Monthly Archives: May 2018

Pulled Jackfruit Taco with Sugarcane tortilla

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As you know I love cooking with what’s in season, go visit the local markets, pick up some produce, get some inspiration, bring it back to the kitchen and make something fun. This time when I visited India in Summer, although it was ultra blistering hot, I mean we are talking 108F and 90F at night, it did not stop me from going to the market.

I picked up some raw jackfruit, mangoes from the market and on the way home stopped off to grab a drink of fresh sugar cane juice. As I was driving home, I started thinking about my summer vacations growing up.

It used to be super hot where I grew up, but we still enjoyed our afternoons. A everlasting game of monopoly, carom board, playing cards and endless conversations were so much fun. Every summer we also visited my Nani (maternal grandma). She lived in Mumbai and the train ride to her place used to be another event we looked forward to every summer.

My Mom is a great cook and an amazing planner.  So she would pack perfect food for all our train journeys. One of the dishes was this roti/poli/tortilla made from sugar cane juice, called ‘Rasachi Dashmi’.  It not only tasted awesome but was perfect for the train journey as it stayed good without any refrigeration and tasted great cold.

My nani would always have alphonso  mangoes waiting for us along with other things from konkan and she would make the best Poli in the world. We would devour the mangoes with poli and ghee.

Kokam, Tadgola and so much more. Fragrant yellow jackfruit would fill the air. I will share more recipes using the ripe or yellow jackfruit soon.

One of those things was raw/green jackfruit. She would make the best bhaji with it, with lots of red chilies and tender cashews.

My nani is no more, but her memories I cherish through various foods. My kids are not so lucky to just hop on a train and visit their Nani, my Mom. The 10K miles is a long distance to cover. But we always take family trips in vacations, sometimes local, sometimes even staycations but always make time for family.

I know how important it is to spend time and make memories. We are all big time foodies so more often than not the destinations are picked based on the variety of food we get to eat. We love to explore local cuisines and produce, always a local market visit is included in the vacation plan.

One of the favorite destinations is Mexico, I just love Mexico. Its nice and warm, people are very friendly, I can speak the language and most of all, amazing food. I can visit Mexico many times and nto get tired.

Mexican food is probably my second most favorite food after Indian food. Whenever we visit Mexico, II make sure we go to the local markets and try some amazing dishes. Last time we visited this restaurant in Maztlan, El Precidio and everything there was incredible.

 

 

I love Mexican food as it highlights seasonal produce, perfect balance of spice, sweet, savory and just satisfying meal. I love the use chilies in many ways, I love how they use traditional cooking methods to get some complex flavors in dishes like Mole.

One of the most commonly known Mexican foods is Tacos. Simple yet flavorful, incredibly versatile.

Today’s dish is inspired by the  summer vacations, both mine and my kids’s and its tribute to the local produce.

Pulled Jackfruit Taco with Sugarcane juice tortilla

 

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I would love to know about your summer memories and foods. Please share in comments.

 

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Dahi Sabudana- tapioca pearls with spiced yogurt

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Spring/summer  is here. The rain gods have been kind and hence all the mountains around where I live are still green.  Near my home there is a barn and they bring out their sheep for grazing at this time, with the rolling hills, and the sheep,  it feels like Swiss countryside.
In India, we celebrate Holi. During holi a effigy of a demoness is burnt in fire. This demoness symbolizes all the mean thoughts, all the resentments that one might be carrying, you burn it all in the fire of Holi.  This is the time when we celebrate New Year according to the lunar calendar. Interestingly around the same time Parsi’s and Iranis’s also celebrate Navrouz, which translates to ‘New Day’. In short its all about starting afresh, leaving all the baggages that you might be carrying and focus on the future.

In India we have Navratri ( which translates to ‘9 nights’) twice a year. Interestingly they both fall when the season changes from hot to cold and cold to hot. One is in spring time and one in fall. During this time you fast, you don’t eat meat, regular vegetables, no cereals. I think it is very much needed, it gets your body time to adjust and also get ready for the new season. Its like a cleanse, where you eat light foods, people also try not to eat garlic & onion.


Each region in India has its own rules of what to eat and what not to eat during these nine months, some eat spinach, some eat tomatoes, others don’t. A few things like tapioca, water chestnut, sweet potatoes, cucumber are eaten across the country.

I come from Maharashtra where Sabudana Khichadi is very popular. I recently did an Insta story on it. Whenever I ask my kids what they want special for breakfast, the answer is Sabudana Khichadi . My husband can eat bowls of it. I normally end up making enough so I have leftovers as he likes to eat it the next day again.

Everyone knows Sabudana Khicadi but might not know this recipe. My mom makes it so well, my sister can eat bowls of it for days and not get tired. I like it more than Khichadi because it feels kind of cooling and I love yogurt 🙂

Dahi Sabudana

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups tapioca pearls ( you can get them in any indian grocery store)
  • 3-4 green chilies ( I use the thai chilies that are super spicy)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/3 cup roasted peanut powder
  • 1 cup buttermilk (if you can not get buttermilk, you can churn 1/2 yogurt with 3/4 cup water)
  • 1 cup
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Method

  • Dry roast sabudana/tapioca
  • After it is cooled down, soak in some water for about 30 mins
  • Pound the cumin seeds and chilies to make a coarse paste. I prefer using mortar pestle but you can also use a chopper
  • After 30 mins, drain all the water and soak in buttermilk for at least 4-5 hours.
  • Now add yogurt ( preferably whole milk), roasted peanut powder, chili-cumin mixture and salt n sugar to taste.
  • Garnish with cilantro

Note:

  • You can also cook the sabudana in water until it is translucent ( instead of roasting and soaking in buttermilk).
  • Mix it with yogurt, roasted peanut powder, salt, sugar and the chili cumin mixture. You can also  add tadka of ghee jeera mirchi if desired
  • Garnish with cilantro