Thursday, February 15, 2018

Aranellikka / Kirunellikayi Murabba - Star Gooseberries In Sugar Syrup


When I stepped out into the backyard of our ancestral home during my recent visit, I was stunned by the beauty of the heavily laden Star Gooseberry tree. Adorned with an abundance, it virtually rained golden berries forming a golden carpet on the ground as the gentle breeze swept by. It brought back pleasant memories of my childhood when my mother prepared my favourite Aranellikka Murabba using the Star Gooseberries that I meticulously gathered from our garden. I brought back a bagful of Aranellikka / Kirunellikayi on my return trip to Bangalore. Here is how I prepared Aranellikka / Kirunellikayi Murabba with one portion of the berries. I saved the other portion to make pickle.

Star Gooseberries/ Aranellikka / Kirunellikayi - 4 glasses (Lotas)
Sugar - 2 glasses
Water - 2 glasses
1. Remove Aranellikka / Kirunellikayi from the stalk and wash well. 

2. Add sugar to the measured water and set it to boil in a heavy bottomed pan.
3. When the sugar dissolves add the washed Aranellikka / Kirunellikayi and continue to cook.

4. Keep stirring now and then till the syrup turns pink in colour.
5. Cook until the syrup becomes sticky and starts foaming.

6. Remove from stove and allow to cool thoroughly. 
7. Store the syrup coated Star Gooseberries in a clean and dry glass jar.

Pop a Star Gooseberry Murabba into your mouth when ever you have a craving for a sweet-sour treat. If you wish your Murabba to swim in syrup similar to jamoons you may increase the quantity of sugar and water in the recipe.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Green Peas Green Masala - Green Peas In Green Gravy

Green Peas is always considered a delicacy. When there is a dinner or lunch party at home we make sure that at least one green peas dish is included in the menu. Be it Bisibelebath or Pulao, Green Peas blend very well with any and every rice dish.They lend a fresh and colourful touch to cabbage, carrot or even a simple beans Porial. Peas and mixed vegetable koottu is utterly delicious.With the addition of  Peas the simple Rava Upma and Aval Upma acquire a special status. My sister often makes a tasty and creamy soup using Green Peas.Who does not enjoy peas in masala gravies like Aloo Matar, Gobi Matar, and the most popular Matar Paneer? The gravies for all the aforesaid masalas are red in colour as red chllies, chilly powder and tomatoes are used in the preparation. These masalas can be termed as Green Peas in Red Gravy. Green Peas can also be served in a flavoursome Green Gravy by using herbs and green chillies which is pleasing not only to the eye but also to the palate.


Green Peas - 2 cups
Chopped Coriander - 2 cups (loosely packed)
Mint leaves (Pudina) - 2 cups (loosely packed)
Fresh ginger (grated) - 2 tbsp
Chopped onion - 2 cups
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 4
Cashew nuts - 10
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Cloves - 4
Cardamoms - 2
Cinnamon - 1'' piece
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp or to taste (Optional)
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
1. Boil green peas in enough water adding a pinch of salt and keep aside along with the water used for cooking.
2. Wash and chop the herbs and discard thick fibrous stems.
3. Grind together the chopped coriander, mint, onion, ginger, green chillies, cumin seeds and cashew nuts together into a fine paste adding little water if necessary.

4. Heat oil in a pan and splutter cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.
5. Add the finely ground green masala paste and saute till it emanates a very pleasant aroma and till the oil separates. Keep stirring on low flame so that the paste does not turn brown.

6. Remove 2 tbsps of boiled peas and keep aside, and pour the remaining peas along with the water into the green masala.
7. Blend the 2 tbsps of cooked peas into a fine paste and add it to the gravy.
8. Add garam masala and salt and cook till the Green Peas Green Masala thickens to the desired consistency.

9. Switch off flame and mix in the lemon juice if desired.

Enjoy the flavoursome Green Peas Green Masala with rotis or plain Basmati rice.