I behave like a little puppy when summers arrive in hills. There is so much to look forward, the fresh bounty which includes fruits like, cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, lychees, apples and pears. I cant seem to get over them. I just have to keep trying new recipes using these fruits. The summers are receding and monsoons is taking over us but then the excitement level hasn’t gone down. I am already through playing with peaches, plums and apricots. But when I spotted cherries my heart skipped a beat, I love them! – the taste, the shape, the colour. It’s like the best fruit for a food blogger. 

I had made Cherry Compote Cheesecake Glasses and Cherry Rosemary Focaccia Bread a while back and had also made lychee lemonade. This time I decided to make lychee icecream with cherry compote. The way they married each other was simply fabulous. You should try this recipe and the results will amaze you.


1. Peel the outer skin of lychees and discard the pits. You will be left with lychee flesh.

2. Add the lychee flesh in a blender and churn it to make a smooth puree.

3. Whip together condensed Milk and Whipping Cream till you get airy light and soft cream.

4.  Add the lychee puree to the fluffy cream and whisk again till it blends well. 

5. Transfer the lychee cream to a icecream box with a lid. Smoothen the top with a spatula.

6. Cover the box with a lid and freeze it for about 1 and 1/2 hours.

7. For the cherry compote. Stone the cherries. You can use this easy hack to pit the stones without the use of pitter.  Add the cherries to a saucepan.

8. Also add sugar and water and cook on medium flame.

9. Cook till the cherries have lost their shape and become gooey, almost like a syrup.

10. Cook further till that syrup is thickened and its not liquid any more. Turn the flame off and bring this compote to room temperature.

11.  Spoon the icecream with cherry compote and then using a toothpick or fork create swirls randomly so that the compote mixes with the icecream and creates a swirl like pattern. Do not over mix for that effect will not come.

12. Freeze the icecream again with lid on for minimum of 4-5 hours or overnight. Scoop and serve and you will get the best creamy homemade Lychee and Cherry Ice cream!  

You can even try Instant Pista Badam Kulfi and Darsaan. 


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I am returning after a very long gap. My father was hospitalised and it was a very tough time for my family. With God’s grace he is alright now and recovering very well. I have been away from my kitchen for almost 2 months. I have been cooking but havnt been developing any recipes for the blog. This has made me very restless. I feel my expressions are lost. I am soon getting back into the groove. Thank You for your patience and your support while I was gone. 

Not only I have been away from baking and cooking but by exercise regime has also been compromised. Although there hasn’t been much of a weight increase still I feel I need to start working out again and feel better. Since I have returned I have been eating a lot of salads and drinking a lot of smoothies. I love smoothies and like to try new variants to make life more fun and delicious. This time I came up with this Orange Blueberry Smoothie. The pastel pink purple colour says it all.. It was fresh, refreshing and oh so delicious! Oh well with same flavours you can even make Orange Blueberry Pound Cake.

1. In a blender add some orange juice. I have used freshly squeezed juice you can use from the box.

2. Add blueberries fresh or frozen. I had frozen on hand. Also add plain yogurt. You can use greek yogurt also. 

3. Add honey or maple syrup for sweetening it.

4. Blend and serve. You can also add ice cubes if you like.

5. Serve in a tall glass with a slice of Fresh Orange and make your day beautiful.

Other Smoothies and Beverages  you can try are: Plum Smoothie Raw Mango Drink with Mint and Roasted CuminGinger Papaya Mint Smoothie Central Himalayan Wild Bayberry SyrupLitchi LemonadeMango Chamomile-Mint Tea LemonadeKiwi Chia PuddingPeach LemonadeSpiced Mango Lassi, Melon Cucumber and Mint Smoothie.


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Last week was Mangolicious! First my uncle sent over a box of mangoes and we were eating them day in and day out in order to finish them before they went over ripe. We made so many mango dishes that it was insane. The Mango Saffron Phirni I had posted was result of the same insanity 😛 But this did not end here. My cousin sister visited us and guess what she got for us? Another box of mangoes!! which means another 10kgs of mango madness!!


I decided not to give up and kept trying more Mango recipes. I came up with this Mango Chamomile-mint Tea Lemonade. It was refreshingly delicious. I still have a few kilos of Mangoes left. Lets see where would this insanity take me 😉 Expect a few more mango recipes in the times to come 😛 If you are suffering from the same mango syndrome as me then do try out these Mango recipes on my blog.


1. In a saucepan boil some water and throw in a teabag of Chamomile-Mint. If you cant find chamomile you can use any other green tea of your choice. Let it stay in for a couple of minutes till you see the water is well infused. Add sugar. Let it cool down.




2. In a blender add mango Pulp, Lemon Juice and sugar, depending on the sweetness of mangoes. Blend well into a puree.




3. Add the Green tea to the mango Puree. Mix Well.


4. Throw in some ice and Transfer them to serving glasses. Enjoy!

Other Mango Recipes you can try are: Mango Saffron PhirniSpiced Mango LassiRaw Mango Garlic Spicy ChutneyMango Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream Fresh Turmeric Pickle with Green MangoesRaw Mango RiceFresh Mexican Black Bean & Mango SaladPlum Mango PunchAam Ka PannaRaw Mango Chutney with Mint and CorianderKhatti Meethi Kacchey Aam Ki ChutneyKacchey Aam Ka AchaarCoconut Milk Mango Pudding.

Other Refreshing Drinks you can try are: Peach LemonadePlum SmoothieAam Ka PannaGinger Papaya Mint SmoothieLitchi LemonadeMusk Melon & Cucumber Smoothie with MintSpiced Mango Lassi, Kafal Ka Sharbat.




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A few weeks back I had posted the recipe of Peach Cobbler and it got tremendous response from you all. I was asked if we could use peaches in any other ways and the best way I knew was to make this refreshing lemonade with these juicy delicious peaches. This lemonade brings out the real taste of peaches and makes it a fabulous quencher for thirst specially in sultry summer weather.


When I made this lemonade last week my friends were here and they insisted I make another batch for it was one of its kind and made from fresh fruits. You must try this for your family I am sure your kids will love it. You can make this drink ahead of time and will be ideal for your barbeque parties.


1. Thoroughly wash fresh peaches cut them into slices. No need to remove its skin. Place these slices in a sauce pan.

2. Add water and sugar and bring it to a boil. 



3. Simmer it for 10 minutes till the peaches have become slightly tender.

4. Let it cool down a bit and put them in a blender along with the water and  blitz it into a smooth puree.



5. Add lemon juice to the puree.

6. Add cold water and Ice cubes and dilute the concoction to your taste. Serve with a slice of Lemon.

Other Summer Drinks you can try : Mango Green Tea LemonadePlum SmoothieAam Ka PannaGinger Papaya Mint SmoothieLitchi LemonadeMusk Melon & Cucumber Smoothie with MintSpiced Mango Lassi, Kafal Ka Sharbat .



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This is a tiny story as to how I ended up making Kafal Ka Sharbat. I was unaware of these beauties until I moved to Almora. I often heard kids shouting and yelling and throwing pebbles at a tree in our yard. When I asked my local caretaker what tree it was, he told me it was “kaafal”. I couldn’t understand what he meant for there are plenty of things here which have different names to things. When the season arrived and the tree was laden with these delicious berries I did my search and found these were actually bay berries or as the locals call it ‘Kafal‘ or ‘Kaaphal‘. These berries are wild in nature and native to Central Himalayan region. They have a phenomenal taste which can be compared to ‘Falsa‘, another summer berry fruit from Northern India. It seems somewhere between Mulberry or Shehtoot and Falsa. 

I ended up spending an afternoon capturing them through my lense. They look so pretty and tastes even amazing. I ate a large bowl and let me tell you they are very addictive. Once you start you cant stop. But my husband is not a fruit person. He specially hates small berries with pits. He says it’s a waste of time to eat such tiny miny berries and that too has pits. Well I can’t agree with him in totality. I still wanted him to taste the berries. So I decided to make the sharbat with it. Its similar to Falsa Sharbat and equally refreshing. If you cant lay your hands on Kafal use Falsa. Rest of the recipe remains same.


1. Wash kafal under running water and make them grit free.

2. In a blender add some sugar and water. Pulse it to get a clear sugar water.



3. Add washed kafal to the blender and churn for a few seconds, so that the outer skin gets out and the pits remain intact.



4. Pass this  through a sieve and using a spoon scoop out as much pulp stuck to the pits. Discard the pits.



5. Add extra water to dilute and Ice cubes. Add little rock salt and combine.



6. Pour it in serving glasses and enjoy the refreshing drink straight from the Himalayas.

Other Summer Drinks you can try :  Plum SmoothieAam Ka PannaGinger Papaya Mint SmoothieLitchi LemonadeMusk Melon & Cucumber Smoothie with MintSpiced Mango Lassi.

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Mango is known as the king of fruits for its deliciousness and taste. In India we get a lot of varities of Mangoes which have a unique taste and texture. So the entire summers we are literally under the spell of mangoes. You can eat mangoes just like that or add it to  your food, drink it like a beverage, make a pickle with it and even satisfy your sweet craving by making desserts with it.

In the recent past I have added a lot of mango recipes to my blog which fortunately covers all the aspects of this versatile fruit. But then there was something which was missing, it was Mango Lassi. Strangely, it is something I haven’t had ever in my entire life. But my friends outside India keep talking about it. Its funny how a drink associated with Indian food is popular outside India and we Indians are pretty much not acquainted with it. 


So I decided to give it a try. It was so delicious that I began to feel why I never got to try it before 😉 If you are one of those who hasn’t tried mango lassi before, I think its high time you do that before the entire world knows how delicious it is and you are the only one left 😉


1. Cut the mango in slices and scoop out the pulp with a spoon. Put all the pulp in a blender.



2. Add green Cardamom Powder.


3. Add Honey.


4. Add Plain Yogurt or curd.


5. Add ice cubes to the blender and blitz everything together. If you feel the consistency is too thick you can liquefy it by adding little milk.



6. Transfer to serving glasses and garnish with Saffron strands. 

Other Refreshing drinks you can try are:  Plum Mango PunchRaw Mango Drink with Mint and Roasted CuminGinger Papaya Mint SmoothieLitchi LemonadeMusk Melon & Cucumber Smoothie with Mint.



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And then comes that unripe and not so sweet papaya! Its a common occuring event when you dont know what to do with that Papaya. Last time I baked them into my delicious Chocolate Papaya Muffins. Despite that I gathered some calories and was feeling guilty about it. Papaya is suppose to be healthy you see!


So this time I blitz it with yogurt and some mint and some honey and some ginger and some lime… yeah yeah!! The choice of ingredients sounds weird. It happened with me also but the result was simply refreshing and guiltfree. What more can you ask from that unappealing Papaya. It simply does serve the purpose it came into existence. Now I am sounding like a spiritual guru! duh! You make this smoothie and dont forget to tell me if you liked it.


1. In a blender add pieces of Papaya. Yes over ripe, unripe, sweet, unsweet all will work.

2. Add pieces of Ginger.

3. Add Cubes of Ice.

4. Add plain Yogurt and honey.

5. Add some mint leaves.

6. Add juice of Lemon.

7. And just a little water to help it blend and give it a pourable consistency.

8. Simply blitz this together until smooth and creamy.Pour them in your favourite tall glasses or a s mason jar and enjoy this refreshing drink. Its ideal for the scorching summers.  

Other summer drinks you can try here are: Plum SmoothieAam Ka PannaLitchi Lemonade and Musk Melon & Cucumber Smoothie with Mint .


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Baingan ka Bhartha or Charred Eggplant cooked with spices is a very popular dish from India. But other than this the Charred or stove roasted big Brinjals are used to make this incredible yogurt side dish. This dish was introduced to me by my mother and to her from her inlaws. Its native to Multan erstwhile Indian state and now in Pakistan. Since both the countries share the same culture, language and cuisine a lot of dishes are common. 

Its a fairly simple dish you need to simply roast the eggplants and remove its skin. Learn how to roast a brinjal on a stove top. Once the pulp is ready, it will take minutes to put this side dish together. I love this raita and its a common side dish in my native family. Baingan or Eggplant is also known as batau in punjabi belt.


1. Take pulp or flesh of Brinjal after being roasted. You can learn to roast them like this. Place the peeled eggplant in a blender.

2. Pour fresh Yogurt or curd on top. Along with Fresh Coriander leaves.



3. Add salt and red chili powder.



4. Also add roasted Cumin powder and ginger powder or saunth.



5. Close the lid of the blender and pulse for 5 -7 seconds until it combines well. Serve as a side dish with Aloo Gobhi, Aloo Methi , Tori Wadiyan and any other dry vegetable dish.

Other Raita dishes you can try on The Secret Ingredient are : Bathua ka Raita, Aloo Anaar ka Raita Purslane Yogurt Dip

You can even try Bharwan Baingan, Baingan Ka Bhartha , Baingan Bhaja and Baingan ka Salan.



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Summer brings in Nature’s bounty in the form of Mangoes, Plums, Cherries, Melons, Peaches and Lychees.  I have been busy all summer making something or the other from all these fruits before they disappear for this season. I tried Melon Cucumber Smoothie with Mint and Plum Mango Smoothie for the first time and they were a big hit in my family. So when I had lychees at home and no one wanted to touch it I decided to do this lemonade.

It not only put the lychees to good healthy use but also made a refreshing drink appreciated by all. It takes no time to put this together. So if you have some guests coming home this summer treat them with this tasty refreshing surprise.


1. Peel the outer skin of lychees and discard the pits. You will be left with lychee flesh.



2. Add the lychee flesh in a blender and churn it to make a smooth puree.

3. Squeeze in lemon juice.


4. Add sugar to your taste.


5. Add cold water and combine.

6. Serve immediately with a slice of lemon.

Other Summer Beverages you can try are: Aam ka Panna,  Melon Cucumber Smoothie with Mint and Plum Mango Smoothie.


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