Sunday, March 8, 2020

Jack Fruit Mousse

Days are gradually getting hotter indicating that summer is fast approaching. The occasional thunder storm brings in the aroma of wet mud and also the sweet fruity aroma of the tropical fruits. Just the other day my brother shared with us the first Jack fruit of the season freshly harvested from his garden.The ripe fruit was very sweet and juicy emanating a heavenly aroma. ' Unda Mavu, Hasida Halasu ' is a saying in Kannada which means a mango should be relished after a meal and jack fruit needs to be savoured only when hungry. Jack fruit is a highly nutritious fruit with high fiber content, hence it takes a longer time to digest. Relishing it with honey helps in easy digestion. We enjoyed the fruit well before our meal. And who could refuse the delicious 'Jill' Jack Fruit Mousse prepared and served as a dessert by my dear sister?! ( Jill - means chilled in Tamil)
Recipe and Preparation - By Vidya Murali

Jack fruit bulbs ( ripe and juicy) - 2 cups
Milk or Almond milk or Soy milk - 1/4 cup
Chia seeds - for topping
1. Remove seeds and blend the Jack fruit bulbs into a smooth puree.
2. Add thick milk and blend it again till it becomes fluffy.
3. Pour into a dessert bowl and sprinkle chia seeds.

 4. Chill .

Enjoy the 'Jill' Jack Fruit Mousse and celebrate the flavour of summer ! 
( The fruit was so tender, juicy and sweet that it did not need any sweetening or cooking. Milk can be added as required so that the blend obtains a custard like consistency before chilling.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Vazhaikkai Finger Chips and Chips - Banana Finger Chips and Chips - A Snack and A Side Dish

Lush green banana plantations and golden paddy fields loomed in front of the windshield as we turned into the narrow road which led us to our native village. Just harvested healthy looking humongous banana bunches were being loaded into trucks and bullock carts to be transported to local as well as city markets. Mother nature was at her benevolent best this year.
Enjoyed the cool breeze as it combed through the greenery and brushed over the cool waters of the check dam across river Kaveri. The chime of the temple bells, the sweet and strange calls of various birds, the wonderful Sunsets and above all delicious food cooked by Rukmini were powerful batteries that charged our spirits afflicted by urbanization. After four days of vacation at paradise, it was time to get back to our daily grind. Mani brought a bag full of fresh bananas to be loaded along with our luggage . "What do I do with so many bananas?" I wondered . "CHIPS!" chimed my dear family!

Fresh and firm raw bananas/ Vazhaikkai - 2
Oil - for frying
Salt and pepper - as required
1. Wash and cut both ends of the bananas and peel the green skin.
2. Immerse the peeled bananas in salt water so that they do not turn black.

3. Cut the bananas into two inch long thick fingers and immediately immerse them in salt water.

4. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai.
5. While the oil is getting heated take out some of the banana fingers and wipe them using a paper towel.
6. Gently slide the dry banana fingers into hot oil and reduce heat.

7. After two or three minutes flip the finger chips using a slotted ladle. Cook till they are crisp flipping now and then.
8. Remove and drain on a paper.

9. Increase heat, slide the next batch of dried banana fingers into the oil and cook the chips similarly.
10. When the finger chips are done sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy the Banana Finger Chips with any dip of your choice while they are still crisp on the outside.
Fresh and firm raw bananas / Vazhaikkai - 2
Oil  - for frying
Sambar powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
1. Wash and peel bananas and keep them immersed in salt water.
2. Cut the bananas into uniform slices using a sharp knife.

3. Heat oil in a Kadai.
4. Wipe the slices and drop them one by one into hot oil.
5. Do not disturb until you see the slices puffing up like small poories.

6. Flip them using a slotted ladle and reduce flame.

7. Cook on medium flame flipping now and then till the chips become crisp.
8. Remove the chips when done and drain them on a paper towel.

9. Increase flame and repeat with the remaining batches.
10. Sprinkle sambar powder and salt on the chips and pour a spoon of hot oil over the spice.

Mix well and enjoy the Vazhaikkai chips with your meal.