Thursday, September 20, 2007

Uppittu for Bangalore

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For Bangalore…
For the Bangali Mashima in Malleshwaram who would drag me along to get Fish from Yeshwantpura
For the Coorgi Aunty in Indiranagar who fed me delectable chicken biryani
For the cafeteria workers who very kindly served me sugar with my curd after laughing at my request for the first few days
For the same cafeteria, where I had delicious breakfasts of Uppittu and idli, if I managed to reach early enough.
For the 3’o clock tea time with madur vadas that helped me stay awake
For the house in Koramangala, where I first set up home after marriage and munched on idlis while sipping tea and perusing the Page 3 of Bangalore Times
For the Darshini right beside home in Koramangala, which provided steaming idlis and chutney wrapped in banana leaf for Saturday morning breakfasts
For Taj West End where D gave me the first ever decent birthday treat and where I in my search for exotic yet low priced appetizers had a dish which turned out to be tiny sabudana wafers with a crab dipping.
For Koshy’s where I loved eating appams and everything else
For Queens where we waited patiently for the warm, soft phulkas and baingan bharta
For Ebony where we had Balti cuisine at a height
For the Corner Café and its ice cream
For Lakeview on MG Road and more ice cream
For Karavalli where the ambience was splendid and the rasam hot
For Nagarjuna Savoy and its tomato soup followed by the tastiest Hyderabadi biryani
For MTR near Lalbagh and the Upma with huge dollops of ghee
For KC Dass and my Sunday fixes of Bangali Shingara and Kachuri
For Krishna Chinnai, a small place in Koramangala, a very spicy biryani and a minimal price
For Casa Picola and my first and best Pasta
For Sukhsagar and tiny orange Gobi Manchurians
For the Auntie across the street who fed us idlis and chutney on the morning we packed and left…
For Bangalore…

Uppittu Recipe from here. Sending to Asha for RCI-Karnatka, an event created by Lakshmi of Veggie Cuisine and hosted by Asha of FoodiesHope

I know Karnataka is much more beyond B'lore but this is just reliving my memories of my happy days there. This list is from many moons ago and things and menu might have changed, so swalpa adjust maadi

Trivia: I heard about a band called AutoRickshaw with roots in South India who fuse Indian rhythms with North American pop. I heard the feature on PRI. I loved the music and thought of sharing with you all. Click to visit the "Global Hit" Page here and download the mp3

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Vacation, Food and a Thanks

Life was going to get pretty hectic from September so a relaxed vacation in the State of Blueberries, Lobsters and the beautiful Acadia National Park was thought as the perfect rejuvenator. It however was so intoxicating that it left us longing for more. Does this happen to you? You go on a vacation thinking of coming back all refreshed instead you are left pining for more

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The trip re-instilled my faith in my little daughter, she is now a confirmed foodie. I had my doubts when she used to pick on her lunches at school or when I had to run around her making she sure she drinks her milk. However in this trip I saw her face light up on the mere mention of food when she visibly was not getting any enjoyment while we waited for hours perched on an overlook waiting for the sun to set.
It is another thing that in that hour she made me go to & fro between the car and where her dad was sitting numerous times but discussing the menu helped.
However I must also give it to her that she very eagerly complied when we couldn’t make up our mind on where to eat and what to eat and switched ever so often.

Bar Harbor, Maine has a quaint but very thriving downtown and a wide choice of restaurants. A stroll along its streets every evening was a pleasure in itself. There are many fun places to eat at.
No Indian place though, any takers? The Asian places are not good either, The Thai place "Nakrom Thai" was dilapidated, we just packed Satay & white Rice for S who was pining for some and fled. The only Chinese place wasn’t much to talk about either.

Some of the good restaurants that we thoroughly enjoyed were,

Jeannie’s – For Breakfast. Open only till 1:00PM in the noon, this cheerful, bright place serves only breakfast. The sunny interiors surely brightens ones day. Breakfast choices are typical Omlettes, Toast, Sausages, French Toast, Pancakes the works. I tried a spicy salsa omlette, definitely not spicy but hearty altogether.
Toasts are served with their home made rhubarb jam.

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Morning Star Bakery – A small quaint bakery in one of the by lanes. Very Hippy style. Loved the Lemon Tart with fresh blueberries though never found it again on day two or three. They bake their own bread and the bread is good. They also offer boxed lunches which are a good option if you want to have a quiet lunch on top of the Cadillac Mountain or any of the picnic areas in Acadia. I liked the Curried Chicken sandwich and also a certain cilantro cheese spread. The scones were a bit dry though

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Maggie’s Classic Scales – Excellent place for dinner. The food was so good that I do not have a pic to vouch for. I had Lobster crepes smothered in some French wine sauce. It was phenomenal. D had a salmon paired with basmati and he loved it. The atmosphere was very good too, very homely and full of life.

Rupununi – I fell in love with the name, the name of ariver that runs through British Guyana in South America. Again the outside sitting was very pleasant on a summer evening. I had Lobster sautéed in parsley & Butter. I didn’t want to hammer out my Lobster so I chose the Lazyman’s Lobster where they shell it and serve. It was pretty good.

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We also went to some more places, a Mexican one and another Fish Place but they were ok. The Mexican one was good enough and served very good Mojito which I couldn’t even finish, so I asked if I could take it back to the hotel. Of course they didn’t allow :D but I loved their mango salsa and the creamy mango sauce.

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These gorgeous beauties arrived yesterday evening. That they were delicious is to say the least, they were so very good that the whole family was floored. Thank You for the sweet treats !!! It was very touching to get these even though I couldn't be a part of the friendship bread chain, and should have actually got some mustard reeking bombs:D

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Easy Breezy Dessert

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Back from vacation but more about it later, first let me get the dessert out of the system

This was a dessert I learned early on after coming to this country. Those days my unending quest of befriending Bong people had got me a few friends (remember this) and a larger number of acquaintances. Now as is the custom among Bong people staying in far away land, a meeting as in getting together is synonymous with eating and that too in good measures. There was so much good eating and too many acquaintances that my very shallow foodie hubby would even weed out acquaintances based on their culinary skills.

So after months of eating excellent meals at several homes, I realized it was time that I did my part before people started gossiping about “How a you-know-who girl never invited us back and blah, blah, blah…”

I did not have very many culinary skills at that point and even fewer cookware so cooking a meal for about 18-20 odd people was a challenge. In fact even now with more cookware and somewhat better skills, cooking for that many people still plays havoc on my nerves. I always look around for good recipes that can be made in large quantity with ease and not too much preparation.

This is when I came across this easy breezy Fruity Mango Dessert recipe, posted by some Bengali on a Bengali website. It is quick, easy and definitely delicious (considering all the yummy things that go into it). Many thanks to the first person who created it and also to the person, whose name I don't remeber, who posted it.
I have made this several times and have moved the ingredients around. Here I will give my version and also specify the original recipe.


Mango Dessert

What You Need

Serves about 16-18 people if paired with ice cream or cake

Mango Pulp (available in Indian Grocery stores) ~ 1 can
Plain Yogurt ~ 12 oz (Recipe said 32oz)
Sour cream ~ 8 oz (Recipe said 16 oz)
Fruit Cocktail Can ~ drain the syrup and get the fruits from a can or use fresh cut bite size pieces of fruit
Raisins & Nuts ~ for garnish (optional)
Condensed Milk ~ 3/4th of a 14 oz can (Recipe used sugar)

How I Did It

In a blender whip together mango pulp, sour cream and yogurt to a smooth consistency.
Add condensed milk and whip again.
Drain all the juices from the fruit cocktail and add to the whipped dessert
Garnish with raisins and nuts.
Put it in the refrigerator to cool. Serve chilled.

Serving Suggestion

Though it tastes absolutely great if had on its own, I often serve it with Plain Vanilla ice cream if it is summer. Else I also serve with some home baked cake as seen in the pic.

Today is my 3 and ½ year old daughter's first day at Pre-K, it is not official school yet, it is still a pre-school. But I find it an important date in my calendar, as it is the start of a new class with new teacher and new faces for her. Thanks to her PreSchool-1 teachers, Miss A and another Miss A. We will miss you. But we also look forward to the new beginnings, the slightly more responsibility, more independence in the new class and of course loads of fun.

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