Posts tagged ‘recipe’

Tangled up in…Orange

For the last couple of weeks, our Sunday organic farmers market green has been brightened up with splashes of orange pumpkins. So it’s been pumpkin cake, pumpkin curry, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pasta and even pumpkin spice latte!   We’ve been completely tangled up in orange (apologies to Jokerman and his prize)

My current favourite is an easy recipe from natashaskitchen. A’s mom has a very similar recipe with more egg and less oil. Either way you can’t go wrong. The cake is moist, sweet and pumpkin-y. The spices smell heavenly, taste divine. And since getting cream cheese or butter takes an extra herculean effort, a simple powered sugar dusting tops it off perfectly. So, Mr Tambourine man, play a song for me, I’m not sleepy and I’m eating pumpkin cake…

Mix dry ingredients :

2 cups atta

1and1/2 cups sugar or powdered jaggery

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp powdered spices (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg are my favourites)

A pinch of salt

Mix wet ingredients :

3 eggs

3/4 cup oil

1/4 cup curd or buttermilk

2 cups of pumpkin purée

Mix well. Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Fold together gently, do not over mix.

Bake at 180 C for 30 mins or till the top is golden amber and a knife inserted into the middle comes out cleanly.

Ice with cream cheese frosting or dust lightly with powdered sugar.


Wild Mango Magic

Next time you grumble about the heat, humidity and horridness of summer – stop and look at the mangoes! All the woes of summer disappear as the sweet mango juice goes dripping down your chin. I wouldnt miss it for the world (and my sympathies to those who cant or dont have a mango season!)

This year, we have had a fantastic season. And thankfully, mangoes still are a seasonal fruit – like spargel/ asparagus, in Europe. We’ve had a mix of hybird mangos from Kalahandi, mangoes from our garden, and of course, mangoes from the villages and forests around Bissamcuttack. The adivasi village streets are paved with gold this season. Whole populations disappear into the forest before sunrise to collect mangoes – the small, wild, sweetest kind. That doesnt make it’s way into markets beyond the block or tehsil headquarters. This season, I was blessed with wild mangoes.

Preserving this sweetness is vital of course. ‘Manga Thera’ finds its place in most communities on the sub-continent. Here, in south Odisha, it’s called Ambo Soda and modern innovations are creeping in – like drying the pulp on plastic mats or plastic sacks. The rest of the process is essentially the same – squeezing and pounding the sweetness out of the mangoes into a pulpy juice, slathering it out to dry, once dry, pouring on a new layer of fresh pulp and so on till the sun has turned the pulp into a solid mass of gold.

Here are some pictures from J village, where we tried our hands at pulping with a split bamboo stick and tin can.

This season I finally learned how to make sweet mango curry. The tree behind our house has been dropping mangoes for nearly a month now and yesterday we ate the last batch from this tree. Many blessings on those who planted it, and indeed on all those who plant and tend mango trees.

The Sweet Mango Curry Recipe (easy version by D didi):

1. Wash and peel ripe ‘chusne’ mangos (little mangos that you have to suck the juice out of and not the fancy hybrid kind that only lend themselves to slicing up). Atleast 2 mangoes per head

mango curry2. Chop a couple of onions, 3-5 cloves of garlic and a few red chillies (depending on how spicy you want it. The spicey-ness compliments the sweetness of the mangoes!)

mango curry 23. Heat your pan/ kadai/ wok and pour in a tablespoon of oil (coconut, sunflower, sesame. Mustard if youre feeling brave. Any oil will do the trick). Add a teaspoon of mustard or jeera seeds into the hot oil and enjoy the sizzle and splatter.  A few curry leaves too if you have them fresh from the garden.

4. Add in the chopped ingredients of step 2 and fry well. Sprinkle in some salt (to taste. We cook a hypertensive diet, so not much gets added. Fortunately, salt can be added in later as well!). The mangoes are already golden, but a dash of tumeric/ manjal/ haldi powder really brings out the sunshiny yellow.

mango curry35. When the onions are brown and tender, add the mangoes. Wash out the bowl with a little splash of water and pour that in, so you don’t waste any of the mango juice. Don’t add too much water now because a lot of liquid comes of out the mango anyway!

mango curry56. Turn down the heat, cover and leave on simmer for 7-10 minutes. Soon the mangoes will be cooking in a bubbling golden gravy of thick mango juices. Now add a little more water if you like lots of gravy. Serve with hot white curry7So quick, try it before the mango season ends this year! Or since patience is a virtue, you could wait for the mango season to roll round again next year. Either ways, here’s to Mango Magic – may you stay sweet and seasonal!

Banana cake

Lalitha, our friend in Sittilingi, has given up white sugar. Last time she visited, she didnt even give in to my very tempting mango icecream. So, in an attempt to make a cake that she’d actually be able to eat, I stumbled onto a really simple banana cake recipe by Peggy Trowbridge Filippone which I modified for Tha’s benefit! So I guess you can call it a No White Sugar Banana Cake. The cake was really soft and light, and travelled well all the way to Sittilingi the next day in the heat of summer.

Like muffin or pancake batter, mix the dry and wet ingredients separately, and then go easy on the mixing when combining the two! The LESS you mix the better – I love it!

Dry Ingredients:

1½ cups Atta

½ cup chopped nuts (I used almonds. Soak them in hot water and peel before chopping. I was lazy and popped them in the mixie for a fraction of a second whizz. Then chopped the nuts that were still whole)

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon cinnamon powdered (again, whizzed in the mixie)

¼ teaspoon nutmeg powdered (ditto)

Big pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients:

¾ cup of jaggery (powdered if possible)

½ cup of oil (used sunflower)

1 cup banana, mashed with a fork and overripe is best

½ cup of curd

2 eggs (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Mix the dry ingredients together. Try to break up any big lumps in the jaggery and mix the wet ingredients well. Add in the dry stuff and combine with as little mixing as possible.

Pour into a cake tray and bake for 30 mins at 180C, or until a toothpick or knife stuck into the centre comes out clean.

Cool and enjoy!

For those who dont mind a little sugar, powder half a cup of it, mix with a tablespoon of milk or water till thick enough to spread evenly for a lovely spice glaze. If you love cinnamon, add some powdered and spread icing over cake. If you prefer nutmeg, pour on the icing and grate fresh nutmeg onto it as garnish. Both these really compliment the cake and make it yummier!

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