Sleepless nights… and I’m thinking Pickle

I have some great news to share with all you folks !!  We have been blessed with a little angel 3 weeks ago and apart from experiencing ” The joy of motherhood/parenthood”  we are having sleepless nights and innumerable diapers to change !!! So far we are enjoying this phase  though its a tad difficult( not impossible) to do so without help as both sets of parents could not make it in time.

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Cauliflower Avakaya

Has this ever happened to you that when a family member goes grocery shopping and gets all that he or she wants in abundance that you run out of ideas what to do with it . Well , it happens to me more often than not. K loves his Band Gobi and Phool Gobi so much that a couple of days ago , my man turns up from the shopping with 2 cabbages and 3 cauliflowers. Whew! trust a man to do your grocery shopping just the way you want! . I was bored after I made this and this and then some more . So I call my pedatha and ask her what to do , she opens her treasure chest and lets out another nugget for me to share with you all. I could make it and not worry about wasting the vegetable or throwing it. I have eaten it before at her place and always wondered how she could turn such a pungent vegetable into such a delicious pickle.

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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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Menthi Baddalu, Aava Baddalu/Unripe Mango and Fenugreek Pickle and Unripe mango in Mustard Pickle

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.

Menthi Baddalu

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 !

Aava Baddalu

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.