Sunday 29 June 2014

Homemade Aam Papad | Mango Fruit Leather

Some Foods Are Special!! Just a looks at it may make you drool.
Aam papad is one among such food which can make you drool drool and drool..... Drooling Ramadan Kareem To All My Muslim Readers

People In Gulf finished with their 1st fasting and People Of India and Pakistan shall start from tomorrow. For many of us it is 1st time that we will start our Ramadan during summer and yes weather is playing a wonderful role with long hours of fasting in places like Gulf especially where temperature is always at peak. My friend who spoke to me have already discussed how much tiring the day had been for them, May Allah ease their fasting and accept our Ibadah, AMEEN

Getting back to post:

I recall buying aam papad from andhra vijaywada when ever we used to travel from chennai to orrisa / vice versa. Its all so yummy and we cannot ignore buying those packets of aam papad. It came as blocks inside the cling wrap costing 45-50 rs for 500gms. But now when we travel we do not find this often.

My Grandma used to try out her own recipe to make aam papad but we kids never liked or appreciated her moves. Now that she is old we realize her love towards cooking and feeding us. We search for authentic recipes online to make something, but she used to make anything by just tasting it. Im more like my nani, I like to make my own possible food for myself and my family rather getting it from outside. 

Recently when my mom brought mangoes my bro asked me to make aam papad's I tot of giving it a try and the result was awesome!!! So here is the simple recipe Im going to share with u all today

Mango Pulp out of 5-6 mangoes - 1liter puree
Sugar - 8-10 tablespoon (adjust more or less according to sweetness of mangoes)
Lemon Juice - 1-2 tsp

-In a pan take mango puree, sugar and lime juice, cook it for 5-10 mins till its all well combined and cooked nicely in medium flame. Allow it to warm down.
- Prepare some thalis/ plate to set the aam papad by greasing it with 1/2 tsp ghee each.
- Now pour the warm mango mixture into greased plates / trays just enough to spread the whole area. Do not pour more than needed.
May be 2-3 ladle each plate. If you are using a big tray then pour in more ladles. Tap the plate so that it all gets set and distributed evenly. Allow it to set!! This may take 2-3 days!!

- Once it sets, take pleasure to run knife over the set aam papad and try lifting from the edge part, you can see how nicely these aam papad's come out with ease.

Different ways of rolling aam papad
- You can roll the whole aam papad in the plate itself and cut it using knife (right side pic above)
- If its big tray then run knife make equal cuts and roll it. (pics below)

- Remove each slit and roll it over your palm.

What ever your feel convenient with!!

Serve it immediately or store it in air tight container / box it will remain gud for a month or 2, but who can resist keeping such yummy snacks for 1 or 2 months also? 

- Use any ripe mango which is sweet enough!! Many people recommend to use totapuri mango, but I tried with baiganpalli.
- Using Lemon Juice Is optional but its gives good balanced taste to these goodies
- Adjust sugar according to ur taste and sweetness of mangoes
- If you want to store these for longer period of time you can keep it inside fridge, but it will not be dry when u take out, you may find it has become sticky but the shape and taste will retain!!
- There will be no taste of ghee!! even less than 1/2tsp of ghee for greasing thali will be enough!!!

- Everyone recommends to dry this in direct sun, but I really dint had a heart to keep it outside for sun drying due to various reasons like, dust, dirt pollution all flying in the air, specially in place like Chennai I cannot risk!! since this will be in puree form while drying chances are dust or any kind of dirt may get in and u cannot really take it out, unless and until u have a net kind of material to cover on top of the plates which will not touch the surface of mango puree!! 
So I just dried it indoors inside my room where there was no dust or dirt flying around with or without fan is ok!!! It will take 2 days minimum and 3 days maximum that's it! But the result u will get will be awesome!!!   

When do you know that aam papad's are really done?
When we keep the mango puree for drying whole of ur house will fill in with fragrance of mango mango, it will be like living upon mangoes  Once the papad's are done and well dried you can see the change in color as well as no fragrance of mangoes around u. You are now pretty much sure to peel it off the plate

Will aam papad's break while peeling it off?
No no and no, it will not break or chip out if you had greased your thali, once it is dried it will come off all easily and smoothly, you can see the above pics as proof.
If in case you had thicken the layer of mango puree into plates, even that will peel off well, but sometimes it might break while rolling (not necessary). Thats ok if its thick!! it will not effect the end result!!

Difference between Drying aam papads in Sun and Shade???
I found a very remarkable difference between both!!
Pics updated here will show u the difference highly..... I have updated pics of 2 batches I made, out of which 1 batch was kept under sun for sometime, and another completely dried under shade.
- The ones kept under sun got dried out with rough surface and extra dried edges
- Ones kept in shade were dried and glossy as well, which gave a very smooth finish

My 1st try and everyone enjoyed it to the core!! My nani was all excited when she heard I made aam papad's I sent  a box full of these for her.

One box packed for my aunt (dad's sis) in Orrisa!! As I was arranging,  My bro kept saying it looks like big bullets 
My Nana asking me to make more of it, I feel like a professional now lolzz

If mangoes are still available at your place do try it with at least one mango, and check out the goodness it carries!!!

Do try and let us know how it turned out 

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Monday 23 June 2014

How To Make Ripe Mango Squash - Preservative Free

Nothing can beat home made products, Why not make it at home in healthy way than to buy factory made?

Being an anti mango person, I dont allow my parents or myself to intake much of mangoes, of course it is delicious but not gud to be consumed in large amount at a time just because it is in seasonal.
We dint buy mangoes all the while, but I told mom to get mangoes so that I can preserve it, use later on during Ramadan.
Yes I did freeze up some mango chunks and puree!! 

To freeze mango chunks, Cut the mangoes into slices or cubes, arrange them in a tray without sticking to each other and allow it to freeze, once this is done, remove one by one and place it in zip lock bag or just a normal transparent plastic cover, This way you will get separate mango slices/chunks when u take out, not everything as big mass.

When the freezing was over I was thinking whats next? Lets prepare something for up coming Ramadan. I thought of making mango squash!! Though I never made it before Took Pleasure to surf net as usual, Google Maharaj Ki Jai. After going thru various websites and blogs made up my mind to start my work!!

To make mango squash!!
Obtained 1.7 liters of mango squash

Mangoes- 5-6 pureed (obtained 1liter puree)
Sugar - 4 and 1/2 cups
Juice of 2 lemons / 2 tbsp citric acid (I used lemon juice)
Water - 4 cups

Grind the mangoes to obtain Mango Puree No water Added

In a deep pan / sauce pan add sugar, lemon juice/ citric acid and water, allow it to boil till you see a rich thick consistency. This will take around 15-20 mins of boiling, have a check time may vary.

Filter the sugar syrup using a metal strainer into the mango puree (to remove dirt if any) 
Mix the mango puree and hot sugar nicely and you will get a smooth free flowing mango squash ready.

All the sources said to bottle it up when still hot, in well sterilized glass bottles. 

But my mom and bro insisted to allow it to cool down and then store it in bottles. I bottled it warm into plastic bottles.

It looked like this when cooled Rich and thick in consistency!!

Our Yummy Delicious Mango Squash is ready!!!

How to Serve:
In a glass take 2-3 tablespoon (1/4th of the glass) squash mix it with chilled water and ice cubes, mix and serve it chilled. 
Check if u want more sweeter taste you can add in more squash (it wont be needed) 

You see the difference in color between the squash and the drink?? Very Radiant indeed!! 

We can use sodium benzoate for longer shelf life, but since I wanted to keep it preservative free I dint use any chemical. 
Using sodium benzoate will extend the shelf life of squash to 1yr aprox!!

Mangoes which I have used was very bright yellow in color and very sweet as well. The color of squash will highly depend upon the mangoes taken in use.

Serving Suggestions:
- In Juice prepared Add lemon juice / crushed mint leaves / crushed ginger (for extra flavor). Allow it to sit in fridge for sometime strain it and serve it chill.
- Drizzle undiluted squash on ice creams.
- Use it for making smoothies
- Use it over any dessert as toppings 

Enjoy it as you please!!!

If you have mangoes still available at your place do not miss to make this and enjoy!!

My next venture is aam papad!! I made it on my brothers request!! Shall be posting it quick once it sets!!

Do try and let us know :)

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Tuesday 17 June 2014

Mango Biscuit Layer Pudding

All of us are enjoying mangoes this season, why not just tweak it into something refreshing with mangoes?

Today on board I have Julie who blogs at Evrivum Puliyum which means spice & sour flavors in malyalam. She has all unique tried and tested recipes from kitchen. She started this blog to share her passion and recipes with the world.
I just happened to come across her blog and completely loved it! how neatly she blogs with wonderful pics to drool with. I have saved few of her recipes like ChundaWhole Wheat Chocolate WafflesGuacamole etc, Please visit her blog to see more!!
We had been interacting in comments for sometime, until I mailed her asking if she would be interested to do a guest post for my space, she replied it positively with such a lovely guest post to present.

Mangoes are in season and its one of my favorite fruits as well.And so,I started trying out my list of mango recipes.This is one recipe which I have modified and fitted to our taste buds.Though I jotted down this mango agar pudding recipe sometime back (source;don't remember) but adding biscuits for base was my instant idea and I think that worked out good and you had to be here to fathom how excited I was as playing with agar agar had been my first experience.It as a stupendous moment to see the silky smooth dessert set up really good.I made it for one of our get together and I had just this last piece left out to capture the shot.I added chocolate sauce on top which is strictly optional.You can always mix match your ideas to present it well.Do give it a try if you love mangoes and am sure anyone would say'no' to it !!

to make biscuit layer
digestive biscuits 20
butter 4-5 tbsp
to make mango pudding
mangoes 3 fresh medium sized(I used ataulfo variety)
milk 1 cup
condensed milk 1/2-3/4 cup
agar agar 15 gm(2-3 tbsp of flakes) 
To make biscuit layer
-Crush digestive marie biscuits or graham crackers using hands.(don't blend as it becomes totally powdered)
-Mix the butter and crushed biscuits until well coated.Spoon this mixture in the prepared tray and spread evenly until it is reached a single layer.Refrigerate half an hour to set completely.

To make mango pudding layer
-Soak the agar agar strands in 1/4 cup water.Then bring this softened agar agar mix to a boil until completely dissolved.
-In the meantime,wash,peel and cut the mangoes.Blend it in a juicer/blender until smooth.
-Boil milk in another pan and pour the blended pulp,condensed milk and stir without lumps.Add the hot dissolved agar agar in this mix after straining.Stir well,switch off flame.
-Pour on top of  the biscuit layer and refrigerate until set (about 2-3 hours)
-Add chocolate sauce on top,cut and serve !!

Servings~ 8" square pan

* You can use any variety of mangoes.Depending on the sweetness of mangoes,add or reduce condensed milk.
* You can even use canned mango pulps available in stores.
* I have used agar agar strands but you can use powder as well or use gelatin 2 tsp instead of agar agar.

Thank you Julie for this lovely Guest Post!! I wish to see more such lovely posts from you :)

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Monday 9 June 2014

How To Make Perfectly Soft Phulkas | Rotis

If you are new to cooking and still face tough time to make soft phulkas then this post is just for you. Simplest way shown here to make wonderful soft Phulkas Or Rotis

It is not rocket science But softness of phulkas highly depend on just the way we knead and make it.

Now Call it Roti/ Phulka/ Chappati its all the same term used for one thing which is make out of aata and water when combined. Some people make it dry some people make it greasy using oil. It is basic bread made in India with different names depending upon the region and how they term it.

When I was searching what is exact difference between Chapati/ Roti/ Phulka... I got this beautiful line written by Dr Satish

When poor man eats it is roti!
When sardarji eats it is Phulka
When rich people eat it is chapati.........

No wonder different people have different perspectives to look at one thing from various angle. We at home term it as ROTI, so lets continue with the post as roti :)

Sharing all my years of experience making roti into points today!! 

Starting with kneading dough! Though I wanted to make it as a different post but then I think its much better to have it as one post at a stretch easy for readers too :)

Wheat flour - As required
Water - half the portion of flour taken

Ratio of wheat flour and water should be 1: 1/2  Example for 2 cups flour take 1cup water, you may need more or less depending upon the wheat absorption!!

Method (Please go through the notes for more details)
Take flour, salt in a deep bowl or karai or large flat place depends upon choices how freely you can knead.
Mix water into flour slowly binding it to make dough. Just enough that you get a unshaped mass of ball moving around smoothly (no need to spend extra energy just little of ur energy used is enough for this bind)
Now sprinkle some more water generously over the dough let the water spread evenly press it flat too if u like and cover the vessel with a lid. Keep it to rest for 1/2 hr to 1hr.
After this we can see wheat has absorbed most of the liquid it needs and sends down the extra water to the bottom

- Gently Lift the dough and remove excess water which is now settled at the bottom.
- By now the dough is very soft. Knead knead knead with firm pressures till it becomes like a smooth ball (needs little bit energy as we apply pressure) it may feel little sticky when you start but it will absorb all the extra moisture as we knead.

- Work with dough till it becomes like a smooth ball as shown in pic below, As we knead to smoothen it, sides of vessel gets cleaned up from dough sticking around. You can make difference from 2nd pic to the pic below!!

- Now pinch out dough to make uniform size balls accordingly

Close the lid of the vessel dont allow the balls to xpose much to the air

- As you start making roti take one dough ball and roll it nicely in between palms to make smooth crack free balls (one at a time, just before rolling)

- Keep the tava on stove top to heat up
- Now roll the balls it into roti using some dry flour, rolling pin and board making sure there is no cracks and folds coming while rolling. Any cracks or folds coming at this point may affect the puffing of roti at the end stage

- Dust off the extra flour if any and place the rolled out roti over the hot tava, making sure temp of tava is not very high nor very low, for better result cook the roti in medium flame.

- After 30 seconds you will start seeing the color change of the roti from top (see pic below)

- This is the perfect time to flip the roti to the other side.

- After fliping it will looks something like this as shown in pic above. Gently press the sides giving it a chance to touch the tava (sides of roti will have tendency to uplift from sides, so gentle pressing will help at perfect cooking at end stage)

- You will start seeing bubbles showing on top. Flip it and you will see brown spots showing on the other side of roti. Press over the bubble using spatula or use a cotton cloth to press the sides of rotis.

- As you press over the bubbles the roti will start puffing up (dont press hardly it might break the layer of roti) see the pic below.

- Once the steam inside the roti spreads evenly you can see the whole roti puffed up nicely.
- Your Garma Garam Roti/ Phulka is Ready!!

Serve it hot / Store it in casserole. You can look up at my post on  How To Keep Roti | Phulkas | Parathas Soft For Longer Time

- Minimum of 1/2hr to 1hr time should be given for the dough to rest after 1st knead
- Dont use a pointed spatula to handle rotis, it may break the roti's while puffing
- As you keep 1 roti to cook on tava quickly take another ball, roll it and be ready till the roti in tava is done! If you are new to making roti this will take some time to get in practice.
- If u make smooth balls and keep ahead before cooking, you may find cracks in the sides of roti, and also the layer of roti will not be smooth. So above shown method works best for me ( Im telling you this after so many years of practice over making roti's)
- Some people like rolling out all the rotis and keeping it in a big flat tray, then slowly they cook it over tava one by one!! This method sounds easy but again sometimes there is a risk of 
1) Roti's not puffing up
2) It might stick together if left like that for longer time.
3) There will be some hardness in roti's after cooking due to exposure of air when the balls are rolled and kept just like that in open air!!
- When you roll out balls into roti's one at a time you are sure that there is no cracks anywhere and no prolonged exposure to air.
- Some people make smooth balls out of dough, coat it with dry flour and keep aside till use! This will again give ugly crack looking texture to the roti in the surface and also sides, so pls avoid!!
- Cook in medium flame, I am used to adjusting the temperature of tava from time to time For example (after making 2-3 roti's tava's temp is quiet hot, so from 4th roti onwards, I take the flame to lowest when I put rolled roti in tava, once color changes I flip the roti, press the sides and increase the flame to high!! When bubbles show up reduce the flame to lowest flip the roti and puff up. Remove the cooked one and continue with the rest in same way)
- If you find tava has dry flour showing just dust off using a cloth, It might effect the texture and appearance of roti while cooking (when extra flour remains in tava and you continue making with rest of roti's it will give you a brownish colored burnt texture and also some roughness, and this might lead to even making your tava go rough and burnt) dusting off flour will ensure tava remains smooth as well!!
- When using cloth to puff up roti's then just slightly press on sides and keep rotating it will puff up in no time, but be careful with your hands, If you give hard pressure and the puffing process breaks the steam touching your hand it might give you a bad burn sensation for 4-5 days minimum (experienced)
- Some people feel it easy to keep the roti over flame to puff up!! Bad idea!!! ( Roti becomes a kind of chewy and cannot be stored for long, it will harden up quickly)
- When you apply oil while making roti, chances of puffing up is less, you may enjoy it without puffing up too
-If there is cracks and folds coming while rolling roti, dont give up, still the end product can be consumed happily

This can be kept in casserole for about over night or whole day if cooked in morning hours.

If you want it to store long, you can store the cooked rotis in fridge wrapped in plastic dont put it when still hot this can be kept for 2-3 days or up to a week if stored well!! (my family consumes more roti's than rice, sometimes I make rotis in bulk 25-30 maximum which can go for 2days)

You can easily reheat it in tava by applying some oil. It will soften as it heats up. Keep it in casserole!! the steam which will circulate inside casserole will make the rotis more softer. 

This post is too long in a way!! I dint compose it in a single day either!! I have tried jotting down all the possible points which can be troublesome while making roti.

Making roti needs practice practice and lots of practice until it becomes something you can make in a jiffy!!

Hope this post is useful to you and still if there is any doubt Please feel free to ask me!!

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Sunday 1 June 2014

Mango Custard Drink

This is an amazing drink which happened to be created by accident.

Im extremely sorry for the low pic quality, my cam is on trip with my bro in his vaccination trip, and Im still happy I got my webcam to do the job (Something is better than nothing) My webcam was the only source to click pics in the initial days of blogging and it never let me down :)

My Purpose to utilize mango was to make a dessert, I decided to make mango custard as my uncle and aunt was here last night. But as the process took place it became more Like a drink and I'll tell you how :)

Full Cream Milk - 1/2 liter
Mango - Large Size (chopped finely)
Cornflour - 1/4th cup
Sugar - 2-3 tbsp
Cornflakes - 3/4th - 1 cup

- Boil milk with 1 cup of water.
- Dilute cornflour into a paste and keep it ready, As milk boils add this paste by constantly stirring the milk so that no lumps form.
- Add in sugar and and cook for another 2-3 mins. 
- You will have nice thick consistency custard with u now.
- Set this aside for cooling
- When the temp drops, add in cornflakes and finely chopped mangoes to the prepared custard (as you add mangoes take them little by little squeeze it in ur fist lightly let extra juice come out to flavor up the custard and remaining chunks of mangoes in hand be added to custard too, Like this do it with all chopped mangoes)
Let it for cooling.

After sometime was a shocker custard has lost its consistency to much liquid now which was more like a drink with mango chunks squeezed in....

Ok so lets make this accidental drink more drinkable I though :)

To this I added

Pinch of saffron
Elaichi Powder - 1/2tsp
Sliced almonds - 1tbsp
Honey - 1 - 2 tbsp depending upon taste, As sugar added to above custard was too less.

Mix all the mentioned above and allow it to cool atleast for 4-5hrs for flavors to infuse

Serve it chillied

- Use sweetest Mango if u got it really boosts the taste
- Since base of the drink lies with cornflour it has a unique texture, which cannot be got when done with milk alone
- You can use condensed milk for richer taste
- Serve along with cornflakes 
- Can use vanilla custard powder instead of cornflour 

You Gotta Believe me this was the most wonderful drink with mango after mango lassi. All the flavors got infused so well it gave a unique taste to the whole thing.

This drink got appreciation and liked by all at home!!

I had this with cornflakes in the morning when I woke up for fasting and I couldn't believe my taste buds were actually having a great treat.
May be next time when I make this on purpose (not accidental)
I'll serve it along with some crispy cornflakes on top so that all of us can have double treat of munching some crisp along with mango chunks and gudness of milk

If you ever happen to come in such situations like me do not panic, we never know things happen with us for something much better.....

Ever u happen to try this Pls give ur feedback on how it turned :)

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