Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ambe Upkari...spicy-sweet mango gravy.

This delicious sweet,spicy gravy is a delicious traditional konkani dish.
'Mangoe' so synonymous with India, is truly an abundantly available summer/monsoon fruit in most south asian countries.
This Ambe Upkari (Mango Curry/gravy) was made so often (yet not often enough)by my mother.
Although like everything else in life one learns to truly appretiate when far away and nostalgic.
I have made this a few times myself and recently I made this on the Konkani/lunar New year, Sansaar Padvo'.

Traditionally locally available small mangoes, which have a lot of pulp and big seed (so cannot be sliced) are used for this recipe.

But I have learnt (necessity is the mother of invention) that any good ripe mango does the trick.

Heres what went into making it:
5 large ripe mangoes
3 green chillies-slit.
1 tspn mustard seeds
1 tspn urad dal
1 tbspn oil
1 dry red chili-chopped.
1 sprig curry leaf
1  tbspn jaggery
Salt to taste

How it was made:
In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter add the urad dal and curry leaves. To this add the red chili.
Peel the mangoes. If you feel you have peeled too thick scrape the extra pulp off the peel. Then try and slice some of the pulp off the mango too.Add this pulp and seed mixture to the vessel.Add the green chillies, Jaggery and salt. Bring to boil and then cook on low till done.

You have a spicy, sweet savory dish ready. This usually goes as side with rice and spicy curries. But lol whom am I kidding? I have always also had it as dessert too!

Jaggery can be substituted with sugar or skipped altogether.This depends on individual taste and how sweet the magoes are.Usually the small mangoes used have a slight sour tang to them so the jaggery.
Also to make it easy to eat at a table with silver ware you can skip adding the seed to the gravy. Just try and slice off all the pulp and throw the seed.
Alternatively I have also once just sliced the mangoes with the peel into bite size peices and thrown the seed!
A lot depends on the type of mango and what suits you.
But like any konkani worth his ambe upkari will tell you, it only but tastes right, when eaten by hand with the seed...messily.

However you do yours.....
Bon Appetite.

You can also read my non-culinary ramblings here at Musings.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

We got this fresh yummy looking batch of poblano peppers from the farmers market and I knew I wanted to eat them stuffed.
A few googlings garnered me these tid bits of wisdom.
 1.These peppers are a little spicier than thier country cousins the Capsicums/bell peppers.
2.While most all recipes seemed to use black beans, kernels of corn or rice the stuffing could actually be anything to suit ones taste!

1 immediately made this our kind of pepper.
2 made it my kind of cooking!

Vola! all said and done...

Heres what went into making ours:
5 poblano peppers
1 large tomato
1/2 cup Lima beans
1 small red onion
1 clove of garlic
1 small jalapeño pepper
Chopped cilantro
1 tbspn lemon juice
Salt to taste
Shredded cheese

How we made it:
Slit the peppers lengthwise into half, keeping the stems intact.Scoop out seeds and ribs.
Line and grease a baking tray and lay the peppers on them.
In a food processor, add the tomato, onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro and Lima beans. Purée into a chunky salsa like consistency. Add lemon juice and salt.
Fill the poblano with this salsa. Top with the shredded cheese.
Preheat oven to 425F.Bake in oven for 40mins until cheese melts and crusts.
Serve hot.

We had it with stir fried Lima beans. (Recipe will follow in a future post.)
You can add other spices like cayenne, black pepper, cumin etc. to the filling.
Lima beans were used as these were handy.You can add the beans whole without purée if it suits you.
Also in some recipes cooked rice was added to the filling. In which case the stuffed poblanos can be served as an entrée! Black beans, corn, rice, shredded meat....the choices are endless!

So any which way you stuff them, I see these poblanos making many a happy appearances at our dinner table. Tell me your story!

Until next time.....
Bon Appetite.

You can also read my non-culinary ramblings here at Musings.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Extra moist, Jumbo, spicy ginger cookies.

Its spring break...and the girls are getting stir crazy.Already! The promised beach getaway is still a couple days away!
Sidewalk chalk art, sprinkler fun....

Then we decided to bake some cookies in the noon.
The girls love helping to bake and I wanted to try this new recipe for some time.


Heres what went into it:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted room temperature
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup for coating
6 tablespoons maple syrup
1 large egg

How we did it:

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, allspice, and pepper.
With an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in maple syrup and egg.With mixer on low, gradually beat in flour mixture until just combined. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and freeze for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough into 12 equal balls. Roll the balls in the 1/3 cup white sugar and place on sheets about 4" apart. Flatten slightly into about 3" circles and sprinkle the remaining sugar on top.

Bake for 12-14mins rotating sheets half way inbetween.
Let cool completely on a wire rack!


PS: The original recipe had asked for molasses but I substituted with maple syrup in the same quantity as I had it handy.
Also you can reduce the amount of ginger and spice to suit your taste. Mine were extra spicy just as we wanted them to be!

From my kitchen to yours...

Bon Apetite.

You can also read my non-culinary ramblings here at Musings.