Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Khamang Kaakdi (Cucumber salad)



Summers in Pune are really scorching hot and what's better than a cucumber salad to cool your senses and perk up your taste buds at the same time! Today, I am going to share with you a simple recipe of Khamang Kaakdi that barely requires 5 minutes to assemble. You don't want to spend too much time in the heat of the kitchen, right? Also, this is another dish from the culinary repertoire of my childhood memories...

Khamang Kaakdi is typically a Maharashtrian koshimbir recipe almost always served on auspicious occasions. I had eaten it as a kid many times in some or the other Marathi household or in a pangat in some function. It used to be served in small portions on the left side of the plate along with salt, lemon and chatni.  I had to keep asking the caterers/servers for more and more till my satiety was reached :)

Khamang is a Marathi word which cannot be translated into English. It is somewhat like Umami when all the flavours of food, especially a tadka, overpower your senses :) I am sure every Indian language would have such words which are difficult to translate or explain to anyone else unless of course, they experience it! 

Kaakdi stands for cucumber and koshimbir means a salad. Pangat as I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, refers to a seating arrangement in rows where the caterers serve food to the guests as per the traditions.

Ingredients:

2 Cucumbers, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp of pomegranate pearls (optional - I like pomegranate in my salads)
4 tsp of peanut powder 
1 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves
1/2 tsp of lemon juice
1 tsp sugar/sugar powder
Salt to taste

For tadka:
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 green chillies, finely chopped
A pinch of hing
7/8 curry leaves

Method:

Check the cucumbers for any bitter taste before you use them. Mix all the ingredients together except salt and allow it to marinate for 5 minutes so that the sugar melts. Prepare the tadka and add it to the salad. Now finally, add salt and mix well.

Khamang kaakdi is ready!


Sunday, May 10, 2020

Methamba (Instant Sweet & Spicy Raw Mango Preserve)

The sweet and tangy - Methamba


Summer is at its peak and I have got lots of kairis (raw mangoes) hanging down the tree in our backyard. These are the totapairi variety of kairis, really good for making pickles and preserves.  Last week, I made some panha using these kairis and kept aside one big one to make methamba. Although nowadays, we get kairis all throughout the year ( I seriously wonder how!), I try and consume them only seasonally. I am slowly and surely becoming a firm believer in eating seasonally!

My husband loves methamba made from these kairis. I too just love the contrast of sweet, spicy and tangy flavours in this dish along with the richness of its colour. I first saw this methamba being prepared by MiL and got this easy recipe from her.  It is a quick recipe with a few ingredients which can be made in no time.

Ingredients:

Kairi - 1 big raw mango chopped into big pieces (try and go for the totapairi variety if you can)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Hing - a pinch
Salt- to taste

Tip: Do not peel the kairi and do cut it into big pieces. 


Method:

Start by tempering the oil with mustard seeds, methi seeds and hing. Once the mustard splutters, add the mango pieces and turmeric, and cover the vessel with a lid. Allow the mango pieces to get soft and cooked for a few minutes.
To this, add the chilli powder, jaggery pieces and salt, and again cook it covered for 2-3 minutes till the jaggery melts. Check the taste and adjust the sweetness and spiciness to your liking.

Methamba stays good in the fridge for more than a week, provided you do not lick it all at once :)