Saturday, December 22, 2018

Ahmedabad Food Bloggers Meet @Baraco Sizzler , 16th Dec, 2018

It all started by a message on Instagram  of "dil-vich_foodie". Few messages were exchanged on Insta and then we shifted to whatsapp. The foodie at heart ( dil-vich-foodie) turns out to be Priti Gupta and the conversation was about the blogger's meet she is organising. Since I am free on Sunday, I confirm my presence for the lunch meet at 2PM. The venue was The Cafe Baraco Sizzler, in Memnagar, opposite Memnagar Fire station.

An Uber cab took me to the venue in 35 minutes and I reached there by 2.25pm. The late arrival was never intended but there was some issue with the availability of cabs.It took me almost 30 minutes to get a confirmed booking instead of usual 15 minutes. I principally avoid reaching late and prefer to adhere the scheduled timings.

I have never been to any bloggers' meet earlier and this is my first meet. My son has actually motivated me to attend as he says, these are good fun and good for networking (I never understood this digital marketing term). I have accepted the invite for two reasons. One, I found a connect with Priya immediately through messages and second I love meeting people.

As I reached the venue, I was received very warmly by Bharatiben from the Cafe Baraco . Bharatiben is very unassuming and warm person. After an initial introductory round, little gupshup, the food started pouring in. It continued for almost 2 hours.

It started with soups. Two soups -"Thai leek cilantro" and "Mexican de beans cilantro" were served in buns. Thai leek cilantro soup was milder, less spicy while Maxican de beans cilantro was spicy, true to its origin.
Thai leek cilantro Soup

Soups were followed by starters. Crispy veg in chilli coriander sauce, Sunehra Mushroom, Cheese chilly kababs and peri-peri- focaccia sandwiches.
Crispy veg in chilli coriander sauce
The crispy veg in chilli coriander sauce has distinct and refreshing taste of every ingredient in the name  and  has crispiness in every bite.

Cheese chilly kababs 
The kababs have soft cheesy centre and tastiest when eaten hot.

Sunehra Mushroom
Sunhera mushroom is an unusual starter. I am not a mushroom fan, but have fallen in love with mushroom in this new avatar.

Peri-peri- focaccia sandwiches
This peri-peri focaccia is the best seller item of the outlet. The moment,you have a bite and you know, why it's a winner.

Main Course:

Main course was a  mix of sizzlers and great Indian food.
Mexican executive veg sizzler in bbq sauce

Baraco Special Sizzler
Each one of steaming hot sizzlers were a complete meal in itself. With lots of stir-fry vegetables, tikkies,rice, salad and sauces their taste lingers on. 

Indian spread consists of  vegetable lahori, paneer amritsari, missi roti, tandoori roti, tava roti and tandoori prantha. I never expected to have authentic north Indian food, popularly known as punjabi food at Cafe Baraco. 
The Indian food spread
I wish, the desserts were calorie free, so that one can have them without guilt.
Red Velvet pastry

Choco lava cupcakes

Choco apple tart
The plating were equally exquisite as the desserts. Good to look at and great to eat. Apple tart is my weakness and they were just so good. The cinnamon- apple flavour was so heavenly. 

Mocktails and Shakes:
The mocktails have very interesting names: Virgin Colada, The Passion Tornado, French Kiss, Orange Lime Relaxer and Safe Sex on the Beach. :)  

The shakes served were strawberry shake, blueberry shake, brownie shake and kitkat shake. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Gud - Khoya ki barfi

I have a sweet tooth and a weight, which is still carried comfortably  in my stilettos. :)
I am a weight watcher but not calorie watcher. Not a fan of hour-glass figure, I appreciate confidence and health more than anything else.

So, having a dessert after  meal is my favourite finishing touch. :)

I like the jaggery sweets like sukhadi more than sugar sweets. This time I tried khoya barfi with jaggery.

I made  desi ghee from the milk cream at home.(Check my earlier post on making desi ghee in microwave.)
The remnants left after making ghee from milk cream is nothing but pure Khoya or mawa. I didn't want to throw it. I avoid wastage and sincerely make efforts not to do it.

Khoya is used to make many sweets. But I want to make a sweet with jaggery this time. 

Wheat flour equal to Khoya is roasted on slow heat, till its aroma filled the household.

Add Khoya and mix well on slow heat. Keep stirring constantly.

 After continuous stirring  flour and Khoya mixes well. 

Add jaggery powder or crushed into small pieces. Mix well on slow flame with continuous stirring and mixing. 

After a while, the mixture will start leaving the corners of kadhai.

If you want to eat it as halwa or sheera, just serve it in a dish, garnish with dryfruits and enjoy.

If you want to serve it as barfi, oil a thali and set the entire mixture in thali. The top may be levelled with a katori and elaichi and cinnamon powder may be spread. 
Let it set for an hour or two, inside or outside refrigerator. If kept outside, it may take more time to set.
You may sprinkle coconut powder also on top. I like coconut - jaggery flavour together, so I always add coconut powder instead of other dry fruits.
Once, it's set, cut in your favourite shape and enjoy.

If you love laddu, cool the mixture a little. Oil your palms. Pick a small amount of mixture and roll in round or cylindrical shape. Roll in coconut powder. Serve.

The best part of cooking is that there are no fixed rules which cannot be broken and this allows experimentation.

Enjoy this sweet guilt free. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Khubani ka Meetha ( Apricot Sweet)

This is rakhi time. Though with the availability of vast spectrum of sweets available off the counter, there is no comparison of the home made sweets served with love. I am sharing a very easy and very tasty indian ( not so common) sweet, which you can prepare a day or two before.

Apricot / khubani ka meetha  is a new sweet to me, which I had tasted for the first time at my sister's place on my last visit to Roorkee, this July, '18. A very easy to make recipe and "oh so tasty" sweet is the perfect case of sharing on the blog. I am avoiding the adjective "amazing" as this word is used so often, it has lost its uniqueness. This sweet is really unique.

Khumani ka meetha is a famous sweet dish of Hyderabad. It's made in a combination of apricot and custard in Hyderabad. I have used  rabadi instead of custard and it tastes awesome.

1. Dry Apricot - 500 gm
2. Full cream milk - 2 litre
3. Milk powder - 250 gm
4. Sugar - 2 table spoon

1. Soak the apricot in water for 2 hours. Water level should be at-least 1 inch above the apricots.

2. Take out seeds from the soft apricots. Keep them aside.

3. Grind the soaked apricot with water to a smooth paste.

4. Take a wok, and add the apricot paste. Heat it on sim and let it thicken to the dripping consistency.

5. In another wok/ kadhai simmer the milk on low heat.

6. Once milk starts thickening, add the milk powder and keep stirring till it attains the thickness of milkmaid and pink colour. Our milk rabadi is ready.

7. Add sugar to taste.

8. In a bowl, add the milk rabadi. refrigerate it for 2-3 hours, till it hardens.

9. Now add the khubaani paste over this milk layer and refrigerate again.

10.Serve cool and enjoy the taste of apricot and milk. garnish with dryfruits.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Appam Patra - The Magic Pot

Prestige  Appam patra 

Last week, while scanning the news on Google news, I saw a news item from NDTV about weight loss in my personalized news items . I checked my weight and found that I have gained 4 kg in the last one and a half month while vacationing with my sister. Now, how does Google know of my weight when I am not using any of the smart watches or bands. 😁 I felt jittery :)

Though not a calorie conscious person but an exercise lover, this intervention from Google has changed me. Suddenly I have started googling for  low calorie foods. I come across some some fried recipes made without oil in appam patra. Wow, so now no one can stop me from getting back to my lighter version.

I ordered Prestige appam patra with 7 holes from apni dukan - Amazon. I tried three recipes and found all of them tasty minus the extra calories.

Rawa Fritters

1. Add one measure of roasted rawa / sooji.
2. Add half a measure of sour curd.
3. Add finally diced onion, tomato, boiled beans, green coriander and green chilies.
4. Add a pinch of baking soda.
5.Mix well till batter is lumps free.

6. Brush all cavities of appam patra with oil / desi ghee. Heat it mildly.

7. Put a spoon full of batter in each cavity of appam patra, taking care that it does not overflow and remains a little below the level.

8. Cover and cook. Check in between.

9 Reverse when cooked. Cook on both sides.

10. serve hot with tomato sauce or green chutani or any other spicy chutani or as part of your main meal.


1. Soak and grind dhuli urad dal as you will do for regular vadas with saunf , ginger and garlic , green chillies or any other spice which you want to. You may add or delete any of these addendum as per your choice and special touch.
I like with saunf ( fennel) and ginger. The batter should be little thicker as compared to the one we use for frying.

2. Pour a spoon full of batter in the appam patra cavity and cook as explained earlier.

3. Take out when both sides are cooked .

4. Serve hot with sambhar as sambhar - vada.
5. Dip in cold salty water for 5 minutes. Place in a plate after squeezing lightly. Add slightly sweet and salty beaten curd enough to cover the vadas. Add red chillies, bhuna jeera, green coriander. Lo, the magical oil free with same wonderful taste Vadas are ready to eat.
6. I could not click pics as both my sons finish them so fast.  :)

Aloo Bonda

1. Make a thick , lump free batter of besan / chickpea flour with all the dry spices - salt, red chill, ginger-garlic paste, garam masala etc.

2. Mash boild potatoes and add salt to it. Also add finally chopped green coriander. No lumps may be left.

3. Make small balls from mashed potatoes and keep aside.

4. Dip potato balls in besan batter and put it in oiled cavities of appam patra.

5. Reverse and cook both sides well.

6. Take out and serve hot with green chutney, tomato sauce or khajur- tamarind chutney. I have used Fabsta chutnies, which I bought from Star Bazar. "Fabasta" is the brand owned by Star Bazar and one can find many variants of chutneys in the store. me and my family liked them a lot, thus freedom from making chutneys at home. Hurrey !!  :P

 Happy cooking !!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Lal Prantha

Beetroot , the red attractive taproot of beet plant was always known to be very healthy food but very difficult to eat and make children eat it. We used to have a large kitchen garden and  salad was always freshly procured . I used to eat everything in the salad, radish, turnip, carrot, tomatoes, cucumber, kakdi, spinach but beetroot was one vegetable, I never developed any taste for. Mom used to try different ways to add beetroot to my food.The only way, I could have beetroot was in tomato soup. Another way which mom used to try was addition of beetroot in carrot halwa to give it better colour and make us children eat.

A local restaurant in Ahmedabad, "Awadhpuri" serves beetroot chutney, which was the tastiest version of beetroot I have eaten till date. Another way of relishing beetroot which I have liked is julian beetroot in vinegar.

Beetroot, a taproot of  beet plant is classified as super-food. It's 88% water, 10% carbohydrates, 2% proteins and 1% fats. Beetroot is also rich source of minerals and vitamin A, B and C. It's rich in fibres hence good for digestion .

With fusion of foods and exposure to different cultures, beetroot is served in different and innovative ways.

Beetroot Juice


Grated salad

This March, my son and his wife came home. Beetroot was available in inventory and they made  "Lal Prantha" for dinner. The beetroot stuffed parantha was just amazing. It was easy to make, tasty and nutritious. You may serve it with curd, achar/ pickle and tea. It was wholesome and filling.

Grate the beetroot and microwave the grated beetroot for 4-5 minutes, so that it dries and filling in the prantha becomes easier. Add salt to taste, amchoor and garam masala.

Take some flour, of the size of a table-tennis ball, fill with almost equal amount of filling. Roll out and cook with shudh ghee or refined oil just as any other prantha is cooked.

So, the prantha is ready. It is crispier if cooked on low fire and tastes better.

Serve with green chutney, daal dhokali , curd or with any pickle of your choice.

Happy cooking to you!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Vegetarian Omelette

It was the summers of 1992. I with my family have gone to Mahableshwar , a small and quiet town in those times.  We stayed in the company's guest house, with which my husband was associated at that time. It was an old heritage bunglow on a hilltop, with vast garden and green area. The soil was red and it was such an amazing sight to look at the plush green vegetation on the red soil.

We traveled from New Delhi to Mahableshwar via Pune and it was a long journey.
We traveled by night train and reached Pune early morning. From Pune, we took a cab and reached Mahableshwar in around two and half hours. The drive was beautiful, by the side of majestic Krishna river. The road , as far as I remember now was okay and we reached our destination in the afternoon. It was cloudy and cool, with pleasant breeze. We had our lunch and slept like log.

In the breakfast, one of the option was vegetarian omelette. One of theitems in breakfast was vegetarian omlette. I had heard about an omelette that's not made from eggs for the first time and thought of trying it. I had just turned vegetarian. πŸ˜‘When the vegetarian omelette came, I found it to be "besan chilla" with onion, tomatoes and green chillies and fresh coriander. It appeared more or less like omelette and hence the name. 😏

Today, I was thinking of what to cook for breakfast, the idea of vegetarian omelette suddenly appeared like a dΓ©jΓ  vu.  I have to pick an option that's suitable for two generations, where the generation gap is much. The generation gap is increasing with every next generation and I have to balance between grand father and grand sons. πŸ˜€ The vegetarian omelette satisfies the requirements of both.

I can serve my father simple 'besan ka chilla" as it will be easier for him to eat without the denture. Afterwards, I had added the finally chopped onion, tomato and fresh coriander to the batter to make the "vegetarian omelette".
Chopped onion, tomato and fresh coriander 

Add cut onion, tomato and coriander in besan batter,

Mix well to make a smooth batter.

The consistency of batter should be similar to that of dosa. It should be of falling consistency. Add salt to taste and a pinch of garam masala.  Heat the non-sticking dosa tawa. Add a spoon full of batter. Spread with the serving spoon or kadchi, used for adding batter on tawa/ girdle. If required, add slight oil or shudh ghee. I prefer ghee as I love it's aroma. You may cover it , though it's not  necessary.

Covered cooking traps the heat and steam, making cooking faster .

Cook on low flame till both sides turns pink and crispy.
Serve hot omelette with curd or sauce.

The chilla / omelette both come out very well and it was an easy and tasty option for breakfast today.Some had it with curd and some with sauce. It tasted good with both. πŸ˜‹

I have added 1/4 rice flour as it lightens the besan ( chickpea flour) . Though besan is very healthy and full of proteins but pure besan chilla feels heavy for summer days. Rawa/ suji can also be added to besan to make it lighter. 

Try and have fun. let me know, how it turned out to be. 
If I can cook , you can cook better. Try.....

Ahmedabad Food Bloggers Meet @Baraco Sizzler , 16th Dec, 2018

It all started by a message on Instagram   of "dil-vich_foodie" . Few messages were exchanged on Insta and then we shifted to wh...