18 December 2017

Bisi Bele Baath

A classic example of a one-pot meal in South Indian cuisine is Bisi Bele Baath. I call it a mash between a khichdi and sambar rice! There are many recipes for this, but for me, my mom's style is close to my heart. So here goes...
Rice - 1 cup
Toor Dal (split pigeon peas) - ½ cup
Tamarind – a small lemon size (soaked)
Sesame oil – 3 tbsps + ¼ tsp
Mustard seeds – 2 tsps
Hing powder – ¼ tsp
Cashews – ¼ cup
Ghee – 2 tbsps
Vegetables – 2 cups ( Mix of Drumsticks, Potato, Knol kohl, Carrot, French beans, Peas, Shallots (optional))
Coriander leaves
Curry leaves

Spice mix:
Dry red chilies – 6 med.
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Methi seeds – 1 tsp
Poppy seeds – 1 tsp
Fennel seeds – ½ tsp
Cloves – 4
Green Cardamom – 4
Cinnamon – ½ inch stick
Grated coconut – 1 small cup

1. Heat ¼ tsp oil in a small pan and add red chilies and dhaniya seeds. Roast for ½ a minute. Now add the other ingredients except coconut. Roast for 1-2 minutes till light golden. Finally add the coconut and let roast till golden brown. Remove and keep aside to cool. Dry grind to a coarse powder.
2. Pressure cook rice and dal together with 6 cups water upto 4-5 whistles or till well cooked.
3. Boil the vegetables in minimal water till cooked. If using shallots, fry them for 1-2 minutes in very little oil and then add to vegetables for cooking. Drain but preserve the stock.
4. Use the stock for extracting tamarind pulp, make up to 1 cup.
5. Heat 3 tbsps oil in a large wok, add rai and let splutter.
6. Add the cooked vegetables along with hing and sauté for a few minutes.
7. Add the tamarind juice, salt to taste and curry leaves. Stir well and let simmer on medium heat till the raw aroma leaves. Lower flame.
8. Lightly mash the cooked rice+ dal and add gradually to the above mix, stirring continuously. Mix well and check for salt.
9. Once the excess water evaporates and the rice mix thickens, add half the spice mix powder and mix well. Check for taste and add more if needed.
10. Heat ghee and roast split cashews till golden brown. Add both ghee and cashews to the baath. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with raita.

11 December 2017

1131 - Angel Number for good food!

Some places leave you word-strapped, either way. 1131 left me word strapped for all the right reasons though. 
Let's begin with the place - 1131 or ElvnThrtyOne is located on 3 floors above Smoor on 100 ft Road, Indiranagar. The first level is a family restaurant, very cozy and there is a golf simulator area too. 
Second level is partially open to the sky with some lovely landscaping. There's also the live kitchen and bar here. A surprise element awaits foodies on this floor, won't reveal much but just ask for the Chef's table and let the surprise unfold.
Third level overlooks the 2nd and is pretty spacious. 

Now for the food - People familiar with House of commons will find the same high quality and flavours in food, not surprising considering the same executive chef governs both kitchens.
From the vegetarian stable, I tried:
1. Party nachos - this is a perfect starter if you are in a group of 3 and more. A huge platter of nachos made in house evenly topped with sour cream, beans, salsa and Guacamole. Thumbs up for this one.

2. Broccoli and Water Chestnuts - Totally loved this. The broccoli was superbly stir fried and the Singhare were crunchy. Loved the chili sauce.
3. Immunity Booster Salad - This was OK but yes, the health quotient is guaranteed to shoot up.
4. Tried a couple of Dimsums and Baos - OKish
5. Roma Thyme Farfalle - Simply brilliant, oodles of sauce and a crisp Garlic bread to match.
6. Pizzas - Tried the Panner Tikka and Mushroom ones. The crusts could either be chunky and cheesy or light and crisp, done the Italian way. These were in between so I again, Okish.
7. Flash Flamed Mango and Thai Basil Pannacotta - As glorious as the name sounds with smattering of oat meal crackers, brownie gravel and butterscotch cream. Guaranteed to disappear in a few minutes, and warning, you may not want to share.

 8. Tiramisu - This one is liquer free but taste is just as sinful
 9. Brownie sizzler - What can I say about this classic. Absolutely lived up to the expectations.
Address100 Feet Road, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bangalore (Tip for Ola/Uber users, if you are unable to pin the location, select Smoor)
Bottom Line:
Location - 4/5
Food - 4.5/5
Service - 4.5/5
Ambience - 4.5/5

ELVNTHRTYONE Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato