Thursday, July 17, 2014

Mango rice

Summer is at its peak here now and  temperatures are  high up to 30 degree C which is very unusual for  British summer and it’s really hot. I feel that sun  really burns us  here compared to India and I assume it might be because of the lower ozone layer . I am not complaining though as I love it like this and want to make the most of it. Growing up back home, I always used to wonder why the tourists from other countries are so obsessed with our beaches and weather, but now I know why. There are plenty of beaches here but most of them are pebble beaches and only very  few are  sandy beaches.  Another thing is even on a hot day beaches can be cold if it’s windy and water can be really cold too. I guess that’s why  beaches back home are so special!!

When I think of summer in Kerala, mangoes are  the first thing that comes to my mind. I cannot swear enough how much I love mangoes, be it raw or ripe. If it’s raw I used to cut it and smear it with some salt and chilly powder and enjoy. I used to wait for the  Indian Alphonso mangoes which we get here every summer but sadly  for unfortunate mango lovers like me its temporarily banned here now due to sanitary regulations ! We still get mangoes from other countries but they are not as tasty as our desi mangoes J Coming to today’s recipe, every year when its Vishu (kerala festival ) I buy raw mangoes for Vishu kani( you can read more about Vishu here) and I usually make mango chammanthi or fish curry with raw mango  but last year I saw this mango rice recipe in my friends blog (cook like Priya) and I tried it. Its an absolute comfort food for raw mango fans and we all enjoyed it. Eventhough I wanted to make it again I never did until  another Vishu came. I made it again after a year gap and this time I took pictures to share it with you all. So when mangoes are in reason and you want to fix something quick for lunch/dinner try it out and you will love it.

Recipe adapted from cook like priya

Raw rice - 1 1/2 cup
Oil - 1 tbs
Mustard seeds - 1 /2 tsp
Urad dal/ uzhunnu parippu - 1 tsp
Chana dal/ kadala parippu  - 1 tsp
Whole red chilly - 2 ( broken into 2-3 pieces)
Green chillies- 2 
Curry leaves(few)
Peanuts/ kadala - 2 tbsp
Asofoetida/ hing/ kayam - a pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

To grind
Raw mango - 2 ( sliced)
Grated  coconut - 1/2 cup
Whole red chilly -2 
Shallots/ cheriya ulli - 3 
Cumin seeds/ Jeerakam - 1/2 tsp
Garlic pods - 2
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Curry leaves - 1-2 sprigs


  • Cook the rice and keep it aside.
  • Grind all the ingredients under 'to grind' to a paste.
  • In a big pan /wok add oil and sputter mustard seeds, followed by urad dal, chana dal and  peanuts once they are roasted add dry red chillies, green chillies and saute for a minute.
  • Add the ground paste, add turmeric powder, salt , hing and cook everything for 3-5 minutes.
  • Switch off the flame and serve immediately.

Friday, July 11, 2014

English Trifle

Living very close to Wimbledon has definitely rubbed on some serious tennis interest in me. Last Sunday when it was Wimbledon final I was all set to watch the game with a classic English trifle. It was a nail biting game indeed, we were supporting Djokovic and I really jumped out of joy when he won! Now that the Wimbledon is over I am following football religiously. I would have loved to see in Brazil in final but now that they are gone I am supporting Argentina J

Anyway coming back to topic, it’s so easy to assemble this trifle and all you need to cook is   some home -made custard. In case if you don’t want to make homemade custard use custard powder which is also pretty good.

Ingredients (Serves 4 )
Trifle Sponges/ Sponge cakes – 8
Strawberry jam – 8 tsp
Brandy – 2tbs (optional) ( dissolve 2 tbs of  brandy in 2 tbs of water and add 1 tsp of sugar)
Home- made custard ( recipe here)– 2 cups ( thick consistency )
Whipped cream – 300 ml
Icing sugar – 2 tbs
Strawberry and banana slices – 1 cup

  • Slice the sponge lengthwise into two and  spread the  jam and sandwich it back.
  • Place the sponges into a one big  trifle bowl or in individual dessert bowls.
  • Sprinkle brandy (if using ) on the sponges and leave it for 2-3 minutes for soaking.
  • Pour home- made custard on top of it .
  • Spread the fruits slices
  • Finally whip some cream with icing sugar and spread it on top layer.
  • Allow it to set for an hour or 2 and serve chilled !