Recipe: Vegetable and Chicken Stir Fry with Buna Shimeji Mushrooms

This post was sitting in my drafts since a long time, about time I published it. I made this stir fry last year when the awesome folks at Godrej Nature’s Basket sent me some fresh produce – beautiful buna shimeji mushrooms, pak choy, lemons and rosemary. I used the first two in this recipe.
Isn’t it facinating that there are so many varieties of mushrooms. So far I have tried the button mushrooms, cremini, shitake, portobello, oyster, morels, truffles, porcini, and buna shimeji. From reportedly 10,000 variety of mushrooms, this is not even scratching the surface. You can read more about different types of mushrooms here.

Continue reading

A weekend in Bhopal

When in Bhopal do what Bhopalis do; eat pohe – jalebi in the morning with rounds of kadak chai and loads of bakar (random conversations about anything right from the weather to politics). The city is sleepy and slow still you will see people getting up early in the morning just to eat pohe, jalebis and kachoris fresh from the wok. That’s exactly what I did on the first day; woke up to watch sunrise from Kaliyasot Dam which is a 15 kms drive from Shahpura lake. The lake is equally beautiful early in the morning and a perfect place for bird watching. Thick fog floating over the lake during winters gives it an almost mysterious look.

After soaking in the early morning sun and the view we took a pit stop at a sweet shop in Nehru Nagar to eat jalebis, pohe and hot cup of Banwari Bhai Ki Nakhrali Chai. Every nook and corner of Bhopal serves this simple yet delicious breakfast early in the morning. On a chilly winter morning when you don’t want to leave the blanket, stepping out for crispy hot jalebis is worth all the trouble.

Another great place to grab some breakfast is the very famous Indian Coffee House in New Market. Although the decor has been changed a lot and the signature green curtains are gone yet the food remains as good as it was years ago. Hot idlis and wadas dunked in sambhar coupled with filter coffee is the perfect comfort food.
The new Bhopal city has plenty to offer; there’s Sair Sapata near Bada Talab, perfect for an evening stroll and a boat ride in the lake. Birla Temple gives a beautiful view of the lake and city in the evening. For the History and Culture buffs there’s Manav Sangrahalaya and the newly opened Tribal Museum.

A part of Bhopal which is not to be missed is the Old City. There’s a beautiful charm in the narrow lanes of the markets around Jama Masjid. The area is always bustling with people and there are small shops making chhole tikiya, phulki (Bhopali version of Pani Puri), kulche, chhole bhature, lassi and much more. Hotel Jameel in Ibrahimpura is a great place to grab some nalli nihari, rumali roti, kebabs and chicken fry for lunch. However, post 7pm all Bhopalis have just one destination, the famous Chatori Galli selling bade ke kebab, haleem, nalli nihari and biryani (my visit to this unparalleled galli is still due and I promise a separate post on that after my visit). 

There are also a couple of bakeries in Ibrahimpura market which sell freshly baked breads like sheermal, bakarkhani etc; a perfect foil to the spicy mutton gravies. If you’re not fond of breads do pick up some nankhatais and rusks from these shops.
One delicacy that you shouldn’t miss is the Barf rasmalai ke done at Ramudada’s stall. At around 4pm a guy comes on a Bajaj scooter near Jama Masjid with his whole stall set on the backseat of the scooter. Apart from the regular ice golas (crushed ice flavoured with syrups) he makes the rasmalai dona. He takes crushed ice in a paper bowl, tops it with sugar syrup, pours a big spoon full of thick rabdi over it, tops it with rose syrup and serves. The grainy rabdi with a layer of ice under it is a perfect combination and I can’t be thankful enough to the blog Bhopale for this recommendation.
10 minutes away from Jama Masjid is Taj ul Masjid, Asia’s largest mosque. The minarets of this mosque can be seen from the Birla Temple which is literally at the other end of the city.
Bhopal has both, an old world charm and a fresh and young vibe in the new city. There’s a lot of development yet the nature has been kept intact. While it’s chaos in the old city, the new city is more planned and clutter free. I wish to explore and share more aspects of this city through words and pictures in my visits to come.

Restaurant Review – EAT.Deli.Cafe, Bandra (W)

Bandra’s latest deli/cafe opens quietly in the midst of bustling Pali Naka. We walked in for dinner and comes out impressed with cosy interiors and big portions.

Small pots of plants placed vertically on the wall, a French style door with chalkboard; the entrance of EAT – Deli.Cafe makes you wish that it was in a quaint corner of Bandra instead of the busy Pali Market. The flight of stairs leading to the basement seating has been used intelligently to create the seating space. 

The menu though not extensive, offers enough variety right from all day breakfasts, soups, salads, sandwiches, burgers, mains etc. We started with a Grilled chicken, hazelnut and herb toasted veggies in balsamic yogurt dressing salad (Rs 390). Full of flavours the salad had poached pears to add a little sweetness, yogurt to cut through the sourness of balsamic and hazelnut to add a lovely crunchiness. This with the fresh bread and mustard based spread gave a good start to our meal. We would’ve loved a glass of red wine to go with it but the restaurant isn’t serving alcohol as yet. 


The beverage section has a very cool option where you can turn any of the dessert into a

cake shake. We tried the Hazelnut ganache shake (Rs 270) – thick and chocolaty, a definite hit among the kids. The big juicy BBQ chicken burger (Rs 420) that we ordered next can easily be added to the list of must try burgers. The juicy chicken pieces slathered in barbeque sauce, slapped between whole wheat burger breads are served with chunky potato wedges and some salad on the side. You can top your burger with cheddar cheese, bacon, ham, sausage, blue cheese, sour cream or goat cheese by adding Rs 90 to the price of the burger. Being the carnivores that we are we topped ours with bacon.

Our pick from the mains was Penne with tossed baby potato, roast garlic, almond, green beans and pesto cream (Rs 370). The al Dante pasta came tossed in a very mild pesto sauce. The highlight of the dish was the crispy baby potatoes with roasted garlic. With our tummies already touching the ground we ordered one last indulgence, the dessert. The Three layer chocolate cake (Rs 240) was sinful with layers of dark chocolate, white chocolate and chocolate mousse on a thin slice of cake making it very heavy.

Soon after our dinner we were making plans to come back for breakfast. With Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon (Rs 370) and Blue velvet cheesecake (Rs 240) on the menu our expectations are high.

Must try: Grilled chicken, hazelnut and herb toasted veggies in balsamic yogurt dressing salad, BBQ chicken burger

Meal for two: Rs 1690 (inclusive of taxes)

Address:
Shop No. 13, Dheeraj Arcade,
Pali Naka,
Bandra (W), Mumbai
Phone: 022 2640 0090

Facebook: EAT – Deli.Cafe
Twitter: @eatdelicafe

burrp! & Knorr Challenge Part II – Pan Fried Chicken on a bed of Fried Spinach

Continuing from the previous post, here’s the main-course dish that I made with Knorr Easy-To-Cook meals – Pan fried chicken on a bed of crispy fried spinach served with kaffir lime flavoured Chinese manchurian sauce
Prep Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 3
Ingredients:
Chicken breasts – 3
Oil – 1 tbsp
For marinade
Garlic – 10 – 12 cloves (finely chopped)
Ginger – A 1 inch long piece (finely chopped)
Lemon juice – 2 tsp
Salt to taste
For sauce
Knorr easy to cook Chinese Manchurian – 1 packet
Water – 3 cups
Kaffir lime leaves – 5
For plating
Spinach – 1 cup (finely chopped)
Oil – 200 ml
Method:
Clean the chicken breasts, marinate them in ginger, garlic, lemon juice, salt and refrigerate it covered for an hour.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan, place the chicken breasts in the pan and let them fry for 10-15 minutes or till the chicken is almost done. Keep turning so it’s cooked on both sides.

Mix Knorr easy to cook Chinese Manchurian in water and pour this mix over the chicken.

Crush Kaffir lime leaves in it. Let it cook for another 5-7 minutes.

Chop the spinach. Heat oil in a wok and deep fry chopped spinach till it’s crispy.

Arrange the crispy spinach on a plate, remove chicken breasts from the sauce and place them on the spinach. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Sindhi Chicken Curry

Sometimes you just need to get straight to the point, without building any story or creating a background. This, is that time. Sharing a Sindhi chicken curry recipe that I tried from a recipe book. Turned out pretty good, so here you go.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 45 mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
Chicken – 1 kg (with bones)

For marination:
Yogurt – 1 cup
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

For gravy:
Onions – 4 medium sized (chopped)
Tomatoes – 4 (roughly chopped)
Garlic – 8 cloves
Ginger – 1 inch long piece
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Poppy seeds – 1 tsp
Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
Cloves – 5
Black peppercorns – 6
Green chilies – 4 (split lengthwise from the centre)
Salt to taste
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Chopped coriander for garnish

Method:

  • Wash chicken properly and marinate mixing all the ingredients together. Cover and leave for an hour.
  • Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed wok.
  • Throw in cumin seeds, poppy seeds, coriander seeds, cloves and peppercorns and let them splutter.
  • Add chopped onions and fry till they turn golden brown.
  • Remove from heat and let it cool down.
  • Once the mix cools down blend it into a fine paste along with tomatoes, ginger and garlic.
  • Heat the wok again and fry the marinated chicken.
  • When chicken is cooked 3/4th add the paste, 1 cup water if the gravy is too thick, salt and green chilies.
  • Cover and let it cook for another 15 mins or till the chicken is tender.
  • Garnish with coriander and serve with hot rotis.