, 1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice.
  • Garlic Ketchup: 1 clove garlic, finely chopped, 1/2 teaspoon lime juice.
  • Horseradish Ketchup: 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish.
  • Jalapeño Ketchup: 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped canned jalapeños, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.
  • Sriracha Ketchup: 1 teaspoon sriracha or other hot sauce, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice.
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    Your own blend: Anything goes!

      

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    RECIPE: Adult Ice Pops

    Here’s a way to enjoy Happy Hour in the heat: Turn your favorite fruit cocktail into an adult ice pop.

    We started with the Margarita, re-interpreting the Strawberry Frozen Margarita as a Strawberry Margarita Ice Pop. You can substitute the fruit and spirits to adapt your favorite cocktail.

    Prep time: is 15 minutes plus freezing time (overnight).

    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY MARGARITA ICE POPS

    Ingredients For 8 – 10 Pops

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (16 ounces) fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
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    strawberry-margarita-pops-driscolls-230

    Truly frozen cocktails: Strawberry Margarita Ice Pops. Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     
    Preparation

    1. BRING water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely.

    2. PURÉE strawberries in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to yield 1-1/2 cups purée.

    3. COMBINE strawberry purée with sugar syrup, lime juice, tequila and orange liqueur. Pour into ice pop molds.

    4. FREEZE for 2 hours, then sprinkle the base of the pops with salt and add the sticks. Let freeze at least 12 hours longer or overnight until frozen solid.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Summer Salad With Berries & Mandarins

    A salad so fruity, you could have it for
    dessert. Photo courtesy
    PeachValleyCafe.com.

     

    Doesn’t this salad from Florida-based Peach Valley Café burst with summer?

    Blueberries, mandarin segments, strawberries, frisée and baby greens are garnished with shaved Parmesan cheese, toasted almonds and homemade peach ginger dressing.

    You can add or substitute any other seasonal fruits: bananas, peaches, kiwi or other favorites.

    GINGER PEACH DRESSING

    Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons flaked coconut
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    OPTIONAL SALAD INGREDIENTS

  • Lettuce: bibb/Boston, endive/radicchio, frisée, mesclun, romaine
  • Fruit: bananas, berries, kiwi, mandarin or orange, nectarines, peaches, pineapple
  • Onion: chive, green onion, red onion, sweet onion
  • Nuts and seeds: almonds, chia, flaxseed, pecans, pepitas
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    Mix, match and enjoy.

      

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