Sunday, May 8, 2011

we saw , we got scared ... but we won !

Welcome to the season of Super Hot summer... Summer translates into vacation , masti with cousins , eating mangos straight waking up outta bed , devouring all the possible variation of raw & ripe mangos (reminds me of 'Dabhlo'.. demands another post), Kesariya gulmahor and yellow garmalo looming over the deserted street .. All that remains now is spotting alphanso late in may that smells invigorating but the taste still remains elusive ! God knows when will days come back eating ratnagiri kesar all thruogh may noon.But Its now all forgoten as time of teenage. And began the Quater-Life Crisis.This very summer also brings hoards of reptiles out on the surface and makes the heat of summer more miserable. Can you ignore when you are living in 20-by-20 feet kitchen? I am sure no gurl can stand a sight of this ugliest creture called Lizzard(chipkali).

We were tired of spotting them every nook of the kitchen ... on the platform, in the basket , under the gas-stove... Sigh!!!!!!!!! It become routine to encter the kithen with broom-stick after 7 pm. Over the long weekend, I was house-arrest and alone and hense ended up eating all parcel-meal just so that i didn't have to enter kitchen. Thought of beacoming Chandi-Chamunda and thrashing them out of house was on my mind. But I only got support when one of my roommate missed her morning Chai while spoting one over the gas-stove... Now this was the limittttttttt.We declared one side war after returning from the office.Three of us evacuated our whole loaded kitchen into the living room bed since we knew well in advance , we would be needing quite broad space for chasing the tiny-ugly-dugli.Armed with broomstick iron-stick and what-so-ever , we tickled her out behind the basket,she ran all over the space ...from behind the dusbin to shoe rack and settled down under bhagwanji ni pat. We scremed-screetched our little lung out,jumped all over the house but the ugly-duckling made our armed weapon gave up at this point. we couldnt do much now. But as they say na ... Agar tum kisi cheez ko dil se chaho to puri kaynat use tumhe milane ki liye sath ho jati hai. So here i went all out to pursue my watchmen to leave his duty and do the righeous-justified long overdue duty from a girl's point of view of D-501 block of Apartment.Our old-fatigued, hazzy-bespectacled looking watchmen blatantly refused to kill chipkali in the first place but i pleaded to atleast throw her out of the house.And what we saw later from out of our house looking through window was that the watchmen have taken chipkali in the dusuting pan like fish to water and threw out from the 5th floor gallery. God knew where it would have been landed.
We had great sigh of relief after almost an hour of chasing-hiding-screming drama.And put our kichnates back to the place.And Boy! we were tired and How!..Needless to say , we went out for dinner and came back and crashed to the bed and got up the next morning only to realise that our kitchen is chipkali free !Yay ...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well Well the whole history repeated the next sunday when we had to clean up one of our cupboard in the kitchen which was stocked up of all the food since ages ...
It has been 15 days , we have spotten none .. But wait for monsoon is on !

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Holi Weekend

'Me and my birdy visit to Amdavad' (Ahmedabad for outsiders)saga continues.But not that I am complaining! This warm(40C in march),bustling with plethora of restaurants and multiplexes(there are 8 in the city and around), also history with architecture dates back to 15th century, city is where i have completed my graduation. It was so much city bound decision when i had to decide for which graduation course i should pursue. Well that's my love of a city !!!..

Talking about the day, there is not a single breakfast cafe open at 8 in the city.But nothing to be disheartened. You will find many thela's(hawker-like,auto-rickshaw type) around Parimal Garden,Ambawadi.I make a huge deal about eating breakfast.Yeah , i believe in eat breakfast king size saying.This place, one of famous jogger's paradise,personify gluttony of Gujarati bhai ben (people).It sells all kind of healthy/non- healthy food like poha ,idli, vegetable juices and savoury of Gujarat like Handvo(lentil's pancake) and khichu(steamed rice flour tempered with chilly and cummin seeds) sprinkled with oil on demand. And I being true Gujju prefer total non-healthy diet when I go Amdavad and start a day with succulent Handva and khichu served hot-fresh.

Contempleted of going to Induben Khakharawala and eating ponk(sweet unripe sorghum/wheat), eating Jassuben's bhakhari style pizza were on my mind. But this time too i end up eating at new restaurant called 9 Apple. Basically this place got famous(criticized too) for serving food on its weight. 36 bucks for 100 grams seemed to be pricey to us but food which was laid out had us totally to them as we opted their unlimited brunch.It started with soup ,tomato basil/ cream of vegetable, with garlic bread and baked cracker biscuit topped with salsa and cheese.Quite decently taste i must say.After that, seasonal fruits (strawberry,green/black grapes watermelon,muskmelon,pineapple),beetroot in mayo,cream stewed apple,basic cabbage/carrot in mayo,cottage cheese(paneer) stewed Indian style,corn salad,fruity pasta, pasta in tomato pesto and lots of green and black olives.The amazing new thing was green olives tempered with coriander seeds and fennel seeds,quite indianized taste that was!.I had tried many dips in USA and in Marriott's spice kitchen but for a buffet of 171 bucks , it was quite hearty spread of dips(mint,cheese,hummus,southwest,honey-mustard). i totally loved it :-) This is just not enough.

Main course included pretty much everything nachos,salsa to oriental fare (noodles,manchurian,liquid veggie broth,fried rice) to punjabi fare(mutter malai ,roti,panner achari,two type of daal, jeera rice, biryani... which i just skipped thinking of getting over-stuffed) to deserts.Brownie point to their chocolate sauce dipped ravioli stuffed with coursed nuts(check pic).there was another gooey fruit cake.All in all,it was good 1 hour hearty lunch which didn't need siesta :-P.

Afternoon was spent trotting in the hot sun , getting tickets for any random show , basically just to spare ourselves from the heat.But as unlucky we were , neither got tickets nor any shop was opened(being day of dhuleti).Passing by shyamal prahlad nagar road ,got to see this shop named cocoberry and we quickly checked it out. Cool as its white interior , shop sales frozen yogurt and Iced tea. Its one of the first kind in India and its definitely going to catch up considering India's hot and long summer.Primarily sales frozen yogurt with exotic fruits like blueberry,strawberry,muskmelon,watermelon,mango,kiwi thrown with crunchy roasted granola , creme and topped with fruit sauce. I absolutely *heart* this fusion thing.we had blueberry yogurt and strawberry iced tea(which was more like strawberry juice).isn't tea just supposed to have flavour rather?.

Anyways, with roaming and romancing , my day came to an end after meeting my cousin.
I was off to pune as the amdavadi junta was heart throbbing loser Indian cricket team to win.
P.S. I just hate cricket :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Me me - indulge in Vanity

Have been a voracious blog-hopper since a year and finally resumed writing just this year. And all i realise is that its such an indulgent thing. I hope this is not just a phase. I have seen Me Me or thwenty five things about me titled post.
this gives food for thought for myself as well. Lets give it a shot to this Me me Vanity thing...
1. I secretly devour cookery shows when i was in school but couldnt even able to boil milk.(Not exxagerrating!).I made my first ever tea in third year of college.
2. I wanted to ride bike just to think that i can do all what men can do. I regretted not learning it even i had chance to,when my bf owned one.
3. I want to right a book of my chronicles of travels, food fetish , all the awesome gruesome things that i ll experience.
4. If you tell me to roam all paris and NYC by walking only all night and day, i would readily agree.But if you tell me to go for morning walk 15 mins, I ll find out every possible arguements why i cant do so. :P (place matter afterall!)
5. I can gobble down packets of amul milk powder when i am not feeling well.:P
6. I hate being dress up for formal events. Love wearing cotton, mulmul,chiffon, chanderi(yet to get it) clothes.
7. Cheese ,Coffee, Spinach and Mango best ever things happened to me
8. I was mad about Hrithik Roshan when i was in grade 10.I had collected 200 pictures of him, and now am totally embarrassed about it :P
9. I miss my grandfather.I feel i know so little about him.Wish he could have spend more time with me. He had great penchant for history and geography.I share this trait with him. ohh I wanna be like him.
10. I just can not stand child's cry.I feel like they should be locked up in room if they do so. I know its verryyy saddam/Gaddafi kinda attitude but cnt help it.But i adore playing with them.

English Breakfast Time

Skipz cafe - A perennial favourite till now and always will be !

Reasons being many.This small cafe is nestled in Aundh ,Pune right opposite to gold's gym. We discoverd it on one of sombre eve of August.A passerby may end up ignoring this place as this neither have fancy hoarding or sitting.But I had luck of bull's eye(my BF!) who spotted and cajoled me to come next morning.

An old lady not just runs this cafe, but actively cooks up some simple breakfast dishes.Serves fresh English platter which includes baked beans in tomato sauce,omelette with two toasts, a bowl of fruit, a cup of milk with honey and bowl of museli in just Rs.105.Menu here is very basic and simple includes types of sandwiches , smoothies , coffee , different combinations of seasonal fruit bowls and pasta. Her warm pasta salad is to die for.I sometime order veggie salad which includes fresh seasonal veggies drizzle with olive oil, lemon and some herbs.The Lady owner is so warm and you can feel her affection in food.Prices are fare and food is my favorite, makes us visit frequently.

A place where we go for dinner when we devour brunches on weekends. It has become comfort food like khichdi. And how can i forget, they make mean Oreo cookies shake (I love Oreo)....

Fond memories of this place going to stay with me ..

P.S: Oreo Cookies makes life marry-go-round !

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Authenticate South Indian Breakfast in Pune

Idlicious -
Its hop-skip-jump away from where I stay in Pune.After I left Hyderabad where i used to eat idlis and Dosas(Spring dosas with four types of chutneys in STC cafe) every morning, thought i would miss authenticate southy fare as Pune's major breakfast scene is Poha and sabudana khichdi.But this small Tapri(Verry neat!) like place is drawing all Aundh's residential to it every morning and how!.Its always bustling , be it morning or evening!. Serves from usual dosas(paper as well as softly thick),idlis,vada,curd rice to lemon rice pudina rice (which they make on certain days) to chole puri(tampering with coconut in it south indian style ) that may not be favourite among north people. Provides sambhar,coconut chutney, onion chutney and pudi powder(made of curry leaves,sesame seeds, coriander leaves and gram flour) also called 'gunpowder' with added sesame oil or ghee liberally. And in the end you can order Filter coffee, served in pyali, of which i am obsessively fond of. I have never ever skipped it.Who says you cant drink coffee after meal? Go to south and check out their fondness of filter Kappa. This place also serves thick glass of buttermilk on weekends.Though the place is very small-ish,maintenance of hygiene is noticeable with their brisk serving attitude makes them every body's favourite.

I also found out one kirana shop catering all the needs of south Indian goods like masalas , different dry powders , snacks like murruku,sev ,pickles (gongura being my fav!).Especially they ground fresh coffee in their shop itself.They brew Robusta and Arabica ,even they will brew the coffee you bring them to. This ordinary looking but Captivating shop is located in lane of gaekwad petrolpump.I bought this tiny looking filter coffee device from them(see picture).Havent been able to make it as good as it taste in Idlicious but i ll make it one day !

Monday, March 14, 2011

Le pain quotidien - Mumbai

Being a coffee and chocolate connesuire , who doesn't like to bumped into cafe? Visiting Kalaghoda Art Fest this year was not so satisfying experience as it had been in 2010. Last year photography exhibition on the rampart row was such an eye-catcher.But this year it was lil' dull show. So we took a walk towards Apollo Bunder. Its always fun to stroll through this Gothic side of Bombay establish by British.

Since we had been walking through out day with the bag packed with camera , we thought to settle down in this swanky looking cafe named 'Le Pain Quotidian' meaning The Daily Bread (googled it later).Its located right opposite to Indigo Deli near Gateway of India. As we entered , the picture of attenders at the main counter putting freshly baked bread into the rack shown up.The selling rack was stocked up with all European condiments and sauce like types of olives, artichokes,Dijon mustard , garlicky hummus,types of butter and herbs too. The place was almost full but the waiter come at immediate help and there we discover the signature style of this Belgian cafe , Communal table.A huge wooden table is placed in the centre of cafe.Its old concept in Europe that is to sit down around the table with some familiar or strangers and share stories , food and sock in the aroma.They say that its made from the reclaimed wood(refurnished). Take a seat next to a neighbor, share the Brunette and be reminded that, even in the big city, we are a community.
such a Nobel and secular idea. we need more of these cafes in India. It reminded me of German Bakery in Pune. And Its exactly a year today after sad terror attack on 02/13/2010.
We got two chairs on communal table and ordered one iced tea sprinkled with mint and a ginger carrot muffin to munch. We werent much hungry. But we had a good time unwinding and relaxing a bit.Also we packed one Belgian tea chocolate cake to nibble with some of our friends whom we were going to meet next morning. And left the cafe on smiley note.:-)
LPQ as its fondly called amongst its fan , they experiment with their menu in all their different cafes around the world. Makes me note down to visit all of theirs..
Definitely going back to try out some boulangerie fare ... and click my own pictures.

P.S.: Cheese and Coffee are hard to resist .. to me atleast.