Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

eG Food Blog: Percyn (2011)

Foodblog

  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
122 replies to this topic

#1 percyn

percyn
  • society donor
  • 2,597 posts

Posted 23 October 2011 - 08:48 PM

Alcuin set a high bar indeed via posts of succulent braised dishes so perfectly executed that I found myself craving them in 95F weather :laugh: .


And now for something a little different ...

The plan is for this to be a travelblog of my visit to India, where I am visiting friends and family and conducting some business.

I hope to provide a "behind the scenes" look at a typical Parsi household (if there is such a thing) and the various culinary delights that can be found in and around Bombay / Mumbai.

We will visit street vendors as well as fine dining establishments. We will also get to visit a "hill station" (Panchgani) which is where Bombayites escape the 90+F year-around temperatures. The tranquility is also a much needed relief from the hustle and bustle of the city.

This time of the year, Diwali or the festival of lights is celebrated, so I hope to be able to capture of few images of that as well.

Above all, I would like the blog to be interactive but ask for your patience as my response times will be subject to timezone and internet connectivity as I hop between 3 locations.

#2 Hassouni

Hassouni
  • participating member
  • 2,005 posts
  • Location:DC Area/London/Beirut

Posted 23 October 2011 - 08:54 PM

Really looking forward to this, can't wait!

#3 percyn

percyn
  • society donor
  • 2,597 posts

Posted 23 October 2011 - 09:17 PM

So let me start this excursion by giving you a first person perspective and walk you through my trip starting with the day of departure. Shortly after waking, my mind starting to think about what breakfast food items I would miss during the 3 weeks I would be traveling. Would it be sausage, egg and cheese on Texas toasts? Truffle omelettes? Pancakes?... the list was getting longer and time was running out. So I made a quick decision to grab some fluffy McDonald's hotcakes for breakfast while running for errands.

A little last minute packing and it was time for lunch. Met a group of co-workers at Han Dynasty in Royersford for my weekly Sichuan food fix. For those who are not familiar with Han, he is a local character who operates 3 Sichuan restaurants in the area and the thing that makes him
famous - or infamous - is that he really speaks his might. When Craig Laban, the Philadelphia Inquirer food critic visited one of his restuarants, he recanted his "encounter" with Han where he was told not to order the "Americanized" items from the menu because - IT WAS SHIT! His refreshingly honest attitude along with a nack for seeking out some of the best Sichuan chefs in the area has made him somewhat of a culinary celebrity.

057-1600.jpg

With my belly satisfied, I went back home to wait to await the car which was taking me to the airport. Upon arriving at the airport and checking in, I found myself resuming my hunt for food which I would miss during my travels. So I stopped at the Legal Seafoods restaurant at the airport and ordered a lobster roll.

060-1600.jpg

#4 percyn

percyn
  • society donor
  • 2,597 posts

Posted 23 October 2011 - 09:25 PM

My flightpath took me from PHL-BOS-FRA-BOM mostly on Lufthansa, just over 24hrs door to door. I am glad I had that lobster roll as the lounge at Boston and Frankfurt were devoid of any culinary delights and while the in flight meals were edible, I did find myself whether I was hungry enough to eat, which is very atypical for me.

I had documented what they served on the flight, but alas, I left my brand new Canon camera on the plane. The camera Gods don't seem to be with me as I even dropped my Nikon D-SLR and the lense seems to have lost its autofocus. So I appologize for the quality of the pics as some of them are taken on my iPhone and other via a digital video camera. I plan to buy another camera soon, hopefully half way through the blog. Its hard to plan when you are a guest and don't have access to your own transportation.


A few shots from the plane as we were landing, I believe.

069-1200.jpg


India is a very beautiful country with many virtues, though for those who have not visited Mumbai, or any large city in India - the first few hours can be a shock to all senses. If you think time square is crowded, multiply that by a factor of 3. The cabbies and pedestrians make their New York counterparts seem like law abiding saints. The most important and functional part on a vehicle is not its brake but rather the horn, which is constantly tweeting in the background and used as a kind of sonar for nearby vehicles.


I was greeted at the airport by my brother, sister in law and nephew.
Since it was past 2am and I was tired, we headed home for a few hours of shut eye.


One of the great things about the typical Indian household is that the roti is made fresh every day, sometimes couple times a day. As in this case, the roti can be crisped up to create a snack with tea in the morning.

070-1600.jpg

A few hours later we ate Akoori, one of the famous Parsi style eggs for breakfast. The Parsi's are known for their love of eggs and mainly non-veg diet in a country where majority of the population is vegetarian.

071-1600.jpg

#5 percyn

percyn
  • society donor
  • 2,597 posts

Posted 23 October 2011 - 09:33 PM

Getting ready for the 3-5hr car drive to Pune, after which we will proceed to the hill station of Panchgani.

Please feel free to ask any questions that come to mind and suggest things you would like to see featured on the blog.

#6 heidih

heidih
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 10,793 posts
  • Location:Los Angeles

Posted 23 October 2011 - 09:35 PM

Good to see you here. No apologies needed for the photos - your descriptions bring it all to life. For those unfamiliar with roti- can you give us a quick lesson?

#7 Hassouni

Hassouni
  • participating member
  • 2,005 posts
  • Location:DC Area/London/Beirut

Posted 23 October 2011 - 09:52 PM

Yeah, those rotis look very different to the standard chapati or tandoori roti, they almost look like parathas. For the record, I'd like to see as much proper Parsi food as possible (like dansak perhaps?) as I think it's one of the least represented Indian cuisines in the West. Lots of photos of Bombay would be great too!

#8 Honkman

Honkman
  • participating member
  • 316 posts
  • Location:San Diego

Posted 23 October 2011 - 10:07 PM

percyn - could you give some backround information about you ?

#9 percyn

percyn
  • society donor
  • 2,597 posts

Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:01 AM

Actually "roti" is a generic name for wheat flour based bread which is made on a tava.

These would also be called chapati. It is made with wheat flour, a few tbsp of oil and a pinch of salt. The dough is then flattened with a rolling pin and puffed until brown on a cast iron pan.

#10 rarerollingobject

rarerollingobject
  • participating member
  • 777 posts
  • Location:Sydney, Australia.

Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:05 AM

Ooh, percyn! This is gonna be good. :smile:

#11 Mjx

Mjx

    Senior Host

  • host
  • 6,243 posts

Posted 24 October 2011 - 01:22 AM

Looking forward to this, percyn, especially and winter specialities you share!

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Senior Host, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org


#12 LaCook

LaCook
  • participating member
  • 7 posts

Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:27 AM

I am soooo looking forward to this week and you sharing your world with us.

#13 Jenni

Jenni
  • participating member
  • 1,040 posts

Posted 24 October 2011 - 02:35 AM

Looking forward to this, a great week to be in India! Thing are pretty hectic in Allahabad so it must be insane in Mumbai!

Btw, I would argue that it is a fallacy that most of India's population is vegetarian. The figures I have seen range from 30-50% as vegetarians. Of course, for many people meat consumption is limited by income.

Oh, and whilst you are in Maharashtria, will you please eat a vada pav for me? Cannot get satisfcatory ones around here :(

#14 weinoo

weinoo
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 6,486 posts
  • Location:NYC

Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:08 AM

Nice to see you blogging. Were you able to communicate with the airline about your lost camera, and if so, have they found it?
Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"
mweinstein@eGstaff.org
Tasty Travails - My Blog
My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs
Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

#15 Kerry Beal

Kerry Beal
  • participating member
  • 9,531 posts
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:12 AM

I followed your last trip you document on eG with rapt attention. I intend to do the same with this one!

#16 LindaK

LindaK
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 2,899 posts
  • Location:Boston, MA

Posted 24 October 2011 - 04:16 AM

Since you're staying with family and friends, I hope you'll post some kitchen photos. This is going to be fun.


 


#17 sabiha

sabiha
  • participating member
  • 43 posts
  • Location:England

Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:53 AM

I'm looking forward to this, because I've been missing India a lot lately!

I got married there early last year and for our honeymoon we had a road trip from Gujarat down to Mahabaleshwar, stopping along the way in Mumbai, Pune and the hill stations. India is such an amazing place, we made our way stopping to eat at random restaurants every now and then, all of which had food much better than any place here in England and gorging ourselves on the amazing Figs, Strawberries and Mulberries that old ladies were selling on the side of the highway. Needless to say we are saving up so we can head back next year hopefully!

#18 Genkinaonna

Genkinaonna
  • participating member
  • 577 posts
  • Location:Just west of beautiful Portland, Oregon

Posted 24 October 2011 - 10:16 AM

Can't wait to follow along this week! I know almost nothing about the wide and varied world of Indian food, and absolutely nothing about Parsi food, so I'm looking forward to learning lots of new and interesting things. No pressure though :laugh:
If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

#19 percyn

percyn
  • society donor
  • 2,597 posts

Posted 24 October 2011 - 05:21 PM

Yeah, those rotis look very different to the standard chapati or tandoori roti, they almost look like parathas. For the record, I'd like to see as much proper Parsi food as possible (like dansak perhaps?) as I think it's one of the least represented Indian cuisines in the West. Lots of photos of Bombay would be great too!

Yes, Dhansak was on my list of things to make as well as a few other items like Saaus Nu Machi (Fish in sweet sour white sauce).

#20 percyn

percyn
  • society donor
  • 2,597 posts

Posted 24 October 2011 - 05:29 PM

Ooh, percyn! This is gonna be good. :smile:

Thanks Kate, not sure I can come close to the magnificence of your blog.

All - thanks for your kind words, now the pressure is really on :sad: .

#21 percyn

percyn
  • society donor
  • 2,597 posts

Posted 24 October 2011 - 05:43 PM

Looking forward to this, a great week to be in India! Thing are pretty hectic in Allahabad so it must be insane in Mumbai!

Btw, I would argue that it is a fallacy that most of India's population is vegetarian. The figures I have seen range from 30-50% as vegetarians. Of course, for many people meat consumption is limited by income.

Oh, and whilst you are in Maharashtria, will you please eat a vada pav for me? Cannot get satisfcatory ones around here :(

Jenni,
Streets are filled with vendors decorating their stalls with bright shiny lights.

Traffic in Mumbai is crazier than usual.

I am now convinced that India is a country of faith - not just religious faith, but also faith that there is an invisible shield of protection that covers the vehicle you operate as it comes hurling onto incoming traffic and pedestrians play a real life version of the game Frogger.

Yes, you are correct that meat consumption is limited by income, but I am surprised to see that only 30%-50% of Indians are vegetarians.

Jenni, may I request you to be the resident Indian expert and keep me honest through the blog?

ETA: I must have read your mind as I had excellent Vada Pau in Pune yesterday. Will post the pics shortly.

Edited by percyn, 24 October 2011 - 05:53 PM.


#22 percyn

percyn
  • society donor
  • 2,597 posts

Posted 24 October 2011 - 06:13 PM

Tea or Cha / Chai is very common and usually your day begins with a cup followed by a cup every few hours. The afternoon tea also some with some snacks as dinner is usually eaten around 9pm - 10pm.

Each region or even family has a way to make tea. We usually make boil black darjeeling tea with mint and what in Gujrati we call "Leelu Chai", which translates to green tea but actually refers to the green leafs of a plant similar to a mild lemon grass. I hope to be able to post a pic of this later.

Here my morning tea was accompanied by Batasa or small biscuits which you dunk in the tea and enjoy.
IMAG0082-1200.jpg

Of course this has to be followed by some sort of egg - in this case a Parsi Poro or omelette.

IMAG0038-1200.jpg

while enjoying the Mumbai view on a rare clear day.

IMAG0105-1200.jpg

#23 percyn

percyn
  • society donor
  • 2,597 posts

Posted 24 October 2011 - 06:17 PM

I'm looking forward to this, because I've been missing India a lot lately!

I got married there early last year and for our honeymoon we had a road trip from Gujarat down to Mahabaleshwar, stopping along the way in Mumbai, Pune and the hill stations. India is such an amazing place, we made our way stopping to eat at random restaurants every now and then, all of which had food much better than any place here in England and gorging ourselves on the amazing Figs, Strawberries and Mulberries that old ladies were selling on the side of the highway. Needless to say we are saving up so we can head back next year hopefully!

Sabiha, glad to hear you had a good time. I will get leaving for Panchgani, which is maybe 20-25km from Mahableshwar shortly and hope to post about the berries and lots of pics.

Stay tuned...lots of catching up to do.

#24 nikkib

nikkib
  • participating member
  • 1,203 posts

Posted 24 October 2011 - 06:33 PM

Really looking forward to this!
"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

#25 Country

Country
  • participating member
  • 401 posts
  • Location:Midcoast Maine

Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:04 PM

Really looking forward to this!


Me too. But it looks like we're not going to see pics of those beautiful, cholesterol laden, breakfasts. :biggrin:

#26 Shelby

Shelby
  • society donor
  • 2,417 posts

Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:21 PM


Looking forward to this, a great week to be in India! Thing are pretty hectic in Allahabad so it must be insane in Mumbai!

Btw, I would argue that it is a fallacy that most of India's population is vegetarian. The figures I have seen range from 30-50% as vegetarians. Of course, for many people meat consumption is limited by income.

Oh, and whilst you are in Maharashtria, will you please eat a vada pav for me? Cannot get satisfcatory ones around here :(

Jenni,
Streets are filled with vendors decorating their stalls with bright shiny lights.

Traffic in Mumbai is crazier than usual.

I am now convinced that India is a country of faith - not just religious faith, but also faith that there is an invisible shield of protection that covers the vehicle you operate as it comes hurling onto incoming traffic and pedestrians play a real life version of the game Frogger.

Yes, you are correct that meat consumption is limited by income, but I am surprised to see that only 30%-50% of Indians are vegetarians.

Jenni, may I request you to be the resident Indian expert and keep me honest through the blog?

ETA: I must have read your mind as I had excellent Vada Pau in Pune yesterday. Will post the pics shortly.


You describe what you're living so perfectly. You must be a writer of novels. I laughed out loud with the Frogger comparison!

#27 KatieLoeb

KatieLoeb
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 9,156 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 24 October 2011 - 09:40 PM

YAY!! I got so excited when I saw it was you blogging this week, and even more so now that I see you're in India! Awesome.

For those of you that don't already know, Percy is quite the accomplished cook. Speaking as one that's had the pleasure of both his company and his cuisine, I'm excited to see what gets made this week. I still dream about the Akoori. Best eggs ever!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol


#28 Jenni

Jenni
  • participating member
  • 1,040 posts

Posted 25 October 2011 - 12:44 AM

Jenni, may I request you to be the resident Indian expert and keep me honest through the blog?


Definitely not, you are far more of an expert. Especially for Parsi stuff which is way out of my knowledge.

Talking of, I hope you will try and show off some dhansak (complete with brown rice and all) during this week. A friend from the Parsi community, who very sadly has now passed away, first introduced me to a veggie version of this (she cooked and served the meat separate) of this dish and I fell in love.

Also interested if you have any special plans for Diwali, even though your family are Parsi. I plan on eating a lot (going to a friends place for dinner), oh and going to see Ra.One which is Shah Rukh Khan's huge Diwali release!

Sent from my HTC Wildfire S A510e using Tapatalk

#29 Jenni

Jenni
  • participating member
  • 1,040 posts

Posted 25 October 2011 - 02:03 AM

Oops, can no longer edit but I see you already mention that you were hoping to make dhansak!

In that case, I request that you illustrate something else I learnt from the aforementioned friend: That a parsi can make anything "par eeda"! Bheeda par eeda would be tasty, but kera par eeda would be more fun! I don't eat eggs but I am still fascinated by it all.

Btw, did a double take at those batasa. I was trying to work it out until I looked at the link and it said NOT to be confused with batasha!

#30 percyn

percyn
  • society donor
  • 2,597 posts

Posted 25 October 2011 - 06:20 AM

Jenni,
Today being Kali Chaudas or the Indian version of Halloween, we are going to a Gujurati friend's house to eat Dahi Vada. Not sure what the significance of that specific dish is to this occasion but will try to find out.

Yesterday being Dhanteras, people were buying gold from the jewelry stores and flowers from the street.

IMAG0185-1200.jpg

IMAG0187-1200.jpg

IMAG0191-1200.jpg

IMAG0195-1200.jpg

Tomorrow is Diwali and we will probably "BBQ" / grill outside and light some fireworks.

Edited by percyn, 25 October 2011 - 06:36 AM.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Foodblog