Posted by admin | Just Food Articles - writers invited | Wednesday 28 October 2009 10:35 pm

Just finished the much famed, somewhat hyped book by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love. To be honest if it hadn’t been gifted by a good friend, I would never have picked it up, and certainly never have seen it through to the end. Non-fiction is not my strong suit, and the entire ‘Pray’ part of the book is spirituality, reading about which, puts me to sleep. But like I said, the friend felt so strongly about it that I saw it through and really enjoyed Eat and moderately Love.
Eat took my breath away… the author spends months in Italy just learning the language, strolling the streets and eating. What a life! Eating…. and describing, and those descriptions were really something, for a foodie, worth a read, truly!
There’s lots of it, but here’s some…
In Naples she is directed to the ‘best pizza place in the world’ where the options on the menu are just pizza with cheese and pizza with extra-cheese. “Thin, doughy, strong, gummy, yummy, chewy, salty pizza paradise.” (she actually points out that it reminds her more of Indian naan!!)…”On top, there is a sweet tomato sauce that foams up all bubbly and creamy and melts the fresh buffalo mozzarella, and the one sprig of basil in the middle of the whole deal somehow infuses the entire pizza with herbal radiance,…”

In Taormina, Sicily, the local policeman directs her to ‘hands-down most amazing meal I’ve eaten yet in all of taly. It’s pasta, but a shape of pasta I’ve never before seen — big, fresh, sheets of pasta folded ravioli-like into the shape (if not exactly the size) of the Pope’s hat, stuffed with hot aromatic pure of crustaceans and octopus and squid, served tossed like a hot salad with fresh cockles and strips of julienned vegetables, all swimming in an olivey, oceany broth. Followed by the rabbit, stewed in thyme.”CAFE

She asks a fisherman in Syracuse what she should eat and he directs her to a nameless little restaurant where the waiter brings “…airy clouds of ricotta sprinkled with pistachio, bread chunks floating in aromatic oils, tiny plates of sliced meats and olives, a salad of chilled oranges tossed in a dressing of raw onion and parsley. This was before I even hear about the calamari house specialty.”

I guess learning Italian helped there, with all the questioning locals and befriending waiters. My 4 days in Italy had me just pointing mutely to things and luckily, mostly getting grrrreeaat stuff. But I do remember 1 occasion, something so bland, I ordered french fries and just had to ask for ketchup. Aaargh, you should have seen the waiter’s face, and I felt like dirt.

Well worth a read, if you have any interest in Eating, Praying or Loving.


A sweet Tangy Chicken Dish

Posted by admin | Poultry,Recipes | Wednesday 28 October 2009 7:58 am

My brother and his family came for dinner and I’m pretty thrilled at how this dish turned out, mainly because I made it off the top of my head, just based on how I thought a dish like this should taste. It actually tasted great too, and looked a lot better than the picture below 🙂 (Lousy phone camera)
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Chicken in Honey & Soya Sauce Serves 6
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1 kg Chicken drumsticks
1 1/2 cup honey
1 cup Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Worcestershire Sauce
2 onions
1 tablespoon garlic paste
1 large carrot
1 small green capsicum
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Salt to taste

Mix together all the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, the chili powder, garlic paste and 1 cup honey in a large bowl.
Make small cuts all over the chicken and marinate in the mixture. 20 minutes is the bare minimum but I actually remembered to do this ahead for a change, covered and kept it a whole 7 hours in the refrigerator. I think it made a difference.

Slice the onions fine and long and fry them to turn golden brown. Remove half and set aside. (more…)


Fried Eggplant

Posted by admin | Recipes,Vegetarian | Monday 26 October 2009 7:01 am

I’m not a great fan of Eggplant, so there are very few ways I actually chose to have this vegetable. One is a Brinjal Soya Casserole, another is Moussaka, the Greek favourite. But this is my favourite because its so easy.

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1 large long Eggplant (about 6 inches long )
2 teaspoons red chilli powder or as much as you can stand
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garlic paste
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

Wash the eggplant and slice into thin rounds.

Add tablespoon of water to the spices and salt and using your hands rub it gently into each slice. (the eggplant will give out some liquid too) Leave to marinate as long as you can. 20 minutes is the minimum, but you can pop it into the refrigerator and leave for even 5-6 hours.

Just before eating shallow fry them carefully.
Eat them with something bland like Rice & Yogurt. A perfect combination, as I discovered.

I’ve even eaten them in a sandwich with tomato slices!


Comfort food

Posted by admin | Just Food Articles - writers invited,Recipes,Vegetarian | Monday 26 October 2009 6:57 am

Everyone has their own comfort food I guess. Mine is probably a mixture of rice and dahi (yoghurt). Or as my mom named it years ago, and we still call it – Curds’n’Love. My childhood memory is of my brother and I sitting across from her (not at the dining table), and being fed! a bite alternately from a large bowl. I’m not sure why, because neither of us was very small then; I was at least 7, well past the age to be fed. Whatever. I still love it.
Curd-rice, or dahi-bhaat as its called, is very popular in various parts of India, especially the south, to sort of round off the meal. Dad being out of town it was just mom and me for lunch on Sunday, – the menu- Curds’n’Love accompanied by fried brinjals (eggplant / aubergine). As it happens, a fabulous combo.
This is what my mom still makes…

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2 cups cooked rice, cooled
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp oil
2 green chillies, chopped fine
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
5-6 curry leaves
1 tsp fresh ginger paste
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon sugar
salt to taste
2 tbsp minced coriander leaves ( cilantro )
1 whole red chilli (optional)

Heat the oil and fry the onion till pale golden brown. Add the chillies fry for a few seconds. Set aside.

Remove most of the oil from the pan, leaving only about 2 teaspoons. Heat and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds to splutter, and then the curry leaves and ginger paste.
Smash the garlic cloves and add. Saute briefly till they are aromatic and set aside.

In serving bowl, mix the milk, yogurt and sugar to form a smooth paste. Stir in the rice gently. Stir in the fried spices and chillies. Garnish with coriander leaves and red chilli and serve right away.

I like my yogurt slightly sweet but many don’t, dispense with the sugar.

    Tip : This is great to use up leftover rice.
    This is usually eaten cold, but you can put the rice in the microwave for a minute or so, and bring it to just over room temperature. Never add it hot to the yogurt though or it might split.

    Eat with pickle


Visual Appeal

Posted by admin | Just Food Articles - writers invited | Thursday 22 October 2009 7:37 am

If there’s one site that I keep going back to because of its pure, mouth-watering visual appeal its
The visuals just link to different food blogs and sites, some good, some so-so, and sometimes the recipe doesn’t seem like much either, or you wonder why it’s there at all. But then, and they say so clearly, having a beautiful photograph is at least as important if not more so than the actual food.
Still, thanks to the huge numbers of sites linked this is a virtual food-site directory. Definitely worth going back to again and again.

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