Desi Ishtyle Quenchers!

Yes, we know, we’ve taken quite a hiatus from our blog posting, and we apologize (we do welcome brickbats in our inbox just in case you feel like, er, venting). Anyway, we’re back and we promise you the blog posts will remain just as awesome as they used to be 😀

Summer is officially here and the sun is not being friendly to Bangalore at all this summer. The scorching heat, bad heat waves and humid weather is tiring us out way too quickly and making us uber thirsty. While we never run out of a stash of our chilled beers, we decided to put together a list of some great thirst quenchers for the season desi style.

Lassi:

You couldn’t have been living in India without being familiar with this wonderful drink. Traditional Lassi is a savoury drink sometimes flavoured with ground roasted cumin while sweet Lassi on the other hand is blended with sugar or fruits instead of spices. Enter any Punjabi household and watch how the refills of your Lassi never stop as you wolf down the Makki di rotis. (for the summer, we suggest a refreshing Mango Lassi, a recipe of which could be found here)

 

Kokum Sherbet: 

Kokum Sherbet is synonymous with Indian coastal cuisine and is an extremely popular drink in Mangalore and Konkan regions of Maharashtra and Goa as well. This drink is made from Kokum extract, sugar, and a hint of Indian spices and is extremely refreshing. Kokum Sherbet is an immediate acidity reliever, and is also popularly used in cocktails in Goa to give your drink that kick. Click here for a refreshingly easy recipe of Kokum Sherbet.

 

Aam Ka Panna:

A sip of this fresh, tangy drink really marks the beginning of summer. This sweet, sour and spicy drink is largely consumed in Northern parts of India and renowned for its heat resistant properties. It’s a simple drink made from raw, green mangoes, blended with peppercorns, sugar and a dash of spices to bring that zing into this drink. Beat the heat this summer by storing up the Panna in jugs in your refrigerator. Find an easy recipe here.

 

Nannari: 

This lesser known yet delicious drink comes from the herb ‘Sarasaparilla’, a wonder herb, otherwise known as Nannari. The root of Nannari helps in curing many infections and regular intake of it keeps the body cool, especially during summers. The Nannari syrup is simply made of ground Nannari root, water, sugar and lime juice. This syrup is then used for making that cool Nannari Sherbet recipe. Find the recipe here.

 

Jigarthanda:

Jil jil Jigarthanda is an extremely popular summer drink having originated in Madurai. Jigarthanda literally means cooling the heat, and the ‘Jil Jil’ means ‘Cool Cool’ denoting that the drink cools your body. This is an extremely rich drink and comprises of cold milk, malai, ice cream,  Nannari syrup and Agar Agar (China grass) or Badam pisin (now used in most shops). It is extremely popular in Madurai as it is vastly available in road-side pull ins and small shops. Get a fun recipe here.

 

So those are our favourite desi coolers for the summers. How are you beating the heat? Leave your comments below, and keep Zoinking! 🙂

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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. 🙂

Know Your Lentils!

Being based in India, lentils are quite the staple for us. And not just that, it’s also a great comfort food bringing back fond memories for us where our Mums used to chase us to feed us Daal-Chawal. So once we did move away from the comfort of our homes, we all crave for that yummy Dal, but for the life of us can’t figure out what Daal is even used in the first place. We had one of our team members in the supermarket once calling her mother and asking, “Ma, what Dal do you use to make that Dal at home?” Yeah, true story.

Hence, this is a simple guide for the few kinds of Dals you have and will come across your life, and what you should do with them.

Moong Dal

1. Moong Dal: 

India’s signature vegetarian dish, the Dal Fry, ordered fondly by North Indians while living in South India and the ‘perfect’ vegetarian gravy is made by this beautiful yellow Dal. These are actually mung beans that have been skinned and split, so that they’re flat, yellow, and quick-cooking. They can also be fried and make for unhealthy yet delicious snacks that finish quickly in the house. Yes, this is the dal you use to make that dal at home.

Toor Dal

2. Toor Dal:

This is the dal which most South Indians would you be familiar with, as it is the main ingredient that goes into the much loved Sambhar. Whole toor lentils are yellow with tan jackets, but they’re usually sold skinned and split.  They have a mild, nutty flavor, and they’re often cooked as a side dish or ground into flour.  They’re sometimes sold with an oily coating, which you should rinse off.  They are also known as Pigeon Peas to the rest of the world.

3. Urad Dal

Urad Dal

Black Dal/Kali Dal, again very popular in both North and South India, and absolutely delicious when cooked right. These lentil-like beans have black skins covering creamy white interiors.  Whole urad dal derive their strong, earthy flavor from the black skins and are often used in curries.  Split urad dal retain the skins and also have a strong flavor.  You would use this dal to make your favourite Dal Makhani. This dal also goes into making those yummy Idlis and Dosas.

Channa Dal

4. Channa Dal:

Another variation of the Dal curries, the Channa Dal often has a nuttier flavour to it. With their sweet and nutty flavor, these are the most popular dal in India.  They’re made from splitting a small relative of the chickpea in half.  They’re a dull yellow and are renowned for causing flatulence (erm…), which Indians try to counter by adding asafoetida to the dish (yay!).

 

5. Rajma: 

Rajma

Ok, so this is not considered a lentil per se and are known to the world as red kidney beans, but this staple is considered Rajma dal in India. The red bean is not of Indian origin and was brought to the Indian subcontinent from Mexico. They are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, and also slow the rise in blood sugar after a meal, help memory, provide antioxidant effects, give you energy, and provide fat-free high quality protein. See? Tasty is good for your health too! 😛

Before we sign off, we wanted to share the recipe of an awesome Dal Makhani dish that will make you lick your plates clean! 🙂

Dal Makhani

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup whole black lentils and a handful of dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight

    Zoinkalicious! Dal Makhani

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Fresh coriander leaves, chopped for garnish
  • Water, as needed
  • Salt, to taste
Method:

1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and saute onions till lightly browned. Stir in salt, chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste, and tomato paste and fry for a few seconds.

2. Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few minutes to combine well. Add lentils and beans, and enough water to cover them. Pressure cook for 15-20 minutes till lentils are soft and done. Stir in milk and let it come to a boil.

3. In a separate pan, make a tempering by heating butter and whole garlic cloves slit in the middle. Stir the tempering into the lentils and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

4. Serve warm with soft, fluffy Naans.