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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Root Vegetables and Yam Kofta Curry

I love root vegetables. Plenty of vegetables fall under this group, like sweet potato, carrots, beets, to name the few. They are very nutritious and so very tasty.



Carrots are the part of my daily diet. The minute my maid step into my house she rushes to make fresh vegetables juice with carrots, bottle gourd, apples and cucumber. I love carrots raw too, just chomp them while chopping veggies. Sometimes I pickle them, and eat it with roti. It is handy on my lazy-to-cook-days.




Colocasia is another root vegetable that I love for its nutty taste. Boiled and soaked in tamarind sauce tastes great but I like to deep fry the boiled colocasia and then garnish it with dry spices, it pairs well with dhal and rice.

Ginger is another root vegetable that I relish it and use it regularly to spice up my curries. I pickle thin slices of ginger with lime juice and green chilies and this becomes important accessory to pair with bland meals.

Potato is another favorite that is grown underground, although technically they are tubers, not roots. Sweet potato is the root but I am not too fond of it.

Since many foods are grown underground in manure, dirt, compost, I prefer to peel them, and throw away the skin. But if you like the skin, then it would be better to invest in a proper scrubbing brush to clean the dirt off the veggies.

Another root vegetable that I particularly like is Jimikand or Yam. Suran is what we call in Hindi. I normally cook this on meatless day and follow meat recipes to cook it.

This week I cooked Yam kofta curry and took it to my sister’s house to enjoy it with her family. I was happy when they side stepped the mutton dish and preferred my spicy vegetarian fare instead. 

I had used Shaan masala (instead of garam masala) in this recipe and it turned out good. Roasted this powder and then used it.



I tend to forget my own recipes so this is actually a note to self, in case I decide to make it once more.

Yam Kofta Curry


Ingredients:

For Koftas:
200gms Yam
2medium size potatoes
1cup gram dhal
5-6 garlic pods
1 inch ginger
½ onion
2 green chilies
1 tsp garam masala
½ lime
2tbsp crushed almonds
2tbsp crushed cashew nuts
salt to taste

For the gravy:
2 medium size onions
2 medium size tomatoes
1pkt Nihari Masala
1tsp crushed garlic
1tsp grated ginger
5-6 green chilies
1tsp Kashmiri red chili powder

For garnishing
2tbsp lime juice
2tbsp chopped coriander leaves.



Method

Soak Gram dhal for 2-3 hours. Make a paste with gram dhal, onion, garlic, ginger, green chilies.

Boil, peel and mash the yam and potatoes.

Add gram paste, salt, coriander powder, gram masala, coriander leaves and lime juice to the mashed yam and potatoes. Add chopped almonds and cashew nuts. Make golf size balls



In another pan, heat oil and add finely chopped onions, cook till light brown. Add one cup water and cook onions are tender. Place the kofta balls on top of onions, cover the pan and cook for ten minutes.

Remove the ball after they are steamed and keep it aside.

To the remaining onions, add grated ginger, crushed garlic, green chilies, Kashmiri chilies and tomatoes.

In another pan, roast Shaan Nihari Masala and add one cup water. Cook and then add it to the gravy.

Cook the gravy on slow fire till oil floats on the top.



Before serving, heat the gravy, add the steamed balls, cover and cook for five minutes. Transfer carefully in the serving dish and garnish with lime juice and coriander leaves.


Serve with onion-cucumber salad and freshly baked Parathas.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Product Review, Vinod Cookware

I don’t care much for brands, what really matters to me is its utility and its promise to keep me contended while using these products. I may pick up utensils from most weird places just because they look artistic or different. Every foreign trip I have made, I have always brought back cookware for myself and also as giveaway gifts. My kitchen is stocked with various pots and pans of different shapes and sizes from different countries, you could say, kitchen shopping is my favorite pass time.

So when I got invite from my food bloggers community FBAI to check out range of Vinod cookware, I was naturally curious.

Invitation was for Sunday morning, a lunch at ‘Out of Blue’ and then some gyan on the brand.

So how is this different from other brands and why should I buy this brand?

Personally, I am not a steel-loving person, so I was not actually attracted to the display of utensils placed at one corner of the restaurant.



But when the talk started, I began to pay attention.



I was attracted to this Tuscany pot that has been made with the aspect of cooking and serving from same pot. My mind drifted to the moments when I like making Khichidi and serving it directly at the dining table. No headache of washing too many dishes.



This is the pan I have been looking for since many days, its flat base large pan, perfect for making Spanish Paella. Gosh! They were heavy to hold. This Black Pearl pan aids in burn free cooking and is also nonstick. I didn’t know they were available in Mumbai. Now I know where to get them from.

One by one, the dishes made their rounds on our table. I was impressed. The cookware looked promising. The label said it all




It was informative session that ended with interesting quiz, and my fellow bloggers were quite intelligent and answered most of the answers on the spur of the moment.

On my way out, there was a take-away gift for every guest. It was too heavy for me to bring back home with me but they promised to courier it to me, and after one week it arrived…..3 piece combo set with 5 years guarantee.

I am thrilled….



Thank you FBAI for introducing me to Vinod_Cookware. Now that we get quality goods in our own home town, there is no need to carry heavy stuff back home. Goodbye to kitchen shopping in foreign markets.

I went for pressure cooker shopping, the storekeeper recommended Vinod Cookware and said it was better than other brands.

“As a store salesman, aren’t you supposed to sell all brands? What is so different about this brand?” I asked him

He smiled and went on to explain to me the special features of this brand that I had learnt just recently.

Some of the other writers who reviewed this cookware


Read more about Vinod_cookware at their site. You could buy these cookware at most supermarkets in India and also on online stores..or maybe you visit Vinod's website at

This is a sponsored post.



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Food Trail In Mahableshwar

The heat in Mumbai had become unbearable during the month of May, going to a hill station seemed a better idea. My friends and I decided to go out of Mumbai for a long weekend.

Early Friday morning, we took a road trip, 275 kilometers away from Mumbai to Mahabaleshwar. It was six hours drive. We wanted to have typical Maharastrian food during this trip. On friend’s recommendation, we stopped at Kailash on Pune-Mumbai express way. This restaurant served only platter (thali), special and normal Thali the only difference being that in choice of vegetables.



The food at Kailash was disappointing, it didn’t taste that authentic Maharastrian meal. We were expecting usual, peanut based veggie and a spicy meal but the food was quite bland. There was no sweet dish.

During our stay, dieting was of least importance and eating was our full time pass time. Whereever we walked down the path, the streets were filled with hawkers and who could resist that? Munching on everything was so enjoyable

 There is different kind of charm at hill stations in India. Colorful and fresh fruits line the market streets. Munching on berries and fruits while walking down the streets is a fun…every stall we pass, we are tempted to buy and eat, sometimes even without washing the fruit….it tastes so good….During our walk to market street, we stopped to eat at every stall

We got tempted to eat black Jamun



Roasted corn coated with salt, red pepper and lime



Raspberry and assorted berries



The next day we went sightseeing, but food was always on our mind. The air smelts of fruits and roasted corn. Mango cucumber carrot salad looked so tempting





Carrot n cucumber



Strawberries and white apples



Carrots and strawberries...



You would think that munching all day would be enough. But no, we still were hungry and visited few restaurants to have proper meals too.



We were staying in a private bungalow on the outskirts of the city and we were lucky to be surrounded by good restaurants. We visited Baghicha twice for breakfast.  It had quite a spacious dining hall with colorful nursery occupying one corner of the restaurant.  The walls were decorated with large pin ups of all the film stars and celebrity who had dined in this restaurant. The food is freshly prepared, the order took long time to come, but it was worth the wait. The potato parathas were cooked to perfection, steaming hot, it melted at the first bite and spicy too. We went back for breakfast the next day too and ordered the same breakfast of potato parathas, pohas, sabudhana khichidi, upma and corn cutlets. Tea would pair beautifully with this  breakfast but sadly, they don’t serve tea or coffee, there were soft drinks and fruity milk shakes.



My friends were keen on having Maharastrian food. It was raining heavily and it was so misty that we could not see anything beyond few meters. It was decided that two of them would go and bring food for all of us. But when they stopped by Hirkani, there were hot bakhadi roti and food that looked so appetizing.  They called us to come to the restaurant to enjoy the freshly cooked food. I am glad we went because I really enjoyed the lunch. Although the restaurant serves Thali  to majority of its clients, we decided to order a la carte. It was the most enjoyable meal I had.  We ordered corn vegetables, potato bhaji, brinjals, puri and ussal, all vegetarian meal, so delicious that I didn’t miss non-veg.


Someone suggested that Jaffar at Panchandi  famous for its Briyanis, so we decided to go for lunch the next day. The d├ęcor was good, it was surrounded with beautiful landscape. It was crowded too and we had to wait for about fifteen minutes to get a seat. The restaurant serves mainly Biryani, I was surprised to learn that there was no pillaf. However, the biryani was quite disappointing. In veg biryani there were hardly any veggies. Food was bland and we were served a glass of fresh green chilies. Two of my friends reported sick after the meals. I would have preferred a way side dhabba that serves better food.

On our return back to Mumbai, we stopped by Shri Dutta, famous for his Batatawadas at Pen.


 Everybody who passes by this road of Raighad district has to stop by Dutta for battawadas. Friend said I must try it and we relished it on our way back home…..






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