Beers, Bhajiyas & Old Monk …

The evenings where heavy rain spatters on the outside while the oil for bhajiyas spatters in the kitchen have arrived – like DJs and turntables, cold weather and brandy, Instagram & filters go together, Bonobo has discovered a brand new twosome – beers & bhajiyas! And what good is a twosome without an element of surprise? Enter, the good old monk to lend some rum happiness to the newest festival in town – Beer & Bhajiya with a touch of Old Monk at Bonobo.

Broccoli & Cream Cheese Bhajiya at Bonobo

Broccoli & Cream Cheese Bhajiya

Your monsoon evenings are about to go from great to epic with flavoured bhajiyas paired with your all time favourite brews.  Walk in to find the classic Begun Bhaja doing the tango with the locally brewed White Zen and the old school favourite Kanda Bhaji sitting comfortably across from Budweiser. The Broccoli & Cream Cheese bhajiya makes a crackling combination with Hoegaarden while the Tempura Spinach bhajiya falls in line perfectly with the full-flavoured Asahi. To evoke just the right amount of nostalgia, pick from the Masala Maggi, Fried Chilli, or Cheese & Chutney Toast.

 

Bounty Brownie Bhajiya at Bonobo

Bounty Brownie Bhajiya

If your mind (or palate) can’t process bhajiyas without chai, find your way to our Old Monk infused Masala Chai. To take comfort food to the next level, pair them with Old Monk Nescafe or the Hot Monk Chocolate. Enjoy the rainy holidays with cocktails like the Old Monkjito and the Beachy Monk with Malibu.  From happy splashes in puddles to impromptu rainy drives and cozy blankets – here’s another monsoon experience that is going to be really hard to forget.

P.S. The “Sabudana Bhajiya” & “Jalapeno Bhajiya” were my personal favourites!

Jalapeno Popper at Bonobo

Jalapeno Popper Bhajiya

Sabudana Bhajiya at Bonobo

Sabudana Bhajiya

 

Where? Bonobo, 2nd Floor, Kenilworth Mall, Phase 2, Off Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai: 400 050

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DISHKIYAOON

New restaurant opening at the famous Capital One Building BKC is Dishkiyaoon.

Dishkiyaoon ,BKC (25)

Vivek & Kabbir Luthria and Gaurav Dabrai , the owners of  Kino Cottage and Copa are joined by partner Saloni Rupani to present their signature style of casual and refreshing dining with  Dishkiyaoon.

Dishkiyaoon ,BKC (15)

Space is designed by Clement Desylva which very unconventional .Loved the entrance façade highlighted with artsy typography. The interiors is compilation of lot of vertical gardens, The level of greenery is spectacular without eating into any floor space, thanks to the clever use of framed succulents. A brightly lit spacious bar with swings and phone charging trolleys were some of the highlights, however some things were pretty random like the placement of a Bath Tub.

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The menu at Dishkiyaoon is all about contemporary fare from across different cuisines presented in an adventurous style. Chef  Clyde Comello’s menu is  mix of classic heart warmers to regional specials made contemporary. One can indulge in nostalgic fare like Paneer 65 with lemon pillaf , Daliya Khichdi to dishes like Chole Empnadas , Dishkiyaoon chilli cheese toasty, Flatbreads include Aubergine scarmozza , Cheezzy wezzy to name a few .

At the preview I tried some cocktails; the bar menu has a lot of options includes handcrafted cocktails like the  Filter Coffee Martini, Gur & Sugarcane Mojito , Adult Coke float ,Bombay to Benaras , New Fashioned Old Fashioned  & Jäger Float. My favorite was 3M (Mix of fresh pineapple juice + orange juice + Malibu and rock salt) the second one which I liked was Benaras to Mumbai (Traditional Thandai topped with Rum)

BANARAS TO BOMBAY (5)

For Food we tried the Vada Pav Salad this one had baby vadas tossed in with salad leaves topped with fresh pomegranate, croutons and sweet and spicy chutney.

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For mains tried the Paneer 65 with Lemon pilaf, the paneer was coated in a very sweet and spicy sauce. The daliya khichdi served with stuffed mirchi salan was quite interesting though I found the gravy little on the sweeter but when had together it tasted well.

Open through the day, Dishkiyaoon lets you devour a hearty meal of Chef Clydes specials or swing by for drinks & dinner in the evening. They also have gluten free, vegan & good carb options!

 

Timings :

11am to 1 am

Address: G1, Capital Building, BKC, Mumbai – 51

Bao Wow Festival

 

Baos - The Fatty Bao - Photos Courtesy Kunal Chandra-4.jpg

One of my favorite restaurant Fatty Bao is hosting Bao Wow Festival this month and I was invited for a preview to taste the new additions yesterday evening.

The Menu has a total of 13 different varieties of yummy bao’s, which are filled with different kinds of fillings. The menu includes the all-time favorites in addition to a whole new selection of inventive flavor combinations, especially created for the festival by Executive Chef Prashanth.

The Vegetarian Bao’s had a total of 5 varieties, and I tried everything. Besides the Crispy Eggplant and The Mushroom and Bell Pepper which are the regular on their menu, there are 3 new additions.

Loved the Crispy Tofu and Mock Meat, It had amazing flavor of black bean sauce, stuffed with cold lettuce+ pickled pear and topped with scallions. The Cheesy Kimchi Potato Bao, now one can hardly go wrong with this combination sprinkled with Korean chili powder this was good stuff.

The pricing per portion start from INR 260 (excluding taxes)

The Bao Wow Festival is on from 1st February 2016 – 14th February 2016 at The Fatty Bao Mumbai and Delhi.

So make the reservation now.

The Fatty Bao Mumbai: Summerville, Junction of 14th & 33rd, Linking Road Bandra West, Mumbai- 400050. For Reservations call : 022-26005220

Opening Hours: All Days of the Week: 12:00 noon to 3:30pm and 7:00pm to 1:00 am

Photo Courtesy : Kunal Chandra

 

Comfort Zone

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I love being at home, catching up on my weekly dose of sitcoms or watching movies and binging on comfort food. One of them is Mac and Cheese and I just love it, everybody loves it actually, one bite of it in my mouth and I melt into a puddle.

Making it is very simple just a milk based sauce with lots of cheese and tonnes of pasta. Since a couple of months I am trying to watch what I eat and am trying to make things healthier. Now here is my way of making this sinful dish which is less on calories. Over the years I have tried different versions of Mac+Cheese. But this one is top favorite, its creamy and adding cream cheese enhances the taste though have used it just a wee bit quantity of cream cheese. The combination of cheese could be of one’s choice, anything would work.
By using more milk I have made this sauce thick and creamy. You can also add mustard and spice it up but I love the touch of nutmeg in my recipe also a lot of freshly crushed pepper.

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I have incorporated broccoli and cauliflower so this way I end up using less macaroni and more veggies and sneaked in some more milk into their diet as kids usually shy away from drinking milk by itself. Am sure kids would love this one. Here the dietary needs of a meal are balanced out for them. My nephew he skips milk so we make this one for him often, with his high metabolism he can afford to eat this one and burn off calories at his football practice.

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In this recipe I have used Mother Dairy toned milk which I tried for the first time, the packaging was quite attractive. And I did notice the slashed price while paying up the bill which was a surprise. Yes its two rupees lesser than what it usually was. It sure seems #TooGoodInTwoLess!  Mother Dairy Milk is quite popular in India which has been into existence since 1974 and most trusted when it comes to quality.

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As a side with this dish I would have it with a salad or a tall glass of coke with lots of ice. Enjoy.

Guilt Free Skinny Macaroni

Ingredients:-
1 cup elbow pasta
1 cup chopped and parboiled
¼ cup chopped and par boiled broccoli
1 tbsp. cream cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese grated
2 ½ cups of Luke warm milk (I used to toned Mother Dairy milk)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. butter
¼ tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Pre heat the oven to 350
In a large pot boil water with lots of salt and once the water starts bubbling add the pasta and cook it according to the instructions on pasta packet.

In a sauce pan melt 2 tbsp. butter and once it melts add the all-purpose flour and cook it for 2 minutes add the milk slowly and stir continuously while adding the milk.

Add ½ cup of water and the cheese with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne pepper and let it thickens.

Once the sauce is thick turn of the heat and add fresh parsley
Add the cooked pasta and the veggies and mix until all is coated and transfer it to a baking tray

Top it with more grated cheese and bread crumbs and cook it in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.
Garnish with parsley and serve hot.

Note: Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart’s Recipe with a little changes

Wok it Up !!

After a successful run at the Bandra and Pedder Road outlets. Loco Chino is now open at Oshiwara , This one opened in May and unlike the other branches this one is bigger , accommodates up to 35 people.

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Spacious setting very clean and well-designed with a big open kitchen and a make your own wok and burrito counter.

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We went for lunch one afternoon, Brightly lit space I liked the accents they have used to highlight the restaurant, Had a lot of Mexican and Oriental influences . The walls had these wonderful cut out  caricatures, colorful and cute they   added a fun element. Lots of ceiling hangings and Chinese wind chimes added the quirky element which lifts up the mood of the casual setting.

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The staff polite and service was prompt. I have been to Loco-Chino in the past and have tried and liked the variety of Dim sum, Nachos, Burritos and Enchiladas. This time was looking forward to try the new addition from their menu “Walk the Wok”

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Now this is a pretty fun concept only at their Oshiwara Outlet where they have a live wok station.

So the customer is given an option where they can customize their wok meals with an extensive rice or noodle base along with sauce and topping of their choice.

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We opted for a Rice based Wok

3 Types of veggies (peppers + broccoli + baby corn)

Choice of 1 protein (tofu)

For the sauce I picked the Black Pepper Sauce

And for toppings it was crushed peanut+ spring onions

The dish was perfectly spiced and well made, The two of us couldn’t finish our portion as generous in quantity also we  had no space left hence couldn’t try the noodle option.

For dessert,  it was Tres Leche not very authentic, but tasted good.

The vegetarian Wok is priced at 179/- and 189/- for Non – Vegetarian. The Sea Food one is priced at 229/- Highly recommend one should try this one out.

(Was invited for Review )

Big Bong

IMG_0331A happy New Year people hope everyone had wonderful holiday season and are getting back to their busy lives and chores.

Yes have been cooking a little less these days thanks to attending a  lot of weddings this season but now finally all that is done and back home trying to switch back to a healthy diet and home cooked food.

I love Lentils. They are very important part of our Indian Cuisine very healthy high on protein, fiber, and vitamin B. Every Region in India has its own version of a staple lentil as we call it Dal. As Region changes the variety of lentils used change too. North Indian love their Tadka Dal or Dal Makhani and as one travels towards Gujarat the pallet changes with a lighter sweeter Gujrati Dal or Kadhi.

Dal is served with all meals with a variety of bread or could be eaten with plain or brown rice. This particular dal recipe is from the region of West Bengal. It is called Chollar Dal. Bengalis are very passionate about their food, their staples consist of Fish and Meat Curry delicately spiced mustard, chilies etc cooked in mustard oil. The Cuisine also has a lot of vegetarian options Vegetarian curries in coconut gravy, Aloo poshto and brilliant variety of sweets. I love Bengali sweets be it the soft and juicy Rosogullas or the creamy Bhapa Doi they are just brilliant in flavor, texture and so light.

Chollar Dal is a usually made on special occasions like puja or wedding ceremonies etc. Eaten traditionally with deep-fried Puris and fresh green chilies this dal is a wonderful combination cooked with aromatic spices and the additions of sweet raisins and the toasted coconut makes it very rich in flavor.

CHOLLAR DAL

(Recipe adapted from Anjum Anand’s Indian Food made easy)

  • 1 liters water
  • 250 gms chana dal (also called Bengal gram lentils), thoroughly cleaned
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering

  • 2 tablespoons mustard oil /unsalted butter or ghee (clarified butter) 5 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds(jeera)
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 5cloves
  • 1 to 2 dried red chiles
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece cinnamon stick 
  • 1 tsp Raisins
  • 3 heaping tablespoons flaked or desiccated coconut or 1/4 small fresh coconut, flesh chopped into small cubes.
  • (I have used dried grated coconut )

METHOD

Heat the water, lentils, and turmeric in a saucepan, and bring to the boil. Simmer the mixture for about 1 hour, or until soft. If necessary, add a bit of extra water.

Or You can also Pressure Cook the Dal. Wash and soak the dal for 1-2 hours and then pressure cook it with 750 ml of water for 4-5 whistles.

Once the dal is soft and cooked, stir in the coriander powder, garam masala, sugar, and salt, to taste.

Cook until the lentils are completely soft and beginning to break up.

Tempering:- Heat the oil or butter in a small pan. Fry the cardamom pods, cumin, mustard seeds, cloves, chilies, bay leaves, and cinnamon for 30 seconds. Be careful as the seeds may pop a bit.

Add the coconut, and stir until it turns golden brown. Add raisins.

Stir the spice mixture into the lentils and divide among 4 serving plates.

Serve hot with Puffed Puri or Bread and Fresh green chilies on the side.

Enjoy

Peas in a Pod

Back to blogging after a really long time but life is such… when other thing took over, writing surely had taken a back seat for me. But now am back again and will do a detailed blog post on things which I tried cooking or eating out over the last couple of weeks!!

So this blog post is pretty special, I got a chance to make few recipes using ingredients from Shop for Change Fair Trade, an NGO that was founded in 2009 with a mission to harness the power of Indian markets to improve the livelihoods of poor farmers across India via trade, not aid.

Shop for Change is India’s first and only Fair Trade label. Cotton is the first fair trade certified product where they have partnered with leading brands such as Color Plus (Raymond), Shoppers Stop, Mother Earth, Anita Dongre and innovative brands like No Nasties, Do U Speak Green etc…They are doing some commendable work in this field.

They also have a range of exclusive food products such as chocolate cashew, organic vanilla powder, Chamomile tea, various Herb blends, wild forest honey – all sourced directly from small farmer groups. With festive season around these products are wonderful gifting options. One of the gifting ideas is one can club these various spices and make special box or a hamper. They have a variety of herb blends, mace, all spice mix, oregano etc which can be combined into a lovely spice box.

This week I got cooking with these amazing products hence am going to do a series of Three recipes which are perfect to be served for Diwali party or any occasion using these products.

For my first recipe am going to use the black peppercorns from fair trade. These peppercorns are sourced from Varanashi Organic. They are wonderfully aromatic and very good quality. So I decided to make a green peas soup garnished with crispy cottage cheese and freshly ground pepper from Fair Trade which can be served as a perfect starter.

This recipe is easy to make one pot soup, its has wonderful flavors of the Indian spices the pepper here provides the perfect kick and the lovely green color is very inviting also kind of comfort food… A healthy option as it has no added cream,Etc. Serve warm with choice of any assorted bread and herb butter.

GREEN PEAS SOUP

3 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic crushed
2 green chilies, chopped
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
3 tablespoons sunflower oil/butter
2 bay leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
3 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas
sea salt to taste
a squeeze of fresh lemon juice
handful of fresh mint leaves, chopped

Freshly ground pepper

Pan-fried paneer for garnish

Puree the ginger, garlic, chilies, cumin with some water into a paste. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the oil/butter. When hot, add the bay leaves and sauté for a couple of seconds. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until it pink in color, Then Add the garlic-ginger paste, and cook for another minute. Add the stock, stir well, and bring to a boil. Then add the peas. Simmer until cooked through maybe for 8-10 mins.

Once off the heat let is cool. Remove the bay leaves, add salt, and puree well with a hand blender. Check the seasoning and consistency and if you require thinning it one can add more stock. Top it with lemon juice, some cumin, mint leaves, and pan-fried paneer or cheese of your choice.

Serve hot

(Adapted from 101 cookbooks.com)