Mutton mince with green garlic

Mutton mince you’ve heard of but green garlic ? What’s that?

If you walk around the vegetable market these days you will find bunches of fresh garlic – tiny bulbs with long, stringy beards on one end and delicate green leaves on the other. These fresh garlic bulbs were just crying out to me ” buy me! Buy me” .

Being the obliging person I am, I bought them especially since I’d remembered a yummy mutton mince I’d eaten at my dear friend Nilu’s house one day.

Apart from being a dear friend, she is also a great cook. I love going to her house and sampling the delights of her kitchen. One such surprise was a fantastic mince which we had with hot rotis. This dish which is made only in Winter is called “Lassan” or garlic simply because of the huge amount of garlic that goes into it.

So I obliged the garlic and brought them home to enjoy my minced meat and green garlic


Mutton mince with green garlic
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: Indian Bohri
  • 250 g mutton mince
  • 250-300 g fresh green garlic
  • 1 tspn ginger garlic paste
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tspn cumin seed powder
  • 3 eggs
  • Generous amount of ghee
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Here's what you have to do
  1. Wash the mince and boil with garlic ginger paste and salt
  2. Take off heat and add in the finely chopped green garlic and coriander. Stir in the cumin seed powder and allow to slow cook for 5 - 7 minutes
  3. Pour into casserole and just before serving crack open 3 eggs and stir. Pour hot ghee and mix well. The heat will make the eggs cook.
  4. Pour lemon juice on top and serve with hot chapati

As mentioned earlier garlic is very heaty and this dish is perfect for a cold night. But Mumbai’s brief Winter is coming to a close, so go grab the garlic before the chilly winds bid us goodbye!

#10 minute cool Kokum Saar

With October being the hottest ever , it probably makes sense to have something cooling and different like the Soul Kadhi or Kokum Saar.

The Kokum Saar or Soul Kadhi is popular with people living in coastal Maharashtra (and Goa)  because Garcinia Indica or Kokum is commonly found there. A well known secret to healthy eating is eating the produce of the land hence this flavouring agent was always found in my grandmother’s kitchen.

This fruiting tree growing rampantly in the Western Ghat region of peninsular India bears tiny red fruit that are eaten fresh or stored dried to be used as a souring agent in our cooking. It has many therapeutic properties, primary among them anti histaminic, , digestive, appetite suppressant  and many more.

So I thought that with this oppressing weather and the high prices of daal, I’d make a different kind of soupy gravy to dunk my rice in. Especially my cool Kokum saar that takes all of 10 minutes to make.

A cool Kokum Saar
A cool Kokum Saar

Here’s what I did to make this gorgeous pink, sour coconut cream saar that is always eaten cold!

I got together the following ingredients :

  • a handful of dried Kokum skins
  • 1 tspn oil
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • 1/4 tspn cumin seed ( zeera)
  • 1 whole green chilli
  • water for cooking
  • 1 small tetrapak of coconut milk
  • 1 tspn finely chopped fresh coriander
  1. I heated the oil in a pot and when it was hot, I added the curry leaves and cumin seed.
  2. After the seeds went pop, I added the dried Kokum, green chill and coriander and the water. I lowered the heat and allowed the water to boil, extracting the sourness from the dried Kokum skins.
  3. I added the coconut milk and again brought it to a slow boil taking care not to let the coconut milk curdle.
  4. Putting off the heat, I added salt and a pinch of sugar to round off the sourness.

Now if this isn’t a quick and easy cool Kokum saar, what is?

[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]In some homes this saar is served every day as it is a very effective digestive and makes a refreshing cool drink especially in the hot, coastal weather. [/tweetthis]

Move over Gazpacho, Kokum Saar is here!

For more of such authentic recipes that are a great substitute for daal, visit my ebook The Fragrance of Mango Blossoms  or order the hard copy online.



Bottle Gourd – easy on the stomach and easy to make

One day my father was tending to his garden when the lady next door came up to him and said

” You know that thing of yours in the front is growing bigger and bigger and hanging into my compound.  Can you please do something about it?”

If you had heard it in the original accented Hindi which went something like this –

 Jara deko to – tumara aage ka bada bada mere garden ke andar aa raha hai.  kucch to karo.

you would have probably reacted in much the same way as my father – He told my mother to attend to the matter as he didn’t know what the lady meant by her complaint!

The good neighbour was complaining about the large sized bottle gourd that was hanging over her compound wall instead of staying on my father’s side !

The Bottle Gourd or Lauki , Ghiya or Doodhi  as it is commonly known is a long, melon like vegetable , light green on the outside and milky white inside and is popularly used in most Indian cuisines. Apparently it was grown in Africa mainly to be used as a water container (when dry it becomes the perfect bottle)

Many years ago when we had a kitchen garden, my father planted some bottle gourd ( lauki) seedlings on Akshay Tritiya or the day when the earth is closest to the sun. This is supposed to be the hottest day of the year but anything that is started on that day, always lands up being extremely successful. Therefore, apart from being a good day to get married or start a business, it is also the day when farmers plant their seeds for their monsoon crop. At least this is what I was given to understand by the fact that the bottle gourds we got that year were literally 5 feet long! And not only were they long, they were healthy and big too.

The vegetable is said to have medicinal properties and one of my friends used to have in on her table for every meal  at her husband’s insistence. I myself am not too fond of this vegetable but today I had an urge to have it so I decided to make some myself.

To make this you will need

  • 2 cup peeled and diced bottle gourd
  • 1 tspn clarified butter or ghee
  • 1/4 tspn cumin seed or zeera
  • 2 – 3 curry leaves
  • a pinch of asoefetida or hing
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • 4 cashews soaked in water and split into two
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 1 tbspn freshly grated coconut
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt to taste
  • chopped coriander to garnish ( optional)

Here’s what I did.

I heated the ghee in a pan and then added the cumin seeds. After they sputtered I added the curry leaves, the asoefetida,the turmeric and the chopped vegetable. I then added the soaked cashews, chopped chilli and stirred on high flame before adding the coconut, the milk and lowering the flame. I covered the vegetable with a lid on which I put water so that the vegetable would get the heat from the top as well. When the water from the top evaporated, I knew that the vegetable was done.

I allowed the rest of the milk to dry up so that there was just enough to keep it moist and more and had this with a hot phulka.

Try it! It’s light on the digestion and great on taste with a mild green chilli adding to  the delicate flavour of curry leaves, turmeric and cumin.


A 10 Minute Prawn Pickle

The fish market today was flooded with fish and I bought some prawn to make into a pickle. Here’s how to do it. Go for the smaller prawn as they absorb the flavours
You will need
1/2 cup oil ( I used Canola since it is supposed to be low on  fat and high on health)
300 g shelled and deveined prawn ( small to medium size taste best)
4 red kashmiri chilli
10 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup of vinegar
1 heaped tspn cumin seed
1/4 tspn turmeric
salt to taste
dash of sugar to finish off
Here’s what you do
1. Wash the prawns and pat dry on a napkin. Sprinkle salt and let it stand for a while.
2. Soak the red chilli in the vinegar for 1-2 minutes before grinding it into a paste with the garlic and cumin seed.
2. Heat the oil in a karahi and quickly fry the prawn till they curl up and turn pink. Drain and set aside.
3. Add turmeric to the oil and then the ground masala paste. Stir for a bit till the vinegar evaporates and the oil separates from the paste.
4. Added the fried prawn and allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes till the oil floats on top.
6. Add a dash of sugar
5. Allow to cool uncovered before storing.
This pickle keeps only for about 15 days in the refrigerator and is great to have around for a quick snack with bread or chapati.
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