First Dine In At A Cafe Since The LockDown

Finally, after so many weeks since the lockdown started, I went to a cafe. My cousin Sujith and I met for lunch today after I had to get two other things done. I gave my laptop to HP World so I could get the RAM increased. My laptop came with only 4GB of RAM and that is not really enough for Windows 10. Well it is enough but when you open too many tabs on browsers and run some applications, things start to get stuck.

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After I left my laptop with them, I then went to get my glasses from Lawrence & Mayo which I had ordered last week. They were ready by Wednesday but I couldn’t get to them until today. Then I went to meet Sujith at Cafe 17. We started with some shakes and then chose our started which was a plate of buffalo wings. Delicious.

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For the lunch item, Sujith picked a roast beef sandwich and I had an On The Highway burger. We hung out for a while just happy to be out and having lunch after such a long long time. Man, this was so enjoyable.

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Once lunch was over I booked another cab and went to get my laptop and then headed home as I was tired and sleepy. I watched tv for a bit and then took a nap for an hour.

I Doughnut Want To Eat You

National Doughnut Day! Will you be celebrating with homemade doughnuts or picking up a box at the store? Share your best doughnut story or recipe.

So I am 6 days late to this topic but better late than never. I love doughnuts or donuts as most people spell them out. Though to be honest I rarely have a craving for them. If I am in a nice coffeeshop and see that they have have them among their wares then yes I indulge in one.

A couple of times I have been to a famous international outlet like a Dunkin Donuts in Delhi and a Krispy Kreme in Chennai. We also have a local restaurant call Donut Factory but they also have fast food in there. I have had a few from the office whenever they get Donut Factory to come in and sell their wares in our cafteria as a promotional bit.

The only thing I have never done is dip a donut into my coffee. I tend to like my coffee sweet so rarely do I eat the donut with my coffee. I usually wait for the coffee to finish before I bite into my donut. Also since I rarely get a donut it’s usually ones that come with some cream on it or inside it. I love chocolate glazing on my donuts (because I love chocolate anything) and I also loved the Boston Cream filled donut I had in Dunkin.

Now if only Tim Hortons came to my location. I don’t think they are even in India anywhere.

Ditch the Meat: Why Utilise Seafood More in Your Diet Instead?

Seafood is a hugely varied and exciting category of food, yet despite this, it’s meat that people tend to favour. And while meat is delicious, there are lots of reasons why limiting it (or even cutting it out of your diet altogether) is definitely not a bad way to go. Here are some of the reasons why.

Health

Meat and poultry does have some incredible health benefits, it’s full of protein and contains many minerals and vitamins that add to a healthy diet. However, the biggest problem is that people eat too much of it. As well as being rich in good stuff for our bodies, it can also be very high in fat- many kinds of meats are also processed meaning they’re full of salt and other chemicals which negatively impact health. Seafood on the other hand tends to be much lower in fat, and in many instances since it’s best eaten so fresh it doesnt go through the same processing that meat does. Studies have shown eating more seafood can alleviate conditions like depression. Fish tends to be low fat, high protein and chock full of essential vitamins and nutrients that support just about all areas of the body’s health. This means fish and seafood is a lighter, fresher and healthier alternative to many kinds of meats.

Environment

One of the other huge concerns with eating too much meat is the environmental consequences. Things like factory farming use a lot of resources such as water and fossil fuels, and produce a lot of toxic byproducts. It’s not to say that fish are 100% eco friendly, we all know how certain varieties have become massively overfished in recent years. But in general, they have less impact on the environment than raising and killing animals for meat. You could even catch your own fish, sites like Tailored Tackle have everything you need to get started for all kinds of fishing. What could be more satisfying than catching your own supper?!

It’s fast food

We all lead busy lives, we’re tired when we finish work and just want to grab something quick and easy. But pass up the burger joint or frozen pizza, fish is fantastic, fast food. Since it’s so delicate it doesnt need much in the way of cooking, and unlike meat which often needs to be marinated and slow cooked and roasted for it to taste its best, fish can be kept simple. Either lightly fried in a pan, or wrapped in a foil parcel with some lemon, herbs and vegetables in the oven and in a very short time you have a tasty meal. With so many different types of seafood from white fish to oily fish, prawns, oysters and much more, there are lots of different interesting tastes and recipes to explore!

Food Review #296

Finally in Taco Bell India! Kochi got it’s first ever Taco Bell when they opened one up in Lulu Mall at the end of December 2019. I just got a chance to go there and decided to shoot a review. Taco Bell’s Fajita Chicken Burrito & Mexican Fries – Really good burrito & Mexican Fries.

King Of Thirst Quencehers

Since this is the worst summer (for us here it’s from March till say end of June before the monsoon season really hits), I drink a lot of cold water, juice and soft drinks. I tend to sweat a lot and could get dry mouth and dehydrated if I am not careful and drink enough water. While cool or cold water is great at satisfying the thirst and cooling you down, most of the times I crave something with some taste.

While I started with Coke and the odd Pepsi, I soon moved onto juices. I love the juices from Tropicana, Minute Maid & Real but it seems to me that most grocery stores during the lockdown seem to be storing the mixed fruit juice and I don’t much like the taste of it. Sometimes even orange isn’t that great. I prefer apple and cranberry and occasionally (especially during the summer months) i like litchi but then I try to go for fizzy drinks as they really do satisfy my thirst and make me burp, which I like.

I am not getting options for Sprite so 7Up has been the main choice so far. Also my parents tends to prefer it over dark colas like Pepsi, Coke or ThumsUP (which I haven’t had in decades). While some people feel that Sprite & 7Up is the same to them they really aren’t. My choice would be Sprite but 7Up has been the loyal one since I was a little kid. I only started drinking Sprite 15-17 years ago when it started becoming more readily available along with Mountain Due but I guess 7Up is king for the summer thirst quenchers. I drink a large 350 tumbler every evening.

Food Review #293

The beef lasagna from the Kahawa Cafe. This is only the second time I’ve had lasgna in my life. I am happy that I finally have places to eat lasgna in my 40s. Always something I’ve wanted to try ever since I started watching Garfield cartoons in my early teens.

One Pot Sausage & Peppers Pasta

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 2-3 links Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 1 small onion 
  • 8 oz. button mushrooms
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes 
  • 1 tsp dried basil 
  • 1 tsp dried oregano 
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1 lb. rigatoni 
  • 1/4 cup parmesan 
  • handful fresh parsley, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, fresh tomatoes are optional

Instructions

  • Add the olive oil and sausage links to a large pot and cook over medium heat until they are browned on the outside and firm enough to slice into rounds. Remove the sausage from the pot with tongs, slice into rounds, then return them to the pot and cook for a few minutes more, or until fully browned.
  • While the sausage is cooking, slice or mince the garlic and slice or dice the onion (depending on how big you want your pieces). Slice the mushrooms.
  • Once the sausage is browned, add the crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic, mushrooms, basil, and oregano to the pot. Stir to combine and to dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  • Add the vegetable broth and pasta, then stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to high, and bring it to a rapid boil. As soon as it reaches a full boil, give it a stir, replace the lid, turn the heat down to low. Let the pot simmer on low for 15 minutes. Stir it every five minutes or so while it’s simmering. Make sure it’s simmering (bubbling) the whole time. If it is not, turn the heat up slightly.
  • After 15 minutes of simmering, the pasta should be tender and most of the liquid should be absorbed. If there is still too much liquid, let it simmer without a lid for a couple more minutes. Stir in the parmesan and top with fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Add bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, fresh tomatoes if so desired.

Serve hot!

Chicken Pulao Recipe

Ingredients

(Serves 4)

1kg chicken on the bone, skinless and cut to medium pieces

250gms basmati rice

525mls water or stock

3 tbsp sunflower oil

1 heaped tsp cumin seeds

6 cloves

½ tsp black pepper

2” cinnamon stick

2 black cardamom pods

2 large white onions thinly sliced

2 green chillies slit lengthwise

5 garlic cloves

1” ginger

1 heaped tsp coriander powder

Salt to taste

20gms freshly chopped coriander

Juice of 1/2 a lime

Method

  1. In a blender add the garlic and ginger with a splash of water and make a smooth paste. Set aside.
    In a heavy bottom sauce pan heat the oil. Add the whole spices letting them sizzle and infuse their flavours for 30 seconds. Now add the white onions and fry on a low heat for 30-35 mins. They will soften and start to colour. Make sure to stir every few minutes making sure it doesn’t stick to the pan. The quantity of onions for this dish is quite a lot so give it time to fry and retain a light brown colour.
  2. At this stage increase the heat to medium, add the green chillies and fry for a few seconds followed by the ginger and garlic paste. Fry for 2 minutes until the raw flavours from the paste cook through.
  3. Now add the chicken pieces along with the coriander powder stir well making sure the spices coat the chicken pieces sealing through for 8-10minutes. Add salt and continue to fry the chicken. Add half the water quantity and bring to a boil simmering with a lid on for 10 minutes. Stir half way through the cooking process. The chicken will nearly be done by this time.
  4. Now add the rice, little fresh coriander and the remaining water. Bring to a boil; simmer for 18-20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the chicken & rice are tender.
  5. Add the remaining coriander at this stage. Cover the pulao and turn the heat off. Leave to rest for 10minutes to let the rice cool slightly before serving. Serve with some lime juice, salad and raita