Well, that’s what I’m going to call this post for lack of any creativity on my part right now. Btw, I just realised one ought to introduce oneself and one’s blog in the first post. But my tube light, sadly, belongs to the old generation. Anyway, here goes.
A journalist by profession, I’m kind of on a sabbatical. What for, I don’t really know. So, right now I’m engaging myself in whatever catches my fancy. Yoga classes, gossip sessions on the phone, planning holidays, banging the bike/car into other vehicles every now and then, freelance assignments to keep the moolah trickling in, COOKING, reading, writing, talking about food, fantasising about dark chocolate and baking bread keep me occupied through the day. But I identify myself more as a foodie than anything else, which, I guess, explains the blog.
For as long as I remember I’ve fought to lose weight. One ‘roly-poly’ incident that stands out in my memory is when I was a 10 year old. I had gone on a holiday with the entire family jingbang to Ooty. This was May ’94 (how I remember this so well is coz my ma was pregnant then with my brother and due the following month).
While roaming around in the botanical garden there, my cousins and I decided to have a little race going up and down the little hillocks that dotted the place. My chitappa (father’s younger brother) was filming us with his hand-held video camera. When I was nearly at the top, my foot slipped and I rolled down the mound. The video looks hilarious. It literally looks like a red polka-dotted ball rolling down the slope!
I’ve asked my uncle to search out that tape. And if I can find a guy here who could make digital versions of video tapes, I’ll put up the clip for you to see and enjoy too.
I was always the butt of ‘fatso’ jokes. I did take a lot of those to heart, but they never dissuaded me from helping myself to an extra cup of ice-cream or bag of chips either!
But I never really discovered my interest and passion for cooking till I got married, when it became, more or less, a necessity. My initial cooking experiments included a lot of ready-to-eat pickles, powders, and pastes and even cut vegetables! But, over time, I started to appreciate the skill (and fun) involved in preparing these at home.
While drinking milkshakes or fruit punches at restaurants, I often used to wonder how they manage those interesting flavours, although some do manage to botch up natural flavours with excessive use of sugars/sweeteners and/or addition of jams and preserves.
But addition of the right kind of flavour/fruit-mix can actually enhance taste by complementing the base fruit or, at times, by giving it a sharp, but welcome, contrast.
I have often added chocolate while preparing to apple or chikoo (or sapodilla/zapota/sapota) milkshakes. This morning, during a routine clean-up of the refrigerator, I discovered some jackfruit jam that my sister-in-law had prepared last week. I was just getting ready to puree some chikoo for milkshake and dropped two spoonfuls of the jam into the blender on a whim. And my, was the shake lovely! The jaggery along with the cooked jackfruit in the jam went beautifully well with the caramelly flavour of the chikoo.
Now for the recipe.
Made-for-each-other Jackfruit-Chikoo (Palaapazham-Sapota) milkshake
For the jackfruit jam: (As prepared by my SIL; quantities approximate)
Flesh of a few jackfruit pods (remove the seeds and be careful to remove the thin papery cover of the seed as well the gummy substance found alongside)
Jaggery: Around 1/3 the quantity of fruit depending on how sweet you want it
Milk: a little
Ghee (clarified butter): 5-6 tsps
Cook jackfruit flesh along with a little milk in a pressure cooker till 3 whistles
Let it cool and drain and reserve milk
Roughly blend the cooked fruit in a blender/mixie. The consistency should NOT be too smooth or flowy. You can add some of the reserved milk at this stage if required
Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan/kadhai
Add the thick fruit puree and the reserved milk and keep stirring regularly
Cook it on low flame for about 30 minutes. Switch off the flame when the mixture thickens and starts to become a sticky mass that resembles a store-bought preserve.
For the milkshake:
Puree some chikoos with milk as desired and add some jam depending on your taste (Roughly one spoon to one chikoo, otherwise the jackfruit with overpower the other fruit) Pure once more. Pour into a tall glass. Log in to FB and slurp as you read up on the latest in your friends’ lives!
If you have kids or if you want to wow guests when you serve milkshakes try this: Melt a little cooking chocolate (or any bar of chocolate that you have on hand) in a double boiler. Spoon a little on to the inside of a see-through (non-frosted) glass and swirl quickly. The chocolate will solidify and you can serve your guests café-style.
PS: I did not melt the chocolate properly, hence uneven coating on the glass. I’ll make up for it in some other post!