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Showing posts from April, 2012

Khandvi deconstructed.. Chickpea flour Spaghetti & Pappardelle Pasta

Khandvi may well be my all time favorite noshing 'tiffin' tea time snack & quite possibly  because it can be pretty intimidating at first sight. a beautiful, almost impossible vision to behold, gossamer thin, jellied strips of chickpea flour & sour yogurt, tiny miniature savory Swiss rolls that delightfully wobble in your mouth before delicately disintegrating & gliding  down your throat, making way for... the next little morsel!


Tramping for Ramps..Season 2, Paneer & Peas in a creamy Ramp sauce.

Spring... you definitely know its here when you spy these beauties in a single basket on the supermarket grocery shelf.. accompanied by a gasp inducing price tag.. ~ $12.99 /lb.. Black Truffles, they ain't, but addictive & seductive enough to compulsively  buy some each time I make a visit.
I'm referring to Ramps, that all American wild onion that peeps out from swampy shaded land all the way from the south to Canada.
The term Ramps derives from the Old English word Ramson, the term used for another wild species of onion , the European bear leek. Resembling scallions with broad green leaves, the flavor has been described somewhat as similar to " fried green onions with a dash of funky feet".

Missing the Indian Mango season. Champagne Mango Custard Tart

Of all the memories of days past that involved mangoes, two incidents stand out in stark detail. The first harks back to the mid seventies when my dad had ordered 2 'tokris' (large baskets the size of tyres) of Ratnagiri Alphonso mangoes direct from the farm.  En route home from picking them up, the bus we were traveling in, collided with another vehicle, but luckily, no one got hurt. What I still remember was the explicit relief that the mangoes were safe and did not scatter away or get damaged. Talk about priorities when you're five years old!

The second was when a group of friends from Hostel 10 at the Indian Institute of Technology decided to pick a 10 gallon sized bucket's worth of the tartest, unripe mangoes from the trees that were practically sprouting branches through our room windows. At the end of the day there was a wingful of 20 year old girls with horribly zinging sensitive teeth and about 1/2 a pound of Salt/chili powder mix, not to mention the insane …

Comfort Food at its best..Sago & beluga Lentil stir fry

Thursdays were considered a 'fast' day in a lot of households in my neighborhood in Chembur, a suburb of Mumbai. With that typical ignorant cynicism that only a teenager can excel at, I often used to wonder why they called it a fast if they ate such 'filling' stuff like 'sabudana' khichdi. This truly was a dish that sank like a stone down your stomach & stayed there for the next 12 hours slowly digesting. One possibly could not contemplate eating a bite more after a generous portion of this absolutely delicious comfort food.  Well, decades later, I have still yet to figure out an answer (not really, since this is the wikipedia era and almost any answer can be found there!), some traditions are just too sacred & beyond questioning, and if the associated food is delicious, then just sit back & enjoy the food. 
Sago pearls (often referred to as tapioca pearls, although the latter is derived from the roots of the cassava plant) are manufactured from th…