Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Plum Cake - Selling!!!

As they say a picture speaks a 1000 words.... :)

Available right now in 300gm packs for Rs. 120. To get one now, leave a comment here or mail me at geethasworld@gmail.com.

Get them while they last!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lalit 2nd Anniversary Celebrations & Food tasting @ the OKO

My first exposure to Japanese food was 4 years back, when we lived in Japan for about 18 months. P and his friends told me me that "Vegetarian" in Japan means "vegetables also" and not "vegetables only". You can now imagine how that would make a vegetarian like me, feel. So, we got there & settled into our new home very easily. I'll never forget my first few weeks in the country - not knowing the language, it was a rather tense few weeks. On hindsight, I find it comical now.

I was greatly urged (read compelled) to try the cuisine by P and friends. I remember my first tentative dips in this unknown (scary) pool. First japanese food I tried was Inari Sushi - it was yummy. Loved it. From those first tentative steps, trying out Zaru Soba, Yassae Tempura (vegetable tempura), Ume (plum) Sushi, Onigiri, etc., now I have come to love vegetarian Japanese food. It still amazes me, how delicious something as simple as a sour plum placed in a ball of plain rice, and wrapped with seaweed (Ume sushi and Ume Onigiri) tastes! Japanese cuisine has an emphasis on subtle flavors that enhance the natural taste of the ingredients. None of the rich, spicy or heavy flavored stuff that is found in other cuisines.

When Madhuri of Cook-Curry-Nook called me, and gave me details of the event and venue, I went online to find out more about Oko. When I found out it was a Pan-Asian restaurant, the first thought that came to my mind was - wow - I hope they have good Japanese food. The next thought was, Pan-Asian. To me, Pan-Asian means two things - Thai food and Japanese food - and I love both cuisines. But the two cuisines cannot be more different from each other - while Japanese food has the subtle flavors, Thai food can cause your eyes to water, with how spicy it is! And the flavors in Thai food are also a lot more complex - with Kafir Lime, Lemon Grass, Ginger, Chilli, Sugar, all contributing strong flavors.

Somehow I don't consider Chinese cuisine to be part of Pan-Asian - possibly because of how familiar Chinese food is to me - but in Tokyo, I realized how different Indian Chinese was, to Chinese Chinese! I think we should send an Akshay Kumar "From Chandni Chowk to China" - to teach the Chinese how to make good Chinese food - Gobi Manchurian and Hakka Noodles ;-) Maybe that will fatten them up a bit, so we can win a few more medals at the next Asian Games!

So, then I met Suma, Shubadha, Ramya & Madhuri (whom I knew from before). We met, we talked & we were in the thick of conversation. Didn't feel for a minute there that we'd just met! Here's a picture of us -

From left to right - Suma of Cakes & More, Shubhada of Shubhada's123, Madhuri of Cook-curry Nook, Ramya of Mane Adige& me!

At Oko, I was impressed by the ambience - the covered terrace gives the feel of an open air restaurant, but still shields you from the elements. The view of "Namma Bengaluru" was impressive - lights glimmering in the distance, and long lines of tail lights of vehicles reminding us of how better off we were where we were, rather than stuck in a Satuday evening traffic jam - a contrast that was highlighted even more by the giant peaceful Buddha at the entrance.

Even though I had never met any of the other bloggers before, it was just a matter of minutes before we were all chatting away like friends catching up after a long time. It was amusing to note that all of us were vegetarians - trying out cuisines that are renowned for their non-veg options! Thankfully the Chef at Oko's was up to the task of preparing vegetarian options for us.

We started off with Char grilled Okra with Teriyaki sauce. I havent had such a dish before, have never even heard of something like this, so I was a bit apprehensive - but there was no reason to worry - the dish was awesome, right from taste, texture, presentation, and it turned out to be a winning start. The Vietnamese skewered Tofu was also done right, with the Tofu having a silky texture.

While the veg Sushi rolls were nice, I really missed Inari sushi and Umesushi. These two dishes could be good additions to the menu, and improve the choices for vegetarians.

The Yasai Teppanyaki was a bit of a letdown - simply because Teppanyaki cuisine is as much about the art of preparation as it is about the ingredients and presentation. In Teppanyaki cuisine, the chef prepares the food right at your table - in fact the table is usually set around the chef's cooking surface. At Oko however, the Teppanyaki dishes were just bought to our table like all other food.

For desserts, while the selection looked good, unfortunately only Azuki Bean Jelly was available. This was probably a touch overcooked.

Service was prompt and polite. However, I think the staff needs a little bit more exposure to the cuisine, so they can answer questions about the menu, and help with ordering decisions.

On the whole we had a very pleasant evening, with great food and even better company. The only thing that would have made the evening better would have been to have P around. He would have totally totally totally loved the food, and would have done justice to it, he being a real foodie and a non-vegetarian too.

Oh - before I forget... the highlight of the evening was the signature Lalit cocktail - A peach iced tea with a hint of vodka and hiding some other mysteries. This is something I'd go back for!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

No-Bake Cookies - Bachelor's Buttons

Well, like I said, I am back again today with the no-bake cookies. I stumbled upon this recipe while looking for something else!! I saw the link in google and thought, how do u make a cookie without baking it? Now, this I must read!! After reading the very simple recipe, I bookmarked it for another day. And that day was today.

Here's the link to the original post and below my version. I didn't use any butter or milk in the recipe.

Marie Biscuits - 30
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 2/3 cup
Unsweetened Cocoa powder - 1 tbsp (adjust based on your cocoa pwdr)

For the topping
Icing sugar - 2-3 tbsps
Sugar flowers or Cadbury's Gems

Quarter biscuits, powder and sift
Add cocoa to the sifted biscuit powder
Sift into a large mixing bowl
Pour in condensed milk
Bring together to form a ball, if it doesn't come together add a tsp of milk
Divide into equal sized balls
Roll in icing sugar
Place sugar flower or cadbury's gems on top

And it is ready to serve!! I got around 22-25 cookies from the above measures. I am sending this off to Madhuri @ Cook-curry nook for her Blog's 1st anniversary event - Choco Fest! Happy First Anniversary Madhuri!!! :)

Just another ramble

So then we had another food fest in my community. And this time around I made some sugar-free butterscotch blondies, vegan banana walnut bread and 2-3 varieties of muffins & cupcakes.

Needless to say I have no pictures, but this time I do have the recipes. Will post them over the next few days. Those of you looking to make Plum Cake this Christmas, watch this space!

Madhuri of - Cook-curry Nook gave me the details for a Bloggers event @ The Lalit Ashok. It was a wonderful evening - great food & wonderful company. I'll be writing abt that separately. I was really happy to catch up with the other food-bloggers in B'lore. Next time perhaps there will be a lot more of us.

I've been debating for a while now about starting a home baking business. A couple of my friends were already doing that. I decided to hop on board with them. Check us out at www.sonrisadesserts.com. Our site is still under construction, so if you don't see something that you want, leave me a comment here or shoot us a mail. We are now taking orders for Plum cake.

Alright, let me go now & dress up the No-Bake cookies. Oh, didn't I say I was making those today... well I am. Will post the recipe later tonite.

Till then!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

No Recipe in this one

hey... I just wanted to say that I made and sold 3-4 batches of muffins & about 30 vegetable puffs!! I made the pastry sheets too!! And am mighty pleased with myself!!!

Where? How?, you ask.. well there was a food festival organized in the community where we live. So, I asked my husband - "What do you think I should make?" and he says "Vegetable Puffs, of course!!" Then we went hunting for puff pastry sheets in Bangalore, and didn't find them.

I've been thinking of making the pastry sheets for a while, but the process is lengthy., and I couldn't make the time. And now I did!! (rather had to, since I'd already committed to making the puffs!!!)

Made a batch with wheat flour & butter substitute - this didn't get all flaky on baking. Stuck that in the freezer & made another batch with all-purpose flour & unsalted butter - these were melt-in-the-mouth good!!! Yay!!!

I made 4 kinds of muffins - chocolate chip, banana nut, oatmeal raisin & rum & raisin - yes, with real rum!!

Recipe? Hmm now that is what I am so irritated about - I haven't had the time to post the recipes yet!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Beetroot Halwa

Had been to Mysore over the weekend. Had a scrumptious lunch at the Metropole. One of the items on the dessert table was beetroot halwa. It was the star of the show. All of us loved it. So, soon after we were back home, I made it. Here's the recipe -

Beetroot - grated 2 cups (got 2 cups from 1/2 kg)
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1/3 cup
Milk - 4 tbsps
Ghee - 4 tbsps
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp

Wash, dry, peel skin & finely grate beetroot
Measure sugar & water into a pan
Heat till the sugar completely dissolves, add a few tsps of water if required
In a separate non-stick pan (kadai) heat 3 tbsps ghee
Add beetroot & saute for about a minute
Pour in the sugar / water mix
Sprinkle the cardamom powder
Stir occasionally, adding ghee as needed

You know the halwa is ready when it leaves the sides of the pan forming a ball. Don't wait till it gets very solid. This halwa sets well & solidifies as it cools.