Friday, 11 September 2015

Anokhi Cafe: Jaipur

Tucked away in KK Square in Jaipur is one of the nicest cafes I’ve eaten at. Healthy, fresh, organic food grown locally at Anokhi’s own farm is plated with love, care and panache at Anokhi Café. I’ve been there a few times and have never failed to be charmed by the warmth of the café and it’s people. It’s always packed with tourists and locals alike, who are happy to share a table and even conversation if you’re feeling chatty. A quick stop during a marathon wedding shopping trip ended up being an incredibly tasty and filling experience for us.

Absolutely recommended are the Blue Cheese & Walnut Salad, the Falafel in Pita with Skordalia & Tomato Chutney, and the Brie, Tomato & Basil sandwich. Most of the salads and sandwiches we ordered came with a side of Anokhi Café’s signature honey vinaigrette and a handful of light, delicious green salad leaves. The bright red of the tomato, combining and contrasting with the fresh green of the salad is guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face.

You can stuff yourselves to your hearts content, and still walk away feeling happy and healthy. Highly recommended if you’re in Jaipur for even a day.

Blue Cheese & Walnut Salad
Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Pizzetta
Foccacia with Cheese, Lemon, Basil Pesto & Salad
Brie, Tomato & Fresh Basil in French Bread
Masaman Curry with Organic Brown Rice 

Falafel in Pita Bread with Skordalia & Tomato Chutney

Carb Free Cauliflower Cous Cous

If you know me (and I'm sure you do) I’ve been intrigued with couscous for a while. It's my go to meal when I'm hungry, when I'm sad, when I'm happy or if I have five people over and not enough food to feed them. 

I’ve experimented with so many different kinds before chancing upon a recipe for a carb free one that substituted Cauliflower for the actual grain. In the interest of always looking for different things to make on a ‘diet’ I decided to try it out one weekend. So what does a tired, hungry vegan (yes I have been vegan on and off for a while) eat on Sunday nights when everyone else is having chicken curry?

It’s delicious and not so heavy on the tummy though I promise you, you will be full to bursting by the time you’re done eating. Leftovers taste pretty good the next day too!

What you need
1 head cauliflower
1 yellow pepper (cut into thick slices)
2 large red carrots (sliced length wise)
1 or 2 small whole onions (with skin)
5 or 6 large cloves garlic (with skin)
Chicken or Veg Stock
Olive oil
Lemon juice

Serves: 2 (or 1 very hungry person)

Step 1 
Drizzle olive oil, salt & pepper onto your veggies & roast for 30 minutes

Just the right portion size
Step 2  
Cut the cauliflower into florets and whizz in the mixer till you get ‘grains’

In my mini mixer genie

The correct consistency
Step 3 
Heat on a pan, and let your couscous ‘cook’

Step 4 
Slowly add your stock, making sure the couscous soaks it up and dries out. The last thing you want is mushy cauliflower goop. 

Step 5 
Roughly chop the peppers and carrots into pieces that are around the same size and add to the pan.

That's art
Step 6
Using tongs, simple squeeze the onion out of its skin. It bursts out in a most satisfying way. Chop up and add to the cous cous. 

Ready to be 'popped'
Step 7
Squish the garlic out of its skin using the back of a knife and add to the cous cous. Mix well - you don't want someone eating an entire head of garlic in one bite (though I don't think I'd complain if that happened to me)

Step 8 
Drizzle olive oil, garnish with lemon juice & parsley or mint and serve!

A perfect accompaniment to some good roast beef

Friday, 24 July 2015

Heng Bok

Korean barbeque is one of my favourite things to eat. My best friend introduced me to Gyu Ka Ku in New York in 2008. A few bottles of Demonslayer later, I was hooked. There’s nothing more fun than being able to cook your own food at your own barbeque station on your very own table.

Shoju at Heng Bok
Mumbai is not known to be a meat eater’s paradise. There are the standard cuts of meat on almost every menu, a slight differentiation with the sauces and vegetables that accompany them, but for the most part the food is unremarkably similar. Enter Heng Bok – an unpretentious place in Bandra that opened with absolutely no fan fare and has quickly become one of the few go to places on my list for amazing meaty goodness. Mumbai’s first Korean barbeque had a lot of expectations and I’m pretty sure that Heng Bok has satisfied most of them.

I’ve been there multiple times in the last few months, and what I’d like to do is a round up of the best food you can eat there. Naturally, we’ll start with the DIY Korean BBQ. You can opt for chicken, pork belly, spicy pork belly, seafood, vegetarian and once upon a time, beef bulgogi.

Ready to rock & roll
Go for the Samgyeopsal – which is the pork belly bbq. I’ve had both the regular and spicy ones, and I honestly can’t tell the difference. Your server will bring a huge platter of meat to the table, and well as a plate piled high with leafy lettuce, sliced onion, mushroom and pieces of garlic. 

Once the pork has been put on the grill, the onions and mushroom go on too. Take matters into your own hands and add the garlic as well. There’s nothing better than sweet, charred garlic cloves – except for what it can do to your love life haha. Once the pork has been sizzling for a few minutes, your server will come and snip the long strips of pork belly into smaller bite size pieces. Here’s where you should turn the heat down and just let the meat sizzle slowly. Let the fat on the pork belly soften until the entire thing is melt in your mouth delicious.

Pork Belly
I’ve also had the seafood barbeque which gives you a mix of octopus (don’t over cook it will be too rubbery to eat), squid, prawn and a little fish. The sauce needs a little time to dry up on the grill, but don’t over cook the seafood or you won’t enjoy it.

Here fishy fishy fishy
Order a Dolsot Bibimbap with pork (or beef) – it’s rice topped with vegetables and a soft fried egg that they mix up and serve you at the table in a hot hot stone bowl. Don’t burn yourself in your eagerness to eat this :)

The Tune Tartare is a refreshingly light dish of fresh soft tuna with avocado and spicy mayonnaise topped with roe. I would eat this as a meal in itself if I weren’t so greedy.

Heng Bok also offers a sushi menu – we tried the Futomaki (salmon, tuna, Hamachi & avocado) and the Tornado roll (spicy tuna, crab, avocado). They’re nice but I’d prefer to stick to the bbq next time.  

Roly poly
Roll to me
I have never made it to dessert and with good reason. You stagger home sleepy and satiated.