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Some people are too stingy in sharing a recipe not knowing that the taste lies in the tact, interest and passion of the person who cooks - I believe-Sharing is caring -Pushpee

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Blueline in Promenade at Puducherry

During my visit to Puducherry, My friend and I wanted to try a typical local food. Someone suggested Blueline, a restaurant in Promenade hotel at Goubert Avenue at White Town. It turned out to be a continental restaurant with Thai, French, and North Indian cuisine. Surprisingly there was no typical local cuisine. I was too hungry to look for another one so we settled on a two-seat table to try what the restaurant had to offer.



The ambience is very warm and vibrant. We sat by the large glass window facing the sea front. The view was beautiful with huge palm trees swinging with the breeze.



I would have loved to sit on those wicker chairs by the water fountain but the afternnoon was quite warm outside.



Blueline is one of the three restaurants in promenade hotel, where buffet is served for people staying in the hotel. It looked like a dining hall with souvenir shop at the far corner. We couldn’t eat too much so we settled for a la carte ordering just soft drinks, non-veg salad, prawn dish and white rice.



For a moment, I thought I was in Europe because while we waited for our order to arrive, we were served breads platter with olive oil and salt. The breads were freshly baked and they tasted divine. (It was so filling that we could have easily cancelled out order and walk away) but of course not, we wouldn’t do that!! ….



I reached nirvana when the Nicoise salad arrived. Such a fine combination of olives, anchovies, tuna, eggs and herbs in the bed of salad leaves with tomatoes, green beans, cucumber and onions.




Okay, although the Goan Prawn Curry cooked in kokam and coconut milk did seem tempting with its bright red color, I couldn’t eat because I was too full. Guess what we did, we packed Prawn curry and rice for dinner. It was delicious even after few hours as we feasted in our hotel rooms.

I would highly recommend this restaurant to everyone visiting Puducherry. The staff is very polite and alert. The quantity of the serving is good and does not create too deep a hole in the pocket although it is comparatively three times more expensive than normal restaurant at the end of the lane.

But then you pay for the ambience and the service…….and that complimentary delicious bread platter too.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Foodie Santa Comes To My Town


The festive season is in the air. Everybody is sending gifts to secret Santee…I chose to be Santa in two groups.

December has been bad month for me,(health wise) therefore, I couldn’t go out to shop for gifts, but then I am lucky to know friends who help me to send out my gifts.

At my Special school, I just send out secretly to my Santee,(one of the teachers at school) through my friend.

For my foodies group I decided to make gifts at home. This was organized by my Foodie friends at #FBAISecret Santa group. The elfs were the group of five food bloggers   who volunteered to deliver gifts on their reindeers( oops, private vehicle)

Two days before the event, we were supposed to deliver our gifts to @HungryBawarchi's  house. Unfortuantely I was not well, therefore I requested him to collect it from my house. Thank you so much Mohit for this extra effort.

Since I could not go out to buy food gifts for my santee, I decided to make it at home…as a foodie, I think personalized food gifts are best. I made carrot pickle, pesto and eggplant dip.

I just ordered three pretty colorful storage containers, packed them up creatively with gold feathers, added a handwritten note and sent






My special thanks to elf Mohit, who came to my house to pick up my gift coz I was unable to go out..

And this was my note for my Santee…

Dear Santee Ms Punjabi

Ho Ho ho
Here we come

Pickles, pesto’s, dips
A specialty from my ribs
All packed in cups, so true
Packed specially for you

From land of green chilies
That also has basil frills
Amidst nuts and cheese
A pesto if you please

The carrots sliced and mixed
With garlic and mustard seeds
Now, isn’t that nice pickle?
A perfect afternoon treat

A roasted, blackened eggplant
Churned happily with hung yogurt
That’s the dip you may relish
For sure, it’s delish

So here’s wishing you X’mas
From a very secret friend
One foodie to another
Santa builds a stronger thread

Ho! Ho! Ho!
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Merry Christmas!!!


And well, my gift arrived too…Thank you Roshan and Jagruti…the elves who came to visit me…

This is what arrived




Two boxes of Cadbury chocolates… I was expecting home made stuff too…and a written note..with a personalized signature of Santa

 Well maybe my Santa was very busy..

But the festive season has just begun…. Seems like a fun Christmas this year… more parties next week with different set of friends.


Now off to twitter to enjoy the visuals of other foodies….

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Breakfast In Sindhi homes

Before the oats, cereals, muffins, pastries and sandwiches made their appearances at our breakfast table, Parathas, Puri, and rice ruled the kitchens. Early mornings, tea or coffee was paired with home cooked meals.



There was a great variety of paratha made with most inovative fillings, sometimes stuffed with potatoes, sometimes with radish, then, there were cauliflower, cottage cheese, peas and sometimes even fenugreek. There were great varieties of puris too. From plain salt and pepper to more elaborate puris that were stuffed with colorful lentils. Curds, pickle and papads were included with puris and parathas.
But I enjoyed Parathas the most, especially those of potatoes mixed with coriander leaves, green chilies and cumin seeds.

Parathas are basically unleavened dough stuffed with spiced mixture of mashed potatoes/vegetables, which is rolled out and cooked on hot plate with butter. Paired with pickle or curd and a hot cup of tea, it made a perfect Sunday morning.

Puri on the other hand is the unleavened dough usually prepared with wheat flour (atta) or refined wheat flour (maida) or coarse wheat flour (sooji), deep-fried in hot oil till they bloat like a balloon. They can be paired with lentils, or potatoes or pickle and sometimes even with sweets like halwa or jalebi.


In my house, Loli was regularly made. This was made with wheat flour where little ghee/or butter was added before kneading, plain loli had only salt and pepper, while masala loli had finely chopped onions, coriander leaves, pomegranate seeds and chilies. This too tasted great with pickles, papads or curds, but I would enjoy it best with fried eggs, (sunny side up) or sometimes with mutton cooked in spinach and tomatoes.


Pakwan was another great delight where the dough was rolled paper-thin and deep-fried. This was relished with lentils and fried papads.


Nowadays we are too health conscious and will avoid fried stuff out right. Now I see youngsters skipping breakfast or relishing baked crisps of rolled oats stuffed with nuts, honey, raisins, flaxseeds, etc. I too prefer a glass of fresh juice in the mornings. 

Cooked meal early morning is never preferred by today’s youth. Wonder if they know the taste of leftover food that was revamped into different dish the next morning.


Leftover Chappatis were cooked in green masala of coriander leaves, garlic and tomatoes to make a dish called 'Mani seyal'.


Rice was fried into yellow rice by adding garlic, mustard seeds, tomatoes, onions, coriander leaves, green chilies and turmeric powder.

While German households had salami, bacon, ham, eggs and varieties of cheese, French German rolls paired with jam, marmalade, honey. In my house, on the other hand, it was simple dried leftover bread cooked with onion, tomatoes, green chilies and coriander leaves called 'Daboroti seyal'. It tasted heavenly with a hot cup of filter coffee.

In Spain, no matter where I went, at every breakfast restaurant was tortilla Esponola. But in my house, we had delicious omelets of onions, coriander leaves and tomatoes, even a simple omelet with just salt and pepper tasted great. Sometimes we had leftover rotis dipped in egg and fried on skillet.

A typical Italian breakfast is made of hot beverages and something sweet to eat like croissant, pastries, cookies and maybe some fresh juice too, but in my house there was thin sweet vermicelli called ‘Sayoon’ cooked with sugar and cardamom.

Every country that I travelled, I saw people relishing different breakfast but there was always similarity between their food and ours to some extend, especially if they were cooked or fried.

Some years ago, One early morning, in Hongkong, it was 5am and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I decided to take a bus to far off busstop and enjoy the breakfast. I still remember the beautiful taste of Congee I had on the street. The congee is a simple rice broth that contained pieces of chicken and some deep fried shrimps. I had seasoned it with vinegars in chilies and some soy sauce. In my house congee is also made but we just add crackled mustard seeds and we called it ‘Kweerni Khichdi’ I love this with sour curd and deep fried papad.


Breakfast is the important meal of the day, but now I shudder to eat fried food, bread and potatoes is too much carb, chappatis and puris are too heavy, so I have reduced my diet to just one glass of fresh vegetable juice with a simple toast or cookie. Lunch is when I will eat heavy food and dinner is just soup and fruits and sometimes if the mood is right, will eat the breakfast selection of parathas, puri or rice..during dinner time….

Our elders would eat four heavy meals to survive, and they had no diet issues, I just cannot eat so much, but then, I don’t work physically that hard like my granny or other women in my family used to do…


Here is sharing a leaflet from my book on #SindhiCuisine…..

Patatey ji manni

    (Potato Paratha)

Serves 4
Ingredients

2 potatoes, boiled
3 cups wheat flour
2 tablespoon oil
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon red chilly powder
1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tablespoon coriander leaves, chopped


Method


  1. Mash the boiled potato and add salt, cumin powder, red chilly powder, onions, green chillies and coriander leaves. Keep aside.
  2. Knead the dough for paratha adding salt and 1 tablespoons of oil to the wheat flour.
  3. Roll it on a floured board to about 2 inch circle. Put 2 tablespoon of potato filling in the center and gently pick up the sides, press together to form a ball, covering the filling completely.
  4. Roll out carefully into round paratha, cook on tava on a medium flame till light brown, using small quantities of oil.
  5. Serve with curd and papad.

Monday, December 1, 2014

An Exotic Vegetarian Cuisine at Govinda


As more people are turning vegetarian, the pure veg-restaurants are also growing in numbers. Govinda Restaurant in South Mumbai is more special because they do not use garlic and onion in their kitchen and all the dishes served are pure satvic food, a strict diet followed by certain sect of society like Jains and BrahmaKumaris.
But that does not limit their variety of dishes; the menu card had listing of more than 200 varieties to choose from. Indian, chinese, continental, there is dish suitable for every palate. Every dish was special but different from what you would get at other restaurants and at a very economical prices.


The street food like Sev Puri had garnishing of pomegranate, The pizza had topping of exotic vegetables layered with pesto and basil leaves, the mint chutney was spicy and tasty. Then, there was Chinese Bhel, a perfect blend of deep fried noodles with grated vegetables. The main course of noodles and Manchurian vegetable balls tasted great although there was no garlic used during cooking. All the fruit juices are freshly made, and the natural ice creams like custard apple and watermelon was favored by all, the kulfis in clay cups was a delight.

Friend who is a regular at this eatery, says she loves to come here after her session of devotional music next door, which is actually an Ishkon temple at Kemp’s Corner. She finds peace and solitude.
I believe her

The ambience is very soothing with devotional soft music in the back ground, a jasmine fragrance in the room from the incense burning in dark corners of the restaurants, mythological stories depicted in the painting on the walls and hand made articles, like bamboo lanterns adorning the shelves.
The art blends with religion setting the moods.



I would highly recommend this eatery for people who enjoy vegetarian cuisine.

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