Friday, August 30, 2013

The food of Gods...

My current job profile takes me to Bombay (refuse to call it Mumbai, just doesn’t have the same ring) atleast once a month. During my visit in July I had to attend a program at Linking Road, Bandra which was to start at about 12 noon. The day however dawned with heavy rains and I had many a anxiety pang wondering if guests would come through the downpour.
The outlet at Bandra Linking Road, opp KFC
In order to at least ensure that I was there well in time as my hotel was also in Dadar (quite some distance from the venue) I left the moment the rain stopped for a moment and landed up near the venue at 9:30 in the morning only to realize that the venue doesn’t even open before 11 am.
I wandered the street for a while, till the rains drove me to take cover. The nearest shop where I could spend some time turned out to be a patisserie called Theobroma. The signage looked interesting and the idea of a hot coffee and perhaps a croissant while watching the rain fall from a window seat seemed an appealing idea and that’s what I did.

The store was a simple affair, nothing ostentatious.The coffee and croissant were so good, the coffee strong and flavorful, the croissant light and fluffy, just right. What I also liked was the way the menu, paper bags and cake boxes were designed. Well once a Retail Consultant always a retail consultant one just cant escape the habit.  I got up to take a closer look at what the store had to offer.

 And what an offering! Brownies, brownies and more gooey brownies, macaroons, pastries, cup cakes and loads and loads of breads. Now I am a sucker for a good variety of bread and it always makes me drool.

I was going for an official event, was in the city for another two days and therefore couldn’t pick up anything, window shopping and drooling it had to be.

I came away from the shop with a lot of regret and silent promises of ‘I shall be back’.
So this time when I went to Bombay I went with the mission of walking into Theobroma again and ensuring I picked up stuff to be enjoyed back home.

And guess what?

I managed the feat – though I had about five minutes to spare – I did manage to walk into the Bandra store grab an assortment of breads, macaroons, brownies and bring them back to Delhi.

 While there I also figured out a bit about the shop and its antecedents.Theobroma is a Parsi family run business and the person responsible for the mouth watering food is a lady called Kainaz.With three outlets in Bombay presently, they seem to be doing quite well and are fairly well known. Kainaz has also managed to re-create the Cronuts that are the rage world over. A combination of croissant and doughnuts these small pastries are as yum as yum can be.

The bread section - I am always assured by the sight of a store which has fresh looking stuff and half empty shelves.

The breads for me : Lavash, garlic bread, sun dried tomatoes and herbs and an interesting mustard bread

The walnut and dark chocolate gooey brownie....meant for the partner ...but I am going to be dipping in quite a bit.

Aarini with her assorted macaroons. Being the next generation she knows what she needs to do pretty well. Saw the look in our eyes and firmly kept hold of her pack.

The speed at which the partner and daughter gobbled up the stuff – made the run truly worth it.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

camouflaged veggies

A three day weekend, nothing much to do, a hubby who thinks the only vegetable worth putting in his mouth is a potato and my weekly challenge of feeding him some veggies culminated in a Chinese style dish...whose highlight was the amount of vegetables that went into it.

It went pretty well with rice and with bread and did its jobs of putting some veggies in the hubby’s tummy, so thought I should share it here as well. I usually do these food experiments and then forget what exactly I had done and then am at a loss when asked to repeat any of it – so am using the blog as a self note as well.

For marination: Boneless chicken half kg,  Ginger paste 2 tbsp, vinegar 2 tbsp, soya sauce 2 tbsp and Tabasco 1 tbsp. Mixed all these well and let it rest for  4 hours.

3 medium size onions chopped into big chunks, 1 tbsp garlic, 250 gms each of tomato, capsicum, French beans and carrots, had fine cut the beans and carrots while the capsicum was cut into bigger slices. The tomatoes were quartered.

In a large kadhai heated three tbsp white oil and then sautéed some roughly chopped onions and garlic in the same, once the onions turned translucent added the marinated chicken alongwith the marinade in it. Covered and let it cook for about five minutes.  Turned it around once and then covered and cooked for another 2-3 minutes.

Once the chicken looked almost cooked, added the tomatoes, covered and let it simmer for a while and then once the tomatoes had turned pulpy gave it a thorough mix and then added the vegetables.

The capsicums went in last.These being delicate usually loose shape and taste if added to soon.
Added a bit of chilli sauce and ajinamoto and let it simmer for sometime, by now most of the juices released by the chicken had been soaked up by the veggies. And everything seemed to have a slight glazing of oil on top.

I added a glass of knorr’s sweet corn chicken soup at this point and brought everything to a quick boil – this basically ensured that there was some gravy in the dish but not so much that the veggies would get soggy for being cooked in the same.

 Adjusted the salt and then took it off the flame.
Got over super quick and I had the contentment of seeing the vegetables also being polished off. Truly a bit of chicken goes a long way.