Friday, August 31, 2012

The tale of the green papaya

I bought a green papaya to make this. Vegetarian version of course, but more about that sometime later.
    Papaya was so huge that ended up using only half of it. Leftover papaya was staring at me for a while and was stacked up in the refrigerator.I just had to use that up and salad again?! was the question asked by significant other or  the taste tester! So this recipe is out of sheer desperation to try something new with the papaya. It is similar to 'Gulamba'. Substitute green mango with green papaya and you have a tasty relish! It actually tastes better a day after making it.

2 cups shredded papaya
1/2 cup shredded jaggery (as per taste)
1/2 tea spoon cardamom powder
1/8 tea spoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup water

In a pan, add water and jaggery and melt the jaggery. Once jaggery is melted, add shredded papaya and stir to combine. Cook papaya in jaggery syrup until the papaya is tender and syrup is 1 string consistency on low heat. It will take about 15 minutes. Add cardamom powder and nutmeg and mix everything. Cool to room temperature. Store in clean glass jar in the refrigerator. This will keep for  a week.

Green papaya is not as tangy as green mango. So you don't need lot of jaggery. Also, papaya contains less juice compared to mango. So you will have to add little water to make syrup.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mango and ice cream

Making most of the mango season with this ice cream. One of my favourite ice cream flavours. All natural ingredients and very easy to make. It requires only 5 ingredients, so use absolutely best quality ingredients.

Ingredients :
1 cup mango pulp (pulp of approx.2 mangoes)
2 cups half and half (or use 1 cup milk + 1 cup heavy cream)
1/2 tea spoon cardamom powder (preferably freshly ground)
pinch of saffron strands
2 tb spoon sugar (adjust according to your taste)

In a pan, add 1 cup half and half and sugar and heat over medium heat until sugar is melted. Switch off the heat and let the half and half cool to room temperature. Add remaining 1 cup half and half,mango pulp,saffron strands and cardamom powder and mix everything together with a whisk/spatula. Transfer the mixture to a freezer proof bowl/container and freeze for 4-5 hours. This will give a smooth,soft scoop.

If you need to freeze it for more time, remove ice cream from the freezer and whip the mixture every 3 hours or so and freeze again to get the smooth crystal free consistency.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Risotto n Rasam

You read it right!! Risotto is an Italian dish cooked by slowly adding hot water/stock to uncooked rice until you get the creamy texture. Adding rasam instead of the usual 'veg stock' gives risotto very nice taste.
       Rasam recipe came form a dear friend of mine. I did change it a bit because once the risotto is cooked , the flavour gets concentrated and if you use the usual ratio of rasam masala to water, you will end up with very spicy risotto.This may not be my everyday rice dish but its a pure comfort food!


Ingredients :
1 cup arborio rice
1 tb spoon chopped onion
1 tea spoon minced garlic (optional)
1 tb spoon oil

For the Rasam:
4 cups water
1 chopped tomato
1/4 tea spoon turmeric powder
1 tb spoon rasam masala (use as per taste)
1/2 tb spoon tamarind paste
1/4 cup cooked toor dal
salt to taste
1/2 tea spoon oil
1 tea spoon mustard seeds
1 spoon cumin seeds (optional)

chopped cilantro (as per taste)


To make rasam, bring 4 cups water to boil with chopped tomato,turmeric and tamarind. Let the mixture boil for 5 minutes, then add rasam masala,cooked dal and salt and let it boil for another 5 minutes. Make the tadka (tempering) by heating oil, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and let them pop. Add tadka to the rasam and let the rasam stay warm on a very low heat. Add oil to a different pan (for cooking risotto) and add chopped onion and garlic and sauté until tender. Add the arborio rice and stir everything together and toast the rice on medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of rasam at a time and stir occasionally until the rasam gets absorbed into the rice. Keep adding the rasam in 1/2 cup intervals stirring almost every other minute to cook the rice. It will take about 20-25 minutes for risotto to cook. Add chopped cilantro at the end. Serve hot with a spoonful of desi ghee!

Note: The ingredients for the rasam are just a guideline. Adjust rasam to suit your taste.
Strain rasam and then add to the rice if you don't want tomato in your risotto.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Orzo in Thailand.

It was friday night and better half was out for dinner! My fridge had very limited stock of veggies and nothing was sufficient alone as a full meal. I decided to whip up something out of the available stuff and came up with this. It was really tasty and my husband surely missed out on this one.
                It is a quicker version of stew with some added pasta and tofu for a full meal.

1/4 cup orzo
2 oz firm tofu (cut into 1/2 inch thick slices)
1 small red bell pepper (sliced lengthwise)
1/2 onion,sliced
1/2 tablespoon oil
1 cup basil leaves (reserve 5-6 leaves for adding at the end)
2-3 garlic cloves
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 chilli (adjust according to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tea spoon lemon/lime juice
1/2 tea spoon sugar
1/2 cup coconut flakes ( I had dried coconut on hand , use 1/4 cup if using fresh)
1 cup boiling water

In a blender, blend together basil leaves,ginger,garlic,chilli,coconut,lemon/lime juice and boiling water. Sieve the mixture through a strainer to get 1 cup of broth.
           Heat a pan on medium high. Add oil,sliced onion and bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 2 minutes or until onion starts to soften. Add orzo and toast everything  for 2 more minutes. Add 1 cup broth, let the mixture come to full boil and cook it covered for 5-7 minutes or until orzo is done. Add tofu,chopped basil leaves and season with salt and pepper as per taste. Cook for just a minute. Serve hot.

Note: Use Thai green/red curry paste if available. Blend together coconut, Thai curry paste and boiling water to make broth.