Raw Mango sweet and sour Jam

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As the mango season has come to an end in India, here being a seasonal affair….I found these raw mangoes in the market and took it to make Aam panna. But this time I was a bit late in making something with it. I was in no mood to touch it for a week and then I suddenly remembered that I had raw mangoes with me and they had been little ripe and would not be good for making the Panna.  And me being me I wouldn’t throw them and thought of making something out of it.

Then I thought of making a jam with this. The process being similar to that of making an Aam panna…here it is made with sugar while the traditional aam panna is made with jaggery. Some people also make Aam panna with sugar and it taste equally good but nothing can beat the jaggery one. It requires just 3 simple ingredients and it gets ready in just sometime. It can be used as an accompaniment with chapatti’s or even used as bread spread. It gives and very nice sweet and sour taste with the flavor of cardamom.

There are many things that one can make with raw mangoes. Different regions have different dishes and recipes. You can make pickles, chunda, Laungi (methamba), Aam panna, mango rice, chutneys and many other things. If you can any other things with this special fruit you can name your preparations with all of us.

Do try out this yummy jam and it will definitely be a regular in your house every mango season.

 

 

What do we need:-

2 Raw mangoes

1 cup sugar

½ tsp Green cardamom powder (elaichi powder)

A pinch of salt

 

How do we do it:-

1 Wash the mangoes thoroughly. Cook the mangoes in the pressure cooker for 4 whistles.

2 After the cooker has cooled down take out the mangoes and wait till they cool down.

3 Make a small cut on the top of the mangoes and squeeze out all the juices of the mangoes in a vessel.

4 Discard the mango seed and the outer skin after nicely taking out the pulp. You can use the seed as a souring agent for the dal.

5 In the same vessel add in the sugar with the mango pulp and cook it till the mixture become thick. (Till you get the sugar syrup)

6 Adjust the sweetening to your taste. Add in the cardamom powder.

7 Wait till the mixture cools down fully. It will thicken further after cooling fully.

8 Your Sweet and sour raw mango jam is ready now.

9 Store the jam in a clean and dry bottle and keep it in a refrigerator. (Do not use water in the jam)

 


Dal Makhani (Mixed lentils in creamy gravy)

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Dal Makhani needs no introduction. It’s a very popular north Indian / Punjabi dish.  It is a dal made of mixed lentils.  It is also called as Maa ki dal. It is process of slow cooking that gives it a nice flavor. But in this recipe to speed up the process I have cooked the dals in the pressure cooker. To make it a creamy gravy butter and fresh cream is added.

It is also prepared in the golden temple of Amitsar for a ‘Prasad’ to be given to people who come for food. It is called as the langar wali dal and none can match its flavor. I had tried making this some days before and it tasted super. It can be a bit heavy to digest as Rajma and Whole urad dal are a bit heavy on the stomach. But the taste makes it all the more worth it. My son and my hubby loved it a lot and I am looking forward to make it more often now.

Lentils as we all know are very high in proteins and kidney beans are all very rich in proteins they are normally used in an Indian kitchen in many ways. Rajma masala is another very popular dish of rajma made in the north of India.  Now as we all are experimenting with all the cuisine’s it is cooked and eaten very fondly all over India. So friends do try out this very delicious Dal makhani with an easy procedure and swap it with your regular dal for a meal.

 

 

What do we need:-

50 gms Rajma (kidney beans)

200 gms whole Urad dal (whole black lentils)

2 tbsp Oil

1 tsp Cumin seeds (jeera)

1 tsp Garam masala powder / whole garam masala

2 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste (adrak-lehsun paste)

1 tsp Turmeric powder (haldi)

5 Tomatoes, pureed

½ tsp red chilli powder / as per your taste

1 tbsp Coriander seeds powder (dhania powder)

1-2 tbsp Butter

2-3 tbsp Fresh cream

Water as required for cooking

Salt to taste

 

How do we do it:-

1 Wash and soak the rajma and the whole urad dal for overnight.

2 Next day cook the dal in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles or till it is cooked.

3 After the dal is cooked in a vessel heat 2 tbsp oil.

4 When the oil is hot enough add the cumin seeds and wait till they crackle.

5 If you are using whole garam masala add it in at this stage or if you are using the powder add it at last.

6 Add in the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 1 minute. Add turmeric powder, tomato puree and cover and cook well for 10 minutes.

7 Add the red chilli powder, dhania powder, salt to taste and cook till the mixture thickens.

8 Add in the cooked dal water, which is left after the dal is cooked and cook for 5 minutes.

9 Add in the cooked dal, butter and cover and cook for 30 minutes, while stirring continuously not to burn it at the bottom.

10 Add the garam masala powder (if you are using powder instead of whole garam masala at this point) and cook for 2 minutes.

11 Add fresh cream and garnish with freshly chopped coriander. Serve hot with Naan or Paratha.


Padwal Bhajji (Snake Gourd pakoda)

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Fried food is a major part of Indian cuisine. But now a days as we tend to watch our diet we try to avoid them. But still there are some things that you cannot avoid with its smell coming from all over during the rainy season. This being the famous Pakoda/ bhajji as we call it.

All love pakoda and there are many types of it to be made and enjoyed. One such Pakoda/bhajji that I make sometimes (not always as I too don’t like friend food much, once in a while OK) is the Padwal (snake gourd) Bhajji. It is a very famous type of bhajji made in Maharashtra and Karnataka (as I know). Snake gourd/ padwal is a much ignored vegetable. It believe me it taste so yummy. You can make sabzi out of it with chana dal, or even a poriyal and it just cook quickly like the ridge gourd (turai/ dodki)

It has its name snake gourd as it looks like a snake. In Marathi we call it Padwal. This bhajji is a favourite with everyone in my house. As the rainy is approaching I thought what better to share with you guys this recipe as that you can enjoy it with your cup of hot piping tea with rain pouring down from our window. Wow what a moment to cherish. But the king of Bhajji’s in the rainy season is the Onion Bhajji. Oh no one can ever forget the taste of it (even as I mention it here) and the lovely smell of it.  The best being the roadside one’s. Believe me they are the best and one cannot match to their taste ever.

So guys try out this Snake gourd/ padwal Bhajji this rainy season if you haven’t given it a try and you will definitely love it for sure.

 

 

What so we need:-

100 gms Padwal (snake gourd), cut into medium size roundels

1 cup Bengal gram flour (Besan)

½ tsp Turmeric powder (haldi)

½ tsp Red chilli powder

½ tsp Carom seeds (ajwain)

Salt to taste

1 tsp Oil + for deep frying

A pinch of soda-bi carbonate (cooking soda)

Water as required

 

How do we do it:-

1 Heat the oil for deep frying in a Kadhai/ frying pan.

2 Till the oil heats up, in a mixing bowl take the Besan.

3 Put in all the other ingredients with the besan, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, carom seeds, soda-bicarb, salt to taste, 1 tsp oil and mix it nicely.

4 Now add water little by little to make a thick batter. Remember not to make it watery. Add water little by little.

5 Check if the oil is hot. Keep it on a medium-low flame.

6 Keep a plate with absorbent paper ready to remove the bhajji’s.

7 Now take the snake gourd roundels one by one, dip them in the thick besan batter and leave it in the hot oil for frying.

8 Put the bhajji’s one by one. You can put 5-6 at a time depending on your kadhai.

9 Fry them on a medium-low flame for the snake gourd to cook nicely.

10 Remove them on the absorbent paper once they turn golden from both the sides.

11 Enjoy them hot with a cup of tea with rain by your side.


Aamras/ Kayras

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Aamras / Kayras is a very important part of the Maharashtrain cuisine. Aamras and puri is the very popular combination served in Maharashtra during the Mango season.  It not only in Maharashtra the Aamras is made and eaten. It’s made all over India. In Karnataka it is called as Shikarni and eually enjoyed with puri, chapatti or just by itself.

There is no one who does not like mangoes. Mango being the king of fruits, here in India it’s a seasonal affair. We all eagerly wait for the mango season every summer. I too had a lot of Alphonso mangoes this year. To my heart’s content.  But I couldn’t make many other things with the mangoes this year. But at the last innings, and the last batch of the mangoes that was given to me by my loving neighbor I had to make this as I had made this Aamras only once this season.

There is a sweet story for how I got these mangoes. Rather a gift from my neighbor. Few days before I made another batch of Nankhatai’s (Thanks to Ruchi Airen for her recipe), as I had a lot of homemade ghee. Then as a usual thing I gave it to my neighbor for tasting it. She and all her family members, especially her son loved it so much that she asked me to bake a batch of nankhatai’s for her also. I said ok no problem just get the ingredients required and I will make them for you. The next day she got all the ingredients and also got the lovely, very sweet mangoes for me. So basically I got these mangoes in return of the Nankhatai’s.  So literally speaking Mango is the fruit of my hard work…J  Hope you guys enjoyed my short story…..

Do try this Aamras before the mango season ends and enjoy it to the fullest.

 

What do we need:-

2-3 Ripe Mangoes (Aram/Amba)

1 cup Milk

¼ cup Sugar / as per your taste

½ tsp Cardamom powder (elaichi powder)

 

How do we do it:-

1 Wash the Mangoes nicely. Hold the 1 mango in your hand.

2 Press the mango from all the sides with your thumb lightly and rotating it.

3 You will see that the mango becomes plump and the pulp starts coming out.

4 Now remove the stem of it. Now start squeezing the pulp of the mango outside.

5 Remove the whole pulp in a vessel and discard the seed and the skin.

6 Now add in the milk, sugar and cardamom powder and blend it all together to make a thick smoothie.

7 Chill it and serve.


Khari Biscuit (Puff pastry Biscuit)

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Who doesn’t know about the very famous Khari biscuit / Puff pastry biscuit? It is a very popular tea time snack. It is popular all over India and is found everywhere in the bakery’s. From the day I brought my oven i wanted to bake them. My hubby and I both love to have it with our morning tea. We every time get it from the bakery.

After trying it many a times with many methods to try out from, I failed all the time I made it. I tried to make it at least 2-3 times and failed. And the failed result I used to make every one eat them and finish it. And we all ate them…J. Then one day I saw this easy method of making Khari biscuit in one of the regional TV cookery show.

I wrote the procedure down and I had a very bad memory and don’t remember anything for a long time. After that I forgot about it.  Many methods used slab of butter for making Puff pastry. I tried that method also but couldn’t get the wanted result.  This is a full proof method and as it used margarine instead of butter it tastes same as that of bakery.

Making puff pastry with butter is difficult as butter melts very fast and it has water content in it, and as we are home bakers it become difficult for us to master it with few tries. Well now I can say I have learnt how to make the puff pastry with this easy process.

The steps explained here may seem lengthy as there are many steps given to explain you nicely the process involved in making it. It is quite simple compared to the lengthy steps. Do try it yourself at home to make your own homemade Khari biscuit. And once you know to make the Puff pastry you can make anything out of it. As egg puff, veg puff and many other items made in the bakery.

 

 

What do we need:-

100 gms All purpose flour (Maida) + For dusting

50 gms + 1 tbsp Margarine (Dalda/vanaspati)

Salt to taste

Chilled water as required

Oil for greasing

 

How do we do it:-

1 Melt the 50 gms Margarine in a vessel. Remove it in a bowl and Keep it in freezer for 10-15 minutes or till it is semi-set.

2 In a mixing bowl take the Maida, add the salt to taste and mix well.

3 Add in the 1 tbsp melted margarine and knead it with chilled water.

4 Knead it to a consistency a bit loose to chapatti dough.

5 Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes continuously to make it elastic and smooth.

6 Keep this dough covered for 10-15 minutes.

7 Meanwhile see if the margarine is semi set. If yes remove it out and whisk it nicely to make it smooth and lump free. You can see that its colour changes to white from yellow.

8 Now sprinkle dry maida on the kitchen top. Take the dough and roll it out to make a rectangle of about 1 ¼ feet long. Do not make it too thin.

9 Apply the whisked Margarine on the whole dough leaving ½ inch border. Apply it by fingertips.

10 Keep aside 1 tbsp Margarine to apply afterwards.

11 Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces with the help of a pizza cutter horizontally.

12 Roll in tightly the 1st cut piece.  Keep the rolled piece on the 3rd piece and roll it in.

13 Now keep this on the middle piece and roll it in. Pinch both the sides and make it a nice roll.

14 Keep it on a dusted plate and cover it with ice cold water dipped cloth and keep it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

15 After that remove it out and roll it vertically first and then horizontally to make a rectangle of 1 feet long.

16 Apply the remaining margarine little by little leaving gaps by fingertips.

17 Now fold the rectangle from one side to come to the centre. Apply a little margarine on the folded dough too.

18 Now fold the other end of the dough to make a packet. Keep it on the dusted plate, covered with chilled cloth and keep in freezer for 5-10 mins.

19 Remove it out after that and roll it out to make a rectangle. Now keep it ¼ – ½ inch thick. Trim the edges to make a perfect rectangle.

20 Now cut the pastry into 2 inch length and 1 inch breadth. This amount makes 16-18 Khari biscuits.

21 Keep them on an oil greased tray and bake them in a pre heated oven on 230 degree C for 10 minutes.sprinkle some water on top of the pastry before baking.

22 Then keep the Khari’s vertically so that the layers face upside and bake it further on 90 degree C for 30 minutes. (remember do not cool the khari’s in the process of turning them)

23 After the baking is done remove the tray and cool them before storing.

 

Note: You can add variations to it by adding different flavours as:

1Cumin (jeera)

2 Dried Fenugreek seeds (kasuri methi)

3 Carom seeds (ajwain)

And many more which you want to do.

Step by Step Picture :

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Tangy Potatoes

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Potatoes being the most widely used vegetable in India there are many different ways of making it.  Every house and every region has its own signature dish.

This is also a regular side dish made in my house and I just love it for its tangy taste which goes very well with the potatoes.  As this has very few regular ingredients used in it, it can be a savior dish when you don’t have any other vegetable left at home. It gets ready very fast. This type of potato sabzi has been made in my house from childhood as I remember. Every time when there were no other vegetable left in the house potatoes came to our rescue and this was a wonderful and yummy sabzi that mom made.

It uses very few ingredients that are regularly used in our Indian kitchen and believe me it tastes just yummy. As we all know potatoes don’t have their distinct taste and this makes the tanginess of the tomatoes stand out. Here I have made the sabzi keeping the skin of the potatoes on, as we all know that there are more nutrients and fibres in the skin. If you don’t like them you can very well skin them and there will be no difference in the taste of the dish.

To speed up the process you can even use half boiled potatoes and your quick sabzi will be ready even quicker. You can make this easy version with any vegetable you like and it will taste just awesome. You can even keep the gravy as thick or thin as per your choice. So friends do try out this easy to make, ready in a jiffy, savior sabzi which will turn out to be your favorite and will take a regular place in your kitchen.

 

What do we need:-

7-8 Potatoes (aloo), diced (you can remove the skin of the potatoes, I have kept it)

1 large Onion, finely chopped

2-3 Tomatoes, finely chopped

1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste (adrak-lehsun paste)

½ tsp Turmeric powder (haldi)

¾ tsp Red chilli powder (as per your taste)

2 tbsp Oil

½ tsp Garam masala powder

2 tbsp Coriander, finely chopped

Water as required

Salt to taste

 

How do we do it:-

1 Thoroughly wash the potatoes for any dirt and grime and then dice them in medium pieces and keep them in water so as they do not turn black.

2 Heat the oil in a kadhai or a deep vessel.

3 When the oil is hot enough add the chopped onions and sauté till they are golden brown.

4 Add in the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 2 minutes.

5 Now add the chopped tomatoes and sauté them till they are fully cooked and are mushy.

6 Add in the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and sauté for a minute.

7 Put in the diced potatoes and salt to taste.

8 Add 1 cup water cover and cook this till the potatoes are cooked and the gravy thickens.

9 If you need more water for the potatoes to cook add in warm water, cover and cook till done.

10 Now add the garam masala and cook for a minute.

11 Serve hot garnished with chopped coriander.


Homemade Sweet Paan Mixture Preserve (Betel leaves sweet mixture)

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As promised here is the recipe of the Homemade Sweet Paan Mixture. I am a bit late about posting it as I had been to my parent’s place for vacation before my son’s school start. We enjoyed a lot there and it was much cooler there compared to Pune. I am being in Belgaum. Can you believe it we hardy used the fan there. What a climate to be in the summer. After coming back I got this severe cold that wouldn’t go.  So after taking rest for another week here I am now back to my routine and back to all of you whom I missed the most.

As I have the Betel leaf (Kolkatta Paan) growing in my backyard I hardy used it to eat except for any pooja occasions. Even my neighbors take it from me if they have any pooja at home.  Every month the gardener used to cut the extra one’s and throw them away and I used to feel so bad that they are getting wasted. Then one day our very own masterchef from our Colony Mrs. Chaudhary Aunty got this paan mixture and after tasting it I was in complete mind to make it. After that I told Chaudhary aunty that I wanted to make it as my betel eaves went wasted. As always she was ready to show me the way it was made. She was sweet enough to come to my place and showed me how to make it. I made a jar full of it, which has already made half by my hubby as he loves Paan.

Betel leaves are considered auspicious in India. They are used in many poojas and are also eaten widely in India. They are considered good for one’s digestion, especially if you have a heavy meal. In south India, especially the Brahmins they make a paan mixture which is given to women post delivery which is considered to keep their digestion good. They are made in the small tablet form and given fresh.

You can make them even if you have many extra paan remaining after any pooja. You can make it with any type of paan. All the ingredients are easily available in the shops and the other one’s you can get them at any paan waala. It stays nice for months together outside. So you don’t need to store it in the refrigerator. Do try it out and let me know how it was.

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What do we need:-

100 Betel leaves (paan)

25 gms Dhania dal (coriander dal)

25 gms Fennel seeds (sauf)

10 gms Melon seeds (char magaz)

6-7 Cardamom (elaichi/veldode)

5 Cloves (laung)

½ cup Sugar

½ tsp Chuna (calcium hydroxide)

½ tsp Katha (cathau)

1 tsp Chaman Bahar (Sugandh) (you can get it at the paanwala)

½ cup Gulkand

A pinch of Asman Tara (you can get it at the paanwala/ it gives a cooling effect)

Tutti fruity as per your wish

Any other mouth fresheners can also be added

 

 

How do we make it:-

1 First of all wash the betel leaves nicely and dry them. Cut them into small bits with the help of a scissor (that’s the difficult part)

2 Keep it aside.

3 In a non-stick pan dry roast the dhania dal, fennel seeds and the melon seeds with continuous stirring for 2-3 minutes and keep aside.

4 In a mixer jar grind the Cardamom, cloves, katha and asman tara together and make a fine powder. Keep aside.

5 In the non stick pan take the sugar and add just a few teaspoons of water.

6 Melt it to make a sugar syrup.

7 Now add the betel leaves and stir it nicely and allow it to cook with the sugar syrup with continuous stirring so that the moisture from the leaves goes out.

8 Now add in the gulkand and stir continuously.

9 Now add the roasted ingredients, chuna and the grind ingredients and mix nicely.

10 Stir continuously. After some time the leaves change their colour and the mixture becomes dry and is no longer watery.

11 Now add in the tutti fruity and mix nicely.

12 The mixture should be dry. This will take about half an hour.

13 Cool it fully and store in a dry container and it stays nice for months outside.

14 You can add any other refreshments after the mixture cools.