Naan Therapy

Or should it be 'paratha' therapy …

Home made gluten free flour for Indian style breads

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Every time mother visits from India, I turn her skills to experimentation of some sort. Current ongoing one is on home made gluten free flours that are perfect for desi style rotis and parathas. I am frankly sick and tired of what you get off the shelf for gluten free flours, they are too starchy and too white.

Here are a few combinations that have worked i.e. they deliver healthy balance of proteins and fibers, result in decent binding and tastes good.  These blends don’t necessarily look pretty…and need a little oil….and Bob’s Mills flours are definitely not cheap….and if you are gluten sensitive, you have probably accepted that life is collection of compromises.

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Written by Som

August 24, 2015 at 7:43 pm

La Viga, a Latin American eatery in Redwood City

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La Viga is a Latin American eatery, somewhat setback from the heart of Redwood City downtown. In case you didn’t know Redwood City (RWC), it is the city with “Climate Best by Government Test”. As a Bay Area resident, I can attest to the fact that it is one of the prettier of San Francisco Bay Area cities but I am still questioning the climate after an year of living in this city. Normally, if you are craving tasty tacos you will be eating at one of the many taquerias along the Middlefield where the best tacos in Bay Area are to be found. But if you want a nice sit down place (shared tables) with a more vibrant ambiance, La Viga it is.

Ostiones Frescos: Raw oysters served with lime sauce.

Camarones Al Coco; A mildly sweet dish of crispy coconut crusted prawns with sweet habanero sauce.

Tacos de Carne: braised pork w/ pickled onions and habanero sauce, flap meat, cactus salsa

Tostadas de Salpicon: shrimp, snapper and crab salad mix, with avacado, jalapeno aioli on tostadas

Pulpos Salteados – sautéed octopus and calamari, baby potatoes, rocoto chile, fennel in a flavorful saffron sauce.

If I had to pick a favourite, it had to be the Oysters on the Half Shell (I am partial to taste of sea) and Pulpos Salteodos. Latter reminded me of Nikkei cuisine from Barcelona’s Pakta.

Written by Som

August 15, 2015 at 9:29 am

Squash blossom pesto

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In Bengal, these blossoms are made into a paste, typically with mortar and pestle, with freshly grated coconut, green chillies, and mustard paste and eaten with hot white rice.

I made a pesto of lightly stir fried blossoms and goat cheese. Unfortunately, the flavor of the blossoms were overwhelmed by that of the goat cheese. Not what I would call a successful deployment of blossoms even though the pesto itself tasted great. Back to the drawing board.

Written by Som

July 11, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Posted in Recipe

Idli Dosa at Madurai Idli Kadai

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Paper dosa – crispy, tangy with fresh chutney accompaniments.

Tiny place, long queues and fresh food. Probably the nicest idli in Bay Area.

Written by Som

May 25, 2015 at 2:43 pm

Posted in Recipe

Be happy, bee happy

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A shrub that can grow as tall as a tree. Full of pink flowers during early spring and attracts bees.

Written by Som

May 25, 2015 at 2:27 pm

Posted in Recipe

Wild rose – pretty to look at, smells heavenly and great to eat.

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Wild rose in my yard. Pick a handful of roses with strongest flavor to make about 2 cups of petals. Clean petals by swishing in cold water. Wacth out for small insects. Add to one cup of water, one cup of sugar, jelling agent and juice of one lemon. Cook for about 20 minutes and chill.

Rose jam with cheese. Also nice with yogurt. The rose petals are chewy in the jelly.

Written by Som

May 25, 2015 at 1:46 pm

Posted in Dessert

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Bacha fish curry, part I

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Freshwater catfish, about 10-12 cm in size like a small trout, soft fleshed, with flavor that of fish eggs.

  • Scientific Name: Eutropiichthys vacha
  • Common Name: Batchwa vacha
  • Bangla Name: Bacha
  • More fish info here, declining population since it is a tasty little fish

To clean, remove gills and guts and trim the fins. Rinse.

To cook, marinate 2 cleaned fish with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and 1/4 tsp salt for up to 1/2 hr at room temperature or overnight in fridge. Bring 2 tbsp mustard oil to smoking point in a wok, add fish and lightly fry for a few minutes on each side. Add 1/2 tsp onion seeds, 1 thai chili and add 1 cup hot water. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste and cook for 5 more minutes. Add 1 tbs chopped coriander leaves and 1/2 tsp lime juice. Serve hot with plain rice.

For a very similar recipe with photos, check this blog out.


Written by Som

November 21, 2014 at 11:52 pm

Posted in Recipe


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