Mango Pudding

The abundance of mangoes in our market egged me on a search for some mango delicacies. This recipe the result of one such search and adapted from the Food section of BBC UK.

This is truly a dessert in a jiffy. The mango pudding with the unbeatable taste of this tropical fruit combined with milk and sugar, crowned with mint leaves- is a beauty, both on the outside and the inside.

Mango pudding 


2 cups mango puree (Peel the mangoes, cube and puree )
1 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp gelatin / china grass
200 ml water
Few drops mango essence (optional)
Mint leaves for garnish
Icing sugar for garnish


1. Add the mango puree, milk and sugar into a bowl. Mix well.
2.Dissolve the gelatin in 200 ml hot water thoroughly.
Add the gelatin mixture to the mango mixture and stir.
3. Stir in the mango essence (if using ). Divide the mixture between 5 ramekins and refrigerate for an hour. The pudding should look set and jiggle when shaken.
4.To unmould- dip the bases of ramekins in warm water, run a knife blade to free the pudding from the sides, shake gently and upturn onto a plate.
5. Garnish with mint leaves and sift icing sugar over the top. ( I used just the mint)

Just dig in immediately !
This entry goes for JFI-Mahanandi and Cate's ARF Tuesdays

Mango Pancakes

If you love mangoes, you cannot resist these mango pancakes! 
Most of India has 3 seasons. The monsoons, the winters and the Mango season. Well, especially so, for mango lovers. I know of people who virtually skip dinners during this season, so that they can stuff themselves with 3-4 mangoes each night.

Some of those luscious ripe ones

They say "Necessity is the mother of invention". I would say- "Abundance is the mother of invention". I invariably come up with a new recipe when I have too much of a particular ingredient. One good thing about living in Bombay is the truck loads of Hapoos (Alphonso mangoes )that arrive into the markets at this time of the year. Alphonso mangoes are considered by many to be the best in terms of sweetness and flavour.

I bought a whole load of mangoes from the veggie market last evening. The wonderful aroma has been inviting me all evening to do something about the mangoes. Also, the Mango JFI at Indira's Mahanandi has been at the back of my mind.

I first thought of baking the mangoes into a cake, or making a mousse for dessert (which is going to be the next escape route for the luscious babies). But no ! I wanted something that would give me instant gratification. That's how the idea for Mango Pancakes was born.

It would tackle 3 issues at once-
1. Start to demolish the huge pile of mangoes
2. An entry for my weekend breakfast blogging
3. Entry for JFI at Mahanandi.

Juicy mangoes grated into flour and spiced with ginger, caressed by butter milk- the end result being a heavenly taste in your mouth...

Grated mango with ginger, Flour with 5 spice, Buttermilk

Mango Pancakes


1 large mango-grated
1 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1 T grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup sugar ( I used 2 tbsp splenda- the amnt of sugar also depends on the sweetness of your mango)
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups butter milk
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp 5 spice powder (optional)
1/4 tsp mango essence (optional)

Vegetable Oil / Butter for cooking pancakes

Method :

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add to this the grated mango. Mix well. Add the buttermilk slowly and stir so as to avoid any lumps. The consistency of the batter should be such that it sticks to the back of the ladle. Add the mango essence to the batter (if using). Stir well. You can let this batter sit for 15 minutes or so at this stage.

Heat a non stick pan. Grease with butter / oil, pour a ladleful of batter onto the heated pan. Gently spread into a circle taking care not to thin out the pancake. Let it cook for 2-3 min on a slow flame. Turn the pancake and cook the other side for 2-3 min.

This recipe will make around 6-7 pancakes of 6" diameter.

Serve immediately with fresh fruits.


Mango pancakes with sliced cantaloupe for breakfast

Peerkangai Tuvaiyal

The ridge gourd was never a part of my veggie-shopping list until I started making this traditional south Indian Chutney called Peerkangai Thuvaiyal. The spiciness from the red chillies, the tanginess from the tamarind and the authentic south Indian taste from the asafoetida make it a delight to eat with steaming hot rice dotted with ghee.

Peerkangai Thuvaiyal

Before I tell you how to go about making this flavorful chutney, I must tell you a little trivia about this gourd.

The botanical name of Ridge Gourd is Luffa Aegyptica. If this sounds similar to the loofah sponge that adorns our baths- it is no co-incidence. Loofahs are indeed made from the dried ridge gourds after removing the seeds and xylems from inside the gourd. 

Recipe for Peerkangai Thuvaiyal ( Ridge Gourd chutney )


2 medium-large ridge gourds- peel the ridges and slice the gourd roughly
3 dry red chillies
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp udad dal
small piece asafoetida soaked in warm water
marble sized tamarind ball soaked in water
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
pinch of turmeric
sea salt to taste
1 tsp oil


Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the fenugreek seeds and the dals. Once the dals turn golden, add the red chillies, turmeric, gourd slices, tamarind and saute for 2 min. Add the salt, saute and cook covered for 7-8 min on a low flame.

Once the vegetable has become tender, remove the skillet contents onto a plate and cool for around 10 min.
Put the cooled contents into a blender and grind to a fine paste.
Peerkangai thuvaiyal is ready !

  • Mix it into hot rice with ghee and eat it with an appalam (papad). You can also put it on toast
(Ammani's idea ) or as a spread for the chapati !

  • Its rich in carotene and low on carbohydrates. So, low carb lovers rejoice !

Weekend Breakfast Blogging - The List

WBB #1 - Announcement Round Up
WBB #2 - Announcement Round Up

WBB #3 - Announcement Round Up

WBB #4 - Announcement Round Up

WBB #5 - Announcement Round Up

WBB #6 Twist in the plate - Announcement Round Up

WBB #7 Baking - Announcement Round Up

WBB #8 Christmas- Announcement Round Up

WBB #9 Eggs - Announcement Round Up

WBB #10 Greens - Announcement Round Up

WBB #11 Summer Fruits - Announcement Round Up

WBB #12 Spice it up - Announcement Round Up [Blog no longer accessible]

WBB #13 Oats - Announcement Round Up

WBB #14 Ethnic twist - Announcement Round Up

WBB #15 Leftovers - Announcement Round Up

WBB # 16 Omelette - Announcement Pending

WBB #17 Cornflakes - Announcement Round Up

WBB #18 Soy - Announcement Round Up

WBB #19 Healthy eats - Announcement Round Up

WBB #20 Balanced breakfasts - Announcement Round Up

WBB #21 Microwave breakfasts- Announcement Round Up

WBB #22 May Mango Madness - Announcement Round Up

WBB #23 Express Breakfasts- Announcement Round Up

WBB #24 Summer Feast - Announcement Round up

WBB # 25 Combi Breakfast - Announcement

WBB # 26 September - Aparna, My Diverse Kitchen

Recipe for Indian coconut chutney

Say coconut and my associations are temples, Kerala, Udipi restaurants, Kozhakattai, coconut shell curtains at West Elm (couldn't ever take them off my mind), weaving coconut leaf mats, sweet coconut water and many many more..

Coconut shell curtains

 It took me several tries to arrive at the recipe for coconut chutney that my taste buds liked best. Not too watery, not too spicy and not too bland. There's nothing more incomplete than a plate of steaming hot idlis or crisp dosas without that perfect coconut chutney.


Half a fresh coconut- Sliced off from the shell
3 tbsp dalia (Pottu kadalai)
2 green chillies
2 cloves garlic
10 fresh curry leaves
few sprigs of cilantro / coriander
Salt as per taste (1/2 - 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp oil, 5-6 curry leaves and 1/2 tsp mustard seeds for garnish

1. Put all ingredients except garnish in a blender with 1/4 cup of water. Grind to a fine paste. Add 1-2 tbsp of water, if consistency is too thick. Remove into a small bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the seeds start popping, take pan off the flame and spoon the garnish onto the chutney.
3.Serve fresh with steaming hot idlis, dosas, uthapams, upma, medu vadais etc.

This recipe makes about one cup of chutney
Keep refrigerated . This stays fresh for 24-36 hours in the refrigerator.
The key to making this chutney taste best is to use the freshest possible coconut. The slightest stale taste from the coconut will completely spoil the chutney.

Melt-in-your-mouth Scones

I baked these gorgeous things last night- and Meeta was right about the heavenly aroma.

Great recipe- just that I think I should have used lesser butter.
Will do that experimentation next time over.

Recipe courtesy: What's for lunch honey?

Vegetable paratha with carrot-garlic spread

Vegetable parathas make a good breakfast, lunchbox recipe or even a mid morning snack when rolled up and had with some tea.

My mornings are probably the most mismanaged hours. No matter what time I wake up-I have to go through the morning ritual of a cuppa chai with the papers. The chai stretches until I'm almost through with the newspapers (which come to some total of 40-50 pages of browsing).

Once I'm done with that, my rush hour starts, where in I have to prepare breakfast and a lunch box for the husband. This is always a very high speed activity to achieve the double end point, of taste combined with wholesome nutrition.

For today's lunch box I made a quick mixed grated vegetable paratha with carrot garlic spread. It is a pretty simple thing to make.

Recipe for Vegetable Parathas

Makes 4-5

1- 1.5 cups- Radish / Bottle gourd, or a mix of both -grated
Handful of fenugreek (methi) leavesfinely chopped
1 tsp ajwain / omam seeds (called Bishop's weed -click for the picture)
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 cup whole wheat flour
Pinch of turmeric, salt to taste

Bind the dough with the water released from the vegetables. 
Keep dough covered for 15-20 minutes if time permits.
Divide into 5 portions.
Roll out each portion into small thick chapatis and cook them with some oil / ghee.

Carrot Garlic Spread
Inspired by Tarla Dalal's Healthy Breakfasts

2 medium sized carrots-washed, peeled and roughly sliced
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
sea salt to taste
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp chopped coriander

Grind the carrots, garlic, chilli powder, salt to a coarse paste. Mix in 1/2 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp of finely chopped coriander.

It can't get simpler than that. The sweetness from the carrots, the pungent kick from the garlic and the heat from the red chilli powder make a truly awesome blend of tastes.

This recipe makes upto 3/4 cup of chutney.

Can also serve this as:

Chutney for any parathas, chapatis
Low cal spread for sandwiches
Spicy chutney with Idlis/ Dosas instead of using 'molaga podi' with oil

Lasooni Dal Palak ( Garlicky lentils with spinach )

This recipe for Lasooni Dal Palak was published in one of the Sunday papers and I knew I had to try it right away. It turned out delicious like the dals you get at fancy Indian restaurants. After all, it is a recipe from one :) 

lasooni dal palak - Indian style dal with spinach and garlic from

Lasooni Dal Palak
Recipe courtesy Chef de cuisine, Saffron, JW Marriot, Mumbai


1/2 cup Tur dal
1/3 cup Moong dal
1 bunch fresh spinach -washed-chopped roughly

1 tbsp- garlic finely chopped

1 small onion-finely chopped
1 medium sized tomato-finely chopped
1/2 tsp ginger finely chopped

3 green chillies finely chopped
1/2 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 tsp turmeric

1 tsp red chilli powder

1 tbsp ghee (or oil)
Salt to taste


1. Pressure cook ( or boil ) the dals till soft with half the green chillies and turmeric.

2.In a pan, heat ghee. Add the cumin seeds, once they start popping, add garlic, ginger, remaining green chillies and onions.Fry till onions turn golden brown. Add tomato, spinach, turmeric, red chilli powder, salt. Saute the above mixture till it turns soft and golden.

3.Add the boiled dal mix to the above. Mix well, remove from flame. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

4. Serve hot with phulka rotis or Parathas or steamed rice

The aroma from the garlic and the green colour from the spinach makes this an absolutely irresistable dish. For people who don't relish spinach, this is a great way to eat their greens.

Coconut Tea Cake

This coconut and tea cake makes for a perfect bite along with a cup of tea or coffee. I was tempted to try out Fat Free Vegan's Coconut Chai cake from the word go ! On the day I was to go to mom's house- I found the perfect excuse to bake this one.

I just tweaked the ingredients a bit, as per their availability at home. The result was a wonderfully aromatic kitchen and a heart-warming taste. The blending of several strong tastes like tea, ginger, cinnamon, vanilla is like pot-pourri for the senses.

This one is definitely worth trying. I'm just going to find reasons to bake this cake again and again

Coconut Chai Cake
Adapted from Fat Free Vegan
1 cup strong tea infused with ginger ( I boiled one and half cups water with 2 tsp tea leaves and some pounded fresh ginger)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup instant oats
1/2 cup gram flour (besan) or you could use all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/3 cup soymilk or regular milk or almond milk
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut -dessicated
3/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Grease a cake tin.
Combine dry ingredients-wheat flour through cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Mix chai, soymilk, vinegar, sugar, essences and coconut in a large bowl. The vinegar may curdle the soymilk a bit, but it does no harm to the recipe. Blend the above ingredients well.
Add the dry mix to the wet, mix well.
Pour mixture into greased tin and sprinkle some coconut on the top.
Bake for 25 min or until a tester comes out clean.
Serve warm as a tea time cake or serve with vanilla icecream for a yummy dessert.

Cashew nut Payasam - Indian Cashew nut pudding

Payasam (read what Wikipedia has to say) especially in the South of India is considered to be God's favorite food. Hence it generally occupies center stage in most festivals.
My mom makes the regular Paal Payasam- which is the traditional kinds, made with cooked rice and milk, or Semiya Payasam- made with vermicilli and milk. In most payasams, milk is kept at a simmer for a long time, so that it gets the pinkish hue as it thickens and tastes rich.
My payasam is a quicker version and uses cashewnuts instead of the traditional rice or vermicilli.

Recipe for Cashew nut Payasam

Ingredients:4 cups toned milk (you could use whole milk too)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cashew nuts
Few strands saffron
1 tbsp raisins
1/4 tsp Almond essence (optional)


1. Preparing cashew paste- Soak the cashews overnight / for few hours, and grind with 1/2 cup of milk, into a very fine paste. 
You could also soak them in water and microwave on HIGH for 3 min. Let them remain in that hot water for 5-10 more minutes. Once cooled, grind them with some milk as above.

2. Boil the milk on the side in a heavy bottomed pan. Once it has come to a boil, let it simmer. Add the sugar, saffron and raisins. Add the cashew paste. Make sure you keep stirring so that the mixture doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.

3. Let the milk simmer for 5 more minutes. Add the almond essence. The cashew paste will thicken the milk such that it will stick to the back of the ladle. It's time to remove it from the flame.

4.Garnish with 2-3 strands of saffron and you can either chill it or have it while still hot. 

Recipe for Coriander Mint Green Chutney

A recipe for coriander and mint chutney is a must have in your repertoire of Indian cooking. Coriander or cilantro is one of the most fragrant herbs- that can add the freshness and zing to any recipe. While some call the aroma of coriander as soapy, I think most Indians are so used to this taste and smell, that they'd think Indian dishes as incomplete without a little garnish of fresh coriander. Mostly used in Asian dishes- it is found in abundance in Indian vegetable markets. In fact, most Indian open air markets have that distinct strong aroma of this herb as you pass by them, sometimes strong enough to make you sneeze.

Here in summers, coriander being the delicate herb that is, doesn't stay fresh for long even when refrigerated. The best way to preserve its goodness and freshness is to grind it into a chutney and then preserve it for a week in a clean jar in the fridge.

Recipe for Coriander Mint Green Chutney

3 cups coriander / cilantro leaves- washed clean and chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves-washed
2 hot green chillies
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp dalia /fried gram (pottu kadalai )
Generous pinch of turmeric powder
Half a lemon
Salt as per requirement

Put all the ingredients in a blender and grind to a very fine paste with a little water. Store in a clean jar in the fridge. The turmeric and lemon help in retaining the green color, else this chutney has the tendency to turn black with oxidation.

Things you can do with coriander chutney:
  • Make cucumber sandwiches with chutney spread on slices of bread and stacking thinly sliced cucumber in between
  • Serve a dip with snacks like cutlets, samosas or with parathas
  • Use it as a marinade - Coat paneer pieces/ fish fillets / chicken breasts with this chutney and marinate for 30 min, before you throw them on the grill-for that uniquely Indian tandoori taste

Recipe for Baba Gannouj / Gannoush - Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip

The first time I came across Baba Gannoush ( Pronounced "Ga-NOOSH") was at Basha, a Greek restaurant in Rochester, NY-where they had accidentally brought this onto our table instead of Hummus. One taste of the stuff and I knew that it was surely smoked brinjal and not chickpeas that I was tasting.

Baba Ganouj is a classic Mediterranean eggplant dip. It's silky, smokey and bursting with flavour. Here goes my version :

1 mid-sized eggplant / brinjal
2 tbsp sesame seeds- roasted or use readymade Tahini
4 fat cloves of garlic
2 tbsp thick yogurt
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp lemon juice
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp freshly minced parsely / coriander


1. Roasting the brinjal- Doing it on a direct flame or the grill gives the best smokey taste.
Place the brinjal on a medium flame, and rotate regularly so that the skin gets evenly blistered. It will take about 10-12 min for the entire brinjal to get roasted and soft from within.

However you can roast it on a lightly greased baking sheet by slitting it in half lengthwise at 350 F. I prefer to broil rather than bake, for that browning effect.

Peel off the blistered skin, chop roughly and keep aside.

2.Assembling the ingredients- In a blender, roughly grind the roasted sesame seeds. Then add the chopped roasted brinjal and all other ingredients except parsely/ coriander and olive oil. Blend to a smooth paste.

3. Serve- Remove the paste onto a shallow dish. Mix in the olive oil. Garnish with minced parsely / coriander and a swirl of some more olive oil.

Serving suggestion-
Serve the chilled Baba Ganouj with warm pita bread brushed with olive oil. If pita bread is not readily available, you can either serve it with toasted slices of a whole wheat bread / foccasia or whole wheat crackers.

Last evening, I served it to my guests with wedges of garlic bread toasted till warm. They loved it!

The original recipe calls for Tahini, which a sesame seed paste in olive oil. Since Tahini is not easily available in grocery stores in India, I ground roasted sesame seeds along with other ingredients. I did not find much of a taste deviation from the original.

(2011 update)
Al Fez brand of Tahini is now available in most supermarkets in cities, such as Nature's Basket.
You can buy Tahini on

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