Oh,Oh! Oh,Oh! It’s Off to the World, We Go!

We can Travel Yeah! We are allowed to go to all sorts of places, not the USA ( as we won’t let them in , but not sure I want to go there at the moment anyway). Oh,we are allowed to go to New Zealand, but there is a catch, they won’t let anyone in ! A long way to go only to be turned around!

So virtual Travel is for the moment at an end, but I couldn’t resist just one more. Going through old photos and more I found a few from a bygone age. When my kids were commuting from Houston Texas to the UK after 5 dreadful flights via Amsterdam on KLM, I finally relented and let them fly via London on what had been Texas International, and then Continental ( now United). The joke was always lunch or dinner, the Same Old, Same Old, CHICKEN OR BEEF, always the same and when you flew that route as often as we did it got very old, very fast. The best part of the flight was scones and Cornish cream for afternoon tea!

To celebrate our relative freedom, we are still not venturing out and about more than we have to, but tonight we had only our second take away from Carousel. Carousel is a restaurant down the road from us, we were about to explore and then we were locked down, but meanwhile I have been supporting them in their efforts to feed NHS and homeless. And they Deliver! Even better !

Carousel features visiting chefs and until Mid July it is a Mexican Chef. Many will say, oh, spicy, or carb overload, or fatty, greasy and other such ideas, but from our many many visits to Mexico, we beg to differ. From Street food to top end restaurants, the food is delicious, and yes they do use chillies but for us we miss Mexican cuisine as we only had very excellent food whilst there. ( TexMex is not Mexican). Hence, when we saw that Carousel was offering a Mexican dinner, we invited the willowy Brunette for a socially distanced dinner.

The restaurant duly called and delivered our dinner and I had already download the instructions. Lots and lots of little pots and some bigger ones as well, all labelled with numbers, but weirdly most were number 3, so took a lot of deciphering. ( and I think that many of the numbers were wrong).

Ceviche

So the bottom line is, dessert, Chocolate Mousse was lovely, As for the rest, the Totopos, were like blue cardboard, the Ceviche was OK, the grilled corn broth, seriously short changed here, as I had to add bouillon to make three small servings.

Pork PUBIL

But the biggest disappointment of all was the COCHINITA PUBIL, this traditional pork dish from the Yucatan would normally be very slow cooked pork, cooked in a pit barbecue. Obviously in the modern kitchen this is not possible, but Diana Kennedy, the worlds leading authority on Mexican cuisine, states that the meat has to be cooked for about 5 hours, so it falls off the bone, is then shredded, with all the juices from the pan poured over it. It says NOTHING about leave fat and gristle in. After the first few mouthfuls, when the willowy Brunette nearly threw up, I’m afraid the rest of it went straight into the bin, but not before I photographed THE FAT AND GRISTLE. And the corn Tortillas really seemed stale.

A plate of FAT AND GRISTLE

So sorry, Carousel, won’t be using you again !

100 DAYS! June 30/2020

Apparently it is 100 days since we began our incarceration! Makes me think of people in prison, for whatever reason. What do they do,what do they think? Although we were in strict Lockdown for what 10 weeks, 12 weeks, it is at the point where I don’t really remember. Waking up, thinking “What day is it”. But can you imagine, being in a situation where it doesn’t matter what day it is, I just can’t. At least despite having our freedom severely curtailed, we could buy groceries, wine, beer, in fact we could buy almost everything we wanted/ needed and more.

I actually ventured out, all by myself today, the third time since mid March ! A very strange feeling indeed. I didn’t go far, but it was eerily quiet ( and I live in the centre of London) some shops were open and some closed permanently I think. The Beautiful Paddington Street Gardens, has gone from spring green and primroses to summer colours, where did that time go ?

I wish I had thought of dinner before venturing forth as I subsequently decided on Bang Bang Chicken. This brought me back to Houston Texas, where in a restaurant aptly called Houstons, my favourite salad was Bang Bang Chicken, actually it wasn’t called that, it was just grilled chicken with peanuts sauce, it was sweet , nutty and spicy all in one. On returning to the UK I discovered that the IVY, the restaurant of the stars ( and Rich and Famous and me) has Bang Bang Chicken in the menu !

The late AA Gill, published a couple of recipe books ( he might have done more) one from Caprice ( sister to the Ivy) and one from the IVY. The Ivy recipe version is OK but not quite right and other versions that I have found are also not quiet right, so I combined a couple, missed out a few bits and bobs and came up with my own.

For me the problem was that the recipe requires PEANUT BUTTER, preferably smooth and unadulterated. When we moved from Texas to Belgium I had a problem, then with Peanut Butter. Whilst in Texas, my kids became Americanised, demanding peanut butter and Jelly ( Jam to you and me) or peanut butter on Celery sticks, also with jam. The jam is essential, as PNB can be very cloying. In Texas I bought a brand called Laura Scudders, it was unadulterated, whereas Skippy, which is the best selling of PNB in CHINA , and it contains a whole load of Junk, corn syrup, sugar, soy protein, salt oils and other added extras.

I resorted to making my own. Very simple, buy, salted roasted peanuts, purée them in a food processor, sometimes necessary to add a few drops of oil to aid processing.

However, being extremely lazy, I didn’t want to go out and about just to buy peanuts, or peanut butter, but I had red skin peanuts. Roasted them in the oven, rubbed off the skins, puréed them, hence my PNB was ready.

To make Bang Bang Chicken you will need:- quantities are a bit hit and miss, depending on how many people you are making it for !

But for two people

  1. 6 chicken thighs, skin on, roasted left to cool
  2. 100 grms smooth peanut butter
  3. 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
  4. a tablespoon of each, sesame oil and vegetable oil ( I use olive)
  5. A tsp e@ch of 5 spice powder and star anise powder ( both optional just gives a bit more Umph to the sauce. If unavailable add some chilli powder.
  6. 2 carrots peeled and sliced finely
  7. 2 spring onions cut into strips
  8. 1/4 cucumber cut into strips
  9. A small handful of sesame seeds
  10. Optional extras, cherry tomatoes, sliced avocados
  11. Small amount of rice vinegar

Of course you can be really lazy and use bought rotisserie chicken, cut into bits. However if you are cooking the chicken yourself, thighs are tastier than breast but after cooking remove the skin and de-bone and shred the chicken.

Put the peanut butter into a heatproof bowl and stand in a pan of Hot water for about 5 minutes for the butter to soften, remove from heat, stir in the chilli sauce and spices and then the oils, stir until well blended ( May use a whisk or handheld blender). Make sure that Not A Drop of water gets into the PNB as the merest drop, will make it seize up ( just like chocolate) and there is no salvation to start over. ( me? Of course I heat mine gently in the microwave, no water there then).

Put the vegetables in the vinegar to soak for 5 minutes, drain. I then use a bed of lettuce, arrange my vegetables and chicken on the salad, , spoon over the sauce and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.

Another point to remember is, Do Not Store either the Peanut Butter, nor any remaking sauce in the refrigerator.

Week Fifteen, Saturday and Sunday June 27/ 28/ 2020

The weekend is here, not that it makes a whole world of difference these days, days roll into weeks and weeks roll into months and here we are,the longest day of the year has already been and gone! I wake early, have a peep out of one eye, to see if the sun is already up and if the bamboo is fluttering in a gentle breeze or really swaying in the wind. Then I think, oh what day is it, and sometimes have to really think hard, but now that the golf course is back open it does form some structure, get up now, or time to have a cup of tea and read the paper.

This week I discovered another source of food online. Chalk Stream foods, is a fish company in Hampshire raising trout. They offer whole trout gutted and vacuumed packed alongside fillets, smoked trout and pâté, all from fish raised the ” the Gin Clear waters of their chalk stream rivers., apparently used by chefs like Jamie Oliver and Yotem Ottolenghi alike. Again their service and delivery was exemplary and will use them again. What interested me was their fresh trout, with large trout at £5 each and free delivery over £40, I ordered 10 and as they were already packed for the freezer, in 8 of them went.

Saturday night, Himself is cooking and so is cooking the trout. Not an awful lot to do, but trying out our new mini gas BBQ. We shall have them with salads and the anchovy butter that is sitting in the freezer.

Upon sorting out, foods the other day, I had forgotten the celeriac that I had bought with the intention of using it for celeriac chips or a whole baked celeriac or even along with carrots, roasted root vegetables, but no that is a winter dish, I needed a summer one.

I decided upon Celeriac Remoulade.

Remoulade is a French cold sauce based on mayonnaise , similar to tartare sauce, but sometimes is flavoured with curry, or paprika, can also have anchovies and capers added. In Louisiana it is used a lot with seafood especially shrimp and can be quite spicy.

However, I made Celeriac Remoulade, and here is what you need :-

  1. 1 medium size celeriac peeled and grated
  2. Juice 2 lemons
  3. 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  4. 3/4 cup mayonnaise ( bought mayonnaise will work just fine)

Mix the grated celeriac with the lemon juice straight away as it has a tendency to go brown rather quickly. Add the mayonnaise and the Dijon mustard and mix well.. serve on a bed of lettuce. Can be stored covered in the refrigerator for several days. Easy and tasty and Celeriac is a great source of Vitamin C and for dieter low calorie, fat free. Great for adding to soups and is good with other winter root vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips.

Week Fourteen, Midweek June 21-24; 2020

This week has been amazingly beautiful, wall to wall Sunshine ( well in London at least) not set to last of course, but wonderful whilst it lasts. The plants on my terrace have never been so beautiful, Oleander in Bloom, Hydrangeas in Bloom along with Geraniums, and others the names of which I haven’t a clue! Normally, we have white fly, loving the new tender shoots on all the Bay Trees, but this year, Ants in love with likewise the new leaves on the Holly bushes! A constant battle. Yesterday I googled, Ants and came up with, Bicarbonate of Soda mixed with icing sugar. The Ants apparently have a sweet tooth and love the icing sugar, and the bicarbonate will readily despatch them to Ant Heaven. Then along with diluted washing up liquid will do the same to those hiding in the bushes. I wait for the results.

With hot weather ones thoughts go to Ice Cream. I’m not a great lover of Ice Cream, the only one I think I would crave is Pecans Pralines and Cream. Himself who has a really sweet tooth would probably eat any. When #1 daughter moved to New Delhi, I remember going with her and small grandson, (18 months) to an ice cream/ sorbet shop. He wouldn’t have anything to do with it. Fast forward to Mexico City and Neveria Roxy, it was one of the delights that we would go with the then two and then three small ones, it was a family owned establishment and they knew us well. Now when they come to stay I make ice Lollies, relatively healthy ones, a mixture of Frozen raspberries,Water Melon and apple juice.

I had last week, some mangoes that were crying out to be eaten or used. Mango Sorbet was the answer.

  1. 3 mangos
  2. 200 grms icing sugar
  3. Juice 2 lemons or limes

Peel and roughly chop the mangos and,put in a food processor along with the icing sugar and lemon/lime juice. Blend to a purée. Transfer to a plastic container and put into a freezer, stir a couple of times during the freezing process. When frozen put on a lid on the container.

Soften a little before serving.

Of course it may also be made using an Ice Cream machine.

Another use for soft mangos is Mango Chilli Aioli. A spice sauce to be served with shrimp along with course as a dip with chips.

  1. 1 cup of frozen mango chunks
  2. Juice of a lime
  3. 1 tsp caster sugar
  4. 1tsp smoked paprika
  5. 1tsp curry powder
  6. 1tsp fine salt
  7. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  8. Pinch black pepper ¡
  9. 1 red chilli seeded and chopped
  10. A cup of mayonnaise ( bought or homemade)

Peel the mango and cut into chunks, and freeze. When frozen put them along with everything except the mayonnaise, process until well mixed. Add the mayonnaise and blend. Put into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Maybe kept refrigerated for three to four days.

Of course you can be Really Really lazy, even more so than the above. If you have anything like ready made, harissa and or chilli paste simply put it in with the Mayo and Mango, taste and add lemon/ lime salt pepper to taste.

Week Fourteen, Sunday June 21st

Sunday once more, sounds a bit like the Mamas and Papas, Yesterday once more. But it is Fathers Day, and Willowy Brunette ( she who doesn’t cook) has gone into baking, baking cakes for us and for her nephews and niece . She made her father a scrumptious Rum Raisin cake, and for the little ones a Beetroot and ginger, which they loved ( just don’t tell them it is beetroot).

Sunday, means neighbourhood Cocktail Hour and today we are actually going somewhere! About 20 yards or so further afield. Up onto a roof terrace, so we can look over the whole of London. We occupy here, two floors but next door they are on three floors, hence a real roof terrace, whereas ours is long theirs is square and so we can still be socially distant but without having to shout across the void. Exciting !

Sunday is also Story time for the three older grandchildren, each week they give Himself a character that they want to be incorporated into a story, I’m not sure what they are this week, something along the lines of a Crazy politician, a Dumb Bat and a Rainbow Princess! Try putting those into an interesting kids story ! Himself works all week on the tale after, Miss Tess declared on the second week, when asked ” It was Not his best “! What a put down from a ten year old ! Since then he has worked hard to come up with the goods.

Meanwhile, I’m on the hook for dinner and it is once again fish ( excuse the pun there) and it is salmon. As it is cocktails and story night I have to be ready with dinner at 8.30 pronto. Therefore Fish it is, especially as I had a delivery from IshFish.

Until today, my favourite way of cooking and serving Salmon, was to pan fry, skin side down ( crispy skin) and spread frozen Anchovy butter over it to serve. That was all about to change and for a couple of reasons.

Firstly I bumped into a foodie neighbour , obviously not literally, we were almost on opposite sides of the street, but he told me where to buy relatively inexpensive Porcini Mushrooms, they are from an English company via Amazon, so I bought a tub ( 500 grams of dried mushrooms, is a lot, but just checked at other outlets, powder almost £10.00 per 100 grams at Waitrose, more expensive at Whole foods)

I had read somewhere about using Porcini dust with Salmon and here was my chance.

So! What to do? Take a few of the wonderful dried mushrooms and with the motor running on your blender ( and a blender does work better than a food processor, or probably even better a coffee grinder )drop in the dried Porcini, with the motor running. Immediately put your hand over the spout, you don’t want to lose any of this precious dust, let the motor run. Tip the jug upside down over a sieve and shake gently into a bowl. Then with a paint brush or mushroom brush, dust out the blender, so as not to lose any. Any bits that have not been ground into dust, DO NOT THROW AWAY, keep in a jar until you need some extra flavouring, in a soup .

Then very simply, I used it by pressing some onto the skin side of my salmon. I have to buy salmon with the skin on as frying it skin side down is the only way to go, you get crispy skin and so easy to see when the salmon is cooked, but not over cooked. And then I just cooked my salmon as usual in a frying pan with a small amount of Olive oil.

I recently did some crowd funding to finance some Young Spanish farmers, consequently I bought 5 kilos of the most wonderful lemons ( currently being preserved for future use) and 5 litres of wonderful olive oil!

Week Thirteen, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday ( June17, 18, 19)

Tempus, Fugit, again, week Thirteen midway through June, almost at Mid Summers day. I absolutely love this time of year, light evenings, ( though I have to say not really appreciating them this year) but the mornings! Light at 4 am, light and then sunshine streaming in, just wonderful.

I have made Tabbouleh this week, one of my favourite salads, but for me it has to be made with curly parsley, which seems to have fallen out of favour with the English public. However, Watts Farm, my new delivery source, gave me a choice, Flat or Curly.

Most recipes for Tabbouleh say, use flat leaf parsley, but for me, I assume that the first time I ate it, it was made with curly.

It is a salad from the Middle East and as such there are many variations, some use oodles of bulgar wheat, as in Turkey and Armenia, whereas in Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Egypt much more parsley, but honestly try and see how you like it. Personally, my preference is curly parsley and lots of it.

Therefore this is a list of ingredients but quantities vary according to taste :-

  1. 1 cup of bulgar wheat
  2. A large bunch of parsley finely chopped
  3. 1 large tomato diced
  4. Bunch of spring ( green onions chopped)
  5. 100 mls good olive oil
  6. 100 mls fresh lemon juice
  7. Cloves of garlic crushed and chopped ( optional)
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. 1/4 cucumber diced ( optional)
  10. Dozen or so fresh mint leaves ( optional)

Soak the bulgar in 2-3 cups of boiling water. Leave it to cool, then drain.

Mix together all the vegetables then add the bulgar. Stir in the oil and lemon juice, taste and add salt to taste.

This salad keeps very well for several days covered in the refrigerator. I often make a bowl of it for me but Himself usually declares it is too much of that green stuff !

Goes well with grilled fish or chicken or just have it by itself. I also added, very un-conventionally , chopped avocado, simply because I happen to really like avocados!

Week Thirteen, Monday and Tuesday

A new delivery service! It arrived on time and as planned. What a delivery service, I could keep it to myself but that would be really mean and no good for them. Let me shout it Loud and Clear.

WATTS FARM, was Great.

And will use them again, delivery on time and to my front door. All beautifully packed and in great condition. Not just fruit and veg but a much much more! I over indulged in FRESH YEAST , but it will freeze, or so Google tells me. When did in last see fresh yeast ? Honestly can not remember.

And, me who Loves grocery shopping, has declared it is Passé. What with Watts Farm, Ish Fish, Costco online groceries and for other stuff, Waitrose delivers the heavy stuff, wine comes from Portugal, so I am sorted, need never go grocery shopping again! Well not strictly true, in 3 months I have been to Marks and Spencer 4 times, to their Flagship stores on Oxford Street, But social distancing is something that they do not observe and none of the staff, who are in abundance, wear masks, so it is seriously only on a needs must basis. Then literally across the street,convenience stores for fresh milk, up until now never busy. Then having seen photos in the press of the crowds, and I mean crowds waiting to enter retail stores, just fills me with horror! What planet have these people been living in for the last three months?

So what have we been up to , since last posting?

Another banana cake recipe ( how many can you have?) and I have to say, that so far this is my favourite, but I think we will stop buying bananas, banana cake, banana ice cream and a whole lot of them in the freezer! Himself is just not eating them fast enough ! And another cauliflower cheese recipe and likewise , I really like this one. Raspberry Jam, simply because I need freezer space, ( too many bananas) so frozen raspberries had to go! And a Chinese spice mixture, a secret not to be divulged!Oh, and I forgot, Mangoes, also needed using and so now we have Mango Sorbet !

Moving swiftly on, here is what you will need for an alternative Cauliflower Cheese:-

  1. 1 cauliflower, leaves removed, florets cut into bits about the size of a teaspoon
  2. 50 grams butter
  3. 200 mls each of milk and cream
  4. 1heaped tablespoon cornflour
  5. 1Tbs Dijon mustard
  6. 75 grams Panko breadcrumbs
  7. 100 grams grated cheese, I never use cheddar, but Emmental, but use whatever you are used to
  8. Some Parmesan to sprinkle on top ( optional)
  9. A few cherry tomatoes for garnish

Cook the cauliflower, and as usual I cook it in the microwave.

Again using a microwave make a sauce by mixing together the cornflour, cream, milk and butter and heat at one minute intervals in the microwave on high. Stir in between. Again if it goes lumpy, whisk or beat and the lumps will disappear . Add the grated cheese. Add the cooked cauliflower and the Panko breadcrumbs .

Pour all into an oven proof dish top with the Parmesan and tomatoes if using and either, just put under the grill to brown, or put to one side until ready to use and reheat in the oven until golden brown.

A good alternative for a meat free dinner.

Week Thirteen, Day One Sunday ( and Saturday).

Saturday is the day that Himself cooks, and making a change from Indian we moved onto Bali. Actually have never been to Bali. One always has the impression that it is full of Australians, but then again, so is Earls Court, London. So maybe I’m doing it an injustice.

However before we move on to his dinner and cooking skills , Virtual Travel sprang to mind! The kids have abandoned and Himself would if I would only let him! This week we went on our Honeymoon to Amsterdam, as did John and Yoko in March 1969. Unfortunately we didn’t get room service ( good staff are really very hard to come by at the moment) but we did have the flowers and the guitar, but no serenading, ( but then again maybe his singing voice is not up to John’s.)

His Balinese dinner was a seafood curry, ( so in reality I suppose not so far from our Indian week.) The only item we did not have in stock was squid and the best that our local food hall could come up with was frozen squid rings, at least they were not coated in a dubious looking batter.

He noted that there were an awful lot of ingredients for the sauce, but then after all, it is the sauce that makes the dish.

For four people you will need:-

  1. 4 fish filets, we used frozen Tilapia
  2. +/-200 grams fresh or frozen squid
  3. 12-16 fresh or frozen large raw shrimp, peeled
  4. +/- 150 mls fish or vegetable stock
  1. 2 lemon grass stalks cut into chunks
  1. 4 Kaffir lime leaves ( optional, if not them use the zest of the lime)
  1. 400 ml can coconut milk

For the Sauce

  1. 2 tsp crushed black pepper
  2. 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  3. 1 tsp sesame seeds
  4. 1 onion peeled and chopped
  5. Chunk of ginger peeled and chopped roughly
  6. 4 cloves garlic
  7. 4 red chillies
  8. 1 tbsp palm sugar ( or just use brown sugar, not the same at all, But !)
  9. 3+ tbsp oil

Put all of the sauce ingredients into a blender and process. If too thick add a little more oil.

Cut fish into bite size chunks. Put all of the seafood into a bowl and smother it with some of the sauce.

Heat some oil in a largish pan ( we used a wok), when hot add the rest of the paste and fry for about 3 minutes. Add the lime leaves and lemon grass and half of the stock, when hot add the fish, cook gently for about 3 minutes, add the coconut milk along with the prawns and squid, cook for another 2 minutes. If too thick add some more of the stock. Season to taste.

Serve with rice.

Week Twelve, days Five and Six ( Thursday and Friday)

Annapurna

As my previous blog, it is an Indian meal again. Am I not being imaginative or am I just on a roll ?

Trekking in Nepal

I don’t know, but the other day I de-frosted a rack of lamb and then thought again, what I could do with it .

I found a recipe for Lamb Chops, which is something I never buy but a rack of Lamb is quickly converted into Lamb chops, which I did.

The original recipe called for two lots of marinade and an overnight marinating. I did neither. I made a marinade and left the chops in it for about 6 hours or so, ie. I did it in the morning and cooked it early evening.

For 2 people you will need:-

1rack of Lamb or 6-8 chops depending on size

For the Marinade

  1. 3 tsp cumin seeds
  2. 2tsp coriander Powder
  3. 2 tsp Garam Masala
  4. 3 crushed cloves of garlic ( or more if you really like garlic)
  5. A lump of ginger cut finely or squeezed through a garlic press , or for these two items ready bought garlic and ginger paste, about 3 tsps
  6. 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
  7. Juice of two limes ( or 2 tbs of lime juice)
  8. 2/3 chopped red and or green chillies
  9. Salt to taste
  10. 1 tbs oil
  11. 2 tbs of either palm sugar or just use some brown sugar
  12. Some butter to grill
  13. Mint or coriander leaves to serve.

Put all of the marinade ingredients into a blender and blitz to a paste. Coat the chops with this and cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Heat your grill on high, make sure that the chops are well coated, put in a baking sheet and brush them with some melted butter or ghee.

Grill the chops for about 4 minutes each side, more or less depending on taste.

Leave them to rest for a couple of minutes and serve on a bed of rice with the coriander or mint leaves.Or as I did with potatoes and beans.

Bike riding In Delhi
The daily commute in Aurangabad
A typical laundry in Delhi

Week Twelve, Days Three and Four

This week seems to have so far an Indian theme, not quiet sure why but it does.

I decided it was time to sort out the vegetables languishing in my refrigerator and use them up. A little bit of this and a little bit of that and so came to mind to make a vegetable curry. Very easy to make and useful if you have lots of bits of vegetables which need using rather than go out and buy an assortment.

The recipe which I came up with is called PAU BHAJI and is very much a staple of the Indian State of Maharashtra which is where Mumbai is located. We were actually in Mumbai more or less by chance a few years ago en route back to the UK from Delhi. We ended up in Mumbai simply because I had insisted that we went to Aurangabad.

I had read that near Aurangabad were the most amazing caves and also the worlds largest monolithic structure. Himself was less than keen but certainly did not regret the detour. #1 daughter arranged through her travel business contacts for us to be collected at the airport and driven to the caves. The Ajanta caves are actual caves carved into the rocks and for the most part, Buddhist, the Ellora caves are not really caves as they were built or carved downwards, took 200 hundred years to carve ( who had the Master Plan ?) these caves represent, Hinduism, Buddhism and the Jain religion. Both caves are World Heritage Sites. They were truly amazing, and this is how we ended up in Mumbai.

I have to admit that we did not eat Indian Street food after #1 daughter ( the willowy blonde ) had been hospitalised , not from eating dodgy food, but just handling very dirty money, so not wanting to experience an Indian hospital we avoided such delights.

However PAU BHAJI is Indian street food and originated in Maharashtra. It is a vegetarian stew and eaten with a soft white bread roll ( this bit has to be a British import from the time of the Raj). Judging from shopping with my daughter at the wonderful sounding supermarket ( more like local bazaar) Honey Money Top, the selection of vegetables was very sad to say the least. Refrigeration and refrigerated trucks are not the norm and so fruit and vegetables are left out in the mid day sun ( think Noel Coward, Mad Dogs and Englishman) and are soon wilting and are long past their best by date ( not that they have one ).

Consequently, I believe that this meal/ fast food dish was simply created to use the vegetables before they went off, and as 42% of Mumbai’s population live in slums, good hygienic home cooking will just not be possible. Nonetheless, it is a very good option, if you like curries, to use up your vegetables.

Street Life in India

Therefore to make your PAU BHAJI you will need a combination of the following:-

  1. Cauliflower
  2. Green or red or yellow peppers
  3. Green beans
  4. Large onion
  5. Spinach, or kale
  6. Peas, use frozen
  7. Potatoes just a couple
  • Chop all of the vegetables, place in a large pan and cover with boiling water and simmer until the vegetables are soft, mash them somewhat, as this is eaten on the run with a bread roll it is mushy.
  • Add
    1. 100 grams butter
      A squirt tomato paste
      2 tsp chilli powder
      1tsp cumin
      1tsp turmeric
      2 tsp curry powder
      1tsp Garam Masala
      Salt to taste

    Keep simmering until it is a homogeneous mixture. To serve, add a dollop of butter and decorate with chopped coriander and a lemon slice. It is unlikely that the latter would indeed be added to Street Rood, but if serving at home it just makes it look nicer. Traditionally, served with a soft bread roll, but here, try some sourdough instead.