Diwali 2015 – Chaklis

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There are varieties of chakli recipes, but the one I am posting today is close to my heart as it is my Dad’s recipe. Papa’s family had a farsan business for a while before he moved on completely to office life. This recipe was the one they used at the kitchen there. I have replaced one key ingredient though – coconut oil with butter for a crunchier texture. I have enough coconut flavour in my regular food. Didn’t want to taste coconut in my chaklis too! Like in everything we Mangaloreans love, the base for this recipe is Rice flour. The one I had previously posted was what Maharashtrians call Bhajani Chaklis.

You will need the following to make around 50 chaklis

Ingredients:

Rice flour- 4 cups
Urad dal – 1 cup
Unsalted Butter – 3/4th cup
Sesame seeds – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 2 thsp
Asafoetida – 1 thsp
Salt – to taste
Oil – for deep frying

Method:

Start the prep by taking few sheets of parchment paper and cut into tiny squares to pipe the chaklis onto. You can pipe and fry in batches so don’t cut too many.

Dry roast the urad dal till a sweet aroma releases. Cool down and grind it in a coffee grinder to a fine powder. Now combine the rice and urad dal flour by sieving them together into a large mixing bowl.

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Add the salt, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and mix well.

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Now take the cold unsalted butter and rub it with the flour between your fingers to form a crumb texture.

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The crumb texture formed because of cold butter ensures you have a crunchy chakli to bite into.

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Now start adding water little by little and make a stiff dough. Let it rest for around ten minutes.

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Assemble the chakli-maker using the star tip. Take a little dough to stuff into the chakli maker. Re-knead it before stuffing it for a smooth piping experience.

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Start piping the dough into circular beauties by applying a little pressure to the handle.

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Secure the end with the previous ring so that it doesn’t disintegrate while frying.

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Now heat the oil on medium high. Drop in the chaklis one by one using the parchment paper for support. Fry till the golden brown.

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Cool down to room temperature and store away to enjoy on Diwali day with your family and friends 🙂

Diwali 2015 – Chivda

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Deep fry alert!
Chivda is a common tea-time snack and a Diwali platter must-have. It is only when you prepare this yourself, you realise how much oil you dunk into your system with every bowl of this yumminess. Every ingredient is deep fried. But then again Diwali is one time of the year where all the rules are broken. Or so they say.

In my family, I am the only one who is not into snacking. I love big meals. But snacks and me are not great friends. Whenever a little hungry my sister opts for farsans, but I would rather fix myself a sandwich. This homemade chivda is an exception though. I absolutely love the combination of its sweet and sour crunch. Just like Besan Laddoos our Diwali is incomplete without a huge dabba of Chivda ready to be shared with loved ones. Similar to the laddoo recipe, I have previously posted the Chivda recipe too. Back then I didn’t post the complete list of ingredients. So here is what you need to make a big batch.

Ingredients:

Thick Poha – 2.5 cups
Roasted Chana – 1/2 cup
Raw Peanuts – 1/2 cup
Chopped Cashew –  3 tbsp
Sultanas –  3 tbsp
Fresh Curry Leaves – 2-3 sprigs
Sun-Dried Coconut Slices (Kopra) – 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar – 1 cup
Red Chilli Powder 2 tsp
Haldi Powder – 1 tsp
Rock Salt – 2 – 3 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

Method:

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First prep and assemble all ingredients. This means your Poha, chana, peanuts, cashew, sultanas, curry leaves and dried coconut slices should be measured and ready at arms-length to deep-fry. It’s all very quick once the cooking process starts.

Mix all the powder ingredients together in a separate bowl. Keep extra masalas, sugar, rock salt and salt handy to adjust the taste.

Once the above steps are done, heat oil for deep frying. While the oil is heating up, spread out some tissues on the kitchen counter. It can get greasy and messy. Keep a big mixing bowl and a flat spatula handy as well.

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Now for the fun part. Take a large steel wire strainer/fryer. Take the poha in tiny batches and deep fry for under 10 seconds on high flame. We want to maintain its pale colour. Shake off the excess oil and put it in the large bowl. While still warm, add in a teaspoon of the masala-salt-sugar mix and gently mix it with the flat spatula. When the poha is warm it absorbs the flavours well.

Once the entire batch of Poha is fried and smothered with the masala mix, check for seasoning. Adjust the flavour to your taste. If you have done a large batch as well, its best to use fresh oil to fry the rest of the ingredients as by now the oil would have become murky. For small batches you need not change the oil

Using the same strainer fry off the peanuts, cashews and chana. Be very careful while deep frying the curry leaves as they splatter a lot. Also the sultanas as they puff up and sometimes burst open splattering hot oil as well. So be cautious.

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Finally, mix it all with gentle hands. Let the chivda cool down to room temperature before storing away in an air tight containers.

Enjoy 🙂

Diwali 2015 – Besan Laddoo

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Diwali prepping is one of those things that never seems to end. The biggest festival of the year for us Indians. After Dusshera, it has just been busy, busy, busy. Deep cleaning, organizing and giving away old stuff to charity. Today I finally started preparing the sweets. Last evening the electrican Bharat and I put up the twinkling lights up and the house looked so festive. There is something about Diwali. 🙂

Always start good things on a sweet note. I bought the ingredients required to make our family favourite – Besan Laddoo. Had posted a recipe for the same earlier, but this one’s even more delicious and a melt-in-the-mouth version of the same. I have skipped the semolina completely and replaced it with roasted almonds for the crunch. To make around 40 big laddoos you will need the following:

Ingredients

Besan – 1kg
Powdered Sugar (or Bhura) – 750 gms
Ghee – 500 gms
Cardamom powder – 3 tbsp
Slivered Almonds – 4 tbsp (optional)
Raisins for garnish

Method:

Heat around 3/4th portion of the ghee in a large heavy bottomed pan and let it melt. You can use the remaining ghee to moisten the mix later while forming the laddoo.

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Keep the flame on medium high and add in the pre-sieved besan and start folding it in gently.

Now roll up your sleeves and be ready to get some serious arm workout while roasting the besan, till a sweet nutty aroma fills the kitchen.

There are three stages to this roasting process. The first stage is the one where you will need a lotttttt of patience as you struggle to roast the dense, heavy gooeyness. You will know when you reach stage 2 as the mix suddenly starts feeling lighter on the spatula. It gets easier to keep going to stage 3 when the colour changes to golden brown and a little ghee starts leaving the edges of the pan.

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When the besan is almost ready, add in the slivered almonds and let them fry in the mixture making them deliciously crunchy. I have left the skin on. You can blanch and skin the almonds if you prefer.

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Now transfer the contents into a big mixing bowl and add the cardamom powder. Let the besan mixture cool down till its just warm enough to touch.

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Once it reaches to this stage, add in the powdered sugar and mix well. Use your hands for best results 🙂

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If you use ‘Bhura’ sugar it is even better. Gives it a yummier texture and taste.

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Anyway, once the sugar is well incorporated, you can start shaping the laddoos. A medium-sized ice cream scoop comes in handy to pick the right amount for similar-looking laddoos. Top each laddoo with a raisin for garnish. You can replace the raisins with pistachios. If your mix is dry add some of the remaining ghee. On the other hand, if you have added a little too much ghee in the beginning  it could make the laddoos collapse slightly into a peda-ish shape when you keep it down to set. The warmth of your hand is constantly melting the ghee while shaping. Fret not. Don’t over-shape. It will only make it less manageable. Form into rough roundels and let it set.  After 20-30 minutes of resting phase you can re-shape them into round laddoos. An indication of the right time is when the shine on the laddoos are replaced by dullness. Don’t let it set completely before re-shaping.

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And of course, make sure you have turned on your favourite music before sitting down to shape the ladoos. It will take a while to get the job done if you made a big batch like me. Sing along, be in a good mood and think of nice things. You will be distributing those ladoos to a whole lot of family members and friends. Let your positive vibes get into each ‘golden globe’ 🙂

Have a happy happy Diwali 🙂 🙂

Sajjige Rotti with a dash of my spiritual journey

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After a super hot and humid October, Mumbai breathed a sigh of relief this morning with a gush of cool breeze into our homes. Early mornings are my favourite time. Hot cup of chai, newspaper and the rising sun. No where in the world does sunrise feel so pure and healing. Guess I am biased 🙂  The reddish rays of the first 10-15  minutes encourage you to calm down and rejuvenate. For those who might not know, this year was a beautiful journey of self-discovery. From Vipassana meditation to other healing practices, I explored the world of meditation and yoga. Life has been challenging and I needed to dive deeper. I wish I had started dedicating so much time to it earlier. The contentment and joy is profound. Various meditation camps, various techniques and a number of Gurus or Masters later I have finally started understanding myself a bit better. The journey inwards is not tough to start at any age.

Anyway now to the recipe! This morning as my kitchen was getting these waves of relaxing breeze and filling up with gorgeous winter light, I prepared a few Mangalorean style instant pancakes that hit the spot.

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These pancakes are packed with aromatics and a little sweetness from bananas and coconut. If you love south Indian breakfasts, this is a must try.

Ingredients:
2 cups fine Semolina (Rava)
1 cup Whole Wheat flour
2 large Bananas chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped Onion
1/2 cup freshly grated Coconut
2 finely chopped Green Chillies
1 inch finely chopped Ginger
1/2 cup Yogurt
Chopped Curry leaves
Chopped Coriander
2 thps Sugar or Jaggery
Salt to taste
Ghee or Oil
Water

Method:
Mix all the ingredients except the oil and water. Once combined, start adding half a cup of water at a time making a thick batter. Thicker than American pancake batter.

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We love thick Sajjige Rottis at home. You can adjust the water to the consistency and thickness you prefer.  It is important to know semolina are like tiny sponges. They keep absorbing water as you leave the batter aside for longer. Keep checking the consistency.

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Pour a ladleful of batter on a medium hot skillet or frying pan. Add some oil or ghee to the sides. Ghee makes them super yummy.  Cover the pan.

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Let it brown slowly for around 3-4 minutes. Flip over and let the other side brown as well.  Serve hot. We generally eat these pancakes without any toppings or chutneys.

Enjoy!

Pan-fried Salmon and Garlicky Stir- fried Beans

I am on a healthy eating spree (again) which happens after piling on vacation weight. One of the meals I really enjoy in this very brief phase is a good chunk of protein and some veggies on the side. This post qualifies as a ‘throwback’ post because the recipe was tried first time in my Seattle home. I remember enjoying some red wine on the side.

My camera wasn’t charged properly today, so I am posting the Seattle photos in this post.

Salmon and Veggies for healthy eating weekdays

Leo trying to peep into my plate. His favorite fish is salmon.

Ingredients

For the fish

Salmon fillet (size it as per your preference)
Blob of Butter
1/2 lemon juice
Salt and Pepper

For the beans

1/2 kg of french beans (stringed and trimmed)
5 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 inch of ginger (minced)
1 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 tsp of any Stir-fry sauce (Optional)
2 tsp of Olive oil
Salt to taste

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Method:

Blanch the beans in boiling water for 5 minutes and drain off. Keep the crispness intact. Overcooking will make it limp. Heat oil in a wok. When hot, add the minced garlic and ginger. When your kitchen is filled with the sweet aroma of cooked garlic and ginger, throw in the beans and toss away. Add in the chilli flakes and sesame seeds. Once it is all well-coated add some salt and plate it. You can also add a little stir fry sauce or oyster sauce into it before plating. But I skipped it.

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Now for the fish. Rub some salt and cracked pepper to both sides of the fillet. Now add some butter (and a little oil to prevent the butter from burning) into a pan. Once hot, gently place the fillet skin-side down. Two super important reasons for searing fish skin-side down is to lock in the juices and make the skin nice and crispy. Around 4 mins later flip it over and cook it for another 3-4 mins depending of the thickness of the fillet. I like it a little pink in the center. You can cook it through if you prefer by keeping it on the pan for longer. Before taking it out pour in the lemon juice over the fillet.

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Now serve it with the beans. You can make this more elaborate with a salad or butter bread.

Enjoy!

Pineapple Fresh Cream Cake for New Year’s Eve

I had to put together a cake in an hour and a half  for a New Year’s Eve staff party. Luckily I had all the ingredients required.

There are three things you basically need to make the best pineapple cake ever [ apart from love that is 🙂 ] 1) Sponge 2) Cream topping 3) Canned Pineapple slices + syrup

For a super soft Sponge:

Eggs – 8
Sugar – 1.5 cups
Milk – 1/2 cup
Vanilla Essence – few drops
Flour – 2 cups
Baking Powder – 1 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp

Fresh Cream Topping
Fresh Cream – 3 cups
Icing Sugar – 1/4th cup
Whipped Cream Stabilizer or Gelatin (Optional)

For assembling
Canned Pineapple with its syrup (Fresh Pineapple wont work for this recipe)

Method:

First things first. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C. Grease your baking tin and dust it with flour. I used an 8 x 10 inch rectangle tin for this recipe. Put a bowl into the freezer or fridge in which you will whip fresh cream later. Everything for whipping cream has to be cold cold cold including the whisks of your electric beater.

Once the above prep has been done you can start by assembling all the ingredients for the sponge. Make sure these are all in room temperature. Separate egg whites and yolks into two separate clean and dry bowls. Add the milk and vanilla essence / extract to the yolks. Put in the sugar, little at a time and start whisking till the mixture becomes pale yellow.

Now to the dry ingredients. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt straight into the egg yolk mixture, combining them together into a thick batter.Now to the dry ingredients. Sieve the flour, baking powder and salt straight into the egg yolk mixture, combining them together into a thick batter.

Finally for the egg whites, take a clean and dry whisk.  Whisk away till stiff peaks are formed. I first finish this step and then wash the whisk and chill it in the freezer to whisk the cream later. It is always wiser to invest in an electric whisk for this job. Done in a jiffy. Else be ready for a solid arm workout.

Once they form stiff peaks, gently fold it into the yolk mixture. Cut and fold the egg whites with almost a feather like touch to maintain the aeration.

Pour the folded mixture into your greased and flour-dusted baking tin and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a cooling rack.

Now comes the fun part. Into the chilled bowl put in your cold heavy  whipping cream and whisk on medium and then high till soft peaks are formed. Add the icing sugar and stabilizer and whisk further till stiff peaks are formed. Keep the cream in the refrigerator till required. In India I had to take a lot of precautions to make this happen. Cold whisk, cold bowl, and  cheffie’s tip of an ice bath under the cream bowl made it all work. Don’t give up on it 🙂

Assembling the cake

Finally comes the Pineapple into the scene

Drain pineapple slices, while retaining the syrup in a bowl.
Cut the completely cooled cake horizontally into two or three layers.

Place the bottom layer onto the cake stand. Add several spoons of the syrup on the sponge. Top it with some of the whipped cream. Place a few pineapple slices. Now add the second layer of sponge. Repeat the steps.

After the last layer is done. Cover the entire cake with cream and pipe some of your creativity into it. 🙂 Arrange the last few pineapples. I didn’t have canned cherries. You can place a few cherries to add a pop of colour.

Refrigerate the cake immediately. In this case it sat in the restaurants’s fridge till it was midnight.

Enjoy your New Year’s Eve making a thousand wishes for 2015. Cheers to you all.

Fried Modak for Ganesh Chaturti / Chauti

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Ganapati or Ganesha is one of the most loved Hindu gods.  My childhood stories often involved him and his funny adventures. Stories passed down generations talk about his love for food. Chaturti or his birthday is therefore a celebration of food in all its glory. Sweets, savoury, cripsy, various kinds of culinary delights are prepared to please him and his ravenous appetite. Every state in India has their version of his favorite birthday food.  Being a Mumbaikar no Chaturti is complete for me without preparing the famous Modak. Modaks are sweet coconut and jaggery filled dumplings that can be steamed or fried. The steamed version is made with a cover of rice flour, while the fried one is made of whole wheat flour. Whichever version is made, the offering is generally given in odd numbers.

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I have made 21 this time. 11 large ones and 11 tiny ones for the tiny tot in the family, Daivik.

I struggled for the last 5 years with the rice flour version. It becomes yummy, but the shape was never quite right 😦 If you struggle with them too,  I would highly recommend you to try this version. So simple and pretty to look at.

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To begin, first prepare the dough, as it needs around 15-20 minutes of resting.  Knead 3 cups of flour, salt and warm water to a stiff dough. Once the dough is almost ready , add around 2 thsps of ghee and knead further to a shiny finish. Cover and leave it to rest.

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To prepare the filling freshly grate an entire coconut or use a cup and half of frozen coconut (thawed). In a saucepan roast around a tsp of poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Add around 1.5 cups of grated or chopped organic jaggery. I chose the darker colored jaggery. Once the jaggery melts, add the coconut and turn off the flame. Finish with a pinch of ground cardamom. Let this filling cool down a bit but not completely.

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To assemble, roll out little discs or puris. I used a cookie cutter for uniform modak sizes. Place the filling in the center. Pinch the ends of the puri like the pictures below and gather all the ends forming a dumpling.

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Deep fry the prepared dumplings in medium hot oil. Offer them to ganesha and enjoy with family after his puja. Happy Birthday Ganapti 🙂

 

Hummus

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Homemade Hummus in my cute mason jar

Very excited to write my first recipe post sitting in my room in Mumbai. This is one of my favourite dips. It also doubles up as a healthy spread on whole wheat toast with some sliced cucumbers. I generally prefer more garlic and red chilli in mine.

To start preparing it, either take one can of chickpeas or if you are in India like myself and cannot find them easily soak and pressure cook the regular chickpeas with a little salt.

Hummus-1One of the main ingredients in making Hummus is the Tahini which can be easily made at home. Tahini is nothing but a ground paste of sesame seeds and olive oil.

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Toast around a tablespoon of sesame seeds on a wide pan till it leaves a nutty aroma. Put it in a coffee grinder.

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To this drizzle some good quality olive oil. The can pictured above is by far the best olive oil have tasted ever. It was a gift from my dearest Rishita & Kintan. I’ve snacked on it (yes the oil) mixed with a dash of balsamic vinegar with fresh baguette from Theobroma on lazy Sundays.

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Once the Tahini paste is ready, add it to the 1 cup of boiled chickpeas. Pop in 3 cloves of garlic for a strong garlicky flavour or just one clove for a milder version. Now add 2 tsps of red chilli powder and juice of half a lime.

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Blend it all with a little water and 2 tablespoons of olive oil till it is nice and smooth. Serve fresh. Add a dash of olive oil and sprinkle some more chilli powder while serving.

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I love making extra to store in my mason jars shipped all the way from Seattle. They are precious precious little jars and when stored in the refrigerator, it lasts easily for a week.

Merry Berry Cobbler

A new friend we met via Leo (Yes dogs can be a reason to make new friends) from one of his  off-leash parks date was visiting me over the weekend for coffee. I wanted to bake something simple with three things in my mind.

  • Bake under one hour
  • Cool off just enough so that it is still warm and gooey
  • Eggless as my friend doesn’t consume eggs.

Food Network is basically food porn for me. I generally don’t note any recipes. Just look at all saliva-inducing food and wish I was eating that instead of a bowl of leftover dinner. But there are times when a recipe hits the spot and you remember every single ingredient, such as this cobbler recipe. This easy version of a fruit cobbler was something I have been meaning to try for a while. So this was the perfect occasion.

As the rules with baking go measurements are the most important aspect. Just remember equal portions of everything. Since it was just for the two of us, I used 1/2 a cup of all ingredients. I started off melting 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, in a mixing bowl, then put in 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of self-raising flour and 1/2 cup of milk. Whisked it well and poured it into a greased baking tray.

I then topped it with the frozen berries we had in the freezer. Before topping them, I rinsed and patted the berries dry. After that, I sprinkled on some more granulated sugar before putting it into a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees F for 40 minutes.

Bake for longer if you are using more than 1/2 cup measurements. And sprinkle more sugar if you want a nice top crust. Don’t overcrowd the berries.

This is a perfect sweet fix to chat over coffee. A dollop of whipped cream would have added more yumminess but also the calories which we both didn’t need. It is one of those easy breezy recipes that can go in the oven while you quickly hide the scattered books, tea cups from last night and random wires before your friend pops over.

Easy Canapés

Had spotted cute little toasties in Fred Meyer last weekend. They are bite-sized (with almost the Indian rusk kind of texture) that can be topped with almost anything you have in your kitchen and still look fancy. The other one I picked up was a loaf of mini Pumpernickel bread which is a slightly sweeter version of Rye bread.
Here is what the Curried Chickpeas on Mini White Toasts looked like and if you scroll down you shall spot the Cream Cheese with Chives on Mini Pumpernickel bread. Looks nice?

For curried chickpeas on toast, take one can or a cup of cooked chickpeas and crush it roughly with a masher or a spoon. Add 1/4 cup of plain yogurt, a little olive oil, cumin powder, coriander powder, curry powder, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and add finely chopped coriander. Combine the mixture and set aside till your guests are about to arrive.

Spoon in tiny portions of this into the toasts and add a disc of any salady vegetable to give a fresh bite. I used slices of a mini radish. You can use celery or cucumbers instead. A tiny coriander leaf completes the look.

For the cream cheese and chives version, mix light cream cheese with freshly chopped chives. Spread it on the slices. Add a slice of cucumber and place some chives on top.

 

If there were enough seafood lovers in the party, I would have loved to add some smoked salmon on top of the cucumber. Also, if you dont find fresh chives you can replace it with equally complementing fresh dill.
The good part about both these party snacks are they are easy on your waist and are fairly budget-friendly. So go on and try these for your next party.
The cucumber and chive add a zing to the cream cheese base
Make sure you line them up properly unlike me!!
Ignore the messy arrangement. I should have lined them properly!

Mini Bourbon Cookie Parfait

A bunch of us girls meet once in a month to catch-up on a much needed girlie time. We started this in November 2011 and have had loads of fun till now. This month it was my turn to host. Since it was Ekta’s birthday week, I wanted something dessertie but not a traditional cake. So I made mini parfaits with chocolate mousse, whipped cream and a favorite cookie amongst us Indians – the Bourbon Biscuit!

I am sure I can be neater at layering than this. Someday. Someday

I put around six of these cream biscuit/cookies into a coffee grinder to form a granular powder. You can replace these with Graham crackers or Oreos. For the cream between the parfait layers I used a store-bought spray can version.

Our Indian fix from Seattle’s Apna Bazar includes a pack of these cookies!

For the mousse I followed Nigella Lawson’s (yes yes i do love her) heavenly eggless Instant Chocolate Mousse recipe as one of my girlfriends is a vegetarian.You can also replace it by any favorite mousse or pudding recipe.

To layer the shot glasses, first pipe in some mousse, then add in the cookie powder, whipped cream and finish it off with some more mousse. Sprinkle on the cookie powder and bling it up for celebration with some string. Refrigerate the glasses for at least 2 hours before serving.

Happy birthday to our dearest Ekta. I am glad to have girlfriends like you 🙂

Do you like these glasses?

Homemade Strawberry-Rhubarb jam

Homemade Strawberry-Rhubarb jam

Homemade Strawberry-Rhubarb jam

Last weekend I organized a baby shower for my dear friend in Seattle, Tina. When Tina broke the news about their baby and shared her first trimester ultrasound picture, I knew I have to throw her the best shower.

Tina has always reminded me of my sister Akki. They are so similar in nature. Very very caring, nurturing, looking out for you and at the same time super-intelligent and practical. I missed out on putting together a shower for my sister being so far away. So doing this for Tina, was almost like arranging one for Akki.

As return favors, I wanted to put together a DIY project. Canning procedures have always fascinated me. I would sit for hours in my grandma’s kitchen during our school holidays and watch her painstakingly canning spicy mango pickles in the hot summers of Mangalore. Amma would store some in large barnis for the home and the rest in sterilized jars for us and my cousins to take back home. We would eat these amazing pickles – Moodi Uppad (whole raw baby mangoes in a spicy mix) and Kochhidina Uppad (finely chopped raw mango in the yummiest spice mix) with watery Ganji (Rice served with the water it is cooked in) in the monsoon season where our staple fish diet would be affected by the lack of fishing activities.

Although making jams and pickles are often considered as a ‘Grandma’ activity for its lengthy procedures and patience required, I often enjoy them when I have some ‘me time’ on Saturdays. It is very relaxing. So the Saturday before the shower, I turned on some music, put all the ingredients together and made this jam.

Strawberries were the primary ingredient as they were the safest bet for a first time experiment. To make it a little more special, I added two cups of chopped Rhubarb as well.

To make a dozen of 1/2 pint jars of jam, I took around 6 cups of chopped fruit. 2 cups of rhubarb and 4 cups of strawberry. You must measure the fruits as you need equal amounts of sugar. So 6 cups of sugar in my case. In a pot, put the chopped fruit and half the sugar. No water is required.

The fruit breaks down in the pot and releases enough water of its own. Keep stirring it occasionally and let it come to rolling boil and let it boil for 5 minutes. Remove the white scum that forms on top. This is very crucial or else you might get white streaks in your jam. It is very simple to do it. Just scoop it out with a clean ladle.

After 5 minutes of the rolling boil and scum removal,  add around 2 thsps of freshly squeezed lemon juice and the rest of the sugar. Many add an ingredient called Pectin at this stage. But I wanted  this batch chemical free. Just pure jam. The lemon juice helps the jam set well, so you don’t really need the Pectin. Now let it come to a rolling boil again. Once it is on the roll ;), let it boil for 10 more minutes on the timer. Turn off the stove. Remove the remaining scum. The jam is ready.

Let it cool in the pot for ten minutes before pouring it in sterilized jars.

Sterilizing the jars:
This step is very important to store the jam for upto a year. You need to sterilize every single jar and tools including the ladle to pour in the jam for 10 minutes in hot water. An easier option is put them in the dishwasher and let the heated dry procedure do the magic. Canning jars are easily available online. I ordered mine from Amazon of course 😉