EAT, chill and pamper yourself silly at uber luxurious Fairmont Jaipur #FoodTrippin’

This tasteful contemporary-meets-classic hotel is a haven of tranquility and relaxation and if you want to just EAT, chill and pamper yourself silly then Fairmont Jaipur is great option to indulge & splurge!

A palatial hotel that combines the glorious past with the modern-day comforts in the lap of serene Aravalli Hills on the outskirts of Jaipur- a city I simply love.

The architecture, decor & food is the amalgamation of the Rajput & Mughal ascetics & sensibilities which is apparent in the showering of rose petals at the entry, intricate frescoes or be it the many artifacts in the hotel – every inch of the space is about royalty, refinement & luxury. 

This probably is the BEST pasta made in India

The very popular brand Frontier who are the legends in making biscuits, cakes & delicious goodies, have recently launched their line of high quality artisan Pasta made with 100% Drum Wheat Semolina. They are using international standard bronze die cutting methods which yield perfectly shaped and cut pastas. Unlike the other pasta making companies, they are using the traditional slow drying process which lends a fabulous texture to the Pasta and helps in the perfect absorption of sauces & flavors. If you & your family are fond of Pasta, your search for that perfectly tasting pasta with a beautiful aroma of wheat ends here!

Three variants : Penne Rigate, Fusilli and Macroni are available. We recently tried making Penne in Arrabiata Sauce & Macroni in Cheesey White Sauce and couldn’t stop swooning over the quality, taste & aroma!

Participate in the sweepstakes below and  ten lucky people stand a chance to win a cool Pasta Hamper full of goodies by Frontier.

Here is how to participate :

Step One : Fill out the form below with your contact details.

Step Two : You will see a comment box like this at the end of this post (wait for 5 seconds for it to load). Out of the three Pasta variants, just comment the name of the one which is your favorite. Make sure you tick the ‘Also Post to Facebook’ check box to qualify for the prize.

Facebook Comments

Don’t forget to follow Frontier Biscuits on Facebook here, Instagram here and Twitter here for some more contests, delicious recipes & pictures!

Do check their website to find the nearest store to get your supplies of biscuits, cakes & pastas.

Rules :

  1. Last Date of Entry – 17th June, 2016
  2. Valid for residents of Delhi & NCR only.
  3. Both the steps written above are mandatory to qualify.
  4. Winners will be chosen by computerized lucky draw.
  5. In-case of dispute, decision of management would be last.
  6. Other Terms & Conditions may apply.

Sponsred by (Small)

Quaker Oats Challenge with Vikas Khanna – Oats Bhelpuri Recipe

Quaker Oats’s very famous & uber cute Chef Vikas Khanna has come up with a cooking challenge – #BringYourTastiestBowl – where in one stands to win Rs. 50 lakhs in cash prize besides loads of other gifts and prizes. If Rs. 50 lakhs didn’t excite you enough, how about getting to meet your favorite Chef Vikas sound to you? #BringYourTastiestBowl

Every week  for next six weeks Chef Vikas will give a challenge! All you have to do is make your tastiest bowl of oats according to the challenge, click a picture of your bowl with the pack of Quaker Oats and upload on their website! Two winners will be selected every week who will get a chance to participate in a cooking competition which will be judged  by Chef Vikas Khanna himself.

To submit your entries Click Here.

Do check the Terms & Conditions (Rules) of the contest.

First week’s challenge Video :

I took the first week challenge and created the Oats Bhelpuri with Raw Mangoes.

Ingredients:

Quaker Oats- 1 cup

Raw Mango- Finely chopped 4 tbsp

Onions- Finely chopped  4 tbsp

Tomatoes- Finely chopped 4 tbsp

Potatoes- Boiled & finely chopped 2 tbsp

Coriander leaves- Finely chopped 2 tsp

Green Chilli- Finely chopped 1 tsp

Pomegranate seeds- for garnish

Lemon- 1 slice

Papdi (Optional) – 3

Peanuts (Optional)- 1 tbsp

Ghee/Clarified Butter- 1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Chaat Masala- 1 tsp

Sweet Tamarind Chutney- 1 tbsp

Mint Chutney- 1tbsp

Red Chilli Powder- 1 tsp

Turmeric Powder- 1tsp

Method:

  1. In a pan heat  ghee and lightly roast the oats. Keep them aside to cool. In the same pan heat little ghee and add turmeric powder and add 1 tbsp oats and lightly roast and keep aside. Again heat ghee in pan and add red chilli powder and lightly roast 1 tbsp oats. Keep the three colored oats separately. You can skip the butter/ghee. These roasted oats can be stored in an air tight container and used later when in a hurry to make bhelpuri.
  2. In a bowl mix the roasted oats, raw mango, onion, tomatoes, green chilli, coriander, potatoes, crushed papdi, salt, chaat masala, chutneys and peanuts. Mix quickly.
  3. Squeeze lemon and garnish with pomegranate seed. Enjoy.

Also do upload pictures of finished dish pictures on Foodiye.com – this submission is not part of any contest, however just knowledge sharing with other Food lovers or Foodiye as they are called.

First week saw  people participating from all over the country and some super innovative recipes were submitted on the website. Second Week Challenge was to add a Chatpati Chaat twist to your bowl of Quaker Oats, which turned out to be super exciting week with recipes like  Oats Papdi Chaat, Oats Ragda Pattice and many more. Third week’s challenge by Chef was about adding a Mother Touch to your bowl of Quaker Oats and we saw some brilliant entries such as Oats Daal Dhokli, Oats Kadhi Pakoda etc. Fourth Week’s challenge was to add a Kid’s Delight touch to the bowl of Quaker Oat’s.  Fifth week’s challenge was give a regional twist to the bowl of oats and we saw  recipes like Oats Bedmi Aloo by the very enthusiastic contestants! Now we are into the last leg of the contest! The Sixth week’s challenge is to add a sinfully sweet twist to the bowl of oats! Hurry last day to submit your entry is 23rd June 2016.

3rd Week Quaker Oats Challenge with Vikas Khanna

4th Week Quaker Oats Challenge with Vikas Khanna

As if the Big promotion by Chef Vikas Khanna is not enough, we are also running an Exclusive Contest for our Delhi / NCR members – once you are done with

creating your bowl and posting the picture on their website, do post picture along with the link to your entry on our social media channels. We will select one winner every week (per challenge) from our groups / communities based on the number of likes and decision of our culinary experts.

The weekly winner selected within our groups/communities would have no connection with the winners selected by Quaker Oats, which means you can win a prize from us as well as good folks at Quaker Oats.
This week the best entry within our groups/communities will get Philip’s Citrus Juicer!!

Spicy Bhelpuri made using Quaker Oats
Spicy Bhelpuri made using Quaker Oats
Colours
Colours
Colourful veggies including raw mango
Colorful veggies including raw mango
Papdi, salt & chaat masala
Papdi, salt & chaat masala
Chutney
Chutney
Three colored oats..
Three colored oats..
Ghee roasted oats
Ghee roasted oats
Quaker Oats
Quaker Oats

Once again just to sum it up – do upload your #BringYourTastiestBowl creations on Quaker contest site here https://bytb.quaker.co.in/ – to win some amazingly exciting prizes – all contest and prize details on their website.

Besides that do upload your entries on our Social Media channels to stand a chance to win AWESOME gifts from our side as well.

Let the games begin.

Jamie’s Pizzeria- all style no spice?

It would be interesting to see how people respond to Jamie’s Pizzeria in an all ready crowded pizza segment with likes of Sbarro, NYC. Pie, InstaPizza, Pizza Express who are serving some mind blowing pizzas.

 

Spicy Meat Ball
Spicy Meat Ball Pizza

Before anything else, let me tell you I am a huge fan of Jamie Oliver- the celebrity chef from UK who has taken the internet webs by storm with his easy peasy recipes and cute looks 😉 More than anything i love his cook books.

Last week we were invited to try the newly opened Jamie’s Pizzeria in Pacific Mall, West Delhi.

While the decor captures the relaxed fun spirit of Jamie’s style, the flavours seem to be a miss. The meal left us little underwhelmed, maybe we had huge expectation but when a brand like Jamie Oliver is involved you don’t expect anything but the best!

The use of freshest & choicest ingredients does little to compensate for the taste of the food. The meal began on a positive note with the delicious Hand Stretched Cheesy Garlic Bread served with garlic butter, rosemary & olive tapenade. Since they aren’t serving the alcohol as yet, we ordered the Homemade Ginger Beer which tasted so saccharine and lacked the fizz!

From the pizza section we ordered the Spicy Meat Ball Pizza & Jamie’s Super Greens on our server’s recommendation. They do only one size i.e. 11 inches and one style of crust- which is hand stretched thin crust! Also they use fresh dough which clearly makes the difference! Both the pizzas were thin, crisp and well baked! One thing that stop out was the fermented dough which made the pizza base fluffy unlike the other flat thin crusts which we are used to eating. While the Spicy Meat Ball pizza was nice but nothing extraordinary, the Super Greens one was loaded with leaves like spinach & coriander. No doubt the ingredients were fresh and high quality, the fact remains the taste profiles need to be matched well. The heavy use of the coriander leaves simply killed the pizza, I couldn’t taste the cheese nor the sauce! The secret of a good pizza is the balance which was clearly missing in this one! Also couldn’t really understand the idea of chopping the vegetables in huge pieces or for that matter using the whole vegetable!

The pasta of the day was – Lasagna which was an extremely small portion, with very little cheese and way too much tomato sauce & lots of green leaves on top. The sauce was simple and fresh with a nice herby taste but again nothing special about the dish.

The Baked Fish in a bag which was a sole fillet was the most disasturous dish we ordered. Simple rustic style of cooking fish with some whole fresh veggies wrapped in an aluminium foil is one thing where in the fish gets cooked in its own juices & vegetables while   bland, tasteless and undercooked fish is another. This one lacked any flavour to say the least. Also the veggies on the side were chopped in most stupid fashion- a broccoli piece as big as my palm? That surely not my idea of rustic!

Also if you like ketchup or mustard with your pizza then you better carry your own- they don’t serve any of the two. Really doesn’t matter to me but we all know how much our countrymen love the two!

Lets talk about the best part of the meal- DESSERTS! We ordered two sorbets, Mango and Strawberry Rasberry which were fresh, tangy and chunky! The portion is tiny and it will leave you wanting for more. I just hope they are using fresh fruits and not some industrial grade fruit pulps. I am definitely going back for the sorbets if not the pizzas.  The Almond Tart with vanilla cream was trademark Jamie style-rustic, fresh and flavourful & with a twist! The tart was crumbly from the outside and spongey cake texture from the inside and smelt of butter. The vanilla cream with hint of lemon zest was the perfect accompaniment.

It would be interesting to see how people respond to Jamie’s Pizzeria in an all ready crowded pizza segment with likes of Sbarro, NYC. Pie, InstaPizza, Pizza Express who are serving some mind blowing pizzas.

I would love to go back once again to try some more pizzas before completely writing it off but then as they say calories are precious 😉

Check some lovely pictures!

Super Green's Pizza
Super Green’s Pizza

 

Baked Fish
Baked Fish

 

Garlic Bread
Garlic Bread

 

13009869_10154022785070169_1258164053_o
Almond Tart

 

Berries Sorbet
Berries Sorbet

 

13016559_10154022785815169_392150401_o
Thats how good the table looked!

 

13016796_10154022785375169_1204060515_o
Closer look- Lasagna

How to make Dhaba style Dal & Roti at home using Rice Cooker & OTG

Dhaba meal
Dhaba meal

The rustic Dhaba style Dal & Roti is everyone’s favourite and an extremely satisfying meal. Though it is impossible to replicate the earthiness of dhaba food which is an amalgamation of various factors, I still tried to cook it at home this sunday to end my perpetual craving for that simple dal & tandoori roti. The most exciting thing  about this experiment is I used the Panasonic Rice Cooker that is only used for making plain rice or biryani in my home. The standard electric  rice cooker not many people know is a slow cooker and can be used to make multiple things including a cake! The slow heat affect leads a beautiful mushy texture to the dal and add to the flavour. After this successful experiment I have some crazy recipes on my mind to try! It is also a great option for flame free cooking or for people who don’t have the full kitchen setup or for those vacations/picnics/ cook outs! In fact I really like this combo rice cooker which comes with few attachments and can give serious competition to the induction plate cooking market segment.

I also used my Sunflame Oven Toaster Grill for making those Tandoori Rotis.

 

Look at the crispiness!
Look at the crispness!

 

That mushy texture
That mushy texture

Recipe for the Dhaba Dal Fry

Ingredients:
Urad Dal (Split White Lentils) : 1 Cup
Chana Dal ( Split Bengal Gram): 2 Cups
Onion : 1 Big
Tomatoes: 2-3
Garlic: 10-12 cloves
Ginger: 2 Inches long piece
Green Chillies: 3-4
Coriander: For Garnishing
Cinnamon: 2 Inches long stick
Clove: 5-6
Tomato Ketchup: 1 Tbsp
Salt to taste
Red Chilli Powder: 1 Tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1 Tsp
Coriander Powder: 1 Tbsp
Garam Masala: 1 Tbsp
Desi Ghee ( Clarified Butter): 4 Tbsp

Method:

  1. Pre soak the lentils for 2-3 hours. Plug in the rice cooker and let it heat for a minute, add desi ghee & cinnamon & cloves.
  2. Add roughly chopped onions, ginger & garlic.
  3. Let the onion turn translucent, make sure you use a wooden spatula or ladle to stir it.Lightly stir fry
  4. Add all the dry spices, roughly chopped tomatoes, green chiles and tomato ketchup.
  5. Let is cook for 2 mins and add little water.
  6. Now add the pre soaked lentils & 6 cups water.
  7. Add everything & simmer
    Add everything & simmer.

     

  8. Close the lid and let it simmer for 45-50 mins.
  9. Switch off the rice cooker & garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  10. Top it with a spoon of desi ghee before serving for the magical aroma.

Method for Tandoori Roti

  1. Take some fresh dough made using wheat flour, bran, water & desi ghee.
  2. Take a small ball of dough and make a flat roti or chapati, brush some ghee on one side and roll again to make layers.
  3. Pre heat the oven for 5 mins at 250-300 degrees Celsius.
  4. Brush some milk on one side of the roti and place it on a tray in the oven.
  5. Flip it after a minute and let it cook till a nice golden brown colour is achieved.
  6. Add some fresh butter or ghee on top before serving.

Though lot of people might frown on the use of tomato ketchup but it lends a nice sheen & tangy flavour to the dal, you can skip it if you want and add a teaspoon of vinegar instead.

The dal tastes better after few hours so if possible do make it well in advance and serve with freshly made rotis.

You checkout more about cooker and Oven on Amazon here :

Panasonic cooker combo
Panasonic cooker combo

Sunflame OTG

Sunflame OTG

Kake Da Hotel- Best Butter Chicken, Really?

If you ask anyone or check any of the listing sites or Google where to have best Butter Chicken in Delhi or unearth the of list top ten Butter Chickens in Delhi, invariably the much famed Kake De Hotel will crop up!

Delhi is synonymous with Butter Chicken! And the true blue Delhite I am,  I constantly crave good butter chicken & butter naan! It has to be one of my favourite comfort foods especially when I want to drown my sorrows in some butter 😛

The comfort food
Butter Chicken- the ultimate comfort food
If you ask anyone or check any of the listing sites or Google where to have best Butter Chicken in Delhi or unearth the of list top ten Butter Chickens in Delhi, invariably the much famed Kake De Hotel will crop up!
So yesterday was one of those when I needed some sinful indulgence and landed up at THE Kake De Hotel during the early lunch hours!  As I walked up the stairs, I noticed the wall was lined with framed certificates and wasn’t surprised at all to find lots of travelers seated there who sure where there to tick this in their bucket list! There were some locals as well who were enjoying their fill.
*Warning*  If you aren’t comfortable with dirty dingy places, don’t when bother to go for a meal, like most dhabas the sights aren’t very pleasing! Oh but the good part is they have some full power air conditioning! Nonetheless as soon as we were seated, a plate full of onions topped with green chutney and some masala was placed on our table- even before the water 😉 Well dhabas are your real QSRs- quick service restaurants.
Fresh & Tangy
Fresh & Tangy

We had a clear agenda and ordered half plate butter chicken  (Rs 340+) with butter naan and tandoori roti without without batting an eyelid! And within couple of minutes the food arrived, the breads looked fresh & crispy. The Butter Chicken looked sad with no trace of butter or that gorgeous creamy gravy- it almost looked like the humble dhabha style chicken curry! First bite and i was heart broken, the gravy was watery with boiled tomatoes & onion with some oil thrown on top! Well that is not how butter chicken is supposed to be. It lacked the tangy kick or the silkness that is achieved by cooking it well with butter or cream! The chicken was tender and well cooked though.

By no standards it can be called a butter chicken- to make sure it wasn’t the chicken curry we checked with the server who told us that  a big pot of the dish is made in one go and they serve from it throughout the day, so no customisation was possible. Also that they do keep the dish non spicy or bland purposely- which i wasn’t surprised to hear as the places is very popular among the tourists.
Feast
Feast
Best Butter Naan ever
Best Butter Naan ever
Tandoori Roti
Tandoori Roti – very nicely done.
Lacha Parantha
Lacha Parantha
Seeing that we weren’t happy with the food the server quickly asked if we would like to have something else instead of the butter chicken – without wasting any time we  ordered dahi meat which was listed as Rogan Josh( Rs. 200+)  and Dal Makhni (Rs. 90+)
The Dal Makhni was kickass in one word, well cooked and utterly creamy without the heavy use of cream & butter- a consistency that is achieved if the lentils are simmered with spices for a long time! It has to be one of the best dal makhni i have ever tasted. I will for sure go back for my Dal Tandoori Roti combo &  pyaaz chutney  fill!
Dal 2
Look at the beauty
Since we had no high expectations- the dahi meat tasted decent, the meat was tender & it had that dhabha curry type of thin gravy! Again there was nothing Rogan Josh about it- neither the taste nor the colour!
Dahi Meat
Dahi Meat
I wonder how can people recommend KDH for butter chicken? Has the place lost its sheen over the years and now banking on the inflow of the tourists who clearly have no idea what a good butter chicken is about? The meal left me questioning what makes a good butter chicken, is there any standard recipe or every restaurant/dhabha  over the years has developed its own style?

Where to have HOT POT meal in Delhi?

I love Delhi, people say it is the melting pot of culture and traditions but i think it is more like a salad bowl -where each element mixes beautifully with the other while retaining its individuality and flavours. Same goes true for the various cultures and migrants from all over the world that make this city “Oh So Delhi” or I should say so soulful Delhi.
There are innumerable places in this city which make you believe you aren’t in Delhi and thats THE beauty my friend. From brilliant state bhawan where awesome regional food is served to places like Paharganj and Majnu Ka Tila. Aah how much I love MKT is no secret, anyone who knows me is well aware of my uncanny connection with this Tibetan refugee camp. This place has a certain vibe, either you reject it the every first time you go there or an instant connection happens.
Any one who loves hills will enjoy this quaint, serene and lazy zone on the banks of the Yamunna. The charm and the happiness of the place simply engulfs you!
Soul satisfying- read to know more
As I always say- it is the Little Tibet and as you know it is one of the happiest places on the earth.
After my innumerable trips to this place, it surprised me yet again when in the dark aisles found this place called Hot Yak Restaurant in Garkhil House Complex- not so easy to find but once you enter the beautiful view of the Yamunna from the huge glass window will leave you stunned.
Do have the Apple Beer while enjoying the view
The restaurant has nice big wooden tables without any jazz and as you make yourself comfortable you will  be handed a very elaborate and pictorial menu! Anyway I left that for another day and asked the server about Hot Pot meal which was mentioned on one of the table mats! And then I was handed this huge form to select all the things I want for my hot pot meal!
For the uninitiated, Hot Pot is family meal where the cooking happens on the table over some conversations and happy times. It basically comprises of a pot of bubbling broth or soup with lots of raw or semi cooked seafood, meats, vegetables and noodles to dip it in!
It is almost like the South Eastern cousin of fondue.
The menu had the options of veg, chicken, mutton and beef based broths. We had one vegetarian amongst us, so chose the vegetarian one which gave us the option of a red and a white broth. And we could choose as many meats, seafood, vegetables and noodles we wanted, of course for a price.
It is like making your own pizza where you can add as many toppings as you want.
The meats section had a huge selection to choose from, ranging from chicken balls to prawns to sliced mutton etc. We settled for the safe sliced chicken. The vegetables section had lots of greens, different types of mushrooms and other not so exotic vegetables like beans, carrots and cauliflower. The noodles section had flat and round wheat noodles, rice noodles and glass noodles. And you can pay 30 bucks extra for a bowl of sesame oil.
Mushrooms taste lovely in soups
Freshly sliced chicken
Beans add lot of crunchiness while cucumbers are totally avoidable
Soon enough an induction plate was placed on the centre of the table and a huge pot with  white & red broths were left to simmer on it. And beautifully chopped vegetables which we had selected earlier including thinly sliced chicken along with semi boiled thick rice noodles were laid on the table.
Along came the condiment box containing salt, ajinomoto, finely chopped garlic, ginger, spring oil greens and red chilli flakes. And the very cute small soup bowls, chopsticks, laddle, strainer and tiny tongs and this surely left me excited!
The next one hour was spent dunking various things in the flavourful bubbling broth and innumerable bowls of the soup which we customised every single time.
Two broths arrived like this!
These are such a taste enhancers
And thats how the table looked
Look how beautifully was chicken cooked
The red soup was super spicy with lots of oil floating on the top where as the white one was more milky having a sweet aroma due to heavy use of star anise.
The flavours of the soup evolve as it is left to simmer with vegetables and meats. I can’t decide whether it tasted better in the starting or after an hour when it had more intense flavours and richer consistency. Nonetheless it just left me wanting for more and more.
While the vegetables remained crunchy
We had endless servings of the soup over some hearty conversations on a lazy afternoon. It had almost childlike thrill to play with different combinations of noodles, meat, sesame oil, condiments for each serving.The joy is in mixing the two broths in varying portions, adding & skipping a few things each time! Make sure you don’t put all the vegetables in one go else they lose their crunchiness by the time you are having the last or penultimate round.
Also keep a balance of ordering few green leafy vegetables and some more dense ones like broccoli etc. And don’t forget to order the sesame oil- it is almost like the magic and adds a beautiful layer of flavour with its sweet nuttiness.
It is so much fun to mix & match each time
The bubbling beauty
Roasted sesame oil
The meal is a sensory pleasure with beautiful sight of freshest ingredients chopped with utmost finesse, the aroma of simmering broth, the different textures and riot of flavours and of course the sound of slurping those noodles.
One pot of soup is good enough for 5-6 people and this meal costed us Rs. 880 for 4-5 vegetables, one meat, one portion of noodles and some sesame oil.
I know I have found a treasure and will spend endless afternoons pipping some soul warming soup overlooking the Yamuna while discussing about life and other funny things with my set of favourite people.