Saturday, May 15, 2010

Methamba

In my last trip to the grocery store, I spotted some nice green mangoes. Back home, in Pune, this was a sure sign of the advent of summer. Mangoes got a very special treatment , whether raw or ripe...there were pickles and panha (cool mango drink), bhels with small chunks of raw & sour mangoes...yumm! When the markets were flooded with ripe mangoes there was aamras (mango pulp) & poli , mango milkshakes and mango ice cream made in pot! I still remember the fun filled summer evenings, the entire family...uncles -aunts, cousins and grand parents, getting together and having a pot ice cream party. It was so much fun fighting for a chance to churn the pot in the initial stages and later shying away from all the labor ! :)

There are so many ways that one can use mangoes, especially raw ones in every day cooking. The recipe I am going to share is just an example of a great and simple way to transform a nice tangy green mango into a yummy relish. Pair it up with some rice and dal and you will have a delicious meal in minutes. Methamba, as this relish is called, uses very few ingredients and takes no time to cook. You can even make some in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy Methamba with rice, poli, bread or even as a dip...you can be assured that people will be left wanting more!



Ingredients:
(the quantities here are really estimates as it all depends on how sour the mango is)
1 raw/green mango
1/4 tsp methya (fenugreek seeds)
1/4 cup jaggery (approximately...this will depend entirely on how sour the mango is)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp oil
hing (asafoetida)
salt to taste

Method:
Peel the mango and cut into small cubes. In a pan, heat the oil and then add the mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds start to pop, add the hing and then the methya. Let cook for a few seconds. Then add the chopped mango to the pan. Add a little bit of salt and let the mango cook. Normally you would not need to add water, but if the mixture starts drying out, only then add a few teaspoons of water to prevent it from burning. Don't add too much because once you add the jaggery it will let out some moisture. Once the mango s completely cooked, and feels mushy, add the jaggery and red chilli powder and cook till everything is cooked together. Check for taste and adjust the salt/chilli powder and jaggery. The mixture is supposed to be a combo of sweet/sour/spicy. Once ready , take it off from the heat and let it cool. Store in a container and refrigerate the leftover.


Wasn't that easy? This was supposed to be my entry for Anupama's Mango moods, but unfortunately could not make it in time. Anyway, I hope you do try this out and enjoy the bounty of summer!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Our little Gourmand & Baked Fruits

Our little gourmand is here! And that is exactly why I was hibernating. Nine months of complete pampering and preparing for our bundle of joy left little time and absolutely no energy for cooking or blogging. But now that our baby boy A is here, I am hoping that I will have more enthusiasm to keep this blog up and running. And looking at the way he goes for his milk I do hope that he turns out to be a gourmand and follows in his dad's footsteps. Little A is now 2 months old and it is difficult to imagine life without him!

These days I am hardly cooking as my mom is here but that just means that I get to learn more fabulous and traditional recipes from her. So I hope to post more of her recipes in the future...some of which I had almost forgotten. It is amazing how she uses simple techniques to transform the dullest of veggies into lip smacking dishes. So stay tuned...

2009 slipped by and there was no record of it on this blog. But I am determined to make 2010 count and to start it off I would like to share a very simple and delicious dessert recipe. This recipe came to me from my sister who got it from a friend of hers. Baked fruits is what she calls it but it tastes no less than a cheese cake! We were super impressed with this recipe and hope that you give it a try.


Ingredients:(Serves 2-3)
1 8 oz can of cream cheese
1 14 oz can of condensed milk
1 can of tropical fruits (or mixed fruits)
dry fruits (optional)

Method:

In the food processor or blender, blend together the cream cheese and the condensed milk and keep aside. Drain the syrup from the canned fruits and rinse them a little with water. This will wash off the extra sugar syrup and prevent the dish from getting too sweet. I also added some fresh grapes...so adding fresh fruits might also work. Now mix these fruits into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the entire mixture into a baking pan and bake in 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes. You will know its ready when you see a yellowish tinge on top. Once baked, remove and allow to cool to room temperature. Finally, put the baked fruits in the refrigerator to cool further and set. Serve chilled.

We loved this dessert and I will definitely try it again. Things that I would like to modify next time would be :
Using a little less condensed milk (about 10-12oz instead of 14)
Using fresh fruits instead of canned ones.

But even without these modifications Baked Fruits is a perfect way to indulge your sweet tooth!