Saturday, July 16, 2011

One Love One World.....

It has been eons that this blog was updated. All bloggers associated with this blog have been busy on their new personal journeys. I sincerely hope that all of them are doing good and enjoying their respective lives.

Also a special thanks to all the readers, many of whom pushed us to revitalize this blog. So without further ado let me get to the post.

In the past year there have been tremendous upheavals around the middle east, latest bombings in my dear city of Bombay (can't still call it Mumbai - feels foreign to me), all sorts of natural calamities and also many joyous occasions around the world. All these events show that we are all striving for justice and freedom from some oppression or just to be able to voice our opinions. I think it is our inherent nature as rational beings.

We as humanity are really ONE just divided by political, religious and mental boundaries. In spite of these differences at the root of our many of our cultures, specially where food is concerned there are uncanny similarities in preparation of food around the globe.

By taking an example of simple filled or wrapped stuffing in a unleavened dough - then fried, baked or steamed - am trying to portray that even though ingredients are local or its meat vs vegetables or sweet, the basic underlying concept is similar. Somehow making me believe that these methods originated some place when we all were still ONE and then took them and modified them as we migrated.

Starting with India - the all time favorite snack Kachori - its filled with peas, or dried pulses or with potatoes or meat - and then fried.

Again in India - Karanji (Maharashtra) or Ghugra (Gujarat) or Kadabu (Karnataka) or Kozhakattai (Tamil Nadu/Kerela) or Gujiya (Rajashthan) - is a same concept of filling dough but here it is filled with sugar, jaggery, nuts, cardomom, saffron etc. and served as a sweet.

Moving to Oriental foods - like Chinese or Japanese - they have Wontons or Dumplings - either steamed or fried - still the concept is the same.

Moving to Italy - this is Ravioli - it is a filled pocket of Dough with usually ricotta cheese and some herbs. In the above picture it is boiled and then served with marinara sauce - but can be eaten in variety of ways - also tasted good simply baked in the oven. They also have a dish called Stromboli which is a larger form of Kachori - and it is a meal not a snack - filled with meat or sauteed vegetables and cheese and served with marinara sauce on side.

Then moving to Poland - this is Pierogi - same concept filled with vegetables or meat and they also have a sweet variety filled with seasonal berries and fruits served with whipped cream. In other parts of Northern Europe it is called by these names - Derelye (Hungary), Bryndzové Pirohy (Slovakia), Kiroște (Romania)

From North Europe moving to South America - these are Pastels (Brazil) - a very common snack served with beer - they have beef, chicken and cheese fillings.

Lastly Empanadas (Argentina and Chili) - similar idea and looks very similar to crescent shaped Kachoris made in India.

There might be many more examples - but I just wanted to portray a point that we all are ONE - so lets enjoy our ONENESS by celebrating the variety that the world has to offer.

I have personally tasted all of the above dishes in their vegetarian forms and do urge you to try them too.....

Lastly tweaking a word in the lyric of the song One Love by Bob Marley....

One Love, One Heart Let's EAT together and feel all right

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Kati Roll Company

Its been a while this blog is updated. But its a pleasure to update it with a small gem of a place called The Kati Roll Company. Kati Roll is found on street corners of Calcutta but its sumptuous fillings and flavors capture the true essence of Indian Fast food.

Started in around 2002 in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan - it now spread its flavors to 49 West 39th Street and also 24 Poland Street in London.

The one in the Village is a quaint little place with its bright orange interiors and hung on its walls are posters from old Bollywood films. Upon entering the restuarant the aroma of the sizzling fillers like the paneer, chicken, beef and shami kabab on the grill reminiscence of the Indian Street Food stalls.

For an Indian or someone from a country where Street Food Vendors are prominent it is a short trip of nostalgia and to people from other countries an introduction to the local lifestyle and flavors.

This is the description of the roll as mentioned on their website :

"The signature dish of The Kati Roll Company, Kati Rolls, are made by wrapping warm paratha, a type of Indian flat bread, around a variety of meats, vegetables and cheese. Each ingredient is marinated in a proprietary blend of Indian spices, creating a distinctive taste available nowhere else. Diners may choose from a select few fillings like beef, chicken, lamb, egg, cheese or potatoes to construct a Kati Roll to their liking. The finished Kati Roll is wrapped and served hot, making it a satisfying meal that can be enjoyed virtually anywhere."

The success of this place lies in its simplicity of the menu, the personal touch of its cooks and waiters - who after a few visits recognize you and are warm and friendly. They customize the roll and its spice level as per your request.

Also it is considered a value Indian meal as it is cheap and filling. A pair of Kati Rolls is enough to fill any hungry stomach. Open late at nights on weekends it is thronged by young party revelers after they have danced away those calories at the clubs.

So folks whenever you are in New York do visit this joint and feel free to call me as I will join you too. - Ceedy

Sources -
The Kati Roll Company
Midtown Lunch
Rampant Reviews

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Its been a while for an update here - but we hope to be back on track.

Most places all around the world are famous for small quaint eateries with great food. You can find these places littered in almost every town or city and they are sometimes as or more popular than the big restaurants serving lavish meals.

The advantages of these eateries is the personal service, simple menu, cheaper food and on top of the list the food there is freaking tasty.

The other fun element is interaction with local people on one to one basis at these places allowing for exchange of ideas, culture, habits and quirks.

The first place that I frequent is in the Greenwich Village on MacDougal Street between Bleecker and 3rd Street. It is a small 8' x 20' place called Mamoun's (link to the place) established before I was even born in 1971.

The place serves delicious hot Falafels for very cheap. You have an option of sitting in the semi dark quaint cafe like setting or simply stand outside and eat it enjoying the "cute" crowd that hangs out in the village.

Falafel is basically a Middle Eastern fried ball or patty made of fava and/or chickpeas. It can be had as a sandwich or as an appetizer.

In the sandwich for they are encased in the pita like bread that acts as a pocket, topped with salad, picked vegetables, hot sauce and smeared with tahini sauces.

Here is a very detailed info on falafel.

Going back to Mamouns, the menu is a simple fare with lots of options if you are a vegetarian.

There is a selection from Baba Ghannouj, Hummus, Small Grape Leaves, Makdoos, Tabbouleh, Spinach Roll and Mamouns Salad.

For the non vegetarians there is a variety of Lamb and Chicken dishes like the Shesh Kebab or Steak.

You can check out the detailed menu here.

Also if you have a sweet tooth simply dont miss the Baklawa - A sweet flaky made with walnuts or Tukish Delight - A light flowery flavoured caramel with pistachio nuts.

So the next time you are partying late night in New York City or simply looking for a delicious tasty lunch do visit it. And if you let me know an hour and a half in advance I can surely meet you there - anytime.

Link on Google Maps

Monday, December 29, 2008

Holly Jolly Christmas

Hope you are having a wonderful time and enjoying your holidays.
Sharing with you some traditional goodies that are part of the American culture for the Christmas Holidays -

1) Eggnog - Eggnog is a sweetened dairy-based beverage made with milk, cream, sugar, beaten eggs (which gives it a frothy texture), and flavoured with ground cinnamon and nutmeg; alcoholic versions also exist with the addition of various liquors, such as brandy, rum, and whiskey.

2) Cookies of all different kinds - do read the post on Monster Cookies posted here few months back.

3) Fruitcake - is a cake made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts and spices, and optionally soaked in spirits.

4) Gingerbread - is a sweet that can take the form of a cake or a cookie in which the predominant flavors are ginger and raw sugar.

5) Puddings

* Plum Pudding - is the dessert traditionally served on Christmas day.
* Persimmon Pudding - is another traditional American dessert made with persimmons - known to the ancient Greeks as "the fruit of the gods" and is the edible fruit

6) Pies

* Apple Pie
* Mince Pie - contains minced meat with apple as a base.
* Pecan Pie
* Pumpkin Pie
* Sweet Potato Pie

7) Meats like Roast Turkey and Ham

8) Drinks include Hot Chocolate, Apple Cider, Wines, Champagne

Have fun and a happy new year to you all