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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spanish Ensaladilla


Spanish Ensaladilla is actually a potato salad mixed with meat and assorted vegetables, bound together with mayonnaise. Most of the bars in Spain have this cold salad served with bread as tapas. The vegetables are finely chopped and steamed before mixing. This salad resembles the Russian salad with only difference being in the size of the chopped vegetables. In Russian salad they have bigger chunks of veggies and potatoes with pineapple added.
The non-vegetarian ensalladilla is quite tasty with boiled eggs, shrimps and smaller pieces of chicken added to veggies.

This week I decided to make a vegetarian one. My sister makes vegetarian mayonnaise at home, but I decided to make my own pesto to add to this salad with little variation.
I made this pesto by adding hung yogurt to the mixture of garlic, chilies, basil leaves, cream cheese, almonds, walnuts and olive oil.
All the vegetables are chopped very finely. It’s a backbreaking job. I would have asked my maid to chop it for me, but she might not chop the way I wanted. I chopped very finely following ingredients: carrots, olives, basil leaves, onions, stir-fried mushrooms, red and yellow capsicum, potatoes,

Although you see only two boiled potato, I have used one kilo of boiled potatoes with 50grams of each vegetables.
Mix pesto with chopped vegetables. Add more olive oil, sesame oil, chopped walnuts, basil leaves, ginger garlic powder and soya sauce.
Finally decorate with olives, red and yellow capsicum and boiled peas.

Tastes great with cheese garlic bread.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Quite A Treat At Icing On Top


Frankly speaking, I do like pastry, cakes, cookies, but cannot eat too much. Just one spoonful is enough, more than one is a cardinal sin. Therefore when Icing on the Top offered me some of their delicious goodies, I visited their site to see what they have on offer.
When their gourmet hamper arrived with miniature range of pops, shots and desserts, I needed somebody to share these goodies with me.. Why should I sin alone?  I selected the day, when I would have visitors at home. Their goodies arrived right on time, when I had guests from Curacao.
Happily I removed box by box of goodies to try from the gourmet hamper they sent.

G screamed when she saw Red Velvet cake. Creamy spongy, it just melted in the mouth and disappeared from the box in a blink.

“Hey! That’s good!” she exclaimed, “didn’t know they make such stuff in India.” She squealed in high decibels.

One by one, I opened the box, starting with handcrafted miniature cookies. There were Lemon, Cinnamon, Chocolate chips and Oaty Caramel Crunch.



One particular type that delighted G and was reminded of her granny was cinnamon cookie. “Nankatai, Nankatia”, she exclaimed with joy as she popped one by one into her mouth, “This is really good. She took a bunch of the cookies and put in her friend, P’s mouth too.

Now P was also getting interested. “What else do you have?” He asked So we tasted - those small tiny ball cookies.

They liked cinnamon cookies the most, Oaty Caramel Crunch tasted like breakfast oats, crunchy and sweet, perfect to go with the morning cup of coffee. However they didn’t like lemon cookies, it was too powdery.

Next was the cake pops that looked like big lollypops.  A creamy Orea in the center with sponge on the outside was good; one bite was enough to flood the mouth with chocolate.
There were three shot glass desserts: Chocolate, Hazelnuts and Blueberry.


“If you like sweet and sour, Blueberry is the best, but for me, I liked the nutty taste of Hazelnuts.” Said G as she tasted spoonful from each glass.

However the best of all was the Chocolate Mudpie, extremely delicious, spongy and soft. I saved it in the fridge and it was fresh even after four days.

I would sincerely recommend this to one who has a sweet tooth. 


They have special goodies for vegetarians that have exotic flavors – passion fruit with basil seed, raspberry with star anise, saffron with pistachio to name just the few.

It is perfect for weight conscious people too, because it satisfies the craving of sweet and because it is miniature, it limits your intake, thus ensures minimum calorie intake.

Established in 2009, Icing On Top is a culmination of one girl’s passion for baking. Trained in the pastry kitchen at JW Mariott as well as at Indigo Deli (Palladium) and Indigo (Colaba), Ayushi Shah (The Owner) quotes a love for food as the driving point behind her success. A strong vegetarian upbringing shines through in the completely eggless menu offered, is a rarity in itself.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Malaysian-Indian Bridge Building Meeting


Some years ago, I had attended a big fat Indian wedding at KotaKinaBalu, a beach resort in Malaysia. The bride and groom arrived in an helicopter; we waited at the helipad to greet the couple and then walked slowly behind a (Orchids decorated) golf car (in which couple sat) to arrive at the beautiful stage of bamboos and exotic flowers. It was a lovely wedding by the beach. The pundit read his mantras in Sanskrit and then translated in English for those sitting by the beach listening to him. We sat there, dressed in finery but barefoot, with feet dug deep into the sand. The sea breeze caressed our blow-dried hair. The sun behind the Mandap went down slowly, playing with our eyes. With every blink, the color of the sky changed, from light blue to pink to dark red and finely to dark blue.

One of the occasions was on another island about thirty minutes away by sea. We took a boat to reach another island, enjoyed the typical Malaysian cuisine and were back at the hotel to attend next ritual. Wedding was a good excuse to explore the city. In between the main events, we stole time to visit the shopping areas and few points of interest. Those who were too lazy to venture out spend their free time at the spas.

Malaysia’s position as a top spa destination is increasingly acknowledged worldwide. They offer wide varieties of spas like day spas, medical spas, destination spas, etc. using mainly ‘home grown’ herbs and locally produced ingredients. Many spas offer spa packages that include full body massage, hair treatment, pedicure, manicure, facial, sauna and steam body wraps, mud baths and body scrubs. Whenever we got time, we stole few moments at the spa.


The memories of that memorable trip resurfaced this weekend when my friend invited me to accompany her for a ‘bridge building’ meeting at VongWong with the director of Malaysian tourism, Mr. Manoharan Periasamy.

 Eating the pomelo salad brought back many food memories.


I am planning to make this as soon as I can find pomelo in the market (Or grape fruit). Just have to combine lime-juice, garlic, soy sauce, sugar, fresh chili, sliced onions, then add pomelo, bean sprouts, peanuts and coriander leaves.


Malaysian food  is actually the blend of Indian, Chinese and Indonesian cuisine. There was a great variety of food during different occasions. On my vegetarian day, Tuesday, I sat with the group of vegetarian family and enjoyed the specially prepared greens with them. One by one, the dishes arrived, each specially prepared for the Vegetarians. The food was so tasty that it disappeared within two minutes. I still remember that exotic taste.



Sshh! I am not supposed to eat sweets, but this is too delicious, the scoop of vanilla ice cream, sliced mango pieces and the coconut rice.


 Okay maybe I should make this coconut rice too since mango is in season. No?

Just dump a can of coconut milk in a pot and boil until water content is reduced, it is a slow process of stirring and toasting until they are a deep, crunchy golden brown, then add the steamed rice, sugar and salt to it.

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