January 13, 2010

My Summer Harvest 2009 with Ridge Gourd Masala and Ridge Gourd Chutney

Happy Sankranthi/Shankranthi/Pongal to all of you
Sweet beginning:
I made these with 2 Gits Gulab Jamun mix packs (funny ad) following the instructions. I never tried making Jamuns with scratch (with flour, sugar and milk powder etc) at home so far, may be one day I will try! My kids love these oval shaped Jamuns. I make less syrup with lot less sugar than required as we don't like the syrup too sweet and without any extra garnish. Jamuns soak up all the syrup and plump up. Usually round Jamuns are served in a katori/bowl floating in Syrup, sometimes garnished with Cardamom pd, grated coconut etc but we love it simple. Just pick each one up with a fork, gobble the whole Jamun is the way to go ie if I make them smaller!! :D

Well...
as some of you know, I started posting my Summer veggie patch from my backyard every August/September since 2006 . I take photos of them as I plant, sow the veg. seeds and I take photos of their progress through out the Summer. Usually we pull out all the plants and clean up for the Fall every year around September/October once the temp starts to go south.
Because I didn't blog since last July, here is my belated post of 2009 Summer garden post. I didn't buy any new Indian veg. seeds last year, used whatever I had leftover from the year before. Indian vegetable seeds are available here & here and here (for Curry leaves plants) and here for Asian vegetables to order if you are interested in planting the garden this Summer.

Here is the beginning with prepared veggie patch: (click on the pics to enlarge)
I start planting the little store bought plants at the end of May and sow the seeds only after mid June ie after the ground heats up a little to help the seeds to sprout. Some herb pots survived from last year re grew nicely like Mint, Chives, Balm Lemon and Rosemary. I bought more herbs to plant like Thyme, Thai Basil, Oregano, Garlic Chives etc.

In July and August:
You can see Japanese purple Eggplants, Okra, Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchinis, Broad Beans (sweet peas pods), Plum Tomatoes and of course, my pride and joy, Indian Ridge Gourds grown from seeds. Just 2 healthy ridge gourd plants which occupied half the deck gave me so many Ridge gourds that I went crazy cooking with them every other day which made my kids very mad and they now have a second new "kill that darn vegetable plant" plan right after my beloved Eggplants! Hahaha!!!

Indian Snake gourd (Padavala kayi), Cayenne chillies, Bottle Gourd, Prickly seedless Cucumber (Mullu Soutekayi), Amaranth leaves and more Ridge Gourds!! Unfortunately, I didn't get many Snake gourds until almost August and that too just two puny little things, I will post what I cooked with those later. Don't know why but I am finding it hard to grow Snake Gourds unlike other gourds. Cayenne peppers are beautiful to look at and get aplenty but not much heat or flavor. I prefer to grow Thai chillies or Tabasco chillies like I did last year. Those little ones are fiery and also I don't need too many of those to add to dishes to make it deliciously flavorful. I freeze Thai chillies for Winter to use to make chutneys.

September, time to clean up already!!
At this time of the month, my kids are literally tearing their hair out just looking at my collection of veggies because they know what's coming for dinner for days from now on until they are all gone and I am grinning from from ear to ear! :D
Did you see the identical conjoined twin Cayenne pepper brothers/sisters in the last photo?

Luxuriously grown Curry leaves plant:
Plant grows to up a tree in India and in Florida (because of the hot weather all year round) if planted this in the ground, so such luck for the rest of us in other states. (Here is a good YouTube video to watch)
It was a blazing Summer for us in NC this year. So this former 5" Curry leaf plant I potted last year has grown up to a 5 feet now! As soon as the temp. went up to 70F, we put the pot out on the deck. Now as the Fall temp dropped, it's inside the kitchen, still exposed to Sunlight but with minimum of 68F. I clipped off the top by about 5" to get the plant bushy and I am also using the bottom branches for cooking but very sparingly. We might have to re-pot the plant to a larger container next Spring. You can see the same curry leaves plant as it was last year, here.
Here is some info about how to grow and maintain Curry leaves plant. I read that USDA has banned or restricted all curry leaves plants in US! We used to get these little plants in Indian stores and from the (linked sites above) nurseries where I buy the Indian vegetable seeds.

Ridge Gourd Masala (Heerekayi palya) and spicy Ridge Gourd Chutney with my home grown Ridge Gourds, curry leaves, Tomatoes and cayenne red chilli peppers:

Ridge Gourd masala/Heerekayi palya:
Here is tasty Ridge Gourd dish to go with Dosas, Rice rottis or Chapatis. Palya is a Kannada word used generally for a semi dry masala dish with thick gravy and sometimes for dry dish as in potato masala we make for stuffing the Masala dosa.

You need:
3 or 4 fresh tender Ridge gourds (peel the ridges off with a peeler, wash and chop the veg into 1" cubes), 1/2 tsp Turmeric, enough salt, 1 Tomato chopped (I used 4 cherry tomatoes I grew), 1/4 tsp Tamarind paste, chopped Cilantro for garnish and 1 tsp ghee. Dry roast and powder these masala:
1 tbsp coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds, 1 tbsp dry coconut, 2 tsp Chana dal (Bengal gram), 2-3 dry red chillies, 2 cloves and 1 tsp raw rice (to thicken the sauce).
Tempering:
2 tsp oil, 1 tsp Mustard seeds,
few curry leaves, pinches of Hing (asafoetida), 1 onion, chopped,.

To make the dish:
1. Heat oil in a big kadai and add mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing and add onion, saute until they are soft.
2. Add Turmeric, tomato, little salt, fry for 3 mins. Add all the Ridge gourd pieces, fry for 3 mins.
Add 1/4 cup water, cover the dish, lower the heat and cook for about 5 mins or until vegs are almost cooked.
3. Add tamarind paste and powdered masala, enough salt. Stir and cook for a while. Add more water only if needed since Rodge gourds have lot of water in them if they are fresh.
4. Adjust the spices, add cilantro and ghee, cook until you get thick sauce. Tastes better the next day. Serve hot with any of the bread I mentioned above.

Roasted Ridge Gourd and coconut Chutney:

I love this spicy chutney with rice rottis or you can it with plain rice topped with little ghee as well. It's a simple but tasty chutney I came up with this dish based on regular veg stir fry but made into a chutney. When you have about 7 to 8 Ridge gourds at the same time, you just have to get creative with recipes and cook multiple dishes with the same veggie!! Here is another one.

You need:
1. Peel the Ridges off of the 2-3 gourds, cut into cubes. Slice a few fresh green or ripe red chillies, 1/4 cup cubed fresh coconut.
2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, add 1 tsp Coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds, 1 tbsp Chana dal, stir for few seconds. Then add few curry leaves, 3 tbsp Cilantro leaves or 1 tbsp tender Cilantro stems, sliced chillies, coconut pieces, saute for 2 more mins until they get some reddish color.
3. Add Ridge gourd pieces, some salt, saute until gourd is soft and cooked dry. Do not cover to cook it but keep stirring until it's soft and all the water evaporates. Take off the heat.
4. Let it cool a little. Add everything to a blender with 1/4 tsp tamarind paste, some salt if needed. Grind these to a smooth paste. Try not to add water if possible. Take out in a bowl.
Season with 2 tsp oil, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp Urad dal, 1-2 dry red chillies and more curry leaves if you like it, let it splutter. Add to the chutney and mix to serve.
********************************************************************************************************
Chicken curry with Yogurt;
from "Daily Musings" blog. Thanks for the delicious recipe Indo, loved it!

My kids love any dish with chicken. My daughter went back to college last Sunday for second semester of freshman class. As soon as I saw this recipe in Indo's blog last week, I thought I will make it for them before she left (had to make it with just some paprika for heat for kids without any green chillies in this dish although I know it tastes lot better with fresh green chillies added). We relished it of course with some plain rice and few Naans!

Movies:
I rented a animated movie called "Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs" which was really funny and enjoyable. Usually I prefer not to watch kids movies but after watching "Up", I am slowly warming up to the idea! :D
Another movie I watched and forgot to mention last week was "Men who stare at the Goats" which was hilarious. Highly recommend it to watch.

Books:
Btw, I bought a Kindle 2 reader from Amazon, loving it and it's so easy on the eyes to read books now and also kindle edition books are cheaper to buy and instant download too. But some books are collectible like these 2 below, so I still buy a few for my book collection. I downloaded all 4 books of "Twilight" series on Kindle though, even saw first 2 Twilight movies!! Beautiful romantic story, which girl doesn't want to be loved, adored and fought over by a Vampire and a Werewolf?! HeHe!! I can dream, can't I?

I read "Push" by Sapphire few months ago, which is made into a movie "Precious" now (which I love to see). Book is about incest and a young girl's struggle to survive. Book is shockingly disturbing to read but it IS "life" for some girls in this senseless cruel World with no support or choice. Makes you appreciate your own carefree childhood and teenage years!!
When we were kids getting spanked on our backsides occasionally by our parents was a "real big tragedy" for some of us. We all should read this book if we really want to know what "real tragedy" is!!

Another book I read from Oprah's book club "Say you're one of them" by Uwem Akpan.
More heart breaking stories about lives of kids in Africa but wonderfully written which includes 5 short stories. I would say read both of them if you can take it but be warned! You don't wanna make yourself sad, get a headache and cry the whole day!

Okay, that's a long post (as usual!) for this week. No idea what I am going post for next week at all. Seems like my brain has frozen too these days along with icy cold weather!! Anyways, Y'all have a great rest of the week and have fun! :))

118 comments:

Happy cook said...

I want to have that garden. Looks so beautiful. Especially i want those herbs you have.
Indian Ridge gourd is my favourite veg and we don't get them here isn't that bad.
I should not say anything about that beauty of a curry plant ( my mom says we should not say good things about curryplata and if yu do it get bad) so i better be quiet about that curry plant.
The yer when i got married i tried home made jamoons, thay started with tiny balls while soaking and ended up like canon balls, really they just got huge and huge.
I have a packet here in the kitchen I should make them once.

sra said...

Some harvest that was! And it's Sankranthi here now, we have a day off from work, so looking forward to catching up on the reading!

Anjali said...

Yummy gulabjamuns. Asha have you tried Majjige HuLi with Ridge gourd?

Jayashree said...

What a lovely veggie patch....it must be so satisfying to cook with veggies that you've grown in your backyard. A very happy pongal to you too, Asha.

notyet100 said...

jamoons look delicious,..;-)thy r my fav,..specially with rabdi...:-)

arundati said...

what a fabulously lush veggie patch!! i got some fresh avarikai and eggplants from a friends kitchen gardena nd the flavour of those fresh veggies was just so delicate. the jamuns look great too... i only made them once with a ready pack and i felt dizzy putting all that sugar for the syrup...thankfully whenever i have a sugar rush i can pop into the neighbourhood mithaiwala and get a few.... happy sankranthi to you asha....time to be thankful for the produce of the earth

Asha said...

F, Trisha loves Jamuns, warns me to make them every time she comes home from college, only Indian sweet she will happily eat! :D

sra, which book are you reading?

Anjali, never tried Majjige huli with Heerekayi,sounds so good.I will deftly try next time! :))

Nothing like homegrown veggies Jaya! :)

N, Rabdi sounds great, never tried with it.

A, lucky you to have a Mithaiwala to get Jamuns. Here for some of us, we will have to slog in the kitchen if we want to have a few Jamuns! :D

Sumi said...

Its always a pleasure to see your garden.Is wonderful this time..Very colourful..Missed your long post, had a good time reading...

Swati Raman Garg said...

ahaaa..... u amaze me every time.... arent you bored of doing it for years now :) how r u doing ? am good just that low on energy to blog as such ..... love those redge gourds... dont get such good ones here blv me.... u know what ur curry plant got me nostalgic as we used to have this huge curry tree at our previous house..... alls lost.... but it was good to see this... no fabrication... u simply rock....

Nandini said...

Whoa! How lucky you are to have a vegetable garden! It's beautiful and cute! Anyway, all of those dishes are rocking and appetizing! Ridge gourd masala is goluptious, so does ridge gourd chutney! Chicken curry is finger licking good (I don't want to get in trouble with KFC)! Gulab jamuns mmmmmmm!

Swapna said...

You are so lucky to have a vegetable garden like that :).... Gulab Jamuns looks so cute and delicious!

K said...

Ashakka, hotte uritha ide..Such a nice garden you have there! We pay so much just to get fresh bio veggies from the farmers market. Hats off to your efforts!

Jagruti said...

Hi Asha
First time here...Gulab jamoon my favorite..you have beautiful garden and own vegies too..

please visit my blog if you can

http://joyofcooking247.blogspot.com

Pavani said...

Lovely summer garden as usual Asha. Ridge gourd chutney sounds interesting, will try soon. I cry when I read touching books & can't stop sobbing when I see those touching moments on tv. My hubby makes fun of me, but I can't stop myself.
The last book that was really touchy was "Thousand Splendid Suns' by Khaled Hosseini. I was so upset with what women go through on daily basis in Afghan. As you said made me appreciate everything that I had as a child/teenager growing up.
That's why I'm reading more suspense filled fiction than sorrow filled fiction these days. :-) Stay warm.. Have a great rest of the week.

Cham said...

Now I am jealous of ur garden particular of ur curry leaf plant. I bought two years back mine! But my plant didn't grow bushy, now I know, I should snap the top! Can I do later because it is indoor now:)
Did u use any particular potting mix?
Probably I should make jamun like u with less sugar, whenever I prepare we squeeze the Jeera out and have the jamun!

Suma Rajesh said...

woo awesome post asha...h r u?...u have come up with another unique flavourful recipe...

indosungod said...

Asha, the garden is surely is welcome relief from the white that is everywhere here.

I am craving for some ridge gourd chutney now but will wait for the summer.

Asha said...

Thanks girls, that lush garden is long gone now but looking forward to next Summer.

Cham, you can cut the top when you keep it outside again. It needs min of 67F and no particular type of soil needed but I did mix Miracle grow (loose soil) and some regular heavy soil together before adding to the pot. It keeps the water retain a bit longer but you shouldn't water it unless the top 1" of soil is dry. Too much water will kill it. Good luck.

Thanks again for the Chicken recipe Indo, we loved it! :)

Jagruti said...

Hi Asha

Thanks for visiting my blog...keep visiting..i'll be here again...

cheers

Srivalli said...

Asha, as always your garden makes me sooo...jjjj..:)))..but I know how much hard work it must have been..so enjoy your fruits of hard work..abt your kids, I can imagine what they must be feeling hhaha..lovely post and already looking fwd to what you are going to post next week!

Happy Sankranthi to you and your family!

Spice said...

love that veggie patch & all the harvest.....jamun looks good....

Manasi said...

Oh I adore oval gulab jamun. I remember eating these in India... NO syrup ( a + in my opinion) and lightly coated with granulated sugar. Looking at the jamns made me realise I haven't tasted (or made) these for ages!
I love ur garden, I am HOPELESS at gardening ( I have successfully grown methi)... everything just goes heavenward.. sigh! The curry leaves tree is awesome!
Ridge gourd peel chutney is on my list for a long time now, just that I am not too fond of ridge gourd.
I dunno about others , but I LOVE animated movies, I am waiting for my boy to grow up and start demanding those, I won't have to watch animated movies alone ;)

Madhu said...

A very Happy sankranthi to you too .. all the veggies looks good.
Miss miss fresh karibevu here..love your plant.

Sreelu said...

Asha, So glad to see you posting. You have been missed. Happy sankranti, will try to get my hand on those books always enjoyed reading your recomendations

ruchikacooks said...

Ashaji, the garden looks so nice, seems like you had an abundant harvest. Gulab Jamuns are tempting..and so is the chutney..But most of all, I wish I had a curry plant like yours. It is so tender and green(touch wood)..

Tomatoes never grow so well in mine, I think I water them too much. Okras are the best for us, in TX.

WIshing you all a very Happy Pongal.

Anali said...

It's so good to see you back Asha! Happy New Year to you! I wasn't sure if you had decided to give up the blog.

Your curry "tree" is amazing! And all your veggies. What a beautiful sight! ; )

Anonymous said...

Ashaji, I have been a silent reader of our blog for almost two years. But your veggie garden has prompted me to write my first comment. I can see your effort and love put in those little things. Your space rocks and my warm Sankranthi wishes..

Priya said...

Good to see ya back. Happy 2010 and Sankranthi.

Yummy jamuns:)

Bong Mom said...

Asha
I am stunned by your veggie patch yield. You got so many vegetables, good for you. I am just loving it looking at all your greens in the mid of winter.

Jamoons look too good. All I need is a fork now :-D

MR said...

awesome vege collection
great recipes too !!
I too have a curry plant keeping it alive so far been almost 2 yrs
so why did u cut the top ?
does it help the plant to grow bushier?

Asha said...

MR, yes. Cutting off the top and plucking the branches often will encourage the plant spring new branches and grows bushier. Just cut the top off 5"-6" once you bring the plant in, that would be enough. I had this plant for a year, it didn't grow much last year and then it boomed in the heat this Summer.

Divya Vikram said...

Love your garden Ashakka. I have started my first small garden this summer . I planted tomatoes, green chillies, mint, fenugreek and bell peppers.

Priya said...

Wat a fantastic harvest...delicious ridgegourd masala and fingerlicking ridge gourd chutney...yummm..am hungry now..

Cham said...

Thank You Asha, I will do it, probably I should mix the regular soil too and I cross my finger :)

SE said...

hi Asha..just stumbled upon your blog and great to see the space..awesome !!!!

BDSN said...

You have a very lovely garden. When I start my own garden I think I might seek your help but for now I will just admire them!!

Nice creative work with your ridge gourds !!
One idea here!! Hope you dont mind me suggesting them... Why dont you sell your ridge gourds to Indian groceries when you have plenty?May be you already thought of it or might be even doin it?
Anyway Chao!!

Asha said...

Hi BDSN, nice to see you here.
Oh, I would never give up on my Ridge Gourds!! Hahaha!! Seriously, I do get about 20-25 from 2 plants in about 2 month's time (July and August), so I would love cook with these. But If I plant more than 2, I might think of selling gourds, not a bad idea! :))

Anonymous said...

lovely veggie patch. where did u buy the curry leaf plant? i don't seem to find it in kansas?

Anonymous said...

You have such a beautiful garden.Will surely try the ridgegourd chutney and let you know.

shalini

Mona said...

Lovely harvest from that little patch Ashaji! I too punctually grow a little harvest every spring-fall and enjoy the fresh produce. Gives so much pleasure, isnt it!
Also, I loved the GITS ad that you linked. hahaha
I remember these oval shaped jamoons used to be available in ready made mixed mithai boxes. They look yummy!

aquadaze said...

your harvest is awesome! I don't have any green fingers, just got a curry patta plant, let's see how far I go with it :)Ridgegourd chutney is a new one, sounds yum!

Smitha said...

Ashakka, looks like a bountiful crop this summer... I always dream of fresh vegetables, a small kitchen garden in the backyard and the smell of flowers. I wish i had something like this.

BTW, loved ur Karibenina gida... never even imagined it to possible to have one here in the US. (America America movie nenapaitu )

Mayuri said...

Wow!!!! what a lovely vegge patch u have there, I am sure u enjoyed the fresh veggies & herbs. I too love to garden.
I feel like making jamuns now that I saw the lovely jamuns u made :)

Pravs said...

what a lovely garden. Curry leaf plant looks healthy and good. I have planted a curry leaf plant in a pot recently. will love to see it grow like yours did. Love gardening and if only i had a small land to grow my own veggies. For now i should be okay with potted plants :)
Love ridge gourd..wow, didn't know you could make chutney with it too. Those jamuns looks tempting. Happy sankranthi to you too.

Shivapriya said...

Hey Asha,

Good to see you back, I really missed reading your posts. Belated New Year Wishes and also Happy Pongal to you and your family!!

SP~

Kalai said...

Wish you a very happy Pongal, Ashakka! Your garden was amazing, as usual. Thanks for the great tips abt the curry leaf plant. Will try that this year. We bought a house, so hope to have a real garden this year! :)

LG said...

I have cut down on sugar too in my sweets. People who eat sweet at my place feel it is a perfect dessert for diabetics LOl..less sugar and ghee are always good. Jamun looks yumm..heerekayi palya looks spicy. Veggie patch is awesome.

What is Curry? said...

Great Veggie harvest! Happy Sankranti Asha.

sowmya.s said...

ridgegourd masala looks rrally delicious..

shammi said...

Asha, I got a Kindle for Christmas from my bro & SIL - I LOVE it! I just wish I could download books from other sourcse, not just Amazon. I only buy those which I can read and re-read without getting bored - like Mark Twain, etc :) It's so useful for long journeys - now I dont have to worry about the weight of books I carry in my handbag! :D

Also thanks for listing the books you read. I love recommendations/reviews from other book lovers, gives me the opportunity to read authors who are (sometimes) new to me! :)

s said...

what a lovely veg garden..its impossible to do something like that here..though i dont have the patience too! hats off to u!

Asha said...

Anonymous,(leave a name so I can recognize you next time),
about the curry leaves, I just read that USDA has banned the curry leaves in US. I didn't know that. I bought this plant online from a NJ Indian nursery (I have linked the sites and also the article of USDA) but now I guess they are not selling anymore. Email them and see if they have it still. They will send you anywhere in US within a week (5" plant). Hopefully, they still have it for you. You can grow indoors and keep it out in Summer. These plants do love heat. Good luck! :))

Shri said...

I am amazed looking at your garden..Fabulous, Asha!I never tried making jamuns in the house..It is a little intimidating!I tried to make Rasmalai and that was the biggest flop ever..The ridge gourd looks delicious!

LG said...

update madidini Ashakka. Sankranti Shubhashayagalu :)

ruchikacooks said...

Thanks Ashaji..I'll eat some extra Polis to make up for your share too..My hubby's favorite is just the puran inside so I can do the needful :)

I am so glad that the diwali joke made you laugh..Your's was also Perfectly timed, no diwali on diwali day :D. Pongal wins by a huge margin!

Wishing you all a Very Happy Sankaranthi. It's not snowing here.. may be I'll keep pongal in the Grill :D

Jaya said...

Asha,
I mean hats off to you for growing such a beautiful gareden ..and coming to recipes ..ridge gourd masala sounds so fascinating ..thanks for sharing..wish you happy sankranti..
hugs and smiles

Gita said...

Happpy Pongal dear....lovely dishes. What a lovely patch and veggies...I am turning green over here :)

Viki's Kitchen said...

Very lovely post Asha. Great to see a person with so much love for plants. Beautiful jamuns! I remember my mom saying," Elongated gulab jamuns are the classic ones , as many people those days make it in that shape"....I too followed hers but changed in course of time and nowadays started making spheres :)
Happy Pongal dear.

Usha said...

The jamuns look inviting ! Loved your veggie patch ! And that curry leaves plant is just fantastic,I am going to try and grow some herbs in my planters again.

Cham said...

Thanks for the video Asha! The guy seems to be very educated about the cury leaves and Indian cuisine , isn't it? I bought it online from NJ- they shipped very neatly packet to CA! My plant went without attention last summer when I went to India, almost died but luckily survived after 3 weeks!
Wishing u a Happy Sakkranthi!

Rachana Kothari said...

Thanks for dropping by Asha. You have a lovely Veggi Patch...Happy Pongal!
And the jamuns look mouthwatering, my all time favourite:)

Maheswari said...

Happy Pongal.Beautiful Garden.Loved the Curry leaves plant.Actually kinda jealous :).Loved the RG chutney, my mom used make it.I have to try.I am looking forward to wach the movie Precious,as i am bad reader.

lata raja said...

Dear Asha, This is the first time I'm writing to you. I have been reading through both your spaces. It is such a pleasure to read them. I hope you will be writing more recipes soon.
Happy New Year and a very happy Makar Shankranthi too.

Asha said...

Thanks to all of you. Growing our own veggies is a pleasure, glad I created a space for planting those every year. Not a very big space I must say but big enough for a small family! :)

Cham, I have the same fear that next time I go for longer vacation, I will see it all dried up and gone. Yikes!! :D

kittymatti said...

hey awesome post asha... i need to bookmark this.. thanks for all those gardening ideas..

Padma said...

Me too love to cook with fresh grown veggies from my garden. Nice dishes with ridgegourd. Somehow your other blog was in my blogroll so was not getting updates from this one. Nice to see you back.
Jamoons look very tempting and nice shape.

Preety said...

Hey asha..happy sankrati to you too..

I tried making gulab jamus from scratc couple of times but didn't turn out perfect..will try again sometime..

and i love your vegetable garden pics..i want curry leaves plant too but couldn't find here..

Lovely recipes once again..

Cilantro said...

Wish you & your family a very happy Pongal!
Asha, try the jamuns from scratch and you will never want to buy the ready mix. It is quite elaborate but if the Koya is made well in advance then it is tha same procedure as the ready mix.
The curry leaves plant has grown so much. Looks nice.

Sushma Mallya said...

lovely pics...Happy pongal Asha and thanks for dropping by...do keep in touch..take care

Miri said...

Thats a beautiful garden Asha....so much love and effort seems to have been put into it!

Rahin said...

The Curry leaves plant took me back home, Happy Sankranti Asha

Margie said...

Hi Asha
Your garden is just amazing!
Wonderful post, as always!

I'm so glad to be back reading your wonderful blog again!

Have a wonderful weekend!

RAKS KITCHEN said...

I have not tried masala with ridge gourd,but wanting to try for long time,sure it wud taste great with roti and chutney,I love it anytime with steamed rice or even dosa.

Happy cook have given me a news abt curry leaf plant,I know why I lost my plant a year ago,some one stole it and after a week they kept back at the same place too! (A good hearted thief!!)hehe

Nags said...

really appreciate the garden. i don't have space in my apt, not even a windowsill, so the only thing that's strong enough to thrice is curry leaves.

Curry Leaf said...

I LOVE the oval jamuns.Yours look delicious and mouthwatering.I don't like too much syrup thgh my dghter loves it.Hope you had a wonderful Sankranthi.

Curry Leaf said...

I avoid ridge gourd as and when possible thgh here again my H and Dghter love it.I am always short of the recipes as well.The chutney is very new to me.Love the clicks and recipe

krystyna said...

Thank you Asha for being here with your excellent writing!
Especial thanks for veggie path pics - I'll be try this year also.
And thanks for video and info about how to grow and maintain Curry leaves plant. Yours is gorgeous!
Best for you!

Rajani said...

hi asha, i think its my first time here but i could be wrong... i love your post, particularly with all the lovely gardening pics and links :) u are an inspiration!

Asha said...

Welcome to FH, Rajani. I loved your guest post and reading about the army life. Great job! :)

Sig said...

Hey Asha, so good to see you back in the blogosphere! A very happy new year to you and Arvind and the kids... Here's to a better 2010 and a better decade! Hope everything is alright with you.

ruchikacooks said...

Thank you Ashaji. It was yum and I didnt' waste veggies ;)

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

homecooked said...

Wow...your veg garden is beautiful Asha! I hope to plant a curry plant someday cos we dont get it here anymore :( And ur jamuns look so delicious.Yum! Loved the chicken curry too :)

Meera said...

Happy Sankranti, Ashakka. Hope you are doing wonderful. Loved those jamuns. Your summer harvest looks fantastic. Have a great weekend.

Dershana said...

belated pongal wishes, asha :-)that's some garden you have out there.the few holy and sweet basils, table roses, and money plants i kept withered away when i was at India:-(
have you read color purple? one good thing about being 'unemployed' for the past 1 1/2 years has been being able to catch up on my reading :-) apart from blogging :-)

i love jamuns too, never tried the making from scratch version but.

Asha said...

Hi D, I have read that book long time ago. Saw the movie too, both are good. Enjoy reading! :)

Soma said...

This is one inspiring post for me. The garden, fresh veggies, recipes and the books. This was the first time I managed to grow something in my yard without the bunnies devouring them, and I have to say I am pretty happy. Chilies, bell peppers, methi, tomato (lots), amaranth, pohi, and karela. but this time I am definitely going to do more. The ridge gourd sounds really interesting since of late I got a lot of bitter ones from the store & had to throw them. may be cucumber, beans, cantaloupe and eggplant will be added to my list.

I am growing a curry leaf at home too.. touch wood to yours and mine:-)

Love the oval jamun shape. i make mine small too.. the poppable size and from gits.

Bless your bounty Asha!

Gulmohar said...

What a beautiful garden you have..Wish the weather was little more warmer in Colorado !
Lovely gulab jamuns..Hope you had a great Sankranti :-)

ruchikacooks said...

Ashaji,

I would like to share an award with you, welcoming you back to blogging. Hope you'll accept it.

It is at :http://ruchikacooks.com/?p=1194

Asha said...

Thanks Ruchika, I will be there in a sec! :))

shankari said...

You are an amazing cook and a gardener. I wish I could grow veggies like that

n33ma said...

Happy sankranthi to u too....sorry im a lill late in wishing .I love hirekayi chutney.I too like jamuns with no syrup coz once my granmom who does not like to waste food made me drink the sheera just to clean up the fridge.yuck............
Watched up and loved it and i think ill watch men who stare at goats tonight thanks for recommending.
Hope ur daughter has a good time at college.

EC said...

Any dish tastes great when made with fresh ingredients, especially when it involves your own efforts in growing it..Gulab jamuns are a fav in our house too

Linda said...

Dearest Asha,

I am so happy to see your sunny garden pics in the middle of this snowstorm! I had a ridge gourd plant last summer that climbed the deck railing just as I dreamed, and even got one fruit!?! Maybe if I move to SC?? ;)

Seriously, everything looks wonderful. And I wouldn't mind one of those jamuns about now...

I read Push this summer, in one day as a matter of fact, it was that disturbing. We have alot to be thankful for -- for ourselves and our kids, yes?

How are you making out with T back at school?

Hugs to you my friend :)

vidhas said...

Beautiful Garden! Love to see all the vegetables fresh!! yummy recipe Ashaakka will try soon.

Asha said...

A very good Monday morning to all of you. Enjoy your 3 day weekend/holidays! :))

DK said...

OOOMMMMMMMMMMMMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!


HOW CAN ANYONE MAKE GULAB JAMUN THIS DELICIOUS??????????

..as if it does not look already heavenly at its simplest form..??? Yours looks like heaven dropped into the plate. YOU ARE A KILLER, a virtual one at that!!!

I love jamuns to death and you are literally doing just that #$$%$# and I dont think I am going below that post to see anything else...Jamuns are holding my eyes

I am going back to drooling - so u know when u see your tracker one person on your blog for like AGES!

ruchikacooks said...

Thnx Ashaji. With all the delicious food you make, it is gonna be hard to stay away from it ;)

Yeah, I can't stop thinking when I am in the kitchen and somehow I mutter and shake my head every now and then. N has even given a name for it, "Facial Yoga"
:D

Asha said...

LOL! DK, I will trail by your drool, almost there girl!

Ruchika, "facial Yoga!!" Haha, good one. Well..makes you avoid wrinkles coming on early on your face, so keep on doing what you do! :))

Madhavi said...

Hey Asha,

How r u doin' ?? Delicious entry always :))

Kate/Kajal said...

What a beautiful garden Asha ! I', envious ! I love gulab jamuns too, but its insanely high in calories , haha trying to stay away as much as possible, cuz at a time i need at least 3 -4 to wolf down ... lol

Pari said...

Hi. Your garden looks absolutely fabulous.
I liked your chutney very much. I personally like spicy chutney so this looks just perfect for me.
I liked the idea of making majjige huli that Anjali has mentioned in the comments.
thanks for visiting my blog.
keep visiting.
take care.

Asha said...

Pari, I have to try that Majjige huli too, sounds great to me! :))

Parita said...

What a fantastic post Asha!!! You sure are back with a bang, those gulab jamuns are melt in the mouth!!

ruchikacooks said...

The trick is to make a ordinary-so-so tasting dish once in a while and he'll be ready to cook something fantastic to show off :D

Cars top the list ashaji, totally..Either you should have a car or should have wings..

Asha said...

Thanks Parita! :)

Ruchika, you are such a fun person, we would have been a great neighbors! :)

Nehal said...

Wow Asha!! your garden looks awesome. How big is your veggie patch? Just by looking at the amount of veggies growing in ur garden, I feal a little jealous:) :( We don't get very long summers here in Seattle, so I don't get as much harvest here. This year I am being a little optimistic though, and also starting my plants indoors to get them planted out as soon as the weather warms up. Lets see how it turns out.:). Will keep my blog updated with pix, so u will know how I m doing:)
Oh, and luved ur curry plant especially. Need to find where I can get it here.

ruchikacooks said...

I would have loved that too ashaji. Used to live in MA previously, atleast that would have been easier..Give us a shout when you come this side..

Asha said...

Hi Nehal, my veggie patch is about 8' by 4', not very big and about 2' high with a mix of sandy soil, miracle grow and regular soil you get in Lowe's. I would love to see your garden grow. I know weather is lot here in the South. You do get about 3 mnts of sunny days there I am guessing. Good luck.

I will Ruchika, we hardly vacationed there so far. Must plan! :))

jayasri said...

OMG!!!, I love that garden of yours, it is really so breath taking to see so many veggies you have grown, I can understand your kids feelings like that we have a double beans plant in India, and my dad so adamant that we had to use it every dish amma made until the plant ceased giving the beans!!, but it is a gardener's delight to see his garden grow and make dishes from them!!, I envy you, my garden looks so gloomy now, My curry leaf plant still a palm's length from three years, at least it is surviving!!, let me see for the summer this year!!, in btw jamoons look gorgeous dear,

Nirupama Sriram said...

Hi Asha,
Rushed here after I saw your comments in my website. Wow! cool vegetable garden. Though I have taken photographs of most of the vegetables growing, I have grown very few.
Gardening is a great hobby and also therapeutic.
Keep posting and all the best,
Nirupama

Asha said...

Thanks girls. Gardening is a pleasure, feeds the soul, doesn't it?:))

Hobby Cooking said...

ur blog is really nice,informative and very interesting,

I appreciate ur work by sharing such yummy recipes through this blog

http://hobbycooking.blogspot.com

Asha said...

Thanks H, love growing veggies in Summer. They are all frozen now, can't wait for Summer again!:)

swapna susarla said...

I want that jamoon platter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, ur garden looks beautiful. I live in Texas and trying to grow ridge gourd for the first time. My plant looks good but it is just keep on growing and growing with no flowers or fruit??? Any suggestions?? How much time or what kind of wheather is needed?? just wondering.

Asha said...

Thanks Swapna! :)

Anon, Ridge gourd plants do love heat, so no problem there but sometimes when you grow them for the first time, they might not fruit at first. I find that they start blooming in August mostly and once they start, it's very hard to stop them. You get Ridge gourds in huge amounts. Have patience and don't give up! :))

Rekha said...

Hi Asha, I love ur garden and esp curry leaf plant. Very bushy.

My rigde gourd plant just started blooming in september, after waiting all these months. I thought it doesnt bloom at all, but it did finally. I have to wait and see how it grows!

Asha said...

Rekha, once they start giving plenty of gourds at once you will be stressed about what to do with them they come in 10s and 20s quickly! ;D
Enjoy.