When traveling, a gal has got to eat! In 2015, I had several trips to Delhi. Normally I keep it a quick ‘grab and go’ kinda meal unless it is a sit down business lunch or dinner.
However during my December trip, with the chill in the air and a little time on my hands between meetings I had a ‘proper’ sit down Punjabi lunch with chole (chickpeas), laccha parantha, pickles and salad. It was simple and completely satisfying!
Now I’ve ordered hot chole bhatura from a local dhaba in Bandra and have even been known to make it at home from time to time… however it is just not the same as the spicy tangy incredibly delicious version most joints make in Delhi.
There are lots of other amazing Punjabi dishes… any other favourites out there? Ones that are simply not quite the same outside of either someone’s home or a particular location?
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Most of us have ‘go to’ recipes… something quick and delicious that you can make on an instance without even thinking.
This one is so crazy simple, you can literally make it in minutes. Makes a great side dish, cold you can jazz up any salad throwing some of these green beans in too!
And today, I mixed it up a little substituting one ingredient – super yum!
- Green beans, sliced roughly in 3 inch bits – can parboil first but not required
Then in a non-stick pan
- Heat a dollop of oil on high
- Drop in 1/2 teaspoon each of cumin seeds, yellow or brown mustard seeds and sesame or sunflower seeds
- They should start to pop and sizzle almost immediately
- Thrown in the green beans
- Then a dash of salt and cayenne pepper
- Just keep tossing around for a few minutes until everything gets nice and toasty – it is best when the green beans get a bit ‘singed’ to bring out a roasted flavour
Today I substituted sunflower for sesame seeds – wow! Will definitely do a repeat of that… maybe experiment with other seeds too…
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Once upon a time I flirted with becoming an academic. Perhaps a serious affair is a better way to describe it… but after a decade I had commitment issues.
Sure I loved teaching, I could even handle the hours of meticulously marking papers, gobbling up thick heavy tomes? No problem! Regurgitating papers and essays? Well… I would start by procrastinating then spew out content – sometimes with passion and sometimes merely intellectual curiosity.
You need to understand, the University of Manitoba (U of M) environment was where I grew up. I was a professor’s brat which meant the University was where I went to nursery school, where I learned to swim, where we went each summer to Mini University for ‘camp’, where I used to hop a bus from school to attend piano lessons… in short it was always home.
One of the delights about living in Asia is access to an array of fresh food. Pure and unadulterated.
In Canada if you want coconut water? You get it from a can or a drink box imported from Asia.
In India, if you want coconut water? The coconut man brings it fresh to your door.
You can sip it with a straw or even have it in a glass if you prefer (why?).
He’ll then ask if you want the ‘meat’ and proceed to take part of the coconut shell to scoop out and roughly chop all that good stuff so it is easy to eat as is or store to have later.
Practically everything from the coconut can be used.
- Makar sakranti / pongal feast
- ‘Pop’ home for ‘pop up’ Assamese
- “Let’s go out for dinner!” aka the Puncak un-plan…
It is hard not to be a bit of a foodie in India – there is such amazing choice and range of flavours, cooking styles and combinations.
The passion and pride folks have in ‘their‘ cuisine is unmistakable!
The danger of hanging out with true foodies is that as you are enjoying one meal, plans are afoot for the next!
No surprise then that a brunch of Karwari cuisine was born out of conversations at an earlier meal.
For those not familiar with the region or its cuisines, ‘Karwar‘ is a coastal area in Karnataka, just south from Goa. A distinctive element is that though predominantly Hindu, even brahmins eat seafood and meat.
Linguistically, most speak Konkani like Goans though the official language is Kannada yet there are also strong Marathi and Hindi influences too.
As you would expect from coastal cuisine, seafood is king! Also you won’t find wheat rotis here. Instead rice is the staple starch. Plus generous reliance on coconut (including the oil for cooking) and spicy masalas.
- Mutton sukke – a dry mutton curry
- Chicken sagoti (like Goan xacuti but without vinegar) – cooked in coconut gravy with ‘sagoti’ masala
- Prawn gassi – another coconut dish
- Batata song – surprisingly simple and amazingly delicious potato with red chillies
- Usal watana – peas with cashew
- Dali toi – yum daal made with chilies, ginger, asafoetida
- Bhakri – a kind of steamed ‘chapati’ made with rice flour, great for sopping up gravy
- Bhinda kadi – a refreshing kokum drink
Trust me… I’m now ravinous just writing about it.
Any community cuisine that captured your culinary fancy recently?
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Are these a new art installation? Some fancy creative contraption? Preparing for the space age piping?
All around our building these shiny new objects attached themselves to our pipes…
For those not familiar with life in Mumbai, you may be forgiven for your confusion.
After all, their purpose may simply not be required in your parts.
However for us? Let’s just say there was more than one reason we decided to welcome a kitten into our home. It was also in hopes that she would be a good mouse (or rat… or bandicoot) catcher!
Particularly since all the construction, let’s just say that the rodents of the neighbourhood have become rather adept at scurrying up our pipes. Those of us on the lower floors in particular are prone as they climb up and then hop through windows into homes full of all sorts of goodies.
But since these suckers came up? Not one rodent. Phew! Simple yet effective.
Any other unique ways of keeping rodents and other pesky creatures at bay in your home?
As I enjoy a lazy Saturday in Mumbai with our kitten Zoe while my partner is busy on a chilly shoot in Manali, Himachal Pradesh, I was reminded of cooler climes during an autumn trip to Amsterdam (Nov 2014)… with a few non-human friends who tried to brighten and warm up our days!
Off the living room was a delightful view of the garden… (more…)
Once upon a time there was a little boy growing up in India.
His father was a very talented man and toured the world with the Paranjoti Choir. One such trip took his father to France where he met another little boy.
Who became pen pals with his son. Writing to each other for many years…
His son even shared the news of his father’s death when he only eleven.
Fast forward forty years and the two finally meet when the little boy has grown up and tours France with a musical.
This is their story captured in: