Friday, July 07, 2017

No-Bake No-Gelatin Super Easy Mango Pie

June has been an extremely busy month. End of school year means the school tries to fit in hundreds of stuff in there. Add to that fabulous warm weather which means lot of outdoor times. This June was extra special as Big Sis is going to high school and 8th grade graduation is a big deal in our school district. The graduating 8th grade class do not all move to the same high school but depending on their interests and performance get scattered among different high schools in the district. So while our parents probably never noticed our transition from 8th grade to 9th, here we had umpteen ceremonies to celebrate the graduation class. The school had a semi-formal 8th grade dance, a picnic by the pool, award days and then the graduation with gowns, caps and whole nine-yards. Not to forget the orientation for the new school and the placements.
Pheww, it was one thing after another, where it is kind of drilled into you the importance of high school!

When we could barely breathe and school had just shuts its doors, little Sis had her Bharatnatyam dance recital. That thing had me stressed more than high school; what with all the makeup, costume and hair do. Thankfully a dear friend came to the rescue(as usual) and took care of all the makeup and hair. Little Sis did the rest -- practicing and doing perfect dance routines. I did nothing. Wait, actually I did. I stressed!!!

I am so glad it all is done. At this point I am just trying to relax and not think what September will bring.

Meanwhile Big Sis has also been keeping up with her culinary endeavors. here is a super delicious recipe of Mango Pie that she learned from our neighbor. It is no-bake. It is no-gas top. It is no-gelatin. And the best thing that we have had with mangoes. This has been vouched by many people other than me so if you don't believe me, believe in the universe.

A slice of this cool mango pie on a summer day is better than any ice cream for sure.

What You Need

Two graham cracker pie crust

One can of sweetened condensed milk -- Nestle carnation 14oz can

Same amount of mango puree as condensed milk -- Deep Mango Pulp from a can

Equal amount of greek yogurt as condensed milk and mango puree -- Fage greek yogurt

How I Did It

Blend the condensed milk, mango puree, and Greek yogurt until a smooth consistency

Pour into pie crust and freeze overnight. It is a good idea to cover it with a cling-wrap to prevent ice crystals from forming on the surface. But it is okay, even if you don't

Top with whipped cream for an extra taste

Serve cold

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mumu'r Phulkopir Malaikari -- Cauliflower in Coconut Curry

This recipe is our friend Mumu's. She is one half of that couple who makes roshogollas and dal gosht and tolerates us when we land up at their home on any random weekends. That is saying a lot. No good stuff that I say about her and K, can top the fact that they welcome us and feed us on "random" weekend. I mean anyone who does that must be close to a saint or something

So anyway this Phulkopir Malaikari is Mumu's signature dish. We have had it at her home many times and loved it every time. I don't know why I never made it at home though until recently. A few weeks back, I made it at home, roughly following her recipe. It turned out so good that I had to share it with you all.

Now if you are a Bengali, Chingri Malaikari is your anthem and needs no explaining. If however you are new to Bengali cuisine, let me tell you that Chingri Malaikari, is a Bong's national anthem. I mean, it is a dish where succulent prawns are cooked in a gravy of coconut milk and is so delicious that you need to eat it to believe it. There are many theories about roots of this curry. I don't know which one is true but once you taste the dish, it clearly shows the effect of  the cuisine of SouthEast asia, the Malay world,which now comprises of the modern nations of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei, and southern Thailand.

If you are a vegetarian and have never tasted the Chingri Malaikari, this Cauliflower Malaikari, is just the thing you need.It is pretty simple where fried cauliflower florets are cooked in a coconut gravy with almost the same spicing as a Malaikari. Since there is no prawn which adds the full bodied flavor to the chingri malaikari, here we add a bit more spices to compensate. But I must say, the result is phenomenal! Try it.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Nandini's Fish Curry with Lime Leaves -- Lebu Pata diye Maacher Jhol

I often hear people say that you don't make good friends after your childhood. That the best friends you make are the one you had since school or college. I understand the logic in there, that the friends you made in the age of innocence, unencumbered with worldly burdens or egos, are the true ones.

However, I have been extremely lucky to have found some good friends in all phases of my life. I found a very good friend when I was working in Mumbai and I am always indebted to her for sharing her love for reading with me. We would go second-book shopping outside Churchgate on Saturdays and she was the one who gave me a copy of "My Family and other Animals", thus introducing me to the magical writings of Gerald Durell.

N, is the aunt who dresses up my daughter for her Bharatnatyam performance as I am clueless
When I came to the US, and was desperately seeking a Bengali fiend, I found Nandini at K-Mart. Nope, she was not on sale. How I met her and what led to our friendship, is a saga on its own and I have even written about it in my book. If you are very interested, you can look it up in there. Slowly, I made more friends but had I not met N that day and braved myself to express my desperate need for friendship with a stranger like her, my life in US would probably be very different. Probably mundane and glitter free.
From her undying love for Shahrukh Khan to her obsessing about exercise, she keeps me informed about a wide range of things from Bollywood to weight-loss trainings, from the best sushi place in town to lebu-paata diye maacher jhol. Honestly, she is like the sister I never had !