Showing posts with label chutney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chutney. Show all posts

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Kiwi-mango-grape chutney: A relish to relish.

I've had met several people in person through this blog. 

Several of my friends who land here (and haven't tasted my actual cooking!) are impressed. 

The ones more familiar with my abilities in the kitchen just go through my blabs; and move on….for if I can make something- they KNOW they can definitely make something better…..

And yet, sometimes, I CAN come up with a winner- at least in terms of taste. Remember my mango chutney that I concocted out of A's ridiculously priced pineapple-mango purchase? Here's another one of those "trash to treasure" stories.

I returned home one day last week to find unwanted kiwi fruit slices from two kiwis. They were virtually raw, hard as a rock and extremely sour.

"Blend them in with your spinach soup"- my MIL suggested.
"Toss 'em out"- was A's suggestion.
"I can't imagine them in a soup; or in the trash"- was me.
So they languished on the kitchen counter for one whole night and a day.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Life's Little Pleasures....

The past month went by in a tizzy. I didn't even realize that the month was over, till I turned a page in Anya's school calendar and came to a whole list of end-of-the year activities. Realized that I'd been so into myself, that didn't even get to notice my garden's summer bounty this year.  Things bloomed, and then died without me sitting outside to enjoy them with a cup of tea and a good book.  

Come to think of it, I haven't read anything substantial in a while. I'm dragging my feet over Reading Lolita in Tehran for over a month now- it's a great book, don't get me wrong- it's just the wrong subject matter for my frame of mind at this time.  And I haven't picked up anything else yet!

Then yesterday, a good friend pointed out that I hadn't written anything on this space for over a month ( did get out a work-related-manuscript; just so you know that I haven't been totally worthless....). To be honest, it felt good that some one had noticed the time gap!! Adulation is extremely ingratiating for the soul.... I pointed her over to to my FaceBook page; but she wasn't buying that. So here I am sitting up, typing away as soon as I got out of bed this morning. For her especially......but hopefully the rest of you have missed my ramblings as well (take the hint sweeties; and start dropping me some tidbits in the comments section or FB....)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chane ki Chatni: My Dad's favorite

Bengal Gram Sprouts: Chane ka saag
A couple weeks ago, I had asked you all to guess this plant from my kitchen garden. I was so sure that no one will have seen this sprout often enough to recognize it! I'm actually surprised  that a couple of you guessed it right- and that's you two; Meera and Seema. Well good for you- goes on to show that you're experts in matters pertaining to kitchen basics! It isn't always that those living in cities can identify the source of our food. This sprout in question on the left is Kala chana (Bengal gram), widely used in Indian cuisine in its myriad avatars.  Here, I am going to talk about one more use for it. This post is more talk, less recipe. So, bear with me as I bore you with the simplest recipe ever on my blog yet!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Find; and A Dish.

Last month, when a new Wegmans opened in our area, I just had to go there. For those of you who don't know of this food store, it is one of those in league with Whole foods and Trader Joe's. May even be slightly higher end than those. And I'd heard so much about this store from a friend....So I went there...hubby and girls in tow. And we looked and looked and looked. I just couldn't recognize anything in there. Not only the brand names they carry are different from the ones in a regular grocery store, but they had hundreds of things that I didn't know what they were.

" Are you going to buy anything or not?" asked my husband seeing that my shopping cart was gloriously empty after about a half hour, except for a water melon and a jar of almond butter.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Musings Sweet and Sour

It's the little things in life that make a big difference, a smile, a kind word or gesture, or even a thought can make your day. I long for time to watch the sun and clouds, sit and do nothing or play with my kids without worrying about chores left undone, almost as much as I long for my mom's perfect come-home-to lunches during my growing up years. My mom, like everyone else's mom, was the greatest cook on earth. And I, like most of you (I hope), took her cooking for granted. She didn't have any recipes written down, and I had no interest in learning how to cook. At first, it didn't matter. I could cook the everyday stuff reasonably well, so we didn't go hungry. 

But then, as years passed, that nostalgia for mom's food came out of shadows and took on giantesque proportions. We ate out, I tried to cook like ma, but it wasn't the same. It was never the same. I could never figure out the little something that made my mom's cooking so extra special. So, please forgive me if I bang my own drum to inform you that I've finally perfected ma's technique of making this sweet and sour imli chutney. On second thoughts, I might even have beat her to it.....(okay guys back off, I was just kidding! I know I can't be better than my own mother....). This common accompaniment to most Indian snacks and chaats is surprisingly simple and almost makes itself once you get the ingredients together. 
Imly and date Chutney 
Imly (Tamarind) 100g 
Gur (Jaggery) 75g or to taste 
Kala Namak 1tbsp/ to taste 
Red chilli powder 1/2 tbsp/to taste 
Sultanas/ Raisins A fistful 
Dates about 10, pitted and chopped 
Fresh pomegranate seeds about 1/4 cup (optional) 

  1. The tamarind I used is available as a block in most Indian grocery stores. I took half of this block and soaked it in about 300ml water for 3-4hrs. When the tamarind softens, mash it in your palms and separate the seeds and fibers from the pulp. You can add more water and soak for an additional 1h (or even overnight) if you wish.
  2. Pass the tamarind paste through a large mesh soup strainer. Collect the tamarind water, and try to separate as much pulp as you can. 
  3. That's it, like I said, this chutney will cook itself. Add the salt and half of gur to tamarind water, and cook on low heat for about 20 min with occassional stirring. 
  4. Taste the chutney, add the rest of the gur, dates and raisins and keep cooking till the volume is reduced to half. You might want to do an occasional taste test and add the gur slowly, since both raisins and dates will also contribute to the sweetness. 
  5. And lastly, add the fresh pomegranate seeds just before you turn off the stove, and your chutney is ready! The little things that made a big difference in the chutney this time ( I think),
  1. Separating tamarind from seeds rather than the ready-to-use paste that I always used. I think the little fiber that remains from tamarind block adds to the texture and taste.
  2. Kala Namak or black rock salt instead of regular salt
  3. And finally, the pomegranate!
I've finally hit the taste-pot with this one! Linked to Pickles & Chutneys Event.