Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ambya Paank ~ Mango Jam

Come summer and you can see small shops sprouting on almost every streets selling mangoes.There are so many varieties that you get confused as to choosing one type.I think we had a big big share of mangoes this year.Last month,while we were in Bangalore,we got to eat the several different varieties there as well as the famous Banganpally mangoes here in Chennai which rule the market.

As I’ve mentioned before,hubby loves eating mangoes as it is and doesn’t prefer cooked mangoes[unless its cooked into an Upkari:)] while I like to experiment.I make milkshakes and lassis but the fat content in it makes me refrain from making/eating those often.

One thing I’ve been making since last two years with mangoes is this Ambya paank or simply,mangoes in sugar syrup.I chanced upon this recipe at Shilpa’s and have been making it ever since.Both of us love it and though Shilpa says it goes well with Dosa and Chapathi,we love to lick it off from a big spoon just as it is;).Tastes great with toast too.Here is Shilpa’s recipe with step by step pictures.

Ambya Paank ~ Mango Jam


Mango – 1 cup,chopped
Sugar – 1 cup[or less if the mango is sweet]
Crushed cardamom – 1[seeds of 1]
Saffron – a few strands


In a non stick pan,add the mangoes and sugar and cook for 10-15 minutes on low flame.
Keep stirring to avoid burning.
To check the consistency of the Jam,put a drop on a plate,it shouldn’t spread.
Add crushed cardamom and saffron.
Let it cool,store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Sending this across to Neha of Tasty Recipes who is hosting this month's MBP-Mango Masti,an event originally started by Coffee of Spice Cafe.

Also to Srivalli,who is hosting the King of Melas this,I mean Mango:)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Devil's Food Cake

Being away from the blogging world for too long,I was getting nightmares that I would be forgotten if I did not make my presence felt:).I was down and out for a week and more with severe throat infection and high fever.Was stuck to the bed with a lost appetite,no voice to speak and feeling terrible.Fortunately,my in-laws were here and I survived for many days on a delicious rava kanji that ma-in-law made for me.Though I doubt I would have touched it otherwise,I looked forward to having it during meal times.The blogger in me did peep out and I struggled to keep my head straight while thinking of posting that manna—rava kanji:0.

Month of May is full of birthdays and anniversaries of many of our friends and family.I had planned to make lots of stuff and send it across to Valli’s Mithai Mela,I guess this is the first time I’m missing an entry for that.

Though I’ve started cooking on a daily basis only few days back,I was struck with a sudden urge for cake-baking last night.I guess it happens when you read and stare and ogle at cake books[here,Sanjeev Kapoor’s Cakes and Bakes].I put the blame on my brother who celebrated his Birthday yesterday and said that I was making it for him;).

Devil’s Food Cake[As adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor's Cakes and Bakes]


Flour – 1 ½ cups
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Baking soda – 1 tsp
Butter – 60 gms
Powdered sugar – 1 cup
Eggs – 2
Cooking chocolate – 60 gms
Milk – ½ cup
Lemon juice – ½ tsp
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp


Preheat the oven to 180*C.
Grease/Line a 9 inch round cake tin.
Sift the flour together with baking powder,salt and baking soda.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time,beating all the while.
Melt the chocolate in half a cup of water,cool slightly and add to the butter-sugar-egg mix.
Add lemon juice,vanilla essence and milk.[the mix will look a little too liquidy at this stage,don’t panic,it will be alright once you add the flour].
Fold in the flour and beat gently until well blended.
Pour into the greased baking tin and bake for 35-40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Place on a wire rack to cool.
Slice and serve!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Karibeva Chutney ~ Curry leaves Podi/Powder

I have come across many people who swear by their cuisine and refuse to acknowledge any other types.I remember,during the initial days of our marriage,one of my hubby’s friends was here during lunchtime and when we asked him to join for lunch,he said ‘ah,Konkani food for lunch-my stomach would get upset.I need to have food our style[incidentally,he’s a Mallu:)].Its a completely different story altogether that he had lunch with us that day and many more days to come and got up with a clean plate everytime and still regarded Mallu food as ‘the best’ and ours a substandard one!!

Since me and hubby too share difference in our cuisine,it is a hot topic for a debate for us too[mock-debate,I assure;)].Now both of us have got used to the varied choices we have on both sides,but earlier it was a different story.While having the spiced powder-Thambale puddi once,hubby remarked that they had a similar powder-dry chutney which was truly heavenly and out of this world.Hearing the way he described it,I was determined to be biased even before having it,I didn’t want to have something which was more tasty[or so he claimed] than my favourite thambale puddi.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that it looked quite similar in looks.I had a teeny weeny spoon of it and said it was good.I realized it wasn’t good,it was truly out of this world when I reached for it again and again,even after finishing my lunch:).A great accompaniment with rice and dali thoy,I bet you’ll fall in love with it!!

Karibeva Chutney ~ Curry leaves Powder


Dry coconut(Copra) – 1,grated
Dessicated coconut – 1 packet[200 gms]
Red chillies – 10
Tamarind – 1 channa size
Curry leaves – 12-15 sprigs
Salt to taste


Add all the ingredients to a thick bottomed kadai and roast till brown.
Powder in a mixer—Do not run the mixer for long or else the oil will ooze out(which will not affect the taste in any way)

OR Take the easier route-Microwave everything together in a MW safe bowl on high for 4 minutes or more[depending on your MW]-stirring once after every 1 minute,till brown and then grind to a powder[No prizes for guessing which method I chose:)]

Let it cool and store in an air tight container.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Herb Rolls

Among many other stuff that I shopped for in Bangalore,this one takes the cake,literally!!I’ve been looking for a book exclusively on cakes for a long time and I hit jackpot when I chanced upon this.I’m engrossed in the book whenever I can and I dream of recreating at least a few recipes from the book,if not all.

I loved the Spiral herb bread recipe and picture and wanted to make it.I had my share of Masala/Khara bread and buns and Potato buns from Iyengar Bakery in Bangalore,so I was not exactly longing to make/have it.But something about the picture kept calling out to me.I decided to try it anyway.As I was about to make it,I changed my mind and followed this recipe and tweaked it to match the master chef’s recipe.

The limited baker that I am,I had no hopes of shaping the dough into several beautiful and intriguing shapes.A simple google search provided me a lot of guidance in shaping the dough,but I decided to go ahead with a simple braid.Even though it looks far from perfect,I love the way it looks:).

Herb Rolls


Flour – 1 cup
Whole Wheat Flour/Atta – ½ cup
Oil – 1 ½ tbsp
Yeast – 1 ½ tbsp
Sugar – 1 ½ tbsp
Salt – ¾ tsp
Boiling water – ¼ cup
Milk – ¼ cup
Dried herbs - 1 tbsp


In a huge mixing bowl,add oil,salt and sugar.
Add boiling water and stir till the sugar dissolves.
Add the milk now so as to make the water warm.
Add yeast,mix well and keep aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to froth.
Add the flours,herbs and knead into a smooth dough.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp muslin cloth.
Allow to rise until double in size[about an hour].

Punch down the dough and take three equal portions and roll each one into a cylinder.
Twist the three rolls into a simple braid and cover and keep aside for the second rise.
Preheat oven to 200*C and bake for 20 minutes or till the rolls become golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Pineapple Pachadi/Madhura curry

After a long drive and some heavy duty unpacking,I’m back here in front of the laptop and cant wait to jump into the blogosphere to check what you guys have been posting since last two weeks.I did login once in a while but just hopped in and out.I hate to admit it,but I’m struggling to fill up this post.Till I cook up something new,I would post from my drafts and the first one screaming for attention is a sweet curry with Pineapple which I made twice last month.Once,during hubby’s birthday lunch and next during Vishu.For a change,hubby kept aside his dislike for sweet curries and polished off his share on his plate and gave his nod.

No prizes for guessing from where I got this recipe from.For those who came in late,this one’s from my collection of Vanitha magazine recipes[do I hear any yawns?].Very similar to the Konkani curry Anvas-Ambya sassam[pineapple-mango curry],this one’s a great accompaniment with rice along with some spicy curry or Sambhar.

Pineapple Madhura[Sweet] Curry


Pineapple – 1,medium sized
Ripe banana[Nendrapazham] – 1
Mango – 1[optional]
Salt to taste

Chilly powder – ½ tsp
Haldi – ¼ tsp
Sugar – 100gms[about a cup]

Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Grated coconut – ½ cup

Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig


Peel and chop pineapple,banana and mango into small cubes.
Add just enough water and salt to taste and cook till the fruits become soft.
Add chilly powder and haldi and mix well.
Keep stirring till the water dries up.
Add sugar and mix well.
Grind grated coconut and mustard seeds to a paste and add to the boiling curry.
Prepare seasoning in a pan with coconut oil,splutter mustard seeds and add the curry leaves.
Add the seasoning to the curry and serve hot!
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