Ande Ka Funda!

Eggs have been one of the essential ingredients not only in baking and cooking but also in other walks of life ! Right as toddlers we have been listening to this nursery rhyme ‘Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall…’ where Humpty Dumpty is a personified egg. Eggs inspire philosophy as can be seen by the use of phrases like ‘Sunny side up’  and ‘all eggs in the same basket’ etc. They are a big part of nutrition ! They have managed to classify humans into eggitarian over and above vegetarian and non vegetarians! And if that wasn’t enough, the egg has touched geometry as well where it has a whole shape named after itself – yes the egg-shape!!!Last but not the least, egg has been party to this age old debate still raging that whether the eggs have come first or the hen! All in all it would be difficult to imagine life without eggs, especially in the culinary world!

It is very important to understand the role played by eggs in the culinary and baking world. Continue reading “Ande Ka Funda!”

Is it a Jam or a Marmalade?

“Urgh!!!, Mom, whats with this jam? It just wouldn’t spread! ”, cried out my younger one from the dining table. “And where is the fruit in it?”, added my elder daughter. Both of them were at the dining table buttering their toast and trying in vain to spread the store bought jam over the toast. Now one has got to agree that toast with butter tastes mighty good. But toast with butter and jam is quite scrumptious! And my daughters were used to having home made jams and marmalades made by their granny. My mom-in-law would make really good jams and marmalades with seasonal fruits available like strawberry, orange, mangos, pineapples etc.

Jams and marmalades were introduced to India by British. In Maharashtrian cuisine, we have our own variants called Muramba (मुरंबा) made by boiling sugar syrups to hard ball (पक्का पाक) stage and then adding the fruit to it. There is a very fine line of difference between a jam and a marmalade. According to the dictionary meaning jam is a preserve of whole, cut or slightly crushed fruit, boiled with sugar. And marmalade is a preserve made by boiling the pulp and rind of citrus fruits, especially oranges or lemon, with sugar. So the difference happens to be the type of fruit and the use of rind. Hence, it would be safe to say that marmalade uses the fruits that have very fragrant rind or zest like the citrus fruits. However, in jams also we use the juice of lemon to counterbalance the sweetness of the fruit used. Continue reading “Is it a Jam or a Marmalade?”

Strawberries Romanoff

Nothing inspires me more than an early morning stroll into the kitchen garden with a cup of tea in hand. I am eager and excited to see what God’s gift is waiting for me there! So last weekend when I sauntered into the garden, I saw this marvellous treat waiting for me there! The strawberry patch had these vibrant red beauties screaming to be plucked! My first reaction was to pluck out a juicy red one and plop it into my mouth. As I was savouring it, at least a dozen ideas flooded my mind as to what I could do with the handful of strawberries that were ripe. I had to remind myself that I was at my farmhouse away from the city where I had only a limited number of ingredients and no fancy kitchen equipment. And that is when this idea of making this old classic called Strawberry Romanoff dawned on me! Continue reading “Strawberries Romanoff”