Your Coffee Machine and You!

coffeeLove your cup of Coffee? But plagued with Coffee Machine choices? If you are looking for something efficient and stylish for your home, Usha Coffee Machines are the ones to go with. They are all aesthetically pleasing and efficient Coffee makers , with one of them even featuring a Bamboo finish!

Electric Drip Coffee Maker

  • Also known as the dripolator, this machine houses a reservoir in the base which is called as the hose.
  • Cold water enters the reservoir through a thin metal tube
  • The water moves to the heating chamber when machine is turned ON
  • Water once heated in the heating chamber moves to the sprayer via the rubber hose. This movement through the rubber hose is achieved via the effect of thermally induced pressure and siphoning effect
  • The ground coffee placed on the brew basket is perched below the sprayer head
  • Hot and pressurized water passes through the ground coffee and drips down into the carafe of capacity 10-12 cupscoffee 1

Espresso Coffee Machines

       These machines rose to fame in the 18th century, designed specifically to cater to the bold taste of espresso.

  • These coffee machines can use any kind of ground coffee including both dark and light roasted ones
  • Modern makes of these machines come with a dual spout that allows two different espresso shots simultaneously
  • Adjustable short length provides the desired espresso shot in taste

French Press (No electricity needed)

The French Press was developed in the 1850’s. This is the oldest and the simplest of coffee making mechanism without the use of electricity. It comprises of a tall glass cylinder, a plunger and a filter.

  • The user has to place coarse ground coffee at the bottom of glass cylinder
  • Pour boiling hot water into the glass cavity
  • Stir the entire mixture with a metal spoon and let the brew sit for up to a maximum of eight minutes
  • Press the plunger, slowly letting coffee grounds to seep out of the filtercoffee2

Single Cup Makers

Pre-packaged coffee pods makes single cup. A coffee pod has coffee grounds and a miniature filter in the pack. These makers are easy to clean and maintain and suitable for small households with few coffee lovers. Quick in operation they allow different users to suit their different tastes by using varying coffee flavours in the pods.

  • Hot water is filtered through the coffee pod in the machine slot provided. The action results in a single cup of coffee.1610859_10155017544770251_311638911097950282_n

Know Your Coffee

COFFEEAfter oil, coffee is the most valuable legally traded commodity in the world. We love it, we rely on it, and we drink it in massive quantities. It is estimated that 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day worldwide.

Coffee can be roasted or be made from grounded coffee. It is the preparation of coffee that is done differently. Let us have a cursory glance at some of the types of coffee based on the method of preparation.

  1. Filter coffee – Also called as Drip coffee it is prepared by using finely ground coffee placed on paper through which steaming hot water is passed and the final brew is obtained in the decoction.
  1. Plunger or cafetiere – Coarsely grounded coffee is placed in a pot over which hot water is added. Coffee and water are brewed for some time after which the mixture is left to steep for a brief period of 4 to 5 minutes. Once done, the plunger is pushed hard to separate the coffee grounds from the coffee infusion.
  1. Espresso – The coffee ground is very fine, over which pressurized hot water is passed. The coffee obtained is filled inside the cups placed beneath the outlet. The coffee also has a layer of fine and creamy foam.
  1. Swedish/Scandinavian coffee – Made by boiling ground coffee in water, it is often served without filtering. This coffee as its namesake originated in Sweden and is consumed mostly in the Nordic countries. It is a strong brew of coffee and is kept hot throughout the day for consumption.
  1. Turkish coffee – This kind of coffee is prepared in a special kind of copper pot which has a long handle. This vessel is called as an Ibriq. In order to prepare a single cup of coffee in this vessel, two teaspoons of finely ground coffee and one spoon of sugar are added to one cup water. This mixture is then brought to boil on an average of three times. One may add cardamom seed, milk, or various syrups to enhance its flavour and aroma.

#Coffee for Health

A large number of people consume coffee on a regular basis. Equally vast numbers of researches have been conducted on the benefits of coffee on the health. The findings indicate that a consumption of 3-5 cups everyday compliments a healthy and active lifestyle.

#Caffeinate the mind and body

Caffeine is one the major components of coffee. Caffeine acts as a stimulant and when taken in normal doses it helps to improve the mental fitness by making the mind more aware of its surroundings, resulting in better response time and increased concentration.

Caffeine has an ergogenic effect on the body which means that it enhances the overall capacity to do physical work. It is believed that caffeine increases the adrenalin levels in the body which results in an increased blood flow to the muscles and the heart.1469845_10154824803320251_1311098472868064044_n

# Breaking the Myths

Myth – Coffee drinking leads to dehydration

Studies indicate that coffee consumption of up to 5 cups a day does not affect the fluid balance of the body in any way. The body therefore does not dehydrate when coffee is consumed within the normal threshold of 1- 5 cups per day.

Myth – Coffee drinking leads to dependence

There are scientific experiments conducted by the WHO that shows that caffeine in coffee does not induce any kind of dependence. However, cold turkey natured cessation of coffee may result into mild withdrawal symptoms

Berry Berry Nice Smoothie

Juice1Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie is the ideal morning drink for the family. It is great for those who love a quick nutritious breakfast on the go and those who relish a long extended breakfast. It will please even those little kids who won’t touch anything on their plates unless there is something exotic on the table.

The Usha Juicer Mixer Grinder 3274 is ideal for making this healthy and delicious potion in a jiffy. Its stylish look and safety lock make it perfect for the breakfast table ensuring there is never any spillage. The JMG 3274 also features a large feeder tube for full fruit juicing; for you are bound to skip between strawberries, apples, oranges and pears as days come and go. It will also help you to meet all your other needs – breakfast, lunch or dinner – from juicing, grinding, and mixing to light grinding and mincing.

Ingredients

  • 8 strawberries (diced)
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ½ cup plain yoghurt
  • Use Mawana Select Sugar to taste
  • 2 drops vanilla essence
  • 6 ice cubes (crushed)

Method

  1. In a blender combine strawberries, milk, yogurt, Mawana Select Sugar and vanilla. Toss in the ice.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses and serve.Strawberries

Cook Royally: Subz Dum Biryani

Halogen OvenFestivals in India are a time for meeting and greeting, which invariably means a lot of guests. That in turn translates into ‘lunches’ and ‘dinners’. And there is nothing like sharing a meal of home-cooked exotic Subz Dum Biryani.

Brimming with flavours, spices and assorted vegetables the Subz Dum Biryani makes for a delicious full-filling meal. Its unique flavor, aroma and taste are derived from its namesake cooking technique – ‘Dum’ meaning ‘slow cooking’. But count not the seconds, minutes and hours of toil for the technologically advanced Usha Halogen Oven will help you cook this prized recipe in a blink without compromising on its uniqueness.

The right way to cook this dish is to place the ingredients inside a earthen pot and seal it tight with dough to prevent the steam from escaping, which allows the spices to give the rice an enchanting mouthwatering aroma and flavor, reminiscent of royal Mughal Kitchens.  But in absence of time and in lieu of an entourage of chefs from the royal kitchen, the Usha Halogen Oven is the perfect kitchen appliance to cook it easily at home. Its unique enclosed shape ensures that steam is trapped inside it, infusing the various flavours into your Briyani. While the aforementioned technological innovation doesn’t only do this fast, but does it with a simple touch of button retaining not just the aroma and falvour but also the nutrients present in the vegetables – making it the perfect Subz Dum Biryani.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

Rice

  • 1½ cups basmati rice
  • 4-5 chhoti illaichi (green cardamom),
  • 2 tej patta (bay leaves), 5-6 laung (cloves)
  • 4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 10 cups water

 Vegetables

  • 2 thin carrots – cut into cubes, 20 french beans – cut into 1″ pieces
  • ½ of a small cauliflower – cut into very small florets (1 cup)
  • 2 onions – chopped
  • 3 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp salt

 Mix together nicely

  • 1 cup curd
  • 1 tbsp mint – chopped finely, 1 tbsp coriander – chopped finely
  • 1-2 drops kewra essence, ¾ tsp salt
  • Crushed spices together
  • ½ tsp shah jeera (black cumin), seeds of 2 moti illaichi, 1 dalchini, 2-3 blades javetri (mace)
  • Other ingredients
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee and 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions – sliced and deep fried, a few mint leaves
  • A few strands kesar – soaked in 1 tsp hot water
  • 2 tbsp melted ghee
  • To seal
  • Aluminium foil and dough

Method:

  1. Wash rice several times. Strain. Let it be in the strainer for 30 minutes. (do not soak).
  2. Boil rice in 10 cups water with all ingredients till rice is a little chewy and not fully soft. Strain. Now spread rice in a big tray on a cloth. Remove whole spices from the cooked rice and discard them. Mix 1 cup cooked rice with kesar to colour the grains. Now mix this coloured rice with the white rice.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp ghee and 2 tbsp oil. Add chopped onions to the pan, stir till golden.
  4. Add half of the crushed spices. Stir for 30 seconds on low heat. Add 3 tsp ginger-garlic paste. Mix. Add red chilli powder. Add salt. Add vegetables and bhuno for 2 minutes. Cook covered on low heat till vegetables turn crisp tender. Do not overcook.
  5. Remove from fire. Let it cool down. Add the curd, stirring continuously. Mix well.
  6. To assemble the biryani, take a handi. Grease it. Spread ½ of the rice in the dish. Spread vegetables along with curd over the rice. Spread remaining rice. Sprinkle remaining crushed spices and 2 tbsp of melted ghee over the rice. Sprinkle some mint and crispy fried onions. Cover with foil.
  7.  Seal foil with atta dough. Put the dish/handi on low rack in the halogen oven. Press speed up mode and set at 120°C for 20 minutes. Press start and give dum to biryani. Serve hot.

Health, Wealth & Rasgullas!

A few years back a study conducted by Consumer Voice, a NGO supported by the ministry of Consumer Affairs, found Canned Rasgullas to be a Health Hazard. Times of India ran an article stating “If you think canned Rasgullas are a better option than khoya-based sweets this Diwali, think again.” (http://goo.gl/sieNZZ)Rasgulla

This Diwali keep your family healthy by making your own Rasgullas easily with the Usha Electronic Pressure Cooker (EPC), which is also engineered to preserve essential nutrients in your food. If you think this is going to be a hassle, think again, because the Usha EPC is efficient, fast and saves time leaving you with hours and hours to have fun and join in the festivities. The EPC’s electronically controlled precision cooking system and variable food cooking options will also allow you to cook various other festive dishes with ease. Talk about having your Rasgulla and eating it too!

Ingredients: (Servers 10 -12 persons) keep-calm-and-eat-rasgulla

  • 1 liter toned milk, 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp flour (Maida)
  • 2 pinches baking powder

Syrup

  • 1¼ cups sugar, 3 cups water

Method:

  1. Boil the milk. Add vinegar and immediately switch off the gas. Add 1 liter bottle of water to cool the chhena. Strain. Put tap water immediately. Spread the chhena on the kitchen cloth for about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Mash the chenna with the palm till smooth. Add maida and baking powder and mix very well.
  3. Put water and sugar in the Usha Electric Pressure Cooker. Set the knob at mark 3. Cook without covering. Wait till the syrup comes to boil.
  4. Make small balls of the chhena mix and put them in the sugar syrup and cover the lid. Pressure cook till knob turns to keep warm mode. Switch off the USHA EPC and wait for the pressure to drop by itself.
  5. Remove Rasagullas with the syrup from the cooker and transfer to a bowl and refrigerate. Serve chilled.

And get ready for healthy snacking!

Gulab Jamun: Celebration for Your Mouth

gulab-jamunIndian sweets with their colours, shapes and taste are simply mind-boggling. For every geometric shape you can conceive, taste a sweet tooth can yearn or a colour under heaven there is an Indian sweet. Among them stands tall – rather round like the Sun, the ‘Gulab Jamun.’ A sweet born of Indo-Persian culture, even its name sounds delicious. The moment you enunciate the two soft words ‘Gulab Jamun’ your mouth feels like a celebration.  The former derived from rose-scented cardamom syrup in which it is soaked and the latter named after an indigenous plum-shaped Indian fruit.

Such deliciousness shouldn’t be restricted to anyone, especially during the festive season. But health issues do play spoil sport making this king of sweets a no-go area due to the sheer amount of oil used in its preparation. However, you can put such worries aside with the USHA Deep Fryer, which uses the least amount of oil to cook your favourite dessert in a healthy way.  For food purists who love to see their food getting cooked, the USHA Deep Fryer also comes with a Detachable lid with viewing window enabling you to view your Gulab Jamuns sizzle into round balls of Goodness.

So without further ado, we present the recipe of celebration:

Ingredients (Makes 10 pieces)20120928052106

  • 1 cup skimmed milk powder
  • 2½ tbsp maida
  • ¼ tsp mitha soda
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 1 tsp milk to knead the dough
  • Oil/ghee for deep frying
  • 10-20 mitha daana (prasaad goli)

Sugar syrup

  • ¼ tsp cardamom powder
  • 3 cups water
  • 2½ cups sugar

Method

  1. For the sugar syrup, boil water and sugar. Keep boiling for 2 minutes on medium flame to get a sticky syrup but no thread. Add cardamom powder and keep aside to cool to room temperature. Gulab Jamuns should not be put in hot syrup.
  2. Sift milk powder, maida and soda in a small paraat or flat plate. Add cream and mix well. Mix the mixture. If the dough appears hard, add 1 tsp milk and mix again.
  3. Divide mixture into 12 balls. Roll each ball carefully into a smooth round ball. If the balls have cracks, add a little more milk to the dough and mix lightly to a smooth dough. Stuff a mitha daana in each ball and roll again.
  4. Set Usha Deep Fryer to 150°C and fry 5-6 pieces till golden brown for 10-11 minutes.
  5. Once the balls have turned dark brown take out from the oil and put into the syrup which should be at room temperature.
  6. Fry the remaining balls and keep all Gulab Jamuns to soak in the syrup for 2 hours.

USHA DEEP FRYER DEMO VIDEO: Includes Loads of Other Recipes too!!

Garam Masala – The Bhadralok Way

Ever wondered why your ethnic dishes do not quite taste and smell ethnic though you followed the ethnic recipe (handed down by your grandmother or extensively researched over the internet) to the letter? The answer comes from an unexpected source – from Einstein’s very own mouth: “God lies in the Details.” And when it comes to Indian cuisine the detail would very much read as ‘Masala’

Just like Dal, different parts of India follow different methods while preparing Garam Masala. With Durga Puja just around the corner, we thought it would be apt to begin with the recipe for Bengali Garam Masala. The flavored and aromatic Bengali version can be used for marinating fish, chicken and mutton. It can also be used in vegetables and curries in the end for that extra punch and aroma.

 IngredientsBengali Garam Masala

  • 4 dried whole red chilly
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds (til)
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp white peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp cloves (laung)
  • 2 cinnamon stick (dalchini)
  • 10 small green cardamom (elaichi)
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds (dhaniya)
  • 3 bay leaves (tej pata)
  • 1 tbsp ginger

Method

  1. Roast all ingredients in a dry pan (except ginger) over a low heat.
  2. When the spices give out their aroma, allow it to cool.
  3. Using your Usha Grinder, grind the ingredients finely, while adding ginger. (Mustard oil can be added to make a paste. This paste can be used as a marinade.)
  4. Store it in air tight container in a cool dark place.

To get that perfect taste and aroma remember the portion used is as important as the ingredient itself. For the former closely follow the recipe at hand and as for the latter using the Usha Mixer Grinder will make your work a lot easier. The new Usha Mixer Grinder (MG 3473) adds a revolutionary new dimension to the art of food preparation with its Vortex Pulsar Technology (VPT). VPT disperses high energy with super turbo rotations to help achieve the perfect texture, colour and aroma for your Masalas and Chutneys. While, the Mixer Grinder’s 2 Fin Coconut Blade has been specially designed with sharp and robust blades to help you achieve the desired outcome smoothly.

USHA Mixer Grinder with Vortex Pulsar Technology

USHA Mixer Grinder with Vortex Pulsar Technology

Sips of Wisdom

badge-clock copy“Honestly, if you’re given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don’t say ‘what kind of tea?” – Neil Gaiman.

Enough has been written about this magical concoction of leaves and boiling water, and more cups have been drained with relish day after day as centuries came and went, and as they will come and go. What is it all about, one might wonder? And one might wonder what will it be like to sip a cup with Mad Hatter? Lots of mad talk with method one might presume, but remember that truth does set you free in the end but first it will drive you mad. So here is Hatter over tea with a little bit of tea trivia and a little bit of outrageous tea trivia.

Long before the commercial production of tea started in India in the late 1830s, tea plants were growing wild in the jungles in northeastern Assam, in India; and without o’course the factories, machines and what-not, the locals just used their hands (they still do) and bullocks (they no longer do) to create the first brews! On a different note, did you know that long long back the Assamese at times ploughed their land using Rhinos! Figure that.

Tea Plantation, Processing Plant, Bunglow and Horse Carriage - Sibsagar, Assam c1880's

Tea Plantation, Processing Plant, Bunglow and Horse Carriage – Sibsagar, Assam c1880’s

Darjeeling Tea is the champagne of teas! In the 1960’s two fellows Bernd Wulf and Ranabir Sen began to modify the processing of the various tea leaves in the beautiful hills that stretched below the snow-capped Himalayas. The result was the more complex aromas and oolong-like subtleties we find in many Darjeeling Teas today.However, beware for every 400 tons of tea sold under the name of the Hill Town every year, only 100 tons actually comes from Darjeeling! 

Varieties of Darjeeling Tea

Varieties of Darjeeling Tea

Tea from the southern Nilgiri hills of the blue mountains make great iced tea due to their liveliness and clarity! Besides it is really good for health: It reduces risk of heart attack and strokes, protects your bones, and bolsters your immune system too; besides bringing that smile to our faces every morning and sometimes at night too. Night? Well, here is how to have tea as a party drink: Mix gin and cold tea, flavor with little lemon rind, and you’ll get a great summer cocktail.

Dawn over the Nilgiri Tea Gardens

Dawn over the Nilgiri Tea Gardens

And to keep this glorious tradition on over all the mediocrity that time tends to throw at us, add a little style to your tea drinking style, perhaps you could use a Bamboo Kettle! (an homage to China, where tea originated). Try the exquisitely designed Real Bamboo finish Kettle by Usha. It even serves 12 to 14 cups, enough to keep the conversation flowing. So usher in tea with Usha.

Usha Bamboo Kettle

Usha Bamboo Finish Kettle EK 3217B

To know more click here

The Tradition of Fish & Chips

Fish and ChipsCod Fellas, Cod Father, Frydays, Frying Squad and Plaice to be, are names of a few Fish & Chips outlets in Great Britain. The British have a colourful tradition of giving quirky names to their Fish & Chips outlets. Almost considered to be their national dish, it can be traced back to the 1860’s. Before that though Brits did eat Fish and Chips they were never consumed together. The idea to pair them into a single dish was a brilliant one – and even found its way into classic English literature, the most famous being in a Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

An apt course for parties, supper or a quick lunch the Fish and Chips are not as unhealthy as you think; unlike other fried dishes, an average portion of fish, chips and peas contains only 7.3% fat.

Ingredients :(Serves 4 persons)

  1. 500 gm fish fillet (boneless) – cut into 8 rectangular pieces
  2. ½ cup flour (maida)
  3. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  4. ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper
  5.  ¼ tsp pepper, ¼ tsp salt

BatterUsha Fryer

  1. 2 eggs, 6 tbsp flour (maida)
  2. 1 tbsp oil
  3. 2 pinches baking powder
  4. 2 pinches salt n pepper
  5. 1 tsp lemon juice

To serve

Method

  • Wash the fish fillet and pat dry on a kitchen towel.
  • Marinate the fillet with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
  • Mix all ingredients of the batter to get a thick coating batter. Rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • Spread some flour in a plate. Dredge the fish fillet in the flour thoroughly.
  • Leave it on the flour till you are ready to serve.
  • Dip the fish fillet in batter.
  • Set the Usha Deep Fryer knob at 170C and wait till the red light turn green.
  • Deep fry fish pieces for 4 minutes till cooked through and golden.

And that’s how you cook this legendary English dish. Try it as a welcome break from your Butter Chickens and Machar Jhol.

Grape Smoothie: The Elegant Drink

A lot of people throw around names such as Bordeaux 1813, Lafitte 1916 and so on. A few of them happen to be real connoisseurs of wine , while the rest are just snobbish name-droppers – they don’t have a single clue what they are talking about. And in all of this the Non-Wine Drinker stands aloof trying to follow all that Greek; evident every time you organize a party where both drinkers and non-drinkers try their best to mingle. So here is an elegant drink that you can serve as a Mocktail and when asked by a nosy wine snob which year, simply answer ‘120 flat!’ as grape juice helps to lower Blood pressure and keep it in check.

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup milk
  2. 1 cup grapes, seedless or seed them
  3. ½ cup yogurt, vanilla , 1 cup ice

Grape juiceMethod
Preparation in 5 minutes.

Blend in your blender jar the above mentioned ingredients, until smooth and enjoy! (That’s It)

Besides parties, do you also need an extra kick in the nutrition department? A grape smoothie can help! Grapes can easily add a nice dose of vitamin C as well as some other much needed antioxidants that will take your smoothie up a notch.