Please don’t mention Caronda* for some time…it is in every jar I had spare! There is no room for any more pickles or preserves…As I mentioned last time, I made some caronda chutney a week ago, to use up part of my Dad’d harvest from a bush I planted about ten years ago in the front yard of their house. I used the idea of a sweet-tangy Indian chutney such as saunth (sweet and sour tamarind chutney) or a mango chutney made with unripe mangoes. The effort was much appreciated. Since it was a trial batch I got just enough to fill two tiny jars that I sent off to my mum and sister. The next batch was a repeat of the recipe and this time the effort yielded a big jar – plenty, I thought.
There were still some carondas left which then went into a pickle, pits and all, along with some unripe mango, lotus root, and green chillies. I keep that stoneware jar in the sun, what little there is of it at this time, bring it in every evening, and give it a good stir. It is looking good.
So far so good. My mum liked the relish a lot. She doesn’t eat too much pickle because of the high salt content. I told her that pitting the fruit was a pain in the rear. She pitted about a kilo with the help of her maid and presented it to me. I had thought more like: ok, here’s a recipe you might like to try… But I came home and made my third batch of caronda chutney. This batch had fewer ingredients – I had already used up my dates; no gur – I couldn’t be bothered; less sugar – I had used up a lot of sugar in the past couple of weeks between the caronda relish and the mango jam, and was making statements with big exclamatory marks regarding the sugar content of the chutney. The fruit for this batch had ripened further on the plant, was a deeper pink, and there was a subtle change in texture too. What a pretty pink it turned in the pan! And the texture – why, it reminded me of sour cherries in syrup! The slight crispness as you bite into one was so similar! That made me Google for recipes using sour cherries and I found a bunch that hold promise for next year! I make no promises…but there might even be Caronda Liqueur on these pages one day!
My father-in-law was appalled that that lone (big) jar was all the caronda relish there was…so he volunteered to pit the remaining carondas! One large bowl full! So, friends, I made my fourth and last batch of caronda relish. By now I had run out of all glass jars, my own and those gathered from family…but there was one that used to contain Himalayan honey that I found at the back of the top shelf of one of the cupboards… You really shall find if you seek. :D For those of you who cannot find caronda, sour cherries will be an excellent substitute.
2 1/2 C pitted caronda (or sour cherries)
2-3 T grated ginger
1 1/2 C water
1 1/2 t salt
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C gur (or brown sugar)
10 dates, chopped
1/4 C raisins
1.5 t red chilli (cayenne), coarse powder or flakes
Take the fruit, grated ginger, and water in a non-reactive pan. Bring to boil and then simmer till the fruit is cooked, about 10 minutes. Add rest of the ingredients and cook another 10 minutes, till the mixture had thickened and reduced, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to sterilized glass jars while still hot. Secure lids, cool and refrigerate.
Since this had a good sugar content, I would expect it to keep well like other jams.
4 C pitted caronda (or sour cherries)
5-6 T grated ginger
2 C water
2 C sugar
2 1/2 t salt
1 T chilli powder (cayenne)
Take caronda and ginger in a non-reactive pan. Add water, and bring it to a boil. Cook covered till the fruit has softened, about 15 minutes. Add rest of the ingredients and cook on a rolling boil till the syrup has reduced and thickened (become syrupy), about 15-20 minutes. Pour into sterilized jars along with all the syrup. Close lids tight, cool, and refrigerate.
I can’t leave you without my focaccia recipe, that I made this week, while cooking that last batch of caronda relish.
(Serves 6-8) eight) – WP won’t let me get away with ‘8’ followed by a parenthesis without the ‘cool’ look!
2 C atta (wholewheat flour)
2 C maida (all purpose flour)
2 T vital wheat gluten
1 1/2 t sugar
1 t yeast
generous glugs of olive oil
for the topping:
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, smashed
Combine the wholewheat flour, wheat gluten, sugar, and yeast with warm water to form a thick paste. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes. Wholewheat flour is heavy and this extended time allows it to hydrate properly.
Add the refined flour, salt, and olive oil (3 T at least!) and knead into a soft-but-not-sticky dough (use milk for any additional liquid you might need to use up the flour). Knead about 10 minutes. Oil the ball of dough lightly, and keep covered till doubled. In present weather conditions (warm and humid), it took 45 minutes in my kitchen.
While the dough rises, prepare onions for the topping. Pour some olive oil in a pan. Add the onions and garlic to the oil and cook on medium heat till well browned, stirring every now and then to keep from burning.
Preheat oven (Gas Mark 9). Oil 2 cast iron pans. Divide into rough balls to suit your pan sizes, without punching out all the air from the dough. Push with your fingers to spread the dough. Let the dough rise for another 30 minutes or so. Press down with the tips of your fingers to make depressions. Pour olive oil over the faocaccia (into some of the dimples!). Spread the fried onions on top. Bake on the lowest shelf for 10-12 minutes, or till it starts turning golden. Serve hot.
This is a bonus post with a bonus recipe. Nupur has been saying Less is More all month for Monthly Blog Patrol, which started at Coffee’s Spice Cafe! Here is my find: Banana Bread Dosa from Recipe Junction.
Rice+ripe bananas+methi seeds+salt=Banana Bread Dosa!
For some reason my batter didn’t ferment at all, despite the perfect weather conditions. Well, out came the trusted yeast to the rescue. I added a half teaspoon to the batter and before long, it was frothing and foaming! Since it has only rice, and no dal, it tasted a lot like appam! Served with sambar and peanut chutney, another almost perfect dish for Less is More!
Roasted skinned peanuts+onion (+garlic – I’ll make this optional, so I can meet the five or less ingredient requirement!)+red chilli+tamarind+tempering = Peanut Chutney! (from Mahanandi)
One more thing – the announcement…I guess it can keep for a day…too much already!
* Caraunda/Caronda/Karaunda/Natal Plum (Source: Encyclopaedia of Indian Medicine: Materia Medica – Minerals and Metallic)
Names in some other Indian languages:
Sanskrit – Karamardakah, Vanakshudra, Supushpah, Kshirphalah (amongst many)
Hindi – Karaunda
Bengali – Karmeha
Marathi – Karavanda
Kannada – Karavadi
Tamil – Perukatachedi
Telugu – Okachettu, Kalivi
Malayalam – Karanta, Katavu