Sunday, February 28, 2010

Eureka Forbes is a Fraud Company

Its been 6 months since the water filter was installed. It is a backup facility I had just incase I don't have CMC supply. 

For a while I have been getting a call for free service. I have told them its a new unit and I don't need it. However this time the service manager informed that they needed to have a look at the unit. So I told him to send a technician on the weekend so I can be at home. 

I was wary of letting this young boy in as he did not have an ID. He suggested I call up the verification service and then let him service the unit. I was in doubt so I did and they confirmed that he was their techinician. 

On opening the filter he was shocked that all the while we have had a filter without the basic filter candle and the carbon filter was of a different model. This installation was done in front of my eyes. He told that this was a case of theft by the person who installed! He then offered to install a filter candle for no cost but asked me to pay him 50Rs. for commuting back to the stores and getting me one. He suggested I continue using the carbon filter though it is of a different model. I asked him what was the cost of the two filters. He said 350 for the carbon filter and 305 for the candle. For a paltry sum of Rs. 655 the installation technician had done this theft! For me the real fraud is Eureka Forbes for not having credible people doing the installation and service. They have good products but bad service I have found out on the internet. The very direct selling which is convenient for customer is becoming a trap to cheat people.

I immediately told him to put back the unit. Took the helpline nos. from him and called them to register a complaint. They gave me a complaint redressal no. where such malpractices are reported. They gave me a Customer ID no. for all future references and a complaint no. 

I had to call again to remind them about sending me the missing components and a technician to fix it. They promised a person will reach me by 4pm. Going to wait and see what they do meanwhile planning what steps I need to take against them.

Some good guidance is available here at Consumer Court.

________________________________________________________________________________
Update: 2/28/10, Mon, 4 pm

I am breathing easy now. After repeated calls on Sat and Sun. Two escalation and a threat to go to Consumer Court. They just fixed it! So now you know what to say when a big corp cheats you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Instant Ragi Dosa/ NachaNi Dhirda

For The Surprise Visitors


I read this post about the Sthapana of Shree Brahmachaithanya Maharaj's Paduka at the residence on Mr. Arun Gangal and it reminded me of his recent visit to Blr and our home. He sang beautiful bhajans composed by himself and gave us a complimentary copy of his CD which was recently released. It amazes me to see such devotion in people.

He came at lunch time with Mr. Gurunath Kulkarni. I was unsuccessful in coaxing them to wait for lunch due to his plan of returning to Mumbai immediately.

I had a challenge, what do I serve to 3 surprise visitors? I had a Ragi flour packet lying around waiting to be transferred to a jar. That gave me an idea for making Ragi dosa with curd to give the tang.

They turned out darn good and made me happy that they are actually a lovely low-cal option. Yet Mr. Gangal had been fed to the brim by our doting Gurunath uncle and he hardly could oblige us. I served them with Chutney pudi and ghee as the Madras Cucumber Sambhar you see in the picture was not yet ready.

This is a good one and I recommend it.

Ingredients

1 cup Ragi flour
1/2 cup sour curd
1.5 cups water or more
salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Make it the consistency of regular dosa batter or pourable, spreadable batter.

Heat a non stick pan. Pour a ladleful on the heated pan and spread into a round. Roast till the sides are crisp and separated from the pan. The underside golden brown. Roast it only on one side to keep it crisp. If you turn over it will become soft. In the picture you see the soft ones but my personal favorite are the crispies.

Serve with a chutney you like. A green chutney would taste and look great. I am getting ideas a Thecha would taste better! What say all ya South Indian influenced Maharashtrians? What you eat reflects what you are :D. To be fair you have the option of calling these crepes Nachani Dhirda. OK.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dahyatla Sabudana

I know this is late, yet there are so many Upvas that are going to come up. There is a chance for you to make this then. Simple, needs a little resting but results are delicious.

When you taste this you will wonder how the curd rice and curd sabudana can taste so different. After all it is curd! you'd say. Now don't jump to conclusions just give it a try. Eh, but this one needs a bit of planning and cannot be had like you have curd rice with generous amount of sugar. There is a procedure you got to follow. Well well get going with the recipe, I tell myself.

Ingredients

1/2 cup sabudana/ tapioca pearls
3/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
3 cups curd
2-3 cardamom pods

First in a wok dry roast the tapioca pearls. This should be done on a low flame till they get a tinge of pink. Put off heat and while still warm go to the next step.

Then make butter milk with one cup curd enough to cover the roasted tapioca. Let is soak for atleast 4 hrs.

Test the tapioca pearls. They should look plum and feel soft and should be mashable between the fingers, only then they are ready to eat.

Crush the cardamoms to coarse powder and stir into the creamy curd soaked sabudana. Now if you need a slurpy treat have it immediately after mixing the saved 2 cups of curd.

If you need a creamy cake add the remaining 2 cups of curd and let it soak for another couple of hours.

I love both consistencies. That is traditional type. If you are the type who likes to add some more glamor to any dish then sprinkle chopped nuts or mix in cubed fruits. The blogging thing makes me add a slice of strawberry in my vaTi of Dahyatla sabudana just for some color, you know how white looks dull in pictures.

For a savory version. Skip the sugar and make the seasoning like Curd Rice Bangalore Style

Then you will ask with that much fanfare you see here Dahyatla sabudana and round Sabudana Vada too! Did we fast? NO!!!!! We just had it for dinner on Shivaratri :)

Fasting for Maharashtrians is all about tasty food, deep fried goodies and satisfying the sweet tooth. Not for nothing we have a saying "Adhi potoba mag Vithoba". It means first worship the Stomach Lord then the God Vithoba residing in Pandharpur!

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Pao & Bhaaji

Once upon a Sunday, we ate this meal

Yes that is right My Pao Bhaaji because these Paos are homebaked!

These Paos are of half ata half maida, a successful experiment. Follow exactly The Mumbai Special Pao recipe but use 2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 cups All purpose flour. Also when you keep the yeast for frothing make a slurry of atta. This will aerate the dough better.

With Delhi carrots on the stands Gajar halwa was the best way to go. So desert was a creamy Lite Gajar Halwa!

I love these carrots and am making everything possible with them. They are in pulaos, matar gajar sabzi, saar etc.

Have I shared a Gajar Raita here? Not yet. Ok then I will soon. It's my Dad's creation, am thinking he might have eaten it somewhere, my guess is at Sunita Aatya's place. He generally hates acknowledging sources when the idea is too good ;) !

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Nazia's Masala Baingan

recreating from memory.



The smiling face with specs, on the right is Nazia.

The Khata Meetha Masala Baigan was much talked about long after the Baby shower. The ladies crowned her the best cook in the team and warned me that I had competition. I agree completely with them She definitely got the ladies licking their fingers and me seeking the recipe. Nazia moved on and I was not able to get the recipe she promised for the blog. So this post is about recreating from memory.

Ingredients

8 to 10 small purple brinjals
4-5 onions sliced
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 green chili
4-5 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger piece
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons thick tamarind extract
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
salt to taste
1 + 2 tablespoons oil

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a fry pan. Fry the onions till translucent. Chop the ginger roughly and add it. Add the cloves of garlic. Fry a bit. Now add the spices, cumin, coriander powder, chili and turmeric powder and the green chili. Now let the masala cool then remove to a grinder. Make a rough paste with salt added. Now mix in the chopped cilantro, save some for garnish. Keep aside.

Prepare the baby brinjals by washing and cutting crosses deep down the bulbs all the way to 3/4ths. Leave about a 1/4 so they don't fall apart on cooking. Keep the calyx on. It makes it easy for picking up as well as make the brinjals suculent.

Stuff the brinjals/ baingans with the ground paste. and keep lined in a thali.

In the same frying pan in which you fried the onions add 2 tablespoons of oil. Splutter mustard seeds. Now layout the stuffed brinjals neatly in the frying pan, keep on medium flame. Cook covered until one side of the brinjal shows dark spots. Then turn over to the uncooked side. While doing this make sure you are keeping the brinjals and masala intact and not spilling it out. If it does no worries but try to do it with a little care. Cook with cover till done. Now check if the underneath shows browning. Poke a spoon at the stems near the calyx if done well it will cave in. Now at this point when you are sure the brinjals are done sprinkle the tamarind extract over the cooked brinjals. The khata of tamarind is balanced by the meetha of loads of onions in the recipe so no need to add any sweetener to balance the taste. Sprinkle a little water if required and turn up the heat for 5 mins so the tamarind spreads the sourness evenly. Avoid stirring but you can jiggle them around a bit. This is a little tricky though not necessary just helps in mixing the flavors well. Sprinkle some saved cilantro as garnish. I have made this with a lot less oil but most people love these stuffed brinjals swimming in oil like a pickle.

Serve hot with roti or dal and rice as accompaniment. I remember Nazia mentioned that it is traditionally served with Mutton biryani too.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Methi Paneer Boti Pulao


Winter is so synonymous with Methi. We love to try different things with it. This time is was a rice. On weekends atleast once I like to make a flavored rice, it has a certain festiveness to it. Psst...it is quick to make it too when I have lazed around and suddenly realize it is meal time and food has to be put on the table. I love that pressure cooking allows me to fry the papads and put together a raita to go with it.

This Methi Paneer Boti Pulao just happend on one such lazy day.

Ingredients

1 cup Basmati rice
1 cup methi leaves chopped and packed
a handful of cashew nuts
8 long strips of Paneer
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 green chili
1 big onion sliced
1 tablespoon oil
salt to taste
2 tablespoons Curd

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Fry the cashew nuts and save.

Fry the Paneer till golden in the remaining oil. These are your Paneer Botis or strips. Keep moving the spoon to avoid sticking of the paneer to the bottom.

Now add the sliced onion and fry till golden. Add the chopped Methi leaves and green chili. Stir once. Add the garam masala and washed rice. Top up with a 1 glass of water. Add salt, close the cooker with the lid. Allow 1 whistle. Put off the heat and allow to cool.

Open the cooker and stir in the 2 tablespoons of curd and the fried cashews. Do it with a light hand to avoid breaking the Paneer botis.

Serve hot with raita and papad.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

South Thindies

and a weekend all about Chimi.

Address: South Cross Road, Near Krishna Rao Park, Basavanagudi, Bangalore.

Whenever we took Chimi to the Vet we passed the South Thindies. A very busy place especially we noticed that at 7 am in the morning they had roaring business going. My Dad wondered that it must be really something to go there for breakfast and be in a crowd. I always run away from crowds so breakfast at South Thindies never happened.

Yesterday was different, we were on our way to the Vet again as Chimi had to see Dr. Yatiraj, she is completing 11-12 months. It was time for deworming. My driver came on time and shook me out my weekend siesta so we went without tea. As we drove by the shiny facade of South Thindies looked welcoming in the evening sun. There was a crowd as usual but we decided to check it out anyways. It was good we stopped over. They dispose the customers quickly at the billing counter I noticed.

This is a self service restaurant with high counter tables to rest your plate on. When it is about food I like the restaurants that have service and love the ones with unhurried service. This is because in Bangalore we have the luxury of such restaurants. Having lived in Mumbai most part of the life this is what I hate, having to stand and gulp food and rush out. I noticed they have take aways. Next time it will be that.

As I went to the counter I notice a board with the day's special. We were not in the mood for heavy Thindis (snacks) so turned towards the kitchen, saw masala vade and bondas looking fresh and not so oily. I bought the coupons for Masala vade for me and Kesari bhat for Dad and 2 filter coffees. They serve half glasses here, a trade mark, yet enough for a evening wash down after the snacks. For the driver we bought Mangalore bun.

In a jiffy we picked our plates and the Mangalore bun was promptly warmed and packed with chutney. As they were packing I took permission for taking shots and they happily allowed, they have a spanking clean kitchen, open for all to see.



What I loved about the place is its cleanliness, the bright lights (he he, in such places I like them) and quick disposal of customers.

The Masala vade were crunchy on the outside and crumbly inside and accompanying chutney was good. The Kesari Bhaat oozed ghee but I like the Kesari bhaat I make with milk added so this did not stand up to my taste even though it was good by restaurant standards. My Dad liked it. The driver liked the Mangalore bun with chutney too. The Coffee was frothy and not too bitter, just the right taste for a Non South Indian in Bangalore, Bangaloreans like their filter coffee realy bitter.

So that was Saturday evening for you. Today we, that's me and Chimi spent the day at Sulekha's. It was Chimi's date with the handsome Oscar. Both the Mamas were excited initially but it turned the other way round. We had to keep them in two different rooms to make sure there was peace in the house towards the end of the day! Meanwhile Jayashree called and I was discussing it with her. She assured me that they need to get to know each other more. It did not matter that My Chimi is a Mongrel and Oscar is a Golden Spaniel.

Sharing here the joy of watching them together even though we wanted to see filmy love :) and nothing really happened. May be another date.


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Crackling Spinach


Crackling Spinach is a spunky name for a dish I thought the first time I spotted it on the menu of Mainland China. Then when I ordered it I was impressed that the spunk did not end just at the name. It was a spectacular taste for a simple preparation of spinach if you consider deep frying as a simple technique in culinary science and how only a few ingredients can make a recipe so exciting.

When I was narrating to Sulekha about it, she gasped, "Deep fried!" Come on give me a break. We all love deep fried stuff once in a while. Good friend Sulekha will forgive me for making it the second time round however this time for Dad that too within a week!

I know am tempting you too much. So get ready to make it with me.

You will need...

Ingredients

spinach leaves
(1 bowl fried spinach)
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
Oil to fry

First wash and drain spinach on a mesh.

Pat dry the leaves. Tear them up into small bits. In a mesh/ strainer fry them in hot oil. It should turn the leaves crisp. Test the degree of crispness by removing some on a paper and try to crumble, if you are able to then that's right, if not they fry a little more. This will save from the trouble of collecting the fried spinach and also will fry it evenly. Drain it on a mesh. Then transfer it onto an absorbent paper or kitchen napkin to remove as much as oil as possible.

Now in a non stick pan toast the sesame seeds till aromatic. Add the fried spinach to it and toss. Now add the sugar and salt and toss again to homogenize the taste.

I would recommend the use of powdered sugar. Next time I will use it. It is easier to sprinkle it and mix it. Also powder sugar will mask the oily spinach.

At Mainland China they serve it in a fried pastry basket but I served it in small Chinese bowls. Also I did not crumble the fried spinach leaves, that's what they do at the restaurant. Yes presentation is key to success but I guess I still need more perfection in draining all the oil first. The tip of using powder sugar is also what will help me in the future. Will update here when I do it but I am not making it so soon.

Give it a try. I think you will adore this one.

It is easy to make and will be definite a hit at any party. This is a one helluva starter.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Mainland China's Awesome Oriental Flavors

And Meeting A Friend After 15yrs.

It was a Thu evening, I got a message from my schoolmate, Shalaka suggesting a dine out. I was thrilled. Memories came back flashing. The last time I met her was on the Kalina Campus, Mumbai University while both of us were doing our post grads way back in the early nineties.

After a long silence that life brings in when we chase other things, we got back in touch through the social media. It is such a phenomena, last year most of my classmates met online and all the time gone by melted away the distance. We were clued in on everyone's life and happenings. Sharing our happiness and sadness. It was now time to meet up in person and they did in Dec. I missed it, got cursed for not attending. So this was my chance to meet up a classmate after ages.

We met at at MG road and decide to go Mainland China which is on Church Street. I always loved Mainland China. The Saki Naka location was a favorite place for lunch with clients in my younger days. We agreed food was only a "Bahana" but it had to be good for the two foodies.

Well once we were in the cozy first floor of the restaurant we settled in a corner. Shalaka filled me in on the Dec lunch out with classmates slowly moving towards family and kids. We exchanged notes, I got a lot of good advice from her.

We instructed the hotel staff to give us time and not to disturb us. So while we munched on the Khimchi and the salads we ordered the soups. Sweetcorn for her and hot and sour for me. I was so excited that it was after a long time food was not the focus for me that evening. I barely had 1/4 of the soup. Shalaka loves Crackling Spinach and so do I. As the plate was brought I loved the little pastry basket filled with the crumbled deep fried spinach speckled with white sesame seeds. It was superlative. You have never tasted spinach tasting so good. The sweet, salty spinach crumbling in the mouth is a must at Mainland China. The main course was American Chopsuey. The balanced flavors sweet, tangy, saucy with fried noodles was enjoyed with loads of veggies in it.

Lastly it was time for dessert, she is not a dessert person I found out. Yet she made sure I had my favorite Fried honey noodles with almond flakes accompanied with vanilla icecream.

As we wiped off our dessert got a call from home. I looked at the watch it was 11 pm. Saw her off at the hotel wished good night and warned her from staying on the net too long. It was late already and returned home at around 12pm. It was a first since I came to Blr.

As always the service was good at the restaurant. The staff is courteous yet non interfering.

The restaurant had low lights and I was not carrying my digicam so avoided taking pictures of the food on the cell. May be another time. Yes but for memories sake we took pictures of both of us under the streetlights to share our excitement with our friends.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Veg Biryani, No Onion No Garlic


Most times people associate Biryani with that flavor called "VashaT" in Marathi. To prove them wrong I made this Veg Biryani. No onion, No garlic!

It is a veg biryani made from pantry staples. It is quite quick to make. Unlike my healthy low oil style of cooking this one is about lot of fried veggies.


Ingredients

1.5 cups Basmati Rice
1/ cup cauliflower
1/2 cup green peas
1/4 cup diced paneer
2 small potatoes
1.5 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1 handful of cashew nuts
1 handful of golden raisins
2 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup curd
salt to taste

Wash Basmati rice and clean. Cook it with 2.5 cups water in a pressure cooker. Allow a single whistle. Put off heat. Once it is cooled open the cooker and remove the cooked rice on a tray. Let is cool further and then fluff it up with a fork. This should be done with a light hand to avoid breaking the long grains of rice.

Then in a wok heat oil. Fry the cauliflower till golden remove in a plate. Then cut the washed potatoes into wedges. Fry them till golden. Keep aside. Now it is the peas, fry till the green color intensifies. Add the cashews and raisins. Mix in the garam masala and the red chili powder. Cook for 5 mins. Now add the diced paneer. Cook another 5 mins till masala coats the paneer. Now mix in the fried potatoes and cauliflower. Lastly add the curd and salt and cook for another 5 mins. You will see the oil separates at this point. Put off the heat.

Finally to plate the Veg Biryani, layer out the cooked Basmati rice on a serving tray. Follow in by a layer of the Curried vegetables. On top another layer of rice and now the fourth one is again a vegetable layer.

This vegetable biryani tastes spicy without even a remote reference to "VashaT". Actually this could be called a Jain style cooking.

Mixing the curried vegetables into the rice delicately the wafts of basmati makes the bowl inviting. The cashews lend the nutty and raisins a sweet note to the rice.

Bal do try it. I have avoided whole spices in this one and used garam masala so cooking is a breeze for you.

Weekend dinner: Veg Biryani with Potato papads and Mango milkshake

Popular Posts

On Trail