Summer means mangoes. Mangoes means yumminess. I am not really a fan of the fruit. But give me a raw mango anytime and I can weave magic around it. My most favourite is the mango pulihara. It is a mildly spiced mango rice preperation. You can have it for breakfast or as a meal in itself. For me its on-top-of-list comfort food. There is really no rocket science in making this. You just need to understand how much sourness from the mango gives the right balance of flavour to the rice. Another secret lies in the tempering. If you can get these two things right, you have nailed the recipe. It requires a couple of trial-and errors, but once you get it, it is gonna become a family favourite.
Few simple steps involved in this recipe:
Use regular plain rice. No flavoured or basmati rice. You don’t want the taste of the rice to overpower the sourness of the mango.
As with all rice dishes, left over rice works much better than freshly cooked, as it retains the texture.
Getting the tempering right gives the maximum flavour.
The key step is to get the right balance between the sourness of the mango and the starchiness of the rice. The best way to achieve this is to keep tasting while adding the mango to the rice.
Here’s the detailed recipe:
Cooked and cooled rice : 2 cups
Mango : 1 peeled and grated (depending on taste)
Cashewnuts and/or groundnuts- few
Oil : 2 to 3 tbsop
Bengal gram dal/senaga pappu/chana dal :1 tsp
Urad dal/minappa pappu : 1 tsp
Mustard seeds/ avalu : 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds/jeera : 3/4 tsp
Dry red chillies : 2-3 (broken)
Hing/asafoetida : a pinch
Green chillies : 2-3(or as per taste) sliced
Turmeric : a pinch
Curry leaves/karivepaku: few leaves
Salt: as per taste
Heat oil in a kadhai or a pan for tempering. When the oil is sufficiently warm, add the groundnuts and allow them to brown slightly. Add the bengal gram dal and urad dal. Allow them to change colour too.
Add the mustard seeds and allow them to pop and splutter. Now add the cumin seeds and red chillies. Allow all the ingredients to fry properly while making sure they don’t burn. Add the dry red chillies and asafoetida. Add the cashewnuts,if using, at this stage and fry them slightly.
Add the green chillies and turmeric. Once the green chillies start blistering, add the curry leaves and turn off the heat. Let the tempering cool down a bit while in the pan. Once the tempering is cooled slightly, add the grated mango. Add half the salt and mix well. This will ensure that the mango cooks very slightly and the enhance the sourness and at the same time not overcook and lose its flavour completely. Add the rest of the salt to the rice and mix quickly. Now add the tempered mango grate to the rice and mix everything together gently. Take care not to mix too much and mash the rice. You could use forks to mix everything. Like every mango recipe, mango pulihara too gets delicious if it stays overnight, though freshly made and eaten tastes qually good. Enjoy as a simple meal. Good for lunch boxes too.
This was my first attempt at making a milk based dessert and it came out good. I normally prefer having desserts at sweet shops and restaurants since it is a time consuming process and I am low on patience. But the reducing quality and increasing costs finally pushed me to make it at home. It took a couple of hours to get the final product but not difficult if you have good quality milk. I used regular milk, but whole milk will give you much better results.
Milk – 1 litre
Sugar – 1 cup (adjust according to taste)
So I had a cup of pre-soaked black chole in the fridge and I needed to feed two hungry stomachs (me and the husband), and I knew that the chole would not be enough, and I needed a filler. So what was the logical choice?? Potato obviously. This was a last minute thrown together innovation that was fuelled by a desire to eat something filling in the cold rainy weather and an empty fridge on a Saturday night. I improvised as I went and the end result was not half as bad. So what is the next thing I do? Take pictures and write a recipe obviously.
So here is how I made this curry.
Black channa (or kabuli channa whichever is available) – soaked overnight and then cooked for a couple of whistles in the cooker or boiling water to soften it slightly.
Chukkakura, also known as red sorrel or Khatta palak in hindi is a very unique, sour-tasting green leafy vegetable. You could say it is slightly similar to gongura in flavour. The sourness of this green tastes good with a combinations of lentils (chukkakura pappu) or as a stew(pulusu). It can also be made into a chutney. If you are tasting this green for the first time, dal will be a good option to introduce yourself to its flavour.
The combination of dal and chukkakura is not only healthy and wholesome, but also delicious, balancing out all flavours.
Here is a simple recipe for chukkakura pappu:
Chukkakura/red sorrel leaves/khatta palak – 2 small bunches
Remove the thick stems, wash well, chop finely and keep aside.
Microwaves have become an integral part of every kitchen. Depending on how much you have spent on your microwave, it is useful for a range of functions right from reheating to roasting to baking.
I turn on the microwave almost everyday for some reason or the other and often wonder how I survived without one for years.
Here are some of everyday uses for microwave, some I leant through personal experience, others through various sources.
1. Boiling potatoes: Just microwave the whole potato (along with the skin) for 3 minutes. The skin prevents the moisture from going out and the potato cooks with the internal moisture. If after 3 mins, you feel that the potato hasn’t cooked enough, just cook it for few more seconds.
Rains call for some special food that is warm and comforting and spicy at the same time. Nothing beats having a bowl full of something warm and cozy while hearing the rains pattering away on the window. The universal favourite foods in rains include a bowl of soup, a hot cup of coffee or tea, deep fried foods or something similar. For me, Kichidi is one of those foods that just gives you that blanket of warmth. India has a rich history of lentils. We have a vast variety that would probably not be found anywhere else. Having a vegetarian tradition is one of the reasons. The protein content of the lentils combined with carbohydrate in the form of rice and a few warming spices lends kichidi its huge fan following. Kichidi with very little or no spice is fed to growing kids. I guess that is the reason why it feels so comforting. A familiar flavour that you have grown up with always gives that sense of security.
Kichidi is eaten in many forms. Different states have different ways of cooking it with different dal and spices. The basic ingredients of dal and rice, though, never change. The inspiration behind this recipe is the rajasthani kichidi which I really love.
I hope you will enjoy this masala kichidi as much as I did. You can just vary the amount of spices depending on you like/dislike for them.
Here is how I made it.
Rice – 1 cup
Moong dal/ Pesarapappu /mung beans/ split green gram – 1 cup