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Idli with a difference- the #ShellIdli

My dear readers ,  I’d like to apologise for neglecting you and this blog for so long .April was chaotic with the #A to Z Challenge in which I’d participated with my other blog MUMBAI ON A HIGH. I thought blogging about the Textile Traditions of India would just mean talking about the saris in my cupboard. How wrong I was! There is more to Indian textiles than I imagined .

In the month of May I was busy catching up with all the things I couldn’t do in April – mainly organising some minor repairs in the house.

It is only now in June that I find some time to visit this blog and actually post something .

The idli revamped .

A sister in law from the US forwarded me this video which just has to be shared . It’s about the idli revamped .

We all know that idlis are round and steamed and made with rice and udid dal.

But here’s a new kind of idli – shaped like a shell and made out of an array of ingredients that would possibly make your grandma roll her eyes and tut tut her disapproval.

Feeding the senses

However, this is an innovation that is not gimmicky but one that is upgraded to suit a modern aesthetic where food goes beyond the basic principle of satisfying hunger .

And aren’t you amazed that this innovation is from our very own Bharat? Wannawill is a young company that is tweaking the way our ancestors did things to bring things up to speed .

So I’m off now to by my own #Shell Idli maker .

What about you?

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Quick and Easy Jackfruit Salad

Jackfruit into salad ?

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I never thought I’d make this jackfruit into a salad but several years back when my mother mentioned that baby jackfruit makes a very interesting salad, I was intrigued.

What is jackfruit you might ask? Well it is one ugly tropical fruit that looks like a hedgehog trying to clamber up a tree. It is from the same family as breadfruit and is said to have originated from the rain forests in the Western ghat region . The fruit when ripe is sweet and smelly . Some people love it while most people don’t.

And when the fruit is raw, it can be used to make a vegetable that often is mistaken for a meat dish. However, it is still not very popular and I am always a bit hesitant to make it.

However, while walking through my favourite vegetable haunt Bhaji Gully, I came across this baby jackfruit which I daresay, looked so ‘cute’ that I just had to buy it. Then, having bought it, I just had to make it.

Today I’ve invited some old college friends to lunch and thought that they might just like it – at least as a complete novelty since the one time I made it, it was a resounding success. I do hope it works out well….. In the meanwhile, here’s the recipe to make a quick and easy jackfruit salad.


Steam the jackfruit and remove the skin and central core. Make into bite sized pieces and add freshly grated coconut, finely chopped coriander, chopped green chillies, some soaked cashews and peanuts, a dash of lime and salt. Mix well and add a tempering of garlic and mustard seeds. Serve chilled and watch it disappear!!

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Daytime lounging at #Farzi Cafe

Not being a Lounge Lizard , I had no idea what to expect at Farzi Cafe which I found out was actually a lounge bar and not really a cafe.

Why Farzi?

It all started with Daughter No 1’s desire to try out the new eating places in town. After a shout out to my foodie friends for recommendations, we decided on Farzi Cafe  which is in Kamala City, in the heart of Mumbai ‘s erstwhile mill district ( Lower Parel) . Since Lower doesn’t sound very classy, this area has become ”Upper Worli” when it was gentrified.

Hence , when we asked for directions, the girl at Farzi said we could come from anywhere . We soon found out a horrendous traffic jam later that this is not true. In fact the best way to get there ( at least till the redevelopment is over ) is from Gate No. 4. Once you enter it is still quite a trudge so don’t give up your transport till you actually reach the restaurant.

Inside the Cafe

Once in, the darkness was a stark contrast to the bright sunshine we had just stepped away from. We were led to a sofa table mainly to accommodate our little one whom we couldn’t leave at home.  We realised later that this place is most inappropriate for children. I also realised that it is not a place for people less than 6 ft tall because even when I stretched my spine to its fullest, I could barely scrape the top of the table . And when I had to take aerial shots of the food , I not only had to stand up but raise my arm up high to get a somewhat decent bird’s eye view.

The menu was unusual to say the least : innovative and refreshing . The waiter advised us to order just two starters as they were sufficient to fill us up ! Alas! They didn’t and we ordered a third. We probably would have ordered a dessert as well but they didn’t seem too exciting.

The amuse bouche  served amid a cloud of smoke was truly delightful : a tiny globule of mishti doi with just a hint of strawberry jus.

The entire meal was like a magic show with unexpected tastes and flavours  when the lamb tacos turned out to be none other than the familiar salli boti wrapped in a crisp wheat taco. Or what was more intriguing ? The Hajmola sorbet served as twigs on a tree?

The ultimate surprise though was the candy floss gujia stuffed with paan! We didn’t expect such a treat. But the bill  presented in an old fashioned typewriter was the icing on the cake so to speak!

So Farzi Cafe was a dining experience that was fun and fanciful with great food to make the trek worthwhile.  Hearty eaters please note – the portions are quite small and if you really were to eat to your heart’s content be sure to shell out a pretty packet .

Verdict :  Definitely worth going especially for a fun evening in town.

Caveat: Guests should make prior reservations to avoid disappointment. Night times are particularly lively so not suitable for the oldie goldies

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High Protein Idlis for #Diabetics

 

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Idlis without the guilt

 

The Idli is a traditional south Indian tiffin delicacy that is universally popular. Despite being steamed, diabetics often restrict their consumption of idli because of its carbohydrate content. However this easy idli recipe cuts down drastically on the carbs and increases the protein content . So now diabetics can enjoy  a guilt free breakfast and a great any time nibble.

Sadly, diabetes is on the rise world wide,  particularly in India.

Diet and exercise are both essential to control this lifestyle disease. Excessive carbohydrates intake  contribute to increased sugar levels.  Many people, therefore, give up traditional foods or at least have them in moderation. But there is no need to drastically change one’s diet. A person with diabetes can easily have traditional foods that are modified.

 

 

 

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Eggs on potato straws #Salli per eeda

Eggs and Potato straws

I love collecting recipes from dear friends and my recipe book is filled with many  such treasures. I love eggs and this delightful Parsi dish has become one of the mainstays in my food repertoire. I am really glad I invited Piroja and Darius to tea one afternoon.

This give me the opportunity to use my tea trolley and my silver service. I could also use my tea cups and tea cosy and serve up dainty cucumber sandwiches and biscuits. But above all,  it also introduced me to salli per eeda.

Piroja brought along a packet of potato crisps or salli as they are called and as we sat down to tea, explained how they were to be used with eggs.  Salli per eeda as they are called in Gujerati are great for breakfast but can also serve as a substantial snack or light meal .

As we munched the sandwiches, Piroja explained how the eggs were made. This Parsi recipe has now become a staple of my household especially on wet, mornings when just plain eggs on toast won’t do.

The Parsis are a non indigenous people who came to our shores a thousand years or more?  earlier to escape persecution by the Muslim expansion into Iran. I, for one, am happy that they came here as they have adopted our spices to make a unique cuisine that is tasty and easy to make.