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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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Recreating the Mexican fare ~ Mexican rice w/ Smokey Chicken fajitas & chunky guacamole~

When I think intently about that one cuisine that's closest to Indian flavors, my personal preference has always been Mexican. The spices, the intense flavors & the aroma that meld in together as a combination of several different spices are so reminiscent of our cuisine that it's really hard to pass it up. The remarkable similarities between Indian & Mexican dishes- be it the use of tomatoes, various chillies, or even the roasting of meat to develop flavors is sometimes very surprising, but when we come to think of it...it shouldn't really be. After all, almost all the essentials in an Indian curry like the tomato, potato & even the chillies have been New World exports to our subcontinent through the Portugese invaders. And there comes the connection! Personally, I absolutely love the vibrancy - be it in the spread of dishes or the colorful serving plates...everything is so full with zest for life. The food is always as dynamic in the range & depth of flavors as is their spirited deco

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The quintessential Cuttacki fare – Dahi Vada Aloo Dum aau Guguni Chaat aka “Dahi Bara Aloo Dum”

The name itself conjures up thousands of memories and for anyone who’s everbeen to Cuttack or hails from the same, needs no intro to this legendary street food – Dahi Bara Aloo Dum and Guguni, mostly known as “Dahi Bara Aloo Dum”. But for the uninitiated, this lip-smacking street food is the combination of Dahi Vada topped with aloo dum and guguni (yellow peas curry), served generously garnished with cut onions, coriander leaves and sev. The savory tartness of the dahi vada perfectly complements the spicy aloo dum and guguni and all of it wonderfully comes together with the crunchiness of the onions and the sev. It’s truly a wonder how all three distinctly different dishes with strong flavor character of their own can meld together in this unique, indescribable way. But despite its iconic status within the state, it’s a pity that outside Odisha hardly many people know about it. In my past one year of blogging, I must admit that I have never shared anything as authentic and true to Cutt

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A vegetarian’s delight – Quick Paneer Biryani

So…here I am back again! After almost three months and several days of incessant thesis writing and dealing with the nitty-gritty of graduate school, I am finally back to my haven – writing and reliving every bite I have loved to make and savor. Almost after every hiatus – laden with feelings of guilt and anxiety, as I sit to start penning down my thoughts, the familiarity of this blog and its comfort, suddenly makes it all seem ok. Back to my very own safe nook, where everything feels the same regardless of how fast things might have changed in the past few months. Regardless of all that, this long hiatus from the blog, has been one heck of a remarkable journey through a dream I have always had but never really imagined it happening. Sharing my graduation with my parents and loved ones was one of the most fulfilling experiences even though it remained equally paired with the hustle and the craziness that’s a part and parcel of submitting one’s thesis. While that’s another chapter alto

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Ushering in Diwali with Chivda a.k.a. Chuda mixture

Being away from something that you absolutely adore makes you feel in either or both of these ways – intermittent feelings of guilt for not paying attention and/or the unnerving tinge of self- doubt on returning to doing it. At this moment I feel the second while the first has been bothering me all this while I was away from this blog. Even though I am very thankful that new and exciting experiences like organizing events, teaching a class and learning a group dance, have been keeping me away, it nonetheless kept bothering me with the question – when am I writing my next post? Well now that I am back, that answers it I guess. Having done with explaining my absence from the blog, I shall now move on to the real reason and motivation of today’s post a.k.a. the Chivda. Relieved of my responsibilities as an event planner, I was now left with the much needed space to finally think of making something for Diwali. Diwali and snacks almost seem synonymous and my first post on the series of Diw

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Roasted garlic fried rice – Bursts of “garlic-ness”

When renowned chef and culinary writer, Louis Diat said “There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and garlic”, he echoed my sentiments quite exactly. I couldn’t possibly deny because in my tiny world it does represent the fifth essential life force. I have always been a “add-some-more-garlic please” person (well, who isn’t?). It’s one magical pod of intense flavor that perks many a dull, somber dish. But the hundredth (or maybe thousandth) dimension of this multi-faceted little pod is its very surprising aspect - mild sweetness. Very surprised right? I couldn’t ever imagine garlic being sweet AT all, before having been to Gilroy of course. In fact, I was quite apprehensive, when I stopped by Gilroy (The garlic capital of the world) to taste some garlic ice-cream. Just out of sheer curiosity, I tasted it. I must agree that I found the concept of garlic ice cream a little too weird but I must mention that the sweetness and intense flavor was something to commend. That kind of con