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Schezwan Chicken Frankie – A treat for spicy, street food lovers

We were in a “Thursday evening limbo” - referring to the liberating “Friday feel” but not without the pressure of having to endure yet another long working day. On many such evenings, I face the dilemma of meals to prepare so as to suit our mood - something exciting yet not extremely adventurous; pe

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Oh! the joys of entertaining ~ Ragda Pattice / Aloo tikki chaat~

In our frenzied and increasingly impersonal world of late work nights, busy schedules and conveniently located restaurants luring us with elaborate menus, who takes an effort to cook anything for a meal time - leave alone a party? And in all this chaos, the burgeoning restaurant scene seems to have

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Vegetarian croquette from modern Odia cuisine & the Cuttacki street-food ~ “Vegetable Chop”

There’s never been a cold, rainy day when I haven’t yearned to cuddle up in my cozy comforter gazing out of the window while sipping on a cup of chai generously laced with ginger and munching on crispy home-made pakodas. Although quite a rare occurrence these days, especially with our busy schedules and untimely rain, I considered myself extremely lucky to be home on one such afternoon when it rained generously to my heart’s desire. Just like rain does to every romantic’s heart, it brought out the poetic, creative side of me very willing to experiment. So on that occasional rainy afternoon, in a quest to celebrate the downpour as I raided my refrigerator to cook up something delish, I came across this half-a-piece of beet lingering in the forgotten corner of my fridge drawer. As I stared at it for a brief moment, the only thing that popped up distinctly was the "vegetable chop". While I am at it, I must confess that I have always had a love-hate relationship with beet.The very few time

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Anda Alu Jhola/Anda Tarkar – An Odia spin to the classic egg curry

How comforting is it to catch a glimpse of eggs gloriously adorning the-almost-empty refrigerator? Very comforting, isn’t it? I say it with much conviction since I believe that I might almost win (or be a very close competitor) for the “The most Experienced” award of such situations - a lot number of times. I might be damned to proclaim it as the most versatile of ingredients EVER but I am sure most of you will agree with me that indeed it is a savior in those critically desperate times. Eggs are such adorable, "un"-intimidating delights that almost everyone is content savoring and more importantly, very fearless while cooking something wondrous. With its numerous avatars – be it the humble French toast for breakfast, frittata for lunch, nutritious boiled eggs as a snack or the fancy Pasta Carbonara for dinner, eggs are undoubtedly the most pliable of all ingredients I have ever worked with. I actually cannot sing eloquent enough of this dazzling star which is there to support you (as

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Vegetable Manchurian – Going the veggie route, the Indo-Chinese way

Most likely you wouldn't agree if I were to say that it takes a LOT of work into pulling off an Indo-Chinese theme party successfully or....would you? I wouldn't believe it AT all, if I had not been the one to slog for it. So the story begins with inviting a few friends over for dinner and asking for their preferences. I got a special request for the Chili chicken that I had posted earlier in the blog. Honoring their wishes, I zeroed in on the Chili Chicken as the main dish. But with vegetarians in the group, I had to include a vegetarian dish. The planning went into a slight disarray when just two days before the big day, my adviser decided to pile on some work and of course I got immersed into it UNTIL the day before the party. So much to be done and so little time!! Phew..shopping for ingredients, chopping the veggies, marinating chicken, the list was really endless. Seeking someone's help was not an option..so all this in so little time. Going by the Indo Chinese theme - I zeroed

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Chilli Garlic Chow Mein – Chinese cuisine with Indian flare

Nothing quite compares to the din and bustle of a busy Indian street. Adding to it are the ever bustling food corners scattered all around the place. I have almost always failed to resist the temptation of giving in to my evil desire of eating some slurpilacious (oh yes…I made that word up!) good food out on the streets! If you ever noticed one of those “Chinese” stalls around, they seem to be so much at ease tossing those noodles high up in the air and catching our attention and the noodles- both with remarkable dexterity. Compounding the desire is the whiff of a complex blend of sauces wafting in through the air, through our nostrils, directly to the tummy. Sigh! At times I sorely I miss those tastes, smells and of course, the sounds! But to my pleasure I can always look back and say that I have learnt how to make these and can always satisfy my craving –of course sans the sounds and the dexterous tossing of the noodles. Almost every country has an exclusive version of its neighborin