~ Lavender Lemonade!!

The Hubby loved lemonade, be it regular kinds, raspberry flavored or strawberry flavored!! I usually buy it from the store, but since I am growing Lavender in the backyard garden, I googled for a recipe to make lavender lemonade and after some tweaks, sharing what worked for me!

It’ll take you 20 minutes to make (after 30 minutes of soaking) and this recipe will be good to serve 4-5 adults.

Ingredients:

– A handful of freshly picked and rinsed lavender flowers. If fresh ones are unavailable, a tablespoon of dried ones work just fine.

– 1 cup white sugar

– 2 cups of boiling water

– 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

– 2 cups or more of cold water

– Ice

Method:

– Cut the lavender flowers from the stems and place in a large pyrex measuring bowl. Put the sugar over the flowers and use your fingers to gently rub the flowers into the sugar.

– Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the sugared lavender and stir with a spoon until all of the sugar has been mixed. Cover and let infuse for 30 minutes at minimum.

– Strain the lavender-infused sugar syrup and pour into a serving jug.

– Now stir in the lemon juice.  Add another two cups of water. Taste and adjust according to preference (add more lemon juice if too sweet or add more sugar if too tart).

– Lastly add ice and more water to the desired level of concentration. Note that once the ice melts, it will dilute the drink, so adding too much will change the taste.

Now for some awesome presentation, add some lemons and a few lavender sprigs and server chilled!

** Image courtesy Google, as I didn’t click any pix out of excitement of trying it, when I made some… Next time for sure!*

Please note: If you use fresh flowers, bought from the lavender farm, make sure they have not been sprayed with pesticides. And definitely not use florist flowers.

Cheers!! Lemme know how you liked it!

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~ Baigan (Eggplant) Ka Bharta!!

When we were kids, we used to call ūüćÜ Baigan (Eggplant in Hindi) be-gun (meaning with no good things, in Hindi) but honestly this vegetable is far from that! Packed with iron amongst other nutrients, this vegetable should be on everyone’s table!

There aren’t too many ways to cooking this vegetable up, but there surely are some fun ways! While Baigan Aloo is a comfort food kinda thing, Baigan ka Bharta is more on the fancy side, and today I am sharing my take on the recipe for that.

This dish is easier when cooked on the gas stove, but can be cooked on an electric stove as well where you’ll have to roast the eggplant in the oven, directions to which are included below.

Ingredients:

2 Medium Baigans (eggplant)

– 1/2 cup frozen green peas, soaked in warm water for about 15 mins

Р1 big chopped onion 

– 1 medium chopped tomato

– 2 chopped green chillies

– 1/2 tsp Red chilli powder, Garam Masala Powder

Р1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder 

Р1 tbsp Vegetable oil 

РSalt to taste 

– Lots of chopped coriander leaves for garnishing

Preparation (on the gas stove):

1. Brush baigan with oil and roast it on a gas burner over medium heat. Keep on turning the eggplant around and even upside down, until fully roasted.

2. Once done, hold it under cold running water or put in a bowl full of water. Let it cool down and then peel off the blackened skin. Once done, mash the flesh.

3. Heat oil in a pan. Add green chilli and onion and fry over medium heat until light golden brown.

4. Now add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt and stir. Add tomatoes and cook until they are tender.

5. Add green peas and mashed baigan (eggplant). Stir well. Fry the baigan bhartha for 5-7 minutes over medium heat.

6. Garnish the baigan bharta with green coriander leaves and serve hot, best with hot Rotis or Daal and Rice!

To prepare in Oven:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. 

2. Line a baking tray with aluminium foil and apply a thin coat of oil on the eggplant.

3. Make thin slits in the eggplant using a knife. This helps it to cook faster. 

4. Once the oven is heated to 400F, place thetray with eggplant in the oven and let it cook (keep on rotating the eggplant every 15 minutes for even cooking) for about 1 hr or till properly cooked. Depending on the size of the eggplant, the time it takes could be a little less or a little more, so keep an eye!

5. Once done, broil the eggplant on high for about 10-12 mins turning the eggplant after 2-3 mins. This provides the charring uniformly.

6. Remove the tray out of the oven and allow time to cool. 

7. Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle peel the skin off and then either with your hands or spoon mash the eggplant. Keep this aside and follow steps 3-6 in the preparation on a gas stove above.

Enjoy!!!!

Do let me know how you liked it, until next time, keep eating yummy food!!