Monday, April 30, 2012

Water Melon Rind Chutney

It's water melon season and we buy almost one melon per week.
Watermelon slices BNC
Photo by Prathyush Thomas,
My mother-in-law, who was a Malayalee, once told me that the white part of melon rind could be used as a substitute for Kumbalanga or winter melon. This white fleshed pumpkin is a frequent ingredient in Kerala cuisine. I have often made a simple dish which I learned from her using this substitute: a mulakushyam . The recipe in the link is almost similar to how I learned it:

1 cup tuvar dal
1 cup chopped kumbalanga
1 or 2 green chillies
A pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
A few curry leaves
A few drops of coconut oil
Wash the dal and cook it with about 2 cups of water. When it is nearly soft, add the cubed vegetable and salt and turmeric and continue to cook till the vegetable is soft. 

Add the green chillies (slit if you like the heat or un-slit if not or not all if you can't take the heat). 

Take the vessel off the fire and add fresh curry leaves and a drizzle of coconut oil.

Since this gourd is hard to find in North India, I delight in using melon rind in summer.

I've had to become more adventurous as the quantity of melon rind is more than I can cope with using only the one recipe.

I've made a chutney over the weekend which tastes quite like coconut chutney.

We morphed the recipe a lot - merely roasted the dals and some red chillies and the rind and ground them coarsely and tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves, a red chilli and some channa and split white urad dal.

I'm still in the throes of trying to make a melon rind candy. There seem to be a lot of things one can do with melons!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

News From My Kitchen - Glen Cook Tops are a Big No No

We returned to India after 5 years in Malaysia somewhere around July 2010. A stove was a priority and we went to Big Bazaar in a Mall in Gurgaon. Maybe the one in Sahara Mall. I fell for the following deal
Buy Glen 3 Burner Glass Top Gas Stove & Get Glen Mixer Grinder, Sandwich Toaster, Electric Kettle and Iron worth Rs.6660/- FREE

Silly me! The stove has almost never worked well: the burners rarely burn well, mostly burning very low. The Mixer Grinder started falling to pieces with every use and the Sandwich Toaster works slowly and to a very unsatisfactory effect-crispness is rarely achieved. 

It was stupid of me to buy a stove of non-Indian make. Firstly, the gas cook top is not such a commonly used kitchen item, I'm pretty sure, in the Brand's own country. Secondly, Indian Brands benefit from our consumer power-we complain freely. Lastly, our country still remains a dumping ground for third rate goods from so called First World Countries. 

As I do not have much spare time I did not find the time to complain right away. When I did use the contact format on the Glen website,  a service man came and did something and I had to pay. It worked fine for a while after but soon relapsed to its stubbornly inefficient mode. 

This March I approached them again and they were willing to send a service man to set right the issues for payment!

I've had about enough. I've learned my lesson: Be Indian, Buy Indian is a sane, wise way to live as an Indian in India. Outside of India too, it might be wiser for NRIs to stick to Indian Brands.