Friday, November 8, 2013

FoodPanda- Review

My hearty greetings to all viewers. Hope all of you had a wonderful Diwali! After a long break I am back :) not with a recipe but a review!
Life is pretty busy and hectic with two kids as we get to face more challenges while they grow up . Even cooking seems to be a big and difficult task for me.
I came across this website which makes life a easy for many people who don't have the time to cook and it becomes an hassle.  


Foodpanda is a network of smart people who have provided a simple yet smart solution which makes life easy for people while hungry! Through Foodpanda you can order your food online from anywhere. All you have to do is go to this site foodpanda,   Enter your city, area or street, Select the restaurant here from where you want to order your food in your vicinity, you can see the menu and price of the food too.Select pay online or cash on delivery and your food is on its way to your home! Life is so simple isn't it!! This way you can even explore what restaurant you have in your area! You can take all the time in the world, customize your order to your preference and eat till your tummy is happy !!


 
 
Foodpanda has its network worldwide so wherever you travel one need not worry on which restaurant to go and what to eat.  The restaurant index also includes address and delivery hours.
 They also have nice discounts and offers like movie vouchers etc. Whether you’retired eating your own cooked food, can’t stop watching the cricket match ball-to-ball, simply fed up of standing in line for service, dealing with grumpy waiters, Can't get out of office meetings, having a party at home, FoodPanda has a solution for every one of you !!

For the busy life we have in a IT hub like Bangalore where life is busy 24/7, I very much recommend such innovative ideas.  So this weekend is going to be something delicious delivered to my home by this panda :) This Panda loves spreading joy and happiness, leaving smiles on people’s faces and celebrating food. Happy Eating !!

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf - A whole New Experience !

Born and brewed in Southern California since 1963, The Coffee bean and Tea Leaf is the oldest and the largest privately held specialty coffee and tea retailer in the United States.
 
While I was invited to review CBTL as it is called in short, the most interesting part was the decor which impressed me. It has a lovey and chic outdoor seating arrangement.
 
 

 

 
CBTL has a wide range of hot, cold coffees, ice blended drinks, coffee free drinks, fruit teas, iced coffee and espressos and many many more.....

Genmaicha Green tea 
 
Lemon Chamomile

Known for sourcing and providing the finest ingredients and flavours, through a relationship, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has built a relationship with best private tea estates and coffee farms, selecting only the world’s top 1% Arabica beans and hand-plucked, whole leaf teas. Following the philosophy of “carefully nurtured from seed to cup”, the beverages available through the café are high quality and developed to derive the best flavour profiles from the ingredients.


These are some of their flavours in Tea!


Swedish Berries for flavoured ice tea

These are the spices used in the Masala Chai!

 
This year, the iconic brand celebrates 50 years of heritage and passion of delighting its patrons worldwide.
To add to the celebrations, a new food menu with variety of gourmet and healthy eating options has also been introduced. From all day breakfast, gourmet bites, fresh bakes, main course to desserts, the new Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® menu is a foodie’s delight offering novel options like Chilly Cheese Baguette, Pizza Curl, Banofee Cake, Silky Chocolate Mousse to name a few.
 
Granola Bars 

I loved these Grilled Paneer Sandwiches !

3 cheese pizza!

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has also unveiled a new logo on the occasion, which bears the words: “passion for coffee and tea”. The logo reiterates the landmark in the brand’s history, paying tribute to its patrons and thanking consumers for their continuous support over the years. In addition, baristas at all outlets will reaffirm to produce the best tea and coffee beverages across the globe.


 
 
My overall experience was really very good and I highly recommend this place which is not at all heavy on your pocket! Its a perfect hangout for a relaxed weekend brunch !


About Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf:

Founded in 1963, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® is the oldest and largest privately-
held chain of specialty coffee and tea stores in the United States. With a reputation
for excellence, the company is a leader in product innovations, having developed
the original Ice Blended® beverage. Providing the highest quality coffees and
teas for 50 years, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® currently has more than 1000
stores. These stores blanket the world in markets such as Germany, California,
Arizona, Nevada, Singapore, Malaysia, Korea, Brunei, Indonesia, Philippines,
Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Mongolia, UAE, Israel, Lebanon, Bahrain,
Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kurdistan, Turkey and continue
to expand both domestically and internationally. For additional information, visit
www.coffeebean.com

National, March 2013: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® (CBTL), founded in 1963 by
Herbert B. Hyman in Los Angeles, has been a pioneer in bringing gourmet coffees
and teas to the global connoisseur. Over the years, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® has
established itself as the oldest and most trusted brand, preferred by coffee & tea
lovers across the world.
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® is the oldest and largest privately-held specialty coffee
and tea retailer in the United States with more than 1000 stores across 25 countries.
This year, the iconic brand celebrates 50 years of heritage and passion of delighting
its patrons worldwide. Plans are afoot to reward consumers for their loyalty that has
played an enormous role in achieving this milestone. From 50 th anniversary exclusive
merchandise to special anniversary offers, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf® will gratify loyal
patrons across the globe for their continued love and support over the years.
Operational in India since 2008, the brand also completes 5 successful years in India,
where again it has played the pioneer’s role in introducing the finest coffees & teas
from around the world to Indian coffee & tea lovers.

DISCLAIMER: This is not a paid review. The opinions and thoughts mentioned in the post are purely mine and done by tasting.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

And the winner is ....

Firstly, thanks to all the participants for their lovely wishes and comments. I was away from my blog as my kids had exams... Hoping to post something this week :)

My Kids have selected 2 winners randomly ! They are Preety and Sharanya. Congratulations to you !

My Hearty Thanks to all of you and Cuponation for making the event a success!

Advance Ugadi wishes to all !

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Yam n flat Beans Subzi


Ingredients

2 cups yam (cleaned, washed and cubed)
1 cup flat beans cut into 2 inch size
1 inch ginger
2-3 tbsp tamarind pulp
1tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp dry coconut powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

for tempering
2 tsp oil
1/2 mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp chana dal
2 dry red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
roasted cashewnut for garnish (optional)

Preparation

After cleaning the yam and cutting into cubes add 2 cups water to it. Pressure cook yam and broad beans separately in the cooker for 2 whitles. Do not add water to the broad beans. Once the veggies cool down, drain the extra water from the yam. In a pan add 2 tbsp oil and fry the yam pieces till slightly brown and crisp. Set aside.
In a pan add the tempering ingredients in the given order and let them splutter. To this add finely chopped ginger, the beans and fry for 2 minutes. Add tamarind pulp, dry coconut, coriander powder, tumeric powder and mix well. To this mixture add yam pieces and salt. Mix well and cook for few more minutes.
Garnish with cashewnuts or coriander leaves and serve warm with roti or rice.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Sweet Pongal with Brown Rice Poha

Ingredients

2 cups brown rice poha (Flattened rice)
1 cup moong dal
1 cup Jaggery
3-4 tbsp ghee
3 tsp cashewnuts
3 tsp raisins
3 tsp grated fresh coconut
almonds and walnuts to garnish

Preparation

Wash the poha, drain and set aside. Wash moong dal and Pressure cook it adding 3 cups of water for 3 whistles.
Melt the Jaggery in a pan with very little water (1/2 cup ) and strain it to remove the impurities.
In a pan add 1 tsp ghee and fry the nuts and raisins till golden. Set aside.
In a bowl add poha, dal and jaggery and mix well. Heat a heavy bottomed pan with remaining ghee and add the poha mixture. If you like you can add 1/2 cup milk. I did not do that. If you feel the pongal is too dry you can add 1/2 cup of water. Add the dry fruits and  grated coconut. Serve hot.


This recipe can be made very quickly especially during festivals like Sankranti, Vasant panchami etc. and can be offered to God.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Baghare Baingan


Ingredients

250 grams small brinjals
2 medium onions, quartered
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp peanuts
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3/4 tsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp grated dried coconut
a pinch of fenugreek seeds
1 inch ginger, roughly chopped
6-8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
salt to taste
a pinch of turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp grated jaggery or sugar
2 tbsp tamarind pulp
1/2 cup olive oil
1 sprig curry leaves
fresh coriander leaves to garnish

Preparation
Wash brinjals and wipe them clean with dry cloth. Make slit along the length taking care that the brinjal is held together at the stem. In a wide pan, add 2-4 tbsp oil and fry the brinjals till half cooked and soft from inside. Take care not to toss them too much as they tend to break. Set aside. In a pan add 1 tsp oil and roast the onions till they turn light brown and soften. Set aside. Dry roast coriander seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, cumin seeds, poppy seeds, dried coconut and fenugreek seeds separately, till they begin to change colour and give out a nice aroma. Grind together roasted onions, roasted spices, ginger, garlic, salt turmeric powder, chilli powder and jaggery to a fine paste (2-3 tbsp water can be added to make the paste). Add tamarind pulp and mix well.

In a pan add 2-3 tbsp oil , add curry leaves and saute. Add the gravy to the pan and slighty bring to boil till the oil comes out of the gravy. Add the brinjals to this and simmer. If the gravy is too thick, water can be added as desired. Cook till the oil comes to the surface, garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot. If you feel the gravy is too sweet, you can add some more red chilli powder or green chillies and some extra tamarind pulp!

This recipe is inspired from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor.
When ever I cook brinjals directly in any gravy base they never get cooked from inside. So I made some changes and precooked the brinjals and added them to the gravy.
Sending this recipe to "I must make that " Contest hosted by my very dear friend Pallavi of "A cook at Heart". She also has an amazing giveaway from Cuponation!





Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Britannia Masala Buttermilk (Chaas) Review


To replicate the experience of homemade chaas, Britannia Masala Chaas has natural ingredients like Jeera, Curry Leaves and Ginger added to it giving it the authentic homemade taste and feel.
It is best had chilled and leaves you with a “cool ehsaas”. I just garnished it with some pistachios, fresh mint, coriander leaves and some crushed ginger. When kids came from school they felt very refreshing and enjoyed drinking it. It can also be packed along with snack to school for kids. Its a great product as summer is approaching. I would definitely keep one in my handbag too....


About Britannia Masala Chaas Launch

Speaking at the launch , Mr. Ashok Namboodiri, Head – Dairy Business, Britannia Industries Ltd., said “ Chaas has been an integral part of India’s cuisine, no meal is complete without a glass of buttermilk. Packaged Chaas has emerged as a fast growing category driven by convenience, consistent taste and new age lifestyle. There is a strong preference and shift seen towards usage of convenient, ready to use, foods as people do not want to invest time in preparing them. Britannia Masala Chaas offers the same experience without the “ jhanjhat” of preparing it. Secondly, there is also a trend emerging of substituting carbonated high calorie drinks with low calorie healthy drinks and Dairy Drinks, which Britannia is targeting.
“Britannia Masala Chaas” also marks the extension of Britannia into F&B outlets where a large part of “Out of Home” consumption happens."
The “Masala Chaas” comes in attractive and convenient packaging which is easy to carry and can be had on the go as compared to other existing formats.  The shelf life is 4 months before opening and can be stored in an ambient environment. Britannia Masala Chaas will be priced at Rs 15/- per 150 ml pack.
This launch further enhances Britannia’s active foray into healthy milk based products. and adds to building the Britannia credo of “Drink Healthy, Think Better”.
Britannia Masala Chaas will be initially launched across Modern Trade outlets across major Cities in India.
DISCLAIMER: This is not a paid review. The opinions and thoughts mentioned in the post are purely mine and done by tasting the sample sent.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Sesame and Peanut Praline (chikki)

 
Sankranti was very busy and beautiful for us. My mom and mom-in-law were with us making lots of traditional Sankranti recipes:) I never knew Chikki was such an easy recipe to make. I wanted to try my hands on almond, cashew nuts, pistachios, melon seeds and many more!
 
 
 
Ingredients
 
1 cup sugar
1 cup roasted peanuts or roasted sesame seeds (any nuts desired) 
1 tsp ghee
 
Preparation
Heat a pan and add 1 tsp ghee, to this add sugar. Keep tossing the sugar on medium heat.

 The sugar melts this way as shown in the picture and changes colour.
 As soon as all the sugar melts add the crushed peanuts. Peanuts should be slightly crushed to give thick texture. Mix quickly turn off the heat immediately  and transfer it to a clean surface in the kitchen which is slightly oiled. The whole process should be done very quickly.

After pouring the mixture on a flat surface quickly roll it with rolling pin to make it flat.
 
Cut them into pieces and let it cool.

 After it cools down break them to pieces and enjoy.
Kids will enjoy the home made Chikkis!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Camp Fire Mini Cake made with Choco Sticks

This is what I tried to create with the choco sticks:) Camp Fire Mini Cakes!
 
 

 I got these Gone Mad Choco Sticks for Product review and frankly speaking my kids did the review of these chololate filled goodies! The verdict is YUMMMMMYYYY.....

The wrapper of the choco sticks is designed by school kids very beautifully. The wafer is crunchy and the chocolate filled inside is very moist.
 

Diya enjoying chocosticks!

About Gone Mad Choco sticks!




Ingredients
Mini chocolate Cookies (I used Lotte choco pie) Small chocolate muffins or cupcakes can be used.
Choco Sticks Cut into desired length
Candies of red, yellow, orange colours
 
Preparation
Break all the candies into pieces with hammer after putting them into a ziploc plastic bag.

 
 
Place them in a foil and bake it for 5 minutes!
 
After the melted candies cool down break them into pieces.

 
Assemble them like a camp fire on the chocolate cake or cookie! It makes a great treat for the kids parties and birthdays

 

DISCLAIMER: This is not a paid review. The opinions and thoughts mentioned in the post are purely mine and done by tasting the sample sent by Garuda Foods.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Happy Makar Sankranti Wishes!


Pongal and Boorelu

Friday, January 11, 2013

Lilva Thuvar Aloo Subzi (pigeon pea gravy)

 

Ingredients
1 cup fresh green Thuvar
1 cup baby potatoes
1 large onion
2 medium tomatoes
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 large green chillies (slit)
2 tbsp Poppy seeds
1 tbsp fresh methi leaves
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves to garnish
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp kitchen king masala
1 tsp Garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
a dash of asafoetida
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste

Preparation

Soak poppy seeds in 2-3 tbsp water for 1 hour. Grind poppy and tomato to make paste. Pressure cook Green thuvar and potatoes separately in cooker for 2 whistles. In a pan add 2 tbsp oil and add the baby potatoes after removing the skin. Fry them till golden and crisp along with few methi leaves. Set aside. Heat a pan, add oil, cumin seeds and let it splutter. To this add asafoetida, onions, ginger-garlic paste, chillies and saute. When onion turns slight golden add the tomato- poppy paste, all the masalas except garam masala. Let it cook on medium till the mixture leaves oil. Add the thuvar and bring to boil. Simmer the heat,  add potatoes, Garam masala, mix and turn off the heat. Garnish and serve hot with Rotis!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Tangy plantain curry/ Aratikaya Kura

This recipe is my mom-in-laws speciality. It tastes very good with rice and rotis!

Ingredients
4 medium size Plantains cut in cubes
2-3 medium tomatoes pureed
2 tsp tamarind pulp (optional if you do not prefer lot of tangy flavour)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
salt to taste

For Tempering
2-3 red chillies
sprig of curry leaves
1/3 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp split urad dal
1/2 tsp chana dal
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
a dash of asafoetida
4 tbsp oil


Preparation

Heat a wide pan with 2 tbsp oil, add the plantain cubes and fry on high heat for 2 minutes.
To the Plantain add salt, turmeric, chilli powder, tomato puree, mix well and cover with lid. Cook on medium to low heat till the plantain absorbs all the moisture and becomes soft. This might take about 5- 7 minutes.
Open the lid, add tamarind pulp and cook on  high heat for 2 minutes till crisp. Turn off the heat.
For tempering in a pan heat 2 tbsp oil, mustard seeds. After they splutter, add urad, chana, fenugreek , asafoetida, red chillies and curry leaves in the given order! Add this tempering to the plantain and toss. Serve warm with rice or roti!