Saturday, April 25, 2015

Pacha Manga or Raw Mango curry

The Mumbai Summer is here full on and with it comes the season of Mangoes! The other day we got 1 dozen juicy aromatic Alphonso Mangoes and since then both P and I are being complete Mango people. To make the best of the season I thought of experimenting more with mangoes. Quite a bold move for me; I admit. So one quick search here and there and I decided to try the simple Kerala dish of Raw Mango Curry or Pacha Manga curry. It goes very well with steamed rice too. So done and decided, this weekend it's gonna be raw mango curry with hot steamed rice.

Ingredients :

One Raw mango chopped into cubes.
One tea spoon of turmeric powder.
One tea spoon of corriander powder
One tea spoon of red chilli powder
Two table spoon of cooking oil.
One and a half tea spoon  of mustard seeds
One string of curry leaves

For the paste :
Grated coconut - one cup
Green Chillies - 3
Garlic cloves - 3 / 4
Cumin seeds - half tea spoon.

Salt as per taste.

Wash the chopped mango pieces thoroughly. Mix the turmeric powder, corriander powder and red chilli powder with the mango pieces and let these marinate for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, boil the mango pieces. Use water just enough to cover the mango pieces. Boil till they are tender; which will take about 5-6 minutes.

While the mango pieces are boiling, make the coconut paste. Grind the grated coconut, green chillies, garlic cloves and cumin seeds with little water. Grind to a fine paste. 

Drain the water from the mango pieces. Do not throw the water. This is to be used in the curry.

Raw Mango Curry
Heat oil in a pan. Let the mustard seeds and curry leaves splutter. Add the coconut paste and cook for 2 minutes. Now add the mango pieces. Mix gently. Add the drained water as per the thickness of the gravy that you want. Add salt accordingly. 

Let this simmer for 5 - 6 minutes. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Trust me, the aroma which fills your home while the curry boils away is heavenly. This is one easy and very tasty and very "apt for summer" dish.

P loved the curry. Me too. :)

Pacha Manga curry with steamed rice and a papad.

Friday, April 24, 2015

And I was Home...

"Sorry Papa, we won't be able to make it this time" I uttered and #lookup at my husband's face. He was staring at me too.
"Oh; ok if it seems difficult. I thought this year may be all of us could be together in Diwali" - I could clearly hear the disappointment in my father in law's voice over the phone. I felt bad. This was supposed to be my first Diwali after marriage and Papa was looking forward to the presence of the elder daughter in law. In fact this was to be the first Diwali with the presence of a woman in 16 years at my new home. My mother in law expired that many years ago and since then, every function or festival has been observed by these 3 men all by themselves. These 3 men ; who are my family now - my father in law, my brother in law and my husband.

I was just back to work after a long leave for my marriage. I would not have got another leave that soon. So husband asked me to explain the situation so that he was not disappointed if we did not turn up. I was not really convinced that papa would not be sad. But then it's better to be honest than lie that we would be home for Diwali.

But as they say "Where there is a will; there is a way". Next day in office colleagues were discussing about their Diwali plans. Diwali holiday fell on Thursday, not exactly a long weekend! But most of them had made plans for short visits. I asked " But Friday is working right?" My colleague Suchi said " Friday I will apply for work from home ; simple. We are going to Nashik to my in law's." How foolish of me. This option went completely out of my mind. Problem solved. I would also do the same.

I called P (my husband) and yelled " we are going; we are going to Dibrugarh for Diwali" He was surprised and happy and then decided to keep this as a surprise for Papa!

Finally on the day of Diwali both landed in Dibrugarh in the afternoon. Brother in law was waiting to receive us. Of course he knew; but he also kept that secret. While coming from airport to home; I called up Papa and casually chatted about the evening plans. He said like every year brother in law has put lights everywhere in the house and if someone drops by the evening he had got some sweets ready. When he inquired about our plans; I said we would be" Home" only. He of course thought I was referring to our home in Mumbai.

Then after 20 minutes we reached Home. Pepper, the dog that my husband had got all the way from Pune 10 years ago was barking and jumping with joy. Papa came out to see why Pepper was so happy. He saw us and he was elated and happy and surprised. He smiled and hugged me and my husband tight. Never in life will I forget that moment. Papa was like a small boy who just got a box full of his favourite crackers for Diwali. He started calling everyone, his sisters , his brothers families about how P & I and my brother in law "tricked" him.

That evening before we switched on the lights that brother in law had put everywhere over the house; I lit up the earthen diyas; one in front of the God and one near the Tulsi and few in the verandah ;our Diwali was complete.
I was Home, completely; totally.