Category Archives: Food & Drinks

Food Trucks in Pune

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One of my favorite shows on Food Network is Eat Street; and I just sit there and drool over all the greasy, juicy and creative food served. The show always leaves me hungry and raiding my kitchen fridge. Over the past few years, food trucks have been popping up all across the globe. The food truck trend was just catching up in Cleveland before I made the move to India. But, one might say that India was probably one of the first countries to have food trucks because we have many vendors serving delicious food through their mini stalls or thellas (as we call them in Hindi). I think what makes the current scenario of food trucks stand apart is that most of them are run by budding entrepreneurs and culinary artists who set out to serve new, inventive and delicious dishes to the more food conscious and aware customer.

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Cajun Chicken Pita Wrap


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The awesome guys at Street Meat

So, again thanks to social media and how its become the new way to hear about new and upcoming places, I heard about “Street Meat.” I stalked their Instagram page and realised that they were officially launching their food truck this weekend with a simple menu and pay what you think the food is worth offer. Hello! What is not to like about this? I couldn’t contain my excitement and texted my husband at work about this. I told him that we “have to” try this place and he, being he, simply agreed.

So come Sunday, we strapped the baby in the car seat, hopped into the car, braved the mini downpour and crazy traffic and found ourselves at this neat little food truck. Street Meat’s menu was of the following 1) Thai Stuffed Gol Guppas (pani puris) 2) Goan Chorizo Bra Pao 3) Cajun Chicken Pita Wraps and 4) Korean Pulled Pork Burger. The Indian twist on these international cuisines was refreshing and mouth watering. We ordered one of each and couldn’t stop raving from the first bite. Yum, yum, yum!  The two partners running the place were friendly and nice to chit chat with and that made the entire experience more fun. For my first official food truck experience in Pune, I couldn’t have been more satisfied.

This weekend was a foodilicous (yes, I made this word up) weekend for me. From stuffing face at a family friend’s wedding to trying out a brand new food truck joint in Pune, the weekend left me feeling happy, satiated, adventurous, and a bit more snug is usually good fitting jeans.

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Food Food: Childhood Food

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Food Food: Childhood Food

A few days ago, a friend post one of those posts about 90s songs that will instantly make you nostalgic. That, coupled with the fact that I am currently at my mom’s place and have the luxury of asking her to make some of my favorite dishes, prompted me to do a post on some of my favorite food items that immediately take me back to my childhood. Now, if I sit and think about it there are probably countless dishes that can make this list, but I will limit it to the ones that immediately popped into my head while writing this.

So let’s make it a quick 5 countdown…..drum roll…..

5) Dal Bati….this Rajastani delicacy may seem like a very peculiar choice but I loved eating this while growing up. My friend’s mother made the best dal bati and I loved the fact that she always called me over when her mom cooked this up. Till date, my friend messages me when she or her mother makes dal bati. Furthermore, in our neighbourhood, all the moms would cook delicious Dal Bati and have a “Dal Bati” party 🙂

4) Paprika Chips: These Thai potatoes chips epitomized my childhood. One of my first and favorite memories of my childhood consists of my parents driving my sister and I to a small Thai restaurant, while listening to some Beatles’ melodies, and there we would get to have a bottle of coke and Paprika chips. On my recent trip to Bangkok I absolutely devoured this chips in loads.

Paprika Chips

Paprika Chips

3) Ka pao kai and Kao Phat Kai: Thai food, obviously, makes this list again. Ka pao kai is Basil Chicken and Kao Phat Kai is simply chicken fried rice. These two dishes were basically my lunch staples. Luckily our school canteen would prepare these meals fresh upon request and trust me when I say it was total bliss!

Chole Bature

Chole Bature

2) Chole Bature. This Punjabi dish is probably one of my most craved Indian food. Similar to Dal Bati, my friends’ moms would always cook this when they knew I was coming over or would call me if they had prepared it. The fluffy, flour made, bature with spicy and tangy chole (garbanzo beans) was a match made in heaven. Back in the day I could gulp down at least 6-7 batures 😉

1) Wrap It Chicken Wraps & Criss Cross Fries: This is another school lunch related story, So the Wrap It Kebabs/Wraps were probably the MOST expensive thing in our school canteen. Back in the day the wraps were 85 Baht, which for a school student was quite steep. My weekly allowance was 200 Baht and me being me, I would “plan”  the day I would splurge on the Wrap and then figure out how to get through lunch/free blocks the next 4 days. Unfortunately, I was not able to have a fix of these during my last trip to Bangkok….but there are days I dream about them.

Aww, I almost forgot….I can’t complete this post without having this item: Pizza Company Bread Sticks & Cocktail sauce. Now what can be so special about breadsticks and a cocktail sauce? These breadsticks and more importantly the cocktail sauce, was like crack (not that I know how that tastes…but I can’t think of another way to describe it). I grew up in a boarding school/hostel with 60 other kids. On days we didn’t like the food prepared by the canteen, a few of us would form a group to order just these breadsticks from Pizza Company and this would be our dinner. Each kid could finish 12 breadsticks, usually even more, by themselves. And on special Thursdays when the boarding school itself would have a pizza night….ALL OF US, would be ready for dinner and waiting in line by 6 (an entire before dinner time) just so we could make sure we had our plate full of these wonderful and addictive breadsticks and sauce.images

Now I am just craving all of these items….but I hope you enjoyed this post and may be some of them reminded you of your childhood.

Recipe Alert: Green Peas Kebab

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Green Peas Kebab

Green Peas Kebab

Summer in India is officially here! And while the soaring temperatures makes being in the kitchen a tad bit unpleasant, I am glad I ventured into that section of the house the last few days. I was thinking of a quick and relatively healthy snack I could make for the evenings. That is where Green Peas Kebab comes in. It was a quick recipe that served up wonderful flavours. I thought it would be nice to share with all of you who get bored and sometimes frustrated with the question: “what should I make today?”

Ingredients: 

1 cup green peas (just thawed)
2 tablespoons garam flour
2 tablespoons corn flour
2 green chillies (finely diced)
6-7 pieces of cashew nuts
1 inch ginger
5-6 pods of garlic
1 cupped onions (finely diced)
1/2 tablespoon Red Chilli Powder
1 Lemon
A handful of cilantro
Salt as per taste

Steps:

1) Drain and thaw the frozen peas and add to a mixer
2) Add chopped garlic, ginger, green chillies and cashew to the mixer with the peas. Mix them till you make a thick, coarse paste. I added around 1 tablespoon of water to this mixture to get the desired consistency.
3) Shift the paste to a mixing bowl and add the diced onions, cilantro, red chilli powder and salt as per your taste.
4) Add garam flour and corn flour to the mixture and continue to mix.

The end mixture should have this consistency

The end mixture should have this consistency

5) Take a skillet and pour 2 tablespoons of oil on it. Mould the mixture into flat circular shapes and set them on the skillet to grill.

Gilling them

Grilling them

Voila! You have your Green Peas Kebab! It pairs really well with tomato ketchup and mint chutney. You can also alter the recipe to add some mint leaves or even cheese to the mixture before moulding them. Hope some of you are able to try this recipe-would love some feedback.

Amazing Thailand!!!!

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Hello! Hello! I know it’s been a while for us writing…like my blogging partner said, the last 6 months of 2014 went by in a whirlwind. Honestly, a lot of times I did sit down in front of my laptop and thought about writing a post, but I then I was like “I have nothing to share.” So back again, I would switch off the laptop, and go on with the daily routine. My husband constantly asked why I wasn’t blogging and I kept saying I have nothing to write about; in all honesty, I was getting a bit lazy. But as they say, absence makes the heart go fonder and I am back!

Bangkok Traffic

Bangkok Traffic

A lot happened in 2014….probably the biggest is the fact that we are expecting a baby in May!!!! A million emotions are constantly running through me, feelings of excitement an d nervousness. I think I might write a separate post on all that I keep constantly thinking about.

Let me get back to what this blog is supposed to be about, as the title suggests, I just came from a quick 4 day trip to Bangkok. It’s the city I grew up in and even though most of my friends and family have moved on….the city still holds a super special place in my heart. The last time I visited Bangkok was almost 6/7 years ago and while a lot has changed, a lot hasn’t.

Strolling around Lumpini Park

Strolling around Lumpini Park

So what did I do in Bangkok? I ate, shopped, slept, ate, shopped, slept….on repeat. I guess that is what a good vacation is about. I constantly complain that the Thai food in India doesn’t quite make the cut. Some places (ex: Baan Tao or Polka Dots in Pune have good curries), but they don’t get that 100% authentic taste. Also they say, street food in Thailand is the best, so I was pretty much on a mission to make my husband try all the food that I grew up eating…from the krapao kai…to Swensens ice-cream to Paprika chips.

Mama Tom Yum

Mama Tom Yum

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Sticky Chewy Fantasy at Swensens….still my favorite ice cream flavor!

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Mango Ice Cream & Mango Custard at Mango Tango, Siam

 

We, also, did do a lot of shopping for the baby. Yes, you can find almost everything you need for a baby in India (thank you Amazon.in), but variety is an issue. I fell in love with almost all the baby things I saw and actually had to be told to stop shopping for the baby (the malls in Bangkok probably deserve a separate post as well).

It was a much needed trip. I am back feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and ready to take on the next 6 weeks of work. Bangkok….I am not sure when we will meet next, but till next time….see ya!

The trendy Terminal 21 mall, which is designed like an airport with each floor representing a different global city.

The trendy Terminal 21 mall, which is designed like an airport with each floor representing a different global city.

Food Destinations: Pune

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Food Destinations: Pune

I love food, it might not seem like it but I do. It sometimes is the one and only thing that makes me wake up at 5:30 and go for a run; the thought that I will be able to devour my favorite food later. Having been in the city also known as Oxford of the East for almost two years now-I have a list of places that are my go-to favorites. This might help those who are traveling to the city or might even open up options for those who have been in the city for a while but are looking for some new places to try.

1) Little Italy La Pizzeria.

It was the first restaurant I visited with my husband, back in the days of long distance relationship. May be that’s why it holds a special place in my heart. But the food is to die for as well. One has to try the Pasta Barbeseca in pink sauce (which is a mixture of white and red) and the Mexican Pizza. I love their nachos as well. The restaurant only serves vegetarian food, but never have I even once missed my meat during my meals here.

Interior of La Pizzeria on Bund Garden Road

Interior of La Pizzeria on Bund Garden Road

2) Kareem’s Chicken Kati Roll

Well, isn’t a sit-down dinner type of place; it’s more like you have finish your dish just standing outside. But nonetheless, Kareem’s has the best chicken egg wrap in the whole world. I have tried chicken kati rolls (wraps) at other places but nothing ever comes close. Some visitors might we weary of eating at this street joint, but sometimes you just have to risk the chance of a bad stomach for an amazing meal. (The one in Camp is the best branch)

3) Independence Brewing Company

This is probably the newest addition to my list and it made its way to my list because of the beer and not food. Micro breweries are just starting in India, and fortunately Pune is becoming host to several of them. Independence Brewing Company has a rustic interior, which I love, along with amazing beer. I have only been here twice (not bad considering it only opened back in January) but have loved, loved, loved the beer. I would highly recommend this for a girls night out or a place to catch up with friends.

The rustic interior at Independence Brewing

The rustic interior at Independence Brewing

4) 1000 Oaks

Another nice hangout spot in Pune is 1000 Oaks or TOaks. My husband tells me that is one of oldest lounges in Pune, where infamous musicians used to visit. All the times I have been there, they have the same playlist, but it doesn’t take away from the charm of this hidden gem. The Bar Men’s Pitcher is one to definitely try-go for the original and not the other flavours. In terms of food, the butter chicken and garlic mushrooms are always on my to-order list.

TOaks

TOaks

I am sure this list will grow and change as I continue to explore more around this city that I am starting to call home 🙂