Delhi carrots have been in season for a while, and one of the best things to do with them is to turn them into delicious Gajar halwa— a light (if prepared this way) and relatively healthy preparation for the winters. This is something I cook up more than twice a year, and have been working on a recipe that maximises its nutritive value (in providing adequate fibre, beta carotene and potassium).
Sometimes, I bake when I’m blue. As therapeutic as the exercise is, I think I enjoy baking and cooking as a celebration a lot more. I’ve had a pretty tough bunch of months in the recent past, and I thought I’d commemorate the (hopeful) end of this period (and the arrival of winter) with apple pie.
I’ve never tasted a dish quite like this one before. It has a flavour profile quite unlike anything I’ve ever cooked or had at a restaurant. The sweet sourness of the plum (quite different from the sweet and sour of eastern flavours I’m more used to) melds with the umami richness of the meat in way that can’t be described with words.
Cherries are now in season here in Bombay (and possibly other parts of the country too). I’ve never been a big fan of Indian cherries as they always seem to cook in a bland way and lose flavour and colour. This season however, has seen the plumpest, darkest cherries ever.
Mulberries are amongst the most underrated fruits that are available quite freely here in Bombay. Their simple mild sweetness possibly doesn’t compete with the strength of other fruit flavours like mango and strawberries, but they do contribute beautifully to pies and tarts.
Mango season is almost ending, with the onset of the monsoons here in Bombay. But there still are parts of the country where you’ll find mangoes in the markets.
The idea to make this cake happened spontaneously one day, when I thought to myself that chocolate and mango would work so well in a dessert together. A short bout of Googling later, I came across this recipe and I knew I had to make it one weekend. So I did.
The traditional approach when it comes to making mango desserts is to always use Alphonso mangoes. I believe this is a little unfair to the absolute abundance of different varieties of mangoes available in the country, each with it’s own special flavour, texture and sweetness.
This recipe is a little off season at the moment. It’s best made when you find Delhi carrots in the markets and they’re usually a winter (or early year) phenomenon. Delhi carrots (the really red ones) lend themselves to a far more vividly orange cupcake than the regular orange carrots.