Sunday, May 29, 2011

List of places to eat in Bombay: Part I

A couple of days ago I started to work on my list of places to eat in Mumbai before I leave for Ahmedabad. Though what I had in mind for the day didn't work out, I went to a couple of places on my friend's lists. 

The first one was Vini's favourite frankie guy. Aga Brother's at Colaba. You know a joint is right for you when you see this sign in their shop. It definitely goes in line with my philosophy of : Eat Hard, Workout Harder. 

It is a nice cozy Parsi joint which serves chaat and other usuals. 
 Do not be fooled by the Tibbs ka stall outside, because this frankie is definitely fatter than the Tibbs ones, which look like they have been dieting. The veg one was nice and tangy with the right amount of masala in it.

We next went over New Kulfi Centre at Chowpatty at bhavna's insistence. Apparently you have not had Kulfi if you haven't had it there.
i managed to get Bhavna and Naqqiya in the frame. 
The have a long menu which had me thoroughly excited. Long menus are bittersweet in my opinion. You have a long list which excites you and then you have to choose one dish and then left to wonder what the others would be like.

We all chose 4 different kulfis, so we got a decent idea as to what was on offer.

Clockwise from top left: mango Kulfi, malai Kulfi, Lychee Kulfi and the NCC special or the dry fruit Kulfi. 
The mango one was nice, but typical mango kulfi like, tasted of alphoso mangoes. Nothing out of the ordinary, but it was in season and there can never be too much of mango.

The Malai one was nice and creamy. the dry fruit was the malai kulfi with well dry fruit in it. the anjeer parts tasted excellent, so the next time you go there do have the anjeer one.

The show stealer was the Lychee Kulfi. Many desserts with lychee in them tend to taste artificially sweet. But this beauty used real and fresh lychees. There were pieces of the actualy fruit in it and it did not overpower your senses. It was subtle and brilliant.

So on the list:
Frankie at Aga Brothers
Lychee Kulfi at Kulfi Centre.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Trek to Prabhalgarh in the Western Ghats

My best friend of 11 years, Paro and I had been for a trek to Kalamati via Prabhalgarh over this weekend. The last trek we went to was last year the Himalayan Expedition to Sarpass organised by YHAI. It was last year we realised how much we loved trekking and the toned legs you get thanks to it, despite the terrible and unavoidable tan. 

Paro and I being our crazy selves

Trekking never gets old. You may have done 53 treks (a guy who was along with us had, without repeating a single one) or none, but the thrill of reaching your goal, the view and the fear that may at times grip you (it caught me this time) will always be there. 
We climbed up that to reach the pinnacle where we had our break fast of Bread, jam and cheese sandwiches.
The best part about being out in the nature is the food. The organisers or your guide will know about these wild fruits and berries you can find along the way and you get to munch on them while trekking. In our case an old man at the small village where we had lunch, gave us all a basket full of these wild berries which were a lot like blue berries. I wanted to bring some home to make a pie or jam, but knew that they would get crushed on the way back. 

Tokri full of wild berries
 Another thing about the food during treks, it always tastes good. We had a simple meal of rice, dal and aloo and barbatti beans ki subzi made by the villagers, which was extremely satisfying.
A picture of the remnants of the food. 
 Another amazing part about treks is, when you come back down it is hard to believe you actually went up to the hill or mountain which forms a part of your picturesque vision. Seriously 13000ft or 2300 ft you can never believe you did it, the only proof are the picutres, dirty clothes, a shoe without it's sole and the sore limbs.
See the two peaks? We up to there. 
So what did you all do during the weekend? And anymore trekkers out there?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

21 cupcakes

I love Birthdays and parties. I am the unofficial party planner in my group of friends and also the unofficial baker. A friend of mine recently turned 21 and we celebrate all 21st's as surprises.

I surprised her with 21 cupcakes!

I know I am pretty awesome :p.

I decided to bake marble cupcakes for her using this recipe.

I love the swirly pattern that you can make with this cake.

Usually a marble cake is used as a tea cake and can be quite dry. You can use brown sugar instead of white sugar to add more moistness or just add some tablespoons of maple syrup to the batter to make it soft and moist.

The cake is covered with a chocolate ganache icing.

I find ganache very easy to make. I heated 600 ml of Amul Fresh cream on low heat till it started bubbling on the edges and turned off the heat. Then I added about 400 grams of chopped dark chocolate. I used a mixture of Cadbury Bournville (which is pretty decent) and Trader Joe's dark chocolate. You can vary the proportion of the cream to the chocolate depending on your resources.

the 21 cupcakes

There is also a picture of me with the cupcakes on my About Me Page.

What have you done for your friends on their birthdays?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Home-made Pizza with a Tomato Pizza sauce

About two years ago, I would never ever have considered making a pizza base at home. Whenever we wanted a home-made pizza we would buy the ready-made bases, which in retrospect just seem tasteless.

My Uncle had come to India about 2 years ago and we made one at home with pretty crazy toppings. He called it "gourmet pizza" because it did have carmelised onions, goat cheese and pumpkin (Yes, Pumpkin on a pizza tastes dee-licious). I was fascinated with how the dough grows and is practically a living thing. I am still awed.

So, when my friends came over for lunch I made pizza for them with a simple tomato sauce base and with peppers as toppings.

Pizza Base:
1 cup water
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/8cup olive oil
3 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast


  • In 1/2 cup of water add the sugar and the yeast and leave for 15-20 minutes till the yeast rises completely
  • Mix the above mixture in the flour, add rest of the ingredients and add water when necessary
  • Cover with a cloth and let it rise for about an hour or two
  • bake on 220C
This recipe makes around 10 inch bases. It can be refrigerated or frozen, but has to be thawed out completely before you use it. bake till the edges become golden. Cooking time varies with every oven. 

Pizza Sauce:
1/2 cup Tomato Paste
2-3 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
4-5 finely chopped pods of garlic
2-3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsp basil
4 tbsp water

  • Heat the olive oil and add garlic and basil and saute till fragrant
  • Add the tomato paste and ketchup and water to get the desired consistency
  • Let it simmer till it cooks
The sauce it pretty versatile. If you reduce the amount of oil it can also be used for spaghetti. 

Make sure that you put in the base for 2 minutes in the oven so it rises before you all the sauce and the toppings. 

If the sauce it oily enough then you don't need to coat the base with Olive Oil (so that the sauce doesn't soak through).

Go crazy with the toppings and the sauce!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day Special: Oreo Pie

Kraft buying Cadbury has to be a good thing. It has made Oreo cheap and widely available in India and I hope that they start producing other range of craft products here too.

My sister and I were obsessing over Oreo's since their recent launch. We would find just about any occasion to buy them. While thinking about making an Oreo inspired dessert, I thought of cheesecake, and while looking for recipes I found this by the Purple Foodie.

The recipe calls for Philadelphia cream cheese which is available in India (supermarkets like Hypercity) but costs a bomb (Rs.400 for 8 ounces). So I decided to make it for the big lunch I made for my friends and also thought it would be fit for mother's day.

Why Mother's Day? Well because after tasting it, my mother who was in a migraine induced half sleep stage, got up and came to me all bright eyed to tell me how awesome it was.

Oreos: 45 (I ate 3-4 while preparing the dessert)
8 ounces/ 226gms Cream Cheese
200ml whipping cream
1/4cup melted butter
1/2 cup caster sugar


  • Crush around 28 cookies.( Make sure there aren't any big pieces left. Use a mixer is necessary.) Mix with butter and line the dish. 
  • Beat the cream cheese with the sugar till it is fluffy
  • Whip the whipping cream and add it
  • Mix in the rest of the crushed cookies
  • Pour in the dish and let it set for about 4-5 hours
Make sure you use Philly cream cheese as it gives a slight sour taste to the pie, which is just heavenly. 

Eat, serve and enjoy. Also, you will love the compliments which will come your way.

Monday, May 2, 2011

how we celebrate the end of exams.

The exams are over! I am almost a graduate now, with only a marksheet between me and my degree.

We girls went slightly mad post exams. And what do we do when we go mad? We eat.

Here is what I ate the last two days.

clockwise from left top: Sprouts and green salad with feta cheese at KGC; Homemade Pizza; Penne Pesto; Oreo Pie
The salad was at Kala Ghoda Cafe, which was brilliant! I loved the Feta cheese. 

The rest three I made at home for my girlfriends. Recipes to follow!