I’m glad to be back after more than a month. I have missed all those wonderful recipes from my dear fellow bloggers and I will soon patrol all the blogs and leave my trail. I had to keep away from the computer, firstly because of a 3 week rest period and then a relapse again. I couldnt be away any longer and so , here I’m wondering what to make next in my kitchen. The most I missed was the fresh meals I normally cooked everyday. I never said No, when my dear friends offered food , I took it all .Here I am with a recipe for the event ” Think Spice” hosted by ” The Mistress of Spices” , sunita of Sunita’s world.
This is a famous Coastal andhra dish and mostly a must on the menu during auspicious occasions. Its made mostly during weddings. Though , I don’t belong to coastal andhra, but this dish is a must in my family and was on my wedding menu for three meals.
The Jackfruit that is used here is young and unripe and there are special knives to scrape the fruit and and the result is “pottu” which looks like shredded cabbage. A young jackfruit is taken , the skin peeled off and then by rubbing your hands and the knife with oil and turmeric and slowly cut and shredded. This is a tedious process but the best curry is produced by following this method.
I was lucky to get the canned green jackfruit available in southeast Asian store here and so , I didnt have to go through the tedious process of shredding it.
I bought a can , drained the water and i minced it in the food processor adding a little oil and a pinch of turmeric, so that my hands don’t get sticky while I’m removing the minced jackfruit and mixing with a little more turmeric.
1 can of young green jackfruit minced in the food processor
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 red chili
1 tablespoon of tamarind extract
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
A pinch of asafoetida
3 green chillies
For the Popu:
1 tablespoon of chana dal
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of urad dal
2 dry red chilies
A few curry leaves
In a pressure cooker, take the jackfruit and enough water to cover it and cook until just one whistle. (I use a hawkins pressure cooker). Let it cool and drain off the water and also squeeze water from the jackfruit. It should be dry. This curry tastes best when dry. Alternatively, if you don’t like the pungent smell, you can soak it in buttermilk instead of water and pressure cook it. This is will get rid of the smell.
Heat oil in a skillet and do the popu/tadka seasoning by adding the chana dal , urad dal, mustard seeds, red chilies. Once the mustard seeds pop , add the curry leaves and the green chillies and then add then add the tamarind extract. Let it simmer until the raw smell of tamarind wears off. Then add the asafoetida and then add the minced, cooked jackfruit and salt. Saute for a while until the water evaporates . Meanwhile in a mortar , grind the mustard seeds and the dry chili adding a little water making it a thick paste. Do not add too much water and make it a loose paste. Add a 2-3 drops of oil and mix well and leave the paste for 5 minutes.
Once the jackfruit blends well with the tamarind and other spices , remove from heat and let it cool for sometime. Once the curry is warm, add the mustard paste , mix and cover immediately with the lid. They say that the mustard paste if added when the curry is hot doesn’t mix well with the jackfruit . Its best to eat this curry 4-5 hours after you cook it as it gives a wonderful taste!
Making a Pickle is a ritual in my parents’ house. Amma would first check for an auspicious date after spring and once the mango season starts to make a temporary pickle for us to taste the first unripe mango bought in the season before they actually start making the Avakaya.I know its a tad late to kick off this ritual at my home here, but Nevertheless I decided to give it a shot. We have been taught that for a pickle the Mangoes should be washed thoroughly and pat dry thoroughly and always make sure that your hands are dry and not a water drop in the surroundings. Dad would do the cutting and mom would do the mixing. Ah!.. those are the days I miss the most, come summer.
I decided to give it a try with just two mangoes and see the end result and it came out well.Its best to use unripe mangoes which are shorter in length and more pulp so that there is ample juice(oota as we say in telugu)to mix with the other ingredients so as to make it taste juicer and a little sour.
For the Menthi Baddalu:
1 raw mango cut into bite size pieces with the skin
2 cups of gingelly oil(peanut oil can also be used)
3/4 cup of chili powder
3/4 cup of salt
1/2 cup of fenugreek powder made by roasting fenugreek first and then grinding the seeds
1 tablespoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon jaggery
For the popu/tadka:
1 teaspoon of seeds
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon of asafoetida
Take a large mixing bowl and add the mango pieces, slowly add half of each ingedient mentioned and keep mixing and check the taste . I stopped at 3/4 cups of salt and chili powder and 2 teaspoons less than 3/4 cups of fenugreek powder. Add the jaggery lastly . Its important to add the jaggery as fenugreek is bitter and helps in Mix well and keep aside covered in a corner where there is no moisture. I suggest you taste it again after two days and then do the popu.
For the Aava Baddalu,I cut the mango into bite size pieces the only ingredient change would be mustard powder instead of fenugreek powder and I stopped mixed after 3/4 cups of each ingredient. There is no need to add jaggery to this pickle.
Once the contents of the mixing bowls are transferred into airtight containers after 2 days the best way to clear the pickle off them is to cook rice and mix it with the remaining pickle in the mixing bowl. Add a dollop of ghee and make Indira’s amma mudda and enjoy ! My grandmother used to do that after she was done with the pickling !
Note: This pickle normally stays for 1-2 months if stored properly. I suggest that you do not store it in the fridge for the first 2-3 days after the doing the popu so that the ingredients mix well and then u can store it.
This is my all time favourite dish. My mom always made it for me when I went back home for a holiday.Its actually made with Bachali aaku or purslane leaves/Mayalu Bhaji. sometimes they make it with palak, but the authentic taste still lies with Bachali aaku.
2 bunches of Palak/spinach
1 packet of Suran(kanda)
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup coconut
For the paste :
1 and 1/2 spoon of mustard
1 teaspoon rice
1 x 1 inch piece of ginger
handful of coriander
For the Popu/tadka :
1 teaspoon Chana dal
1 teaspoon Urad dal
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 dry chillies
4 green chillies
1 sprig of curry leaves
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
First, wash and cut spinach and defrost the suran/kanda/yam.In a pressure cooker place spinach, yam, 1/2 cup water, turmeric and let it cook until 2 whistles. Meanwhile , soak all the ingredients for the paste for a minimum of 15 minutes and grind coarsely.
Once the veggies are boiled,remove from heat and do the popu by heating oil in a skillet. Add the chana dal, urad dal, cumin, mustard seeds, dry chillies, green chillies, curry leaves, asafoetida , wait until the mustard seeds pop and then add the boiled spinach and yam. Add salt and the paste Mix well. Sprinkle a quarter cup of fresh coconut and add the roasted peanuts for garnish.