Dinner at The Brasserie , Tower Guoman – a review

On the day of the Mens Singles Final when Djokovic won  the match against Roger Federer ,I had an invite to go dine with a few fellow bloggers at The Brasserie at the Tower Guoman. I must admit the match was so engaging that I was glued to the tv and only in the game that I was just to nervous to watch so I dragged myself out and kept pestering a dear friend of mine in whatsapp till she gave me updates of almost every move on the court …. I was hoping that Djokovic would win and also hoping that the match would end before I hopped onto the tube and lost network… Lets just say that all invisible divine forces were with Djokovic ( and me )that day coupled with his awesome performance, just as I was about to get into the tube… there it was..,… message I was hoping to see on whatsapp…. ‘He won’… which led to a very comical impromptu gig on the staircase by me watched by bemused passers by…heck a good win deserves a dance ..at least ! Bonus points to all those who also watched this match to oogle at Boris Becker …teehee

After that I needed a refreshing drink and just as I was settling in the beautiful area  just outside the Guoman, an open air bar  and siping my cocktail gazing up the Tower Bridge was perfect. Chilled Prosecco, Cocktails and Mocktails flowed while we chatted up with the manager who also had dinner with us later .Meeting my friends after Food Blogger Connect was fun and camera lens choices, food photography ,the Wimbledon final results and the stunning view dominated our conversation. Before long the rain decided to play spoil sport and we were ushered inside to our huge table at The Brasserie.

I took the seat the far end of the end but the view from any where inside is just as brilliant , it’s the first time I was so close to the Tower Bridge and you can be guaranteed you will have the best seats in town at The Brasserie with superb views of Butlers wharf thrown in.

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The table was neatly laid out with our special menu for the evening there and fresh bread , warm and just out of the oven with 3 different dips arrived.

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Our rustic bread selection with truffle oil and olive oil.

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To go with our Rustic Bread selection we had the smoked paprika dip – the bright orange one and my fav of the 3, one with chives in the middle and a plain one which I found a tad too salty.

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I choose to have the Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Tart to start off my meal with – it sounded very appetising – Tomato olive salsa,balsamic reduction,pine nut,sekura cress – hummm yes please.

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The thin crisp  pastry base was not one bit soggy or eggy, the grilled Manchego cheese ( a cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the manchega breed) tasted great in combination with summery veggies like asparagus and grilled peppers and the salsa was very good ,I loved the taste of the olives and hints of fennel, the cress made the whole dish so fresh not just to look at but to taste too.

The Head chef Kamaldeep Singh (left) and his colleague decided to take us through the process of how the new menu was created , the origin of ingredients and basically make us hungry for more!

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Madeleine seated next to me choose the other option as her first course :Peppercorn Cured Beef Carpaccio – Manchego cheese , home cured tomatoes,charred artichokes,mizuna and micro cress. I was avoiding red meat that so was very happy to photograph her dish and ask how it tasted but equally satisfied with my light tart.

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The carpaccio was hammered thin and artichokes placed over – it looked great, to find out in her Madeleine’s own words what she thought of her dish go check out  her review here.Very happy with my first course, I expected the second course to deliver and impress me a bit more. Must say my Pan-Fried Fillet of Sea Bass served with diver scallop,caper crushed potatoes,mixed bean salsa and ‘sauce vierge’  did not fail to do so. It looked amazing and I had to photograph it from various angles – we food bloggers!

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But  this was simply delicious and worthy of praise for more reasons than one – made using farmed sea bass responsibly sourced scallops, a lighter than most sauces that usually accompany a fish main the scallop sat one a delicious pea puree and cream base.

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The mixed bean salsa tasted great with the morish caper crushed potato, the cress balancing off the dish in a subtle way.Nayna my vegetarian food blogger friend chose to have the Spinach and Ricotta Raviolli made with heirloom tomato salsa and served with freshly made basil cream sauce , to read her views go onto her blog here.Our first wine of the evening accompanied the first course , Vidal sauvignon blanc from New Zealand , aromas of gooseberry, passionfruit and guava lead into a palate that exudes tropical and passion fruit flavours.

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After that very satisfying sea food dish ,we moved onto the next course , I stayed away from red meat again and the Garden pea,mint and pecorino cheese risotto was fabulous for me , I love my rice and many a times I really need some to complete my meal and make it me feel full, maybe a psychological thing but coming from the coastal side of western India ,fish curry and rice is our most staple everyday far.One of the staff members asked me where I was from and when I said Mumbai, pat came the next question which I was sort of expecting – was the sea bass as good as the Pomfret, well no! For me pomfret is the king of  all fishes on this planet – but its a matter of what taste one has grown up with and our method of cooking is also so very different. But yes Sea Bass , Salmon and Basa are my favorite buys,best eaten fresh on the day of purchase ,hate frozen fish,tastes muddy and weird in curries especially.

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The  pecorino cheese added a subtle tangy taste to this very morish and filling risotto, its easy to get this dish so wrong because often the seemingly easier to make dishes are the toughest to produce to perfection . I am a great fan of the risotto that my elder sister hubby makes , he is a trained chef but now a very busy and senior marketing head honcho so it’s very rarely that we meet and even more rarely that I get to eat the risotto he makes. Ah sweet nostalgic family moments, only truly good food can bring on such an attack for me.. 🙂

By now the light had really faded and my risotto photo and all that follow look terrible!

I must admit Madeleine was very kind and allowed me to have a taste of burnt celeriac which I loved with some of the calvados sauce I scooped it off her plate with from her Confit of Gloucestershire Pork Belly. She enjoyed  my cheesy risotto too.

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The 14 hour low heat cooked pork belly looked so very appetising, the burnt celeriac adding to the earthiness of this dish,the cinnamon compliments the pork  and the savoy cabbage and compressed apple give it a tart almost tangy twist on the side. This was washed down with several glasses of a full bodied Chilean Merlot – Errazuriz , almost opulent with notes of berry and cassis fruit.

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It’s at this point that I slipped into blissful food coma and saw this beautiful rainbow emerge right in front of my eyes… the photo does no justice to the what we actually saw…

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That is us at the table – L- R – Bintu who blogs at Recipes from a pantry, Nicki who blogs at Baking Beardy,seated opposite her is Fiona who writes an award-winning blog – London Unattached,Nayna – who blogs at  Simply Sensational Food her other blog is Citrus ,Spice and all things Nice, and the lovely Madeline who blogs at Kitchen Journeys and documents heart healthy recipes at From the Healthy Heart.

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Was too full by now and the dessert platter served with a large shot of margarita in shot glass lined by sugar , managed to cut the sweet taste that was bound to settle on the palate after cheesecake ,a panna cotta that failed to impress because I was expecting the usual wobble and a refreshing pista flavoured ice cream  – my fav from the selection.

As we strolled out for an impromptu photo session and gazed happily at the beautiful Tower Bridge,I couldn’t help but wonder that though the exterior of  the Tower Guoman leaves one wanting the view of two world Heritage Sites – Tower Bridge and the Tower of London certainly makes up for it!A massive refurbishment project is on the cards too.A few more plus points include a convenient location within easy reach of the financial district, Canary Wharf, the Excel Centre, London City Airport, historic Greenwich, the West End and Westfield Shopping Centre. Also the newly launched menu at The Brasserie definitely warrants a visit. The menu is bold and one where the chefs have really gone the extra mile to hope that if they try ambitiously to achieve the Zero Mile Ingredient mark and grow their own herbs fresh on the terrace garden which is to come alive very soon!

The staff was very polite, genuinely attentive and ensured we had a great evening.

*With  thanks to The Tower Guoman for the invitation. No monetary compensation was offered for a positive review . All opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

The Brasserie at the Tower Hotel on Urbanspoon

Square Meal

Smoked Spanish Peppers and Zingy Mushrooms in a creamy sauce

My love for using smoked sweet red peppers is taking over my recipes for now , I made these zingy mushrooms for a friend who popped in for brunch about 2 months ago but I have been very lazy and this recipe is finally seeing daylight. I guess the electric atmosphere of the yellow jersey clad stadium full of Brazil fans and the super tight match going on with Camroon is giving me a much needed rush of happy hormones ,add to that the frenzy of the Wimbledon matches , the air in Wimbledon is heavy with anticipation, huge posters , fluorescent tennis ball props in all windows , the traditional colours of the Wimbledon ribbons and balloons galore, the bus service from the station to the venue with hyperexcited people , everything is screaming tennis here!

Lamuyo Peppers are great for roasting as they are bigger and sweeter than their cousins the hot variety. They are juicy and crunchy and go well with garlic,basil,oregano,taste fab with cheese , think stuffed peppers grilled , just perfect for summer !

The recipe was given to me by P aunty , shes a fab cook as I have mentioned in my past posts too and her recipes are innovative, delicious and easy to make, I love pestering her to keep sending me more recipes everytime we talk 😉 .So I decided to amp up this recipe with some madness my style and use up the handsome red pepper staring at me from my fridge 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 large pack Chestnut Mushrooms sliced
  • 1 large red Lamuyo sweet pepper
  • 8 cloves Garlic- bash and chop fine
  • 1/2 red onionchopped very fine
  • 2 chillies- (more or less acc to your taste) – chop fine
  • 3 heaped tbs flavoured soft cheese, I love using the herby Philadelphia
  • 2 tbsp  Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Parsley- a handful -chopped finely

Method:

  • Roast the pepper on gas flame till the skin chars and begins to peel off, I use tongs to hold it by the stem so it can char even at the top.
  • While the pepper cools just enough to allow you to peel and reveal the smoked juicy flesh, you can use the time to wash and slice the chestnut mushrooms
  • While taking off the charred skin off the smoked pepper remember to place a dish below as it will release lots of juice which we don’t want to loose as it is one powerhouse of smoky peppery sweet flavour!
  • Heat oil in a sauce pan and saute the garlic till it turns brown and the familiar aroma of fabulous garlic begins to waft and assault your nostrils.
  • Then add the very finely chopped red onion and cook on a low flame stirring regularly till the onion is thoroughly crispy and reduces in quantity, do not let it burn.
  • Then toss in the mushrooms and the chopped smoked pepper and cook for about 2 minutes on a low flame ,stirring and making sure it does not stick to the pan or overcook
  • Then add the soft cheese ,sea salt and finely chopped parsley,mix well and cook with lid for about 1 to 1 1/2 minute.
  • Serve with garlic bread smothered in butter – eat guilt free;)

What I love about this dish , its creamy , its a bit sweet a bit more zingy and has an underlying deep smoked flavour that is robust without being overpowering ,I’d say its a new comfort food for me , what with all the moorish soft cheese in there!1-IMG_6699 (Copy)

Valache Birdhe (वालाचे बिरडे) – made in a typical C.K.P way

Valache Birdhe is an extremely popular bean gravy and has helped soothe many aching hearts and settle ruffled feathers after long gruelling work days.I managed to procure a few packets of these beautiful field beans with brown skin after a lot of searching!Hubs goes completely mental at the mere mention of this dish and insisted on me uploading the recipe and help all the other hungry hubbies out there..ahem ..so without further ado ladies and gents I present to you yummyscrummy recipe.

This is a typical C.K.P way of making a rather traditional legume curry. Vaal or kadve vaal (kadve meaning bitter in Marathi) are generically referred to as Field Beans in English.

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: 20 mins. Soaking and Sprouting: Depends on the climate, longer in winter about 2-3 days.

Serves:2 as a main course served with boiled rice or Indian bread – chapatti and a bhaji (sabzee/sabji) as an accompaniment

Ingredients:

  1. Vaal –
  2. Garlic Cloves – 3- 4 with skin
  3. Asafoetida a tiny pinch
  4. Red onion – one small finely chopped for the pan
  5. Dried Kokum – 2-3 or tamrind paste 1tsp or dried tamrind soaked in water -remove the pips and use the gooey thick bits
  6. 1/2 tsp Jaggery
  7. Mustard Seeds -1 tiny pinch
  8. Cumin/Jeera- 1 small pinch
  9. Oil – 1 and 1/2 large tbsp
  10. Red Chilli Powder -1 tsp
  11. Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
  12. Coriander powder -1 tsp
  13. Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  14. Fresh Coriander finely chopped to garnish – half of bunch
  15. 3-4 heaped tbsp grated coconut paste made by running through a mixer fresh grated coconut or frozen coconut with 1 green chilli and 1 clove of garlic.My mum prefers to also add 1/2 a finely chopped red onion which has been tossed on a pan with the coconut and green chilli – must admit it lends a toasty warmth to the gravy but I skip this step simply because the I compensate for it by using the onion in the pan!
  16. Salt as per taste

Method:

  • Soak the Vaal overnight, change the water in the morning and by evening if they appear puffed then wrap them in a damp cloth and set aside in a vessel with a lid to create an environment warm enough to allow them to sprout
  • Remove sprouted vaal into a bowl and pour like warm water on them,stir with your palms to loosen the skin and many will float to the top,decant the water and remove all the rest of the skins and discard .
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan and dust some asafoetida and throw in the mustard and cumin.
  • When the cumin seeds begin to pop, throw in the garlic with their skin on and smashed to flatten them and as they turn colour and release their aroma,add he chopped onion.
  • When the onion turns a delicate pink add turmeric powder,red chilli powder and then add the vaal/field beans.
  • Now add the turmeric,red chilli,coriander and cumin powders and quickly stir in enough water to cover the beans.
  • On a low flame cook with lid.
  • When the vaal is almost done,add the jaggery,coconut paste and the tamarind paste or the water from the dried tamarind which has been soaked or dried kokum soaked in water and when the vaal are done add salt and garnish with finely chopped coriander.
  • The logic of adding salt towards the very end is so that it does not interfere with the rest of the spices as they pack a punch into the beans while they cook and also salt can hasten the cook time for the vaal which is not ideal as the full strength of all the flavours steeping into the curry will not happen.

Vaalache Birdhe with text resized

I do know this process sounds rather cumbersome and complex but believe you me its easy peasy and the main labour is only getting rid of the skins.

Do leave me a comment of you make this dish and also any variations to the recipe that you may have heard of, any anecdotes,happy memories are always welcome.

Bon Appe’tit !

P.S: coming soon a Vaal Pilaf recipe that’s another firm family fav!

Irani Cafe Colony – An interview with the owner Agha and his daughters Bibi Sadat ,Bibi Fatehmehand son Mirza

Interview with Mr. Agha and his two daughters – owners  –  Cafe Colony – Hindu Colony,Dadar,Bombay.

Manjiri :

Ever since I moved back to Bombay after a few years in Pune and with Cafe Colony within walking distance, I wanted to meet Agha and have a heart to heart  chat with him. I soon became  a regular customer  as well as established a friendly rapport with  him and his daughters that calling this piece an interview is not apt. It’s just snippets of a long conversation over several cups of Irani Chai and  several  evenings. But it was only after I had moved to London and then on one of my unplanned visits to India that I got an opportunity to really get talking with Agha’s daughters, Agha himself was too busy but did let me come and click a dozen pictures, he never lets anyone do that so I guess my skills of persuasion worked! In fact there was so much more to catch up on even after my conversations with Aghas daughters, that I let Mrinal (who blogs at Retro-Reflections) catch up with  Agha after I came back to London after my visit to Bombay this May. I am so glad she managed to get him talking!

My earliest memories associated with Irani cafes are of eating giant omelettes with soft buns slathered in butter with my father  at a now nonexistent Irani cafe  opposite Dadar Station. This happened a few years in succession as we waited for my grandmothers train to arrive at the station, invariably delayed we confidently sat down to have breakfast at this quaint cafe instead of sweating it out on the platform. This Irani cafe  no longer exists and has long been replaced by an Udipi joint. The typical wooden chairs, the glass-topped wooden tables with a simple plastic ‘’tablecloth’’ and the trademark maska-pav dripping in butter was great fun to eat and I also got to feel all grown up and important by having a cup of tea to myself instead of the daily glass of milk!

Omlette at Cafe Colony Irani

A full spread - typical Irani anda pav breakfast with chai n maska pavAghas daughters are shy by nature and very simple too but standing behind that counter and ‘’manning’’ the post has taught them a lot. After being cheated and fleeced silly by a manager who they had for a short while, the girls decided to take over when Agha needed a break. The elder one started coming to the shop when she was 18 and her brother when he was even younger . Soon they learnt the ropes  of the working of the cafe. Mind you managing a shop in a city like Bombay is no mean feat. No one would know that better than me, after managing 9 supermarkets in Pune including lauching them. I got to see a bit of live ‘’action’’ when during my visit to Bombay in November’13 all shops were forcibly made to shutter down due to some political tension in the city and the girls very ably managed to safely shut shop and get themselves home. Believe it takes some major spunk to do this sort of stuff.I had to ask them if any other Irani cafes they know are now ‘’manned ‘’ by the women in the family , I was so happy to hear their reply, ”Light of Bharat” Irani cafe is at times managed by a lady and Crown Bakery has the Irani Parsi girls managing the show.My thoughts are interrupted by a customer who come to buy a few eggs and another person seeking change for a large amount is politely but firmly turned away ,atta girls!

”The Agha girls” as I shall call them here because I choose not to name them, I could but as they very kindly told me a few reasons why they wouldn’t want to be photographed , I genuinely think it’s a mark of respect to not use their names here either – they later changed their mind after ma in law convinced them that they should be PROUD that they stand alongside the men in the family their father Agha and brother Mirza and help run the cafe so efficiently, so the photos you will see in this post are old photographs they have kindly agreed to share with aai and me.

It seemed apt to munch on some mawa cake and down it with tea at this juncture,always a good way to keep the conversation going.

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Moving to Surat in India one of the reasons for migration was the growing discomfort between Irani Muslims and Irani Parsis they tell me.The elder of the two sisters started helping out her father at the shop when she was 18. Labour issues, staff theft and skyrocketing taxes, the girls have seen a lot.The LBT strike are happening on and off in India during this period (April 2013) and sugar and dal stocks are badly affected. Imagine an irani cafe that can’t serve tea they say …shudder shudder…

Someone has ordered a plate of dal rice, the common mans daily meal in India and supremely satisfying as a comfort food.

dal-rice plate

The girls recount that biryani was added onto the menu much later and even today Irani cafes continue to serve authentic rice and kheema in-spite of mutton getting more expensive each passing day.

Increasing taxes,expensive ingredients, political turmoil, staff issues are just some of the many daily challenges the surviving Irani cafes face, many have shit shop, yet others have renovated to keep in step modern and risked loosing the old world charm and so many others are on the brink of extinction as future generations have migrated or chosen other professions. But the elder of the Agha girls remembers the 1992 communal riots vividly and how the locals came to their rescue and they agree Bombay is home and the Cafe is their only means of livelihood, and they wouldn’t trade what they have for anything in the world. I heave a silent sigh of relief …

A consignment of sweets from Iran has arrived and I get to to inspect the package,photograph it before it goes into the freezer, all this is done with a great amount of fanfare and Mrinal and me have managed to attract a small amount of giggly kids outside the store. One bold but very cute kid one comes and tugs at my shirt ,”tumhi reporter aahe? newspaper madhe photo yenar? majha ghya na” – Marathi for ”you a reporter?wil these photographs be printed in tomorrows newspaper?please click a picture of me” ! 🙂

Gaz is nothing but Persian for nougat originating from the city of Esfahan and Boldaji, located in the central plateau of Iran. The same nougat is also made in Iraq where it is known as Mann al-Sama

Irani sweets

The Cafe’ was now getting very busy and lots of customers were approaching the counter, business as usual….

Busy Times ahead

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In the ‘’interview’’ with Agha below Mrinal takes a walk down memory lane with, of course with rather distractedly tempting photographs in between the paragraphs.

Mrinal – (blogs at Retro-Reflections)

It was after a great deal of persuasion that Mr.Agha of Cafe Colony, Dadar agreed to talk to me putting his busy schedule on hold.  He was apprehensive at first   but once he got into the mood there was nothing to stop his enthusiasm talking about his experiences in running of the cafe. But first, my association with Agha’s extended family (when there were several partners in the business) goes way back to the sixties and the early seventies when Cafe Colony was run by Mr Mohammad. He was a jolly young man who lived close by with his wife and two cherubic children, little Mohammad and Fasila. I remember them constantly running in and out of the shop and making a terrific ruckus to get attention whenever their father sat on the counter. Many a times these children were invited   to our house  for goodies they had never had and they came most willingly  and also  out of curiosity.Cafe Colony at the time was a small cafe with very little to offer.  My memory is quite  hazy but as the years went by it began to expand gradually offering a wide range of items and a buzzing place , a hub where all  gathered .I learnt later Mohammad and his family left.

Agha fav pose

Several of Agha’s family was involved with the running of the cafe till Agha himself took over.Like other Irani families, his  family too migrated and came via Surat. The cafe opened in 1933. Since then it has steadily and surely catered to hundreds of residents living in Hindu Colony and around it. There were other Irani joints nearby —–Yezdaan, round the Dadar T.T corner now where Metro Shoe shop stands. Point out  Agha’s daughters , ‘on a clear day one can see the etching of the name Cafe Yezdaan on top of Metro shoe shop ,if you are tall enough) and Cafe Premier near Dadar station. Both these have closed down now. But Cafe Colony still survives despite all odds.

Cafe Colony entrance

Says Agha . those days  it was easier to man the cafe . Raw stock was easily available and labour was cheap. Even the effect of the LBT affected items like sugar, flour and dal. These are the things one has to grapple with.The ‘irani Boys’ who waited at the tables were loyal and honest  and did all the odd jobs. I remember there was personalised service if one was staying nearby.  They used to personally deliver eggs bread and other items.People were friendly and the crowd was motley. We even had a juke box and a weighing machine.Many residents from Parsee colony too would come to the cafe and enjoy the music and sit around till late. But soon all this disappeared as the suburb began to grow and old structures gave way to new ones .The footpath in front of Cafe Colony widened as traffic increased on the Tilak Bridge. Cafe Colony was no longer the same where one could sit quietly and enjoy a cup of chai without the blaring of horns. But with it the cafe too began to expand and many more things were added to the cafe besides bakery products and tea accompaniments.Nearer to Cafe Colony (two shops away) Agha’s family purchased another corner shop called Bakery and Candy Store, which did a brisk business for a short period but ran into a considerable loss and was sold off. But Cafe Colony soldiered on.

Agha loved posing for us!

Any political issue resulting in a strike  or  (since the area came  under  a party’s stronghold) shops would  down their shutters but not Aghas Cafe . In fact people used to collect there for major discussions and endless cups of chai would be supplied just to keep the bonhomie going. His daughters recall how the colony people protected them and their shop during the communal riots  and they are more than grateful till today. However, it was sad Candy Corner bore the brunt  and was vandalised . On 26th July 2006, when Bombay was under water Cafe Colony was open all night despite no lights and was offering customers whatever was available as well as refuge.

The tiny army at Cafe Colony

Other highlights in the life of Cafe Colony are when Ramdas Athavale (political figure ) visited the cafe and it catered for his entire security guards  about thirty to forty of them. Another time when Agha himself prepared Biryani for Dr Ambedkar’s grandson.

Today all that has changed and the struggle goes on . The Irani boys keep changing and one has to keep a hawk eye on them. Very often I see Agha himself in the kitchen giving a helping hand, just rustling up a quick breakfast or giving finishing touch to the Biryani on a Sunday morning or taking the delivery of the meat from the butcher . The delicious mutton and chicken patties which earlier were available any time at the counter now need to be ordered beforehand.  Although his own supply of almonds pistachios figs Turkish delight Irani jars and occasionally a lovely carpet may be on sale. The versatality of the shop is just amazing!

Turkish Delights

Unlike other Irani cafes around Bombay whose owners are apprehensive about the second generation manning the cafe cum restaurant, Agha’s cafe is currently in the safe zone as his son and daughters give him that support he desperately needs to keep it going. The future according to him is uncertain. But what of the good old residents of the Colony for whom Cafe Colony has been a landmark . A closure of this iconic place would surely herald protests of all kinds .

The old timers meet here everydayIt's a struggle to survive and this bun maska is at stake...

The next post in this 3 part series will take you to an Irani Cafe London….coming soon!

Cheers,

Mrinal (who blogs at Retro-Reflections) and Manjiri

References:

Wikipedia

13th Sept’13 – Friday

Mrinal and me were so happy to receive an email from Bibi Fatemeh who is Agha’s younger daughter.She has very generously and proudly agreed to share their names and their photographs taken while they are at the counter.I cannot express my joy and pride at how much this means to both Mrinal and me. Bibi Fatemeh  has been very generous in her praise about this article:

”It was pleasure reading about our interview and seeing pictures of Cafe Colony. A real proud moment for us. We all liked to whatever you & Mrinal has written. All the credit goes to my Dad for the struggle & all the hard work he has put in till date.”

Thanks Bibi Fatemeh, we too are very proud of your Dad and we can only say one thing ”LONG LIVE CAFE COLONY”

Bibi- Fatemeh has shared a picture of her at the Cafe Colony where she and her elder sister Bibi Sadat proudly manage the counter.Bibi Sadat’s picture will follow soon enough.

(What I love about Bibi Fatehmeh’s photo below is the beautiful and confident smile and the huge stack of eggs behind her that sell off quickly as they are sold at the wholesale rate, a respite form the other crazy expensive retail rates! Another feather in the cap for Cafe’ Colony!)

Bibi Fatehmeh

Watch this space for Bibi Sadat’s photograph – up soon!

Ok Folks!Bibi Sadets picture is here!And a lovely photograph of Agha with both the lovely girls.

Bibi sadat

 

Agha and daughters at the shop

Last but certainly not the least is Bibi Fatehmeh with her brother Mirza.

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Spicy Grilled Chicken Bites With a Cooling Avocado Dip

With an obvious change in the weather, we all are living in fear that this year’s glorious summer is coming to an end. I was lucky enough to get a few invites to barbecue parties in the past few months and had my share of some really divine meats and grills and some rather lumpy or burnt bits too!!!

Lucky because I live in a tiny rented flat with a small open plan kitchen. I try all sorts of tricks to fool myself into thinking that I am cooking in the fresh open outdoors. One of my favourite tricks to fool myself and get some tasty tidbits on my plate is by using a grid pan and earthy spices with smoked sea salt, delicious dips and of course washing these down with chilled beer.

Since I always seem to have some basic purees and pastes frozen and hiding in some corner of my tiny freezer I try and use them up quickly to ensure I always have place for some frozen desserts. One such favourite spicy green paste is made with one medium sized bunch of fresh coriander and 2 bright green chillies. Coriander is expensive and a regular feature in my kitchen so I try and freeze it after chopping it fine or better still making this paste and just adding large spoons to curries which gives them an instant face lift!

For a spicy twist on grilled chicken I decided to make these easy to pick and pop in the mouth pieces of chunky chicken making it a more fun way to share your food on the table. I love that it’s easy to just throw things on the pan and even the dip is a no fuss 3 step recipe which is a brilliant companion to the heat of the chillies on the chicken. The fact that the dip has zero oil is a big bonus.

You can make the coriander paste and store it in the freezer and even with the dip recycle it as a quick spread on sandwiches and use up any leftover meats the next day for a packed lunch. So convenient, especially on a Monday morning after a lazy weekend!

Placing the chicken on chunky cabbage leaves smeared with some mustard paste is another inexpensive alternative to posh salad leaves and helps finish of the last of that quarter portion of cabbage which lies neglected in your veggie tray and faces the threat of going into the bin soggy and spoilt, not a pleasant thought at all.

Guaranteed to tickle your taste buds this original recipe from my tiny kitchen is a food adventure in itself. Here’s how you can make this quick grilled chicken in easy steps:

Spicy grilled chicken bites with cooling avocado dip

(Serves: 4, Cooking Time: including 40 mins for marination is 1 hour):

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 4 large tbsp coriander and green chilli paste (proportion of 1 bunch of coriander with 2 green chillies)
  • Himalayan Pink Salt for seasoning
  • 2 tbsp refined oil
  • 1 tsp mustard paste
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • ½ tsp red chilli flakes
  • 4-5 leaves of fresh cabbage washed
  • ¼ medium sized red onion cut lengthwise
  • Toothpicks with little flags

For the dip

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 stalk fennel with few leaves
  • ½ medium sized red onion finely chopped
  • Himalayan pink salt for seasoning

Method:

Marinate the chicken breasts with coriander and green chilli paste, salt as per taste and 3 cloves of finely chopped garlic. Make small cuts on the chicken breasts with a knife and rub in the marinade. Add one tbsp oil to this mixture allowing the garlic to marry with the coriander and chilli paste. Marinate for 40 minutes

Cutting the chicken into thick cut style bites

On a grid pan spritz enough oil to coat the pan. Pan fry the breasts turning the sides over when they begin to change colour. When both sides appear to have changed colour remove the chicken breasts on a chopping board and let them cool for a while.

Meanwhile, smear the cabbage leaves with a small amount of mustard paste and place on a wooden board which will be used to serve the dish.

Now prepare the dip – Halve the avocados and scoop out the fleshy part. Take the thin green stalk and tender leaves of the fennel and put them together through a blender to make a coarse paste. Chop ½ a red onion fine and to the avocado and fennel paste, season some Himalayan salt. The dip is now ready.

Pan Grill red onion ,garlic and red chilli flakes close up shot

Now get back to cooking the chicken. In the same grid pan add a 1 ½ tbsp oil with some red onion cut lengthwise and sauté for a while for a caramelise finish. Now cut the pieces of the chicken into “thick cut home-made potato-chip” like sizes and place them on the grid pan along with the onions.

Chicken on pan being grilled with the spices

Sprinkle the red chilli flakes .Cook on low flame till done and flip over using tongs, a bit of charring is allowed to add more flavour. Place the chicken strips with toothpicks on the fresh cabbage leaves in a flat plate.

The chunky avocado and red onion dip will offset the grilled chicken bites.

close up with all elements of display

Serve with garlic bread on the side and some chilled drinks and soak up all the sun you can before the leaves turn auburn.

chicken on a toothpick with dip close up

 

This was my first post for the Great British Chefs community and can be found here

Spicy Mexican Chicken Wings with Gran Luchito’s New HOT sauce

I was sent this amazing new product from the Gran Luchito Kitchen – their new Salsa sauce and ever since I laid my eyes on it all I wanted to do was make some spicy chicken wings and enjoy them on a summer evening with some chilled beer.

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What I most love about this new HOT sauce from Gran Luchito is that it makes life so easy so if you want to make a quick ,tasty and easy starter dish and really impress your guests or you suddenly decide to take home the entire hungry gang you went for drinks with on a Friday evening(Egad!) this bottle of goodness is a going to be your life saver. It’s very versatile because I can think of so many ways to use this sauce. It’s also a great dip for that bag of tortilla chips which can do the rounds with some chilled beer or wine for your guests, or a lazy brunch on Sunday just make lots of wings to gr around for the family!It’s definitely my new spicy ketchup and will be a perfect pairing with a zillion foods!

Ok, so here’s a quick recipe for the Spicy Mexican Chicken Wings:

Serves: 2 – 3

Cooking Time: 15 minutes marination, on pan 10 – 15 minutes,chopping time 5 minutes.

Ingredients:

  1. Grand Luchito’s HOT Sauce – 5 heaped tbsp
  2. 8 chicken wings
  3. 1/2 medium sized red onion sliced lenghtwise
  4. Half a lemon
  5. Smoked sea salt
  6. 2 large tbsp oil (I used refined sunflower)
  7. Smoked Sea salt
  8. Cumin powder 1 tbsp
  9. An entire garlic with all its pods sliced through.

Method:

If you ask me this is one for the barbecue but since I have no access to one and work off a tiny urban kitchen which is literally a single small platform I love using my pan with grids to get those grid lines on my meat and pretend am in the garden with a nice barbecue going,sighhh, oh yes and my smoked sea salt is my best ally , giving my food that wonderfully smokey aroma -oak smoked it is !

  • Wash the chicken wings and in a bowl and pour about 1/2 a tbsp oil on them,add the smoked sea salt,cumin powder and 2 tbsp of Gran Luchito HOT sauce.Rub well and cover and set aside for about 15 minutes

Marinating the wings in Gran Luchito's HOT sauce

  • On a pan with grids add the oil and allow it to heat till it starts to bubble slightly, add the chopped red onion and saute till it just begins to change colour,carefull to not brown them too much.
  • Now saute two heaped tbsps of the Gran Luchito HOT sauce on the pan.Stir for about a minute and then add the marinated chicken.Place the garlic face down allowing it to turn a delicious brown and release it’s magic kick into the onion and sauce mix and boost the flavour of the chicken.
  • Use tongs to turn when one side is properly browned and juicy but stir the sauce and onion sautee mixture which the chicken is sitting on not allowing it to stick to the pan or burn!
  • It should take about 10 -15 minutes to get to the right crispy and juicy stage for the chicken wings on a medium flame with this pan.(In case you need to do a large batch of chicken wings, scale up the ingredients proportionately and blanch the chicken wings in hot water for 5 – 7 minutes before marinating so that they are semi cooked , this way you can get them in batches on the pan and ready to serve, keep them warm by placing in a baking tray covered in foil – you could even keep bigger batches warm in a pre-heated oven if need be!)

The unique smoky taste of Gran Luchito with the sweetness of pineapple

I hope this product hits the shelves soon!To do this as quickly as possible Gran Luchito has  partnered with Crowd Funding Network We Are The Million to raise some investment and create jobs too.Help Spread the word by reading more about the campaign here.

Spicy Chicken Wings

Jerk Chicken and Coconut Rice

The first time I ate jerk Chick was at a pop up Caribbean food stall near Haymarket Station, it was served with some tasty rice with red kidney beans and the most deliciously sweet plantain. Ever since I have been waiting to experiment and make this spicy chicken at home. Please resist the temptation of using a jerk sauce out of a bottle, it’s almost a crime because in the recipe I used from the BBC Good Food guide,it makes preparing the marinade a thing of joy. Not only will you learn how each ingredient lends its individual flavour but you van learn how to adjust the ”heat” in this amazing marinade. An advance warning, if you have sensitive skin PLEASE use gloves to marinate the chicken as Scotch Bonnet peppers are PACKED with heat. Ensure you THOROUGHLY wash your hands after you handle these ”hot babies” too! Humm now for the recipe, it’s essentially what was in the original but of course I have added my own touches and I think they make quite an impact 🙂 so read on folks. Prep Time: 45 minutes. Plus overnight marination for chicken in marinade Ingredients for Jerk Chicken:

  • 12 chicken thighs with bone
  • 1 big gralic sliced through the middle to go in the oven
  • 2 lemons halved to go in the baking tray
  • 1 pair of clean gloves if you have sensitive skin – to marinate the chicken

For the Jerk marinade:

  • 4 Garlic Cloves de-skinned
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 bunch fresh spring onion roughly chopped
  • 1 piece ginger size that fits inside your closed fist, washed,skinned and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme – I had none so I used 1 tbsp of Mixed Italian herb powder
  • 3 scotch bonnet chillies, de-seeded if you cannot handle very spicy
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp oil – I used sunflower
  • 4 heaped tbsp brown sugar – I used dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice powder
  • Juice of 1 lime

Method

  • Blitz all the ingredients for the marinade in the mixer/food processor/blender and make a thick paste, do not add water as far as possible to ensure a thick puree like grainy paste
  • wash and dekin the chicken thighs and make cuts using a knife
  • Then generously apply the marinade paste all over rubbing into the cuts made to ensure the flavour really seaps into the chicken.
  • Marinate overnight in the fridge.Cover vessel with cling film.
  • Keep about 2 tbsp marinade aside for adding in the baking tray.
  • When you are ready to prepare the chicken pre-heat the oven to 180 – 200 C , I have a fan oven.
  • Prepare the baking tray by greasing with some oil ,place the marinated chicken pieces and surround them with the lime slices and place the garlic halved.
  • Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes or until juices run clear.
  • When the chicken is in the oven start with the rice

Ingredients for the Coconut Rice with Peas:

  • 200g Basmati Rice
  • 400g Coconut Milk can
  • 1 bunch fresh spirng onion finely chopped
  • 2 large sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 large cloves of garlic skinned and chopped very fine
  • 1 tbsp ground allspice
  • 200g green peas

Method:

  • Wash the Basmati rice under cold running tap water
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, add the washed rice and coconut milk, chopped spring onions,thyme,garlic chopped and all spice
  • Add 300ml water ,mix and add salt to season.
  • Cook with lid on a medium flame till water begins to boil
  • Stir with a wooden spatula and then add the green peas
  • Reduce flame and do not cover completely, leave a bit of space for the steam to pass.
  • Cook until done.

Jerk Chicken & Coconut Rice with Peas

All though the recipe I followed uses red kidney beans since I was already using them in my Caribbean Sweet Mini Pepper Salad , I choose green peas for my Coconut Rice. I made my own home made replacement for allspice powder too , it’s very easy and I intend to make it fresh each time I need instead of the store bought one, simply because its so quick and fun to make! Actually allspice is a spice by itself but it tastes similar to a mixture of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and pepper. According to an article I found about allspice on About.com: ”Allspice is a spice made from the dried berries of a plant known as Pimenta dioica. A member of the pimento family, allspice is used in Caribbean, Middle Eastern and Latin American cuisines, among others.  The flavor of allspice is similar to . Allspice can be used to flavor desserts as well as savory dishes.  Allspice can be used in ground form or whole. Whole allspice berries are sometimes used in pickling and brining.

Also Known As:

  • Jamaican pepper
  • Newspice ”

My Home made version of all-Spice Powder recipe is as follows:

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaped tbsp Cinnamon powder or if you have a cinnamon stick take one abt the half as tall as your thumb.
  • 1 small tbsp pepper powder
  • 1 heaped tbsp of cloves
  • 1 full nutmeg grated

Method:

  • In a pestle and mortar mix the ingredients and grate the nutmeg into it.
  • Then smash together to makes a grainy powder.
  • Some bits of the clove you may not be able to grind fine, I wouldn’t worry about it unless you want a fine powder then the smallest attachment on your mixer. I have an Indian mixer which I use for my coconut chutneys and it has 3 jars I used the one with 3 blades .Or else just use the pestle and mortar it should work.
  • Store away the remaining home made allspice replacement powder in a tiny air tight container.

A note about the brown sugar vs. dark muscovado sugar

Dark Muscovado sugar is the unrefined form of brown sugar ,its stickier ,heavier,has a longer shelf life than refined sugars and adds a more intense flavour to marinades and since it is stable at high temperatures is great for baking.If you do not have brown sugar its ok to replace it with dark Muscovado sugar. Although as the water content dark muscovado holds is higher one should accordingly taper the use of water in the recipe.

Brown sugar is white sugar and molasses and hence the colour and soft texture. It has the light and dark brown sugar varieties and the lighter it is the milder the flavour.

Muscovado,White & Light Brown Sugar

I am linking this post to the Flavours of the Caribbean event, run by Simply.Food and guest hosted by The Spicy Pear.

Wine tasting on a frosty cold evening…a heart warmer

What better way to begin penning down this blog post than sip on a nice red and watch ‘The Mary Berry Story” on telly ?! I am warm and the house is toasty….but when I was rushing to go for my first ever wine tasting , London was enveloped in a blanket of snow, steadily heavier in it’s flow, it was my first ever snowfall experience…couple that with the late hour ,my hands going totally numb and my cell battery dying , it was well,what I’d like to call a recipe for disaster !Thanks to a warm hearted couple on their evening stroll I managed to finally find the venue, it was fairly easy to find but somehow looking for an address scrawled on a soggy bit of paper on cold winter evening is not fun!

So in the basement of a massive storage company in a cosy tasting room was a massive neatly arranged table , most the people attending had arrived. Emma  Dawson, the wines and spirits buyer of M&S, was all set to make a presentation on East Mediterranean Wines. On my right was a vibrant young lady – Josie, who was such a pleasure to talk to , she particularly enjoyed reading through my notes , I hope to share most interesting snippets in this blog though not the entire sheet for fear of boring all of you ..and hey no excel sheets and tables in a food blog ! Well unless they involve weights and measures , then I shall be able to sneak in such things as scary calculations .

Umm coming back to the lovely people , there was this handsome couple sitting across the table , the lady salt pepper hair and so very polite , her companion a dapper gentleman ,I did like chatting with them , yes , they are a made for each other kind of couple and good to talk to…umm

The cheese ,olives and select meats and small eats on the table seemed so tantalizing…  …I was a bit hungry but more so quite eager to sip on some exotic wines!

Cheese Board Close-Up

The Cheese Board & the sausages

We started with the White wines ,six of them,all tempting us with with their beautiful aromas. I loved the Quercus Pinot Grigio from Slovenia, light in appearance, felt silky smooth and fruity on the palate and I really thing it would pair well with a white fish done served with a tangy green chutney,ummm.  The white wine from Greece called Atlantis Santorini would pair amazingly well with a Bengali Bhetki (Indian River fish ,Asian Sea Bass )and some steamed white rice , it seemed to explode with zing of lime on my palate and on the nose it felt fresh, airy like free fall backwards on a meadow on a huge heap of hay!

The 6 whites

Close Up White Wine

Emma enthralls us

Golden Valley Graevina,Croatia

Now the much awaited red’s made an entrance – ta ra ra pum pum 😉

After we had tasted all 6 we had a show of hands to vote for the crowds fav Red and Lebanese Cadet de Ka (Cabernet Sauvignon,Merlot,Syrah) was top of the pops, I’d say on the nose it was deep, dark ,mysterious – almost like a woman with a secret and passionate lover ,even took me into a well stocked spice cabinet with a thick teak wood door,imagine Nigella cooking up a posh steak or a rack of lamb with fancy sauces , food porn,oh yes , well this is wine porn if there is any such thing !

Red-ay steady -ah well- Goooo!

The Greek wine Red on Black Agiorgitiko from Nemea ,Greece hits the palate and makes it jiggle like a belly dancer oh yeah,fruity and with a great depth of flavour. The Croatian,Pilato Malvasia Istarski would pair nicely with a rich dark brown sauce and meat, on the nose it sort of feels like a first date, a romantic on,maybe at the village fair. The 150 year old Chateau Ksara Clos St Alphonse from Lebanon is to be served at a family get together, a celebration , one befitting such a lovely fruity wine with  hidden surprise – notes of spice and chocolate.

Emma doing her thing

We were all really happy by now,no not tipsy, no sir!So  do not blame it on the twelve wines though;) the whole atmosphere was light, it was snowing heavier , the room was cosy , conversation was fun and Emma had managed to take us on a virtual tour through Slovenia, Greece,Croatia,Turkey and Lebanon so effortlessly so it may seem. I had always wondered what a wine tasting would be like, I imagined a massive room with wine barrels all around ,floor to ceiling wine bottles displayed along the walls, a massive room which smells of cheese and well wine ,rich mature full bodies Wine, some chairs around a sturdy old well used mammoth of a table, lots of wine glasses, several varieties of grapes, cheese…lots of cheese, some pretty table napkins, the sound of laughter n the clinking of glasses …lets just say that thanks to Emmas excellent selection of Wines and Jimmy Smith from West London Wine Schools excellent arrangement at the cosy tasting room,it was a perfect ”first wine tasting do” to be at,and yes thanks to Josie as well, you made me smile – a lot. And yes the kind couple whose name I didn’t get who took the bus ride with me, it would have been quite spooky waiting for the bus all alone and I was glad for the company.

The Lovely Josie!

Aahh…now to use that discount voucher and procure some wine bottles from M&S..whilst I am at it .. why not pour myself some red and sip it while I upload these snaps and fix some dinner…it’s chicken peri peri by the way with gluten free,wheat free bread, but ..more on that later , now for some late evening relaxing at home ,Good Night Folks in this part of the world .

Moi

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(Well that’s one blog post that’s out of my drafts folder, better late than never I say ! Since most of it was written in Jan  this year it has lots of winter references, well Summer isn’t really here is it ?! grumble grumble )

Foodie Books that all foodies MUST own!

I am a voracious consumer for all things crime,food and books in general.I left behind many beautiful, old hand me down recipe book with traditional Indian recipes given to me by my mother and one very old tattered book with its pages falling apart ….given by my late grandmother to my mother… I felt heavy-hearted doing that… but little did I know that I would soon have my own little collection here in London.

My tiny flat is now crammed with more books than it can hold and MOST of them being recipe books, any surprises here ? Guess not!

On the day I landed my new PR job I had some time to kill after my interview and I wandered around Angel station and hadddd to go and check out Waterstone’s…. they had this curiously different book called The Vintage Tea Party by a beautiful lady by the name ”Angel” That’s right she is an Angel from Angel,London and her book is a quirky collection of all things Vintage,English and Tea Party like. Of course I had to then start trying out her irresistibly different recipes, the next blog post is also based on a recipe from her book.I love her vintage hair do and bright auburn orange hair rolled into a neat bun- not be missed her picture in this book with her holding Chicken and Bacon rolls near her hair , gawd that’s one awesome pic! Incidentally I started writing this blog article before I went to the FBC’12 where someone shared that she has now got another book in print, ummm , my christmas gift to self (amongst many others 😉 !!! I was so engrossed reading this book  almost forgot to get off the train that day, so enchanting is her way of writing,trust me it’s not just recipes!

P aunty who features in my blog post about the Angel market incidentally started off my recipe book collection with some old but amazing hand me down recipe books, If I haven’t mentioned this before she is a cook par excellence’ and she has passed on those genes to her 2 children who can rustle up some mean dishes themselves ! It was at their London pad that I first laid eyes on one of Jamie Oliver’s cookbook’s , I love his carefree banter on his tv shows and his passion for cooking with basic ingredients and turning them into something totally magical!Since then I had been craving to get myself some cookbooks by Jamie.

Last Christmas, W.H.Smith had some offers on books and I gave into the temptation of buying one of Jamie’s recipe books called -Jamie Does …Spain,Italy,Morocco,Greece,Sweden and France- this book has some stunning photographs by David Loftus,and of course Jamie Looks totally DROOL WORTHY   and a book on Chinese cooking called – Ching’s Fast Food by Ching-He Huang.I have a MAD CRUSH on Jamie Oliver and can watch his 30 Minute meal deal shows over and over again! I have a total LOL moment memory associated with watching one such episode on a lazy autumn afternoon with my mum who was visiting us in London last year and at the start of the show as Jamie walks to his herb garden in his wellies and promptly trips over and falls, totally lol and so candid, I love how his no fuss cooking with well used pots and pans live happily in his kitchen in his beautiful Essex home! In Another episode he explains about different varieties of chillies and after cooking throws some seeds over his shoulder apparently into his neighbour’s garden and at the end of this same show his gardener pops a hot chilli into his mouth and has smoke bellowing from his ears …figuratively !

Another unusual book I posses-The Settlers Cookbook by Yashmin  Alibhai Brown – is aptly called a memoir of Love,Migration & Food- I bought her book from a quaint book store at Kensington after a stimulating visit to the Science Museum exhibition and have throughly enjoyed ”reading” her book of recipes, it is actually incorrect to refer to it as a recipe book as it is an interesting rendering of her family history via food and tradition and more so a take about immigrating and yes last but not the least LOVE. Do treat yourself to this gem and make it a part of your collection.

Below I have posted a few pictures of these gems from my bookshelf, my crammed bookshelf and of course it is followed by 2 blog posts with recipes inspired by these books.

Happy Eating,Happy Cooking and yes Happy reading as well folks!

Cheers!

An Omlette with a twist

What’s life without a bit of a twist I say !

So here’s one of my “different” omelette recipes, I love eating eggs in all shapes and forms and am more so obsessed with omelettes and scrambled eggs.

This recipe is for hungry morning times when you have a rumbling tummy and need time to hold the tummy quiet and prepare for rest of the day .It’s a filling , satisfying yummy start to the day , I serve this with 2 slices of toast generously buttered and a large glass of freshly squeezed orange juice to wash it down 🙂

Ok so you will need the following ingredients:

2 eggs

1 medium size of half or a large sized red onion chopped lengthwise

half a garlic cloves sliced very fine lengthwise again, will tell u why soon..

1 large chicken sausage roughly cut up

1-2 green chillies chopped into pieces which are visible n too fine

Salt and red chilli powder to taste

Preparation: time 15 minutes

Chop the red onion lengthwise and so also the garlic clove, why? Because in a omelette the tiny square bits will loose themselves and vanish I like to chimp on and feel the taste of all the ingredients as I eat the omelette and appreciate each and every ingredient, it’s just so much more fulfilling and creates a immense feeling of happiness as a creator of a true mouth-watering masterpiece.

Sauté the red onion n garlic slices in a generous blob of butter on a pan until the onion starts to reduce turns a mild brown n stays a bit soft so that when you bite into in it releases a sweet burst of onion taste on your palate.

Toss the above mix into 2 eggs in a bowl and add the sausage ,chopped green chillies and salt and with a  fork mix thoroughly till the eggs begin to froth  and the sausage is all mashed up and mixed into the whole set of ingredients.

Next take your favourite omelette pan , again add a generous blob of butter on a slightly heated pan , to reduce your guilt use a low fat option , I do – either Lurpack’s latest or any one that you fancy.

Pour onto this pan the omelette mix and cover for sometime as this helps the omelette fluff up and it looks chubby almost and you start to salivate at the every sight if it 😉

Turn it when the sides are done n there is just a bit of centre that needs cooking

I like mine slightly brown if you prefer it to be less well done just flip it sooner n don’t cook it for as long.

Enjoy it with hot buttered toast and as you bit in enjoy the bits of buttery toasted garlic as they hit your tongue and finely balanced by the yummy red onion caramelised to perfection almost.

AAAHHH pure omelette pleasure.

If you do make and enjoy eating this share your partners or husband or children’s reactions, it will surely make me smile.