August 27, 2016

Orange Iced Tea

Seems like we are past the peak of the summers.The weather still varies between hot/ dry and hot/humid and I hate the later of the two. Such days requires an extra boost of energy to keep you pumped up. On one such day, we walked into a cafĂ© – Papa Roti and the Passion Fruit Iced Tea was the much needed refreshing punch we got.

Ever since, I have wanted to try this at home. The only Iced Tea I had tried earlier was the one marketed by Lipton and I stopped having it the moment I learnt about the sugar content that goes into it.

Orange and Lemon with a dash of mint seemed to be the perfect combo for the refreshing Iced Tea and there it was decided.

So here is my recipe for the summers.

(Serves – 4)

  1. Water – 3 and ½ cups
  2. Tea bags/ tea leaves – 3 bags/ 3 tsp
  3. Fresh mint leaves – a handful
  4. Orange Juice – ½ cup
  5. Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
  6. Honey/Sugar – 6 tbsp/ 3 tbsp
  7. Ice cubes


Boil 3 cups of water and add the tea bag or tea leaves. Set aside covered for 3 minutes before removing the tea bags or straining the tea leaves. Let it cool for 15 minutes.

Mix the lemon juice along with orange, the remaining water and honey in a jug. Transfer the tea when cooled into the jug. Stir in well.

Lightly crush the mint leaves with your hands and toss into the jar. Leave it to chill in your refrigerator for about an hour. Serve it with ice cubes which adds to the final boost.

You may also note –

  1. Iced Tea retains the freshness up to a day when stored in a refrigerator.
  2. You may choose to strain the iced tea or serve along with the orange pulp and the mint leaves as is.
  3. You may choose to replace honey with sugar.

August 6, 2016

Green gram Cooler

I can imagine the reaction of most of you when you hear the name of this cooler. I was witness to a similar reaction from my husband and cousin. I never attempted this cooler before although I was fully aware that something like this did exist. This one is very refreshing and provides the cooling effect you need most in the scorching Dubai summers. 

My love affair with this cooler dates back to my camping days in college. We had a mandatory 10 days camp every year where the first half of the day was spent in Sramadan - were we dug up and leveled grounds or dug up drainage around the local school areas. We started off at sunrise breaking for breakfast once and then again for juice at 11 am before we winding up at 1:00 pm. One amongst the hot favorite for the juice break was definitely the green gram cooler - which gave us much needed energy and enthusiasm to work harder.

In the ancient times, it was made using the traditional stone mortar and pestle, adding ingredient by ingredient, scooping out the juice and adding water to reach the desired consistency. 
Takes more time but the results are much more better than the one using the juicer.

Stop wondering if a cooler like this exist and take a look at the recipe below - 

(serves - 6)
  1. Green gram - 1 cup
  2. Jaggery - 1/2 cup grated (alter as per your preference)
  3. Coconut - 3 tbsp heaped
  4. Green Cardamom - 5
  • Dry roast the green gram on medium flame for 5 minutes to remove the raw taste. Soak this in water for 1 hour.
  • Clean and drain excess water. Blend this to a paste along with the cardamom and 1 cup of water to a smooth paste.
  • Add the coconut and jaggery and blitz it once again till combined.
  • Now add the remaining water and mix it well. Sieve it to get rid of bigger particles.
  • Chill for an hour and serve.
You may also note -
  1. Be careful while roasting the green gram - do not burn it.
  2. You may refrigerate it, stays good for 4 - 5 days.