Homemade Churros

churros

Just like the Deep Fried Oreos, I learnt about Churros on my favourite food show Carnival Eats. Since then I have been itching to try some.

My brother is currently in Spain and I have been coaxing him daily to try Churros. I don’t know if he tried them yet but the very thought of Churros made me make some in my kitchen.

Churros are essentially a Spanish – Mexican dessert popularly sold as street food. Outside these countries they are treated as a dessert and served with lip smacking dips or accompaniments. But the chocolate sauce happens to be its best pal.

mexican churros

Churros is made using Choux Paste – a flour dough consisting of eggs which is extremely difficult to get right. When I found this eggless easy recipe of Churros here, I got excited and tried it the very next day.

The Churros originated in Spain and then brought to Mexico by the colonists. There is a slight difference between the 2 versions (not sharing here due to ambiguity in reasons I found) but both are deep fried and look and taste the same. These are thick, 3 to 4 inch long strips of fried dough, coated with sugar and served with a sweet dip. They are always served warm and fresh; never fried and kept beforehand.

homemade churros

⇒Churros work great as a party snack or when friends get-together.

⇒The dough can be made in large quantity and frozen to be used as and when required.

⇒Try serving Churros with variety of sweet dips or sauce.

⇒You can also try flavouring the dough to have a burst of flavours in your mouth when you bite into this flaky goodness!

 

Homemade Churros Recipe

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1.5 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup water
Oil for frying
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
Chocolate Sauce to serve

Method
Step 1 – Take water, sugar, salt and oil in a thick bottomed pan. Place over medium heat and bring it to a boil.
Step 2 – Take off flame and add flour to the pan. Mix vigorously using a whisk, till everything comes together to form a ball.
Step 3 – Take a piping bag and attach a star shaped nozzle to it.
Step 4 – Put half of the flour mixture into the bag and test by piping some of the dough onto a plate.
Step 5 – Heat oil, about 3 to 4 inches deep, in a wok / kadhai. Pipe out 3 inch long churros and fry over medium heat till they are crisp and light brown on the outside.
Step 6 – Remove on an absorbent paper and slightly cool.
Step 7 – In a bowl, mix powdered sugar and cinnamon powder well. Toss the churros lightly in the sugar- cinnamon mix. Pick each Churro, tap off extra coating and place on a serving plate. Serve immediately along with Chocolate Sauce.

This recipe makes makes approx 20 to 25 Churros

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Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream

homemade strawberry icecream

I don’t know why I have always shied away from making ice-cream at home..especially, when it’s one of the preferred dessert of the family. I guess it’s always about getting the perfect texture – only creaminess and no ice crystals that made me run away from the thought of making ice-cream at home.

I always knew whenever I plan to make ice-cream at home it will definitely be using the below given easy-peasy recipe which many ladies of one of my recipe communities swear by. It is a no-cook, 10 minute recipe calling for just 3 ingredients; fresh cream, milkmaid and fruit puree/pulp.

strawberry icecream

Husband is an ice-cream lover and that’s how I got hooked to it. Obviously, Nabeel followed suit and now, it’s a fortnightly ritual post dinner to walk down to the nearby ice-cream parlour, known for its fresh hand churned ice-creams, for a quick treat.

We usually like eating Strawberries on their own or once in a while I whip up a Strawberry milkshake but this year the berries are not in their best form – very tart and sour, making it impossible to eat them raw. That’s how I decided to use them to make an ice-cream.

Did you know Strawberry is one of the top 3 flavours of ice-cream along with Vanilla and Chocolate?

The Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream Recipe shared is jhat-pat (jiffy) kind and I love the fact that it’s so convenient –  you just decided to make ice-cream and within 30minutes the mixture is ready and sitting in your freezer. I must admit this was not a 100% crystal free ice-cream I mainly suspect that’s because of the sugar and water that goes into making the sauce. If you use natural pulp then the ice crystals are nil. However, we enjoyed the luscious ice-cream which was creamy and full of flavour.

easy strawberry icecream

Homemade Strawberry Ice-cream Recipe
Makes 400ml

200ml / 1 cup milkmaid
250ml fresh cream
2 cups chopped strawberries
2 tbsp sugar (this may vary as per the tartness of the strawberries)
Red food colour, only if you desire

Step 1 – Start by preparing the Strawberry sauce. Mix strawberries with sugar in a thick bottomed pan, add about 1/4th cup water and cook till the berries are soft and sugar has melted to a sauce consistency. This may take about 10 minutes or so. Once done, keep aside and cool. The batch of strawberries I used to make the ice cream was very sour so I had to cook them with sugar. If your berries are sweet you may omit this step and roughly mash the strawberries.

Step 2 – In a big bowl, whip cream till frothy.

Step 3 – Pour in the milkmaid and mix well.

Step 4 – Add in the Strawberry sauce and whip for a minute to mix well. Do not over whip, as all the berries will liquidize. An ice-cream with fruit chunks tastes much better than a smooth one in my opinion.

Step 5 – Pour the ice-cream mixture in a container. Add few drops of food colour, if using. Mix well.

Step 6 – Cover the container with a tight fitting lid and keep in freezer for 4 hours.

Step 7 – Remove the ice-cream and mix using a fork. Place the ice-cream back in freezer till frozen completely.

Step 8 – Scoop and serve as desired.

fresh strawberry icecream

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Other Strawberry Recipes you should try

Berry Lollies

Strawberry & Guava Juice

Real Strawberry Pops

 

Party Shake Ideas for KIDS

party shake ideas

Planning a menu for a kid’s gathering is a mind-boggling task. While the food items are somehow easier to think of and finalise, what gets most of us is what drink to serve the kids.

I know the most common and easiest drink served at kids parties is the “fresh n juicy” mango drink but let’s admit it is as unhealthy and inappropriate as any soda-based or tetra pak drink.

For a few parties, I too served it to my son’s friends with guilt of course. That changed one day when I had a ‘Eureka’ moment of whipping up yummy shakes. Tried, tested and loved by Nabeel and his friends too!

Sharing below some recipe ideas of shakes you must try for your child’s next birthday party


Almond and Banana Milkshake (Makes 1 glass)

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon honey or more as required
  • 4-5 nos almonds
  • ½ cup chilled milk
  • Honey for garnish
  • Crushed ice, if desired

Method:

  • Blend together the given ingredients and serve immediately.
  • For a fancy presentation, drizzle honey along the rim of a tall glass and freeze it for a few minutes for honey to harden. Pour the milk shake and serve.

Chocolate and Coconut Milkshake (Makes 2 glasses)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup vanilla ice-cream
  • 4 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Crushed ice, if desired
  • Desiccated coconut for garnish
  • Chocolate chips or vermicelli for garnish

Method:

  • Blend together the given ingredients and serve immediately.
  • Dip the glass rim in milk and then in desiccated coconut, pour the milkshake and top with chocolate chips or vermicelli.

True Berry Milkshake (Makes 2 glasses)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup assorted berries (strawberry, mulberry, cranberry, blueberry), pitted and slightly crushed
  • ½ cup mashed frozen banana
  • 1 cup chilled milk
  • Honey or sugar as per taste
  • Crushed ice, if desired
  • Cocktail paper umbrella for garnish
  • Some chopped berries to top

Method:

  • Blend together the given ingredients and serve immediately.
  • Insert the cocktail umbrella in the glass, top with chopped berries and serve.

Orange and Carrot Shake (Makes 2 glasses)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup vanilla ice cream
  • ½ cup shredded carrots
  • Crushed ice, if desired
  • Cocktail paper umbrella for garnish
  • Orange slice for garnish

Method:

  • Blend together the given ingredients and serve immediately.
  • Insert the cocktail umbrella in the glass, place the orange slice on the rim and serve.
  • Note: The drink has bits of carrot which might go well with older kids. If serving to young kids its best avoided as straining the drink might rob it of its goodness and texture.

Dates and Vanilla Milkshake (Makes 1 glass)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup vanilla ice cream
  • 3–4 seedless dates
  • 1/4th cup chilled milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, or as required
  • Crushed ice, if desired
  • Chocolate wafer roll for garnish

Method:

  • Blend together the given ingredients and serve immediately.
  • Insert a chocolate wafer roll in the glass and serve.

Disclaimer: This article was originally written for and published on BabyChakra

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Stained Glass Cookies – Christmas Special

Stained Glass Cookies – These pretty looking cookies caught my eye few months ago during my usual “blog inspiration” search. I knew instantly they would feature as my Christmas special recipe on the blog. And, here they are.

stained glass cookies

The cookies are nothing but sugar cookies with a colorful center of crushed sugar candies. The soft cookie melts in your mouth leaving a hard, crunchy candy center to bite on. Unlike other cookies, this one is quite adventurous on the palate.

christmas ornament

To make the cookies more Christmasy I have flavoured them with cinnamon powder, which explains the light brown tinge. They make good edible ornaments too.

star cookies

While I chose the flower shape to make my cookies, Nabeel made Stained Glass Cookies using his favourite smiley cutters. The star shape in particular. I think it looks so pretty and fun. Glad Nabeel is getting creative with food : )

The recipe is Basic Eggless Sugar Cookie Dough which I have shared earlier in this recipe –  Halloween Finger Cookies

christmas cookies

Stained Glass Cookies – Christmas Special (Basic Sugar Cookies flavoured with Cinnamon)

Ingredients
½ cup powdered sugar
½ cup butter, cold
½ teaspoon Vanilla essence
1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon powder
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Milk, if required
Colored Sugar Candy – approx 1 cup (I used Poppins. Fox candy also works well)

Method
Step 1 – In a dry bowl, place butter and sugar together. Cream them using a whisk.
Step 2 – Beat the mixture, till light and fluffy.
Step 3 – Add in the vanilla essence, mix.
Step 4 – Carefully fold in the flour, cinnamon powder and baking powder, mix gently to make dough. Use a spoon or two of milk, if required.
Step 5 – Rest the dough in fridge for 10mins before shaping.
Step 6 – Divide the dough into 2 parts and roll them out, one by one, into 1/4inch thickness.
Step 7 – Use any shape cookie cutter but ensure you have 2 sizes available in it.
Step 8 – Use the larger cutter and cut out cookies. Then use the smaller sized cutter and cut out the center. Place the cookies on a lined or greased baking sheet.
Step 9 – Crush same colored sugar candy and carefully place it in the centre hollow part of the cookies. If you wish to use the cookies as Christmas Tree Ornaments then make a hole in them before putting to bake. Refer to this image 

stained glass cookies 2
Step 10 – Place the cookies in a hot oven which has been pre-heating for 10 minutes at 180 C. The cookies should bake in about 15 minutes.
Step 11 – Remove from oven and cool the cookies.

Hope you enjoy making and sharing these cookies as much as I did. You can also try out the below listed Christmas Special Recipes.

Santa Crunch
Yule Log 
Edible Christmas Tree Decorations – Post 1 & Post 2

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Kaju Katli

kaju katli

Kaju Katli the much loved cashewnut based Indian sweet needs no introduction!

Every month Nabeel has a show n tell activity in school. As per the given theme, children are asked to get objects / images and talk about them in class. This month’s theme was Diwali. Kaju Katli was the first thing that came to my mind for Nabeel has this undying love for the sweet he relishes year round. And, instead of buying the sweet I decided to make it at home.

Now, Kaju Katli is also known for how difficult it is to make, atleast that is what I have heard. So, after a lot of mental debate I decided to give it a try. Trust me this sweet is as simple as it can get. With just 3 ingredeints required I can say it is instant in comparison to any other Indian sweet. I have already made a couple of batches and the product keeps getting better. If you are holding back because of all the myth surrounding kaju katli then please don’t. This Diwali treat your family and friends with some Homemade Kaju Katli.

indian sweet

 ***********************Happy Diwali*****************************

Homemade Kaju Katli

Ingredients
Cashewnuts / Kaju – 1 cup
Sugar – 1/3rd cup
Water – 1/4th cup
Cardamon (elaichi) powder – ½ teaspoon
Ghee / Clarified Butter – ½ teaspoon
Powdered or slivered nuts for decoration

Method
Step 1 – Grind the cashew nuts to a fine powder. As you grind them they tend to release oil and get lumpy, which is ok as long as the powder is spread out to dry, after grinding. You can spread over a tray for few hours before using. Spreading is not a vital step but in order to have a smoother and softer product this is advisable.

IMG_20171010_111832
Step 2 – Put water and sugar in a non stick pan and let the mixture boil on medium flame till it converts to 1 string sugar syrup.

IMG_20171010_112340
Step 3 – Immediately add in the cashew nuts powder and mix continuously till all the ingredients come together.

IMG_20171010_112558
Step 4 – Add the cardamom powder and ghee, mix vigorously.

IMG_20171010_112842
Step 5 – Remove the mixture on a greased surface and cool by spreading it with a spoon. Keep mixing and spreading till the mixture comes together like dough.

IMG_20171010_113142
Step 6 – Take a greased tray / thali and spread out the kaju katli mixture, keeping a thickness of ½ cm. Using a greased knife cut into diamond shape, sprinkle nuts and refrigerate till set.
Step 7 – Remove Kaju Katli pieces from tray and serve or store.

kaju barfi

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This Diwali hop on The Krazy Kids Karnival Bandwagon for some Family Fun Time

While Diwali is all about traditional fun, one can always take a break from the monotony and do something unconventional. If you are looking for fun family time doing something crazy, this Diwali, then head to The Krazy Kids Karnival which is coming to town on the 4th & 5th November 2017 (new date of event )

 

Spread over 2 acres of fun space, the event will have interactive fun & learning workshops, amazing live shows, dramatic amusements & adventure camps. Aimed at attracting children aged 0 to 15 along with their parents, with wide range of fun activities for the children, tasty treats for the family and great shopping experience for the parents.

IMG-20171012-WA0000

Your favorite characters like Chota Bheem, Doraemon, Gajju Bhai, Chacha Bhatija along with Guru Aur Bhole will be awaiting your presence with loads of goodies for your children, come join their gang !

What? The Krazy Kids Karnival – Family Fun Time

When? 4th & 5th November – from  11.00 Am – 11.00 Pm

Where? 12 hours of non -stop entertainment at City Park , Bandra, BKC, Mumbai. 

Tickets? Entry Rs 200/- Per Kid / Adult.  Can be booked on BookMyShow. Free Entry for Kids below 3 Yrs.

 

I am going with the super mommies and kiddos of JAMM’s network. Will you be joining me? 

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Review – Jumble Tumble, Mulund

If you have been following my posts, then you know this summer vacation I resolved not to enroll Nabeel for any fancy “summer classes”, this year he was left totally on his own, indulging in unsupervised, unguided indoor and outdoor activities with his new found group of friends. This time I just let him be, like how kids should be.
But, once in a while, when some or the other member of his gang was away on a holiday or at a class he did get bored and sluggish doing nothing. That’s when I resorted to indoor play areas to uplift him and break the monotony of home bound play. If you have been following (again) my reviews of indoor play areas, you know Nabeel and I have explored almost all of them in Mumbai city. The latest one on the list is Jumble Tumble, which is situated in R-Mall, Mulund.

Jumble Tumble Mulund

Jumble Tumble (JT) opened its doors less than a month ago and has already gained lot of popularity amongst the local crowd, mainly because there is no such activity and entertainment place within decent travel limits (read, with kids)

Jumble Tumble has the usual play sections like ball pool, roller slides, trampoline, rock climbing wall, foam pit, rope baskets and zip line, all of which are decently spaced out, erected on a strong structure and built with smooth finish ensuring safe and secure play for kids. The place is average sized but because of its smart layout it gives you an illusion of huge space that is inviting and colourful just like any kids entertainment zone should be. It definitely exudes those happy, cheerful vibes that kids need to feel in-order to get comfortable with a new place.

IMG_20170523_121738

Trampoline, Foam Pit & Rock Climbing Wall

 

Nabeel enjoying the zip line at Jumble Tumble

What is unique to Jumble Tumble is the collection of various sit down games and toys like the supermarket setup life sized building blocks, few board games and superb assortment of toys on the attractive toy rack. This is more for kids who are tired jumping around and need to cool down without discontinuing their play.

IMG_20170523_125512

Nabeel & his friend enjoying the sit down games after a wild session of jumping and bouncing in the play zone

It has an in-house café serving the regular kids favourites and a big seating area; for moms while kids play and for birthday or any celebration gatherings. I like the fact that every corner of the play zone is visible from the seating area making it easier for moms to keep a watchful eye on the kids. Plus, the fact that it is situated in a shopping mall makes it good place to drop kids and indulge in some peaceful shopping time.

The price for an hour’s play is 350 (weekdays) & 400 (weekends). JT offers attractive membership rates for regulars and themed birthday party packages.
Kids between 8 months to 10 years are allowed in the play zone.

For more details look up here : Jumble Tumble

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