Purple Cinnamon’s BBQ night






Barbeque night has been on our to-do list for a while now, but we never got around doing anything about it until last weekend. Our shopping list was pretty easy to memorize.
Meat
Vegetables
Fruits
How cool are we? Very.

What we wanted to do was pretty basic and simple. Marinated chicken for the BBQ, grilled/sautéed sausages, pineapple and water melon salad, vegetable skewers, alcohol and friends of course. We started with the marinade for the chicken which just happened on the spur of the moment. Ginger paste, garlic paste, chilli powder (for heat), paprika (for color), vinegar, salt and sugar. Basically whatever was within an arm’s reach. Coat every piece of chicken with the marinade generously and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours.

For the salad, we just tore up some lettuce, tossed in cubes of watermelon and pineapple along with the dressing which was just some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey. A few good additions would be feta cheese, plum tomatoes and olives.
It was time to bring out the grill to the balcony. The men got to work and made fire, so to speak. It took a while but it was a splendid success. Thank you boys and Upasana.

Before we forget, the do-it-yourself (we have only one set of hands!) welcome drink ‘Mojito’ was also a hit. All we did was point out where we’d arranged the necessary ingredients and off they went. Mint leaves, lemon slices, 7 up/sprite, ice cubes and fresh cherries (for decorative purposes, but no harm if consumed).

We got the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator and carefully arranged it on the literally smokin’ hot grill. It would’ve taken not more than 5 minutes of grilling on each side. The result: char grilled succulent boneless pieces of chicken oozing out the flavors from the marinade and cooked to tender perfection.
It’s safe to say that the highlight of the night were the Bacon Wrapped Prawns grilled to glorious perfection. We will be ever so grateful to Karthik Shetty for giving us the absolute pleasure of savoring this divine creation of his.
Vegetarians, we care for you too. We had the Veggie Skewer going on with plum tomatoes, pineapple and raw mango. This was delightfully surprising since the meat lovers also leaned in for a nibble or two. Upasana too decided to go for seconds! So yep, bit of a revelation when it comes to bbqed raw mangoes.

To bring things to en end, we cleared the areas of the house wherever they lay suspect of barbequed meat or veggies there. Looking forward to hosting another party now…this time with more meat and drinks 

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our Pub dinner

Oyster Mushroom Mashed Potato

The Meal! with chilled Tuborg

Caramelized sausages

Pub food has always been a favorite with us. From spicy Buffalo wings to potato skins, we love anything that goes down well with a mug of chilled beer. And well, since summer is upon us, nothing better than a chilled pint of lager on a warm night with some pub like food to match. While we’re at it, there was some good music playing in the background while we were cooking up our pub fare. Ideas were plentiful but we narrowed it down to the basics. We didn’t want to slave in the kitchen coming up with something fancy and take too long burning a sweat. So we decided on, Chicken Bockwurst Slices with Caramelized Onions, Pan Roasted Ham, Butter Sautéed Shrimps and Garlic Dill Potato Mash. Not to forget the two pints of Tuborg 😉

Caramelized Bockwurst Slices:
Ingredients (serves 2 very hungry people)-
4 Chicken Bockwurst sliced
4 pods garlic finely chopped
1 large onion sliced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp Worcester sauce
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp fresh/dried mixed herbs
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Method:
Slice up the Bockwurst once defrosted. Heat the butter and olive oil in a non stick saucepan. Sauté the garlic and onions till they change color. Sprinkle the sugar and let the onions caramelize; this should take around 7-10 minutes. Now tip into the slices of the sausages and stir them around. Add the Balsamic Vinegar and the Worcester sauce along with the salt, pepper and herbs. Let the slice take on a nice char coat. Now take it off the heat and serve hot with beer on the side 😉
Butter tossed Shrimps:
Ingredients-
200 gm shrimps
2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Method:
It’s as simple as tossing the shrimps in butter, adding the seasoning and cooking it for 5-8 minutes or till the shrimps are cooked. Serve hot as appetizer or part of a platter.
Dill and Garlic Potato Mash
Ingredients:
2 large potatoes
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp butter
Few twigs of dill
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Method:
Pressure cook the potatoes till cooked and soft enough to mash. Sauté the garlic in the butter and add to the potato mash. Add the dill, salt and pepper and mash it well enough so it’s smooth. Serve warm as a side or on a platter.
Presumably we didn’t take more than a half hour to put together this ‘pub platter’ of ours. We just put it all on one big plate, opened a couple of beers, clinked them and had a lovely evening watching some 30 Rock.
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Assamese Food Festival at Ants









ANTS stands for Action North-East Trust. This is’nt the first time Ants has phenomenally organized a North East special food festival. We have missed the prior ones, but this one, I wouldn’t have missed for anything else! K, P and I reached comfortably before the buffet commenced. I decided drape one of my favorite Kesa Paat Mekhelas. The café was packed with all the tables pre-booked and families queuing for their turns.

Though the menu was already announced on their FB page, I couldn’t wait to stuff my face with Mangshor Jhool and Aaloo Pitika. We were served with a welcome drink of Kordoi juice (starfruit juice). The baked Rohu Fish in Banana leaves was sort of a revelation for me as well. The flavor was surely subtle and hit the spot. But what topped it all was the mutton curry. It was a familiar. It was brilliant. My very favorite easy to cook household dish Bengana Poora (roasted egg plant) and Aaloo Pitika (mashed potato) tasted absolutely as a mother’s recipe. Another household flavor cooked to perfection was the Xaak and Kon Aaloo (spinach leaves and baby potatoes). The fish head curry (Murighonto) and the Masor Tenga (sour fish curry) did appeal to the guests who already aren’t familiar with the taste. Another dish that sold like hot cakes were the Pumpkin and Brinjal Pakoda. We ended the feast with Paayox (rice kheer). Sigh! Thanks Ants…Looking forward to the next feast.

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Zingron


Zingron is located in Koramangala’s 7th block, right opposite Jukebox and the building just before 64. The moment we stepped in, we caught a whiff of pungent bamboo. It was a little unsettling to begin with but it almost grows on you after a while. I am the last person to judge the authenticity of the North-eastern elements in Zingron. But my friend had somewhat of an idea and she seemed happy. We didn’t bother reading much of the menu, instead opted to chat up one of the staff about the food. As luck would have it she turned out to be the owner’s sister. She was gracious enough to help us with our order. So we started with the Smoked Pork and Steamed Chicken Momos. Since it was smoked, the pork was dry and tough, which to our understanding was authentically done in that particular way. The taste however was incredible. Very robust flavors of ginger, garlic and other spices and of course the shredded bamboo was delicious. The momos turned out to be one of the best we’ve had in the city. The shell was soft and easy to chew, keeping the filling juicy and succulent. For the mains we got Chicken Curry cooked in chilli powder and steamed rice. I was a mouthful away from calling the fire station. Extremely hot but still delicious I must say, the chicken curry is not for everyone. For drinks we had an authentic rice beer and gooseberry drink which didn’t go down well with us but if you want to try something authentic and not the usual soft drink please give it a shot, literally. A meal for two should cost Rs 800.

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Margherita at Citrus (Leela Palace)

4pm and hungry, when all restaurant kitchens close. Upasana and I needed our dose of carbohydrates for the evening. We were at the old airport road. Not willing to cave and step into a barista or café coffee day the obvious choice at that moment seemed Citrus. We’ve had some really good meals there before. We thought we couldn’t go wrong. I guess we did. It wasn’t much that we had ordered. Just a pizza margherita and some coffee. I was really disappointed with the pizza. Dry and lifeless, there was no zing to it. But it did have a good punch of basil flavor. The tomato sauce did nothing for me and it definitely fell short of nice gooey stringly cheese. Coffee was also average. Full marks for lunch and dinners but not for quick bites in the evening. For just the coffee and pizza we shelled out Rs 1000.

Pallavi Shastry.

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Chaipatty

Mushroom Cheese sandwich with Cutting Chai

I’m a coffee person so to speak. But I think Chaipatty has converted me. You’d never know there could be a nice tea-lounge or as they like to say ‘teafe’ on a busy 100ft road. An open place to enjoy your chai with a book in hand or just watching the hustle-bustle outside, hanging out at Chaipatty is like hanging out in your living room (minus the TV) with good service.

I’ve been there twice in the past week. If only I lived closer. They serve the best cutting chai! I could have 3 cups in one sitting. They also serve good eats as well. The chicken maggi is pretty good. And no I don’t think you can get the same thing done in your kitchen.

The mushroom cheese sandwich was alright. Nothing to brag about. The kulfi was good. But what makes you a loyal is the feel-good factor. You’re at home when not. Limited seating area with natural lighting feels wonderful. I’m also very happy that they support causes like stray puppy adoption.
I’m definitely going back. Again

Pallavi.

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TOIT


Tiramisu

(not so) Boozy chicken
BBQ chicken wings
Potato skins with bacon
Calamari
Pizza Margherita

God bless Bangalore and its pub culture. AND the good people who started Toit, for keeping the culture alive. Did I mention they also house a micro-brewery? They do. But unfortunately they haven’t gotten their licenses yet, so we have to wait for a bit longer to taste some freshly brewed beer. But we can still talk about the food. It looked pretty cool I must say. Inside out. Lots of wood and lots of space! We were 4 and chose the non-smoking section on the upper floor. Nice round booths with camel toned couches. Pictures of old Bangalore adorning the walls seemed a little familiar (corner house). Our super friendly waiter seemed keen to wait on us. We ordered for cheesy potato skin with bacon, batter fried calamari and chicken wings. Potato skins were good, not out of this world but good. Calamari was very good. Crisp yet keeping the calamari soft inside. But the winner was the chicken wings. No arguments there. Sticky, spicy, sweet and juicy. We were on the cusp of embarrassing ourselves by ordering 3 of them. We did order 3, may be the fourth would’ve been embarrassing. Moving on. We actually couldn’t move on. Or move for that matter. All the starters seemed to fill us up pretty good. That’s precisely why we ordered just 2 main course dishes. One boozy chicken and one pizza margherita. Boozy chicken was good. Creamy but not ‘boozy’ exactly. But I must mention that the chicken was cooked extremely well. The pizza was alright. I’ve had better. But I wouldn’t complain either. Hearty portions of cheese and basil were the saving grace of this margherita. We finished with a tiramisu. Absolutely delightful. It was indeed tiramisu unlike its pitiful versions available elsewhere. So that’s about it. Really fun and delicious pub lunch at a reasonable price. All this for the four of us cost less than Rs 2000. Great place to hang out with friends over some beer and not to forget the chicken wings 😉

Pallavi

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Veeks & Thomas

My dad had picked up the menu couple of weeks ago and stuck it on the refrigerator. When I asked dad, he mentioned that it is a hop skip and a jump away. Browsing through the prices, my jaw dropped to have seen a crostini priced at Rs. 69! Either they are here to stay or each piece is priced at that. After a pleasant walk, we entered Veeks and Thomas. The dining area was neat and they had some brilliant Jazz and Blues playing. Well, our mood was set. They have a good selection of dishes in the appetizers and main course. For soup we tried one of each; the french onion and the tomato basil soup. They are priced at Rs. 30 each. I preferred the french onion to the basil but P and Ed loved the latter. Amongst the appetizers, I we recommend the bruschettas, stuffed tomatoes and crostinis. They taste brilliant as a vegetarian dish too with the sundried tomato toppings. For the main course, I went safe with the Chicken Lasagne while P ordered a Portuguese Chicken and Ed went with a Chicken Stroganoff and leaving us quite impressed and satisfied. They serve your dishes in beetle nut husk plates (bio degradable) and water from a tall jar with mint leaves in it, giving it the perfect tinge for summers. For desserts we tried the caramel custard but were a little disappointed with its grainy texture. But make sure you grab a bite of the brownie. It was a perfect brownie but whatever that gooey little piece was, it perfectly melts in your mouth. In all, yes we do recommend this place for a good lazy lunch with friends where the numbers of appetizers keep increasing with the prolonged hours of chatting. It certainly is not heavy on the pocket for a guilt free leisure meal.

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‘Khapa’ …a chicken preparation from the Garo Hills



This was a learning during my visit to Assam a year ago. It is primarily a dish cooked in the Garo Hills in the North Eastern part of our country. My aunt follows the instructions to the tee to cook this dish. But believe you me, I couldn’t possibly get myself to cook it the same way. You will know why…keep reading on.

Ingredients:

250 gms chicken

200 gms of Green Chilli

2 large pinch of cooking soda with salt to taste

Process:

Grind the entire bunch of green chillies to get a smooth paste, add the chicken and then keep aside for about 20 mins. (Well the deal is that you are supposed use the same quantity of green chilli as that of Chicken! so yea..I couldn’t follow the instructions to the tee). Now in a hot wok, throw in the green chilli paste with the boneless chicken. Do not add any water or oil, hence you got to make sure that you are going to lid the preparation and wait around for the pieces to have been cooked evenly. Now add the large pinch of cooking soda into the wok and let it cook for a min or two.

Yes, you are done…I mean…cooking…serve it with plain boiled white rice 🙂

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Choco Christmas


Holiday season was in the air, and for me thats just incomplete if I havent snuggled up and watch two movies back to back, read a book and enjoyed a gooood chocolate comfort dish. Well, so our very own cool Pallavi comes up with a chocolate pudding which just melted in the mouth. I garnished it the top with a tiny christmas tree planted comfortably in the white cream flower from the oreo cookies.
Thanks Pallavi.

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