Sunday, February 20, 2011

Saffron Plum Compote

It's finally time that the winter should be over, that the new green on the trees can be seen again and the chirping of the birds starts again, and that a few rays of golden sunshine light up this part of the world again...Well we did have a small preview of spring a couple of weeks ago, but the last few days have again been cold and dark and dreary, wet and grey.



Well, to somewhat light up the atmosphere, I decided to combine my favourite spice with one of my favourite fruit. Last week I went to the Vitualienmarkt - Munich's historical marketplace, where one can find all possible varieties of exotic fruit and vegetables, all times of the year. My basket did have some luscious plums on the way back, which I could not resist biting into until I was back home. But the few that did make it back home, went into this delightful compote. The best part about the compote is, you can serve it warm or cold, you can keep it for a few days (well, that is, if you can resist the temptation to clean it off at first chance!), and it goes well with almost any dessert - or is absolutely yummy on its own, licked by the spoonful ;-)

Along with the compote, I made some Crumpets (recipe up next on your favourite food blog, so stay tuned!).

Ingredients

3 - plums, pitted and chopped
1 tbsp - crystallised ginger, finely chopped
2 1/2 tbsp - honey (more or less according to your taste and how sweet the plums are)
1/4 tsp - cinnamon powder
10 - 12 strands of saffron

Method


  1. Place the plums, crystallised ginger and honey in a pan and cook on a low heat, stirring occasionaly until the plums are slightly soft. 
  2. Add the cinnamon powder and saffron and cook for a minute. 
  3. Remove from the heat and serve hot or cold with a dessert of your choice.


Enjoy!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Remembering Maa with her favourite Fenugreek Raisin Apple Curry and Okra Curry

It's been 2 years today since she left us and I still can't believe it. Maa, my grandma in law, to whom I was really really close. Unfortunately, both my hubby and I were the only one who couldn't meet her when she was taking her last breaths and we miss her dearly.

For 8 years, on every India visit, for those few days, I always spent a lot of time with her in the kitchen - that was the place where we not only cooked together, but also shared and talked about a lot of things. That obviously included food and she taught me a lot of traditional recipes.





She was a great cook and it's hard to replicate the dishes she made. Even her simple and easy to make dishes don't taste the same when we make them. One example is this bhindi ki sabji (okra curry), which is our as well as was her favourite vegetable, one which she would always make multiple times when we were visiting. 

Another thing she loved was cooking veggies with a sweet touch - or even fruits in curries! And my hubby (and to some extent me) have picked up this taste as well. 


Since I am dedicating this post to her, I have taken the liberty to use loads of oil compared to my usual standards - which was the way she cooked. In fact she actually used to almost deep fry the okra, then squueze out the extra oil and then tell me, "dekho, saara tel nikal gaya, ab isme jyada tel nahi hai" translated into english, "look, I have squeezed out the extra oil from the okra and now it's not that oily"... and I would just smile. And, believe me when I say that her okra curry was simply yummy and the best I've had.

This platter has all her favourite dishes and am sure, this would have made her really happy. 

Fenugreek Raisin Apple curry


Ingredients

2 tbsp - raisins, soaked overnight
1 - dried red whole chill, soaked overnight
1 tbsp - fenugreek seeds (methi), 
1 - apple, peeled and chopped into small pieces
3 tbsp - sunflower oil
1/8 tsp - fennel seeds and nigella seeds 
a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)
1/8 tsp - turmeric powder + a pinch
1/4 tsp - coriander powder
1/4 tsp - dried mango powder (amchur)
salt to taste
red chilli powder (optional)
2 tsp - sugar

Method
  1. Soak the fenugreek seeds overnight in some boiling water with a pinch of turmeric powder and a pinch of salt. Cover the lid.
  2. Remove the water from the soaked fenugreek seeds, chilli and raisins the next day. Cut the chilli into small pieces.
  3. Heat up the oil in a non stick pan and add the fennel, nigella seeds and hing. Add the apple, fenugreek seeds and raisins. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the spices and mix lightly and cook for another couple of minutes or until the apples are slightly soft.
  5. Add the sugar and mix. Cook for a half a minute and remove from the heat.
  6. Serve hot.

Okra curry (bhindi ki sabji)


Ingredients

500 grams - okra, cut into small pieces
6 - 7 tbsp - sunflower oil
1/4 tsp - turmeric powder
1 tsp - red chilli powder
2 tsp - coriander powder
1 tbsp - raw mango, grated
1 tbsp - coconut, grated (i used dessicated coconut but fresh tastes better)
salt to taste
corainder leaves to garnish

Method
  1. Heat the oil in a non stick pan and add the okra. Cook on a medium heat until the okra gets a little darker / brownish in colour. 
  2. Remove from the heat and add the spices, grated raw mango and coconut. Mix well.
  3. Place the pan back on the heat and cook again for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Missing you Maa...wish you were here with us.

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