Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Savoury Cherry Berry Chase

Over a month ago, I posed a question about an ingredient in this post. One of you got it right. Those berries were karondas, as they are known in Hindi, or vakkaya (Telugu). I will not add the names of it in other languages, especially English - there seems to be enough confusion as it is, but they go by the name of some plum or the other.

I'm calling it a berry.

I haven't seen them in ages so when I saw them at the store, I picked up a packet and used them indiscriminately - i.e.- all of them without regard for the proportions vis-a-vis rice and other ingredients. I watched this video and didn't refer to it again because I believed that the only thing that differentiated it from lime rice, which is a breeze to make, was the berry, so I went ahead and did whatever I wanted.

Deseeding the berries is a boring job but we did it - they are terribly sour.

I was left with about a cup of berry after the process. I sauteed it in some oil with some mustard seed, three green and three red chillies, and a little bit of channa dal/Bengal gram.

To this, I added about 1 cup of cooked and cooled rice and mixed it well so that the sourness of the berry adhered to it.

I could have used a little less berry but I was making this for the first time and I didn't want any leftovers as I had no more ideas for them except dal and I didn't want to make dal. But I have eaten the dal my grandmother made with this berry and it was really nice. I don't know when I can make this next because I hadn't seen these berries for years till now and don't know when I will see them next again. Probably during the Vinayaka Chaturthi festival some year, because they are often used to decorate Vinayaka's puja. At least that's when they made their appearance here this year.

Apparently, this berry helps treat anaemia, and traditionally has been used to treat anorexia and insanity. There's more information here.

More interestingly, did you know this is what passed for cherries in most Indian bakeries of a certain time? In fact, it was these that the average Indian knew as cherries before the real tinned cherries became widely available - and those are expensive. These 'karonda cherries' still make an appearance in cakes from smaller bakeries and are used to top Indian sweets too!

I'm sending this off to Terry at Crumpets & co. who's hosting WHB this week, created by Kalyn and now run by Haalo.

My Legume Love Affair - 52 is hosted here this month. Do send in those entries!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Legume Love Affair - 52

My Legume Love Affair, created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook, will be hosted here this month.

The deadline for entries is November 11 and I will post the round-up shortly afterwards.

Please mail your entries to srablogATgmailDOTcom.

 Legumes, and legumes as defined for this event: "As much as legumes are most commonly known as fresh or dried beans, peas, lentils and pulses, they are also the sometimes edible pods that contain these seeds. Add to the list alfalfa, fenugreek, peanuts, carob, tamarind and other members of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family, as well as derivatives such as tofu, and you'll have a hard time focusing on just one.

All courses and cuisines are welcome, as long as legumes are the dominant ingredient. (Please note: In France, vegetables of all sorts are known as l├ęgumes, and are not included in this event.)"

It's important that legumes are the dominant ingredient. A sprinkling or a soupcon of them won't qualify, except in exceptional circumstances and Susan and I reserve the right to judge those. Here's the logo for this month if you want to use it.

Now for the rules:

In your email sending me the entry, please say MLLA - 52 in the subject line.

Mention your 1) name, 2) blog name, 3) recipe name, 4) the URL of your post, 5) a picture of your dish resized to 300 x 500 (either orientation, but resizing is a must), and 6) your location (necessary, if you win the prize - and let me know if you want that information to be private and not published in the round-up).

 Link your posts to this announcement and to Susan's post here. This is mandatory, please take care to link it to the right posts and not to our blogs themselves.

 Multiple recipes are permitted (although only one submission will be counted towards the random drawing/s). Recipes submitted to other events are also permitted, but other events might have different rules. Recipes from archives can be accepted ONLY if updated and reposted as current. Recipes from those who do not blog are accepted and make eligible the participants to win a prize.

 Link your posts to this announcement and to Susan's host line-up post here. This is mandatory, please take care to link it to the right posts and not our blogs themselves.


 1) Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen by Heidi Swanson. This prize is offered by Susan without influence at her expense, and she will also absorb worldwide shipping charges. F.T.C. Notice: Susan does not receive any compensation from Amazon.

 2) Hurst Bean Box - A case of six bags of the winner's choice of Hurst Bean products, suitable for every diet, sponsored by Hurst Bean. (Due to shipping restrictions, this prize can only be awarded if the winner is a U.S. resident.) F.T.C. Notice: In May 2010, Susan, at her request, received two Hurst Bean complimentary products which are not available for purchase in her local markets. Susan does not generally accept free products from Hurst Bean nor is she financially compensated by them.

 3) Drawing Structure - If the winner is a U.S. resident, she/he will be the recipient of both Prizes 1 and 2 above. In the event that an international winner is drawn, a second drawing will be conducted from the U.S. pool of entrants to ensure that the Hurst Prize is awarded every month. In these instances, the international winner will receive the book, and the U.S. winner will receive the Hurst Prize. Families and friends of the hosts are not eligible to win prizes.