Tag Archives: food

Creamy Spinach Penne Pasta

Ingredients:

250 Grams penne pasta, cooked

3 Garlic cloves, minced

1 Onion, finely chopped

5C. Fresh spinach, washed, dried & chopped

1/2 C. Basil, finely chopped

1T. Olive oil

1T. Butter

2C. Cooking cream

1C. Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 T. Salt

1/4 T. ground black pepper

Recipe:

Start by cooking the penne pasta. Drain and keep aside.

Heat olive oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat.

Sauté the onions, garlic, salt, and pepper until lightly browned.

Add cooking cream and parmesan cheese, and continue to cook the sauce on low heat until slightly thickened.

Now add the spinach, cup by cup and keep stirring gently until it wilts.

Once the sauce is ready add the basil and cooked pasta to the pan and stir to coat.

Garnish with some more parmesan cheese and enjoy the delicious creamy spinach pasta.

Chicken Soup in Coconut Milk

Ingredients:

1/2 Chicken Breasts (skinless, trimmed and sliced)
2-3 Pcs. Lemon Grass (sliced)
2-3 Pcs. Galangal (sliced)
2 Pcs. Kaffir Lime Leaves
1T. Lemon Juice
1T. Fresh Chillies (chopped)
1/4C. Onion (quartered)
1/4C. Oyster Mushrooms (roughly chopped)
1T. Sugar
1T. Fish Sauce
1C. coconut Milk

Recipe:

Boil coconut milk in a pot and stir in lemon grass, galangal & lime leaves.

Add the chicken pieces along with mushrooms and onions in the pot and stir.

Add fish sauce, sugar, lemon juice and chilies.

Bring to a boil and turn of the heat. Soup is ready to be served.

Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:

4Pcs. Chicken Breasts (skinless & trimmed)
1T. Lemon Juice
2T. Honey
2T. Mustard Sauce
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1T. Olive Oil
1/2T. Cayenne Pepper
Salt & Pepper – as per taste

Recipe:

Toss the chicken pieces with lemon juice and set aside.

Combine all the other remaining ingredients to form a marinate.

Coat the chicken pieces with the marinate and refrigerate for few hours. For best results marinate overnight.

Grill the chicken on medium-high heat until done.

Enchanting Krabi

By now I have discovered that I can’t stay away from Thailand. I am a total Thai-vibe addict. After spending days in Bangkok and Phuket in the past it is time to begin 2018 by exploring Krabi.

Krabi is a bunch of beautiful islands in the southern part of Thailand. Just like Phuket, Krabi is the new ideal vacation spot for people looking for white sandy beaches lined with coconut trees.  It is also a paradise for people who love nature; islands, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, tropical jungles, marine adventures etc – you name it, they have it.

Island Hopping is one of the most popular things to do amongst travelers in this region. It can easily be arranged from the Ao-nang beach via the long tail boat service office. Sea kayaking is the second great thing which can be done to explore the coastline. The pricing is very reasonable at the beach itself so no need to pre book from the hotel. Island tour will cost you 100 Baht one way whereas, a single kayak will cost 150 Baht per hour. A guided kayak tour into the mangroves is something which you would not like to miss!

Krabi is relatively less crowded than any other vacation spot in Thailand which makes it easy to find a nice peaceful accommodation close to the nature. Suggested itinerary will not be more than 4 days as it is enough to explore the islands, caves, temples, beaches, indulge in Thai food, trek in the tropical jungles, dive the Andaman & relax with a Thai massage.

You’re not going to end up spending a lot on your trip as the things are so much cheaper here. A decent hotel/resort starts from 17 USD/night. I stayed in The Jasmine Resort, in the Ao-nang area just 15 minutes away from the beach and was impressed with the hospitality I received, at the price I paid.
Bike/scooter rentals are easily available for about 6-10 USD/day and will be probably the best choice to commute in and around Krabi.

People running The Jasmine Resort.

My favorite topic – Food. Being at a beach means super fresh sea food. The food here in Krabi is the typical Thai stuff you probably know such as pad thai, but there are several other delicious dishes which you should try: basil chicken, Thai style salads, soups & curries. Just like me if you are interested to learn how they do it, enroll yourself for a Thai cooking course. A basic course for 3-4 hours will cost you around 1200 baht and will teach you up to 6 dishes of your choice.

Preparing Tom Kha Kai, a Thai style chicken soup at the cooking class

Soup ready & served
After doing all of this still have some time left?
Head towards the Thung Teao Natural Park  and take a dip in the mineral rich, all natural emerald pool. A short walk away is blue pool, a total worth it sight. There are several tours for the same however if you good at riding a bike it’s easily accessible by road. Entry fee to the nature reserve is 200 baht/pp.

Emerald Pool at the Thung Teao Natural Park
Blue Pool

Whatever you do in this charming place is up to you but don’t forget to quench your thirst with a chilled Chang!

Cheers!

Thai Basil Chicken (Pad Kra-Pao)

This is a very popular Thai dish and one of my favorite. You can see a lot of vendors preparing this dish in the streets. I love it with chicken however; beef, pork and sea food options are also available. This dish is best served with rice and a Thai style crispy fried egg!

Ingredients:

1C. Chicken Breast (bite size pieces)
¼ C. Shallot (fine sliced)
5 Garlic Cloves (minced/fine chopped)
4 Thai Chilies (fine sliced/chopped)
1T. Oyster Sauce
1T. Dark Soy Sauce
½ T. Light Soy Sauce
½ T. Fish Sauce (optional)
½ T. Sugar
½ C. Holy Basil Leaves
Cooking Oil

Recipe:

Start with the stir fry sauce. Combine Dark soy sauce, Oyster sauce, Light soy sauce, Fish sauce (if using) & sugar in a bowl. Stir well and keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok; add shallot, garlic and chilies – stir fry for 30 seconds. Once fragrant, toss in the chicken pieces and continue frying.  (For the bite size chicken pieces it generally takes 2-3 minutes to cook)

Add the earlier prepared sauce and keep stir frying for 30 more seconds.

Throw in the holy basil, combine it well and turn off the heat.

.

.

.

.

At this stage you would be probably drooling!
So serve and enjoy!

Kit – Kat Cake

Photo 07-03-17, 4 09 27 AM
Ingredients

1 ½ C. All Purpose Flour
1T. Baking Powder
¾ C. Butter (unsalted)
¾ C. Granulated Sugar
½ T. Cinnamon Powder
¼ T. Nutmeg Powder
1 Kit-Kat Bar (Crushed)
1 Can Condensed Milk (170 ML)
2 Eggs

Photo 07-03-17, 4 22 05 AM

Recipe:

Start with combining all the ingredients, except the Kit – Kat. Beat until the mixture is smooth.

Stir in the Kit-Kat now & mix well.

Pour the mixture in a greased loaf tin and sprinkle some kit-Kat on top.

Bake for 50 minutes at 180°C  or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Photo 07-03-17, 4 17 35 AM (1)

Yummy Tip: Oreo fans can replace Kit – Kat with Oreo’s too!!

Cabbage & Coconut Stir-fry

photo-01-01-09-12-04-30-amIngredients:

4C. Cabbage (shredded)
6-8 Potatoes (small to medium size)
2 Green chilies (sliced and deseeded)
3-4 Dry red chilies
1T. Cumin seeds
1T. Mustard seeds
1T. Lemon juice
2T. Desiccated coconuts (lightly toasted)
4T. Coriander (chopped)
2T. Oil
Asafoetida (a generous pinch)
Salt & Pepper

photo-01-01-09-12-01-53-am photo-01-01-09-12-03-17-am

Method:

Start with preparing the potatoes for the recipe. In a pot of boiling water add salt and cook potatoes for 10-12 minutes. Peel and lightly crush. Set aside.

In a pan heat some oil and add dried red chilies along with mustard, cumin and asafoetida. Smoke till fragrant. Once the seeds began to crackle, toss in the cabbage and sliced green chilies.

Make sure the cabbage gets coated with spices and oil nicely. Add the potatoes and continue tossing for few minutes. Add salt and pepper according to your taste.

Once it combines, throw in the toasted coconut, chopped coriander and lemon juice. Give it a final toss to combine.

Serve hot as a side dish.

The key here is the crunch in the cabbage. Don’t overcook!

photo-01-01-09-12-03-53-am

Brazilian Chicken Soup

Photo 23-08-16, 6 42 27 AM

Ingredients:

300G. Chicken breast (fine shredded)
2T. Olive oil
2 ½ C. Vegetables (chopped, I used carrots, peas, sweet corn & beans)
½ C. Spring onion (chopped)
¾ C. Rice
10C. Chicken broth
4. Eggs (white separated)
1. Onion (chopped)
3. Garlic cloves (minced)
¼ C. Coriander (chopped)
Salt & pepper

Photo 23-08-16, 6 48 14 AM

Method:

In a pot add olive oil and sauté onions with garlic till fragrant. Add the shredded chicken and cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the chicken starts turning white, add the rice and roast along for few minutes.

Now add the chicken stock, chopped vegetables and check for seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cover the pot. Let it simmer till the rice is cooked.

Once the rice is done add the chopped coriander and egg whites while stirring it.

Pour it in a bowl, garnish with a lime slice and enjoy!

Photo 23-08-16, 6 46 07 AM

Cauliflower Risotto

Photo 01-01-09, 12 08 38 AMIngredients:

1C. Arborio rice
½ C. White wine
2C. Vegetable stock
2T. Parmesan – Romano (grated)
1T. Lemon Juice
3T. Olive oil
Saffron (optional)

Ingredients for Puree

1 Cauliflower head (minced)
1 Onion (chopped)
6-8 Basil leaves
1C. Water
3T. Butter
Salt & Pepper

Ingredients for Garnish

2T. Garlic (minced)
3T. Cauliflower (minced)
3T. Mushrooms (chopped)
2T. Red bell pepper (chopped)
2T. Green bell pepper (chopped)
2T. Spring onion (chopped)
1T. Olive oil

Photo 01-01-09, 12 06 14 AM (1)
Method:

Start with preparing the cauliflower puree. In a pan add the butter, basil leaves and onions. Once the onions start to sweat, stir in the cauliflower and season with salt & pepper. Cook the cauliflower on slow – medium heat without turning it brown. Add a cup of water if required. Once cooked properly let it sit for few minutes and puree using a blender. Set aside.

Take another pan and prepare for the garnish. Drizzle few drops of olive oil once heated add the garlic, spring onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and cauliflower. Saute for 6 – 7 minutes and reserve for later use.

Heat a flat pan on medium heat. Add some olive oil, once hot add the Arborio rice. Toast the rice till fragrant and then stir in the wine. Once the wine is absorbed add the vegetable stock. Keep on stirring to avoid sticking at the base. Also, you can add a dollop of butter to emulsify the rice. Add the lemon juice, cover and cook. Once the rice is almost done add the cauliflower puree and stir. This is the time when you will add the saffron, if using. Remove from the heat and add the grated cheese. Stir to mix the cheese evenly. Check for seasoning.

Pour some hot risotto in a plate, top it up with some prepared garnish and serve hot.

File 18-07-16, 5 47 22 PM

Creamy Cottage Cheese

Photo 05-07-16, 11 01 58 AM
Ingredients:

250G. Small Curd Cottage Cheese
1T. Ginger – Garlic Paste
2 Green Chili (deseeded, finely chopped)
1C. Red Bell pepper (finely chopped)
½ C. Green peas
2 Onions (chopped)
1 Tomato (chopped)
1T. Cumin seeds
¼ T. Garam Masala
¼ T. Turmeric Powder
½ T. Red Chili Powder
1T. Coriander Powder
¼ C. Milk
1T. Lemon Juice
2T. Fresh Coriander (chopped)
Oil
Salt

Photo 05-07-16, 11 00 21 AM

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Allow them to crackle.
Add chopped onions, chilies, ginger-garlic paste and saute for few minutes.

Now add the chopped tomatoes and bell pepper. Give it a quick stir and cook till they turn soft.

Add garam masala, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt to taste, stir.

Once fragrant add the milk and mix.

Stir in the cottage cheese, green peas, along with the lemon juice and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with the bread of your choice.

Tip: Any type of cottage cheese can be used for this recipe. Crumble or grate it before use.

Photo 05-07-16, 11 00 13 AM

Basic Makhani Gravy

1
Ingredients

2C. Tomatoes (chopped)
1 Onion (chopped)
1 Green chili
2 Cloves
2 Cardamoms
5 Cashew nuts
3T. fresh cream
2T. Butter
2T. Ginger garlic paste
1T. Sugar
1T. Tomato ketchup
1T. Tomato paste
½ T. Cumin seeds
½ T. Dried fenugreek leaves
1T. Red chili powder
¼ T. Garam masala
½ T. Coriander powder
¼ T. Turmeric powder
Salt

2Method

Start with combining tomatoes, cloves & cashew nuts in a mixer jar and form a smooth puree. Set aside.

Now puree onion and green chili as well.

Heat the butter in a pan and add cumin seeds along with the cardamoms and sauté.

Now add the onion puree along with the ginger garlic paste, tomato paste and sauté on medium flame for 3-5 minutes.

Add the tomato puree and continue stirring. Once the oil begins to separate add chili powder, garam masala powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder & a cup of water. Let it simmer for few minutes.

Add the fenugreek leaves, sugar, ketchup and check for salt, while stirring occasionally.

Once the gravy reaches the desired consistency turn the flame off & add the cream.

The Makhani gravy is ready for use.

Tips:

For restaurant style smooth gravy, pass the gravy through a mesh before adding crème. This will remove all the whole spices.

If you would like to freeze this gravy for future use then do not add crème as it may spoil. To use the frozen gravy just thaw it before use and add the crème in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Carrot Cake

Photo 01-04-16, 7 16 35 PM (1)
Ingredients

3C. Fine grated carrots
1 ½ C. White sugar
½ C. Brown sugar
1C. Raisins
1C. Crushed pineapple
4 Eggs (lightly beaten)
1 ¼ C. Vegetable oil
2T. Vanilla extract
2C. All purpose flour
2T. Baking soda
2T. Baking powder
3T. Ground cinnamon
1C. Dried coconut (grated)
½ T. Salt

For Frosting & Garnish:

1C. Chopped nuts
½ C. Unsalted butter (softened)
2C. Cream Cheese (softened)
4C. Confectioner’s sugar
1T. Vanilla extract

Photo 01-04-16, 7 16 35 PM (2)

Recipe:

Preheat the oven at 180°C.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, oil, white and brown sugar; once combined stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, dried coconut, grated carrots, raisins, vanilla extract  & crushed pineapple.

Grease and flour a cake pan and pour the batter into it. Bake in the pre heated oven for 50 – 60 minutes or until the tooth pick inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Let it cool completely.

To prepare frosting, in a bowl, combine butter, cheese, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract. Beat under the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Spread the frosting evenly over the cake and sprinkle the nuts on top.

Mixed Vegetable Soup

File 22-02-16, 6 37 43 PMIngredients

½ C. Corn Kernels (frozen or fresh)
1 Carrot (peeled & chopped)
1 Onion (finely chopped)
4-6 Beans (finely chopped)
2T. Spring Onions (chopped)
2T. Cauliflower (small florets)
2T. Peas
1T. Cornflour
2C. Water
2C. Vegetable Stock
½ T. Sugar
¼ T. Oregano Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
1T. Butter

Recipe:

In a pot melt some butter & sauté all the vegetables except the spring onions. Around 3 – 4 minutes.

Meanwhile stir the cornflour in 1 cup of water and leave aside. Make sure there are no lumps.

Now in the pot with the vegetables add the stock and water. Once comes to a boil allow to simmer for few minutes.

When the water in the pot is reduced, stir in the cornflour mixture. The soup will start to thicken at this stage. Add the sugar, pepper and check for salt. Let it simmer for 5 more minutes.

Garnish with spring onions, oregano seasoning and serve hot.
File 22-02-16, 8 07 25 PM

Egg & Shrimp Calzone

Photo 21-01-16, 11 08 58 AM (1)
Ingredients:

2C. All purpose flour
2T. Yeast
1T. Sugar
2T. Olive oil
2T. Peas
2T. Sweet corn
3 Eggs (room temperature)
1 Shallot (chopped)
2 Green Chilies (chopped)
3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
10-12 Shrimps (diced)
Salt & pepper
Cornmeal or semolina (to sprinkle)

Photo 21-01-16, 11 31 05 AM

Recipe:

Start with activating the yeast. In a bowl add one cup of warm water, yeast & sugar, stir and leave aside till it foams.

Heat some oil in a wok. Saute garlic, chilies & shallot. Once fragrant add eggs and scramble to medium consistency. Now add the shrimps, peas & corns, continue cooking till the shrimps turn pink. Check for seasoning and don’t overcook. Set aside to cool.

In another bowl combine flour, a pinch of salt & yeast mix. Knead the dough till soft and smooth. Leave to rise for 1-2 hours in a warm place.

To bake the calzones preheat the oven at 200°C and sprinkle the baking sheet with cornmeal or semolina.

Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll each out to a 5 – 6 inches disc. Divide the filling between half of each disc, leaving some space to seal. Brush the edges with water and crimp the edges to seal.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and serve.

Photo 21-01-16, 11 10 53 AM

 

Little Havana, Miami – FL

Little HavanaThinking of exploring Miami is itself a fancy dream & if you think doing it all in one day is possible, then you need to calm down. Exploring this tourist Mecca while not missing any of its key attractions needs time. This sub-tropical, multi-cultural wonderland widely boasts about its seductive beaches, shopping, nightlife, art, culture & culinary expertise. Also there are few famous neighborhoods where you can find the best of food, music & nightlife. My frequently visited neighborhood is Little Havana & South Beach but you might also find The Design District interesting.

File 12-01-16, 5 40 24 PMLittle Havana is like walking in a colorful alley. It’s a place where you will find the biggest Cuban community in Miami. You will generally find me strolling on the SW 8th Street also known as Calle Ocho absorbing the Cuban culture. You can find colorful murals, unique art galleries and some of the best typical Cuban restaurants and bakeries offering breakfast, lunch or dinner. However I prefer to go there in the morning and grab one of the classic Cubano sandwich for breakfast along with some freshly squeezed juice. It also has many pubs and bars dropping some Cuban music setting up the mood for the evenings.

File 12-01-16, 3 43 47 PMPhoto 09-01-16, 11 26 22 PMPhoto 10-01-16, 12 29 01 AMIf you are a big fan of Cuban cigars then many famous cigar shops line the street. You can spend some time in one of those trying different cigars along with some coffee.  One of the many is Little Havana Cigar Factory. It is well stocked and has a beautiful ambience. Also if you have any questions, the gorgeous, Ms. Ibis will be happy to help.

File 18-12-15, 6 25 04 AMAnother great attraction is Domino Park. Here you will find retired people playing a game of chess or domino. Some of them though have a very intense look on their face but they are very friendly and also might pose for a picture with you.

Photo 10-01-16, 12 02 40 AM

Photo 09-01-16, 11 02 51 PMWhile you are on Calle Ocho, trying the Azucar Ice Cream Company is a must. They have got some of the best and wackiest combinations. My personal recommendation is – Abuela Maria or Mint Chocolate Chip.

File 18-12-15, 6 00 01 AMFile 12-01-16, 6 07 12 PMSome of the art fans can also visit the studio of one of the most acclaimed Cuban-American artist in the world: The Agustin Gainza Arts Gallery. Agustin is always at his studio so if you are lucky you might even see him working on his next big master piece.
(Will be posting a detailed interaction with Mr. Gainza soon)

Photo 10-01-017Little Havana is just a set of few blocks but it has a lot to explore. Spending few hours here is fun and returning here is definitely worth it.

Salud!!

Rajma Masala

Rajma masala

Ingredients:

2C. Kidney beans (soaked overnight)
3 Tomatoes (pureed)
2 Onions (chopped)
2T. Ginger Garlic paste
1T. Coriander powder
2T. Chili powder
1T. Cumin powder
½ T. Turmeric powder
1T. Garam masala powder
Salt
3T. Clarified butter or oil

Recipe:

Cook rajma with five cups of water and salt in a pressure cooker till totally cooked and soft.

Heat some oil in a deep pan. Add chopped onions and ginger garlic paste and sauté till the mixture turns golden. Add tomato puree and continue to cook. Add coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and cook till the oil begins to separate.

Now add rajma along with the cooking liquor and mix. Adjust salt and add garam masala powder. Lower the heat and simmer for about fifteen to twenty minutes on low heat.

Garnish with coriander leaves & serve hot with steamed rice.

Rajma Masala

Prawn Linguine

Chili Prawn Linguine

Ingredients:

250G. Linguine Pasta
3 Garlic cloves (chopped)
1 Red chili (chopped)
24 Prawns (peeled, deveined)
12 Cherry Tomato (halved)
Handful of rocket leaves
2T. Black olives (pitted, sliced)
¼ C. Parmesan cheese (grated/shaved)
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Chili Prawn Linguine
Recipe:

Cook the pasta according to the instructions and leave aside.

Heat some olive oil in a wok and toss in the garlic, chili and olives. Cook on med heat without letting the garlic brown. Now add the prawns and cook until they turn pink.

Add the tomatoes and stir for approx 3 minutes. Add the drained pasta, rocket leaves and stir. Check for salt at and pepper at this time.

Garnish with some parmesan cheese and dressing of your choice.

Serve hot with a portion of garlic bread.

Mix Vegetable Keema

DSC00452
Ingredients:

1C. Cauliflower (Grated/minced)
1C. Beans (chopped)
½ C. Mushrooms (chopped)
1 Carrot (chopped)
½ C. Green peas (boiled)
2 Tomatoes, medium sized (chopped)
1 Onion, medium sized (chopped)
1 Green chili (chopped)
1 Black Cardamom
1” Cinnamon stick
½ T. Red chili powder
½ T. Turmeric powder
½ T. Garam masala powder
1T. Coriander powder
2C. Water
¼ C. Yogurt (beaten)
2T. Coriander (chopped)

DSC00469
Recipe:

In a pan heat some oil and add cardamom and cinnamon stick. Once fragrant add onions, ginger garlic paste and saute.

Add the chopped tomatoes, beaten yogurt and all the spices, stir and cook till the oil separates.

Now add all vegetables except green peas along with water and salt.

Cover and cook till all vegetables are cooked well. Once the mixture is dry add the peas and chopped coriander.

Give it a stir. Check for salt and serve hot with parathas or chapatti.

DSC00474

A Scottish Experience

While I continue globetrotting, this time my stop was Athens of the North, Edinburgh.
Also, home of the Scottish Parliament!

I started my day with a lavish breakfast buffet at Edinburgh Marriott Hotel and then straightaway took bus# 100 (24 hours service/Wi-Fi enabled) to the city centre. The bus dropped me at Princess Street which is 15 minutes ride and apparently the last stop. From there I started walking using a route planner available at www.walkit.com.
My plan was to cover all the main tourist attractions and interesting spots before the day comes to an end. My on foot journey included:

Princess Street Garden:
a beautifully landscaped public park in the centre of Edinburgh. Various concerts and other events are also held here during the festival time.

Edinburgh Castle:
a magnificent historic fortress.
For ticket pricing and timings refer to – www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk

IMG_4465

Scotch Whiskey Experience:
a large tourist attraction, offers a whisky tutoring session that takes place in the form of a virtual tour.
For ticket pricing and timings refer to – www.scotchwhiskyexperience.co.uk

Grassmarket:
the Grassmarket lies to the south of the Edinburgh Castle and is famous for a lot of pubs and cafes.

Greyfriar’s kirkyard & Greyfriar’s bobby:
a graveyard related to multiple paranormal activities.
For people who like adventure you can also book a ghost tour at – www.cityofthedeadtours.com
(Strictly Not For The Faint Hearted)

DSC09644 DSC09637

Royal Mile:
the busiest tourist street in the old town.

After walking so much already, it was time to have lunch. What could be better than the traditional Scottish delicacy – Haggis?
Now, I admit that the description of haggis may not sound all that appealing but it’s definitely worth trying if you’re ever in Scotland.

“A haggis is a simple dish prepared by using the lungs, heart and liver of a sheep, to which is added suet or fat, oatmeal, onions and a little stock and seasoning, filled into some sort of casing or skin (traditional way is using a sheep’s stomach) which is then boiled for several hours.”

I headed straight to Whiski Bar where I was welcomed by Ms. Karen and was given a comfortable, cozy place to settle down. By the time chefs were busy preparing the dish for me, I was being introduced to few of the many scotch whiskeys they have. Established in 2012 this place has bagged many awards already in the past few years. Promising to give everyone fresh Scottish food using the very best local produce this place is mostly crowded with locals and tourist. Keeping in mind this large footfall per day advance reservation is recommended and could be done here – www.whiskibar.co.uk

DSC00184 DSC00178

At last my most awaited dish was presented on the table with absolute finesse. Honestly speaking I found it very tasty and the scotch was pairing well with it. For the sweet finale I tried cheese cake of the day and must say it was extremely pleasurable!

DSC00197

DSC00202

Lastly, to conclude the day and to digest the food I started walking towards the Holyrood Park which is adjacent to the Holyrood Palace. The parks highest point is Arthur’s Seat, a massive hill just outside of town providing a bird eye view of the city and is popular for hill walking. Within the park you can also visit St Anthony’s Chapel – a 15th century medieval chapel, as well as Duddingston Loch – a natural fresh water loch (an important site for bird breeding)

10258515_706524066092996_4754781784152006314_n 10505433_706516376093765_5152981317234910873_n

Edinburgh is definitely an ancient city with interesting history and a cosmopolitan capital with a wide selection of restaurants, hotels, shops and active nightlife spots. It is not the most exotic destination but different in terms of culture. Flashes of tartan can be seen on the kilts of men playing bagpipes to the shortbread packs displaying a true Scottish character. In Scotland, traditions run deep and locals are more than happy to share them with you.

IMG_4574

Will surely visit again!

Augustiner Keller – Munich, Germany

Beer is one of the oldest drinks produced by humans. Historians believe that the grain was first fermented to produce beer, almost 2000 years before it was used for baking breads as a staple. Beer not only being used for celebrating events but was also used as a payment or as gifts at that time.

While I was in Bavaria’s capital city, I got an opportunity to meet Mr. Christian Vogler. The landlord of the oldest and the finest beer garden in Munich. He is an internationally known chef by profession and said to have been a master of the legacy Augustiner – Keller (in Hackerbrucke) since April 2010.

DSC00087 edited copy

It was brought into existence in 1812 after the official order by King Max Joseph I was passed, that these gardens could be places where both beer and food could be served. Since then this award winning place has lived to the reputation of serving freshly tapped beer and other Bavarian delicacies keeping the tradition alive and following high standards of service.

This place is also very much recognized amongst the locals and the tourists for its unique atmosphere. The first thing which you might notice here is the multiple seating options starting from the terrace to the unique vaults or if you like your lager under the shade in the open air then finding that perfect seat under one of the many chestnut trees should not be a problem. These trees were planted years ago so that the shade they provide could cool the ground and prevent the beer in the ice cellar from getting warm in summers.

DSC00122 edited

The beer at Augustiner is served straight out of wooden barrels and the strike of a bell marks the announcement of the opening of each new barrel.

Along with the selection of international specialties, light snacks and vegetarian dishes their beer selection is amazing as well. Majorly you can choose from Augustiner Edelstoff, Augustiner Weissbier, Augustiner Pils, Augustiner Dunkel or Augustiner Heller Bock. If you visit this place during the Oktoberfest you will also find Augustiner Oktoberfestbier and Augustiner Maximator two additional types of beer especially brewed for the festival time and cold weather.

DSC00112 edited

DSC00107 edited

It also fascinates me that being the smallest brewery in Munich 70% of population drinks Augustiner and all this is without any publicity as the management  believes that there publicity is the quality. So if you are in Munich and looking for a casual place that works for dates, hanging out with friends or just grabbing a beer this place is to be!!

DSC00117 edited

For more information refer to: http://www.augustinerkeller.de/

Thank you for joining in with the interview, Mr. Vogler!

 

Traditional Viennese Schnitzel – Figlmueller

figlmuller-logo-001

So, my next stop was Vienna, Austria and as they say “No kangaroos in Austria” I dint find any but instead a lot of well groomed horses. The hotel (Imperial Riding School Renaissance Vienna Hotel) not very far from the airport also had a history related to horses as it was a military riding school back in 1850’s.

After a well deserved rest it was time to explore the city and taste the Viennese cuisine. It’s said and believed that Viennese cuisine is second to none in all of Europe.

Vienna is very much known for its coffee houses serving creamy coffees and rich chocolate cakes. Both indoor and outdoor seating’s are available; choose depending on your mood and company.

The best way to discover a city is to walk your way through; it not only gives you a panoramic view but also a chance to discover the hidden streets and alleys probably very famous amongst the locals for various reasons!  😉

This well-appointed city is full of architectural excellence. While I was walking, I crossed the famous Belvedere Castle, Russian Liberation Monument and made St. Stephen’s Cathedral my last stop for the evening as just behind this historic icon is Figlmueller – The home of the Schnitzel.

For over 100 years the chefs at Figlmueller are serving perfectly crisp & tender schnitzel and now it was time for me to try one.

DSC00034-001

A schnitzel is a boneless meat(veal, mutton, chicken, beef, turkey, pork), thinned and flattened with a hammer, coated with flour, beaten eggs and bread crumbs, and then fried. This popular dish is garnished with a slice of lemon and served either with potato salad or potatoes with parsley and butter.

The reason why this restaurant is popular in the area is the originality of the recipe, fresh and best quality ingredients, the traditional presentation, and ambience. Talking about the ingredients, even the bread crumbs used for the coating is made exclusively of the Austrian emperor roll which is again made to order.

After the mains I also tried the Kaiserschmarrn with stewed plums from the dessert section. Loved it completely!!

DSC00038-001

The staff is absolutely polite and speaks German and English. You might have to wait for few minutes before you could get a seat as this place is mostly crowded. For me the overall experience was worth the wait and money but for people who don’t have much time to wait it is always better to reserve a seat in advance.

For more info logon to http://www.figlmueller.at

Menu Card-001