Thursday, 5 July 2018

Monsoon Special - Phodshi chi Bhaji

Phodshi and Phodshi chi Bhaji
In the first few showers of rain several plants and other vegetation spring up with their tender and bright green leaves in a complete splendor, as though showing their gratitude towards the relief from the summer heat. Spinach, small tender fenugreek, drumstick leaves, dill, Malabar spinach (mayalu in Marathi, wali in Konkani), amaranth (math) both red & green are a few greens which are in their best form in the early monsoon.

During monsoon our body becomes vulnerable to infection and water born diseases. Fruits and vegetables like pumpkins, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, sweet potatoes, corn, eggplant, cauliflower, apples, beets, ginger, garlic, brussel sprouts etc. are good to consume during this season.

Surprisingly or shall I say its Nature’s Gift to mankind that it produces few wild weeds and vegetable which are grown only during monsoon. Wild weeds like Shevala, Taikele (Tora), Phodshi (Kooli/Peva/Mulshi/Dongras) are very commonly found in patches of forest and hillside. They are known to have some medicinal properties that increases the immunity level and hence recommended to consume during this season. As these weeds are available only during monsoon one should grab the opportunity & reap the benefits of Nature’s Bounty!


Phodshi 

I would like to share a very tasty and easy recipe of Phodshi (Kulli, Peva) chi Bhaji.

Ingredients:
  • Phodshi - 2 bunch
  • Onion – 1 large onion 
  • Garlic – 14 garlic cloves
  • Green Chillies – 3 – 4 
  • Mustard Seeds – 1tsp 
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves – few
  • Asafoetida (hing) –¼ tsp
  • Turmeric –½ tsp
  • Coriander-Cumin powder –½ tsp
  • Chilli powder –¼ tsp
  • Besan – 1tbsp
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh scraped coconut – 1- 2 tbsp


Phodshi chi Bhaji

Method:


1. Wash the phodshi under running water properly. 
2. Cut 1inch from the root and discard it.  
3. Then finely chop rest of the phodshi (including the white part) and keep aside.
4. In mortar and pestle coarsely crush garlic and chillies. 
5. Slice the onion finely and keep aside.  
6. In a kadai heat oil, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
7. When they start sputtering add crushed garlic, chillies, curry leaves and half of the asafoetida (hing).
8. Now add finely chopped onions and fry till the onions turns translucent.  
9. Then add turmeric, coriander-cumin powder and chilli powder. 
10. Fry for 5 seconds and add the chopped Phodshi, salt to taste and remaining half of asafoetida (hing).
11. Mix well, cover and cook for 3 mins on low flame.  
12. Once the Phodshi is half cooked sprinkle besan on the top and cover once again and cook for 5 mins. 
13. Then mix all and cook for 2 mins or till the vegetable is cooked however has little bite or crunch intact. 
14. Finally, add freshly scraped coconut (reserve some for garnishing) and mix well. 
15. Garnish it with remaining fresh coconut and serve hot with chappati or phulkas.


Phodshi chi Bhaji with Chappati


Please try this recipe and share your comments below:

You can also try Phodshi Amboda (Pakoda) recipe from my previous blogpost. Please click here for the recipe.





Saturday, 9 June 2018

Health is Wealth ... Tasty Whey Soup with Paneer



Whey Soup

These days people have become more and more health conscious and the awareness of the ingredients have increased. Before consuming anything people are doing a lot of research about the nutritive value of a particular ingredient. With the increasing health awareness people have consciously changed their eating habits from refined and junk food to organic and whole natural food. This has now become a Healthy Food Trend.

Particular the fitness freaks, who actually count their nutrition and calories intakes are eating wisely. People who follow diet plan believe that protein-rich diet helps in weight loss. The concept of eating protein-rich food has now become an in these days in order to maintain the health and to stay in shape. In fact, people have now started experimenting at home cooking in order to keep themselves fit, according to Godrej Food Trends Report 2018.

When talking about proteins paneer is the most common and favorite amongst the vegetarians. And if it’s a homemade paneer; then it's like “Sone pe Suhaga"


Paneer

The milky liquid that is left behind while making the paneer is called Whey. Commercially, this whey is processed & formed into a powder and sold in the market as Whey Protein Powder. Whey protein is considered as a complete protein as it contains all 9 amino acids. This is highly recommended in health and slimming industry as a functional food for its nutritional properties. Research says that this has possible benefit for weight loss and lowering cholesterol level. It’s also been observed that whey improves immune response in children with asthma. According to research published in the International Dairy Journal, found that whey beverages help in reducing blood pressure in the patient with high blood pressure.

Whey

However, at home, it mostly ends down the drain or we either use it for kneading dough or in making dal. This understated whey is actually a power pack house of protein, calcium, and minerals. It also helps in stimulating insulin release. So next time before you wash that nutrition down the drain, think of amazing benefits that you will be wasting.

So, in order to use this magical milky liquid,  I would like to share the whey soup recipe. This would add more value to your intake. This is a very easy tasty recipe with all the basic ingredients which are very easily available in our kitchen.

Paneer and whey


Paneer and whey


So, here is a very easy whey soup recipe for all of you to slurp in …

Whey soup with paneer:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup whey
  • 11/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1tsp oil or ghee
  • 1-inch grated ginger
  • 1tsp jeera
  • 1tsp crush pepper
  • 2-3 green chilies chopped
  • few pieces of paneer cubes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp milk or cream (optional)


Whey Soup with Paneer
Method: 
  1. Heat oil or ghee in add jeera, when it splutters add grated ginger and chopped chilies.  
  2. Pour in the whey and vegetable or chicken stock. 
  3. Then add salt to taste and crushed pepper. 
  4. Bring to a rolling boil for 5 mins.
  5.  Now add the chopped coriander and paneer cubes. 
  6. Let it simmer for another 1 min. 
  7. Garnish it with finely chopped coriander and a dash of cream or milk (optional). 
  8. Serve hot.


Note: This post is a part of the Godrej Food Trends Blogging Contest hosted by Fashionablefoodz in association with Vikhroli Cucina and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. Godrej Food Trends Blogging Contest, Fashionablefoodz or Godrej is not responsible for any kind of Infringement caused.

This post is in associated with Godrej Food Trends Blogging Contest #GFTR2018 #GodrejFoodTrends2018




Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Palden Norbu, the E-hotel Preveiw

It’s that time of the year again; when we all are set to party!!!

If you all are also in the celebration mood and want to get swing on the foot-tapping music, drown yourself into the cocktails / mocktails, savor on to vegetarian food, witness some amazing fire show and dance till dawn; then Palden Norbu, the E-hotel at Eskay Resort, Borivali (West) are soon opening their doors in the month of Jan 2018 for public.


Humbly nestled in the heart of Borivali in the midst of concert jungle of Mumbai, The E-Hotel is a luxurious yet serene escape. The life size statue of Gautam Buddha at the entrance brings the sense of peace and tranquility. The total area of 7.5 land has 1.5 area of swimming pool, tennis court, spa, beautiful garden, lawn, gym, restaurant, banquet and breath-taking rooftop lounge.

Life size statue of Gautam Buddha

Birds eye view from the roof top lounge

The unique name ‘Palden Norbu’ got my curiosity in action and when asked for the story behind the name, I was told that the owner is a strong believer of Gautam Buddha & their philosophy, hence the name.  Infact the entire resort is designed keeping in mind the principles of Buddha. And ‘Palden Norbu’ is a Tibetan name, in which ‘Palden’ means ‘Glorious’ and ‘Norbu’ means ‘Jewel’. This rooftop lounge depicts the name perfectly.


Ambience:

This spacious place was beautifully designed with seating area on one side and DJ area on the other, which was separated by a Bar at one end. A fountain in the midst of the lounge was something that caught my attention. The beautiful landscape created on the rooftop, completed the lounge environment.  



Dance Floor

The highlight of this place was the fire-show. One should not leave without watching it. Its a breath-taking entertainment.

Fire Show



At the bar, the bartenders entertained us with some of their cocktails shaking skills. Few drinks that we tried were:



Mocktail:

Smoky Passion fruit:  A perfect blend of passion fruit, lime and lychee infused in the smoke. It had strong smokey flavor with a tanginess of passion fruit, mild sweetness of lychee syrup & a zing of lime.




Smoke Infused for Drinks

Smokey Passion Fruit

Cranberry Mojito: The blend of cranberry juice muddle with mint leave to give it a freshness.

Cranberry Mojito


Cocktails:

Lean clean and green cocktail: An interesting cocktail, I called it a green detox cocktail as it was blend of parsley, spinach, kiwi and cucumber topped with vodka. All that detox elements :) 

Lean clean and green cocktail

Fifty shades of grey: Vodka based drink, sweetened with ice cream and garnished with pearls of pomegranate. An unusual combination but little too sweet for a cocktail.

Fifty shades of grey

Cosmopolitan: Again a Vodka base, mixed with lime juice and cranberry juice. 

Cosmopolitan

Cosmopolitan

Smoky Whiskey Sour: The blend of sourness of lime and sharpness of whiskey infused in the smoke was great a combination.





Smoky Whiskey Sour

Green Apple and Strawberry Shots: The bartender stacked them all into a pyramid to create a visual effect.

Green Apple and Strawberry shots




While we were mingling around, few starters were getting circulated. The finger foods served to us were:

Finger Foods / Starters:

Achari Baby Potato: The spicy and sour masala had coated the baby potatoes well. This had a prominent ginger flavor.  However the “Achari” flavor was missing or might have got lost in other over-powering spices.

Achari Baby Potato

Paneer Malai Tikka: The paneer was melt in the mouth. It was marinated well in the creamy sauce with a hint of cardamom and cumin flavor singing through.

Paneer Malai Tikka

The Crunchy Paneer Teriyaki:  The paneer was soft from inside and crunchy from outside. Tossed in the teriyaki sauce which added sweet, tangy & umami taste to the dish.

The Crunchy Paneer Teriyaki

Cheese Parathas: This was humble whole wheat flatbread (well-known as paratha), stuffed with cheese, tomatoes and onion. A dish, which one can never go wrong with it.

Cheese Parathas
Main Course:

The main course was a buffet spread, set for us. This consisted of Vegetable Biryani, Steamed White Rice, Veg Green Thai Curry, Paneer Makhanwala, Indian Flatbreads (rotis), Sandwiches and for dessert Assorted Pastry (strawberry & chocolate).

Sandwiches 

Vegetable Biryani

Veg Green Thai Curry

Strawberry Pastry

Chocolate Pastry

This place is perfect for parties, fun celebration or corporate gathering. Do visit and share your feedback and comment below.

You can visit this location:

Palden Norbu - The Rooftop Lounge
E-Hotel Inside Eskay Resorts,
Off Link Road, Borivali West,
Mumbai, Maharashtra 400091

Phone no: 022 6155 7000

Time: 5 pm to 1 am

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Make-over to the leftover rice - 'Rice-Tomato Omlette'

Rice-Tomato Omlette
We ladies normally have the ingrained habit of giving the leftover food a make-over. This is one such make-over of leftover rice, which reminiscing me of my granny. 

My granny (amma, we used to call her) once happened to visit her friend on Monday, which was her weekly fasting day and this dish was accidentally served to her. Amma, who herself was an excellent cook, couldn’t figure out that the dish had cooked rice in it.  Upon asking for the recipe, she realized that her fast was broken as there was rice & onions added in it. 

Nevertheless, though her fast was broken, she loved this omelette so much that this new recipe sought a place in our regular menu. So, she passed on this recipe to my mother and now on to me. I have added my innovation to the recipe. I am very glad to share this to all of my readers. 

I am sure once you try this, it will be a part of your regular diet. 


Rice-Tomato Omlette 

Ingredients:
Rice-Tomato Omlette
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup besan
1 tbsp rice flour
1 tomato chopped
1 onion chopped
1-2 tsp chilli powder (as per taste)
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp garlic-ginger-green chilli paste
salt to taste
1-2 tsp oil for drizzling
few coriander leaves


Method: In a bowl mix besan, rice flour, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, salt, garlic-ginger-chilli paste together. To this add cooked rice, tomato, onion and coriander leaves and mix well.  Add water to form a batter. Adjust water quantity to form dosa batter like consistency.
Heat tawa and drizzle few drops of oil on the hot tawa and spread it well on the tawa. Pour the 1 ladle batter on the hot tawa and spread like thick dosa. Cover and cook for 1 min or till the side edges turn slight brown. Now drizzle few drops around the edges and cook for few seconds. Flip this omlette/dosa on the other side and cook it golden brown. Once golden brown on both side its done and ready to serve. Serve this hot, taste better with butter, tomato ketchup/ chutney.
One of the best ways to use your leftover rice. It’s like “Best out of Waste”.

Do try this and please share your comments and feedback. 



Monday, 20 March 2017

Preview of 38° East - Wholesale Bar & Pan Asian House


The world comes closer when it comes to cuisines, and here we are talking just about our Asian Continent. So it will take only 38° East to travel to the Asian Continent, wherein the new Pan Asian restaurant called 38° East at Powai will be coming up soon. 



Now if you are wondering why the name ‘38 Degree East’, let me turn the magnetic needle towards the reason. 

The cocktails/mocktails and cuisines are specially curated across Asia right from India, Burma, Tibet, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Malaysia, Japan, China, Indonesia , Mexico, Hong Kong etc by the Master Chef. He had travelled 38 degree east from India on the Asian hinterland to discover their local cuisines and hence the name.


I was very fortunate to receive the invite to preview the pre-launch of this place; and geared up to experience and encapsulate the journey of Asia wrapped into the 2 storey (floored) stand out to narrate different stories of Asian Continent


As soon as you enter the interior showcases the theme of cuisines that is being served. The ground floor had a fine dining setup with a representation of Asia. The entrance had a niche wall with statues of Buddha meditating in serenity; while the textured wall with huge Chinese dragon is what caught my attention. 



The ground floor ambience was perfect for a casual dining experience. 


The wall filled with graffiti reminded me of CafĂ© Mondegar, as we walked up the stairs to the first floor, which was a lounge bar and was stocked with various kinds of spirits.



Here is where all the mixology gets into action. 








They served drinks at the wholesale rate and the stewards wore T-shirts having a back print of this motto saying “#PITERAHO Drinks @ Wholesale price”


After drowning yourself into the wholesale drinks, when one gets upstairs, you find yourself embracing Nature on their open terrace overlooking the beautiful  Powai  Lake.  A perfect place for a romantic dinner date.



After we all settled down in the bar lounge, for our preview session, the Cranberry Delight, a refreshing mocktail made the first entry on our table. This ruby red mocktail was a mixture of refreshing sweet-sour cranberry, slight sharpness of ginger ale, citrus lemon juice and mild spiciness of the in-house spicy citrus lemonade. This beauty was served chilled with dry ice adding all the smokey drama on the table. This turned out to be my favourite drink of the night.

Cranberry Delight
The second beauty to arrive was Tango Twist, a combination of Mango Puree, Strawberry crush, Pineapple juice, orange juice and vanilla ice cream. This dense and creamy mocktail with its sweet & a hint of tangy flavour would undoubtedly be a Hit with someone having a sweet tooth.

Tango Twist
Now it was the turn of starters to walk in, Veg Singapore Spindles walked in gracefully, with crispy fried noodles embracing its soft cottage cheese finger spiked with oriental spices. It was served in the bombaiya “cutting chai glass” with sweet chilli sauce at the bottom. The two different textures of crunchy noodles & soft cottage cheese fingers as well as the flavours of slightly spicy fingers dipped in the sweet-chilli sauce was like a perfect medley in the mouth. 

Veg Singapore Spindles

Veg Singapore Spindles

Veg Singapore Spindles

Next on the lime light was hot and spicy Murg Lal Mirch Kebab. Thought the name sounds scary, the dish was super yummy.  The Murg was perfectly marinated with the right amount of spices to hit you on right spot. The Chicken was cooked well, it was soft, moist and melted in the mouth. It was served with mint-coriander chutney and lacha pyaz.

Murg Lal Mirch Kebab

Gamja Jeon arrived on a cart to drawn our attention, which didn’t work for me. It reminded me of vegetable pudla, which we make at home. Though it tasted good, yet didn’t steal the show.

Gamja Jeon

Gamja Jeon

Gamja Jeon

Laying on the cast iron skillet pan entered the Wanton Nachos. The crispy fried wanton nachos were covered with baked beans, Sichuan sauce and tomato sauce. The generous spread of cheese sauce on the top was Salamander to perfection. The stringy cheese, sweet sauce and crisp wanton eaten together had the power to awaken your taste buds.


Wanton Nachos
Rolled up in Nori Seaweed, the sushi landed its flight. Upon trying both veg and non-veg sushi, I preferred the veg sushi as it had well balance flavors with perfectly cooked rice. Whereas, the non-veg sushi had overcooked rice with a bland flavor that did not appeal my taste buds.

Veg Sushi

Veg Sushi
Non-Veg Sushi



Non-veg Sushi
Tacos Lime Grilled Chicken was next to follow it was boneless chicken skewer marinated in tacos lime spices & grilled. It had a strong lemony flavor and mildly spiced with a hint of tacos spice.


Tacos Lime Grilled Chicken
Veg Tempura arrived in a shopping trolley, with delightful crispiness. The juliennes of zucchini and other vegetable were dipped in tempura batter and crispy fried to perfection.


Veg Tempura

Veg Tempura
Finally amongst the starter grand entry was done by this huge Singapore Crab Chilly dish. The fiery red huge crab got all our jaws dropped down and eyes popped with excitement. Cooked in spicy red chilly and tomato sauce, flavored with Singaporean curry powder and garnished with coriander, the crab was nicely cooked and fleshy with juicy meat inside. The best way to indulge into its juicy meat is by being ambidextrous using both your hands and fingers. This would surly leave you with a finger licking and a lip smacking taste and memory.  


Singapore Crab Chilly

Singapore Crab Chilly
I, being a Soup lover wanted to try one, the server recommended Burmese Soup which had shredded vegetables and noodles cooked in creamy coconut milk with a mild flavor of Kaffir lime. The sweet nutty taste of coconut milk gelled well with their secret Burmese spice & kaffir lime that left a taste still lingering on my tongue. This was like a bowl of golden creamy goodness.


Burmese Soup

Burmese Soup

Now it was the turn of the head of the family or you may call it as main course to walk in.

7 Jewel Rice from the Chinese family walked in a bamboo tube. The wok tossed fried rice was topped with exotic Chinese vegetables, chicken/prawns in authentic spicy chinese oyster sauce. The rice was cooked to perfection and the sauce was mild sweet and spicy. It was an amalgamation of different flavors that danced on your tongue.

7 Jewel Rice
Nasi Lemak was next to greet us on the table and arrived with the entire family. This Malaysian rice was flavored with coconut milk and panadan leaves, was along with lamb semi-dry curry, boiled egg, cucumber and fried peanut. The rice had mild sweet nutty flavor of coconut milk and crunchiness of vegetable. However couldn’t get the strong flavor of panadan leaves. The lamb was soft and well cooked, complementing the spicy sauce and the nutty peanut added crunch to the taste. This when eaten in combination was like a party of different texture and flavors.


Nasi Lemak

Nasi Lemak
Last but not the least to arrive were the senior most members, the dessert. 

Gulab JamunTruffle took a centre stage on our table. The layers of Gulab Jamun, whipped cream rabdi and cake were arranged in a mason jar and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream was loaded with rice creamy sweet goodness for the sweet tooth.  I would not go for the second helping as it was way too sweet for me.

Gulab JamunTruffle
Fruit Filled Baked Wantons was a show stopper of the evening. These crispy baked wanton cups were filled with berry compote, cream cheese and topped with scoop of vanilla ice cream. This was a cold treat to our soul. The sweet & sour of berry mingled very well with the cold sweet ice cream and crispy wanton adding a texture to the dessert. 


Fruit Filled Baked Wantons

Fruit Filled Baked Wantons

This indeed was an extravaganza of culinary elements that allowed me to actually circumvent the Asian subcontinent under one roof. Also, hats off to the master chef for designing such a plethora of Asian variety on our plate.



Head to :
Panchkutir, Pawarwardi, 
Adhishankracharya Marg, 
Opposite Powai Lake, 
JVLR,Powai, Mumbai

Cost:
AVERAGE
Rs.1,000 for two people (approx.) with alcohol 
VAT & service charges extra
Rs.99  for a pint of beer (approx.)
Cash and Cards accepted

Open the Doors for public:
From 15 March 2017