Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Family dishes - managing multiple tastes

I woke up to find an email in my inbox from a friend who'd just been on this blog. We landed up exchanging notes about a couple of things, including this part of her note:
"I have been struggling to figure out what I should be feeding my children and have been trying to create a meal plan of what the children are having for their meals each week but have not got that figured out. No, we have not quite reached the point where the children eat the same stuff is we do. I would like to try to move towards that except that we are often more calorie-conscious and would like to eat spicier foods."

My response:
"Yes, it's a hard one, but once the kids get to an age when you're starting to think about their calorie intake as well (I know we are), it's easier to start cooking a common meal. AND, now we have huge collection of pickles to go with the less spicy meals!"
Of course, some of you may know that I mean Indian Pickles or Achar which are rather different from the innocuous pickled kirby you get with your deli sandwich. The easiest way to manage your craving for mind-blowing spice is to pick up a bottle of the spicy stuff at your nearest Indian store. However, here's a recipe for those of you who'd rather try this at home:

Manga pickle (Indian mango pickle)
Ingredients:
One pound of green mango
Two tsp salt
Two pinches of cumin seeds
Two tea spoons of mustard seeds
Two teaspoons of red chili powder
Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder
Two teaspoons Oil (preferably mustard oil)

  • Slice the mangoes into narrow, 1 inch pieces (keep the peels on)
  • Add half the chili powder, all the turmeric and salt and mix well in a large bowl.
  • Roast cumin seeds, and mustard seeds, stir in the rest of the chili powder and mix with the mango pieces
  • Pour in the oil, and mix well
  • Let stand till cool, then pack into a jar with a tight lid, and let sit for at least a week before you try the spicy mix! (Check on it each day, and shake the bottle/ jar each time.)

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