Spicy Guava Cooler | Peru Panna | Guava Panna Recipe

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Indian summer cooler (mocktail) made with Guava and spices!

Indian mocktail made with guava and spices

If there was another fruit, other than the mango, that screams Summer to me, it is the guava. A better part of our childhood summers was spent on guava trees. They are some of the easiest trees to climb, if you are into that stuff. We would be tree hopping all morning until it was time for lunch. Mango, guava, and so many more tree. Me not so much as Gee and my cousin.

If you've had  pleasure of plucking a fruit right from the tree and eating it then and there, you know how that feels. That fruit is so much more sweeter than what we buy outside.

After moving to Bangalore, I'm yet to spot a guava tree, but that doesn't stop me from buying and eating them. After all, it brings on nostalgia, and who doesn't love that?

This is the first time I did something other than directly eating the fruit. I made us a summer drink. Guava Panna!

Indian mocktail made with guava and spices

Panna is a spicy summer drink most commonly made from raw mangoes. Check out that recipe here.

I've used fresh guavas to make the juice, but feel free to use your favorite Guava Juice to make the same. I added a little twist to the regular guava juice to make the Guava Panna. The juice is spiced with roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder or paprika, black salt, regular salt and some sort of sweetener if the guava isn't sweet enough. I used jaggery to sweeten up my drink, hence, the slightly brownish tinge to the drink.

Use the quantity of the ingredients in the following recipe as a guiding value and adjust them according to your taste. You can add mint, lime and/or sparkling water or soda to create your own version of the Guava Panna.


Indian mocktail made with guava and spices

If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook, tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo #oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com. I'd love to see what you are upto. 

If you like this recipe, do not forget to share it with your friends and family! 

You can follow One Teaspoon Of Life on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ or you can subscribe to One Teaspoon Of Life and receive all the latest updated via Email

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Indian mocktail made with guava and spicesSpicy Guava Cooler | Peru Panna | Guava Panna Recipe


Guava Panna is an Indian summer drink made with guava and spices.

Recipe Type:  Drink
Cuisine:            Indian
Prep Time:     10 minutes
Cook time:     0 minutes
Yield:                Serves 3

Ingredients:


3 glasses Guava Juice or juice of 1 large Guava
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
2 tsp roasted Cumin Powder
1 tsp Black Salt
2-3 tsp Sugar or Jaggery (Add sugar only if juice is not sweet enough)
Squeeze of lime (Optional)
Crushed mint leaves (Optional)

Method:


1. Mix all the ingredients in a large jug.
2. Adjust the spices and sugar according to your taste.
3. Chill and serve.


Indian mocktail made with guava and spices


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Instant Mango Pickle [Video Recipe]

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Quick and easy to make Indian mango pickle with video instructions. Simple and flavorful!

Instant Indian spicy pickle made with raw mangoes recipe

It's been long that we spoke about Mangoes. They are making their presence felt in the market and it's time to start giving them the attention they deserve.

I am all for enjoying the succulent sweet ripe fruit as is. But I LOVE cooking with the tart raw mango. The tartness of the raw mango is so different from that of lime or tamarind. I just find it fresher, don't you? It may be my love for the fruit talking.

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Avocado, Cucumber, Carrot Sushi | Vegan Maki Roll [Video Recipe]

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Vegan Maki Sushi Roll made by rolling avocados, cucumber and carrots in sushi rice and Nori sheets.

Avocado, cucumber, carrot vegan maki sushi roll


Remember here, I spoke of Gee going to Malaysia and shopping in super markets? It paid off, a second time!! It is she who bought me the Nori Sheets and the Sushi Rice all the way from a Japanese store in KL. (You can buy them in Gourmet stores in Bangalore or buy them online).

Well, she looves sushi. And this time she got to eat them sitting at home in her pajamas without worrying if they are really vegetarian. Win-win! I always knew of sushi as a raw fish dish. But the first time I heard of a vegan one was when I was in California and my friend wanted to make me try some. I did not get the chance to try there, but I did try it the first chance I got once I was back in Bangalore and the love affair has continued since. Every single time I see a vegan sushi on the menu, I order it. This was my first time making it at home, but it definitely won't be the last.

Avocado, cucumber, carrot vegan maki sushi roll


Avocado, cucumber, carrot vegan maki sushi roll

Making sushi is really not that difficult, if you have the correct variety of rice. A lot of recipes online say you can use quinoa or brown rice or some other variety of rice. While I'm sure you can work with them if you are a pro at sushi making. For an amateur, sushi rice works best. This rice is very different from the other varieties of rice in my pantry. It is sticky, yet the grains hold their shape. Any Indian rice when cooked to become sticky, will turn mushy and become paste like. And that is definitely a no-no for sushi making. You want to be able to identify the grains, yet have them stick to each other. I was scared when I rolled my first roll, but the rice made it impossible for me to mess it up. So say what you may, according to me it is the rice that is the hero of the sushi. Making the rice is simple, you cook it as per instructions on the packet. Then spread it out in a large bowl or plate and mix in the vinegar, sugar and salt while smashing the rice a little. Adjust the vinegar, sugar and salt to your taste.

Once your rice is ready, you can fill your rolls up with basically anything. Keep it fresh and simple. I filled my rolls with avocado, cucumber and carrots. And for a few, I threw in some sauteed mushrooms as well. The flavor of a sushi comes majorly from the rice and the nori sheets. Nori sheets give the sushi a mild fishy umami flavor. 

Serve sushi with a good quality Soy Sauce, Pickled Ginger and Wasabi paste.

Note: Sushi is usually rolled with a bamboo mat, but the technique is achievable with a kitchen towel and a plastic wrap. Watch the video for more details!

Avocado, cucumber, carrot vegan maki sushi roll

Avocado, cucumber, carrot vegan maki sushi roll

If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook, tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo #oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com. I'd love to see what you are upto. 

If you like this recipe, do not forget to share it with your friends and family! 

You can follow One Teaspoon Of Life on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ or you can subscribe to One Teaspoon Of Life and receive all the latest updated via Email


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Avocado Cucumber Carrot Maki Sushi Roll

Avocado, cucumber, carrot vegan maki sushi roll
Vegan Maki Sushi Roll made by rolling avocados, cucumber and carrots in sushi rice and Nori sheets.
Recipe Type:  Appetizer
Cuisine:            Japanese
Prep Time:     30 minutes
Cook time:     20 minutes
Yield:                Serves 3-4. Makes 27-30 individual rolls.

Ingredients:


3 Nori Sheets
1 cup uncooked Sushi Rice
2 cups Water
2 Tbsp Vinegar
1.5 tsp Sugar or Jaggery
0.5 tsp Salt
0.5 Avocado
1 Cucumber
1 Carrot
Wasabi paste to serve
Soy sauce to serve

Method:


Making the Sushi Rice:


1. Wash and cook the rice as per instructions on the packet. I rinsed the rice once and pressure cooked it with 2 cups of water for 10 minutes on low-medium heat.
2. Once the rice is cooked, remove it into a large steel or wooden bowl or plate.
Heat the vinegar in a small pan, add the sugar and salt. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat.
3. Add the vinegar to the rice and with a wooden spoon, mix it well. The rice should be sticky, yet retain the grain structure. Allow it to cool.


Making the Avocado Cucumber Carrot Maki Sushi Roll:


4. Slice the avocado and julienne the cucumber and carrot.
5. Take a kitchen towel and spread a plastic sheet on it. I used a clean plastic packet in which I had purchased rice. I cut it into a rectangle and laid it on top of the kitchen towel.
6. Place the nori sheet, shiny side down on the plastic sheet.
7. Take 1/3rd of the rice and place it on the nori sheet. Wet your hands and spread the rice until it covers the nori sheet. Layer it as evenly as you can. It doesn't have to be perfectly even, the rolling later will ensure it spreads evenly.
8. On one edge, place 1/3rd of the cucumber, carrot and avocado.
9. Gently roll the nori sheet until the vegetables are covered. Use the kitchen towel now to compress the vegetables.
10. Continue rolling until the full nori sheet is rolled up.
11. Using the kitchen towel, compress the roll. Turn and compress again.
12. With a sharp wet knife slice the roll into individual maki rolls. Wet the knife between each slice. Do not apply pressure while slicing, make gentle to and fro motions. The roll should be sliced in 2-3 knife movements.
13. Serve with pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi paste.


Avocado, cucumber, carrot vegan maki sushi roll


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5 activities you cannot miss in Phuket, Thailand!

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Raj recently went with his sister and parents (my in-laws) to Phuket on a long pending family vacation. The last time Raj and I went to Phuket was in 2011 and we both loved it so much. But I did not have a blog then and I had a lot going on then in my life - we'd just gotten married, I was to start a new job, that I had no inclination to note down anything about that trip. So when he planned this vacation, I begged him to write a guest post for One Teaspoon Of Life.... My very first guest post ever. So handing it over to him..

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James Bond Island, Phuket, Thailand


Pristine beaches and crystal clear water - two things that always fascinate me. Given a choice I will any day prefer a place with a beach than a place with a mountain as my holiday destination. Well.... it all started the same way with my parents. We have been planning a vacation for more than 2 years now, but never succeeded. Then came the options, some snow capped mountains in Europe or the beaches of Thailand. So in the end, Thailand it was!! Now you know from where I inherit my taste buds :-p.

Previous travels and a lot of googling around helped me to sort out all the details needed for the vacations. Thailand, an amazing country with its lush natural beauty and humble people had a lot to offer us than just a trip. We wanted to stay away from the hustle and bustle of a big city, so we chose to stay at Patong in Phuket. Patong offers a good mix of both, peace and a tolerable level of hustle-bustle.

Firstly, I traveled with my parents who are both over the age of 60 and my younger sister. And they tried most of the activities mentioned here. So, really, age is not a factor. As long as you are young at heart and in a moderate state of health, you can experience almost all of what we did. I did not want to bore you off with detailed itinerary or a full description of the travel, so I'm only listing down the top 5 activities you should do when in Phuket. For any other details, leave a comment, and I will get back.

1. Island hopping [Phang Na Bay, Koh Phi Phi Don, James Bond Island, Monkey Island, Khai Island, Maya Bay]

One of the activities that this archipelago offers its tourists is a vast stretch of sea routes for island hopping. You have a lot of options to select from when it comes to island hopping. Be it a relaxed ride on a big boat or a rush through a splash of water in a speed boat. Trips and boats are available in all budgets and options. We chose the more relaxed [slow and steady] and yet pretty sturdy boat ride. Out in the open waters for the first time, it was a time well spent with family. A lot of boats take you to places where you can do snorkeling if you have previous experience. They also allow you to swim in pristine aquamarine water.

Tip 1: If you have a specific diet preference, mention it while booking the trip. We had to mention we were vegetarians, else we could have missed out on lunch.

Tip 2: Book a smaller boat that seats 20-25 people if possible, than a huge one that seats 50+ for a more personalized experience. 

Cost: Around THB 1600 per person for a 20-25 seater boat.


Koh Phi Phi Don, Phuket, Thailand

2. Canoeing [Viking Caves, Pileh Cove]


Canoeing is another experience that Thailand has to offer to it tourists. The big boats are equipped with canoes that they use to show bat caves and calcium formation around a few lagoons. They let you take out the canoes by yourself near a sparsely crowded beach. All operators may not allow you to do so, please confirm before you book the tour if you are very keen on doing so. While it is fun, rowing a canoe is not as easy as it looks. I had to flex a lot of muscles to steer it. Also, I struggled with directing the boat where I wanted it, hopefully, you are better at it than me. My parents just enjoyed being passengers in the canoe and did not row.

Cost: FREE. It is a part of the island hopping package.

Canoeing in Phuket, Thailand

3. Scuba Diving [Koh Phi Phi Don Island]


This was definitely not in my list of planned activities. For a non swimmer like me, first time scuba diving was an awesome experience. A 5 min crash course & basic sign language to communicate with my diving instructor was all that took to get me started. The weight of the diving gear + oxygen cylinder was near zero once I jumped into the water.A few gasps later I got accustomed to breathing under water and open my eyes too. It felt like I was living in a documentary of National Geographic channel. Upon touch down to sea bed [approx 25 - 30 ft] we could see fish of different colors & shapes circling around us. It made a good scene for an under water photo. After a few minutes I could figure out the calmer side of myself [so much better than talkative side above water]. Overall it was an adventure that cannot be described, but to be experienced. So whether you are an expert swimmer or a novice like me, do not give this activity a miss.

Cost: Around THB 1600 per person.

Scuba diving in Phuket, Thailand


4. Tiger Kingdom [Kathu, Phuket]


Tigers, one among the feline family have always fascinated me. So majestic in their stature and looks; Tiger Kingdom gives a unique opportunity to get close to this endangered species. Depending upon your choice of the tiger [big/medium/small] the entry fee varies. You are allowed to pet the tigers under the careful guidance of the caretakers within their enclosed living quarters. Don't be scared, the tigers don't mean any harm.

Tip 1: The gift shop is great for shopping tiger souvenirs. Especially for kids.

Tip 2: You can hire a professional photographer to take your photo with the tigers that can later be printed onto mugs and t-shirts. Charges extra.

Cost: THB 900 to THB 3700 depending on the tigers you want to see. If you take a day tour of Phuket, then it is inclusive in it.

Tiger Kingdom, Phuket, Thailand

5. Parasailing in Patong


You can fly, and see the beautiful seas of Phuket from the sky! Well, not really, but you can get pretty close to it. A phrase from a nursery rhyme 'up above the world so high' was all I remembered when I flew like a bird or rather a bird with a parachute. The Patong beach and the perfect weather allowed us to do parasailing. It was exhilarating to be so high up. To ensure your safety, there will be an instructor sailing along with you. They control the parachute and the steering allowing you to experience the magic of being up there. This was an activity that my mom also enjoyed doing. 

Tip 1: Avoid if you have a fear of heights or water, unless you are trying to conquer that fear.

Tip 2: Preferably, plan for this activity before eating a heavy meal.

Cost: Around THB 1000 per person.

Parasailing


Hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences. If you have any comments/questions, leave it below in the comments section and I'll get back to you.

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Find more travel posts here. Bon Voyage!

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Ram Navami special Panaka recipe | Panakam Recipe

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Panaka or Panakam is a traditional Indian cooler popular during Summers in South India!!


Traditional South Indian summer cooler


Traditional South Indian summer cooler

Panaka or Panakam is a traditional Indian cooler popular during Summers in South India. It is served along with spice buttermilk and a lentil salad called kosambri during the festival of Ram Navami.

This was one of those posts with a writer's block. I did not want to write about the weather, I did not want to write about my memories or childhood. Nothing special happened this week either. So I was kind of lost.  I started to write, then deleted it at least 3 times!!

So now I have settled on just talking about the ingredients that make up this mocktail like drink called Panaka.

Traditional South Indian summer cooler

Traditional South Indian summer cooler

Panaka is sweet, mildly tangy, warm with the ginger, earthy because of tulsi or holy basil and fragrant from the freshly ground cardamom. It is very similar to a lemonade but with different proportions.

One of the main ingredients in Panaka is jaggery. Jaggery is unrefined cane sugar. The closest in texture is Muscovado sugar. Jaggery has a complex flavor profile as compared to regular refined sugar. The darker the jaggery, the more complex the flavor. Dark jaggery is the least refined and purified, while the yellow jaggery has less impurities. With people looking for more organic stuff these days, the organic brown jaggery has become very popular.

Ginger is added for its health benefits. It is known to cleanse the body of toxins. If you cannot find fresh ginger, you can substitute it with dry ginger powder. Ginger also adds an earthy flavor to the drink while making it mildly hot.

Traditional South Indian summer cooler


Cardamom is the main flavoring agent. I used fresh cardamom pods that I lightly crushed with a mortar and pestle. You can use a store bought cardamom powder, but I highly recommend making it yourself.

Tulsi or Holy Basil leaves are added for health reasons again. I did not have any readily available, so I substituted with home grown mint leaves.

The squirt of lime is optional, but recommended. Some folks use a tamarind juice instead. You can add any souring agent, just don't let it get overpowering. Panaka is much milder than a regular lemonade. The predominant flavor is from jaggery and the cardamom.

Traditional South Indian summer cooler


Traditional South Indian summer cooler



If you made this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment here or on Facebook, tag your tweet with @oneteaspoonlife on Twitter and don't forget to tag your photo #oneteaspoonoflife on Instagram. You can also email me at onetspoflife@gmail.com. I'd love to see what you are upto. 

If you like this recipe, do not forget to share it with your friends and family! 

You can follow One Teaspoon Of Life on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ or you can subscribe to One Teaspoon Of Life and receive all the latest updated via Email

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Ram Navami special Panaka recipe | Panakam Recipe


Traditional South Indian summer coolerPanaka or Panakam is a traditional Indian cooler popular during Summers in South India.

Recipe Type:  Beverage
Cuisine:            South Indian
Prep Time:     10 minutes
Cook time:     0 minutes
Yield:                Serves 6-8

Ingredients:


1.5 litres Water
1.5 cups powdered Jaggery
6-8 green Cardamoms
2-3 Tbsp grated Ginger
1 lime
A handful of Tulsi or Mint leaves

Method:


Crush the seeds of the cardamom until fine.
Add the cardamom, grated ginger, powdered jaggery and juice of 1 lime to the water and stir until the jaggery has dissolved.
Add the tulsi leaves or mint leaves.
Refrigerate until serving.
Strain before serving. Serve chilled



Traditional South Indian summer cooler



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