Savoury Ragi Ambli | Ragi Malt: A Summer Cooler

Ragi Ambli (also called Ragi Malt) is one of those recipes that I forgot to blog about because it is oh-so-common in my home. Today, I was reminded of it by Pushpita of Pushpita’s Chakhum who requested the recipe.

Pushipita’s blog is a treasure trove of Manipuri Recipes and I have been learning enormous amounts about an Indian cuisine I had no knowledge of!

Savoury Ragi Malt
Savoury Ragi Malt

Ragi (Finger Millet) is very popular in South India because of its high iron and calcium content, and is savoured in many different ways. I have already posted the recipes for Ragi Dosa and Ragi Sangati (Ragi Mudde). And today I am writing about Ragi Ambli.

The onset of summer means that Ragi Ambli is made virtually every alternate day in my home because of its legendary cooling properties. There are two versions of Ragi Ambli; sweet and savoury. This is the recipe for my favourite version; the savoury one that uses buttermilk.

Having Ragi Malt regularly ensures that you are never anaemic and ensures you have healthy bones. These are only two of the manifold benefits of this humble drink made with millets. Another great thing about Ragi Ambli is that it is also very filling and so makes for a low-calorie breakfast. Isn’t that a weight-watchers boon. 🙂

This is the salty version of Ragi Malt. I will post the sweet version made with milk soon!

How to Make Savoury Ragi Ambli | Ragi Malt

Ragi Ambli | Ragi Malt
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Ragi Ambli | Ragi Malt
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Ragi Ambli is a low-calorie yet highly nutritious drink that is loaded with iron, calcium, fibre and other nutrients. It also cools down the body and is often drunk in Summer to keep cool.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Indian, South Indian, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 People
Author: Aruna
Ingredients
  • 4 tbsp Ragi Flour
  • 3/4 Cup Curd
  • 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Onion (Optional)
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Finely Chopped Coriander (Optional)
Instructions
Making a Paste of the Ragi Flour
  1. Add the ragi flour to a bowl.

  2. Gradually add 1/2 cup water and mix well.

  3. Ensure there are no lumps.

  4. Set aside.

Cooking the Ragi Paste
  1. Boil 1 cup water with 3/4 tsp of salt.

  2. If you are using onions, when the water starts simmering, add the onion pieces.

  3. Simmer for 5 to 7 minutes till the onion pieces soften.

  4. Turn the heat to low.

  5. Add the Ragi paste to the simmering water and mix well.

  6. Turn the heat upto medium and cook the Ragi paste till it thickens. Mix continuously as otherwise the Ragi paste will stick to the bottom. 

  7. When the raw smell of the Ragi flour disappears and the Ragi paste becomes shiny, turn off the heat.

  8. Let the cooked Ragi paste cool.

Putting Together the Ragi Ambli
  1. In a large vessel, add the curd and beat well.

  2. Add 1.5 cups water and mix well.

  3. Add the cooled Ragi paste and mix well.

  4. Garnish with Coriander.

  5. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes
  • Onions are optional. I add them because they lend a crunch and onions by themselves are cooling in nature.
  • You could also add a tempering of cumin seeds, curry leaves and green chillies.

 

Virgin Mojito

Virgin Mojito
Virgin Mojito

Last Saturday started off very well with a splendid early morning concert followed by a hearty breakfast with some good friends. I then decided to go to the bank to complete some work and that was the mistake. By the time I got to the bank, it was about 10:00 AM and a baking 40°C. I was out and about in the open sun for just a few minutes but that was enough to do me in.

By the time I got home at 10:45 AM, all I wanted was to cool down. By the time I cooled down sufficiently, my father mentioned that he can feel the cloth of his “easy chair” swing a bit. At first I did not pay much attention but then I felt the mild swaying too. At first I thought I was a bit light-headed but then put on the TV to see the breaking news about the earthquake in Nepal. It was just a few minutes after the event and the extent of the disaster that was to unfold was still unknown.

After a few minutes began the din from the apartment complex opposite ours which is under going a face lift. So the afternoon siesta was not a very relaxing one. Then I decided to add to my own misery by stepping out for a brisk walk in the evening.

So by about 7 PM I was rather out of sorts and if I were the drinking sort, would have certainly downed a peg or two. 😀 Since I do not keep alcohol at home, I decided to calm down with a Virgin Mojito.

A simple drink made of lemon juice, sugar syrup, fresh mint and water/soda, a Mojito is very very refreshing and my drink of choice on many an occasion that we dine out. This is the first time I have made a Virgin Mojito at home and am very glad that I made it.

One confession though: The amount of sugar in one glass of the Virgin Mojito came as quite a shock to me and left me wondering what else I poison myself with when I dine out!

How to Make Virgin Mojito

Serves: 4 Tall glasses

Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Fresh Mint Leaves – 1 Cups
  2. Fresh Lemon Juice – 6 tbsp
  3. Sugar – 6 to 8 tbsp
  4. Chilled Soda or Water – 2.5 Cups
  5. Ice Cubes or Crushed Ice

Method

  1. Chill four tall empty glasses.
  2. Over medium heat, boil the sugar in 1/2 cup water till it dissolves completely to form a thick syrup.
  3. Let the syrup cool.
  4. Bruise or crush the mint leaves lightly to release the aroma.
  5. To each of the chilled glasses:
    • Add 1.5 tbsp lemon juice.
    • Fill 1/2 of the glass with ice cubes or crushed ice.
    • Add 1/4 cup of lightly crushed mint leaves.
    • Add 1/4 the sugar syrup.
    • Top with chilled water or soda.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Sit back and enjoy the Virgin Mojito.

Tips

  • You can reduce the amount of sugar or use a sugar substitute.
  • You can make a large pitcher of Virgin Mojito rather than individual servings like I have.
  • Be sure to bruise the mint leaves as otherwise you won’t get the minty fresh taste of a Mojito.
  • Do not add the mint leaves to the lemon juice concentrate or they will soon turn black.
  • You could reduce the amount of mint, but I do love my mojito to be minty. 🙂

Kaju Anjeer Milkshake (Cashew Fig Milkshake)

With the onset of summer, my desire to eat a breakfast goes into a tailspin. I cannot be tempted to sit down to a breakfast in hot an sultry Mumbai. Forgoing breakfast makes me hungry and crabby, so I resort to drinking filling milkshakes as an alternative.

One of my most favourite milkshakes ever is Kaju Anjeer Milkshake. I first had this absolutely delicious drink at Shiv Sagar in Juhu. I used to be a regular at this restaurant so much so that the people there knew what I would want to order. 🙂

Depending on my mood and time of day, it would be Pav Bhaji, Dal Khichadi with Papad with Chaas, or then Kaju Anjeer Milkshake.

Kaju Anjeer Milkshake is quite heavy and since Shiv Sagar served it in a tall glass, just the milkshake would be a meal in itself. And the best part was that I would not miss a meal because Shiv Sagar used to make the milkshake so thick that I had to eat it with a spoon! I have often been offered ice-cream as a topping but have never had the courage to try it because I had trouble finishing the milkshake by itself. 🙂

I tried to make Kaju Anjeer Milkshake just the way I used to have it at Shiv Sagar and came pretty close to the original thing.

How to Make Kaju Anjeer Milkshake (Cashew Fig Milkshake)

Serves: 2

Soaking Time: 30 Mins

Blending Time: 2 Mins

Ingredients

  1. Dried Figs or Anjeer – 6
  2. Cashews or Kaju – 1/4 Cup
  3. Cold Milk – 2 Cups
  4. Honey – 2 tsp (optional, Anjeer is sweet enough)

Method to Make the Cashew Fig Milkshake

  1. Place the dried figs in a small bowl.
  2. Add just enough water so that the figs are covered.
  3. Soak the figs for 30 minutes.
  4. Grind the dried figs and cashews into a coarse using the water the figs were soaked in.
  5. Blend the cashew-fig paste with the milk and honey.
  6. Serve the Kaju Anjeer Milkshake cold.

 

Kaju Anjeer Milkshake - Cashew Fig Milkshake
Kaju Anjeer Milkshake

Ginger Lemon

Ginger Lemon
Ginger Lemon

Ginger Lemon is one of those drinks that you either love or you hate. Needless to say I love this spicy drink. Not only is it a great refresher in the scorching Indian summer, but also a wonderful digestive aid.

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients

  1. Fresh Grated Ginger – 2 tbsp
  2. Honey – 3 tbsp
  3. Lemon Juice – 3 tbsp
  4. Water at Room Temperature – 1 Cup
  5. Chilled Water – 3 Cups

Method

  1. Add the grated ginger to 1 cup of water.
  2. Bring to a boil and gently simmer for 5 minutes till the water turns cloudy.
  3. Turn off the heat and add the honey.
  4. Mix well till the honey dissolves.
  5. Let the ginger extract cool completely.
  6. Mix well and filter out all the ginger.
  7. Discard the ginger.
  8. To the filtered ginger extract, add the lemon juice and 3 cups of chilled water.
    Add more water or honey, if you find the drink a bit too spicy.
  9. Serve immediately.

 

Beat the Heat with Summer Coolers

Hot and bothered in summer? Try these coolers:

  1. Masala Chaas – Spiced Buttermilk
  2. Nimmakaya Majjiga – Lemon Flavoured Buttermilk
  3. Jal Jeera – Cumin, Mint, Lemon, and Dry Mango Cooler
  4. Thandai – Spiced Milk with Dry Fruits
  5. Masala Milk – Milk with Pistachio, Cashew, Cardamom, and Saffron
  6. Kokum Sherbet – A Maharashtrian Classic
  7. Ela Neer Payasam – A Cooler with Milk, Coconut Water and Coconut Milk

Stay Cool!