Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Scrambled Cottage Cheese Sandwich


We are in the fifth week of Blog hop Wednesday, enjoying the ride. This week I have cooked from Ramya's Recipe, the ever so popular Paneer Burji. I used the same ingredients just slathered the bread with mint  chutney and it was a perfect breakfast.Check out the ingredients.

Paneer-1 cup
Oil-1 tbsp
Jeera-1/2 tsp
Onion-1
Ginger paste-1 tsp
Turmeric-a pinch
Chilly powder-3/4-1tsp
Tomato-1
Salt-to taste
Garam masala-1/2 tsp
Coriander Leaves -For garnish
Bread slices

Mint chutney

Mint leaves- 1 cup
Coriander leaves-1 cup
Green Chilly-1
A small piece of ginger
Sugar- a pinch
Salt according to taste
Lemon juice- 1 tsp

Grind all these ingredients for an aromatic chutney. Spread this on the sandwich and top with filling of choice.

Method-Soak the paneer cubes in hot water for ten minutes. This will make it soft. Take a pan, add oil,and then the jeera, let it splutter.Add in the onions wait till it turns transparent.Next to go is the ginger paste. I have omitted garlic paste.Now add the spice powders turmeric and chilly powder and salt. Add tomato and saute it well. Now crumble the paneer with your fingers Finally add garam masala powder and cook well for five minutes. Add corainder leaves for garnish. use this as a filling for breads and rotis.

This dish is so versatile. You can try your own combinations, in the evening I cut up a raw onion finely and added chat masala to further perk this recipe up.This dish is so easy make and tastes so good. You can have it for breakfast as an evening snack or pack it up for a picnic.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fusion9-A review


The d├ęcor was crisp simple and elegant, with wooden floors and neutral colors, this was at Fusion9 meeting friends over lunch.  I was impressed with their lounge area with an island bar and an open kitchen.  They also have a private dining area to boot and we had it all to ourselves this time. This room was ornate with designs etched on the walls and a false ceiling. The ceiling too was dramatic with concave domes and lights dispersing out of it. Sheer curtains, a side board and a black console were the other elements. It was tastefully done up with out being too opulent or loud.
The lounge bar

Concave dome
Black Console table

Check out the other elements in the private dining area.Loved the chunky candle stand

Moving on to matters of the gut!  We were served a watermelon virgin Mojito  to drink. The watermelon and lemon paired perfectly with this drink. The mint leaves were used as a garnish. It was superb and truly refreshing. 

Virgin Mojito



Trio of Sushi

For starters ,I got a little adventurous and ordered the vegetarian Sushi called Trio of Sushi for starters. It was stuffed with  strips of avocado, cucumber and peppers. It was served with Wasabi, Soy sauce and tender ginger. I liked the sushi it was sweet and I still remember the flavor of the dish it was coated with toasted black and white sesame seeds.  I would not dare touch the Wasabi next time. It was spicy (thanks to the horseradish) like the way it is meant to be, but I could not stand the heat of the paste. It is usually served with Gari (a pickled ginger), this plate had  tender ginger slices. Another thing I noticed was that the Nori sheet was rolled on the inside and the outer layer had the rice. 

Almond and Broccoli Soup

I ordered a Almond and broccoli soup. The soup was not very hot and flavor wise I did not like it much. 

There were lots of starters that were served. I did savor all of them!

Basil bread
Vegetarian Dim sum
This was served with a dollop of spicy tomato chutney. The stuffing inside the dim sum was very gingery. I liked the heat in this dish. It was like eating a spicy modak. 

Thin Garlic Bread Strips

Bang Bang Mushrooms- Crunchy batter fried Mushrooms


Spicy Paneer Sticks
The Mezze Platter

This platter was served with Hummus, Pita bread, Baba ganoush, Tzatziki, Fatayer and Falafel which tasted good. I liked the flavor of Tzatziki. This is a good option for a Lebanese starter

 
Potato Gnocchi
For main course I ordered the Potato Gnocchi. This pasta was enveloped in a bed of white sauce and cherry tomato pink sauce. I was happy eating it for a while, but it became monotonous . I liked the Swiss Roesti Potatoes instead. This dish was garnished with fenugreek leaves which were an unexpected twist for me.

Parmesan Risotto


The Risotto was creamy with a nice texture

Swiss Roesti Potatoes

This was the best dish when compared with the other two . I really liked the potato pancake in a bed of smoked cheese and vegetables.  



Iced Lemon Tea
After the barrage of food, we ordered an iced lemon tea which helped me to pave the way for desserts!

Mascarpone Apple Tart
Ice cream to go with tart

This dessert did not work for me. It was like eating an apple pie alright but the oomph was missing in this dish. Maybe I should have settled for a chocolate based dessert which was receiving  thumbs up with the others on the table. I did dig into the brownie and ice cream which tasted good. Next time I will try the German Chocolate cake.
 
Will go back for-Virgin Mojito, Sushi, Vegetarian Dim sum,Swiss Roesti Potatoes


On the whole it is a lovely place to chill out on Friday Nights or during the weekend. I liked the ambiance and the service here. The staff were courteous and surely knew their menu well. Thank you Fusion 9 and CFG for an afternoon well spent. And this is a wrap.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Crimson Chakra-A Review

As I entered Crimson Chakra, I was greeted by a serene Buddha sculpture with a cascade of water spouting out of his hands. The sound of water dripping in to the pool really calmed my senses. When I entered the restaurant I noticed the space was roomy with eclectic and funky paintings on the wall, antique chests, cane chairs diffused lighting and Buddha busts. This place certainly has an old world charm to it and belongs to Nikhil Moturi. I’m meeting him for the second time now. He told me that this bungalow belonged to his grandparents and Suresh Menon (director and cinematographer) was the long time resident of this place, before being converted into Crimson Chakra. Nikhil carries the legacy of this place quite lightly on his shoulders. He is approachable and friendly. I will certainly ask him for a tour of this place through his eyes next time. 

An electric Ganesh painting
A cool cane chair




The water or pool table...do take a table right inside next time!!.

We were sitting near the water table. For those who seek a little adventure you can dip your dainty feet in one foot deep water with a waterfall in the backdrop and your table bang in between all this. Cool idea during the sweltering summer heat. They also have a candle room for the love birds and a pet zone.  

Celebrity Chef Jacob is the man behind the menu at Crimson Chakra. He serves South Indian fare with a twist. For starters we were served stuffed grilled potatoes, cottage cheese squares and baby corn fritters. What stood out for me was the baby corn fritters. It was firm and crunchy and the twist came in the form of curry leaf paste. The firm baby corn had a liberal taste of curry leaves. This was the first time I was eating baby corn in this avatar. The stuffed grilled potatoes and the cottage cheese starters were also yummy.

Stuffed and grilled potatoes with mint chutney

Firm baby corn fritters


Paneer Starter

For main course we were served appams and string hoppers. I really loved the delicate taste of appam. I could taste a slight hint of coconut milk in it. They were soft lacy and spongy and one of the best I have had till date. We were served a drumstick gravy and potato okra masala. I preferred the potato okra masala to the drumstick gravy. I have always liked North Indian bhindi masala and this fit the bill. From the rice section we were served smoked rice. This was smoking hot. The rice was cooked to perfection with a yummy smoked flavour. I have not chanced upon this anywhere in Chennai. This was the dish of the day for me. To dunk all these heady flavours I was ably assisted by the lemonade . Even this drink had a twist; it was spiked by cinnamon I think. This drink had to grow on me because I'm so used to lemon being the main flavor. But I did settle in quickly with this too.

Drumstick Gravy

Divine Appams

Okra and Potato Masala

Smoking hot smoked rice



Yummy lemonade with a twist..the straw was right inside the lemon slice..

Desserts were the highlight for me. The three desserts served were the Yelaneer souffle, Mango cheese cake and Mississippi mud pie. The Yelaneer Souffle tasted delish. It was like eating the “makhan” of the coconut mixed with cream and sugar. soft and melt in the mouth and not cloyingly sweet. This was another first for me. The Mango cheese cake clearly won hands down. It was refreshing to taste mango towards the end of the meal. It was tart and sweet with nice glaze and firm crust. Bliss indeed. The mud pie had a base of chocolate cake topped by vanilla ice cream which was enrobed by chocolate ganache. What a sinful way to end a meal.  


Tender coconut Souffle
Mississippi Mud pie

Mango Cheese Cake
On the whole the menu lived up to the “Food with a difference USP”. I will go back there for their relaxing ambiance, Appam, Smoked rice, Yelaneer Souffle and Mango Cheese cake.So head there for a laid back dinner. The bungalow also houses Cornucopia (Continental, Indian) and Azzuri Bay (Mediterranean, Multi-cuisine, Italian, and Chinese). Do check out Crimson Chakra for more details. Thank you Nikhil for having us over.  

Thank you CFG for another fun dinner meet, food does taste good when shared between friends. Fellow CFGians it was awesome meeting you all. Looking forward to more food and fun conversations.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Wood apple sweet pachadi



Wood apple makes its appearance felt only during Ganesh festival. Apart from Kozhukattai's this is my favourite pachadi. I really look forward to eating this fruit. I love the tart and sweet taste of this pachadi. A ripe fruit can be cracked open by another fruit. The one which is ripe will break open first. So check the recipe here.

Ingredients
Wood apple-1
Jaggery-1 large piece
Cardamom-1or 2 pods 

Take a mortar and a pestle. Pound the jaggery, cardamom pods and wood apple into single mass. Scoop it out and enjoy. On this note, I would like to wish my readers a Happy Ganesh Chaturthi.Enjoy this traditional beauty. Sending this to Flavors of South India   

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