Thursday, May 31, 2007

Jackfruit Muffins

Jackfruit Muffins
This month's JFI theme chosen by charming couple Bee & Jai is Jackfruit. The gentle giant of the fruit kingdom with its enticing aroma and sweet scrumptious pods is all set to entrance us in a variety of mouth watering recipes in JFI array, thanks to Indira.



The jackfruit tree itself creates ample interest in the way the fruits are borne on the trunk. Like pearls hidden inside the silky bed of an oyster, the firm, succulent pod is hidden inside a rough and tough outer green rind followed by yellowish sticky appendages which hold the pods in place. Cutting a jackfruit itself is an art. The fruit has to be carefully cut in layers so as to extract the pods intact. To avoid the stickiness of the interiors while cutting, oil is used as a lubricant on hands. My aunt Tulasi is the only one in the family who can cut a jackfruit perfectly. It was always fun to watch her cut the fruit and hand the pods over to our eager hands....We would gobble them up and keep asking for more...The seeds are another delicacy, when roasted over an open fire. Sometimes, they find their way into curries too..That I will save for another post.

For JFI, as usual I wanted to try something new and born was the idea of muffins. I might have come up with a better idea had I had access to fresh fruit, but I could only get canned fruit.

My hubby is a fan of muffins and I beg to differ. I always sense an eggy odor in muffins which puts me off. So, this was an experiment to make a muffin which is egg-smell free and ofcourse hubby dear would be happy too! :-) Onto the recipe now..


Jackfruit Muffin

Recipe:


Makes about 20 medium sized muffins.


Jackfruit Pulp - 1 Cup

All Purpose Flour - 2 Cups

Baking Powder - 1 Tbsp

Egg - 1

Oil - 1/2 Cup

Sugar - 4 Tbsps

Milk - 1 Cup

Honey - 1 Tbsp

Salt - 1/4 tsp

Vanilla Extract - 1 Tsp

For the jackfruit pulp, roughly mash canned or fresh fruit. Whisk together egg, milk, oil, honey and vanilla extract, till well blended. Add the jackfruit pulp to the egg mixture and mix well. Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add the egg and jackfruit mixture to the flour and mix only till the dry ingredients are moistened. Do not overmix. Immediately fill muffin pans or muffin cup liners, till they are 1/2 or 2/3 full. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degree Fahrenheit, for about 20 to 23 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool for sometime.

According to JoyOfBaking website, american muffins are supposed to have a symmetrical domed top, with a bumpy surface. They should feel light for their size and when cut in half the interior should be moist and tender with no tunnels.

I feel proud to say that my muffins turned out perfectly well! Like a perfect American muffin!

Please note that this recipe produces mildly sweet muffins. If you need sweeter ones, use a simple sugar glaze on top or sprinkle a little sugar while the muffins are hot.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hot Buttered Apple Cider

Hot Buttered Apple Cider

First of all, I owe a big apology to all my blogger friends who cared to leave a comment on my previous posts and my inability to respond to them on time. Though it could have been looked upon as arrogance or ill manners, my friends, it is not so. I had not been feeling well. A cold which turned severe and brought along with it its companions sore throat, cough and fever, has taken possession of my immune system for weeks now. Hence the delay in responding to you all...My apologies again...

During these cold ridden days, a true comfort are drinks which warm the throat and spread their goodness throughout every muscle and vessel. Of these, I prefer warm milk, tea, coffee and anything warm, including warm water. Lately when I was searching for some home remedies, I came across hot buttered apple cider. It is supposed to soothe a sore throat and an irritating cold. Well, why not give it a try? After all, I have tried sticking my head into a pot trying to inhale the Vicks infused steam! That act was nothing short of a circus with my hubby holding my head down, lest I run away in the middle and I emerging a couple of minutes later with a face reddened to beat a vine grown tomato! It did provide enough food for laughter, but didn't help clearing my cold.

So, coming back to the buttered apple cider, I simmered Apple Juice with a couple of sticks of cinnamon, added a pat of butter and a dash of nutmeg and sat down with a steaming mug to nurse that cold of mine. It worked to some extent, I should say!


Recipe:


Apple Juice or Sweet Apple Cider - 1 cup

Cinnamon sticks - 1 and a half

Brown Sugar - As per taste

Butter - a thin sliver

Nutmeg - 1 pinch


Simmer apple juice with the cinnamon sticks for about 5 minutes. Add brown sugar according to your taste. Pour apple juice in a mug and add the butter. Sprinkle nutmeg and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mango Peanut Chutney

Mango Peanut Chutney



This time of the year in India, the air is filled with the heady aroma of mangoes..Green ones, ripe ones..Each variety ripening in its own time. While ripe mangoes rule the roost, unripe green mangoes have a magic of their own. A simple favorite snack is to have them sliced thin and seasoned with a dash of salt and chilli powder. My mom uses green mangoes while making Sambar, my aunt makes yummy mango curry, my mom-in-law makes mamidikaya pappu, my dearest ammamma makes mango pickle and I make Mango Peanut Chutney. I must thank my friend Sowju for sharing this recipe. From the time I tasted this addictive combination at her place, I have been hooked and what fascinates me most is the simplicity of the ingredients. Mango and groundnuts blend superbly and create a riot on the palate!

Here it is:

Recipe:

Recipe Source: My Friend Sowju

Ingredients:

Unripe Green Mango - 3/4 of a big one
GroundNuts / Peanuts - Around 3 fistfuls
Dry Red chillies - 2
Salt - As per taste
Finely diced onions - 3 Tbls

Roast peanuts over low heat till they turn light brown. Let them cool. Dice mango into small pieces. Grind peanuts, mango, dry red chillies and salt in a food processor, adding just a sprinkle of water. Mix the diced onions.

Serve with hot rice.

As spring is reminscent of mangoes, I am sending this off to Meeta's Monthly mingle. I hope she accepts it.