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Recipes: Summer Treats

By Mandira Banerjee Email By Mandira Banerjee
August 2012
Recipes: Summer Treats

Infused with delectable flavors and ingredients, these three treats are ideal for the dog days of summer, whether you’re dining indoors, picnicking, or just chilling on the beach. 


Watermelon Cooler 

When watermelon is combined with some ginger, lime, and mint, it makes an awesome drink. Add a splash of rum to give it an adult flavor. Makes about 4 glasses. 

1/2 watermelon - chopped
¼ teaspoon ginger grated fresh
2-3 springs of mint
1 teaspoon lime juice
½ cup water (if needed) 

Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix. Strain to get all the small particles out and serve with slices of lemon. 


Fish Wraps 

Fish cooked with Indian spices and then placed in a wrap with mango salad is great for a filling lunch or dinner. The combination is light, the fish is spiced right, and the mango adds a touch of sweetness. Serves 4-6.

For Fish:
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1/2 - 2/3 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
6-7 fish fillets, fresh or frozen, thawed
3 tablespoons olive oil
For Salad:
1 ripe mango chopped small
1 1/2 tomatoes chopped small
1 big cucumber
1 medium onion
1/2 can drained and washed black beans
salt to taste
2/3 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1-2 tablespoons lime juice (depending on taste)
6-7 whole wheat tortillas
1 package fresh guacamole

For Fish:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Whisk oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, black pepper, salt, and cayenne pepper in small bowl and coat the fish liberally.
Allow it to marinate in the fridge for up to an hour.
Then bake it in a tray for 20 to 25 minutes until fish is opaque and flakes with fork.
For Salad:
Mix all the ingredients and let sit for 15-20 minutes.
Building the wraps:
Here is a nice trick. Sprinkle some drops of water on a paper towel and put the tortilla on top. Then heat it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. The tortilla turns out super soft, which helps while building the wrap.
Spread some guacamole on a warmed tortilla, pile a few tablespoons of salad in the middle, then put a fish filet on top and roll from one end to the other.
Serve with chips or soup. 


Mango Sandesh 

This improvised recipe, fine-tuned with the help of family and friends, turned out to be surprisingly good—a big hit. 

1/4 gallon whole milk
1 lemon
1 1/2 cups mango pulp
1/2 cup brown sugar
10-12 almonds soaked in hot water and slivered 

Boil the milk, and when it's boiling add the lemon till the milk curdles properly. Take it off the heat and sieve it through a cheesecloth. Tie the cloth tightly and let it hang for a couple of hours till the water is gone. Leave the chhana/paneer in a bowl and let it sit in the fridge for another couple of hours.
Then crumble and mash the chhana/paneer till it is smooth and without lumps. From the milk I got about 1 3/4 cups of tightly packed chhana/paneer.
Now heat a heavy bottomed pan and put the chhana/ paneer in there. Add the mango pulp. It will become a soupy mixture. Add sugar and let it cook with constant stirring on low heat.
The pulpy mix will lose all its liquid and come together and leave the sides. Take it off the heat and give it a quick whir in a mixer.
Take it out, make small round balls, and add the slivered almond on top. 

Mandira Banerjee is a freelance writer and food blogger. You can find her at ahaar.blogspot.com.

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