Friday, June 23, 2017

Mango Lassi

In India mango trees are common in most houses in villages. The mango leaf are used to decorate the house entrances to bring in good fortune. (Hope this brings 'green card' soon...right ! Good fortune for an NRI is quickly getting GC ...ha ha) . Unripe mango in curries and sambar is inevitable.
In my appa house we had a hybrid Neelam tree, which could bear fruit quickly. Since childhood,  I always wanted to grow a perennial mango tree like kilimooku (thothapuri) , real Neelam and a  pacharisi mango (பச்சரிசி மாங்காய்) variety but appa amma liked this quick tree and it was a gorgeous tree too.
Mango in USA is a luxury, which we got in this recent decade only :)
During the mango season, these fruits become the staple dessert in Indian's diet. In my view, the mango pulp that comes in tin is more suitable and easy for a quick lassi. By this way we can buy the required variety of mango pulp (like Kesar mango, alphonsa etc).
But anyways, preparing in the traditional way is good too. The mangoes suitable for lassi preparation are (my opinion only) Kesar, Alphonsa, Banganapalli, Mulgoa, Neelam (any mango without much fiber and more sweetness) . There are many good varieties along with the above in India . Here is an interesting pdf link to a wide variety of mangoes.

I prepare mango lassi using canned mango pulp only. Mango tins come in discounted price during season. In cold countries, the mango pulp can be stored easily in refrigerator after opening the can. Always transfer the mango pulp to glass bottles before keeping in fridge. Here comes the mango lassi recipe !

Mango lassi

Carry this mango lassi in disposable bottles for a picnic...

Mango pulp in tin

Mango pulp - 1 cup (or) 2 medium size ripe mangoes.
Indian yogurt - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup (to taste)
water - 1 1/2 cup
cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp

In a mixing bowl, whisk the whole milk yogurt and sugar using a whisk or in blender. Whisk it as finely as possible.  Add milk and whisk till frothy.
Add mango pulp (puree the mango), cardamom powder, required water.
Mix well.
Store in fridge upto 24 hours before serving or serve along with crushed little crushed ice as soon as prepared.
Mango lassi is ready !

Serving suggestion:
It can be served just like lemonade or any juice.
Adding water and ice should be limited, as this juice should be more thicker.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Iftar dinner 2

Last week we hosted an Iftar dinner for our friend Sunish and family. I prepared a simple dinner with ulunthu vadai as starter. Chicken biriyani, egg curry , chicken 65 and fish fry were for main course and carrot halwa, homemade kulfi icecream for dessert. I thoroughly enjoyed shopping and cooking for this day. While myself and Shaila were chatting and finishing up the frying processes and organizing the dinner, the men and the kids watched Jungle book and Trolls. It was a beautiful evening filled with laughter and happiness. I took a few 'food picture's only, as I always start enjoying the moments and miss the photo session part :) . Anyways here is some snaps from our Ifar dinner party.  Have a glance and enjoy :)

Starters - Ulunthu vadai, coconut chutney, green chutney, dates, watermelon, banana,  chikkis, mango lassi, coconut water

Iftar dinner - chicken biriyani, egg curry, chicken 65, kingfish fry, raitha

Dhum biriyani

Chicken dhum biriyani

Mango lassi
Preparing Carrot halwa 
My kitchen planner - Iftar dinner menu
Here is how I organized this dinner:
*I prepared urid dal batter for ulunthu vadai on the day before party, but added the onions and curry leaf before frying the vadai.
*Mango lassi and carrot halwa were also made the day before.
*I made the kulfi ice cream two days before the party.
*Chicken and fish were bought on the morning and marinated for preparing in the early evening. 
*The ginger garlic paste, green chutney, cilantro mint paste , curd fermentation, can be don 2 days before. This speeds up the briyani process.
*coconut chutney should be made as fresh as possible.
*I couldn't finish setting the table on time and it is a point to remember for any party before.
*Halal meat shopping can be tricky as my favorite shop was closed for the fasting days. So we have to plan it earlier.
*Chicken 65 can be marinated and kept refrigerated. But should be fried before serving for a better taste. Otherwise fried ones can be kept moist by folding in aluminum foil.
*King fish fry needs less than an hour of marination only.
*Here is my usual egg curry recipe and it's like a kuruma for briyani.
*I prepared everything in the 'least spice level' and it made me extremely happy find that it was a kid friendly food too. 

Hope you all like my post!
Enjoy cooking and I will come up again with another yummy post and sweet stories soon !

Vazhaikkai Poriyal (Plantain stir fry)

This vazhaikai poriyal was a staple in our house as we had some (lot) of banana trees in our backyard. I have seen amma running there to pic...