Caramelized Gherkins-Time to eat some Gentle man’s toes

 

The world has been chopping,cooking,relishing  Ladies Fingers all the while. It is high time they eat some Gentleman’s toes too.

Haha!Don’t get scared.Gentleman’s toes,Gherkins,Ivy Gourd,Baby Watermelon,Scarlet Gourd, Tindora,Donda Kai,Gol kankri,Fruited gourd or Telakucha are all different names of this ellipsoid berry shaped vegetable native to East Africa but now available in different parts of the world. In Hyderabad, it is popularly called as Donda. It has a smooth skin with a crunchy and cucumber like flesh and is a storehouse of nutrients,minerals and vitamins.

This little vegetable is highly underrated. If you believe in the saying ‘good things come in small packages’ then you should see the health benefits and amazing variety of dishes which can be made with these little gourds. It is a low calorie but iron rich food which helps fight obesity,lower blood sugar levels,prevent kidney stones,combat fatigue and maintain a healthy metabolism.You can eat this delightful vegetable pickled,curried,fried,in soups or porridge.

I have this amazing recipe of Ivy Gourd which will make you fall in love with this little wonder if you aren’t already that is. The vegetables are sliced and stir fried in very less oil,seasoned with salt and pepper and caramelized with honey and sugar. It results in a deliciously sweet, crunchy but juicy dish which tastes best with steamed rice. The fried mint and nuts sprinkled on top impart a nutty and minty flavor and added crunch to the dish. Don’t wait! Order your packet of fresh gherkins and give this dish a try.

Caramelized Gherkins-Honey Tindora

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 500 g fresh Ivy Gourd sliced in roundels
  • 2 tbsp.Oil 
  • 1 tsp. ginger garlic paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 6 cashew nuts and 6 almonds
  • a few mint leaves

Method:

  1. Heat a wok or non stick pan and add the sliced vegetables.
  2. Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes. Make sure they don’t stick to the pan and burn.
  3. Now add the oil and saute on low heat.
  4. Add the ginger garlic paste and mix well.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Saute further.
  7. Dissolve the sugar and honey in a tablespoon of water and add to the vegetables.
  8. Saute till the gherkins appear crisp.
  9. In a separate pan add a teaspoon or two of oil and fry the nuts and mint leaves.
  10. Sprinkle the fried nuts and  mint leaves on top of the dish before serving.
  11. Serve hot with steamed rice.

 

 

 

Mango Mastani

Mastani was the beautiful and brave wife of Peshwa BajiRao, the general of the Maratha Empire in India. Baji Rao served as the Prime Minister of the Maratha king from 1720-1740. Mastani was his second wife and a woman not only known for her exquisite beauty but also for her expertise in arts,literature and warfare. It was said that one could see the red betel juice go down her throat when she chewed paan. Her exotic looks,choice of clothes and accessories are talked about even to this day. Baji Rao her warrior husband was so mesmerized by her beauty that he neglected his first wife Kashibai,which did not go down well with his mother and brother. So Baji Rao had to keep her separately in his palace in Pune.

Mango Mastani is a dessert/drink which originated in Pune,a vibrant city in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is said that this drink got it’s name after it’s beautiful resident Mastani. It is basically a mango milkshake but it is  accessorized with nuts,tutti frooti,cherries and vanilla ice cream to make it look royal and appealing.

 

Mastanis are  available anywhere in Pune. Though it is popularly made with mangoes, we can also find Pineapple , Custard apple , Orange, Chocolate and Butterscotch Mastanis.

Mango Mastani

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 10 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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A delicious and popular Mango dessert/drink from Pune

Ingredients for making Mango Mastani:

  • 2 cups mango cubes
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • sugar to taste (depends on the sweetness of mangoes)
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and chill.

Ingredients for topping:

  • Cashew nuts sliced vertically
  • Pistachios skinned
  • Cherry
  • 1 scoop Vanilla ice cream 
  • few strands of desiccated coconut( colored and candied)
  • silver sugar sprinkles
  • 1 sugar rose

Just before you serve top the mango milkshake with a scoop of ice cream and other ingredients.

Serve chilled with a spoon.