GUEST NO. 5 ON THE BLOGI'm trying to feature my family and friends on my blog weekly. However, last week I couldn't feature any guest as I was down with a bad flu and fever. Still getting over the nasty cough, its very persistent.
This week my guest is my sister in law Arti (my brother's wife). When I asked her to write a recipe for the blog, her immediate reaction was 'ahahhaa that's not me Mayuriben that is something you do! I don't measure and cook, I don't know what to make' and the excuses kept on coming. I suggested that she should make her famous cranberry pickle but immediately realized that its not cranberry season. (shhh we'll get her to give us the recipe when cranberries are in season ;)) Anyway I left it up to her to decide what she would like to make and of course measure (she hates that). After a few weeks, my whatsapp is busy "toinking" away. I check my mobile to see who is persistently sending me messages and its Arti with a recipe!
Arti is the baby of not only her side of the family but ours too.She's younger than my sister so that makes her the baby. However, as soon as she stepped into our house, she had to act with maturity as our bhabhi (sister in law)and daughter in law as most Indian women have to after marriage. It took her a while to adjust to the conservative family. Arti is someone who can voice out her opinion without hesitation, that's makes her appear too brash or impolite. However, that she isn't. Its just that people tend to misunderstand. Her forte is certainly not cooking,but has one of the most beautiful kitchen's to boast about.Her kitchen is where our huge family gathers. Its here over drinks and meals that we all catch up and bond. She has the amazing quality of organizing for parties and adding the fun factor to it.My other bhabhi has to take care of the food part. She thinks of small details which others may miss out on. Whenever I have asked for help, she's always there in person or as an ardent supporter. She practically helped to organize many of the pre- wedding functions during my son's wedding and for my daughter's wedding though she couldn't come to Bangalore early, her meaningful suggestions and support was there from day one. She loves her daughter to bits... most of do as she's so adorable. As a parent of a cerebral palsy child, it takes a lot of courage and strength to smile and get through each day. But Arti does that. She takes pride in having some of the most beautiful orchids.Let me tell you, its not easy growing orchids indoors in UK but she has managed.If I ever need a good shoulder to cry on, I'm lucky, I get two... my brother's shoulder and Arti's too.
Arti decided to share with us her dried grapes achar (pickle) which she tried out for the first time and the family loved it. She doesn't follow any specific recipe to make pickles, neither does she have any traditional recipes handed down to her. She has her own style of making delectable, easy and quick pickles.
Mayuriben, my sister in law(my husband's elder sister) is like a sister to me. She is one person who is not judgmental about who or what I am.Even when I complain to her about my husband, she doesn't take sides but listens patiently or gives the right advise. I know I can always count on her should I need any help or support. I admire her organisational skills, her charity work through Lions and how she is an all rounder in most fields. She has brought up 3 wonderful children (my nephews and niece) who we are so proud of. I'm blessed to have her in my life.
|Arti's passion---her Orchids|
|Tulsi (Holy Basil) also doing so well :)|
DRIED GRAPES ACHAAR(PICKLE)
1 large(40-50 grapes) bunch of seedless grapes
2 tbsp ready made Achaar masala (ready pickle masala)
1 tsp salt
Juice from 1 lime
3-4 tbsp oil
jam sugar -optional if the grapes are a bit sour
- First 3 days dry the grapes on the bunch in the sun. (she kept it in the sunny part of her kitchen)
- Pluck off the grapes from the bunch. Dry them further for 2 weeks.
- Once they are semi dry, cut the grapes into halves.
- Put the dried grapes in a bowl.
- Add lime juice, salt and pickle masala. Mix well. Add sugar if you're using any.
- Heat the oil and let it cool.
- Add to the grape mixture and mix well.
- Transfer the pickle to a jar.
- I don't think you'll need to put it in the fridge as it may get over soon.
- If the grapes are a bit tangy or sour then add little sugar.
- Add sufficient oil so that you can use the oil to drizzle over rice, khichdi or snacks. It also helps to preserve the fruit or vegetable that is pickled.
- Use any ready pickle masala that is available at your local Indian grocery shop.
|Meeting place for our huge family and friends - a warm friendly kitchen|
|Tangy Creamy Potato Curry|