Old world charm – Cafe Universal

The thing about a lot of Parsi restaurants is that even though the staff is super cranky, the food they serve is YUM.

I went to Cafe Universal a few days ago, after ages. It’s one of the prettiest cafes in Mumbai and they serve some amaze food.

I had the mutton dhansak and caramel custard.

…….

Are you following me on my Instagram and Facebook? If not, what are you waiting for! 🙂

Yo, Goa! This is why I am crazy about you!

Every time I think of Goa, the tourism ad that featured in the 90s plays in my mind. It’s a catchy tune ‘Go Goa! I’m crazy about you!’. Check it out here.

The very first time I’d been to Goa was in 2008. According to my friends, that was weird for two reasons:

1.     Who goes to Goa for the first time when they’re 18?

2.     Who goes to Goa with their family?

Nonetheless, it was a fabulous trip. A trip I’d never forget – seafood lunches, beautiful sunset walks with my parents, beer with my dad and just chilling in the pool with my brother.

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Dad and I in Goa

For the past few years, I’ve been going to Goa once a year. Not planned, it just happens and I’m glad it does.

This year, during my Goa trip, while I was sitting at Britto’s (all you ‘south Goa is the best’ snobs, yes, I like Britto’s), I looked around and just observed people.

A woman awkward in a strappy dress, seemed like it was her first time out of her salwar kameez. Her husband wearing his floral shorts, holding her hand and asking her to share his beer.

A bunch of overexcited girls, trying out cigarettes in between taking pouty selfies.

A guy with his friends, trying out food that he technically shouldn’t be eating.

A young couple overwhelmed with being able to show their affection for each other, without a care in the world.

Then it struck me, beyond the land of beautiful beaches, rich culture, great food, and cheap alcohol, Goa is also probably the only place in India that really lets you live.

For many of us – including me – who live freely in their respective cities (as a woman, I’d say ALMOST) – this may not be a big deal.

We’d probably judge all of the above people. But this is might just be one of those times for them when they can be whoever they want to be.

I sat there eating my favourite seafood and not-so-favourite beer, thinking about how precious this state is.

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HM’s boiled eggcellent open sandwich

I've been trying to eat as healthy as possible, making sure I have nutritious meals in small portions.

For breakfast today – a Saturday – I made a pretty incredible open sandwich.

Here's what I did:

I hard-boiled an egg. Took a slice of multigrain bread, put some roquette leaves, shredded some smoked cheddar cheese from ABC Farms (if you ever go to Pune, got just go), placed the sliced boiled egg. Sprinkled some salt and chilli powder (because I ran out of pepper).

Super awesome start to the day and the weekend!

HM’s One Pot Chicken Tikka Rice

Cooking is great, it’s therapeutic, but let’s be honest, it’s also work. We’re all looking for convenient, easy recipes to cook because we just have no time or you also need to watch Netflix. 

I am on a mission to make the easiest recipes that take really little time. Introducing Haurat Mulgi’s one pot recipes! In this series, I’m looking to create easy recipes that are yum using my trustworthy kitchen companion – the pressure cooker!

This weekend, I cooked HM’s one pot chicken tikka rice. It was yum and super simple to cook. Watch the video (yes, that’s right, I made a video and I am going to be making more) below to know how that went. If you’re not a video person (that could be a possibility) here is the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Three sliced onions
  • Cumin seeds
  • Black peppercorns 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 cardamom 
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
  • A fistful of hand crushed mint leave
  • A fistful of chopped coriander leaves 
  • 250 gms of marinated chicken (Simple marinade of red chilli, tumeric, ginger garlic paste) or buy marinated chicken from Zorabian Chicken (or any other brand)
  • 500 gms of rice (basically double of how much chicken you’re using)
  • 2 diced potatoes
  • Ghee

How to cook:

  • In a pressure cooker, add two tablespoons of ghee and fry the sliced onions until brown
  • Keep aside 3/4th of the fried onions in a plate
  • With the rest of the onions still in the pressure cooker, add more ghee to the side 
  • Add the cumin seeds, peppercorns, bay leaf and cardamom 
  • Add the hand crushed mint leaves (more the merrier) and stir 
  • To this mixture, add the diced potatoes with red chilli powder, tumeric powder and coriander powder
  • Then add the marinated chicken to the mixture, shortly after toss the chopped coriander leaves
  • After a quick stir, add the washed rice then enough water to cover the mixture 
  • Shut the pressure cooker and let it cook
  • After three whistles, let the pressure cooker cool down. Your rice is ready!
  • Garnish with the fried onions that you’d left aside and serve

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The Bhookha Beirdo Café – #HauratMulgiRecommends

We walked in to The Bhookha Beirdo Café unplanned and with no expectations. The café is a lovely travel-themed space with food from across the globe and showpieces. Gitanjali – one of the partners – welcomed and helped us order. What we ate: Geet’s Chicken; make your own Pomfret with lemon garlic sauce and herbed potatoes; their in-house brewed iced tea (you HAVE to have this). But the best part was her hospitality and passion. She was excited to have us there and took great care of us. As did her partner Anurag.

Go try it out! Address: 27/A, Pali Mala Rd, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050

HM’s quickest banana bread in a bowl

Really riped black bananas at home and you obviously can’t throw them, because that’s wasting food, and you’re better than that?

Here’s what I made with two really riped bananas today. I made the quickest, yummiest banana bread in a bowl.

The ingredients are everything you’ve got at home and there’s nothing unhealthy about this. 

What you’ll need:

  • 2 riped bananas (the squishier the better)
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee/butter
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar/jaggery powder
  • 3 tablespoons of atta/wholewheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of milk 

How to cook:

  • In a microwave bowl or a large mug, add the ghee, beaten egg, milk, salt and jaggery. Mix
  • Add the bananas to this mixture and mash them with a fork
  • To this add the atta/wholewheat flour and fold the mixture slowly
  • Cook in microwave for 3-5 minutes (depends on your microwave)
  • Ready!

HM’s prawntastic mid-week meal

Healthy and quick are the keywords while you’re on your way back from home, thinking about dinner. I try my best to eat as healthy as possible, not sure if I can get there a 100%. But maybe someday. Maybe.

Here’s something you can cook so easily and it’s super healthy (if you aren’t allergic to prawns).

 These prawns can be marinated and cooked in batches. Which means, you eat yummy, healthy and filling meals, super quick. 

What you need:

  • 500gms of prawn (cleaned, deveined)
  • Fistful of coriander and mint
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • An inch of grated ginger
  • 3 green chillies 
  • 1 cup of rava (sooji or semolina) 
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt
  • A pinch of tumeric 

The marinade:

  • In a blender add the coriander, mint, green chillies, ginger and garlic. Make a paste.

The cook:

  • Take the prawns in a mixing bowl, add the green marinade, salt, lime juice and tumeric. Mix well. 
  • Coat the prawns with semolina and shallow fry (or grill).
  • You can store these in the freezer and fry them in batches after work.

HM’s Bharleli Bhindi

What do you cook for Mother’s Day when you’re not prepared and there’s only bhindi (okra), cabbage and bottle gourd at home? You cook HM’s Bharleli (stuffed) Bhindi!

Super simple, super quick and super yummy.
What you need:

  • 1/2 kg bhindi or okra 
  • 4 onions
  • Pinch of mustard seeds, cumin, hiing 
  • Chopped coriander (fistful)

For the stuffing:

  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, chaat masala, salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of tumeric

Cook:

  • Wash the bhindi and pat dry
  • Make a slight slit along the length without cutting the bhindi into two
  • Mix all the stuffing ingredients in a bowl and coat the bhindi inside the slit as well as outside
  • In an iron skillet (or any skillet), add some oil. When the oil is hot, add mustard and cumin seeds, and then the the chopped onions
  • Mix until they are translucent
  • Add the stuffed bhindi in the skillet and give it a gentle stir
  • Let it simmer for 20 minutes, but make sure you continuously stir it every few minutes
  • Once the bhindi is cooked, add the coriander
  • Ready!

This is no junk!

Eating clean is tough work. Especially if you’re someone like me who just can’t stop eating. So this weekend, in the pursuit of eating healthy, I cooked some ultra yummy Indian burgers. These turned out really juicy, tender and flavourful. Also, guess what, they were super healthy.

Here’s how I made it: 

For the patty:

  • 500 grams of chicken mince
  • 3 onions, diced
  • A fistful of coriander, chopped
  • A fistful of mint, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of tumeric
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder

For assembling the burger:

  • Whole wheat burger buns
  • Tzatziki or homemade hung curd 
  • Red cabbage or lettuce 
  • 1 cheese slice

Cook:

  • Mix all the patty ingredients, except the egg, and let it marinate in the fridge
  • In an hour, add the egg to the mixture and make patties of the size you prefer. I made them super jumbo 🙂
  • In a pan, heat some oil and drop in the patties. Let them cook thoroughly until they turn golden brown.
  • Spread the tzatziki, red cabbage and cheese slice on the whole wheat burger buns. Add the juicy patty in and assemble into a burger
  • Super healthy, juicy burgers are ready to eat!

HM’s Sour Drumstick and Potato Curry

Last week, I was home on a Friday evening. Fridays at home = accompanying mom to the farmers’ market. The market’s live every Friday in Bhosale Nagar, Pune. You get to buy vegetables, fruit and other homemade products, directly from farmers or home business owners.

While we bought a lot of stuff, I decided to get some of the many drumsticks back to Mumbai with me to cook something with them. Some of you might wonder why drumsticks?! The answer is super simple: I love them. Even though when I was a kid, my mom tricked me in to eating them, saying they’d make me really tall and strong. Well, not sure if that worked.

But what I do know is that my HM’s Sour Drumstick and Potato curry, which I cooked for lunch, was yum.

What you need:

    • 3 drumsticks
    • 3 mid-sized potatoes
    • 3 onions, chopped
    • 3 tomatoes, chopped
    • Coriander bunch, chopped
    • 3 green chillies, chopped
    • Pinch of mustard seeds
    • Pinch of cumin seeds
    • 1 teaspoon of garam masala
    • 1 teaspoon of sambar powder
    • Salt
    • 2 teaspoons of sliced ginger
    • 4 garlic cloves
    • 4 teaspoons of tamarind paste (or make it at home like I did)
    • 2 teaspoons of cooking oil

The cook:

    • I didn’t have tamarind paste, so I soaked some in water and left it aside for half and hour. I then squeezed the soaked tamarind and put it through a sieve and, voila, tamarind paste!
    • In a pressure cooker, I cooked the potatoes and drumsticks (each chopped 4 inches long)
    • In a vessel, I added the cooking oil. Once heated, I added the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, a pinch of tumeric and hiing (asefoetida, hahaha). Stir, then add the diced onions, garlic, ginger and green chillies
    • Once the mixture comes together and the onions look translucent, add the salt. After a couple of minutes, add the tomatoes, garam masala and sambar powder
    • When the mixture looks like a nice paste (not a blender paste!), add the cooked drumstick and potatoes (chopped into big pieces). Stir.
    • Here is when you add your tamarind paste ( this is optional, you could skip this). If you skip this, what you get is HM’s (non-sour) Drumstick and Potato Curry
    • Let it simmer for 10 minutes. HM’s Sour Drumstick and Potato Curry is ready!