Summer time is Pickle Time

A picture of the Ladva mango that I’d posted myself on a previous post in another blog!

Indeed the market is filled with mango that’s ripe for pickling. There are two varieties of Mango that are popular for pickling – the rounded, sweeter  LADVO variety that come from Gujerat and the longish and slightly tarter RAJAPURI mango that comes from the Konkan. I am going to make my mango pickle on Monday and look forward to going to Bhaji Gully to buy the Rajapuri mango.

   For the recipe of this yummy pickle:

But last Sunday I made yet another pickle, a red chilli pickle that is specially meant for diabetics who can’t have oil or pickles.

My interview in the papers!

Some time ago I mentioned that my cook book was being published. Well it has finally seen the light of day and has even been sold out….. I was quite happy that it was sold out but dejected that there weren’t any copies available. So when I got a call from my friend D saying that she had seem me in the Afternoon DC of 16th October, I was quite shocked and suprised.

Immediately I went to the newspaper vendor and bought a copy to see myself in the Women’s Section.

I have been meaning to mention this for a long while now but caught up with the painters and Diwali preparations kind of threw my intentions out of the window. However, I reproduce her below the article that appeared in the press and which can be accessed on line at  my article that

Ritualistic Food

Thursday, October 16, 2014

If you are a vegetarian and are interested in traditional cuisine, Sunita Rajwade’s book — The Fragrance of Mango Blossoms, is going to interest you. Yamini Walia speaks to Sunita about her book and her love for cooking

The Fragrance of Mango Blossoms, is a new book that features a compilation of recipes, rituals and traditions of the Kokanastha Brahmin community, to which Sunita Rajwade, the author, belongs. Sunita is a homemaker and a freelance writer in mainstream, print media. Her life-long passion for food was the reason she decided to delve into writing this book. Read on as she tells us more about her book, the inspiration behind writing it and a little bit about what you can expect from the book.

How did you come up with the idea of writing The Fragrance of Mango Blossoms?
Over the years, I have maintained a five-subject book, where, I have noted down recipes that my family enjoys. One day, I found both my daughters debating over which one of them would inherit the book. I didn’t take it too seriously at that time, but later, I realised that there is a whole set of traditions that are waiting to be passed on from me to my daughters in the form of my recipes. All of us celebrate festivals with certain foods and I realised that in our modern lives, we have begun to incorporate dishes from different cuisines, including idlis, dosas, dhoklas and food from Mughlai cuisine in our daily diet. There are very few families that only cook only their traditional food or live the way that their ancestors did. When I started explaining certain customs and rituals to my children, I thought that it would be easier if I wrote them down, particularly for my daughter who was living abroad and would often ask me simple questions such as how to make everyday food, or how a certain festival was traditionally celebrated.

Tell us about your book. What should our readers look forward to when they read it?
My book is a collection of food recipes that are associated with rituals followed by the Kokanastha Brahmin community. In today’s day and age, with most people (especially urban Indians), following a cosmopolitan lifestyle, very few people are aware of the traditions followed by my community. I have also tried to briefly explain the significance of different festivals that take place throughout the year and the foods that they are celebrated with. Our food is entirely vegetarian without the use of garlic and ginger. Readers, particularly vegetarians, will be pleased to discover an entirely new cuisine — one that isn’t very popular.

What would you say is the USP of your book?
With vegetarianism gaining popularity, there is a growing demand for vegetarian recipes. Featuring a large number of recipes, my book is a great aid for a novice cook who wants to eat basic vegetables, cooked in several different ways.

Apart from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy travelling, watching movies, photography and yoga.

You’ve donned various hats — of a homemaker, a French language translator, a Mumbai city tour guide and a freelance writer. What role do you enjoy the most?
I think I am happiest writing, especially on the internet. I contribute to five blogs regularly.

What are your future plans? Do you plan to write more books?
Yes, I intend on writing more books. My second one will be a cookbook which will have my family favourites and will not be restricted to any particular cuisine. And, of course, like all writers, I hope to write the great Indian novel.

The Fragrance of Flowers
The Fragrance of Mango Blossoms, by Sunita Rajwade, is a compilation of traditional, vegetarian recipes, made without garlic and ginger. With this book, Sunita has tried to explain the significance of various festivals celebrated in her community and the foods that are prepared on these days. You can learn how to cook dishes such as Varan Bhaat, Methkoot Bhaat, Ambaadichi Bhaaji, Watanyachi Usal, Ambyachi Dal, Paalakchi Dal, Bharli Vaangi, Karlyache Chaktya, and Aambyachi Aamti.
Price: Rs 350

The book  as mentioned earlier has gone for a second print edition but is available on Kindle . Download your Kindle App and download the book at

and at $3.99 per copy, I assure you it’s a steal!

Go get your book NOW!

Yet another cookery book

There are cookery books and cookery books and everyone who can fry an egg can claim to be a cook.

I never thought that I’d ever cook especially since my first attempt at making a cup of tea for six of my father’s friends took all of half an hour. After waiting patiently for tea , he came inside the kitchen to find out what was happening – it was simple really, I just knew how to make one cup at a time and was waiting to finish making all six cups before taking the tray out! ( Of course I was just 16 at that time and had just volunteered because the cook was on leave and my mother had stepped out for a bit).

But lots of water has passed under the bridge since then and I realised that not only do I like cooking but also had a natural aptitude for it. Gradually I began taking a deep interest in cooking and ingredients and food associated with customs and rituals.

This culminated in my first ever cook book ” The Fragrance of Mango Blossom” a collection of recipes associated with the life style of the Kokanastha Brahmin community to which I belong. 

Yesterday morning when Armaity from Popular Prakashan called and said that the Business Development Manager Swapna Shinde wanted to meet me regarding my book I was wondering what it could be. My cookery book took ten years for me to write and another four years for it to get to this stage so I was a bit apprehensive. What could it be this time?

Well, I pushed the appointment a half hour earlier and went down the road to meet the publishers. Yes ! They were going ahead with the book and
They were going into print on MONDAY

A N D  (drumroll and cymbals)

The book will be out on the shelves in the first week of JULY.

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