Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Oye Delhi! Delhi Oye!

I had meant to put up a few new recipes with pictures et al but I have been stranded without help for the last few days and I just realized how difficult it is to successfully manage a house and a 5 month old… so I decided to dedicate this post to the quest for good food in Delhi.

When my husband and I moved to Delhi back in August 2007 we would be out most weekends looking for good sit-down places to relax at or soak in the ambience of, enjoy a nice quiet meal or sometimes all that mattered was great food! We don’t know a lot of people our age here so we would always be on the lookout for ways of discovering new places to eat it – magazine reviews, Google searches, you name it we have tried and it and it has been quite an adventure. I thought I will put down my feedback and reviews of some of the eateries on my blog so people who are looking for good food know where to go and where not to go!

To give my friends living abroad a bit of a background – Delhi is the capital of India and it’s a big sprawling city comparable to Washington D.C but Mumbai is the place to party at all night long and is always buzzing with activity (like NYC!!!). I have been in Delhi for over a year and being a hardcore Bombayite / Mumbaitie I’m still trying to adjust to the city’s idiosyncrasies but the one thing I cannot deny is that there most probably is not a single Indian restaurant in Delhi that can ruin a Butter Chicken (Indian Curry Chicken) or Dal Makhani (Indian lentils). Finding the same in Mumbai can be quite a challenge…

One place where my husband and I used to frequent a lot is The Big Chill CafĂ© – done up with a Serendipity 3 like ambience (http://www.serendipity3.com/ - my favoritest restaurant in NYC) – is a gastronomic delight and great place to chill at. The ambience is great (a bit retro), the crowd young and eclectic and the place is done up with posters from yesteryear’s Hollywood classics. You can’t go wrong with anything of the menu, the servers are very courteous and will try to fine tune a dish to suit it to your tastes. Our typical order at this joint is – the baked potato with chicken and mayonnaise (yumm - i can taste it as I write about it - it is always perfectly baked with the potato topped with a perfect combination of mayaonaise and chicken as the name suggest and a big dollop of cheese so each bite just melts into your mouth), the chicken peri peri (a fiery mouth watering pasta which seems like a fusion of Indian and Italian spices - again a full bodied sauce makes this pasta dish taste great). the pasta is served with their signature bread that is nice and buttery and perfect to balance the spice in the pasta. We always end our meal with the Mississippi Mudpie (I think this is the yummiest dessert I have ever eaten!!!). The Mississippi Mudpie portion can serve 3-4 people but however full our tummies Alok and I always manage to wolf this one down completely. It is the perfect combination of coffee ice-cream with a base of peanut butter laid on a chocolaty crust topped with hot chocolate fudge sauce and each bite just melts into your mouth. The only complain I have of this place is that is not kid friendly (so we now have to order take out) and if you plan on visiting this one the wait for getting a table varies between 20-40 minutes even on weekdays!

I think I will have to end this post for now since I haven't gotten more than 3 hours of sleep over the last few days... but I promise to follow this up soon with my healthy but yummy Butter Chicken recipe and more reviews of restaurants & bars in Delhi.

Anyone need the address of Big Chill can email me and this is one meal I gaurantee you will always remember!!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Seafood Delight

So, I don’t have a new recipe as yet but do have some “good seafood” places that I can suggest which I am sure can buy me some time. Born and brought up in Bombay (still getting used to calling it Mumbai) to a hardcore North Indian foodie family has me strongly inculcated into the seafood culture.

Seafood connoisseurs would look down at me but my favorite fish is pomfret and I prefer it over all seafood delicacies! I still have childhood memories of eating the yummiest fried fish from Jai Jawan, located on Linking Road in Mumbai. If you can reach National College I am sure your nose can guide you to his shop from there. This one is not for the hoity-toity and some of you may not be able to sum up enough courage to eat from here. My dad is always on the lookout for places with great food even if they seem like a “hole in the wall” kinda place and this one was his discovery. Everyone who visits Mumbai has heard of Trishna and Mahesh Lunch Home (apparently their crab is to die for but I am not a crab lover) but other little known places which my husband and dad love to visit are Sayaba, again in Bandra and Gajalee at Vile Parle (E). Needless to say, you cannot go very wrong ordering anything off the menu in the latter two places.

India has great Seafood available in Southern India but I shall leave that for another post… though I can’t sign-off without mentioning Singapore (http://www.wutravel.com/hotels/singapore/singapore/?a_aid=6358565b). The seafood in Singapore is meant for the Indian palate. You cannot complete a visit to the city without having the famous fish head curry at Muthu’s Curry restaurant. The fish head curry as the name suggests is a huge head of fish eye staring in a sumptuous spicy curry ready to be devoured. I am attaching a picture of what was left of the fish after we were done eating. The chicken dish next to it was untouched (usually prefer chicken over fish) is proof enough that the fish curry was heavenly! Another must try in Singapore is the chilli crab at any restaurant at Boat Quay but Jumbo Seafood is highly recommended by my husband.

I shall try to put up more global seafood restaurant recommendations but till then enjoy the upcoming weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Simmmply Chocolicious!

I just had to dedicate my first blog post to a chocolate recipe... coz I am a great chocolate fan and can eat it all day. Also, crunchy chocolate is one of my favouritest (is that even a word) things!

I am still trying to master the art of food photography, so please bear with me for now... I am sure the food will soon start LOOKING as appetising as it tastes.

This recipe is a spin-off from one of Nigella Lawson's recipes (http://www.nigella.com/). These crunchy chocolate bars are a heavenly combination of dark chocolate and toasted nuts and melt in your mouth. They can be stored in an air tight container (but trust me they won't last that long) to give you a sudden lift me up on days that you are low and need a chocolate high! They also make a great quick dessert and can be served with a scoop of vanilla or coconut ice-cream and I can gaurantee you rave reviews after the party :).

So without further ado - here is the recipe

300gm Dark Chocolate (you can choose Milk Chocolate also)
125gm Butter
75ml Golden Syrup
250gm Digestive Biscuits (I used McVitie's)
100gm Toasted Nuts (I used a combination of Almonds, Walnuts and Peanuts)

> Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler and add the golden syrup till they are really well blended.

> I used my hands to crush the digestive biscuits since they were really soft already - you want a combination of pieces and crumbs. If you use any other brand you can just put them in a freezer bag and use a rolling pin on them as long as you get the same effect.

> The nuts need to be coarsely chopped. The peanuts I used were already toasted and had a dash of salt in them (which added to the overall flavour).

> Mix the biscuits and nuts together with your hands in a rectangular foil tray - add about half the melted chocolate mixture and mix really well. Then flatten this mixture as best as you can (not with your hands this time or you will have chocolate all over them!). If you feel the dry ingredients are not well coated - add a bit more of the melted chocolate.

> Pour the remaining chocolate over this flattened mass and evenly spread it with the back of a spoon or spatula.

> Leave it overnight in the refrigerator. Cut into squares or rectangles and enjoy!