~ 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!

~ Tomato Basil Paneer!!

Tomato Basil is popularly used in Italian dishes – soups, pasta sauce etc. but I decided to try using it in an Indian dish jus to see how it turned out. A few google searches and combining a couple of recipes, I created this magic!

This dish is definitely on the sweeter side, so adding the red chilly flakes helps out balance that.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium tomatoes blanched and peeled
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 big bay leaf, 1 big cinnamon stick, 1 big cardamom, 1 star anise and 1 big dried red chilly
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves
  • I pack of Nanak Paneer (cottage cheese) soaked in warm water to soften, and then cubed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup canned tomato puree
  • Salt to taste
  • Crushed black peppercorns to taste
  • 2 tablespoons red chilli flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream or for healthier option use milk – full fat or 2%

Method:

1) Dice the onions, chop tomatoes and put in a blender jar. Blend tomatoes into a smooth puree.

2) Heat oil in a non stick pan, add the whole masale and ginger-garlic paste and sauté for ½ minute. Add diced onions and sauté till lightly browned.

3) Add freshly pureed tomatoes and canned tomato puree and mix well.

4) Add salt and crushed black peppercorns and mix well.

5) Add paneer and mix well.

6) Break the basil leaves by hand or cut/chop them. Breaking them keeps the taste intact.

7) Add red chilli flakes, basil leaves and cream. Mix well and cook for 1 minute.

Your dish is now ready, serve hot with Naan / Roti or Rice and Enjoy!!

We had it with Garlic Naan and Rice.

Let me know how it turned it 🙂

Until next time, enjoy yummy food!!