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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Appetizing Masala Chaas, A Re-Energizing Sip For Summers :-)



"Chaas" is an assured summer cooler, one which we cannot do without.J Traditionally it is made with buttermilk, the liquid that separates out when cream is churned to give butter. However, yogurt is the preferred medium nowadays as making butter at home is a rarity but this drink is an absolute must during summers. It tastes perfect with smoky roasted cumin in it and is pleasantly piquant.Each sip is flavorful but never overly spiced or teasing to the palates thus making it an ideal savory sip that cools you down the healthy way. The best part, when you have all the ingredients ready at hand, it gets made in 5 minutes. J

Before we proceed with this easy sip, we thought of sharing the recipe for making homemade smoky roasted cumin powder too. It is so versatile...a permanent pantry staple at home. It makes almost all savory things taste better...can't name just a few.We prefer this over simple cumin it has a few mild dried red chili peppers which when roasted along with cumin lose their heat considerably and add a wonderful smoky flavor into the spice blend.

For Making Smoky Roasted Cumin Powder

(Please work in a well ventilated kitchen)

200 grams cumin seeds (sabut jeera)

8-10 mild to medium hot dried red chili peppers ,stalks removed and roughly torn into pieces (may decrease the amount according to preference)

Take a flat skillet or shallow fry pan. Put cumin seeds and dried chili pieces into it.

                                           cumin & dried chilies
                                           placed in a pan

Place it over medium-high heat and stir occasionally as the contents dry roast into a light brown color.

                                           stirred and roasted till a light brown color
                                           lowered heat and stirred

Next, turn heat to low and cook stirring now and then for another 4-5 minutes till the cumin seeds are aromatic, a rich brown and the chili pieces darkened by a few shades.

                                           perfectly roasted and aromatic

At this point, turn off and immediately transfer the contents into another heat proof plate/bowl to prevent further cooking.

                                           transfer contents into heat proof plate

Let the contents completely cool down to room temperature.

                                           cooled to room temperature

Then, work in batches-use a dry grinder/spice grinder and process the contents into a powder.

                                           inside a spice grinder
                                           ground to a fine powder in batches

Sieve this powder through a fine meshed sieve.

                                           smoky cumin powder ready

The extracted, fine ground powder is our versatile and flavorful spice blend. Store it in an air tight spice jar away from direct heat and sunlight. It keeps fresh for about 2-3 months.


Now coming to the soothing "Chaas" recipe...

Serves : 2

Ingredients Required :

1 cup thick,plain-unflavored, chilled yogurt, preferably full fat (curd)

1 cup water

1/2 teaspoon roasted cumin powder (recipe above)

Salt to taste

For The Topping (Necessary)-A Few spoonfuls each of finely minced red onion, minced fresh mint leaves, minced fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, a few pinches of roasted cumin powder, a few pinches of  rock salt/black salt (the last one is optional but adds to the flavor of this sip).

Process: Pour chilled yogurt into a large bowl.

                                           yogurt in a bowl

Whisk/spoon it till completely smooth.

                                           whisked till smooth & lump-free

Now pour in water into whisked yogurt, add roasted cumin powder and salt to taste.

                                           added water
                                           added roasted cumin powder & salt

Using a hand blender( we love to use our age-old manual hand blender, it works like magic..but you can use an electric one too :-)) blend the contents till uniformly mixed and frothy.

                                           contents blended
                                           till frothy

Serve immediately in chilled glasses.
For enjoying this completely...sprinkle a generous amount of the mentioned topping and sip right in.J



A From The Blogger’s Keyboard

ü For the smoky roasted cumin powder :

Ø Use mild to medium hot dried chilies(whole). Remove stalks and tear into pieces before adding them into pan. This prevents them from popping out of pan when heated. If they are hand held then wash your hands well after breaking them to pieces.

Ø While roasting the ingredients stir pan-contents occasionally for even cooking and prevent burning. Else the lower layer of contents get over cooked and upper layer under cooked.

Ø As soon as the cumin gets fragrant ,a rich brown color and the chilies darkened by a few shades…transfer contents into another heat proof plate/bowl to prevent further/over cooking.

Ø Let roasted contents cool down completely to room temperature before you start to powder them.

Ø Use a dry/spice grinder to process cooled contents into a powder. Work in batches and sieve it before storing in airtight jars.
ü For Chaas :

Ø Whisk chilled yogurt till completely smooth and free from lumps. You can double or triple this recipe very easily. Take care to use equal amounts of yogurt(curd) and water for best results.

Ø After adding water,cumin powder and salt….blend till frothy. This gives the Chaas a delicious,rich and creamy taste. So,don’t skip this step.

Ø Serve it as soon as it is made and sprinkle with a dose of the toppings for a refreshing, relaxing and soothing sip.

 Happy Cooking & Have A Sip Of Good Times!!! J