Kashmiri Wazwan @ Radisson Blu, Marathahalli

I consider myself incredibly lucky for having had the chance to visit Kashmir, the land touted as ‘Paradise on Earth’, not once but twice so far. I am glad I have had a chance to explore a little of the cuisine of this beautiful place, to delve deeper into the food that nourishes the people of this land. Kashmiri cuisine has always surprised me with its out-of-the-box (at least for me) preparations, the use of spices to make food magical, and its simplicity. So, when I was recently invited to partake of a Kashmiri feast at Saffron, Radisson Blu in Marathahalli, I absolutely had to go. I ended up having an absolutely lovely time here, with some great food being served.

Read all about my experience at the Kashmiri Wazwan food festival, just in on my blog!

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Nei Payasam| Kerala Rice Kheer

This year, the festival of Onam falls on August 27. Till then, I plan to herald the festival on my blog through a series of Onam-special recipes, courtesy of my mother-in-law who hails from Palakkad.

Today, I present to you the recipe for Nei Payasam, a Kerala-style kheer made with matta rice. This payasam is typically served in the course of an Onam sadya. It is also commonly prepared during weddings and other festive occasions, and as an offering to God in the temples of Kerala.

All of us at home are huge fans of this Nei Payasam, which literally translates into ‘kheer with ghee‘, and, true to its name, this kheer is redolent of the goodness of ghee and coconut. Traditionally made with jaggery, this is a really sweet and rich and heavenly kheer, especially for those with a huge sweet tooth like us.

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!

Kavuni Arisi Adai| Indian Black Rice Pancakes

Have you ever cooked with black rice? It is an ingredient very new to my kitchen, for I started cooking with black rice fairly recently. These Indian Black Rice Pancakes are something I used it in a while back, and they were so much loved by everyone at home!

In Bangalore, black rice has been making an appearance lately on the menus of new-age cafes, mostly in the forms of salad and pudding. I decided to use it in a savoury preparation, a very South Indian one at that – Indian-style pancakes or adai.

The Kavuni Arisi Adai tasted lovely, and the addition of onions took the taste higher by several notches. Thanks to the urad daal in it, it turned out super soft too. Actually, I added in a variety of lentils to the batter – even some of the black moth daal that I picked up in Kashmir. Super nutritious, with all those whole grains in!

Check out the recipe for Kavuni Arisi Adai or Indian Black Rice Pancakes, just in on my photo blog!

Gujarati Dalwada| Mixed Lentil Fritters

Right about now, the weather in Bangalore is perfect for deep-fried goodies – cloudy but bright mornings, followed by short showers in the evening. I absolutely had to dish up some Gujarati dalwada, one of my most favourite fried snacks!

If you have never had Gujarati dalwada before, you must absolutely try them out right away. They are so delightful – crunchy from the outside and soft on the inside, beautiful in taste. I have grown up eating them on rainy days and, even today, I cannot think of monsoon without thinking of these beauties. A newspaper cone full of these dalwadas, served with some fried green chillies and salt-soaked thinly sliced onions, spells out B-L-I-S-S to me.

Here’s a tried-and-tested recipe for delicious Gujarati dalwadas, the way a friend of mine taught me to make them!

A Holiday Full Of Experiences At Sterling Fernhill, Ooty

In the world of holidays, Sterling is not a new name. Sterling has recently rebranded itself as an ‘experiential holiday company’, priding itself on providing to guests various local experiences at all of its properties. #HolidayDifferently is Sterling Holidays’ new motto, and they aim to offer patrons unique experiences that will make their holiday hugely memorable.

Recently, a bunch of bloggers from Bangalore and Chennai were invited by Sterling Holidays for a two-day staycation at one of their properties in Ooty, Fern Hill, and to indulge in some of the indigenous experiences they offer. I had the opportunity to join the group too, and ended up having a wonderful mid-week holiday that I will cherish for a long time to come. This was my first-ever time travelling without family, and I am so glad it all turned out so well.

Read all about my staycation and the various amazing Sterling experiences we were part of at Ooty, just in on my photo blog!

Mixed Vegetable Badi Ki Sabzi

Aloo Badi Ki Sabzi – a curry made using potatoes and sun-dried lentil badis or vadis – is quite a common dish in the households of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand. I decided to make this sabzi even more wholesome by using an assortment of vegetables, rather than using just potatoes. This gave me just the perfect opening to make use of the beautiful, fresh rajma beans I picked up at the vegetable vendor’s a while back.

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog! 🙂

 

Stuffed Kuzhi Paniyaram, My Tribute To The Ravishing Rekha

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop has a very unique and interesting theme this week – Filmi Foodies! All of us food bloggers are paying tribute to Bollywood, in their own way, via food of course! 🙂

I decided to make Stuffed Kuzhi Paniyaram for the challenge, my tribute to the ravishing and hugely talented Rekha ji. Both these South Indian classics have stood the test of time – both never seem to get old! Like Rekha ji, this Stuffed Kuzhi Paniyaram might look simple from the outside, but it packs in quite a sucker punch!

Do check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!

Pressure Cooker Gutti Vankaya Koora| Healthy Andhra-Style Stuffed Baby Eggplants

Gutti Vankaya Koora is an Andhra Pradesh specialty. Baby eggplants are stuffed with a spice mix and then cooked in a flavourful gravy. This is one of my most favourite preparations using brinjals or eggplants, especially using the groundnut and garlic stuffing that a Telugu neighbour of ours taught me to make several years ago.

Somewhere down the line, I began making the Gutti Vankaya Koora in a pressure cooker, with minimal oil, as opposed to the generous usage this curry typically calls for. The curry still tastes the same – delicious – but is now way more healthy and guilt-free.

Check out the recipe for Pressure Cooker Gutti Vankaya Koora, just in on my photo blog!

Jamia Masjid, An Architectural Marvel in Old Srinagar

The Jamia Masjid of Srinagar, a hugely sacred mosque and place of worship for Kashmiri Muslims, is a beautiful specimen of Persian architecture, with a few influences from Buddhist pagodas. There has been generous usage of Kashmiri glazed black stone, bricks and deodar wood in the building of the mosque, which gives it a quaint, charming look. Our first glance of the mosque stunned us with its prettiness.

Step out of the mosque gates, and you will find yourself amidst a little bazaar of sorts. Walking around these shops, checking out things, photographing, learning and shopping was a treat in itself.

Read all about our experience at the grand Jamia Masjid, just in on my photo blog!