Steaming Kashmiri Chai and Pound Cake

      One should think twice before wishing for anything. Like me wishing for snow. I’m down with flu just because it was very cold. That too without snow.Just imagine what would have happened if it actually had snowed. Since my mother doesn’t use internet I can safely divulge a secret. I’m enjoying having a cold! Too much . I luxuriously stretch out under my warm blankets as I hear my sister complaining somewhere in the house, ” why can’t Ayesha do it?” and mom replying,”Well she’s sick,so you have to”. Ha!(Hahahaha! Poor Areeba:P) I guess that’s a bit mean. But in my defense I’m one person who rarely gets ill. I mean which student gets full attendance certificates in school? I have, many times in the past. So I(fond of celebrating everything), am fully exploiting my illness. Making steaming Kashmiri Chai and dunking hot slices of Pound Cake in it is an incomparable evening delight.Sigh. It’s amazing.Those of you who face cold weather have to try out this. Soothing,from inside out! Color alert(The Kashmiri Chai is peachy-pink) in color but thanks to the room lighting you can’t see it.Last picture however displays its real color).

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What You need(Cake)

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk 
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

How to go about (Cake):

  • Preheat oven.Flour and grease baking pan.
  • Add the dry ingredients in one bowl. Sift these.Set aside.
  • Add eggs, buttermilk, butter and vanilla essence in another bowl. Whisk them.
  • Whisk all the ingredients in a single bowl.
  • Pour in the mixture and set to bake.

What You Need (Kashmiri Chai)

  • 2 tsp of  green tea leaves 
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 pods of cardamom crushed
  • 2 cups of water
  •  2  cups of whole milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Garnish: 2 tsp of ground pistachios and almonds 

Makes up to 2 cups of tea. Takes about 15 minutes to prepare

How To Go About (Kashmiri Chai)

  • In a saucepan on medium heat, add the 2 tsp of tea with about 1/2 of water, boil till frothy then add the bicarbonate of soda and whisk vigorously for about 10 seconds and then add the rest of the water and crushed cardamom and boil until the tea broth becomes peachy pink.
  •  Now bring the heat down to medium low and add the milk and whisk the tea broth very vigorously to achieve a slight froth. The color of the tea should now be a lovely dark pink. If you want a lighter color add more milk.
  • Let the tea simmer for 5-7 minutes on medium heat. This gives a distinct and lovely taste.
  • Finally, add the sugar and stir. Pour in to a cup and sprinkle with crushed pistachios and almonds. 
  • Serve tea with sugar and salt,so people may add acording to taste

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Have a lovely time drinking tea and eating cake. It’s the best thing ever. And if someone has flu, don’t fret, even better( Enjoy not doing anything for a while.)

Love and Hugs,best winters to you and yours.

xxx

Sweet Rice Pudding!

Sweet rice pudding is a wonderful dessert that is made from minimum ingredients and is therefore uncomplicated.  I loved it as a kid and still adore it at 18. P.s Its so easy to make yet tastes so amazing especially when garnished with almonds and crushed cardamom.And since I like to celebrate my lazy days with minimum effort and lovely food, I am  super infatuated with this dessert 😛p0

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Ingredients:

  • 2.5 litre milk
  • 1/4 kg rice
  • 15 cardamom crushed
  • 300 g white granulated sugar
  • 15- 20 almonds for garnishing (Crush half of them)

How to go about it

  • Soak rice in 2 cups water for 1.5 hrs
  • After having soaked them for 1.5 hrs, blend them in a blender(along with the water in which they were soaking)
  • Bring the milk to boil in a large saucepan
  • Put blended rice into the boiling milk. Stir for 5-7 minutes to incorporate rice into milk.(Stirring is important as the mixture can get stuck to the bottom of the pan)
  • Reduce heat levels. Leave this mixture to simmer for 1 1/4 hr. HOWEVER keep stirring on regular intervals all this while, to prevent sticking and burning.
  • When the rice and milk mixture has reached thick almost homogeneous consistency, add sugar and stir to incorporate it.
  • Put crushed cardamom and almonds into it. Stir.
  • Pour the mixture into pudding bowls.
  • let it cool in fridge for 1 hour or more.
  • Garnish it with whole almonds.
  • Serve.

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Ricotta Cheese DIY

I made ricotta cheese for my Ricotta Cheese Meaty Pizza the other day and I was amazed at how easy this was. The only thing bad about this is that if you aren’t careful, cheese bits or milk can stick to the edges of the pan in which you’re cooking cheese. And they are very difficult to remove.

All you need:

  • 4 cups whole milk (Not low fat and other varieties)
  • Juice from one large lemon(or 2 tbsp white distilled vinegar)

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  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tablespoon fresh cream(Optional)

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  • A bowl for straining out the liquid

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  • A cheese cloth/ muslin

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How to go about it

  • Whisk together milk and cream with a stand mixer. Or use the milk only.
  • Add Salt and whisk
  • Set these on a low heat in a pan.
  • Add vinegar/ lemon
  • Keep stirring.Prevent Cheese/milk from sticking to the edges of the pan.
  • Pour the material in the pan into a cheese cloth.Tie it.
  • Keep this on a straining bowl.
  • Your Cheese will be ready in half an hour after liquid drains out. If you want firmer slabs of cheese, allow the cheese to stay in the cloth for 2 hours or even longer.

How To Make Buttermilk At Home

Buttermilk is an ingredient that is often mentioned in recipes particularly those that are concerned with baking. Unlike its name buttermilk is actually the liquid left after the butter has been churned. There is an easy peasy way to make buttermilk at home instead of buying it.

What you need(for one cup):

  1. Approximately 1 cup milk
  2. 1 tbl spoon vinegar/ lemon juice

Add vinegar to the milk and keep is aside for 5 minutes. Home-made buttermilk is ready! 🙂