2014 in review

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Aalu dum

I have been avoiding getting potatoes at home, simply to check excess carbohydrate intake. This is because, we, the rice eaters get enough of it. 

So, yesterday, I just thought to give it a break and indulge in potato eating. So, here’s a nice and spicy potato dish that is one of the favourites of us, Bengalis.

You need:

  • Baby potatoes         500 gms
  • Mustard oil             4 Tbsp
  • Onions                     2 large
  • Tomatoes                1 large
  • Garlic cloves          5-6
  • Ginger                     a small chunk
  • Green chilies         3
  • Turmeric pd          1 tsp
  • Garam masala pd 1tsp
  • Bay leaf                   1
  • Red chili whole     1
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • Water
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

 Method

Pressure cook the potatoes with little salt. Strain water and de-skin. Add oil in a skillet and rub potatoes with some turmeric pd. Fry the potatoes till golden brown. Keep them aside. In the same oil, add bay leaf and whole red chili. Make a puree of anions, tomato, chilies, ginger and garlic. Add the puree to the oil. Cook for a while. Add salt, turmeric pd and sugar. Cook till the masala starts letting out the oil. Add the fried potatoes. Stir. Add little warm water. Let it cook for 5 mins. Remove from heat and serve with the coriander leaves garnish.

 

PicsArt_1407490518236

Goes best with luchi/poori.

Enjoy.

Sweet corn soup

Ingredients

Sweet corn kernels : 1 cup

Carrots (finely chopped) : 1/2 cup

Onions: 1/4 cupSOUP111

Cabbage (shredded) : 1/4 cup

Olive oil: 1 tbsp

Vinegar: 1/2 tsp

Sugar: 1/2 tsp

Salt and white pepper to taste

Cornstarch: 1 tsp

 

For Vegetable Stock

Carrots (roughly diced) : 4-5 cubes

Cabbage: a small chunk

Coriander leaves: few strands

Onion (peeled and cut in 4cubes): 1 small

Water: 6 cups

 

Method

In a pan chuck all the vegetables with water. Bring it to boil. Let the water reduce to half. Your vegetable stock is ready.

 

Soup

Heat oil in a wok. Add corns, onions, cabbage and carrots. Cook for sometime. Add salt. Now, pour the vegetable stock. Allow it to boil. Add vinegar and sugar. Dissolve the cornstarch in little water and pour it in the soup. Cook till the soup thickens.

 

soup2222

 

dinner at CASERO

 

It was my job to book a table for the Valentines dinner for two of us!

So, I remember this article on Pune Times: Casero running a Mediterranean Fest, serving unlimited grilled food, beer and fresh fruit cocktails! A newish name, our all time love for Mediterranean food and the availability of a table, landed us at Casero. I wondered, what does the Spanish name really mean, when my husband whispered- ” Casero means Home-Made.” he picked it up from the Menu.

A list of grills written on a blackboard was on offer. Mediterranean bazaar Baby lamb racks, fish cakes, charmoula prawns, bacon wrapped seabass, chicken wings, filled zucchini, stuffed tomatoes, potato wedges, fruit skewers and some more. We opted for the special Mediterranean spread and left the A la Carte for our next visit. 

The food was decent, not excellent though! But, I guess any packaged unlimited deal cuts down a little on the quality.

Slowly, the crowd picked up and in no time the restaurant was full and ran out of tables. And the staff looked ruffled! 

With time, the orders became delayed and not as fresh as served at the start! We waited for the dessert and were given a 10% discount instead, as they couldn’t manage to serve any!

The floor manager asked for an apology and requested to give them another chance, some other day! 
“We were not expecting such a huge rush tonight. We are sorry. Please give us another chance.”- he sighed!

We will surely come back to you, for you being so honest and also dig in to your A la Carte menu. 

 

We give Casero  2 out of 5 Dakkaars ! ( considering it to be a new entrant)

Dakkaar suggests:

  • Must allot waiter for each table
  • Check your stocks before lending out the menu to the customerscasero
  • A bigger grill set up
  • Light up the mirror area of ladies washroom ( we always prefer a well lit mirror counter for touch ups)

Dakkaar loves:

  • Decor inspired by Pueblo Blanco
  • Cheerful staff
  • Comfortable seating 
  • The dessert spread on the menu

 

 

Casero
City Tower, Boat Club Road, Pune.
020 6920 5555
http://www.casero.in/

 

Find Casero on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CaseroIndia

 

 

 

Stuffed pineapple chicken with beetroot dip

Ingredients

Chicken breasts: 2 pieces

Pineapples: 1 cup (finely chopped)

Cottage cheese: 1 cup (mashed)stuffed pineapple chicken

Spinach: 3-4 leaves

Parsley: few strands

Yogurt: 3Tbsp

Garlic: 4 cloves

Beetroot: 1 cup ( cut in cubes)

Onions: 1 small ( sliced)

Fresh lemon juice: 3 Tbsp

Cinnamon: 1 inch stick

Asafoetida: a pinch

Lemon zest

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Olive oil

 

 

Method

Make slits in the chicken breasts to form pockets. Rub on some fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper and keep aside for half an hour.

Stuffing

Make a paste of spinach, parsley, yogurt and a pinch of salt. Now, add the chopped pineapples and cottage cheese to the paste that you just made and mix well. Your filling is ready.

Now stuff the chicken breasts with the filling, roll them and seal the pockets with toothpicks.

In a pan, put some olive oil. Add cinnamon stick and asafoetida. Put the chicken breasts carefully and close the lid. ( You could also use butter instead of olive oil). Turn around the pieces occasionally, till they are cooked evenly.

Dip

Add very little oil in a pan. Add onions, beetroot, garlic and saute well. Add some salt and sugar. Now, put two cups of water to it and let it boil for 15 mins. Let it cool down. Put the entire thing in a blender and make a paste. Add lemon zest to it. Your dip is ready.

Plate the dish by sprinkling some Parmesan cheese on the top of the chicken and serve hot with some bread.

Enjoy!

 

P.S: You could avoid frying the chicken in the pan and  bake it in an oven for better result.

Watermelon, cottage cheese and green olive cold salad

Ingredients

  • Watermelon :  1 whole small size ( de-seed and cut in big chunks )
  • Cottage cheese : 12-15 pieces ( cut in cubes)             watermelon n cottage cheese.jpg 1
  • Green olives: 12-15 nos.
  • Olive oil for seasoning
  • Black salt to taste
  • Fresh lime juice: just a dash of it
  • Mint leaves: optional

 

Method

Chuck the watermelon chunks, cottage cheese cubes, olives in a salad bowl. Add olive oil, black salt, lime juice and toss well. You can add some fresh mint leaves to it.

Keep the bowl in the refrigerator for 20 mins and serve cold!

 

Stuffed Green Pepper with cheese

Ingredients

  • Green Bell Peppers : 4 nos.
  • Mashed potatoes : 2 cups
  • Onions : 1/2 cup (finely chopped) 
  • Green chillies : 1/2 teaspoon (finely chopped)
  • Ginger : 1/2 teaspoon (finely grated)
  • Cumin seeds : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Chilli Powder : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder : 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander leaves : 3 tablespoons (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • Cheese (grated)
  • Salt to taste

 

Method

Gently cut the stem and the seeds of the bell pepper. Tap gently so that all the seeds fall off. Heat oil in a pan; add the cumin seeds, onions, ginger and green chillies. Saute until the onions become tender. Add mashed potatoes, chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Saute until all the ingredients get combined well. Turn off the heat. Add the coriander leaves and stir well. Stuff the potato mixture into the green bell peppers and add some grated cheese on the top. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and bake them in an oven for about 15 mins.

Serve Hot!

P.S: You could also use a different stuffing like, chicken or mutton keema, cottage cheese etc. The ingredients will remain the same with some added minced garlic.

 

Carrot and beetroot delight

Ingredients 

Carrot: 1 (julienned )

Beetroot: 1 (julienned )

Onion: 1 (thinly sliced)972430_10151649661895791_1549956763_n

Urad dal: 1 tsp

Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp

Green chilies: 2 to 3 (slits)

Coconut (desiccated) : 2 Tpsp

Salt to taste

Oil: 2 Tbsp

Method

Add oil to a pan. Sprinkle mustard seeds to crackle. Add udad dal. Add onions. Fry. Add carrots and beetroots. Stir fry. Add chilies and salt. Cover and cook for sometime. ( you can sprinkle some water if it gets too dry). Add coconut and mix well. Serve with parathas.

Mango souffle

Ingredients

Mango puree: 1 cup

Sugar: 4 Tbsp

Egg: 1 no.

Fresh creme: 1/2 cup

Gelatin: 1 tsp972522_10151648327315791_774384055_n

Lime juice: 1 tsp

Little warm water to soak gelatin

Method

Soak gelatin in little warm water. Separate the yolk and egg white. Add the yolk in a double boiler. Add sugar and  stir till it melts perfectly. Add mango puree in it and stir continuously. Now, add gelatin solution and keep stirring to get required consistency. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Let the custard cool. Beat the cream and add to the custard. Now, beat the egg white and fold it with the mixture. Cut and fold. Pour the mixture in a souffle/custard mold and refrigerate for 3 hours ( not in freezer ). Decorate with some cream and chocolate syrup and serve chilled.