30 March 2015

Raise a Toast - Santé, Review

I remember learning the meaning of santé during my short and futile stint at studying French during my junior college days. 'A votre santé' is what is typically said when you raise a toast 'to your health'. The Santé closer back home also forces you to raise a toast and make merry. Santé in Bandra is one of the many bars that infest the Queen of the Suburbs, but I'm not complaining. More the merrier, I say! Hic Hic Hurray!

After many that came and went, Santé is the latest entrant to occupy space at the C'est La Vie club in Hill road. Divided into an outside section with exposed brick walls...yet again, twinkling fairy light, and a chariot that's converted into a love seat for two; along with an inside section which we couldn't step into that night because of a group of exuberant adolescents celebrating their graduation. A table filled with food lovers/bloggers, mid week drinking, and finger food - my evening was looking bright. 
Out of all the appetizers I stuffed my face with, and all the cocktails I gulped down, here are my picks off Sante's menu. Yes, you'll are welcome.

The Dairy Milk Martini: One of my reasons for coming to Santé was to try their much acclaimed, claim to fame, Dairy Milk Martini. Friends who have tried it before, have raved about it. It really is a beautiful amalgamation of Dairy Milk chocolate and alcohol - a childhood favourite and adulthood favourite respectively. I'd come back to Santé just for this. It's a pity they don't have it on their regular menu anymore, just on the daily specials. Ask politely and the bartender just may oblige and make you one.

Pink Floyd's Drink in the Wall: Containing four different spirits, cranberry and absinthe this is one potent drink. In fact all of the cocktails at Santé are pretty generous when it comes to the alcohol content. Two of these and I guarantee you'd be bumping into walls along with Mr. Floyd himself. I'm a cranberry fan so my vote goes to this one, hands down.

Pink Floyd's Drink in the Wall
Lamb Bao Buns: The management is still contemplating over the presence of this dish on the menu, and if you're lucky they'll decide affirmatively. Tender, well cooked lamb in a slightly sweet honey-soy sauce, encased in a bao bun that I found a tad bit too thick. But overall it makes for an enjoyable accomplice to pair with your drink.

Lamb Bao Buns
Piri Piri Prawns: Piri Piri or African bird's eye chilli provides spice to this dish, and hence the name. We however found the prawns to have a slightly indianised, desi tandoori flavour. I wish the prawns came with a dipping sauce on the side, but if you're a prawn lover you will love this one nevertheless.

Piri Piri Prawns
Wasabi Grilled Chicken: Looking for a healthy alternative to balance the beer calories? The grilled chicken topped with wasabi mayo may be a relatively safe option. Even though it has mayo, it's atleast not fried or dunked in cheese. I loved how the wasabi mayo added a kick to the bland grilled chicken. A lot of others on the table found the wasabi to be a bit too much. They may need to tone down the amount of wasabi to make this dish a ten-on-ten.

Wasabi Grilled Chicken
House Style Jalapeno Cheese Poppers: My most favourite thing to order at a bar are Jalapeno Poppers. Purely by that logic, I pick these too. They were not as cheesy as I would have liked them to be. The chef may need to alter or change the cheeses he's using to make these, I suppose. The salsa that accompanies the poppers is pretty darn good however.

Jack Black: Pair the above mentioned poppers with the Jack Black - a heady, boozy concoction of sour mix and whiskey, topped with apple, clove and caramel to make you feel festive within.

Jalapeno Cheese Poppers with Jack Black
Pesto Malai Chicken: Do you like the Mughlai starter, Malai chicken? Do you like pesto? Add them both together. Yep. The pesto malai chicken is a lovely blend of videsi and desi courtesy the pesto and the grilled malai chicken respectively. The feta on top was completely unnecessary and makes no difference to the beauty of this dish.

Pesto Malai Chicken

We ate a lot of food that night, but these are the noteworthy mentions. Overall, Santé is a pleasant addition to the ever increasing number of bars Bandra offers. I cannot comment on the price of anything I ate since it was an invite only event. Decent food, and cocktails that do not skimp out on the alcohol, defined my evening at Santé. Would I return? Only if I was in the area and craving a good cocktail. That Dairy Milk Martini was stuff my dreams are made of!

Contact: Santé,164, Near Holy Family Hospital, Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai.
(The author was invited to review Santé and dined there on invitation).

<Sante Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

24 March 2015

My Visa for Burma Burma Finally Arrived

Burma Burma, Fort's all vegetarian Burmese restaurant is over a year old, is still running packed, and has received brilliant reviews. Then why eat there, and review it now, after all this time? Because sometimes your meal is just so spectacular or lackluster that I feel it's mandatory to blog about it. This meal was a bit of both. Started off beautifully only to end with a sour taste in my mouth.

Burma Burma has been in the news ever since it has launched, and I've never heard such contradictory opinions about any place. Bloggers have been raving about the food, I know friends who frequent the place on a monthly basis - they love the food that much. And then there is the social media outrage over their reservation policy and how exclusively snooty they are behaving. Always booked, no tables whenever you call and reserve. 

Bee and I were in that part of the city one Sunday afternoon, and I decided to pay a visit and clear the confusion myself. I also believe that the best reviews are done a few weeks after a restaurant is launched. All teething troubles get eliminated, staff is trained, and you get to see the actual representation of the restaurant. This on the other hand is a tad bit too late. LOL 

I forewarned Bee that getting a table on Sunday for lunch may be tough, and we were already looking at other lunch options on Zomato, as we walked in. We were pleasantly surprised to hear that we would get a table in ten minutes, and we could chill at the bar till then. After settling at the bar, that serves no alcohol FYI, we were immediately shifted to a table. Plus hundred points, Burma Burma!

The place is small and cozy, with the entire tea bar area decorated with knick knacks and artifacts that seem to be sourced from Burma, Tibet and beyond. The ceiling is covered with Burmese umbrellas, and make for such a pretty sight. The Tibetan prayer wheels that line one side of the restaurant took me back to my Nepal trip. Colorful and traditional, yet classy and clean, I loved the decor of the place.

We requested to be shifted to a quieter, cozier booth, which was empty. The server said that was reserved for a party who was expected to come shortly. Only that the concerned party did not come at all. Minus hundred points.

We started off our meal, minus this minor glitch with two mocktails that were so refreshing that I wished I was sunbathing on a beach somewhere sipping this. The Ohh No Tamarind was a refreshing and surprising medley of tamarind, jaggery and coconut shavings in a glass filled with crushed ice. Ingredients that I was weary of drinking, but I'm glad I did because it was just so refreshing.

Decisions, decisions! We were contemplating between ordering the Samosa Salad or the Samosa Soup but went with the former because it was just too hot to have soup. The Samosa Thoke, I learnt is a fairly common vegetarian Burmese street food option. This salad was a lovely medley of salad greens, along with tomatoes and onions in a fairly spicy and tangy dressing. Chunks of samosa intersperse the salad providing relief to the fried food lover in me.

After much careful deliberation we decide not to go down the steam bun route again and opt for something different. The Pyan Boo Palata is a dish of creamed corn flavored with coconut milk topped with 'birista' or caramelized onions that I absolutely love the flavour of. The flaky parathas are like any other regular paratha, and me being 100% Indian miss the presence of ghee/oil slathered on top. This is a hearty dish and is listed under the appetizer section, but can pass off as a main.

We ordered the dish that has now become synonymous with Burmese cuisine next - Khow Suey. The curry of the khow suey here is flavourful and has a lovely lemongrass fragrance. It comes with an assorted tray of condiments for you to sprinkle over as per your liking. Bee complained that there were lesser noodles in his bowl than he would have liked. I wish the khow suey was not pre-mixed. The curry and noodles could have been served in different bowls so that it can be mediated as per individual preference. The first time during the entire meal that I missed the presence of meat, being used to eating my khow suey with chicken or prawn.

Halfway through my khow suey, three servers began to hover over our table and tell us that the kitchen would shut shortly and they were taking last orders. Justified! We requested them to check if they could bring us a pot of Holy Detox Tea, only if the kitchen wasn't closed yet, which they complied. I was really in the mood to leisurely sip on some tea, after a heavy meal. They also have an exhaustive tea menu which is impressive. Our tea arrived shortly, and we had a lovely experience brewing it and munching on the accompanying sunflower seeds.


No sooner than I finished half my cup, the server brings us the cheque requesting us to pay it off. We were made to clear our bill, amidst a few more servers hovering over our heads, indirectly expecting us to leave. I understand it was 3pm, and lunch service was over. Had they just politely told us that they would not serve us the tea I would have understood, instead of rushing us off like that. So as I rightfully said, it was a pleasant meal, with decent food had this episode not occurred. I'd rather have skipped the tea than have had to gulp it down like that.

Budget Bites: We paid approximately Rs 2000/- for a meal for two, which I considered fairly expensive, keeping in mind it was a purely vegetarian spread. Out of which, 500 bucks were dedicated to assorted taxes. (Gosh, eating out is going to get crazy expensive. No thank you, Budget 2015!) 
I left Burma Burma just as confused as when I entered, not sure if I liked my experience or not.

Contact: Burma Burma, Kothari House, Allana Centre Lane, MG Road, Behind Mumbai University, Fort, Mumbai.
Follow @BurmaBurmaIndia on Twitter/Instagram

(The author dined anonymously and paid for her own meal).

Burma  Burma Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

20 March 2015

Get Baked - Happy, Healthy Treats

I cannot begin to tell you'll how tired I was of eating out and eating unhealthy this past week. So when I got a call from Sinhaar, co-owner of Get Baked to try out their product line, I was all ready to decline him politely. Until he mentioned his products were a healthy, nutritional snacking range. And then I succumbed to temptation.
Two cousins operate out of their aunt's Colaba kitchen, aiming to serve healthy treats as alternatives to the sugar and maida laden snacks we are used to. Their menu is limited to 'crunch rocks' and two types of cookies, all of which I tried. 

Their chocolate chip cookies (Rs. 200/- for a pack of five), were buttery to taste, and interspersed with chocolate chip pieces. I really doubt how healthy it is, but they claim to use oat flour, almond flour, whole wheat flour, and organic brown sugar in all their cookies. So I'm sure they are healthier than the cookies bought off the counter, but if you're planning to lose weight, snacking on them may not be ideal.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
The Cranberry Almond Cookies (Rs. 350/- for a pack of ten) was definitely a healthier option, with huge chunks of almonds and sweet-sour cranberries. Again I could taste butter in the cookies, but these ones I'd definitely buy because of their novelty factor.

Cranberry Almond Cookies
What I enjoyed out of their product line were the Crunch Rocks (Rs. 225/- for a 250 gms pack) available in different flavours. Crunch rocks are clusters of oats, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, bound together by maple syrup and honey. It reminded me of a hybrid between granola and a trail mix. The chocolate variant was interspersed with chocolate chips, again making me doubt the health quotient. But the maple one was delicious without being too sweet, perfectly coated, crunchy and cohesive. It's also a pretty filling snack, and healthy because of all the ingredients it contains.

Maple Crunch Rocks 

The market has recently been booming with healthy snacking alternatives. Get Baked is a pleasant and refreshing addition to that list. Now pass me that bowl of maple crunch rocks.

Contact: 9920047611

19 March 2015

Beauty Bites: Inside my March MSM Box

Remember me going all gaga over my February MSM box? I was really impressed with this monthly beauty box subscription and blogged about it here. Right from the packaging, to the beauty samples, to the full size products and the extra gifts - everything was perfect. They raised the bar ohh so high, that I was eagerly looking forward to this month's box.

I opened the same pretty, pink packaging to reveal a packed house. This month's box left me a tad bit disappointed. Here's what I got:
1. Biotique Aloe Vera Sunscreen SPF 50 - A full size product of 50 ml priced at Rs. 99/-. It was nice of them to include a sunscreen in the box as it is much needed in this heat, but this one leaves a musky fragrance behind which I'm not sure I liked. 

2. Biotique Bio Kaajal - Rs. 109/- for a full size. Another product by the same brand, I was weary of using this kaajal at first. I'm not one to experiment much with eye makeup products, but I'm pretty pleased with this. It is well pigmented, does not smudge as easily, inspite of it being a bullet type kaajal. The problem may arise when the tip of the kaajal becomes blunt, as there is no way to sharpen a stick like this, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

3. Just Herbs Silksplash Neem-Bitter Orange Rehydrant Face Wash - Rs 245/- for a full size of 100 ml. Just Herbs seems to be a favorite of all beauty bag/box companies. This face wash foams well, is not drying, but is not something I'd buy or use again. And Just Herbs is far from being a high end beauty brand.

4. Kronokare Provencal Lavender Soap and Body Lotion - Sample Sizes. The only brand in this edition of MSM box that excited me. I hadn't used any kronokare products before, and apart from their fun packaging and funky names (Raise the Bar Soap, Smooth(ening) Operator Body Lotion), they have a lovely lavender fragrance. I'm so excited to use these!

5. Discount Cards/ Vouchers from the brands that are included in the box. This was a nice gesture on their part in case you like what you've tried and want to buy some more. There are also some random vouchers from random brands in there, and I question the reason for their existence in the box.

My Verdict: The MSM box is absolutely Value for Money, and I maintain that. I got products that are valued a lot more than how much I paid for my subscription. But the purpose of a beauty box is somehow lost in all of this. I'd rather get smaller samples of brands I can't buy readily in the market either because of their price of unavailability. Isn't the purpose of a box to highlight newer luxury brands to the subscriber? Also getting two products from the same brand is kind of a waste, isn't it?
I'm still confused over how I feel about the MSM box. I guess next month's box will be a deciding factor for me, if I plan to continue my subscription or not. Nevertheless, they are doing a fab job, and I know a lot of women who are happy with what they are receiving. 

(The author reviewed the product anonymously, and paid for her own box).

17 March 2015

Review: Cairo Grill

Apart from being known as 'Land of the Cupcakes', Bandra can now re-christen itself to 'Shawarma Town'. Only in Bandra can you see an equal number of Shawarma rotisseries and traffic signals. Okay, I'm exaggerating here, but you get the drift. Latest entrant on the Shawarma scene is Cairo Grill - a Mediterranean take away space that does the staple shawarma in addition to a lot more.

Situated in a by-lane off Linking road, surrounded by cafes and fast food joints, Cairo Grill is a small space. But none of these factors deterred the crowd away. This take away joint was swamped with customers on the Sunday evening I visited. The two page menu, listed on the wall covers your basics - salads, hummus and it's variants, cheesy fries with toppings, and shawarmas. But I was most excited to try their New York food truck style rice-meat combos. 

We placed our order, and watched the food getting assembled in their tiny albeit clean kitchen. The most important aspect of a take away place is now well the food travels in the containers. Our boxes endured a bumpy rickshaw ride home, and everything was well packed and taped, including the sauces.

I started off with their hummus (Rs. 130/-) that came with pita, that I'd like to have been toasted a bit more. The hummus was smooth, had a garlic-lemon flavour, and was drizzled with the right amount of oil. Also at 130 bucks I think the portion size is a steal. It carried over well to the next day, after refrigerating, and I ate it again for lunch. Nom Nom!

The Smoked Chicken Shawarma (Rs. 150/-) is definitely different from the flavours we have learnt to associate with Shawarma (ref: Carter's Blue). The shawarma here is less creamy, with the perfect amount of harissa, wrapped in a pita that does not turn soggy. The meat is perfectly char grilled, and has a lovely smokey aftertaste. The accompanying dipping sauces were really delicious, and definitely better than the mayonnaise-type sauce that other places provide.
Smoked Chicken Shawarma
The star of my meal was the NY food truck style Lamb and Rice (Rs. 295/-). Long grained spicy basmati, sits on a bed of lettuce, heaped with generous amounts of perfectly char grilled lamb. This comes topped with harissa and yogurt - adding the right amount of heat. This is something I'd definitely order and eat again. 

Lamb N Rice

The only dessert on their menu, which I hear they claim to have come up with are the Oreo Nachos (Rs. 150/-). They tasted nothing like nachos, and more like a crisp fried donut batter shaped like nachos, which I later heard was deep fried pita bread. The cinnamon and oreo dust on top was scrumptious but it kept falling off the nacho chip. The caramel and cream dipping sauces on the side were redeeming. Full marks to the Oreo Nachos for innovation, but I deduct points for execution.

Oreo Nachos
Cairo Grill has wonderful potential in an area that's enjoys their shawarma and middle eastern food. I would love to see a few more authentic Mediterranean dishes on their menu, nevertheless, I enjoyed everything that I ordered. They also deliver around the area, and that is a huge plus point. Good food that delivers on both the taste and pricing front, Cairo Grill will definitely grill their competitors.

Contact:  12/A New Kamal Kunj CHS, 15th & 33rd Road, Linking Road, Bandra West, Mumbai 400050
Phone: 022 26000250
Follow them on twitter @Cairogrill_in and on Instagram  @Cairogrill.in

(The author was invited to review Cairo Grill and dined there on invite).

Cairo Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

16 March 2015

Dining at Joss - The Gourmet It Up Experience

I'm a fan of the Gourmet It Up (GIU) concept, I really am. It's becoming crazy expensive to dine out in the city with all these insane number of taxes, and even when you're willing to pay the price how do you know what to order? Here's when Gourmet It Up comes to the rescue. They offer set meals, at some of the finest restaurants across India's metro cities, at a prices that are definitely lesser than a la carte. A completely pre-planned menu featuring specials from the restaurant, so even the hassle of deciding what to order is eliminated.

I recently decided to go for a celebratory dinner to Joss - Farrokh Khambatta's South East Asian restaurant, serving Japanese, Malaysian, Balinese and Indonesian food with a modern twist. I loved their Kala Ghoda outlet, infact my first tryst with sushi happened there. I'd been wanting to visit their Santacruz outlet since a while, and I thought the GIU experience would be the best way to sample their menu.

Everything from looking up their set menu, to booking a table, and getting a confirmatory call happened flawlessly through the GIU website. The set menu looked really promising as it had all of Joss's favourites - sushi, dimsum, and their green curry spread across four courses! The menu has an equal number of options for the vegetarian and non-vegetarian diner, which is very commendable. 

Joss sports beautiful, monochromatic interiors which are classy and modern. The outside al fresco seating is perfect location for a balmy (so-called) winter evening to nurse your drink. 

Since we were two of us, we ordered different dishes from all four courses and got to try eight dishes in all. Something that would not have been possible had we ordered off the menu. We started off our first course with some Crab and Avocado California rolls. This sushi was everything a good sushi should be - perfectly rolled, avocado providing the crunch, crab meat providing the flavour, and that burst on top thanks to the tobiko fish roe. 

California Rolls
If you go to Joss and can only order one thing from the menu, let it be the Dumplings of Prawn and Chive. I've yet to eat better prawn dumplings anywhere else in the city. Plump prawns encased in a really fine outer spinach dough, these prawns were so well cooked they hardly required any mastication. 

Dumplings of Prawn and Chive
Next course - appetizers! The Yum Kung Prawns with pipette Jus was a visual treat. It looked like a science project of kinds, with the prawns hanging off pipettes found in labs. A very minimalistic dish this is - with the prawns cooked in simple flavours, elavated by the presence of the jus in the pippette, that needed to be sucked out or squeezed out onto the prawns. Inspite of being a visually and theoretically brilliant dish, there was something lacking in the taste. It was far too bland for my liking, also I'm not a fan of eating my prawns cold.

Yum Kung Prawns, Pipette Jus
I really liked the Stir-Fried Chicken with Dried Chili, Fermented Beans, and Sesame Oil. I was skeptical of ordering this as I'm not a fan of how overwhelming a black bean sauce can be. This was perfectly cooked chicken, perfectly spiced with dried chili, on a base of black bean that was not overpowering at all.

Stir-Fried Chicken with Dried Chili, Fermented Beans, and
Sesame Oil
Two courses down, and I was the least bit full. We thought the portion sizes could have been better in the first two courses, until the mains arrived. And then we took back our words. The Barbeque Chicken with Thai Hot Chili and Holy Basil arrived first. It was delicious with Chindian flavours, but something you would find at any other Pan-Asian restaurant. What I enjoyed was the Thai Green curry with steamed rice that accompanies the main dish. Joss is known to have one of the best Thai curries in the city, and I wholeheartedly agree. This Thai curry was fragrant thanks to the lemongrass, piquant, and creamy thanks to the coconut milk. I forgot about the chicken, and had bowl fulls of this curry the entire night.
Green Thai Curry - Rice
Barbeque Chicken with Chili and Basil
The Banana Leaves wrapped Arabian Sea Bass with Balinese Spice Mix was such a winner! I think sea bass is highly underrated, and really needs to be highlighted more in all the Basa dominated menus across the city. The fish was moist, cooked and spiced perfectly. I only wish there had been more!

Banana Leaves wrapped Arabian Sea Bass
I was really excited for the desserts to arrive, and my excitement did not go to waste. The wonderful staff at Joss surprised all the diners that evening with a chocolate cake on the occasion of Women's Day which was such a sweet gesture.

The 'Smoking Permitted' dessert consisted of a dense chocolate cigar roll that was paired with a prune and armagnac ice cream. The ice cream was beautiful combination of prune and brandy, and eased out the sweetness from the chocolate cigar. The 'Exploding Creme Brulees' did not excite me as much, inspite of having a perfectly caramelized top. The Yuzu limoncello flavour was far too sour for my liking to be included in a dessert.

My entire experience with Joss and Gourmet It Up was exceptional. Note how I'm calling it an experience because it was a lot more than just a meal. Good food, perfect portion sizes, and attentive service that wavered off in the middle of the meal but regained focus again towards the end. Priced at Rs. 1400/- including taxes, we thought it was worth it considering the array of food we ate and that we got to try so much from the menu.

(The author dined at Joss anonymously and paid for her own meal).

13 March 2015

Sasta, Sundar, Tikao: Jani Khaman and Locho House, Borivali

Welcome to the Sasta, Sundar, Tikao section on the blog. As the name suggests, it includes roadside joints, hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and street side vendors who dole out delicious food at the most reasonable prices. These are the lifelines of our city, and what the common man's idea of eating out comprises. There are some dishes that just cannot be replicated in the best of restaurants because the fun lies eating them off the road, the wind in your hair, and traffic noise in your ears. Hope you'll enjoy reading these posts, and eating at these places. 

I read about Jani Khaman and Locho House in a Mumbai Boss article two years ago. It has remained on my Must-Eat-At list since then. (I have a list of places on my phone where I have to go eat at, and I'm constantly adding, deleting, modifying this list). Two years later, destiny and true love brought me to Borivali - land of Khaman and Locho House. 

Eons ago, a chef in Surat added excess water to his dhokla batter of chana and urad dal, and exclaimed 'Locho thayi gayo!' Having nothing better to serve his guests, he served them this pulpy mash along with sev and chutney. Therein the 'Locho' was born. Credit to the chef for coming up with this, and for the smart Suratis for making this erroneous snack available in every nook and corner of Gujarat.

Jani Khaman and Locho House, situated a few minutes from the station, serves locho and does it in style. You'll find a lot more apart from your basic locho and garlic locho here. There's the crazy schezwan locho and manchurian locho, and you can top each of these with grated (Amul) cheese.

Having never eaten locho in my life, I took along a true-blue Ahmedabad boy with me who confirms the authenticity of this Gujju staple. Our Garlic Locho tasted like a smashed up dhokla batter to me drizzled with garlic oil. The sev on top provides so much crunch to the smooth, soft locho batter. The hero is the green chutney on the side. This sweet-spicy chutney along with chopped onions elevates the simplicity of this dish.

Garlic Locho
The Schezwan Locho is fusion food at it's best. An error in a recipe combined with a desi Chinese sauce, that makes for a crazy fun dish to eat. The Schezwan is not authentic one bit, but who cares! They also do a Manchurian version, but I was not gutsy enough to try that. Maybe next time. Add grated cheese on top, if you're adventurous and don't have to count calories, like I do.

Schezwan Locho
Do not leave without trying the Sev Khamani or else you'll face my wrath! Khamani is the younger brother of the Khaman dhokla - Brand ambassador of Gujju cuisine, after undhiyu. The dhokla is crushed, stir fried with spices, and topped with sev to create the khamani. This khamani is sweet-spicy thanks to the occasional pomegranate pearl that will pop in your mouth, soft yet crunchy thanks to the sev, and tastes beautiful when paired with that magic green chutney.

Sev Khamani
You'll find other Gujju staples such as Methi Gota, Jethalal's favourite Jalebi - Fafda, khandvi et al. You'll also find a constant flow of people in and out of the shop, sitting on bikes and wolfing down their lochos. (Go on a bike of your own because they have no seating space). Jani Locho and Khaman House is a gem. It serves filling, authentic food at a prices that are so reasonable you'll happily pay double for what you have been charged. Locho prices start at Rs. 30 onward, a sev khamani is priced at Rs. 35/-  and a foodcation to Gujarat while you're sitting in Mumbai is free. There are some things money can't buy....

(The author dined anonymously and paid for her own meal).

Contact: Jani Khaman and Locho House,  11, Star Trade Centre, Sodawala Lane, Opposite Chamunda Circle, Borivali West, Mumbai.

10 March 2015

Chorizo Fried Rice Recipe - The Lazy and Easy Version

The universe was dropping far too many signs that the time had come. It was time to experiment with a chorizo fried rice recipe that I had read ages ago but never got about to actually cooking it. 
Sign Number One: A packet of succulent chorizo sausages sitting patiently in my freezer from The Seafood and Meat Co.
Sign Number Two: My favorite food and travel blogger, The Tiny Taster, posted a really yummy sausage fried rice recipe recently that got me drooling on my laptop screen. This recipe is a modified version of the one she blogged about, and an easy sausage fried rice recipe I found online.
Sign Number Three: The final nail in the coffin was going back to Imbiss in Bandra (gosh, how I love that place!) and ordering a schnitzel instead of my favorite chorizo rice and regretting my decision for days to come.

So you see, it was time to make some chorizo fried rice of my own. I'm a fan of this Spanish spicy sausage cooked in all its forms, and I love a good chorizo rice, so I was going to be the toughest critic of my own cooking. And I can proudly say the rice turned out delicious. And it's just the easiest to make!

What you'll need:
  • 4 chorizo sausages (recipe mentions two. But there's no such thing as too much sausage.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups of rice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 shallots
  • salt and crushed pepper
  • cooking oil

What you'll have to do:
  • Dice the shallots in small pieces from root to tip, and keep aside.

  • Prepare the eggs in a pan, by lightly beating them and scrambling them into smaller pieces. You don't need to add salt to the eggs yet!
  • Boil the rice in a pan, adding a teeny bit of salt and set aside to cool. Using leftover rice works even better.

  • Pan fry the chorizo once they are thawed. The chorizo comes coated in an outer fat layer, hence you won't need to add a lot of oil to cook them. Once they are heated, cut them into small circular pieces.
  • Add the rice into the same pan where the chorizo was cooked. The oil released by the chorizo added a lot of flavor to the rice. (Also, you'll have one less vessel to wash later). To this add the soy sauce followed by the egg, and then the chorizo. Top it up later with the shallots and some salt-pepper to taste. 

  • Keep tossing and stirring the fried rice or else it will get too clumpy. It won't take long to cook, and should be done in a few minutes. The chorizo may disintegrate into smaller bits, and that is perfectly normal. The entire cooking time of this dish, including prep work, does not take more than fifteen minutes.

Serving Suggestion: Serve with a runny egg on top, just like they do at my favorite Imbiss. Easy, isn't it? And doesn't it look delicious? I promise it tastes just as good as it looks. 

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