Sunday, October 8, 2017

Chicken Cutlets --- The roadside way!


One of the many things that I truly miss about Kolkata in Bangalore is the abundance of tasty street food.
Street foods have a certain nostalgia associated with them. Street food is one such string that is bonded by taste and only taste, surpassing all barriers of socio-economic status. The rich, poor, the working class/non-working class, students,laborers, the fat ugly aunty, the uber stylish divas- all are treated as equal. No eyebrows are raised for aspects like hygiene and comfort!
Kolkata streets hold a plethora of mouth watering food at throw away prices. The taste quotient of the roadside foods can never be replicated at home. It might be that the dust, the unhygienic ingredients or the germs in the seller's hands create the magic! It is however quite surprising that very less people fall sick after consuming roadside food. Its all in the human mind and happiness of eating street food strengthens our immunity.
Chicken and fish cutlets tops the endless list of the street foods I like the most. These are followed by Kolkata style egg-rolls and ''Alur Chop''- a Bengali deep fried potato and gram flour fritter. Out of my numerous attempts to make a road side Chicken Cutlet, today's attempt has really turned well. And thus I thought to document it and share with all.

INGREDIENTS:


  • Chicken - 250 gm, Cooked previously or boiled
  • Eggs- 2 beaten
  • Potatoes- 2 medium boiled and diced
  • Onion- 1 large chopped finely
  • Ginger- 1 tsp grated
  • Garlic- 4 cloves/ 1 tsp grated
  • Green Chilly- 1 or 2 chopped
  • Coriander leaves- A handful chopped finely
  • Cumin (Jeera) Powder- 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander Powder- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cardamom- 1 ground
  • Cinnamon-1 small piece of , ground
  • Salt -1 teaspoon
  • Pepper- 1/2 teaspoon
  • Refined Oil -for deep frying (Around 1 cup)
  • Bread Crumbs 1 cup or 4 Rusk biscuits crushed finely
  • Maida or All purpose flour 1 tablespoon
  • Corn Flour- 1 tablespoon
PREPARATION:

Put 2 teaspoon refined oil in a fry pan. When hot, add the chopped Onions, saute for 1/2 a minute. Now add the ginger and garlic paste. Again saute for around 2 mins then add the Cumin powder, Coriander powder, salt and ground Cinnamon plus cardamon powder. 

Put off the flame and stir well. Now add the potatoes, chicken, Green chilies and coriander leaves. Mash well so that the mixture is evenly done. Let the mixture cool for some time.
Now once the filling is cooled, make cutlets out of them in your own choice of shape. 

Personally I like big diamond shaped cutlets, just like the roadside shops!
Now coat the cutlet first in the mixture of corn flour and maida meticulously on all sides. 


This is done to secure the filling. Now dip the cutlet in the eggs and immediately coat it with the bread crumbs or biscuit powder. I have used 4 Rusk biscuits to make the coating. Again dip the cutlet in the eggs and for a second time coat with the biscuits/bread crumbs. 
With the help of your hands, pat the cutlet lightly so that the coating is secured. Now heat the oil for deep-frying in a fry pan. When the oil is medium hot, drop in the cutlets. Fry on both sides till golden brown.

Serve hot with Mustard sauce or tomato ketchup. Garnish with some sliced onions and coriander leaves. Cutlets are irresistible and I can vouch for it!

Preparation Time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 45 mins

TIPS:
  • The boiled potatoes should be completely dry. If a little moisture is left it would make the cutlets loose and they might break while frying.
  • Do not heat the oil too much before dropping the cutlets for deep frying, it would burn them instantly
  • Its better to use cooked chicken rather than boiled chicken for making the cutlet.
  • Do not fry the onions too much while making the filling. Just a little soft is enough to give the crunch in the filing.












Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Brighter side of Brighton and Serene Seven Sisters


For my short stay at the United Kingdom, weekends were the most eventful times. Every week started with a tour plan for the upcoming weekend. Staying in a small town made us search for tours as Newbury was quite boring on the weekends.
I was lucky to find a bunch of travel buddies. On one Friday evening we racked our brains and  then ended up planning for the Brighton and Seven Sisters Trip.
Many of the recent trips which we had involved a lot of change of trains/buses. Huge time is wasted on connected commute. So this time we were willing to spend a little more and hired a cab for a comfortable trip.

Newbury was 130 miles away from Seven Sisters and Brighton is a further 20 miles away. We started early around 7:30 am. A two and a half hour drive was enough to reach the place. We were really lucky with the weather as it was bright and sunny.
The place was very less crowded but well guided with description boards and route maps. There is a Easy Access Trail at Seven Sisters Country Park which is suitable even for people with impaired mobility. Wheelchairs were available at the visitor center for this purpose. As we followed the guided trail, we could see stunning views of the countryside- green meadows and a small steam of water. A 20 mins trek took us to the beach. The trail follows the valley floor down to the beach and the mouth of the River Cuckmere which is approximately 2kms.



 



 
Seeing the milky white cliffs for the first time I was dumbstruck with the beauty. God must have been in his best mood when he designed this place! The Sea waves touching the pebbled beach with the milky white cliffs behold a heavenly sight. The place was colder than usual in spite of sun shone high.




The Seven Sisters Country Park is package of 280 hectares of chalk cliffs, pebbled beach, meandering river valley and chalk grassland. This is where the river Cuckmere joins the sea and is obstructed by a series of seven white chalk cliffs- the 7 Sisters. This place is similar to the famous White Cliffs of Dover, but the 7 sisters are actually whiter. The cliff 's face at Dover is protected, so has become grayish. The Seven Sisters are allowed to erode naturally so as to maintain their milky white appearance.  Haven Brow, the highest of them at 253 feet, stands majestically to the west of her other sisters who in order are called Short Brow, Rough Brow, Brass Point, Flagstaff Point, Baily's Brow and Went Hill Brow. All the sisters were not visible as the later ones mixed with the clouds!



After spending a long time at the beach, we re-traced our steps back to reach the visitor center. The Visitor Center is situated in an 18th century barn, that provides useful information on the Park. It also has a small museum to display the artifacts.  There is a shop adjescent to the visitor center with leaflets, maps and souvenirs on sale.






Near by to the Visitor center, there is a restaurant. Tea Rooms garden -provides both traditional and continental cuisine. It has a beautiful walled garden which is a usual place to click pictures. We had some sandwiches and tea at the  Restaurant and then started for Brighton.


A 45 mins drive took us to reach Brighton. The city looked spectacular with beautiful and colorful houses on one side and sea on the other side.

Brighton looked a little crowded near the beach which had a giant wheel. The other attraction in Brighton was the Pier. It is open all days except for christmas.



Brighton Pier is a fun place. It has a Victorian construction with lots of places to eat and drink, fairground attractions and Palace of Fun arcade.  Brighton Pier is one of the top ten family attractions in the UK having something for all ages. 









We enjoyed the fun rides and then had the traditional fish and chips. We were lucky to see the beautiful sunset from the pier while relaxing in the free classic deckchairs provided. There were numerous birds that gathered around the pier during sunset and flew in separate batches in different interesting patterns.
We ran out of time to explore the Brighton city. Saw a beautiful mosque enroute back.  The day went very hectic but we enjoyed each moment. From the serene, solitary meadows  and white chalk cliffs at Seven sisters to the hustle bustle of the Brighton pier- It was a complete package of memories. 





Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Nagarjuna Restaurant, Residency Road



The Nagarjuna Restaurant at Residency road is the oldest among all 5 outlets in Bangalore. The exterior of this restaurant does not seem appealing, unlike the other newly opened outlets in several places across Bangalore. Recently I have visited the Indiranagar outlet (Nagarjuna Nakshatra) and its exterior as well as interior decor is far better and improvised. A little renovation would attract more visitors as per my understanding.




The ambiance is plain and typical family restaurant styled interiors. Nothing to highlight or boast about. However, the place was quite crowded with customers on a Saturday evening. 
Among so many good restaurants in the vicinity, this kind of crowd at this restaurant which does not have  a fancy ambiance gave a hint that the food must be delicious.

As it was our food review session, Nagarjuna representative provided us their best preparations. The manager assisted with all kinds of queries politely.
The starters which I tasted were:
  • Paneer sholey Kabab
  • Mushroom Pepper Fry
  • Chilly Chicken
  • Chicken Nagarjuna roast
  • Chicken 65
  • Mutton pepper fry



All the starters were good except for the chilly chicken. The Chicken Nagarjuna Roast, Chicken 65 and Mutton pepper fry were the best. Food was served in traditional Banana leaf. The aroma of the banana leaf increases the taste of the food served on it.
In main course, we were served- Rice, Sambar, Baby cucumber sabzi, Chicken/Mutton Biryani, chicken roast, curd, butter milk, papad and kheer. A sweet lime soda helped us to settle the food in my tummy.
Taste of food was really awesome, especially the mutton Biryani Probably one of the best Andhra meals I've had so far.

I had a glance at the menu card and found that the pricing is good. In comparison to the quantity of food they serve the price point is reasonable.
 This place is absolutely a no for those who do not like spicy food. But for authentic andhra food lovers, this is the place to be. Overall I had a very nice dinner. Here goes my Rating:

  • Food (taste): 5/5
  • Food Quantity: 4/5
  • Presentation: 3.5/5
  • Staff: 4/5
  • Ambiance: 3/5
  • Price: 4/5


Verdict: 3.9




Nagarjuna Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, September 25, 2017

Passport Holder from URBY


A frequent traveller's most important regime is ''packing''. An efficient packer cleverly selects all accessories, that is easy to locate, that keeps things in order, that is not voluminous yet durable and most importantly easy to handle.

Being a travel freak, I am keen on JIT (Just in time) kind of trips keeping most of the travel accessories handy. I have several pouches, sectional bags, foldable bags, bag packs, toiletries organizers, camera accessories bags, electronics organizers and even under garment organizers. And I was quite happy thinking I have everything that is essential to travel at the nth hour. Well, I was mistaken.
And I realized the same when I got an email  from a brand called URBY. They were happy to send me a complementary Passport Holder and requested me to provide an honest opinion for my readers.
At that point, I had a feeling- what value would a passport holder add in my life? I normally keep my passport in my side bag safe inside a zip lock plastic packet. Any additional casing over the passport would make it more complex to handle. My ignorance about passport holders came to a still the moment the thing was couriered to my residence.

As I opened the parcel, an attractive looking black box peeped from within. The Logo of URBY was distinct in the centre. Upon unboxing, a brick-red Passport Holder could be seen inside a off-white cotton bag. I must say that the packaging was awesome!



 I was surprised to see my name engraved on the passport holder. Yes, URBY makes customized stuff!  The Holder had 3 slots for credit cards too. Additionally there is one compartment on the left hand side for keeping the boarding pass, just in case you want to keep it there. The rear side has a small slit, wherein I am planning to keep emergency currency.
Everything in one place and this is amazing!







Coming to the size, its exactly of the same size of my Indian Passport and fits in easily but not too loose, which is good. Quality wise, its made of premium leather (not faux leather) hence we can close our eyes on the durability. The stitch is seamless and smooth. As there is no zip, the passport holder is not bulky, infact its quite compact.

I am happy with this product and would recommend the same to my friends, family and readers. To purchase this great stuff and many more from URBY, please visit the below URL:
http://www.urby.in/

As I was browsing through their website, I found that URBY is a travel and lifestyle accessories e-commerce company. Their USP is premium quality products at genuine prices. This is what I found about their retail model from their website:


URBY's product line ranges from Passport Holders, Travel Wallets, Pouches, Luggage Tags, Organizers, mobile cases, card cases and even key rings. All travel related stuff in one room. However, browsing their website I felt it needs a little fine tuning. The look and feel of the website has got scope of Improvement. On a lighter note, browsing URBY's website made me day dream of vacations again!.Such kind of impulse led me to start planning for my next vacation!
 

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Chicken Cutlets --- The roadside way!

One of the many things that I truly miss about Kolkata in Bangalore is the abundance of tasty street food. Street foods have a certain no...