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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Honey Mango Banana Bread

I make a lot of Indian food (in case no one had noticed that) and one of the products I have in my pantry at all times, for no particular reason, is mango pulp. It comes in large cans and it is, well, mango pulp.

I love mangos but you don't get good mangos here in the US (unless you're fortunate enough to live in Hawaii). Even so, I can only eat one raw mango because my lips blister if the juices touch my skin. So there I go, whenever I can manage to get a ripe-ish mango, carefully peeling it and cutting it into small chunks and ever so carefully edging it past my lips without brushing the skin . . . YUM!

If I eat 2, the inside of my mouth gets a bit raw, but one is safe. I don't know what causes it, but cooked mango products don't cause the problem.

So there's the mango pulp. I buy it all the time but I almost never actually use it because I don't know HOW. It wasn't something my ex's family used, so I've never really figured out what to do with it, other than make Mango Lassi (a drink with yogurt) which I don't really care for. My son used to eat it right out of the can with a spoon. Pretty sure that's not the intended use for it either. I keep hoping to figure out something useful to do with it because I absolutely LOVE mangos. So far I haven't really come up with very many uses for it.

In an attempt to incorporate some of this yummy ingredient into my repertoire, I came up with the following modification of a standard banana bread recipe (from the King Arthur website). It makes a very moist, flavorful quick bread. There's just a hint of the mango - in future I'd like to try incorporating some ripe mango chunks into the bread for a stronger mango flavor, but lacking ripe (or at least ripe-ish) mangos, this isn't a bad effort.

  • 8 T (one stick) butter
  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c honey
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 T cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 12 oz mashed overripe bananas
  • 1/4 c mango puree
  • 2 large eggs
  • 10 oz by weight flour

I used King Arthur All Purpose flour, which is about the same as anybody else's bread flour at 11.6% protein.

  1. Cream together butter, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Beat til it has a smooth consistency.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the flour and beat till smooth again. I do this in my Kitchenaid stand mixer with the wire whip.
  3. Replace the wire whip with the beater blade and beat in the flour, stirring just to mix. You want a smooth mixture but don't over beat it or it will be heavy and dense.
  4. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan and pour the batter in. Smooth the top so it's more or less even-ish.
  5. Bake in a 350 F oven for 45 mins, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cover the top with foil towards the end if the top is browning too fast.
  6. Let cool, slice and serve.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Matar Paneer

Whenever milk goes on sale, I buy a gallon or two of whole milk and make paneer. My son prefers Paneer Makhni or some other form of paneer in a gravy, but my first love is and always has been Matar Paneer (peas and paneer curry). Although I must admit that Saag paneer is now possibly in a tie position for my favorite paneer dish. However today I'm making Matar Paneer, so here goes.

  • 1 c paneer
  • 1 c peas, fresh or frozen (never canned!)
  • 1/2 c onion
  • 1/2 c tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cayenee
  • 3 T ghee
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 c paneer whey or water

  1. Pan fry the paneer cubes (about 1" cubes) using as little oil or ghee as possible. In my Scanpans I can do this without any oil at all, and usually do. Just brown the cubes on at least 2 sides, or all 4 if you have the patience. Set aside.
  2. Heat the ghee over a low-medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and fry gently til the onions soften and begin to turn golden.
  3. Add the turmeric, salt, garam masala, and coriander powder and fry about a minute longer.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and cook until they begin to soften.
  5. Add 1/2 c of the whey and simmer for about 5 mins until the tomatoes become a pulpy sauce.
  6. Add another 1/2c of whey and the peas, cover, and simmer until the peas are cooked. If you are using fresh peas from the garden, you may need to add another 1/2 c of whey to fully cook them (frozen peas will cook faster).
  7. Remove the lid, add the paneer, and cook, stirring gently, until the remaining liquid has been absorbed by the paneer or has cooked down.
  8. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with rice, puri, or chapati.