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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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Who doesn’t love a twist & that too a Sriracha one? ~ Garlic & red chilli Vegetable Manchurian (dry) ~

In one of our numerous chat sessions, as my conversation with my Chinese friend/colleague veered towards Sino-Indian relationship, the cultural differences and similarities, we couldn't help but contemplate on the amalgamation of Indian intricacies into Chinese cooking. It veered towards a very interesting conversation about cooking styles, spices used, favorite dishes etc. etc. and she was extremely amused to know that there prevailed a very popular fusion cuisine known as "Indo-Chinese". She had never heard of it (of course..who has unless they are from India?), and seemed intrigued by the names of dishes I was hurling at her. Manchurian, Mixed chowmein...wait what? Manchurian...what's that? As I pondered on it a bit more, I assumed that although it's never really surprising to find tastes transcending national/international boundaries to give rise to a melange of flavors, the popularity of Indo-Chinese cuisine in India is something you have to see, to believe. This cuisine which sta

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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

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Chili Chicken – Indo-Chinese Birthday Meal

Growing up, birthdays have always been very special. It was the day when I was treated like a real princess. The excitement the night before, the preparations building up for the big day and the day itself was filled with anticipation and exhilaration. It made me look forward with eagerness and feel so valued and celebrated. It would all start with the dress - "THE birthday dress" and then finding the "right" chocolates to distribute among friends. The day would begin with a visit to a temple to seek divine blessings and then the exhilaration of the day escalated with reaching school. The flurry of activity leading up to the big day made April such a lovely month for me. But as I grow up and the child in me gives way to a more matured self, surprisingly I find myself cringing when my birthday comes up.The excitement has of course diminished and all I truly desire is a quiet evening with close friends, good food and some heart to heart conversations. And that's exactly what I got for th