Thursday, 10 August 2017



In June 2013, which was my first summer in Canada, one day, my daughter told me, “Mom, cherries are in season now; we are going to enjoy these fresh red beauties in the next few months”. I couldn’t believe her words. Then I shook my head and told myself, ‘you are in Canada, Sadhna, life and foods are different here’, I took a deep breath and asked her “Are you sure, you get fresh cherries here?” She looked at me with a surprise in her eyes and said, “Yes, of course, you are in Canada, and this country is called a country of berries”. I was thrilled with the feeling that I am in a country of berries where I will experience the pleasure of eating fresh cherries from the farm because, throughout my life, I never had that privilege of enjoying the fresh cherries. I lived in three continents and six countries, but never got fresh cherries to eat or to use in my cooking, may be because of the climate and vegetation found in those areas. Throughout my long stay in Africa, I always used canned or tinned cherries whenever I wanted to use them in my cooking.

Over the years now I have enjoyed the different types of berries here in Canada, which I had never experienced before. I love these berries because of their taste, flavour, variety, awesome colour and enormous health benefits. Here a lot of varieties of berries are available like- strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, cranberries etc. Some of these berries are available throughout the year but some are only seasonal, and of course, frozen berries are available throughout the year. Apart from enjoying the taste as it is I am using my cooking skills to learn, try and test some new recipes with them.

Cherries are my favourite super food. They look good, taste good, have lots of health benefits and their red colour is so adorable, which can attract foodies like me to use in our culinary journey. The only problem is that they are available only for a short period of time that is from May to July here in Calgary, it seems cherry season comes and goes in a blink of an eye. I wish they were available for a longer time, being my favourite fruit, I want them always in my fridge but thank goodness, frozen cherries are available here throughout the year. That’s a relief; at least I can use the frozen ones even when they are not in season.

I have already tried and tested many recipes with cherries, I have already shared some of them, check this Cherry trifle. Soon I am going to share more of them. Coming to the recipe, this is a quick and easy way to enjoy cherries in the summer, and this is a very simple recipe. I wanted to make it lighter so I didn’t add any whipped cream, if you want to make it rich you can add whipped cream to it. The main purpose of making it light was to enjoy more servings without the feeling of guilt.



  • 1 cup sliced cherries
  • 1/4 cup sugar for cherries
  • 1 packet of cherry jelly ( I used vegetarian jelly)
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 cup sliced mangoes
  • 1/4 cup sugar for mangoes
  • 1 packet of mango jelly
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tbs pumpkin seeds for garnishing.


  • Make a puree of sliced cherries in a blender, add sugar and pulse again, keep it aside.
  • Mix the packet of jelly in a cup of hot water, mix well and add to the cherry puree (Read and follow the instructions on the packet)
  • Carefully pour into 4 tilted glasses and keep it in the fridge for 6-8 hours.
  • Now make the puree with sliced mangoes in a blender, add sugar and pulse more.
  • Mix the packet of mango jelly in 1 cup of hot water and add to the mango puree.
  • Straighten the glasses and carefully pour in the remaining space in the glasses, you will find that the cherry puree is already set at an angle in those glasses.
  • Keep it again in the fridge for 6-8 hours, with the glasses straight.
  • Decorate with pumpkin seeds on top and serve.

Note- Glasses can be tilted in some small bowls or a cupcake muffin tray.

I am sharing this recipe as my blog post entry to Fiesta Friday and Sweet Inspiration party and with Meatless Monday and Hearth and Soul blog party with cook blog share and Cook once eat twice and with Ful plate Thursday and with we are pinnable and Simple and in season

Monday, 31 July 2017


(Sweet & Sour, without oil)

Oranges are juicy, sweet and not only the most popular fruits of the world but also they are great in their awesome colour, aroma, taste and they are full of vitamin C. Apart from these qualities, they have a lot of health benefits. Their peels have the same colour as the fruit inside, and orange peels are loaded with nutrients, good for overall health. Orange peels have more fiber than the fruit itself. Orange peels are dried in the sun and then its powder is used in many cosmetics, as it is considered as a boon for skincare and face for the blemish-free and glowing skin.

Orange zest, which is the top layer of an orange peel, is a fabulous ingredient for bakers throughout the world. The coloured part of the orange skin is called the orange zest which gives the best aroma and flavour to a recipe. It is used in many cakes, cookies, biscotti’s, ice creams, yoghurt and many vegetarian and non-vegetarian recipes of different cuisines of the world. According to this article - Never throw your orange peel, you might find orange peels are your new secret ingredient to a healthier and happier you. Check here-

My mother-in-law used to make a similar pickle (like this recipe) with lemon peel, which we enjoyed a lot. I had seen her, cutting the lemon peels with a pair of scissors. She was a great cook, I always admired her dishes and I learned a lot of cooking from her.
When I made this pickle the very first time, basing on my mother-in-law’s recipe of lemon pickle, I only changed the main ingredient that is orange instead of lemon and added some orange and lemon juice instead of only lemon juice as it was in the original recipe. But I did not change the other spices and method of cooking.

At the end of the day, it came out fantastic, I was very happy, and also increased an inch of self-pride because I had invented a new recipe based on an old one. As my pride grew more, I thought, let me go and check on Google, and assumed that when I type ‘orange peel pickle’ on Google, I will find no link at all. But, to my surprise, it was already there, I felt, as if somebody popped the balloon of my pride, oh no, poor me, I was totally disappointed, but later realised that those recipes were very different from mine, only one main ingredient that is orange peel was common. I thanked God, and said to myself; at least my recipe is unique. Today I am delighted to share my own creation with my readers, and I am very sure once you will make it, you will really enjoy this wonderful recipe.

I can say that if your choice is like mine and if you like pickles, you will love this orange peel pickle. This is a sweet, sour, tangy, spicy, recipe and a whole package of beautiful colour and taste together with lots of health benefits. I have already posted 4 pickles on my blog and as I have already mentioned that pickles and chutneys play an important role in Indian cuisine and that a lot of varieties of pickles and chutneys are enjoyed in India with their main meal.


  • 4 navel oranges peels
  • Oranges juice of 4 oranges
  • lemon juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt and paprika to taste
  • One tsp garam masala (optional)*
  • 100 grams sugar and 25 ml water


  • Cut the oranges in half and remove all the juice, and with the help of a pair of scissors cut the thin strips of the peel.
  • Add salt, paprika, orange and lemon juice to this cut orange peel strips and leave it overnight.
  • Mix water and sugar and make a sugar syrup, mix the orange peel with the juice and cook for another10 minutes, stir continuously, leave it to cool.
  • Pickle is ready: cool and fill in a glass bottle and store, it can last on the shelf for two weeks but can last in the fridge for two months.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017



Saffron is an exquisite and luxurious spice which is the most expensive spice in the world. I checked the price if I can buy online, yes it is available but I will have to pay $20 only for one gram or $500 for an ounce. I was always wondering why the price of this spice is always high, though I am using it from decades in my recipes and even seen my mom using this spice. But never did the investigation why the price is so high.

(This is not an advertisement, just showing the spice to my readers which  I used in this recipe.)

When I started writing this post, the first question in my mind came is to find out, why it is so expensive, after so much googling I got the following answer. The price is so high because it is the most labour-intensive crop. It is stated in the following website that 80,000 crocus flowers must be grown, cared, hand harvested and processed to make one pound of saffron. This is considered to be the most precious spice in the world. Ccheck this website.

One more reason for the high price is that it is produced in very few countries, India is one of them. It is grown in the Kashmir valley of North India. Even though it is very expensive, it is worth using because of its color, exotic flavour and is qualities. It is popularly known as “Kesar” in the Indian sub-continent and it is also called a gold spice.

In Indian cuisine, saffron is used in many sweet items particularly those prepared with milk or milk products like puddings, milk fudge, beverage in which milk is used, smoothies, home-made ice creams and many more. Apart from milk products, it is also used in Mughlai vegetarian and non veg dishes, stews, rich curries and in rice dishes like biryani etc. Saffron is used in European, Indian, Pakistani and Arab cuisine.

The aroma, flavour and colour of saffron are unique. When I use in cooking, I mix few threads of saffron in a small amount of warm milk and leave it to dissolve its colour and then mixed in the recipe to release its colour and aroma. Very small amount of these threads are used in cooking.

Saffron is used as medicine in many traditional Asian, Chinese, Unani and African methods of healing. In Indian Ayurveda, which is the ancient healing system, and is a science of healing with natural herbs and natural means, it is the best and most unique medicine, which can suite anybody, which improves the body immunity and gives energy to the body. Saffron improves circulation and purifies the blood. Saffron has a lot of minerals and vitamins. This spice has a lot of health benefits and some other uses are also there, which are explained nicely and in detail in the following website.
Apart from food, saffron is used in many skin products and face washes for a smooth and healthy skin.

I enjoy cooking using the slow cooker; it is not only easy and convenient but also aromatic and healthy. In Indian cuisine, we use a lot of spices to get the maximum health benefits, taste and aroma of these spices. Slow cooking is best in many recipes like this one. I have experienced that whenever I use the slow cooker, the aroma of the spices are really enhanced and that is when we can get the real benefits of these spices.
This is my mom's recipe, I am glad to share her recipe on my blog. I used the slow cooker for her recipe to enhance the flavour of this exotic spice saffron. This is a very simple recipe with very few ingredients.



  • One liter milk
  • 100 grams white rice
  • 200 grams sugar
  • Few threads of saffron
  • Pinch cardamom powder


  • Mix few threads of saffron in 2 tbs warm milk and mix it well, leave it for ten minutes to release its colour.
  • Rinse rice 2-3 times in water, till you get the clean water.
  • In a slow cooker add milk, rice, the mixture of water and saffron and cardamom powder and cook on high for four hours. Stirring after one hour.
  • When the pudding is thick enough add sugar and leave it for 15 more minutes.
  • This can be served hot or cold from the fridge depending on the taste.