Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Pappu Dhaba.....Atithi Devo Bhava

Narkanda to Sangla is a wearing journey . We had a late breakfast of alu parathas on the way. In about an hours time we would reach Sangla.The roads had started becoming very treacherous.We had started dozing off in the car, when the driver announced that we shall stop at Tapri for  lunch.We were still not hungry for lunch,so we asked our driver "Sangla me lunch nahi milega kya"(shall we not get lunch at Sangla).   He answered without hesitation "Milega,lekin is jaisa nehi milega"(you will get lunch in Sangla but not like this).  Reluctantly we dragged ourselves out of the car for lunch and got seated at the wooden benches.





  Suddenly everything sped up.The plates and soon the food. Hot rotis and curry in a separate bowl followed soon.Typical Indian vegetarian fare is the menu,like chana, matar, rajma and dal.The taste of the food at this place is nothing but home cooked.


 As customers keep streaming in steadily ,they are ushered in by the ever smiling waiters who show them a table.One will not fail to notice the waiters who are always ready to cater to all small demands made by the people at the table.The tables never go empty as tourists and locals throng to the place in equal numbers.


The taste of the food was homecooked and so was the service ,as the hot rotis were served straight from the tawa to the plate one at a time. Papu ji ,the owner of the place can be seen standing there and keeping watch ,so that none of his guests go unattented. He makes it a point to ask every single customer if there is something they needed more. In just one meal we could make out that this nondescript place in a small hamlet in Kinnaur ,neither compromised on quality nor quantity .





  This place has been serving hungry souls on the difficult mountain roads for over three decades now(as he keeps repeating the statement to all) and has become a landmark of sorts in the village Tapri. A name synonymous with Tapri ,where you can always spot the septuagenarian standing tall, lovingly giving saunf (fennel)to his guests as he collects the money from them.No wonder ,for his ubiquitous presence and warm hospitality ,Papu Dhaba has found a place in the maps of Kinnaur.



  Tapri is a small village on the banks of the Sutlej on NH 22 ,which comes soon after one crosses Wantu village while coming from Shimla to Kalpa .On your way back from  Kalpa ,Tapri comes after Urni village on the same road. You shall find this dhaba at the main market place on the highway.
I would highly recommend this place for lunch,where you are served food tasting as good as home for a modest eighty rupees and dollops of care for free.
I regret the hastily clicked photographs of the post

You may also read-  Mcleodganj in its splendour
                               -Kangra fort..history in the lap of nature 
                               -Temples of the Himachal 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Papu Dhaba...Atithi Devo Bhava

Narkanda to Sangla is a wearing journey . We had a late breakfast of alu parathas on the way. In about an hours time we would reach Sangla.The roads had started becoming very treacherous.We had started dozing off in the car, when the driver announced that we shall stop at Tapri for  lunch.We were still not hungry for lunch,so we asked our driver "Sangla me lunch nahi milega kya"(shall we not get lunch at Sangla).   He answered without hesitation "Milega,lekin is jaisa nehi milega"(you will get lunch in Sangla but not like this).  Reluctantly we dragged ourselves out of the car for lunch and got seated at the wooden benches.





  Suddenly everything sped up.The plates and soon the food. Hot rotis and curry in a separate bowl followed soon.Typical Indian vegetarian fare is the menu,like chana, matar, rajma and dal.The taste of the food at this place is nothing but home cooked.


 As customers keep streaming in steadily ,they are ushered in by the ever smiling waiters who show them a table.One will not fail to notice the waiters who are always ready to cater to all small demands made by the people at the table.The tables never go empty as tourists and locals throng to the place in equal numbers.


The taste of the food was homecooked and so was the service ,as the hot rotis were served straight from the tawa to the plate one at a time. Papu ji ,the owner of the place can be seen standing there and keeping watch ,so that none of his guests go unattented. He makes it a point to ask every single customer if there is something they needed more. In just one meal we could make out that this nondescript place in a small hamlet in Kinnaur ,neither compromised on quality nor quantity .





  This place has been serving hungry souls on the difficult mountain roads for over three decades now(as he keeps repeating the statement to all) and has become a landmark of sorts in the village Tapri. A name synonymous with Tapri ,where you can always spot the septuagenarian standing tall, lovingly giving saunf (fennel)to his guests as he collects the money from them.No wonder ,for his ubiquitous presence and warm hospitality ,Papu Dhaba has found a place in the maps of Kinnaur.



  Tapri is a small village on the banks of the Sutlej on NH 22 ,which comes soon after one crosses Wantu village while coming from Shimla to Kalpa .On your way back from  Kalpa ,Tapri comes after Urni village on the same road. You shall find this dhaba at the main market place on the highway.
I would highly recommend this place for lunch,where you are served food tasting as good as home for a modest eighty rupees and dollops of care for free.
I regret the hastily clicked photographs of the post

You may also read-  Mcleodganj in its splendour
                               -Kangra fort..history in the lap of nature 
                               -Temples of the Himachal 

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

The quick paneer in little oil

  This is a preparation of paneer which turns out to be a spicy gravy but actually it is cooked in very little oil.This quick preparation is a must in my place any time I have guests and it is never disappointing .So lets get started straight away.


Related posts- Chilli Paneer
                     -Making paneer at home
                     -Paneer cheesy
                     -Paneer bhurji roll for kids lunch box
             
Serves 4 people


Ingredients
1-Paneer -250 grams(cut in cubes)
2-Onion -2 medium,(roughly chopped)
3-Ginger-1 inch(roughly chopped) 
4-Garlic-8 to 10 cloves
5-Tomatoes-4 medium sized(blanched and skinned and roughly chopped)
6-Cinnamom-1 inch
7-Cardamom-2
8-cloves-2
9-Coriander powder -2 teaspoon
10-Cumin powder-1 teaspoon
11-Turmeric powder-1 teaspoon
12-Chilli powder_1 teaspoon 
13-Khus khus(poppy seeds)-1 teaspoon
14-Cashewnuts-4 to 5
15-oil -1 tablespoon
16-salt -as per taste
17-sugar-half teaspoon (optional)
18-Kasturi methi powder-1 teaspoon
19 Wheat flour -one teaspoon
20-Coriander leaves chopped
21-Green chillies-3 to 4 (slit)




Procedure-  Do follow the sequence carefully

1-Add oil to the pan
2-Add the onion
3-Add the ginger and garlic(whole)
4-Add the salt and turmeric
5-Saute in low to medium flame till the onions become translucent
6-Add the Cashew nuts and the poppy seeds(you can use magaz or melon seeds alternatively)
7-Saute for some time (1min)
8-Add the  chopped tomato now with the green chilies
9 -Add in the spices ,the cumin ,coriander and the chilli powder
10-Add in the whole spices of cinnamon,cardamom and cloves
12-Saute till oil oozes out of the tomatoes and the mixture reduces in volume
13-Switch off the flame
14-Let it cool completely
15 -Blend everything to a fine paste without water.
16-Pour the paste back to the pan
17-Add in water mixed with the wheat flour
18-Simmer for another 5 minutes
19-Add in the  paneer pieces ,kasturi methi powder,sugar and the coriander leaves
 20-Simmer for another 2 minutes
21-Done ,switch off the flame
22-Serve with fried rice ,roti or naan

Do not simmer the gravy for long after adding the paneer,or the paneer will turn rubbery.





Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Ghoogni (White peas in gravy,the Bengali way)

  You will find this sold everywhere in West Bengal.You can find them by the road side,,you can find them sold in trains,or you can even find them where we had the  tastiest fare in our lives,I am sure you will all agree,that is in front of school gates.
But I have a different memory attached with ghoogni,This is actually the preparation I would wait for when I went to visit all my neighborhood aunts for the customary visit after Dussehra.This would be the only saving grace after we as children were forced to eat all the plateful of sweets served after Dussehra in Bengali households.

 Related posts-Dum Aloo
                      -Potatoes cooked in curd

Serves -8 people


Ingredients
White peas-250 grams(soaked overnight )
onion-2 large(ground to paste)
garlic-one whole (ground to paste)
ginger-one inch piece(ground to paste)
cumin powder-2 teaspoon
coriander powder-4 teaspoon
chili powder-2 teaspoon
oil(preferably mustard)
salt -as per taste
turmeric powder-1 teaspoon
Bengali garam masala-1 teaspoon Click here for recipe
 Cumin seeds -1 teaspoon
bay leaves-2


Ingredients for garnish
1-Finely chopped onions
2-Green chutney  Click for recipe here
3-Tamarind chutney Click for recipe here
4-Chopped coriander
5-Sev
6-Lemon juice 


Procedure
1- Cook the peas in pressure cooker till two whistles (reserve the water after straining it).
2- Add the cumin seeds and the bay leaves to the heated oil in a pan.
3-Add in the onion paste 
4-Add the ginger and garlic paste 
5-Add the salt and turmeric powder.
6-Saute for some time till oil oozes out
7- Add the cumin ,coriander and chili powder mixed in a little water
8- Wait till the oil oozes out 
9-Add the boiled peas 
10 -Mix well and fry for 2 minutes in high heat  
11-Add the water reserved after boiling the peas
12-Simmer in low heat for about 5 minutes.
13-Add in the garam masala powder
14-Switch off the flame 
15-Garnish well and serve hot

Important note-
One has to be very careful in cooking the peas.They should not be completely mushy neither too hard.Though I have mentioned two whistles,the number of whistles and the quantity of water for cooking can vary as the hardness of water varies from place to place.

When switching off the flame one should take care that the water in the gravy is on the higher side as it tends to soak up the gravy after cooking.

Ideally it should be served as an evening snacks ,but also goes very well with bread ,paratha or chapati

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Rava idli ,Semolina Idli or Sooji Idli----KId's Lunch Box

I feel there is nothing more versatile in the kitchen than sooji or rava as it is called in South India.This ingredient can be made into many delicious preparations with just a few ingredients.Be it rava dosa,sooji dhokla ,cutlets with sooji or sooji laddu ,each one is as appealing than the other .The rava idli or idli made out of sooji is one breakfast which is loved and relished in my house.
 this is made using the thicker variety of sooji ,not the finer one which is used for halwa.The curd used here is thick ,it is okay if it is little on the sour side.I often make this preparation using curd which is leftover in the fridge and has gone little sour.
 This idli is an ideal lunch box menu because it is very filling ,unlike the regular idli and tastes equally good when not warm. Any accompaniment goes well with it,be it sambar ,any south Indian chutney or the modest pickle. It just tastes as superb as it looks.


Related posts- Lemon sewai
                     Panipuri masala(the spicy potato filling)
                      Sattu ka paratha
                   


Ingredients

1 cup curd
2 cups rava(do not roast the rava)
1 and half cup water
1 sachet of Eno(fruit salt)
 salt as per taste

For tempering
Curry leaves torn into pieces
2 dry red chillies torn into pieces
 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
2 teaspoons of urad dal
2 tablespoon of oil

For garnish 
Fried cashew nuts and dry red chili pieces (you can fry them beforehand and keep them ready)



So let us get started

Procedure
1-Heat the oil in a pan and add the dry red chillies ,urad dal ,curry leaves and mustard seeds in this sequence
2-Take the rava in a fairly big vessel.
3-add the hot oil with the four tempering ingredients into the rava.
4-Mix well with a spoon ,as it will be very hot to work with hand.
5-The rava should now look like breadcrumbs ,each grain separated from the other
6-Now add the curd and the water and mix well .
7-Add the salt at this point 
8-Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes
9-.-Get the steamer or the idli stand ready ,with the greased moulds.
10-Place the kaju and the dry red chilli fried pieces at the bottom of each mould
11- -After 15 minutes check if it has absorbed the water.
12-The rava should be thick and not watery,if the mixture is too thick add little more water,till it comes to a dropping consistency
13-Add the Eno to the mixture.and mix it well.You will see it froth
14-Pour the mix with a ladle in the moulds and steam for 10 to 15 minutes in high heat
15 -Cool and then demould
16-Serve with your favorite accompaniment


Cold Coffee

Cold Coffee


Cold coffee serves as an excellent welcome drink in the summer.This refreshing drink is very filling and is relished by kids and adults alike.
There can be many variations of this drink depending on the preferred taste.The quantity of sugar depends on  how sweet you want it to be and also on the bitterness of the coffee powder.So before you start making it I would suggest you to taste the coffee powder.I have used regular cream here ,but it tastes better if you use ice cream (vanilla flavor).If you wish to get more froth to give it a better look, go for the regular cream.The quantity of water can be increased if you wish to make it lighter drink.



Thursday, 23 March 2017

Aam ki Launji (Raw Mango Chutney-sweet)

 I guess all of us wait for the arrival of mangoes.Be it the raw or the ripe ones,we relish both.  Aam ki launji or raw aam ki chutney is an all time favourite with one and all.Different states has different names for this .Some serve it as an accompaniment while West Bengal serves it at the end of the meal as a dessert.

This preparation can be easily stored in the refrigerator for more than a week.This can be prepared with jaggery or sugar.I have shared the sugar version of it today but the sugar can easily replaced by the jaggery.It depends on which flavour you prefer.the only variation of the Bengali style I have shared today is the generous sprinkling of a combination of powdered spices( dry roasted) at the end of the preparation for some added flavour.