Monday, February 28, 2011

127 hours and the moments I loved.


I am a documentaries person and specially biographies. So when friends suggested this movie I sure wanted to check it out.

We took our place and settled in our seats as Dad commented "This place is empty". Yes this movie is for us not the love story watchers. That is another reason for me to love such movies you get the whole theater for yourself, almost!
The movie starts with James Franco heading out to to the trailhead Canyonlands National Park in Utah. I loved the racing pace. He is a mountain climber and knows this Park like a second home. The camera pans around the orange landscape as he crashes through the terrain. The free spirited guy hardly informs anyone where he is going like most youngsters his age.

He sets a target for himself to go off track and cut down on the time mentioned in the guide book. Bumps into girls who seem to have lost their way. Shows them the way and the blue pool. This scene is a creative addition by the screenplay writers to the Biography of the real hero Aron Ralston. Makes good visuals. So do the shots of the insides of a hydration pack and bottle. Not natural shots but creative nevertheless.

I almost experienced the love the character feels for the rocks as he caresses them while gliding across. A true explorer hates doing things straight and risks it through a crevice. He knows well and in the previous scenes tells the lost girls, "Things are always moving here". As he is descending, a small boulder does move just behind him. As he almost touches ground he realizes his right hand is jammed by the boulder. 

Here begins the 127 hours of survival... He shouts for help form the crevice. The camera zooms out to shows how impossible it is for anyone to hear him or locate him. At first he copes with it trying to push the boulder with all his might. Makes pulleys to get it inching just a bit. He has a swiss knife that he uses to chisel the rock but as the rock loosens the jammed hand gets further stuck. As he notes that the hand is already dead he tries to cut it with the blunt knife unsuccessfully making him swear "Never buy made in China". Follows the interval.

I ponder on Danny Boyle's storytelling and technique. He shows signs of Bollywood influence this I say not because he made Slumdog millionaire. You note how he uses the flash back technique to weave the story further. The music by A R Rehman is anything but Bollywood.

Well the flashbacks are the best technique to show how life flashes in all it's brilliance when you are on the edge of life and death. The guy carves his own tombstone writing on the sides of the mountain. Memories of the intimate moments with his girlfriend, cherished ones of parents. The Dad who introduces and nurtures his passion of the rocks. The loving mother, sister and friends everything comes to him in a flash as he is loosing it but he hangs in there. Gets inspiration to live and go back to them. He sees his future in front of him premonition like. While all this is happening he is recording everything on camera. 

Finally those moments of survival are all there, living on his urine, not being able to poop as he has not eaten for days. The realization that the blunt knife that cannot cut the skin is useless when he has to cut the bone. So he decides to break the bones, stabs his hand and cuts through the flesh. The emotions portrayed by James Franco are raw, watching him is a treat. His moving through the character from the charming guy to the basest emotions that show when he almost reaches down to stroke himself as he replays the videos of the playfulness at the blue pool with the girls. The extreme pain when the blunt knife is not able to slash the nerves and he tugs at them to break the rest of his arm free from the rock that is jamming it. Superb James Franco!

The realization of a survivor that he has chosen all this rather he was destined for this ordeal as he races through his life's events, is a learning for a spiritual person in me. Even when he has resigned to death he manages to free his hand finally. Takes a picture of the forearm still jammed in the rock for memories sake! and walks out till he gets rescued by a family and emergency help is brought in.

One time the director manages to take us through a ride high on emotions as we see a dramatic sky and landscape, a storm and floods and see him freed only to realize it was a flashback. You almost gasp at the sights, sound and situation!

The movie ends with an update on the real hero and telling us that his premonition came true. What a movie! 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sabudana Khichadi, It's easy!

 

Sabudana Khichadi is this nightmare recipe for a new bride in Maharashtrian families. It is a recipe that makes even experienced cooks slightly jittery. When it goes wrong either you have to feed it to the cow or toss it into the bin depending on where you live. Sabudana khichadi scares everyone, it becomes too hard if not soaked correctly or becomes rubbery after cooking if it retains water. The really skilled ensure sabudana is soaked to perfection and you can do it too.

In her first, post marriage interview with Gautam Rajadhyaksha, Madhuri Dixit had mentioned that Dr. Nene had requested her to make Sabudana Khichadi. Yes that same interview in Marathi when all Maharashtrians indulged in their laadki/ pet Madhuri. She dished out hard pearls and poor Dr. Nene being a gentleman ate it quitely. Imagine the gurgling, blushing new bride and the mesmerizing Madhuri in a pinkish saree. Every bride does not have her looks to be forgiven the disaster. Not that Dr. Nene must have done it. I am very sure this must have become a legend in the family told to everyone who cared to hear.

Most brides will call their MIL's, "Sasubai (err now they call her Mumma) jara ikade yaa", calling her into the kitchen to supervise the Sabudana Khichadi being made or may be on a long distance call asking her to hang on.

Well you don't need to do it no more if you follow this tutorial to the T.

Ingredients

1/4 kg Sabudana/ sabakki/ sago
3/4 cup roasted, deskinned and crushed peanuts
2 small potatoes cubed 
2 green chillies chopped 
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 tablespoons oil
salt and sugar to taste

Rule 1: Sabudana Khichadi needs preparation. You cannot make it instantly!

Wash Sabudana in water lightly. Decant the loose powder that comes out in the water. Now soak it in water. The water should be just about the same level as the sabudana. Leave it overnight.


In the early morning next day, drain it on a mesh. Leave it for couple of hours. If the globules feel wet they cannot be used for cooking. It will make the Khichadi rubbery. So for 1/2 hr spread it on a kitchen cloth napkin/ newspaper/ thick absorbent paper. Let the sabudana dry up a bit. The perfectly soaked sabudana should feel plump and soft when squeezed between the thumb and fingers.

Once that is done. Feel confident that you will make a Sabudana Khichadi like a pro. Now when you decide to cook get all the other ingredients together. Mix the crushed peanuts with the sabudana. This will remove the final traces of extra moisture if any.

Heat the kadhai. Add oil and let the cumin brown in it. Follow in with the green chilies and potato. Toss around a bit to give it an oil coat. Now add the perfectly plump Sabudana coated with crushed peanuts. Mix well. Cover and cook on slow for 5-7 mins. Remove the lid. Now the globules would have started turning translucent from the original milky white. This is the sign it is cooking. Next add the salt and sugar as per taste. We like sugar to give it a balance, you can skip it if you don't like it. Mix well again and cover. Let it cook for another 5-7 mins. Once all the globules looks translucent you can switch of the heat and leave the cover on for 5 more mins letting the flavors absorb in.

Remove the lid and serve it while still warm. Since this tutorial was planned I made Mishti Doi to go with it but you can serve it with plain curd. Dad likes chutney too so made a coconut-cilantro-chili one.

Remember fresh and warm is the best way to have Sabudana khichadi, it keeps drying out as the hours pass by. As kids who cared! Whether we were at home or not if it was made for the ladies who are fasting we had to have our share. It would be made with more than a kilo of sabudana and atleast 1/4 kg peanuts and 1/2 kg potatoes in it. Eight Vati/ steel bowls would be rationed and slid into the fridge for us to enjoy when we would return from school or college. That did not mean we had to fast. I still don't fast instead now I breakfast on it!

This post is for Moonbeam for encouraging me to write and am slipping in a request here :) "Will you do a guest post for me?"

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Rains are here! Yay!


The Rains are here! Yay! though unseasonal, the smell of earth is intoxicating me!!!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Design a Sharara for a Little Woman


M is my niece. The grand daughter of my favorite aunt Gopi Atya, who pampered me with food and toys and during festivals I was always stolen away from my parents especially my Dad so that I got to experience the culture in Colaba Koliwada.

Now it is M's turn to get pampered. When she was about 5 or 6 she came for a week's vacation to my home in Mumbai. That was a time I was on a break from work and could really spend a fun time with her. I took her shopping and indulged. I told her to pick whatever she liked and the little girl collected everything in Pink and white! A flurry sling purse, clips, hair bands, slippers and what not and a Barbie ofcourse. I would do her little girl make up and style her hair differently everyday. She had long silky hair and she looked like a doll with a fairy pink hair band with loose tresses on the back. I was so happy to see her gleaming and wondered if I had a daughter ever...

Then some 2-3 years ago we went shopping again. While talking to her I got to know she loved traditional parkar-polka and like all Indian parents obsessed with passing on the culture bit she was also gifted one as a child but now she liked the glitzy Sharara!

If you go to buy a Sharara in Colaba you would not get anything less than 3000 Rs. at the time; plus the sizes for a Little woman are not right fits, the alteration spoil the whole look. So what I did was picked up a nice Hakoba chickankari punjabi suit set. It consisted of a full body of satin embroidery on chiffon meant for the kurta, a lizzy bizzy plain material for the pajama and a broad 2.5 meters of dupatta with a lovely thin lace and trimmings matching the kurta cloth. We chose a lavendar-pink color as M still in her tweens was gushing over it. 

Then I spent some time with my SIL, Kalpana and explained to her the design that was playing in my head. Kalpana is an indulgent Mum and she too was excited about this project. We decided on a flower design for the choli styled like a short kurti with a flower border. The neckline to have a delicate outline with a flower motif at the center of the broad V neck. The kurti to have small butti all over. The sleeves we selected for this ensemble was maggie, to flaunt her long arms. M wanted one thing in this Sharara and that was tassels! We decided to make them beaded ones. So you see the jeweled tassels made of small pearl strings with a large rani pink teardrops hanging from it. These jeweled tassles made this whole ensemble grand. You see them on the dupatta as well as on the sleeves.

She sent me this picture which I love so much. I know she cherishes this whole thing of designing her own Sharara and Kalpana Vahini tells me she wore it to all her parties and events that year for she feared she'd grow out of it! 

The Little woman has since grown into a college going young woman.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Along Came The Yummy Mommies @ Kobe, Koramangala

 The yummy mommies @ Kobe, Koramangala 
freaked out on Baked beans veg sizzler, Veg Shashlick, 
Sizzling brownie, Caramel custard and Blueberry cheesecake!


"Even if it's just 2 of us we are going out to eat" I told Preeti. A plan is a plan. One such week-to-end afternoon we decided it will be a visit to Kobe @ Koramangala. Preeti invited our buddy Deepa to join and I was thrilled about this impromptu inclusion.

Kobe is quite close to the workplace exactly 7-8 mins drive. I had raved about Kobe in my post on my homemade sizzler and my seeking the Kobe sizzler everywhere else and not hitting the nail. How could I not go to Kobe @ Koramangala once I found out they were in town and so accessible from work.

Once reaching there and warning Deepa that the portions are good for 2, my order was my regular Veg Shashlick confirmed I told the ladies. So the other one was Deepa's choice of  Baked beans veg sizzler. The server took the orders and asked "just 2 sizzler." We assured him there would be orders for desserts later. 

They take the usual 15 mins to get the really sizzling plates loaded with a mish mash of many things. We had requested for both mashed potatoes as well as finger chips.



The Baked beans veg sizzler had roasted veggies, tomato, peas, cauliflower, baby corn, carrots and rice topped with sweet sour baked beans straight from the can. Yes and there was a small cutlet in there. We let it sit while he got the Veg Shashlick.

Meanwhile Preeti was narrating her experience there when she had visited with her husband. She had loved  the noodle sizzler and the fun she had with the stringy things. So she was keenly waiting to sample the choices we had placed orders for. Still too worried about being able to eat a whole sizzler and felt reassured of having company of good eaters like me!

The Veg Shashlick is served in style. The server comes to the table and like a magician presents it on the table almost with a bow or did I imagine that! Then he goes on to remove the skewers from the bed of veggies and rice. That's when the unfamiliar realize there is some tandoor goodies hidden underneath the pile. The sauce here is light soya. The standard finger chips, mashed potatoes and rice and specific to this sizzler are spinach, tandoori paneer tikka and a nice thick piece of grilled pineapple that not only wins your heart on sight but elevates the sizzler to a class of it's own. As in Bambaiya one would say, "It's the baap of  veg sizzlers."

The plates were bubbling furiously and for the fear of scalding our tongues we preferred to wag them instead of subjecting them to the taste of sizzler nirvana. It would have been an amazing sight for onlookers of three women attacking it and scrapping the bottoms to get the burnt to crispness mashed potatoes. 

After cleaning up the plates I was teasing Preeti if she wanted another sizzler. All three of us agreed to go for desserts, 3 desserts Deepa corrected! Well desserts were on our mind even before we placed the order for the sizzlers, the reason being the table mats have a menu for desserts printed on it. Smart people Kobe has. They occupy your mind with desserts when you actually came to eat a sizzler. I like it!

So, Preeti went for the sizzling brownie and she sniffed in the air, someone else was also enjoying it. Me swooned at the thought of a Blueberry cheesecake. Deepa after much pondering settled for the safe bet caramel custard. The sizzling brownie as the name suggests was a walnut brownie on a hot plate mounted with a large vanilla ice cream scoop with chocolate sauce generously poured over it. The sauce flowed down and caramelized on the sizzler plate creating an all pervasive chocolate aroma. The Blueberry cheesecake was slightly firmer than I like yet I enjoyed it as the blueberry compote on top gave it the juicy sweetness. The caramel custard was delicate and the portion was smaller compared to the other 2 desserts.

Now that I am done with raving about the food let me atleast mention the ambience. It is a formal seating, we sat near the glass facade as I love bright sunny views while eating in an air conditioned restaurant especially if they are off the main road. A peek of nature while lunching is good for the appetite, it only flares ;). This is a sizzler place and it has a smoky atmosphere as expected but just to titillate our taste buds and not so bad as to choke us. When you come to a sizzler place expect that.

Thanks to Kobe for opening up in Bangalore and bringing the familiar tastes of Mumbai to this city where I reside currently. I kinda swelled with pride as my friends enjoyed the eat out that I have been recommending for so long. Cheers!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Avarekai Tovve


I have been brought up on very complex flavors like a true Koli. However I have evolved to love simple natural flavors. The Avarekai Tovve is one such recipe. Simple flavors of in season Avarekai/ Val laced only with fresh ginger.

When Dad was in Mumbai I spent a lot of time with Sulekha. Last Sunday she cooked for me. She is so self deprecating always she surprises me many times with some brilliance. This recipe is one such, so understated and yet flavorful. It was fun to watch Sulekha roll out the puris and make the Tovve coz she always finds it a pain to cook. I think she enjoys cooking only when she has people like me and her married daughter to appreciate it, the foodies we are. Does she know with all the fuss she creates she is quite a good cook!

I had taken Gucchi Olu and Methi dal for Sulekha so you see a bit of the bhaaji on my plate in the picture. While Sulekha kept it for later.

See the spicy sambhar I had posted before. There are many useful tips and the culture bit about the Kannada love of Avarekai explained in my post on Avare Kaalu Akki Roti.


Preparation: 

1/2 kg of Avarekai/ Val/ field beans. Separate the fresh beans from the pods and soak it in water overnight or in warm water atleast for an hour. This will swell up the skin and peeling the skin off the bean is a breeze. We sat together to do this task as I talked to her. It is always like this I just keep talking and talking with Sulekha. She listens sometimes making wise cracks.

It yields about a large bowl of hidikbele/ peeled beans.

Ingredients

1 bowl of hidikbele/ peeled Val/ field beans
1 onion halved and sliced
1 green chili
a big handful of chopped cilantro
1 inch piece of freshest ginger
2 teaspoons oil
salt to taste

Heat oil in a small pressure cooker. Add the onion and fry till translucent. Fry till they are half cooked in the oil. Now add ginger. Top up with water just to cover the beans. At this point add the chopped cilantro. Pressure cook for 3 whistles. Cool the cooker and then open the lid after the steam subsides completely. Mash the beans with a Ravi (masher). Boil once on high heat. Put off heat and just leave it undisturbed for the flavors to unite. 

The finishing touch is with a bit of lime juice, a very large pinch of freshly ground black pepper and a dollop of ghee.

Serve with hot puris is what Sulekha recommends. But I am quite confident it will taste heavenly with steamed rice too. It is a lot like our Maharashtrian goda varan. Yet very delicious as it is the in season Avarekai which is the star!

The meal was complimented with a fresh salad of carrot and cucumber shavings with chat masala sprinkles and Alphabet Payasa for dessert (until I post it keep guessing)!

Thank you Sulekha I enjoyed my time and it was very thoughtful of you to have me over so that I was not lonely! This is a dedication to you. For being my first friend since 2nd May 2005 when I landed in Bangalore  on a transfer. For help with settling down in Bangalore and the organization we work for. I have much more to Thank you for and only you know it. Love you, God Bless and Touch wood.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Methi Dal


I have not been cooking too much these days though I look like I am on a blogging marathon. It is a saturday today and there is no chance of me going out to eat so had to make something really homely and tasty. This is yet again a recipe inspired by my neighbor Rani from Tata's. 

It is inspired by an Andhra dal but here I have used a ubiquitous Kanda lasun Maharashtrian chutney made famous by the vada pao. This chutney though more complex than the garlic chili masala from Vijaywada it tastes quite the same.

Ingredients

1 cup toor dal
2 cups methi, cleaned and chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
few curry leaves
1 green chili slit
2 teaspoons oil
salt to taste

In a pressure cooker cook the dal along with chopped methi, add kanda lasun chutney, turmeric powder, asafoetida and water. Once removed from cooker mash well. Prepare the poppu/ tadka. Heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds, crackle up the curry leaves and green chili. Add the salt as much as you like. Add it to the mashed dal and allow the dal to simmer. It should be a creamy consistency. 

I had an unused 1/2 tomato in the fridge which I added to the dal. That's an extra.

Serve over steamed rice. I had chutney pudi, mango pickle, papad and curd in my Thali. Loved the whole process of mixing the dal and rice and finger licking. I think I cooked after a week today!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Kobi Vadi


Kobi Vadi is a variation of the Kothimbir Vadi. While the Kothimbir Vadi is a star in many a Maharashtrian eateries, Kobi vadi is a home star. There are many variations of these Vadis with different leafy vegetables. In my recipe of the Kobi Vadi I use Ajwain and that takes the vadi to a different height. With one bite you will be hooked.

This has been in the draft for a while thinking to post or not to post finally it is out. I had made this one day when I took it to a Ram Naam Jap that our dear friend Gurunath Kulkarni was hosting at his home. He had organized lunch of Vangi Bhat, Curd rice and Bananas for dessert. I thought Kobi Vadi would be a great accompaniment. Since most guests were Kannadigas there they had never tasted something like this and were thoroughly surprised at how tasty it could be even when not straight out of the frying oil. Since this was not being served immediately I deep fried it but roasted in little oil tastes awesome when serving immediately.

Ingredients

2 cups shredded cabbage
1 teaspoon crushed green chilies
1 teaspoon Ajwain/ carom seeds
1 cup besan/ chickpea flour
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
2 handfuls cilantro chopped
1/4 teaspoon asafeotida
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


In a big bowl gather everything together. Mix well.Grease the steaming stand like mentioned in this post, Kothimbir Vadi. Steam for 20 mins. Check with a knife inserted if steamed well. Let it cool a bit then cut into sqaures. Deep fry or roast. Serve with ketchup or chutney of your choice.

I was curious if anyone had posted Kobi Vadi on the blogs as this is a very homely Maharashtrian starter and here you go...

Chakali's Palak Kobi Vadi
Deepti's Kobi chi Vadi

Friday, February 04, 2011

Strawberry Lassi


I love fruit flavored lassi. There is a little shop on the Daman side of Vapi station that got me hooked to it. When you are on the field in the hot summer visiting customers and also trying to rush back home on the same day, the downer has to be a cool lassi. I was really fortunate Vijay bhau lived in Virar, many times I would hop off the train dead tired and stay over at his place.

Fruit lassi always reminds me of my adventures to Vapi. Read about it in this old post.

This one is with Strawberry. I just gave it a bit of my touch in the presentation. For those who are not familiar with a lassi here is how you make it with strawberry.

Ingredients

4-5 strawberries
1 cup thick curd
sugar as much as you like

First puree the strawberries with some sugar. Keep 1/4 of it aside.

Then blend together with curd and more sugar if you please to get a frothy lassi. Add water to make a consistency of your choice. I sometimes use 1/2 cup of water and add it while blending. 

Now to present it, first dip the rim of the glass in water. Dust the edges with sugar or dip the rim in sugar spread out in a plate. Carefully add some strawberry puree on the inside of the glass. Swirl it around to get a sash of strawberry coating on the glass. Then fill carefully with the blended strawberry lassi. The glass will show bands of red and pink and the sugar crystal clinging to the glass rim adds the glitter to the drink. Chill for an hour or more. Insert a straw and pass it into eagerly outstretched hands of your family or friends. Give them a spoon to scrape the strawberry puree off the sides of the glass as there is a chance of the stork's beak being stuck in the glass ;)

Here are my posts on other curd based drinks:

  • Plain Lassi - is potent on its own
  • Mango Lassi - the alphonso or hapoos is atleast once married to curd in this one
  • Piyush - The nutmeg adds subtle notes of aroma to this Maharashtrian favorite.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Paneer Bhari Palak Kachori


Paneer Bhari Palak Kachori tastes superb dipped in curd sprinkled with chili flakes


Well here I am back with the promise I made yesterday. We made Palak Puri now some people are just obsessed with the Palak paneer combo and they like it in any form I guess. So for those lovers of Palak paneer this is for you. Those not the lovers of Palak Paneer can still enjoy this if the creamy palak is what you detest. The Palak is safe and doing its job of green goodness in the dough and encasing the Paneer, allowing it to melt only in your mouth with every dainty bite. That is the essence of a stuffed Puri or Kachori, therefore the name Paneer Bhari Palak Kachori.

So here is what you do...

Ingredients

1 cup Paneer crumbled
1 cup ball of Palak dough like in Palak Paratha or Palak Puri

To put it together, pinch of small balls of dough and shape a basket out of it. Put some crumbled Paneer in it and seal the free ends. Roll into a ball and press between your palms to flatten it. Sprinkle some dry flour on the counter and roll out into 3-4  diameter shapes. Take care to work with a light hand so the paneer does not ooze out.

Deep fry the discs in hot oil. The hot oil ensure crispiness and retains very little oil. 

Serve this Paneer Bhari Palak Kachori hot with curd for accompaniment and sprinkle some chili flakes to add color to the already tasty dish. 

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Palak Puri


Palak Puri is simple deep friend dough made by incorporating spinach puree'. The Spinach is used to fortify the simple bread that can be enjoyed with just a pickle on the side or can be included in an elaborate Thali depending on the occasion.

I made these Palak puris from left over Palak mutter that I had on hand. However if you need a recipe for the dough you can use my Palak Paratha recipe. Now only thing to remember is a Puri dough is tighter than a Paratha dough. Yet if you think that cooking Palak into a curry will make the Puris tastier go another step back and make a Palak curry like this one, the Palak Rangili.

Once you have the dough. Pinch off small lemon sized balls and roll them out into discs. Fry the discs in hot oil. Hot oil ensure soft and puffy puris.

Come back tomorrow to see how the humble Palak Puri evolves to yet another recipe inspired by everyones favorite Palak Paneer. 

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Exploring V V Puram's Food Street

I was at Sulekha's on Sunday evening, we decided to eat out. She wanted to take me to some place she wanted me to see. As we passed Lalbaugh West gate I started getting curious. I was a little excited as to where she was taking me. We parked the car in one of the back lanes and started walking toward a densely populated area. This is Bangalore's very own food street she declared. Not quite like the buzzing food streets of Mumbai but still.

There were so many people trying to take pictures with their SLRs. There was a camel ride for the kids too, trying to find its way through the crowd. Sulekha was pointing out to me all the stalls, starting from the Holige stall to the bhajji, dosas, pav bhaaji, chats, ice creams, paans and if you lost your footwear in the crowd there were bathroom slippers being sold. Psst...they looked stolen from some five star hotel.

After an inspection of the lane we ate Banana bhajji to kick start are tastings. The vendor slit the bhajji length wise, sprinkled some chat masala and chili powder and was generous with the onions too. On a piece of newspaper we were handed out our pick from the mirchi, capsicum etc. 2 pieces for 10 bucks, who said it is cheap.

Oggling at the hot jalebis being fried we reached the farthermost end. I was introduced to a gem, Vasavi Condiments. Just a look and I knew the stuff would be good there. The sweets display was neat and clean. I was smitten by the cute transparent cones filled with various goodies like sweet chana, salty peanuts, and large  ladoos, murrukus, badam burfi, dinka ladoos and loads of South Indian farsans especially the season's special  fried and spiced Avarekai. Sulekha enlightened me that this shop was popular with wedding shoppers. The inside end showed signs of sweet smell permeating the entire shop, the unmistakable aroma of holige being fried in pure ghee. It was natural for us to gravitate there. Our order two holige, one each. Soft moist and incredibly thin encasing of the maida over the delicious toor dal jaggery stuffing. It tasted like home, served by a loving mother. To add to it the guy shook his hand as if his hand was scalding due to the heat. Nice way of heightening the temptations of two women who had already fallen prey to the whiffs from the tava.

We walked back to what looked like a popular live dosa counter. We settled for a Masala dosa. He was making thick dosas and generously splashing ghee over them straight from the snipped pouch. We specified our order for thin crisp ones with lesser ghee. The lady serving, graciously accepted it and handed out amazingly crisp and textured masala dosa. The spicing is right not too hot not too bland. You would not find a self respecting Southie who will not like a lovely golden dosa wrapped around yellow mashed potatoes enhanced with some chutney on the side. It was served on a piece of banana leaf with newspaper underneath. It serving dual purpose, leak proofing and as hand towel after the meal.

I enjoyed the food we tried but a little stink in the area made me ask for a fizzy but instead we settled for a hot cup of Filter Kaapi bought from the trailer van.

Overall a good time with my friend Sulekha. I was wary all through though as I was eating out on the street after many moons. It felt a bit freaky too having suffered food poisoning just recently however Thank God I survived without a blemish in the belly to narate to you about this experience.

Let go of your apprehension and risk it to taste at V V Puram's food street. It is unique in the way that rarely will you find Holige live counter on any other Food street in the country.

Location: Near Sajjan Rao circle, V V Puram.

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