Hello friends! I am back in Hong Kong, refreshed and rejuvenated after a two-week trip to India. We went to Mysore, along with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law’s family. Mysore is an incredible place and no one can stop admiring the intricate craftsmanship of the Mysore palace, Chamundi temple and Tipu Sultan’s summer palace and mausoleum, among others. Frankly speaking, I do not find history books quite interesting, but by what I saw in these places, I think, I have started loving to know more about our royal ancestors and their lifestyle.
It is something I can’t express in words when I saw those old swords which fought several prominent battles in the past… every piece of royal antique has a story to tell. Not even an inch of any of these places is left without delicate, unbelievable artistry. I was moved by the beautifully carved wooden and silver doors with a touch of sandalwood, seen in the Mysore palace, in particular. I also saw Raja Ravi Verma’s original paintings, which were an experience in itself!
Tipu Sultan’s mausoleum
The above picture is the Gumbaz: Tipu Sultan’s Mausoleum. Tipu Sultan was a great warrior and fought for Indian independence. He was the de facto ruler of the Mysore kingdom and was rightly called as the Tiger of Mysore. We paid homage to the mausoleum of Tipu Sultan (Tiger of Mysore), his father Hyder Ali and mother Fathima Begam, along with other members of the royal family. This is located at Srirangapatnam, Mysore.
Entrance of Tipu Sultan’s summer palace
A cannon outside the palace used by the sultan
Tipu Sultan’s summer palace is, surprisingly, not so huge, although every inch of it is hand-painted and looks astounding. By the size, it seems that the sultan didn’t misuse the money meant for the well-being of the kingdom for building a luxurious palace, unlike most other kings. We could not photograph the interior of the palace as photography was strictly prohibited inside. The garden adjoining the palace is beautiful too! Look at what I spotted there: raw mangoes!!
These are no ordinary raw mangoes: the picture is clicked in the garden of Tipu Sultan’s summer palace
Raw mangoes remind me of childhood days… when my younger sister and me used to eat them just like that in summer afternoons, sprinkled with chat masala. Often, my mother used to cook delicious and tangy mango chutnies in several different and delectable ways and the taste still lingers. In India, raw mangoes are burnt and the pulp is mixed with salt, sugar and optional spices to make a mouth-watering cooling drink: aam panna (which is quite different than panna cotta by the way!). Then there is the homely aam daal, a lentil preparation using raw mangoes, which is believed to act as an appetiser when mercury soars high.
But Indian ladies always buy raw mangoes in bulk every summer predominantly for making one thing: mango pickle (called aam ka achaar)! My grandma knew 50 different kinds of pickles using raw mangoes with various spice and fruit combinations. Now she is very old and can’t hear properly. She was a superb cook and I am fortunate that I am her granddaughter. This is one of her recipes which my family loves. Hope you enjoy the recipe. Please note that the amount of dry red chillies can be increased or decreased to your tolerance level, although an average Indian would like this as hot, sour and spicy! So please feel free to play with the amount of chillies in the recipe.
Green Mango Pickle with Indian Five Spices[Indian five spices (paanch phoron) is easily available in Indian grocery stores. If not, buy the five spices separately and then mix together. The spices are mustard seeds (rye), onion seeds (kalonji or mangrel), fenugreek seeds (methi), fennel seeds (saunf) and cumin seeds (jeera). Keep the amount of fenugreek seeds lower to prevent the powder getting bitter. I used 1 tbsp each of mustard seeds, fennel seeds and cumin seeds and ½ tbsp each of onion seeds and fenugreek seeds, respectively, to make my paanch phoron for this pickle.]
Indian five spices and dry red chillies
Coarsely ground spices
Green Mango Pickle with Indian Five Spices
- Medium-sized raw mangoes (stone removed): 4 (cut into small pieces with the skin intact)
- Fresh green/red chillies (chopped): 4
- Indian five spices (paanch phoron): 4 tbsp
- Dry red chillies: 8
- Finely julienned ginger: slightly less than ¼ cup
- Asafoetida powder (hing): ½ tsp
- Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
- Salt: 2.5 tsp
- Sugar: 1.5 tsp
- Vinegar: 2 tsp
- Mustard oil (the preferred oil for Indian pickles)
Add salt and turmeric to the mango and ginger pieces and sun-dry these for 4-6 hours. After that, heat 4 tbsp of oil and sauté the mango and ginger in it for 5 min. Turn off the gas. Add the vinegar, asafoetida and fresh chillies and mix well.
Dry-roast the dry red chillies and the Indian five spices until fragrant and light brown in colour. Grind to a coarse powder when cool.
Add the sugar and this five-spice powder to the mangoes and toss them well. If you want the pickle to be sweeter, you can alter the amount of sugar slightly.
Pour this into a glass container and add more mustard oil, enough to immerse the contents. Mix with a spoon and leave it at a place which receives good amount of sunlight. This pickle is ready to use after 4 days. Make sure that you keep the jar in sunlight every day for best results!
I would like to thank my blogger friend Manuela Zangara for awarding Cosmopolitan Currymania with the Versatile Blogger Award. Her blog Manu’s Menu is one of my favourites for delectable Italian cuisine and is very popular indeed!
I received the same award from another interesting blogger Carmen, recently married, whose blog is full of variety: be it cooking with salmon, experimenting with mac and cheese or being funky with cake pops! She manages a blog called Carmen’s Kitchen, just right for you if you love variety in an easy way!
Another great Malaysian blog Love 2 Cook Malaysia passed me the same award again, along with two more awards recently: Inspirational Blog Award and Liebster Blog Award. I love her baking recipes. Her Canned Mackerel and Potato Sambal and Eggless Condesed Milk Chocolate Cake recipes are particularly awesome!
A big “Thank you” to all three of you for considering Cosmopolitan Currymania for these wonderful awards.
So, here are the rules of the Versatile blogger award:
- Thank the person who gave you this award.
- Include a link to their blog.
- Select 15 bloggers for the Versatile award.
- Share seven things about yourself.
- In the same post include this set of rules.
- Inform each of the nominated bloggers of their nomination by posting a comment on their blog.
Seven Facts About Myself
- For a long time, I had a “thing” to experiment with eating raw fish, as in Sushi. Still, I recently bought three kinds of sushis from a sushi outlet here and fell in love with the taste. I thought there would be a raw smell but what I ate was absolutely soft, delicious and natural!
- I love rainy season. It does not make me gloomy and sleepy at all, but I am full of energy, positivity and motivation during the rains. I love the smell of the wet soil and find it quite relaxing for myself.
- I am doing a lot of baking these days. I am also finding it interesting to experiment with cake decorating and sugarcraft.
- I am a shopaholic! I love updating my collection of shirts/tops, shoes, bags and of course, jewellery! I love the Indian national dress: sari. I think, I have a great collection of saris from all parts of India.
- I wanted to be a jewellery designer in my school days, but I turned to be a journalist.
- I am still learning cooking (in-depth) from my mother and mother-in-law.
- When I have enough capital and manpower, I would like to start my own Indian restaurant in Hong Kong.
Now is the time to nominate 15 bloggers for all these awards. The names of the bloggers/blogs are:
- Parsley Sage: The Deep Dish
- Kimby: A Little Lunch
- Ray: Wok With Ray
- Kitchen Riffs
- Beyond Kimchee
- My Fiance Likes it so it Must be Good!
- Hester: Alchemy in the Kitchen
- Julie: Erivum Puliyum
- Sayantani: A Homemaker’s Diary
- Jackie: Domestic Fits
- Lacy: NY City Eats
- Things me and my Boyfriend Cook
- Junglefrog: Junglefrog Cooking
- Cooking Tackle
Congratulations, dear bloggers! All of you motivate me and I love drooling over your recipes and pictures. I would inform each of you individually as well about these awards.
[Please feel free to follow Cosmopolitan Currymania if you love reading my blog. It motivates me a lot! And thank you, all my followers, for being with me in my culinary expeditions. You can connect with me at @purabinaha on Twitter or click here to like my Facebook page. Thank you for stopping by!]