Saturday, July 31, 2010

Jack fruit halwa / Sweet / Jam

Jack fruit is a tropical Asian tree having large edible fruits, uni sexual flowers, and fine-grained durable wood.It is a native to southwestern of India, Philippines, Sri Lanka and east of Malaysia. It is believed that jack fruit origin to the rain forests of the Western Ghat of India.Jack fruit contains many vitamins and minerals,and offers numerous health benefits.It is also known to help cure ulcers and indigestion. It is the national fruit of Bangladesh.Here I am going to share with you a sweet recipe using jack fruit.This recipe is my Mom's specialty.

Jack fruit - 18 pieces
Jaggery - 1 cup or more
Ghee - 1/2 to 1 cup
Cashew nuts - 2 tablespoon
salt - 1 pinch
Rice flour - 1 tsp

This is a photo from our trip to Athirapally Waterfalls in Kerala

1)Pressure cook the jack fruit without the kernel and paste it in a blender(without water).
2)Fry the cashew nut in ghee and keep aside.
3)Heat a pan of ghee,add jack fruit and jaggery.Keep stirring continuously over medium-low heat till it thickens to a jam consistency and stops sticking to the pan.
4)Mix rice flour with very little water and add to the sweet and stir for another 2-3 minutes (this is done for the sweet to thicken).

1)Can also use canned jack fruit for making this taking care to wash the fruit very nicely.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Green Papaya Curry

Papaya is a large tree-like plant, with a single stem growing from 5 to 10 metres (16 to 33 ft)tall.It is believed by most historians that the papaya plant originated in southern Mexico or Central America.Papaya is very versatile,can be used as a fruit and also as an vegetable.It helps in Intestinal disorders,skin disorders,menstrual irregularities,cirrhosis of the liver,throat disorders,spleen enlargement.In south India pregnant women are strongly advised to avoid this during their pregnancy. 

Green Papaya peeled and chopped into 1/2 " pieces - 1
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin -1 tsp
Red chillies - 2
Coconut -1/2 cup
Garlic - 2-3
Salt as per taste
Turmeric - 2 pinches
Curry leaves - 1 spring

1)Cook the papaya in microwave with little water for about 7-8 minutes.
2)Heat oil in a pan,add mustard seeds,cumin seeds after they splutter add curry leaves.
3)Grind the coconut and red chillies into a coarse mix without adding any water and mix it to the pan.
4)Add crushed garlic,Turmeric and salt,saute for a minute.
5)Now add the green papaya,cover and cook for about 5-6 minutes till all the spices blend well.

1)Goes well with rice.
2)If you do not want to use microwave follow the same recipe by adding the coarse mix of coconut and red chillies in the end after adding the green papaya and cook for a couple of minutes uncovered.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Puli Inji / Ginger chutney / Tamarind chutney

Puli Inji is a very famous item served for Onam festival in Kerala,a state of southern India.The main ingredient in this is ginger.Ginger cultivation began in South Asia and has since spread.Ginger is used in foods for more than 4,000 years,and for medicinal purposes for more than 2,500 years.Ginger is meant to aide in digestion of fatty foods as well as helping to break down proteins and has also been linked to reducing gas.Ginger has many other health benefits too.This chutney has a sweet and sour taste and goes awesome with rice,dosa etc.This recipe is very close to my heart as this is from my Mom's kitchen.
Tamarind -  2 lemon size   
Ginger - 2 inches
Green chillies - 6
Sugar/Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Salt as per taste

1)Peel and cut the ginger very finely.
2)Similarly cut the green chillies into very small pieces.
3)Add little water to the tamarind and take out the juice.Filter the tamarind juice.
4)Boil the ginger,green chillies and tamarind in a thick bottomed vessel till the gravy thickens.
5)Then add sugar to this.Boil the mixture nicely for about 3-4 minutes.Adjust the ingredients and consistency as per your taste before switching the stove off.
1)Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
2)Once they splutter add the red chillies and curry leaves.Mix the seasoning with the gravy.
1)This can be kept out for more than 2 weeks.
2)Fresh Ginger would not be wrinkly or dark.