Oh, Pancakes!

Pancakes are one of our breakfast foods at Zoink! (well, there are plenty in that list). We love those thick, fluffy pancakes drizzled with plenty of maple syrup that simply makes the pancake melt in your mouth! Mmmmm. Fkgkgkhl. Sorry. Drool on the keyboard. Had to clean. Ah, yes. As we were saying. Pancakes.

Today is February 27, and the Pancake Week has officially come to an end today. Just for you to pancake lovers (and our team), we decided to dedicate this post to the pure awesomeness of pancakes. Yeah, we know. You’ve been waiting for one too.

Extra Maple Syprup for us, please!

So what is a pancake? (lame question, we know; but we wanted the technical answer). A pancake is a thin, flat, round cake prepared from a batter, and cooked on a hot griddle or frying pan. Most pancakes are quick breads; some use a yeast-raised or fermented batter. Most pancakes are cooked one side on a griddle and flipped partway through to cook the other side. Depending on the region, pancakes may be served at any time, with a variety of toppings or fillings including jam, chocolate chips, fruit, syrup or meat. And we just prefer plenty of whipped cream and maple syrup, thank you very much.

The pancake’s shape and structure varies worldwide. There are numerous variations of them throughout Europe. In Germany, pancakes can be made from potatoes. A crêpe is a Breton variety of thin pancake cooked on one or both sides in a special crepe pan to achieve a network of fine bubbles often compared to lace – a savory variety made from buckwheat is usually known as a galette.

So that’s enough history. Pancakes still remain our favourite. And it was (and still is) a luxury to many of us, considering the effort that goes into it. Mums prefer offering pancakes to their kids only when they aim to reward them or when it’s their birthday. Sigh. We tried our hand in the kitchen – flipped the pancakes right outside the pan. Double sigh.

Well, we stumbled upon this video on how to make those sinful pancakes. The painful flipping part is skipped here and they show how easy it is to just toss it the other side when it is evenly browned. That’s the trick apparently. So while we’re off to try this, we suggest you too, and let us know how it goes.

Happy Cooking! 🙂

Our Love Affair at Huckleberry! :)

So we decided to head to Huckleberry for Valentine’s Day finally. And boy are we glad we did. The food was simply out of this world! Just a few shots of the gorgeous food at the restaurant – hope you enjoy it! 🙂

The exclusive menu for Valentine's Day

We caught them red-handed making our pizzas!

Wine, Hearts and Corners 😛

Basil Chicken with Garlic Butter to start off our meal

Bacon and Caramelized Onion Pizza - can you see that beautiful egg right in the middle?

Here is a shot for you to get a better look at that glorious egg. And that bacon!

Spinach, Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Pizza

Oh, who says spinach is not tasty? Top it on a pizza!

And Beef Tenderloin for the mains please!

Droolworthy enough?

Almond Crusted Sea Bass - best dish of the night!

"Eat me!" 😛

Strawberry and Cream Pudding

The simply orgasmic Cinnamon Pudding!

Pics Courtesy:

Amith Krishnan

Zoink! Foodographer

Toast to your Valentine! :-)

Yes, yes, We know! Love’s in the Air and all of us are grinning silly ; either thinking about your valentine or watching other people have silly smiles on the faces that they just can’t seem to wipe off 🙂

Anyways, we could not help but ask ourselves, so which would be the most romantic place in Bangalore to take your guy/girl out for a night to remember! There were quite a few options and we could not narrow it down to one. So here are the top 5 that we decided at Zoink, these are the places which is bound to bowl over your darling to fall in love you.. All over again! 🙂

In no particular order here are our picks…

1. Under the Mango Tree : Apart from the rustic romantic ambiance lend by the mango tree, they are also offering a five course meal. Starting it off is corn n chilly tangy broth followed by light  salads, smoked chicken and Waldorf. Then come the  high light of lobster raviolli in creamy wine sauce & sundried tomato pate (Ymmm!!!) and Hawaian cottage cheese with hot turkish salsa.

And also to set the mood are wines to complement and desserts for completing the indulgence! Priced at Rs 1200 per couple we think it’s a bargain! Call 22111112/3/4 or 9686601021 for making reservations.

2. Olive Beach*: Set smack in the middle of the city ( Near Brigade Road) is a tiny Mediterranean oasis off to which you can whisk away your sweetheart to whisper sweet nothings to. And no need to stay hungry while you gaze into her deep brown eyes, instead reward your other senses with dishes like Smoked salmon Tartare with Toasted Sesame Brioch or Pit roasted chicken with pomegranate glaze. Then both of you can feed each other bites of Pistachio crusted lamb tenderloin,Lobster tail ravioli with saffron butter or Tomato and red pepper risotto with provolone. Toast to your love with raspberry sorbet. All this for Rs 3000* per couple.

3. Ebony : They keep asking you to treat your angel to heavenly food among the clouds and we sure agree with them. The food is exquisite and the view 13 floors up, while not at cloud levels, is high enough for you to feel the high! 🙂 This has been one of the all time favorite spots of Zoinkers and we are sure you’ll not be disappointed one bit!

4. Huckleberry *: ‘Cook for love’ is the theme all over here at this joint in Indra Nagar making the dinner a wee bit more personal and special. The treat is a 4 course dinner including wine pairing for each course and the dessert course can be made by you for your sweet heart ( with excellent assistance from chefs who know what they are doing even if you dont! 😉 ) Either ways, Valentine or not, their brick baked pizzas are beyond scrumptious and a must have for anyone who loves good food. You just cant go wrong here paying Rs 2400* per couple

5. The Lalit Ashok : This one just takes the cake – Moon lit garden with your own private tent and romantic dinner awaiting both of you inside. What could be more perfect?! They also give you the choice between Mediterranean and Indian cuisine. You can have a bottle of bubbly while gazing at the stars or better still, at each other! To book your private tent call 080 – 3052 7777 now!

Well, so what do you think of our picks? You know a secret hideout which is juust purrrfect for Valentine’s? Do share the secret with us!

* Book through PoshVine for these experiences!

Happy Chocolate Day!

It’s World Chocolate Day and we’re uber excited (not that we need a reason to have chocolate, but if you’re looking for some, then click here).  We’ve been shopping for all things chocolate and whipping up a storm in the kitchen. And we thought maybe you’d like to chocolate up your meals tonight too. Here are some Zoinkalicious! Recipes you’d love to make at home :

1. Tall, Dark and Handsome: 

Start off your meal with a chocolate liqueur drink which pairs very well with pretty much anything. Who doesn’t love a chocolate drink anyway?

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet cocoa mix, for glass rim
  • 2 shots vanilla vodka
  • 1/2 shot coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 shot chocolate liqueur

Method:

  1. Wet rim of martini glass on a damp paper towel and dip into cocoa mix; set aside.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Stir and strain into martini glass.

2. Spinach Salad with Chocolate Vinaigrette:

Ingredients:

For vinaigrette:

For salad:

  • 8 cups bagged baby spinach, washed
  • 1 1/3 cups freshly diced mango
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Method:

1. In a large bowl whisk together cocoa powder, sugar and vinaigrette. Add spinach and toss to coat.

2. Add mango, cranberries and walnuts. Toss together and transfer to a serving dish.

 

3. Chocolate Crostini with Sea Salt:

The biggest challenge with presenting this chocolate sea salt crostini recipe is getting people to stop thinking, “dessert,” and start thinking, “great special occasion savory snack.” For this to work as a savory bite, the chocolate must be very dark, bittersweet, and world-class.  Also, use only extra virgin oil to give it that perfect taste.

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 thin baguette slices, toasted
  • medium-coarse sea salt

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate with the orange zest and olive oil in a small, heavy-bottom pot over ultra-low heat (if you’re a double boiler-lover, feel free to use one here), swirling it around occasionally.
  2. Give it all a good stir once it’s super soft but not completely melted and take it off the heat.
  3. Spread chocolate mixture on baguette slices and sprinkle with a generous pinch of sea salt.

 

4. Chicken in Chocolate Sauce: 

No, don’t wrinkle that face. Unsweetened cocoa powder with the sherry, spices and garlic glaze the chicken beautifully leaving you with an unforgettable taste in your mouth. The silkiness of the chocolate  combined with the  tenderness of the chicken is absolutely orgasmic.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken pieces, cut in strips
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 6 ounces dry sherry
  • Salt and pepper
  • Bay leaf
  • Cloves, to taste
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • Thyme, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Method:

  1. Sprinkle chicken strips with spices. Add garlic and sherry and let marinate.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan and brown chicken pieces. Add onion and continue cooking over low heat.
  3. Add marinade. Cook 20 minutes. Stir in cocoa. Cook 10 minutes. Remove chicken with slotted spoon. Reduce sauce, serve over chicken.

 

5. Super Gooey Chocolate Brownies:

Nobody can resist chocolate brownies, especially super gooey ones. The crispy choco base over the brownie and the gooey moist centre makes this for the perfect comfort dish.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 120 gms. unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup flour, or pancake mix
  • 1/2 to 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Method:

  1. In a saucepan melt butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar, stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool 15-20 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips. Pour mixture into a well greased 9 x 12 inch pan.
  2. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and cut into squares.
  3. The brownies will solidify over time, to re-moisten, microwave for a few seconds and sprinkle over some icing sugar to serve 🙂

 

So these are our Chocolate based recipes this Chocolate Day. Try them and let us know how it goes! 🙂

Recipes Courtesy:

http://www.cooks.com
http://www.foodnetwork.com
http://www.cdkitchen.com
http://www.nourishnetwork.com

Rolling in the meat!

Ever had one of those days where you’re at work and thinking of a nice, juicy kabab  packed in with onions, chillies, pepper and wrapped in a chapatti roll served hot up? Well, we certainly do. At least 3 times a week (refer the delivery orders during lunch time at our office to get a more accurate number). These soft, fluffy rolls have been a favourite of ours since childhood, and so yummy that made us fall in love with them at first bite.

So how did the legendary roll originate? The Kati Roll is said to have started its life from the Nizam Restaurant in Kolkata, a popular eatery founded in 1932 that sold kebabs and parathas and other Mughlai food in the heart of Kolkata. There are many stories about how exactly the roll got started. Some centre around harried office commuters who wanted something quick and portable, some mention British Babus who were too fastidious to touch the kabab. The most likely origin is probably more mundane, but in any case someone decided to roll things up at some point. Nizam enjoyed a virtual monopoly of this method of serving a kabab for decades, but it eventually became commonplace in Kolkata and later spread elsewhere.

The Kati part of the name came later. Like everywhere in India, Nizam’s used iron skewers to make their Kababs; they were easy to maintain and lasted a lifetime. However, as Nizam’s popularity grew, these long heavy iron skewers started becoming a problem; far more was required than could be handled. In 1964, Nizam moved to bamboo skewers that were lightweight and available in large numbers. These skewers are referred to in Bengali as Kati or stick, and the names Kati Kabab and kati roll soon stuck. The name eventually became synonymous with any kind of Paratha rolled with stuffing (even when neither Kati nor Kabab was involved) such as the egg roll or the potato roll, and later even for other breads such as Naan or Roomali.

The good samaritans that we are, we decided to help you out and prepare a list of places where we love Kaati Rolls we love in Bangalore.

1. Kaati Zone:

This is one of our all time favourite places for rolls in Bangalore, and the variety is impressive. You can also choose whole wheat rolls and play up with sauces on your rolls. The meat here is succulent, spices are just right and the taste is spot on. Try their Turkish Chicken Kabab with the Pudina Punch sauce and Chicken Tikka rolls. Super yummy! 🙂 (they have many outlets across the city, you can check their site http://www.kaatizone.com/zones.html  for more details)

2. Siddique Kabab Corner:

Ok, so  this place doesn’t score high on ambience but blows the charts for a rating on some of the yummiest rolls in Bangalore. This place is just the right place for some well done meat and rolls. Priced at a measly Rs.25 (last checked), their famous and absolutely delicious Nizam Roll, Beef Sheek Roll and Bhuna Rolls draw people from all walks into this small joint. You have to try them to believe them! (located in Frazer Town)

3. Chakum Chukum:

This place though literally a hole in the wall, serves some great rolls in Bangalore. Opened by a couple who wanted to bring the real taste of Kolkata rolls to Bangalore, the taste and consistency of these rolls is pretty good. You can even get them to spice up your roll with plenty of diced chillies. Their Double Mutton Double Egg roll is definitely to write home about. (located in Indiranagar)

P.S. The service here might put you off a little, just giving you the heads up.

4. Lazeez:

Frequented by JNC and Christ College students, Lazeez is a popular hotspot for college goers. Been around for more than a decade now, this place has some great rolls and definitely doesn’t hesitate to load up on the meat front. Succulent meat with plenty of spices make the rolls here simply fabulous. Our favourites here are the Double Chicken Roll and the Mutton Shammi Roll. (located in Koramangala)

So those are our top 4 favourite places for rolls in Bangalore. What are yours? ‘Roll’ in your answers below. 🙂

Secret Ingredient X

Hey Zoinkers!

This Valentine's, try Zoink's Secrets instead of Victoria's! 😛

January is long gone and finally the month long awaited by valentines is finally here. And we here at Zoink believe it’s not just the way to a man’s heart; a tummy full of good things can make anyone fall in love. Here are some ingredients right out of your kitchen which will work some extraordinary magic into your cooking and leave your valentine guessing.. and wanting more! 😀

You know that plain jane jar of peanut butter you have in your kitchen? Make it you secret ingredient X by adding a couple of spoons into the brothy soup to add body. Or try adding it to your meatballs instead of egg as the binder.  It’ll add a Thai twist to your dishes without giving away the secret.

For your salads, we have quite a few ingredients to make it special. You can mix in 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon into your favorite chicken salad to add a subtle second flavor. Or try one of these salad dressings –

Dressing it up for your valentine! 🙂

  • Whisk together equal parts low-sodium soy sauce, dark brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and mustard oil for a delicious, full-bodied salad dressing.
  • Mix mayo with lemon juice, minced garlic, and parsley to add to your salad, You can even use this as a dip for your starters. Or try Mayo with Madras curry powder and minced shallots for the very Indian flavor that we love!

Mayo also works wonders with your grilled and deep fried meats. Next time you are thinking of deep frying, coat fish fillets or skinless, boneless chicken breast halves with an even layer of mayonnaise before coating it with breadcrumbs. This will lock the moisture inside the meat. Then pan fry in oil as usual!

Talking of wonders, try adding cinnamon powder to your duck or pork’s spice rub for an enticing yet subtle sweetness.

Sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy..like you!

And if you did read ‘Like water for Chocolate‘, you’ll know that no hot chocolate is complete without a few pinches of powdered red chilli. Yep, Red chilli in your desserts like fruit salad or bread pudding can add a wonderful complexity to the taste. Another surprising candidate is your low sodium soy sauce you use in your Chinese dishes. Create a sweet-salty dessert by stirring 1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce into homemade caramel sauce to pour over ice cream, apple pie, or cake. The end result is an amazing play on your senses.

 

Now here’s something that special for making the ladies veryyyy happy on valentine’s!

Love your melons! 😛

Next time, don’t throw away your watermelon rinds, especially if you feeling frisky! Cut the melon rinds into small parts and get the juice out of them with the help of a mixer, or a juicer. What you hold in your hand right now would be some home made, au-naturale viagra! Add some honey and serve it to your honey and watch him get into your mood! (Giggle!)

Well now that we have given away our secret love portion as well, all that remains is for you tell us how well these worked!

 

Ps: do you have a secret ingredient with which you add dazzle to everyday dishes? We would love it if you’d share it with us! 😀

What's your secret Ingredient?