Friday, July 16, 2010

Hot Avakkai Pickle

One can wax eloquent about Avakkai - the Andhra-style mango pickle. I got inspired when I saw it here and here.. I found baby green mangoes at the Indian grocery store this weekend, and decided it was time to try my hand at making this traditional pickle.

The mangoes were not as sour as I would have liked. I'm not sure if this is going to impact the taste a lot - I will update the post after tasting it in a week's time.

Traditionally, the mango pieces are cut with the seed wall - I have no idea why - but this requires slicing right through the seed and then pulling out the hard seed and chopping the mangoes with the seed wall. Back in India, the vendors carry special apparatus to do precisely that. My kitchen knife was not sharp enough to cut through the seed, so I ended up chopping the mango flesh alone.

The rest of the procedure is easy - powder mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and mix with chilli powder, pickling salt and turmeric. Mix with the mango pieces, combine with sesame oil and stir well to combine.


4 C Green mangoes, cut into approx 1 inch sized pieces
3/4 C Pickling salt
1 C Red Chilli powder (I used a little more, since the chilli powder was not too spicy)
3/4 C Mustard seeds (powdered)
1/4 C Fenugreek seeds
250 ml Gingelly oil
2 T Turmeric

Clean and wipe the mangoes thoroughly. Cut with the seed wall intact, if possible. Let dry for about an hour under the fan/in the sun. Combine powdered mustard seeds, fenugreek, turmeric, salt and chilli powder and stir well. In a dry bowl, add the cut mangoes and the pickle powder and mix well. Next, add the gingelly oil. Mix well and transfer to clean glass bottles/pickle jars. The pickle needs to be stirred thoroughly using a wooden spoon for about a week, or until the mangoes have absorbed the flavour from the pickle base. The oil will separate from the pickle and collect on top. In case the mangoes were a little ripe to start with, or the seed wall was not used, store in the refrigerator to maximize shelf life. Enjoy with curd rice!!

 Update : After tasting, I feel there is something missing from the taste of the mangoes. It is important to pick sour mangoes for making Avakkai, as I feel it makes a lot of difference to the end product.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Weekend Breakfast

Hearty wheat waffles (Recipe source : King Arthur website)

A delicious blueberry compote to go with it ..


Friday, July 2, 2010

Caramelized Onion Pepper Bread

I first came across this bread at the One Hot Stove, one of the first food blogs I started reading. While the recipe seemed easy enough, and  the description and pictures tantalizing as always, this bread was relegated to the must-try list for a long long time. Well, now that I have a little bit of time on my hands, I decided to make it. What an awesome bread this is! I love savoury breads - wait - I love savoury anything. Also, caramelized onions are a revelation to me - the resulting intensity of onion flavour is worth the 30 minutes of time spent, stirring the onions constantly to prevent burning. The slow cooked browned onions taste like Onion Pakodas..
I followed the original recipe from Baking Bites, with a few modifications which I will not be making the next time. I did not have bread flour at hand, so I made the recipe with All Purpose flour instead, which resulted in a drier bread with a crust that was chewier than I would have preferred. All the same, the bread tasted fantastic. Next time though, I will definitely use bread flour. Also, I had just 1 tsp of yeast on hand, so the first rise took a much longer time. So why am I blogging about this? I think this bread is so good that I want the handful of readers this blog has to know about this.