Tag Archives: comfortfood

A Haven for Chocolate Lovers

Desserts are decadent and chocolate ones even more. As The Chocolate Heaven opened its second outpost in Mumbai in Borivali West, I decided to check this one out as I have never visited the first one at Vile Parle West, near Mithibhai College.

A small but cosy place greeted me, with wooden tables and seating. The menu surprised me as I thought, being a dessert boutique it would only offer desserts, but I was wrong. Sandwiches, burgers, pizza, this place had them all. Of course the highlight here are the waffles, pancakes, shakes, coffees, hot chocolate and more.

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Our Mushroom burger arrived after a long wait. The roasted mushroom flavours were completely masked by the red chilli that the burger was doused in. As a result one could not taste any of the other ingredients.

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The pizza topped with penne more than made up for the burger. It was cheesy, well-baked and the penne added an interesting texture to it. The well-spiced pizza perked up my taste buds instantly and was supremely comforting.

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The caramel hot chocolate was delicious, but alas! Not as hot as it ought to have been. The texture too was diluted and it could have been creamier. There were several other options as well.

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The dark chocolate Belgian waffle was sinful but the chocolate could have been a bit more generous. The pancake was the piece de resistance for the evening. Well made, the toppings were generous and the flavours mouth-watering. It was unarguably, one of the best I have had in a while.

The offerings at The Chocolate Heaven struck me as ideal for college going kids rather than gourmands. The savoury stuff was definitely fast food and the desserts good, but again not extraordinary. More of a melange of good ingredients, carelessly assembled.

However, easy-on-the-wallet and with immense variety,  good quality ingredients, this place is definitely worth a try for foodies, especially when sweet indulgence is on your mind.

Rating: 3/5

 

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The Long & Short Of The New Menu

The Dome may be the most sought after place at InterContinental Marine Drive, but for me Long & Short, the casual dining and lounge is equally a star. The reason being the eclectic menu, fun cocktails, affordable menu and of course great service. It is a place where one can unwind, relish good food and prompt service.
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Executive Chef Arzooman Irani, being the creative genius and restless person that he is has introduced some new exciting dishes in the already exhaustive menu, thus revamping parts of it.
Wanting to keep it global, Chef Irani was keen on ensuring that comfort food was the focus. “Guests should be able to dine in a fun and relaxed atmosphere with the food being light and enjoyable. Of course, apart from comfort food, there is a section for those seeking healthy food too and that need not be boring. Low cal, low carbs or no carbs, gluten free and so on. There are plenty of options. And of course those wanting to indulge can do so as well,” Chef Arzooman elaborated.
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We started with the crisp lavash dome, almost customary here. Crunchy and laced with herbs, it set our taste-buds tingling. The platter with starters was a treat for the eyes, as it was for the palate. The springs rolls with varied fillings were crisp and luscious, the wasabi prawns fresh and delectable and the chicken boasted of distinct Pan Asian flavours. The presentation was appealing yet, devoid of unnecessary gimmicks.
The crisp pea shoot salad  from the healthy food section, was a delight. It was as fresh as it could get. With a subtle flavoured dressing, the medley of textures of the lettuce, seasonal fruits, micro greens and cherry tomatoes, came out trumps and it was a veritable feast for the taste buds. Healthy food can certainly be delicious.
Mushroom feta cheese waffle from the petit toasties section caught my eye and struck me as innovative. But then, Chef Arzooman is legendary for his innovative streak. Equally unique were the slider offerings, I thought. Butter milk fried chicken, sriracha mayo was certainly out-of-the-ordinary. I made a mental note of it for my next visit.
The brie & potato gnocchi surpassed everything that I have ever tasted before. The garlicky creamy sauce, wrapped over the potato gnocchi made me slip into a food coma. But what got my vote instantly was the zucchini spaghetti. No, not spaghetti with zucchini but spaghetti made out of zucchini strips and tossed in aglio olio. It was outstanding and  yet another testimony to the chef’s creativity.
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Comforting curries, Mumbai street food, pizza, salads, care has been taken to ensure that the menu caters to every palate. Vegetarian options abound too.
Surprisingly the dessert did not wow my palate as expected. The salted caramel oreo tart was not the hero of the evening as the chocolate drizzle overpowered all other flavours, relegating them to the background.
With alert staff, warm hospitality and first-rate food, the  experience at Long & Short was memorable and the new menu is clearly a winner.
Rating: 4.5/5

Coconut Rice: Recipe

One of my comfort foods when I am not in a mood to cook an elaborate full meal. Try this simple recipe of mine. You will love it

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Ingredients:

1 cup rice

3tbsp ghee

1tsp mustard seeds

2 cups fresh grated coconut

5 red chillies (split)

1 tsp urad dal

6 cashew nuts chopped

fresh curry leaves

salt to taste

Method:

Boil the rice with salt and spread it on a plate.

Heat ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter, add urad dal and red chillies. Add curry leaves.

Add cashew nuts. Then add coconut after cashew nuts have turned golden brown.

Saute coconut on a low flame, until it turns golden. Add salt if required.

Add cooked rice and mix well.

Remove from flame and serve hot with pickle and papads or curd.

Get Crack(l)ing this Monsoon

I can somehow never resist sizzlers. Something about that sizzling noise in the monsoons along with the aroma, makes me long for sizzlers.

Couldn’t believe my luck when I discovered that Cafe Mangii was hosting a Sizzlers Festival till the end of the month. I made my way to the Khar outlet, one that I have never visited before. Like all other Cafe Mangii outlets in Mumbai, it is elegance and informality personified. The relaxing ambience immediately beckons you.

The sizzlers menu set my taste buds tingling. Each one sounded more exotic than the other. What’s more! Each sizzler comes with traditional flavors and spices served with exotic veggies.

I was confused. But since I have a soft corner for sea food, I opted for the Harissa marinated Rawas steak. It was a treat for the eyes too with the colourful bell peppers, cheese fondue and of course the rawas steak and herbed risotto. My colleague tried the Pot Roast Chicken with mushroom pepper sauce and assured me it was lip-smacking.

Diced Pepper Steak

The rawas was grilled to perfection and simply melt in my mouth. The cheese fondue complimented it and the veggies added the right element of crunch.  There was an interesting amalgamation of flavours and textures. It was extremely filling and complete value-for money.  The mushroom sauce my friend said was a total palate pleaser.

Vegetarians can enjoy the perfectly grilled cottage cheese & pepper steak or dig into the corn, potato & jalapeno steak served with basil pesto sauce. Lamb Leg with rosemary and Grilled Pork Chops with traditional barbeque sauce is another hot favourite among meat lovers.

We skipped the Pizookie, a feisty dessert, but dessert lovers should try it. So while it rains outside, head to a Cafe Mangii outlet near you to have that incredible sizzling experience. I mean, for your taste buds!

Garma garam khichdi……

Today is the perfect day for some hot khichdi. My ultimate comfort food anytime and more so in the rains. Khichdi, Khicuri, khichri…. it is known by many names, but they all mean the same thing – a combination of dal and rice cooked together, sometimes with vegetables.

It is a complete and nutritious meal in itself. Different parts of India prepare khichdi differently, but we all love it. My favourite is the Bengali version with moong dal, potatoes, other vegetables. A dash of chilli powder, bay leaves n garam masala, added and it is unparalleled. Light and delicious. It is simple to prepare too and can be made at a short notice. Pair it with papad and pickle or begun bhaja(brinjal fry) and you are in seventh heaven.

Gujaratis too make great khichdi which is eaten with their sweetish kadhi. Delectable. The Gujaratis also do a spicy version called the vaghreli khichdi. Mumbai has several restaurants which serve this khichdi. Soam in Babulnath, Mumbai makes delicious bajra khichdi. Taste plus health. I somehow don’t relish the daal khichdi offered by Udupi joints in Mumbai. there is too much of haldi in those.  Another variation of khichdi which I enjoy making is palak khichdi. Add blanched palak to your regular moong dal khichdi with ginger, garlic and voila! a great meal is ready. Again, it is not neccessary to use only moong dal in khichdi. I often make it with masoor dal and even chana dal. Only the tempering should be different.

Interestingly, in Mumbai we call the upvas food sabudana khichdi by the same name, even though it is not made with rice and lentils. a friend of mine makes khichdi with seven grains. It is the ultimate in taste and nutrition.

Some people enjoy their khichdi with pickle, others with curd. whatever the accompaniment, I am only particular about the fact that the khichdi should not be overpowered with spices. Otherwise the purpise of having a light meal of khichdi is defeated. In fact it is often eaten when one is unwell or has an upset stomach. I can eat it anytime.

Khichdi is a versatile dish and so much can be done with it. One can add interesting ingredients to it to give the basic khichdi a twist. I am all set for making khichdi tonight. Are you?