Back to the Grind

Survival has been our key for the past year. We are slowly falling into a routine and hope that we get back to our normal lives soon. I have totally neglected my virtual space for the past year or so and trust me , there has not been a single day when I would get up and tell myself that ” Today I will blog” and the day flew by without me even thinking of opening up this page.  So much so I missed my beloved virtual space turning 2 in April , all the attention has been on our little one !

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Gifts Galore and Mango Bread

This gift came almost 3 weeks after my birthday but it really made my year, So much love, so much affection… I am truly flattered by this special gift from a special person. Thank you dear friend, I have no words to express how much this means to me. I received this huge package of a Romertomf clay baker and 2 books , The soul of a new cuisine by Marcus Samuelsson and Jill O’ Connor’s Sticky , Chewy , Messy, Gooey plus a whole load of different spice blends from World Market , Soba and Udon noodle packets. This was an unexpected gift and this time I really was jumping all over the house :)

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The Mango Season

When I ate it the first time, it sent my senses tingling. The taste buds on my tongue burst with happiness and joy ! I remember playing an important part of the making process, “the official taster” and that too with huge dollops of home made butter ( venna/makkhan). I have very fond memories of it. Amma always used it as treat to lure me to eat my beans and veggies. There were days when I would throw a tantrum and not eat even though I was hungry, just to eat it.

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Thotakura mamidikaya pappu

This is a wonderful pappu that mom has been making for years and very dear to heart. Reminds me of home and family and makes me nostalgic, but never get tired of making this. I have noticed that we get unripe mangoes all through the year in phoenix and thats a plus! I can make this whenever I want to. I use red chilli flakes for the popu instead of the whole red chilli.


4 fistfuls or 1 cup of toor dal
1 bunch of Amaranth Leaves
1 medium sized unripe mango
4 green chillies
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Oil, Salt to taste.

For the Popu/Tadka/seasoning
A teaspoon of Red chilli flakes
A teaspoon of mustard seeds
A teaspoon of Urad dal
1/4 teaspoon of asafoetida
A few curry leaves


Take the Toor dal , Chopped amaranth and unripe mango pieces in a pressure cooker with some turmeric. I’d suggest that the mango cut into big chunks, its one’s choice to either skin it or leave it unskinned. Pressure cooker for 2 whistles and remove from heat and let it cool. In another vessel, heat oil and add the urad dal and let them brown and add the mustard seeds and once they start popping add the chilli flakes, curry leaves and slit green chilli. Saute for a minute and lastly add the asafoetida. Then add the cooked dal and add salt and chilli powder if u want ( I guess 1/2 teaspoon should do) . Let the dal simmer until the flavours blend and remove from heat and serve with rice. I have not added tamarind as I have already added the mango.