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justagirlfrommumbai justagirlfrommumbai

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Justagirlfrommumbai  Girl from Mumbai.Living in Sydney Restaurant & Menu consultant. Passionate foodie, Book lover, History buff, Urdu aficionado. DM for collaborations


If taking the vegetarian route towards a Punjabi heart, there are 4 ways to get there: - Rajma (Red Kidney Beans)
Chole (Chickpeas)
Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
Aloo Gobhii (Potatoes & Cauliflower)

Give us any of these or a combination of them with a generous portion of Raita (Curd) thrown in for good measure, and we are a happy lot. I mean what more does one need right?

Since this Punjabi is trying to gently ease into being a health-conscious one, she couldn’t make Rajma or Chole for dinner tonight because they cause bloating. She had to even pretend that Paneer doesn’t exist (sheds tears at this stage) because it can make a girl chubby.

And then when she is also trying to cut down on Carbs, she has to act that Potatoes are not a real thing (cries some more). So, what is left? Just plain old Gobhii (Cauliflower). At this stage, the Punjabi in the girl starts to question her Punjabiness which let me reassure you is not a good thing.

So she did what any self-respecting Punjabi would do. She made a kickass ‘Gobhii Chaat (Tangy Cauliflower) which she had with a generous helping of Yoghurt, dreaming about all the things she couldn’t have. Sigh !!!!!! because what is life without a little caution and a lot of dreams right?

Recipes to dream about on the blog tonight.

Don't wreck a sublime chocolate experience by feeling guilty - Lora Brody.
Chocolate is not just a treat, it is an experience in itself. I love it when we can play with chocolate to make it do our bidding. Funnily the thing is that it is always happy to yield like putty in eager hands to become something extraordinary from just a mass of dark mess that it is. While I enjoy cooking with Chocolate, I am not too fond of eating it. Yup, there I said it. If there was no Chocolate in this world I will still survive.
The reason being that a few years ago I owned a home based chocolate making business. This meant that I was surrounded by a lot of chocolate and I mean a lot. Since every piece of Chocolate was handmade it took a lot of effort and time. From chopping, to mixing, moulding and packing every single piece by hand was a one woman operation. Finally I almost started to hate the smell of Chocolate and just couldn’t eat them anymore.

However once in a blue moon I will Indulge myself and let chocolate do what it is meant to do - make me happy. And these Raspberry Chocolate Brownies by @freshandlight do just that. Gooey, sweet and full of sin, when paired with a strong cup of black coffee they become a perfect treat to be had at any time of the day.

Don’t you think so ?

Recipes for Chocolate lovers on the blog tonight.

Many years ago, on a sweltering Summers day, I found myself in Chennai for work. In the office canteen, I was surprised to see that everyone including the CEO eating lunch with their fingers. Seeing my astonishment, someone uttered “Madam, this is Chennai if we don’t eat with our fingers we don’t feel we have eaten.” I immediately joined in and ended up eating a soul-satisfying meal in the campus of one of the biggest Engineering firms in the world. The meal not just rejuvenated me but also brought back the confidence that had started to shake a few hours ago in the searing heat. This memory of Chennai had stayed with me for long. So, when I stumbled upon “Tamarind City: Where Modern India Began” the book on the this city written by Bishwanath Ghosh, a Bengali I wanted to read it and find out more. The book is an engrossing narrative of the authors stay in Chennai and his quest to discover Madras as it was previously known. It is a city of many contrasts, each as fascinating as the other. I loved the chapter on Fort George which was the first bastion of the British empire. Distinguished characters like William Bentinck, Arthur Wellesley, and Warren Hastings all started their journey right in Madras. The infamous Robert Clive (who defeated Siraj -ud-daulah in the battle of Plassey) began his career as a clerk and almost committed suicide in one of its rooms. Imagine if he had died, how would that have shaped the destiny of India and Great Britain? Did you also know that Elihu Yale (after whom the American Yale University is named) was the governor of the fort between 1687-92? From historical facts, Ghosh takes us down to the rich cultural tradition of Chennai, that is still guarded and protected by many. Renowned for its love of Temples & Carnatic music, crazy obsessive Tamil cinema fans who worship their stars like gods and the rivalries between the Iyers and Iyengars, Vadagalais and the Thengalais, Chennai has a lot to offer to those who are ready to plunge into its many depths. The book was an eye opener for an ill-informed North Indian like me who associates Chennai only with Idli Sambhar and the smell of jasmine flowers.

The “I am too tired and cannot be bothered to cook” dinner.
Left over rice sautéed with Onion, Mushrooms and Kale and then spiced up with Chilli and Soy sauce.
Simple and quick, without any fuss. Time for weekend to finally begin.
Recipes for the weekend to start on the blog.

The week is getting over, well almost right.
So I made sure that dinner was just nice
Fuss free
And desi
Very very desi
There was a mixed Dal, Aloo Bhindi and Raita with brown rice for me and white rice for him. And some chilled aamras (Mango pulp) to sweeten the deal.
Now just eating for Friday to begin so we can unwind.

Small baby potatoes boiled gently till almost done.

Deep fried till slightly coated in a crispy golden hue, ready to fall apart at the gentlest of touch.
And then if that is not enough, gently simmered in a delicately luscious gravy made with Tomatoes & Yogurt after being laced with the subtle undertones of Star anise.

These Bengali style Dum Aloo are a deliciously sinful mess that you must indulge in. Eaten with garama garam Lucchi’s (hot fried flatbreads) that perfectly scoop up the deliciousness of the potatoes who are more than happy to give themselves up in the warm embrace of the gravy is a feeling that is very hard to describe.
Ufffffffffff kya karen control hi nahin hota (what can we do, we have no control). PS: It was also raining, so it was not my fault that I made this and will have to pay for my food sins tomorrow 🙈🙈🙈 Recipes to make you lose control on the blog tonight. ____________________________________
#instagood #instalike #instadaily #igers # #picoftheday #photooftheday #happymeals #simplefood #gharkakhana #meatless #if #healthyfood #love_food #vegetarian #instavegetarian #chefstable #chefstalk #youarewhatyoueat #lifeandthyme #tastingtable #hereismyfood #instagood #feedgoals #dinner #sydneyfood #vegetarian #vegan #plantbased #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #vegan #vegetarianrecipes #vegetablegarden

Remember that time when I made this seriously pretty “Raspberry Panacotta” that looked like a beautiful painting? ? ?

Yup, even I don’t remember it 🙄🙄🙄🙄 because it was so long ago.

Sigh !!!!!! Thankfully there is a recipe on the blog to show that I can also make fancy things once in a blue moon. —————————————————————————— @nourish_au @ndtvfood @lifestylefood #instaeat #eat #dessert #desserttable #desserttime #dessertlover #sweetsoftheday #sweetsofinstagram #panacotta #igdessert #homemade #homecook #cookingathome #ilovecooking

There is just so much that the rain brings.

Happiness, hope and the distinct possibility of new beginnings somewhere out there on the horizon.

But somehow in my mind, the only feeling that it ignites is one of eternal longing, for god knows what.

Every time I watch the sky change hues and the clouds roll in carrying a load of rain on their backs, my heart just starts to sing.

As I sat at my desk at work today watching the rains drench the trees, the cars and some other victims who were just caught off-guard. I found myself daydreaming about life, about home, about love, about loss and as always about food.

I gave myself a mental dressing down for misusing my time in meaningless pursuits and got back to the task at hand, watching the rains from the corner of my eye playing their slow wild dance.

By the time I was ready to leave for home, I had built myself an appetite. I knew I wanted something hot, deep fried and soul soothing. So this happened for dinner.

Using the one small Eggplant that I had in my fridge, I made “Baigan Bhaja,” a Bengali style preparation of Eggplants coated in spices and then fried. I quickly pressure cooked yellow Moong dal with tomatoes and later just tempered it with a generous helping of ghee and chilies. There was Beetroot raita because a life without yogurt is not a life that I want to live, Tomato chutney and let us all just pretend that the Brown rice on my plate just didn’t exist.

Between the gooey fleshy Eggplant and the silkiness of the Dal, the nonexistent brown rice somehow became bearable and so did life….and I let the longing subside for just another day when it rains again.

Recipes to make you yearn for on the blog.

#pretty#bestoftheday #instagood #instalike #instadaily #repost #igers # #picoftheday #photooftheday #happymeals #simplefood #gharkakhana #meatless #healthyfood #love_food #vegetarian #instavegetarian #chefstable #chefstalk #youarewhatyoueat #lifeandthyme #tastingtable #hereismyfood #instagood #feedgoals #dinner #sydneyfood #vegetarianfood #plantbased #glutenfree #indian

My relationship with words - Part 9

Some days I am lost for words
I look inside my heart 
I search for them in my soul 
But there are no traces of them 
For me to behold
I wonder if they are lost
I wonder if they even want to be found 
I wonder if they are stuck
In the twisted alleys and dark pathways of my mind
Some days I find words
Hiding in vain
Not making sense
But still driving me insane
Some days I grab words
I hold on to them tight
And I use all my might
But they still manage to give me a fright
Some days I bask in words
I let them lie
I let them sink
I let them disappear in the wretched old memories of my skin
Some days I kill myself with words
I let them cut
I let them bruise
I let them dig inside my wounds
But then these are words hidden inside my soul
Does it even matter if they ever told?

Remember how I said a few days ago that we were trying very hard to only eat vegetarian food? Well, guess what it isn’t working that well.
Especially when you are invited to a place whose chef is supposed to serve one of the best burgers in Sydney.

Meat lovers in Sydney would happily vouch for the fantastic burgers made by Chef Charles Curnow at @chefskitchen_ . Chef Curnow not only minces the meat in-house but all makes all the sauces for the burgers himself and his passion for ensuring that the food that comes out of his kitchen is excellent, shows in every single bite.

We ordered the following:
Loaded Pulled Pork Fries – Deep fried thick cut chips which were hot and crispy, loaded with delicious soft pulled pork, Cheese sauce, Bacon & BBQ sauce.
Smoked southern fried chicken wings with ranch dressing, the chicken was delightfully crispy and crunchy.

The considerable portion size of the starters meant we were almost full, but then the greed to eat a juicy burger always takes over the fact that you have a tiny appetite and we ordered 2 burgers:

Bandit which was house made Wagyu pattie beef chilli, high melt cheese, smoked onion dip-and chipotle bbq sauce made by the chef himself with pickles and onion rings.
Meaty Menage- The most ordered burger, which was Wagyu pattie, 14-hour brisket, a rasher of Bacon, American Cheddar cheese, and house-made special sauce.

The meat juicy and tender, melting in our mouths with the gentlest of bites and the buns as soft as a baby’s bottom, made me feel a tad bit guilty for the overindulgence but then we were the only one judging ourselves at the table so we ate till we couldn’t move from the table.

This is not a fancy place, the pub in which the kitchen was located had an almost run down feel. But the food so honest and delicious made up for everything else.
As we licked our fingers clean, groaning in agony with a bursting tummy, we vowed never to eat so much again but secretly knew we would go back for one more bite.

You know what, most Punjabis can never have enough Paneer (cottage cheese). We almost always have a batch in our fridge just waiting to be cooked in one way or the other.
I am no different, I love it too and considering how expensive it is to buy Paneer in Australia, I have resorted to make my own. Before you ask me for the recipe for making it, let me reassure you I am a novice who is still learning how to make decent quality home made Paneer. But for whatever it is worth I still make it once or twice a month and then store it for making curries, bhurjee or just to marinade it in Tandoori spices and use as a stuffing in whole-wheat wraps to carry for breakfast.

Today I made the very rustic home style Mutter Paneer (Peas with cottage cheese) with my misshapen cubes of Paneer. The left over Paneer was fried for breakfast and just like that I had dinner and breakfast both sorted in one go.

Check my Insta stories for a step by step recipe.
Now where is that bottle of wine 🙄🙄🙄 __________________________________________

#rusticmeals #homecookedmeal #mealsathome #goodfood #goodfoodsydney #sydney #sydneyfoodblogger #sydneylocal #sydneyfood #sydneylife #vegetarianfood #diary #cheese #cheeseofindia #cheeseofinstagram #instagram #instastyle #instatag #cookingforlove #fortheloveoffood #foodlover #love #passion #passionforfood

When words are not needed . . .

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