Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Special!

I am not posting a recipe of this!

But this is something that is a Sunday Special at my house. And i just love to make this. Basically because you can add so many variations to the dish...and each difference will compliment ! Each household will have a different recipe for this, and each unique to its taste.

I am just posting a picture and post some ideas, that you can use.

1. Did you know that you can substitute the quantity of tomatoes used in the recipe, by replacing the number of tomatoes with the same number of spoons of Tomato Sauce. And the bhaji will turn to be a bit tangy.

2.If you are planning to host a party, and need to make bhaji in large quantity, you can add Black Chana Dal. Just soak a cup of chana overnight, boil with salt till soft and add into the Bhaji. This will also give bhaji a unique color.

3. Follow the instructions of making any Bhaji. Add grated paneer at the end, there you have Paneer Pav Bhaji!

4.Like garlic? No problem. Just add a few crushed garlic after making bhaji as per pack. Do not Saute the garlic in oil, if you need that garlicky flavor to be prominent.

5.To give a Chinese twist, you can add Soya Sauce.Heat 2 tbsp of Soy sauce in the microwave, add a pinch of Red Chilli flakes, finely chopped garlic and ginger, and add this mix to the bhaji.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tomato Gojju ( with a twist !)

Wish you all a very Happy and a prosperous New Year 2013!

This is my first post in 2013.
There are no resolutions as such, but on the food front, to post some recipes on this blog.
Previously as well, i never used to make an effort to take a picture and write the recipe. Hopefully i can change this year. Only practical issue is , as soon as i prepare anything, its too tempting to taste when hot, and that leads to the second serving, and the food just gets over, before a picture is taken!

I had prepared this as a side dish to one of my house's commonest breakfast item "Akki Rotti ", but this works equally well with rice as well.
The recipe is very simple, and i made this within 10 minutes! Ingredients are very simple, but there is a twist.

Apple Tomatoes : 5 - 6  ( cut to cubes - not finely chopped)
Onions : 2  small , Chopped
Oil : 4 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds : 1/2 tsp
Jeera : 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal ; 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves : 8 -10
Kasuri Methi : 1/2 tsp
Turmeric : 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli Powder : 2 tbsp
Sugar : 1/2 tsp
Salt : To taste
Freshly crushed Black pepper : 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves : for garnish, chopped

1. Heat oil in a kadai. Add the mustard seeds, once spluttered, add the jeera followed by urad dal & curry leaves.
2. Once sauteed, add the chopped onions. Fry for 2 mins. Ensure the onions does not brown. The onions must be cooked in oil, not browned or translucent.
3. Add the Kasuri Methi ( Twist! ), Turmeric powder and red chilli powder.
4. Keep this on a low flame for a minute.
5. Add Tomatoes, once the rawness of the red chilli powder is done with.
6. Put in Salt , Sugar & Pepper ( double twist!) and cook till done.
7. Just before, serving, add in the coriander leaves , and mix well.

This recipe tends to be a little watery. If you wish to have a bit more thicker consistency, you can cook for additional 5 mins.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Kashi Halva / Ash Gourd Halva

This is one sweet dish, that i am very fond of. Its also served at various traditional functions like Weddings / House Warming. When i was a kid, i used to attend some of the functions, hoping to eat this deliciously sweet halva.

Just found that Halva is a word of Arabic origin, meaning "Sweet"

This is a simple recipe, except the fact that, it does need constant attention.

Ingredients : 

Ash Gourd ( Buda Gumbalakai in Kannada) : 1/2 kg, Skin peeled and Grated.
Sugar : 1 medium cup
Milk : Half a cup
Saffron Strands : 6-10 ( Soaked in warm milk)
Plain Khova : 150 gms
Cardamom Powder : 1/4th tsp
Cashews & Raisins : 10-15, roasted in a bit of Ghee
Ghee : 1/4th Cup

1 . Remove the excess water from the grated ash gourd , and cook in a cooker for 3 whistles.
2 . Take another heavy bottomed pan, heat the 1/4th cup of ghee.
3. Add the boiled Ashgourd and saute for a  few minutes.
4. As a vegetable, ash gourd tends to leave water, dont worry if at this stage you do find traces of water.
5. Add the sugar, and keep stirring, ensuring it does not stick to the pan.
6. After 10 mins, once some of the water content evaporates, add the milk and Khova.
7. Mix well, and keep mixing all the while. Keep this on the minimum flame always.
8. You need to keep mixing, till this forms one lump, and starts leaving the sides pf the vessel.
9. Now add the Saffron,  Cardamom powder and Roasted Cashews & Raisins.
10.Its ready to eat.

Note: i have used only1/4 cup of ghee as i also had used Khova. If you are not using khova, triple the quantity of ghee. Also, before adding khova, i had slightly heated it on a tawa.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Alu Manchurian

Have been on a long vacation from office, owing to a break and of course to complete some personal commitments :)

Most of my days were spent in getting up late, travelling , commuting within the city ( Problem!!) and of course spending some quality time with my family.

As a tradition, whenever i am at home, its taken for sure that there would be a evening snack.
Last week, though, it was raining almost every evening. And as most, even i craved for something oily, something spicy and hot.....and the vegetable...of course the humble potato. Another reason being, there were no other vegetable in the house, and i dint want to step out to get anything!

I had previously seen this item in a lot many menu cards, but had tried only once. So here goes the recipe.....

Ingredients :

Potatoes : 4 , large ( cut into 2" cubes & parboiled)
Onion : 1 , large finely chopped
Garlic : 5 cloves, chopped
Ginger : 1/2" , chopped
Green Chillies : 5, cut cross
Capsicum : 1 , ( cut into cubes, Optional)
Oil : For Frying, 2 tbsp for Saute
Dark Soya Sauce : 1 tsp
Tomato Sauce : 2 tsp
Salt : To Taste
Pepper Powder : 1/4 tsp

Tempura :
Corn Flour : 2 tbsp
Ginger Garlic paste : 1/2 tsp
Salt : As per taste


1. Heat oil in a frying pan.
2. Take the par boiled potatoes in a plate, sprinkle salt, corn flour and ginger garlic paste and toss. The corn flour must coat all the sides of the potato.
3. Fry the potatoes in batches, on a very low flame. ( this ensures they are crunchy on the outside and soft in the inside). Once golden brown , put it on absorbent paper to drain out the excess oil.
4. Heat 2 tbsp oil , in another pan. Add the Chopped Garlic, Ginger, Green Chilly and Onions. I prefer to add all at once, coz in this way the garlic wont burn.
5. Once the onions turn translucent, add in the Soya Sauce and Tomato Sauce and Saute for 2 mins.( You can add capsicum cubes after onion turns translucent if you are using. I have not used in my recipe)
6. Now add the fried potatoes and toss.
7. Finally, sprinkle salt and pepper.
8. Serve Hot. Works best, with rain outside and a cartoon on TV :) can also garnish with chopped coriander and also add MSG ( ajinomoto), but i have skipped both, due to my family member's preferences!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Best Debutant Restaurant for 2012

When i heard this, i was surprised for a minute. This restaurant is just next to my office building, and i have never tried this. This award made me try this place, and true this place deserves and award.

Yet again another friday lunch outside. As per standard policy, we did a prior booking. We were only 3, compared to the crowd last time. Booking was at 12.45 PM, but being a friday we got delayed. ( and ironically this is just the next building from my office!)

Reached at 1.15PM, and the Manager was very courteous in asking for our seating preference.Most of the other restaurants , usually comment on how we were late and it would take more time to get a table. The restaurant has a outdoor seating & an indoor one. We preferred the inner one, coz we didnt want to be spotted by any other office colleagues!

The hospitality of the staff is commendable. They are prompt, know their menu and very efficient.

I started with a Kala Khatta Margarita, which was something new in the menu and was quite refreshing.

For starters we had Tandoori Mushroom Cheese Melt, mushrooms barbequed in a tandoor and cheese on top. Mushrooms were mildly spiced and cooked correctly.

For the main course, we ordered Rumali Roti and Dal Makhani. I am not a very big fan of Dal Makhani, but the moment i tasted, i had to start liking. The roti was soft and the side dish was faultless.

Coming to the best part of the Zaffran Menu, the Biryani. In the vegetarian menu, had ordered for Subz Biryani Zaffrani. The biryani was cooked perfectly, and as soon as the plate was served, it was smelling heavenly, and to taste as well.

To end the meal with a sweet note, we ordered their speciality dessert Zaffran Ice Cream. It was delicious! Sweet ending to a Sweeter occassion :)

Verdict : Must Try.
Atmosphere / Ambience: Mughlai, Traditional yet Modern
Food - Quality & Hygiene: Excellent
Economy: Not Economical, high on the pocket, but worth it
Must haves: Signature Biryani & Desserts

Rating : ****

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Chutney Chang!

The first time i heard the name on the radio, i laughed out loud. But the place is quite welcoming. We( office gang of 6) went on a friday for lunch. Had to make a prior reservation , coz being friday we expected it to be crowded, and we thank ourselves for doing the booking.

First things first, the place is not a new one. It existed before as " Ada Hind Ki". Walkable from my office, and the various remarks about this place, made us to try this place.

As per their marketing strategy, they do have a huge buffet spread. They have everything, from soups to desserts.The menu is an amalgamation of Indian and Chinese. Usually a choice of 2 soups. Me being a vegetarian, i tried the sweet corn and veg soup and it was tasty.

They have a huge salad spread as well, and i must confess, it is not possible to even taste all of the salads. I tried the Corn & Babycorn salad and was a bit disappointed. As with all salads prepared early, the dressing was almost drained.And i had to help myself with a sprinkle of salt. The other salad was Pickled cucumber , which was average. There is a counter that makes live chat, we tried the Dahi Puri and the Masala Puri. Both were on the sweeter side.

Coming to starters, i started with Babycorn and onion cheese fries, which was good. Also on the menu was Fried Veg Wonton - which was quite crispy, but cold. Then there was a dry dish, named Two Flower Medley ( Cauliflower & Broccoli in a spicy sauce) which somehow dis not please me. I had a similar combination in Jalpaan and that was actually commendable. There was another starter with Broccoli, Zucchini & chinese cabbage, which was not that great.There was a Paneer Tikka with flavor of i forgot.......coz i did not like even a bit of it. Though the paneer was soft, it was lacking the masala.

Main course: The sabzis were very good , especially the Dal Makhni and Paneer Lajawab.Also on the table was Vegetables in spicy gravy, ( worked well with bland noodles). Roti and Naan are bought to the table and were soft. Ricec spread had a very interesting combination - Imli til ki pulav, which was actually tasty. Veg Fried Rice and Veg Hakka Noodles were average, but tasted good with gravy.

Desserts had a huge array, and i was perplexed seeing the table. There is a choice of diffrent Fruit servings. Traditional Sweets included Kamola Bhog, Jalebi, Rice Payas. Along with a choice of 4 different flavors of ice cream. You can actually top it up with Honeyed Noodles on the spread. There was also Orange Gateaux, Pineapple cheese cake. Marshmallows .... and yes of course Chocolate Fountain. There was also an Indian version of between a custard and halwa. Overall the experience is good, if you can enjoy the food with your group of people.
Verdict : Try this place once.
Atmosphere / Ambience: Warm, Welcoming, Contemporary
Food - Quality & Hygiene: Food is tasty, But since this is a buffet, menu keeps changing everyday. Quality is Good, hygiene factor is also Good.
Economy: At 450 per person, its worth the money, if you have the appetite :)
Must haves: Desserts ( Chocolate Wonton & Marshmallow with Choc sauce)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Amruth Veg

I am starting with one of the hotels that is just a Hop away, and invariably this is the place I have visited the most number of times: Amruth Veg
Firstly, the hotel is a landmark sort of a thing on St.Marks Road. Secondly, it is frequented by most office goers, including UB City. I have had many a times, breakfast or lunch or sometimes both from here. There is a separate area for Service, and also the hotel has an option of Self Service – if you really want to have a quick bite, the service is commendable. Serviced area, on the other hand, is air-conditioned and for a limited crowd of 50 people.
Breakfast is a routine affair; it has all the regular South Indian items present. You may try the Masala dosa and the Rava Dosa – they have maintained the quality of the food over the years. Idlies are soft and the vada is also good. Check if t is made fresh before ordering though.
Lunch items are limited, but it has some basic choices- Rotis are comparatively big. Subzis again are kept to the basic – Paneer Butter Masala, Dal Fry, Aloo Fry etc. They also serve Jeera rice and Veg Fried rice only during lunch hours, but I’d prefer to stay away from them. There are very few starters (excepting of course the very Indian Masala Papad), you can order for any dry item to be your starter! We had once ordered Paneer Gucchi, which was as bland as the roti itself. Other side dishes are not worthy of mentioning.
Verdict : Try this place if you are in a hurry, and not really bothered about relishing food.
Atmosphere / Ambience: Warm, Cozy
Food - Quality & Hygiene: Food is tasty, if you know what you are ordering for. Quality is ok, hygiene factor is also ok.
Economy: Easy on the pocket, and then, they accept Coupons :)
Must haves: Masala Dosa, Amruth Special Veg Curry, and Rose Milkshake.