Tag Archives: food

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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Tips to survive Indian Parties

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Mini Lettuce Wraps

Mini Lettuce Wraps

Mushroom Bruschettas

Mushroom Bruschettas

So parties in India have their own charm – something that sets them apart from what you might find in other cultures.

Having attended and hosted a few of them over the past years here is my take on what happens at them. Fair warning though, you might not agree with my opinion.

  1. No party starts on time. Even if you tell people to come by 7 (when ideally you want them to show up by 7:30), no one will come before 8:30/9 PM
  2. Food is the most important thing at the party. You can have great drinks, music, games, etc. But everyone remembers just the food. So don’t be surprised if while deciding on a party menu you get into arguements with family 😉
  3. Aunties invariably always find or “help themselves” to the kitchen of the hosting house. And while some do help, most do a great job in highlighting your shortcomings. On the bright side, this makes for a great practice in self control and patience.
  4. There will always be the one guest who decides that they can make their entrance felt way past the standard 1.5 hour delay.
  5. There will, also, always be the one that decides the party can just keep going on and on. On such instances, take turns heading up to your respective bedrooms and hope the guest gets a clue.
  6. Definition of good hosts  = make sure everyone eats and don’t take “no” for an answer when it comes to second or third helpings.
  7. If you have babies, wait for it, guests will think it’s their right to wake the baby up because they came to see the baby. It doesn’t matter that they came way past the baby’s bedtime. Yoga comes to the rescue again 🙂
  8. There will be the one guest who will sulk till they get their fair share of attention. Please be ready with topics that are of great interests of these guests.
  9. Good party guests means you smile continuously, speak with everyone, and don’t complain even if food is served past midnight.
  10. In Indian parties there will be a clear divide between the gents and ladies of the parties. They have their own separate corners and dare you make the mistake of sitting on the other side. However, this custom is slowly changing 🙂

All this apart, these parties are fun and if you can pull off one as a good host, then KUDOS to you. Can you resonate with any of these party trends?

Mumbai: Monsoon, Malabar & Marine Drive

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I have been living in India for almost 3 years now (!!!!) and honestly have been the South Mumbai may be thrice or twice. Most of the time my time in Mumbai is spent at my parents’ place in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, which is different city altogether.  I always wanted to have a chance to visit South Mumbai more frequently and recently had just the opportunity. My mom’s childhood friend has a place in Malabar Hills and we decided that a trip to her place followed by lunch would be a perfect way to get over the hump Wednesday.

Enjoying the view from Malabar Hills

Enjoying the view from Malabar Hills

Traveling in any big city is a pain and Mumbai is no different. Even though South Mumbai is technically only 30 km away (approximately 15 miles), it takes pretty much an hour and half or longer to get there from Navi Mumbai. This time our travel had to be planned keeping my 3 month old daughter in mind. We decided to leave home around 8 to beat the traffic but as life goes with a baby we finally left home closer to 8:50. My daughter is getting accustomed to being in the car for longer distances and she was quite content till the last 30 mins when we kept hitting all the possible traffic signals. A few tears later we made it to my mom’s friend’s place in Malabar Hills, home to the infamous hanging gardens, in Mumbai. The Malabar Hills neighbourhood is quite picturesque with greenery, winding roads, hidden bungalows, and tall apartment buildings. We could see the entire Marine Drive from Aunty’s place! We feasted on a delicious breakfast while my daughter played. Taking advantage of being at a home, I decide to nap with my daughter so she doesn’t get too cranky later on.

Our nap and my mom’s catching up took us till around 2:00 PM when we finally decided to go out for a late lunch. Aunty had a great suggestion of going to Pizza by the Bay on Marine Lines. She said the restaurant would offer a beautiful view of the seaside on this rainy day. We went by her suggestion and weren’t disappointed at all. With breakfast still taking up quite the space in our stomach we resorted to ordering a veggie Pizza and a Chilli Cheese Sandwich to split between the three of us. The service was speedy and the food delicious. The view of the sea and people meandering around just added to overall ambience.

Pizza By the Bay

Pizza By the Bay

After our late lunch we decided it was time for us to make our way back to Navi Mumbai. So we bid adieu to my aunt, Mumbai, Marine Drive & the Monsoon. Till next time…

Marine Drive

Marine Drive

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.