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! 🙂

The Joys of Comfort Food!

You know when you have those bad days and you feel Murphy is stalking you and you really feel like banging your head somewhere? Happens to us too. Imagine after that awful day, you seat yourself amidst the warm interiors of your home and bite into some wholesome goodness of food that brings back sweet childhood memories and takes you to your ‘happy place’. Your happy place. And this Zoink! post is going to be just about that – truly loved comfort food.

With everyone being busy to finish work by year-end deadlines, targets to be met, plenty of gifts to be bought and lots of crazy family togethers to attend, we figured that a reminder on the simple comfort food you like will put the cheer right back in you this holiday!

P.S. These foods are in a random order, so there is no ranking here.

Yummy Parathas!

1. Parathas:

This love affair began for us when we were children and volunteered for child labour in the kitchen and happily flattened out those dough balls (while we stole some to make our own dough models). Delicious Parathas stuffed with onion/potatoes/cauliflower/fenugreek topped with that blob of ghee make us very happy, even now.

Bless your soul, Maggi Noodles!

2.  Maggi:

Nothing speaks comfort food to Indians than hot and delicious Maggi. This nationwide loved dish is immensely popular and  has more than a thousand variations among many homes, and is the one dish many find solace in. Maggi with cheese, with chillies and capsicum, with corn and paneer, with chicken strips and tofu, with butter and sweet and sour pickle – the list is endless. And so is our appetite for Maggi. It remains the number one comfort food for many of us till date.

Creamy delicious mashed potatoes!

3. Mashed Potatoes:

You know that creamy consistency of starchy delicious potatoes that you would just ball up in your mouth when you were in the kitchen with your Mum? We remember it too. Those hot potatoes mashed up nicely, smoothened out with heaps of butter, cream and milk, and a pinch of nutmeg, to give it that immaculate flavour. Somehow, no dinner was complete without this.

Mom's hot, comforting Chicken Soup!

4. Hot Chicken Soup:

Mum’s perfect cure for you when you were sick, and something you’ve never outgrown. Drinking the perfect, well seasoned hot chicken soup takes us back to those childhood days when we were sick, cuddled up in bed, and Mom would walk in with a large bowl of her cure-it-all soup and nurture us with plenty of TLC. And we want all of that TLC again. Hence, there will always be a special place that chicken soup occupies in our hearts.

Rajma Chawal

5. Rajma Chawal

For a lot of the North Indians, Rajma Chawal is what speaks of home. The aroma of this rajma with all of those special masalas conjure up a sort of a Homecoming dance by many North Indians, who appear to look deeply languished, but ready to fall in love again. Somehow one bite of this delicious red rajma gravy with that semi-burnt spicy Bhindi makes us agree wholeheartedly.

Curd Rice with Pickle!

6. Curd Rice:

This is the South Indian equivalent of the Rajma Chawal. As children, many were allowed to skip whole meals as long as they downed curd rice. It’s a part of the meal that is considered indispensable to most South Indians, as it was what their mothers fondly fed it to them narrating all these animated fun stories and assuring them that they’ll all be ‘heroes’ some day 🙂 We still spot many curious customers at restaurants who stare at that larger than life European/Indian/Chinese buffet and grin when they find their precious curd rice and run to it like gleeful Rugrats.

And that, is Zoink!’s comfort food that makes us happy. Sure, with a country as large as ours (read: subcontinent) there are going to be more than a hundred different types of comfort foods that appeals to all of our readers. And we can’t wait to hear them all from you. Do leave your comments below! J

And, wish you all a happy and Zoinktastic! New year!

Zoinkalicious Christmas Bonanza!

Christmas is exceptionally special for Zoinkers. To begin with there’s the universal bon homie and cheer, the pretty lights and twinkling decorations all around. But by god, what gets our chops going is the sheer amount of food that seems to practically rain for Christmas lunch.

That's a feast not just for the eyes! 😉

What we love about the Christmas lunch is the fact that all the colors of the season seem to present itself on the table making it look absolutely festive and inviting. There’s the gold and silver of the tinsel sparkling though the apple cider. The red of the cranberry sauce set atop of the roast turkey reminding you of the mistletoe on the branchs.  The brussel sprouts, carrots and peas adds the happy colors of green, yellow and orange on your tree to your plate. The mellow happiness, the glow added by the eggnog sprinkled with cinnamom sets the perfect mood for the family to come closer together!And of course, the desserts… you want a bite out of the traditional Christmas pudding soaked in rum and raisins ( which we know as the plum cake!) while you muse about the snow from the North pole and Santa! 🙂

White frosty Christmas pudding!

Anyways, if you wondering how to get hold of such marvelous and dainty lunch for yourself, No fear, Zoink!’s here! 🙂

We have made a list of 5 places you can appease your palate with all sorts of Christmas goodies! In No Particular order here’s our take on where you should be on the 25th Dec afternoon! 🙂

Sue’s Food Palace:  This lady’s gone all out to recreate the traditional dinner she used to have as a child back home in West Indies. You can treat your self to stuffed turkey, Tabaquite duck curry, pork spare ribs,roast beef, Jamaican Jerk Chicken,Prawn cocktail, sliced backed ham, eggnog,ginger beer,Christmas cake, Chocolate marble cake, coconut souffle.

Make you bookings early because there’s only limited seatings. Call +91 8025290410 for reservations.

They have two timings: 12-2 pm and 2-4pm. We have no idea how we are supposed to do justice to this buffet in just 2 hours! :-/

Ebony Christmas Buffet: Want to feel at the Top of the World and indulge yourself in some delicious delicious Roast Turkey with a classic herb stuffing, in Giblet Gravy and Cranberry Compote served with Roasted Carrots with Mushrooms and Thyme Gremolata ? Then this high rise location is just the place. There’s also Sliced Meatloaf, Roast Chicken, Vegetable Paella and traditional Chrismas Eggnogg .

And if you feel like trying something closer to home, they have also thoughtfully added  an Indian main course with Firdaur – e – barien ie Lamb koftas filled with chopped onion, green chillies, and raisins, pomegranate seeds, braised in light pan pickled chilli brown gravy, Khushrang Paneer, Bharrey Aloo ka Qurma, Roti ki tokri to just mention a few!

The amazing view, the gorgeous spread is just the thing to make you Christmas perfect.

For reservations call: 080-4178-3344

Turquoise: They have an expansive menu with classic items like Roast Turkey Roast Turkey and trimmings and some more exotic ones as well like lobsters, grills, X’mas Pudding and lots more fit for even Santa himself . And we do love the ‘Unlimited Champagne wine and Cocktails’ offer! 😉 Added bonus of a live band to set you in the best mood for Christmas! 😀

Call +91 8065776588 for making sure you have a table ready!

Le Jardin, MG Road : Though a bit steeply priced ( 3500 Rs/- all Inclusive Per person) they promise you a wonderful time with Christmas treats like roast turkey, honey glazed ham, grilled scampi, and seafood chowder and mince pie. You can also select from the live Thai counter, Indian spread and wide array of cheese and desserts. This will also include pour of sparkling sparling and mulled wine or beer. There’s also a live band to make your Christmas come alive! 🙂

Call +91 8041358201 for reservations.

City Bar Karaoke + Grill :  If you looking for some swanky location to celebrate your Christmas then UB City is the place to be seen. They promise you a buffet more in line with the Indian taste with a slight European twist 🙂 like Oven roasted tandoori chicken served with Sherry and spinach frittata or Malai paneer steak with malai gravy! It comes with wines or Beer according to your tastes.

Call +91 8042773636 for reservations.

Well, Now that we have told you the places to gorge yourself, here’s wishing you a Wonderful, Merry and Yummy Christmas! 😀

Happy Christmas, All!

Ps: Check out the Google Doodle singing jingle bells.. We are just Zoinked about it! 🙂