Sunday, October 14, 2007

A chutney, strange lemons and a meme :)

A cpl. of days back, dear Mansi lovingly said, "Your next post better have some peach in it" :). So, here i am, with some peaches. I have a question for you, dear reader-how many people do you know who purposely pick sour/tangy/un-ripe peaches :-D. If you are reading this, you sure know atleast one: moi! I love peaches, actually i LOVE peaches. When i have peaches in my kitchen, i just have them as such-i don't even wait to cut them ;). I prefer yellow peaches and ectarines to white ones, because of their sweet n' tangy taste. To be honest, i don't have enough self-control to cook with fruits. The best dessert for me is to peel/cut a fruit and enjoy it. At the most i pair it up with some home-made frozen yoghurt/ice-cream. Mansi, then, had me real worried. I had to make something out of a fruit. That demanded a lot of self-control. Hence, i decided in favor of semi-ripe peaches/nectarines, hoping that i won't finish this dish even before i began making it, by gobbling up the fruit :-D.

The next worry was, what to make with tangy nectarines.....i looked up Google, and saw the words "Peach" and "Chutney". I felt grateful, immediately headed for the kitchen, prepared my version of the chutney (which included finishing up half of the fruit as i was dicing it!), got back, read the recipe from Google, decided to add a lovely ingredient (roasted walnuts) from it to jazz up my version a bit. The end result was great, a khatti-meethi (sweet and sour) chutney!

Here's the original recipe (It uses tomatoes, raisins, Vanilla syrup, and a lot of ground walnut-more sweet relish like chutney. Kids would really enjoy it). And the following is my version:

Nectarine chutney:

We need:

  • 2 yellow nectarines, diced (i started with three, but ate one!)
  • 1/4 onion (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1-2 green chillies (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp. each cumin and coriander powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. lime juice (optional, to be used if you use really sweet peaches)
  • 2 tbsp. coarsely ground walnuts
  • 1 tsp. oil
In a pan, heat the oil and saute' onions and ginger. Add the cumin and coriander powders and the chopped green chillies. Stir and add 1/2 cup water. Now add the diced peaches and salt. Stir, cover and cook the peaches on low till they are tender.
Cool down the peaches (at this stage, it makes a nice side-dish too). Grind into a smooth paste. Add coarsely ground walnuts to the chutney, mix and enjoy :).


When i had a spoonful, the taste reminded of the traditional sweet aloobukhara/plum chutney.....which gets a lot of its flavor from the ground walnuts too. So plz. don't miss out on this ingedient. I thank the chef Mr. Frankenthaler for this ingredient. I finished this in one sitting :-D.

This goes to Mansi for AFAM:Peach/Nectarine. AFAM is a great, fruity get-together envisaged by Maheshwari from Beyond the Usual.

Now over to some interesting stuff from the supermarket:

I was at the Whole Foods Market in Westwood to pick up some vegetables when i sighted the following.....


Needless to say, it was spellbinding.....i looked around, with my cell phone ready to take a picture, trying to find someone to get permission for the same. One of the staff saw me, gave me a broad smile and said,"it is worth a picture, really" :). Now, i won't keep you guessing about it.....look right below to find the answer!


Buddha's hands.....thats the name for this grogeous beauty.....its actually a citron and apparently originated in northeastern India. I had never seen this one before, so it was quite a pleasant surprise.....

I also saw these cute looking fruits, the tamarillos. They really look like eggplants....(i actually did buy some golden eggplants y'day, will post pictures next time i write about eggplants). I think i'll buy them once to see how they taste. From what i read, seems like they would be great. Any ideas on this, anyone.


And now its time for a me-me :). Dear buddy Sra from "When my soup came alive" tagged me for the "life in fours" me-me.....so here's me, talking about me :-D.

Four places i've lived:

India (Amritsar, New Delhi, Bangalore), my beloved country
Boston
New York City
Los Angeles


Four jobs i (dream i) had:

Owner of the best cafe' and pastry shop in your neighbourhood (or your neighbourhood chai-wallah)
Cook ;) at your favorite bistro (or your favorite dhaba)
A loving and beloved teacher
Owner of a cute lil' book store


Four favorite places i've holidayed:

Home (thats blissful, i tell you: people cooking for you, caring for you) :-D
US, for the lovely cities on both East and West coasts
Goa and Kerala, for their breathtaking beauty
New Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad for the shopping sprees ;)


Four favorite foods (only four, not fair!):

Mom's Rajma chawal, namkeen churi and paranthas (how Punju!)
Kara baath, shavige and rave idli
Haak/dum olu/ kalan/ moong-masoor daal/ kadhi with plain rice
Chaat-pakodi: gol-gappas, tikkis, samosas, paav-bhaaji, khatte laddu, bhel-poori etc.


Four places i would rather be (as per my current mood):

Sitting outside in sun with a good book
Santa Monica-Third Street Promenade
My buddy Golden Girl's home, for a chai and upma that we would cook together
At a neighbourhood Indian restaurant, for lunch with MD


Four bloggers i would like to tag:

Richa@As Dear As Salt
Pel@Elaichi etcetera
Shweta @ Fresh Flavors
Tee@Bhaatukli

Please take it up at your leisure :). Enjoy :).

33 comments:

Sharmi said...

heyyyy, thats a tangy chutney there:) looks yum and those Buddha's hands look scary:(
very cute MEME to read.the last row of fav food is all my fav too:))

bee said...

like you said, when we get fresh fruit, they get doused with salt and chilli powder and gobbled up. the walnuts in the chutney is a new twist. enjoyed reading the meme.

Mona said...

Hi there ! Those lemons were indeed very strange, Very strange !! I have never ever heard of a Nectarine Chutney ! I sure wanna taste that someday, so i have bookmarked this recipe of yours. See ya

www.monaafzal.wordpress.com

musical said...

Sharmi:

Yup, the chutney was really nice. thats why i finished it in one go :). One small bowl chutney with one rava dose!! The lemons looked scary to me in the store, but i find them cute in the picture :). That last row of food , i guess, would be favorite with majority :-D.

Bee:

I don't even wait for salt and chillies ;). Straight from platter to mouth :-D. The walnuts always give a nice texture to chutneys and dips. Check out Anita's Doon Pudna Chatin.

Mona:

Really strange lemons these are :). Thats why i wanted to take the picture! Try the chutney, am sure you'll like it :).

Tee said...

What an interesting post! I love how those lemons look...perfect for Halloween ;)
Chutney looks delish...i think the flavor of peaches must be going really well in this combo.
Thanks for tagging me...i will definitely take it up :)

Mishmash ! said...

This chutney could be used as a dip too, right :) and the lemons, thanks for sharing those pics, this pic shows you have good presence of mind :D and third promendade, hehe....i think we should go there together ;P

Shn

TBC said...

Those lemons look quite scary!
Chutney seems nice and tangy.I've tried something similar with Granny Smith apples:-)That was really good. I can imagine what this must have tasted like.
Nice meme.

Sig said...

Oh yummy, what a great idea for a chutney... :) And those buddha's hands, wow... never seen those! But I;ve had the tamarillo though. They had some in our asian grocery store this summer, and those were about $6 a fruit, so sure I had to try... well, it wasn't worth the prize :( , kind of like tomato I'd say... We just cut them up and had it, should've sprinkled some sugar... if it is cheaper, then definitely go for it... :)
Loved your me-me... We all have great jobs in our dreams at least ;)

musical said...

Tee:

I thought so too, about these lemons being halloween stuff! Kinda' expensive though! i would still stick to good old pumpkins ;). and yes, the peaches tasted really good in this chutney-like a typical desi khatti-meethi chutney. Thanks to you too, dear, for taking up the meme.Looking forward to it :).


Shn:

Yeah, it goes well as a dip too. Thanks for the "presence of mind" compliment :). Oh, and are you in SoCal? may be we really should go to the Third Street together :).


TBC:

They did look scary in the store! Oh, apple chutney must have tasted yummy, dear! Great idea! Thanks, dear :).


Sig:

The chutney works as a great dip too. I saw those lemons for the first time as well! Ah, so the tamarillo do taste like tomatoes. $6 a fruit! thats super expensive!! I'll check out how much they cost. Yeah, those dream jobs are always nice :). Dream on, baby!

evolvingtastes said...

Chutney looks grrrreat! Too bad the peaches are on their way out here. btw, fresh peaches are also superb in salsa (use instead of tomato) - see, I gave you a nice recipe in return, no? :)

Sreelu said...

Musical, wow what a weird looking lemons indeed, did you buy them ? if so how did they taste ?Tamarillo are cute too wonder how they would taste.

Nice to know you thru your meme

sra said...

Musical, being owner of a book store was one of my dreams too, at least a lending library. Enjoyed reading your meme. I once ate a sweet and sour chutney with peaches but it was not ground, it was in slices.

RAKS KITCHEN said...

Great entry for AFAM Peach and thanx for sharing the photos of the lemon and tamarillos :))

Raaga said...

Cute nimbu!! Nice chutney... and a very interesting me-me :-)

Rachna said...

heee musy...when i read the title it reminded me of my mum's plum chutney and then you mentioned it too...!! will def try this nectarine chutney... me too cant cook with fruit...end up eating it just like that... loved the meme..

Rachna said...

heee musy...when i read the title it reminded me of my mum's plum chutney and then you mentioned it too...!! will def try this nectarine chutney... me too cant cook with fruit...end up eating it just like that... loved the meme..

musical said...

Sreelu:

Yes, they indeed look scary! But i didn't buy them, they were $9.99/lemon!! From the Wikipedia link, apparently they are used as home fragrance and the jest is used as an aromatic ingredient. Sig says that tamarillos weren't particularly exciting!


Sra:

That's sweet! We share a dream :). I can imagine how the chuutney you mentioned would have tasted-i tried some of the stuff from picture 2 in the post-it tastes like a sweet n' sour sabzi :).


Raks Kitchen:

Hey, i am glad you enjoyed the pictures :). The lemon picture was definitely worth sharing :).

musical said...

Raaga:

The nimbu looks very cute in picture, especially with red tomatoes in the background. But in reality it did look a lil' scary! He he, i am cute, so the me-me had to be cute :-D. Glad you liked the chutney :).


Rachna:

So, you love and cherish the lum chutney too :). That one is special indeed. and i agree, cooking with fruits is not easy at all :-D. Looking forward to your me-me :).

KayKat said...

Those lemons are freaky!

Re: tamarillos - I've heard they make a great pizza topping. And they work well in sauces and gravies too. Have fun with them - always so exciting to check out new vegetables :)

musical said...

Kaykat:

Thanks for the bit on tamarillos, now i might just go and buy a cpl to try out :). and yes, its fun to sight and use new vegetables and fruits :).

Vcuisine said...

Fruit chutney has got its own taste Musical. Love the other stuffs too. Meme was interesting. Viji

Richa said...

hey, i'm thrilled to see this chutney, lovely. And nice to know u too like peaches as much as me :) the season is over here, but will try with the store bought ones, wish me luck ;) tussi walnut kinna paya? i know it blends great with peach, having tried that galette. lovely meme dear & will take up mine soon, thanks sweetie!

Padmaja said...

loved your meme!!
hyd for shopping spree, oh yes!!!

musical said...

Viji:

It was really tasty! Am glad you enjoyed the post, thanks :).


Richa:

Oh! sorry i forgot to add the amount of walnuts in the recipe. I added 2 tbsp. coarsely ground walnut. Updated the post :). Oh, and i remember, the peach season is almost over in East Coast.....CA gets them for a lot longer-though i don't know if its locally grown or imported. and yup, i totally love peaches.


Padmaja:

Yeah, Hyderabad used to be so much fun for shopping around, really fun place!

Manasi said...

What an unusual chutney!!!
Buddhas fingers are.... lemons!?!
Nice meMe!!

musical said...

Manasi:

Yes, those are lemons!! The ingredients for chutney seem slightly unusual, but the taste is really Indian. Am glad you enjoyed the post :).

Mansi Desai said...

damn! I'm so late in commenting!!!! the chutney looks great Musi!! the lemons are colorful, I must say..never seen anything like it before

And it was a pleasure to read your meme...I'm always happy know something more about the people behind the names!:D

musical said...

Mansi:

No worries, sweetie :). Yup, those lemons were unique indeed! Tee thinks they are halloween material ;). Glad you liked the chutney and meme :).

Shweta said...

If I ever had to name the most creative cook EVER, it will be you dear Musical :) What a lovely chutney, did you say you had it with rava dosa?? Yummmmmmmm
Thanks for tagging me :) My first me-me ever! Should be fun!!
Namkeen churi!!! Why did you remind me of that why why why??? I thought I'll make some for myself, but its never gonna work! Churi has to have mom's touch!! I love both meetha and namkeen versions. Churi is somehow my ultimate idea of being pampered... :D
And rajma-chawal!!!! Its funny how we share our love for your first line of favorites... Must be the Punjabi blood ha ha!

Roopa said...

what a lovely meme Musy :) the chutney looks tangy and spicy !

musical said...

Shweta:

Hey, that is really generous of you, dear! One of the best compliments i ever received.....the real credit goes to our traditions and the modern resources we have for learning from each other :).

and i completely agree, churi has to have Mom's touch.....the common love for Rajma chawal, churi etc is definitely Punju roots speaking :-D.

Looking forward to your meme, dear :).


Roopa:

Thank you, dear :).The chutney indeed was quite yummy!

Sandeepa said...

Thats a lovely Chutney Musy.
Ok so when you open that bookstore give me a holler, I have been looking for a partner and we will have a "chai ki dukaan" with it which will serve chai and pakodi, ok, deal ?

musical said...

Sandeepa:

Yup, deal :). Thats a lovely proposal and i don't have the heart to say no :). Promise that our chai dukaan will also sell jhaal-muri :).