Spiced Butters


Giving makeovers to your everyday butter is really easy.
Using different spice flavored butters is a wonderful way to introduce kids to the aromatic world of spices.

Spiced butters can be stored in the freezer for a 1-2 months. You can slice rounds of frozen spiced butter and store them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Coconut Burfi with Kesar Milk Masala extract


Coconut Burfi is a very popular dessert in India and requires just 3-4 ingredients. I make it the easy way and do not make any sugar syrup.
Note: You could also use Cardamom extract instead of Kesar Milk masala extract.

Ingredients:

1 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup Milk
4-5 drops of Kesar Milk Masala extract

In a pan, add desiccated coconut, milk and sugar. Stir and cook till the mixture becomes thick. Keep stirring to avoid burning coconut at the bottom of the pan. Once the mixture is thick and all the milk has evaporated, add 4-5 drops of Kesar Milk masala extract. Stir and take the pan off the heat. Pour the mixture in a plate, press well and let cool. Once cooled, cut diamond shaped burfis.

Morning Walk




I love to go for my morning walk. Especially when its foggy :)

Tomato Rasam with extracts


Tomato Rasam is one of my favorites.
Madhuram of Eggless Cooking gave me a very quick and wonderful recipe for tomato rasam. She suggested the use of tomato paste which I found to be very interesting. I have made this rasam many times and have tweaked it a bit. I find Madhuram's recipes creative but simple and yummy. Check out her blog for some really good recipes for eggless cakes, cookies, etc.

Ingredients:

1 can Tomato paste
1-2 drops of Green Chilli extract
1 drop of Asafoetida extract
1-2 drops of Turmeric extract
2 drops of Garlic extract
1 drop of Ginger extract
1 tsp Rasam powder
!/2 tsp cumin seeds
very little oil
Salt to taste
1 cup of water ( add more if you want a bit thinner rasam)
Cilantro for garnish

Heat the oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let it splutter. Add tomato paste, water and rasam powder. Stir. Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat. Add turmeric extract, garlic extract, green chilli extract, ginger extract, asafoetida extract. Add salt to taste Let simmer for a minute or two. Take it off the heat. Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot.

Note that I am not using any tamarind. The canned tomato paste is perfect for this easy, breezy rasam :)



Doodhi Halwa with Cardamom extract


I love Doodhi the most when it is served in this sweet and simple Halwa avatar :)

Ingredients:

1 Doodhi (Bottle gourd)
1/2 can condensed milk
3-4 drops of Cardamom extract
( You could also use Kesar Milk masala extract )
Little butter


Peel and grate doodhi. Heat little butter in a pan, add grated doodhi. Cook for about 8 - 10 min . Add condensed milk and let the mixture cook on low flame for another 7-8 min. Take it off the heat. Add Cardamom extract. Stir and serve with some raisins or cashews sprinkled on top.

Another variation is to add Saffron extract to give this humble dessert a royal touch.

Ayurvedic Tea


This is one simple tea that can be helpful in curing cold.

1 drop Ginger extract
1 drop Cinnamon extract
1/2 stalk of Lemongrass

Steep lemongrass stalk in a cup of hot water for 10 min. To this add Ginger extract and Cinnamon extract. Add honey for sweetness if you like.
This tea really tastes delicious. Take this tea 2-3 times a day to relieve cold symptoms and congestion.

From my Backyard



From my backyard to yours, a look at Mother Nature's different looks on different days.

Oatmeal Raisin cookies with spices



This summer me and my kids have decided to do lot of baking. Its been just 2 weeks since my kids summer vacation started and we already made Banana bread a couple of times, made cupcakes and 2-3 kinds of cookies :)

Baking with kids is the most enjoyable way to spend summer afternoons.

We recently tried Beth's Oatmeal Raisin cookies recipe. These cookies came out wonderful and my kids loved them.

In my previous post, I mentioned the importance of cloves. This Oatmeal cookie recipe calls for 2 spices (clove & cinnamon) and is an excellent way to introduce kids to spices.

Here is the recipe with my slight variations.

  • 1 cup butter, softened ( I know, its lot of butter. The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup butter flavored shortening. )
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3-4 drops of cinnamon extract
  • 3-4 drops clove extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon extract, clove extract, and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and raisins. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  2. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until light and golden. Do not over bake. Let them cool for 2 minutes before removing from cookie sheets to cool completely. Store in airtight container.

This is a good change from the Chocolate chip cookies. These cookies came out chewy and were ready to eat in less that an hour.

Cloves

Did you know that Cloves help boost digestive functioning and contain antioxidants ?
Can you think of a simple and yummy way to get cloves into your kids tummy?


Cardamom Lemonade



Have you ever tried Cardamom Lemonade ?

The addition of Cardamom makes this lemonade amazingly refreshing and gives a surprising twist to this plain and simple beverage.

1 glass cold water
Juice of 1 small lemon
1 drop of Cardamom extract
sugar and salt to taste

In a glass of cold water, squeeze lemon juice, add salt and sugar to taste and 1 drop of Cardamom extract. Stir well till sugar dissolves. Garnish with mint leaves.

Adding salt is the Indian way of making lemonade :)
Salt balances the sweetness of sugar and sourness of lemon. Also, most importantly, adding salt replenishes the sodium lost through sweating during summer days.

Supreme Spice Giveaway

Photo credit : CupCakeProject.com

Stef of CupCakeProject has changed my perspective about cupcakes. I never thought that cupcakes could be made with such interesting variations and are a art form in itself. A tiny and sweet canvas that can be eaten :)

I am excited about the Giveaway of 3 Supreme Spice extracts on CupCakeProject.com
Do check out Stef's site to get more information and also to get interesting ideas, recipes for cupcakes.

Enjoy!!

My entry for Mango Manthram



This is my entry for Indira's Food Art ~Mango Manthram.
I had the idea for a long time but just couldn't d find time to paint or draw :) Have been busy lately and was not sure if I will even get time to send my entry. I had to borrow my daughter's color pencils, Watercolors and also a paper from her drawing book :) I am glad I was able to do it though.

I am very eager to see the entries from other bloggers.

Cupcake with Tea Masala extract

Stefani of Cup Cake Project has posted a amazing recipe on Indian cupcake with Tea Masala extract.

Excellent blog with very yummy cupcake recipes.
She also wrote a post on Slashfood.com about Supreme Spice.
Check it out.

Ayurvedic herbal tea

According to Ayurveda, fever results due to the imbalance of one or more doshas ( energy fields).
One of the many ways to help your body get over a fever is by drinking a simple 3-ingredient tea.

2 drops of Tulsi extract
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 sprig of Lemon grass

Steep these 3 ingredients in a cup of boiling water for about 10 min. Strain and enjoy.

This tea is an excellent diaphoretic ( promotes sweating) and helps bring down the temperature.

Pear butter and Apple Sandwich


A healthy snack for kids - Pear butter and apples sandwich.
Pear butter has much less sugar than the store bought jams and has spices to balance the sweetness of pears. Apples provide the crunch that kids love. And, last but not least, this sandwich is a good break from PB&J sandwich :)

Coffee Ceremony of Ethiopia

Ethiopia, which is considered the birthplace of Coffee, celebrates and enjoys this beverage with a "Coffee Ceremony".
Its a very elaborate ceremony which begins with roasting of coffee beans with cardamom and cloves ( sometimes with cinnamon too). The room fills with the aroma of freshly roasted coffee and spices. Once roasted to perfection, the beans are then boiled in water, strained and served with little sugar.

Till now I have never been to any Ethiopian restaurant but I might try one soon just to experience this Ethiopian coffee.

A combination of coffee and aromatic spices definitely is something to celebrate.

Caramel Spice Pear Butter


I was just recently introduced to fruit butters. They are very easy to make and require very less number of ingredients. This recipe for Caramel Spice Pear butter is adopted from a early 70's Home Canning book. Here is my version of the recipe.

Ingredients:

7 firm-ripe Bartlett pears
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
Cinnamon extract
Ginger extract
Clove extract
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Core pears, do not peel them. Cut them into about 1 inch pieces. Pressure cook. ( If you don't have a pressure cooker then boil pears in water for about 30 min). Let cool and then whirl the cooked pears in a food processor. Place the puree in a pan.

Place 1 cup of sugar in a pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar caramelizes to a medium brown syrup. Immediately pour this syrup over the pan with pear puree. Syrup will sizzle and harden, but will dissolve as the mixture is cooked later)
Add the remaining 1 cup sugar, 1-2 drops of Cinnamon extract, 1 drop of Ginger extract, 1-2 drops of Clove extract. Stir well.
( Note: If you wish, you can use Cardamom extract instead of Clove. )

Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat. Now reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring often, for about 45 min. The mixture should thicken gradually.
Stir in lemon juice just before removing from heat.

Pour this yummy Caramel Spice Pear Butter in jars. Let stand for 24 hrs at room temperature and then freeze or refrigerate. It stays up to 1 month in refrigerator and 1 year in freezer.

Fruit butters make excellent gifts. Homemade, healthy and very delicious.



Fruits and Spices


Can you guess what heavenly treat could be prepared with some Pears, 3 aromatic spices, 1 Lemon and some sugar?

Jams, Jellies and Spices

Have you ever used spices in Jams, Jellies and fruit butters?

The combination of fruits and spices results in a heavenly treat.

Difference between Spices and Herbs


A simple answer to this question would be that the leaf of a plant which is used in cooking is referred to as a Herb and any other part of the plant that is used to flavor food is termed as a Spice.
For example - Cloves (bud), ginger & turmeric (roots), fennel, cumin, coriander (seeds), cinnamon (bark), peppercorns (berries).

Herbs are used fresh and spices are generally in dried form.




What??!! I got an award???

I am so thankful to Harini for this surprise award that she sent my way.



Roopa of "My Kitchen Treats" started this award sometime back.
Well, I am to list my favorite and yummy-licious desserts that I have ever prepared/eaten. I am going to say that it would be my very traditional Shrikhand with Saffron and easy but very Royal Mango Mousse with Saffron.

Now comes the tough part. I have to pass on this award to 4 other blogs. There are so many to choose from :) I would like to pass on this yummy award to the following 4 awesome blogs -

Namratha of Finger Licking Food
Mythreyee of Paajaka
Mansi of Fun and Food
Madhu of Ruchii

Enjoy!!

*******************************************************************

Rules for the ‘Yummy Blog’ award Receiver:

The person who receives the award should display the "Yummy Blog !" logo on their blog and also the meaning of the award which is "Yummy blog award is the award given to the blog with most yummy recipes/photos".·The receiver should also quote their favorite yummylicious :) dessert(s) that they have ever prepared/eaten. Don’t restrict yourself to any dessert, chocolate bars also welcome.·Also the receiver should pass on the award to four other bloggers whose blog they find "yummy" and let them know about the rules.
*****************************************************************************

Weekend with Roses


Weather has been great here in Los Angeles.

What else can be more relaxing than to sit on the swing, hum a song and just enjoy the roses with the beautiful blue sky in the background.


Orange Clove Pomanders


What a wonderful use of cloves.

To make a basic Orange-Clove Pomander, just stud a orange with some cloves and that's it.
Some even roll these pomanders in a mixture of Orris root powder and cinnamon.

Spices are not just for cooking but they are also used in Aromatherapy.
Cloves are considered to be very stimulating and are used in Aromatherapy for its powerful fragrance. Cloves are great stress relievers.


Banana Bread with Cardamom


I am one of those lazy bakers who bakes her breads from store bought bread mix :)
But I do give my breads some personality by adding nuts and raisins to it.

My kids love Banana bread and I very often buy this Banana bread mix from Trader Joe's.
I add some raisins or cranberries, some nuts to this mix. Then I add 4-5 drops of Cardamom extract ( Tea Masala extract works well too).
Bake according to the instructions given on the package. In about 1 hr you have a really yummy banana bread.
Serve it with a cup of hot tea.


Ayurveda and Spices

I have some very interesting books on Ayurveda and I like to browse through them when I have some time. Yesterday, I was reading about some Classical Ayurvedic formulas and found it interesting that a lot of them had one or more than one spice in its list of ingredients.
For example -

Hingashtak Churna - made of Asafoetida
Eladi Churna - Top 3 ingredients are Cardamom, cloves and Saffron
Lavangadi Churna - contains cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger.
Lashunadi Bati - contains garlic, cumin, asafoetida
Trisugandhi Churna - Cinnamon, cardamom

And the list goes on .
This just shows how spices play a important role in Ayurvedic medicine.

Clove Extract


Clove is a unopened bud of a tropical evergreen tree. Clove has long been used to fight bacteria, tooth decay and anesthetize tooth pain. Clove is also recommended for colds, cough, indigestion & vomiting.

Clove tea is warming, uplifting and is used to ease nausea.
To make Clove tea - add 1-2 drops of Clove Extract to your regular cup of tea.
Or, just add 1-2 drops of Clove Extract to a glass of warm water.

My Pink Rose


This year, among all our roses plants, my Pink Rose was the first to bloom.

About 2 yrs back, I mistakenly over pruned this beautiful rose plant of mine. And it went into shock. I thought that I lost this pretty pink. But, with extra extra care and love, this plant has come back to life this year and is back with a splash.

Books on Ayurveda

" The Complete book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies" by Vasant Lad

I bought this book about 6 months back. I liked how the Ayurvedic principles were explained in a very easy to understand style. This book shows how easy it is to incorporate Ayurveda in our daily life.

Spice up your Oatmeal



My daughter hates Oatmeal.
Me too :)

The other day, I added a few drops of Kesar Milk Masala extract to my daughter's Oatmeal and Ginger extract to mine. And it was amazing. For the first time, my daughter finished her Oatmeal without complaining.

Give it a try. Add 1-2 drops of Ginger, Cardamom, Kesar Milk or Cinnamon to your Oatmeal.

Shrikhand with Kesar Milk Masala


Happy Gudi Padwa to you all.

We celebrated our New Year with a yummy feast of Shrikhand -Poori.

I added 2-3 drops of Kesar Milk Masala extract to my Shrikhand. Kesar Milk Masala extract is a very aromatic blend of Saffron, Cardamom, Nutmeg and Curcumin. Just few drops of this extract was enough to make my simple Shrikhand into a very royal treat.

Ayurvedic Cooking

Ayurvedic texts state that eating right food is the key to good health.

Ayurvedic cooking is an integral part of Ayurveda. The simple thinking behind Ayurvedic cooking is to eat food that is right for your constitution and has correct balance of nutrients.
Foods are divided into six different tastes - sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, astringent. A balanced meal should include all six tastes. How does one make a balanced meal ?
Well, Indian cuisine has beautifully incorporated Ayurvedic principles in even its most simple recipes.

Let's take the example of Indian Dal (Marathi Aamti)
The tadka (seasonings) for this simple Aamti includes -

Mustard seeds - pungent
Asafoetida -pungent
Turmeric - astringent
Kokum - sour
Fenugreek seeds - bitter
Green chillies

Heat oil. Add the above ingredients. Once they pop, add cooked lentil (I used Moong Dal), add salt (salty) and little jaggery (sweet) . Garnish with cilantro.


There you have it. All six tastes in one bowl.

Happy Holi

Wish you all a very Happy Holi.

This year, I went to my local Hindu temple with my daughter to play Holi and we had a great time. Hope you all played Holi too.

Spring is here !


Spring has definitely arrived here in California.

Cinnamon


Cinnamon is a pungent spice with stimulating and heating properties. Its circulatory stimulant properties are considered good during the menopause.

Cinnamon tea is considered to ease cold symptoms and improve blood circulation.

To make Cinnamon tea - Just add a drop of Cinnamon extract to your regular cup of tea.

Ruby Red Grapefruit



I was at Trader Joe's yesterday and bought these wonderful Ruby Red Cocktail Grapefruits. They are available only till February end and I buy a big box of these every year :)

Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and the pink and red hues contain the beneficial antioxidant lycopene.

I have found some interesting recipes that use Grapefruit juice and spices. Will post them soon.



Sunset

Nature's beautiful color palette.




Sunset from my backyard.

Turmeric


The weather has been crazy here in Los Angeles area. Its been raining a lot and is very cold.
To keep cold & cough away in such weather, a perfect drink for kids would be a warm glass of Turmeric milk.

To make Turmeric milk, add 5 drops of Turmeric extract to a glass of warm milk. Add some sugar for taste. That's it. Some like to add cardamom and cinnamon too.
(Note the color that I got from just 5 drops of extract. )

Turmeric is an excellent antiseptic, blood purifier and is rich antioxidants.

Asafoetida (Hing)

Did you know that one of the Homeopathic remedies for Irritable Bowel Syndrome is Asafoetida?
Asafoetida is a carminative and also is useful as an expectorant. It is sometimes used as a substitute for Garlic.


Asafoetida is also used to treat some forms of Osteoarthritis.

Rainbow


What a beautiful way to start your day.
Today we almost had a double rainbow. Can you see a faint second one on the far right side?

Have you seen a full rainbow anytime ?
I have seen it only once till now. And it was amazingly beautiful.

Extracts in Marinades

Have you ever tried using extracts in marinades?

Extracts are perfect in marinades and salad dressings. Since extracts are in liquid form, they are absorbed easily and quickly. The flavor of the spice is absorbed evenly.

Try this very easy Moroccan inspired Marinade with Spice extracts.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 drop of Cinnamon extract
1 drop of Nutmeg extract
1 drop of Clove extract
3-4 drops of Garlic extract
salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients.
This marinade works very well with tofu. Stir fry this marinated tofu with some chopped vegetables. Warm up some of the left over marinade and pour over tofu-vegetable stir fry. Serve with rice.

Also try this marinade for cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms and pineapple chunks.

Truffles with Tea Masala Extract - by Nupur Kittur

Nupur of OneHotStove posted a amazing recipe for Truffles. Interestingly, she used Tea Masala extract in it. Isn't that creative?

Here is her recipe for Tea Tinged Truffles with Tea Masala Extract.

Enjoy!

Bags versus Extract


Have you seen those instant Tea Masala bags in the stores? Its tea extract, milk powder, Sugar and spices, all in one bag. Just add hot water.
Well, I bought one box last week to compare them against our own Tea Masala Extract. And here are some comparisons :

1) I just had to add hot water to the instant Tea Masala bag.

To use our Tea Masala extract, you need to make tea first. Our extract is the blend of spices that can be added to your regular tea to give it a spicy makeover :)

2) The tea was light for my taste. And it was a bit sweet.

This is where our Tea Masala extract comes out a winner. You make your tea the way you like it (strong, light, black, with milk, with/without sugar) and just add our extract to it.

3) I had that powdery taste in the last few sips.

Since our extract is in liquid form, it mixes fully with the tea and hence no powdery taste.


4) Price of 10 Instant Masala Tea - $3.99 ( for 10 cups of tea - $3.99)

Price of 1 Tea Masala Extract - $5.99 ( 1 bottle has around 150 drops.
So, more than 60 cups of tea can get a spicy makeover with just 1 bottle of our extract !)


5) 4 Spices in the instant Tea masala bag -Ginger, Black Pepper, Cardamom and Clove.

6 Spices in Tea Masala Extract - Ginger, Peppercorn, Cardamom, Clove, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.


Tulsi

Tulsi (meaning "incomparable") is highly revered in Ayurveda and Tulsi extract has been used in Ayurvedic medicines for thousands of years. Tulsi is high in antioxidants and offers many health benefits. It is also known to build immunity and relieve stress.

Tulsi tea is easy to make and is a excellent pick-me-upper.
Just make your tea the way you like it (strong , light or black) and add 1-2 drops of Tulsi extract to it. Tulsi goes well with milk too.

On days when you feel stressed out, try having a cup of Tulsi tea.

Mango Mousse with Saffron Extract

video

Chef Hari's recipe for Mango Mousse with Saffron extract.
Simple but elegant dessert for any occasion.

Rose Parade

One of the great events of Los Angeles is Rose Parade. What a great way to start the New Year!

This time I went to see the floats on Jan 2nd, the day after the parade and I was amazed to see such creative use of flowers, leaves, nuts and grains. I have never seen so many orchids in one place before. It was very beautiful.





Year 2008

Before I knew, 2008 is here at my door step. "Ready or not, here I come"

2007 was good for Supreme Spice. We added some new extracts, made some changes to the website, started this blog. I attended some conventions to get more exposure to the products and the response was positive. I was hoping to add Curry Leaf extract to our product line but unfortunately that didn't happen. But I will keep trying.


For the coming year, the momentum is building and 2008 should be a great one for Supreme Spice.