Gujarati Steamed Carrot Muthia| Gajar Na Muthiya

Are you looking for a delicious snack that you can enjoy without too much of guilt? If your answer to this question is ‘Yes’, these Gajar Na Muthiya or Carrot Muthia I tried out recently would be right up your alley. I’ll also add here that this is a super simple snack, an easy-peasy thing to whip up. Perfect for everyday days and occasions!

Speaking of occasions, it was the husband’s birthday recently, and we had a quiet little family celebration at home. I sent him an online birthday card from Paperless Post at work to make the day all the more memorable, and he absolutely loved it. I have been having fun playing around with the huge variety of fun, quirky, classy, stylish online stationery that Paperless Post has on offer. There’s something for every occasion, something for everyone – birthday and anniversary cards, Christmas cards, party invites, fun cards and what not. Have you checked out the website yet? You definitely must!

Coming back to the Gajar Na Muthiya now. For the uninitiated, ‘Muthia‘ refers to a Gujarati snack that can be either fried or steamed. The fried one is commonly used in vegetable curries and other delicacies, while the steamed one is tempered and consumed as a snack in itself. The latter, steamed and tempered, version of muthia is what I am about to present to you today.

Steamed muthia can be made using a variety of flours and binding agents – wheat flour, gram flour, oats, millets and semolina, for instance. A number of permutations and combinations of these ingredients are possible – go as far as your imagination takes you! I’ve seen some really unusual flours being used in muthia so, really, only the sky is the limit. In these Gajar Na Muthiya, I have used the combination of ingredients most commonly used in Gujarati households – whole wheat flour, gram flour and semolina.

In Gujarat, muthia are traditionally flavoured using green chilli-ginger paste and coriander-cumin powder (dhana jeeru), sometimes a bit of garlic and/or garam masala. Jaggery or sugar is usually added in, as well as lemon juice or amchoor powder to give them a little tartness. A variety of vegetables can be added to make the muthiya more nutritious – bottle gourd (doodhi), fenugreek greens (methi), spinach (palak) and cabbage (kobi) are some of the most commonly used ones. I had some beautiful orange Ooty carrots lying in my fridge, and so that is what I used in my muthia. The Gajar Na Muthiya turned out absolutely, lip-smackingly delicious, if I may say so myself.

Let us now check out how to make the Carrot Muthia.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  1. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  2. 3/4 cup gram flour (besan)
  3. 1/4 cup fine sooji (rava aka semolina)
  4. 1-1/2 cup grated carrot
  5. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  6. 5-6 cloves of garlic
  7. 2-3 green chillies
  8. Salt to taste
  9. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  10. 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  11. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  12. 2 tablespoons jaggery powder or to taste
  13. 1/2 tablespoon garam masala
  14. 1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
  15. 1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
  16. 1 tablespoon amchoor powder
  17. A little oil to grease the steaming vessel and your palms

For tempering:

  1. 1 tablespoon oil
  2. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  3. 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  4. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh grated coconut

Method:

1. Take the whole wheat flour, gram flour and sooji in a large mixing bowl.

2. Add in salt, asafoetida, sesame seeds, turmeric powder, jaggery powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder and amchoor powder.

3. Peel the carrot and grate finely. Add the grated carrot to the mixing bowl.

4. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves and chop roughly. Chop the green chillies roughly. Grind the ginger, garlic cloves and green chillies together to a paste, adding a little water. Add this paste to the mixing bowl.

5. Adding water little by little, bind the ingredients in the mixing bowl to a soft dough. It should be a bit more squishy than roti dough.

6. Grease the bottom and sides of a colander with a little oil. We will use this greased colander to steam the Carrot Muthia. Keep it ready.

7. Using your greased hands, shape 3 logs from the dough. Keep aside.

8. Heat 1 cup of water in a pressure cooker base. Place a stand over the water, then place the greased colander on top of the stand, ensuring that no water enters it.

9. Place the dough logs you prepared earlier in the greased and heated colander, without overcrowding.

10. Close the pressure cooker. Don’t put the weight on. Steam the logs on high flame for 12-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of them comes out mostly clean.

11. Allow the logs to cool down for 10-15 minutes, then use a sharp knife to cut them into slices.

12. Now, we will do the tempering. Heat the oil for tempering in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Add the sesame seeds and let them stay in for a couple of seconds. Now, reduce the heat to medium, then add the slices to the pan. Cook on medium heat, stirring gently, for about 10 minutes or till the slices get crisp on the outside. Switch off gas. Your Gajar Na Muthiya or Carrot Muthia are ready for serving.

13. Transfer the Carrot Muthia to serving plates. Serve hot, garnished with finely chopped coriander and fresh grated coconut.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

************

This post is in collaboration with Paperless Post. The views about the service expressed in the post are completely honest and entirely my own. I have whole-heartedly enjoyed using Paperless Post, and would love to take this opportunity to introduce the website to you guys too.

I’m also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #282. The co-host this week is Antonia @ Zoale.com.

Advertisements

Imli Ka Amlana|Refreshing Tamarind Summer Cooler

Would you like to know about a tangy, super refreshing drink that would be just perfect for the hot summer days that seem to be reigning the country right now? Yes? What if I tell you such a drink can be made in a very healthy way, and would require just a few minutes of your time to make at home? Sounds too far-fetched? Not at all!

Here’s presenting to you – Imli Ka Amlana, a summer-special beverage from the hot and arid land of Rajasthan. Traditionally made with tamarind pulp and sugar, this drink is a mix of tangy and sweet, spiced mildly. The Indian spices that go into it make this extremely flavourful, at the same time aiding one’s digestion as well. It is a yummy way to get all the health benefits that tamarind possesses into one’s system, I would say!

Imli Ka Amlana is typically served as part of a Rajasthani thali, and is also served in gatherings of friends and family on festive occasions. It is, after all, an apt way to digest all the heavy food that is consumed during such festivals!

I have made the Imli Ka Amlana with Kitchen D’Lite’s Tamarind Powder, a highly convenient substitute that saved me the hassle of soaking tamarind and extracting juice from it. For the uninitiated, Kitchen D’Lite offers a variety of powders made from dehydrated ingredients, without any preservatives, chemicals or artificial flavouring and colouring agents. They sent me packs of their Tomato Powder, Tamarind Powder, Garlic Powder, Ginger Powder, Green Chilli Powder and Red Onion Powder to test in my kitchen and, I dare say, I am loving them. The powders are great in quality and extremely fresh, and can be easily substituted for the real ingredient without guilt. They have a good shelf life too, of up to 1-1/2 years.

I also substituted the sugar that is generally used in the drink with jaggery powder, to make it healthier. I always have a ready stock of the other spice powders used in the Imli Ka Amlana – black salt, cardamom powder, black pepper powder and the like – so making it was such a breeze! I served it alongside a simple lunch of roti and sabzi, and it was such a huge hit!

Do try out the Imli Ka Amlana too and, I’m sure, you’ll be making it more than once. We surely will be!

Recipe Source: Adapted from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 4 teaspoons Kitchen D’Lite tamarind powder
  2. 6 tablespoons jaggery powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon black salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  5. 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  6. 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  7. 2 cups chilled water
  8. 4-6 fresh mint leaves

Method:

  1. Grind the black salt, black pepper powder, roasted cumin powder and cardamom powder together till fine. Keep aside.
  2. Take the tamarind powder and the jaggery powder in a large mixing bowl. Pour in the chilled water. Mix till the tamarind powder and jaggery powder are dissolved completely in the water.
  3. Add in the powder we ground earlier. Mix well.
  4. Pour the Imli Ka Amlana into 2 serving glasses. Serve, garnished with fresh mint leaves that have been roughly torn.

Notes:

  1. In the absence of tamarind powder, you can use fresh tamarind instead. Soak a lemon-sized ball of tamarind in a little warm water, in that case, and extract a thick paste out of it. Use the tamarind paste the same way as tamarind powder, in the above recipe.
  2. Adjust the quantities of jaggery powder, tamarind powder, black salt, roasted cumin powder, black pepper powder, cardamom powder and water, as per personal taste preferences.
  3. You may use sugar instead of jaggery powder, in the above Imli Ka Amlana recipe.
  4. If you think there are impurities in the jaggery you use, do filter the water once after mixing it in. I use organic jaggery which is free of impurities, so I do not filter the water.
  5. For best results, grind the spice powder really fine.
  6. If you don’t have black salt, you can substitute it with regular table salt and add in some chaat masala instead. However, I would personally not recommend that – black salt has a unique fragrance and taste that works wonders to the flavour of the Imli Ka Amlana.
  7. If you so desire, you can add a dash of lemon juice to the Imli Ka Amlana, in addition to the tamarind.
  8. The Kitchen D’Lite products were sent to me free of cost, to sample in my home kitchen. The opinions expressed herein about the products are entirely my own, entirely honest, without any external influence. I really loved the products, and have been enjoying using them.
  9. In case you are interested in buying Kitchen D’Lite’s amazing products, they are available on Amazon.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

*************

I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #272. The co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale.com.

Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts

Happy, happy new year, people!

I hope all of you had a lovely New Year’s eve and a great start to 2019. We rang in the new year chilling out at home, with some good home-made food, reading, talking and playing with the bub. Note to self – must do more of this in the months to come. πŸ™‚

Just before New Year’s eve, I won an Instagram contest by Bhuira Jams, a brand I have come to trust and love. The good folks at Bhuira sent me a bottle of their Black Cherry Preserve, made with black cherries grown on their plant in Himachal Pradesh, with no artificial colouring or flavouring agents or preservatives. It tastes just awesome, I must say! I just had to use it immediately, and did so in these Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts.

Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts are super easy to make, taking bare minutes to get ready. They have a certain rustic charm to them, thumbprint and all. Use good-quality jam in them, and they become delectable little treats that you can serve for parties and get-togethers. I made the base for these tarts using Unibic’s new Oatmeal Daily Digestive Cookies, topping them with Bhuira’s Black Cherry Preserve, the dried coconut I added in complementing the other flavours perfectly. They turned out so delicious, they disappeared within minutes of the making!

Here’s how I made these Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts.

Ingredients (makes 10 pieces):

  1. 12 Unibic Oatmeal Daily Digestive Cookies
  2. 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
  3. 4 tablespoons dry grated coconut + more for garnishing
  4. 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  5. Bhuira Black Cherry Jam as needed

    Method:

    1. Grind the digestive cookies in a mixer, along with the dry grated coconut and sugar. Make a fine powder.
    2. Transfer this powder to a mixing bowl. Add the butter. Gently mix the ingredients together till you get a sort of pliable consistency.
    3. Make 10 small balls out of the dough. Flatten each ball and make a ‘well’ in the centre, using your thumb. The ‘well’ should be good to hold a little quantity of jam.
    4. Let the tarts chill in the freezer, covered, for about 20 minutes.
    5. Now, drop a little jam in the ‘well’ of each tart. Garnish each tart with some dry grated coconut.
    6. Let the tarts chill, covered, in the refrigerator (not in the freezer) for at least half an hour. The jam will set in this time.
    7. Serve the tarts immediately after bringing them to room temperature.

Notes:

  1. I used Amul unsalted butter to make these Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts.
  2. Adjust the quantity of sugar you use in the tart bases, depending upon personal taste preferences. You can even avoid the sugar completely, if you so desire.
  3. Use only a little quantity of jam to top these mini tarts, otherwise they might turn out overwhelmingly sweet.
  4. You may use any other type of cookie to form the base of these tarts, and any other good-quality jam for the topping.
  5. You can make these tarts in advance before a party or get-together, and store them in the refrigerator. However, make sure you get them out at room temperature a couple of hours prior to serving.
  6. Making these Thumbprint Coconut & Jam Mini Tarts is a great way to make use of leftover cookies, jam and/or dry grated coconut powder. πŸ˜‰
  7. I received a sample of Unibic’s Oatmeal Daily Digestive Cookies, on a complimentary basis, to try out and review, on my Instagram feed. I quite liked them, and felt they would make a great base for tarts, hence this recipe happened. The opinions expressed about the cookies on my Instagram feed are entirely honest, entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.
  8. As I mentioned earlier in my post, I won the bottle of Bhuira Black Cherry Preserve in an Instagram contest. The opinions expressed herein about the preserve are entirely honest, entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

******************

I’m also sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #257. The co-hosts this week are Suzanne @ Frugal Hausfraualupinthekitchen and Kat @ Kat’s 9 Lives.

Gongura Pulihora| Sorrel Green Rice

Hola guys! How has the end of the year been treating you? I hope you have been having fun this holiday season!

This year, I’m using Paperless Post, a USA-based website, to send out my holiday greetings. Paperless Post believes in making online communication so much fun that you don’t miss hand-written greeting cards, flyers, invitations and other notes. They have some really lovely designs by established artists, beautiful options to choose from for various types of communication needs. You can customise the design you opt for, for your cards, as well as the envelope front and backing and the message. I’ve been enjoying creating customised cards for my friends and family, and plan to use Paperless Posts for upcoming events as well. Do check out the website, folks!

7ad7c066e89ac1971274e8b37110f1b0-20-128600870
One of the New Year cards I made using Paperless Post

Moving on to food now, today, I present to you a recipe for Gongura Pulihora or Sorrel Rice. All of us at home love gongura – aka pulichakeerai, sorrel, roselle, kenaf or aambadi – the greens with a sour taste to them. Sadly, though, they are one of the least used greens in our household. We use them only occasionally to make Gongura Thokku, a spicy Andhra Pradesh-style pickle. Considering that these leaves are very rich in iron, folic acid, antioxidants and various vitamins, I wanted to use more of them in our daily diets. So, a Gongura Pulihora or sorrel-flavoured rice was made recently, which turned out to be much loved.

Gongura Pulihora aka Sorrel Rice

Let’s check out the recipe for this delicious Gongura Pulihora!

Ingredients (serves 4):

To roast and grind:

  1. 1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon of oil
  2. 2 cups tightly packed gongura (sorrel) leaves, chopped
  3. 1-1/2 tablespoons chana daal
  4. 1-1/2 tablespoons urad daal
  5. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
  6. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
  7. 5-6 black peppercorns (kali mirch)
  8. 4-5 dry red chillies, or to taste
  9. 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek (methi) seeds

For the tempering:

  1. 1/4 cup peanuts
  2. 2 tablespoons oil
  3. 3-4 dry red chillies
  4. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  5. 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
  6. 1 sprig curry leaves

Other ingredients:

  1. 1 cup rice
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. 2 tablespoons jaggery powder, or to taste
  4. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  5. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)
  6. Lemon juice to taste (optional)

Method:

  1. Wash the rice under running water a couple of times, draining out the excess water each time. Pressure cook the washed and drained rice with 2.5 cups of water, for 4 whistles. You may also 3 whistles, if you want grainier rice. Allow the pressure to come down naturally.
  2. In the meanwhile, wash the gongura leaves well under running water. Place in a colander, and allow the excess water to drain out. Then, chop the gongura leaves finely and keep aside.
  3. Heat a pan and add in the peanuts. Dry roast on low-medium flame till crisp. Ensure that they do not burn. Now, transfer to a plate and allow them to cool down fully.
  4. Now, we will roast the ingredients we need to grind. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Then, lower the flame to medium, and add in the urad daal, chana daal, coriander seeds, methi seeds, black peppercorns and dry red chillies (listed under the ingredients ‘to roast and grind’). Fry till the ingredients begin to change colour and emit a lovely fragrance. Take care to ensure that they do not burn, stirring constantly. Now, add the coconut and fry for a minute more. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.
  5. In the same pan, add another teaspoon of oil. Add in the drained and chopped gongura leaves. Roast on low-medium flame till the gongura wilts and changes colour, about 3 minutes. Then, switch off the gas and allow the gongura to cool down entirely.
  6. When the pressure from the cooker has gone down fully, open it. Set the rice under a fan to cool down completely. Then, fluff up the rice gently. The rice is now ready to use in the gongura pulihora. Keep aside.
  7. Transfer all the roasted and cooled ingredients from Step 4 above to a mixer jar. Add in the fried and cooled gongura leaves to the mixer jar too. Pulse a couple of times, without adding any water. Stop in between and scrape down the sides of the mixer jar with a spoon. You should get a coarse paste. Keep aside.
  8. Now, we will prepare the tempering for the gongura pulihora. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow to pop. Now, add the dry red chillies (listed under the ingredients ‘for tempering’), asafoetida and curry leaves. Allow them to stay in for a couple of seconds. Add in the turmeric powder and dry-roasted peanuts. Give everything a mix with a spoon. Switch off gas.
  9. Add the cooled rice to the pan, along with the spice mix we ground earlier. Add in salt to taste, red chilli powder (if using), and jaggery powder (if using). Use your hands to mix well, but gently. Add in lemon juice to taste, and mix well. That’s it! Your gongura pulihora is ready to be served – you can serve it either warmed up or at room temperature.

Notes:

  1. I have used Bullet Rice aka Wada Kollam Rice to make this Gongura Pulihora. You may use any other variety of rice instead, too.
  2. I have used 2.5 cups of water to cook 1 cup of rice here, which is less than what I usually use. Normally, I would use 3 cups of water per cup of rice, to make plain white rice. This is because I needed slightly grainy rice to make the pulihora, which is not overcooked or mushy. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon how grainy you want the rice to be.
  3. Gingelly oil tastes great in this Gongura Pulihora. If you don’t have it, though, you may use any other variety of oil.
  4. Adjust the quantity of dry red chillies you use, depending upon how spicy you want the dish to be. I have used Salem Gundu dry red chillies here.
  5. If you find the dish to be less spicy, you could add in a bit of red chilli powder, to taste. That is purely optional.
  6. Make sure the rice has fully cooled down before you fluff it up and use it in making the Gongura Pulihora. Otherwise, you will end up with a mushy, tasteless dish.
  7. Adjust the quantity of gongura aka sorrel leaves you use, depending upon how sour they are. The gongura I had wasn’t very sour, so I had to use more of it, and also add in some lemon juice. If your sorrel leaves are very sour, you can leave out the lemon juice entirely.
  8. You can skip the jaggery powder if you don’t like a hint of sweetness in your food. To us, it was the perfect addition.
  9. This Gongura Pulihora doesn’t really need any accompaniment, but some potato chips, papad or fryums would go beautifully with it.
  10. I was approached by Paperless Post to try out the experience of using some of their online stationery, on a complimentary basis, and I decided to give it a go. I write about it solely because I loved the stuff they have on board. The views expressed in this post are entirely honest, entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

****************

I’m sharing this recipe with Fiesta Friday #256. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.

Keerai Poriyal| Rainbow Chard Stir-Fry

Until very recently, Rainbow Chard was something I only ever read about on international food blogs. It wasn’t readily available in India – it still isn’t, in the mainstream market. If at all we find a vendor selling it, it costs a bomb. No wonder it isn’t a popular green in Indian households! A pity, considering how full of nutrition the greens are, and oh-so-pretty with those gorgeously coloured stalks!

Just a couple of weeks ago, I found Mapletree Farms from Hosur selling their organically grown produce at Ragi Kana, a very non-commercial market that happens every Sunday at Bannerghatta, an event that I have come to love. I was thrilled to find Swiss Chard and Rainbow Chard among the veggies on offer by Mapletree – all of which was very fresh, very much grown locally, without the use of pesticides, and priced quite nominally too. I simply had to pick up some of their produce, Swiss Chard included – I’d be a fool not to! I must say I am thrilled with the variety of greens, fruits and veggies that Mapletree offers; it has been an out-and-out delight using this great-quality produce in my kitchen. I can’t see myself not being a regular customer of theirs! (An honest, straight-out-of-the-heart review that I make without any commercials involved.)

fb_img_1542021624011-01-012104644365.jpeg
The Swiss Rainbow Chard that I picked up at Ragi Kana last week. When greens look as good as that, how do you not click them?!

I used the Rainbow Chard leaves in a very Tamilian stir-fry, a Keerai Poriyal. This is an easy preparation, one that takes bare minutes to put together, and is quite a delicious way to get all the nutrition from those greens in. All of us at home absolutely loved it! It made a wonderful pair with the sambar rice I served it with.

Keerai Poriyal or Tamilnadu-Style Rainbow Chard Stir-Fry

Let’s now check out the recipe I used for the Keerai Poriyal or Rainbow Chard Stir-Fry, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 1 medium-sized bunch of Swiss chard, roughly 3 cups when finely chopped
  2. 1 tablespoon oil
  3. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds aka rai
  4. 2 pinches of asafoetida or hing
  5. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds or jeera
  6. 1 teaspoon split white urad dal
  7. 2-3 dry red chillies
  8. Salt to taste
  9. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  10. 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste
  11. 1/4 cup fresh grated coconut

Method:

  1. Wash the greens well under running water. Place them in a colander for a few minutes, and let all the water drain away.
  2. Chop the greens finely. Keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, and let them pop. Add the dry red chillies, cumin, urad dal and asafoetida. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds, or till the urad dal begins to brown. Take care to ensure that the ingredients do not burn.
  4. Now, turn the flame down to medium. Add the finely chopped greens to the pan. Cook, stirring intermittently, till the greens wilt, about 2 minutes.
  5. Lightly salt the greens, and add the sugar and turmeric powder. Mix well. Cook on medium flame, stirring intermittently, till everything is well incorporated together. In another 2 minutes or so, any water draining out of the greens should have dried up, and the stir-fry should get dry.
  6. Add the coconut at this stage. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for a minute more. Switch off gas.
  7. Serve hot or at room temperature with hot rice, along with morkozhambu, rasam, sambar or vattalkozhambu.

Notes:

  1. Gingelly oil or coconut oil works best, in this Keerai Poriyal. If you don’t have either, though, any other variety of oil you prefer can be used.
  2. Some green peas, chopped carrot, boiled chickpeas or cowpeas, garlic cloves, pearl onions, chopped beans or red onion can be added to the Swiss Chard Stir-Fry too. We usually keep it really simple, though, and use only the greens.
  3. Any other greens (spinach or amaranth, for example) can be used to make a stir-fry in a similar manner, instead of Swiss Chard. You can even mix 2-3 varieties of greens.
  4. Be careful while adding the salt. The greens don’t withstand salt very well – the dish can become overly salty if you aren’t cautious.
  5. Adjust the quantity of coconut you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.
  6. Chop the greens finely, for a great consistency of the Keerai Poriyal.
  7. You may skip the sugar entirely, but I like adding it in. It balances out any slight bitterness that the greens might have.
  8. Finely chopped coriander or curry leaves can be added to the stir-fry too. We usually don’t.
  9. The heat in this Keerai Poriyal comes only from the dried red chillies. If you want more spiciness, you may add in a dash of red chilli powder, but that does not really belong in an authentic Keerai Poriyal.
  10. Do not add any water while cooking the stir-fry. The greens will release enough juices of their own, and the stir-fry will have enough liquid to cook in. Cook the stir-fry uncovered.

Do you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

I’m sharing this post with Fiesta Friday #251. The co-hosts this week are Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau and Monika @ Everyday Healthy Recipes.

Thai Green Mango Salad With Carrot & Pok Choi Microgreens

Microgreens are all the rage these days, at least in the fine dining space. Rightly so, too, because they are packed with nutrients, and help in adding a whole lot of texture and taste to various dishes. These little greens also add hugely to the visual appeal of a dish. However, microgreens are most commonly associated with fancy dishes in fancy restaurants. These days, though, they are easily available for use by home cooks as well, and can be used in a lot of everyday Indian cooking. I was recently sent a tub of pok choi microgreens by Living Food Company, and have been enjoying putting them in anything and everything!

The beautiful pok choi microgreens I was sent by Living Food Company. Can you see just how fresh they are?!

What are microgreens?

Microgreens are nothing but little shoots of vegetables, just a few inches high. Do not confuse them with ‘baby greens’ – microgreens are smaller than baby greens, and much fresher. The microgreens from Living Food Company are grown without any chemicals or pesticides and are delivered to you in an eco-friendly tub, just a few days old, very much alive! Can you imagine just how fresh they would be? Sprinkle some water over them, and they stay well for 3-5 days more. You can keep them in your kitchen or balcony, and just snip a handful of the greens to use as and when you need them!

Arugula, basil, radish, beetroot, amaranth, spinach, fenugreek, pok choi, coriander, kale, cabbage, carrot.. there is a long list of microgreens available to the cook of today.

Why microgreens?

Microgreens have a highly concentrated, very intense flavour profile as compared to regular greens. Research has shown that microgreens have an exceptionally high concenration of nutrients too, as compared to fully-grown greens or vegetables. Also, like I was saying above, they are great to add some complexity, texture, colour and flavour to food, making it look prettier too.

How to use microgreens?

  • Microgreens are known to have a short shelf life, and are best used within a week’s time of harvest.
  • If you are using a living tub of microgreens, just snip off the greens from the roots using a pair of kitchen scissors. The roots should not be consumed. The little leaves and their stems are perfectly safe for consumption.
  • Ideally, microgreens should be eaten raw or, at best, lightly stir-fried. Overcooking tampers with their nutritional content and flavour profile. This is why they are best candidates for use in sandwiches and burgers, salads or just sprinkled over cooked dishes or desserts as a garnish.
  • Different microgreens have different flavours to them. Some will be quite spicy, some slightly bitter, some with a mustard-y punch to them. Choose dishes to use them in accordingly.
  • Microgreens can very much be used in a regular Indian kitchen, and need not be restricted only to Western food preparations. There are a whole lot of dishes that are cooked in an average Indian kitchen, which can benefit from the use of microgreens. Stop being intimidated by them and thinking of them as something exotic, let your imagination run wild, and you will open yourself up to myriad possibilities in your kitchen!

Here is how I used pok choi microgreens in a Thai Green Mango & Carrot Salad

I used some of the pok choi microgreens sent to me by Living Food Company in a Thai-style salad with green mango and carrot. The slight bitterness of the greens beautifully complemented the sourness from the raw mango and the sweetness of the carrot and honey I used in it. I loved how the greens made the salad richer and all the more delish!

fb_img_1538572919275-01359314527.jpeg
Thai Green Mango Salad With Carrot & Pok Choi Microgreens

Here is how I made the Thai Green Mango Salad With Carrot and Pok Choi Microgreens.

Ingredients (makes 4 small servings):

  1. 1 medium-sized raw mango
  2. 1 medium-sized carrot
  3. 1/4 cup pok choy microgreens
  4. 1/4 cup raw peanuts
  5. About 2 tablespoons of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  6. 2 green chillies
  7. Salt to taste
  8. 3 tablespoons honey or to taste

Method:

  1. Get a pan nice and hot and add in the raw peanuts. Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till they get slightly crisp, stirring intermittently to ensure that they do not burn. Switch off gas and allow the peanuts to cool down entirely.
  2. Meanwhile, peel the raw mango and carrot and julienne them. Transfer the juliennes to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add finely chopped coriander and the pok choy microgreens to the mixing bowl too.
  4. Chop the green chillies very finely. Add to the mixing bowl.
  5. When the roasted peanuts have entirely cooled down, coarsely crush them in a mixer. Add the coarsely crushed peanuts to the mixing bowl.
  6. Add salt to taste and honey. Mix well. Serve the Thai Green Mango Salad immediately.

Notes:

1. For best results, use a green mango that is semi-ripe, so it will be a bit sweet and not overly sour. A raw totapuri works beautifully in the making of this Thai Green Mango Salad.

2. Adjust the quantity of green chillies and honey you use, depending upon personal taste preferences.

3. I have used an Ooty carrot here, which has a certain amount of inherent sweetness to it. If you are using any other variety of carrot, you might need to increase the quantity of honey a bit.

4. Palm sugar, powdered jaggery or brown sugar can be used in place of honey too.

5. You can add in other ingredients to this Thai Green Mango Salad, too – like finely chopped ginger, garlic, onion, cooked sweet corn, cooked moong bean sprouts and the like. I haven’t, because I was limited by what was available in my kitchen and because I wanted to keep things really simple.

6. I have used pok choy microgreens from Living Food Company to make this salad. I was sent a free sample of the microgreens by Living Food, to test in my kitchen. I loved the superb quality of the produce, and am loving using it in all and sundry dishes. The thoughts expressed about the greens here are entirely my own, entirely honest, and not influenced by anything or anyone. This is not a sponsored post.

7. You may use any other type of microgreens in this Thai Green Mango Salad, too.

8. Increase or decrease the quantity of microgreens you use in the Thai Green Mango Salad, as per personal taste preferences. The pok choy microgreens I have used had a little bitterness to them, which complemented the sourness from the raw mango, the sweetness from the honey and carrot, and the spiciness from the green chillies perfectly. The above quantities were just perfect for us.

7. I have used a julienne peeler to julienne the carrot and green mango. Julienning vegetables, as opposed to grating them, stops the salad from getting too soggy.

8. Ensure that the peanuts do not burn, while dry roasting them. Let them cool down fully before coarsely crushing them in a mixer. Remember that you need to crush them coarsely, and not make a fine powder.

9. Do not let the Thai Green Mango Salad sit out for too long after preparing it. Serve it immediately. You may roast the peanuts and keep them ready in advance, but julienne the carrots and green mango just before you plan to make the salad, for best results.

10. I washed the microgreens in running water and patted them dry with a clean kitchen towel before using them in making this salad.

I hope you found this post helpful!

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

******************

I’m sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #247. The co-hosts this week are Antonia @ Zoale.com and Laurena @ Life Diet Health.

Multi Millet Lemon ‘Rice’

Today, I present to you the recipe for Multi-Millet Lemon ‘Rice’ – the same old traditional South Indian dish, but made with mixed millets instead of rice. This lemon ‘rice’ tastes just as delicious and is just as simple to prepare, but is a whole lot healthier.

The popularity of millets is on the rise, these days. They are full of nutritional benefits, and versatile enough to lend themselves easily to various preparations, from cakes and breads to traditional dishes like bisi bele bath, tomato bath, and curd ‘rice’. Let me hasten to add that this is a not a fad, not a modern trend that you should hastily dismiss. The people of India have been using millets for ages – especially in regions like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka. In the course of time, millets began to be labelled as ‘poor man’s food’, and more and more people stopped using them. In today’s world, millets, with the many wonderful properties they possess, can play a significant role in reversing various lifestyle diseases. They are no longer ‘poor man’s food’, rather ‘the need of the hour’. Attending this workshop on millets by the Government of Karnataka opened my eyes to the world of millets, and I started including them in our monthly shopping list, our day-to-day cooking. I am thrilled to say that our diet is no longer heavily rice- or wheat-based, but is a good mix of different grains.

Firms like Pristine Organics’ make the usage of millets simple for the consumer of today. They offer products like millet flour, multi-millet flours and millet flakes, which make life easier for the present-day cooks. A while ago, Pristine Organics sent me a hamper including various millet-based and other products, to test and review, and I have been thrilled with their quality and ease of use. Take for instance, Pristine Organics’ Millet Organica, the multi-millet mix that I have used here, to make this lemon ‘rice’. It was so convenient to use – a mix of different types of millets, broken down into little granules, making it super easy to cook and use in a variety of dishes!

Now, without further ado, let us check out the recipe for multi-millet lemon ‘rice’, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 1 cup Pristine Organics’ multi-millet mix
  2. 1 tablespoon oil
  3. 1/4 cup peanuts
  4. 4 green chillies
  5. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  6. 2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
  7. 1 teaspoon mustard
  8. 2 pinches asafoetida
  9. Salt to taste
  10. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  11. Juice of 1-1/2 lemons or to taste
  12. About 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander (optional)

Method:

1. Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame till crisp. Ensure that they do not burn. Transfer to a plate and allow them to cool down completely.

2. Wash the multi millet mix a couple of times under running water. Drain out all the water. Pressure cook the mix with 2 cups of water for 3 whistles, on high flame. Let the pressure come down naturally.

3. Slit the green chillies length-wise. Separate the curry leaves. Peel the ginger and chop very finely. Keep aside.

4. When all the pressure has gone down, remove the multi millet mix from the cooker. Let it cool down completely.

5. Once cooled entirely, fluff up the cooked multi millet mix. Keep aside.

6. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and allow it to pop. Add the roasted peanuts, asafoetida, chopped ginger, curry leaves and slit green chillies. Let them stay in for a few seconds.

7. Now, add the cooked multi millet mix to the pan. Lower the heat to medium. Add in salt to taste and the turmeric powder. Mix well. Let everything cook together on medium flame for 2-3 minutes, stirring intermittently. Switch off gas.

8. Add finely chopped coriander (if using) and lemon juice to the pan. Mix well. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Notes:

  1. I have used Pristine Organics’ Millet Organica, their multi-millet mix, to make this lemon ‘rice’. It is a mix of different types of millet such as kodo millet, proso millet, amaranth, barnyard millet, little millet, foxtail millet and finger millet. You can choose to use a multi-millet mix from any other brand, too.
  2. I pressure cooked 1 cup of the multi-millet mix with 2 cups of water for 3 whistles, as specified on the package. I did not soak the millets as they were broken down into little granules, and the package did not ask me to do so either. I then allowed the cooked millets to cool down completely before fluffing them up and using them to make the lemon ‘rice’. If you are using a different brand of multi-millet mix, do carefully check the package for instructions on how they need to be cooked.
  3. Adjust the quantity of lemon and green chillies you use in this multi-millet lemon ‘rice’, depending upon personal taste preferences.
  4. I always dry roast peanuts before using them in any preparation. This lends them a nice, crispy texture.
  5. Gingelly oil or coconut oil works best in the making of this multi-millet lemon ‘rice’.
  6. Make sure you allow the cooked millets to cool down completely and then fluff them up, before using them in making the lemon ‘rice’. Otherwise, there are chances of the lemon ‘rice’ getting mushy and tasteless.
  7. You can pressure cook the millets beforehand and keep them ready, then make the lemon ‘rice’ just before serving.
  8. I received a sample of the multi-millet mix, along with some other products, from Pristine Organics to test and review. However, the views expressed herein are entirely my own, not influenced by anything or anyone.

**************

Foodie Monday Blog HopThis post is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme this week is ‘A Lemon Affair’, wherein members will be creating various lemon-based recipes.

I’m sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #241. The co-hosts this week are Zeba @ Food For The Soul and Debanita @ Canvassed Recipes.

Chef Sumitra Kalapatapu Concludes Pop-Up Andhra Kitchen At WelcomHotel

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of partaking of a special Telugu Brahmin meal, curated by Chef Sumitra Kalapatapu for Jacaranda, the restaurant at Welcomhotel by ITC, Bangalore. I was at WelcomAndhra, a 10-day pop-up kitchen by Chef Sumitra at Jacaranda. The experience, I must say, was quite lovely!

fb_img_1530502821503-011511919169.jpeg
Chef Sumitra Kalapatapu at the pop-up Andhra kitchen at Jacaranda

**

Chef Sumitra Kalapatapu, a well-known name in South India, specialises in the preparation of food from Andhra Pradesh, and is well known for her traditional vegetarian dishes, chutneys and pickles, not to forget her warm hospitality. She is the force behind the famed Sumi’s Kitchen, which operates from Vigyannagar, Bangalore. She undertakes catering for events, hosts meals at her place and also does pop-ups at restaurants.

fb_img_1530502729445-011368344097.jpeg
Chef Sumitra Kalapatapu with the Jacaranda, Welcomhotel, team at the pop-up

**

Mr. Dhawal Ajmera, Chief Executive Chef at ITC Limited – Hotels Division, strongly believes in encouraging the talents of home chefs like this by enabling them to set up pop-ups such as this one. A great and welcome initiative, I must say!

I would also add that for a home chef to cook in a large-scale commercial kitchen for 10 days, serving a different menu every single day, is no mean feat. Chef Sumitra pulled it off beautifully, the hugely talented persona that she is.

fb_img_1530502711463-01126667935.jpeg
Assorted pickles by Chef Sumitra at the pop-up

**

On the last day of the pop-up, when I visited, Chef Sumitra served some typical Andhra home-style vegetarian food that was as finger-lickingly delicious as it was simple. It was wonderful to see the way this simple, home food stood out amidst the extensive buffet at Jacaranda!

So, getting down to the nitty-gritties, what all did I try out at WelcomAndhra?

Top Left: Cabbage Vadas (Picture Courtesy: PhenoMenal World); Bottom Left: Stuffed Mirchi Bajjis; Bottom Right: Kobbari Tomato Perugu Pachadi; Top Right: Tomato Pachadi (Picture Courtesy for the two chutneys: Sumitra Kalapatapu)

Cabbage Vadas The good ol’ urad daal vada with chunks of cabbage in it! Served piping hot, straight off the stove, these were so very good!

Stuffed Mirchi Bajjis Chef Sumitra took some plain old-fashioned chilli bajjis and jazzed them up with a lovely onion stuffing! Apparently, this is the way mirchi bajjis are served on the streets of Vizag, where she hails from. A few of them were super spicy, but man, were they delicious?!

Tomato Pachadi This one was a tad on the saltier side, but was extremely delicious. It was so very well done! The tomato chutney reminded me of one that an Andhra neighbour of mine used to prepare for me, growing up – it brought back some very fond memories!

Kobbari Tomato Perugu PachadiThis tomato chutney with yogurt was sheer beauty. With just the right amount of tangy and spicy, this was a pleasure to eat. The mustard in the chutney took the taste of the chutney up quite a few notches.

img_20180705_110132259977538.jpg
Clockwise from top left: Palakoora Pappu, Vankaya Jeelakarra Kaaram, Mukkala Pulusu,Β Aratikaya Aava Petti Koora, Pulihora

Palakoora Pappu – This was a simple Andhra-style preparation using spinach, and it tasted quite lovely. The dish was very well executed, all the flavours in perfect harmony with each other. It made for just the perfect accompaniment with plain steamed rice.

Vankaya Jeelakarra Kaaram – This was an Andhra Pradesh specialty, eggplants cooked simply with assorted spices. This was decent, but I am not a big fan of eggplant cooked this way, so this did not take me to the high heavens.

Mukkala Pulusu – This sambar cooked with mixed vegetables was simple and homely. Again, it was a very well-made dish, with the flavours melding beautifully with each other. I thoroughly enjoyed eating this, mixed with steamed rice.

Aratikaya Aava Petti Koora –Β I would say this was the star of the show for me – the dish that stole my heart. This was a raw banana curry cooked with ground mustard, in Andhra Pradesh style. This was so, so, so beautiful! I absolutely adored this, and am going to try making this pretty soon.

Pulihora – The Andhra Pradesh Pulihora was quite different from the Tamilnadu- and Karnataka-style puliogare that I am used to. It was brilliant, just tangy and spicy enough to tantalise your tastebuds. It had me going back for seconds!

There was Rasam on the menu too, but I simply couldn’t manage to taste it. My tummy was way too full! I heard it was extremely lovely, though. I couldn’t manage any of Chef Sumitra’s wonderful pickles either – I guess I should visit her place soon for that! πŸ™‚

**

I relished most of the Andhra fare that was served as part of the pop-up! With its simplicity, subtle spice levels, and bright and beautiful flavours, the food was a refreshing change from the usual rich, rich, rich restaurant fare! My perception about Andhra food now stands completely changed. πŸ™‚

 

Chatpati Vegetable Khichdi

By now, you guys probably know that our family is one of big khichdi fans. Khichdi often finds pride of place on our dining table, in different versions and flavours. We love experimenting with different types of khichdi!Β  The latest type of khichdi I prepared was a Chatpati Vegetable Khichdi, with chaat masala adding a lovely, refreshing, tangy flavour to it.

fb_img_1529661850854-01162838974.jpeg

The Chatpati Vegetable Khichdi turned out absolutely beautiful! It made for a lovely change from the usual Vegetable Daal Khichdi we make with garam masala in it. I was in the mood to indulge and topped the khichdi with some grated cheese too, which elevated the dish to a whole new level.

I have used Rozana Sona Masoori Rice and Moong Daal from Popular Essentials to make this Chatpati Vegetable Khichdi. Popular Essentials is a Bangalore-based brand which offers a variety of groceries, and I have been trying out their products for some time now. I like the quality and taste of their products, the secure packaging and the super-fast delivery. Popular Essentials’ products are available on Amazon, in case you are interested in checking them out.

The chaat masala I have used in this khichdi is from Ciba Taaza, a brand that offers a variety of interesting Indian spice mixes, all made using traditional recipes. The masalas are made without any artificial colouring or flavouring agents or preservatives. I have been using spice mixes from Ciba Taaza for a while, and absolutely love their freshness, fragrance and taste. They are available on Amazon, too!

Now, let’s check out how to make the Chatpati Vegetable Khichdi, shall we?

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

  1. 3/4 cup rice
  2. 1/4 cup moong daal
  3. 1 small carrot
  4. 1 small capsicum
  5. 1/4 cup shelled green peas
  6. 6-7 beans
  7. 2-3 medium-sized florets of cauliflower
  8. A 1-inch piece of ginger
  9. 5-6 cloves of garlic
  10. A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves
  11. 1 tablespoon oil
  12. 2 pinches of asafoetida (hing)
  13. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
  14. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  15. Salt, to taste
  16. 1/2 cup turmeric powder
  17. Red chilli powder, to taste
  18. 2 tablespoons chaat masala or to taste
  19. Cheese, as needed

Method:

1. Wash the rice and moong daal together thoroughly under running water a couple of times. Drain out the excess water.

2. Pressure cook the washed and drained rice and moong daal together with 3 cups of water, for 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally. Keep the cooked rice and moong daal aside.

3. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves. Chop the ginger into small pieces. Grind the ginger and garlic together into a paste, using a mixer, with very little water. Keep aside.

4. Peel the carrot and chop into finely. Chop the coriander, capsicum and cauliflower finely. Remove strings from the beans, and chop them finely too. Keep aside.

5. Grate cheese finely. Keep aside.

6. Heat oil in a pan. Add in the mustard seeds and let it pop. Add in the cumin and asafoetida, and let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

7. Now, add the chopped carrot, cauliflower, beans and capsicum to the pan, along with the shelled green peas. Add in the ginger-garlic paste. Cook on medium flame till the vegetables are cooked, but retain a bit of a crunch. You may even sprinkle some water on the veggies, if required.

8. Once the vegetables are cooked, add the cooked rice and moong daal to the pan. Add in 1 more cup of water, salt to taste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and chaat masala. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for a couple of minutes, stirring intermittently. Switch off gas.

9. Serve the Chatpati Vegetable Khichdi hot, with loads of grated cheese and chopped coriander sprinkled on top.

Notes:

1. Ghee or butter can be used to make this khichdi too, instead of the oil I have used here. I have used just 1 tablespoon of oil, but you can use more depending upon your personal taste preferences.

2. You can use more or less chaat masala, depending upon your personal taste preferences.

3. I have used Amul processed cheese here. You can use any variety of cheese you prefer, in as much quantity as you want.

4. You can use any other veggies you want to, to make this Chatpati Vegetable Khichdi. I have used whatever I had handy in my kitchen.

5. Use more or less water, depending upon how grainy/soft you want the khichdi to be. The above measurements yield a well-cooked, soft khichdi.

6. I have cooked the vegetables and the rice-moong daal separately, instead of dumping everything into a pressure cooker. This ensures that the veggies retain a little crunch to them, and do not get overly mushy.

7. This khichdi can be served on its own, and does not really need any pickle, papad or raita as an accompaniment. Make sure you serve it hot, though, so the grated cheese you add on top melts and adds to the taste of the khichdi.

8. This post is in collaboration with Popular Essentials and Ciba Taaza Spices. I was requested by the brands to test some of their products. The opinions expressed about the products here are entirely my own, entirely honest, and not influenced by anything or anyone.

***********

I’m sending this recipe for Fiesta Friday #230, co-hosted this week by Diann @ Of Goats and Greens.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

Highlights: World On A Plate – 2018

VR Bengaluru in Whitefield, Bangalore, saw a 3-day culinary festival, World On A Plate, happening between June 8 and 10, 2018. For the uninitiated, World On A Plate (popularly called WOAP) is one of Bangalore’s biggest foodie festivals, which aims to bring together food enthusiasts from all spheres, from across the globe – foodies, food brands, masterchefs, stalwarts from the food industry, restaurants, food critics, food bloggers and journalists, and the likes. I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of World On A Plate – 2018, the third edition of this festival, which happens to coincide with VR Two, the second-anniversary celebrations of VR Bengaluru.

fb_img_1528549368894-011274954956.jpeg
Chefs Sarah Todd and George Calombaris at the World On A Plate – 2018 media meet

Chef George Calombaris and Sarah Todd (both of the MasterChef Australia fame), famed Indian chefs Saransh Goila, Ajay Chopra and Ranveer Brar, and pop star-cum-culinary enthusiast Anaida Parvaneh were some of the chefs associated with the event this year. At the exclusive masterclasses held as part of WOAP – 2018, foodies got a chance to learn from these celebrity chefs. Patrons were also offered an opportunity to engage in a tete-a-tete with the chefs and to pose for photographs with them. This year, Chef Calombaris had also curated a special 4-course meal for WOAP-2018, in co-ordination with Toscano. I could not be part of the masterclasses or the Calombaris-special menu because of paucity of time (and thanks to not keeping too well!), but I loved the little of WOAP – 2018 that I insisted on being a part of.

fb_img_1528549400058-01251999505.jpeg
Chefs Saransh Goila and Ranveer Brar in a solemn mood, talking about celebrated food writer Anthony Bourdain’s recent demise, at the media meet

At an exclusive media meet held on June 9, Jermina Menon (VP-Marketing, Virtuous Retail – South Asia) spoke of her excitement at being associated with World On A Plate the second time in a row.

fb_img_1528549345679-01307016538.jpeg
Ms. Jermina Menon speaking at the media meet for World On A Plate – 2018

Kiran Soans (CEO of Gold Rush Entertainment, the principal organiser of this festival) said, “This edition of World on a Plate is bigger in scale and size and guaranteed to be an unparalleled culinary journey for connoisseurs and aspiring chefs.

He also spoke of GiftAMeal with HUG – an initiative to collect funds for the underprivileged as part of a hunger management program, something that World On A Plate and Gold Rush have supported for three years now. In the year 2018, the program aims at giving away 1,00,000 free meals, something that I absolutely love and highly appreciate.

fb_img_1528549328562-011706568084.jpeg
Mr. Kiran Soans speaking at the media meet for World On A Plate – 2018

The media meet was quite enlightening and interesting, with Chef Ranveer Brar speaking of the differences in food culture among the various cities of India. He spoke of how Bangalore is a great space for food innovation, thanks to the people being quite open to experimenting.
Chef Saransh Goila spoke about the need for a formal body to certify food bloggers and writers. He also went on to speak, very interestingly, about the need for a chef to balance humility with social media popularity, especially in these modern times.

img_20180611_11310246081246.jpg
Top: Chef Saransh Goila, speaking at the media meet for World On A Plate – 2018; Bottom: Chef Goila’s Goila Butter Chicken, presented at the venue

The media meet also offered us, food bloggers and journalists, a chance to sample a few dishes put together by Chef Sarah Todd, Chef George Calombaris, Chef Saransh Goila and Chef Ranveer Brar.

Chef Goila presented his signature Goila Butter Chicken, which Chef Calombaris fondly referred to as ‘the best butter chicken in the world‘.

Chef Todd presented Kolhapuri Slow-Cooked Lamb On Betel Leaf, while Chef Calombaris presented Potato Skordalia With Black Garlic & Walnut.

Chef Ranveer Brar, known for his innovative fusion ideas, presented Burnt Miso & Chocolate Matcha Modaks.

img_20180611_1129061810809590.jpg
Left: Chef Sarah Todd speaking at the media meet for World On A Plate – 2018; Right: The Kolhapuri Slow-Cooked Lamb On Betel Leaf, presented by Chef Todd at the venue

I didn’t sample the non-vegetarian dishes, of course, but loved the two vegetarian ones that I did. Chef George Calombaris’s Potato Skordalia With Black Garlic & Walnut was exquisite, with curry leaves adding an Indian touch to the jacket potatoes.

img_20180611_112941794854994.jpg
Left: Chef Calombaris speaking at the media meet for World On A Plate – 2018; Right: Potato Skordalia With Black Garlic & Walnut, presented by Chef Calombaris at the venue

Chef Ranveer Brar’s dish was utterly gorgeous! It was sheer beauty inside and out, a very well-executed blend of Indian and international cuisines. The green matcha modaks were oh, so pretty, the miso-and-chocolate filling complementing the exterior perfectly. The aam ras the modaks were served in added a burst of flavour to the dish!

Left: Chef Ranveer Brar speaking at the media meet for World On A Plate – 2018; Top Right and Top Bottom: The Burnt Miso & Chocolate Matcha Modaks presented by Chef Brar at the venue

Some of the best-known restaurants of Bangalore city set up stalls at the event, including Caperberry, Smally’s, Punjab Bistro, Sindh Kitchen, Nasi & Mee, Sodabottleopenerwala, The Whitefield Arms, Rajdhani and Siam Trading Co. The atmosphere at these stalls was charged, not unlike that at a fair.

fb_img_1528549478542-012013805949.jpeg
A few of the food stalls at World On A Plate – 2018, at VR Bengaluru

Many of these restaurants are places I have always wanted to try out. Every single one of these stalls had some really lovely food on offer, and I had a tough time trying to figure out what to taste and what not.

fb_img_1528549460595-01544244165.jpeg
The Sodabottleopenerwala stall at World On A Plate – 2018, at VR Bengaluru

Patisseries like Smoor, Aubree and Lavonne: Academy Of Baking Science & Pastry Arts offered some of their beautiful creations for sale at World On A Plate – 2018. I had a gala time walking through these stalls, checking out this and that, taking pictures.

Some gorgeous sugary confections on sale at the Aubree stall, at World On A Plate – 2018

I abstained from treating myself to a dessert, but was still on a high by the time I had finished ooh-ing and aah-ing over all of those delightful confections, merely by looking at them! πŸ™‚

Top left: Melting Apple, a very interesting-looking dessert from Smoor; Bottom left: Cake pops from Lavonne; Top right and bottom right: Special desserts created for World On A Plate – 2018

I love events like this because they help me discover unique food products and ingredients. World On A Plate – 2018 was no exception. Soya-based vegetarian meat by Good Dot and beautiful, beautiful, organically grown cherries sourced from Jammu by Healthy Buddha were my cherished discoveries at the event.

img_20180611_113015357940184.jpg
Left: Vegetarian Meat by GoodDot, on display at World On A Plate – 2018; Top right: Vegetarian Meat Chilli Chicken; Bottom Right: Vegetarian Keema

I loved the Vegetarian Meat Chilli Chicken and Vegetarian Keema that I sampled at the GoodDot stall and, now, I can’t wait to cook with these products in my kitchen!

The cherries from Healthy Buddha were so fresh and lovely, they disappeared within minutes of my bringing them home. Now, I’m all eager to get my hands on more of their gorgeous produce!

Left: A sweet decorative piece at World On A Plate – 2018; Top right: Green burgers at Smally’s; Bottom right: The gorgeous cherries that I picked up at the Healthy Buddha stall

Overall, it was such a beautiful experience for me, being a wee li’l part of World On A Plate – 2018. I wish I could have done more, explored more, tasted more, learnt more, but I am glad I got to do at least this. Well, next time…!

I hope you were part of the event this year, too!

Were you at World On A Plate – 2018, too? How was your experience there?