Bhat Bhaja (Fried Rice)

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As far as I remember, my mom had always told me, breakfast is the main food of the day; you should have your breakfast like a king. At home, of course that was maintained, but when am away I am always out of ideas to what to have for breakfast. Cornflakes and milk then becomes the best option. I am sure this happens to most of you.

On most weekends I wake up late and my breakfast becomes the luncheon. This was an easy and simple breakfasts come lunch I had on last Saturday, I hope you like it too. I had some rice left from last night and added some colorful vegetables to make it a sumptuous meal.

Preparation time: 7min
Cooking time: 10min

Ingredients:

  • Rice (Bhat): 1 bowl
  • Peas (Mator shuti): ½ cup
  • Sweet corn (Bhutta): ½ cup
  • Cauliflower (Ful kopi): 1 few florets cut into very small pieces
  • Potato (Alu): 1 small, cut into small squares
  • Oil (Tel): 2 tablespoons
  • Cumin seeds (Jeera): ½ tablespoon

Optional –

  • Cashew nut (Kaju badam): 5/ 6
  • Raisins (Kismis): 10 /12

Preparation:

  • Wash all the vegetables well. Heat oil in a wok and throw in the cauliflower and potatoes
  • Fry till they are half cooked and put in the peas and sweet corn, continue till the vegetables are cooked
  • Keep aside the vegetables and pour in just a dollop of ghee to the wok
  • Add the cumin seeds, as the seeds start sputtering, add the vegetables and rice
  • Cook over low flame till the vegetables and rice are mixed well
  • Garnish with cashew and raisins (if using) and serve hot

Hot Tips – If you want to add any other seasonal vegetables then go ahead and use it. The more the colorful the food, the more your kids will love it. While mixing the rice and vegetables together take care so that the rice grains do not break. You can have this with some side dish like Dimer malpua, Chal Diye Alu Dum.

Further readingFried rice in microwave, Jeera Rice

Sending this recipe for Scrumptious Delights From Leftovers hosted by PJ.

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Restaurant Review: FAVA

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If you are searching for a change of taste from the varied Indian cuisines served in Bangalore restaurants, Fava, the Mediterranean restaurant may be the best choice. Fava, as sous chef, Vijay David explained is a bean which became a part of the Mediterranean diet as early as 6000 BC.

The Restaurant with Sous Chef Vijay David

Fava is located at UB City. If you are aware of the place, all you need to do is climb up the stairs to the fountain and the restaurant is just behind it. I went to Fava a week back to enjoy a lunch voucher I received from Food Lovers Magazine. As the voucher claimed it was a “three course” meal with starters, main course and dessert. I arrived quite late in the afternoon but the restaurant was still running busy. UB City being a hub for the top companies in Bangalore, the restaurant had a mixed crowd of office goers taking a break from their work as well as some families with kids.

I was sitting alone with the big menu card in hand. The soft music playing soothed my worn out soul from the long journey (UB City is quite far from the place I live in Bangalore). The menu for al a carte was quite big. The restaurant serves all types of Mediterranean food, but they specialize in Lebanese and Italian cuisine- steaks, grills, medzzes and many more.

I picked up the hot yogurt chicken and corn soup as the starter, grilled chicken and vegetables for the main course and tiramisu for dessert. After a wait for a little while I got a bowl full of hot piping soup to start with. One gulp of the soup and it felt like heaven. The soup was thick and creamy and it took me an eternity to finish.

After the wholesome soup which felt panoptic enough to fill up the space for main course and dessert, I decided on waiting for a while, while I completed some of the pages of the novel I was reading. The table I was sitting was almost at the centre of the non-AC part of the restaurant, the UB city fountain was at my front and the huge cocktail counter of Fava at my back. Fava has an AC space too, but I opted for the non-AC part so to enjoy the sunny Bangalore afternoon.

The main course as was expected after the starter was another elaborate one with a big grilled chicken breast well garnished withgrilled vegetables and a bowl of sauce (not sure what sauce it was exactly, but it tasted great with the chicken). Fava offers both vegetarian and non-vegetarian “three course” meals and I am sure it would be a pretty hard task to choose from the various options for the meal. If you are visiting a Mediterranean restaurant for the first time, I feel its best to leave the choosing task on the people serving your food. Coming back to where I left the soft and juicy main course stole my heart. The gentleness of the non-spicy yet succulent dish was a feast. As chef David told me later they also specialize on cooking meat in its own juice, a technique he named which I can’t recall right now. They have duck cooked in low flame and kept to cook for twelve hours.

Fava has an exquisite collection of desserts to offer. I of course chose tiramisu, an Italian dessert consisting of layers of sponge cake soaked with coffee and brandy with mascarpone cheese and topped with grated chocolate. The cold and soppy dessert was a sinful pleasure.

Fava, a newly created restaurant by chef turned entrepreneur Abhijit Saha is a treat by itself. The ambience, soft music, the excellent food and above all the warmth of the people serving the food is an exotic experience.

Meal for two: 900 INR excluding local tax and alcohol
Address: 203, 2nd Floor, The Collection UB City, 24 Vittal Mallya Road, Bangalore
Phone number: +9180 2211 7444
If you want us to write a review your restaurant or any food product please do contact us at the following email id – Kalyan: aamikalyan@gmail.com or Sudeshna: sudeshna.bandyopadhyay@gmail.com

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Lotiya Vada (Bombay Duck Fritters)

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Bengalis or Bangali are branded with their love for fish. Be it the Bangals, who crossed the borders from East Pakistan, now Bangladesh and reached India or the Ghotis who actually lived in West Bengal even before the Indian partition in 1947. Bangals and Ghotis will shout in unison for their love for fish. Fish is like a part of the Bangali society, an integral part of the Bengali culture and cuisine, something indispensible. There can’t be a meal completed without the serving of a fish curry or at least a fried fish. But with our generations getting pretty lazy of cooking fish (rather the task of entering the kitchen) or too busy with the other important things in life; having fish has become a run to the nearest restaurants. Great Bong has something to say about this dying trait of Bangali.

Both my parents’ families are Bangal, and that makes me a pure BangalJ, and that is surely reflected in the ways I cook and the food I like. I am an avid lover of “shutki maach” (dried fish). I can barter my tooth and nails for a morsel of shutki maach cooked in dry gravy. When we talk about shutki maach, Bombay duck or loitta or lotiya maach can’t be left behind. This fish with its pungent smell when dried is a winner among all kinds of dried fishes. For those who have not tried having dry fish, I warn you, it’s not for the weak at heart.

Now, don’t get carried away with the dry fish, I’m not writing a recipe for shutki maach, but it’s a recipe for the crispy mouthwatering fritters made with fresh Bombay duck. This very soft and delicate fish looks divinely pinkish white when fresh and you can definitely identify it from other fishes sold because it is scale-less, and never have I seen it alive at the fish stalls (have you?). Though the wiki page on Bombay duck claims it to be a pungent smelling fish, I would rather disagree to it. Loitta even lacks the fishy smell unlike other fishes sold in the markets.

This morning when I put up a small note on the Cook Like a Bong Facebook fan page for the loitta vada post, I never thought that the fish was so popular every where. Within no item there were comments streaming on that little note. There are many ways loitta is cooked in different households, but apparently the lotiya bora being the most popular one. Its better if you get the fish fresh and cleaned from the market for the preparation, but if that is not possible then the canned fishes are always there.

Ingredients:

  • Bombay duck (Loitta/ lotiya): ½ kg, cut  and cleaned
  • Onion (Peyaj): 2 medium size, julienned
  • Green chili (Kancha lanka): 3/ 4, chopped into small pieces
  • Gram flour (Besan): ½ cup
  • Poppy seed (Posto): 2 teaspoon
  • Rice Flour (atta): 1 tablespoon
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt to taste

Preparation:

  • Boil water and steam the fishes till gently tender, transfer in a colander so that all the water gets drained out
  • Mix all the ingredients excepting the oil to a large bowl and make small fritter
  • Fry the fritters in shallow oil till both sides turn brown
  • Drain out the excess oil from the fritters with kitchen paper
  • Serve hot with sauce or with rice and dal

Hot Tips – If the batter seems too gooey then put in a little bit more of rice flour. The fish shouldn’t be over boiled; else the fritters will loose the crispiness.

Further Readings – Dimer Vada (Egg fritters), Macher Dimer Vada (Roe fritters)

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Sewaiyan Payesh (Sweet Vermicelli Pudding)

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Aah, at last I started writing a post after such a long time. Studies, exams, shifting, travelling had taken away most of my time I had in the past month. The little I had for myself, I was too lazy to dedicate that for blogging. But, after preparing vermicelli payes this evening I was bent on writing the recipe. The pudding was an instant hit at home, it got over even before the pudding turned cold.

Vermicelli is a common ingredient in Italian cuisine. It is thinner than spaghettis but is used almost like pasta. While Italians mainly use vermicelli as a savory, in South Asian cuisine it is mainly used to prepare kheer or pudding. Vermicelli is called in different names in different parts of the Indian continent – seviyan in Urdu and Hindi, semai in Bengali, sev in Gujrati, sevalu or semiyan in Telugu, semiya in Tamil and Kannada. It is mainly prepared from semolina, but the one I used it was wheat flour vermicelli.

Ingredients:

  • Broken Vermicelli (Semai/ Sewaiyan): 150gms
  • Ful fat cream Milk (Dudh): 1 ½ litre
  • Sugar (Chini): ¾ cup
  • Clarified butter (Ghee): 2 tablespoons
  • Raisin (Kismis): ¼ cup
  • Cashew (Kaju badam): ¼ cup

Preparation:

  • Boil the milk in low flame so that it reaches almost three-fourth of the original volume
  • In a skillet or wok heat 1 ½ tablespoon of clarified butter, decrease the flame and fry the vermicelli till it turns golden brown
  • Pour the roasted vermicelli to the milk and bring to boil
  • Add the sugar and take out of flame after 5 to 7 minutes or till the vermicelli is soft
  • Serve hot or cold garnished with raisins and cashews

Hot Tips – Vermicelli tends to get burnt very quickly so continue stirring.

Further Readings – She’reya, Mughlai Vermicelli dessert

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