Radha Krishna Bhavan – Tooting , a review

On a dreary Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago after my weekly Indian shop form Dadu’s at Tooting, not feeling particularly in the mood to cook , we walked into Radha Krishna Bhavan for an early lunch . The place was open and barring one table we could pick and choose where to sit , unusual for a Saturday afternoon , little did I know that minutes later the place would be buzzing with activity.

 

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This is a sea food lovers heaven with authentic ,well balanced south Indian cuisine. We ordered a starter of spicy Vadas – flat, fried lentil dough spiced with green chillies and onion , this was crunchy and delicious and just the thing needed on a boring Saturday afternoon when the weather was playing traunt ! (£2.95)

 

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The first thing I noticed was the many sticker on the glass outside with various ratings from the Good Food Guide, Square Meal etc  and a bright yellow mini menu saying ”3 courses for just £5.95′ ! Super ! That definitely drew us in.

 

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But we decided to go a la Carte and ordered for some Kerala Fried Rice (£4.50)and Kerala Fish curry (£7.50) .The fish curry was yum but the portion size was a bit small to share , same with the rice and we found the rice had more than a generous use of oil but it was delicious all the same.

 

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Hungry for more we decided to experiment with some Vellappam – a pancake made of fermented rice with ground coconut and coconut milk with a  lacy egg like appearance . These were light yet  filling and 2 panckakes per dish came with the curry at a combined price (£7.95 ) .The pancakes were mopped up with the accompanying  curry –  a spicy King Fish Malabar.

 

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With no room left for dessert after this we decided to skip and just get ice lollies on our way home 😉

 

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I’d definitely recommend you visit Radha Krishna Bhavan if you are looking for delicious and authentic  flavours of South India at budget rates in a clean , welcoming atmosphere with quick service head (opposite Sainsburys on Tooting High Street)

 

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*This review was written by me of my own accord . I bore the expense of this meal. All views  expressed as always are my own and no monetary compensation of any sort by provided to me by either the restaurant or any other third party.All opinions expressed are valid for this particular visit .

Spicy Chorizo Pasta with loads of veggie goodness!

I often struggle to get the hubster to consume hero veggies like Broccoli and Mushrooms ,both which I quite frankly love .. always have ! So what started off as a veg pasta was met with a grunt and audible grumbling and had to be re-engineered to create something fabulous ! I am therefore grateful for the grumbling  – totally depends on the end result right? 😉 Its also a very good recipe to use all the veggies lying around in your fridge and many some store cupboard excesses to start that spring clean you have been itching to do ( yes I love cleaning – am quite certain I have a mild OCD too)

Preparation Time: 25 minutes Cooking Time:40 minutes Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm Penne
  • 300 gm Chorizo chopped bite size
  • Broccoli a handful
  • Button Mushrooms – half a small packet – std supermarket size-chopped bite size
  • 200 gm Sweet Corn and Red Peppers canned
  • Grated parmesan Cheese – generous amount;)
  • 1/2 of a large Red Onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes pureed
  • Sea salt
  • 2 large tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Chilli flakes as per taste
  • 2 large Spring onion finely chopped
  • 1/4th cup low fat cream
  • Dried italian herb mix for pasta 2 teaspoons

Method:

For the creamy sauce

  • In a saucepan heat one and a half large tablespoon of oil and saute the finely chopped garlic and when it begins to brown add 2 cloves of garlic chopped spring onion and saute for about 1 min
  • Then added the finely chopped broccoli
  • Now add the chopped button mushrooms and the sweet corn and red pepper mixture.
  • Add the cream and cook on a low flame for 2 – 3 minutes,season with salt  and then add generous amounts of cheese.
  • This sauce should have a balance between creamy and chewy with the mushrooms on the broccoli can retain a bit of its crunch so if you use a lid it may overcook

Before starting on the spicy sauce boil the past in a large saucepan and add sea salt and olive  a generous splash I use flavoured oil – the bottle had a large sprig of rosemary some crushed garlic and chilli flakes tossed inside to give it a deep rich flavour- so , so good!

For the Spicy Sauce

  • In a saucepan heat half a tablespoon of oil and fry the red onion chopped lengthwise and 2 garlic cloves finely chopped.
  • Then add the bite  sized pieces of Chorizo and reduce the flame to low.
  • Let the chorizo almost start to get crispy and  then added the pureed tomatoes,dried herb mixture,chilli flakes and salt as per taste.

In a clean bowl add a generous portion of the creamy sauce, top it with cooked pasta and then add the spicy chorizo sauce.Sprinkle with as much cheese as you want and watch it melt into the steaming hot pasta.If you want just a bit of guilty pleasure drizzle some chilli olive oil on the pasta before mixing the whole thing together!

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Sweetcorn and Paneer Bhaji/Sabzi

In March I had rushed to be by my mothers side when her recovery post a double knee replacement surgery which was supposed to give her a new lease on life went badly wrong.

She was put on a very strict diet and asked to avoid more food stuff than she could eat, besides the heat in Pune was killing and the numerous medicines made her terribly hungry and moody. Not to mention the times when she was in so much pain I regularly went in the room next door and sobbed my guts out into a pillow…

On one of the better days when she really wanted to eat something tasty and refused all the options I gave her my maushi (that’s we call mum’s sister in Marathi language – my mother tongue) saved the day by making her this simple yet delicious vegetable which was packed with flavour in-spite of having on onion,no garlic and no tomatoes which mum was not allowed at all…If you have someone at home who is being given blood thinner medicines to avoid blood clots you may be asked to avoid foods that contain Vitamin K which is a natural blood coagulant.

Since this was only for one person we took a handful of each ingredient and used spices as we thought appropriate to suit her taste buds dead with all those medicines. Please feel free to amp up the spice if you wish.

Serves 2 as a side or 1 as a main

Preparation of veggies and Cooking Time:45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower florets 150 gm
  • sweet corn 50 gm
  • carrots chopped into tiny cubes 50 gm
  • green peas 50 gm
  • Paneer cubes/Cottage Cheese 50 gm
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt as per taste
  • a pinch of red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin and coriander powder mix
  • a small pinch of ground clove powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Finely chopped fresh green coriander leaves -just enough to garnish.

Method:

  • In a pan take 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and sautee the bay leaves, clove powder and cumin and coriander powder for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the sweet corn and cook for about 3 minutes with spritz of water on a very low flame with lid to allow the corn to cook well.
  • Add the chopped carrot cubes and add water and cover an allow to steam for 2 -3 minutes on a low flame.
  • Reason for cooking the sweetcorn first and then the carrots is that they will take longer to cook than the cauliflower and peas which will become mush in the vegetable if all these are added at once. To save time you could used boiled sweetcorn and carrot. Avoid canned and ready to eat variety.
  • When carrots are almost cooked add the cauliflower florets ,green peas and season with the turmeric and red chilli powder and salt.Mix Well.
  • Add very little water just enough to allow the veggies to cook well.

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  • When they are almost cooked after not more than 5- 8 minutes , add the soft paneer cubes and mix well and serve hot with a chapati fresh off the pan.
  • Garnish with a tiny bit of fresh coriander leaves finely chopped.Ensure they are washed thoroughly to ensure no muddy bits are hiding between the delicate leaves.

Needless to say aai loved the bhaji and after almost 15 days of bland food she was really upbeat. Soon after she really began to recover at a desirable pace and was coming up with many of her own ideas to make delicious food with less oil, minimal spices and without any tomato. Cheers to you aai , you are a very brave person to have come out of such a bad health situation only a few months ago, to a point where you are 100% independent and cheerful as ever.God bless all those that stood by us and the few special people who came to help me in the hour of need, no questions asked, you know I love you people tons right ?:)

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Disclaimer: Please note this is a true account of what my mum had to eat with her many food restrictions and is not meant to be treated as a medical advice for anyone following a diet where they have been asked to stay off Vit K .Please always consult your doctor before eating anything that is out of the ordinary for your condition.

One pot meal- Easy and Healthy Chicken-n-Noodles – Ready in 20 minutes!

It was one of those days when I wished the dinner made itself ,but hey you know what I am saying right?Like it’s ONLY Monday and am wishing it was the weekend again , ya, ya that kind of a horrible feeling- gaaahhh! Happens to the best of us , yes even me , ok ok I will get on with the recipe.I  had this vegetable stock packet in my kitchen cupboard that had to be used or else! And I had some tomatoes, bright red  chillies, half a red onion sliced , some unused tiny onions, a juicy lime and a spanking new bottle of Kafir Lime leaves .

Since I had spent the better part of the day, well on facebook 😉 I got my lazy,fat a** out of my house and walked to the supermarket.Some chocken thighs ,a mixed bag with chopped carrot and brocolli on reduced price , just what I was looking for!

Ok so here’s a list of all the ingredients I threw in and managed to make something that made hubby go from ”hummm ummm” to ”interesting” to ” u came up with this recipe like now?” the best compliment, ok am showing off and that sickening right?

Serves:2 , Cook time including serving time :25 miutes

Ingredients:

  1. 500ml vegetable stock
  2. 100ml water
  3. 1/2 of a medium sized red onion sliced lengthwise
  4. 2 -3 shallots chopped lengthwise
  5. 2 cloves of garlic with the skin on
  6. 1 tiny pinch of cumin seeds
  7. 2 Kaffir lime leaves – no more ,they are POTENT!
  8. 2 bright red chillies slit lenghthwise
  9. 1 small tomato chopped into tiny pieces
  10. 3 pieces of chicken with the skin taken off
  11. Red chilli powder as per taste
  12. Salt as per taste
  13. 1 portion of thin egg noodles  – 100 gm approx
  14. 1 small palmfull of diced carrot  – 100 gm approx
  15. 2 -3 bits of broccoli cut into smaller bite sized portions – 100 gm approx
  16. 1/4th of piece of lime to squeeze onto the chicken
  17. 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  18. A smile on your face because you are going to make a new yum dish super quick and you n yours are gonna love-uh it!

The Ingredients

Preparation:

  • Wash the chicken pieces and remove the skin
  • Pan on hob and add one tbsp oil ,saute the thinly length-wise sliced red onion saving a few bits to go into the stock pot.
  • place the chicken pieces and lower the flame, turn the pieces in a few minutes after they start to fry, do not cook them fully as this pan fry bit is to ensure flavour on double impact and get the chicken to release it’s juices
  • at this stage add the tomato bits into the pan and flatten with a spatula after they have sizzled for a bit, this will make the sauted onion flavour marry with the tomato and lock in the chicken juices,squeeze the lime onto this
  • add about 2 tbsp of the vegetable stock to the chicken in the pan and simmer on  as low a flame as possible,keep checking to ensure it does not dry up!
  • Now add 1 tbsp in a saucepan and when it’s hot throw in the 2 big red chillies which have been split lengthwise,followed by the cumin,crushed garlic cloves with skin, some of the red onion chopped leftover from what went in the pan and the shallots chopped lengthwise.Keep the saucepan on a low flame to prevent burning of these ingredients.

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  • When the garlic is done and the pungent chilli and garlic gives off its trademark punch of aroma throw in the Kaffir lime leaves ,when the onion is totally pink n garlic crisp , throw in some of the vegetable stock and some water , add the noodles carrot and broccoli ,cover and bring to a boil, at this stage the carrot is almost cooked and the noodles too, scoop in the chicken and the thick onion-tomato gravy it was in, ensure you get every last bit of the thick sauce from the pan to not loose any of that wholesome goodness!

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  • Now throw in all the remaining vegetable stock and water and add salt and red chilli powder as per taste.
  • cook on a low flame with lid till done, the chicken should just fall of the bone easy and the carrot should be well cooked but not squidgy.
  • Serve hot with soft boiled potatoes in butter and herbs or a crisp baguette.

At 2 small spoons of oil and how it fills you, this one dish stock pot is filling, wholesome,relatively easy and a good for a weekday dinner when you are feeling  well BLAH 😉

please leave comments to let me know if this recipe rocked your boat or totally sucked !

Love,peace and good night bloggy world ,I love ya !

One stock pot chicken and noodle dinner

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 )

Masoorachi Aamti or Red Lentil Curry

Masoorachi Aamti or Red Lentil Curry – Recipe adaptation from Mother, Mother in Law and a close CKP friend – Saai who loves to stir up some spicy CKP fare and generally succeeds at it 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 measures of Masoor Dal (Red Lentil) with their brown covers intact and whole
  • Mustard Seeds
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • Green chillies 2- 3
  • Curry leaves about 5-6
  • Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – tiny spoonful
  • Freshly grated soft white coconut
  • Goda Masala – mommy made is so much better than the one from the shops but well

(**This is a mix of various spices readily available in Asian Grocery stores it’s basically a mixture of dry coconut roasted with a mixture of atleast 10 different spices, best of all it’s avaialble to buy online at itadka.com ,it’s so EASY PEASY grin grin grin  heres the link ,refrigerate this pack to increase shelf life ,yayay so many tips from me , don’t YOU just LOVE me , if u better dont just READ this make n slurp it all ALONE, drop me A LINE and thank meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee)

  • Coriander Powder
  • Ginger Garlic Paste

(Coriander and Chilli paste – 2 small sized bunches of coriander pureed with 2-3 green chillies – freeze and use on demand, handy and 1 of my 5 “save your face” purees for unwanted guests popping in at odd hours – the other 4 are listed at the end of this recipe)

  • 3 medium sized onion red – chopped fine
  • Asafoetida(Hing or Heeng)
  • Turmeric
  • Red Chilli Powder
  • Dhania Powder
  • Jaggery

Aamsul 2-3 soaked in lukewarm water to release it’s juices trapped inside the gorgeous maroon folds – Amsul – also called kokum or Garcinia indica, a plant in the mangosteen family (Clusiaceae)

  • Fresh leaves of Coriander chopped fine for dressing

 Process ( Once a Chemistry student and a retail employee stay that way forever , instead of “PREPARTION” I choose the word ”Process” which is drilled into a Retail Managers brain like young parents making their kids rote learn alphabets)

The masoor dal can be done 2 ways for stage 1 of this process, 1st is the short cut which I love as I suddenly get an urge mid evening to cook this typical CKP recipe to appease my urges to run to Heathrow n take the next flight to my parents home in Pune ,hummmmm, so we soak the masoor dal 2 measures feeds 2 adults with a ravenous appetite and leaves some to spare.

Then soak it in water for about 20 minutes , the traditional route is to soak the masoor for about 10 minutes and pressure cook with 1 or 2 whistles so that it doesn’t go too soft as it will not absorb the marvellous flavours of all the spices we are to add in the kadhai.

Heat 2 large generous tablespoons of oil in a wok, no weight watchers tip this huh? Indeed!

Add mustard seeds and wait for them to pop but please be carefull not to burn them, one classic error here is that there are 2 types of mustard seeds, one variety is slightly big and the other one is smaller n more packed with flavour according to my mother , I dare not disagree , the only reason I use the smaller variety is that it gives me an ego boost each time I do a phodni and don’t burn them.

Then add Asafoetida, crushed garlic cloves in their skin as the skin turns a tasty caramelised brown adding to the visual delight of the process of tempering a curry or dal! then when the garlic is starting to brown add the curry leaves , green chillies , jeera and then  a generous spoonful of the fresh grated coconut (fresh from froizen is fine by me too) then , stir in the goda masala – 2 generous teaspoons, coriander powder ,turmeric , a big blob of ginger garlic paste and coriander chilli paste and stir this wonderfully aromatic mixture till it starts to brown , then add the chopped onion  and stir it now n then , let the oil work its magic in the onion allowing it to brown so that it secrets it juices and adds the typical flavour that a powerfull pungent red onion has pack3ed inside each leaf ,umm , mouth salivating isn’t it by now reading this , it should that’s the whole point my friend .

Now when this mixture is nice and ready, drain the water from the soaked or boiled par-masoor dal and toss it into the kadhai, stir in enough water to cover the lentil n then some and cook it till it almost done, when your almost done pour in the water of the soaked amsool and the dunk the amsool in along with salt to taste and bring to boil.

Season with finely chopped fresh as ever coriander and serve piping hot with phulkas dripping with ghee (clarified butter) or the plain old boiled white rice.

As you lick your fingers n the plate don’t forget to thank your daddy for giving you an internet connection which allowed you to see my divine blog n stir up this delightfull dish !aww come on now did u really buy your laptop and your internet connection on your own ! Atta girl!

Key (reminds me of my Chemistry textbook in school years)

*C.K.P stands for Chandraseniya Kayastha Prabhu a sub section of the Maharashtrian community in India and they generally hail from the coastal regions and hence are rather partial to freshly grated coconut and amsool in their food, not to mention their love for fresh fish and mutton, oh yeah!

*Dal used loosely to refer to the uncooked Lentil and AMTI a Marathi word meaning cooked curry.

*Coriander = Cilantro

*Jeera – Cumin (what were you thinking?)

*Aamsul – this is typical to the Konkan region, a divine coastal region the state of Maharashtra State which gave the world the gorgeous Madhuri Dixit Nene, a Bollywoood actress par excellence better known for her elastic waist and dance moves that can drive hordes of men wild and in their make the women of these bubble green with jealousy and is now to be honoured and hence waxed err , have her wax statue placed at the one and only Madame Tussads at London, hence I shall visit the wax museum ONLY after her wax replica is unveiled, yes sir! On a serious note it is also called Kokum or Garcinia Indica (Fruit indigenous to the west coast of Maharashtra State in India- i.e. Konkan, Ratnagiri etc .Incidentally apart from the Wiki link for more info on Aamsul , I came across another food blog with a very good explanation about the fruit and have pasted the para from the blog below with the links the blogger has inserted intact and alink too in case anyone wants to visit the blog,it’s got some really good recipes , get clicking

!)

कोकम/अमसुल” (wild/red mangosteen-available in powdered forms too,but its better to use the fruit) are one of the very popular ingredients in Indian food.The outer rind of the fruit is a very popular culinary ingredient in all Maharashtra and in particular Konkan. The fruits are beaten with sticks to separate the rind from seeds. The rind is repeatedly sun dried after soaking in the pulp juice.

People in the Kokan region (Maharashtra) and Southern India often add it in various delicacies (from cold-drinks to soups to vegetables & dips).Dried/Wet Kokum or Amsul is available at most Indian stores in the bay area.Sour in taste,it has medicinal qualities and is used as an anti-allergic.

Raw Mangosteen is called Murgala (Karnataka), Punampuli (Kerala), Murgal (Tamil Nadu) ,Kokum(Gujarat),Kokum/amsul/ratamba/birund (Maharashtra) & Tintali (Orissa).It is called Atyamala, Raktapurak, Vrikshamla,chukra or tintidika in Sanskrit.

Blog credit : http://cookwithmoi.blogspot.com/2009/10/wild-red-mangosteen-soup.html

*Phodni – Marathi for tempering

*Kadhai – Hindi and Marathi for Wok, easy or what?!

*Phulkas – Also called chapattis or the delightful Indian Bread soft and fluffy and fresh off the pan has ghee smeared on it to pack some punch a many many calories 🙂

The other 4 SAVE ME NOW pastes are:

* a garlic ginger coarse paste,

* Finely grated fresh white coconut paste,

* Tomato red onion puree -1:3,

*And the best one for last aye? – few onion chopped lengthwise n lightly roasted in a kadhai (wok) with fresh white coconut finely grated till they turn slightly brown , then churned into a paste in the mixer )

Pic 1 :The saucepan contains oil heated and then the asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, then the garlic , chopped green chillies and curry leaves and last but the best one GODA masala

Pic 2 :Chopped red onion added to the mix

Pic 3: That’s the dal cooking

Pic 4 & 5: All done , the AROMA is filling my senses and transporting me into my MIL’s kitchen , I want to HUG her nowwwwwwwwwww

P.S: Will post pictures to compare the 2 sizes of Mustard seeds at a later date , I am now going to be too busy slurping my amti (dal) off the plate 🙂

My 1st Post …Bombay Blues …

Deja Vu? Or is it my mind playing tricks with me again ?? sighh….

It’s often times nowadays that I slip out of my body and walk the streets of the city where I was born – Bombay to me and Mumbai to many . It is generally triggered by a simple series of photos that I see on FB of someone in Bombay or some poor soul like me that “lives” abroad but “walks” around in Bombay in their head .

So where am I right now ? I am sipping on a cold watermelon juice, alone , on a bright sunny afternoon , wearing a white gunji n blue denim shorts ,my hair is cut in a blunt cut style,something of a short bob like bouncy and fun , blow dried and I am looking at the hot humid and extremely vibrant Colaba Causeway and watching the usual street stalls hawking over priced goods to unsuspecting tourists, prostitues mingle with the rest of the world and try with no success to merge into the fabric of this vivid picture . Then I am walking towards the gateway of India feeling energised after my cold beverage only to sweat it all out by the time I reach but the sight and sounds of the beautiful Arabian sea , the waves crashing against the beautiful stonework take me far far away to a happy place in my head .

I turn and I am sitting at Café Coffee Day at Bandra Bandstand the wind in my hair feels wonderfull and the light spray of salty sea water hitting my face now n then makes me feel humid yet happy . I down a glass of cold cold yummy coffee topped with some marvellous crumbled cookies and attempt to scribble some thing I feel on a tissue paper , promising myself to one day make a blog ….

so finally when I am many miles away from my Bombay City and sitting in a tiny flat somewhere in London , when all the familiar sights and sounds have vanished do I make this blog come alive .

I do get these nostalgia attacks often times and each time I travel , if only in my head the busy yet beautiful streets of Bombay city and relive moments of my lovely life .

Oh yes and I must admit when I was in Pune , I used to get these nostalgia attacks too , especially when I was reading Shantaram . I do resent people who think that he exposed the dirty underbelly of Bombay , he merely stated life as it happened to him and his words, so beautiful , so graphic ,like I was watching a film maybe , why wouldn’t then I walk the streets of Bombay through his words ? Why not ? After all a good book does just that, doesn’t it ???

Someday I am also going to gift myself an i-pad or a tablet , I get these mad ideas when I am on a bus journey that I must write down , but they just turn into wisps of invisible threads and slip out of mind like a silent ghost …. and leave me feeling well, sort of like a person who is reading a gripping murder mystery and just as the end is to reveal all , the door bell rings…. and in comes a painfull neighbour who has to have a cup of TEA and one sided conversation NOW !

OH YES !And, I also get huge feelings of sorrow at not being able to shop and browse through the beautiful outlets of FABINDIA whenever I browse this wondefull blog called Rang décor, it’s a visual melange of all things India expressed in pictures and words that is simply a delight for a sore soul

So with this my dear future readers , I present to you humbly my blog , my thoughts at times totally neurotic but mine all the same .

I love attention who doesn’t ? therefore , I welcome bouquets and brickbats alike , but please desist from comments that are rude, racist ,inflammatory or else I shall give u what I call an “e-kick” and banish for evermore 🙂 serious !

I will always always attempt to give due credit if I am inspired by any material written by any blogger or photograph I use from any place – I hate anyone stealing my work and am sure those that I write from or paste from will also hate me if I don’t mention them .

My thoughts, my words , my life experiences and feelings are ALL my OWN and not borrowed , copied or lifted so therefore there is a copyright I reserve over them , ok ?

I may at times attempt to review or comment on movies , books , make up , fashion etc etc etc etc , which does not mean I get paid , if some one is MAD enough to ever do that , well I shall shout it out from the rooftop , NOT of my current rented flat inside a crumbling Victorian era building of course , why do that when London has so many TALL buildings- yes PUN intended 🙂

I also have a twitter id and am fairly technologically challenged and therefore will not be able to smarten this blog up and am under training , rather have forced myself to be trained by a rather sweet buddy of mine and my hubby’s for that matter , so if there’s any hanky panky stealing attempts , BEWARE , I shall catch u and spank ur backside with a LARGE , very large hairbrush . Humpfh !

I will use a lot of hyperlinks to better the understanding of many things I shall crib about and most times I link to Wikipedia which is an abundance of knowledge. If not the hyperlink will give due credit to the owner or writer of the information.

Phew!!!