Spiced Mulberry Cooler
Last month has been extremely hectic at home. With blogging many recipes to continuous travel by husband and loads of house hold chores, an absent house help for the large part of the month, my sister and niece visiting us, still managed to achieve a lot of my blog related and personal commitments. With schools and my classes closed (yes I am a teacher too) I thought I would be relaxing in March and April but doesn’t look like that is going to be the case.
A good blog needs few props and in a month or so, I would be completing one year of blogging. Can you imagine this? I don’t! Honestly, I haven’t made a lot of exclusive purchases for the blog so thought of indulging myself and hence went off in search for some blog props etc. Though I didn’t have much time on hand, with husband leaving the very next day for a week long trip to Bangalore, I could still manage few things.
Along with blog props, the thing that I was most happy about securing were these beauties – Mulberries! Crawford Market is one of the largest markets in Mumbai where you can manage to source anything you want, if you don’t mind the crowd and the chaos during weekends. Exotic vegetables, fruits, baking essentials, household goods. You name it and you get that there. Of course, the price is reasonable too! I got a box of Mulberries for 100 bucks so I ended up buying 2 of them. I love berries of all kinds while Narayan doesn’t, with the exception of strawberries. So, I was glad I didn’t have to share this with him. My original plan was to make a Panacotta but since Narayan wasn’t around to share it with me, dropped the idea. I always like him to taste and provide feedback on my first attempts. He is brutally honest, has great taste buds and helps me improve.
After chomping on literally half a box of these beauties, yes these are pretty addictive if they are the right balance of sweet and sour. I thought of making this pretty looking cooler since its summers and look at the gorgeous colour when they are blitzed! Sheer beauty! I like my smoothies sweet and my coolers kinda funky with a combination of sweet, sour and spicy. Kept adding few ingredients and blitzed it. After tasting some, I wanted more. Made another batch, and finally thought of shooting this and posting the same for the blog.
Planning to post more Mulberry recipes soon, with the 2nd box that I have stashed in the chiller tray. All berries in general are good for health. A little more digging on Wiki revealed that Black Mulberries were imported to Britain in the 17th century to cultivate silkworms. Mulberries are derived from Morus Plant. Black, Red and White Mulberries are found in Southern Europe, Middle East, Northern Africa and the Indian Subcontinent. The dark colour of the mulberries which often stains your hands, are due to anthocyanins present which are present in foods that are red, purple, black and blue. They are natural food colorants and can be easily extracted.
Mulberries are rich with nutrients like Iron, Riboflavin, Vitamin C, Vitamin K etc. Like most berries, they have a good amount of dietary fibre which keeps you full and enables good bowel movements so great for those suffering from constipation. Berries in general are also found to be very useful in fighting cancer, blood pressure and heart ailments.
I certainly don’t need any reason to have Mulberries or Shahtoot as they call in Hindi. They are gorgeous and in season – Get a batch and stay cool!
Looking for a Sugar Free Smoothie Recipe – Try the Mixed Fruit Smoothie.
Ingredients for making one tall glass of Cooler
Prep Time – 10 mins max
Cook Time – Nil
- 15 nos of Fresh Mulberries
- ¼ tsp of Himalayan Pink Salt
- 1/4 tsp of paprika powder
- 1 tsp Sugar
- ¼ tsp of Chaat Masala Powder
- A small pinch of roasted Jeera Powder
- Few mint leaves
- Wash and pat dry the fresh mulberries. Don’t wash mulberries under running water as they are tender berries and often get squashed easily. Just soak them for a couple of minutes in a bowl of cold water and then drain / dry them in a colander.
- In a mixer grinder jar, add the fresh mulberries along with salt, paprika powder, sugar, chaat masala powder, roasted jeera powder and 1-2 mint leaves.
- Give all the ingredients a quick blitz until a thick flavoursome paste is formed.
- Pour this in a glass, add required quantity of water, mix and serve it chilled.
Recipe Notes –
- When you buy mulberries, always store them in a chiller tray in a dry box minus the lid. Don’t overcrowd the berries as it leads to spoilage. Keep a tissue paper on the base of the tray so that the moisture levels are controlled. Don’t wash them until you use them. Keeps them fresh for longer. Use it within 2 – 3 days of buying else, make a compote and refrigerate or freeze them for using later.
- Paprika powder is not very spicy but lends a great flavor and colour to the drink. Since I prefer spicy, I have used a good quantity of the same. You may tone it down as per your taste and preferences.
- You can add rock salt or table salt instead of pink salt. I love the flavor and the taste of pink salt, hence added the same.
- You can add more sugar, if required. Since the mulberries were naturally sweet and sour, I prefer not adding additional sweeteners. You can replace sugar with honey too.
- I have not added lemons since the mulberries are naturally a mixture of sweet and sour. Also, the chaat masala powder has aamchur powder, which really balances the flavours.
- You can add soda instead of water and make it more interesting. Since I avoid fizzy drinks as much as I can, I haven’t done the same.
- Want to turn this into a cocktail, Add some vodka or gin, this would be fabulous!