22 June, 2017

Aam Panna Recipe | Indian Raw Mango Cooler

Learn how to make Aam ka Panna ~ Sweet and sour Indian raw mango cooler flavoured with spices, black salt and mint

It’s officially summer in my neck of woods and for the last two weeks the heatwaves have swept across the nation. I am not very active on social media these days as it will be considered sin to spend time within the four walls. The windows and doors are wide open, and I spend most of my time pottering around the garden, laying on grass and snoozing under the perfect blue skies. My morning walks have become longer as I enjoy the company of mother nature and her children like tweeting birds and wild life, walking in the woodlands under the protective canopy of giant trees. The kitchen is the last place on my mind as simple salads, quick coconut-yogurt based curries and ice creams have officially become our meals and washing them with gallons of water to quench the thirst and to keep the body cool.

It's time like this when I sift through my handwritten recipe diary in search of recipes that has been tried and tested for centuries. The recipes for scorching summer months to keep the body cool due to excess hear from the sun. One such recipe is a very popular raw mango recipe from the northern part of India called Aam Panna, a very refreshing raw mango cooler flavoured with spices and good helping of fresh mint. It is this Aam ka Panna, with its sweet tangy flavor makes it extremely rejuvenating and its health benefits make it a go to drink and a must try recipes for the summers when the mighty mango season arrives. Aam Panna is consumed in the summers as it acts as a coolant, rehydrates body and provides the essential electrolytes lost during the hot weather. A glass of this drink in a summer afternoon can combat fatigue and energize a person.

08 June, 2017

BasaLe Soppina Koddel | Udupi-Mangalorean Style Vegan Malabar Spinach Curry

Learn how to make BasaLe Soppina Koddel ~ Udupi-Managlorean style Malabar spinach cooked in a freshly roasted spices and coconut gravy tempered with garlic

Do you dream about certain foods? After one long tired day, you close your eyes and then suddenly this delicious thing comes to your mind. All you can do at that moment is sigh and groan loudly matching the rumble of your stomach. You just wish that you could take one teeny-tiny bite of that scrumptious food you have had loooooooong time ago? Food that makes one want to weep as the nostalgia hits like a tonnes of bricks!

Yes… I am talking about such food, something you can’t find in a place where you are currently living. Apart from my family and friends, I miss quite many things that I had taken for granted in all those years I spent time in my country of birth. It is like inhaling the heady aroma of earth after first monsoon rain hits the mother earth, or the tingling taste of first tender mango rubbed with salt and chilli powder in hot summer days, or the feeling of happiness when you rest your head on your mother’s lap, or the satisfaction of hugging someone who loves you more than themselves, or the feeling of content that comes when you taste something specially cooked with lots of love by your loved ones… Yes, there are these few things that can’t be experienced anywhere else. And you miss them dearly, not just when you are feeling low but also when you are bursting with joy and happy thoughts. Because it is these few special people and interesting things that makes one’s life worthwhile.

01 June, 2017

Raw Mango and Bottle Gourd Dal Recipe | Khatta Meetha Lauki-Aam Dal

Learn how to make Raw Mango and Bottle Gourd Dal or Khatta Meetha Lauki-Aam Dal ~ Sweet and sour, creamy raw mango and bottle gourd lentil soup tempered with spices and curry leaves

What is summer without mangoes? Nothing, there is nothing in this world that screams summer to me like looking at the king of fruits. Be it emerald shaded raw mangoes and the rich golden hued mangoes, their sour and sweet flavour is unbeatable. It is and it will always be mangoes that rule my world and my childhood memories. Forget all exotic fruits; pineapple, peach, kiwi, plum, berries; nothing can ever come quite close to magnificent Mangifera Indica in flavour, taste or aroma. It’s a same story every year. Just one look at them and I start reminiscing about the Mango Season, the season of the king of fruits, back home in India.

Come summer and it meant only one thing for me and my siblings, long vacation at paternal and maternal granny’s home. The memories of those sunny, glorious summer days of endless fun, pranks and digging our teeth into succulent mangoes warm my heart even today. Granny’s house was just like many other beautiful tiled-terraced houses (or more like mansion) in my native village in southern India. Surrounded by acres of greenery, the white house with red tiles stood tall and proud with wide porches running around the house. Polished to perfection red oxide floors would gleam with intricately carved thick rosewood pillars supporting the roofs. The trees around the big house served as the compound walls and the beautiful water stream flowing right next to the house was its gate. Magnificent tall jackfruit, tamarind, coconut trees competed against each other for the title in the backyard.