Thursday, May 23, 2013

Instant mixed vegetable 'pickle'

The only reason I call it a pickle is because, I use ready made pickle spice for this. You can call it relish/chutney or whatever.
       Growing up my mom always made it and I can not remember why I don't make it that often. It is very easy to make and there is not really a recipe. This is a rough guideline.All vegetables are raw and marinated in lemon juice! How bad can it be?!

1/4 cup cauliflower, raw and cubed (about 1/4 inch piece)
1/4 cup chopped green beans
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup green peas
1/8 cup chopped ginger (optional)
1/8 cup fresh turmeric root (optional)
2-3 green chillies, slit length-wise. (make sure not to cut through)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tb spoon lemon pickle spice (adjust according to taste)
salt to taste

For tampering:
1 tb spoon oil
1 tea spoon mustered seeds
1/2 tea spoon turmeric powder
1/2 tea spoon asafoetida

Mix together all chopped vegetables,ginger,turmeric root,lemon juice, chillies,salt and pickling spice and set aside for at least 8 hours. To make the tempering, heat oil, add mustered seeds,asafoetida and turmeric powder and let this cool completely. Add cooled tempering to pickle and mix everything well. Transfer pickle in a glass jar with air-tight lid. It lasts for about a week in refrigerator.

If you don't have lemon pickle spice (lonache masala), use mixture of 1 tea spoon fenugreek seed powder,1 tea spoon cayenne pepper powder and 1 tea spoon mustered seeds powder. To make fenugreek powder, sauté 1 tea spoon fenugreek seeds in 1/2 tea spoon oil until they turn brown.Cool to room temperature and grind it with mustered seeds to get fine powder.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Orange marmalade

In all the varieties that are available in jam/jelly/preserves, orange marmalade is 'the one' for me! I don't have any favourites when it comes to store bought one, so making it myself is the only way. It is rather simple to make. Oranges have ton of pectin in them, so no need to buy any.
                  There are many varieties of oranges available in farmers market. Navels being most common of them. Cara-Cara oranges are my favourite. They are sweeter than usual oranges and don't have thick pith. A perfect choice for marmalade.However, if you don't get Cara Cara oranges, make it with regular ones, just adjust the amount of sugar!
                  The marmalade is a bread spread. You won't have a thick jam like consistency when done.

2 lbs oranges (5 cups when sliced) 
1/2 cup orange zest (use zest of all the oranges)
3 cups water
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tb spoon lemon zest
2 cups sugar (adjust to taste)
small piece of cheesecloth

Wash the oranges thoroughly. Zest all the oranges. Remove both ends with thick pith (do not throw it away).Remove any pith/skin left on oranges after zesting and slice oranges into about 1/4 inch thick slices, removing seeds as you go. Stack the slices and cut into the quarters. Transfer quartered orange slices,lemon zest and orange zest, lemon juice and water into a heavy bottom stainless steel pan. In a cheesecloth, take half of end parts with thick pith and make a pouch. Throw this in the mixture along with everything else.  Bring the mixture to boil and let it boil for 7-8 minutes stirring in between. Lower the heat to medium, add sugar and keep cooking until the mixture starts to thicken . It will take about 30-35 minutes. Stir every now and then to prevent burning.
           Meanwhile, place couple of spoons in the freezer to taste if the marmalade is ready. Dip 1 cold spoon in to the hot mixture, remove from mixture and let cool for half  a minute. Draw a line with your finger on the spoon. If the mixture sets up in 2 parts and you can see the line clearly, it is ready. If not keep cooking for few more minutes.
            Remove cheesecloth pouch and throw it away.Cool the marmalade down to room temperature. Pour marmalade into clean jars and seal with the lids. It will last for about a month in the refrigerator.