Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chellas, Little India...A Prelude to Big India :D

Bhelpuri at Chellas

Super Awesome-O!! Yours truly is headed to India next week!!! How cool is that?!?

Listed right on top of Cariño's list-of-must-list-and-must-see-list, I have been entranced by this mystical land of heat, history and curries for as long as I can remember, and am so keyed up about finally going there!

Of coz, no self respecting foodie will embark on a culinary quest without the adequate prep work. Baby G gave me the perfect induction to India with a field trip to...Little India! Next to the real deal, Lil' Indie's probably my 2nd most fav places to visit, I put it down to the bright lights and color, the endless energy, the festive vibe, & of coz, the curries.

Chella's a half restaurant, half fast food hybrid of a joint, and they serve up some of the seldom seen snacks of India, one of which was Bhelpuri, a joyful combination of puffed rice piled with tomato, cucumber, yogurt and, from what I can make out, more fried stuff.

I absolutely love this plate of crunch, simply coz I have never seen or tried it before. If this is but a taste of more to come, I'm in for good times.

Manchurian Idlis

Indian version of Chinese food on a hotplate. Sweet, sour, sizzlingly good.

Trio of Thosais

The thosais were a tad disappointing, as they weren't as huge and good as the ones we get at the coffeeshops. That's alright, I'm sure my trip to India will right all wrong.

Oh India, Land of beauty and curries, here I come!

Chocs, just Coz...

Royce' Choc Disks

Dark, Milk & White Selection

Happy new Year 2008!!! Ho Chi Minh Take 2

Chinatown Street Vendor

I decided to usher in the New Year in Ho Chi Minh city. Why? Why not? :)

New Year's Eve was spent in Chinatown, checking out the grub. Chinatown it is, teaming with food stalls selling familiar food, Vietnamese versions of Chinese food, if you will.

Carrot Cake

Most familiar of all was this carrot cake, Vietnam style i.e. small serving with lots of roughage and Nước Mấm at the side. Yum-mee.

Vietnamese our friend...especially in the morning...

Bánh xèo

Ok, here's where I spice things up. There was something on my list which, I am ashamed to say, I missed out on my previous visit. I atoned for my folly by rightfully hunting down the one great place for Bánh xèo, the only shop locals swear by. So sacred and secretive is the place I cannot reveal its location to you, for I have destroyed the tiny scrap of paper where the location was scribbled on. Yes, I lost it.

Why Bánh xèo? Well, I love crepes, and Bánh xèo is basically a crepe made of rice flour, tumeric, shrimps, fatty pork, onions, and sometimes, mushrooms, fried in coconut oil. Wait, that's not all. It is then wrapped in lettuce and loads of various local herbs, and dipped in
Nước Mấm or sweet fermented peanut butter sauce.

Crepe in peanut butter, what's there not to love? Have I mentioned the peanut butter? :D

Happy 2008!

Hot Stuff *Sizzle*

Volcano on a Plate

Weekend cooking with my fav green spinach noodles. I threw in lotsa veg for the fibre, and in the name of balance and color, sprinkled chopped red chilli padi to offset the green and toasted cashews for added crunch. And no, it is not too much chilli padi.

Let the Avalanche Begin!

Mum's Mee Goreng

Mum makes a mean mee goreng, or Malay Fried noodles. She prefers hers with bean sprout, added at the last minute to cook them slightly and retain their crunch and add sweetness to the dish. And of coz, an egg. I always have noodles with egg.

Red Power!