An honest review of Paneer Tikka

People write reviews about the restaurants they eat in, the music they listen to and the movies they watch, why not the food items they eat? Wait! They do, don’t they? But anyways, I tried to come up with a good start to this post and ended up writing the above. Here’s a vegetarian review of an excellent starter *drumrolls* -The Paneer Tikka!!! *applause*

As a vegetarian, the one food which excites me no matter which restaurant I go to and has always been divine, soul quenching and befitting (at least in my case) is the Paneer Tikka. The best one in the SFO Bay Area so far is from the Anjappar Restaurant in Santa Clara. Here’s a picture of it (looks like a non-veg starter, but it’s not!):

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Paneer Tikka

For people who haven’t tried it: It is basically cottage cheese and slices of few other veggies such as bell peppers, onions and tomatoes, marinated and arranged in a stick and finally grilled in a Tandoor (clay oven). It is by far, the only grilled Vegetarian Tandoor dish most of the Indian restaurants serve. This is served with a side of mint chutney and a piece of lime.

What makes it so tasty? I would bank on the entire process: perfect marination, perfect grilling and a perfect dose of the chutney (too many “perfects”, I agree 😛 ). Tastewise, I like the medium spice one, crispy on the edges and juicy on the inside.

Why do you have to try this in spite of having many other starters like Pakodas (Pakoras), chaat, fried stuff? I would say, to get the taste of Tandoor it’s a must-must. Not often households have a Tandoor. The other starters can definitely be made at home with the right ingredients but never this (in Tandoor). You could debate, Pan-fried and oven cooked paneer tikkas are possible but I would argue saying you don’t have a Tandoor (unless you have one). The tandoor gives a slightly charred and roasted flavour which is one of its kind.

Where should you get it? Read reviews and get the best one in an Indian or Pakistani restaurant close to you and try it out yourself at home (if interested) after tasting it. Don’t forget the mint chutney dip and squeeze some lemon on top if you want to add some happy sourness.

So, go get your Paneer Tikka today! 🙂

People

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What is the first thing that comes to your mind on seeing this picture? Well, many would say, its nothing related to the post or its title. Here’s my analogy, when you first look at the pair of earrings in this post, you might think it’s a costly diamond or some kind of stone. Nah huh! It costs $2, trust me. It gave me an infection (ouch)!  I compare this earring with few of the many people I came across. I am not being judgemental.

Is friendship selfish? Is friendship worthless to think about after a point? Is friendship a miser? Well, if your answer is “No”, you have had good friendship throughout your life with incidents of selflessness, joy, sharing and caring. You are in good hands! Trust me.

Some people are heartless and do unexpected things to you in spite of understanding what you are going through. The worst part is, everything is done in the name of friendship. Oh well, you forgive those kind of people because that’s the least you could care about at that point. Also because there’s no time to fight or ponder over what happened and there’s plenty of other issues to take care of. One fine day you sit and recollect all the fond memories you had with the person who showed their back when you were in need, you feel a lump stuck in your throat. That lump remains forever no matter what.

The gold just loses luster, but the iron rusts and spoils itself. You need to decide who is gold and who is iron. Bygones are always bygones! Be the gold yourself, forgive, forget and prove a point to that piece of iron!

I hope you could relate to this post in some way or the other. Happy reading! 🙂

 

Beach

I am a nature lover. I simply connect instantly with the nature in its beautiful form.

Beach is a place where the sea meets the land. I admire the way the waves gush through the land. It simply cannot leave nor can it stay, it comes back,  tries to stay but it gushes back into the ocean. The hustle, the sound of the crisp waves and the beauty of the sun can be found only this serene wonder. The beach makes the beginning and the end of the day as beautiful as it can get.

This picture is from the beach in Alamera Falls, CA. One of most beautiful places I have ever seen. That area is surrounded by waterfalls, hills, rocks and the sea. Yes, all in one. We had to do a long tiring hike to get to this point. Certainly, beautiful things are achieved after strolling through tough terrains. 🙂

It looks like a golden sheet, doesn’t it? Priceless it is!

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Maggi Noodles- First dish I ever cooked

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Like any other girl born in the 90s, I hardly cooked during my high-school and undergrad days mainly because I lived with Amma (Amma is the South Indian way of calling mother) and Thathi ( I call my Mom‘s Mom, Thathi because that’s how I called her from childhood). My only job inside the kitchen was to check if there’s something to eat in the refrigerator or to switch off the stove burner when boiling milk or to do the dishes. When Amma went out of town, I had to prepare at least one meal in a day for me and my Sista. Maggi came in handy that time. Maggi is ready to eat Noodles pack in India. It is a giant of its kind in India. For non-Indians: it can be found in all Indian grocery stores. I don’t even know if people who hate Maggi even exist in India. Maggi comes to the rescue when you are extremely hungry,  have no time to cook or if you have no expertise in cooking. I can take my usage reason as all three. As time passed I did not like to eat the plain Maggi masala noodles. I began experimenting by adding veggies, egg or paneer (Indian cottage cheese) to Maggi. Here’s the recipe for the ultimate Vegetable Maggi Masala meal.

Ingredients:

  1. Maggi noodles pack of 2
  2. Onion- 1 medium sized
  3. Carrots- 2 medium sized
  4. Beans- a bunch of 6-7
  5. Green peas – 1 cup (measuring cup)
  6. Coriander leaves
  7. Paneer- 1 cup (if you are a lover of it)
  8. Oil- 3 tablespoons
  9. Water- 6 cups
  10. Garam masala- 1/2 tablespoon
  11. Chilli powder- 1/2 tablespoon
  12. Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
  13. Salt- to taste
  14. Mustard seeds- 1 teaspoon
  15. Broken Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
  16. Jeera- 1 teaspoon

Serves- 2 , Cooking time- 15 minutes

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan (preferably non-stick) and add in mustard seeds, jeera and urad dal.
  2. Once the urad dal changes color (2 minutes), add chopped onions and fry till golden brown (2 minutes).
  3. I like frying up the masalas with the onion as it gives a special flavour, so add in the chilli powder, garam masala and turmeric powder and fry for a minute.
  4. Next add the chopped carrot, beans and green peas and mix it up with the masala.
  5. Now add the Maggi masala powder to this and add water (for two packs of Maggi and this much of veggies, I would add 6 cups of water if you want it soupy).
  6. Let the water boil and the veggies should be half cooked, once this happens, add in the paneer and Maggi noodles.
  7. Let it all cook and soak in the flavours (2 minutes).
  8. Add scrambled egg to this if you are an eggetarian.
  9.  Garnish with chopped coriander.
  10. Tadaaa! Your 15 minutes meal is ready to feed your noisy stomach. Mamaamia!