Sunday, March 24, 2013

Simple seasoning....

I loathe the ready-made, store bought stuff- seasoning,  pastes etc.  It just doesn't appeal to my senses.  It does not suit my taste buds either.Given the fact that I have studied food science for a couple of years I believe" fresh is best".  The fact that it is expensive only helps me to push myself and make efforts to make my own stuff. Most of the ingredients are available and for those that aren't there is always a substitution available which works almost as good.
The case in point this time is a Fajita seasoning mix and/ or Fajita marinade. A quick search on the internet assured me that it was really really simple, most of the items required were already in the pantry.So here it goes, the way I made it. Some ingredients are replaced.

For the Fajita seasoning mix:

1 tbsp cornstarch (optional: I did not use it)
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp  red chili flakes
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt
A pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp of onion powder: I ground some dehydrated onions in the mixie and used this.
1/2 tsp garlic powder: I  used powder of fried garlic

To make it,
I simply mixed all the powders well and it was ready to use!
If storing,store it in a airtight jar for future use.
How I use it,
I use this liberally to season my meats, especially chicken wings or drumstick to make a quick stiry fry snack. This could also work well in many other items beyond Fajitas too.
 For the Fajita marinade you will need
 3-6 cloves garlic minced- I like the garlicky flavour
1 tsp chili powder- more if you like it hot

Juice of two lemons,
2 tbsp olive oil
A heaped spoon of the above mentioned Fajita seasoning
 Salt, to taste
Pour on boiled chicken strips ( paneer should work well for those who want to avoid meat)  and marinate for as long as possible( a good 24 hours is ideal) before grilling in the oven.

Fort food walk Finely chopped!

It has been over 2 weeks since I walked the fort area with Kalyan of finely chopped and yet the mere thought puts a smile on my face till date.
The charming Fort area in Mumbai is known for its various casual -style eating options and had been on my " radar" since a very long time. Yet remained elusive for various reasons. When Kalyan  announced  a food walk along the fort area, I was not going to miss it. Hubby had already walked the lanes of bohri mohallah with Kalyan and had been so happy to be a part of it.
This walk was like a journey of discoveries for me.... discovering not the new but something one had heard about.. the walk was about discovery of quaint places,  of simple yet soul satisfying food,  of engaging fellow foodies!
The day started with eager anticipation as each one of us gathered at the vibrant Bombay Swadesi Store at the fort. The warm ambience here set the tone of the day so did the friendly introductions.
We started off the walk with the first stop at the Yazdani bakery, perhaps one of the oldest bakeries functioning. Housed in a grand heritage structure, Yazdani bares much a testament to its age old existence.
Irani chai and brun maska...the breakfast of the day confirmed that this was going to be "no ordinary day" for me! True to my intution ans expectation, the day unfolded with joyous moments at Apoorva's Neer dosa and prawn gassi, Pradeep Gomantaks melt-in the mouth Bombil fry and exquisite parsi lunch of akoori, dhansak deal, caramel custard, the ubiquitous raspberry soda and the ice cream soda followed by jalebis at the ustaad! Well, that s not all...yet.. all of this was washed down with an earthy filter coffee cuppa at the end.For all those who are wondering at what may seem like gluttony, You have to take this walk to understand that is possible and how!!!
For me, the walk was also about discovery of places like the Laxmi building ( linked to Late Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose,find out how) with Laxmi statue perched atop,  the cheerful brick red building of Mumbai Samachar (asia's oldest newspaper), the cool garden environs of the Horniman circle, Philip coffee store, the khau galee!
Discovering the human element that makes the food even better. It was a lovely day spent with some lovely people, Saee of myjhola, Rhea of euphorhea, Amita Gadre of healthy feasts, Jyotika, Aanchal, Geeta.
We parted with sweet memories and goody bags. Kalyan and Kainaz, thanks so much for this one.
 As this lovely group of foodies walked along with each other this walk was more about the exchange of ideas, sharing of food experiences and merry making.

The interiors of Yazdani Bakery

Brun Maska and Irani Chai

Raspberry soda at the Ideal Corner

Waiting for the bombil fry at Pradeep

At the Yazdani Bakery