Kachchi Kairi ki Khaasiyat!

Ever had bhel puri with little pieces of raw mango in it? Try it. We did last week at the office – had a bhel wala come in and give us all freshly tossed bhel, salted and ‘chillied’ according to every individual’s taste. Enjoyed it and got inspired by raw mango, kachchi kairi, whatever you may want to call it.

Cool and chilled
Green mango has its many uses and it is a boon for those who cannot bear the heat. At home we have a tradition to have kairi panna in the fridge, ready and bottled, every day of the week. It’s cooling, it’s nutritious and it’s tasty! We add a generous pinch of green cardamom and some people prefer to add kesar too. You choose. So bhel and panna aside, green mango is lovely as a snack – cut up in thin slices and lightly salted. Yes, the pickle industry thrives on this mango and I do so look forward to the gunda kairi that my mother in law makes for us every year.

Think out of the box
You can think out of the box while green mango is in season. Add some chunks to the dal, add some grated bits to thepla dough, make a nice chutney with grated onion, or make an instant pachadi with jaggery or use green mango chhunda to stuff mutton kababs or toss with peanuts and mustard seeds to temper rice. Grind two tablespoons of grated raw mango with a tablespoon of roasted peanuts, three tablespoons scraped coconut, a few red chillies and turmeric powder to a coarse paste. Add this to rice tempered with mustard, cumin, curry leaves and asafoetida. I love to add some whole roasted peanuts and sprinkle some grated green mango and grated coconut. Serve it hot drizzled with a little bit of ghee. Uses leftover rice very smartly!

Pickle that is healthy
Those who are hesitant to make pickles simply because they think they might not get it right, let me encourage you to do this simple one. It is best kept under refrigeration in Mumbai. Let’s start with half kilo of raw mango, peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes. Keep 100 grams of salt in a bowl. Take ¼ inch asafoetida cube in a mortar and add 1 ½ tablespoons of red chilli powder and a little salt. Pound with pestle into a fine powder. Mix with the mango pieces and add about three more tablespoons of red chilli powder and the remaining salt. Mix really well and transfer into a sterilized jar. Keep in the fridge. If you like it, make some more batches.

Ingredient of importance
As an ingredient in main course dishes, green mango adds the perfect astringent note. Mutton, fish and chicken all take to green mango very well. Surmai likes sour things like tamarind and lemon juice and when green mango is in season add that too. Cooked with sweet coconut milk, this curry is simple and simply lovely with steamed rice.

Fish and Green Mango Curry

  • Marinate 8 thick slices of surmai in a mixture of 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and salt with half a teaspoon of turmeric powder for about fifteen minutes.
  • Heat two tablespoons of oil in a non stick pan and shallow fry till half done.  Drain and set aside.
  • Soak one cup of scraped coconut in one cup of warm water for three to four minutes. Grind and squeeze to extract milk.
  • Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in another non-stick pan. Add 1 medium chopped onion and sauté till soft. Add quarter teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 ½ teaspoons red chilli powder, two tablespoons of scraped coconut and salt and sauté for two to three minutes.  Add two cups of water and let the curry simmer for five minutes.
  • Add a little more oil to the oil in which the fish pieces were fried.  Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, 4 slit green chillies, 1 tablespoon coriander powder, 1 ½ teaspoons of   red chillli powder, 10-12 curry leaves, quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder, and slices of 2 raw mangoes and sauté.
  • Strain the onion curry into this tempering, pressing well to extract all the flavours.
  • Add the fried fish. Mix 1 ½ tablespoons of rice flour with quarter cup of water to make a smooth paste and add it to the curry. Cook, stirring continuously, till the curry thickens.
  • Add extracted coconut milk and stir. Add 2 tablespoons tamarind pulp and let the gravy come to a boil.
  • Switch off the heat and garnish with some chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with steamed rice.
  • While you await the season of ripe sweet juicy mangoes, make full use of the tangy green ones with these great recipes and also don’t forget to share your food experiences with us!

 

Kairi Poha – The zing from raw mango in a more or less usual poha will definitely pleasantly surprise your taste buds!
Kairi Poha
Aam ka Panna – it is supremely refreshing and very easy and plus it is my moms recipe – so this one is very difficult to go wrong
Aam ka Panna

 

Happy Eating.Happy Cooking!
Sanjeev Kapoor

Cooking for Mom

Tucked up whole day in office today with a series of meetings, restaurant updates and some telephonic interviews.

Yesterday we had some special demonstrations for Wonderchef during the first part of the day.Finished and went home as we had special guests over for high tea! About thirty of Mom’s senior citizen friends came over (well it was a planned evening) as they wanted to have a chit chat with me! We had quite an interactive session with a lot of recipe swapping. I had decided the menu before hand with close consultation of my mother and we served the popular favourites like kulche chole, bhel puri, sev puri, khandvi, dahi bhalle and phirni. I admit that Alyona’s khandvi turns out better than mine and the dahi bhalle (with stuffing ) that my mother makes I cannot copy! So all my cooking prowess was put to test making the other items. One lady was quite enthusiastic about different flavours of phirni and we had a long discussion about that. She came up with the contention that if ice creams can be available in so many flavours then why not Indian desserts! So her ideas are of orange phirni, chocolate kheer ( I have made chocolate phirni, fruit kheer, chocolate shrikhand), gulab jamuns in strawberry juice….This does get one down to thinking!

As some Til Poli is coming off the tawa in the kitchen, in readiness for a perfected recipe for you, time for me to go check it out at lunch!

Till I write again.

Sanjeev Kapoor

Healthy low fat recipes – many options

Most adults do end up consuming around a hundred grams of fat every day! Wow, that is a bit too much. No wonder then obesity has been declared as an epidemic. We need to adopt healthy low fat recipes in order to lose weight and keep the fat off. According to experts, we need to be consuming no more than sixty grams of fat daily and this has different schools of thought (more about this later).
There are several ways to cut the fat from our diets. The first step that we can take is to eliminate the following fats and oils completely: butter, palm oil, chicken fat, lard, vegetable shortening and cottonseed oil. All seven of these have incredibly high percentages of saturated fat, which is linked to higher cholesterol levels and a greater risk of heart disease.
To cut down fat in daily cooking, the first step is to get good in ‘no oil’ cooking. Once in a while indulging in butter on toast seems so worthwhile then! It need not be that all the meals through the week be made without oil. At least aim to have three to four meals out of the twenty one in a week, with no oil. It will take a while to become accustomed to eating without butter or oil, but once committed to eating a healthier, low-fat diet, it becomes much easier to cut certain things. No oil cooking is possible. Try recipes like Garlic Rasam, Tamatar ki Kadhi with brown rice.
The next step is to decrease the amount of obvious fats that you eat such as cheese, pastries, full fat dairy foods and meats. In the cases of many of these foods, there are low fat substitutes that are available. Many of us have spent years looking at food labels to determine the number of calories in them. Now, it’s time to start reading the amount of fat grams in a food.
We also need to look at how we prepare our foods. In order to maintain our low-fat nutrition plan, we need to eliminate cooking with butter and frying our foods. Using olive oil is a good substitute as it is low in saturated fat and high in the heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Use it sparingly, however. Looking now for healthy low fat recipes? Try Corn Bhel, Rice Panki for starters.