Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ambyacha Cake (Mango Cake/Burfi) - Eggless

A perfect blend of Rava Cake and Chitale's Amba Burfi!

This recipe is easy and effortless. I found this gem while I was hunting for some quick mango recipes. I was in the mood to try a dish I had never tried before. This cute looking cake was immediately bookmarked by me mainly because it felt a little too simple to be true. End result - Absolutely Fantastic!
Only thing you need to remember is not to bake this cake till it browns. That would ruin the sunny yellow looks of this cake. You can also cut this cake into diamond shapes or squares and serve it as a burfi on special occasions.

Now to the recipe..

Serves: 4 to 6 people
Level: Easy
Source: RedChillies

1 cup semolina (fine variety)
1 cup mango pulp (I used sweetened canned Alphonso mango pulp)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cardamom powder


Step 1 - Preheat oven to 375 deg. F.

Step 2 - In a large bowl mix all ingredients with a wooden spoon or spatula till they are well combined. No need to over mix.

Step 3 - Pour the batter into a greased baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 mins till a toothpick entered into the center of the cake, does not have any raw batter stuck to it. Keep an eye on the cake after 20 mins as you do not want it to brown on top.

Serve warm or at room temperature.
You can store this cake in the refrigerator for a week. Whenever you are ready to indulge, just microwave it for 30 seconds and it will be warm and soft again.


Rack Your Brains!
Alphonso mango is considered one of the best in terms of sweetness, richness and flavor. It is one of the most expensive kinds of mango and is grown mainly in the Konkan region of Western India.
The Alphonso Mango is named after Afonso de Albuquerque. This was an exquisite and expensive variety of mango, that he used to bring on his journeys to Goa. The locals took to calling it Aphoos in Konkani and in Maharashtra the pronunciation got further transformed to Hapoos. This variety then was taken to the Konkan region of Maharashtra, South Gujarat and other parts of India.
Read more here!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Kairiche Lonche (Raw Mango Pickle)

Mangoes Everywhere! My favorite time of the year!
Being a fruit lover, I do enjoy the occassional Mexican or  South American mangoes we get around here. But  nothing can ever replace my love for 'Hapus Amba'  (Alphonso Mango). 
Come summer, my pantry is stocked with Alphonso mango pulps from the Indian grocery stores. Then we have a stream of Mango lassi, Mango milkshakes, Morambas (mango relish), Amras-Puri...the list does go on...
But to enjoy mangoes like we did in India, we treat ourselves with mangolicious recipes only in the summer. This way, we always look forward to summer and mangoes..Weird arn't we? :)

So to kick off this Mango-Mania of mine, I cannot think of anything better than 'Kairiche Lonche' or Raw Mango Pickle.
Eating fresh pickle totally rocks! No store-brand can ever get close to freshly made pickle. Maybe it's the love (read lack of preservatives) that we add in it!
But whenever I make pickles at home, the quantity is very little. I make pickles that can last us for just about a week. This way, we are excited about it, the freshness is intact and I don't have to bother with ways of preserving it for a longer duration which in turn would result in excess salt and oil usage. Low sodium and lesser grease can never be a bad thing!

Now let us get making some fresh homemade 'Kairiche Lonche'.

Level: Easy
Serves: 1.25 cups pickle

1 large raw mango
2 tblsp oil
3/4 tsp salt
1.5 tblsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
3/4 tblsp mustard seeds powder
2 - 3 curry leaves, chopped
1/8 tsp asafoetida + 1 pinch asafoetida
10 fenugreek seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds

Step 1 - Wash and scrub the raw mango well. Wipe dry with a kitchen towel. Let it dry for an hour. Chop the mango into tiny pieces. Place it in a bowl. Keep aside.

Step 2 - Add the salt, red chilly powder, asafoetida (1/8 tsp) and mustard powder. Mix well. Every piece of the raw mango should be well coated. Be gentle here. Leave aside for 20 mins. This process softens the mango pieces as the mango releases some water due to the addition of salt.

Step 3 - In the mean time, take a small pan. Dry roast the fenugreek seeds till they slightly change color. Crush them into a rough powder either in your blender or like I did in my mortal and pestal.

Step 4 - In the same pan, heat the 2 tblsp oil. Once you are sure it is hot (not smoking), add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida. Quickly add in the turmeric powder. Let it heat for 2 - 3 seconds. Pour this into a small heat proof bowl. Let this cool down for 10 - 15 mins.

Step 5 - By now, the 20 mins of standing time for the spiced raw mangoes will be done. They will be nice and soft. Carefully pick out some tiny bits, look around and pop it in your mouth when noone is watching. Add the fenugreek seeds powder from Step 3 and the cooled flavored oil from Step 4. Mix well. Taste it and adjust salt and red chilly powder if you would enjoy some more.

Store in a clean container. This pickle can be enjoyed for 2 weeks, but I don't think it will last for more than one. It is sooo finger-lickin good!

Do not pour hot oil from Step 4 onto the marinated raw mangoes. This might slightly cook them and that would change the flavor of our pickle.

In your Indian grocery stores, you get mustard seeds crushed coarsely or finely. Any variety would do for this pickle.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Daalichi Amti (Malwan Style)

The smell of this 'Daalichi Amti' gets me instantly home sick!
Aai used to make this a lot of times to go with fried fish. Best combination EVER!
And then all of a sudden, new recipes came in the picture. 'Daalichi Amti' took a back seat and everyone forgot about it.
Then a few days back I got a request from my friend to help her with some Daal recipes! My mind started travelling back in time, as I wanted her to experience the traditional daal recipes, rather than try some of my not-so-awesome experiments. So I called my mom and we were discussing which maharashtrian daals would be blog worthy! Yea, I just said that..
We picked a few traditional ones, Ambat Varan (tangy daal) Kudal-deshkar style, Brahmin style and CKP style. Then we jotted down, some quick moong daal recipes and then she said, I should start with Malwani Daal! I was confused. What was she talking about? She told me the recipe and me not being a seasoned cook, had no recollection of the flavors she was talking about. She gave me many instances of having tried it as a child with fried fish and my mind was completely blank. Finally I took the recipe and decided to try it and post it on my blog if I enjoy it as much as she claimed I would. It was when I was half way through, the aroma in the kitchen made me nostalgic! It got back every memory and instance of enjoying this daal and I called Aai immediately and told her that I finally understood why she was so excited about this!

So here is the 'Malwani Daalichi Amti' recipe that has been passed on through generations in my family.
Hope you enjoy it!

Level: Easy
Serves: 4 to 6 people

1 cup toor daal
5 - 6 drumsticks
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric
2 pinches asafoetida
4 - 5 kokum
2 - 3 green chillies
8 - 10 fresh curry leaves
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
3/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 marble size piece of jaggery
Coriander to decorate
Salt to taste

To be ground:
2 tblsp fresh coconut
3 tblsp chopped onions
8 - 10 black peppercorns

Step 1 - Pressure cook the toor daal, turmeric powder, asafoetida, onions, 1/2 tsp salt and drumsticks for 2 whistles or till the daal is cooked well.

Step 2 - Grind the fresh coconut, onions and black peppercorns to a fine paste. Try to grind it without water, but if you do not have a high quality grinder, which I don't, you might have to add in a little water to make the ingredients move.

Step 3 - Take a large pot. Add the pressure cooked daal and the ground mixture. Add some water to make this mixture a little liquidy. Bring it to a boil on medium heat.

Step 4 - Once the daal begins to boil, add in the kokum and jaggery. Adjust salt and water to your desired consistency and let the daal boil for a good 8 - 10 mins on medium-low heat.

Step 5 - Take a small pan. Heat 1 tblsp oil. Add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the cumin seeds. Stir till they slightly change color. Add the curry leaves and asafoetida. Saute for a few seconds. Pour this into your boiling daal. Decorate with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with some steamed rice and fried fish!
If you know me, don't forget to invite me when you try this recipe at home!

Drumsticks give this daal the typical Malwani flavor. If you skip adding this, you will end up with a tasty daal, but not with Malwani Daalichi Amti.

Fresh drumsticks are ideal, but I have made this daal with frozen drumsticks too, when I could not find any fresh drumsticks around. Slight difference in flavor, but it works.

"Malwani cuisine" is the standard cuisine of the Konkan region of Maharashtra and Goa and some northern parts of West Karnataka. Altough Malwani cuisine is predominantly non-vegetarian, there are many vegetarian delicacies. Altought it is an independant cuisine, it overlaps Maharashtra cuisine and Goan cuisine.
Malwan is a town in the Sindhudurg district on the west coast of India.
Malwan being a coastal area in Konkan, has it's own distinct way of cooking food. It uses coconut liberally in various forms such as grated, dry grated, fried, coconut paste and coconut milk.
To know some more, head here.