No bake | Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse #dessert #inseason

“The garden suggests there might be a place where we can meet nature halfway”
Michael Pollan

Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} MousseJamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse … possibly the best way to bid adieu to this humble fruit. I had a bag tucked away in the fridge for long. Forgot about them, and life went on. Then we were at threesixtyone°, The Oberoi, Gurgaon, and along came the silkiest Jamun sorbet ever. It was so pretty too.

Jamun sorbetRuchira captured the very essence in her post here …  “We were served the amuse bouche next – a Jamun or Java plum sorbet which was so creamy that it felt like silk in the mouth. The tang from the plum along with the roasted cumin and rock salt was extremely light and refreshing.”

Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum}Jamuns danced in my head all day. There’s something about the fruit. It’s astringent, and somewhat edgy. You develop a flavour for it.  I knew there was to be something jamun made soon. I still remember a sublime jamun mousse we had enjoyed at Sangeeta’s place a year ago. That had white chocolate in it. I had none on hand so was a little unsure if my mousse would hold.

Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse It sure did. Beautifully. This mousse was quite delicious. I wasn’t sure how it would be received by the kids. They took to it quite happily. The daughter was in from uni for the Independence Day weekend. She was happy to be served dessert. It’s funny how she’s suddenly begun appreciating the little things in life!  Life teaches you. A lot.

Jamun {Wild Indian Java Plum} Mousse There was a time when we used to forage for jamuns, climb trees, graze knees to shake the branches. Greedily picking jamuns off the ground and stuffing them into our mouths feels nostalgic now. They tasted sweeter, left our fingers and clothes purple. The stains never came off. Those memories will never either. There are few jamun trees left to forage now. Thankfully sales in the bazaar have increased since the wild Indian java plum has become commercially viable.

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

Baking | Spicy Vine Tomato Relish … jars of goodness in season

“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”
Lewis Grizzard

Spicy Vine Tomato RelishSpicy Vine Tomato Relish … I think this was a fitting end to my ‘harvest’ of cherry tomatoes. It was a tough choice. I waited forever, read almost 6 months, for the tomato plants to grow, then flower, then finally bear fruit.

Tomatoes from my gardenWaited with baited breath to see if they would turn red, yellow or orange as the different packets of seeds suggested. Warded the hungry Coco off them as she took a serious shine to them and stole a mouthful whenever she could. I guarded them with my life. Literally.

Spicy vine tomato relish Finally I got nice big bowlfuls to harvest, some cherry tomatoes and some plump bigger red ones too. I didn’t have the heart to eat them. I wouldn’t let anyone near them. Oh the irony. I could not bear to let them go!

Spicy vine tomato relish This was the first time I had grown tomatoes and couldn’t believe my luck. They were so pretty. Nature never ceases to amaze. Fresh produce inspires like nothing else. I shot them whenever I could. They shone in every light. The shadows haunted me, in a good sort of a way that is. Playing with light Thanks to Neel @ Learn Food Photography with his 30 Days of Better Food Photos, I dreamt, breathed, lived and shot tomatoes on the vine. All the time. Then reality struck! I had to get moving before they went away unsung. I headed for What Katie Ate. Spicy vine tomato relish She always inspires. ALWAYS! I knew I had to make the Spicy Vine Tomato Relish. I whiled the day away experimenting with light again. So fulfilling. From pretty fresh tomatoes, to roasted on the vine tomatoes, to being stirred in the pot tomatoes, I lived it all. Tomato therapy!!

Spicy vine tomato relish You might think I was walking the obsessive line, but I really enjoyed it. You might wonder what all the fuss about a simple relish is? This relish is like my baby. I feel emotional about it, have a deep connect with it. My heart sings each day when the lad comes back from school saying “That was the best sandwich ever. My friends think so too.

Spicy vine tomato relishI know what changed. Instead of tomatoes in his sandwich {with balsamic roasted vegetables, smoked chicken ham and cheese}, he gets a slathering of Spicy Vine Tomato Relish.

Spicy vine tomato relishServe it with crackers and crudites. Smoked chicken ham roll ups with a teeny relish hint within, mini burgers that get a spicy kick all make irresistible hors d’oeuvre. The spicy vine tomato relish is a great addition for the cheese board too. It’s something you can get creative with. With summer here, finger foods rule in our home. Yours?

Spicy vine tomato relish Interestingly a recent survey in the UK by Ladbrokes Bingo found that 19% of women would prefer to bake or cook with their friends than hit the town with the girls. 40% said that they would put on a few nibbles & 23% said that they would lay on a buffet so finger food or food that is easily shared is popular!

Little bitesSign of the times to come? Never has food been so comforting, so uniting, so central to conversation, such an emotional experience. The more I immerse myself into this delicious world, the more emotional and connected I feel. I’d say join the party. Make relish! Have fun!

Spicy vine tomato relish Bruschetta with some relish, feta and fresh herbs, a cheese platter with sharp cheddar and relish, chicken ham roll ups with mozzarella  relish and crisp bell peppers… the possibilities are endless. I even slathered a focaccia sandwich with it. Nom Nom Nom…

Spicy vine tomato relish Yesterday I woke up early and headed to the kitchen to make one last batch to use up the remaining tomatoes. I wished I could just preserve the little beauties on the vine. Relish was the next best option!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India