Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Chicken & Mushrooms in Soy Sauce


My dream of making Chinese food that didn't flop came true over the weekend. As I said in my previous post my son loves to bookmark recipes and our bookshelf reorganizing adventure resulted in rediscovering many cookbooks that I owned but never used. I have a real treasure of very old cookbooks that are possibly out of print today and I really cherish them and the people who gifted them to me. The hubs is particularly fond of whipping up a quick continental meal (most of such recipes on the blog are his), however my attempts in the past have been near misses with a few hits that you see on the blog. This is perhaps one reason why although I get a lot of requests to post Indo-Chinese food recipes I never had the courage to dabble with that cuisine. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs


A couple of weeks ago I was reorganising my bookshelf. Since we have some extra space in the kitchen we decided to free up some space on our regular shelf and move some cookbooks to a smaller book cum knick knack shelf. The joy of rediscovering some old cookbooks was something else. My lil boy who is as passionate about cookbooks as I am sat with me flipping through endless recipes. He grabbed some sticky notes to bookmark the ones he wanted me to make over the next few days. A bacon enthusiast and a picky eater rolled into one, the fellow loves to ogle at food pictures. He is the first to pick our weekly, glossy magazine that accompanies the newspaper on Friday mornings and flip through the recipe section of the book. He believes that he was born with a continental palate (seriously, kids these days have taste buds with a mind of their own - I know this sounds complex, but that's how it is). So when he sees something that looks mouthwatering off he goes to add it on his 'list of things to drive mommy crazy about'. Anyway, so when we found this recipe he coaxed me into making it for him. Daddy brought home the bacon (literally and actually made an announcement about it) and mom set about to cook chicken thighs wrapped with bacon - a fun project for mother & son on a cosy, dull Friday morning. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Restaurant Review ~ Al Afia Restaurant (Mangalorean Cuisine), Al Mahata, Sharjah


Restaurant: Al Afia
Location: Opposite Wardah Hotel Apartments, Near Mahatta Park, Al Qasimia, Al Mahatah, Sharjah 
Cuisine: Mangalorean cuisine with a good mix of multi cuisine dishes
Price Range: AED 80-100

THE PLACE
Al Afia restaurant which was started in January 2016 is primarily a Mangalorean restaurant that also serves multi-cuisine food. Incidentally, they have been in the restaurant business for years. If you are from Mangalore and have frequented restaurants in the mid 90s then you may remember a tikka joint named 'Susata' located at Attavar, Mangalore.

A couple of months ago one of my relatives happened to tell me about the restaurant that belonged to her friend and I was invited to do a food review. I gladly accepted this offer as I am so passionate about Mangalorean food and I am sincerely pleased that I got to taste some fabulous food over the weekend!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Mushroom Cutlets


I have always loved mushrooms however during my growing up years they were not so easily available in our local market or the vegetable vendor. It was a premium item that was sometimes seen on the shelves of the local horticulture store (I forget the exact name) that got exotic veggies from Bangalore and sold them at a not so affordable rate so we usually stuck to the humble, local veggies. Mushrooms and paneer was something I would enjoy to the fullest while we ate out which wasn't much either. After I got married and the blog came into being I slowly started my experiments with it. White button mushrooms are the most popular and so they got cooked in various forms. From the Mushroom, Garlic & Celery Soup, Mushrooms in a Chilli Cashew Gravy, Mushroom Curry, Peas & Mushroom Kurma, Mushroom Masala to the hubby's experiment with Baked Portobello (large sized) Mushrooms, we have tried a lot of recipes and loved them too. However, until recently the little boy (who never experiments with new flavours) never liked them and would religiously pick them out of his food. So to get him to enjoy them, I started making these cutlets out of mushrooms. I used my own recipe for minced meat cutlets (link at the bottom of this post) and worked around creating something with mushrooms. He loved them! I never told him that there were mushrooms in the cutlets and so he would happily gobble them up. Just recently he saw me chopping the mushrooms and realised that they didn't taste so bad afterall. Now his face brightens up at the mention of mushrooms in any dish!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pepper Beef


Most Mangaloreans are big lovers of Indo-Chinese food and so we usually stock up on condiments to help whip up a quick meal. However, let me tell you that we don't really make super authentic Chinese or Indo-Chinese - at least our older generation of Mangaloreans didn't know how to do that as recipes from that cuisine weren't as freely available as they are today, thanks to the internet. Most recipes were handed down from one generation to the other or learnt from caterers who would offer a dish or two with a Chinese feel to it for parties or wedding. Most were fusion dishes - Mangalorean Indo-Chinese, with a liberal dose of Byadge chillies, cumin and what have you! Of course, the addition of soy sauce miraculously helped pardon all our sins and legitimatized the dish. Most times we experimented with pork as we Mangalorean Catholics love this meat and don't really have too many recipes to pick from. 

We don't eat a lot of pork now and since my son is a fan of beef and mutton at the moment, I try out something new every now and then. I made this last week when Dubai was under the spell of rough and windy weather and so I didn't get the best of pictures. However, the taste was such that it instantly brightened up the mood of everyone who ate it especially my neighbour who had dropped by to say hello. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bole ~ Traditional Mangalorean Semi-Matured Coconut & Jaggery Cake


Last Thursday & Friday the weather took Dubai by storm (no pun intended). The idea of venturing out, braving the winds with two kids for company did not appeal to me. Since I knew that I would be holed up indoors my fingers itched to bake something comforting. Something that I could enjoy with some hot tea while the winds heaved & howled outside. Having tried out a million cake recipes over the years I wanted to dabble with something new and different. Over the past few weeks my cousin Prema and I have been discussing the recipe of a very traditional Mangalorean cake called as the 'bole'. She first found the recipe (and introduced me to it) in a cookbook a few years ago and had told me about how fabulous it had turned out. Over the years we both meant to give it a try but in my case, the project never took off for want of the key ingredient - semi matured coconut. To be honest, until recently I didn't even know what 'adsar' meant. Despite having grown up in a household that only spoke Konkani there are a ton of words missing from my vocabulary. Ironically, this household also routinely dealt with coconuts that were grown in the garden - from planting new saplings, watering them and nurturing them in every way, to hiring and overseeing the whole process of having the coconuts plucked, sorted, de-husked and sold. So in that sense everything related to coconuts was known to me but I am not sure how this particular term skipped my mind. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chilli Garlic Rice


A one pot meal is usually my meal of choice and even more so as a mother of two. I have to think of meal ideas on a daily basis and sometimes this daily rigmarole can really get to me! If I have some leftover rice I usually like to make a quick egg fried rice or 'puliogre' (tamarind rice) using the MTR ready spice mix (of course!). My kids lap it up without a fuss as rice and yogurt is their preferred meal too but since I like to spruce it up a bit and make it more colourful and nutritious I like to add a few things to plain rice. 

Ever since we moved to a new place last month I hadn't tried out anything new. The unpacking and settling in took centre stage and I heavily depended on scheduled posts to run the blog but now I am back with renewed vigour to sparkle the blog and dazzle you all with some great recipes. When the word 'pulao' comes to mind I have always played safe by trying out simple recipes and so when I came across this one I was wondering if the outcome would be as great as it sounded. Since the recipe was not accompanied by any pictures I used my mind's eye to conjure up an image of how the end result would look like and I think the result was spot on!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Chicken & Mushrooms in Soy Sauce


My dream of making Chinese food that didn't flop came true over the weekend. As I said in my previous post my son loves to bookmark recipes and our bookshelf reorganizing adventure resulted in rediscovering many cookbooks that I owned but never used. I have a real treasure of very old cookbooks that are possibly out of print today and I really cherish them and the people who gifted them to me. The hubs is particularly fond of whipping up a quick continental meal (most of such recipes on the blog are his), however my attempts in the past have been near misses with a few hits that you see on the blog. This is perhaps one reason why although I get a lot of requests to post Indo-Chinese food recipes I never had the courage to dabble with that cuisine. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs


A couple of weeks ago I was reorganising my bookshelf. Since we have some extra space in the kitchen we decided to free up some space on our regular shelf and move some cookbooks to a smaller book cum knick knack shelf. The joy of rediscovering some old cookbooks was something else. My lil boy who is as passionate about cookbooks as I am sat with me flipping through endless recipes. He grabbed some sticky notes to bookmark the ones he wanted me to make over the next few days. A bacon enthusiast and a picky eater rolled into one, the fellow loves to ogle at food pictures. He is the first to pick our weekly, glossy magazine that accompanies the newspaper on Friday mornings and flip through the recipe section of the book. He believes that he was born with a continental palate (seriously, kids these days have taste buds with a mind of their own - I know this sounds complex, but that's how it is). So when he sees something that looks mouthwatering off he goes to add it on his 'list of things to drive mommy crazy about'. Anyway, so when we found this recipe he coaxed me into making it for him. Daddy brought home the bacon (literally and actually made an announcement about it) and mom set about to cook chicken thighs wrapped with bacon - a fun project for mother & son on a cosy, dull Friday morning. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Restaurant Review ~ Al Afia Restaurant (Mangalorean Cuisine), Al Mahata, Sharjah


Restaurant: Al Afia
Location: Opposite Wardah Hotel Apartments, Near Mahatta Park, Al Qasimia, Al Mahatah, Sharjah 
Cuisine: Mangalorean cuisine with a good mix of multi cuisine dishes
Price Range: AED 80-100

THE PLACE
Al Afia restaurant which was started in January 2016 is primarily a Mangalorean restaurant that also serves multi-cuisine food. Incidentally, they have been in the restaurant business for years. If you are from Mangalore and have frequented restaurants in the mid 90s then you may remember a tikka joint named 'Susata' located at Attavar, Mangalore.

A couple of months ago one of my relatives happened to tell me about the restaurant that belonged to her friend and I was invited to do a food review. I gladly accepted this offer as I am so passionate about Mangalorean food and I am sincerely pleased that I got to taste some fabulous food over the weekend!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Mushroom Cutlets


I have always loved mushrooms however during my growing up years they were not so easily available in our local market or the vegetable vendor. It was a premium item that was sometimes seen on the shelves of the local horticulture store (I forget the exact name) that got exotic veggies from Bangalore and sold them at a not so affordable rate so we usually stuck to the humble, local veggies. Mushrooms and paneer was something I would enjoy to the fullest while we ate out which wasn't much either. After I got married and the blog came into being I slowly started my experiments with it. White button mushrooms are the most popular and so they got cooked in various forms. From the Mushroom, Garlic & Celery Soup, Mushrooms in a Chilli Cashew Gravy, Mushroom Curry, Peas & Mushroom Kurma, Mushroom Masala to the hubby's experiment with Baked Portobello (large sized) Mushrooms, we have tried a lot of recipes and loved them too. However, until recently the little boy (who never experiments with new flavours) never liked them and would religiously pick them out of his food. So to get him to enjoy them, I started making these cutlets out of mushrooms. I used my own recipe for minced meat cutlets (link at the bottom of this post) and worked around creating something with mushrooms. He loved them! I never told him that there were mushrooms in the cutlets and so he would happily gobble them up. Just recently he saw me chopping the mushrooms and realised that they didn't taste so bad afterall. Now his face brightens up at the mention of mushrooms in any dish!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Pepper Beef


Most Mangaloreans are big lovers of Indo-Chinese food and so we usually stock up on condiments to help whip up a quick meal. However, let me tell you that we don't really make super authentic Chinese or Indo-Chinese - at least our older generation of Mangaloreans didn't know how to do that as recipes from that cuisine weren't as freely available as they are today, thanks to the internet. Most recipes were handed down from one generation to the other or learnt from caterers who would offer a dish or two with a Chinese feel to it for parties or wedding. Most were fusion dishes - Mangalorean Indo-Chinese, with a liberal dose of Byadge chillies, cumin and what have you! Of course, the addition of soy sauce miraculously helped pardon all our sins and legitimatized the dish. Most times we experimented with pork as we Mangalorean Catholics love this meat and don't really have too many recipes to pick from. 

We don't eat a lot of pork now and since my son is a fan of beef and mutton at the moment, I try out something new every now and then. I made this last week when Dubai was under the spell of rough and windy weather and so I didn't get the best of pictures. However, the taste was such that it instantly brightened up the mood of everyone who ate it especially my neighbour who had dropped by to say hello. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Bole ~ Traditional Mangalorean Semi-Matured Coconut & Jaggery Cake


Last Thursday & Friday the weather took Dubai by storm (no pun intended). The idea of venturing out, braving the winds with two kids for company did not appeal to me. Since I knew that I would be holed up indoors my fingers itched to bake something comforting. Something that I could enjoy with some hot tea while the winds heaved & howled outside. Having tried out a million cake recipes over the years I wanted to dabble with something new and different. Over the past few weeks my cousin Prema and I have been discussing the recipe of a very traditional Mangalorean cake called as the 'bole'. She first found the recipe (and introduced me to it) in a cookbook a few years ago and had told me about how fabulous it had turned out. Over the years we both meant to give it a try but in my case, the project never took off for want of the key ingredient - semi matured coconut. To be honest, until recently I didn't even know what 'adsar' meant. Despite having grown up in a household that only spoke Konkani there are a ton of words missing from my vocabulary. Ironically, this household also routinely dealt with coconuts that were grown in the garden - from planting new saplings, watering them and nurturing them in every way, to hiring and overseeing the whole process of having the coconuts plucked, sorted, de-husked and sold. So in that sense everything related to coconuts was known to me but I am not sure how this particular term skipped my mind. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Chilli Garlic Rice


A one pot meal is usually my meal of choice and even more so as a mother of two. I have to think of meal ideas on a daily basis and sometimes this daily rigmarole can really get to me! If I have some leftover rice I usually like to make a quick egg fried rice or 'puliogre' (tamarind rice) using the MTR ready spice mix (of course!). My kids lap it up without a fuss as rice and yogurt is their preferred meal too but since I like to spruce it up a bit and make it more colourful and nutritious I like to add a few things to plain rice. 

Ever since we moved to a new place last month I hadn't tried out anything new. The unpacking and settling in took centre stage and I heavily depended on scheduled posts to run the blog but now I am back with renewed vigour to sparkle the blog and dazzle you all with some great recipes. When the word 'pulao' comes to mind I have always played safe by trying out simple recipes and so when I came across this one I was wondering if the outcome would be as great as it sounded. Since the recipe was not accompanied by any pictures I used my mind's eye to conjure up an image of how the end result would look like and I think the result was spot on!