Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Subash's Birthday Treat

Subash is the youngest one in our team, we have Mumbai Vs Chennai verbal matches all the time. Today was his birthday so he took us out for lunch at Ohri's food court in Total Mall. I almost missed it as I had gone for a management review. I don't know what the food tasted like as I decide to just binge on a sundae and the birthday boy chose my order. I liked the sundae it was nine in one (9in1 said the menu).


Preeti had a sizzler, decoded as a huge cutlet with an interesting sauce, garlic bread and french fries.

Subash had a sizzler too but just a veggies one. I caught the steam in the click. Preeti's was better he said.

Deepa had macaroni in white sauce that she enjoyed. Mamatha played a safe bet on appam and stew.

Ramesh in the far enjoyed his Hyderabadi biryani with mirchi ka salan.

And so did Mark.


That is my sundae and some paneer nachos that were served by mistake. We ate half of them wondering when they started making nachos with paneer meanwhile they realised the mistake and served us another plate of cheese nachos.

We like the place as its bright and not too rushed. All the portions are really big and 1.5 people can enjoy a single order. None of us could finish off our individual servings.

We were a happy lot and returned to work for our Team Eating err Meeting.

It is not yet midnight so here's wishing Subash Happy Birthday again!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Foodscapes

My Rock garden Foodscape with Mushrooms and Baby potatoes is ready to go to
Click @ Jugalbandi

Foodscapes was for me was a new word until last week. My dear friend Sangeeta sent me a pps. showing the work of British photographer Carl Warner. I was simply awestruck. The word is a derivative of food+landscape.

This post has to go to Click for Au Naturel this month before 30th April. So we still got 2 days to decide. Help me, won't you?


Vote for this picture if you think it is a better one to go to Au Naturel

Bee said I have to send her pictures of food in natural form and should be easily identified in natural form. On this basis my previous post is withdrawn. She and Jai get to vote first.

Updated: 30th April 08

Now that it is the last day of sending the entry. I can now let the secret out.

Bee and Jai are smart they created a tie, but did they guess what was up?

Arundhati is the only one who voted for the first picture but for a good reason.

With this post I conclude the Fool's month started off by Manisha and Anita.

All those who voted for the second picture, do think think it fits the Au Naturel theme?

You didn't have a clue, didn't you?

Observe carefully, the women is selling toy fruits made of
Papier-mâché!

April Fool on the last day of the month!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Gimme Red ~~

Roasted Red Peppers and Toasted Sesame Dip


Gimme Red~~~ No no this is not the ad for a certain dry cell. This is what I said when I saw this Jugalbandi post on Muhammara.

If you break up this word as Muh-mara in Hindi it means mouth-dead. Now atleast the color challenges the mouth and one actually prepares to kill the taste buds. Surprise! the dip is very kind to the taste buds inspite of the color.

I adapted the recipe according to what I had in the pantry so I don't know if it can still be called Muhmmara, kyu ki mera muh infact abhi zinda hua hai!

  • Toasted Sesame seeds instead of walnuts
  • omitted hot chilli sauce
  • used 1 tbsp white vinegar

Kept rest of the ingredients the same and followed the procedure. I made the paste rather smooth as I was using sesame seeds that are tiny compared to walnuts and need to be ground fine lest they remain whole.

I made it last night. Smeared on pita bread and stuffed the pockets with stir fried onion-yellow peppers-mushrooms. Wonderful summery dinner.

I had some leftover dip, so just made Kanda Bhajji to go with it and Thikat Khichadi for lunch. We are still burping as I post this.




Monday, April 21, 2008

A special bread from Daily Bread


Daily Bread is a Bangalore brand that makes Indian tasting breads. I love their spicy bread, herb breads, garlic breads and bread sticks plain as well as methi ones too. I cannot really write about every type of bread they make here but I can vouch for their taste and freshness.

What has made me their big fan is, the fact that we do not get the Mumbai brands like Britannia, Modern etc as freely here, remember we are in the south. Here bread is associated with illness. The only time they have bread is when doctor prescribes bread and milk. This brand has come to my rescue when I crave for bread and am not in the mood of baking.

Go try Daily bread it has variety and spice!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Paneerwali Bharwa Shimla Mirch


Withdrawn from Click: Paneerwali Bharwa Shimla Mirch before frying
Paneerwali Bharwa Shimla Mirch after frying

This post is special, as for the first time I am posting it immediately after cooking is done and even before enjoying it. Yes I haven't tasted it yet!

I have been lazy yesterday and something in life is taking me by surprise. I have been chattering all of last week and friends Mridula and Indrayani say I am funny and naughty too. I am taking long walks in the evening and focusing on my health more than before. Earlier I would give an excuse I need company etc. but now I go alone for the walk. I enjoy it so much, taking in the sights and smells as I wave out to kids playing outside the compound wall. The sweet smell of temple champa blooms is intoxicating. I feel like declaring to the world I am high on life!

Here are some pictures of Bangalore I took during my walk and while on the bus to work.



This post is for Click, the photo event by the duo Bee and Jai.

Do you want the recipe?

Chalo thik hai here it is.

Ingredients

4-5 capsicums
1 cup crushed fresh paneer
1 handful cilantro
2 green chilies chopped fine
1 handful golden raisins
1 onion chopped fine
salt to taste

2 tablespoons Oil to fry

Wash and clean the capsicums. Cut them at the middle to get two cups. Deseed by scooping out the middle with a spoon. Keep aside.

In a bowl mix together with a light hand mix all the items like paneer, onion, cilantro, chilies, raisins an salt. Now fill the cups of capsicum with this mix that is what names it Paneerwali Bharwa Shimla Mirch.


In an frying pan add the oil and spread evenly. Put on medium heat. Line up the stuffed capsicums in the pan. Slow fry till paneer gets a pink tinge on top. The cooking time is anywhere between 20 mins to 30 mins. You could even grill these in an oven.

Serve hot with paratha.

Music: Now listening Soona Soona

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Guava Jelly


Guava jelly is really simple to make. Peel the guava and cube it. Measure out half the amount of sugar. Put the cubes and sugar together in a saucepan and put on medium heat. Keep stirring till sugar dissolves and the jelly leaves the sides of the pan. It is done in 15 mins for 2 guavas and 1 cup sugar.

Remove from heat and let it cool before you transfer to a jar. It can be stored in the fridge for a week.

Have it on pancakes, toast etc. or serve in tiny bowls and enjoy the pure flavors.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Banana Pancakes


Use those fruits! Dad ordered quite irate with the fact that his puja room had a very very fruity smell of overripe Bananas and Guavas. They had been lying there for over a week. I had not found time to make proper breakfast as I had lots to do at work and a colleague throwing tantrums was just wrong timing. I have concluded creative people should not be discounted for misbehavior, aren't all of us professionals? So I did what I had to do. Put the smelly bananas in their place, made pancakes and topped them with honey. Outcome you ask? Delicious, fragrant and visually appealing work.

Now, I cannot share here the recipe of what was the magic at work, yes but the recipe for the pancakes is here ;).

Ingredients

2 smelly bananas err overripe I mean
1 cup all purpose flour
0.5 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar
1.5 cup milk
Ghee to fry

Honey for drizzling.

Mash the bananas. You get it? Add all ingredients into a bowl and beat well to get a fluffy batter. Use more milk if you have to get thinner batter, it should be spreadable.

On a medium hot griddle spread small pancakes and fry using ghee on both the sides. Serve hot with a scoop of a jelly of your choice. Drizzle honey and enjoy!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Riddle


I have a seed, am I a fruit? I am sweet but what is that seed?

Updated: 14th April 08

YAY ! for all the gals. You gals sure are foodies. How come none of you thought that it is a ber/ bore?

Each one of you is a Anna Parabrahma certified Foodie :) !!

Yes it is a Gulabjamun with a pista tucked in. Yesterday was Ram Navami and I had to make Naivedya when I remembered the gulabjamuns from Jhama, Chembur Colony.

When I was living in my Uncle's home for some years in that area we have enjoyed hot gulabjamuns from Jhama. It felt like a treasure hunt to find the pista in the center.Now there is a Jhama next to my home too in Mumbai. When ever I am there we enjoy the tikis and gulabjamuns.

Jhama is a Sindhi Mithaiwala with the first outlet in Chembur Colony or Camp as it is know since the days of Partition. The food is always fresh and even single servings are sumptuous. One day I asked the guy frying the Jalebis how this innovation happened. To my surprise it was not to enhance the taste of the gulabjamun. This trick was adopted to avoid an uncooked center. Cool Tip! Won't you agree?

Incase you guys are in the area also check out the Sindhi Falooda stall opposite Jhama at Chembur Colony. Its authentic and rich~~ After Kailash, Colaba it has to be this place for Sindhi Falooda! Badshah go scamper fast....

Thank you for your responses and I enjoyed reading your responses though short but it made me smile each time and I know you gals too had fun:).


Nupur: You will be a good Mom when you do have kids and you are still a kid at heart I see it :).


Manisha: ex-winner is barred.


Divya Vikram : A whole Cardamom would be too much in it but I've seen Rosgulla with a single seed of cardamom in it.

Anonymous : Raisin does not fall into seed category but you were right partly.


Cinnamon : Say Pistachio with your mouth rounded in an "O"


Anita :Now you are the coolest gal! A floral fruit - gulab jamun! it is and seed is a nutty one ;)

SMN : Badam in the center will give a jerk, the pista however softens and complements the taste well.


Voyager : That was wild ;). Did you meant it?

Nandita: With raisin will try next time doctor :)

Arundathi: ditto minus doctor

Seema: V M?

ANJALI J. :Roasted cashew, another idea :)

P: Visarlas?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Food City

16th March: From my travel dairy

Before you read ahead guess which city you would see this?



While were were driving from airport to the Kolkata city we had spotted the "Haldiram Food City". After the visits to Belur Math and Dakhineshwar and all the queuing up for darshan that we did we were tired and hungry, we decided to check it out.


It is a two storeyed building and has a factory in the premises, the manufacturing and packaging too takes place here. You can see trucks being loaded. As we entered we were awestruck at the display of the varieties of farsan, sweets, chocolates, colorful packaging and beautiful gift wraps that won our hearts. We decided to first have our lunch at the restaraunt and then take a look around.

The restaurant had a buffet style service. We checked the day's menu that was extensive. There were two type of Thalis, a special one and a mini. The mini option did not include rice so we decided on the special one. Dad was craving for some authentic chat, remember since last three years we are in SI so when he gets a chance would he loose it? He went for a Rajasthani Dahiwada and mixed chat too. We bought the coupons and requested permission to take pictures for the blog.

The special thali consisted of three veggies of choice or 2 veggies of choice and dal makhani. I chose three veggies viz Paneer Makhani, Gobi Matar and Palak Paneer. The clerk at the counter helped in choosing the rotis, he suggested we choose masala kulcha, stuffed with potato bhaaji. The coldrink choice available was lassi, Badam milk, tea, coffee, slush or milkshake. While we were moving around Thandai was offered to us for a tasting. So we made a special request for Thandai to go with lunch. The last bit of surprise was the packaged water bottle they offered. Wow! I was a fan of Haldiram but loyal one now.

The Thali you see here has....

2 masala kulcha- soft like a stuffed pizza, the size of a phulka
1 bowl of Peas Pulao- Rangoon Basmati rice, lightly flavored and tender peas cooked to perfection.
1 bowl of Palak Paneer- Generous amount of paneer in the palak gravy.
1 bowl of Gobi Matar- Cauliflower and green peas gravy. I think the cauliflower was grilled before adding to the gravy, it had a smoky flavor.
1 bowl of Paneer Makhani- Paneer in cashew nut paste.
Salad of onions, carrots- Fresh and crunchy
Packaged Pickle- mixed veggies
1 small pack of bhujia- absolutely yummy, pack mentions moth flour used.
1 glass drink- Thandai was my choice not served usually. It was holi time so the tasting was available.

This meal is priced at Rs.100, a full paisa vasool.

The Rajashthani Dahi Vada and Mixed chat too was yummy. We had just too much food.

A good Indain meal needs an equally good closure so Dad bought the premade cone of paan for 10 bucks.

The restaraunt is much like a fast food joint not much by way of an ambience but you will defintely take back memories of delicious food cooked in the traditional way.


After lunch we took a walk through all the other sections. The rest of the store has high sealings and pillars that I loved.

I bought a bottle of Thandai syrup for Holi is around the corner though we will be on the train on the day. The Thandai reminded me of Hardesh Aunty who introduced me to it as a kid.

I also bought the dry fruit katli, Aam papad, they had labeled it Mango Katli, pack of cornflakes chivada and Shakarpara just because the pack looked lovely.

After a good two hours at Food city we drove to Science city.

One question was unanswered is the Haldiram, Nagpur and Kolkata the same? May be Stephanie can answer or anyone from Haldiram?

Updated: 3rd May 08

When I sent this post to RCI Bengal I had a doubt if it would make it there. This post is about Haldiram's Food city in Kolkata but not the traditional taste of Kolkata or of Bengal. However we all know how well the Marwadi culture has blended in there. The Food city is just an example of that. Yet Sandeepa included it in the round up, so a BIG THANK YOU!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Corn Crush with Spring Onions

Corn Crush with spring onions, varan bath, puri and cucumber cuts

When we have plenty of corn at home we make bhel, pops, use in soups and then we want a special dish that is very satisfying can't place my finger on what it is that makes this corn crush so special. It resembles the zunka but is more moist and flavorful. It can be had on its own or with any type of roti or puri like we did.

Ingredients

2 cups of corn
4 -5 sprigs of spring onions
2-3 green chilies
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4 teaspoons oil
salt to taste

2 teaspoon lemon juice

Coarse crush the corn in a dry grinder or chutney attachment. Chop roughly the spring onions and green chilies.

Heat the oil. You will notice that I have used double the quantity of oil than I normally use. My normal measure is 2 teaspoons per person per meal but this recipe actually needs more oil. So use the 4 teaspoons. Splutter cumin seeds in hot oil. Add the spring onions, green chilies and fry a bit. Then add in the crushed corn and mix well.

Before serving mix in the lemon juice.

Enjoy!




Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Apple N Grape Cobbler

new friendships and cemented ones too

UMM...Can I have ice cream too ?

Before it went into the oven

Evolving Tastes Peach Cobbler and Cherry Cobbler completely mesmerized me. How could one not succumb to the combined charm.

I was off to an outbound learning center for a couple of days and as usual wanted to keep food stocked for Dad especially for his sweet tooth. Some of it I packed for friends to taste.

The verdict: Yum!

I followed the Peach cobbler recipe. The changes I made

Ghee instead of butter
2 apples and 1 cup green grapes

I have come back with new friendships and old ones that have cemented. More about the Outbound experience later.

ET thank you for sharing.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Mishra Dal Dosa N Eureka Chutney

You read it right it is Mishra Dal Dosa as in mixed dals and not Mishraji from UP. I see a frown on my Southie friends with a question mark smeared on the face, What has Mishraji got to do with dosas?

Nothing dear. I make this dosa when I need the batter ready in an hour and the meal demands are protien only. It keeps you full for a long time unlike the paper thin varieties. A couple of dosas and you are a engine ready to chug through the day. These however taste best only off the hot gridle. It is similar to a Pesarattu or Adai yet different.

The chutney was a combination of a few things to get a new taste so I called it Eureka chutney ideal for lazy bones.

This post is off to participate in the Dosa Mela @ Srivalli's

Ingredients

1/2 cup of 5 dals (all split lentils-Green, yellow, black, Red, gram)

water to soak and grind

salt to taste
2 green chilies
1/2 inch ginger
oil for roasting

Wash and soak the dal for a minimum of an hour completely covered with water. The more they are soaked the more fluffy the dosa turns out. Grind to a smooth paste with green chilies, ginger and salt. Keep the batter spreadable but not to thin.

Heat a non stick gridle and spread evenly. Once starts turning red add a bit of oil on the sides. This will loosen the dosa from the gridle. Turn it over and roast the otherside till red speckles appear. Remove into a serving plate.

Serve with chutney.

For the Eureka Chutney

1 tomato
1 tablespoon tomato sauce
2 tablespoon MTR chutney podi

Grind together. Put a dollop on the dosa in the center.

The green and red colors are extremely kid friendly as is the taste.

Happy Gudi Padva /
Ugadi to everyone!


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Pyaz Ki Kachori



This Kachori is a toast to Manisha of Mad Tea Party and Anita of Indian Food Rocks for making the blog duniya April fool!

Someone loves it I remember. Anita will certify fried balloons are good.

I swear these will set you on fire and off to heaven (pun intended). It is a gem of a recipe by Tarla Dalal once published in a Marathi magazine.

The picture was taken in the evening time and in a hurry when I had visitors and really doesn't do justice. I wish technology zoomed fast and you could smell and taste the food I present here. Mridula wishes it was possible :)!

Ingredients

For the cover:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup ghee/ butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the stuffing

2 cups fine sliced onion
1 teaspoon kalonji/ nigella seeds
2 teaspoon fennel
2 bay leaves
1.5 teaspoon finely sliced green chilies
2 tablespoon chickpea flour
2 teaspoon coriander seed powder
2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
3 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoon oil
salt to taste
Oil for frying

First on a counter measure out the all purpose flour. Add ghee, salt and water and knead it to a soft dough. Let it stand still for 5 to 7 mins. Divide it into 12 parts and cover the dough with a damp napkin.

Meanwhile get the stuffing ready. Heat the oil. Add nigella seeds, fennel, bay leaves, green chilies and onions. Fry till onions turn brown. At this point add the chickpea flour, coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala and salt. Mix for 2 mins, add in the chopped cilantro at this point.
Put off the heat. Remove the bay leaf. Let the stuffing cool. Dived it into 12 parts.

Now roll out 2 inch discs of the dough, put one part of the stuffing and gather together the edges to get a ball. Press the ball and roll out into a 2.5 inch disc. Make sure the stuffing does not peek out. Press the kachori in the center with the thumb. Fry until golden in hot oil on medium heat. Since the kachori is thick it takes some time to achieve the golden color. Make sure its fried well to allow cooking of the insides.

Serve with tamarind chutney and/or curd and top it with some shev.

This kachori sets one on fire so a glass of lassi is a great accompaniment. If you don't like much heat reduce the red chili powder and green chilies to your capacity.

It is a crowd pleaser and capable of crowning you a super chef.

Who can name the old hindi movie in which Deepti Naval wins the heart of FIL, Uttpal Dutt with bought out kachoris smuggled into the kitchen by a ever naughty Saeed Jaffery, saying that the bahu rani has made them? Bolo Bolo.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Coconut-Almond-Orange Delish


As you know from the last post that necessity is the mother of invention. Then the need to dispose or disperse must be the father.

Just before leaving on a vacation what do you do with 2 oranges, some milk, a piece of coconut? Thada ~~ it is a new cake. This cake is styled based on a Koli cake called Khandavi but has completely different ingredients. It tastes similar due to the jaggery. Have you heard of that? Jaggery in a cake, you might think I'm crazy. Just try this recipe and tell me what you think about it.

When I served this cake to my Dad in the coconut shell he guffawed as he remembered the saying "Karvanti hatat gheeon phirne" which means to go around begging with a coconut shell as a bowl. Then he muttered aloud "God knows what this blog will make me do next". Picking up the piece between the thumb and the first finger and nibbling at it delicately. "Reminds me of Ayah (his grandma's) taste". "Aha did Ayah have oranges and almonds in her kitchen" I retorted. Alright as long as it tastes good and he enjoys it I'm happy.

So here presenting a recipe with an earthy charm yet can be called a cake.

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup almonds powdered coarsely + 1 handful for sprinkles
1/8 th piece of a dry coconut powdered coarsely
1/8 cup crushed jaggery
3 tablespoons ghee
juice of 1 orange
segments of 1 orange (opened up wedges and separated with a delicate hand)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk

In a large bowl add the orange juice, ghee and jaggery, beat to dissolve it. It take a good 10 mins. Mix in a separate bowl all the dry ingredients, wheat flour, powdered almonds, powdered dry coconut, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients spoon by spoon and fold into the liquid with a spatula till used. Once this is done adjust the consistency with milk. I needed 1 cup of milk this quantity may vary depending on the amount of orange juice you use. The batter should be thick and should fall in folds when dropped. This is the right consistency for cakes to rise well.


Meawhile preheat oven to 180 deg celcius. Pour the batter in a greased 6 inch tin and bake for 25 mins till knife inserted in it comes out clean.



Cool for 5 mins and invert it on to a serving dish. Sprinkle on the top crushed almonds. Cut into wedges and serve in empty coconut shells. For those who are not exactly fans of jaggery can use equal amounts of sugar or as per taste. I tend to make sweets less sweeter than is common here.

Incase you plan to make this Coconut-Almond-Orange Delish for a kids party start collecting coconut shells over a month in advance. They will be thrilled with it while elders might smirk like my Dad.

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