Gift Shopping and a cookie

It was one of those hectic days when you have tonnes of work in the office, have to pack for a trip and also pick gifts for a kiddos birthday. Between running around in the aisles of Landmark, making the payment and reasoning (read haggling) with the gift packing lady for a better wrapping sheet, some generous soul handed me two cookies neatly wrapped in a purple and gold wrapping sheet.

This reminded me that I had skipped lunch and I was on so called “diet” where I was supposed to eat every couple of hours. Since my hunger pangs had started to kick in, I quickly opened the cookie pack and started to munch. The golden discs with dark specks of raisins seemed like the universe with black holes in it. Infinite, gorgeous and oh-so-in-my-mouth. :D I still had not read the name or the brand it belonged to.

Since I never throw wrappers around in a mall, it stuck with me, in my bag. After a couple of days, while scouting of something in the bag with a million things, the wrapper found me and stared.

I was feeling guilty as the crumbs would have split in the bag, but the cookie wrapper wanted me to take a look at it. And I did. I was amazed to find out that it was from a brand I had never tried, Sunfeast. (being a person with minor OCD, I never change the brand of the things i have been using or consuming) It came in as a big surprise that it was made of oats.

To be very frank, I am not a oats fan, I have to disguise it in some form or the other and tell myself to just gulp it down. Since I had loved it so much, I got a pack to be kept in the office drawer and one for home. The oats, wheat and minimum use of sugar give the cookie the twist of health that we can add to our lifestyle without altering anything at all.

The generous use of dry fruits in all its varieties can make one seem like a “Going all out” for health kinda person, now come on, who does not want that.

Go ahead and give health a fair chance.

Oh and before you go, see this awesome video from Sunfeast :)

Cheers,

Pallavi

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Eggless Dates and Apple cake with streusel topping

I have been dying to make a streusel cake for sometime now. It is noting but a crunchy topping over a beautiful cake. It is very simple to make as well.

I used dates and apples for this cake as I wanted to play around with the sugar comtent of the cake. Adding naturally sweet ingredients gave me that freedom. Here is how you can make this gorgeous cake.

You shall need:

3/4 cup… Whole Wheat flour

3/4 cup… All Purpose Flour

1/2 cup… Chopped pitted dates

1/2 cup… diced apples (I didnt peel them)

1/2 cup… Light brown sugar

1/2 cup… White sugar

1.5 tsp… Baking powder

1 tsp… Salt

1 cup… butter milk (In a cup of milk, add 2 tsp vinegar and let it stand for 5 min. Post this you shall have the butter milk ready to use)

1 cup… refined flavorless oil.

For the topping:

4 tbsp… All purpose flour

2 tbsp… Softened butter

3 tbsp… light brown sugar

Method:

  • Pre heat an oven to 180C and line an 8″ cake tin and keep aside.
  • For the batter, in a bowl, mix the dry ingredients (except the apples and dates) with a whisk and keep aside.
  • In a smaller bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients.
  • Mix well with a spatula.
  • Once all of it is amalgamated, add the apples and dates and mix well.
  • Pout it in the cake tin.
  • For the topping, tip the flour and sugar in a bowl, use a spoon to mix through the butter.
  • You should land up with a rubble of flour and sugar.
  • Cover the cake batter with the topping mix uniformly and bake for 30-35 min or until the skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

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streusel before being baked

streusel before being baked

baked streusel

baked streusel

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Cheers,

Pallavi

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Third Wedding Anniversary and HIGH

Dear Dear Blog,

A hundred apologies for not greeting you enough. But if it counts, you are always in my thoughts :)

So we celebrated out 3rd Wedding Anniversary on 21st nov and it was a lovely day :) Three dates and super awesome memories <3

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Date 3

In the evening we went to High lounge at the WTC, Bangalore. The lounge is one the 32nd floor and has a view to die for. The food was lovely as well. The Sesame stir fry dimsums and Kirean Tacos were yummm yumm yummm.

They arranged for a beautiful bouquet for us and of course there was a photographer ready to capture the happy happy moment.

Since I was not there to review the food and all but to enjoy our day, there are not many food pics.

We later ordered a Pad Thai, our all time favorite. :)

The DJ was playing some gorgeous tracks and we had to hit the floor. We danced till 12 ish and then headed home as it was an hour long drive. Thank God for Ola cabs, we didn’t have to drive.

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All in all, we had a fabulous time. Thank you High for making it an evening to remember.

Oh and I made a kick ass cake the next day… guess what it was eggless, low on sugar and had whole wheat too ;)

Love,

Pallavi

Posted in Dinner, Personal, Restaurant Review | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Food Festival: Awadhi Food Festival at Sheraton Bangalore

We all hear/know a bit about the mystic food of Awadh. My search for the cuisine made me read about it on google and also gave an opportunity to interact with one of the secret guards of the cuisine. Sheraton Hotel at Brigade Gateway’s Feast restaurant is hosting the Awadhi Food festival with the celebrated Guest Chef Rehman and their home bread chef Maksood.

Coming back to Awadh, there are many theories about the food. One of them says that there was a shortage of food in the Awadh region (in the yester years), the king ordered his cooks to make food for all. Since the food was supposed to be shared and cooked all day long, the slow cooking process along with hearty ingredients like potatoes, meats and other vegetables were the core. The slow coking made sure the food was cooking in its own juices making it as nutritious as possible.

Awadh food has been influenced majorly by the Mughals. There was a time when Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad would compete to be declared the best among the Mughal influenced cuisines. All three have the same base but are drastically different in flavors. Such are the spice combinations that a slight alternation would result in the change of the cuisine’s location. :)

Barbeque/Tandoor is a very important element of the cuisine. Chef Rehman got his fav tandoor from Lucknow to give us the perfect Sheermals and Awadhi Naan’s. Boy they were gorgeous. Did you know that Sheermal’s and other Awadhi Breads are supposed to be had with starters or between Starters and main course? I learnt that today. Chef Rehman is looking forward to share his experience and experiments with the connoisseurs of food. He wishes to challenge the obvious. His food speaks volumes about his 14 year experience in the food research and experimentation.

The drink that was served us was an Awadhi Thandai with almonds, saffron and hint of black pepper.

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The starters were Aatishi aalu, Tandoori Paneer and Veg Seekh.  The Aatishi aalu was baby potatoes marinated in spices and grilled with their skin on. The paneer had a goegeous char on them due to the yogurt and spice mix. The veg seekh kebab was a well seasoned vegetable mix that was complimented by the green chutney very well.

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The Non veg starters included- Gurda Kaleji, Galauti Kebab and Chicken. The Gurda ka came in a spice mix of onions, gingfer and garlic. The Lucknowi specialty Galauti kebab were a hit on the table. The subtle spice mix on the chicken was appreciable as well.

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Both the veg and non veg starters were served with warm Sheermal and Awadhi Naan.

Lets jump to the main course now. Chef Rehman is on a quest to change the way people look at food of the region from where he comes. he does not believe in the usual tamatar-pyaaz bhuna bharta, dal tadkas and the like. He believes that the vegetarian food has  more stories to share. The star of the main course was the Baigan ka bharta. It was light and creamy and garlicky. It checked all the right boxes in my head. :) I have always judged a resturant by its Dal Makhni (When I go out to eat Indian food) the dum pukth way of cooking rendered the dal to have a lovely texture, without mincing the dal completely. I am so impressed by it. The mushroom and panner didnt work for me as I dont like the combination at all. The Paneer cooked  in white gravy was super rich with the almonds but the balance of flavors was something to die for.

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IMG_0260IMG_0266IMG_0270The desserts are the seal the deal for any menu. here there was no exception. We had balushahi, shahi tukda, malai sandwich, lapsi and anjeer ka halwa as the choices.

My most preferred one was the malai sandwich. :D It had just the right amount of sweet and the chena sandwiching the luscious malai in the center was super soft. A must try :) The menu keeps changing a bit each day, which is a good thing.

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Do try the lovely flavors of the Awadh and the hospitality of the Starwood member Sheraton at Brigade Gateway.

The food festival ends on 19 oct. It is available for Dinner and Lunch.

Address: 26/1 Dr. Rajkumar Road, Malleswaram-Rajajinagar, Bangalore, Karnataka 560055  Phone:080 4252 1000

Image Source: Sheraton Bangalore Facebook Page

Image Source: Sheraton Bangalore Facebook Page

Cheers,

Pallavi

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Product Review: #Britannia cake Nut and Raisin Romance

One fine day, my mail box had a green envelope with mysterious contents inside. Brushing aside all random possibilities that came to my head, I was in awe of the gorgeous brown pack of the cake whose name was Romance. :)

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I am a doodle fan and the label had some lovely doodle font on it. It was cute. So I put a pot of boiling water on the stove and took out my precious Typhoo tea bag and put it in the mug. The cake needed a companion and what is better than tea. :)

The cake is made with wheat flour, contains eggs and nuts. Dietary preference must be considered carefully before the purchase.

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Clearly labelled package-IMG_9821

Priced at INR 50, it can be a perfect in a diwali basket/to serve guests at home/for lunch-snack boxes for kids.
IMG_9822 IMG_9819On opening the cover, I found a plastic case shielding the cake. It was a little out of shape due to shipping, I guess. However the cake must have felt safe inside it as it was not harmed at all.

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The cake is not pre sliced so that gives you an opportunity to be as generous as you please.

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The cake has a generous amount of nuts, orange peel and raisin in each bite. However it was a little dry for my taste but I guess that is what shall make it last long enough. With tea it goes perfectly as it gets the much needed moisture. I love the color of the outer cake surface, deep dark brown <3. And oh the waft made me dig into more than one slice ;)

My tea companion and me give a thumbs up to the new product. Go on and gift yourself some happiness :) Ting ting ta ding *Britannia style*

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Cheers,

Pallavi

Posted in Cake, Product Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Slow Cooked Jeera Aalu/potato stir fry

Jeera Aalu is supposed to a Dhaba comfort food. Low maintenance, super easy to put together and hardly anything can go wring with this one. The version I love, has crispy edges and a pillow-y center. Oh it is to die for.

You shall need:

3 medium Size… Potatoes (Washed, peeled and cut in equal size pieces)

2 … green chillies (Slit in the center)

2 tsp… Oil

1 tsp… Jeera/Cumin seeds

2 tsp… Dhaniya powder/coriander powder

2 tsp… Jeera powder/roaster cumin powder

1 tsp… Amchoor powder/Dry mango Powder (Optional)

Salt to taste

Method:

  • In a Kadhai/wok, heat the oil.
  • Add the cumin seeds and green chillies.
  • Reduce the heat for medium-low.
  • Drain the potatoes well and wipe them with a kitchen towel/cloth. We dont want much moisture on it.
  • Add them to the wok.
  • Keep stirring until all the potatoes are covered with oil.
  • Let it cook for about 30 min, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the masalas and salt. mix well.
  • Now let it cook for 20 more min, so that the potatoes are cooked through and have a crispy exterior.
  • Serve with love.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

Posted in Curry, Dinner, easy cooking, Eggless, How to, Lunch, quick, stir fry | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Soak Sabudana Perfectly

I used to be terrible at handling sago/sabudana. It used to be lumpy mess or oily sticky mess. After following a lot of advise on Chef at large, I found a way to make this work :)

Before I mess it up again, let me share how I learnt the art of soaking the sabudana perfectly. I usually start the soaking around 6-ish in the evening so that I may use it the next day.

You shall need:

1 cup… Sabudana

1+1/4 cup… water

Method:

  • In a bowl, add the sabudana and give it a good wash. I usually wash it three times to get rid of the starch.
  • Drain the water.
  • Add half a cup of water and leave it to soak for two hours.

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  • Using a spoon, mix it all around. You shall notice that the water all soaked and sabudana/sago is almost dry.

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  • Now add another 1/2 cup of water and let it soak for two hours.
  • Give it a stir after two hours and add the 1/4 cup of water and let it soak overnight. Notice the doubling of the volume :)

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  • And Voila in the morning you may use it as you please.

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This has been absolutely fool proof for me this fasting season. Hope you are also able to do it perfectly too.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

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Thank you WordPress

Dear WordPress,

Thank you for greeting me today morning with this.

wordpress 7 years

What a glorious ride this has been.

I still remember 7 years back I was still at college and when it came to deciding on which platform to choose, I chose you because of the name and the logo. It was all sounding so uncomplicated and welcoming.

My blogs have been my strength and my weakness at the same time. People have come and gone but they have stood the test of time. They make me, me for reasons good or bad and I thank you for that.

They have kept me secrets in drafts, they have published my emotions and scheduled all things great. Blogging has instilled such lovely things in my life like determination, patience, love and kindness. I know how it feels for a random blogger to get a comment from a stranger. I make  it point to try to do that as often as I can.

You evolved and so did my blog. Here’s wishing more beautiful years ahead.

Love forever,

Pinksocks

Posted in milestone, Personal | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Project Aloft Star Regional Finale

Fridays for me means all these wonderful things:

Friends

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New Friends

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Beautiful Music

Project Aloft Star India Winner – Natania Lalwani

Hospitable Ambiance

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What happens when MTV and Aloft look for the regional singing star? Its a match made in heaven. Five talented bands fight it out to impress the judges and the rock the crowd. Oh and I got to meet Dr. Palash Sen of Euphoria fame. (YIPPEEEEE…..)

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Jury- Palash Sen, Faiz Alam Anari- General Manager Aloft Bengaluru Cessn...

Jury- Palash Sen, Faiz Alam Anari- General Manager Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Park.

The songs ranged from Garaj Baras by Junoon, to self composed numbers and even the glorious 90’s ads and songs. <3 I sang to my heart’s content and finally landed up being the best Fan of the day too :D

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Aloft Cessna Business park is a member of Starwood Group. Its a business hotel where they have got it all right.

A well equipped gym, pool, high speed internet access, meeting spaces, prompt room service, a chilled out lounge, a pub, cafe and a no fuss menu restaurant is all ready to welcome you.

Address: Link

Embassy Tech Square Main Rd, Kaverappa Layout, Kadubeesanahalli, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560103

Cheers,

Pallavi

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Sabudana Thalipeeth

The husband and I are fasting for Navratri. I shall be keeping the fast till tomorrow aka saptami while he shall be keeping it will Navmi.

It has been a great opportunity to learn new stuff for the Vrat/fast. I could make sabudana perfectly, made kuttu pooris, aalu kuttu kadhi and dahi wale aalu etc. I saw this recipe on Nishamadhulika.com and wanted to give it a try.

Here is all that you shall need:

1 cup… Sabudana/Sago (Well soaked, drained and dried)

1 cup… Boiled and Mashed potato

1/2 cup… Kuttu/singhade ka aata (Buckwheat/waterchestnut flour)

2-3.. chopped green chillies

1 tsp.. Pepper

Sendha namak to taste (Rock Salt)

Ghee/Oil

A plastic sheet to roll the thalipeeth

A pan/griddle

Method:

  • In a mixing bowl, tip in the potatoes, sabudana, green chillies, flour, salt and pepper and make a soft dough out of it.
  • You shall net need any water to bind this one.
  • Lay the plastic sheet flat on the surface and grease it with ghee/oil.
  • Heat the pan/griddle and put a little oil/ghee on it.
  • Carefully transfer the thalipeeth to the pan.
  • Using a wooden spoon with a round handle, make a hole in the center of the thalipeeth.
  • Put a little oil/ghee in the center and around the surface of the thalipeeth.
  • Cook until one side is nice and brown.
  • Flip it and cook for a few min.
  • Serve it hot with lots of love.

It can be eaten with curd/kadhi/aalu ki subzi etc.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

Posted in Eggless, food for fasts, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment