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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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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Restaurant Review – Urban Street Café

Not that we were hungry at that hour, we had cappuccino and garlic bread just an hour ago at a coffee shop, but we needed some other place to sit and chat. Friend called up and informed us about a new eating joint at Khar station road just opposite the main market. She said that it was launched just fifteen days ago. We decided to try it out.

A small cozy café, you could miss it if you were just passing by but it had a great flashy letter board to attract us.

There was a cart of street food at the entrance with variety of different chaat (like Golgappas, Dahi Puri, Sev Puri, Papri Chaat, etc.) that one would enjoy snacking on Deli streets.
picture courtesy, a friend who went back the next day
Try the PalakChaat the boy at the counter suggested. It was the spinach fritters that would be doused with curd, and topped with chutney and garnish. If it wasnt for the sweet curd, we would have ordered it immediately. But sweetness is the the flavour I dont normally relish. We asked for menu to understand what other options café had to offer.

There were few metal tables spread out in the open. The exterior ambience was good with colorful bamboo rods, bamboo curtains and some colorful metal artifacts everywhere. Through the glass dividing wall, I could see the air-conditioned interiors artistically done with large graphics dominating one walls and colorful stairs leading up to the private office, upstairs

We ordered just two dishes and we were not disappointed. I loved this perfectly cooked dish that was spicy and tasty, just the way I like it.
Soyabean Kheema Pav

Chhole Puri

This is a great place for vegetarian people. They have a large selection of international dishes. Indian, Indonesian, Arabic, Italian, a little of each, the favorite one...they have all desi and pardesi cuisine.

Pasta is the dish one must try, (although I am not a pasta fan - an Italian with Indian touch) the management insisted that we try their speciality. We were too full but promised to try on our next visit. However, my friend went back the next day to try their pasta and palak fritters and she says its too good! so I must try that on my next visit.
The owner, Abhishek Gupta, personally came to our table for our feedback and discussed his great plans for making this café a success. He plans to have a live cooking station of hot jalebis at the entrance. He was open to new ideas and his face lit up when my friend suggested that they serve dhal Pakwan during breakfast hours.

He offered us a complimentary mocktail that he made specially for us, mixing beet root with sprite and adding some Indian spices and herbs. It tasted good.

A great dining experience, I would definitely recommend a second visit, specially for my vegetarian guests.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Cooking Afternoon With 50Young.

50young is the group of people above the age of 50 years. Initiated by Anita Gurnani, Anand Gurnani and Kamal Raheja, the group has grown within one year to more than thousand members, all from different sect of society, all with common goal- to enjoy the life to its fullest as they pass through rocky path of seniority. Many of its members are talented lot, who meet regularly and inspire each other with their success stories. Their focus topics include beauty, fashion, art, culture, money, finance, health, wellness, technology, travel, etc, Workshops and forum are held regularly, you may see them in groups, enjoying a walk down the sea shore, savouring street food by the beach, or encouraging each other in some or the other workshop.

The most popular workshop that they enjoy the most is indoor creative activities like dancing,cooking, gift wrapping, decoupage, pottery, etc. Last week I had the privilege to attend their cooking workshop Dessert in the Jar by  Rashmi Ahuja and low Calorie Buggers by Sheela Sagar.

Sheela Sagar and Rashmi Ahuja are sisters who have passion for cooking. Sheela Sagar is the costume designer by proffession having won the ITA awards 2008 for best costume for Jai Shri Krishna and ITA awards 2007 for best costume for Dharti Ka Veer Yodha Pritviraj Chauvan. I wanted to teach cooking when I was young but life took over and my interest was kept on back burner says Sheela.
Now at the most relaxed age of 50 plus, Sheela and her sister Rashmi have joined hands in pursuing their culinary passion and have started their cooking workshops for 50 young group. Mrs Anita Gurnani is the most gracious hostess, who allows the use of her private home in Bandra to full-house, jam-packed cooking workshops.

Rashmi Ahuja demonstrated the preparation of Eggless Tiramasu in a jar. Eggless blueberry mousse in a jar and Eggless Pineapple cheese cake in a jar
Sharing the recipe of the dessert with kind permission from Rashmi Ahuja
Eggless Pineapple Cheese Cake In a Jar

8-10 digestive biscuits (powdered)
2tsp melted butter
50 grms hung yogurd
50gms condensed milk
50gms cream cheese
50gms whipped cream
few drops of lemon yellow color
few drops of pinapple essence
1cup chopped pinapples (tin)
1packet pinapple jelly
Mint leaves for decorations
Set jelly as instructed
Crush biscuits. Add melted butter, put this mixture at the base of the jar. Press lightly and keep in fridge for 5 minutes
In a bowl, blend together yogurd, condensed milk and cream cheese to a smooth texture. Fold in whipped cream. Keep in fridge for 10 minutes. Remove and put this cream mixture in the piping bag
Assembel the dessert in the jar. On the top of the biscuit mixture, put layer of pinapple pieces. Pipe out the cream mixture. Decorate with jelly and mint leaves.
Sheela Sagar demonstrated the preparation of low calorie Veggie burger and Cole Slaw Salad.
Sharing the recipe of Salad with kind permission from Sheela Sagar.
Cole Slaw Salad

2tbsp hung curd
2tbsp eggles diet mayonaise
1cup grated carrot
1cup shredded cabbage
4-5 finely chopped salad leaves
½ tsp black pepper
pinch of salt
Mix all the above ingredients.
The workshop was a great success. Besides learning a new skill, there is interaction between members over tea and the food.
And then the tasting of the food. For just Rs200, it was quite a feast!!

A perfect afternoon full of smiles..

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Brinjal and Cauliflower Pilaf

My blog is all about coming back to read how I cooked the other day.
Because each time I cook rice pilaf, it tastes different. Not that it tastes better or worse, its just different. People who enjoy my rice pilaf remember the taste for a long time and many will ask me to make it again. But, till then I have forgotten the recipe. How will I remember the recipe if it was made on impulse? Each time, the ingredients are different, quantity is different and also the spices.
So this time, I decided to write down step by step, to jot down what I did at that moment because I follow no recipe, I always cook with my instinct, keeping in mind the person for whom I am cooking. (know that if my mood is good and I love cooking for you then you will surely like it).
I cooked for my friends who came visiting me and they had loved it. Not sure if I will be able to replicate it if they ask me to cook for them again but I can come back to check what I did at that moment.
Checked my fridge, there were brinjals, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, perfect ingredients for my rice pilaf.
Follow my recipe.
Chop three brinjals, slit the flesh, salt them and keep them aside.

Chop and keep aside 2 large potatoes, 3 large tomatoes and half cauliflower too.
Chop three onions length wise and keep on slow fire to caramelise them to light brown.

Keep stirring them from time to times till you achieve the light brown colour. Transfer into a bowl and keep it aside.

Pound 6cloves of garlic, half ginger and 3 green chilies.

Need to pick 4cloves, 4cardamoms, 4bay leaves, 1 inch cinnamons, 2 star aniseeds

Take a large flat bottom pan, add 2tbsp of oil and roast the dry garam masala
Wash and drain off the salty water from brinjals and add to the fried garam masala. Stir to mix.

Add cauliflower, tomatoes, salt, lemon leaves, cover and cook it on slow fire for ten minutes.
Remove brinjals and cauliflower in another container

Add 2 cups washed rice to the remaining ingredients in the pot and mix it well till it begins to stick to the base of the pan.

Add 2 cups water, cover and let it cook for ten minutes.

When the rice is half done, transfer back the fried onions, cooked brinjals and cauliflower into the pan. Cover and keep it on slow fire till it is done.
Sprinkle coriander powder, lime juice, red chili powder and coriander leaves.
Serve with deep fried potatoes, carrot pickle  and  curds.

Ingredients that were used
3 medium size brinjals
3 large tomatoes
2 large potatoes
3 medium onions
half cauliflower
3 tbsp oil
6cloves garlic
half inch ginger
6 green chilies
4 cloves
4 cardamoms
4 bay leaves
2 star aniseeds
1 inch cinnamons
6 lime leaves
2 cups rice
1 tsp coriander powder
1tsp red chili powder
1 tsp lime juice
salt to taste

coriander leaves for garnishing
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