Sunday, May 27, 2012

Chana-Kairi Chutney

The best part of Summers are the wide array of mango dishes.. sweet, savoury, raw, ripe.... u name it and every region can produce its own repertoire of  Mangifera Indica!
The Chana- Kairi chutney is a staple in every Maharashtrian home. A dry, coarsely ground side dish, it packs a punch of flavour and can elevate the humblest of meals. 
This chutney can be made without the mango as well, but personally, i love the punch of the tangy raw mango.  
To prepare the Chana- Kairi Chutney you will need:
1 cup chana dal (split Bengal gram)
5 green chilles
2 tsp cumin seeds
pinch turmeric
3 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch asafoetida
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 medium raw mango, grated
red chilli powder and salt to taste

Method: Soak the chana dal for 3-4 hours. Run in the food processor with the green chillies and 1 tsp of cumin seeds. Take care to ensure its coarsely ground and not a fine paste. Mix in the raw mango, red chilli powder, salt, sugar and turmeric. Heat oil in a wok. Add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and the remaining cumin seeds. Mix in the chana dal and cook on a low flame. When the mixture starts to dry, cover and continue to cook till the grains start to separate and the moisture evaporates. Serve as a side to any meal!

> While the dal cooks, ensure you stir requently to prevent it from sticking to the pan. 
> If the chutney seems a little too dry, heat some oil in a pan and mix into the chutney with a splash of warm water.
> For an uncooked version, simply temper the ground dal and spices with a mixture of mustard seeds, asafoetida and red chilli powder.
> Store in the refrigerator for upto 2 weeks. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fish Tenga

Fish Tenga literally translated to Fish Sour, traditionally comes from the north eastern state of Assam in India. It  has a fresh, tangy taste that lingers in your mouth without any of the fishiness. The ingredients are few and easily available, and this dish is an absolute breeze to make. Serve it warm with rice on even the warmest day and you will still walk away feeling light but satiated.

To make FISH TENGA, you will need:

1 kg fresh water fish (Rohu is the traditional choice)
1 large potato, boiled and mashed
6 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
2 green chillies, roughly chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
turmeric powder
salt to taste
mustard oil to shallow fry

Method: Smear the chunks of fish with turmeric and salt and keep aside for 10 minutes. Heat mustard oil in a   pan. Fry the fish to a light gold on both sides and drain on a kitchen towel. In a wok, heat a teaspoon of the leftover mustard oil (from the frying pan). Add the fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the chopped tomatoes and cook till softened and well mashed. Add the green chillies and mashed potato and cook till you get a lump free homogeneous mixture. Season with salt and mix well. Now, stirring constantly, add little water at a time, till you get the curry to your desired consistency. (Assamese like their curries watery and I end up adding almost 750 ml of water.) Once the mixture starts bubbling,  gently add the fried fish. Simmer for a couple of minutes, add the lemon juice and let it come to a gentle boil.  Serve with some plain, steamed rice and dig in!