Recipe: Lemon Sevai

Ingredients:

  • Lemons – 2.
  • Green chili – 1, cut.
  • Sevai (rice vermicelli) – about 200 gm.
  • Chana dal – 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Urad dal – 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Turmeric – a pinch.
  • Groundnuts – 3 teaspoons.
  • Coriander leaves – a few sprigs.
  • Salt to taste.

Method:

  • Cut and squeeze the lemons to extract the juice.
  • Add about 1-2 cups hot water to the sevai so that it becomes soft, making sure that the sevai isn’t completely soaked.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a vessel and add mustard seeds to the oil till they pop.
  • Next, add the cumin seeds till they too pop.
  • Then add the chana dal, urad dal, groundnuts, turmeric and green chili to the oil and fry till the ingredients turn golden brown.
  • Next, add the sevai to the oil and mix well, till the sevai turns yellow.
  • Finally add the lemon juice and salt and stir (the heat can be turned off).
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.

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Lemon Sevai.

Recipe: Shahi Panneer

I stumbled on this recipe by accident, but I finally discovered the magic secret to making Shahi Panneer just like in the best restaurants, gravy and all. Try it and you’re guaranteed to love it!

Ingredients:

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Ingredients.

  • Onions – 1, cut.
  • Tomatoes – 2-3, cut.
  • Cardamom – 4-5 pods, powdered.
  • Cloves – 4-5.
  • Cinnamon – 1 piece.
  • Bay leaves – 1.
  • Cashew nuts – a few pieces.
  • Raisins – 8-10.
  • Panneer – 16-20 cuboids (or diced).
  • Cream – About 2 cups.
  • Tomato Puree – 1 cup.
  • Garlic – 4-5 cloves, minced.
  • Green chili – 1, cut.
  • Coriander leaves – a few, cut.

Method:

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All ingredients added.

  • In some ghee, fry the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, cashews, raisins, garlic and chili.
  • To this, add the onions and fry till translucent.
  • Add the tomatoes and heat till they’re cooked.
  • Next, add the tomato puree, followed by the cream to form a gravy.
  • Let the gravy simmer for a while, then add the panneer.
  • Finally, garnish with coriander leaves.

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Shahi Panneer.

Cuppa

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Cuppa is a coffee place that serves coffees from around the world as well as sandwiches and pastries. These include Cappuccino, Mocha, Espresso and Latte and Veg Burger, Fries, Thai Sandwich, Oriental Sandwich and Spicy Indian Sandwich.

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Cuppa interior.

We tried the Thai Sandwich and Veg Burger along with fries. The Thai Sandwich tasted more Indian than Thai, though the fries were good. The chocolate cake that we had for dessert was very good!

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Fries.

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Cappuccino, Thai Sandwich and Veg Burger.

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Chocolate cake.

One thing with these coffee places (as opposed to the traditional Indian coffee places) is that their Cappuccinos and Lattes can cost upwards of Rs. 60 as against Rs.12 – 15 for your regular filter coffee at a traditional Indian place. If you’re in the mood for Cappuccino, then go for it, but be warned of the cost; else you could skip it for a cup of plain old filter coffee for a fourth of the cost.

Overall, not a bad place. The Cuppa that we visited was on the Outer Ring Road in J.P. Nagar, Bangalore.

Recipe: Bottle-gourd (Sorakkai) Halwa

  Ingredients:

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Bottle-gourd.

  • Bottle-gourd – 1, peeled.
  • Cardamom – 4-5 pods.
  • Raisins – 10-12.
  • Cashew nuts – a few pieces.
  • Milk – 2 cups.
  • Sugar – 8 teaspoons.

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Grated bottle-gourd.

Method:

  • Grate the bottle-gourd, removing the seeds.
  • Powder the cardamom and along with the cashews, fry in 3-4 teaspoons of ghee.
  • Add the grated bottle-gourd to the ghee and fry.
  • Add the milk and sugar to the bottle-gourd and bring to a boil, then let it simmer.
  • When cooked, add the raisins.
  • Serve chilled.

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Bottle-gourd halwa.

Recipe: Aloo paratha

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 potatoes – boiled, peeled.
  • Atta (wheat flour) – 5 cups.
  • Salt to taste.

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Mashed potatoes.

Method:

  • Mash the potatoes, add some salt and fry them in 2-3 teaspoons of oil.
  • Mix the mashed potatoes with the atta, add some water and turn the atta into dough.
  • Roll the dough into balls and flatten the balls into pancakes.
  • Heat the “pancakes” on a pan till both sides turn brown.

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Dough rolled into balls.

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Aloo paratha.

Mango Mela

The Mango and Jackfruit Mela (Fair) was held in Lalbagh Botanical Gardens, Bangalore, India, in the month of June, 2013. There were a number of vendors selling several varieties of mangoes.

These included Alphonso, Dashehari, Malgoa,  Amrapali, Mallika, Raspuri, Sendhura, Banganapally, Kesar, Thothapuri, Sugar Baby and Neelam.

Most of the stalls stated that the mangoes were organically grown and were carbide-free.

There was a stall selling a colorful collection of pickles and Gulkhand (गुलखंड, made from rose petals).

The Sugar Baby is a tiny mango that is very sweet but with lots of fiber.

There was also a stall selling jackfruit.

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Sugar Babies (left).

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Pickles.

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Colorful pickles.

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Rate chart.

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Malgoa, Sindoora, Raspuri, Sugar Baby, Banganapally, Alphonso, Thothapuri and Neelam varieties.

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Alphonso mangoes.

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Jackfruit.

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Cut jackfruit.

The Gulmohr – Abroad

I was under the impression that the Gulmohr was indigenous to India, but in fact is found to grow throughout the world. It is apparently native to Madagascar.

In the Caribbean, its seeds are used to make the musical instrument known as the Maracas.

Here are some pictures of Gulmohrs that I shot in different parts of the world, separated by several thousand miles (the camera is an old, but brilliant Olympus C-3030Z).

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Gulmohr, Islamorada, Florida Keys, USA, 2003.

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Small Gulmohr, Kailua-Kona, the Big Island, Hawaii, USA, 2003.

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Gulmohr, Mahe, Seychelles, Indian Ocean, 2006.

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Gulmohr, Cayman Islands, the Caribbean, 2008.