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Gulab_Jamun

The Sweet History of the Gulab Jamun

We’re Jamun, We’re Jamun. I hope you like Jamun too!

One of the sweetest dishes South Asian cuisine has to offer is undoubtedly the Gulab Jamun! Made from the perfect concoction of floury, milky, sugary, syrupy and nutty ingredients, the Gulab Jaun packs a powerful punch that rounds off any meal perfectly.

These rose scented syrupy spheres of joy are particularly popular in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and now, it would be difficult to find an South Asian restaurant in the UK which doesn’t have this desert on their menu.

Read on to learn the history of the Gulab Jamun and how to make the perfect batch yourself!

The Gulab Jamun Origin Story

“Gulab” is derived from the Persian word gol (flower) and ab (water) whilst “Jamun” is the Hindi/Urdu word for Syzygium cumini, a fruit also known as the Java plum which is a similar size and shape to the Gulab Jamun.

Believe it or not, the first Gulab Jamuns were prepared in medieval India and is the descendant of a fritter. According to the culinary historian Michael Krondl, the dish may have derived from a Persian dish which was improperly prepared by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s personal chef.

The Perfect Gulab Jamun Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 130g dried milk powder
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 125ml warm milk
  • 1 pinch ground cardamom
  • 1 litre vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 200ml water
  • 1 teaspoon rose water
  • 1 pinch ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon chopped almonds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pistachio nuts (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon sultanas (optional)

Steps:

  • First of all, get yourself a large bowl and mix together the flour, baking powder, dried milk power and cardamom
  • Stir in the chopped almonds, chopped pistachio nuts and sultanas (all of which are optional)
  • Add the ghee and mix well with the warm milk
  • When well blended, cover the dough and let the mix rest for 20 mins
  • For the syrup, in a large frying pan, mix and stir the sugar, water, rose water and a pinch of cardamom. Simmer for 1 minute then set this mix aside as well
  • Get a large frying pan and fill it hallway up with oil and heat for 5 minutes over a medium flame
  • Knead the dough and create 20 small balls
  • Then, on a low heat, fry the balls (10 at a time)
  • After a few minutes the Jamun will expand twice their size and begin to float. At this point, increase the heat to medium and turn them frequently until they turn golden brown.
  • Remove the Jamun from the oil, allow them to cool slightly and then drain them using a kitchen towel.
  • Place all of the Jamun onto a pan with the syrup and simmer over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  • Squeeze them sporadically so the Jamun can soak up as much of the syrup as possible.
  • Serve immediately or allow to cool then chill.
samosa 1

The Delicious History of the Samosa

Ah, the Samosa. Its savoury offerings have tantalised the taste buds of the world’s population for hundreds of years and the triangular South Asian delicacy has become a staple in British Culture.

Who would’ve thought such an elegantly simple dish would have reached these untold levels of popularity? How did this immense following of the Samosa occur?

Read on to find out the history of the samosa and how to create the perfect tetrahedral snacks yourself!

The Samosa’s Origin Story

The beginnings of the samosa can be traced back prior to the 10th century! It was in Middle Eastern cuisine where its origins can be found under the name Sanbosag in Persian texts.

India and Pakistan had no knowledge of the Samosa until the 13th or 14th century when migrant workers travelled from the Middle-East to the South Asian countries to find employ in the kitchens of Muslim nobility.

In the following centuries, the many variants of the Samosa were created due to the diverse eating cultures in different regions e.g. the vegetarianism found in Hindu culture brought the Vegetable Samosa into fruition.

The Samosa can now be found in a plethora of countries including:

India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Xinjiang, Burma, Indonesia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Israel, Portugal, Brazil, The United Kingdom, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania.

It is remarkable how far and wide the samosa has travelled and it is because of this reach that we now have so many Samosa varieties to choose from. In 2017, we now have the real first world problem of deciding on which Samosa to devour.

Chole Samosas, Chow Mein Samosas, Pasta Samosas, Keema Samosas, Cheese Samosas, Chocolate Samosas, Fried Rice Samosas, Matar Soya Samosas, Egg Samosas, Paneers Samosas, Jam Samosas and Fish Samosas are just some of the concoctions the world has come up with.

But what is the perfect Samosa?

The Perfect Samosa Recipe

samosa 2

In this writer’s humble opinion, a Samosa is at its finest when it’s kept to its purest form…the vegetable samosa! Also, the perfect samosas have to be baked!

As time has passed and the health conscious among us have increased, Samosas have been forced to adapt to survive and they have done so splendidly.

The advent of the baked Samosa was a gamechanger; no longer are the triangular treats a greasy and oily encounter but a healthier non-dripping enriching one.

It is the simplicity of the Vegetable Samosas that make them so effectively scrumptious, providing all of the correct textures and ingredients for a melt in the mouth experience every time.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 60g chopped onion
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 60g frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½-¾ tsp garam masala
  • 1-2 tsp dried mango powder
  • salt (to taste)
  • splash water
  • 600g potatoes
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • packet ready-made filo pastry
  • 5 tbsp melted butter

 

Steps:

  • Heat the oil in a small non-stick pan and fry the mustard seeds for about ten seconds
  • Add the onion and ginger and cook for 2-3 minutes over a high heat.
  • Add the peas, spices, mango powder, salt, a splash of water and stir well.
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the potatoes and coriander and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Taste your creation and adjust the seasoning if required.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  • Lay the pastry sheet flat on a clean surface and brush with melted butter.
  • Fold in one third of the pastry lengthways towards the middle.
  • Brush again with the butter and fold in the other side to make a long triple-layered strip.
  • Place one teaspoon of the filling mixture at one end of the strip, leaving a approx 2cm/1in border.
  • Take the right corner and fold diagonally to the left which should form a complete triangle.
  • Fold again along the upper crease of the triangle until you reach the end of the strip.
  • Brush the outer surface with more butter.
  • Place onto a baking sheet and cover while you make the rest of the samosas.
  • Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden and crisp, turning halfway through the cooking time.
  • Serve with Chutney
  • Enjoy!

How to make the perfect Jalebi

There’s just something about Jalebi isn’t there? Their sweet aroma, their crispy crystalized orange outer layer and the sugar syrup that is waiting to be devoured after that first bite. It is no surprise that the dessert has been a staple for South Asian families, particularly when entertaining guests. Over the holiday season, entertaining family and friends will become a more frequent activity and all will be expecting the crunchy chewy texture of Jalebis to be waiting for them moments after walking through your door. Here is how to make the perfect Jalebi so you don’t disappoint those armed with a seasonal sweet tooth….

 

Ingredients:

Batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • Pinch of citric acid
  • 1 teaspoon of oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Yeast
  • 1-1/2 cup water

Syrup:

  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 4 crushed cardamom
  • A few strands of saffron
  • Few drops lemon juice
  • Frying oil

 

Steps:

Batter:

  • Mix the all-purpose flour and corn starch
  • Add the yeast and citric acid and mix well
  • Add the water slowly to make batter; this should be the same consistency as pancake batter
  • Place the batter aside in a warm place for half an hour

Syrup:

  • Boil the sugar and water together
  • Add the lemon juice, cardamom and saffron
  • Boil for 2-3 mins until the syrup starts to stick to your finger
  • Turn off heat

Remaining Steps:

  • Heat oil in a frying pan that is one inch deep
  • To test, place a drop of batter in the oil and, if the batter sizzles and rises into a ball, then the oil is ready
  • Place the Jalebi batter into a piping bag
  • Squeeze the batter into the hot oil in the oh so familiar concentric Jalebi shape
  • Fry the batter until light golden brown on both sides
  • Remove the Jalebi from the pan, wait for a minute, then transfer them into the warm syrup
  • Soak for about thirty seconds and then take them out
  • Repeat the process and a batch of Jalebis will be ready to serve

Mr Mango’s Kitchen – Indian Mutton Curry

Ah mutton, the most tender of Indian delicacies. When curried, goat meat really is a sensational dish bursting with a unique immense flavour. Mutton contains low levels of saturated fat and cholesterol, is high in iron and rich in protein. If red meat is your guilty pleasure, then opt for mutton as it is the healthier and leaner option. Try out the delicious Indian Mutton Curry recipe below!

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of goat meat, cut into suitable bite-sized chunks
  • 4 tbsps vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • 2 large onions sliced thin
  • 2 large diced tomatoes
  • Chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsps garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsps coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsps garam masala powder
  • Salt

Steps:

  • Heat the cooking oil in a heavy deep pan, on medium heat.
  • When hot, add the onions and sauté until golden brown.
  • Remove the onions from the oil and drain on paper towels. Turn off heat.
  • Grind the onions into a smooth paste (adding very little to no water) in a blender. Once done, remove into a separate container.
  • Now grind the tomatoes, garlic and ginger pastes together in the blender. Remove into a separate container and keep aside for later use.
  • Heat the oil left over from frying the onions again and add the onion paste. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and all the powered spices, including the garam masala. Mix well.
  • Sauté the resulting masala (onion-tomato-spice mixture) until the oil begins to separate from it. This can take up to 10 minutes.
  • Add the goat/mutton pieces to the masala and season with salt to taste. Stir to fully coat the goat/ mutton pieces with the masala.
  • Sauté until the goat/mutton is browned well.
  • Add 1/2 a cup of hot water to the pan and stir thoroughly.
  • Cook until the goat/ mutton is tender. You will need to keep checking on the goat/ mutton as it cooks and adding more water if all the water dries up. Stir often to prevent burning. The dish should have a fairly thick gravy when done.
  • When the meat is cooked, garnish with chopped coriander and serve with hot Chapatis, Naans or rice.
  • Enjoy!
1) Warm the vegetable oil and cumin on a low heat and wait until the cumin turns dark brown. 2) Add the salt and chilli powder and stir. 3) Once the sauce begins to thicken add the chickpeas and mix well. 4) Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and the onions and cook until soft. 5) Remove the pot from the heat and serve immediately.

Mr Mango’s Kitchen – Spicy Pakistani Chickpeas

Serves 5

Taking a break from meat recipes; this dish is for our Vegetarian customers. Chickpeas are brilliant as they are high in protein, dietary fibre and are rich in vitamins and minerals such as Manganese and Folate. They help support bone development, wound healing and are important for carrying out metabolic reactions. They also taste great which is a bonus! Get a bit more spice in your life with this Chickpea recipe:

Ingredient:

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 (400g) tins chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 onion, chopped

Steps:

  1. Warm the vegetable oil and cumin on a low heat and wait until the cumin turns dark brown.
  2. Add the salt and chilli powder and stir.
  3. Once the sauce begins to thicken add the chickpeas and mix well.
  4. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice and the onions and cook until soft.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and serve immediately.
http://mrmangodelivery.co.uk/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/coriander.jpg

Coriander for Beautiful Skin

Coriander for Beautiful Skin

For most, Coriander is somewhat of an afterthought ingredient in cooking; that thing you sprinkle on your dishes at the end to make them look pretty. Who would have thought this herb, also known as cilantro, would have so many beauty benefits? Coriander is stocked with antioxidants, skin-friendly minerals, Vitamin C and is also an antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and cooling agent. The combination of all these attributes makes coriander great for…

  • Battling Hair Loss
  • Acne and Blackheads
  • Dark Lips
  • Restoring Skin Elasticity
  • Face Lifting
  • Skin Smoothing
  • Wrinkles

Here are a few treatments you can try out with ingredients you can probably find in your kitchen but, if you are running low on a few supplies, check out Mr Mango’s Online Shop to grab any missing items!

facemask-cartoonThe Coriander Face Mask Recipe

For this mask, blend fresh coriander leaves and extract its juice. Then, mix the juice with a pinch of ginger powder or and apply to your face. Be careful though, using an excess amount of ginger may leave stains on your face.

The Coriander Lip Balm

All you need for this balm is 1 teaspoon or lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of coriander juice. Apply this on your lips before going to bed and leave it overnight. Wash it off the next morning and repeat the process for a few days for pink lips.

 

Coriander Paste for Itchy Skin

Create a paste using coriander seeds, a teaspoon of honey and just a little bit of water. Applying this to the itchy area of skin will lead to instant relief.

tarka-dhal-feature

Mr Mango’s Kitchen – Tarka Dhal (Lentils)

Lentils are a staple in Asian cuisine; this cousin of the pea contains ample amounts of protein and carbohydrates whilst also being rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron, soluble fibre and vitamin B. Eating lentils will yield the benefits of a healthier heart, better digestive health, stabilised blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Try out this nutritious and tasty dish:

Ingredients:

  • 400g red lentils
  • 2 tsps turmeric
  • 2 knobs unsalted butter
  • 2 tsps cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 fresh green chillies
  • 2-3 tomatoes

Steps:

  1. Place the lentils into a pan along with a couple of inches of water.
  2. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer.
  3. Add the turmeric and a knob of butter.
  4. Leave to gently cook at the simmering level of heat.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate pan fry the cumin seeds over a medium heat for two minutes.
  6. Remove them from the pan and put to one side.
  7. Using the same pan fry the garlic, onions, chillies, ginger and tomatoes (all of which should be chopped) with the second knob of butter.
  8. When the garlic is golden brown, add the cumin seed.
  9. Remove from the heat when the lentils have completely softened.
  10. The lentils should have the consistence of porridge. If not, either cook for longer or add water if necessary. Add the fried mixture to the lentils.
  11. Season to taste and serve with paratha or rice.
indian-spiced-salmon-feature

Mr Mango’s Kitchen – Indian Spiced Salmon

Salmon is the ultimate low carb food. High in protein and high in healthy fats; salmon will not only keep you trim around the midriff but will also keep you feeling full. Let’s not forget to mention that salmon is arguably the most succulent fish in existence. Paired with Indian spices this is an unbelievable dish that you must try!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • Dash of ground red pepper
  • 4 (6-ounce) skinless salmon fillets
  • Cooking spray

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees
  2. Combine the first six ingredients in a bow
  3. Rub the spice mixture evenly over each salmon fillet
  4. Place a sheet of foil over an oven tray and space the fillets out over said tray
  5. Cover each fillet with additional foil and place the trey in the oven for 7 minutes
  6. Remove the additional foil and place the salmon back in the oven for an additional 4 minutes.
  7. Serve immediately
tomato-curry

Mr Mango’s Kitchen – Tomato Cod Curry

Madras Sauce, serves 4

Following on from our blog on why tomatoes are the key ingredient for beautiful skin, we thought we’d give you a tomato based meal for our next recipe! Chicken, lamb and beef reign supreme in the world of Asian cuisine and fish is often overlooked. This is a great shame as fish is one of the healthiest and leanest protein sources you can feed your body and works so well when infused with Asian spices. Here’s how to make a delectable, simple and quick tomato cod curry:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove, (chopped)
  • 1-2 tbsp Madras curry paste
  • 400g of canned tomato
  • 200ml of vegetable stock
  • sustainable white fish fillets cut into chunks
  • rice or naan bread

Steps:

1)      Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and start to gently fry the onions for 3 minutes.

2)      Add the chopped garlic cloves and cook the vegetables for an additional 2 minutes.

3)      When the onions and garlic have softened bring the heat to a simmer.

4)      Add the Madras Curry paste and stir for 2 minutes and pour in the canned tomatoes and             vegetable stock.

5)      Then, add the fish fillets and cook for 4-6 minutes until the cod flakes easily.

6)      Serve immediately with naan or rice.

 

Mr Mango’s Kitchen – Butter Lamb Gravy

Asian sauce, serving around 4 people

Lamb is a classic but an often forgotten meat. It brings some variety onto our dining table and can be served with either rice or potatoes. Follow the few steps to enjoy this awesome gravy;

Ingredients:

  • 2 Lamb Shoulders
  • 1/2 Tbsp Masala
  • 2 Tbsp of Butter
  • 1 Onion
  • 1/2 Creme Fraiche
  • 1/2 Tbsp Chill Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 Tbsp Minced Ginger
  • 1/2 Tbsp Turmeric (if wished)
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 chopped Cilantro
  • Water
  •  Salt & Pepper

Steps:

  1.  Season the lamb shoulders with masala and salt and let it stand for a moment
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter in a large saute pan (heat it slowly over medium heat) and add the lamb
  3. Fry the lamb shoulders until they shine golden-brown throughout and put it aside
  4. Melt the other Tbsp of butter in the same saute pan and add the onion, turmeric, ginger, and garlic
  5. Cook and stir until the onion is filmy and the spices smells like heaven
  6. Add the chili powder and the tomato paste, stir everything until well blended and add some (warm) water until it has the wished liquidity
  7. Put back the lamb shoulders into the pan and simmer everything for around 20 minutes over low heat
  8. When the lamb is tender, stir in creme fraiche and honey
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