Saturday, June 28, 2008

Pineapple Jam or Preserve




My friend S's used to get this pineapple jam in her tiffin when we were in college. When she told me that her mother makes this jam at home, I took the recipe from her and tried it at home. It was delicious. Her mother's native place, Sirsi in Karnataka, is very famous for its pineapples and I guess everyone there makes these divine jams. This tasty jam goes well with bread and chapattis and is very handy for breakfasts and tiffins.


Ingredients

2 cups ripe pineapple pieces.
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pinches kesar or saffron strands (optional)
1/2 teaspoon pepper powder (optional if you dont' want a spicy taste)
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder(again optional if you only want the pineapple flavor in the jam)


Method

Cook the pineapple pieces on a low flame in a heavy bottomed pan. Cook covered till the pineapple pieces are tender. Don't add any extra water as the pineapple will leave lots of moisture when it is cooking. Remove cover and add sugar, salt and pepper powder. Cook on a low flame till the sugar has dissolved and mixed well with the pineapple pieces. Dissolve the keshar in warm water and keep aside for 5 minutes. Add the kesar water, and cardamom powder and cook for another 5 minutes. Store the jam in an air tight jar. This jam remains good for around 2-3 months. Enjoy the jam with bread or chappatis.

Preparation time: 90 minutes



Plantain Chips / Banana Chips / Kale Kachri




Banana chips are savored by all. Though, we call these banana chips, they are actually made of plantains. I remember my grandmother and mother making these chips very often when I was young. My love for banana chips was such that I would skip meals and eat only banana chips the whole day. So my grandmom would keep the chips dabba ( container) on the highest loft in the kitchen, where my hands would'nt reach. However, I was very naughty and would use a tall stool or a kitchen chair to reach the banana chips when my grandmom was not around:).
Now-a-days, with the availability of good quality, read- made banana chips, my mom's does not make these at home. We get banana chips in the Indian stores in US. But the other day, I saw plantains at the Indian store I was tempted to try this recipe. However, I don't have the slicer or mandoline at home and hence, I used the thin slicer blade of the food processor to cut the bananas into thin slices. They were a little thicker in texture than the ones my mom makes, but none the less they tasted excellent. Banana chips are traditionally fried in coconut oil, but I used canola oil as it healthier option.


Ingredients

2 plantains
salt
water
vegetable oil for frying

Method

Dissolve 1 tablespoon salt in 4 tablespoon water and keep aside. Peel the plantain to remove the green skin. To peel the skin, slit banana length-wise along the edges of the green skin. Once slit, peel off the skin like you do for a regular ripe banana. Soak the bananas in cold water till you peel them, else they will turn brown in color. Take the banana and slice it into thin slices. Put the slices immediately in oil or else they will turn brown if exposed to air. When the chips start to look crisp, add a teaspoon of salt water to the oil. Fry for few more minutes, till the chips are crisp. Remove the chips and drain them on a paper towel.

It is very necessary to stand back when you add the salt water to the oil, as the oil may splutter. It is also necessary to adjust the amount of salt water to add in the oil. After 2-3 batches of chips, the oil will be salty because of the salt water added while frying the previous batches. Hence, there may be no need to add salt water later. Taste each batch of chips to adjust the salt water quantity to add to the oil.


Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2