Sunday, April 19, 2009


Sunday. Ah! After a long work week, it is something I look forward to and my usual routine is to slum it out. Spending an heavenly hour or two at my local library or dropping in on any one of my two close friends. Today, I dropped in at M & S's. They had this long over due naming ceremony for their two kids yesterday. A lot of Biriyani was leftover. 'Do you want some'? M asked. No baba ... its too hot, I said (temperatures have been soarding to 40 degrees). I asked for something cold - water was all she had. Then she started putting in ingredients into a bowl while talking to me about this and that. Turned out, she had made "Ghol". Slight variation from ghol as we bengalis know which is a variation of or similar to the punjabi lassi.

Her ghol is a digestive, more than a summer cooler.

You will need:

Curd 250 gms
Mint (pudina) : 1 small bunch
1/2 tsp each of whole cumin, black pepper - roasted and ground
Juice of 1 whole lime
2-3 green chillies
A little water - 1 o 2 tbsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Rock salt 1/4 tsp

How to:

1. Whisk the curd properly. Strain it through a strainer or muslin cloth.
2. Mix together in a grinder - the pudina leaves, the roasted ground cumin and black pepper, green chillies, salt and rock salt, lime juice with a little water.
3. Fill 1/4 of a glass with the whisked and strained curd.
4. Add 2-3 tbsp of the pudina paste
5. Stir well with a spoon.
6. Fill the glass with cold water.
7. Adjust seasoning.
8. Serve

Note: Make the ghol as thin or thick you want to. Skip the chillies if you want. And the lime can be skipped too if the curd is not too acidic. You can add dhania (coriander leaves) in place of mint. Or you can add both.

It was wonderful. Especially after a huge helping of biriyani (which I had earlier vehemently refused) when the temperatures have been soaring to 40 degrees!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Raw Mango relish

It's been HOT and HUMID. Thus begins almost all of my posts on my other blog.

Enough about that....Tis the time of raw mangoes which then means lots of chutneys, pickles and relishes. The sweet irony of it all is that raw mangoes are sour (khatta). It takes a brave person or a toothless one to eat one. But its very sourness combined with loads of sugar and we have the most heavenly coolers.

Now a days my lunch box is accompanied by a miniscule steel container - filled to the brim with sweet relish made from raw mangoes. At work lunch begins by all of us passing our lunch box around at the start and when we have collected (from others) and given to all, begin eating. Quite often, the tiny box comes back to me - licked clean! I have been requested to look for a large tin - which my ma somehow always remember just as I step out of the house!!

So here it is - Raw mango relish - as K makes it.

You will need:

Raw mangoes: 4 (these are usually small)
Sugar: 3-4 tbsp (might be more)
Salt: 2-3 tsp
Water for steaming
Cumin: 2 tsp
Dried red chillie: 1-2

How to:
  1. Slice the raw mangoes into strips and de-stone (or pod or seed or whatever it is called). It doesn't matter how you cut the mangoes - basically into chunks. If the mango is very fresh then you can keep the peel - otherwise remove the peel before cutting the mangoes.
  2. Put the mango chunks in to a Kadai or pan. Add water - just enough to cover the mangoes.
  3. Steam on medium to low heat.
  4. Add sugar and the salt and mix well. Keep stirring to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
  5. Slowly the water will evaporate and the mangoes will become pulpy.
  6. In the meanwhile, dry roast the cumin powder and the dried red chillie for 30 secs or so on a hot pan / tawa.
  7. Remove and crush / grind and add to the pulp in the kadai.
  8. Adjust salt - sugar according to taste and remove from fire.
  9. Cool and refrigerate.
  10. The whole thing should not take more than 30 minutes (lesser actually for those who are not all thumbs like me)!

And guess what - not only is it finger licking good (the only decent way to eat aachar's and chutneys) - it also keeps well for nearly 2-3 weeks (or till it finishes - whichever happenes to be earlier)!

I am not a paratha person at all - but this tastes REALLY good with parathas.