Sunday, 31 July 2016

Secret Ingredient

To make a perfect, mouth watering dish we all have at least one secret ingredient Similar to dadima ka nuskha,After learning how to cook I realised the most important thing in any dish is the proportion of ingredients in that dish

Those who love cooking or want their family to eat a nutrient rich meal daily keep experimenting with different ingredients daily and specially if they are experimenting with traditional dishes they will never replace that secret nuskha (dadima's or Mumma's Secret ingredient which they tend to put in all their dishes).

So, today I want to tell you about different secret ingredients that many people use and experiment in their kitchen daily.There are 29 states in India, each state has their own speciality, so the secret ingredient will also vary according to the region or the place where you stay.

Kalla Namak (Rock Salt)
Whenever I make Chaat or I am dressing my salad, this is one ingredient I tend to use just a pinch to
 sprinkle on Bhel, Sev puri , Pani puri. It gives a unique flavour to the dish.
(Image Courtesy-https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black_salt.jpg)

Jaggery
I am a Gujju,  Jaggery and Gujju's have a very close relation. One ingredient, you will always find at a Gujju's place is Jaggery , Our everyday cooking is incomplete without Jaggery.
But trust me once you have curry with Jaggery, you will never like curry without it.
(Image courtesy-Google.com)


Kasuri Methi
This is an important ingredient whenever I am making Kadhi (Curd curry) Kasuri methi take the curry to a next level, also add little chilli and ginger paste if you like spicy curry.
(Image courtesy-https://www.google.co.in/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&q=kasuri+methi&tbs=sur:fmc&gws_rd=cr&ei=7eOaV9jUNoOAvwTUhq3QDQ#gws_rd=cr&imgrc=_)



Garam Masala
One ingredient you will find in the Masala ka Dabba at my place is Garam masala, It gives me satisfaction to just add garam masala in my dish and my dish is complete and perfect. Everyone at home prefer spicy food, so this is "Very Important" ingredient". ( I also panic if this ingredient is not available in my kitchen)


Oregano and Chilli flakes
These are 2 best ingredients to use while you are making an Italian dish, But I generally sprinkle oregano and chilli flakes as and when I need according to my taste.So I never add it with the other spices in my dish.
(Image Courtesy-Pixabay.com)



Happy Cooking :)






Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Melon feta munch

This is my favorite Summer recipe and it is always preferable to have seasonal fruits and I miss this recipe and Summer already.All of us love cheese and for the ones who are health conscious you can use Cottage cheese or Soy paneer instead of feta cheese.

You can also add a flavor to water melon by marinating the water melon ,like adding a Achari flavor which is the trending flavor for this year and it will take the recipe to a different level making it all the more appealing.I will be soon updating a recipe with many new flavors which you can add and make a mouth watering dish.

Melon Feta Munch


Ingredients:
  • Water melon- Cubed pieces 5-8
  • Feta cheese-5-8 (If Feta cheese is not available you can also try Cottage cheese or                               Amul Cheese)
  • Basil- few
  • Lemon-1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper-1 tsp


Method:
  1. Arrange the water melon cubes in a plate.
  2. On each cube of watermelon, keep the sliced feta cheese and basil leaves.
  3. Sprinkle lime juice, then sprinkle salt and pepper.
  4. With a tooth pick assemble it together ans Serve.


This is one dish,you can Prepare quickly for your Kitty Party or a House Party to serve something unique and they will love this dish.Easy to make and a healthy recipe which even kids would love to eat.

You can always re-invent all the recipes and add a different flavour according to your taste buds.If you cut the watermelon in different shapes with the help of cookie cutter,kids will really love it and they will be surprised to see something different.


Happy Cooking. :)

Thursday, 14 July 2016

How I went to Jamie's Pizzeria

I was in this working mode on Thursday and I was just thinking when will I get a chance to go Jamie Oliver's restaurant (For people who don't know him which is quite rare, He is a Celebrity Chef from UK and also hosted the show "Naked Chef") , the thought of eating Pizza distracted me completely I am sure all of you will know how I felt.

                                     

Just then a call brought me back to reality,I am sure you would want to know whose call that was ;) My cousin who is a journalist for a luxury magazine had got an invite to go to Jamie's Pizzeria ,you heard it right Jamie Oliver's restaurant and I will have the Pizza(dances). How could I just say No and she just told me you have to reach by 7 we can't miss this.

I was just waiting for 5:30 so that I could leave from my office and go to Palladium, Jamie's Pizzeria is right next to Starbucks and opposite PVR. On my way, I was just thinking about Pizza (love) but because of the Bombay traffic I reached at 7:30.There I was finally at the place I had been thinking about since morning, You will fall in love with that place instantly (love at first sight) for all the Pizza lovers.


                      
                             As you enter ,you will get a glimpse of our Mumbai.

We started our meal with Hand-stretched garlic bread with garlic butter,rosemary & an olive tapenade and trust me you should have this whenever you are at this place.I am sure you might have never tasted this delicious garlic bread ever in your life.After finishing this mouth-water dish , next we dish we had Pesto Paneer ,the paneer was so soft and fresh with their homemade tomato sauce was simply divine.

The cost is quite reasonable , I earlier thought it would be costly but I was surprised to see the rate.So all of us can go yayyyayyyayyy. Even kids have a reason to be happy, they have a Chidren's Menu also. :)

                     
                                                               Pesto Panner

All the Pizza's are Hand-stretched, So we first thought of ordering Chilli Freak this Pizza is only for people who can eat very spicy Pizza. We ditched that Pizza then,we were confused between Jamie's Super Greens and Red Rocket, so after discussing for 5 long minutes we went ahead with Red Rocket but we got to know little late that we could order half-half Pizza for all of you can order 2 flavours in a single Pizza. The crust in thin not like the one at other Pizza outlets so you can easily have 2 Pizzas.You can also order different varieties of Dips and drinks or wine with your Pizza.


                             
                                                                     Red Rocket


I tried Homemade Iced tea, which was terrific, you can also try Lychee spritz or Homemade Ginger beer. Wine, Beer and Fruit Juices are also available.For all the salad lovers they have a pleasing variety of salad like Rocket Salad, Local seasonal greens,Marinated feta  and watermelon salad is fantastic.


                                      
                                                                    Homemade Ginger Beer



                                       
                                                                  Epic chocolate brownie


I have a sweet tooth so I just could'nt leave that place without having desert, after thinking and discussing for 10 minutes we had Epic chocolate brownie ,vanilla ice cream & chocolate sauce trust me in my life I have never had a brownie as tasty as that one and I can never forget that brownie it can make you forget everything,it was Divine and finger licking.We also had Classic tiramisu with orange zest but don't forget to have a brownie whenever you visit this place.


                                     
                                                         Classic Tiramasu with Orange zest


Do visit Jamie's Pizzeria at Palladium right next to Starbucks ,opposite PVR.

-Team Vegetrails.
                                                           




Thursday, 7 July 2016

Russian salad

Generally when I am not at office, I am cooking or writing blogs.Sundays are those lazy days for all of us where we like to wake up late and do things at peace and that is something which our mom which never like.(specially when you have leave that day).You are just in the Sleepy Mode on Sunday.



So this was a similar Sunday, When I thought I will do everything at peace,slowly and my mom wanted me to have a bath and just help her with some household chore and you just can't say no to her.I then decided to just do what she is saying and then make a salad for breakfast.

I decided to make a new variety of salad and not the usual one Boondi ka raita or Dahi ka raita. So I decided to let the creative juices flow and came to a decision of making Russian salad.


Russian Salad

Ingredients:

  • Carrot-1
  • Potato-1
  • French beans-5
  • Mayonnaise-3/4 cup
  • Celery-1 stalk
  • Peas-30gms
  • Tinned pineapple-1 slice
  • Apple-1 small
  • Fresh cream-2 tbsp
  • Salt,castor sugar to taste
  • Pepper to taste


For garnish:

  • Lettuce leaves
  • capsicum
  • Tomtoes


Methhod:

  1. Boil carrots,Potatoes,peas and french beans separately.
  2. When cooked peel and dice the potatoes and carrots into 1 cm cubes.
  3. Peel and dice apples into 1 cm cube,chop pineapple and french beans and celery.
  4. Mix all vegetables and fruits with mayonnaise and fresh cream.
  5. Line a salad bowl with lettuce leaves.
  6. Garnish and serve cold.


Happy Cooking :)

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Vegetrails meets Tea Trails


Food is actually our basic necessity but slowly food is bringing everyone close to each other, When you are eating with someone you will never think about anything else but just focus and eating and the next thing you remember will be you guys are now friends just because you had a meal together.That is the power of food.


Recently I got an invitation from Tea Trails for tasting their variety of tea and the combos that they serve with it and I loved this new experience.So this was the menu designed for us to taste and trust me you will also love it.We were around 10 Food reviewers who were tasting the Menu and I got a chance to meet so many new people who are doing what I am doing and we all love it.


This place is so exquisite and the way they serve tea is so unique and amazing.They have this timer and that card for you to know how long you will have to wait for your tea.After around 2 minutes you can press the red button and you tea is ready to serve.I love the whole idea of that timer(reminds me of childhood games where we used this sand timer.)


With each variety of tea they have a combo, like for this perfect rainy weather they are having this monsoon special Pakodas and Vadapav with Kullad Chai.


Some Combos you can try:

Bun Maska with Silver Needle tea.

Kashmiri Kahwa with Burmese tea salad.(Burmese Salad is my favourite)

Oolong tea with Marbled egg salad.

Smokey Chinese Lapsang Souchong tea with Smoked Sandwich



Bun Maska

Burmese Salad
                                       
Marbled egg Salad

I love the way this salad is made so unique first they half-boil the egg with the shell and then peel it and boil again with some tea water and that is how the egg has that unique texture.



Tea Sangria

Could ever imagine, we could have Tea Sangria I was astonished to see this mocktail in the menu.They have a wide range of tea infused mock-tail which you should try I am sure you will love it and this is something I never tasted.

Thank You! Tea trails India for giving me this opportunity.

For everyone else,Do visit Tea Trails they have around 80 outlets. The one I visited was at Mulund.







Friday, 1 July 2016

Paneer(cottage cheese)

We always end up buying frozen Paneer from shops,or some of us buy from the dairy. You can also make paneer at home. Generally when the milk is spoilt people make Paneer out of it.

And, we should always prefer fresh Paneer which we can make at home rather then the one we buy from shops or dairy.It is very easy to make.

                        



Paneer (Cottage Cheese)


Ingredients: 

  • Milk- 500ml
  • Sour Curd-3tbsp
  •  (Or you can also use 3tbsp lemon juice or 3tbsp vinegar.But, if you sour curd Paneer is soft while using lemon juice it becomes little hard.)

 Method:

  1. Take milk in a saucepan and bring it to boil.
  2. Stir in sour curd.Heat till all the milk in the pan curdles.
  3. Strain through a muslin cloth.
  4. Draw up the corners of the muslin cloth and squeeze gently.
  5.  The moist solid left in the cloth is called “channa” which is in between cottage cheese and soft cream cheese.
  6. Hang the mixture in the muslin cloth until quite dry.
  7. Shape the channa into a rectangular shape in a muslin cloth and squeeze out all the whey.
  8. Paneer can be made placing a weigh on it, when sufficiently dry; cut into cubes of desired size.  


Happy cooking :)

(Image Courtesy-http://search.creativecommons.org/)

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Potato Kachori


Hindu's fast during the holy month of "Shravan" , the fifth month of the Hindu calender. Some also call it the month of Shiva so most of the people fast every monday or whole month. Shravan is also called the month of fasting.So, they can eat Potatoes , fruits, Milk , and few other dishes and some other ingredients when they are fasting.One of those dishes is Potato kachori.It will taste amazing with Tamarind or date chutney.

Some people just eat fruits, or they have only one meal in a day , or they can fruits and Falahari dishes which include Sago(sabudana) khichdi and Vada, Potato khichdi etc.


I will be sharing many more Fasting recipe :)


                                   


Potato Kachori

Ingredients:
  • Potato – 4
  • Oil for frying
  • Ingredients for the filling:
  • Cocount-1/4
  • Green chillies- 1
  • Turmeric powder= ¼ tsp
  • Chilli powder- ¼ tsp
  • Lime – 1
  • Salt to taste
  • Raisins -10gms
  • Coriander leaves – few
  • Ingredients for Batter:
  • Sago flour- 100 gms
  • Salt to taste


Method:
  1. Grate the coconut and mix the turmeric powder, chilli powder, chopped raisins, finely chopped coriander leaves and green chillies, lemon juice, sugar, salt to taste to use as filling.
  2. Pressure cook the potatoes, peel and mash the potatoes, add salt mix well and knead till smooth.
  3. Divide the potato mixture into equal balls and keep aside similarly divide the filling.
  4. Flatten one portion of the ball on the palm and fill each ball with the filling.
  5. Bring together the edges to the center to seal the filling inside the potato mixture.
  6. Make a thick batter with sago flour , salt and water,
  7. Dip the kachoris in the batter and deep fry till brown.
  8. Serve hot with chutney.
Happy Cooking :)