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.

               Your end product might vary in texture, based on the size of the mango chunks and the consistency (as seen in my pictures too).

             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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