Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Mango Jam

For some, mangoes are exotic fruits. For me, mango jam is exotic. Cooking the ripe fruit with sugar until they are mush and set, may be an age old technique of fruit preserving, but I never did that with mangoes until now. As part of JFI-Mango Event on May 1st, Ripe Mango Cubes, Sugar and Lime Juice I’ve decided to try some new recipes and feature some of my old favorites with mangoes. This is one of the recipes that I selected to write about.

Who doesn’t love jam toast in the morning? It’s quick and easy. The type of breakfast many of us here, prefer on a weekday morning for that rush hour energy boost. But, often store-bought fruit preserves are loaded with more cheap corn syrup than the fruit. Preparing jam at home means controlling the sugar quantity that is added to the fruit to our liking.

My recipe for mango jam is simple. Pick ripe mangoes, peel and cut them into small cubes. Add little bit of limejuice to give that extra acidic edge and cook the fruit with sugar until it turns mushy and comes together like firm, yet moist solidity. Store it in a clean glass jar and refrigerate. Buy or bake bread and you don’t have to worry about “what’s for breakfast?” question, at least for few days.

(for about 1 cup of jam)

1 big, ripe mango
(Peeled and cut into small cubes - 1½ cup of cut fruit)
¼ cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of lime juice

Take them all in a clean pot. Cook on medium heat, stirring in-between. The sugar will melt and the fruit will break down. Within 15 to 20 minutes, The soggy, watery mass will come together into solid, moist lump, like halwa or kova and set. Turn off the heat. Let it cool completely and store in a clean jar.

One cup of mango jam lasted for 4 toasts for us. We couldn’t resist the quiveringly tender, rich yellow-sapphire like mango jam and consumed half of it even before cooling.

Mango Jam

Recipe Notes:
My version is low sugar preserve.
For sweet commercial type of jam taste - increase the above sugar quantity to half cup.
Mango jam sets easily because of pectin content in mangoes. But if you are planning to prepare this jam on a big scale, adding some commercial pectin might be helpful.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mango, Sugar (Tuesday April 25, 2006 at 1:45 pm- permalink)
Comments (37)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Mango-Coconut Pulihora (Mamidi Kobbarannam)

I started out my weekend with a plan. The plan was to prepare the famous Andhra mango pickle, ‘avakaya’, for next week’s JFI. You know about pickles. To prepare and present it, you need to make it at least one week in advance. So, I went to Pittsburgh and picked out the greenest mangoes available at one of the Indian grocery stores. The mangoes were very green and hard and so I was confident that they were unripe. On Sunday, I was in full pickle making mode. Cleaned out the kitchen, dried out any signs of moisture from counter tops and prepared all the essentials - mustard seed powder and red chilli powder. I was all ready to make pickle. But alas…

As often happens with the best laid out plans, things went awry. In this case, green, hard and thought to be unripe mangoes, when cut open, were ripe inside. The flesh was pale yellow and the taste was not very sour. I had to drop my plan to make pickle. Instead of going down the path of questioning my life in US, where I can’t even prepare my favorite pickle, I picked up my spirits and quickly found a use for my not so green, not so ripe mangoes. I remembered Mika’s comment about her way of preparing mango rice with coconut and also her recently blogged mango rice recipe. I had all the ingredients, including a fresh, decent coconut. Viola… the life in US looked much better.:)

I tried out the mango pulihora with coconut and mustard powder. Between the tangy sweetness of mango+coconut and the sharp, zesty flavor of mustard+chillies, the taste of pulihora was so unique and irresistible. I was glad that I tried this recipe, this one is a keeper. Thanks Mika.

Fresh coconut, Green Unripe Mango, Mustard Seeds and Green Chillies
Fresh coconut, Green Unripe Mango, Mustard Seeds and Green Chillies

(steps written in order of preparation)

Cook Rice:
1 cup of rice in 2 cups of water.
(I prepared it with Sona Masuri Rice)

Finely Powder:
2 teaspoons of mustard seeds - using a spicemill or coffee grinder

Make a Paste:
1 medium sized green unripe mango - peeled and cubed
½ cup of finely chopped fresh coconut
8 to 10 small green chillies

Grinding the mango, coconut and green chillies
Grinding the mango, coconut and green chillies

Heat and Toast:
1 teaspoon of peanut oil, in a big sauté pan.
¼ cup of peanuts to golden brown color and remove.

Do the Popu or Tadka:
Add another teaspoon of oil or ghee to the same pan. Do the popu by toasting one teaspoon of each - cumin, mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, few pieces of dried red chillies and curry leaves.

 Sauteeing the ingredients for Mango-Coconut Pulihora
Sauteeing the ingredients

Add and Sauté:
To the popu, add the
Mustard seed powder,
Smooth mango-coconut-chilli paste,
1 teaspoon of turmeric and salt.

Stir and sauté this mixture for 3 to 5 minutes on medium heat, until the mango paste leaves its raw smell. Don’t overcook, that would kill the precious mango flavor completely. Stir in the toasted peanuts that were kept aside. Switch off the heat.

To this sautéed mixture, add the cooked rice. Mix thoroughly and serve. The pulihora should taste little bit tartly because of unripe mango, sweet due to coconut, spicy strong because of chillies and mustard powder.

Mango-Coconut Pulihora
Mango-Coconut Pulihora

Mango Pulihora - Andhra Style

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mango, Coconut (Fresh), Mamidikaya (Green Mango) (Monday April 24, 2006 at 1:46 pm- permalink)
Comments (24)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Burger and Fries ~ The Sweet Kind

We’ve received some unexpected guests yesterday and I had to prepare a quick appetizer/sweet. My guests are very Indian but their ‘chic’ children absolutely don’t like anything remotely Indian, that is what the parents informed us. So with the gifts they brought and with some things we purchased from the shop, I put together a quick appetizer/dessert mainly for children. There is no excuse to feed them this kind of stuff but that was all I’m able to comeup with and they seem to like my burger and french fries imitation.

I also prepared mango shakes to go with burger and french fries. My American fast food simulation seem to really impress the parents and their equally gullible children. After they left, I couldn’t refrain from temptation any longer, so I prepared this special burger for myself. First I took a photo and then I took a bite. The burger-fries are rich in calories and super rich in taste - the whole combination felt sinful, with all the chocolate, strawberry and mango flavors included. Imagine the taste if I had used the glazed donuts, instead of plain ones! It is a dare, any one?

Burger and Fries - The Sweet Kind

Shopping List & How to:
For Burgers: Donuts, glaze free(bun), brownies(patty), white chocolate(cheese).
Slice the donuts into half. Cut brownies into thin layers. Size the chocolate to match the size of cut brownie. Put together a sweet burger.
For ketchup:
Puree strawberries, orange juice and some honey for ketchup.
For french fries:
Peel the mango and slice the mango into thin french fry shaped pieces

Prerequisites to participate in dare: 4 miles running or walking:).
Recipe idea: Cooking show on TV

This is my entry to “Virtual Cooking Competition~Appetizers“, by VKN of My Dhaba. The gracious host has just announced the prize - 250 dollars, can you believe it?, for the winning entries and requesting your nominations for favorite entries. Go, nominate your favorites and have fun.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Fruits, Mango, Strawberries (Monday April 10, 2006 at 9:59 am- permalink)
Comments (30)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

12.Mango Halwa (Mango Flavored Ravva Kesari)

“Heavenly” - that’s how I remember Indian mangoes. “Damn…” That�s what comes out of my mouth, whenever I buy mangoes here. Mangoes available here look big and bulky and if you cut them open, there won’t be rich yellow color, there won’t be any heavenly aroma, and the less said the better about the taste. The product of poor soil and excessive fertilizer use. Well, that’s what we get here. At first, the taste was a shock, then over the time we began to ‘appreciate’ the poor taste of mangoes, of course we don’t have a choice.

Whenever I crave Indian mangoes, out comes the treasured family recipe, mango halwa. Preparing like halwa intensifies the mango flavor. In this recipe, mango puree is cooked with toasted semolina in sugar syrup. The result - rich yellow color is back, heavenly taste and aroma of mangoes that we remember from India is there. Also milk free and relatively low calorie. A little bit different than how the regular halwa is prepared, this favorite of mine is more like - mango flavored ravva kesari.

Mango Halwa
A delight to the senses - mango halwa


3 ripe mangoes or 6 cups of cut mango (3 Costco/Samsclub kind of mangoes)
½ cup fine semolina (Suji ravva works fine too)
¼ to ½ cup sugar (add less or more according to the mango sweetness)
1 tablespoon of melted ghee
3 cardamom pods - seeds finely powdered
1 cup of water

Ripe Mango, Cardamom, Semolina and Sugar - Ingredients for Mango Halwa

1. Peel the mangoes, cut them into cubes. Keep a quarter-cup of finely cubed mango aside. Take the remaining mango in a mixer, blend into fine, smooth puree, without adding water.

2. Heat a half tablespoon of ghee in a skillet, add and lightly toast semolina, just until it leaves raw smell. Remove and keep it aside.

3. In a thick bottomed, wide pan, take water and sugar. Heat them slowly until the sugar melts. Then increase the heat to bring the mixture to a boil. Wait for sugar syrup to thicken a bit and stir in blended mango puree and toasted semolina. Cook the mixture, on medium heat, stirring in-between to prevent sticking, until the mixture reduces by one third. It takes at least 20 minutes. At this stage, sprinkle the cardamom powder and finely cubed mango pieces that were kept aside. Stir, stir…for 2 to 3 minutes and then turn off the heat.

4. Coat a pan or tray with melted ghee and spoon the cooked halwa into the pan. Allow it to cool (halwa thickens further as it cools) and cut into squares. Remove and serve.

Mango halwa tastes great warm or cold. This time, I spooned it into muffin cups for individual sized servings and kept the muffin pan in the refrigerator for about one hour.

Mango Halwa - in Muffin size
Celebrating spring with mango halwa ~ For this week’s Indian Sweets 101.

Makes about 6 regular sized muffin cup portions.
Recipe Source: family
Kitchen Notes: Prepare it with fresh ripe mangoes. Fresh mango puree tastes better and the fiber etc., when cooked contributes to faster thickening of halwa. For this reason avoid store bought watery and preservatives added mango concentrate to prepare this sweet.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mitai, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Mango, Suji/Semolina, Indian Sweets 101 (Thursday March 23, 2006 at 2:20 pm- permalink)
Comments (54)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Tropical Fruit Tart

Stephanie’s beautiful fruit tart inspired me to make one myself. Also I saw this month’s SHF theme was tarts and that gave me the final push I needed.

I used a store bought lard-free pie shell as base for fruits. Did I say that this was my first time making tart, may be next time I might make my own tart shell. For now, this will do. For filling, I went with toasted walnuts and fresh fruits - ripe mango, strawberries, plums, cherries and cantaloupe.

Baked the pie shell in the oven for 15 minutes as per instructions on the cover of the pie shell package. Meanwhile I started to cut the ripe fruits in different shapes needed for my tart. With all the remaining scraps of fruit, I made jam/jelly, just like that. I added 6 tablespoons of brown sugar and watched the fruit bits turn into bright, colorful mush on high heat. I let it cool, stored half of it as jam and to the remaining half, I added half a cup of toasted walnuts and pureed them together to a smooth paste. This was my tart filler.

bits of fruit for jam Jam/Jelly

After filling the tart shell with the fruit-walnut puree, I arranged cut mangos, strawberries, plums, cherries and cantaloupe in order and refrigerated the tart for about one hour. Ta da… check the photo of fruit tart below, isn’t it colorful and pretty?

What a quick and easy recipe, but it gives the impression as if it took hours to prepare. We shared this delicious fruit tart with our next-door neighbor to congratulate on her new job.

Tropical Fruit Tart

My maiden attempt at fruit tart was a delightful success. I will definitely make many more.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Walnuts, Fruits, Mango, Strawberries, Sugar (Friday June 17, 2005 at 7:49 am- permalink)
Comments (23)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

Mango - The National Fruit of India

Mango from India
Delicious Mango, Sprinkled with Salt and Chilli Powder

Namaste. Welcome to my website ~ Mahanandi. A showcase of my latest interest, that is recording the age-old recipes my family prepares at home in India.

Indian cuisine is one of the mother cuisines of the world and Indian cuisine is sustenance cooking at its best. In our day-to-day cooking, the local, humble ingredients are elevated through healthy, sophisticated cooking techniques to scrumptious dishes. The precious culinary traditions have been preserved and passed from generation to generation through word of mouth and daily hands-on-ingredients experience, without the need of fancy cooking schools, culinary degrees, cookbooks and recipe cards for so long. But the times are changing…

I am attempting this from my home in Ohio, US. I have come across a number of recipe sites, but I could not find any with pictures of ingredients or everyday meals. My hope is that Mahanandi with food photos will entertain and delight those who already knew the ingredients and recipes, also offers some level of interest and assistance to novice who loves and wants to try Indian cuisine.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Fruits, Indian Ingredients, Mango (Saturday March 26, 2005 at 8:46 pm- permalink)
Comments (26)

The New Home of Mahanandi:

« Next Page —