Kairee Panhe/ Raw Mango Summer Cooler/Aaam Ka Panna

It’s almost 40 degrees Celsius in the afternoon in Pune nowadays, summer is at it’s peak, one needs to keep the mind and the body in sync and cool, at times like this a chilled summer drink and that too one made from raw mangoes is a treat, more so if it’s made by my old mother who is recovering from knee replacement surgery and is walking around using a walking stick. She is just waiting to get back on her feet and go into the kitchen and cook up stuff but under strict orders from her doc can only do so about once in 2 days.

Growing in Mumbai , summer holidays were great fun with my cousins around, mum always made loads of this concentrate from raw mangoes and it was such a treat to come home all sweaty and panting and drink tall glasses of this tangy cooler doused with ice cubes of various animal shapes 😉 aaahhh summer holidays!

You will need :

  1. 4 raw mangoes
  2. sugar as per the quantity of pulp generated
  3. Green Cardamon /elaichi powder
  4. Freshly ground black pepper powder
  5. Aniseed / Vilayati Saunf
  6. Chilled water
  7. Strainer

I picked these raw mangoes from my granny’s garden , they look stunning don’t they ?

Raw Mangoes

These need to be pressure cooked ,give them 2 whistles, drain the water and allow to cool.

in the cooker these beauties go !

Once these are boiled and have cooled down , peel the mangoes and collect all the lovely green pulp in a vessel, sugar proportion to be added is 3 times the quantity of the pulp , so if the pulp of these 4 mangoes was to fit into a small bowl of about 200gms capacity sugar would be 600 gms. Stir in the sugar into the pulp and keep stirring until it is completely dissolved , add a large spoon of elaichi powder,some freshly ground black pepper,some aniseed ground  – green Cardamom powder and give this mix a stir in the mixer for just about a minute .Store in a glass jar in the fridge. Do not freeze.Remember never to add salt to this mixture , only while preparing the drink from the concentrate add salt in the glass, salt will turn this concentrate into a dark green colour and cause a bout of food poisoning !

While preparing the cooler , add 2 spoons of the raw mango concentrate and add a pinch of salt to this, top up with cold water and strain after mixing to remove any strands from the pulp, add ice cubes,dress it up with a  spring of mint if you will and drink up home made  goodness!aaahh ! Summer !

Tempting glass of Kairee Panha !

a big bottle full of panha ummmm

Sunday Special Lunch – A Family Tradition

What a Sunday Roast is to a traditional English Family Sunday Lunch is what the combination of Spicy Chicken Gravy and Jeera rice or layered Chicken Biryani is to my family . My sister and me have grown up eating these divine yet simple dishes prepared with great passion and with great efforts by my parents.Almost all the  ingredients were freshly procured on Sunday morning and accompanying my dad to get the chicken was part of the whole excitement for me . It was my mum’s way of getting me out of her hair is what I learned years later 🙂

Last year when my husband and me decided to move to London , I was super delighted when my parents visited a few months later. My parents had promised they would cook us their Sunday special and  my hubby would  watch and learn they created these dishes.

I shall start with my personal favourite Chicken in thick gravy and Jeera Rice ,followed by Layered Chicken Biryani in the next blog post. Hope you will enjoy cooking up these yummies and creating happy family memories of your own.

Chicken in thick gravy-Ingredient List:

  1.  Medium sized Chicken cut and deskined, usually available at any good butcher shop , ask for pieces suitable for a curry.
  2. 3 medium sized tomatoes and 4 red onions pureed together
  3. 1 Large bunch of coriander and 2 long green chillies pureed.
  4. Oil
  5. Turmeric Powder
  6. Red Chilli Powder
  7. Garam Masala
  8. handful of finely pureed grated fresh coconut
  9. Ginger Garlic Paste
  10. Finely Chopped coriander to garnish


  1. Wash the chicken pieces and marinate with a large spoonful of red chilli powder and turmeric, a generous blob of ginger garlic paste ,sat and some puree of the coriander and chilli paste.
  2. Take a large vessel and on a medium  add oil, when it is hot add the onion- tomato puree and sautee it till the colour turns a dark pink , add some ginger garlic paste ,salt , turmeric and 2 large spoons of garam masala.
  3. Then add the grated coconut puree and remaining coriander and chilly paste.
  4. Saute well and then add the marinated chicken .
  5. Add enough water to cover the pieces and enough to ensure good amount of gravy.
  6. Pressure cook for 3 whistles in a pressure cooker.
  7. Serve hot with steaming hot jeera rice and cucumber curd mix to balance off the heat.

As you will notice most ingredients are not accurately measured as would in a cake recipe , that’s because baking is really an exact science whereas curries especially this one function on judgement , it gets better with time , trust me , I have grown up eating this one 🙂

The Sand Man

Ok it’s official then , I am the WORLD’S worst aunt ….I love my 4 year niece dearly but to make her bedtime stick I scared her with a story … I told her that if she didn’t fall asleep by 8 pm every night …then …the SAND MAN would come ….

Her deep black pretty eyes widened with fear and she shook a little in her cute little bed and covered in her pink duvet she looked even more tiny ,surrounded by soft toys and what have you …

She whispered ,” but WHO sends him… and WHY ?”

Well, I said with a grave face , ” It’s the QUEEN !”

Shocked beyond her wildest fears A looked and me and said ” But the QUEEN  is so NICE ,why does she do THISsssss????”

Pat came my reply ,” Well it’s part of her duties to see that all the little people in her Kingdom are well-behaved so if any one below the age of 8 is found to be AWAKE beyond 8pm he or she are made to face the SAND MAN”

Now really terrified she said ,”But WHAT does HE do?” her voice only a whisper now and she looked nervously at the door and clutched my hand even tighter …

”Oh , nothing he just mumbles something and POOF blows a bit of sand into the eyes of the kids and they fall asleep instantly (HA!) ”

A went all quiet and shut her eyes as tight as she could and tried to fall asleep , all the while her smart little brain thinking about this whole new threat to her 4-year-old play time way past her bedtime 😉

”But HOW does the QUEEN know I am awake ??”

AAH smart one little girl but I have an answer ready HA !

”Well, MY DEAR the QUEEN has a massive GPS tracking device fitted into all TV sets of families with little people below the age of 8 and that’s how she KNOWS”

A swallowed that bait and tried to fall asleep , but sleep was eluding her in the wake of this breaking news !

She peeled open her eyes and said ” what is the time?” I told her it was ten minutes past 8pm, she almost shrieked and said ”PLEASE tell the QUEEN not to send him today I am a GOOD girl,aren’t I ? I shall ALWAYS fall sleep by 8pm !! IS HE COMING go check ….”

Now my ”grown up’s” conscience pricked me a little and I comforted her ,telling her and assuring her that I knew she was an angel and so did the Queen so no Sand Man tonight but from tomorrow onwards surely he would keep a close watch on her lest she behaved badly and refused to sleep off by 8pm or even refused to brush her teeth before bed ….sigh the fibs one has to tell !

Just when I thought she has slipped into la-la land , her sleepy voice asked ” But why don’t GROWN UP’s like you have a SAND MAN too? What is YOUR bed time ??”

Now she had caught me off guard , but without skipping a beat , I told her the HARD fact of life ,” my dear , we grown up’s are supposed to be RESPONSIBLE for our actions and so we should also be asleep at least by 11pm , or it’s not good for our health ”

Satisfied with that reply she fell asleep still clutching onto my hand …as I crept out the room and switched on the little night lamp , I felt triumphant at having ensured that a 4-year-old will hopefully now sleep on time almost everyday .

A few days later I received a call from my sister-in-law , she was happy to inform me that the SAND MAN story was still quite fresh in her mind and she had even tried standing in front of the television set beyond 8pm waiting for him but unnerved by the consequences had run up to her room and slept off almost immediately ! we giggled like school girls but I admitted how guilty I felt at having scared her into sleeping on time …

How innocent is the mind of little children who do at times , even in today’s times , believe what the adults tell them , especially the one’s they trust … If nothing I felt more protective towards her and of course fell  in love with my sweet little angel all over again ….

Hail SAND MAN and yes apologies to Her Highness the Queen for adding yet another responsibility to your long list of duties , but I do want you to know that my sweet 4 year likes you a lot and so do I …


When the DAY takes control …..

I had a lovely day today, a close pal came over with her cute four year old and I cooked us a simple meal , we then went do some much needed shopping for groceries for us and after the boy had a good run around in his favourite play zone, I was dropped home to spend the evening relaxing.

I honestly hadn’t planned any of this and expected today to be like any typical day at home when I am not working part time and spend my time doing an unpaid job – LOOKING for a job – applying online to as many suitable vacancies as I can.

But that’s exactly what I love about today. Sometimes such unplanned surprises what turn a ho hum drum day into a simply delightful one .Cheers to more such relaxed simple days.

Oh , spring when will come so we can spend more time outside than freeze every time we step out of the door??

Sweet Solitude, Sweet Love

O Solitude I seek thee,
As fresh rains want open fields and dancing children run home after light ,
For only you, thus, Intrigue me.
As I dive deep into thy Abyss,
Cold blue waters engulf me all around,
It’s only then that I see ALL else slip away,
And only your love surrounds ,
For that’s when you truly open up to me and I hear your sweet silent sound .
Strange as it may seem too you,
This appalling silence holds,
a thousand screams that befall,
On ears that listen and eyes that speak,
And yet they never seem to talk ,
Just walk past without a nod or smile ,
And all that’s left around in that abyss is Solitude and me .
So drowning dead and sinking to a watery grave is but obvious I need not implore ,
I wait eagerly for the cold embrace in the blue waters of my mind ,
It’s only when I am dying that I know I surely will find,
What we all wish to behold but never really find ,it’s always been there somewhere ,
Lost in the recesses of our mind ,
I fall asleep silently with death embracing that is so cold ,yet warm in Solitude’s embrace ,she , caresses my troubled soul,
Such is the love of solitude that I couldn’t resist, just had to seek n find ,
If this wasn’t true love ,my dear beloved
Please be so kind and pray tell me what is true love , that we have never found .

the last embrace

The above post was done by me last year  on a lovely group called Phrase Catchers on Facebook where I post from time to time , it was written when I was in a grey period for a while ,feeling lonely in this big city and missing my old life , the image posted above is from a very, very beautifully written blog and the post it is from is so touching it made me sad … very emotional blog (http://circuschildren.blogspot.com/2009_11_01_archive.html) ….thanks for letting me use the image here Ms.Circus Princess , I am sure your blog writing was catharsis in itself. I also like how she has written a polite but firm request for her friends to respect her privacy. Read her blog it takes you on a journey …

Of movies and GREAT MOVIES

Some movies have such an impact that they make you smile somewhere deep inside , they give us hope , that kind of hope that can stir up a twinkle in the eye of even the most deprived of souls …The Shawshank Redemption is one such movie.

I cannot fathom why I haven’t seen it for all these years …

It’s the kind of movie I would see with my Father , he loves watching war movies ,old westerns and the like .When he and my mother came to visit us last year we had a lovely few weeks together. He made a list of his all time favourite films all old English awesome one really …I would love to share that list will try and find the paper where he wrote it …

We would have an early dinner and then I would download the movie on my laptop using utorrent and my parents and me would crowd around my laptop and watch it only stop if I wanted a break in between I always do, movies make me hungry errr hungrier to be honest …am always hungry 😉 My mum doses off after the first 15 minutes and wakes up after a few more and asks why so and so did this and what is happening and then dose off blissfully again , though she’s one determined person I tell you , she wouldn’t quit halfway would sit through to the end with me and daddy.

Anyway, this ritual went on for about 15 days after which my Laptop crashed due to some bug and when it was done up again it was time for them to go , the weather had changed ,it was much colder than their old bones could handle so they would turn in earlier and stay home most day.

I do miss them, but I miss my dad the most when I see such movies. I almost imagined I was curled up next to him as I was seeing this movie. Will call him tomorrow and tell him about it, of course am sure he has seen it and will have some interesting movie facts to tell me, he always does.

The following lines are ingrained in my mind forever and ever – “Hope is a Good Thing,Maybe the BEST thing and Good Things NEVER Die” – Andy from The Shawshank Redemption.

It’s a movie that will stay with me for a long long time to come ,maybe some day I too shall sit down with my kids and share such moments ….hopefully 🙂

P.S: Baba’s List of Must watch movies , family favourites at ours and anytime watchs for a LIFETIME…

*Where Eagles Dare

*North By North West

*The Bridge on the River Kwai

*The Eagle has Landed

*The man who knew too much – who can forget Doris Day singing Que Sera, Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)

*Dial M for Murder


* Butch Cassidy and the Sun Dance Kid

*Mackenna’s Gold

*It Happened One Night

*The 39 Steps

* Godfather 1 &2 …. Oh Marlon Brando what he did no one ever has and no one ever can these movies and books are EPIC !

* The Day of the Jackal


*Rear Window…Irony was I saw this when I was in bed nursing a broken leg 😉


* One Flew over the cuckoo’s nest