Tag Archives: cardamom

Missing My Sister


Hello hello!!

Let me ask you all this: how far away do you live from your families? Are there days that you just miss something your mom, dad, aunt, uncle, grandparents or any relative makes and you crave it? I don’t live that far away from my parents. I live only an hour southeast from them, which is perfect since we can go visit them whenever we want, or they can come here.

My sister Shar lives in Chicago which isn’t even that far away, but I don’t see her nearly enough. I see her maybe two or three times a year and that stinks because I used to see her a lot more than that. She’s my best friend and she’s one of the craziest, silliest, kindest, most inspiring women in my life (other than mi madre of course). I’m excited because I’m flying out to Chicago in a few weeks to see her!! For whatever reason, I really wanted a mango lassi. And she makes the most amazing lassis!

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However, I couldn’t get a hold of her to get her recipe, so I tried making it from memory. What’s weird is I have a visual memory of a weekend morning when she made it for me in her kitchen and I can still picture what she put into the blender. Is that weird? Haha. I decided to try to make a healthy version with Greek yogurt, Silk Light and no sugar. You heard me right. No sugar. I didn’t need it though. The mango was way sweet enough!

Mango Lassi

•1 1/2 cups mango pulp (about 15 oz.)
•1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt (I used Fage Total 0%)
•1/2 cup Silk Light (low fat soy milk) or regular milk is fine
•1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
•1/4 teaspoon rose water (about half a cap full) – optional

I used half a 30 oz. can of Kesar brand mango pulp. Don’t let that price shock you. I did NOT spend that much at the Indian grocery store. I spent $1.99. However, you can also use the Looza brand mango nectar if you can find pulp. Also don’t be scared by the rose water ingredient. It is totally optional. It’s a pretty exotic ingredient in my opinion and I’ve only been able to find it in Indian grocery stores. You don’t need a lot to get the pretty perfume-y scent/taste in what ever you are making. My mom uses it in her gulab jaman syrup. I just adds a little something. But like I said, it’s totally optional. The lassi will taste just as delicious without it.


Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend! Pour into glasses and enjoy. Not that hard is it ;)
Optional ingredients: Splenda or sugar if you need more sweetness, other fruits like bananas or pineapple and of course my new favorite thing: chia seeds!

This recipe should make about 2 cups of lassi. The best part? It was only 185 calories per serving. So perfect and the addition of using Greek yogurt vs. regular nonfat yogurt upped the protein and the Silk light kept it low fat. Yeah, this recipe is a keeper. It might not be like Shar’s, but it still reminded me of being a total nerd with her in her kitchen that Saturday morning :) Can’t wait to see her soon! Oh and I’ll also get to meet Diana from Veggie Next Door while I’m out there! I seriously, seriously can’t wait!

What are things your family member makes that you miss eating?
How often do you get to see your family?

Tea time


Hi everyone!

I hope everyone is having a fabulous weekend! I had one of those weekends where I wanted drinks. And not just alcoholic! It started with chai. I’ve made chai before and I even have a recipe here on the blog about it, but I always try to find a way to make it differently.

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There are so many varieties of chai! But the one common ingredient with all of them is cardamom. It’s an incredibly smokey, warm spice that comes in a little pod. It’s a really great ingredient, but it also can be kind of expensive. The key is to buy it at your Indian grocery store because it will probably be cheaper to buy there (in a pretty good-sized bag too) than at your local grocery store Protip: get ALL Indian spices from an Indian store. Buying bags of turmeric, cumin, coriander, etc. is so much cheaper and runs about $2.99 a bag as opposed to $6.99 for a tiny jar in the world foods or spices aisle.

Anyway back to the chai! So this time I decided to try something different when making it.

I decided to roast the cardamom! It’s not anything new, I’m sure. it’s just something I haven’t done before. I figured, I dry roast all the spices for garam masala when I make it, so why not the cardamom for the chai?

It worked beautifully and added an extra warm taste…if that makes sense…? I’m glad I gave it a try. I have both cardamom in and out of the pod, but I find myself using the in-pod when I make the chai. Having the skin while you roast helps release the natural oils and it also intensifies the flavor of the cardamom. Roasting it only takes it up to that next level!

Chai for One

•1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
•1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (dry roasted)
•3 cardamom pods (dry roasted)
•1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
•1/2 teaspoon whole black cloves
•1 1/2 cups water
•Milk and sugar to taste
•1-2 teabags of Darjeeling or English black tea (you could also use loose tea leaves)


Start roasting the cardamom in a dry pan over low heat for 5-10 minutes. The cardamom is done when they’re lightly toasted and you can literally smell it. In the mean time heat up the water in a small pan and bring to bring to simmer. Add the tea bags and spice mixture and let it steep and mull for 10-15 minutes. When the water has turned to a beautiful dark color, take it off the heat and pour it through a strainer, into a cup. Add milk and sugar to taste and enjoy!

It’s so easy to make that you won’t need to spend the $4 at your local coffee shop. I find those to be too sweet for my tastes and it doesn’t taste like home, either! Give this a try – I know you’ll love it!

So tell me: do you like teas and coffee from other countries?
What’s your favorite?