Food

Magic of Travel

Magic of Travel.

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Poor Lamb got cooked

After watching Dawat-E-Ishq movie was craving for asli Hyderabadi food. Last night me and my friend Syed Basith made it to Sarvi. Tasted Mutton Biryani add-on Double Masala and Hyderabadi Classic dish Pathar Ka Gosht (Meat Cooked on Stone) followed by Falooda and Spl Lassi. Was a really good time with Basith talked about childhood pranks and sharing travel experiences. It was a pleasure to meet my school friend after a long time.

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Pathar ka ghost

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Falooda and Lassi

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Mutton Biryani

The Food of The Kingdom of Bhutan

Bhutan has many many lovely sceneries… from the stunning views of the Himalayas to the gho or Kira-clad Bhutanese going about their daily business, to the monks and mini-monks, and the quaint architecture of their Dzongs and temples. Food was the least of my concerns while I was there.

Vegetarians would likely not complain. Most dishes are non-meat. There isn’t also a good source of seafood outside of those brought in from India. Landlocked, there isn’t much variety in local ingredients. For the whole week I was there, I ate a lot of potatoes, vegetable dumplings and yak meat. All that accompanied by mountain rice and lots of chilies. So if you like all that carbo plus the spicy chili peppers, you won’t have any reason to complain. I guess.

Chilies are a regular ingredient in many dishes in Bhutan, so it’s not surprising that the national food, ema datshi, involves a heavy dose of chilies.

Ema datshi is a curry made of chili and cheese – ema locally means chili, and datshi means cheese – and is eaten almost daily. It is very easy to prepare; cooking time usually takes just around ten minutes. It also requires simple ingredients, such as tomatoes and onions.

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Momos are those dumplings much like their Chinese counterparts in appearance. The fillings differ though. The Bhutanese version has vegetables and cheese, accompanied by chili dip. Then someone told me that there was Ema Datshi on the table. I’ve read about this spicy “chili con queso” and hoped it’s asking to my favorite dish of chili relleno. Seems like this is the national dish of Bhutan, the way the locals talked about it. I didn’t waste time trying it, and then……felt I actually turned red — perhaps with nostrils flaring, smoke coming out — after just a spoonful. So. Don’t tell me you were not warned! As they say in Bhutan, “If it doesn’t make you sweat, why bother to eat it?”

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On cheese, do remember that Bhutanese love their cheese made from milk from cows, goats or yaks. It is not your typical cheese though. But you’d find them in many dishes. Also, most hotels and dining places serve food buffet style. There would be a variety of choices , for sure. While there, I never hesitated trying the noodle dishes, the leafy green vegetables which looked like they were simply boiled and the potatoes which came in a variety of preparations! Best Bhutanese meal was in a place in Chimi Lakhang in the middle of paddy fields, seated by a window with a perfect view of farmers harvesting their rice. I’m telling you, the scenery certainly ranks higher in importance, regardless of what’s on your plate.
Dishes which I tried in my trip
Yak Burger
yak burger and fries -- not bad!
Tibetan Momos : Chicken Momos
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Spinach Momos
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Yak  Fried Stuffed Momos
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Fried Momos
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Veggie momo
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Tibetan Samosa
Yak Burger
Tibetan Bread – Pun
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Naan with Mutton curry
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Szechuan Mala Rice Noodles served with roasted peanuts
Szechuan Mala Rice Noodles
Cheesy pun for breakfast
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Tibetan thali with chicken
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Tibetan pun with spicy potato
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Thukpa
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Yak Chese Sandwhich
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carrot cake, with vanilla-caramel ribbon ice-cream, topped with a heavenly sliver of honey comb. Sin never tasted this good!
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Samosa Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Samosa

India’s popular snack that finds a place in almost every bakery or chaat shop – our very own Samosa. Savory comfort food at its best, a crisp exterior filled with a savory potato stuffing that goes very well over a hot cup of chai especially on a rain filled, cold day. Samosa is always store bought and on rare occasions prepared at home, like today.

Ingredients:

1 cup maida (all-purpose flour)

2 tbsp oil

large pinch ajwain (optional)

enough water to knead the maida

salt to taste

oil for deep frying

For the filling:

2 boiled potatoes, crumble

1/4 cup boiled peas

1/4 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp red chilli pwd

1/2 tsp coriander pwd

pinch cumin pwd

pinch kasuri methi

dash of lemon juice

pinch of garam masala

chopped coriander leaves

salt to taste

Mix the maida with salt, oil, ghee and ajwain, combine to form a crumbly mixture. Now slowly add enough water to make a pliable dough, not too soft. Divide the dough and shape into balls. Keep aside covered with moist cloth for 15-20 mts.

Meanwhile, heat a vessel, add oil, add cumin seeds and allow to brown. Add the ginger, spice powders and a tbsp of water and saute for a few secs. Add the crumbled potato and boiled peas and cook over medium flame for a few minutes, approx 3-4 mts. Add kasuri methi and lemon juice, combine. Add the coriander leaves and turn off heat.
Now that the stuffing is ready, prepare the outer layer for the samosas.

Roll each ball with the rolling pin into a slightly thin puri, slightly elongated in shape as shown in the image. Take a knife and divide the rolled puri into two by cutting through the center.

Now take a semi-circle piece of the roti, and make a fold in the shape of a triangle as shown in the image. Seal along the fold. Now place this cone between your thumb and index finger and place a ball of the stuffing inside. Wet your finger and run it along the edges of the dough with water and seal to enclose the stuffing.
Press the ends firmly so that the filling does not come out during the deep frying process. Prepare with the rest of the dough in the same manner.

Heat enough oil in a wide vessel to deep fry the samosas. Heat the oil till hot but not piping hot. Reduce flame to low medium and drop 2-3 samosas into the oil slowly and deep fry them till golden brown, turning them carefully to the other side so that it cooks on all sides. Deep fry on low to medium heat and not piping hot oil.

 Note

Its better to make samosas in batches. Roll out, stuff and deep fry 3-4 samosas at a time (batch-wise). While preparing the next batch of samosas, reduce the stove flame and carry out the process. When deep frying the next batch, see that the oil is hot enough to deep fry. Keep the prepared samosas covered through out the preparation process.

Making of ALOO TIKKI

ALOO TIKKI

Aloo tikki

INGREDIENTS

3 large potatoes, peeled, boiled and mashed
¾ cup frozen peas (uncooked)
½ large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tbs. grated ginger
1 handful fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, chopped
2 tbs. bread crumbs (I used panko)
4 tbs. flour
INSTRUCTIONS

Once the potatoes have been boiled and mashed, add in all the other ingredients.
Form into patties (you should be able to get 8 large patties or 10 smaller ones).
Heat a little oil over medium-high heat and fry a few minutes on each side until golden brown. Drain and cool on paper towels.
Serve with any kind of sauce you like (I served it with a cottage/ricotta cheese mixture, but I imagine this would be delicious with some kind of chutney)!

No Ramen, No Life, Say Itadakimas

I’ve been doing thorough research on great ramen shops prior to landing in Tokyo. Menya Musashi was on my list and I came here right after I checked into my Shinjuku hotel. WOW!! That’s all I kept saying throughout my meal. I slurping my ramen and eating ravenously, while uttering the same word over and over again – “WOW!!”The noodles were thick and perfectly cooked, the broth was amazing, and after trying out about 10 or so ramen places in Japan.

 Menya Musashi's ramen

Black Ramen

True to its name, the soup is a deep dark color and has all of the flavors you would expect from a Japanese-style curry, without the gravy-like thickness.The ramen includes a slice of succulent pork, spinach stalks (at least they tasted like it), and some cabbage and corn drizzled with basalmic vinegar.  The basalmic vinegar might sound a little odd, but I thought it tasted good with the vegetables and chicken, and went well with the flavor of the curry soup. It seems that no bowl of ramen in Japan would be complete with a poached egg, which beautifully contrasts with the dark colors in this bowl ramen.

Special Ramen

One of the first things that stand out about the special ramen is the soup — unlike the usual white tonkotsu (pork bone) stock, this version is a brownish combination of miso and tonkotsu that was very delicious. It also includes seasoned ground pork and fresh cabbage topped with a red spicy sauce, to go along with two pieces of roast pork and black garlic oil.Furthermore, Ippudo uses a thicker, softer, and curlier egg noodle than the white, thin and straight kind that normally goes into their and other Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen. I liked how well the thicker ramen noodle soaked up the soup. However, when you ask for kaedama (extra noodles), they give you the normal thin noodle with pad of butter on top. A little odd, but I still enjoyed trying both kinds with the soup (the thicker ones go better, though)

By the way, if you happen to be interested in tsukemen (dipping noodles) and are unsure about how to eat it, Ippudo has posted an easy illustrated guide.

Steps to follow

Steps to follow

Day 2 Staying up all night just for SUSHIDAI (Tsukiji Market)

I visited Sushidai that have the longest line in front of the shop in Tsukiji Market.
When I got to the market, it was still 4 a.m.

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But some people was already there. To my great happiness, we could enter the shop just after the opening time 🙂

Almost all people ordered a chef’s choice set (3900 yen) or a assorted nigiri set (2500 yen)
But we ordered some nigiri what I like 😀

Young tuna and filefish with its liver 

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Truthfully speaking, I intended to order my those sashimi as nigiri
But the young tuna was so fatty and tasty. I wanted to have second helping of it 😛

Boiled squid 

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I had  two pieces of it 🙂 It had rich taste of those eggs. It was seasoned with spice. Very good.

Yellow tail

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Tamagoyaki

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Grilled soft roe

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It melted quickly in my mouth …. Smooth….

Monkfish liver

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Ark shell

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icefish

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Home-Style Chicken Masala (Indian-Spiced Chicken Stew)

It’s no secret that I love Indian food.  Love may even be an understatement.  Truthfully, I am obsessed with the cuisine!

This is a very simple recipe, really.  It doesn’t take long to throw together, and is quite forgiving.  You can toss in any stray veggies laying around in your refrigerator, and substitute the chicken with any protein you desire (mushrooms are an excellent vegetarian option!).

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Ingredients:

  • 6-8 chicken thighs (I used boneless/skinless)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 large red onion- diced
  • 1 tbsp. garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. ginger paste
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 3 tsp. ground garam masala
  • 2 tsp. ground corriander
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground chili powder (more or less, depending on how spicy it is.  Mine is quite spicy.)
  • 2 large roma tomatoes- diced
  • 2 tsp. plain yogurt- whisked
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp. salt–or to taste
  • about 2 c. vegetables- whatever you have on hand
  • chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water- as needed to thin the curry
Directions:
  • Using one large pot with a tight fitting lid, heat oil over medium-high heat and add 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds. Once they begin to pop, add the diced onions and fry until the pieces become translucent.
  • Add the ginger and garlic pastes.  Keep stirring.
  • Add all the quantities of ground spices, and the bay leaf.  Keep frying.  The mixture should be quite dry and begin to stick to the bottom of the pan.  About three minutes.
  • Add the chicken to the pan and cook on high-heat for about 5 minutes, until the chicken has fully browned.  Add any vegetables you are using at this point.
  • Turn the heat back to medium-high and add the tomatoes to the pot.  Add about 1 cup of chicken stock (or water) and simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down.  Add the whisked yogurt.  Stir it all together and then bring the mixture to a fierce boil.
  • Put the lid on the pot, turn the heat to medium and simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours–checking and stirring every 30 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the salt-level.  Add additional chicken stock if the curry has become to thick.
  • Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve with rice.