Photo Tag for September

30 Day Photo challenge

1. This is a thirty day challenge. Refrain using old pictures.
2. If you miss one day, compensate the next day.
3. Upload it anywhere you prefer. Flickr | Facebook | Tumblr | your Blog.
This tag has been inspired from Sherry’s blog

Lets get started!!!

Delightful Treats for Ramzan

The month of fasting is nearly over and Muslims across the world are gearing up to celebrate Ramzan [also called Ramadan or Id-Ul-Fitr].  And there is no hiding that Food and Ramzan has a strong connection. Think succulent kebabs, delicious Biryani, rich curries and molten malpuas served at the best restaurants across the country and you have your excuse to dig in. Here is a heads-up on the Top 3 places across the country to visit,
kurbani ka meetha 
Khoobani Ka Meetha
[Image courtesy]
If you have plans of visiting Mumbai, then this is the right time to go, for you are in for not only a visual treat but a gastronomic one as well. Mohammad Ali Road with its street side stalls and small hotels are overflowing with people eager to try some of the Ramzan specialities.  The kebabs [Beef and Chicken] are the show stoppers and the best ones are found at Haji Tikka, Khara Tank Road in Bhendi Bazaar.  However, if you are not the adventurous kind, then you should visit Khiri where you will find various rich meat dishes, especially beef. Another area in Mumbai that serves up quite a storm is Khau Galli in Central Mumbai, which comes alive post 9pm with streets brimming with people vying for a plate of Biryani or kebabs or the sweet dishes.
[Image Courtesy –]
On the other hand, Lucknow has its pride in Tunday Kababi, a century old family-run restaurant  that dishes out plates of  Galouti kebab like nowhere else. Akbari Gate on the other hand is where you get the most divine glass of Kashmiri tea that is perfect before starting your food trail. Make sure to visit Haji Sahib’s shop for a slice of the traditional nihari and kulchha. Wait, its not over yet, you should sample the makhan malai, Lucknow’s own version of saffron-spiked ice cream before you can call it a day.
Image Courtesy: Flickr
Ramzan is synonymous with Haleem and the best Haleem is available in Hyderabad only. Tasty and delicious Haleem here is a plate of minced meat cooked with ground wheat and oodles of butter. Pista House, near Charminar at the old City offers the 2nd best Haleem in town. Biryani is another dish that is a must have during Ramdan season. Called Nawabi or Dum Biryani, No Eid is complete without this Biryani.  Take your pick from Lamb, Chicken or other meat, either way you are in for a treat like never before. Also order a side of mutton korma, mutton do pyaza or murgh musallam, and zafrani murgh to add to te beauty of the meal. Finish off in style with a plate of Kulfi, sheer khurma or sevayyian (which is vermicelli that has been cooked in milk topped with nuts),  khoobani ka meetha (apricots pureed cooked with sugar and topped with fresh cream) and the traditional phirni.

mango kulfi 
Image Courtesy: Recipes ebest

Let the celebrations begin!! Enjoy the treats no matter where you are…!!

Twist of Taste with Vineet Bhatia

I have seen a gazillion trailers for this show and finally managed to catch a few episodes of it and find it quite interesting….. Not only is it about food, but also a travelogue of sorts….
Michelin Star Chef Vineet Bhatia from Australia travels to 13 Indians cities, samples the local delights and then works on creating a twist to the dishes to create something new …  This is being telecast on the ‘Twist of Taste with Vineet Bhatia’ show on Sunday’s at 9pm on FOX History & Traveller
Last night watched the Twist of Taste with Vineet Bhatia in chennai and LOVED it… 

  Vineet & Rashima Bhatia
While in Chennai, he visited —
Murugan Idli Shop for some yummy Dosa and South Indian fares…. 
Grand Sweets and Snacks in Spur Tank Road where they tried Mysore Pak, Coconut laddoo, and Payasam
and finally, Rashima devoured a glass of Hot South Indian Filter Kaapi in Sangeetha Apoorva Restaurant…
Vineet then went on to add a bit of twist to the taste by creating Indian Uttapam, serving it as a Lasagne- layered with potato curry, topped with a coconut chutney served alongwith a martini glass – a scoop of Curry leaf ice cream topped with Hot sambar,
He also recreated Curd rice, serving it with Baby potatos+ Okra curry and Pineapple in coconut milk around it… 
Finally, for dessert, Vineet served Payasam ice cream, & a frozen dessert that had South indian coffee+ almonds in an ice cream…
Looking fwd to the next episode!!

Image courtesy- Livemint

Saravana Bhavan, NSC Bose Road, Chennai

We waited and waited… We were tired and hungry.. We had been walking for nearly 2hours and all of us had been up at 5am!! 
And then finally, a good 25mins later the plate of Pongal & Vadai with Sambar & chutney landed on our table… I dug my spoon into the pongal, blew on it and took a mouthful to realise it was COLD… Sigh…. Now i am double sure that i Still dont like Saravana Bhavan………… 
The only thing we look forward to in the morning is HOT breakfast…. and we were the only people in the hotel- about 30 of us, some in the AC rooms and a few of us outside…
We had finished our walk around the Mint street and part of the package was breakfast at Saravana Bhavan on NSC Bose Road, adj to the High Court. 
And then, a friend ordered a plate of mini idlies dunked in sambar, which looked good, but not sure if that was ok… The Poori & potato curry did look quite appealing…
But must give it to them- The Coffee was good- Not too sweet, not too chikkaryish, but just right!!! 
The hotel did have a good feel to it, it was an age old building with the ceiling in true Madras ceiling style, with beams running the length of the ceiling and across as well. There was long stemmed fans buzzing away…. 

Enough is enough

No matter what the conversation is, it invariably steers towards the topic of “Marriage”
No matter who they are talking about, it comes around to someone who is looking to get married
No matter who is in the room, the discussion beats around the bush and heads straight to the pitstop called “marriage”
No matter what time of the day it is, there is someone talking about how the girls of today are too independent for their own good and Not likely to ADJUST 
No matter what the mood of the moment is, there is one person harping about how the girls of today DONT want to get married or have Babies
No matter who is visiting or who is at home, there is one group talking about the “girl” in the house and how she is not yet married ….. 
No matter what ,
No matter when
No matter who
This is all they seem to talk about………………………
and i have had ENOUGH!!! 
Do they not know there is more to life than just getting Married?
Do they not know the accomplishments of the person matter?
Do they not care about the person or their feelings or thoughts?
Do they not have any concern for the person’s emotions?
Do they simply not care?
Do they have nothing else on their mind?
Enough is enough!!

Eggless Chocolate Cake in Microwave

I had posted this on my other blog the day i made the cake and now reposting it here!!

What you need:
1cup maida
3/4 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa pdr
1/2 tin milkmaid
1cup milk
Few drops of vanilla essence
1 1/2 tbsp powdered sugar
75gms Butter

How to make the cake:
Step1- In a large bowl, Mix the maida,Cocoa powder, baking powder and the baking soda.. Then use a sieve and dust it off onto a plate or another bowl. keep this aside..

Step 2- In another mixing bowl, take 75gm butter, to this add the powdered sugar and mix well till it gets fluffy( you could use a blender for this purpose or the spoon is good enough)
To this add the mentioned quantity of milk n vanilla essence
And then add in the milkmaid.. mix all nicely till it becomes smooth and creamy..

Step 3- Take the bowl (from Step 2), and to this mix in the maida mixture, and beat well till the whole things blends nicely..

Step 4: Pour the cake mixture into a microwave proof bowl and bake for 5mins.
Once time is up, let it sit and cool for about 3minutes before you touch or test it out..

Ta da… your cake is ready…

I tried making double the quantity at home.. all that i did was double the materials used and cook it for 10mins instead of 5… tastes yummmy.. nice n soft.. 🙂

If you wish, you could add icing to this with Icing sugar, butter and instant coffee mix… 🙂

Tip to chk if cake has baked well:
Run a sharp knife straight thru the cake to see if it is cooked.. if the knife comes out clean, its done…

Cooking is an art

When baking, follow directions.  When cooking, go by your own taste.  ~Laiko Bahrs
 How true… I am reading this quote for the 1st time, but i have been doing exactly that for as long as i can remember!! 🙂 
Whenever friends or family ask me for a recipe and procedure, i stumble, because i go by judgement rather than with teaspoons and tablespoons… measures beat me hands down, and must say i’ve not had the need for them till date…
I learnt to cook by watching mom and Gramma… i also learn from friends… but yes, there are recipes i recreate from watching TV shows, cookery books and blogs… 
I aint gloating, but i can pride myself in managing to cook up dishes- traditional and otherwise based on my own judgements and eye measures, and they have turned out YUMMY.. even if i do say so myself!!

Burgundy’s in Somerset

It was Saturday evening and i was looking forward to an evening out. This evening i knew was going to be different, for it was going to be spend in the new swanky Burgundy’s in Ascott Somerset, MRC Nagar, Chennai.

 As i walked in around 7.15, the place was alive with beautiful chandeliers and people buzzing about. Vipin Sachdev after the success of Subway and Tuscana and Kryptos has now launched this all day dining restaurant. Burgundy is an all-day multi-cuisine dining place. B-Bar, he claims will have one of the longest bar counters There is also going to be a new Chinese Restaurant in the building- The Jade Wok!
The evening was filled with fun , food and music! There were people walking in, there were some trying to grab a Bakhlava or maybe a swiss roll. And then there were some scrambling to order a thin crust yummilicious Pizza….  
I dont think i have seen this amount of food in a long time. There were dazzling plates filled with little treats -both Veg & Non-veg..  Apart from food, there were quite an array of juices passed around adeptly by the waiters. As the evening wore on, the place was getting packed with people vying for a bite from one of the unique platters.  
What an evening it was.. I am looking fwd to visiting Burgundy’s once it is launched, with the B-Bar, Music-Bar and all .. I left the venue towards home as the music floated in the air and smiles spread cheer in the air…. 
Good luck to Vipin Sachdev.. he sure is revolutionizing the Food arena in Chennai!

Oh and the Restaurant/Cafe/lounge bar opens doors to Public on 1st or 2nd Sep!!