Salads and More

I have been looking at doing a Salad roundup on my blog for ever so long.Well here it is! These are an assortment of my absolute favourite ones. With ingredients like Beets,Olives,Cheese,Chicken,Corn and an assortment of Shredded Cabbage and yes Minced Chicken too,these recipes are sure to complement any dinner table. They  are an absolute delight served as  main course salads,that work great on  week-nights with grilled meats or fish or perhaps  just as is with some soup.Our family for one enjoy’s a good hearty salad with every meal.

Salad collage

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Travel Diaries:Bangkok Revisited & A Thai Recipe Too

For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return…

Leonardo da Vinci

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Our vacations most often are pre planned with a lot of thought into the destination,food,sight-seeing etc.However, I love it when a travel plan happens just out of the blue,spontaneously,sort of an impromptu one so to speak.Well the dear husband had work related travels to Singapore and suggested that my son and I come along and we could club it with a short trip to Bangkok too he said.

It’s always fun travelling to the Far East,for one the travel time is fairly short, and of course the food,night life and shopping,admittedly make it an alluring proposition,albeit revisited.We have travelled to  both cities a couple of times, Bangkok several years ago.The city has changed and modernised is what I heard from friends who travelled there recently.So yes of course, I jumped at the idea of a quick family vacay. Our time in Singapore was short and I  spent it  mostly catching up with some friends.  Of course the highlight was being able to watch the Broadway production of Les Miserables,which was a spectacular performance and a houseful one that too.

Our flight to Bangkok was a short one.My husbands colleagues recommended  staying around  the Ploenchit – Sukhumvit area as it is  quite accessible to shopping malls and easy to get around to various sight-seeing spots around the city. So we booked ourselves into the Novotel hotel.The location turned out to be just perfect as it had a Metro right outside and a short walk to most of the malls and areas of interest.

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Beetroot Risotto: A humble attempt at my Restaurant Favourite

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My nephew celebrated his 21st Birthday at Cafe Zoe,in Mumbai a couple of weeks ago.The entire family was invited to a sit down lunch.Cafe Zoe is a cosy resto downtown and serves up a great European fare.It’s amongst my favorite places for lunch,more so as they make an absolutely beautiful Beetroot Risotto.My sister who hosted the lunch was keen that the menu be planned up ahead so as to avoid any confusion, as we were a large group.Grilled Fish in almond butter and Capers,Beef Tenderloin,Roasted chicken with pink peppercorns and Beet Risotto were our choice of mains.I was ever so happy see the Risotto feature on the menu and settled for just that.

So well, let’s say I’ve had  Risotto making on my mind since the lunch and have been reading some great blog posts and recipes too.I had promised the dear son that I would make some for his lunch this afternoon.Now I do  make a fairly decent one with Mushrooms and quite happy the way it turns out.I was just looking at a variation,so decided on a twist on the classic recipe by using some Beets.

I must say I was quite happy with the outcome.A humble attempt to replicate the one I normally indulge in at Cafe Zoe,none the less a delicious one.I’ve chosen to boil the beets and just puree them,all though you may even roast them and roughly grate them if you wish.I somehow felt that the route to a good Risotto was cumbersome and trying.How wrong have I been!The key really is just a little patience.It’s very important to toast the rice in the butter when you start off so that each grain gets warmed up and only then one could go ahead with glazing it with some wine.I’ve actually used some red wine in this recipe as I thought it would go well with the beets.

This is really a simple yet impressive meal and the beetroots lend a gorgeous colour and a hint of sweetness to the Risotto.The Parmesan shaving and drizzle add a hint of style making it quite eye-catching and an elegant presentation.This recipe is for keeps and I can’t wait to try it out again.

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Ingredients:

  • 320 grams Gallo Arborio rice
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 medium Onion chopped
  • 2-3 pods garlic (minced)
  • 2 small beetroot (boiled and pureed)
  • 40 grams butter
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • Freshly grated Parmesan shavings
  • 2 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions till translucent.
  2. Then add in the minced garlic  and sauté further.
  3. Add the rice and let sauté till rice is transparent.
  4. Add in the wine and stir till it evaporates.
  5. Now keep adding spoonfuls of the stock and let it simmer on a slow flame.
  6. Do keep adding more stock as the stock is absorbed by the rice.
  7. When you have used about 2/3 rd the amount of stock,you may start adding the beetroot puree a little at a time.
  8. Continue adding the stock and bits of puree till  the rice is cooked al dente and is creamy in texture( approx. 20-25 minutes).Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Add the parmesan shaving and season with some salt if necessary.
  10. Drizzle with Avocado Oil.
  11. Garnish with Parmesan Shavings.
  12. Serve hot.

50 Great Curries of India: Cook Book Review and A Recipe

Madras Style Lamb Curry: Recipe adapted from 50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi

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Camellia Panjabi, cook book author of 50 Great Curries of India needs little introduction and is most certainly without a doubt one of my favourite Indian cookbooks.Fondly also know as the “Queen of Indian Cuisine”,her book is a delightful revelation of some traditional and authentic Indian recipes from various regions of India.

Now I had acquired her book probably a couple of decades ago,being a newly wed and on the look out for good Indian curry recipes,all to please the dear husband then. Winning his heart through his stomach was a huge priority then as much it is now,as we both are passionate about our food and specifically a good curry.Having lived internationally for many years,looking for specific  ingredients and getting the base for the curry right may have required a bit of scouting for ingredients.All though using substitutes have always worked well for most recipes.We have recently relocated to Mumbai and have no dearth of spices,fresh meats and vegetables and it’s something I look forward buying.

I refer to this book often and would perhaps christen it my “Curry Bible”, if I had to.The book starts of with the philosophy of

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Ramadan Kareem: A Culinary walk through Bohri Mohalla

Ramadan Kareem to those who observe this holy month of fasting.

Bohari

 

My recent blog feed has some fabulous  posts that were a visual delight as many  fellow bloggers have been posting for Ramadan.Some focussing on various street eats,special hotel buffets and tents while others cooking up a storm in their kitchens.One such post on Facebook brought back recollections of a fantastic experience from last year.

Mumbai has an eclectic and vibrant neighbourhood that comes alive around Ramadan every year. These  by-lanes  of Mohammad Ali Road,Bhendi bazaar and Bohri Mohalla are  abuzz with food vendors and street stalls.This is perhaps one of Mumbai’s oldest and significantly iconic neighbourhood’s that reverberates fervent activity at sundown and can quite rightly  be named the old Muslim quarter.Wandering down these lanes can turn into a delightful experience for the senses as one revels in the array of street food  and small eateries that serve up some finger licking good food. Continue reading