Mango Relish

I love the mango season, with its many varieties of fruit. The sweet Alphonso is juicy and bursting with flavour, then there are the large and slightly chalky tasting banganapalli mangoes, from andhra pradesh. Their skin is so thin you could almost eat it. The tart popat mangoes of Maharashtra that taste delicious with a little salt are irresistible and not to forget the safedas, langdas, kesari, dussheri and many more local mangoes. While mangoes are eaten diced, pulped, juiced, I am making a sweet sour relish out of grated raw mangoes. This can be eaten as an accompaniment or as a topping on crackers. It keeps refrigerated up to a week.


100 gm raw pickling mangoes grated
1 inch piece of ginger grated
30 gm Jaggery or 3 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
5-6 fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon asafetida powder


Heat the oil and add the fenugreek and mustard seeds. When the seeds start to splutter, add all the ingredients except the grated mango. Cook for 15 secs on a low flame. Add the raw mango and ginger. Cook for 2 mins constantly stirring. Serve warm or cold.


Jackfruit Masala

This is a very special recipe because like i mentioned in my post before, this fruit when unripe and cooked in a gravy tastes a lot like eating meat.

Serves 4


1/2 kg of raw Jackfruit, pealed fresh or canned. Diced to 2 inch pieces

3 large red onions sliced finely

2 medium sized tomatoes chopped finely

30gm chopped coriander

10 leaves of fresh mint

2 teaspoons garlic paste

1 teaspoon ginger paste

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

2 teaspoons red chilli powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

2 teaspoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon garam masala powder

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Salt to taste

Juice of 1/2 a lime

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil


Heat a heavy bottom vessel, and add half the quantity of oil. Wash the jackfruit well and pat it dry with a kitchen towel.

Add to the hot oil and lightly brown till golden. Fry 8-10 pieces at a time. Add more oil if required.

Keep aside and drain on a paper towel.

In the same oil add the onions and fry till well browned. Do not let them turn black and charred.

Add ginger garlic paste and tomatoes and fry till the oil separates and comes to the sides of the vessel.

Add all the dry powders except garam masala, salt, sugar and lime juice.

Fry for a few minutes and add the fried Jackfruit to this. Add half a cup of water and let it simmer for about 5-7 minutes till the gravy has thickened.

Lastly add the sugar, salt, fresh coriander & mint. Check seasoning and add the garam masala. Stir and stop cooking at this point.

Add lime juice just before serving. This vegetable goes well with Indian bread like naan, chappatis or steaming hot rice.

Jack of All Fruit!

This time of the year in India you get a beautiful fruit called Jackfruit.  Although its supposed to have originated in the southwestern rain forests of India, today it grows in most tropical countries such as  Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.  It can weigh up to 30 plus kgs and grows on trees, sometimes even in bunches of threes and fours.

I have one in my kitchen today and it looks like the picture below

The outside is scaly but the inside is soft and spongy. The fruit gives off a resin like sticky substance which is difficult to get off the knife or hands, and hence its advisable to rub a little vegetable oil on your knife and hands before cutting the fruit.

This fruit is truly amazing because it can be made into a vegetable in its raw form. In fact it is often referred to poor man’s meat because of its texture. Lightly boiled and fried, it can be put into any preparation similar to that of sheep or goat’s meat. The seeds of the fruit too can be boiled de-skinned and eaten much like peanuts.

The ripe fruit looks like the picture below

Seeds of the ripe fruit

Baby Lobster in Butter Pepper & Garlic

Lobster meat is tender and sweet, and requires very few ingredients to make it taste divine. This recipe brings out the subtle flavors of this beautiful shellfish.

It’s very easy to make & pairs well with a crisp chardonnay.

I like to make these baby lobsters in their shell because I love the coral color on the outside, but you could make then de-shelled and they taste just as good.


9-10 baby lobsters, deveined and in their shells

6-7 cloves of garlic chopped fine

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

3 Tablespoons chicken stock (A stock cube dissolved in warm water will do)

½ Teaspoon Fresh crushed pepper powder

Salt to taste

Fresh chopped parsley


Heat a wok, melt the butter. Add the chopped garlic and sauté till light golden in color. Add the baby lobsters, pepper, salt and chicken stock. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-7 minutes or till lobster is cooked. Garnish with chopped parsley

Note: Chicken stock tens to be a little salty, so check for salt before adding.

This can be served as main course with tomato salsa, mashed potatoes and some warm bread.

Prawn in Thai Chilli Sauce

Prawn in Thai Chilli Sauce

This very simple stir fry can be made in minutes and makes an excellent starter. I serve it with toothpicks and friends love to lick off the excess sauce in the dish once the prawns are over.

Serves 2

Ideal for a rainy day!



200 gm shrimp  marinated for half an hour

Tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

Dry red chilies chopped finely

6-7 Cloves finely chopped garlic

1 Small red onion

1/4 Teaspoon Thai shrimp paste (Available at a specialty/gourmet food store

1/4 Teaspoon ginger paste

50 gm green beans

spring onions for garnish

For the marinade

1/4 Teaspoon salt

1/4 Teaspoon sugar

2 Teaspoons light soya sauce (Kikkoman is best, but any other brand will do too)

1 Teaspoon red chili paste

2 Teaspoon Ketchup

1 Teaspoon Oyster mushroom sauce

1 Teaspoon vinegar


Heat the oil, add all the ingredients except beans, prawns and spring onions. Saute for 2 mins till the smell of raw shrimp paste has left the wok. Now add green beans and cook till half done. Add the prawns and cook till tender. Do not over cook the prawns, this should take 4-5 mins on a low flame. Lastly add spring onions and serve hot.

Vegetarians could make this using deep fried firm tofu cut into cubes. Skip the marination and add all the ingredients to the oil and stir fry on medium heat adding the fried tofu and spring onions last.