Friday, 20 May 2016

Little Cravings, Big Flavours

Snacks are an important part of our day. Whether it’s to beat hunger pangs between meals, grab a quick bite on the road, appease cranky children or offer unexpected guests, snacking, of some form or the other, is a habit deeply entrenched in our eating patterns. And with school holidays on, the family can have lots of fun congregating over plates of delicious snacks! Here are a few ideas to play with.

Sandwiches are one of the simplest snack ideas to put together, the fact that you don’t necessarily need to slave over a hot stove is an added advantage. And there is a world of sandwiches to pick from! There is no denying the yumminess of a simple butter-jam sandwich, but why not explore the world of sandwiches at snack-time? From the vegetable filled spicy Mumbai sandwich to the panini filled with choicest meats and spreads, there is so much variety out there. And where ideas end, imagination begins! All one needs is a little creativity and a few fixings! Explore different combinations of breads like white bread, crusty ciabatta, or sourdough, and spreads like flavoured butter, veg mayonnaise, hot sauces, pesto, harissa paste, hummus, fruit chutneys, or fillings like spicy meat, kebabs, cheese, thin slices of ham, shredded chicken, leftover cuts of roast lamb, or roasted vegetables. Or here is an idea, just put all the ingredients on a table and create an impromptu sandwich bar, where you let everyone create their own sandwiches!

Imagine a room of loud, raucous children come in from playing in the rain or friends meeting for tea party. The occasion calls for something hot and crunchy that is satisfying and addictive. Stock up on frozen snacks that can be quickly baked or fried and served with a delicious, tongue-tingling dip. Think chicken nuggets with spicy salsa, chili garlic potato bites, fish fingers or French fries with sriracha mayonnaise, kebabs with a mirchi chutney, or a lovely fry-up of sausages, quickly stir-fried with onions and bell peppers. Hot, freshly baked, or fried snacks can never go down wrong!

Sometimes, the occasion requires a light snack, when it’s a hot day, or impromptu guests drop in or plans for a sudden movie night come together. Stock up on pop corn, chips and dips and keep them handy. There is so many to choose from: potatoes, banana, soya snacks, corn, and now lentil chips, not to mention nachos and tortilla chips. And even more to dip it all into from chutneys, to yogurt dips, salsa, sriracha, mayonnaise, cheesy dips, and more. Pick up readymade options or mix up a batch of tzatziki, baba ganoush, guacamole, sundried tomato pesto, or a cheesy dip spiked with jalapenos at home. Here is a fun idea! Mix 2-3 different types of chips in a big bowl and serve it up with a couple of dips. Or layer different dips in a bowl and serve with chips.

Now, it might seem like with all this variety, it would be hard to snack healthy but thankfully, that’s not the case. A little creativity and you can combine health and taste. Think, for instance, of a fresh, crunchy lettuce leaf shaped into a bowl filled with chicken flavoured with red Thai curry paste and served with sweet Thai chili sauce!   You can also serve up vegetable crudités with a range of dips. Another innovative snack is a quick bhel of puffed millets tossed with finely chopped onion, tomatoes, green chilies, coriander leaves, and seasoned with chaat masala and lemon juice. If you have a hankering for fries, opt to parboil and bake them at home for a healthy indulgent treat. You can also flavour them as per your preference, dust them in a mix of Italian herbs or with garlic powder and crushed black pepper.

Thankfully, you don’t have to run to the stores every time you have a craving. Sit in the comfort of your kitchen and enjoy the 25% off on a filling stack of snacks. What can we say except Thank Godrej Nature’s Basket it’s #FoodieFriday! ;)

Also you can buy white butter online from Natures Basket store at best prices!!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

4 Must-Try Mango Recipes From Around the World!

You only need to pick up a single, golden, curvy Alphonso mango to savour a most heady aroma full of promise. Eating the fruit, with its juices slowly trickling down the fingers and chin is really the pinnacle of the mango experience. However, mangoes (in all their amazing varieties) are an incredibly versatile ingredient and it would be a tragedy not to showcase its myriad forms on a dinner table. Here are some exciting ideas that bring out the beauty of the fruit in different ways.

Thai Twist
Sticky rice pudding with cubes of mango is a timeless, classic enjoyed by everyone in Thailand. Here is a simple yet elegant take on this dessert. Cook the sticky rice in coconut milk and a scant bit of sugar to make a pudding. Thinly slice a mango cheek lengthwise. Lay the oval shaped slices in a row over cling film and spoon the coconut sticky rice and roll like a sushi. Cut into individual portions and serve immediately. Each bright yellow morsel is a perfect combination of juicy fruit and barely sweet rice pudding. 

Mexican Magic
In Mexico, vendors on the street offer a creative and off-beat way to feast on the fruit. They insert a stick into the base of the fruit and carve the ripe mango into a rose. It is then dipped into a potent blend of red chili powder, salt and sprinkled with freshly squeezed lemon juice. If it’s not possible to carve the fruit into a rose shape, then thread large cubes of mango on a satay stick and season as mentioned before serving it.

 Pic Courtesy:

Caribbean Surprise
The natural sweetness and bright golden juice of mangoes make for the best beverages like thick creamy lassi or smooth milkshakes for kids and spiked cocktails or boozy slushies for the adults. To make alcoholic mango slushies, simply blend chopped and frozen mangoes with mint, lemon juice and sugar till it becomes, well, slushy. Pour into a tall glass, spike with golden spiced rum and serve as a refreshing beverage.

Mango Down Under
As king of the fruits, the taste and aroma of a mango dominates and delights the palate. Add to many elements and its beauty is lost. End an elegant meal with individual pavlovas lightly smeared with orange flavoured whipped cream and topped with fresh diced Alphonso mango.
Whether eaten simply as a peeled and chopped fruit or as one of the above dishes, they are certainly a satisfying way to enjoy the best of summer! 

With the threat of more and more artificially ripened mangoes being sold, getting the right ones can be quite a task. That is why, we stock up on the best of authentic, naturally - ripened & chemical free range of premium mangoes. Get your favourite premium Alphonso and more, right here: