When the weather heats up, a delicious tall Iced Coffee is a true thirst quencher and a pick-me-up in the afternoons. Inspired by the famous South Indian pulled coffees of India, my Iced Masala Coffee created on an almond milk base with a homemade spice syrup and freshly brewed coffee muddled with heaps of ice, is truly delicious and a must-try!
Nescafe Farmers Origins Sustainable Coffee Range
In the midst of isolation period when travel has eluded us for months and the memories of distant lands are but mere memories, the new NESCAFÉ Farmers Origins premium roast and ground coffee capsule range promises to bring those exotic flavours of faraway lands to your daily cup.
NESCAFÉ Farmers Origins is NESCAFÉ’s first capsule range created especially for Nespresso’s innovative aluminium capsule system. It consists of five blends sustainably sourced directly from farmers in some of the world’s most premier coffee–growing regions. Produced in India, The Americas, Colombia, East Africa and Brazil, each coffee offers a unique flavour profile inspired by its origin. I am very excited to collaborate with NESCAFÉ on this new range and bring you a story, a taste, a memory of my time in Bombay with its NESCAFÉ Farmers Origins Espresso India.
Mumbai, Nostalgia And Parsi Cafes Of The British Era
I spent the first 23 years of my life in Mumbai or Bombay as it was known back then – a colourful chaotic coastal city unlike any you would’ve ever experienced. At home, we had two camps, two sides – the tea drinkers and the coffee drinkers. And you had to pick one. Ever since I first had a sip of dad’s strong, bitter, filtered coffee brewed in an old aluminium tiered coffee pot from freshly ground Indian coffee beans – I knew I was going to be part of the coffee camp for life. I was 10.
As the world advanced into the twentieth century, instant coffee became quite the rage. Once a luxury only the affluent could afford, it became more approachable and affordable for everyone. And before long, everyone in Mumbai was enjoying NESCAFÉ instant coffee. As a teenager who loved her daily cups, I always sought coffee on the way to and back from college. One of my favourite places to grab a cup of quintessentially Indian coffee was at Parsi Cafes.
The Parsi/Irani Cafes with their black checkerboard tiled floors and their British era, gargoyle guarded entrances gilded with gleaming wooden balustrades serve millions of cups every day, most accompanied with local sweet pastries like Cream Rolls and Buttered Croissants (Brun Maska). Some of the cafes served South Indian inspired coffee – spiked with spices and often pulled (hot milky coffee stretched and poured between two cups from a height of almost a meter). It was absolutely delicious.
An Indian Inspired Iced Masala Coffee Made With Homemade Spice Syrup
The spice, the sweetness and the milky nature of those Masala Coffees is my inspiration for this refreshing cold beverage – Iced Masala Coffee. The NESCAFÉ Farmers Origins Espresso India with its lush tropical spicy and woody notes, shaken over ice with a carefully craft masala spice syrup and almond milk. A cold coffee beverage inspired by the Parsi Cafes and an ode to Mumbai – the city by the sea. Served with a plateful of Onion Pakoras with fried green chillies, a quintessential Indian afternoon snack enjoyed in the balmy breeze, straight from greasy paper bowls.
When I made these Iced Masala Coffees, it made me really nostalgic. The coffee transported me to the NESCAFÉ days of my youth. The NESCAFÉ Farmers Origins range has done an amazing job, concentrating the truly unique flavour of South Indian coffee in a capsule. I hope you make this delicious Iced Masala Coffee and the Onion Pakoras and let it transport you to the colourful chaotic streets of Mumbai.
For the syrup
- 6 cloves
- 10 peppercorns
- 3 green cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 star anise
- 1 tablespoon coconut or palm sugar
- ¼ cup (60ml) water
For the Iced Coffee
- 30 ml NESCAFÉ Farmers Origins Espresso India
- 100ml chilled almond milk
- Half a cup of ice
- Place all ingredients for the syrup in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Strain into a little jar.
- Fill a 300ml capacity tumbler with half a cup of ice. Add the syrup and almond milk over the ice. Stir gently until thoroughly mixed.
- Pour the coffee over the iced milk in the tumbler. Enjoy.
Disclaimer – This post has been written in collaboration with Nescafe and is sponsored by them. Memories, musings and recollection of my experience with Nescafe over decades is honest and true.
Whether you regularly whip up Michelin-worthy meals at the drop of a hat or your cooking skills are best described as “fine, ” you can always benefit from the helpful little tricks of others. Here, 14 of our friends’, families’ and coworkers’ most-used cooking tips.
There’s a time and a place to whip out that complicated coq au vin recipe you’ve been dying to try. A dinner party isn’t that time. With a new recipe, you’ll likely be chained to the kitchen the whole time, plus, when you’re trying something for the first time, there’s always the possibility that it could go horribly wrong. When cooking for a group, we always err on the side of tried-and-true crowd-pleasers.
You do hours of prep work on an intricate dish, only to be totally disappointed once you taste the final product. Bummer. Instead of putting in all that effort only to be disappointed, taste while you cook. That way, you’ll realize sooner that the dish isn’t tasting how you’d like it to, and you can make all kinds of last-ditch efforts to save it. This doesn’t just work for bad-to-OK meals. Tasting midway through and realizing how perfect a dash of cayenne or a squirt of lemon juice would be can take a great dinner to legendary status.
Plating pasta means tossing some onto a plate and finishing it with a nice dollop of sauce right on the middle, right ? Wrong. Here’s how to take your carbs to the next level : On the stove there should be two pans, one with pasta and one with sauce. Cook the pasta to al dente and transfer it into the sauce. Then, add a little bit of pasta water ( literally just the starchy water the pasta has been cooking in ), which will help the sauce cling to the pasta while also keeping it the right consistency. Perfection.
In the pursuit of the perfect steak, you have to be OK with your kitchen getting a little smoky. That’s because, to get the mouthwatering sear we’re all after, the meat has to be dry and the pan should be pretty damn close to smoking hot. Trust us, it’s worth a few seconds of a blaring alarm.
Most foods are ruined by too much salt. Steak is different. When it comes to seasoning your meat ( before you cook it ), more is more. Use a generous amount of coarse Kosher salt—more than you think you need. Since most cuts of steak are pretty thick, even though you’re using a lot of salt, it’s still only covering the surface.
This one isn’t too complicated. Whether you’re making avocado toast, pizza, fried rice or a burger, the addition of a fried egg on top will not hurt your feelings. Trust us.
This one seems like a no-brainer, but we’ve definitely found ourselves in a situation where we assumed we knew all of the ingredients that went into chocolate chip cookies only to find out that we had about half the required amount of brown sugar. Ugh. to avoid a mid-cooking grocery-store trip, read the recipe from front to back—carefully—before you start.
Prepping céréales in mass quantities is less about taste than convenience. Rice, quinoa and even oatmeal last about a week in the fridge after being cooked. When we’re prepping any one of those, we double up our measurements and store the leftovers, which are then impossibly easy to use up throughout the week. Too tired to make dinner ? Heat up some leftover rice from the fridge and toss an egg on top ( remember ? ). Couldn’t be simpler.
So you fried up a pound of bacon for an indulgent ( read : delicious ) déjeuner. Great, just make sure you don’t throw out the grease in the pan. Instead, save it in the refrigerator or freezer ( it technically lasts for up to a year, but should be used sooner than that to take full advantage of its flavor ). Then, anytime you’re cooking something you typically prepare in oil, try cooking it in the bacon grease instead. You’ll never want to eat Brussels sprouts the old way again.
You’ve probably heard that whenever a dish is lacking a little something-something, the best thing to do is toss in some salt. But, we have it on good authority that salt isn’t always the answer. When you’re tasting a dish at the end and you think it needs a little oomph, often it just needs a splash of acid ( like lemon juice ) to round out the flavor.
You know the difference between a paring knife and a fillet knife, but do you know how to take care of them ? Or, more importantly, how to use them ? A set of good knives can be the difference between a stressful cooking experience and a great one. First, practice your knife skills. Look up tutorials on YouTube and practice chopping, slicing and julienne-ing. It’s amazing what you can do with your cook time when your prep time is shortened with solid knife skills. Then, once you’ve got your skills down pat, learn how to take care of your set. No one ever achieved kitchen greatness with a dull chef’s knife.
The key to tender, flavorful barbecue and roasts ? Cooking it on a low temperature for a long time. The same doesn’t go for roasting veggies. For crispy, perfectly cooked butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and more, remember the magic number : 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Any lower, and you risk pulling a pan of blah carrots out of the oven. It might seem high, but to get the nice roasted flavor, you need high heat. And while we’re on the subject, stop crowding your veggies in the pan, which will also make them soggy.
You know how just about every cookie recipe suggests that you chill your dough in the refrigerator for at least a few hours, but oftentimes you don’t listen because you just want cookies now ? ! ( Same. ) Unfortunately, this step actually does make a difference. In addition to limiting how much the dough spreads while baking, chilling your dough intensifies the flavors and produces that perfect chewy, crispy matière we know and love.
It won’t do your breath any favors, but never ( ever ) scrimp on garlic. In fact, we typically double the amount a recipe calls for. Apologies to anyone who was planning on kissing us.