We have Rachana from Veggi fare is with us today. She is originally from Rajasthan but brought up in Kolkatta. Let us hear from her now...
Nithu's Kitchen : Tell us about you Rachana.
Rachana : I was born in Rajasthan, India, brought up in Kolkata, India and am presently living in Munich, Germany with my husband. I am the eldest of the 3 siblings and am very close to both my brother and sister. I am a Commerce graduate and also studied Fashion Designing and worked for a year before marriage. I am a homemaker now and do some voluntary work.
Nithu's Kitchen : What does your blog focus.
Rachana : I am a vegetarian - and so is my blog, as you can make out from the name! In addition, I often try to do healthier versions of traditional recipes.
Nithu's Kitchen : When did you start to cook.
Rachana : I took to cooking late, but then with a passion. My mother was (and still is) a big supporter of letting us find things out by ourselves - so she never gave us detailed recipes - while this made life slightly difficult sometimes, it also woke a sense of and love for experimenting and figuring stuff out - something that helps me no end now, when I am thinking up recipes for my blog.
Nithu's Kitchen : Share us one unforgettable cooking experience.
Rachana : One such incident, which I will never forget... After shifting fro Kolkata to Munich, I wanted to make a kadhi for the first time. I knew roughly how it was made, but didn't know the ratio of the gramflour to the buttermilk. I called up my mom and asked her the ratio, she didn't tell me the ratio purposely and said, "I should figure it out myself". After giving it a little thought, I tried something out, and the kadhi turned out to be really good. After a few hours, my mom called up to inquire about the kadhi and explained why she didn't tell me anything about the recipe. I guess, that made me.
Nithu's Kitchen : What do you have today to share with us.
Rachana : Today's Chyawanprash dish is one I have seen my mom making often, but never got from her the exact recipe and measurements. And it also turned out to be pretty good!
500 grams - gooseberries (amla)
600 grams - sugar (may increase upto 750 grams)
3/4 tsp - clove powder
3/4 tsp - cinnamon powder
1 tsp - cardamom powder
3/4 tsp - black pepper powder
1/4 tsp - nutmeg, grated
1 1/2 tsp - dried ginger powder (saunth)
25 - 30 strands of saffron
edible silver foil to garnish
Put the gooseberries in a pressure cooker. Add enough water to cover the gooseberries and pressure cook them for 4 whistles/ring or until the gooseberries are soft. Drain the water and remove the seeds from the gooseberries.
With a mixer, puree the cooked gooseberries.
Add the pureed gooseberries in a large cooking vessel and add the sugar to it.
Place the vessel on a medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil under constant stirring.
When the sugar melts, add the spices and mix well.
Cover the vessel and reduce the heat to low and let the mixture cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Be careful, the mixture splutters a lot!!!
When the mixture thickens a little, do a saucer test, (as you would when making jams). If not ok, then bring the mixture to a boil and check again.
Fill the conserve/jam in a sterlised jar. Cover the lid when the jam is completely cool.
Shelf life of this jam is 2-3 months.
Nithu's Kitchen : Thank you so much Rachana. We enjoyed talking to you.
Rachana : Thanks Nithu.
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