Thursday, June 28, 2007

An Ode to Mad Tea party


Anita's Mutsch: Kashmiri Meatballs became potato balls here!

The plate show Loochis, Basundi, Palak soup, Mutsch and rice.

In this blog world there are thousands of blogs but I feel the most comfortable on one blog and that is A Mad Tea Party. Anita comes across as a very friendly person and her space gets hijacked by commenters many a times yet she never cribs. She is the ideal Maharashtrian "Soon" (Daughter Inlaw) that many would aspire to be and you know what she is Kashmiri by birth! I was planning a entire fare of Remakes for a long time. Here are the ones I tried but with alterations for our family requirements. I hope she won't mind.


Anita has to guess what I made and what where the ingredients I used. This quiz is open to all.


Updated: 2/7/2007

Yes Anita you are right. I made the Modur Polav (Sweet Pulao) I liked it because it is different from our marathi Sakhar Bhat yet somewhere similar. The Kesar is mixed so I got a lighter color but I used Sona Masuri rice as thats what I had in stock. It is quite a crunchy rice and I think I can eat it at any time.

The second one I made was Mutsch: Kashmiri Meatballs. Anita guessed it half right. Yes half right beacause thats mutsch but not meat. Our vegetarian family demanded making mutsch with boiled potatoes!

For the muschgand : meatballs er potato balls!! You need 500gms boiled potatoes and follow every thing else that Anita tells to T.

The Loochis are common to Kashmiri and Bengali cuisine. Like Anita mentioned I have had them with black tea in Thal. It brought back memories of Marya & Kali and their small shop where we went to buy the loochis for morning breakfast inspite of having other breakfast options ready at home assuring the ladies that slogged over it that we kids will eat them later.

The bowl decorated with charuli is of basundi. I had forgotten about milk left on sim for an hour so thats what it gave me.

This was my first time cooking Kashmiri at home. The masala is distinct. I had my first taste of Kashimiri food not in Kashmir but Lucknow when the fabulous EverReady Flashlights team treated me and my team to a lunch on the occassion of successful completion of the project that we worked on together. I might have a Kashmiri theme party next when I visit family.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cabbage Paneer Bhurji

Cabbage Paneer Bhurji and Chavlachi Roti


This one is for my brother. He has just embarked on a new phase in life of bachelor cooking a turning point for most Indian men. So far he has been one excellent tea brewer and knows how to use a cooker and makes himself varan, bhat and batata bhaaji.

It is really simple and nutritious recipe will take care of his protien needs and have veggies too. It can be eaten with any type of roti or just by it self when on reduction diet.

Ingredients

1 cup grated cabbage
2 tomatoes diced
1 cup paneer crushed
2 green chilies
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
2 teapsoons oil
salt to taste

Heat oil in a wok. Add the cabbage and green chilies mix. Now add the red chili powder, turmeric, tomatoes, paneer and cook for 6-8 mins stiring intermittently.

The burji is ready to be served. The best part is one can eat it hot or at room temperature it still tastes yummy. You will note this one can be eaten as satvic food as there are no onions used.

In Maharshtra cabbage is used as substitute for onion to make satvic food in dishes like kande pohe, Kanda bhaji etc. and we get a whole new taste. This works well when one has to meet people and needs to avoid smelly foods. No one likes smelling of the food they just enjoyed so this is your solution.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Karlyache Wafers



By Aruna Kaki


I chose to share this recipe of Karlyache wafers by my aunt as there is a similarity between the vegetable and my aunt.


Karla/ Karela / Bitter gourd is everyone's most hated vegetable atleast as a child that you actually might grow up to like. Its bitter taste may not satisfy the jivha but the nutritional values you cannot ignore. Check here.


Aruna Kaki is just like that very straight in feedback only when asked but will cure one undoubtedly. When a company selling packaged papaya juice claimed it to be real mango juice she held them by their tusks and rejected their import export license. How did she know that? I had visited their factory in my Pollution Control Technologist avatar some years ago. I had narated my disgust at the dinner table that night. She recollected that when she was processing that company's papers. She singly faced the wrath of the company. Sad to say in India the Erin Brockovich types don't get the recognition they deserve. The corporates won and Aruna Kaki took voluntary retirement. If she wished she could have made this a media dance and become a politician. Yeah that's the way things go.


So now she dotes on us when ever we visit and treats us to sumptuous meals she never had time to make when she was working. Now she makes the karlyache wafers too. I took this picture when I last visited Mumbai.


Ingredients


1/4 Karli/ Karela/ Bitter Gourd


1 table spoon salt


Slice the Bitter Gourd thin on a V- slicer. Remove the seeds you will get rings like in the picture. Rub in the salt and spread out the wafers on cloth for drying in the sun. In 2-3 days you will get crisp wafers. Fry them and sprinkle with red chili powder. Serve at meal times or munch with tea. These wafers last all the year round if stored in an airtight container.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Vijayawada Combo: Rice Sevai N Dahi Vada


Flash back to Mumbai. Anusha my little neighbor would jump the fence and come to our home the moment Durga Rani mentioned mealtime. Anusha whom we call Anu was my Pilloo ( cute baby). I spoilt her silly I know and her Ammama tells me that she believes in the same things that I do. Some of which is to work towards one's goal in life as quietly as possible and question all rules if one does not get a good explanation and be discrete. She is the kid who nurtured the mother in me. I loved to dress her up and how she would refuse to give a pa for the fear of spoling her lipstick. Rao used to scold me for using cosmetics on her. Its funny how our entire household used to call him Daddy be it young or old. I haven't met her for sometime but they tell me she is in junior college now. Rani made different types of muddas to feed her daughter and she hated them. She would go straight into our kitchen and check all the pots and pans and take whatever she wanted to eat. She loved Chavlachi Roti and fish curries made at our home. She spoke excellent Marathi and called my Mom Aai just like me and all other elders by the names we called like Kaka, Kaki, Mothe baba, Mothi Aai etc.

But that did not mean Durga Rani was a bad cook infact she was an excellent one. So when we felt like it we went to their home for mid meal treats. Rani made snacks that were most times mini meals ideal when we returned home tired from college/ university.

I am sharing with you two of her best that I have labeled as Vijayawada combo for that's from where they are, Anu's native.

Ingredients

Rice Sevai

1 cup rice sevai (MTR brand)
4 cups water
1 big onion chopped
2 tomatoes chopped fine
2 green chilies chopped
2 handfuls cilantro chopped
1 handful curry leaves
1 teaspoon udid dal
1 teaspoon chana dal
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafeotida
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste

In a saucepan heat 4 cups water add salt and cook the rice sevai (indian noodles) till its doubled in size. Drain on a mesh.

Meanwhile heat the oil in a wok. Follow the order to add the seasoning items asafoetida, mustard seeds, udid dal, chana dal fry till golden then add curry leaves. The smells will pervade the entire home. Now fry the onions till translucent to it add the tomatoes and with a bit of more salt cook till they melt to give a paste. This is the right time to add the cooked rice sevai and cilantro. Stir gently to mix well. The sevai should be coated evenly. Serve Hot.

Dahi Vada

There are so many types of Dahi vadas, sweet, salty, udid dal, moog dal, besan ones too that go by the name of pakora curry. Rani's version is a perfect balance of flavours and quite different from what you would expect a Dahi Vada to be.

Ingredients

For the flavored Dahi

6 cups hung curd
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
handful curry leaves
2 medium onions chopped long
2-3 green chilies chopped fine
handful cilantro chopped
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafeotida
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
2-3 pods garlic slivered
1 teaspoon oil

For the Vada

1/2 cup udid dal
1 tablespoon rice flour
1 teaspoon whole pepper corns
oil to fry
2 cups water with salt

Soak the udid dal for 2 hours and then grind to paste. Mix in the rice flour and pepper corns. Heat oil and fry vadas by dropping a teaspoon of the paste into hot oil. After the oil is hot turn the heat to medium and ensure that vada is cooked inside. Fry just one first to get nice crips golden ones check if cooked inside then fry the rest. Remove the first batch of Vadas and put them in the bowl of water and salt to soak. Add the second batch of vadas in oil to fry. As they turn golden remove the vadas bathing in the salt water and squeeze out the water between your palms and leave them on a plate. Now remove the second batch of fried vadas from oil and put in the salt water. In this fashion fry and soak all the vadas and keep aside.

Next lets temper the curd. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a vessel and add asafoetida, msutard seed, curry leaves and after you hear them splutter add the onions, garlic, cilantro, green chillies, turmeric. Fry for 5 mins and turn off the heat. Now add the sugar, salt and beat the curd in the vessel. Lastly add the presoaked vadas into the curds and mix. Chill for an hour before you serve.

When younger this was a mini meal for us but now I make it as a complete meal when we are not in the mood for a poli-bhaaji.

This post is to mark the begin of the theme of other regional influences on my daily meals.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

RCI June: Maharshtrian Cuisine


I enjoyed writting these 5 post for RCI so here is the collated one. Thank you Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine for this event and Nupur you enjoy hosting it this month. Its a five an auspicious number for just you two!

Take your time on the blog for more Maharshtrian recipes other than the ones listed here.

Amba Khava Satorya










Madhur Chivda




Kelyacha Shikaran



Saturday, June 23, 2007

Amba Khava Satorya



Amba Khava Satorya is an variation of the traditional Satorya created in My Kitchen Lab . I was thinking how Satorya got its name. Well 'satha' means stuffing in Marathi hence Satorya. This months RCI June: Maharashtrian Cuisine! made me actually rack my brains as this blog is a Maharashtrian blog so what unique recipe should I blog about that I haven't posted already. In addition to that my blogger buddies one by one whipped up the well known dishes from Maharashtra which left lesser choice for us Maharashtrians. As the saying goes "Need is the mother of invention" actually not invention but atleast I'll say revival prodded me to bring out the lesser known yet yummy dishes out on this blog. I experimented on this one too!


Satorya you might think after seeing the pictures its a stuffed sweet poli. You are right but it is not so simple as that. The taste is unique due to some steps followed to make them. Read on....

Ingredients

1 cup khava/ khoa/ condensed milk solids
1 cup mango pulp
1 tablespoon tup/ ghee
1 cup sugar
1 cup chapati dough
Tup/ghee to fry


First lets prepare the stuffing or satha. Heat the ghee and roast khava till it gives a 'khamang' smell. Wondering whats that? Its the aroma of any thing that sends you into a dizzy of immmediate longing. The signals khava gives of turning khamang is when it turns pinkish. Now add the sugar and mango pulp. Keep stirring and reduce to half.


Now take a lemon sized ball of chapati dough and roll out a thin chapati. Spoon the mix on half of the chapati and turn over the other half of chapati to get a crescent shape or karanji shaped pastry. Seal the borders to make sure none of the filling comes out. That shape is the lazy me but traditionally satorya are made with two chapatis slightly bigger than puris with the stuffing in between. I was already feeling like a scientist experimenting with the stuffing so the shape had to change too.


Now heat a girdle and dry roast the Satorya till you get pinkish dots showing they are just roasted. Side by side use another girdle to fry the Satorya in generous amounts of ghee on both the sides.


Always use 2 different girdles to do this for the true taste of authentic Satorya. This one is made with Mango- Khava combo so the name Amba Khava Satorya. You can also make them with crushed peda stuffing.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Whole Wheat French Bread


Whole Wheat Bread is an inspirational post to healthy option for bread yet it took coaxing from Anita for me to try it out. When I did I chose to make a french bread as I had my reservations. I wanted the goodness of wheat but didn't want it to smell of it. I see you guys rolling your eyes at that. Well Anita uses Italian herbs to good effect so I used a mix of dried basil and oregano. Also a hard crust bread guarantees abolishment of the smell of wheat.

I wanted to try just one loaf so the measures are changed here. My attempt to turn my prejudice around by making it a success for me which meant oil to be replaced by butter. Also the time for proofing is adjusted to the weather conditions here in Blr and it is summer now so needed to be cut down.

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon butter

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 1/2 cup warm water



In 1/2 cup warm water added the sugar and sprinkled the yeast. Let is foam.

In a big bowl measured out the 2 types of flours. Mixed in the yeasty foam with a wooden ladle. Then added the rest of the ingredient and mixed to get together a ball. On a floured counter kneaded it for 10 mins. Oiled a bowl and transfered the dough into it and left it for proofing for 4 hrs.

The doubled up dough then beckoned for a puching session. On a lightly floured surface practiced boxing on the dough. Shaped it to an oval. Greased the tray and placed it in the center. Let is rise for 2 hours.

Preheated oven on max for 10 mins. Inserted a tray of water at the bottom of the oven and pushed in the tray of shaped dough. I was gone for 40 mins. Checked the oven and LO! the french bread was something I approved of immediately. I had to hold myself back till the bread cooled well and it permitted perfect slicing. This activity was post lunch so I was going to attack it only at tea time.

My Dad loved it as he is a big fan of Brun and this was whole wheat so we made open sandwiches for tea.

To make sandwiches as seen here:

We buttered the slices of bread placed torn red cabbage, cucumber, sliced tomatoes and drizzled green chutney.

Green chutney- made with 1 cup mint and 1 cup cilantro plus 1/2 lemon juice and 1 teaspoon sugar and salt to taste

We enjoyed the crunchy sandwiches so much that we didn't miss ketchup at all. The big kid at home actually didn't ask for ketchup. I can't believe it!

Three Cheers for Anita!!! I am a convert and yes it tastes and smells gorgeous!



Thursday, June 21, 2007

Sanjachi Poli


In Marathi Sanja is semolina pudding. You got it Sanja is sooji halwa. The difference between Sanja and Sheera is that Sanja is made with water where as Sheera is made with milk or Ksheer in Sanskrit.

We Marathis are very good at recylcing food so you have misals, batata vada etc. all of which now have a dignity of their own. The Sanjachi Poli is one such creation. Whenever Sanja or Sheera is made in excess you know what to expect next. But many times we make specially for the taste.

Ingredients

2 cup sanja /sheera/ soji halwa
1 cup chapati dough
ghee to roast

Well I assume most people know how to make a stuff paratha. That's it! Just follow the same routine and there you go. Hummm for the novices here is the elaboration. Make a ball of the sanja/ sheera the size of a lemon. Now pinch off chapati dough of the same size. Make a basket to stuff the sanja / sheera ball in it. Seal well and flatten. On a floured counter roll out a poli not too thin not too thick about 5 inches diameter. Roast on a girdle on both sides apply ghee on both sides and remove from heat. Sanjachi Poli tastes best fresh it does not last long. This proportion makes about 6 Sanjachi Polis.

Funnily whether one uses sanja or sheera this poli is still called Sanjachi Poli. I used the Mango Sheera I had written about in a previous post just to add the seasonal flavor to the Sanjachi Poli that can be made all the year round in its plain avatar.

Do I need to tell how it tastes. Guys this Poli has seens generations of Marathi cooking so how can I not send it to Nupur for RCI June: Maharashtrian Cuisine!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Lonavala Chikki


Khandalyacha Ghatat hava thanda gaar....is a song we maharashtrians grew up with and a break from Mumbai meant going to Khandala ghats in which Lonavala in nestled. Mention it and you utter chikki. Read here how it happened.

This chikki was sent to me by the Dheer family. I loved it then and I love it now and will continue to be one of the things I will always love till I have my teeth in the best of health ;). No wonder it is said a chikki is to be enjoyed by the young or the old with dentures!

In the earlier days Maganlal's was my favorite but this time round the chikki from Super chikki too was excellent.

The signs of a good chikki would be brittle, nutty, some what chewy and an immediate source of energy.

It is very easy to make yet one must be careful when dealing with sugar-jaggery syrup when it is hot.

Ingredients

1 cup peeled groundnuts / any nuts

1.5 cups mix of sugar and jaggery

1 tablespoon of water

1 teaspoon of ghee.

Heat ghee in a saucepan. Roast the nuts lightly and keep aside. Many people don't do this but it gives extra flavor. Now in the pan melt the sugar and jaggery mix with just 1 tablespoon of water and boil to get a syrup. To test the right consistency add to water bowl if the sugar-jaggery mix forms a tiny ball then the syrup is right. It is called GOLIBAND PAAK i.e syrup that forms a ball. At this point add the nuts and stir in. Now while still hot pour it out on a greased surface like a tray or counter and spread evenly with the back of a steel bowl moving the hand deftly. Cool for 10 mins and score it to get desired shape viz. squares or diamonds are traditional. Let is cool completely.

This is a Maharshtrian toffee revived by an enterprising Marwadi to make it synonymous with a Hill station that is Lonavala. Do visit Lonavala and nearby areas especially if you are in Pune or Mumbai.

Off to RCI- Maharshtrian Cuisine at Nupur's One Hot Stove.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Madhur Chivda



This is a chivda I learnt to make from an old lady whom I used to call Tai (sister in marathi). She lived in Suman Nagar Colony in Mumbai and it was a treat to visit her. She always made special things for me. Though in Mumbai her ground floor flat had the previldge of a garden. There was a coconut, mango, gauva, Bilimbi and Kavathi Chapha trees (Type of Champa flower) that smelt so sweet.

Whenever I visited her I spent the whole day at her home so she would make this chivda and stocked it for me to munch on. This one is absolutely yum with a sweetish taste so it gets the name Madhur Chivda but it is high on calories. Nowadays we get a baked chivda like this one which is a better option I need to try it out at home someday. I like to indulge in this one once in a while. It goes straight to RCI June: Maharashtrian Cuisine! as it is brand Marathi.

Ingredients

2 cups beaten rice (thick)

2 tablespoon roasted split chickpeas

2 tablespoon ground nuts roasted

1 tablespoon chopped green chilies

1 handful curry leaves

1 tablespoon powder sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon raisins

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/4 teaspoon asafoetida

1/2 litre of Oil


You will be shocked just reading the ingredient list. No don't worry we are not using that much oil. However you do need it to deep fry the beaten rice/ poha. The poha too should be Gavache pohe as Tai would say what she meant was the poha should be thick like the ones we use for Kande pohe. The thicker one puffs really nice when deep fried.

Now take the oil in a deep wok and heat on medium. Keep a strainer at hand as you will be frying the poha in the strainer it self in small qauntities at a time. They will puff real quick in hot oil. Remove when the color is still white. It gives this chivda the special charm. Drain on mesh lined with lots of paper napkins. Yeah you need lots to get rid of the excess oil. After frying all the flatened rice lets prepare the seasoning.

In a large heavy bottom vessel a cooker should do. Take about 1 tablepoon of oil and heat. Add the asafoetida, splutter the mustard seeds chopped green chilies and the curry leaves. Now put off the heat and add sugar, salt, roasted peanuts, roasted spilt chickpeas, raisins and fried beaten rice. Mix well. Cool and store in airtight container.

This Chivada is addictive and you won't be able to stop munching so take small helpings. Have a large Masala tea by the side. This one is just right for a rainy day and cold weather.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Kelyacha Shikaran



Kelyacha Shikaran in the vati with poli, Sandage Gavar bhaaji, Thikhat khichadi


This month Nupur is hosting the Regional Cuisine of the Month : Maharashtrian Cuisine! so it had to be Maharashtrian. My blog is the essence of Mumbai, urban Maharashtra and more specifically I share here the unique recipes of Kolis. The food I cook at home like most people my age who move around however has influences from the outside world. Yet there is one dish which has remained distinctly Maharashtrian is Kelyacha Shikaran as it is simple and quick and there is nothing that can go wrong there.



The mention of it brings back memories of fuss one would create when something in the plate looked unfamiliar or one faked is too spicy. Only to send Mom scampering to make something really quick and still be nutritious. Kelyacha Shikaran is not a dessert like most would like to think in fact it is to be eaten during the meal with chapati or as the Marathi's call it sadi poli.


Banana is the cheapest fruit yet provides a good nutrition. Check the facts here. Most doctors suggest at least one banana everyday provided you don't have allergy to the latex. But remember they can increase your weight too if that is your target.




Ingredients

1 cup milk
1 large banana
1 pod cardamom
2 teaspoons sugar

In a cup of milk dissolve sugar. Mash half the banana and slice half of it. Mix with milk. Use the cardamom seeds crushed to enhance the flavor of Shikaran.


As a child this was my favorite and I could eat 3 polis with it in a go yet at all other times milk was a no no for me. Shikaran and poli / chapati is the best combination and spells comfort food for most Maharashtrian kids. Kelyacha Shikaran is to Mahrashtrian kid what curd rice is to a South Indian.

This was in my draft when FBD led me to The Cooker. So there will have to be more Marathi dishes for RCI from my blog.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Corn Potato Pops


Shilpa of Aayi's Recipes had posted Corn Patties and they stayed on my mind for quite sometime. It being a fried snack it had to wait for the right moment. My party finally allowed me to make it. I did not however want to make patties that are big or would take much space on a crowded plate. So I followed the recipe exactly as Shilpa had mentioned but when it came to shaping I zeroed in on tiny balls that can be picked with a tooth pick and put straight into the mouth more like pops. So this is what I call the cocktail version.

Corn Pops were a hit with the crowd. After frying them almost an hour before the guests walked in I put the tray into the oven to stay warm. I had kept mint coriander and tomato chutneys for dips. The mint coriander chutney was used more by the guests while my Dad prefers ketchup for all fries.

We all loved them. Thanks Shilpa and Aruna for sharing this recipe.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Curd Rice Bangalore Style

Curd Rice and Talleli Vangi


My South Indian friends will cringe when curd rice is mentioned on the blog. Is that some thing to write about some will say. Yet those of us who are not SI love this variety of rice and we eat it with the respect of a proper dish not just a closure item. My visitors and family love the Bangalore style curd rice. So here I am blogging about it.

Curd rice is the last item eaten at the end of a South Indian meal. Just like a Maharashtrian meal is completed with Taak bhat or buttermilk and rice. Here it is curd rice. Yet to make a good curd rice is not the easiest thing. Here in the Southern states a child is fed with curd rice. It is so important part of a meal that it could leave a SI insatiated if he/ she does not get it. It regulates the stomach pH after the assaults of varied spices in the thali meal. The Curd rice is good if you utter MUM-MUM after one spoonful in the mouth ;). I Love curd rice not any but Bangalore style!

Ingredients

2 cups soft cooked rice
1 cup thick curd
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon udid dal
1/2 teaspoon chana dal
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
3-4 green chilies chopped
few curry leaves
handful coriander leaves
2 tablespoon fresh pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons fine chopped raw mango
salt to taste

Heat oil in a wok on high. Add mustard seeds once it crackles add the curry leaves and fry a bit to get crispy ones. In the same oil add the udid and chana dal and toast them golden. Then its time to add the chopped green chilies and coriander leaves in to the seasoning. Remove from heat. Now add the cooked soft rice, soft means really soft and mix in the curd, pomegranates, raw mango and salt. Mash the curd rice a bit to get the creamy consistency. The raw mango is my addition and not a standard thing.

Enjoy the curd rice and turn into a gurgling child MUM-MUM is YUM-YUM.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Kejyarcha Kairi Lonche



Do you guys remember what is Keja? Humm I know I use too many Koli words. Well Keja is barter system if you missed it before. Why am I talking about barter here? Well this is a fresh pickle exchanged with dried fish in Thal. This pickle is eaten more like a lick snack in our village. It is made from raw mango or Kairi.


Kids take dry fish to the seller and in return get a generous helping of Kairi Lonche on a Bhendi leaf . The kids lap up the lonche and then pester their mothers for more at home. But licking it from the bhendi leaf is real fun. This bhendi leaf is a glossy one resembling pipal leaf. The bhendi tree is called Indian tulip and has yellow powdery flowers. It is was fun climbing bhendi trees too. They used to grow everywhere in Thal but have diminished now.


Ingredients

1 cup diced raw mango with the seed

1/2 cup jaggery

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

1 teaspoon oil

1/4 teaspoon mustard

1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 cup water

Heat oil in a saucepan, splutter mustard seeds, asafoetida,add the raw mango and stir. Add in jaggery, salt, turmeric and red chili powder. Pour the water and boil till it thickens to give a nice gravy.

We just lap it up as is. You go find a reason to have it for the first time later you won't even think of combinations forget about reasons. Try it out!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Amras Malai Bhat and Amras Puri

Amras, Mango pickle, Suki batata bhaaji, Amras Malai Bhat and Puri


Hapoos at home means Amras puricha bet! pronounced as bayt meaning exclusively planned menu. How can Mango season not be celebrated with Amras Puri. In Maharshtra the Amras Puri cha bet is not complete without suki batata bhaaji or dry potato bhaaji. The rice too is special one my Mom would made for me as a kid in the Mango season.


It is very delicate flavored rice not a desert but to be eaten during the meal.

Ingredients


To make Amras


8 mangoes
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cardamom seeds powdered
1 teaspoon ghee



8 mangoes washed and peeled. After peeling the entire mango draw a chequered pattern on both sides of the mango and then cut them away as you would to slice the mango. This gives even cubes. Save the cubes of 2 mangoes. Now the remaining mangoes should be crushed with clean hands to get puree. It is a bad idea to puree mango in a blender as it makes the puree sticky. The hand pureeing keeps the taste intact. Mix in the sugar, cardamon powder, ghee to homogenise. The ghee is just to lubricate the tummy as the mangoes create heat. Now add in the cubes and chill for couple of hours before serving.

To make Amras Malai Bhat

1 cup soft cooked rice
1/4 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup Amras



Put all ingredients in a big bowl and whisk with a wooden spoon. Fill it in a mould and demould on the plate and dress it with a spoon of Amras. The cooked rice should be preferably Ambe Mohor variety but I used Sona Masuri here. Ambe Mohor smells and tastes better.


About Ambe Mohor: It is a variety of small grained rice. It gets its name from the fact that raw mangoes are kept to ripen in bags of this rice. The rice thus gets its fragrance from the ripening mangoes. Ambe Mohor literally means the blossoms of the mango.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Mango Lassi



and a Weaving Tradition

India has a very rich tradition of textiles. The colors are inspired by nature so when one goes shopping for sarees the connotations of color are like Baigany for purple like brinjal, Mor panki - colors of the peacock feather, amra pali - of the mango leaf, kesariya-the color of saffron, haldi- kumkum for turmeric and vermillion.

My favorite combo is amra pali that too the green and yellow one. This cotton dupatta/ scarf is one of my favorite. It is a ikat design inspired by the colors of the mango. It is very old and feels so soft. The cool cotton reminds me of the famous mango cooler ofcourse the Mango Lassi.

Ingredients

1 cup curd

2 tablespoons sugar

1 cup mango pieces

few ice cubes

Blend together for just 1 min and serve.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Mango Sheera


In the Season of Hapoos everything gets the color of the mango. This Mango Sheera is one such creation



Ingredients



1/2 cup semolina

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup mango puree with cubes

1 cup hot milk

1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

2+ 1/2 tablespoon ghee



In a wok heat 2 tablespoons of the ghee and roast the semolina in it till grains looks well coated with the ghee and separated. Now in goes the sugar mix well and pour in the hot milk. Keep stirring. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 mins. Stir in the mango puree at this stage and let the semolina absorb the juices and flavors. Cover again and cook till the semolina looks fluffy. Add the cardamom powder and mix well. When done let in the 1/2 tablespoon ghee and allow it to melt in by spreading evenly on the top. Mix well and scoop out to serve hot into decorative bowls.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Hapoos

Hapoos is to be enjoyed silently. It is the king of all fruits and needs to be given the respect it deserves. So as soon as the box reaches home. I unpack it and layout on a jute bag all the mangoes in one corner of a room. The entire neighborhood might have got the fragrance and we fear people will line up at our doorstep ;) to ask for a share.

The fruit looks nice ripe orange and will have to be used soon. The fruit it best once it gets wrinkles. Mangoes create heat in the body so before eating they should be chilled or put in water for a couple of hours. The latex should be washed of carefully else it gives boils on the skin.

How we enjoy the fruit most is peel off the entire skin like this



Close all doors and windows so no one sees you biting into this luscious flesh making those noises that only your partner is allowed to hear. Take in deep breaths to allow the aroma to touch your soul. Wear a bib for sure you don't want to stain your clothes. Stop only when the seed is white like this.


No Mango can stand up to a Hapoos. Its just pulp rich orange color and an aroma that stays on your hands even after several washes.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Kairichi Amti


This is an opening dish for a Mango season in our home and I am surprised it is actually a Koli aamti. The reason I say this is it is very rare that a Koli eats anything besides fish. Anyways.

The Thali you see above is a united one ;) West meets South. Yes that happens in our home when I am confused about what to cook. Sometimes we want the Dosa for lunch but don't want the sambar. Want to eat rice but with a Marathi curry. So you see that day it was Dosa wih red chili chutney and rice with Kairichi Aamti.

Kairi is raw mango hence the name of the curry. Traditionally it is made with ground coconut masala with the same ingredients but I made it with coconut milk. I like this one more as the coconut does not dominate the flavours.

Ingredients

1 coconut milk
2 raw mangoes
2 inch piece jaggery
1 inch ginger shredded
1 handful coriander leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 green chillies
few curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoon oil
salt to taste

To start off we need to keep the coconut milk extracted and ready. Cut the raw mango into bite sized pieces and save the stone too.

Heat oil and splutter the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves. Fry the raw mango for 2 secs. Add the jaggery, ginger, coriander leaves, turmeric powder, green chillies and stir for a min. Add the coconut milk and boil for 10 mins. Don't forget the salt before removing from heat. Serve with hot rice.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Sandage Gavar Bhaaji

Sandage Gavar Bhaaji with Nachani Bhakari and pears

This meal was simple and power packed with the Sandage Gavar bhaaji. Its a taste not easy to forget.


Ingredients

1/4 kg Gavar / Flat beans
1 onion chopped
1 tomato chopped fine.
few curry leaves
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 cup sandage
2 teaspoon oil
salt to taste

First soak the sandage in water to reconstitute for 15 mins. Mean while in a small pressure cooker add oil and fry the onions in it till translucent. Add the curry leaves and stir, smell the aroma. Now stir in the tomatoes to get a nice gravy. This is the right time to add the cleaned, destringed and broken pieces of Gavar beans to the tempering. Coat beans evenly with oil. At this point add the red chili powder and turmeric powder. Drain the sandage and add to the bhaaji add the garam masala. Mix well. Do not add water. The vegetables used will release enough water to pressure cook it. Add salt to taste. Close the cover and pressure cook for 3 long whistles or 5 short whistles.

Let the PC cool and then open to check if the sandage are done. Mix thoroughly and serve with any type of roti.

This recipe is with Gavar. Similarly sandage can be cooked with brinjals, tondali err Ivy gourd, cabbage etc. Infact use just like one would use soya chunks. Thats what our mothers and their mothers and theirs did before soya chunks became popular and easily available. It takes the vegetables to a whole new level.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sandage

Is this Alien environment?

Sometime ago there was a wave among bloggers about Amritsari wadi. There were recipes some authentic some experimental. My blogger friends who have tasted them went gaga about it. I said to myself yet again the charm of Punjabi entrepreneurial skill won over the Marathi who don't seem care much about popularizing their cuisine.

Well if Punjab has its wadi then Maharashtra has its Sandage. I made these this summer and Manisha just reminded me about them I am looking forward to her recipe too. She would probably have a Nagpuri version.

These are preserved Dal drops used as flavor and protein enhancers in a bhaaji.

To make sandage there is some preparation required.

1. Keep a 1 square meter clean plastic sheet at hand.

2. A 1 square meter muslin cloth to cover

3. Soak equal amounts of 5 dals of your choice in water early in the morning latest by 7 am. I used 1/4 cup of Chana, Tur, Udid, Masoor, and Moog dal.

4. Keep the following spices ready to be ground

1 teaspoon each of red chilli powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds.
1/ 2 teaspoon hing
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
4-5 green chilies
salt as per taste.
fresh ginger 1 inch

5. At 9 am once the sun is out. Put all the ingredients in a wet grinder. The soaked dals should be drained and added in. Minimum amounts of water should be used. Grind together to get a rough paste.

6. Spread the plastic sheet in the Sun. Now with a small spoon drop the ground paste on the plastic sheet or use 1/4 spoon to get same sized drops. Leave them to dry. The batch should be completed and left for drying max by 10 am so it gets the full day's sun to dry nicely on the first day itself. Cover with muslin cloth to keep of dirt and holder to keep it there.

This is a very important tip to remember any drying must start at max 10 am to get long sun exposure especially on the first day. This will take care of any fungus threatening to form on it.

7. In the late afternoon around 3 pm carefully turn over each and every sandage to dry the underside.

8. At 5-6 pm bring them in.

Never leave anything you are drying out in the night. Condensations, dew can wet the stuff and your labor would be wasted.

9. Keep for drying for couple more days to get hard rocks of dal.

10. Once dried completely store in airtight bottle.

I will post on how to incorporate these protein powerhouses in your bhaaji in the upcoming post.

Well so that is Sandage(Marathi), can be defined as dal dropping literally!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Mumbai Harbour


Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife

I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature's recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life

Wherever I wander, wherever I roam
I couldn't be fonder of my big home
The bees are buzzin' in the tree
To make some honey just for me

When you look under the rocks and plants
And take a glance at the fancy ants
Then maybe try a few

The bare necessities of life will come to you
They'll come to you!

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife

I mean the bare necessities
That's why a bear can rest at ease
With just the bare necessities of life

Now when you pick a pawpaw
Or a prickly pear
And you prick a raw paw
Next time beware
Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw
When you pick a pear
Try to use the claw
But you don't need to use the claw
When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw
Have I given you a clue ?

The bare necessities of life will come to you
They'll come to you!

So just try and relax, yeah cool it
Fall apart in my backyard
'Cause let me tell you something little britches
If you act like that bee acts, uh uh
You're working too hard

And don't spend your time lookin' around
For something you want that can't be found
When you find out you can live without it
And go along not thinkin' about it
I'll tell you something true

The bare necessities of life will come to you


I love this song from Jungle Book sung by Bhaloo the bear I sing it when I'm a little low (this flu) and think about Mumbai my home.

Gateway of India

Did you know that a part of the mountain fell in the sea when Hanuman was carrying it to Sri Lanka for Laxman to treat him with the Sanjeevani buti. This is that hill called Dronagiri now known as Uran.


The Naval Fleet


Cranes busy loading and unloading

Ferries to Elephanta Island


The old lady is undergoing botox treatment. The Taj Mahal Hotel.

No Regatta today just lazing.


Yatcher from Radio club

It could be a Tata, Birla, Mallya, you name it celebrity in there.

All go across the harbor to their superlative homes in Alibag for the weekend.

Taken from the Catamaran while returning from my trip to Thal.


It was one jumpy 45 mins ride.



Foreign Vessels

The Docks

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