Saturday, April 27, 2013

Jack (Fruit) Of All Trades

Tender Jackfruit

As a child, whenever my Mother cooked vegetables like jack fruit, pumpkin, ladies finger, greens and what not, we turned our noses up and surreptitiously dumped our portions in the dustbin. Last week my brother bought some tender jack fruits and requested my Mum to cook it.    I was aghast!  Memories of my childhood bete noire surfaced and I wrinkled my nose in disgust.  I liked the pickle but the vegetable was a different matter.  To cut a long story short, I liked it and am sharing the recipe today.

The Recipe:

1 small tender jack fruit, cleaned and chopped (this is an art; rub oil all over your fingers before you even attempt to cut it); 1/4 coconut, grated; 1 tsp mustard; 1 large onion, sliced fine; 3 dried red chillies broken; 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds) powder; a few sprigs curry leaves; salt to taste a pinch of haldi (turmeric); a pinch of mustard and 2 tbsp oil for stir frying.

Grind the coconut and mustard together.  Keep aside till required.  Heat the oil in a non stick pan and add the mustard seeds.  When they crackle add the curry leaves and broken red chillies.  Stir fry a minute.  Now add the sliced onions, lower flame and cook till golden brown.  Add the ground coconut and fry for a few minutes till a delectable aroma arises.  Lastly add the turmeric, jeera powder and the tender jack, stir fry a minute, lower flame and cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Add water if required.  Serve hot with rice or chappathis.

Odds And Ends

Mixed Pasta                                                                

While cleaning the kitchen I came across some odds and ends of different kinds of  pasta and decided to use it up and make a medley of sorts.  It turned out to be an extraordinary lunch and we had fun naming the pasta as we ate. It's a great way to use up those odds and ends.

The Recipe:

2 cups mixed pasta, cooked – follow instructions on the bag; ½ cup grated cheese; 1 cup shredded, cooked chicken, 1 cup beans, carrots and cabbage, cut large and boiled; salt & pepper to taste; ½ tsp mixed Italian herbs; 3 tbsp olive oil.

Mix all the ingredients and place in serving bowl.

For sauce:  1 cup milk; 1 cup chicken stock; 1 small onion chopped; 2 tbsp wheat flour; salt and pepper to taste; 2 tbsp olive oil;  1 egg.
Heat oil in a non stick pan.  Turn to medium and add the chopped onions.  Fry until glazed and turning transparent.  Add the flour and stir till crisp for a minute.  Lower flame and pour in the stock and milk, stirring all the while to avoid lumps.  Add the egg and keep stirring till thick and sauce consistency is reached.  Adjust seasoning.  Pour over the mixed pasta.  Serve hot or cold.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

De Light Full

Pumpkin Soup

Summer in Bangalore is here in all it’s glory and the fruits galore everywhere are a proof of that.  It’s a lovely feeling to eat light meals and enjoy the fruits and vegetables of the season.  Light meals are in and they keep you full and on the go.  De Light Full in short.

The Recipe:

¼ kg orange pumpkin,  washed, skinned  and cut into chunks; 1 large onion, skinned and quartered;  3 large garlic flakes; ½ inch piece of ginger;  4 cups chicken stock or two soup cubes;  coriander for garnishing; salt and pepper to taste ; 1 small onion minced and fried in 1tsp oil for seasoning; a dash of milk per cup.

Pressure  cook the pumpkin, onion, garlic and ginger for 10 minutes in 1 cup water.  Cool and puree.  Transfer to a large sauce pan and add the stock, beating well with a whisk till smooth.  Boil till thick and creamy,  adjust  seasoning and serve hot with rusks or garlic bread  in individual bowls with a dash of milk and garnished with coriander leaves.