‘Andaz’, loosely translated to mean estimate, is the most extensively used word in Indian cooking parlance. Recipes are passed down generations, often orally, sometimes roughly scribbled, or if you’re lucky, written with precision and detail. This _‘andaz’ _is also the dividing line between my Mum and me. When sharing a recipe with me, she will carefully tell me all the ingredients but rarely does she tell me how much of the aromatics I should add to what I’m cooking. Her intention isn’t wrong though; it’s perhaps the way she learned to cook, relying mostly on her judgement and allowing her senses to guide her. My method is a stark contrast – measurement spoons, weighing scale, measuring cups… the works! If there was ever to be a confluence between Mom’s ways and mine, it would be for this recipe for Guacamole.
Let’s starting with pounding the aromatics and you’ll see just what I mean. Half a white onion, a clove of garlic and a small green chilli with the seeds get pounded in a pestle mortar. Add an extra chilli if you’d like a bit of an extra kick. But if you’re serving this to kids who can’t eat anything spicy at all, de-seed even that one chilli. You see where we’re going with this? It’s all an _‘andaz’ _of knowing your ingredients and the palate you’re cooking for.
Chopped up cilantro leaves and lemon juice gets added to the onion paste and we continue pounding until they merge into one chunky paste. You could easily use the food processor in the pulse mode to make this paste, I just felt like working our pestle and mortar… it’s been the sort of day when I had time at hand.
I’m not a fan of smooth-textured guacamole, I’d never use the blender to puree the avocados to make guacamole. It’s just good old mashing with a fork for me! Mix it up with the paste. If you need a little help with selecting and cutting avocados, this post should sort it all out for you.
Now, here’s where I crank up the “trust me” look… we need to add pomegranate seeds, mango cubes and some salt. If you think you’re going to end up with a sweet guacamole, then now’s the time for me to tell you that that’s not what the addition of fruits does here. What you’ll end up with will be the familiar flavours of guacamole, with a little ‘pop’ in texture because of the pomegranate seeds and just a hint of something special whenever you chance upon a mango cube. When you’ve stirred it all together, it’s time to give it a taste, and check by ‘andaz’ if you’d like to adjust any flavours.
And then, let’s just bring on the nachos please, it’s World Cup season after all!
Recipe adapted from Cup of Jo