A Lemony Twist On Fresa Colada

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What a typical Londoner might call a bright sunny day, we, the residents of Dubai, call a well-deserved break from the blistering summer sun that beats (mercilessly) down upon us for a good six months each year (five-and-a-half if we’re lucky). I personally love the Dubai winter, especially because it brings with it, a plethora of fresh seasonal fruits from the Middle eastern region, the most noteworthy of which are the strawberries flown in daily from Egypt.

I couldn’t resist myself from buying a kilogram of these tantalizing berries when I last went grocery shopping. Needless to say, we got tired of eating all these strawberries pretty soon, so I thought of making a refreshing drink out of it. I added some coconut water and lemon syrup to compliment the sweet and sour berries and the drink turned out better than expected.

Here’s the recipe if you want to replicate it at home. It serves two people.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups fresh coconut water (I use yellow Srilankan coconuts as they are a bit on the sweet side)
  • 6-8 medium strawberries
  • 2 tablespoon lemon syrup (alternately, you can use 1 tsp lemon juice and 2 tsp honey)
  • For garnish:
    • 2 medium strawberries (coarsely chopped)
    • 3-4 mint leaves
    • 5-6 ice cubes

Method

  1. Wash the strawberries and remove the leafy part; add them to a blender
  2. Add coconut water and lemon syrup the blender and mix well
  3. Pour the juice into mason jars and add in some ice
  4. Top the jars with chopped strawberries and mint
  5. Serve immediately

Hope you enjoy this drink as much as I did making it. I’d appreciate your comments if you do try this at home!

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Vegetable Samosas (Aaloo kay samosay)

Vegetable Samosas

I’m sure all Pakistani/Indian Cuisine enthusiasts must have had these samosas at least once in their lives. This Ramadan, I bring you a recipe for making these at home with very little effort. If you wish, you can use/create your own chicken/beef-based filling for these samosas.

Please do try them at home and say a silent prayer for me! 🙂

Ingredients

1. For Envelopes

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Ajwain (or Thyme)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 4 tbsp Oil
  • 2 tbsp Ghee (or Vegetable Shortening)
  • Water – to knead

2. For Filling

  • 3 medium Potatoes (boiled)
  • 2 tbsp Peas (boiled) – OPTIONAL
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Pomegranate seeds (anaar daana)
  • 1/2 tsp Blackseeds (kalonji)
  • 1 medium Onion (thinly chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder (haldi)
  • 8-10 Mint leaves
  • 5-6 Coriander leaf stalks
  • 4-5 Green Chilies (thinly sliced)
  • 1/4 tsp Coriander seeds (coarsely chopped)*
  • 1/4 tsp Red Chilies (coarsely chopped)*
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin (zeera – coarsely chopped)*
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Oil or Ghee

Method

1. Envelopes

  1. Add all ingredients and knead it into a slightly thick dough – use water sparingly (see video below for dough consistency)

2. Filling

  1. Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onion to it; fry the onion until translucent – don’t let it change color
  2. Now add Pomegranete seeds, Kalonji, Turmeric Powder, Coriander leaves, Mint leaves, Green Chilies, Coriander seeds, Red Chilies, and Cumin seeds to the frying onion
  3. After about a minute, add little chunks of the boiled Potatoes and the peas to the mixture and cook until everything is properly mixed
  4. Add Lemon juice to the mixture and take it off the flame – let it cool before making the samosas

3. Folding

Enjoy!
Yousuf

* My mother uses these three ingredients quite frequently so she always has a mixture of these three spices ready; if you want to make it yourself, use equal quantities of coriander seeds, red chilies and cumin seeds.

Vegetable Samosas