Thursday, 15 November 2012

Bhai Beej Special: Sheera

Today is a day of brothers and sisters... Bhai Beej... I am very close to my brother and over the years sibling rivalry has turned into sibling revelry for a variety of reasons. Of course this post is not dedicated to him (thought I am sure people who know me know I can end up talking for hours if I talk about my brother!) the dish I attempted for the first time today - sheera is dedicated to him.

Sheera is a surprisingly simple versatile sweet dish that can be had as breakfast dish in its simplest form, and is a traditional prasad for Satyanarayan pooja in a modified form. It also can be made with different bases like there is rawa sheera (the one which I made today), atta sheera (made from wheat flour) and can be made of various fruit flavours like banana, pineapple etc etc.

The one I made today was a simple rawa sheera with no jazz- just homely comforting sheera had hot...!

Rawa Sheera


1 cup rawa (semolina)
5 tbsps ghee (clarified butter)
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 - 1 cup sugar


Heat the ghee in a kadhai and add the rawa in it to roast. When its roasted well, it will release an aroma and ghee will start to separate. At this stage add the milk and the sugar and keep stirring. The sheera will cook in the milk and when cooked will start to separate from the sides of the kadhai.

Garnish with dried fruits and serve hot!

Note: you can add a bit of green cardamom powder or seeds for more flavour.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Kashmiri Kahwa

Kashmiri Kahwa... the first time I had this tea was at Dolly's at Kolkata... (yes, not at Kashmir!) and I instantly fell in love with it!

Then I tried this tea at Tea Center at Churchgate and the love affair bloomed... so much so that I brought two packets of the tea bags from there and used up the one I was supposed to a gift a friend myself!

Today, I finally tried making this tea as I remember it from Dolly's and from the ingredients listed on the packet of the tea bags and voila! Kashmiri Kahwa as I remember it.

Disclaimer: this recipe is definitely as far as I know a deviation from the traditional recipe in terms of a couple of spices used or nuts added (like almonds are crushed and added but I personally do not like my tea to be chewed in any way!) but it makes for a wonderful tea!

Kashmiri Kahwa

2-3 green cardamom pods
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
2-3 saffron strands
1 green tea bag (or 1 1/2 spoons if you are using loose tea leaves)
2 cups water
Sugar to taste


Boil the water with the spices in it so that their flavour infuses well in them. Once the water comes to a boil add the tea and let it brew for about 2 minutes. Serve with a bit of sugar for taste!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Jewel of India

This post is courtesy a three hour buffet lunch I enjoyed thoroughly, thanks to the wonderful company I had!

Jewel of India located on the ground floor of the Nehru Center, in the heart of the city at Worli, makes for a fun and interesting dining experience on weekends. On weekdays, I have heard, it is full of employees of offices around (at least for lunch) and tends to be crowded. However, I went on a weekend and the restaurant was pretty decently crowded for a weekend and enjoyed the lunch.

The first thing that you notice about any restaurant is the ambiance of the place and Jewel of India scores well on this aspect. Warm colours, soothing paintings, plush seating, natural lighting (in the day at least) from a wall-sized window at a side with the food as the star of the show in the center.

The ambiance at Jewel of India

We started the meal with (no guesses for getting this one!) starters. The starters were an interesting combination of a onion bhajji chaat (onion pakodas served with dahi, imli ki chutney, teekhi chutney, corriander and sev), pani puri, mini dosas, fish fingers with a tartar sauce, lasuni chicken (boneless, melt in your mouth, garlicky chicken tikkas! yummmmmmmmmm!) 

Onion pakora chaat

Pani puri... all ready to be dipped in spicy water and eaten!

The garlicky melt in your mouth chicken goodness!

After spending about an hour and a half on the starters (most of it on the chicken... because a hot new fresh irresistible batch had just come in) some conversations and some laughter, we managed to hold ourselves from the dessert table (I swear it was secretly calling out to me!) and  moved on to the main course. The main course had some lovely meat and vegetarian gravies, meat and vegetarian biryani served with a basket of freshly made India bread (naan, methi parathas, roti) and baked bread rolls. I would recommend the creamy goodness of the methi matar malai (don't like peas but the gravy was out of this world!)

Indian bread basket

The plate full of Punjabi goodness!

And then finally (conversations aside) came the desserts! Such a wide variety to choose from. It was mango season (yes this post is THAT late!) so we had some mango crumble (though the mango was not deskinned properly and baking mango with the rest of the crumble kind of killed it for us!) a lovely chocolate pastry and another pineapple pastry (save it to be enjoyed last good! and I don't like pineapple really!), mousse, kulfi  and last but not the least fresh fruit!

My dessert plate (yes I am the good girl with the fruits on her dessert plate!)

The selection of desserts we sampled and enjoyed

My verdict? I would visit again for special lunches and celebrations!