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eG Food Blog: Percyn (2011)

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#61 Darienne

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 02:21 PM

Everything looks so interesting and incredible. Oh my. :wub: :wub: :wub:
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learn, learn, learn...

Cheers & Chocolates

#62 rarerollingobject

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 04:34 PM

Loving the photos, percyn.

Is the jalebi dough similar to gulab jamun?

And happy Diwali! I went to a Diwali lunch this week at work and it was one of the most sensational feasts I've had in a long time. I'm STILL full, two days later.

Edited by rarerollingobject, 26 October 2011 - 05:17 PM.


#63 percyn

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 06:52 PM

Loving the photos, percyn.

Is the jalebi dough similar to gulab jamun?

And happy Diwali! I went to a Diwali lunch this week at work and it was one of the most sensational feasts I've had in a long time. I'm STILL full, two days later.

Kate, I believe Jalebi dough is different from Gulab Jamun, which contains milk solids.

The Jalebi is crispier (they ask you how crispy you like it when they fry the dough) and then it is quickly dunked in the sugar syrup. It is a common sweet found at Indian stores outside India as well. Try it if you see it. I recommend having it with a glass of warm milk.

#64 percyn

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 07:18 PM

Happy Diwali percyn! Khandvi looks good, that is one of my fav things. And thanks for vada pav pics - I love those salted chillies you get with them.

Happy Diwali and Happy New Year to you!

Here are some fireworks we lit last night.

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For those who may not be familiar, Diwali is a major festival in India (kind of a combination of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year) and is widely celebrated. Most schools and business are shut for a few days if not a week or more.

While not technically a Parsi holiday, in true form we never turn down an opportunity to celebrate, often with much gusto.

What? Today is Wed? There must be some reason to party :biggrin:

#65 percyn

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 07:35 PM

On the 2hr trip from Pune to Panchgani, we stopped by a few places for breakfast and a small farm/restaurant (does not get much more farm to table when they are eat located 6ft apart) to pick up lunch.

The restaurant is located under a large Banyan tree which must be at least 200 years old, if not much more.

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The cooking is done over an open flame
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Milk source in the background
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Chickens, minus 1
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Edited by percyn, 26 October 2011 - 07:46 PM.


#66 percyn

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 07:42 PM

After driving up the winding mountain roads called Ghats, we reached the center of Panchgani, which was decked out getting ready for Diwali.

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Snacks of spiced channa and peanuts
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A form of transport which is stilled used to pack people into Jeeps to take them to nearby areas. Will see of we can hitch a ride one of these days.
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#67 percyn

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 07:59 PM

We finally arrive. The cooler breeze is refreshing, but the view is priceless.

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We sit for a late lunch of the Maharashtrian style chicken and spicy gravy we picked up from the farm restaurant.

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We also had green wheat chapatis with a super spicy chili chutney.

After lunch we rode the ATVs around the compound, enough to warrant a quick afternoon nap.

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#68 percyn

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:05 PM

I forgot to mention Chikki! Did you make a stop anywhere near Lonavala and sample some? The variety the shops have is amazing.

Here is one of the many chikki places by Lonavala and I hope to document this and the Jam places in more detail.

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#69 Hassouni

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:45 PM

Go on, what's chikki? :smile:

#70 percyn

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 11:06 PM

Chikki is essentially brittle, usually made with nuts and jaggery.

#71 Jenni

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 01:49 AM

Loving the photos, percyn.

Is the jalebi dough similar to gulab jamun?

And happy Diwali! I went to a Diwali lunch this week at work and it was one of the most sensational feasts I've had in a long time. I'm STILL full, two days later.


Gulab jamun is made from khoa (milk that is cooked down until it is solid) that has a little flour added and is then deep fried before being put in syrup. Nowadays an inferior version made with powdered milk is common, and if they want to make it at home many people choose this easier way. Not good if you ask me!

Jalebi are made from a batter of flour and yoghurt that is fermented a little before the jalebi are fried. They are then put in syrup. "Cheat" versions with yeast or baking powder also exist nowadays. Take percyn's advice and enjoy with a glass of hot milk - delicious!

We finally arrive. The cooler breeze is refreshing, but the view is priceless.


Looks gorgeous.

Chikki is essentially brittle, usually made with nuts and jaggery.


Just starting to see some new season jaggery here, and lots of chikki is also around. A friend and I demolished a bar over chai a few days ago...too good!

#72 percyn

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 06:12 AM

A few breakfasts...

Kheema - spiced minced goat
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Delicious with scrambled eggs
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Made truffle eggs on toast for my brother
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#73 percyn

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 06:21 AM

A trip to the farmer's market...

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#74 Shelby

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:16 AM


Happy Diwali percyn! Khandvi looks good, that is one of my fav things. And thanks for vada pav pics - I love those salted chillies you get with them.

Happy Diwali and Happy New Year to you!

Here are some fireworks we lit last night.

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For those who may not be familiar, Diwali is a major festival in India (kind of a combination of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year) and is widely celebrated. Most schools and business are shut for a few days if not a week or more.

While not technically a Parsi holiday, in true form we never turn down an opportunity to celebrate, often with much gusto.

What? Today is Wed? There must be some reason to party :biggrin:


I remember first hearing about Diwali from an episode of The Office :biggrin:


The celebration that you had looks SO fun!!! I'm really enjoying being introduced to all of these new (to me) foods.

#75 pastameshugana

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 02:43 PM

Loving the blog - having serious flashbacks. I took my family there for a 2.5 year expedition and it's been over a year since we left, so we've been really missing India as of late!

Keep it up, great pictures!
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My eG Food Blog (2011)

#76 percyn

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:48 PM

Nice blog Pastameshugana. Let me know if you miss any particular food item and I will try to post about it if I can.

Day before yesterday, we made a Parsi style lunch which is typically eaten on auspicious days.

Dhan Dar with Haveji Patio (Rice with yellow lentils and spicy tomato fish sauce).

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The item at the 11 o'clock position is local Tomato chutney which contains some dried fruits as well. Delicious.

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Haveji is a special kind of Patio, which is rare to find even in Parsi circles. You made it my lightly frying onions, adding garlic and then add a paste made from water and tumeric, chili powder, dhana jera, garam masala and usually any other masala you fancy from your "masala dubba" or small box of spices which is omnipresent in every Indian kitchen.

Once you fry the spices along with the onions for 10-15 min, you will see the oil start to separate out. Add in pureed tomatoes along with a few tablespoons of dark vinegar for a sour component and jaggery for a sweeter note.

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You may have noticed that the "recipe" did not provide strict measurements. This is because as with many ancient recipes, there are various adaptations, including family variations. I don't believe the recipe for Haveji (if it is spelt that way) has been published before. I could not find it on the web nor in the cookbooks in hand in India. Will have to check my larger collection of cookbooks in the US.

Marinate fish in salt, tumeric and a little chili powder. Pan fry it until golden brown and you can serve it along the side to enjoy the crispy skin or add it into the Haveji.

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This kitchen is quite different from what I am used to, but there is something about cooking without fancy gizmos in simple, old hand hammered pots that adds the flavor of nostalgia to the dish.

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#77 heidih

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:56 PM

Thank you for the kitchen shot. I love seeing the small kitchens that produce incredible meals.

#78 percyn

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:06 AM

The other night we made

Tandoori Lobster
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And a few grilled lobsters with truffle butter.

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#79 percyn

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:07 AM

Time to sleep but tomorrow I promise more eggcitement :wink:

#80 FrogPrincesse

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:25 AM

These lobsters look fantastic, and I would love to try the tandoori version.
Can you share more details regarding the preparation? Thanks!

#81 percyn

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:01 AM

Went to Mahableshwar yesterday, passing local traffic.

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When we reached the market, one of the first stops was the Ice Gola guy who serves flavored shaved ice.

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For a late lunch we stopped at a family run restaurant by the lake for a Maharashtrian thali.

The family kitchen where they cook.
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Corn Pattice - Spiced corn fritters
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Corn Pakkoras
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Onion Pakkoras
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Thali - clockwise from 12 o'clock - Eggplant, Kadhi, Yoghurt, green wheat chapati, potatoes, corn.
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for dessert - Strawberries & Cream
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Edited by percyn, 28 October 2011 - 11:08 AM.


#82 Jenni

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:07 AM

percyn, I am puzzled at what you are calling "green wheat". Is it jowar? If so you are a lucky lucky man as jowar ki roti is my favourite! But I hate making it myself so always like to go somewhere I can get someone else to make it!

Btw, what flavour gola did you get?

Edited by Jenni, 28 October 2011 - 11:10 AM.


#83 percyn

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:14 AM

Yes Jenni, it is Jowar. It was described to me as green wheat but Wikipedia calls it Sorghum amongst other names.

The gola was raspberry, lime and mango. Should have got Kala Khatta.

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#84 Jenni

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 11:20 AM

Thought it looked like jowar...as I said, I am jealous! It is not wheat. I was always told it is a kind of millet, with the other kinds most popular in India being ragi and bajra.

Gola looks good. Will admit that I nearly always have kala khatta, but it's good to try different things!

Edited by Jenni, 28 October 2011 - 11:22 AM.


#85 Peter the eater

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 06:44 PM

Happy Diwali to you Percyn, your foodblog is breathtaking. That great view with the ring-shaped stone (post#67) is a bench with herbs? Something else?
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#86 nikkib

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 07:13 PM

I have a question about the Thali, I've been eating a lot of them recently but am never sure what (if any) is the correct way to eat them. Do you start eating at 12'oclock and work your way round clockwise? If so how do you eat the liquidy gravy before the yoghurt - is it just by dipping chapatis into
It or do you do something different? Do they sometimes serve dessert on them too? I've had a couple with almost a rice pudding or sago pudding on them and assumed that was what it was but wasn't sure...
"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

#87 prasantrin

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:48 PM

Percyn, you have always been one of my favourite posters, so I am overjoyed to see a full week of your eating/cultural experiences!

You may have addressed this in a past travelblog, but are you ever wary of digging into the goods of street food or roadside vendors? Or do you travel back to India often enough not to worry about re-introducing such foods to your diet. In reading your blog, I am reminded of my father who, after spending decades away from Thailand, found that he could no longer partake in such delights without some serious consequences.

Thanks for the pictures of jalebi. I love love love jalebi, but I prefer mine with cold milk. :-)

Did I miss the burfee pictures, or are they coming? hint hint. . .

#88 Pierogi

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:08 PM

God God in Heaven, I want to eat everything you've shown us ! Indian food (and I realize saying "Indian" food as a generalization is as absurd as saying "American" food) is really probably my favorite cuisine. Everything, EVERYTHING, looks amazing.....

And I second the request for additional details about the tandoori lobster. Oh. My.
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#89 percyn

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:39 PM

These lobsters look fantastic, and I would love to try the tandoori version.
Can you share more details regarding the preparation? Thanks!

The simple version of the tandoori marinade can be made by mixing ready made tandoori spice with yoghurt. This version also had fish masala and a touch of dhansak masala for an extra kick :wink:

#90 Jenni

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 10:47 PM

I have a question about the Thali, I've been eating a lot of them recently but am never sure what (if any) is the correct way to eat them. Do you start eating at 12'oclock and work your way round clockwise? If so how do you eat the liquidy gravy before the yoghurt - is it just by dipping chapatis into
It or do you do something different? Do they sometimes serve dessert on them too? I've had a couple with almost a rice pudding or sago pudding on them and assumed that was what it was but wasn't sure...


I do hope that percyn will forgive me for jumping in here but I will offer a quick explanation.

Thali refers to the plate the food is on. A thali meal is a general way of referring to a traditional meal of several components. The manner of serving a meal varies depending on what region of India you go to, what community people are from, etc. In some communities there is a specific order to the way food is served and eaten, and in others it a very loose affair. An example of the former is the traditional order of many areas in South India. First rice is eaten with sambar, then with rasam and then with yoghurt. Side dishes are eaten alongside these courses and dessert is traditionally served before the rice and yoghurt course. As a foreigner, you will probably not be expected to eat things absolutely in "the right way". Meals may be served up to you in sections anyway, to guide this.

Often, a thali is served with all the dishes at once. Generally speaking, it is down to the diner's discretion how she or he eats. Each dish is mixed with some of the starch (bread or rice) and eaten. Remember that the starch is sort of the main point of the meal and the other dishes are things to make the starch taste good! The bread is torn into pieces (ideally with just the right hand but I've seen many North Indians use both) and used to scoop up dishes quite easily, but the rice can be harder for Westerners. You sort of mix and mash a small portion of a (very often wet) dish into the rice before taking a small portion of it to your mouth. You sort of push the rice off your fingers and into your mouth with your thumb rather than shove your whole hand in! By the way generally speaking in the North you should just use the tips of your fingers to eat but as you go further South, it's acceptable to get your whole hand a bit messier. There's a joke that for South Indian's the whole arm is utensil!

Some people consider it rather "gross" to mix lots of things together and instead keep things separate. Others like to combine certain dishes together. A tip is to use the bread to scoop up drier dishes, and mix moister dishes with the rice. Pickles and chutneys are eaten in small portions with other foods. Not everyone uses their hands for everything - North Indians in particular may prefer to use a spoon for sloppier dishes. Sometimes other dishes are brought to you as you eat.

To mention dessert, yes a sweet is often served on the thali with everything else. Often it has a spoon with it. Actually spoons often come with a thali anyway so people can choose how to serve and eat. Some people, including myself, like to eat a little of the sweet at the start of the meal. Some even continue to nibble a bit of it throughout the meal. However, if you are a foreigner and you do this than people will most likely just think you are confused and may have a little chuckle or offer you advice!

Something to note: in several parts of India, the last mouthful is some rice mixed with yoghurt (and possibly pickles, relishes, etc.). This is considered settling for the stomach. I always do this, setting aside a little of my rice and yoghurt for this purpose and eating it after dessert. Try it, you might like it!





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