• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

percyn

eG Food Blog: Percyn (2011)

123 posts in this topic

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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 (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really looking forward to this!


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Similar Content

    • By ElsieD
      We are at the airport waiting to board our flight.  As we seem to have interested folks from different parts of the world who may not know too much about our province,  I thought I would start this blog by giving you an overview of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL).
       
      Before Newfoundland  became part of Canada in 1949, it was a British Colony.  Cupids, a town on Conception Bay, was settled 406 years ago, and is the oldest continuously settled official British community in Canada.  Most of the early permanent settlers came from southwest England and southeast Ireland although  the French also settled here and in the 17th century Newfoundland was more French than English.  French is still spoken in Port au Port Penninsula, on the western side of the island, with English spoken everywhere else.   Just off the coast of south west Newfoundland, St. Pierre et Miquelon are islands that are still a colony of France.  There is a regular ferry service between Fortune, NL and St. Pierre et Miquelon.
       
      Geographically, the capital of St. John's is on the same latitude as Paris, France and Seattle, Washington.  In size, Newfoundland and Labrador is a little smaller than California, slightly bigger than Japan and twice the size of the United Kingdon.  NL covers 405,212 sq. kilometers (156,453 sq. miles) with over 29,000 kilometers (18,000 miles) of coastline.  By itself, the island of Newfoundland covers 111,390 square kilometers (43,008 sq. miles).
       
      The population of NL is 510,000, of whom 181,000 live in St. John's.  While there are some larger towns, vast areas are sparsely populated.
       
      In Newfoundland there are no snakes, skunks, racoons, poisonous insects or arachnids.  There is also no ragweed - allergy sufferers rejoice!  There are over 120,000 moose and it is home to one of the world's biggest caribou herds.   They also have some of the continent's biggest black bears.
       
      Note: This information was taken from the official Newfoundland and Labrador web site.
    • By Gunnsr42
      Hello foodies. Tell us what work of art you're cooking for your meals these days. 
    • By chefmd
      My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China.   Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí
       
      We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China.  DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us!  We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar.  There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning.  Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it.  I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way.  The original free range meat.
       
      The family met us at the airport.  We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel.  Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM.  We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.
       

       
    • By Panaderia Canadiense
      Wow, this is my third foodblog for the eGullet….  Welcome!   I'll be with you from Palm Sunday through Holy Sunday to give you all a taste of the veritable food festival that is Easter in Ecuador.  As usual, I intend to eat on the streets, visit a plethora of small shops and vendors, and talk about (and eat copious amounts of ) the specialty dishes of the holiday.
       
      A bit of background on me and where I am.  I'm Elizabeth; I'm 33 years old and since the last foodblog I've ceased to be a Canadian expat in Ecuador, and become a full-fledged Ecuadorian citizen.  I run a catering bakery out of Ambato, and I deliver to clients on the entire mainland.  I've got a large customer base in nearby Baños de Agua Santa, a hot-springs town about an hour downslope of me to the east; I'll be visiting it on Wednesday with close to 100 kg of baked goods for delivery.  Ambato, the capital of Tungurahua province, is located almost exactly in the geographic centre of Ecuador.  It's at an average elevation of 2,850 meters above sea level (slightly higher than Quito, the capital) - but this is measured in the downtown central park, which is significantly lower than most of the rest of the city, which extends up the sides of the river valley and onto the high plain above.  We've got what amounts to eternal late springtime weather, with two well-marked rainy seasons.  Ambato has about 300,000 people in its metro area; it's the fourth largest city in the country.  But maybe the most important thing about Ambato, especially to foodies, is that it's a transport hub for the country.  Anything travelling just about anywhere has to pass through Ambato on the way; it gives us the largest, best-stocked food market in South America.  I have simply staggering variety at my fingertips.
       

       
      This view, which was a teaser for the blog, was taken from my rooftop terrazzo.  It is a fraction of the panorama of the river valley that I see every morning, and since Easter is traditionally somewhat miserable weather-wise, the clouds stick to the hilltops.  The barrio you can see in the middle distance is Ficoa, one of the most luxury districts in the city.  Ambato is notable amongst Ecuadorian cities for having small fruit farms (300-500 m2) still operating within city limits and even within its most established barrios - it's from this that the Ambato gets one of its two sobriquets: The City of Fruits and Flowers.  The tendency for even the poorest barrios to take tremendous pride in their greenspaces gives the other: The Garden City.  My barrio, Miraflores Alto, is a working-class mixture of professors and labourers, and my neighbours keep a mixture of chickens, turkeys, and ducks in their yards; someone down the hill has a cow that I frequently hear but have never seen.  Consequently, if the season is right I can buy duck eggs from my neighbours (and if the season is wrong, entire Muscovy ducks for roasting.)
       

       
      Today, I'll be doing my largest fresh-food shopping at the Mercado Mayorista, the largest market of its kind in South America - this place covers nearly 30 square blocks, and it exists to both buy and sell produce from across the country.  Sundays and Mondays it also opens up to a huge, raucous farmer's market where smaller quantities are available for purchase.  Sunday is the day of the freshest food and the largest number of vendors.  And I'm going to cross more than half the city to get there - I've moved since the last blog, and my new house, on the slopes of the river valley is further away than the old one on the high plain.  I promise to take many pictures of this - particularly close to the High Holy days, the Mayorista is alive with vendors and there will be special sections cordoned off for sales of bacalao, truly enormous squashes, and if it follows the previous years' trends, a festival of Hornado (about which more later).  Apart from mangoes, which are just finishing up their season, it is harvest time across the country, and the Mayorista will be well stocked with all manner of fruits and vegetables.
       

       
      To start us off, I'll demystify one of my teasers a bit.
       

       
      The Minion head that peeks out of my cupboard every day belongs to my jar of ChocoListo, the Ecuadorian equivalent of chocolate Ovaltine.  Since I gave up coffee for Lent, it's my go-to morning beverage.  ChocoListo normally comes in the plain white jar with orange lid that you see in front of the Minion; that's now my hot chocolate jar because I just couldn't resist when the company came out with the specialty jars.  I firmly believe that one is never too old to have whimsical things!
       

    • By therese
      Good morning, y’all, and welcome to the party chez Therese.
      As per the teaser, this week’s foodblog does indeed come to you from Atlanta, where I live with my two children (hereafter known as Girl and Boy) and husband (hereafter known as The Man). Girl is 11, Boy is 14, and The Man is old enough to know better.
      Atlanta’s huge: the total metro population is about 4 million, and there are no physical boundaries to growth like rivers or mountain ranges, so people just keep moving (and commuting) farther and farther out of town. Atlantans can be divided into ITP (inside the perimeter) and OTP (outside the perimeter), the perimeter referring to the interstate freeway that encircles the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods, separating it from outlying suburbs. The politically minded may note that these areas could be designated red and blue. I’ll let you figure out which is which.
      We’re about as ITP as it gets, with home, work, school, and restaurants all in walking distance. The neighborhood’s called Druid Hills, the setting for the play/movie “Driving Miss Daisy”. The houses date from the 1920s, and because Atlanta has so little in the way of “old” buildings the neighborhood’s on the National Register as a Historic District. Charming, sure, buts lots of the houses need some updating, and ours (purchased in 1996) was no exception. So we remodeled last year, including an addition with a new kitchen, and this week’s blog will look at the finished product.
      So, some encouragement for those of you presently involved in kitchen renovation, some ideas for those who are considering it.
      But never mind all that for the moment: What’s for breakfast?


      Dutch babies, that’s what. And even better, these Dutch babies are produced by my children, the aforementioned Girl and Boy. The first picture is right from the oven, the second is after the somewhat messy job of sifting powdered sugar on top. They are delicious (the Dutch babies, I mean, not the children) and a great weekend treat.

      The Man drinks coffee in the morning whereas I prefer tea. He's not up yet, having played poker last night. I'm hoping he makes it out of bed in time for dinner.

      I also eat fruit whereas he prefers, well, anything but fruit. This is not such a bad thing, as it means that I don’t have to share the fruit. Pomegranates are a pain to eat, but not so bad if you’re reading the newspaper at the same time. This one’s from California, but you can also grow them here if you’ve got enough sunshine (which I don’t).
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.