May 30, 2022

Aloo Kabli / Alu Kabli - Kolkatta style Alu Chaat

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 Alu Kabli or Aloo Kabli is a classic street side delicacy from the streets of Kolkatta . Unlike other street food which is normally loaded with lot of oil and spices ,Alu Kabli is totally oil free and healthy.  It is more like a potato salad loaded with the goodness of boiled chickpeas, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers etc .

Alu Kabli infact is also Vegan friendly and if all the ingredients are available handy we can put this together in less than 15 mins.

Alu Kabli can be served as a starter for any parties and will also pair well with drinks just like Peanut Masala  or classic Potato Wedges from Sujata's blog .

There is no hard and fast measurements for making this lipsmacking and refreshing chaat ..we can increase or decrease the quantity of ingredients based on our likes.  Only thing is that potato needs to be the Hero of the recipe as compared to the other ingredients.  Instead of Kabuli channa (boiled chickpeas) we can also use peanuts or cooked white peas as well.

Traditionally only tamarind sauce/chutney is used in the recipe but I have added the Tamarind Dates chutney for the extra punch and flavor .

Preparation Time - 10 min
Cooking Time - Nil 
( assuming we already have boiled potatoes and chickpeas on hand ) 

Complexity - simple
Serves - 2 to 3 

2 medium sized boiled potatoes
1 cup boiled brown chick peas  or yellow peas
1 medium sized tomato finely chopped 
1 small cucumber finely chopped
1/2 onion finely chopped ( I haven't used )
2 - 3 tbsp dates tamarind chutney 
1 small green chilly finely chopped
Fresh corriander chopped 
1/2 tsp red chilli powder 
1/4 tsp kala namak
1/2 tsp chat masala
Salt as needed
Juice from 1/2 lemon


  • Cut the potato into small cubes . 
  • Mix the chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions (if using) along with the potatoes and chickpeas. 
  • Thrown in all the spice powders along with salt,green chillies and the tamarind chutney and give it a gentle mix . Donot be harsh while mixing as the potatoes will turn mushy .
  • Squeeze in the lime juice and garnish with fresh corriander and serve immediately. 
  • Alternatively if you donot have boiled chickpeas you can also add roasted peanuts or even boiled peanuts.

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May 26, 2022

Beach Sundal | Thenga Maanga Pattani Sundal - What is Beach Sundal? ,

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 Beach Sundal or Thenga Maanga Pattani Sundal is a popular Street food sold in the Beach of Madras present day Chennai . Everyone who visits the beach definitely will enjoy either this Beach sundal or the spicy and crunchy Vazhakkai Bajjis from the shacks at the shore .

Boiled yellow peas tempered with mild spices and seasoned with lot of chopped mangoes and grated carrots makes it a perfect snack to munch on while you enjoy the cool breeze.

Madras has a natural Beach shoreline of 6kms making it the longest beach of the Country. Beach is known as Marina Beach and is always buzzling with people and various beach related activities all day long. The most common site is the vendors selling this yummy snack Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal which is very very tasty and flocks of people playing on the shore as well as enjoying the lashing waves . 

The 6 km long promenade is a walker's paradise where we can see regular set of senior citizens , walking group friends, having a nice stroll as well as catching up some good time with friends .

Bird's eye view of Marina Beache and Chennai City as seen from the Light House

Bird's eye view of Marina Beach and Chennai City as seen from the Light House

When the theme for this month's Shhh secretly cooking challenge was announced as Mango ,I instantly decided that I should make this Thenga Manga pattani sundal and Preeti my partner for this month gave me oil and green chilly as the secret ingredients which fit in perfectly to make this recipe. Preeti has dished out creamy and delicious Mango Shrikand with jaggery and pista which were her secret ingredients suggested by me .

This sundal is also popular during the Navaratri season and prepared as prasad on one of the 9 days . If raw mangoes are not in season you can skip that particular ingredient and make this healthy sundal.

Soaking Time - 8 to 10 hrs
Preparation Time - 15 mins
Cooking Time -  20 to 30 min
Complexity  - simple 
Serves - 3 to 4


2 cups dried yellow peas 
1 medium chilli finely chopped 
3 tbsp finely chopped mango 
1/4 cup grated coconut
1/2 carrot grated 
Salt as needed 
1/2 tsp mustard 
Few curry leaves
2 tsp oil
Asafoetida/hing as needed 
Fresh corriander chopped 


  • Wash and soak the dried yellow peas overnight or for min 8 hrs .
  • Throw away the soaked water, wash it once again and pressure cook with a little salt and 5 cups water for 4 or 5 whistles on medium flame.  Release the pressure naturally and check if the peas are well cooked .If you take a boiled pea and mash it between the fingers it should get mashed easily and you shouldn't be feeling the hardness . If the pea appears hard cook for 1 or 2 whistles more .
  • Drain the water through a colander and let the peas cool down .
  • Meanwhile,heat oil in a kadai, temper the mustard seeds followed by the curry leaves, green chillies and asafoetida. 
  • Add in the chopped mangoes and saute for a few seconds and then tip in the boiled peas ,mix it properly ..adjust salt if needed . Cook covered for a min just for the mango flavor to be absorbed into the peas.
  • Lastly add the grated carrots, coconut, fresh corriander and give a quick mix . Turn off the stove .
  • Delicious and tasty sundal is ready .

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May 24, 2022

Rose Milkshake | How to make rose milk at home ?

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 Rose milk or rose milkshake is truly a summer delight and the beautiful baby pink color is more than enough to tempt anyone to enjoy a chilled creamy glass of rose milk .  As a child I was not very fond of rose milk or rose falooda ,but after marriage V made me have this at his favorite restaurant and challenged me, I will fall in love with rose milkshake and that said there has been no looking back .  

I now, have a bottle of rose syrup concentrate always at home which makes it very easy to whip up a delicious milkshake when the craving sets in or even when we have sudden guests .

Rose milk can be made with just chilled milk and rose syrup or with a hint of vanilla essence and to make it even more rich and exotic add in a few scoops of vanilla icecream while blending. 

Rose syrup is very handy and you can also make delicious summer delights like Rose Kulfi and Rose Thandaai .

Preparation Time - 5 mins
Cooking Time - nil
Makes  2 to 3  glasses 
Complexity - simple


30 ml rose syrup 
2 cups chilled milk
3 to 4 scoops vanilla ice cream
Tutti fruity or chopped nuts for garnish

**I dint add sugar as the rose syrup and vanilla ice cream both had enough sugar to sweeten the milkshake . If you want it sweet,you can add some sugar as per taste. 


  • Take the chilled milk , rose syrup and 2 scoops of vanilla icecream in a blender and blend to a smooth consistency. 
  • Pour into serving glasses ,top it with a scoop of vanilla icecream and garnish with tutti fruity lr chopped nuts as you please and serve immediately. 


  • Make the rose milk in advance and refrigerate it . Top it with ice cream and garnish just before serving .
  • If you don't want to add vanilla icecream, you can also add few drops of vanilla essence while blending. 

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May 23, 2022

Macaroni Mango Kheer | Pasta Mango payasam - Fusion recipe

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 If you ever thought that pasta can only be used in Italian cuisine, then I suggest,you must definitely try this kheer or paysam made from Mac / elbow pasta which is infused with the flavor of Mango and lots of dry fruits . 

Perfectly cooked pasta simmered in milk, sugar and flavored with dryfruits and mango puree is an absolutely royal and rich experience you will feel as you savor spoonfuls from your bowl . You can also use Penne ,but Mac suits best as it is small and easy to enjoy in kheer/Payasam when scooped using a spoon.

We at home love Vermicelli a.k.a Semia Payasam and its a dessert that I make frequently. Once, while making semia paysam I was cooking pasta for dinner simultaneously and that's when it struck to me why not try making kheer using boiled pasta ?? The idea just kept getting pushed away but yesterday I finally decided I have to make this before the mango puree got polished off . 

Fusion cooking is fun as we get to explore an array of ingredients as well as cuisines too . I too have a good share of experiments with Fusion some which are a hit while some are miss . Some fusion hits from my blog for you to try 

Pavbhaji Pasta 

Kulcha Pizza 

Adai Pizza 

Talking of fusion,I must say Chinese Poha from Radha's blog is a burst of flavors and a true Indo Chinese fusion that will hit the right notes in our tastes buds .

Preparation Time -  15 mins
Cooking Time - 30 to 40 mins
Serves - 3 to 4
Complexity - simple


1/4 cup uncooked pasta 
2 cups boiled milk 
1/2 cup sugar ( adjust depending on need)
1 cup mango puree .
1 tbsp ghee /clarified butter 
Pinch of cardamom powder 
Few strands of saffron
Assorted dry fruits- roasted and powdered 


** While making the mango puree ensure the mangoes are sweet and not tart(sour) .Tart mango will curdle the kheer . Add a little sugar while pureeing if the mango is not very sweet.

  • Boil the pasta in sufficient water with a tsp of ghee until the pasta is al dente, donot over cook. Strain the excess water using a colander and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • In a thick pan ,heat 2 tsp of ghee and lightly saute the cooked pasta till you get a nice aroma . Add in the milk and continue until the milk begins to reduce and turn thick .keep stirring and cook on low flame as we don't want the milk to stick to the bottom and burn.
  • As the milk begins to reduce add the sugar , cardamom powder, dry fruits powder, saffron strands and continue cooking further.  The kheer will again appear to become to liquidy as the sugar melts . Donot worry ,cooking for another 5 to 7 mins,the milk will thicken and the will get a nice cream color due to reduction. 
  • Turn off the stove and let the kheer cool completely before adding the mango puree else the kheer will curdle .
  • Add the mango puree and mix with the cooled down kheer . Mix it gently so as to not break the pasta in the kheer . Serve chilled or in room temperature.  

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May 14, 2022

Mango Mastani - Summer special

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 Mango Mastani is a popular beverage from Pune ,Maharashtra.  Mango Mastani is a thick mango milkshake topped with scoops of vanilla icecream and garnished with lots of chopped dry fruits,  tutti fruity , mango slices and glazed cherries.  

Normally, the Alphonso/Aapus variety of Mango is used to make this delicious summer drink, but I think you can use any sweet pulpy variety of Mango. 

By the looks of it Mango Mastani, is very close to Falooda,but then there is a lot of difference in the texture and taste when we take a bite.

Making mango Mastani is very very easy and its a no cook recipe which makes it even more interesting to prepare and relish this yummy delicacy . 
My friends from Pune ,swear by this drink and are die hard fans of Mango mastani . I am waiting to try this drink personally, but from the many videos and descriptions that I have heard from my friends, I just couldn't resist myself from trying it this summer. You can use either vanilla or mango icecream for making this luscious summer delight .I liked the taste with vanilla icecream rather than mango .The mild vanilla essence cuts the flavor of mango and hits the right notes thus elevating the taste of mango Mastani. 

Fun facts about the name Mango Mastani !!!

As we all know,that Mastani was the wife of Peshwa Bajirao ,the ruler of Deccan . Its said that she was very beautiful and her beauty was a sight to behold.  
Since ,this drink looks just as beautiful as it can be,they say its been given the name Mango Mastani .

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - nil 
Complexity - simple
Makes 2 to 3 glasses 

2 cups chopped Mango 
1.5 cup chilled milk 
3 scoops vanilla icecream 
Sugar if needed 
For garnish 
Roughly chopped badam ,pista and cashews 
Some tutti fruity 
Vanilla icecream 
Glazed cherry 

  • Blend the mango pieces ,milk and vanilla icecream to a silky smooth puree.  
  • Taste the puree and if it feels less sweet,add some sugar and blend it again. 
  • (I haven't used ice cubes while blending as the milk was chill and so was the ice cream,you may use if you wish to )
  • Pour the milkshake into serving glasses,top it with scoops of vanilla icecream and garnish with chopped nuts, tutti fruity, glazed cherries and chopped mango pieces.
  • Serve chilled and immediately. 

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May 09, 2022

Mix Dal Vada | Mix Dal bhajiya (pakoras) - Lentil fritters

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 Dal vada or dal bhajiyas are a tasty and delicious gujurati farsan or deep fried snack which is a popular Street food as well in Mumbai and Gujarat.   Originally dal vadas are made only using Moong dhall also known as Moong Bhajjiyas . 

One must not confuse the Gujarati style dal vadas with the South Indian style Paruppu Vadai as there are some minor variations in terms of seasoning the batter and shaping the vadas while frying. 

To make the dal vadas more tasty and healthy,  a combination of lentils are used to make these bhajjiyas ,even called as pakoras . Serve them with some piping hot tea on a rainy evening or serve it as starters with a lavish meal , this sure is a crowd pleaser and will vanish off in a whiff .

Dal vadas are served with fried chillies sprinkled with salt and some tongue tickling dates tamarind chutney , green chutney  or both.  The vadas are crispy from the outside and fluffy soft from within making it all more the tempting to stop with a few pieces .

Make sure you make a huge batch of batter so that you won't have to regret for having fallen short of crunchy pakoras to treat your family and friends. Trust me,this is not an overstatement as the dalvadas just fly off from the serving dishes,that very addictive .

The trick to getting fluffy and spongy pakoras or vadas is to beat the batter vigorously for 10 to 15 mins to incorporate aeration..donot miss this step, else you will end up with hard and dry bhajjiyas . 

You definitely must try the Cabbage methi pakoras ,Methi na Gota , Aloo Bajjiyas and Faraali Pattice to pair with the evening tea.

Preparation Time - 15 mins

Soaking Time - 2 to 3 hrs

Frying time - 8 to 10 mins per batch

Makes 30 to 40 vadas 


1/2 cup moong dhall /split yellow lentil
1/4 cup udad dhall
1/4 cup channa dal
4 to 5 green chillies
Small piece of ginger  (skip for jain version) 
1/2 tsp carom seeds /ajwain
Freshly chopped corriander 
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp roughly powdered pepper 
1/4 tsp cooking soda 
1/2 tsp sugar 
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry


  • Wash and soak all the lentils in sufficient water for 2 to 3 hours
  • After 3 hrs ,drain the water from the lentil . Take the soaked lentils,  green chillies, ginger in a blender or food processor and blend to a coarse paste with very little water .
  • Transfer this batter to a mixing bowl, add salt and whisk it using a hand whisk or beater and beat it continuously in clockwise direction for 10 to 15 mins .The batter will be hard initially when you start whisking and as time proceeds the  batter will begin to feel light and fluffy . Continue whisking till you feel the batter to be very light and it would have doubled up in quantity.  This indicates the batter is aerated .
  • Add the chili powder ,crushed carom seeds, sugar, pepper powder ,corriander and give the batter a good mix ..let the mix be under refrigeration until you begin frying . 
  • Heat the oil in a deep kadai . Drop a small blob of batter,if it sizzles up immediately then the oil is ready for frying .
  • Using a spoon , drop small blobs of batter into the hot oil . Donot crowd the kadai . Fry the vadas on medium flame until the pakoras turn crisp and golden brown . Drain it off the kadai and serve hot .

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May 06, 2022

Chakkapazha Nei appam using rice flour (Unni appam) - Jackfruit Rice Fritters

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 As much as mango is crowned as the King of Fruits and relished in summer ,ripe jackfruit is also enjoyed by many in India and world over during summer . Jackfruit is a delicious tropical fruit which can be enjoyed when ripe as well as raw .

Raw Jackfruit (kathal / कटहल) is used widely in North India as a meat substitute in Biryanis,Pulaos and curries while in south India especially in Kerala, raw jackfruit is used in the making of Jackfruit chips , stir fries and papads. Ripe jackfruit is used in various recipes in the Konkani /Manglorean cuisine as well. 


Chakka Pradhaman is a very delicious and tasty kheer or paysam prepared in Kerala from ripe jackfruit  and coconut milk.

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Today ,I will be sharing another tasty and traditional recipe from Kerala called as Unniappam or Neiappam with the flavor of ripe jackfruit. 

Unniappam or nei appam is prepared from rice flour and jaggery batter and fried using either ghee , oil or a mix of ghee + oil . To make a vegan version we can skip the ghee and the rest of the recipe remains the same .

The batter is fried in a special cooking apparatus called as Paniyaram pan or Appa kaaral . Aebelskeiwer pan can be used too for this recipe .

For this recipe, we can either soak the rice for few hours in water and grind into a fine paste and use or ready made rice flour also works fine .In today's recipe, I have used ready made rice flour and I was very very happy with the result 

The appams were soft and spongy . Shelf life of these appams in normal room temperature is 2 days while it can stay long under refrigeration. 

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Resting Time - 1 hr
Cooking Time - 5 to 6 mins
Complexity - easy 

1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup grated jaggery
4 to 5 pods of ripe jackfruit 
1/2 tsp cardamom powder 
Ghee and oil for frying  (use only oil for Vegan )


Preparing the Unniyappam / Nei appam batter 

  • Deseed the pods of the ripe jackfruit and remove the seeds . Chop it roughly into small pieces. Makes it easier to grind .
  • Dissolve the jaggery in 1/4 cup water and filter it to remove if there are any impurities..I use organic jaggery which is very clean hence I skipped this step .
  • Blend the jackfruit and jaggery in a blender to form a nice smooth puree.No need to add water while grinding. 
  • Remove this pulp in a wide mixing bowl,add the rice flour and whisk it to form a lump free batter . If you feel the batter is too thick to whisk add a few tsp of water and whisk . 
  • Add the cardamom powder and mix it the batter for an hour in a warm place.  Donot  rest the batter for more than 2 or 3 hrs. In case you are unable to make it within 2 or 3 hours refrigerate the batter immediately. 

How to make the unniyappam / nei appam?

  • Heat the paniyaram pan on the stove and fill in each cavity with 1/2 tsp ghee and 1/2 tsp cooking oil or use 1 tsp ghee or 1 tsp cooking oil as per your preference. 
  • Once the oil is heated, fill in 3/4th of the cavity with the appam batter and let it cook on slow flame .
  • Once the top portion is cooked ,it will appear dry and the appams can be flipped over easily. Carefully flip it over and cook until the other side also turns crispy and golden brown. 
  • Remove the appams from the paniyaram pan one by one . Refill the cavity with the oil or ghee and repeat the same steps until all the batter is used up .
  • Store it a dry container.  Donot close the lid when the appams are hot ,they will become soggy . Let it cool down completely before closing the lid. 

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May 03, 2022

Sundal Podi | Khaara Sundal podi - channa (kondakadalai) sundal using sundal podi

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 Sundal podi or sundal masala powder is a special spice mix used to season the sundal /chundal or even various vegetable stir fries.

Sundal is a special preparation made from different legumes and the most preferred prasad during Navaratri .The dried legumes are soaked overnight, cooked to perfection and a delicious stir fry is prepared by seasoning either with fresh coconut or this special sundal podi . Sundal can also be called as a warm salad and is rich in protein. 

For the month of April,Jayashree suggested we share some home made spice mixes and I was paired with Poonam as a partner.  We exchanged our secret ingredients wherein poonam made a delectable Cheese powder mix while I made this Sundal Podi . Jayashree's blog has an amazing collection of home made spice powders and her flavorful Chai /Tea Masala is very unique and aromatic. 

Every family has a special sundal powder recipe which will be followed as per their family's likes and tastes.  Some recipes use channa dal + udad dal in combination while some use just plain channa dal or plain udad dal . These lentils are roasted to perfection with corriander seeds,dry chillies, cumin and ground to a coarse powder . This coarse masala powder can be stored upto 15 or 20 days in normal room temperature away from moisture and under refrigeration the shelf life is around 2 months after which the essence will be lost gradually. I prefer to make this fresh in small batches and use it immediately. 

Preparation Time - 5 mins 
Roasting Time - 5 mins
Complexity - simple


2 tbsp udad dhall
2 tbsp corriander seeds
Few curry leaves 
1 tsp cumin /jeera
3 to 4 dry red chillies 
Pinch of asafoetida 
1/2 tsp oil

  • Heat the oil in a kadai and start roasting the udad dhall until it turns crispy and brown 
  • Take it aside and let it cool on a plate. 
  • In the same kadai ,roast the curry leaves,dhaniya and jeera until they all turn crisp and you get a nice aroma . Let it also cool along with the roasted udad dhall.
  • Lastly, roast the dry red chillies till they turn warm crisp. 
  • Cool all the ingredients, add asafoetida and blend it to a coarse powder in a blender or spice grinder .
  • Transfer to a dry bottle and keep away from moisture. 

Recipe for Sundal using Sundal Podi 

100 gms kabul channa /chickpeas /Kondakadalai 
2 tsp sundal podi
Salt as needed 
Fresh curry leaves 
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds 
Pinch of asafoetida 
2 tsp fresh grated coconut (optional)

** you may also use lobia , brown channa , green moong , peanuts also for making sundal with this sundal podi. Follow the same steps as mentioned below.


  • Soak the chickpeas overnight in sufficient water . Discard the water and pressure cook the chick peas in fresh water with salt until its soft and tender.  Strain the cooked water and let the chickpeas cool down. 
  • In a pan, heat the oil and splutter the mustard seeds followed by curry leaves. 
  • Add the cooked chick peas, asafoetida and sundal powder and give a quick stir . Lightly sprinkle water and cook covered for 2 mins on low flame .this step ensures the flavors steep into the sundal evenly. 
  • Open the lid, garnish with fresh coconut.  Many people don't use fresh coconut while using sundal podi,but I personally like the sweetish taste from fresh coconut and hence I add. You can skip it if you want to avoid coconut. 
  • Garnish with fresh coriander and serve. 

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May 02, 2022

Fruit Salad with Icecream - Summer special

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 Fruit salad with icecream is a delicacy and a perfect summer treat that is enjoyed by all . This is the best way to get kids eat the fruits by tempting with a scoop of ice cream . A very easy to make dessert with no cooking and stirring  at all. More so, there is no particular hard and fast recipe,we can add whatever fruits we like or have on hand and customize as per our wish .

If you would like to enjoy a guilt free  fresh fruit  indulgence, then you must definitely try the Fruit Chaat / Fruit bowl recipe on my blog. 

Fruit salad with icecream was a very pricey and prestigious dessert during my childhood days . I am sure the 80s kids will have an emotional connect with this yummy and tasty dessert . It used to feature on the menu of famous restaurants and on the occasional visit we would all crave for this and if lucky our parents would give in to the demands and treat us . I was lucky a few times to be privileged to enjoy this lipsmacking dessert at my favorite restaurant as a child . Also if we attended wedding reception during summer, the dinner buffet will always serve fruit salad with icecream for dessert .

Vanilla ice cream tastes best with this fruit salad or in summers you can top it with mango ice cream, but my personal favorite is vanilla icecream drizzled with some rose syrup . 

You can also use home made icecream of your choice . To make a creamy home made ice cream  check Priya's chocolate ice cream.

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cooking Time - nil
Serves - 2 to 3 
Complexity - easy


2 cups  of chopped assorted fruits 
(I have used mangoes , black grapes ,green grapes,  apples

2 to 3 tbsp assorted chopped nuts 
(cashews   pistachios and almonds
2 tsp honey
3 to 4 scoops of vanilla ice cream 
Some rose syrup to drizzle (optional)


  • Wash the fruits well and peel the skin from mangoes and apples .
  • Chop the apples and mangoes into small chunks . Cut the grapes into halves .Makes it easier to mix and  eat it too.
  • Mix the chopped nuts along with cut fruits ,drizzle some honey and gently mix it.
  • Refrigerate until use .

To serve
  • Take a bowl and add in the chopped fruits, place a scoop of icecream on the fruits,drizzle the rose syrup and serve immediately. You can also garnish with some more chopped nuts if you like.

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