Monday, July 21, 2014

Ginger Beer

Ginger beer is a easy but great healthy refreshment. The alcoholic ginger beer requires yeast and at least 6-8 hours to brew it. But non-alcoholic ginger beer can be prepared in minutes and can be served as a replacement for chemical filled store-bought carbonated drinks.

Naveen and I have a tradition of spending time together watching movies every Friday evenings until late night. The movies are usually accompanied with some healthy crisps and chilled fruit drinks. After few weeks, we got bored of same fruit juices and that is when I thought I can try Ginger beer. Ginger beer gives a good detox to our body and it contains a high amount of fiber.

Naveen loves it and so do I. Except for people who do not like gingery flavor, Ginger Beer is loved by all age groups.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
1 Serving = 1 Glass of ginger Beer
Energy  23 Calories
Fat 0 %
Carbohydrates 0 %
Dietary Fiber 0 %
Sodium 2 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 5 %
Calcium  0.3 %
Iron  0.2 %
Protein 0 Grams
Sugar 11 Grams

Ginger peeled and chopped 1/4 cup
Brown sugar 2 tbsps
Lemon juice 2 tbsps
Salt  a pinch
Water 1/2 cup
Mint leaves for garnish 1 or 2
Club soda/Plain soda/ Carbonated water

Peel ginger skin, chop the ginger and put it in a mixer. Also add some brown sugar, a pinch of salt and Lemon juice.

Grind it to a smooth paste.

Transfer it to a bowl and add water. Check and adjust the sweetness.

Filter the above mixture in to a fresh bowl. This is used as a concentrate for the drink.

In serving glass, first pour some concentrate.

Pour chilled Club soda/Plain soda/ Carbonated water on top of concentrate. Garnish with a mint leave and serve.

Baked Rice balls

Baked rice balls are best to prepare when you have guests. You can show off your culinary skills without doing much. Baked rice balls look beautiful and taste heavenly.

Last Sunday, we had planned for lunch together with our Indian neighbors and I wanted to try Baked rice balls since the day I saw it in Masterchef episode. They had deep fried it with cheese and also had quite a lot of calories. So, I planned to bake it.

The flour, egg and bread crumbs make the rice balls very crispy from outside. It came out spicy and soft in the inside & looked spectacular and our neighbors loved it!!! You can serve these Baked Rice balls with chutney or sauce of your choice. If you wish to have it as a snack, you can make smaller balls, stuff it with some mozzarella and deep fry it. I served it with Mint and Green mango chutney and if you wish to try it, Click here for the recipe.

Cooked rice 2 cups
Onion 1
Bell pepper 1
Carrot 1
Spinach 1/2 cup
Garam masala powder 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon juice 1 tsp
Corn flour 1 cup
Eggs beaten 2
Bread crumbs 2 cups

Chop the spinach, carrot, bell pepper and onion into small pieces.

In a mixing bowl, add cooked rice, chopped vegetables, salt, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and lemon juice.

Mix well.

Wet your hands, take a portion of rice and roll it into a ball, press the ball well so that the rice can hold together.

Roll the ball on corn flour till it is coated on all sides.

Drop the corn flour coated ball into beaten egg and coat it evenly.

Now, roll the ball on bread crumbs and coat the ball well with bread crumbs.

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees for 10 minutes.

Place the rice balls on aluminium foil/baking sheet lined baking tray.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or more for crispier balls. Serve hot with any sauce, ketchup or chutney.

  • If you do not want to use egg, you can dip the balls in a bowl of milk before coating with bread crumbs.

Mint and Green mango chutney

This Mint and mango chutney hardly took 5 minutes to prepare. Honestly I couldn't believe it would be so tasty. Usually, when my mum prepares mint chutney, she fries the mint leaves for a minute and then fries all the other ingredients, let them cool and then grind them.

But for this Mint and mango chutney, you don't have to fry anything except the tempering with oil which is optional. I got this idea from "Pudina-ginger-lime" juice that I regularly used to have at Juice Junction in Bangalore. It was a heavenly drink. I will post that recipe some time. Anyway, I was a little skeptical about the raw mango that I added since I was not sure if mint and green mango would work together. Guess what, It actually works beautifully and the aroma is simply mouthwatering.

I served it with baked Rice balls and they complimented each other very well. It also goes well with just plain rice, Idlis and dosas. Click here for the baked Rice balls recipe if you wish to try it some time. Please excuse the quality of the photos. I was in a hurry to finish cooking before my favorite TV show started. :D

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  5 Calories
Fat 0.2 %
Carbohydrates 1 %
Dietary Fiber 0 %
Sodium 3 %
Vitamin A 8 %
Vitamin C 4 %
Calcium  0 %
Iron  0 %
Protein 0 Grams
Sugar 0 Grams

Mint leaves 1 cup
Green mango chopped  1 small
Coriander leaves chopped 1/2 cup
Green chillies 2 or 3
Salt  to taste

To temper
Oil 2 tsps
Urad dal 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp

Peel the skin and chop the mango.

Pluck the leaves from the Mint stalks and wash.

Also, wash the coriander leaves and green chillies.

Gather all the above ingredients in a mixer and also add salt.

Grind the mixture into a fine paste.

Heat oil and add Urad dal and fry till it changes colour. Then add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters.

(Naveen was helping with this step and forgot to take the pic with mustard seeds.)

Pour the oil mixture to the chutney and enjoy it with the dish of your choice.

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