Yayy Spring is here. This weekend we visited Greenwich. After changing few trains we finally got there. The moment you step out of the station it feels as if you are in the medieval era. The cobbled narrow streets lined with shops and restaurants.
Greenwich market was an instant attraction. Its small market but was bustling with life. Lots of food stalls, ranging from cheese to patisserie to Moroccan to Ethiopian to dry nuts to hots dogs. Oh, this was the first time ever I had a Hot Dog and I felt I had missed a lot all this time. The sausage fried in oil so unhealthy but served with spinach and mixed pepper in a ciabatta make it healthy. We walked around the Greenwich University and then took the train to Tower Bridge. I enjoyed the sunny afternoon nap on the lush green lawn besides the Thames.
Iced lollies have always been a favourite, so was introduced to Solero, exotic flavour (mango and passion fruit). For dinner went to an all day buffet serving South Indian restaurant. Alas, all the excitement was ruined finding out it was pure vegetarian, the taste and service was not up to the mark either.
A well spent Saturday in all.
Sunday, cooked CHICKEN BIRYANI , super lunch. More of a pulav (pilaf), it’s the way I make it. Ingredients being 7 chicken drumsticks, 2large cups of basmati rice, garam masala (1 bayleaf, 1 black cardamom, 3 cloves, inch long cinnamon stick, 5 dried red chillies) chopped coriander and mint leaves, 1tbsp yoghurt, 1tbsp lemon juice, 1 onion thinly sliced, 1tbsp ginger garlic paste,1tsp chilli powder, 2 tbsp coriander powder, 1tsp cumin powder, 2 tbsp oil, 1tsp ghee.
- Soak the rice for 30 minutes
- In a large heavy bottom dish take oil, add all the raw garam masala.
- Add the sliced onions and ginger-garlic paste. Sauté for a while
- When the onion turns pink and transparent add the chicken drumsticks (make some slits on the chicken)
- Add all the spice powders and fry the chicken till the oil starts separating.
- Add the chopped coriander and mint leaves and yoghurt
- Let all this cook for further 7-8 minutes
- Add the soaked rice and mix it well and fry for 2 minutes
- Add 1 n half times of water in regards to the rice cups so, here 3 cups of water
- Add 1tsp of ghee and lemon juice. Stir well and place the lid
- Keep checking the rice
- The fragrance could be smelled in the whole house
- In 20 minutes the biryani was ready
Serve it with boondi raita and fried onions.
Best biryani I ever had is Namaskar India dum biryani (Melbourne, Australia). Initially used to love the chicken biryani but since the day I tasted the Lamb biryani , there was no going back. Now there are days when I still crave for Lamb biryani, but unfortunately no Namaskar takeaway since I am on the other side of the world.
Surprise…Surprises are so much fun…I love giving surprises to people….somehow i never get one cause the curious cat in me kills it, though Yoel has done really well. I wish i could kill the curiosity in me to have fun.
Here the surprise is for my sister-in-law. It’s her birthday. Prepared a special meal for the birthday eve. Wanted to do something different, thus, Chinese all the way. The menu for the surprise dinner was Egg Noodles and chilly chicken and berry cheese cake for dessert.
The first thing I started to do was the cheesecake so that it had enough time to set firm. MIXED BERRY CHEESE CAKE, the ingredients being 8 digestive biscuits, 250ml mascarpone, 100ml double cream, 1 can raspberries, 8-10 strawberries, 150gm sugar, 100gm butter.
- Place the digestive biscuits in a plastic bag and using a roller pin crush the biscuits to crumbs almost powdered.
- Mel t the butter and mix it thoroughly with the biscuit bits.
- In individual cups put 2 tbsp of the butter biscuit mix, pressing it to the bottom and let it set firm in the fridge for an hour.
- While the biscuit base is setting, the cheese topping can be prepared.
- Beat the mascarpone or any soft cheese with sugar and cream till a smooth consistency is formed.
- Spoon in few raspberries; add lemon zest and juice of half lemon into the cheese.
- Add the cheese-cream mixture over the set biscuit base after an hour
- Decorate the top with sliced strawberries and raspberries
- Chill the cups in the fridge till ready to serve.
Oh the cheese cake looked divine and I couldn’t wait till evening. Make sure while topping the cheese-cream mixture no airspace should be left. It was quite a task do the individual cups. I did so that we don’t overeat but doing a cake altogether would be much easier while layering.
EGG NOODLES, ingredients being egg noodles, cut vegetables (carrots, sliced onions, sliced capsicums, 2 eggs, French beans) black pepper,1tsp crushed garlic, 1 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, chilli flakes and salt to taste.
- Boil the noodles and keep aside, wash the boiled noodles with cold water, the noodles don’t stick and pour a tbsp of oil.
- In a wok take 1 tbsp of oil, fry two eggs n keep it aside.
- In the same oil add the crushed garlic, chilli flakes and onions
- Sauté for a while, then add the capsicum, carrot and beans.
- After the vegetables are cooked, add the boiled noodles
- Add the vinegar, soy sauce and salt according to taste
- Mix well and ready to serve..
After the noodles it’s time for the dish of the day, CHILLI CHICKEN. My brother and I used to love chilli chicken from a club in our town. I always used to crave for that taste. Last year when I went home after my Wedding, to have the same chilli chicken, it was a disappointment. Didn’t taste the same at all, in fact was one of the worst tasting chilli chicken I ever would have tasted. Well I used to love chilly chicken served in Namaskar India, Melbourne, Australia. For starters always used to have Chilli Chicken and butter Naan. Namaskar India is the first place where I started working part-time and then gradually it was home. Arvind and Rupa the owners became friends and then family. This is where I became friends with Kanika . Now I am happy that these people are friends for life.
350gms of chicken cut into cubes, 1 egg, 1tbsp corn-flour, capsicum cut into squares, cut onions into squares, 1 red chilly sliced, 2tbsp soy sauce, 1tbsp vinegar, 1tbsp chilli sauce, 3 garlic pods chopped, 1 inch ginger chopped, salt and pepper.
Marinate the chicken pieces in 1tbsp corn-flour, 1tbsp soy sauce, 1tsp pepper and 1 egg. Deep fry the chicken pieces and keep them aside.
- 2tbsp of oil in a pan, add the chopped ginger and garlic
- Add the onions and sauté for a while, adding capsicum next
- add the sliced chillies and chilli sauce
- cook the sauce for a minute followed by adding vinegar and soy sauce
- a thick sauce is made, cook it for further 3 minutes
- then add the fried chicken pieces
- Salt to taste and serve it garnished with spring onions.
The table was set with my two favourite red candles, coke with a slice of lime and the dishes. We had a satisfying meal and the dessert, though I overdid the decoration. The next day surprise was to go to West Midlands Safari park. It’s in Bewdley, near Birmingham. It was a beautiful spring morning and the sun shining in full glory. We started late, reached the park around 12:30 but managed to make the most of it. The safari took around two hours. The main attraction being the big cats. We saw lions, white lions, Cheetahs and Royal Bengal tigers. These big cats are majestic. The Lion surely is the ‘king of the jungle’, an epitome of courage and strength. It was fun driving past them. Deer were another highlight of the park. They are a symbol of family and unity as they always move in herds; these creatures are friendly and innocent. My favourite animals are giraffe, elephants and monkey but now there’s a new addition to my favourite, the Zebra. I love the black and white stripes. God has made every animal so unique and I am thankful that we humans are above all and able to enjoy each and every creation.
The best part was the drive back home at night, in the company of the pretty moon, music and Yoel.