Archive for May, 2009

I wasnt a tomato pickle fan till my mom made this quick version. This is no way close to  the traditional recipe. My mom as well as my mother in  law both make a traditional version. While folks in my family on both side are quite ga ga over the traditional version, me not that much. The traditional way somehow lacks that flavor kick, “bam” if you will !. I have survived many a meals in my grad school days with this pickle. This had been my trusted ally with curd rice, quick idlis, parathas, dosasand  bread and all. Many of my north Indian friends also prefer his version to the traditional one. So here goes..

For a printer friendly recipe click here

What you need

For the pickle
Diced Canned Tomato – 1 pound
Tamarind –  30 grams /1.25 ounce
White / Yellow Split mustard or coarsely ground – 30 grams /½ cup
Methi – coarse powdered ¾ teaspoon
Chilly Powder According to taste and hotness of chilly powder
Sugar 2 table spoon
Asafetida – Hing ( In crystal form) ¼ tea spoon
Turmeric Power 2 tea spoon
Oil 40 ml
Whole mustard seeds ¼ tea spoon
Saturated salt water as needed to soak and grind tamarind*
Salt To taste

For the Choka / Tempering
Oil 20 ml
Mustard seeds ¼ tea spoon
Turmeric powder A pinch
Chilly powder 2 pinch
Asafetida – Hing ( In crystal form – powdered) ¼ tea spoon

How to make

Make saturated salt water by adding 1/3 cup of salt in 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Boil the mixture till crystals start forming at the top side of the vessel
Use only as much water needed to soak tamarind and soak it for about 3-4 hours till it becomes soft
Take out the seeds from tamarind and grind it to a fine paste
Strain the tomato and take out the excess water.
Heat the oil in a kadhai – preferably non stick – on medium flame
Put the mustard seeds in oil and let it crackle
Put the drained tomatoes in oil and let it fry for about 5 minutes
Add methi, tamarind paste, white mustard , chilly powder, sugar and turmeric
Add salt to taste
Dissolve the asafetida in 2 tea spoon of saturated salt water and add that to the mixture
On slow to medium flame continue to cook stirring till the tomato pieces are cooked and desired consistency is reached
Let it cool completely. Make sure not to close while cooking to avoid water getting into the pickle.

For Choka,

Heat oil in a small vessel
Add whole mustard seeds
Off the flame after mustard starts crackling
Let it cool for a minute
Add the Asafetida , turmeric and chilly powder
Let the oil cool completely
Mix ½ of this oil with the cooled pickle
Now put the pickle in a dry jar.
Add the remaining choka oil on top

Tip for a tasty twist
(all other measures stay the same as above)

Add about 1/3 cup ginger garlic paste to the oil and fry for about 2-3 minutes.
Then follow with the pickle procedure.


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This has always been one of my favorite sweet stuff to eat. Even back when I absolutely had no sweet tooth whatsoever. That could also be because like all other things, my mom makes a killer modak ! Back home we have many coconut trees in our backyard. If the rain and wind knocked a few coconuts down, modak would be one of the things that would be made. There is nothing like steamy modaks made from fresh coconuts and topped with ghee that melts slowly! Yum yum yum!

Now I gotta make do with a coconut that was picked from a tree months ago and the unspoiled state of which is a big gamble when I pick it up in the farmers market. I aint complaining, its still mom made, I still get to eat it steamy hot with homemade ghee! Two out of three isn’t bad at all! Ever since I delivered my son two of three is totally OK for the OCD perfectionist that I am 🙂 Well what happened during delivery is another story another post and certainly not for here 🙂

For a printer friendly recipe click here
What you need

For Stuffing
1 cup(pressed packed) grated jaggery
1.5 cup(pressed packed) grated coconut. ( Fresh grated is better, frozen will work)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg powder
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder

For Ukad / covering
1 cup rice flour
1 cup water
2 tablespoon butter
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar

How to make
Mix jaggery and coconut and cook on medium flame stirring continuously.
Keep cooking till the mixture seems dry enough for stuffing but not very powdery. If it is in dry powdery state is overcooked.
Add nutmeg and cardamom powder and keep aside.
Take water in a non stick pot, add sugar salt and butter and bring to boil.
Turn the heat to very low, add rice flour and mix till you get a smooth mixture with no dry lumps.
Cover the lid and cook it for a 1 to1.5 minute more on low heat.
Keep for few minutes till the mixture becomes warm enough to handle.
Take a small ball of dough mixture in one hand, flatten it to a small round thin covering. Almost to a poori size.
Keep the dough in one hand and from another put the stuffing leaving about a 1.5 cms from the edges.
Close into dumpling shape making small pinches.*
Line the steamer with saran wrap.
This will help form modak’s not sticking to the steamer and tearing if in case you over steam a little.
Arrange the assembled dumplings on the steamer like so.

Add hot water to the steamer base.
When the water starts boiling keep the steamer on top cover it and continue cooking on medium heat.
When the steam starts going sideways, you are done steaming.
*These days you get mold for modak. If you have one of those, instead of making the dough in to a poori on hand, you can put a thin layer on the mold and continue to shape dumplings.

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