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  • Rest of Chicago

    Posted on | July 13, 2013 | Comments Off |


    A fabulous dinner at Willows Inn on Lummi Island

    Posted on | June 3, 2013 | 19 Comments |


    I know, I’ve been gone a long time. 14 months to be exact! I am sure all my regular readers have given up on this space by now. I have no excuses for my absence other than the fact that I lost interest in blogging! I tried to find the lost mojo week after week for some time and at some point I just gave up completely. Also, almost all of my spare time has been totally and completely taken over by my latest addiction – photography! Then all of a sudden, when I wasn’t even trying, I had this great meal! It was such an amazing culinary experience and so unlike anything I’ve ever had, I just had to [...]

    Mutton Korma – Braised Goat in a Green Coconut Curry

    Posted on | March 19, 2012 | 16 Comments |


    Recently someone commented on one of my Mutton dishes that “Mutton is NOT goat meat. Mutton is an adult sheep, a goat is a goat.” . Someone else also had said the same thing a while ago; that the term Mutton is used in the United States to refer to the tough meat of an old goat. That explains the Seinfeld episode where Jerry couldn’t chew the mutton at a date’s place, so he wrapped up the chewed up pieces in her grandma’s napkins and stuffed them into his jacket. Elaine borrowed the jacket later and ended up getting chased by a dog. That tough mutton that disgusted Jerry is SO VERY different from what we call Mutton in India, [...]

    Parsi Mutton Biryani – Step by Step Recipe

    Posted on | March 4, 2012 | 9 Comments |


      I have no idea what makes this Biryani Parsi, as I don’t know anything about the Parsi cuisine. I found this recipe in a cookbook titled Parsi Kitchen by Jeani Mohindra. It is one of those tiny paperback books I picked up from India and it is the first recipe I am trying from the book. I don’t know the authenticity of the recipe, but I have to say the biryani was delicious! It is an easy recipe, but like any other proper biryani recipe, it is quite a laborious process, way too many steps, but I am sure you will love the end results. Ingredients Goat meat, bone-in – 1.5 lbs Basmati rice – 3 cups Sliced Onions [...]

    Spicy Rack of Lamb with Arugula Grapefruit Salad

    Posted on | February 15, 2012 | 4 Comments |


    Another Valentine’s Day has come and gone! It is pretty much like any other day, except for the fact that it is the only day of the year when Siv sends me flowers. I really don’t care much for flowers, but still it is kind of nice to get some roses once a year. I don’t remember when this started, but now it has become a tradition. We used to go out for dinner on V-day up until a few years ago; but after going through a few overprized, mass produced dinners served with zero customer service – even at some of the best restaurants in town- we have given up on Valentine’s Day dinners out. It is so much [...]

    Huevos Rotos (Broken Eggs) and a Call to Action

    Posted on | January 29, 2012 | 6 Comments |


    Before I get to the food part of the post, I would like to share a very important cause – a fundraiser organized by a friend and fellow blogger Siri of Cooking with Siri to raise money for Vaidehi Ashram – a home for destitute girls in India. As compassionate human beings we all constantly think about making a change in the world, lending a helping hand to those who are less fortunate than us. But more often than not, life and its daily grind gets in the way of our good will, and most of us never actually get to do as much as we would like to. The extent of my philanthropy is the monetary contributions I make [...]

    Parippu Vada (Deep fried Lentil Fritters)

    Posted on | January 18, 2012 | 20 Comments |


      When the weather outside is frightful, deep fried goodies can be delightful! It is always nice to have an excuse to eat unhealthy stuff, although I hardly ever need one. I don’t even think this is that unhealthy, it has lentils which are highly nutritional and were fried in fresh sunflower oil, which has a high smoke point and low Trans fats. I agree that consuming deep fried food from restaurants on a regular basis is not a good idea, mainly because restaurants are known to reuse frying oils, which means the oil gets heated repeatedly to really high temperatures beyond its smoke point, which can cause some hydrogenation and oxidation and such bad stuff. But making deep fried [...]

    HDR Wednesday – Stormy Sunset

    Posted on | January 18, 2012 | 5 Comments |


    I miss posting pictures, though I don’t miss posting them every day! So I am planning to do a weekly photo post here, mostly my HDR experiments. Seattle is under a heavy(for Seattle) snowstorm and we have been homebound for the past three days. I am not complaining! This was the view from our living room last night when the sky started clearing up a bit. Click on the photo for a bigger version. Photo details  – HDR tone-mapped from three exposures, 1/40, 1/160, 1/640 seconds at Aperture f11 and ISO 100.

    Restaurant Review – Altura

    Posted on | January 15, 2012 | 4 Comments |


    I haven’t done a restaurant review here in a while, though we have been trying out a lot of new restaurants. Even though I had my camera with me on most outings, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to type even a mini review of some of the great places we tried. Finally the amazing dinner we had at Altura this weekend has given me the inspiration to get out of my rut and publish a review! Altura opened up to some raving reviews in early October 2011 in Capitol Hill, but we never got a chance to visit due to the holiday season hustle and bustle. Finally we made reservations for Friday night, a late birthday dinner for [...]

    Spicy Pompano – Kerala Style Fried Fish

    Posted on | January 10, 2012 | 28 Comments |


    Fried fish is such a quintessential part of Kerala cuisine that every seafood eating Malayali starts drooling at the mere mention of it. During my initial days in the United States, I remember seeing fried fish on a restaurant menu for the first time and getting all thrilled. But when the order arrived, it was the most tasteless batter fried Cod – the typical American Fish and Chips preparation. I was so frustrated by how different it was from what I was expecting that I almost cried. Those days I could only cook a few dishes and fish was not really my forte, so I had no way of satisfying the cravings set off by that menu. Well, that was [...]

    One Dish Dinners – Lemon Caper Tilapia with Roasted Garlic

    Posted on | January 2, 2012 | 17 Comments |


    Hope everyone had a great start to the New Year and nobody has broken any resolutions yet. I didn’t make any resolutions this year, have decided to just take on life as it comes. I did think of a few tweaks I would like to make to my lifestyle though! First one is to be a bit more organized in life. Most of last year was kind of a mess where I just couldn’t get a daily routine going and as a result we had to get take-out dinners day after day while the groceries sat rotting in the fridge and the pantry. It is hard to make healthy choices when ordering take-out food, especially when the decisions are made [...]

    Happy New Year 2012 with a Bubbly!

    Posted on | December 31, 2011 | 4 Comments |


    Here’s wishing all of you a wonderful 2012! It was a great 2011 and I think 2012 is going to be even more amazing! May the new year bring you joy, love, happiness, great friendships and lots and lots of delicious food! Here’s a bubbly to bring in the new year! Ingredients raspberries St.Germain Champagne Method Place three raspberries in a champagne flute, fill 1/4th of the glass with St.Germain and top it off with champagne. Drink, repeat and enjoy!

    Mutton Varutharacha Curry (Goat meat in a fried Coconut Gravy)

    Posted on | September 25, 2011 | 24 Comments |

    Mutton curry

    As I am looking through my drafts folder, I see that it is mostly filled with mutton recipes. Looks like I will have to do a mutton marathon event to get through all these. Mutton aka Goat meat, while very popular in India, is considered somewhat of an exotic meat over here in the US and only the very adventurous foodie will dare give it a try. This attitude seems to be changing though; according to Bon Appetit Foodist Andrew Knowlton, goat meat is the next big thing: To quote the Foodist: While goat sits somewhere near the bottom on the list of America’s favorite proteins, it’s the most widely consumed meat on the planet. Goat has found a [...]

    Onam Sadya (Sadhya)

    Posted on | September 7, 2011 | 30 Comments |


    Onam is Kerala’s largest festival celebrating the harvest season. There are many traditions associated with Onam, but the only one I am interested in is the one that involves food – the feast we call “Onam Sadya”. This scrumptious feast is an all vegetarian spread consisting of a spectrum of dishes meant to tickle all your taste buds – salty, spicy, sour and sweet.  An Onam Sadya is served on banana leaves with rice in the center (You have to have Rosematta rice for a proper sadya – ironically the picture above has white rice), a bunch of accompaniments served on the side and a few gravies served in courses over the rice. The meal ends with a generous serving [...]

    Sambar – Spicy Lentils and Vegetable Stew

    Posted on | September 6, 2011 | 12 Comments |


    Anyone who has ever had a South Indian Vegetarian meal will be familiar with this quintessential South Indian dish that has so many small variations and deviations that you won’t be able to find the exact same recipe in two different households. I am not sure if it is a Tamil Naadu thing or not, but at Siv’s home they normally make Sambar with just one type of vegetable as the main ingredient. They have onion Sambar, tomato Sambar, okra Sambar etc. But my mom throws in any vegetable she can find into her Sambar, the more varieties the better. So needless to say, my Sambar also follows the same trail as my mom’s, always a medley of vegetables! If [...]

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