Jams/ Preserves.

Homemade Luscious Mango Jam.

Hot summer day? Warm breeze, schools closed for vacations and what comes to your minds – Sweet, lusciuous mangoes stacked high on the roadside pavements smelling so ripe and waiting to be eaten. Banganapalli mangoes crowd the streets of Madras in every nook and corner and many days when Amma buys it and arranges it in the fruit bowl on the table, one loses the appetite to eat lunch or dinner. There cannot be anything more inviting than sucking on these ripe sweet fibrous fruits and taking in all the sweetness in has to offer in one heady mouthful.

Street Vendors selling Mangoes – Image Courtesy The Hindu.

This particular day we had to attend a family wedding and I realised I had a bunch of mangoes and I couldnt bear to see them wasted so I decided to make Mango Jam at S insistence. I already make Blackberry Jam, Peach Jam, Strawberry Jam every year to see me through the long winters so I decided I had to make Mango Jam. Imagine all the flavour packaged to have for another season!


2 Mangoes with all the flesh removed or 2 Cups Mango Pulp.

3/4 Cup Water.

2 Cups Sugar.

3 Tbsp Lemon Juice.

1 Tsp Lemon Zest.

3-4 Cloves.


  • Take a juicy ripe mango and remove the skin. With a knife remove the flesh from either sides and make in to a pulp by remoiving all the fleshy parts..
  • Measure out the mango pulp and set aside.
  • It is very imperative that you taste the mango to measure out the sweetness, tartness etc of the ripe mangoes.
  • There are so many varieties of mangoes like Alphonso, Banganapalli, Malgova, Rumani etc. Each of them have various levels of sweet and that is important in deciding the amount of sugar that goes in.
  • Take a wok and add a little water and add the mango pulp allowing it to cook for about 5-6 minutes.
  • The most important ingredient that helps in the jam setting is the Pectin available in lemons and limes.
  • Now add the measured quantity of sugar about 1 1/2 Cups to 2 Cups depending on the sweetness of the mangoes.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups and first, test the sweetness and add more if you need to. Add the cloves and the lemon zest to the pan.
  • Keep the heat on medium  and keep stirring every couple minutes to make sure that the mango jam does not get burnt.
  • You will require at least 25-35 minutes depending on the quantity that is being made, kind of stove etc.
  • Do not attempt to reduce the amount of sugar as sugar and pectin are required in the right quantities for the proper setting of the jam.
  • After about 30 minutes switch off the stove and let it sit.
  • To test if the jam is done, place a plate in the freezer for a couple of minutes, remove it and quickly and try to spread the jam on the back of the plate.
  • If it spreads as a layer on the plate and can be pushed with your finger, then its set.
  • Empty on to a clean glass mason jar and store air tight.
  • Enjoy delicious mango jam on a warm toasted bread and savour the sweetness, tartness and freshness from the citrus zest all in one glorious burst.
  • Spread it over a warm roti and pack it for your kiddie lunch, melt it with a little vinegar and orange juice to make your own salad dressing!!!
  • You own home made jam with no high fructose corn syrup, no chemicals, artificial preserves or xantham gum! Your own jar of  mango goodness preserved for your loved ones.

 Mango Recipes in Anubhavati:

Jams/ Preserves.

Homemade Blackberry Jam & Blackberry Picking at Eckert`s.

Delicious Home Made Blackberry Jam.

July-August of every year is the best season for picking blackberries and tomatoes in the mid west. Every home has beautiful pots of tomato plants, all ripe with tomatoes in conceivable hues of orange, red and crimson. Summer in fact is the best season for all fruits and flowers specially in the midwest. My daughter aged 6 had been wanting to go blackberry picking for quite some time now, as we do Apple Picking regularly every year during fall, and strawberry picking every year during spring!

Strawberries ready for picking.


Blackberries grow best in warmer, temperate regions and are generally considered less hardy than raspberries. The plants flower relatively late, from May onward, and bloom over a long period. Because blackberries flower late, damage to flowers from spring frosts and freezes is seldom a problem . In the mountain areas where the winters are more severe, the use of hardy cultivars and planting of blackberries on hillsides will help to avoid damage to the canes from the cold.
Hot summer winds can dry the fruit, causing sunscald, and increase the plants’ water demand. In addition, fruit size and plant growth will be compromised.
However, keep in mind that good air circulation should be maintained in the field, because adequate ventilation minimizes disease problems.
Blackberries prefer full sun and a well-drained soil. The weather needed for this fruit is replicated in many farms across the midwest and one such is the Eckerts Farm in Belleville, IL close to the Illinois Missouri state borders. The farm had organised a tram ride to the actual picking area and provided every one with little plastic buckets to pick the fruit. The fruit itself breaks easily on crushing, so it is important to pick it carefully. The instruction was to seperate the vines and look inside to find deep garnet black ripe blackberries which are just right to pick.

The Country Store @ Eckerts Farms.

The farm also had ripe peaches, home grown tomatoes and  orange and green bell peppers. The farm also promises not to use any presticides in their crops. The Eckerts Farm has recently renovated their Country Store to stock every conceivable processed food item made from their freshly grown produce. Their bakery makes amazing pies, cakes, bread, cookies and brownies. The stock all kinds of fruit preserves as well as apple butter, peach butter, orange marmalade, honey butter etc. They also sell fresh green beans, peppers, cauliflowers, tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage, lettuce etc.

Ripe Blackberries ready for picking!!!

We had picked almost 4 pounds of ripe blackberries, 6 pounds of ripe sweet tomatoes, peppers etc. We washed and ate the blackberries enjoying the sweetness bursting from the fruit and then realising the late tartness, apart of course from the fact that it was very very juicy. I wanted to have a way of preserving this fruit even after the season was done, and in a way of treasuring the memories assosciated with it…I made a simply Blackberry Jam/Preserve  using very few ingredients and we all agreed that it was way better than the ones at the store made with pectin to keep it for a year or so.


3 cups freshly picked and washed and patted dry.

2 1/2 cups sugar.

1/2 lemon juice.


  • Take a clean kadai and put all the cleaned and dried blackberries in it.
  • Smoosh it well with a ladle/ spoon and mash it well.

  • Add 2/12 cups of sugar and lemon juice and mix well.
  • Allow it to cook over a slow flame and mix it well.
  • After about 30-45 minutes when it comes together and reduces, with the water evaporating.
  • When it reaches a semi solid jam consistency switch off the stove and allow to cool.
  • Store in an airtight glass jar for months.
  • Use it lavishly on breads and rotis as a spread.
Sweet & Tart Blackberry Jam!


  1. The amount of sugar used generally depends on the tartness of the fruit. Please regulate the same.