All I was thinking about during my looooooong flight to Mumbai, “The deliciousness I’m going to eat”. As expected our short trip was filled with yummy food, love, laughter and much needed family-time.
Disclaimer: This post does not capture all the deliciousness we ate!
My five favorite meals during my recent trip to Mumbai:
Simple savory rice crepes (neer dosa) are my mom in-law’s specialty. The cherry on the top was learning how to make sambhar (spicy tangy daal with veggies) from my father in-law!
2. Traditional Malvani-style crab curry at Mom’s.
3. Shrimp fritters, sheekh kebabs and dhanshak at ‘Sodabottleopenerwala’ Restaurant.
A newly opened restaurant that mainly serves Parsi food with great decor and ambience. Menu was innovative, tasty and interesting! Kolmi Fry – onion fritters stuffed with spicy marinated shrimp; the minced lamb kebabs were succulent and finally the Parsi special Dhansak was served in a stackable tiffin lunch box set with caramelized rice and salad!
4. Cheese Pav Bhaji at a local restaurant (the staff was busy watching cricket on tv).
My guilty pleasure. Lots of grated Amul cheese.
Fresh crusty buttery bread (pav). Spicy vegetable curry (bhaji).
Nostalgia. Took me back to my college days.
5. Bangda Bhattu (Indian mackerel fish masala) at Panna Mami’s.
Freshly ground byadgi mirchi*.
Marry and become Bangda Bhattu.
*spicy dried red chillies
Opposite of holidays. Weekdays in January.
Opposite of Christmas baking. Wholesome ingredients.
Opposite of staycation. Work travel in full swing.
Few weeks into 2016 and I’m craving some healthy comfort food in a bowl.
For most Indians — daal with white rice is comfort food and a staple diet. Growing up I was never a fan of white rice (#tastepreferences). Daal — I loved and enjoyed by itself like soup. One can argue that since I was eating everything else it really wasn’t a big deal. My mom learnt the trick though — she realized I loved biryani/pulao i.e. rice preparation with spices, veggies or meat! And that’s how it all started my love affair with rice preparations.
There are literally infinite permutations and combinations of making daal and rice. My favorite pair – panchmel daal [daal made using 5 (panch) types of pulses (lentils, peas or bean etc.)] and makai ki khichdi [makai = corn; khichdi = rice cooked with turmeric and mild spices]. You can easily substitute any type of rice you have in your pantry – I typically use brown rice. It is an adaptation of a regional favorite from the state of Rajasthan in India. Rajasthan is where the ‘Thar desert’ is located in India — the regional food is influenced by ingredients available in the arid region.
The panchmel daal and makai ki khichdi combo completes the trifecta – simple, flavorful and healthy! Even if you make daal-rice regularly this pair is the way to go to take it up the notch. Don’t you love a dish that is versatile enough to be easily doable on a weekday (“comfort food in a bowl”) but has complex flavors deserving a spot at a dinner party? Trust me the ginger-green chilli flavor will leave a lasting impression on your taste buds!
I’m sure you can enjoy the panchmel daal with simple white basmati rice and corn khichdi by itself (or as a side) but for me it is a pair that should always be together! Try it and let me know what you think.
Adapted from: http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com
MAKAI KI KHICHDI
*the recipe calls for five different daals – feel free to use any that you have in your pantry!
Looking forward to (even) more travel foodie explorations in 2016!
Happy Near Year everyone — from myfoodsquare.
These are a few of my favorite things
Baking croissants, Yoga, sing-along, charades
Pictionary, Sound of Music
Austrian food, Vermont
von Trapp lodge, mountains, with my wonderful team
My most memorable travel work week so far!
The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT is owned and run by the family whose story inspired the famous Hollywood classic, Sound of Music.
It was truly an Austrian getaway – the lodge is nestled in the mountains and still managed by the Trapp Family.
The drive up there was gloomy, rainy and a little scary (driving in heavy rains with trucks and mountainous roads can be intimidating to say the least) — but I made it just in time for our team baking class! Croissants baking to be specific. We learnt it takes 3-days to make buttery, flaky, heavenly croissants . Our instructor had graciously prepped the dough so we were able to “fast-forward” certain steps.
They baked it for us and we were able to enjoy them for breakfast the next day — after our relaxing team Yoga class (overlooking the mountains)! I have heard, read benefits of doing Yoga in a group — but I experienced it as well.
We enjoyed most meals onsite except one night we tried a local wood-fire grill place called The Bench in Stowe. The menu at the lodge has Austrian/European influence including homemade sausages, speciality cheeses and finally, desserts – apfelstrudel and black forest cake (from the bakery where we learnt to make croissants).
There was live piano music, Sound of Music sing-along, my first snow for this season, holidays in the air and we watched the Sound of Music movie one night! It was magical.
On my way back home I made two quick stops – Ben & Jerry’s factory tour and Lake Champlain chocolates — both are proud to be from Vermont and location-wise they are just few miles from the lodge – down the mountain, before getting on the freeway so literally on the way. I enjoyed free sample of the sweet cream & cookies ice cream (Ben & Jerry’s) and picked up spicy hot chocolate (Lake Champlain) for my ride home.
Until next time — Trapp Family lodge and Vermont in general — I was intrigued, mesmerized and nostalgic — such fond memories. Will be back soon!
myInspiration for holiday baking this year:
Recent trip to Vermont.
Light dusting of snow.
Clearly Vermont left an everlasting impression on me. More about my Vermont trip in an independent ‘travel’ post. It deserves that recognition.
These cakes baked in mini-loaf pans are pretty for holiday gifting. I was able to give individual gifts to both my work teams and some friends. They look and taste awesome!
A note from a co-worker sums it up pretty well, “I wanted to thank you so very much for that lovely little cake that you sent home with us! It was delicious, so light and just sweet enough. And that little pan you put it in I am using for nuts, to put out when I have guests. So very thoughtful.”
For me this cake takes me back to simple, uncomplicated desserts and I relish every bite. The Christmas tree cake topper makes it look so festive!
Adapted from: Silver Palette Cook Book (cake) and toppers.
WHITE WINE CAKE
CHRISTMAS TREE TOPPERS
WHITE WINE CAKE
CHRISTMAS TREE TOPPERS