The Book Blog and ETC.

i-netradio takes you to India

Posted on November 22, 2014 at 11:55 AM

India, officially the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world.


India is a land of festivals and every festival has its own special menu; every occasion also has a special menu and these are vary from region to region.  Most Indian dishes are full of spices hence the flavor and the color. The most common spices and ingredients used in Indian cuisine include mustard, cumin, curry leaves, green coriander, garam masala (a masala made of select range of spices), tomatoes, onions, garlic, and ginger, along with the main ingredients such as the vegetables or lentils that go into it.



As you may know by now... in my kitchen we start with cocktails first...then we cook...I know, I know, but don't judge me :)

Some of the best bartenders of from India share some delectable cocktails inspired by this amazing country.

I have made no alteration to the recipes... I hope you enjoy.



What can be more quint essentially Indian than the stunning colours of this flower. This is the signature cocktail at Indian Accent and certainly a winner. “It draw sits inspiration from our leifmotif, the marigold flower,” says Samrat Banerjee, general manager at Indian Accent. “The bright orange with shades of red, garnished with a full bloom marigold, sets the mood immediately on happy notes. It’s a strong cocktail with a smooth citrus note,” headds. It’s a great pre-dinner cocktail. Go on, shake it up at home....and dance like no one's watching.


60ml dark rum

10ml fresh lime

30ml spiced tea

60ml cranberry juice

60ml orange juice


1. Blend all the above ingredients in a cocktail shaker, shake gently.

2. Pour over ice in a tall glass and serve.




You don’t really associate strong south Indian flavours with cocktails. But here is a drink to prove you wrong. Suhail Vadgaokar, of the Welcom Hotel Sheraton, New Delhi, concocted this refreshing drink at a bartending contestem—the Belvedere RASA competition. About 65 bartenders across Delhi and Mumbai participated in the event, where the theme was to create a sensual vodka cocktail infused with an Indian element.

“Coconut is a core ingredient in South Indian cuisine,” says Suhail. “But one wouldn’t think of combining it with coffee and cardamom. That’s the thought I followed. Another inspirational factor was to promote the concept of dessert cocktails, which aren’t very popular in India at the moment.”


60ml Belvedere vodka

90ml coconut milk

30ml hot milk

30ml madras coffee decoration (regular instant coffee can also beused)

45ml sugar syrup (the measure canbe tweaked depending on the preferred level of sweetness)

4 pods cardamom


1. Rim an old-fashioned glass with a mixture of coconut milk and powdered coffee.

2. Crush cardamom and pour hot milk over it to create an infusion.

3. In a cocktail shaker, add all the ingredients including the milk over ice.

4. Shake and serve.



This is one of the most innovative and imaginatively presented cocktails that you are likely to come across through these party months.

Literally served in a traditional Indian lota, the brass vessel found in every traditional Indian home, this one is a julep—with an attitude. Traditionally, mint juleps in the USA (part of the larger family of “smashes”, where fresh mint is smashed or muddled in the glass) were served in silver or pewter cups. Here, the twist becomes the lota!


30ml Bacardi white rum

30ml Bacardidarkrum

15ml passion fruit purée

5ml fresh lime juice

5ml sugar syrup

8 to 10 mint leaves

1 orange wedge for garnish

1 mintsprig for garnish

Crushed ice


1. Tap 8 to 10 mint leaves

and throw into the lotta.

2. Add Bacardi white rum

and Bacardi dark rum into the lotta.

3. Pour in the lime juice, sugar syrup and passion fruit puree.

4. Fill the lotta with crushed ice.

5. Garnish with an orange wedge and mint sprig.




The Margarita is one of the most popular cocktails around. The story of its origin is contentious and one of the most popular stories is that it was invented in October 1941 at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico, by a bartender called Don Carlos Orozco.

As he was concocting the drink, a woman called Margarita walked in and she became the first person to taste it. Hence the name. At Varq, Taj Mahal Hotel, the version comes with a twist—with tamarind;

Indian style!


60ml tequila

10ml Cointreau

45ml orange juice

30ml tamarind pulp

10ml demerara sugar

20ml lime juice


1. Pour all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously.

2. Pour in an old-fashioned glass. Serve immediately.



So now we need a little food after sampling those cocktails….

Thank You to everyone who submitted recipes for this segment :)



1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1/4 cup white sugar

3 tablespoons milk

1 egg, beaten 2 teaspoons salt

4 1/2 cups bread flour

2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)

1/4 cup butter, melted


In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.

At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and Eat...while you continue the process.



2 large potatoes, peeled

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 bay leaf, crushed

2 large onions, finely chopped

1 pound ground beef

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped green chile


1 quart oil for deep frying

1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough


Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in potatoes and peas. Cook until potatoes are tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash together and set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium high heat, heat the oil. Brown cumin seeds and bay leaf. Mix in onions and ground beef. Cook until beef is evenly brown and onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Mix in garlic, fresh ginger root. Season with black pepper, salt, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili powder, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir in the mashed potato mixture. Remove from heat and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour, or until cool.

Mix cilantro and green chile peppers into the potato and beef mixture. Place approximately 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto each phyllo sheet. Fold sheets into triangles, pressing edges together with moistened fingers

In small batches, fry until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels and serve warm



1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black


1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken

breast - cut into 1-inch strips

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 large onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

2 green chile peppers, minced

2 Roma tomatoes, diced

1/2 cup tomato paste

1/4 cup water

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 bunch cilantro for garnish


Combine yogurt, 2 teaspoons garam masala, paprika, black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon coriander in a large bowl. Add chicken strips and toss to coat. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.

Place chicken strips on the prepared baking sheet, leaving space between each piece, and bake in the preheated oven until browned and no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir cumin seeds until lightly toasted and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add onion; cook and stir until onion begins to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, ginger, and green chiles and continue to cook until onion is browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Cook and stir tomatoes, tomato paste, and water into onion mixture until tomatoes begin to break down and incorporate into the onion mixture, about 10 minutes.

Cook and stir 1 teaspoon garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, and turmeric into the tomato mixture. Mix in the cooked chicken, add cream, and stir to coat. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and garnish with cilantro.


 This is a typical Indian fried rice recipe. Spices and ghee is added to the boiled rice.


 400 gm Rice

100 gm Ghee or butter

65 gms onion

2 gms cinnamon

2 gms Bay leaf

1 gm peppercorns

6 gms Salt

• Heat the ghee in a large saucepan and add the finely sliced onion.

• Fry till golden brown, remove from the pan and keep aside.

• To the hot fat, add the washed and drained rice and the spices.

• Keep stirring and fry for 4-5 minutes till the rice appears glazed. Add salt and boiling water an inch above the rice.

• Boil and simmer till the water is almost absorbed and then put into a very slow oven at 250 degree and leave for 20-25 minutes till the rice is cooked.

• Serve garnished with fried onions. Hard-boiled eggs cut in slices may also be used as a garnish.




 Bombay sandwich is very easy to make and is a quick snack dish. On white bread green chutney and butter is applied and then thinly sliced tomatoes, onions rings, cucumber and potatoes are sandwiched between the bread slices. If you want you can even toast or grill them in a griller with butter smeared on both sides….OR place it in your Panini maker. I have had this a few times and I absolutely love it!


Makes : 2 Sanwiches

Cooking time : 10-15 mins


4 slices of bread

4 tsp butter

1/2 cup green chutney

2 boiled potatoes (pilled and sliced thick)

1/2 cucumbers (thinly sliced)

2 tomatoes (thinly sliced)

1 onion (sliced very thinly)

1 tsp chat masala

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp zero size sev

{Green Chutney Recipe}

3 green chilies

Few Sprigs of mint leaves

1/2 bunch of coriander leaves

salt to taste

1 tsp Lemon Juice

• For the green chutney- grind together green chilies, mint leaves, coriander leaves, salt and lemon juice to a smooth paste.

Chutneys are important not only for snacks but they are an integral part of the main course too. Chutneys are generally spicy they can also be made sweet. In their absence an Indian meal remains incomplete. Find here different kinds of chutneys such as mango chutney and a mint chutney. These chutneys can be served with kababs or aloo tikkis or with the vegetable pulao alike.




  1/2 kg mango, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 cup raisins

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup vinegar

250 gms ginger finely chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tsp salt


• Mix all ingredients and give the mixture to boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes

• Till the mixture thickens.



Of course this mint chutney is a little different than the one we used earlier for our Bombay Panini Sandwich.


 1 bunch fresh mint leaves

2 green chilies

1 tbsp tamarind pulp

Salt To Taste

little water


• To make tamarind pulp soak little tamarind in water and keep aside for 2 hours.

• Then strain the mixture in a bowl with the help of a spoon. To make tamarind juice add little water to the pulp.

• These days ready made pulp is available in the market. Wash the mint leaves well.

• Grind it to a smooth paste with green chilies, salt and tamarind juice.

• You can add water if the mixture is thick.


Of course I had to include the famous lassi drink and basil tea favorite.. Mango Lassi.



1 cup Curd (Dahi, plain non-fat Yogurt)

1cup peeled and chopped Ripe Mango (Aam)

2 tblsp Sugar (Cheeni) or to taste

1/4th tsp Cardamom Powder (Elaichi Powder, optional)

Few Ice-cubes

How to make mango lassi:

• Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth in a blender.

• Strain through a sieve, pushing as much liquid as possible.

• Pour in glasses and serve.




 1/2 cup Basil Leaves (Tulsi Leaves)

21/4th cup Water

2 tsp Tea Leaves (Chai Patti) or 2 Tea Bags

To taste Sugar (Cheeni)

As needed Milk (Doodh)


• In a small tea pan bring water and basil leaves to boil.

• Lower the heat and allow to brew for 3-4 minutes.

• Now add the tea leaves or tea bags and sugar as per taste.

• Bring to boil.

• Turn off the heat and strain it into cups and add milk as per your taste.


So this ends our journey to India...I had fun with James and Robert...and again Thank You to all who submitted recipes.

~xoxo Sincerely Yours, Nerisa :)


Categories: ***Caribbean Rhythm (RECIPES)***