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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Street Food in Mumbai

Dahi Puri

Puri stuffed with boiled chana and boiled potatoes, curd, sev and coriander leaves also add salt, mango powder and red chili powder

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Figs: I call it Anjeer


Enjoy the plate full of fruits but pick the Figs and I will tell you the reason.....now



When in Spain, during the favorable season, my maid would bring for me baskets full of of figs every day. She had fig trees, growing wildly at the backyard of her house, and she didn’t know what to do with it.

Me too, I would just eat them when ripe.

When Mumbai food Bloggers announced the Iron Chef Challenge theme: Figs, I was in two minds, should I make a sweet dish or a savory dish.

In the latest edition of magazine called ‘GoodFood‘  there were several dishes on Figs, but the recipe that caught my attention was ‘Manchego and fresh fig chutney crostinis’ which is kind of sweet and sour fig chutney where onion, sugar, spices and vinegar is cooked with figs and then served over bread, topped with cheese..

Figs have a natural affinity with cheese and cured meat, making them a good choice for antipasti platters. They go with pastry, cheese, honey, vinegar, yogurt and almonds.

Three of my friends  attempted this challenge, one made the figs and strawberry yogurt, other made fresh Fig Jam with the simples of ingredients - fresh figs, sugar, cinnamon & lime juice, and then other friend made Figs and sausage pizza 

hmmn! Interesting...no?

So why am I confused, why am I eating just like that?


Okay! decided....I made Figs exotic Salad that also included pine nuts, walnuts, small oranges, cherries raspberries, stir fried mushrooms, olives, baby tomatoes, fried tofu, feta, ice berg, olive oil, vinegar, basil leaves and fresh herbs




B6 is responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin, lowering cholesterol and preventing water retention, all characteristics that help balance the moods of a menstruating woman. Also, hormonal forms of birth control (such as the pill or the patch) deplete vitamin B6, so those using this method of birth control should try to eat more foods that are rich in B6- like figs.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Vegetarian Risotto


Italian Restaurants are good for Pizzas or Pastas. I am happy to munch on garlic bread and try few starters with assorted sauces and pesto’s.

But I have never really relished risotto because I find them too bland and too rich with butter and cheese. I have seen people dumping various sauces to improve its taste, to suit their palate, but eventually, destroying the authenticity of a real risotto dish.

A properly cooked risotto is normally rich and creamy, still has some resistance or bite and should have separate grains. Its’ traditional texture is fairly fluid but still not too watery like a broth. It is served on a flat dish and it should easily spread out but should not have excess watery liquid around the perimeter.

The rice that is used in this recipe is short-grained type which has good absorbing properties, has an ability to release starch to make it stickier than the normal rice, giving it a creamier effect.

Italians use rice like carnaroli because this variety of rice keeps its shape better than other forms of rice during the slow cooking, that is required for making risotto .

For me, a rich dish is rich if it contains not only assorted vegetables but also the right quantity of cheese and olive oil. A tasty dish for me is one that is spicy too. 

Normally, in a traditional risotto, they use wine and vegetable/meat stock to cook rice, but I have not used wine, (wanted to make it completely vegetarian) and also have used vegetable stock ‘cubes’ instead of vegetable stock that they normally make.

Oh! And yes, I love green chilies.

Since no restaurant will serve me the way I like, I prefer making it on my own.


What you need to prepare before cooking

As usual, chop all the vegetables required for this dish and bring out all the other ingredients from shelves or fridge or wherever you have stored them......

5-6 garlic pods, 
1/2 inch ginger, 
2 green chilies, 
1 vegetable stock cube, 
1 cup rice.
2 tbsp olive oil
5-6 mushrooms, 
1 carrot, 
1 medium green capsicum, 
1 medium Zacchini, 
1 medium red capsicum, 
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tsp 5-spice-powder
1 tsp red chilly flakes
1 tbsp black pepper sauce
10-12 olives, 
1 cup grated cheese,




So now that you are ready, lets begin.

Step 1

Pound garlic, ginger and green chilies in the mortar


Step 2

Fry the garlic, ginger and chili in olive oil


Step 3

Add rice and vegetable stock cube and toast it well


Step 4

Add water, let it cook on slow flame.


Step 5

In a separate pan, stir fry vegetables in olive oil 


Step 6

Add basil leaves, red chilly flakes, 5 spice powder, black pepper sauce and salt.


Step 7

Transfer the stir fried veggies into the rice pan


Step 8

Mix it well and add 1 more cup of water and let it cook till the rice is tender.



Step 8

Remove from flame and add grated cheese and chopped olives, mix it well.


It must be eaten at once as it continues to cook in its own heat and can become too dry with the grains too soft.



Hope you like it. I had made chilies in vinegar, which tasted quite good when I sprinkled on it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dish Of the Day - Dahi Vada


Dahi vada made of lentil fritters soaked in curd and garnished with red chili pepper, cumin powder, mango powder and coriander leaves. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pesto with a Twist


The other day, I went to the supermarket and saw various bottles of pesto. Picked up one and checked for date, it was beyond expiry date, kept it back. Picked another bottle and checked the price…my eyes popped out..a small bottle of pesto was around Rs300…gosh!..it sure is rich-men’s food, how will common man eat?

Well! A commoner like me does eat it when I can make it on my own in the comfort of my home. I relish these kinds of food but then I always believe that what we like we should be able to make it…..

And it is so easy to make, all we need is the right ingredients, little time to spend in the kitchen and little creativity. I checked few sites and few u-tube presentations, learnt the basics and then decided to make my own version to suit my palate..

So off I was, on my way to kitchen, making the first ever pesto……



Step 1: 
Collect all the ingredients such as 7-8 pods garlic, 4 red chilies, 2 green chilies, 1 cup basil leaves, 2 tbsp pine nuts, 20grams cheese and 4 tbsp olive oil




Step 2
Chop together basil and garlic



Step 3
Add Pine nuts and chop it again, mixing with basil n garlic


Step 4
Add Red and Green Chilies and chop it again into the mixture



Step 5
Grate the cheese and mix it 


Step 6
Transfer the mixture into the clean and sterilized bottle


Step 7
Add Olive oil on the top


Step 8
Store it in the refrigerator



Best enjoyed with boiled macaroni, mix the pesto with macaroni and top it with stir fried mixed vegetables



The stir fried vegetables I have made many times, remember this?



Thursday, January 19, 2012

Dish of the day- Continental Thali


Yum! Yum! Yum...a platter of fruity salad with oranges and white cheese, puffs, mushroom toast, pizza, potato patties, and baked broccoli.....

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sol Curry


It’s always good to learn to make things that we like the most, or else, we will be always waiting for somebody to cook for us, whenever we need to have that particular dish.

Not that our friends/family mind, they will always be happy to cook for those who appreciate their cooking but then, no harm in learning the skill, no?

Every time, I have lunch at my friend’s home, the drink that I like the most is ‘Sol-curry’, its’ pungency, tanginess  and sweetness combination makes it a refreshing appetizer. Sometimes I mix it with rice and vegetables, and sometimes, I have a glassful at the end of the meals.

In many Malwani homes, this drink is used as a good digestive supplement and is served at every meal.

One of the important ingredients that is used in Sol curry is Kokam, which is very beneficial for health. It is used for treating skin rashes and indigestion. Kokam has cooling properties and it also controls pitta level in our body.

Last time, I had loved it so much that I had asked my friend for a recipe, but instead of extracting fresh coconut milk, I had used coconut milk powder that we get at supermarket, so naturally it was flop.  So this time, I asked my friend to make it in front of me. And this is how she made it:

Collected all the ingredients


1 cup grated coconut
Finely chopped green chilies
½ inch ginger
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons coriander leaves.
3-4 kokam leaves.
Salt to taste

Ready, steady, go:

Step 1:



Transfer into the mixer coconut, chilies, garlic, ginger and 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and warm water.

Step 2


Grind it to a thin paste.

Step 3


Strain the coconut milk. Do the step 2 and 3 several times, adding warm water each time to the coconut husk collected each time after straining, till the husk is completely dry and no more milky.

Step 4



Add the remaining coriander leaves, kokam leaves and salt to the strained coconut milk.

Step 5


Serve it chilled.

That was the simplest way of making but if I were to make, I might try a bit differently.

I would like to temper cumin seeds, curry leaves, garlic, asafetida, kashmiri red chilies, mustard seeds and few coriander leaves and pour it over freshly squeezed coconut milk.

How would you make it? Have a variation?


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Annapurni- Goddess of Nourishment

In India, we strongly believe that food should not be wasted because it is a blessing from our Goddess- 'Annapurni' where Anna means food and grains. Purna means full, complete and perfect.

In some homes, Goddess Annapurni (identified by the ladle in both hands, ready to feed) is worshiped during the festivals.


The idol of Annapurni is placed in a silver container with silver coins and uncooked rice. Offering of flowers, fruits and sweets is made to the idol, lamp and incense sticks are lighted. Prayers are offered before serving food to the guests.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Restaurant Review - Govinda


When I call up my aunt announcing my visit to her, she complains that her maid has gone to her village for her holiday and since she has no helper at home, she would like to take me out for lunch.
No issues.


We drive down the Altamount road, pass through Pedder road, drive behind  Bharatiys Vidya Bhaavan and enter a tiny lane  just next to Mehta House  is the restaurant called Govinda

First impression

The first thing that impressed me was the fast food stall outside the restaurant that had Samosas, Pani Puri, sweets and vegetarian cakes and pastries,  a perfect place to have an evening snack. Inside the restaurant, there were the pictures of Lord Krishna Leela on every wall, it was small restaurant with dull lighting and most of the tables were occupied by lunch diners, some of them sharing one dish between the two persons.
We sat down next to the window which overlooked HareRamaHareKrishna temple which had a beautiful  intricately carved architecture. 



The food

The menu-card had large list of dishes, all vegetarian and mainly fusion food. It promised delightful experience that would harmonize body, mind and soul. Since we were just three of us, ordering too much variety was out of question. We ordered 2 plates of Chole batoorey, vegetarian Pizza and stir fried vegetable Dosa


The verdict

The food was awesome, and the quantity was good but the waiter did not warn us about the quantity and one plate of Cholebatoore was left untouched. Service was good and spontaneous. We didn't have to wait for too long.



Chlole Bature had serving bucket for serving chana, and I was so impressed that I am planning to buy this bucket for my collection of utensils.


Yummicious Pizza, I was really floored by melt-in-the-mouth Pizza which had exotic vegetables with olives and parsley as toppings. 





The stir fried vegetables of chopped carrots, onions, cabbage and sprouts with a crisp dosa covering gave the feeling of eating spring rolls, only the Sambar and the chutney was deceiving, but then I wouldn't touch that.
The bill

At Rs350 per head for heavy lunch, I found this restaurant quite reasonable.

There were no finger bowls at the end of the meals, which is quite disappointing.

I would surely love to come back again and also would recommend it to my vegetarian friends.



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Kitchen Art Frames

A perfect gift for a friend who spends too much time in the kitchen 


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Bite of the Day


How many times have we heard people advising us to eat the first meal of the day like a king? How many of us know one king personally? I would love to share a meal with a King if I had a chance, but know none in India. I am sure he must be eating same Vada Sambar, Puri Bhajji or perhaps Parathas for breakfast. In that case I say “No, thank you!”

I would rather eat toast and have a glass of fresh fruit juice.

For toast I would need bread, but who needs to bake bread if they are freely available at bread boutiques? On the second thought I think I could try...

I like the Baguette,


When in Spain, this French Baguette was must-shop item on our shopping list. The supermarket near our house used to sell these freshly baked and I would finish half of it while waiting at parking lot. Crusty on the top and chewy within, this long thin loaf was a delight.


Have you tried Sourdough bread?




This is another favorite choice of breads on the days when I am too lazy to make chappatis. This has a distinctly tangy and complex flavor and can be used in the most innovative way. Slice it and top it with vegetables and cheese or simple have it with stew or soups, a perfect meal by itself.

Now-a-days I normally prefer Multi-Grain bread.



Prefer this multi-grain bread because it is most nutritionally complex of all. It has less refined flour and more of other grains like oats, rye, millet and yellow corn. Moreover, it is easily available at the supermarket near my house.

So if my guest plan to spend the night at my house, multi-grain toast is what she gets as the first bite of the day.

Like this morning, I had some straw mushrooms in the fridge and I decided to cook it to make a topping for the toast. In a pan, stir fried garlic, straw mushroom, spring onions, tomatoes, green chilies and coriander leaves.






Transfer the cooked veggies on the bread



 Grate the cheese over the veggies


 and Bake it for 5 minutes.


My guests was all smiles from ear to ear, who wouldn't be?
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