Monday, July 30, 2012

Ginger Murabba (Preserve)

Last week my better-half bought fresh tender ginger from the market and quite a large quantity too. When inquired, he suggested that I make Ginger Preserve from it. Frankly speaking I had never eaten one before. Since the ginger was so fresh and tender, I too was excited to try it out.

I went through my recipe collections but could not find Ginger Preserve as such but found the recipe for gooseberry preserve instead. So based on this, and a few inputs from my friends, and with a little research on the net, I came out with this recipe and to tell you honestly, it turned out delicious – my better half was delighted with the result! – So what more can I ask for?

In the picture, you will see two bottles – one slightly larger than the other. The quantity mentioned in the ingredients will actually fill ¾ th of the larger one.

Ginger Murabba 34


Tender Ginger
150 gms
250 gms
About 150 ml – 200 ml
2 large
1 tbsp
Cardamom powder
1 tsp
Clove powder /cloves
½ tsp / 3 whole 


Washed and scraped ginger
  1. Wash, scrape and cut the ginger into thin slices.
  2. Place these slices in a pan and add enough water to cover the slices and cook these on a medium flame until soft. This should take about 15-20 mins
  3. Strain the water and set aside the cooked ginger pieces and the ginger water separately.
  4. Now take a larger pan, (because once the sugar dissolves, it starts frothing) pour the strained ginger water, add sugar and allow it to dissolve. Add some more water if necessary.  Cook over low heat until the syrup is thick. Stir it often and check the consistency of this syrup. This should take about 25-30 mins.
  5. Next add the ginger pieces and juice of two lemons and cook for another 10 mins. Do not allow the syrup to get too thick as it will crystallize.
  6. Remove from fire and add honey, cardamom powder and clove powder (or whole cloves).
  7. Mix well and when thoroughly cooled, store it in an air-tight glass bottle.

thinly sliced ginger

sliced ginger pieces being cooked in water

Sugar being added to the ginger water

Sugar syrup in the making

Murabba is ready for bottling

Preparation time : 15 mins
Cooking time     :  50 mins

Makes : 1 small (250gms size) glass bottle

  • Goes well with chapattis or as sandwich spread.
  • Do not refrigerate it. This will last for a month or two without refrigeration.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Growing Hibiscus

Hello folks ! Took a little break from my blogging to attend to my tiny garden in the balcony.

So far I have almost neglected the "Spade" and the "Brush" part of my blog.  Recently, one of my readers also rightly pointed out the the absence or lack of it (spade-work and brush-work) in my blog and this prompted me to complete this write-up which was lying in my draft folder.  Hibiscus is one of my favourite flowers.

Hibiscus or Shoe Flower as it is commonly called is a very pretty flower and I have two of these - one orange coloured one and another yellow coloured growing in my tiny balcony. Though I would like to add a few more of these beauties, I am unable to do so due to space constraint.
However, I have managed to make up for this deficit by photographing various type of these species during our travels and now I have quite a collection of their photos

Orange Hibiscus
Growing in my Balcony

Since this is a perennial plant, you get to see at least one flower on your plant practically everyday and I feel its a wonderful sight to see it first thing in the morning.

Yellow Hibiscus
Also growing in my balcony

Its botanical name is Rosa-Sinensis. though the physical structure of these flowers is common to all the species, a few of them do deviate from the normal ones. Then there are the hybrid varieties too. Incidentally the ones which are growing in my balcony are the hybrid ones. I have recently come to know that birds are not attracted to the hybrid variety but regularly visit the common variety. In comparison, the common varieties are hardier than the hybrid ones.

Pink Hibiscus
This pink one was taken in one of the gardens in Devanhalli

This plant can be grown easily and needs little maintenance or care. However, watch out for those aphids. These aphids are tiny little creatures and if not treated early, they generally destroy the plant. Mine nearly did. But it survived after I sprayed it with diluted detergent water which is a home remedy for these aphids.

Orange Hibiscus
This orange one was shot at our village in Katapady, Udupi district

Red Hibiscus
This photo also taken from our village in Katapady, Udupi District

Cream & Maroon Hibiscus
Yet another Cream and Maroon one also from our village in Katapady, Udupi District

This tiny red one is growing in frontyard of our Katapady house

 Red Hibiscus
This beauty is growing in our village in Katapady

I am sad to say that both my Hibiscus plants have recently wilted due to our constant travel.

For Botanical name, gardening tips and in general, you may find the following links useful.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Mango Salsa

This Mango salsa is totally different from the tomato-based salsa. This requires no cooking and can be easily prepared in a jiffy.

Ever since the mango season started, I have been devouring varieties of this wonderful fruit. I thought its high time I made another simple yet  unique and a tasty dish before the mango season ends. So, here I am !
Any ripe mango can be used in this dish. Given a choice, I would always pick Alphonso mango. This time however, I tried it with the Baiganpally mango (a produce of Hyderabad). These are very big, sweet and juicy mangoes and have a very flat seed. 
I have added pitted black olives to give that extra zing and colour to the salsa.

The tomato based salsa (my earlier post) can be viewed here.

Mango Salsa 29


Ripe Mango
Onion (chopped)
1 small
Green chilles (chopped)
Coriander leaves(chopped)
Juice of one lime
1 tbsp
Grated rind (zest)of lemon
1 lime
Pitted black olives  (optional)
As per taste


  1. Wash, peel and dice the ripe mango.
  2. Halve or slice the black olives.
  3. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients (diced mango, chopped onions, chopped green chilies, chopped coriander leaves, lime juice, grated rind, sliced black olives and salt.
  4. Serve it chilled after an hour.

Serves : 2

Mango Salsa 17
Baiganpally Mangoes

Mango Salsa 24
Mango Salsa (before adding black olives) with "Khakras"


  • This can be served with any crispies  –  chips, tortillas or  khakras (a popular Indian (gujarati) snack made from wheat)
  • I served it with “methi khakras” – it tasted delicious.