April 22, 2016

Blanching Almonds

How to Blanch Almonds

                      Lots of delicious recipes call for blanched almonds. If you haven't blanched before, there is a misconception that, it is a tedious & time consuming process. I assure you; it is not! You may need another set of helping hands, only if you have a ton of almonds, to skin. Here's a step by step pictorials to show you how easy, it really is.

How to blanch almonds:
  • Take the required quantity of whole almonds in a heat proof bowl.
  • Take enough water (to submerge the almonds) in a saucepan & bring it to a rolling boil.
  • Pour boiling hot water onto the almonds & let sit for 2 minutes.
  • Rinse the almonds in cold water, drain & start squeezing the almonds out of their skins. The skin should slip away easily in one piece.
  • Now use them whole or slivered/chopped; as called for in your recipe. If you need to powder the almonds, let them dry before powdering/pulverizing. 

April 9, 2016

Mangai Pachadi / Raw Mango Sweet & Sour Chutney

How to make Mangai/Raw Mango Pachadi

                Chithirai thiru naal/Tamizh Puthaandu or commonly known as Tamil new year's day comes every April. The feast on this day, will invariably include neem flowers, in at least one of the dishes; either veppam poo(neem flower) pachadi, veppam poo rasam or at the very least hidden in the mango pachadi. Adding a small amount of neem flowers to the mango pachadi is the best way to mask its bitterness in the sweet,sour & spicy mango pachadi.

              If you have never tasted or are reluctant to try neem flowers - let me guarantee that using a smaller quantity & frying them in ghee does help a lot with the bitterness. You can also skip those miniature bitter flowers and enjoy your mango (sour & spicy, with a hint of sweetness) pachadi this new years day. 

             இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!!


1 raw/green mango(about 3 cups) - chopped or shaved without skin
1/4 tbsp, jaggery
1/4 tsp, turmeric powder
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp, dried neem flower (cleaned for impurities) - can add more or skip completely
1 tbsp, ghee

Grind to a fine paste:

2 tbsp, grated coconut
2 green chillies
(sprinkle some water for grinding)

For tempering:

1 tbsp, oil
a pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp, mustard seeds
a few curry leaves
1 broken, dry red chilli

How to make Mangai/Raw Mango Pachadi, Raw Mango Sweet & Sour Chutney for Tamil new year,

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