Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Cookbook Mania

Here is an exclusive recipe from the book Modern Spice, published by Random House India and available at Nature's Basket stores in Mubai Delhi and Pune. The author Monica Bhide is a food writer and blogger whose articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economic Times, Femina, Bon Appetit and eGullet. In addition to her writing, Monica owns and operates her own cooking school which has been featured in Bon Appetit.

Shrimp in Green Mango Butter Sauce

While green mangoes are still available in the markets, treat yourself to this delightful shrimp curry infused with the tartness of green mangoes cooked in a sweet glossy butter sauce. Serve this with steamed basmati rice.

Serves: 4

Prep/Cook Time: 20 minutes

  • 3½ tablespoons unsalted butter

  • ½ teaspoon vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

  • 10 fresh curry leaves

  • 2 large or 4 to 6 small shallots, thinly sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

  • ¼ teaspoon table salt to start

  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup chicken stock

  • 1½ pounds or about 650 grams jumbo

  • shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1 cup diced, peeled green (unripe) mango

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • ½ cup water

  • Half a fresh lemon


1. Heat two and a half tablespoons of the butter and the oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until the foam subsides. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and sauté just until the mustard seeds pop.

2. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté for two to three minutes until aromatic and golden.

3. Add the turmeric, salt, pepper, broth, and shrimp and simmer for a few minutes until the shrimp is almost cooked through. Remove from the heat.

4. In a medium pan, melt the remaining one tablespoon of butter on medium heat. Add the mango and sugar and sauté for a minute. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook for five to seven minutes until the mango starts to soften.

5. Transfer the mango mixture to the saucepan containing the shrimp. Mix well, then reheat gently. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Mango Mania!

Lay down the red carpet to welcome the king of fruits! It’s time to take your taste-buds for a tropical vacation and taste a slice of sunshine itself. Savour the intense sweetness and the warm sensual aroma as you bite into the amber succulence of the most awaited fruit of the season-the royal Mango. Salty pickles, tangy chutneys, sweet marmalades, am ras and jams, refreshing am panna and squashes and salads are a few of the many recipes that mangoes inspire.

From sweet to spicy, sour to tangy there's a mango recipe to please any palate and suit every mood. The exotic king of fruits unites versatility and nutrition and pleases the palate when it is ripe as well as unripe. When unripe, the mango is rich in Vitamin C. With ripeness comes more or Vitamin A and plenty of sugar. Did you know that the ripe mango, when part of an ice-cream gets protein from the milk making it highly nutritious? Also balanced in food value is a refreshing mango milk shake.  Those on a slimming course beware!

Spicy Mango and Honey baked Ham salad.

'Salsafy' your mango! I serve this with iceberg lettuce leaves. Roll spoonfuls of the salad into lettuce wraps and enjoy the contrasts of flavours and textures. Sweet Mango savoury chicken, spicy chilli, and cool crunchy iceberg lettuce. Eliminate chillies and the kids will love this as well.

Serves: 2-4, Time: 25 mins

For the dressing

• 1 cup salsa sauce

• 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander,

• 1 tbsp lemon juice

• Salt to taste

• 1 chilli minced

• 1 tbsp chilli oil


Mix well and reserve.

For the salad

• 1 cup firm sour –sweet mango diced fine

• 1 cup Honey Baked Ham diced medium

To serve

1 large head Iceberg lettuce


1. 15 – 20 mins before you are ready to eat, fill a large bowl with water and ice, place lettuce in it and put in the refrigerator to chill.

2. In a large bowl combine mango with ham and toss well.

3. Add dressing, mix well and allow to stand so flavours combine.

4. When ready to eat, remove lettuce from fridge, separate out leaves and serve on a platter alongside chilled salad.

Caramelised Mango and Rocket Salad

A variation of the classic Rocket Salad in honour of the Mango season in Mumbai!

Serves 4, Time 10 mins

For dressing

• 1 tsp chilli flakes

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

• salt


Combine, mix and reserve

For the Salad

• 300g rocket leave torn to bite size

• 2 large mangoes, chilled

For Garnish:

1 tbsp cashew nuts, toasted and chopped


1. Just before you are ready to serve salad, slice off the cheeks (the plump sides) of the chilled mangoes. Leave rest of the mango to eat later!

2. Heat a clean pan to very hot, swirl in a little oil to coat base and allow to become very hot. Now, working quickly, place the reserved cheeks of mango flesh side down on the hot pan for exactly 1 min. Be careful, the aim is to caramelize the surface of the slice but have the inside just warm.

3. When done place each mango slice on a plate, top with a handful of Rocket and drizzle with dressing.

4. Garnish with toasted cashew nuts and serve at one.

Buy chicken ham & salami from Natures Basket store at best prices !!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Cookbook Mania

This week we bring to you exciting news! We are pleased to announce that we now have a cook-book section consisting of a wide range of cookbooks by your favourite authors like Nigella Lawson, Karan Anand, Sanjeev Kapoor, Ritu Dalmia at Nature’s Basket! You can now browse through exquisite dinner recipes and purchase the required ingredients all in one go!

A list of some of the books available at our stores:

Any Time Temptation- Sanjeev Kapoor's Any Time Temptations is an outstanding collection of exotic recipes found on the menus of fine-dining restaurants. Now you can cook these dishes at home and delight your near-and-dear ones. Though the product is about soups, salads, sandwiches, snacks and sweets, they can be combined to make a complete healthy meal.

Healing With Food - Dr. Anjali Mukerjee is a name synonymous with health and nutrition. The purpose of Healing with food is to tell us how our lives can be influenced, from sickness and ill health. Food has finally begun to be recognized as an important healing force.

Karen Anand’s International Cooking - This book of international recipes tries to find solutions to what is possible, what isn’t and how to cope with cooking ‘foreign’ recipes in a domestic kitchen in India. Karen tries to be faithful to the original recipes and flavours but has sometimes taken the liberty to be flexible with ingredients.  The recipes in this book are a collection of both aspirational restaurant recipes and easy to make ones, both of which captivate the flavour of that country and its people.

Khana Khazana A Celebration Indian Cookery - Picking the best of the delicacies from a number of states in India Sanjeev Kapoor once again brings a winner.

Microwave Cooking Made Easy-Sanjeev Kapoor takes microwave cooking to another level with his innovative cookbook. Be it the Dal or an Irish Coffee, be it the Smoky Fish Kabab or a Vegetable Idli, microwave cooking is the thing to do!

Non Veg Snacks n Starters- Sanjeev Kapoor’s selection of mouth-watering delights. He says a perfect starter would be the one that teases the taste buds just enough to help you relish the main meal that will follow. Quite often it so happens that one ends up filling their stomachs with the starters for so delicious are they that one just cannot stop eating.

Party Party (Also available in Marathi) - This book, comprising recipes carefully put together by Mrs Nirmala Tilak, will appeal to those who often face difficulties in choosing the right vegetarian dishes for their friends. Its is full is of tasty recipes, from difference parts of India that range from the Saraswat to the Gujarati, mild Bengali to the favourite spicy Punjabi cuisine and also includes a few continental dishes and decadent desserts.

The Mainland China Cookbook - The Mainland China Cookbook includes all the Chinese restaurant chain’s favourite dishes and teaches you how to whip up the perfect Chinese meal in your kitchen. Spicy Hunan prawns, quick fried snow peas with garlic pearls, chicken with chilli and cashewnuts, lamb with cumin, hot and sour soup—try these and more. Accompanied with notes on the main regional styles, techniques and tips for easy cooking, and a list of suppliers in all major metros,

Modern Spice Indian Food Today – Monica Bhide with her book teaches you how to cook Indian food for today’s kitchen, giving you recipes that are quick to make, short on ingredients, and full of global influences. Try an Indian inspired cocktail; soups and salads using masalas; Indian-style stir fries, and fantastic spice combinations for meat dishes. Whether it’s for a quick meal or a stylish party, here are recipes bursting with flavour and originality. Full of passion and mouth-watering ideas, Modern Spice is the most fun you’ll ever have in your kitchen.

How to be a Domestic Goddess- How to be a Domestic Goddess by our beloved Nigella Lawson is not about being a goddess, but about feeling like one. What this deliciously reassuring and mouthwatering cookbook demonstrates is that it's not hard to bake a tray of muffins or a sponge layer cake -- but the rewards they bring are disproportionately high. There's everything from cupcakes to chocolate cakes; from brownies to bagels; from gooseberry-cream crumble to double apple pie; from pizza to pistachio macaroons; scones and muffins; cheesecakes and steamed syrup sponge; from baklava to a Barbie cake; as well as children's cooking, Christmas baking and other wonderful family festive treats -- all illustrated with ravishing photographs throughout.

How To Eat & The Pleasures principles of Good Food- In the introduction to this volume, Nigella Lawson explains why it is called ‘How To Eat’, rather than ‘How To Cook’: she believes that it is impossible to be a good cook if you don’t enjoy eating.  She talks about shopping for food, preparing it, cooking it, serving it and savouring it.  I haven’t found them so far, but I’m sure there are tips on doing the washing-up, too. This is the kind of cookery book that you can enjoy reading, with the added bonus that it’s packed with great recipes.

Cook Right 4 Your Type: In his first book, Eat Right 4 Your Type, Peter D'Adamo, a naturopathic physician and researcher, makes interesting and unique connections between human evolution, blood type, diet, exercise, and health.

From XL to XS: A fitness gurus guide to change your body - XL to XS by Payal Gidwani, Bollywood s most celebrated yoga expert, tells you how to get From XL to XS.
With simple and easy to follow principles and exercise routines, learn how to lose (or gain) weight, stay fit and transform your body structure.
Italian Khana- How do you cook yummy authentic Italian food in your Indian kitchen with what is available in your local market? Ritu Dalmia, chef and owner of Diva, Delhi's most beloved Italian restaurant, has all the answers in her first cookbook- Italian Khana

Monday, 9 May 2011

Summer Sips and Slurps

Its official! Summer is here. The days of chattering teeth and perpetually dry skin are gone. The time to retire woollens to their mothballs and air out delicious cool cottons is here and the longing for hot soups has been replaced with a thirst for something long and cool to sip!

Remember the barricade of colored bottles that are displayed all around the Golavallas carts? Well there is nothing stopping you from rivalling that display!  As you find respite in biting into the luscious pulp of melons, grapes, berries, green apples, guavas and pears also take time out of your schedule to prepare for the coming hot season, bottle concentrates, sherbets and syrups and put them away while you can. Too much effort? Just select from the great range of Monin Syrups we carry at our stores.  Think Golas doused in a sweet sour Passion fruit syrup or a an icy mint Sorbet, just the thought of such treats brings relief to the heat addled brain! Your Syrups and squashes will come in handy to flavour Golas, Sorbets, Ice creams, Ice teas and Slushes right through the Summer.


Making time: 20 minutes Makes: 500 gms. approx. Shelflife: 6 months or more


  • 1 cup thick juice of black grapes/juice of kokum/juice of jamoon

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 3/4 tsp. citric acid

  • 1/4 tsp. sodium benzoate


  1. Put juice and sugar in a deep vessel.

  2. Heat and stir gently till sugar dissolves.

  3. Bring to a boil, simmer for 2-3 minutes.

  4. Take off fire and cool.

  5. Add sodium benzoate and mix well.

  6. Pour into sterilized sauce bottles, and seal.

  7. Refrigerate after a bottle is opened.


With the health streak that is hitting all over the world Sorbets have become a preffered choice to heavy calorie and cream rich ice-creams. Though sorbets do not require too many ingredients, and are not very complicated to make, it is necessary to keep in mind some basic points, to make them really and light and yummy.

Basic Sorbet


  • 4 cups fruit

  • 2 tbsp. Fruit juice

  • 1 cup simple or flavoured syrup


  1. Run cleaned fruit in a blender with the orange juice, till smooth.

  2. Sieve if required and stir in sugar syrup.

  3. Set mixture in lidded container in freezer A (Tupperware glass is great for this) till softly set. Remove from freezer, beat till smooth, but do not allow to melt, return to container, refreeze. Beat again, and return to freezer, till well set.

  4. Serve in scoops, garnished with sprigs of mint, slices of starfruit or kiwifruit.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Green Summer

Summer vacations are on and the kids are undoubtedly out and about with their friends, without a care in the world. Understandably, all mothers are anxious about the amount of junk food their children might consume when out of the house. Even at home, children are always delighted when you prepare arrays of delicious snacks and nibbles. In these baking temperatures, it is imperative to dish out nippy, soothing and succulent refreshments that will keep the kids healthy, active and fresh as they play out in the sun.

Here are some wonderful and easy-to-prepare recipes for wraps and rolls ideal for countering the heat waves. Look out for the products in any of our stores and make appetizing munchies for your family

Feta-herb pastry

Serves: 4 ; Time: 30 minutes


• ½ cup Athenos Feta cheese (pepper, garlic and herb or plain)

• 1 egg

• Salt to taste

• Pepper

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• 1 tbsp white flour

• A handful of fresh parsley

• 4 sheets of phyllo dough


1. Whizz 1/2 cup feta cheese in the blender with 1 egg, salt, pepper, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp white flour and a handful of fresh parsley to a coarse thick paste.

2. Spread this mixture thinly on half a sheet of phyllo pastry.

3. Fold over the pastry and roll up. Slice arrange in a baking dish, brush with butter and bake at 200 C/400 F until golden.

• For phyllo pastries, you can prepare the following stuffings and follow the procedure above to fold and bake them.


• 2 tbsp Tomato pesto

• Olive oil

• ½ cup of crumbled mozzarella

• Salt and pepper


 tbsp Basil Pesto

 ¼ cup of grated cheddar


• 1/2 cup finely diced mushrooms

• 1/2 cup grated Parmiggiano Regiano cheese

• 1 tsp of lemon juice

• 1 tsp oregano/thyme

• Salt and fresh ground pepper.

Russian Salad Sandwiches

Serves 2-3; Time: 15 minutes)


• 1/2 cup peas, cooked

• 1/2 cup French beans, diced and cooked

• 1 cup carrots, diced and cooked

• 1 cup boiled potatoes, cooked and diced

• Salt to taste if needed

• Mayonnaise to taste

• Good soft white bread or multigrain bread


1. Combine all the vegetables in a large bowl. Mix well.

2. Gently fold in mayonnaise one spoon at a time, so that your potatoes do not crumble, until the vegetables are lightly coated and clumping together. Don't overdo Mayonnaise as it is high in fat. Take a slice of toasted bread, spread with a layer of the salad.

3. To serve as open sandwiches use large cookie cutters to cut into bite sized shapes. Or top with another slice of bread and then serve as is or cut into shapes and serve.