Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tundu Manga Ooruga - Fresh/ Instant Mango Pickles

Tundu Manga Ooruga / Fresh or Instant mango pickle  establishes monopoly over  all  other side dishes during the mango season. The fresh crunch of the mango pieces combined with the spice powders is so addictive, that my family loves to enjoy Tundu Manga Ooruga with each and every meal as long as the season lasts.

Raw Mango - 1 big ( firm and moderately sour)
Chilly powder - 2 tbsps 
Salt - 2 tbsps 
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp 
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp 
Asafoetida powder - 1 pinch 
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp 
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps 

1. Dry roast fenugreek seeds until  dark in colour, powder and keep  aside. 
2. Wash and wipe the mango thoroughly, and chop it into small pieces. 
3. Spread the mango pieces on a paper towel so that it absorbs all the moisture. 
4. Transfer the dry mango pieces into a clean and dry bowl. 

5. Top the mango pieces with chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt. 

6. Heat oil in a seasoning ladle and add the mustard seeds. 
7. When the mustard seeds crackle add asafoetida and switch off flame. 
8. Pour the seasoning all over the spice powders. 

9. Add the roasted and powdered fenugreek powder. 

10. Mix well using a dry spoon.


Fresh Tundu Manga Ooruga is ready to relish. 

The freshness of Tundu Manga Ooruga will last  for ten days under refrigeration.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bengali Kichdi - A Tasty Medley Of Rice Dal And Vegetables

D2 and I wanted to prepare a quick one pot meal so that we could enjoy it comfortably while we watched a movie without having to run up and down for the side dishes. We wanted something that was not very spicy or tangy as it was a very hot day. I offered to make the simple but nutritious Bengali Kichdi which I had learnt to cook from Dibs. 

Rice - 1 cup 
Green gram dal - 1 cup 
Bengal gram dal - 1 tbsp 
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch 
Ghee - 2 tbsps 
Cumin seeds - 1tsp 
Whole black pepper - 1/2 tsp 
Red chillies - 2 
Curry leaves - a few 
Cinnamon - few pieces 
Cloves - 6 
Cardamom - 4 
Onion - 1 
Potatoes - 2 
Carrots - 2 
Drum sticks - 2 
Green brinjals - 2 
Salt - 1 1/2 tsps 

1. Dry roast green gram dal and Bengal gram dal together till you get a pleasant aroma and keep aside.(This step makes the kichdi more flavoursome.) 
2. Peel and slice the onions. 
3. Wash, peel and chop potatoes and carrots into one inch sticks. 
4. Wash and cut drumsticks into one inch long pieces. 
5. Wash and quarter the brinjals lengthwise, and then cut them into one inch long pieces and keep  them immersed in water till needed. 
6. Wash rice and the roasted dals together and drain. 
7. Heat ghee in a kadai  and add cumin seeds. 
8. When the cumin seeds splutter add whole pepper corns and wait till they crack. 
9. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, broken red chillies and fry them. 
10. Fry curry leaves and onion slices with the seasoning and then add the vegetables (drain the brinjals before adding), and saute for two more minutes. 

11. Add the washed rice and dal mixture and saute till you get a pleasant aroma. 

12. Transfer the ingredients into a pot / vessel which will fit into your pressure cooker, and add turmeric powder, six cups of water and salt. 
13. Pressure cook the kichdi until the cooker gives out three whistles. 
14. When the pressure subsides carefully remove the pot and gently mix the kichdi uniformly using a spatula.

Enjoy the simple, flavoursome Bengali Kichdi topped with  ghee.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Carrot Springs Pasta In Tomato Sauce

D2 was experimenting with all the cutters and graters which I had not used for a very long time. After a little practice she was able to make beautiful carrot 'springs' using a particular grater which Dibs had bought for me long time ago. D2 was so much involved in the procedure that she forgot to stop until she had made a mound of beautiful carrot springs! Since the 'mound' looked very much like pasta we decided to cook it with pasta and call it Carrot Springs Pasta. This is how we prepared it. 

Pasta - 150 gms 
Salt - 1 pinch 
Carrots - 150 gms ( Peeled and grated into springs) 

Olive oil - 2 tbsps 
Crushed pepper - 1/2 tsp 
Crushed garlic - 1/2 tsp 

1. Boil one liter of water with a pinch of salt and one tbsp of olive oil in a large vessel. 
2. Add the pasta and cook till soft but not mushy, stirring now and then. 
3. Drain the pasta and keep aside. 

4. Heat one tbsp of olive oil in a pan and add the crushed pepper. 
5. When the pepper gives out a good aroma add the crushed garlic. 
6. Add the carrot springs and gently toss till al dente and keep aside. 

Olive oil - 1 tbsp 
Finely chopped onion - 2 tbsps 
Tomatoes - 6 ( Chopped) 
Crushed garlic - 1 tsp 
Red chillies - 3 
Peeled and crushed fresh ginger - 1tsp 
Salt - 1 tsp 
Sugar - 3/4 tsp 

7. Blend the chopped tomatoes with garlic, red chillies, ginger, salt and sugar in a mixer.
8. Heat oil in a pan and saute the chopped onion till it becomes soft. 
9. Add the tomato blend and cook till it thickens into a sauce. 

10. Add the pasta sauce to the cooked pasta and sauteed carrot springs and gently coat each and every strand using a spatula.

D2 enjoyed the Carrot Springs Pasta after clicking lots of pictures though she missed a little bit of cheese topping.

The grater used for making carrot springs

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Alu Chole - Potatoes And Chick Peas In Spicy Gravy


Four and a half decades ago there were not many chaat shops in Bangalore. Deepak Chaat Shop was the only one in the vicinity which catered to the needs of Chaat lovers who hung around Brigade Road and M.G. Road in the evenings. The sweet couple who ran the show cooked the most delicious Chaat dishes and served them to the customers with untiring enthusiasm.The heavenly taste of Alu Chole which they served with their special  spongy and golden brown saucer sized bhaturas is still fresh in my memory. When I shared my nostalgia with D2, she  eagerly enquired about the taste and analysed the ingredients that might have gone into such a delicious Alu Chole
I was immensely pleased when D2 gave me a thumbs up and said ''yummmy!" after tasting the first spoon of Alu Chole which we cooked together in my kitchen. The efforts made to recreate the nostalgic Alu Chole with the available ingredients in my kitchen did not go waste after all! 

Chick Peas/Kabuli Chana - 2 cups ( Soaked overnight) 
Potatoes -2
Tomatoes - 2 ( Chopped) 
Onion - 1 ( Peeled and chopped) 
Garlic - 6 segments ( peeled) 
Coriander seeds - 3 tbsps 
Pepper - 1 1/2tsps 
Cumin seeds - 1 1/2 tsps 
Cinnamon - 1 big piece 
Cloves - 6 
Cardamoms - 2 
Fresh ginger - a stout 1'' piece ( Peeled and chopped) 
Green chillies - 2 
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp 
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp 
Salt - 2 tsps 
Tamarind - A plum size ball 
Powdered jaggery - 3 tbsps 
Sesame oil - 3 tbsps 
Fresh coriander leaves - for garnishing 

1. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract a thick juice and keep aside. 
2. Pressure cook the pre soaked chick peas and potatoes until three whistles and allow to cool. 
3. Grind the chopped onions with coriander seeds, pepper, cumin seeds, one green chilly, ginger, garlic, turmeric powder, chilly powder, cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms into a smooth paste adding little water. 
4. Heat oil and fry the paste till it does not stick to the pan and till you get a very pleasant aroma. 
5. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt and cook till soft but not mushy.


6. Add the tamarind extract, jaggery  and one slit green chilly. 
7. Next add the cooked Chana and cook for another five minutes. 

8. Peel and cut the cooked potatoes into big cubes and add it to the gravy. 
9. Add more water if the gravy is too dry and continue to cook for another two or three minutes till all the ingredients blend together. 

10. Switch off flame and garnish the Alu Chole with chopped coriander leaves. 

Serve the sweet, spicy and tangy Alu Chole with freshly chopped onions and a wedge of lime. We  relished Alu Chole  with Paneer paratas.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Banana Ice Cream


 I never believed that an ice cream could be prepared instantly, that too using only one ingredient, until I tried it out myself. D2 and I had our fingers crossed while the blender was on and we were stunned to see the scoop which materialized within a few minutes. I was as excited as D2 when we tasted the magical instant Banana Ice Cream which was delicious, soft and creamy!

Ripe bananas ( Frozen) 
1. Freeze the bananas until they become hard.  
2. Peel and dice the frozen bananas using a sturdy knife. 
3. Add a squeeze of lime to the diced bananas to prevent blackening. 
4. I did not use sugar since I used the  Rasa Bale variety of  bananas which are very sweet by themselves. You may add sugar, a spoon of honey or date syrup according to your requirement. 
5. Immediately blend the banana slices before they thaw, till the blend comes together into a smooth and creamy scoop of ice cream. 
Blend in small quantities so that the blender does not get over heated because of the hard frozen bananas. You can blend a spoon of mango pulp with the bananas for a delicious mango flavoured banana ice cream. Enjoy the delicious Instant Banana Ice Cream fresh from the blender. 

 D2 decorated the scoop of fresh BANANA ICE CREAM with a date stuffed with an almond. 

A few saffron strands looked beautiful on the Mango flavoured Banana Ice Cream.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Potato Carrot And Paneer Patties


 In spite of the sweltering heat and all the discomforts the season brings with it I look forward to Summer because that is the time I get to spend a lot of time with my dear grand daughter D2. Apart from watching movies and reading books together, cooking together is another major fun filled activity we enjoy the most. Her nimble fingers are busy browsing through new recipes, cutting, mixing and blending. The equipments, the spices and all the ingredients required are neatly lined up on the counter. As we work together in harmony we enjoy the absolute Zen.
Once the table is set it is tasting time and review time as well. We chatter about adding or deleting a certain ingredient or about the other possible improvements we could make the next time we cooked the same dish. 
Here is how we prepared one of D2's favourite tea time snacks - Potato, Carrot and Paneer Patties. 

Potatoes - 2 big 
Carrots - 2 big 
Milk - 1 lit 
Curd - 2 tbsps
Bengal gram dal flour/Besan -1 tbsp 
Chilly powder - 1/4 tsp 
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp 
Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp 
Raisins - 2 tbsps 
Finely chopped coriander leaves - 1 tbsp 
Salt - 1 tsp 
Cinnamon - 1'' piece 
Cloves - 4 
Cardamom - 2 
Sesame oil - for roasting 

1. Bring milk to a rolling boil and stir in 2 tbsps of curds and continue to boil till it curdles. 
2. Pour the curdled milk through a strainer, thoroughly drain the whey water and refrigerate the paneer

3. Wash the vegetables and pressure cook them until three whistles, and allow to cool. 
4. Peel the potatoes and the carrots and refrigerate them for twenty minutes. 
5. Crumble the cooled vegetables and paneer in a bowl and add the besan, chilly powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt , chopped coriander and the raisins. 
6. Finely powder cinnamon, cardamom and cloves together and combine with all the ingredients to form a soft mash. If the mash is very sticky you can leave it in the refrigerator for  fifteen minutes. 
7. Wet your palms, take a lemon size ball of the mash and flatten it into a round patty. 
8. Make four patties at a time and place them on a greased, preheated tava. 

9. Dribble little oil around each patty and roast all of them on both sides on medium flame.
10. Gently remove them on to a plate when they become golden brown on both sides.

 D2 was in seventh heaven when she relished the Potato Carrot and Paneer Patties with Mint Chutney.