Pickle making is undoubtedly an age old tradition in India.Commonly known as “Achar” and served as a condiment or an accompaniment while complementing every Indian meal,adding a sweet n spicy zest to the palette. Often thought of as a digestive if eaten in small quantities. Pickles are fairly native to the Indian sub continent and consist of a varieties of raw fruits or vegetables that are preserved in Salt, Spices,Oil and Vinegar. While raw Mangoes reign supreme,Lemons, Carrots, Green chilies etc too form the basis of most pickles,all though pickling styles and methods per say may vary from region to region.A pickle made in Northen India will vary very much from its counter part in the south, primarily due to the oil used. Mustard oil in the northern states and Sesame oil in the southern ones seem to be predominant choices.
Most North Indian pickles use a variety of mangoes,chilli and lemon.Some even a multitude of vegetables like the Lotus stem,Amla (Indian gooseberry) Limes and Peas like in the popular “Panchranga”pickle of the north.In Southern India, many vegetables are sun-dried with spices, taking advantage hot and sunny days throughout the year, thus making pickles an everyday affair. The sun-drying the pickles acts as a preservative for the vegetable, along with spices such as Mustard, Fenugreek seeds, Chili powder, Salt, Asafoetida, and Turmeric.
The past few weeks has seen a lot of Thai cooking in my kitchen.Pad Thai.Green and Red curries,Jasmine Rice,Tom Yum soup and the list just goes on.Last night I made some Thai fish cakes(with s fresh white fish and shrimp).I was looking for something fruity and refreshing to accompany the fish cakes.That’s when the mangoes decided to do the Salsa.
A riot of flavours,delicious,colourful and healthy.I could even eat this as a salad anytime.
Here a mango…There a mango…Everywhere a Tangy mango…We sure are lucky to find this wonderful fruit in all the local supermarkets here in Dubai.Such a variety that too…Kenyan Mangoes,Indian Alphonso,Pakistani,Mangoes from Thailand and Phillipines…True Mango Mania at the moment.
So while Mangoes are in season why not enjoy them in every possible way?
Some variations for this Salsa:
For the ingredients:
Corn and Red bell peppers
Avocados and chopped tomatoes
Chopped green olives and jalapeno peppers
For the Dressing:
Lime juice,Olive Oil,salt and pepper
Lime juice,fish sauce,chopped thai red chillies
Lime juice,sesame oil and seeds
I do hope you will enjoy cooking with mangoes this season.Please do share your favorite way of cooking with Mangoes.Would love to hear about it.
Summer is here,do stay cool and hydrated everbody.Cheers to you all.
I love entertaining.The idea of a perfect weekend for me is inviting a bunch of friends and cooking for them.Last night we did just that.A lovely evening spent catching up with wonderful friends.
I wanted to complement my thai chicken curry with a nice spicy red one.Have been wanting to try out the Indonesian Rendang for quite some time now.So decided to go ahead with it.Most recipes on the net called for the use of a ready rendang paste,which despite having looked around was not available here.I often don’t like to replicate a recipie.It’s great fun to actually play around with the ingredients and com up with a concoction of your own.That’s exactly what I did while making this wonderful Meat Rendang.
Now my husband is from Goa and I’ve mastered the use of cooking with coconut in curries be it fish,meat or chicken..So I went along with a coconut curry paste that I would usually make for my Goan curries with of course the addition of the galangal,lemon grass and thai red chillies.
My Own version of Rendang paste:
11/2 cups grated fresh coconut
1 onion (roughly chopped)
3 stalks lemon grass(white parts only,finely chopped)
1 inch pc galangal(finely chopped)
3 small thai red chilies(finely chopped)
3 cloves of garlic(minced)
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon chilli powder
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon light soya sauce
Heat a pan and dry roast the grated coconut until golden brown.
Remove this and keep it aside.In the same pan
Dry roast the fennel and coriander seeds.Let this cool and then dry grind into a fine powder.
In a small grinder mince together the galangal,garlic thai red chillies and lemon grass.
Now the final step is to put together this paste.Mix all of the above ingredients together along with a half a cup of water and grind into a smooth paste.
Heat a pan with a little oil and fry this paste for about 10 minutes.
Add the fish sauce and the light soya sauce.
For The Meat Rendang:
11/2 kg boneless meat(lamb or beef)
3-4 medium onions(finely chopped)
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp
1 tin coconut milk
salt to taste
Kaffir lime leaves for garnish
Heat a little oil and fry the onions til brown.
Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry a bit more.
Next add the meat and fry for about 15 minutes on a high flame.
Now add water enough to cob=ver the meat and let this cook on a slow flame till the meat is tender.This will take at least and hour.
Once the meat is cooked add the rendang paste to it.
Stir in the tamarind pulp.this will impart a nice dark colour to the Meat rendang.
Lastly add the coconut milk and let it simmer till the curry thickens.
Garnish with kaffir lime leaves and serve with some jasmine rice.
A delicious wholesome meat Rendang…Please do try this out.a tip on the rendang paste:You could make this much in advance as it freezes well.
Thanks for reading my post dear friends and cheers to happy times always…
Summer is here and with the mercury soaring high the last thing cooking in my kitchen is a heavy meal.My mantra for summer is “Light and Easy”.This recipe for stir fried bean sprouts is the perfect solution to a healthy and delicious meal.
I was looking at adding something exciting to Bean sprouts.Bingo…thats when I spotted this lovely tray of bright green and fresh Edamame.
Mmmm…Stir fried Bean sprouts and some eye-catching Edamame was my lunch today.Edamame commonly know as soybean are great just steamed and salted.A great snack while watching those calories.
Well today they are going in with some bean sprouts,green onions,ginger and garlic to give me a perfectly delicious meal and all in less than a couple of minutes.
I hope you enjoy cooking this stir fry.I had these beans with some Chicken in black bean sauce and along with some jasmine rice.
200 grams Chinese bean sprouts(blanched)
50 grams Edamame beans
1 tablespoon Sesame oil
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 thai red chilli(finely chopped)
1 teaspoon light soya sauce
1/2 teaspoon Chilli oil paste
Salt to taste
Handful of crushed peanuts
Garnish with chopped coriander
Blanch the bean sprouts in hot water for about a minute.
Steam the edamame beans till tender.
Heat a wok till its smoking hot.
Drizzle with some sesame oil.
Add the ginger,garlic and chopped red chillies and stir fry for a minute.
Add the bean sprouts and edamame beans.
Mix the soya sauce and the chilli oil paste and gently stir into the beans.
Som Tam or more popularly know as the Thai green papaya salad is the perfect accompaniment with any Thai meal.Now while one is spoiled for choice with amazing Thai joints here in Dubai,I absolutely love putting together a simple thai meal at home.
Last weekend we were having a pot luck dinner.I decided to make a Thai green curry with sticky Jasmine rice and this wonderful Green papaya salad.I for one am a big fan of this salad.
Tips on selecting the papaya:
Do select a green and un ripe papaya for this salad.You do want the flesh to be firm and white as possible.
Grating the papaya is the easy way out.however I like to use a slightly different technique as I like a nice bite to this salad.
Use a peeler and remove the outer green skin.Slice a thin layer off the inner white flesh.Have a couple of such layers ready.Now place all these layers on top of each other.Cut them in fine slivers-more at an angle.
I just love the sweet and spicy flavours in this salad.The sweet mainly from palm sugar.I’ve just used regular sugar.The spice is by grinding the thai red chillies and garlic.Traditionally a mortar and pestle would be used to do this.I’ve just whizzed it in a small food processor.
Peanuts add a lovely crunch…mmmmmm
I’ve gone ahead and added a grated green mango to this papaya salad…Just makes it more tangier.Some other variations could be grated cucumber or even bean sprouts.
We had some left over salad the next day and my husband decided to throw in some peeled segments of orange.Gave a whole new dimension to this salad I must say.
I do hope you like this salad.Do give it a try.My pot luck dinner went off well with fish cakes and spring rolls as appertizers.For the main course I had friends bring in the Pad thai noodles and some brocoli with tofu. And of course Thai green curry with jasmine rice along with this delicious Green Papaya and mango salad.
We had this wonderful Raspberry almond gateaux for dessert which another dear friend brought along…Have to add it here..
Cheers to Food,Family,Friends and laughter always.
1 small green papaya(grated or chopped finely)
1 small green mango(grated)
1 small tomato(quartered)
2 thai red chillies
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fish sauce
21/2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon orange juice
salt to taste
handful of crushed peanuts
chopped basil for garnishing
Chopped segments of mandarin oranges go really well as I discovered the following day.
Peel the outer skin of the raw papaya and either grate it or use the technique mentioned above.
Grate the green mango and mix it with the papaya.
Use either a mortar and pestle or a small food processor to grind the garlic and the red chillies together.
Now add the fish sauce and the lime juice to the above mix.
Add this dressing to the raw salad just before serving.
Garnish with crushed peanuts,chopped tomatoes and basil.