Kaale Angoor Ki Chutney| Sweet And Spicy Black Grape Relish

A while ago, I got my hands on a beautiful bunch of seedless black grapes, probably the last of this variety I will get this year. I wanted to do something different from the usual with them, so I used them to make a sweet-and-spicy chutney. The chutney, or relish if you want to call it so, turned out beautiful and was much loved. It made for a lovely accompaniment to parathas and dosas.

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Kaale angoor ki chutney or sweet and spicy black grape relish

What is best about this chutney is that it needs very little oil. If you use naturally sweet and slightly sour grapes, you can skip adding sugar as well, making the chutney even healthier. It can be stored, refrigerated, for up to 10 days.

Here is how I made the chutney.

Ingredients:

  1. A big bunch of seedless black grapes
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. Red chilli powder, to taste
  4. 1 tablespoon oil (for the tadka)
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds (for the tadka)
  7. Sugar, to taste (optional – skip this if the grapes are naturally sweet)
  8. Tamarind paste, to taste (optional – use this only if the grapes are very sweet and not tangy at all)
  9. A 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped or grated (optional)
  10. A pinch of asafoetida

Method:

  1. Remove all the stems from the grapes and wash them thoroughly. Pat them dry using a cotton towel, ensuring that no moisture remains.
  2. Puree the grapes in a mixer. Keep aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter, and then add the asafoetida. Let it stay in for a few seconds.
  4. If you are using ginger, add it in at this stage. Cook for a minute or two.
  5. Now, add in the grape puree and the tamarind paste (if using), along with salt and red chilli powder to taste and turmeric powder.
  6. Cook on low-medium flame till the chutney thickens to a semi-liquid consistency. Stir intermittently, to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add the sugar (if using) at this stage. Cook for 2-3 minutes more on low-medium flame, stirring intermittently. Switch off the gas when the chutney is thick, but not overly so. It will thicken further upon cooling.
  8. Let the chutney cool down completely before transferring it to a dry, air-tight, clean bottle. Store refrigerated.

Notes:

  1. Make sure you use the seedless variety of grapes to make this chutney.
  2. You could use green grapes instead of black ones, too.
  3. If you want to get bits of grapes in your mouth as you eat, cut the grapes into halves and cook them, instead of pureeing them. I pureed them, because I wanted a fine paste.
  4. You could add chopped or torn curry leaves to this chutney too, if you want to. I omitted them.
  5. A dash of mustard (rai) powder and/or fenugreek (methi) powder would, I am sure, take the taste of this chutney to a whole new level. I omitted them, though.
  6. You could use healthier alternatives in place of sugar, too – like palm sugar or jaggery powder.

You like? I hope you will try this out, and that you will love it, too!

3-Ingredient Amrakhand| No-Cook Mango Shrikhand 

I first heard the name ‘Amrakhand‘ while we were visiting Pune, en route to Shirdi. The name sounded royal, like something made for a king in the kitchens of his palace. And why not? Amrakhand is, indeed, a regal treat, made with the choicest of mangoes, a fruit often touted as ‘the king of fruits’. Deck it up with slivers of almonds and a dash of saffron, and this beauty can brighten up anyone’s day.

Amrakhand! Now, if that is not a bowl of sunshine, what is?

Considering how beautiful amrakhand tastes, this Maharashtrian delicacy is extremely simple to make. All it needs are a few everyday ingredients. It is, basically, a version of shrikhand – mango shrikhand.

Here‘s my recipe for the amrakhand.

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 1 cup fresh, thick hung curd
  2. 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar, or to taste
  3. 1 medium-sized, ripe mango
  4. A couple of strands of saffron (optional)
  5. 5-6 roasted, unsalted almonds, chopped (optional)

Method:

1. Peel the mango and chop all the flesh into cubes. Puree this in a mixer.

2. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the hung curd, mango puree and powdered sugar. If you are using saffron and almonds, mix them in too.

3. Let the mango shrikhand chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, covered, by which time it will set.

4. Serve chilled or after letting it thaw for about 15 minutes.

Notes:

1. Use curd made from full-fat milk for best results.

2. To make the hung curd, line a colander with cotton cloth and place it over a wide vessel. Pour the curd into the cloth-lined colander and let it sit for 2-3 hours. All the water from the curd would have flowed into the vessel at the bottom by this time, and you will find thick, creamy curd in the colander. Use this residual thick curd for this recipe.

3. Use fresh curd that isn’t too sour.

4. To make this mango shrikhand, use a variety of mango that isn’t too stringy. I used a Banganapally mango. Also, use a mango that is ripe and sweet, not too sour, but firm and not squishy.

5. Do not let the hung curd sit out for too long before you proceed to make the amrakhand. In that case, there are chances of the hung curd turning sour. You could make the hung curd in advance and refrigerate it, till you are ready to make the amrakhand, but trust me when I say it tastes best when freshly made hung curd is used.

6. You could add any variety of chopped nuts to the dish. I prefer adding roasted, unsalted almonds.

7. Do not blend the amrakhand after adding the sugar powder and pureed mango, otherwise the dish might get watery.

You like? I hope you will try this out at home too! 

Of Tea And More At Chai Galli, Brookefield

Some people will tell you there is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea,” Ralph Waldo Emerson in his Letters And Social Aims, and I would heartily agree.

Tea, for me, is more than just an everyday thing. It is a ritual. It is a thing that brings comfort and solace. It is me time. It is a rejuvenation of the body and soul. It is time for introspection. It is time spent bonding with near and dear ones. It is time to reflect over things trivial and deep. It is time to ponder over your day or life. It is a break from routine. Oh, I could go on and on and on.

Considering the love that I accord to tea, I was thrilled to discover this place called Chai Galli, in Brookefield, that is dedicated to tea. A swarm of food bloggers descended upon this place recently, on an invite, to check it out. This post is all about our experience at Chai Galli.

Location and ambience

Chai Galli is located in Brookefield, alongside a couple of quirky-sounding eateries. It wasn’t difficult to find at all.

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The quirky decor at Chai Galli!

Inside, the place is done up beautifully, with simple furniture, but with bits and pieces of colour and quirk thrown in here and there. Indian-style cans of milk deck the ceiling, and the lights are made of glasses of chai. Posters on the walls pay tribute to classy Indian films. A distressed chest of drawers adds oodles of charm to the place. Colourful teapots hold spoons, knives and forks, on each table, at the same time speaking about famous Bollywood movies. One wall is dedicated to that lifeline of India called the Indian Railways. I loved the fun and youthful, yet comfortable vibe that Chai Galli gives off. This is the sort of place where you can sit and have a conversation with friends or family over a cup of tea and some snacks – there’s no rush.

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Chai is serious business at Chai Galli – even the sink in the bathroom speaks about it!

The place is decently sized, and seating is comfortable. Natural light is ample.

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The outdoor sitting area at Chai Galli

There is a lovely outdoor sitting area, too, where you can watch the world go by as you sip on your cup of tea. We chose to sit indoors, though.

Cuisine

Chai Galli, of course, serves chai, and a whole lot of it, too. For the tea lover, there’s lots here to choose from – teas from the mountains of South Africa and Darjeeling, saffron-infused tea from Rajasthan, simple ginger tea done in the style of road-side stalls, and so on. For those who aren’t really into tea, there’s coffee, milkshakes and a variety of juices.

The menu also has on offer some quick bites that you can grab with your drink of choice. There are a few varieties of Maggi, the quintessential maska bun and jam bun, sandwiches, poha, pakoras, pasta, lasagne and chaats. There is some quirky stuff in there too – like pizza made with Gujarati khakras. What attracted me most, though, was khamni, a typical Gujarati dish that isn’t so easy to come across in Bangalore.

The food and drinks story

Now, let’s get on to the nitty-gritties, shall we?

First up, I sampled a Pasta In Red Sauce, which was well done. The pasta was cooked just right, there was a generous amount of veggies in there, and the sauce was tasty.

Next, I tried out the Khamni, which, I am told, is one of their best-selling items. It wasn’t exactly the khamni that I have grown up eating in Ahmedabad, but was not bad at all. It was quite tasty, in fact.

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Clock-wise from top left: Pasta In Red Sauce, Khakra Pizza, Desi Tadkewali Maggi and Khamni, at Chai Galli

I also sampled a Khakra Pizza, veggies and cheese and sauce spread out over a khakra and baked. This was decent, but the taste didn’t really stand out. I love the idea of this kind of pizza, though – pizza, definitely, but one that isn’t heavy on the stomach.

Then, I opted for a Desi Tadkewali Maggi, Maggi cooked with Indian spices, which came generously garnished with fried onions. It was simple and mild, yet delish.

From the teas, I chose a Ginger Tea, which came in a little white teapot, along with a couple of glasses and a pack of Parle G biscuits. Ah, nostalgia! I loved the way the tea was done.

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Ginger chai at Chai Galli

For each of the dishes, presentation was simple – I liked how they have kept things natural, instead of going overboard trying to project dishes in a quirky fashion. Portion sizes were decent for one person, as a snack. The teapot of ginger chai was good enough to serve two people, generously.

Prices

The prices here are mid-range, neither too low nor too exorbitant. Chai for two, along with three or four snacks should set you back by INR 600 or so.

My thoughts

Chai Galli is a lovely place to head to for a cuppa and some simple eats. It is the sort of place I would go to to unwind and recharge my batteries, as well as for some bonding with loved ones.

Do visit this place if you are in the vicinity!

Gopu Iyengar’s, Madurai: Serving Delicious For 80+ Years

While I was researching for our recent trip to Madurai, the name Gopu Iyengar’s popped up often. I read about this all-vegetarian little eatery being touted as one of the best places in Madurai for South Indian snacks, particularly the variety of dosas that they serve and their vellai appam. Of course, we had to include a visit to Gopu Iyengar’s while we were in Madurai!

The history

Long, long ago, a certain Gopala Iyengar was working as a waiter in one of the old restaurants in Madurai. He was a good, hard-working and earnest person, much liked by everyone. When the owner decided to sell the restaurant, he found a willing buyer in Gopala.

In the year 1930, Gopala launched his own restaurant by the name of Gopu Iyengar’s, on West Chitirai Street, near the famed Meenakshi Amman temple. On the menu were traditional South Indian tiffin items like dosas, idlis, vadas, thavalai adai, pongal and halwa. The eatery became hugely popular, with dignitaries like Supreme Court Judge AR Lakshmanan and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu K Kamaraj making it a regular haunt. Priests from the Meenakshi Amman temple began eating here too. The fame of the hotel spread far and wide, and locals began referring to the place as ‘Moolai Kadai‘ (‘corner shop’ in Tamil, thanks to its location at a corner of the street).

Over time, Gopu Iyengar’s launched a second outlet on the bustling Bypass Road in Madurai, too. They also began selling some of their signature snacks and pickles online. I was also surprised to see this ancient, traditional hotel having an active and well-maintained Facebook page!

The branches, presently owned by Gopala’s son RG Srinivasan, remain open from 6.30 AM to 10.30 AM in the mornings and from 3 PM to about 7.30 PM in the evenings. It is believed that the menu and style of preparation of dishes here still the way Gopala Iyengar planned them out.

Gopu Iyengar’s, West Chitirai Street

While in Madurai, we decided to visit the old, first outlet of Gopu Iyengar’s, rather than the new one on Bypass Road.

The old outlet of the eatery was not difficult to find at all. It is, indeed, a small, hole-in-the-wall place that we might have missed if we weren’t really looking for it, but I am sure the throng of people getting in and out of it would have drawn us to it eventually. A blackboard by the door told us about the day’s specials, all in Tamil.

Both times we visited, the few tables and chairs inside were full of people who seemed to be relishing their tiffin on plantain leaves, slowly sipping on their filter coffee. Both times, we got a table after a short wait, and were soon relishing our own tiffin and coffee too. I don’t know how this works – it felt like we weren’t rushed at all, we were given time to leisurely enjoy our food, with the people waiting outside being managed efficiently as well.

Inside, the eatery retains its old-world charm – the interior still probably looks very much the same as it did when the place was started in 1930. Peeling paint on the walls, framed pictures of Indian gods, an old-fashioned cashier’s desk by the door, barebones tables and chairs, the lack of fancy cutlery, waiters in T-shirts and veshtis, a little washbasin to clean your hands, a bin where you drop the plantain leaves after you eat, all add to the quaint atmosphere of the place.

The food and drink story

Like I said before, Gopu Iyengar’s is an all-vegetarian outlet that mostly serves traditional South Indian tiffin items, and is particularly famous for its vellai appam and dosas. Every day, there are different specials, announced on the blackboard, while the signature dishes as well as the most-ordered ones are served every single day.

The eatery prides itself on serving fresh, homely food, made without the use of any artificial colours, flavouring agents or preservatives.

Over the course of our two visits to Gopu Iyengar’s, we tried out quite a few items, most of which we absolutely loved. I’m so glad to see that this eatery hasn’t taken its reputation for granted and, even after over 80 years of existence, is serving finger-licking delicious fare to its patrons.

Here is a round-up of all the food we sampled at this eatery.

Vellai Appam: At Gopu Iyengar’s, you are brought a plate of vellai appams first, even before you have decided what you are going to have. That is de rigeur. You could refuse them if you want, but why would you do that? These vellai (white) beauties are things of joy, after all. These appams, a recipe from neighbouring Chettinad, are nothing but deep-fried balls of lentil batter. We found them quite delectable, albeit a tad oily. The two types of chutney we were served alongside these appams made for perfect accompaniments to them.

Filter Coffee: Filter coffee was good, wherever we sampled it in Madurai. Gopu Iyengar’s was no exception.

Plain Dosa: The dosa here was very well done, just the way I like it – neither overly soggy nor overly crispy. It was quite homely and delish,  a far cry from the thick and greasy dosas that you get in most hotels these days.

Podi Dosa: Again, this dosa was made beautifully, just the right texture, sprinkled with a liberal dose of karuveppalai (curry leaves) podi (powder). The dosa tasted lovely, but we didn’t particularly like the taste of the podi within.

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On the left: Vellai appam, On the right: Podi dosa, both at Gopu Iyengar’s

Idlis: The idlis we sampled here were lovely, pillowy soft and delicious. They were quite homely too, as against the grainy idlis that you get in most restaurants now.

Ulundhu Vadai: The ulundhu vadais – deep-fried rounds of urad daal batter – were absolutely delectable. They were perfectly fried, neither overly crispy nor underdone. The coconut chips and curry leaves in the batter took the taste to a whole new level.

Godhumai Dosa: The godhumai (wheat) dosa here was another delicious affair.  It was, again, homely and made just right.

On the left: Bun halwa, On the right: Idlis and vadai, both at Gopu Iyengar’s

Bun Halwa: On one of the days we visited Gopu Iyengar’s, we were lucky to find bun halwa in the list of specialties. The halwa, made with bakery buns, came to our table in a little plastic cup. It was absolutely delish, loaded with ghee and dry fruits. It is a distant cousin of the Hyderabadi shahi tukda, if you may.

Prices and service

We found the service to be quite fast. The waiters were courteous, friendly, and attentive.

The prices are highly reasonable, considering the quality of the food here. We don’t remember the exact amounts of the bills we paid, both times we visited, but we do remember that they were quite, quite reasonable.

Though the place is small and cramped, it is neat and well-managed.

Verdict

Don’t miss this place whenever you are in Madurai. Do gorge on the lovely traditional fare here!

I’m not sure if the quality and taste of the food at the (relatively) new Bypass Road outlet matches up to this one. The West Chitirai Street branch is the one we visited and loved, and the outlet that I can’t recommend highly enough.

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I hope you have been reading and enjoying my earlier posts about our Madurai trip! If you haven’t, here are the links for you.

On a jigarthanda trail in Madurai

Our street food (and drink) journey in Madurai

Bun sandwiches, 4 ways

Madurai diaries: Of hogging at Nagapattinam Halwa Shop

Travel shot: Panneer drakshe aka Indian Gulabi grapes

Thoughts after visiting MS Subbulakshmi’s house in Madurai

Azhagar kovil dosai| Black urad dosa

The other Azhagar temple in Madurai: Koodal Azhagar kovil

Mango Mein Kulfi |Stuffed Mango Kulfi Recipe

Ever heard of stuffed mango kulfi i.e. delicious kulfi served stuffed inside a mango? I hadn’t, till I recently came across a few recipes for the same on Chef At Large, a Facebook page that I follow ardently. Apparently, this is a delicacy served at the famous Kuremal Kulfi in Old Delhi.

Now, I haven’t ever had the good fortune of visiting Kuremal Kulfi or sampling their fare. I did want to try making the stuffed mango kulfi at home, to see how we would like it. I got around to it soon, without procrastinating till the end of the mango season, and we absolutely loved the way the kulfi turned out.

Stuffed mango kulfi
Stuffed mango kulfi!

 

The original stuffed mango kulfi recipes make use of milk that is slow-cooked and reduced to almost half, the addition of cornflour and mango puree. I took a shortcut and made the kulfi my way – with fresh cream and condensed milk. It still turned out gorgeous, if I may say so myself.

Here’s my version of the stuffed mango kulfi recipe.

Ingredients (makes about 8 pieces):

For the outer covering:

  1. 1 medium-sized ripe mango (I used a Banganapally)

For the kulfi filling:

  1. 200 grams of sweetened condensed milk (I used Amul Mithai Mate)
  2. A pinch of salt
  3. 1 teaspoon rose essence
  4. 200 ml fresh cream (I used Amul)
  5. About 10 chopped roasted, unsalted almonds

Method:

Pictorial representation of the method
Pictorial representation of the method

 

First, prepare the outer covering using the ripe mango.

  1. For this, cut off the top and tail end of the mango (unpeeled), and stand it on a flat surface. Slowly, carefully, mark the part where the seed is, using a sharp knife. Little by little, loosen the seed using the knife, and pull it out with your hands. You could use a pair of tongs for the same, too. Make sure you don’t remove too much of the mango’s flesh along with the seed. Also, make sure you don’t create a hole in the bottom of the mango, in trying to remove the seed. (Pro Tip: This might sound very tough, but it really isn’t. Practice a couple of times, and you’ll be able to do this perfectly.)
  2. Stand the mango inside a small bowl, and place the crown on it. You may discard the tail end of the mango.
  3. Now, set the bowl with the mango in the freezer. Let the mango chill while you prepare the kulfi stuffing.

To make the kulfi stuffing,

  1. Pour the fresh cream into a large mixing bowl. Whip gently, till it gets a little light. Do not overdo this step.
  2. Now, add the salt, condensed milk, rose essence, and chopped almonds to the mixing bowl. Whisk lightly, till everything is well combined together. Done! The stuffing is ready!

For the assembling,

  1. Get the bowl with the chilled mango out of the freezer, and remove the crown.
  2. Fill the kulfi stuffing into the mango almost till the top.
  3. Put the crown back on.
  4. Place the bowl with the mango back in the freezer, and let the kulfi set for at least 3 hours.
  5. After 3 hours or when the kulfi has gotten almost solid, gently peel the mango using a peeler.
  6. Put the mango back in the freezer, with the top, and let it set for at least a couple of hours more.
  7. When you are ready to serve the dish, remove the bowl from the freezer and cut the mango into pieces. Discard the crown. Serve the stuffed mango kulfi pieces immediately.

Notes:

  1. Use a mango that is ripe, but firm. An overly squishy mango would be difficult to handle.
  2. You can fill up the mango with kulfi in any flavour of your choice. I chose malai kulfi for the same.
  3. The filling left over after making the stuffed kulfi can be frozen, with or without kulfi moulds, to consume separately.
  4. You can use any fruit of your choice – an apple, for instance, or a kiwi – to make this kind of stuffed kulfi.
  5. You could peel the mango just before you serve the kulfi, but then the stuffing would melt a little because of the heat from your hands. To avoid this, it is best to remove the peel after about 3 hours of setting.

You like? I hope you will try out this stuffed mango kulfi recipe too! Do let me know what you think about it!

Travel Shot: Kumbakonam Vettalai (Betel Leaves)

Degree coffee is certainly not the only thing that Kumbakonam is famous for, we realised while researching for our recent trip to this temple town.

Apparently, the town also happens to be one of the leading producers of betel leaves and areca nuts. In fact, the betel leaves produced in Kumbakonam are believed to be among the best in the world, as far as quality is concerned.

Armed with this knowledge, we were well prepared to keep an eye out for local paanwallahs in Kumbakonam, so we could taste a couple of these famed betel leaves.

We had, sort of, expected these betel leaves to be all over Kumbakonam, but they were so not! We came across just a few shops selling them, that too only in the local flower-fruit-vegetable market.

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Kumbakonam vettalai aka betel leaf for sale, in a market stall

When we finally got our hands on a couple of these betel leaves, we were surprised at just how fresh and strong in taste they were. They filled our mouths with a spicy juice that just isn’t present in the betel leaves we get in big cities like, say, Madras or Bangalore. The Kumbakonam vettalai is, definitely, different. Neither the husband nor I are betel leaf connoisseurs, and hence, unable to elaborate more on this.

Do try out some of the famed vettalai whenever you are in Kumbakonam!

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I hope you have been reading and enjoying my other posts about Kumbakonam! If you haven’t, here are the links for you.

Acquainted, finally: Degree coffee in Kumbakonam

What dining at a 100-plus-year-old eatery feels like: Sri Mangalambiga Vilas, Kumbakonam

Kumbakonam, in the midst of Masimagam

Kalyana Sundareswar Kovil, Thirumanancheri: The temple of marriages

Travel shot: The man and his friend, the beast

Garbharakshambigai temple, Tanjore: Abode of the mother who protects the womb

Bun Sandwiches, 4 Ways

I love bakery buns, especially those from Iyengar’s Bakery. Not the buns with tutti-frooti or dry fruits and nuts in them, you know, but the plain and simple sweet ones.

I fancy myself a bun sandwich as a treat, now and then. I think these round and fluffy and cute buns are just the right size for me to experiment with different types of fillings. I like the mildly sweet flavour of these buns, too. Yes, yes, I know there’s always bread to make sandwiches with, but buns are great too!

Bun sandwiches are, I think, a nice way of jazzing up buns. They are perfect for breakfast or for a quick snack any time of the day, when you don’t mind eating a tad unhealthy and are feeling too lazy to really cook. And, like I was saying earlier, the number of things you can do with these buns is mind-boggling!

Here are four very simple ways to make bun sandwiches, each one more delectable than the other. Try them out, will you?

 Style 1 – Madurai Butter Bun

Butter bun is a simple, but lovely sweet treat commonly found in street-side push carts in Madurai. We tried this out on our recent trip to Madurai, and fell in love with it.

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Madurai-special butter bun

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 sweet bun
  2. Unsalted butter, as required (I used Amul)
  3. Sugar, as required

Method:

  1. Cut the sweet bun into half, horizontally from the centre.
  2. Heat a thick dosa pan till water droplets dance on it.
  3. Spread a little unsalted butter on the top and bottom of the bun.
  4. Turn the heat down to low, and toast the bun on both sides. Toast it as little or as much as you want, ensuring that it doesn’t get burnt.
  5. Once done, spread a generous amount of unsalted butter in the centre of the bun, and sprinkle some sugar over it. Close the bun,
  6. Sprinkle some more sugar on top of the bun.
  7. Serve immediately.

Notes:

Traditionally, butter bun is made by spreading butter in the centre of the bun, after which it is toasted on a dosa tava. I, however, feel that the butter melts a bit too much if the bun is made this way. I prefer, instead, to first toast the bun and then spread butter inside it.

Style 2 – Jam & Cheese Bun Sandwich

The saltiness and beautiful texture of molten cheese merges with sweet-sour jam in this bun sandwich, to create a flavour bomb. This is the husband’s personal favourite.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 sweet bun
  2. Unsalted butter (I used Amul)
  3. Strawberry jam, as required (I used a home-made version)
  4. 1 slice of Go Cheese, Kacchi Keri flavour

Method:

  1. Cut the bun into two halves, horizontally from the centre.
  2. Spread strawberry jam on the inside of both halves of the bun. Use as much or as little jam as you want.
  3. Place the cheese slice on the bottom half of the bun, over the jam.
  4. Place the other half of the bun on top.
  5. Spread a little unsalted butter on both sides of the bun sandwich, and toast on a hot dosa tava.

Notes:

  1. You could use any kind of jam to make this sandwich. A sweet-sour jam like strawberry would go best, though.
  2. I felt the Kacchi Keri cheese went beautifully with the sweet and sour flavours of the jam. However, if you don’t have this particular flavour, you could use a plain cheese slice or grated processed cheese instead.

Style 3 – Spicy Chutney-Cheese Bun Sandwich

Of all the bun sandwiches I have made till date, this one remains my favourite. I absolutely love the spicy-salty-tangy flavours of this sandwich.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 sweet bun
  2. Salted butter, as required (I used Amul)
  3. Spicy green chutney, as required (Here’s how to make the chutney)
  4. 1 slice of Go Cheese, Kacchi Keri flavour

Method:

  1. Cut the bun into half, horizontally from the centre.
  2. Spread spicy green chutney on one half of the bun.
  3. Spread salted butter on the other half of the bun.
  4. Place the cheese slice on the bottom half of the bun, and close it with the other half.
  5. Toast the bun sandwich on a hot dosa tava, using a little more salted butter. Serve hot.

Notes:

The Kacchi Keri flavour of the cheese goes beautifully with the other ingredients in this sandwich. If you don’t have it, though, you could use a plain cheese slice or grated processed cheese instead.

Style 4 – Jalapeno Jam & Cheese Bun Sandwich

This is another beautiful variation of a bun sandwich – one that combines sweet and spicy flavours.

Jalapeno Jam & Cheese Bun Sandwich

Ingredients:

 

  1. 1 sweet bun
  2. Spicy-sweet jalapeno jam, as required (I used a home-made version)
  3. Plain cheese spread, as required (I used Amul)

Method:

  1. Cut the bun into two, horizontally from the centre.
  2. Spread some jalapeno jam on the inside of one half of the bun.
  3. Spread some cheese spread on the inside of the other half of the bun.
  4. Close the bun sandwich. Eat!

Notes:

  1. Any jam with hints of spiciness and sweetness in it would go well here.
  2. Toast it lightly if you want – we had this as is, without toasting.

You like? I hope you will try these bun sandwiches out too, and that you will love them just as much as we did!

Best Raw Mango Recipes| Green Mango Recipe Collection

It is no secret that I adore mangoes – raw ones as well as ripe. If you have been reading my blog for a while now, you will know that I love trying out a variety of recipes using mangoes. Each summer, I embark on a hunt for recipes that use mangoes, modern as well as traditional, and try them out in my kitchen. I absolutely love this process, the huge amount of learning I get this way.

Today, I am here with a collection of the best raw mango recipes from my blog. All of these recipes have been tried and tested to yield beautiful results. Some of these raw mango recipes are from my family cookbooks, things that I grew up eating, while some others are from the Internet or from friends and family. I hope you will try out at least a few dishes from this green mango recipe collection, if you haven’t already.

PicMonkey Collagerawmngo
Some of the raw mango recipes featured in this collection!
  1. Maangaai Paruppu

This is such a simple dish to make, but one that tastes absolutely delicious! It barely takes a few minutes to put together, and makes for a different side dish for rotis and rice alike. Try this out with either moong daal or toor daal!

2. Raw Mango Jam

Raw mango jam was one of the first-ever jams I made, thrilling me to bits when it turned out so perfect and gorgeous. That beautiful, beautiful colour! Spread it on rotis or bread, and your breakfast is sorted.

3. Raw Mango Sambar

Krishna Kafe in Koramangala is one place where I absolutely love lunching, and their raw mango sambar is a big-time favourite. That is precisely what inspired me to make this creation. With coconut and other spices ground and mixed in, this sambar is just perfect with piping hot rice and ghee!

4. Aambe Daal

This is a traditional Maharashtrian dish that my grandma used to make, with chana daal and raw mangoes. It makes for a delish snack any time of the day! It is one of my favourite-st things, ever.

5. No-Coconut Raw Mango Gotsu

The word ‘gotsu‘ inevitably brings to mind a thick gravy, full of coconut, traditionally served in South Indian weddings and other similar occasions. This particular gotsu, though, is different – it is made without coconut and is lighter on the palate, yet extremely flavourful. Try it out with rotis, rice or dosas!

6. Kaachi Keri Ane Dungli Nu Kachumber

This Gujarati raw mango and onion relish will surely have you craving for more! It is an explosion of flavours – sweet and sour and spicy – and is believed to have the power to ward off the ill effects of the extreme heat during the hot summer months. Try it out to believe just how yummy it is!

7. Kerala-Style Raw Mango Pickle

This is a simple recipe for an instant mango pickle that I learnt from my mother-in-law. It can jazz up a dish of plain old curd rice like no one’s business, and it is as easy as 1-2-3!

8. Raw Mango Chaat

This creation of mine was inspired by a raw mango chaat that I had at a street-side vendor’s, and absolutely loved. The husband and I loved my version, too, sweet and spicy and sour and crunchy and soft, all at the same time.

9. Quick-Fix Raw Mango Chitranna

This is an easy-peasy way to make use of leftover rice. The addition of raw mango and dosai milagai podi aka gunpowder takes the taste of this dish to a whole new level.

10. Thai Raw Mango And Onion Salad

Raw mango and onion salad is a must-order dish for the husband and me, whenever we visit a Thai restaurant. But then, this is such a super-simple dish to make at home too!

11. Thai Green Mango And Moong Sprouts Salad

This is another Thai-style salad that is utterly delectable. What’s more, it is quite easy to make at home, and highly nutritious too. This is the kind of salad I could make a lunch or dinner out of, any day!

12. Raw Mango Pachadi With Neem Flowers

This is a Tamil New Year specialty – a dish with salty, sour, bitter and sweet tastes in it to signify that life is a mix of many different things, too. We use dried neem flowers to make this dish, as against the fresh ones that are traditionally used. Well, dried neem flowers or fresh, this relish surely is a big-time favourite at home!

13. Raw Mango Salsa

This raw mango salsa will definitely spice up any party or gathering! Pair it with chips, toast, khakra, lavash or nachos, and watch it work its magic. A lovely appetiser, this is.

14. Raw Mango Salsa Chaat

Is it salsa? Is it chaat? It is both, and an absolutely delicious confection at that! You must try this out when you are craving something spicy and sweet and tangy, and are bored of the regular chaats. If you have all the ingredients handy, it can be whipped up in a jiffy too!

15. Chivda Bhel

This chaat, made with Maharashtrian-style chivda, is elevated to huge heights by the addition of raw mango. It is light and refreshing, and different from the usual, not to forget finger-licking delicious. Try, try!

16. Thengaai Maangaai Pattani Sundal

A common sight on the beaches of Tamil Nadu, this sundal is an absolute delight to have. It is a personal favourite, thanks to the punch of flavour it packs in, not to forget just how supremely easy it is to make.

Don’t forget to tell me if you try out any of these raw mango recipes! I hope you love these dishes just as much as we did. Have fun creating!

Spiced Chocolate Cake| Easy Eggless Cake With Spiced Milk Powder And Wheat Flour

After that spiced chocolate ice cream, how about some spiced chocolate cake? 🙂

Yes, a spiced chocolate cake was my latest kitchen experiment, one that turned out extremely well.

I used a recipe from the Internet to make this cake, tweaking it here and there to suit our requirements. For instance, I made use of wheat flour (vis-a-vis maida in the original recipe) and spiced milk powder (as opposed to plain milk powder that the original recipe suggests), to create this cake.

The eggless spiced chocolate cake with milk powder!

The cake turned out wonderfully well, mildly spiced and sweet, fluffy, and delish. I think the spiced milk powder added a punch to the cake, a little depth and complexity to it, in a subtle way. It took the texture and flavour of the cake up quite a few notches too.

Everyone at home absolutely adored this cake, and all of it was gobbled up in a couple of days’ time. I am positive I am going to be making this cake several times over. After all, it’s so very easy to put together! And, yes, it doesn’t need any eggs!

Now, without further ado, let’s get to the procedure of making this beauty, shall we?

Recipe (adapted from the original here)

Ingredients (makes one medium-sized cake) :

  1. 1 cup unsalted butter (I used Amul)
  2. 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  3. 1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  4. 1.5 teaspoon baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1 cup full-fat milk (I used Nandini Full Cream)
  7. 1 cup spiced milk powder (I used Nestlé Everyday Masala Fusion)
  8. 2 cups wheat flour
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  10. Water, as required to bring the batter to a dropping consistency

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter until it gets light and fluffy.
  2. Put in the milk and vanilla essence. Whisk well. Keep aside.
  3. Now, mix together the wheat flour, cocoa powder, milk powder, baking powder and baking soda. Ensure that all of these dry ingredients are thoroughly combined together.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones in the mixing bowl, bit by bit, mixing well as you go. Make sure there are no lumps.
  5. Add as much water as required to bring the batter to dropping consistency. Mix well.
  6. Grease a baking tin with unsalted butter. Simultaneously, preheat the oven at 200 degrees for 10 minutes.
  7. Pour the batter into the greased baking tin, and put into oven, once preheating is done. Bake at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Let the cake cool down completely and then invert it onto a serving plate. Decorate it with powdered sugar, dried fruits and nuts if you want to. Cut the cake and store in a clean, dry, air-tight box.

Notes:

1. Adjust the quantity of sugar you add, as per your taste preferences.

2. If you want the cake to be extremely light, fluffy and airy, use maida instead of wheat flour. My cake was light and fluffy even with the addition of wheat flour, let me tell you!

3. If you don’t want to spice up your cake, use regular milk powder instead of masala.

4. Use regular milk powder instead of masala, skip the cocoa powder entirely, and reduce the quantity of powdered sugar a bit, and you will get a plain milk powder cake that tastes just as yummylicious!

5. This cake stays for only about 2 days at room temperature, considering that are quite a lot of wet ingredients added in. Refrigeration might prolong the shelf life of the cake by a little bit.

You like? I hope you will try out this spiced chocolate cake too, and that you will love it just as much as we did!

Home-Made Malai Kulfi|Easy Dessert Recipe

Love kulfi? I do! I love getting my hands on some sinfully rich, delicious kulfi any time, particularly in the hot months of summer.

I recently tried out some home-made malai kulfi, and the family loved it to bits. It is such a simple treat to whip up at home, and yet, so gorgeous. Try it out!

Here‘s the procedure for home-made malai kulfi.

Ingredients (makes about 4 servings):

  1. 200 ml fresh cream (I used Amul)
  2. 200 grams sweetened condensed milk (I used Amul Mithai Mate)
  3. A pinch of salt
  4. 1 teaspoon rose essence
  5. About 10 roasted, unsalted almonds

Method:

1. Whip the fresh cream till lighter and creamy. Don’t overdo it.

2. Add the salt, chopped almonds, rose essence, and sweetened condensed milk.

3. Whip lightly, making sure everything is mixed together well.

4. Pour mixture into a dry airtight box.

5. Freeze, covered, with freezer set at highest temperature. It should take 4-5 hours.

6. Get the box out of the freezer only when you are ready to serve the kulfi. Cut into pieces and serve immediately.

Notes:

1. You could use whipping cream instead of fresh cream, too. This will yield a richer, creamier kulfi.

2. Adding some roasted, unsalted pistachios (chopped) would take the taste of the home-made malai kulfi to a whole new level. I didn’t add them, since I didn’t have any.

I hope you will try this recipe out, too, and that you will love it as well.