Category Archives: World Palate Recipes (26)

Recipes from around the world

Food and Markets during Festive Season of Ramzan

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Image result for ramzan images

To all my Muslim friends, readers and followers of this blog

    Ramzan Kareem or Ramadan Mubarak 

At the end of a month-long period of fasting(Sawm), Muslims all over the world celebrate Ramzan (or Ramadhan). In Arabic, the word Ramzan means dryness or scorching heat…referring to the stomach dryness during fasting.

Decorative lamps, table ware, flower bouquets, gifts articles, glittery slippers, sandals and purses, lace and zari trimmed dresses as well as special food treats are packed into every inch of space in shopping malls, markets and restaurants to usher in the festivity. Mounds of thin, crispy noodles or seviyaan sit in circles in sweet shops, Dates filled with pistachio or almonds grace dry fruit stores in the Gulf region and Haleem, a local Hyderabadi dish prepared with pounded wheat, meat and lentils is extremely popular.

Faux zari borders, lace and gotta patti

Here are some photos sent by friends as they get busy in the malls or their homes preparing for the celebration.

Shopping mall decorated for Ramadan

 

Fasting ends after the evening Asar prayers, and the first food to be partaken is the succulent, nutrient Dates. Here is last year’s post on Dates.

At this time of the year, Date Palm fronds are filled with reddish raw fruit, that soon turns golden-yellow in the summer heat. In Hyderabad, as people throng to city mosques for evening prayers,street carts filled with Date fruit and sliced mangoes, papaya and watermelon are sold.

Ripened Berhi dates

After the fast…then feast, then shop or visit friends and relatives to exchange gifts. My Lebanese friend, an excellent cook sends me some virtual treats 🙂  Kunafeh is a rich luxurious dairy dessert popular in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and the neighbouring countries. Filled with ricotta cheese and decorated with crusty shredded khadaif noodles, Kunafeh is laced with plenty of sugar syrup and rose water….yumm..melting in the mouth!

Dessert -Kunafeh

Helwat (Halwa) El Jabeen

Another friend from the Gulf region sends photos of her family reunion feast. They have been busy preparing sev ke ladoos (vermicelli coated mawa or cheese balls), almond filled Dates and a plate of Kharak laced with mawa, pistachios and almonds and popular Sheer Khurma. Nutritious, healthy and filling desserts! Thanks Nisrin…I wish I could come home to wish you all and enjoy the feast.

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Enjoy the food feasts, shopping and visits to family and friends this festive season. It’s a shame I’m not courageous to visit the famous Begum Baazar market in Hyderabad, where Ramzan charity markets are set up. The surging crowds are a bit daunting now.

Till then…Ramzan Kareem.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2017) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

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World Palate Recipes: Sagan Ni Sev (Parsi Style)

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Go to any Parsi household on a Sagan, auspicious day you will always find a big bowl of Sev or vermicelli at the table. Thanks to my Parsi friend, for inviting me to lunch and specially making this nutty sweet Sev. She reminisced how her mother always made Sev for birthdays or Sagan and garnished it with plenty of pistachios, raisins and almonds. ‘Bananas and mithoo dahi, sweet yoghurt was served too’ she added.

Parsi Sev (Vermicelli)

Parsi Sev (Vermicelli)

Iranians (Persians) were involved in trade with India since many centuries. The Parsi from Iran seeking refuge from the Islamic invasion landed in Gujarat, India. Their Zoroastrian faith shared much in common with that of the Hindus. On arrival in Gujarat, Jadi Rana the local ruler refused them entry and sanctuary to these warrior-like people. But soon the priests convinced the ruler that the Parsi would be ‘like sugar in a full cup of milk, adding sweetness but not causing it to overflow.’ Jadi Rana ordered them to adopt the local dress, customs and adapt the cuisine to blend with the Gujrati locals.

Though the Parsi prefered meat and fish they gradually incorporated local cereals, pulses and masalas into their cuisine. However the Persian ingredients of apricots, pistachios and nuts remained a favourite and a distinct reminder of their origins.

                           Dessert Recipe:  Sagan ni Sev

Be liberal with ghee, and have plenty of patience while cooking!

Ingredients

1 packet thin vermicelli

5-8 spoons of pure Ghee (clarified butter)

water as needed

Sugar 5-8 tsps. or suit your taste

For garnish: saffron strands, pistachios, almond flakes, raisins.

Nutmeg and cardamom powder (jaiphal and elaichi)

Ingredients for Sev

Ingredients for Sev

Method:

Crush the vermicelli lightly, leaving medium long strands and keep aside. It will shorten while roasting. Put a big pan on the stove, put 4-5 spoons of ghee and melt it. Add the nuts mixture, roast lightly. The aroma soon fills the kitchen space:). Keep a small amount aside for garnish.

Now add the crushed vermicelli and roast lightly, adding a dollop of ghee again. Sprinkle over some sugar, the Sev gets a dark colour due caramelized sugar.

Sprinkle few drops of water, just enough to wet the mixture. Caution! too much water will make a ‘londho’ or lump! Keep stirring to even out the mixture. Cover for few minutes.

Remove cover, add another dollop of ghee and the Sev is now ready cooked and lightly crisp. Add the cardamom and nutmeg powder. Garnish with nuts mixture. Remove in a decorative plate.

Serve warm. Enjoy the distinct Persian flavour while narrating the ‘Quessa e Sanjan’ and Jadi Rana’s story, just like my friend did.

Sev. (Parsi style)

Sev. (Parsi style)

 

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

 

 

World Palate Recipes: Matar Chatpata, Spicy Peas Nagpur Style

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Recently while travelling by train, I had fun watching people eating food at stations along the way. Though stalls or kiosks sold essentials like water bottles, biscuit packs, fruit and namkeen or salty fried food, it was the local peddlar and chaiwala who were the most sought after. As one travels the vast Indian country by train – a great gastronomic journey unravels, local specialties adding colour and flavour!

At Nagpur station, the arriving train from Delhi stopped for 2 minutes. After having eaten paneer, parathas, kachori from Delhi, it was time to taste local Nagpur food. Saoji cuisine, a very spicy and masala laden cuisine is popular in Nagpur. The special spices used in making the gravy of Saoji food include black pepper, dry coriander, bay leaves, grey cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and ample use of Khus -khus or poppy seeds and powdered coconut. This is mostly used for Mutton or chicken non vegetarian food preparations.

Today at the station, I tasted a local winter favourite – Matar Chatpata. Matar or spicy peas, sold for Rs. 10 in small plastic cups by the local vendor. Peas grow plentiful in winter season, largely in North India. Shelling peas often transforms into a bonding household activity, wherein the family gathers around a charpai or mat. Nagpur people like their food chatpata – spicy and tangy. Saoji cuisine is NOT for the faint hearted, beware!

Train Station food - Peas Chatpata

Train Station food – Peas Chatpata

Matar Chatpata – Nagpur Style.

Not for the faint hearted! So do adjust the chilli and spice!

Ingredients

1/2 kg shelled peas (or 1 pack frozen peas)

1 medium onion

2-3 green chillies ( adjust to your taste!!)

1/2 lime

salt as needed

1/4 inch ginger,

1 tsps. cumin seeds

1 teaspoon cooking oil

fresh coriander for garnish – optional

Ingredients for Matar (Peas)Chatpata

Ingredients for Matar (Peas)Chatpata

Method:

Shell the peas from the pod and boil in water till medium soft. Drain and keep aside. Coarsely grind the chilli, ginger and some salt. Keep aside. Lightly roast the cumin seeds to let out the aroma. Coarsely crush them, once cool. Cut lime in half or wedges, remove the seeds. Remove the top skin of onion and chop lengthwise.

Place large, thick bottom wok or pan on stove and pour required amount of cooking oil. Add the chopped onion and chilli -ginger paste and roast lightly till strong aroma fills your kitchen. Keep tossing, add little salt to avoid browning.

Add the boiled peas and roasted cumin powder. Toss lightly, adjust salt and chilli to taste. Break off stem and leaves of fresh coriander coarsely, and garnish the pea preparation.

For a rustic look -serve in small individual eco friendly cups made from dry leaves (check local markets). Squeeze a dash of lemon before serving.

Enjoy the hot chilli taste on the palate – toned down by sweet peas and tangy lemon. Ooooooh, hot,hot beware !!

Matar(peas) Chatpata

Matar(peas) Chatpata

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

 

 

 

 

World Palate Recipes: Nawabi Style Sitaphal Phirni ( Custard Apple and Rice Pudding)

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Today I share with you a traditional Nawabi style fruit filled dessert: rice pudding or Phirni.

Rice pudding is one of the basic desserts found in many cultures. Preparation is simple using two easily available ingredients of rice and milk and then sweetening it. Whether its a traditional Danish Christmas meal with risalmande, or a Hindu custom of Annaprasana, of introducing solid food to a baby preparing a rice kheer or the popular Arabic dessert Muhallibiya made from rice flour, milk and dates. The rice pudding plays an important role in many cultures. Here are some more names for the same:Dudh pak, Phirni, Kheer, Bubur Susam, Riz au lait.

Adding fruits to desserts is yet another tradition. Different seasons different geography and cultures, but the house cook has the same task! Gathering, cooking and preserving Nature’s bountiful fruit. From farm to kitchen to table…fruits add nutrition and taste to chutney, sauce, puddings, tarts, jams and kheer.

Custard apple, Sitaphal as it is popularly called, is in season in Hyderabad, India. The then ruling Nawabs of Hyderabad popularised this traditional Phirni adding the seasonal fruit for a delicious twist.

Today, it was a laborious joy of opening the soft, squishy fruit, deseeding it and mashing the pulp to add to Phirni or Kheer. sitaphal-fruit

Sitaphal Phirni (Custard Apple and Rice Pudding)

Ingredients

1 cup full flavoured rice (or any of choice)

1 litre full cream milk (or use a condensed milk can)

2 cups sugar

Sitaphal pulp about 200 gms ( 3-4 fruits)

For garnish: few cashews, pistachio, saffron strands

phirni-ingredients

Method

Soak the rice in 2 cups water for over an hour. Then process to rough grainy consistency in blender, along with water. Put milk to boil in large bottom vessel on low flame ( yes! time consuming, but traditional method in most cultures.) (Or use condensed milk, lightly thinned with water or milk.) Add the grainy rice paste and keep stirring and boiling. (till patience runs out:) and the mixture turns thick.

boiling milk for phirni

boiling milk for phirni

 

Open the fruit, deseed and keep pulp aside. Lightly mash, keep covered. Prepare cashews and pistachio for garnish, slice them thin. Soak saffron strands in warm milk for few minutes till colour turns bright orange.

Add necessary amount of sugar to the rice-milk pudding, keep stirring. Add fruit, this too lends sweetness! Add half of garnish.

Take vessel off the heat and stir mixture / Phirni well.

 

 

 

Serve warm or chilled, pouring it into desired containers. Use silver cups for regal or festive, baked mud cups for traditional serving. Garnish with remaining fruit pulp and pistachio and saffron.

Happy feasting! Let me know how your friends and family liked this treat.

Sitaphal Phirni

Sitaphal Phirni

 

I take much enthusiasm and energy to prepare food and capture photos. Please respect and give credit as needed or contact me.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

World Palate Recipes: Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Vegetable Curry

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The fall season is almost here, leaves are changing colours and pumpkins are abundant! Soon Halloween and the pumpkin carving fun will be upon us. Pumpkins come both with orange and green coloured skins. They are rich in fiber and vitamin. Being versatile, pumpkins are easy to cook up many cuisines from savoury to sweet recipes, be it soup, curry or even desserts!

pumpkins

Pumpkins. Courtesy: Wikimedia commons /pumpkins

Just yesterday, I attended a ladies meet. There was plenty of home made food, laughter and non stop chatter. Amidst the fun we exchanged some recipes and enjoyed the delicious pumpkin curry made by our hostess. Crunchy skin and roasted seeds added texture to the sweet, spicy curry.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Vegetable Curry

Pumpkin curry with roasted seeds

Pumpkin curry with roasted seeds

Ingredients:

350 – 400 gms of orange pumpkin (keep the skin)

2-3 medium size onions

1-2 green chillies

salt, water, oil as desired

For Gravy:

50 gms of khus khus seeds

50 gms dessicated coconut ( fresh preferable)

2 tsps. sesame seeds

1 inch ginger

3-6 garlic cloves

For Tempering:

1 spoon cumin seeds (roasted for full flavour)

1 tsps. turmeric powder

curry leaves (optional)

coriander leaves for garnish

roasted pumpkin seeds (remove outer skin)

Pumpkin vegetable ingredients

Pumpkin vegetable ingredients

Method:

Wash and cut the pumpkin into small cubes with skin intact, remove the pith and seeds. Keep the seeds aside on paper, later roast them in oven or heated pan and cool. Keep aside.

Chop the onions, garlic, ginger, chilli and coconut and grind into fine paste. Lightly roast the sesame seeds and khus khus. Cool and powder them.

Heat 2 big ladles of cooking oil in heavy bottom pan or wok. Splutter the cumin, add turmeric powder and curry leaves. Add fresh paste of onion -ginger and lightly roast till soft brown, the strong aroma fills the kitchen – Beware! Add the seeds paste and some water to keep mixture from browning.

Pumpkin cut in cubes

Pumpkin cut in cubes

Add the cubed pumpkin, salt and just enough water to cover the curry mixture. (if you wish add a pinch to sugar…to bring out the sweetness). Cover, gently cook the curry, till pumpkin is just tender and bit crunchy.

Take off the gas stove, pouring cooked curry into desired dish. Garnish with chopped coriander, roasted seeds that add to the crunchy texture.

Enjoy this delicious curry with contrasting flavours. Serve with rice or Roti /Naan / Pita bread.

Pumpkin Curry garnished with roasted seeds

Pumpkin Curry garnished with roasted seeds

For another Pumpkin recipe see here.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

World Palate Recipes: Mumbai Style Vada Pav ( Burger)

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World Palate Recipes: Mumbai Style Vada Pav ( Burger)

Mumbai is a city which never lets anyone go hungry, a city that introduced the ‘iconic’ Vada Pav as its humble, satisfying street food. Maharastrian cuisine is zesty, spicy and masaledaar and the Vada Pav fits this concoction. Train travellers and Vasaiwallahs  popularly ate it as ‘ breakfast on the go.’  Today, with a hundred over kiosks and street stalls in Mumbai, the Batata vada and pav  are immensely popular among college students, office workers and at Shiv Sena political party meetings. Truly, this street food has captured the hearts of every Mumbaikar!

Vada Pav and Samosa at street kiosk, Mumbai

Vada Pav and Samosa at street kiosk, Mumbai

Served in a burger style with the vada (potato ball) sandwiched between sliced fluffy, white buns that are laced with dry garlic chutney.  A fried green chilli tucked in adds the fiery element of Maharashtrian cuisine.

Some of the most famous Vada pav kiosks are found near Sivaji Park, Dadar, CST Railway Terminal, Dadar’s Ruia college, MithiBai college, at  Chowpatty and Juhu beach. Let’s try an easy preparation in our  kitchen.

Batata Vada ingredients

Batata Vada ingredients

Ingredients

4-6 medium size potatoes

2-4 green chillies , finely chopped

fresh coriander and curry leaves (optional)

salt to taste

3-6 pods of garlic (optional)

1 inch ginger

green chillies with stem ( for frying)

2 onions chopped into quarters (optional)

4 white bread buns sliced in middle

Salted butter as needed

Oil for frying as needed

For Batter

1 1/2 cup gram /Besan flour

2-3 tbsps. rice flour (optional)

salt and chilli powder as per taste

water ( about 1 cup, as required)

Prepare a green chutney of your choice.

Method:

Boil and peel potatoes. Mash them lightly add salt to taste. Crush ginger, garlic, chillies in a mortar and add this paste to the potatoes. Throw in chopped coriander and curry leaves. Add a dash of turmeric (optional). Mix lightly and make balls. Set aside.

Batata /Potato balls and fried green chillies

Batata /Potato balls and fried green chillies

Fry the green chillies in hot oil, taking care they may splutter and pop out on you! Set aside.

Mix the batter with dry ingredients and add water slowly, to make a thick pouring consistency batter. Heat the oil, drop a tiny amount of batter to check if it rises /fluffs. Now dip /roll the potato balls in batter , coating well and drop them gently into the hot oil. 3-4 balls can be fried at a time. Don’t worry about tail ends, let them fry, and munch them later. Set aside balls on tissue to soak on extra oil ( if particular).

Lightly butter a thick Tava or flat pan. Roll the sliced pav and heat them on both sides till light brown.

Deep frying batata vada

Deep frying batata vada

Assemble the prepared items on a paper plate ( for a street food effect)-

1-2 fried chillies, chopped onions at one side, apply chutney to the inside of the sliced bun bread. Tuck in a vada. Tap the top half of bread into place and press lightly, so keep in place. Serve and enjoy with friends.

Mumbai street food: Vada Pav

Mumbai street food: Vada Pav

I take a lot of time and interest to make my blog. Please do not copy or paste my photos and material. Kindly contact me.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Palate Recipes: Street Food of Mumbai (Bombay)

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Mumbai, (earlier Bombay) the city conjures a zillion images to the mind. From the vibrant, ever busy people, crowded trains and dabbahwallahs, Bollywood posters looming large, to the hawkers selling street food, push carts laden with mangoes and the iconic Red bus and black and yellow taxis, Mumbai has the stench, squalor and zest and pride!

Mumbai is a living, breathing city! A city whose people make it all happen.

Iconic Red bus and yellow top taxi, Mumbai

Iconic Red bus and yellow top taxi, Mumbai

To feed its millions of people, the city boasts of hawkers at every nook. Food sold at street kiosks is more convenient than a tight space at an Irani restaurant for the Mumbaikars. Its cheaper, tastier and fresh. Eating out is almost a culture – first are the early morning white-capped Vasai wallahs, train commuters and beach side joggers who satisfy hunger with a quick bite of vada pav or maska omelette. As the sun sets and crowds gather at the three beaches (Chowpaty, Juhu and Versova),dozens of street peddlers and hawkers get busy, preparing and instantly serving the hungry young crowds.

Vada Pav, Bhel Puri, Paani Puri, Jhunka Bhakr, Kanda Bhajji, Papdi chaat and Sev… tantalising treats for the taste buds as you walk the crowded streets. Braving the summer heat and a weak stomach, I decided to plunge headlong into a trip down memory lane to satiate my taste buds.

Vada Pav at Dadar

This is a MUST TRY! A top favourite with Mumbaikars, this simple, substantial dish is popular as ‘on the go breakfast’ by the train commuters and the Vasai wallahs who come into Mumbai suburbs in search of various work at factories, offices and container ports.

Sivaji Park and Gokhale Road, Dadar, are the best places to indulge into the buttery iconic Vada Pav, a Potato savoury dumpling sandwiched between soft, fluffy buttered bread. A spicy, fried carbohydrate rush!

Bhel Puri, Sev Puri near Versova Beach and Juhu Beach

Care for a tangy chutney spiced with fresh coriander chutney and spoonfulls of fine sev (fried gram flour vermicelli)? Head to Mumbai’s beaches at sundown. Along with the amateur football players and kite fliers, these are the best places intown to taste  Bhel Puri, Paani Puri, Sev Puri. For a healthy drink ask for fresh tender coconut water from adjacent hawkers. Loaded with plenty of mineral goodness, coconut water is a refreshing drink and contamination free.

hawker selling tender coconut

hawker selling tender coconut

Most of these tangy snacks are eaten for their taste, rather than nutrition. Indians, by large also like to eat with their families or friends, so an outing to enjoy the sea breeze will mostly end up savouring some street snacks.

Cutting Chai and Makhan Toast

Even I, as a Mumbaikar stumbled off guard, when the stall owner asked me ‘Madam, cutting chai ? Ya poora cup?’ Well, it only meant whether I wanted my tea strong and cut by half, as consumed here. The small glass reminded me of a vodka shot glass. Large aluminium tea kettle, strewn paper cups thrown into a nearby dirty, plastic bucket and the smell of strong boiled tea leaves and a hint of ginger completed the street picture. Cutting chai can be taken  more often, as one cup is divided / cut into 2 or 3 portions.

Tea stall in Mumbai

Tea stall in Mumbai

Falooda, Kebabs and Ramazan Treats at Haji Ali and Bandra Mosque

Mumbai is a cosmopolitan and very liberal city, a home to many communities like Jews, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs along the very vernacular Marathi speaking man and the outer Mumbai rural population. Thus festivals, cultural programmes and food are all laced with a tinge of  communal harmony.

Come Ramzan (Ramadan) the popular Mohammed Ali road, Haji Ali Dargah, Byculla, Crawford market witness a change of food scene. In preparation for Iftar ( breaking of fast at sun set), streets are laden with fresh fruit cuts – watermelon, mango and kharbuja. Meat balls on sticks are wood fired on makeshift gas burners or charcoal bhatti.

Kebabs at street corner, Mumbai. Courtesy: Internet. static.guim. co.uk

Kebabs at street corner, Mumbai. Courtesy: Internet. static.guim. co.uk

Hawkers outside Colleges and train stations.

Indulging in chai discussions, preparatory talks for exams,  women meeting outside the same train station every day is a common practice.  Where else to relax with friends and food? Right on the streets outside most colleges ( SNDT, Mithibai, Parle, Ruia, KEM medical) dozens of hawkers set up semi permanent stands, mostly by day. Profit is counted only after the ‘hafta’ or bribe payment is given to the police watchmen, the area’s kingpin and municipal workers who make their regular rounds at the sites. The unwritten law goes ‘Live and let live’…Mumbai is a city for all.

The rich man, common man and beggar on street.

Food is for all. Come stand and savour it with the warm and simple Mumbaikar.

What is your favourite street food in Mumbai? Where did you eat?

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

 

 

World Palate Recipes: Egg-xtra Special Mother’s Day Breakfast

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      Why not treat Mother an egg-xtra nutritious breakfast? Whether on Mother’s day or a Sunday, or on holiday when mother is visiting. I was treated to one such yummy breakfast, specially made with love and attention to details and brimming with nutrition.

Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and should ideally be packed with goodness to survive and combat the day’s nutritional needs. So don’t skip this important meal, rather make your choices with awareness.

Eggs are easy to cook, versatile, and very nutritious, they make a healthy option (for those who eat them). Packed with proteins, vitamins and minerals, both egg white and the yellow yolk can be consumed, though the yolk has cholesterol. There are many varieties of eggs, the most popular one is the chicken egg, other gourmet eggs being that of quail, goose and duck.

            Top tip… A fresh egg will sink in water, a stale one will float.

A healthy breakfast plate

A healthy breakfast plate

Ingredients:

2 large or medium eggs

salt and pepper to taste

5 spoons of milk ( high fat tastes better!)

2 tbsp. water

1-2 tbsp. olive oil / other oil of choice

heavy bottom pan, egg whisk and bowl.

Garnish /Side

Half soft ripe avocado

5-6 sprigs of asparagus

herbs of choice

4-5 mushrooms

wheat crackers (optional)

Dollop of Hummus (optional)

Frozen Berries or summer fruit

1 cup low-fat yoghurt

Method:

In a bowl, crack the eggs ( leave out yolk if any cholesterol issues), discard the skin. Add few drops of water and milk, salt and pepper and whisk gently, taking care to incorporate air. Do not over whisk, or peak the egg whites stiff.

Heat up a heavy bottom pan or skillet. Add some olive oil or butter or other oil. Do not over heat pan. Gently add the egg mixture and keep stirring, folding in the eggs as they begin to cook. Reduce flame as desired. Keep folding in the mixture till nearly done, switch off flame. The heat in the pan will cook the eggs further, but keep them fluffy and soft. Toss gently on to prepared plate.

In another heated pan, add olive oil. Break and discard the hard bits of asparagus. They are NOT fun to chew upon while enjoying breakfast. Toss the asparagus into the heated pan, drizzle with more oil, add herbs, salt and pepper. Cook till just bit tender and chewy. Do not over cook. Set aside. Now sauté the sliced mushroom in a similar way.

Garnish the plate with slices of avocado, dollop of hummus ( or thick yoghurt), scrambled eggs and dress them up with cooked green asparagus shoots. Serve with toast or wheat crackers.

To a bowl of yoghurt, add some frozen berries or fresh-cut summer fruit. The colours will highlight the serving and bring extra smiles of contentment to Mother. ‘Ah…what a satisfying meal and start to the day’.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

  

                 

 

 

Street food, Hyderabad

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Street food is popular all over the world. Have you wondered why? It’s convenient, fresh, caters to local authentic taste, competitively priced, at times nostalgic, and makes for an affordable social place.

In Hyderabad, street food is pedaled on bicycles, push-carts and at kiosks. It is no longer limited to the bustling ‘old city’ lanes. (For Bangle bazaar, Charminar, see here). Find your nearest street corner, watch the locals eat roadside meals.

Floor design: Kolam,

Floor design: Kolam,

Two common sights greet the passer by each morning in Hyderabad (and most of South India). First is the artistic, rice powder kolam drawings on the floor of house entrances. The other is the breakfast vendor.  Hot idli, dosa and chutney served at almost every street corner!

At one street in Begumpet area, this vendor parks his bicycle, as early as 5:30 am. Steel buckets filled with sambar (curry) hang from the handle bar. On either side of the cycle, two other containers with chutney and idli (soft rice flour mounds) make the balance. For recipe of Palli (peanut chutney) see here. With a beaming smile, he serves his first customer with soft, white idlis on disposable paper plates. Tangy, spicy sambar is ladled on top. Having sold all the food by 10:00 am he packs up.

Street vendor selling breakfast items

Street vendor selling breakfast items

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bucket filled with Sambar / curry

Bucket filled with Sambar / curry

Nagamma has been serving breakfast on her pushcart for 8 years. She wakes up at 3:00 am preparing the batter and chutneys. The couple drive their van and by 6:00 am, she lights up the makeshift gas burner on her bandi or pushcart. Oodles of batter are dropped into the hot oil, the aroma of sada vada and medu vada (little balls of rice and lentil batter) fills the cool morning air. Her regular customers are street workers, hostel students and nearby office staff.

Thanks Nagamma! Hesitatingly, I tasted freshly made crisp, flat dosa  some vada served with coconut chutney. Yumm…

Street vendor making crisp dosa

Street vendor making crisp dosa

Bonda and Vada

Bonda and Vada

From 5 pm onwards its snack time in India. Freshly made, spicy fried Mirpakaya bhajji or stuffed chilli pakora are a Hyderabadi special. Be brave and tingle your taste buds!

Street food: Masala bonda and bhajji

Street food: Masala bonda and bhajji

Street food is known to travel far and beyond its regional and cultural borders. The Bombay style pani puri and chaat items, are gaining popularity with a younger crowd. Mostly hostel students, professionals in the bustling IT sector find these kiosks a affordable and relaxing place. You need a strong stomach to digest those spices and water, though.

Street food :Pani puri stall

Street food :Pani puri stall

Summer can be very hot and dry in Hyderabad. Vendors brave the heat and pollution on the roads. They push their carts from main road to side streets or stand nearby a tree. Popular drinks include lemon drinks, water served in earthen pots or matka, tender coconuts or freshly squeezed mosambi, sweet lime juice.

Have you eaten street food in Hyderabad?

What is the street food in your country? What cuisine does it say? Do share your comments.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

World Palate Recipes: Andhra Palli Pachadi( Peanut Chutney)

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   Andhra Palli Pachadi (Peanut Chutney)

Groundnuts or peanuts are extensively grown on the central Indian Deccan plateau. Regional produce thus, often finds its way into regional cuisine!

Deccan cuisines of Maharashtra, Gujrat and central Andhra often incorporate the crunchy, nutritious peanuts in a variety of ways. Boiled with salt they are served as street snack, lightly roasted in oil they add crunch to salads (koshimbir), and when ground to paste they blend into gravies – thus finding their ways into recipes. Peanuts add texture, colour and nutrition!

Are peanuts the world’s healthiest food? Cheaper than almonds? Maybe. Rich in proteins and minerals, comparatively cheaper than exotic almonds and hazelnuts. Often in the agricultural rural regions, peanuts are a perfect answer for the poor man, farmer or labourer toiling away.

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=101

Thanks to my domestic helper Satyavati, in Hyderabad. She taught me to make this simple, rustic and quick chutney…typical rural method.

Aren’t you lucky she shared her simple knowledge with us all?

Image result for quotes about sharing knowledge

Courtesy: Internet.

Ingredients

Peanut chutney ingredients

Peanut chutney ingredients

250 gms lightly roasted peanuts ( or buy a pack from supermarket)

2 small onions

1 inch ginger

2-3 sprigs coriander for garnish

water as required

salt as needed

2 red chillies ( or as desired)

Tempering:

1tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds) 2-3 curry leaves, 2 tsps. cooking oil.

Method:

Place peanuts in heavy bottom wok /kadhai and lightly roast them, continuously stirring them for about 10 minutes. Place aside to cool, remove skin. Cool completely. (Else use pre roasted peanuts from jar or pack:)

Make the tempering – heat oil in pan, splutter the mustard and jeera seeds. quickly add red chilli and switch off gas. Add curry leaves. Cool.

In a grinder, place peanuts and make coarse powder, stirring in between to check consistency. Mix well, grind further to finer paste. Remove and place in container.

Grind the onion and ginger to paste, using water sparingly. Mix with peanut powder. Adjust salt, chilli and water to this mixture to make a runny consistency.

Add the tempering, mix well. Chutney is ready in a jiffy! Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve preferably along with dosa, uttappa or rice. Leftovers can find their way into sandwich or Roti.

Chutney and Uttappa

Chutney and Uttappa

Do you have another method for this chutney? Or if you wish to contact me for another peanut recipe, leave a message. Remember to share.

 

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

 

 

World Palate Recipes: Beetroot, Red Grape and Onion Raita

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World Palate Recipes: Beetroot, Red Grape and Onion Raita

           Beetroot, Red Grape and Onion Raita

 

Beetroot specials are strictly for the roots lovers! Well, say it’s an acquired taste. I can already hear some family members groan and ask ‘Eee…w, Why beetroot?’ But for me, I love the intense colour. The mild, sweet taste and health benefits are extras.

Beetroot has many minerals like potassium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, B6, folic acid and carbohydrates. Works well to cut blood pressure, increase stamina and iron (haeme) in the body therefore relieving any pain.

 

Beetroot and Onion Raita

Beetroot and Onion Raita

Ingredients:

3 medium size beetroot

1 small onion

Few Red Grapes for garnish

2 sprigs of Coriander or Mint

200 gm Yoghurt (as desired)

Rock salt, Salt, chilli powder as per taste

1 spoon olive oil

Method:

Boil the beets in just enough water, so as not to waste any nutrients while discarding left over water. Cool and peel. Chop finely or grate it if you wish finer consistency. Chop the mint /coriander. Finely chop onion, after removing top and bottom ends and peeling off skin.

In a medium bowl, tip the yoghurt and stir. Add in olive oil, salt, chilli powder, rock salt ( all as desired). Whisk well lightly.

Put the beetroot and onions. Stir them in well. Add a few chopped Red grapes, reserving few for garnish.

To garnish: Place 2-3 full Red grapes, a sprig of coriander or mint, and some onion rings. Drizzle with little olive oil…its healthy! Serve as accompaniment with brown rice or Naan. Or use as a dip.

Stunning colour and crunch of textures makes it a favourite at anytime.

Beetroot raita and rice plate

 

Remember to leave your comments, even if your don’t like beetroot:)

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

 

 

 

Festivals(Food): Steamed Modak or Rice Dumplings

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Festival Food: Modak or Rice Dumplings

Courtesy: Internet

Come September, the Maharastrian community in India start preparations for their  favourite festival ie. Ganesh Chaturthi. Primarily this elephant-headed God is worshipped as a remover of obstacles and harbinger of benevolent times. He is also known as God of knowledge, the elephant head signifying that wisdom. There are many a story in Hindu mythology on the birth and significance of Ganesha.

Ganesha, is synonomous with food, and loves a plentiful variety, other than just being offered the 3 pronged grass (durva).The sweet coconut filled Modak, made with rice flour is his favourite. Modak is known by other regional names as: modhaka, sugiyan, kadabu, kozhakattai.  The ‘puja’ ceremony or worship concludes with an offering of twenty-one modak.

My friend Swati Leela Vongole is a budding painter and loves to paint object drawings and landscapes or scenery. She does take personal orders, if you wish.

Thankyou Swati for sharing your prized production!  (It sure adds a personal touch and much value to my blog).

Contemporary painting of Lord Ganesh feasting on Modak. (by Swati Leela Vongole)

Contemporary painting of Lord Ganesh feasting on Modak.
(by Swati Leela Vongole)

Whoever said cooking is not an Art? My friend Medha (and her mother) are experts in making the sweet Modak. Here is her step-by-step preparation.

                    To all those celebrating: Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

Photos of preparation:

Preparation of rice flour for Modak

Preparation of rice flour for Modak

 

Preparation of coconut and jiggery filling

Preparation of coconut and jiggery filling

 

Preparing the dough ball, rolling in flour

Preparing the dough ball, rolling in flour

 

Making a soft casing with rice flour

Making a soft casing with rice flour

 

Filling the stuffing in the casing

Filling the stuffing in the casing

Finally, the Modak take shape: The central filling signifies pure and sweet nature of Atman. The spiral folds and conical head signifies, the convolutions of the material world we live in, and the need to rise above it all, spiritually.

The perfectly shaped, soft and glutinous steamed Modak are now ready for offering.

For stories on elephants and/or Ganesha browse these sites:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

http://www.sacredelephants.com/2006/05/how-ganesh-got-his-elephant-head.html

http://www.preservearticles.com/201106027433/short-essay-on-ganesh-chaturthi-festival-in-india.html