Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Cheesy Corned Beef Jaffles/Toasties

 I’d been searching for Corned Beef tins for ever so long. I finally found them in Goa. Now that I had the tins in hand, I was wondering what to make when I saw the Jaffle machine in the cabinet. Jaffles/Toasties and piping hot soup for dinner, on a wintry night; dinner sorted, eh? 😉


1 tin Corned Beef (425 grams)
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 to 6 green chilies, slit and finely chopped
75 to 100 grams block of Britannia cheese, diced into tiny pieces
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Bread slices

  1. Empty out the corned beef in a large vessel and mash it up with a fork. Ensure there are no lumps.

  2. Add the chopped onions, green chilies, black pepper powder, cheese dices and mix well.

  3. Check for seasoning and add extra black pepper powder if you want an extra zing.

  4. Take a slice of bread, apply a good amount (but not excess or it will ooze out) of the Corned Beef mix on the slice. Cover that with another slice of bread. Keep aside. Repeat with remaining bread slices until all the Corned Beef mix is used up. 
  5. Heat the Jaffle machine as directed on the box. 
  6. When the Jaffle machine indicates it is ready for use, apply butter on the outer sides of the sandwich; this is to ensure the bread does not stick to the Jaffle machine. Gently lay the sandwich into the first slot of the Jaffle machine. Repeat, for the second sandwich slot. 
  7. Close the Jaffle machine and grill till machine pings, or changes light indicator colour, to let you know the Jaffles are ready. 
  8. Repeat the process with each sandwich until all the Jaffles are done.

  9. Serve piping hot with ketchup or a bowl of hot soup.
Chef’s Notes: 
  1. I had used way more cheese, but I wish I hadn’t because it oozed out a hellava lot and cleaning the Jaffle machine took way longer than it took for me to make the Jaffles. *very sheepish look*

  2. The tinned Corned Beef mix will not require any salt as it already contains salt (and cheese).
  3. Instead of grating the cheese, I chose to cut tiny dices of the cheese as that gave off intermittent bursts of cheese. Grated cheese would give one monotonous flavour through every bite.

  4. Do apply butter to the bread slices from the outer side as not only will that prevent the sandwich from sticking, it will also give the sandwich a gorgeous golden glow. And of course, it goes without saying, just like bacon, butter makes everything better. 😉
  5. If you prefer a deep golden-brown colour, grill them a little longer, even after the ‘done’ light goes on.
  6. If you have a large family and are making lots of Jaffles, do keep serving them to the family as you make them to ensure the Jaffles are served piping hot. Warm or cold Jaffles are no fun, more so if they have cheese in them. Bleh!
  7. You may share the direct blog-link of the recipe/s but do NOT publish my recipes and my photographs on any blog-site or website without my explicit consent or attempt to pass off my recipe/s as your own. You will be held accountable for plagiarism.

    A few extra photographs..

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Parsi Kolmi no Patio (Prawn Patio)

Kolmi no Patio is a dish usually eaten with Mora Dal Chawal (Dhan-Dar-Patio), in most Parsi households. It’s a very simple dal, quite similar to the Maharashtrian Varan-bhaat. The Patio, though, adds immense ‘oomph’ to the humble but delicious dar/dal. We Parsi’s usually cook Patio for lunch on auspicious occasions like birthdays, navjotes, etc.


30 medium sized prawns, de-veined and washed
5 to 6 large onions, finely chopped
4-5 green chilies, finely chopped
1 teaspoon jeera-cumin seeds
7-8 large tomatoes, halve-grate-discard skin or puree (I grated them)
1 teaspoon + 4 teaspoons red Deghi Mirch powder (I use MDH brand)
¼ teaspoon + ¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 heaped teaspoon coriander/cumin powder
½ teaspoon garam masala powder
2 heaped teaspoons Parsi Sambhar masala
1 teaspoon Dhanshak Masala
½ teaspoon black pepper powder
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
½ teaspoon + Salt to taste
6 to 8 tablespoons oil (I’m never stingy with oil😜)
Sugar to taste
Malt Vinegar, to taste (add only if necessary - if the tomatoes aren’t tangy enough - I use Kolah’s Malt Vinegar)
A handful of coriander leaves, chopped fine


  1. Marinate the prawns with ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon red chili powder. Keep aside for 30 minutes.

  2. Heat oil and splutter jeera. Add onions and green chilies. Fry till onions are golden brown.

  3. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry a bit. Add chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander/cumin powder, garam masala powder, Parsi sambhar masala, black pepper powder and Dhanshak masala. Sauté for a few seconds; do not allow the dry spices to burn. Add extra oil or a splash of water if the masala is too dry and begins to burn. (I add oil)

  4. Add the grated (or pureed) tomatoes and cook till the raw smell of the tomatoes is no longer evident and the oil separates.

  5. Add the chopped coriander leaves; save a few for garnish.

  6. Add prawns.

  7. When the prawns are nearly done, check the gravy for seasoning. 
  8. Add sugar to taste. If the tomatoes haven’t lent enough tartness, add a wee bit of malt vinegar. (Important: The taste of the patio should be such that the wee bit of tartness and sweetness hits your palate as soon as you take a bite and the spiciness hits your palate a few seconds later and lingers on.)
  9. Once you achieve the balance of flavours suited to your palate, take the vessel off the stove.
  10. Garnish with a few coriander leaves and serve.

Chef’s Notes:

  1. A variation that can be used for this dish: instead of chopping the onions you can grind them to a paste and then fry them.
  2. Feel free to use this same recipe for fish patio.
  3. Dhanshak masala and Parsi Sambhar masala do lend a Parsi touch/flavour to the dish but if not available, feel free to make the patio without these ingredients.
  4. If you do not have malt vinegar in your pantry, feel free to use brown or white vinegar; either will work just as well to achieve tartness; what will be lacking, though, is the heady whiff of malt vinegar.
  5. While this dish is usually served with Dhan-Dar, there are times when we merely eat it plain, with Brun pau.
  6. You may share the direct blog-link of the recipe/s but do NOT publish my recipes and my photographs on any blog-site or website without my explicit consent or attempt to pass off my recipe/s as your own. You will be held accountable for plagiarism.

Friday, 18 January 2019

Kebab Kronicles – Very Impressive!

Conrad Pune is hosting the 'Kebab Kronicles' festival at their Indian Restaurant, Zeera.

One evening we were at Conrad, sipping on tea, when suddenly we spied the ‘creative’ of their kebab festival. On the spur of the moment we decided to dine at Zeera and give the festival a try.

They have two (UNLIMITED) menus on offer: vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Each menu consists of 7 kebabs, a fabulous aromatic mutton biryani, a dal and two desserts.

They began the meal with roasted papad and chutney/pickle. There was a green chutney and a lehsun (garlic) pickle which stumped us in a wonderful kinda way. 

The green chutney had a wee bit of mango added which lent a hint of sweetness to it. 

I was a tad apprehensive about the garlic pickle, but I put one tiny bit of garlic on a piece of papad and I was hooked. Instead of the strong flavour of garlic, what I experienced was subtle garlicky deliciousness. Oh man, this was yum!!

I tried a bite of all seven vegetarian kebabs, and they were all unique and flavoursome. Of all the seven that I tried, the Barwan Mushroom with Portabello tapenade and truffle shavings and the Paneer Chunda Bharwan were my favourite. As a hard-core carnivore, though, the non-veg kebabs were the ones that stole my heart.

The 'Tandoori Gongura Jingha' were big succulent prawns; delicately flavoured and so moreish. The Radhuni Fish Tikka, Hapshi Chicken Tikka, Murgh ke Sooley, Mutton Kakori and Lagan ki Boti, all, were stellar kebabs. The only kebab that failed to wow me was the Pathar ka Murgh. I found it bland and compared to the others that wowed; I found this one lacking in flavour. My absolute favourite kebabs, in order of preference, were the gorgeous Tandoori Gongura Jingha, the melt-in-the mouth Mutton Kakori, Murgh ke Sooley, Lagan ki Boti, Hapshi Chicken Tikka and Radhuni Fish Tikka. All kebabs-tikkas were beautifully moist and juicy. As the kebabs served are unlimited, we, of course, requested an extra helping of the Tandoori Gongura Jingha. We were eager to try the biryani hence refrained from ordering any other kebab as second helping.

The Biryani, Gosht ‘Salarjung’ Biryani, was served with a bowl of Hara Choliya Aur Sura Ki Dal.

The Biryani was fragrant, and the mutton was cooked to fall off the bone succulence. They had also added tiny mince kebabs to the biryani. Without a doubt I’d give this Biryani a massive 10/10. 

As for the dal, I loved it when I had it by itself. Paired with the biryani, it failed to impress. In fact, it hampered the flavour of the biryani. My advice: eat the dal and the biryani separately to check out the amazing flavour of each dish.

We ended our dinner with two unique desserts. The Safed Badam Ka Halwa and Kanpur Ka Jhag. 

The Safed Badam Ka Halwa was a rich dessert. Sweet but not overly so and yes, you get to bite into bits of badam in every bite. They hadn’t been stingy with the badams. 

As for the Kanpur Ka Jhag, it stirred in me memories of my trip to our place of pilgrimage, Udwada. That is where we usually have this. We Bawajees, and people in North India, have something very similar to Kanpur Ka Jhag in our recipe repertoire. We Parsi’s know of this as Doodh Na Puff. This is milk, sweetened, chilled and frothed. That froth is then collected in a glass (or a container) and served cold. It can be sprinkled with strands of saffron or Cardamom-Nutmeg powder. It’s one of the lightest desserts ever. Had I not hogged on the kebabs, I could have polished off a dozen of these. This was such a fabulous end to a stellar meal.

This dinner, as mentioned earlier, was an impromptu decision. When we requested for the cheque, our server politely informed us ‘it was handled’. We insisted time and again, but they refused to budge. We finally gave in and thanked the Chef for his kindness.

The ‘Kebab Kronicles’ festival began on January 11, 2019. This festival is only available for dinner, 7 PM onwards. Food festivals at Conrad usually last 10 to 15 days so make that reservation now. Do not miss out the deliciousness! I’m surely going back, before it ends. Those jhingas, the boti, the kakori seekhs, that aromatic biryani and the jhag beckon. I know, I know, I’m a frikkin’ greedy soul. Sigh!

Address: Zeera-Conrad, Mangaldas Road, Pune – 411001
Tel: 020 67456745

Thursday, 10 January 2019

The Food Gallery – Daily Tiffins & More!

I finally decided to pen this write up after having eaten many, many tiffins and lots of a la carte items from the menu of The Food Gallery (TFG). The tiffin photographs for this write up are not the fancy kind, with garnish et al. I have clicked photographs of the food (tiffins) immediately after having emptied them to give the readers a clear picture of how the food looks like when received. 

When mum and dad shifted to Pune, I began ordering tiffin intermittently, to supplement home cooked food. We had opted for the 3-person tiffin which costs 330 per day. The tiffins began well with good Parsi and multi-cuisine food. I’ll be honest, at the time, I wasn’t sure whether the tiffins were good because I was a new client or because they were actually good. Today, after ordering tiffins (and a la carte) for over 15 months, I can say with surety, it wasn’t because I was a new customer. The tiffins were good because good food is what The Food Gallery consistently sends out.

The tiffin I receive consists of rice and a gravy/dal (veg or non-veg) for the afternoon meal. For dinner, there’s a side dish, a main dish (again, veg or non-veg) and soft chapatis. The spice quotient of the tiffin (an important factor), is medium spicy to suit most palates. 

While the contents of all tiffins for the day remain the same, the quantity of the tiffin depends on the package chosen. Also, let me clarify, they do not send any mutton dishes as mutton is too expensive a protein to send on a ‘tiffin’ budget. Eggs, chicken and, on occasion, fish is the variety of non-veg items sent. The quantity is perfect for the amount paid. Do they ever mess up? Of course, they do, they’re human! But according to me, If I receive one tiffin with something missing or amiss, after having received 99 perfect ones, that is as near to perfect as one can ever get.

While The Food Gallery has a couple of tables set up, it is mainly a dark kitchen/home delivery/pick up place. Apart from tiffins, they also have an a la carte menu. The dishes I love are the Bheja Cutlets, Indian Kheema (what is usually known as Kheema Pau), Chicken/Mutton Cutlets, Chicken Russian Patties (these are delish but I do wish the potatoes were not a mix of mash and pieces – ideally, perfectly mashed potatoes with the shreds of chicken feel way better on the palate), Trotters/Payas, Parsi style Mutton Pulao Dar, Kolmi no Patio, Veg Au Gratin, Chicken Mac & Cheese Bake and Fried Bombay Duck (You do, however, have to gently crisp the Bombay Duck in a non-stick pan as they get a tad soft in the process of being delivered). For everything mentioned above I have placed repeat orders because the quality of food has always been consistent. 

One other item from their menu that I am head over heels in love with and deserves special mention is the Parsi tea time delicacy, ‘Bhakhra’. They don’t make the soft dough-y ones that get stuck in your throat. The Bhakhras they make are beautifully crisp, fried to a deep golden brown. Like a cookie and yet no so; definitely a Parsi Bhakra. They really do make the best Bhakhras in town!💓

The Food Gallery also sends out customized tiffins for vegetarians, diabetics and for people who want very spicy or very bland (non-spicy) food. They are based in Lulla Nagar and they do not deliver pan Pune so give Mabrin or Hutoxi a call to check whether delivery to your residence is feasible. Lots of people face the dilemma I faced last year when I needed a good tiffin for my family; that is precisely why I chose to write about The Food Gallery. I hope it helps! 😊

Address: Shop 1, Roopanand Aparment, 95 Sahaney Sujan Park, Lullanagar, Kondhwa, Pune
Tel: +91 9822021033 / +91 9822000433

Do check out the pics posted below. I've clicked them on various occasions over a period of 15 months.

Bheja Na Cutlets (A La Carte)

Rajma - Tiffin

Mixed Dal - Tiffin

Khichdee - Tiffin

Machhi No Patio - Tiffin

Russian Pattise (A La Carte)

Russian Pattise (A La Carte)

Russian Pattise (A La Carte)

And this is the way I eat my Russian Pattise :-) 

Russian Pattise (A La Carte) Spread out on Buttered Toast.. All ready to be bitten into. 

Methi Chicken No Ras - Tiffin

Veg Hakka Noodles - Tiffin (They also send a mean Veg Manchurian... yes i did say, Veg)

Masala ni Dar or Plain Dhanshak ni Dar (No such thing as Veg Dhanshak... urghhhh) Sent with the Pulao (A La Carte)

Parsi Mutton Pulao (A La Carte) 

Parsi Mutton Pulao (A La Carte) Yes, we Bawas want it all.. Mutton, Potatoes and Eggs. 

Tarela Boomla (A La Carte) These need to be crisped up in a non-stick

Egg Chutney Pattise - Tiffin

Lobia/Chora - Tiffin

White Rice - Tiffin 
Mori Dar (I usually make this at home but this was ordered A La Carte as i was unwell and could not cook)

Prawn Patio (I usually make this at home but this was ordered A La Carte as i was unwell and could not cook)

Parsi Sagan Ni Sev (A La Carte)

Parsi Sagan No Ravo (A La Carte)


Murghi No Kharo Ras - Tiffin

Omel;ette - Tiffin 

My heart beats for this.. Bhakhra (A La Carte) 

Bheja Na Cutlets (A La Carte) Ordered so many times that I've now lost count of the times I've ordered this. 

Perfectly packed

Parsi Mutton Pulao Dar (A La Carte) - Had requested extra Brista


Chicken Kharo Ras (Tiffin)

Kharu Dodhi (Tiffin)

Egg Chutney Pattise (Tiffin)

Bheja Na Cutlets (A La Carte)

Everything so perfectly packed that not a drop leaks out. (A La Carte)

Mori Dar, Kolmi No Patio and Rice ordered sometime last year (A La Carte)

Mori Dar, Kolmi No Patio and Rice ordered sometime last year (A La Carte)

Gajar Meva Nu achaar sent with Mora Dar Chawal (A La Carte)

The Food Gallery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato