Saturday, January 27, 2007

Fonda De La Madrugada - Jingu mae - Mexican

Fonda De La Madrugada - Jingu maeJanuary 20072-33-12 Jingu-maeShibuya-kuTel. 03-5410-6288Open: Monday - Thursday 17:30 - 2:00Friday - Saturday 17:30 - 5:00From the moment you walk down the stairs, this restaurant feels like it is Mexican. In the waiting area, there is even a hammock to sit in. Many of the staff are Mexican and during the evening (for a tip) the band will come and sing for

Friday, January 26, 2007

Til Wadi

Oh well, sankranti is almost over... I know, but it was one thing after the other... and somehow I just could not push myself to finish off this post!
This was the first time I made Til Wadi... all these years my Mother used to make Tilgul ladoos... I helped roll them, but never tried making them.. plus it was complicated, melting the jaggery to a certain point / colour....(or so it seemed to me then!)

Ever eat a Tilgul ladoo which was sticky? Had your jaws stuck together and when you tried to prise them open and talk all you could do was "Abbo -obble.." Well, that happened to me last year when someone had given me a ladoo and when I was champing it the mobile rang ... and then I went "Abbo, obble.."
So last year my Jethani gave me Tilwadi, which was real nice.. I mean , colour wise, taste wise and above all crunchy!, it was natural for me to take down her recipe (she laughed and said "it's too easy for words!") that's just what I want!!!!
Her recipe is :

1 cup Sesame
1 cup sugar
Cardamom powder

Lightly roast the sesame. Keep aside.
Grease a steel plate/ thali with ghee in preparation to make the wadis. Keep a spoon, some ghee and a knife handy.
Heat a kadhai/ wok, add the sugar and let it melt completely.
When the sugar has melted completely make sure that the stove/ flame is on low/ sim. The colour of the melted sugar must now look like light honey.
Quickly add the sesame and cardamom powder. Mix thoroughly.
Immediately pour this mixture in the greased plate. Apply some ghee to the back of the spoon and firmly pat the mixture in the shape of the plate.
With the knife make diamond shapes.
Leave it to cool. Later separate the pieces.
Store in an airtight container.

Please note, you have to be quick when adding sesame and then pouring onto a well greased plate, otherwise the mixture will dry up and become hard.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

JFI - GINGER .... Ginger Chili Pickle

It's JFI time again and our hostess this time is Rosie and the ingredient she has chosen is...... GINGER.
This root finds it's way into the Indian Kitchen in so many ways! Ginger Tea... what a wonderful and natural way to gently ease a sore throat! To say nothing of the wonderful aroma it infuses in the brew, perfect for a rainy day or a chilly winter evening!
My (late) Great Grandmother used to keep ginger candy, known as 'Aaley Paak' in Marathi, with her at all times, and in the afternoon, we, cousins would gather round and sit by her and listen to her stories (old tales from epics) where the Gods fought fiercely against the demons to protect mankind...and she would from time to time slip us each a bit of the candy! Aah! Those were the days!

This ancient root has for centuries been useful in the kitchens and medicine chests across the world! Commonly used to treat symptoms of indigestion, tastelessness, vomiting, sore throat, flatulence etc. Dried ginger powder can be used externally as well for treating headaches, by mixing a small amount of 'soonth' in warm water and applying to the forehead.

Ginger, according to old ayurvedic texts also has aprodisiacal properties and also proves effective in treating menstural problems.

Taking a U turn to cooking again.... I wondered what to make for JFI this time.. I mean Ginger is used in SO MANY things!! I was thinking of my options when my firend S literally spoonfed me an idea! she had made some pickle a couple of weeks ago, which she told me was ridiculously simple to make and yet not at all deficient in taste..... the wheels were set in motion then... what sealed the idea was the spoonful of green chili pickle she gave me to eat (just looking at the pickle bottle was not an option, when I see pickle, I eat it- mark the words 'eat' not 'taste')

Just as she said, it was simple to make and boy! talk about taste! Makes my mouth water even thinking about it! At that moment I latched her in to help me make a Ginger- chili pickle, afterall it was her recipe , my addition was the inclusion of Ginger!

This is how you do it:

1 cup of chopped green chili (spicier the better!)
1/2 cup of ginger pieces
3 tbsp. of Ground mustard (rai) seeds (rough grind)
1 tbsp Asafetida
1/4 spn. fennel (saunf) seeds
Juice on 1 lemon
2 tbsp oil
A squeaky clean and DRY bottle to store the pickle

Make sure there is no water or dampness in the mixing bowl.
Wash, dry and chop the green chilies
Peel the ginger and cut into bite size bits.
Grind the mustard seeds in the mixie
In the mixing bowl, add the ginger and chilies.
Add the mustard seed powder and the fennel seeds.
Add salt and asafetida.
Mix thoroughly.
Now transfer this mixture to the bottle, pour lemon juice in it, close the lid, shake it well.
Open, add the oil. Close the bottle tight. That's it!
Keep this in the hot sun for 3 days.... and then enjoy with ur meal.
This pickle goes well with rice khichdi and kadhi, also with yogurt rice.
Thank you Rosie for hosting this month's JFI !!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Tora Kuma Mogura - Azabu Juban - Japanese Seafood

TorakumamoguraJanuary 2007 B1F Rapo Building2-12-7 Azabu JubanPh open from 6pm - 2.30amSaturdays 6pm - 11pmClosed SundaysThis restaurant has the best Beef Tataki I have ever eaten in my life. In fact, every dish I have eaten here has been fantastic. Also try the eggplant salad and a fish either grilled or in a delicious sweet sauce (pictured above).

Kina - Shibuya - Izakaya

Kina - Shibuya2-2-17 ShibuyaPh (03) 3400-2244Open for dinner 18:00 - 04:00 dailyNo Review Available Yet

Lauburu - Omotesando - French

Lauburu - Omotesando6-8-18 Minami-AoyamaOpen for dinner 18:00-20:00Closed Sundays.Ph (03) 3498-1314No Review Available yet.

Stockholm - Akasaka - Swedish

Stockholm - Akasaka1F Akasaka Tokyu Plaza2-14-3 NagatachoOpen for lunch 11:30am-14:30Open for dinner17:00 - 20:00Ph (03) 3509-1677No Review Available Yet.

Daidaiya - Akasaka - Asian Fusion

Daiaiya - AkasakaBelle Vie 9F3-1-6 AkasakaOpen for lunch 11:30-14:00Open for Dinner 17:00 - 0:00 dailyPh (03) 3588-5087No Review Available Yet.

Asterix - Akasaka - French

Asterix - AkasakaB1F 6-3-16 AkasakaPh (03) 5561-0980Open for lunch 11:30-14:00, Open for Dinner 18:00-20:00 Closed Sundays.No review available yet.

Great Punjab - Akasaka - Indian

Great Punjab - Akasaka2-18-5 AkasakaPh (03) 5570-0433Open for Lunch 11:30 - 14:30Open for Dinner 17:30 - 20:00No review available yet.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

MBP @ Coffee's !

Rooma here's my entry for the MBP... sorry I am a bit late... I had made this dish when I first saw the event on your blog.... but I guess that's just me.... I make dishes, click snaps... then make drafts with the snaps and .... then.... well, they stay that way.......
So any way..... I checked out a few blogs, bookmarked a lot of recipes but finally settled on Pasta, and the recipe was from Priya
The only addition I made was adding onion to the dish (but in a small quantity)
So without further ado, here is my contribution :

  • Penne Pasta - 1/2 pound
  • Ripe Roma Tomatoes - 1 cup, finely chopped ( Or 10 oz crushed tomatoes - canned )
  • Tomato paste - 1 tbsp
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, medium size, finely chopped
  • Red chili flakes - 1/2 to 1 tsp
  • Dried Oregano - 1/2 tsp
  • Fresh Parsley - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta al dente according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep skillet or pot. Add chopped garlic and saute` until fragrant.
Next add red chili flakes, dried oregano and chili flakes, saute` for 5 to 10 seconds and then add onion, crushed/chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, salt to taste and mix well.
Simmer over low-medium heat for about 5 to 8 minutes or until the tomato sauce has reduced a little bit.
Add cooked pasta, chopped parsley and toss until mixed well.
Serve hot with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Lesson Learnt : I did not have Roma Tomatoes, so I substituted with the normal onesand therefore used less than the prescribed amount .... Will use more tomatoes next time..... and get Roma ones.

VERDICT: This pasta tastes wonderful! The chili flakes give it a zing and Indians who like pasta (with a 'bit' of extra spice) will love it! A wonderful one dish meal... and you may be sure that this will make it's appearance frequently at the dinner table!!!!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Amici - "new" Italian restaurant

Nikki and I noticed all of a sudden that there was a new small restaurant by the name of Amici in Stavanger. It is located in Bakkegaten 7 just around the corner from the cinema in town. It is a pretty small place and I think there were only 6-7 tables when we were there with maybe seats for 25 people.

We checked out this place in January 2007 and we were placed in the lower level of the restaurant. It was freezing in the room so I kept my fleece on during the meal. The menu was very limited and there was only about 10 different things to choose from and they were all in the price category 90-100 Kroner (about 15-16$). We wanted to order a tray of mixed antipasto but that was sold out so instead we ordered chicken breast and a baked potato dish.

The amount of food we got seemed to be related to the price because the portions were small. Both the chicken and potato dish was served on ruccola (rocket) but we didn't feel that the description of the menu was in style with what was in front of us on the table. The chicken was supposed to be filled with smoked mozzarella and wrapped in ham. Yes, there were some cheese inside and a couple of bacon strips on top but it didn't look very elegant. The potato dish was not very exciting either and it was served a bit lukewarm.

Conclusion: If you just want a small snack this might be an option for you. But don't expect too much from the food....our conclusion was that we cane make better and more tasty food at home. As a plus they do have 6-7 different red wines that you can get served by the glass.

Gard - trip reports and pictures

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Life is rum, that way......

No, this post has nothing remotely close to Rum in it... sorry about that! I was merely referring to the expression one uses.... Life is rum.... you know the kind of expression Bertie Wooster uses when he is puzzled about certain circumstances.... he plunks a few bars on his piano and says, to Jeeves, " you know Jeeves, Life is rum.." to which the inimitable Jeeves only says, "Indeed Sir"
Now what has all this to do with the post, you say? Well, that's just what I found myself saying this afternoon... of course, there was no Jeeves, just M and I, whiling away our time...
So after the usual 'tucking in the corners', 'setting things straight', I pottered into the kitchen, much like Lord Emsworth (Of Blandings Castle) absentmindedly pottered around his home...
with nothing much on my mind. After a peaceful moment (I knew it was too good to last!) I (fretfully) mentioned to M - that I was COMPLETELY out of stock in the kitchen.
M, slowly, raised his eyebrows ( I should have sensed it then.... ) and said(not asked) "Nothing?!" "NO" I said.. someone once told me I had a stupid habit of putting both my feet in my mouth on occasions .... this is was one of those moments... So M got up and strode in to the kitchen, unlike my pottering in .. and started poking around and soon had things removed from all drawers by the bushel...... leaving me, well, digging my toes in the carpet and looking sheepish....
I had no idea, I had ALL those things in ALL those corners!! And in Ziploc bags! Well, well... what can I say? Genius is sometimes absent-minded!! Oh, I could see M's lips curl up, but he said not a word, just stuck up those lists on the fridge where I can see them all the time! (The yellow post-it is for items to be consumed on priority, and till such time, not a peep into any grocery store....) As for me ... I went on to making do with the ziploc bag and it's contents... instead of going off and buying all colourful vegetables... fruit.... some other grocery stuff... oh well, as I said earlier, Life is rum!
Now, this is a slightly coarser variety of farina I have used. The colour is a warm nutty brown and lends a nice flavour to the upma. Of course, I needed a little more water than the usual to cook this.....

1 cup Farina (rava/ sooji.. in this case, coarse cracked wheat farina)
1 med. size onion
2 green chilies chopped
1/2 tsp. each Urad daal & Chana daal
1/4 spn. Cumin seeds
A few curry leaves
~2 spn.oil
2 1/4 cup water (1/4 cup more, if u like your upma a bit moist)
Salt to taste
1 1/2 spn sugar
Juice of 2 lemons *(small size)
1/2 spn. ghee (optional)
Cilantro to garnish

Heat 1 spn. oil in a kadhai, add the farina to it and roast it for a while till it changes colour (be careful now, the colour of this type of farina is already brown, so don't go ahead and make it dark!).
Remove when done and set aside.
In the same kadhai, heat 1 spn. oil, add the urad and chana daal, when it turns a nice golden brown, add the cumin seeds, chopped chilies, curry leaves and onion.
Cook till the onion is tender.
Add the water, lemon juice, salt and sugarand bring to a boil.
Add the roasted farina.
Cover and cook till the water is absorbed and the farina is cooked and soft.
Add a dab of ghee, mix and simmer and cook another 2-3 mins.
Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

* You can substitute buttermilk for the lemon juice, whisk half a cup of plain yogurt (slightly sour) with water.