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
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.
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.
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
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and sauté the onions till translucent.
Then add in the minced garlic and sauté further.
Add the rice and let sauté till rice is transparent.
Add in the wine and stir till it evaporates.
Now keep adding spoonfuls of the stock and let it simmer on a slow flame.
Do keep adding more stock as the stock is absorbed by the rice.
When you have used about 2/3 rd the amount of stock,you may start adding the beetroot puree a little at a time.
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.
Add the parmesan shaving and season with some salt if necessary.
Madras Style Lamb Curry: Recipe adapted from 50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi
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
Ramadan Kareem to those who observe this holy month of fasting.
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 →
How’s the summer treating you? Kind and cool I hope….While I prefer the heat over cold wintry days any day, the summer month’s here in Mumbai have been sweltering hot.Perhaps most of you would agree that the last thing on one’s mind is cooking in the heat.
Well the dear son is here on his holidays from Montreal and yes I’ve been pampering him with his favourite meals.He often hear’s me complain about the heat and of course the eternal debate on what to cook for dinner! I for one have been trying to simply meal times at home. At least the dinner’s. A couple of posts ago I wrote about focussing on easy and fuss free cooking ideas.This dinner idea is just that.A oven grilled boneless chicken accompanied with the starchy goodness of some Hasselback Potatoes and a healthful serving of pan charred Zucchini and carrots. Well balanced,nutritious and gets done in just about 30 minutes.Yes that’s my new kitchen mantra.Well for the summer’s at least.
So how’s that for an ultra quick and family friendly recipe that’s light and refreshing and one that can just as well become a part of your weeknight repertoire? Do share some of your easy meal ideas here.I would love to hear from you. Continue reading →