Posted in Beverages, Kitchen 101, Recipes

Aam Panna and the fragrance of Mango Blossoms!

Hello you lovely souls who are ready this! Happy Holi! I am one of those odd folks who don’t really enjoy Thandai, not sure why, I just dont. So I will quite fix myself an Aam Panna this Holi. And for quite some days to follow. Well, as loyas the green mangoes last I suppose. I will be honest, growing up, I never was much wowed by Aam Panna or Keri no Baaflo | , કેરીનો બાફલો as it is known in Gujarati. But I guess appreciation for simple things comes to most of us much later in life. Summer is in full swing in Bengaluru, so naturally tart, beautiful green Totapuri Mangoes have flooded the market. But back home in Gujarat, people usually don’t start consuming green mangoes before Holi. It is customary to first offer one tiny green mango to the communal, sacred Holi bonfire and then is usually consumed. The most popular way of consuming the first, tiny, extremely tart mangoes at the very beginning of the season is by making a fresh mango pickle called Mohariya | મોહોરીયા from the lovely mango blossom fragrance from these tiny mangoes. We both love the fresh pickle but then how much pickle can one consume in the summer heat. So for the in house Totapuri fan, I made a concentrate of sorts to make Aam Panna. The process is very basic and I will add the recipe in comments below. Stored refrigerated, it will stay good for about 5 days to a week. While the rest of the ingredients are pretty straightforward and customisable, I would recommend not skipping the few strands of saffron because of the lovely aroma it imparts to the drink. I picked up this way of adding saffron, ground to a powder with crystalline sugar, from a middle Eastern dessert YouTube video ages ago. It is supposedly releases maximum flavours from the strands and no wastage of flavours happen when used this way. When want to fix yourself a glass of Aam Panna, just mix 1 part of the concentrate to 5 parts of water. You can ofcourse adjust this based on how sweet/tart you make the concentrate.

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Posted in Indian Curries, Recipes

Pindi Chhole!

Growing up, I always thought ( and was told that by my Gujarati moms and aunts too ) that the Dilli styled Chhole have the deep brown hue because the chickpeas are tinted with water in which tea leaves have been brewed to attain that lovely dark brown colour. Also, even after using the best of the brands of Chhole masalas, that particular flavour eluded me. Until I discovered the lovely Anardana ( dried pomegranate arils , sold in most major supermarkets in India ) . That and grinding a fresh spice mix changed my “Gujarati Girl struggling with Chhole” game for ever! So without rambling further, here is the recipe below.

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Posted in Appetisers, Recipes, Snacks, Traditional Gujarati Recipes

Tuver Lilva na Ghughra |Kachoris – Of Pigeon Peas and winters at home!

Where I come from, the Southern Part of Gujarat, Winters definitely mean a bounty of bounty of fresh vegetables. And while there are a lot of vegetables at their prime in winters, one of the most celebrated ones in Southern Gujarat is Tuver | Pigeon Peas | Tender beans from which Arhar ki Daal is made on de-husking and drying. The way Northern India celebrated Peas with Nimona and a zillion other things, we celebrate Tuver Lilva with Ghughras | Kachoris and so many myriad ways. They are slightly more cumbersome to shell than peas unfortunately and today, I still look back my memories in wonder when I remember the mounds and mounds of Tuver my mother, my grandmother and all women of Southern Gujarat demolished through in winters. I am still spoiled, although I do get Tuver in Bengaluru, it is not the same texture/tenderness as the one in Gujarat. The Gujarati Tuver is harvested at a much tender stage, has a tinier, softer bean and is not spotted. So, the way all moms spoil their offsprings, my mom still accumulates a small mound of shelled Tuver Lilva for me to carry back home, ( inspite of my numerous protests that I do get it in Bengaluru, ) every time I go home in winters! ❤ If you are reading this mom, my protests are usually pretend play, I love the Tuver Lilva you give me. Its just that I hate to think of how much time and effort it must has taken you to shell the not-so-small mound! Love you, Mummy!

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Posted in Indian Curries, Recipes, Traditional Gujarati Recipes

Ringan Shakkariya nu Shaak!

I woke up craving for something very Wintery, slightly oily today. And so I made this Brinjal Sweet potato curry which is made almost always at our Weddings, especially the winter ones. Called રસોઇયાનું રીંગણ-શક્કરિયાંનું રસાવાળુ શાક which when loosely translated means a Brinjal-Sweet Potato (with their skins on, not peeled) Curry made by Halwais/Cooks for the traditional wedding lunch feast, at our Southern Gujarat based Anavil Brahmin weddings. Served on બાજ/પતરાળા । plates and bowls made by sewing together several leaves ( usually leaves of Shaal trees, a tree of special significance in Hinduism ), this curry has a ruby red oil pooling around fat chunks of Sweet Potatoes & Brinjals mashed to make a smooth gravy. It is very uniquely seasoned too, with a hint of jaggery which gives the curry a unique dimension without making it sweet at all. Usually served with Gujarati Daal and Rice, I chose a lighter Khichdi today to go with it. Like everywhere else, Khichdi is not something consumed at auspicious events like weddings but hey, sometimes the stomach craves what it craves! 😬After the Diwali indulgence I don’t have the heart to extend my menu, but at the wedding feast, the platter will also have કેળા મેથીના ભજીયાં | Fritters made with Banana and Methi leaves mixed into Gram Flour or વાટી દાળના ખમણ | Surti Vaati daal na Khaman and લાપસી | a broken Wheat based Sweet made with ghee and jaggery. Sigh! It would have been bliss! 💕💕 But, I can definitely share the recipe here.

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Posted in Kitchen 101, Recipes

Stuffed Parantha Masala!

Finally getting around to updating this recipe on the blog. I tried this recipe on a dear dear friend Anuja’s, recommendation and loved the fresh flavour it brought to my paranthas. A few pointers before you try this recipe. This is not meant to be radically different from YOUR way of seasoning the parantha filling. If you @ me in your comments cooing “Oh but I do it this exact way all the time! ” with an implied “There is nothing new here!”  then well, I am sincerely delighted for you ( no sarcasm here ) but FAIR warning, I am going to ignore your comment. You might as well stop reading further right now, right away. I don’t mean to claim that this is the best seasoning in the world, nor is it revolutionary. I liked something and I am sharing this for the interest of people who showed interest and who were up for trying out something new for fun, not for people who want to make it a competition about whose masala is better. It is only for folks who are curious. You might already be using 80% of the ingredients I mention here. With that out of way, I will get to the good things. I added this to a potato stir fry I made and it tasted excellent, a fresh flavour to my good, but always tasting the same Aloo ki Sabzi. I have a gut feeling, it will taste great on roasted veggies too. I have tried to recreate/reverse engineer this using the list of ingredients I read on the pack of a store-bought Parantha Masala from MDH. I haven’t used all the ingredients mentioned on the pack though, because I like to use things like ginger garlic in its fresh form. I will share more of my experiments with it on Instagram! Cheers!

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Posted in Indian Curries, Recipes

Vegetable Kolhapuri – A Medley of Seasonal Vegetables tossed in a fiery spice mix!

Kolhapur in Southern Maharastra is famous for its hot, spicy delicacies such as Kolhapuri Missal and for its mutton based curries, namely Tambada Rassa and Pandhara Rassa. Being a vegetarian I have only tried Kolhapuri Missal so far and loved it! Not for the faint-hearted or someone with low tolerance to spice, I can assure you! Now I am not sure if Vegetable Kolhapuri was the curry that took shape in its present form as is, or it was made so that the vegetarians like me don’t have to stay hungry. Probably the later, but I am not complaining. It is entirely possible that it didn’t even originate from Kolhapur, but it shares the traits of being hot and spice heavy with the other recipes of Kolhapuri origin.

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