Monday, February 27, 2017

Blogging Marathon #75 Celebrations, Day 2 & 3. Workshop and Departures

BM Meet , Day 2
Date : 18 th Feb, 2017
Day : Saturday

Color code: white
Woke up: 6 a.m
The yeast was on my mind, so was waiting for the right time to make calls.
Everyone took easy as we did not have to go out.
Dressed in our night suits, we collected all the stuff we needed for the work shop.

We had planned a baking workshop, where Gayathri and Veena were going to teach breads and cake frostings.
Our students were some of my family members, some friends and some their friends.
The workshop was scheduled for 1 p.m so we had plenty of time.

10 a.m
Breakfast served at Sai Villa
Aaloo Parathas
And we called for Mattra ki Chat with kulche.
Pickles, jams
Tea / coffee / juice

11 a.m
All got busy with work shop preps
Oh by the way we managed the yeast from Natures Basket, they home delivered.

1 p.m
The students started arriving.
We had hired a professional photographer
A photo shoot in white.
Then come in our customary BM aprons.
But this time we got matching chef caps too.
The aprons and chef caps were in red with the BM logo embroidered in gold.
Everyone looked so professional.

1.30 p.m
 Work shop begins.
Sai Villa, terrace
Gayathri starts with bread dough.
Veena takes charge of fondant icing.
All girls standing alert to help the teachers.
We go up and down, since there was no gas on the terrace.
And frosting had to be done in AC.

What we learnt
Savory Sun Flower Bread
Chocolate caterpillars
Basic eggless chocolate cake
Butter cream frosting
Fresh cream frosting
Fondant icing
Cookies baked by Pradnya, PJ, Padma, Archana were packed as gifts for the guests.

6 p.m
Customary Cake cutting ceremony of BM #75

6.30 p.m
Everyone goes to get ready for dinner.

Venue: my mom's house
My brother and Bhabhi really insisted that we have a meal with them so ...
Everyone leaves by cars.
Archana, Pradnya and I take a uber and first go to get a gift for the host.

The house beautifully done up with flowers and candles.
Dinner was on terrace .

Broccoli tikkas
Paneer Tikkas
Tandoori mushrooms
Tandoori Aaloo
Tandoori Gobhi with onions and chutney

Main course
Banarasi Kadhi
Kaali Daal
Paneer lababdar
Mushroom matter
Sarso ka Saag
Gajjar Pulao

Moong daal Halwa
Ice cream

Ended with
After mints

The interesting part about the dinner was that we had a village guy who made Chapatis on a rustic coal sigri , right in front of us.
A well hosted, beautiful dinner.

10.30 p.m
My brother and nephew dropped us.
Back to Sai Villa, we all gathered in Ritu and Preeti's room.
Chitter chatter begins.
Before and after thoughts of BM members .
Lot of laughter, blushing and giggling .

3.30 a.m
Finally into rooms to sleep.

19 th Feb, 2017
Day: 3
Color code: Blue with blue caps
6 a.m
Packing begins
I finish and get ready and take the bags down.

7.30 a.m
Everyone still in night suits trying to finish packing.
Loads of left over stuff from the baking workshop in the frig,and all around the place I tried to clear that.
Packed some for Preeti, since she was in Delhi itself.

8.30 a.m
Alloo Gobhi parathas
Juice / Tea / coffee

After everyone's bags were packed
Chit chatting and clicking pictures.
Blessings from Guru Gayathri
Slogans Jai ho Gayathri !

12 noon
Fried rice with Paneer chilly
Everyone hardly ate
Departing Blues

Preeti left
Pradnya left
Ritu leaves... sobbing !
All eyes moist , smiles on lips , nothing to say , hands waving
Gayathri, Valli and Veena take one cab
PJ , Sowmya another one .
The meet was over and everyone left.
Archana, Apeksha's flight was for next day.

 On the way to mom's house
GK market
Jhal Muri
Banta soda
Paalak Patta chat

At home
I had a wedding to attend that night and meet my college friends ,after so many years !!
Night stay at my friends place where I am
beaten up for conking off again and again .
My blogger friends were blamed for this.(we had so many sleepless nights obviously you guys are to be blamed )
Girls are you listening , your Princi was beaten !!!

I spent one more day in Delhi just to be with my family , old friends and neighbors .
Even after so many days I am still in a trance !
Dreaming of BM # 100 !

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Blogging Marathon #75 Celebrations. Day1 A Food Tour of Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi

Day 1 The Meet begins
Date : 16 th Feb, 2017, Day : Friday
Color code : shades of red, orange , with black stoles.
Iteniary of the day : A Food walk Tour of Old Delhi
Wake up time : 6 a.m

Breakfast 7.15 am at Sai Villa
Grilled potato and onion sandwiches
Cucumber and tomato sandwiches
Tea/ coffee/ juice

8 a.m departure for Hauz Khas Metro Station
8.20 departure for Chawri Bazar from Hauz Khas.

Chawri Bazar
Chawri Bazar is a specialized wholesale market of brass, copper and paper products.Established in 1840, with a hardware market, it was the first wholesale market of Old Delhi it lies to the west of Jama Masjid in Delhi.

Our first food stop
Road side Aloo Parathas with green garlic spicy chutney and pickle.
The Paratha were made live..yes in front of us, hot Parathas !
We took just one and were tempted to have more, but No!
The stuffing of Paratha had boiled mashed potatoes, a bit of onion, green chilly , coriander, red chilly powder and salt.
Rs 30 / per Paratha

Walk 10 meters and a vendor frying hot Bread Pakoras.
Girls in red surrounded him, clicked pics and videos, took recipe and bought one plate of the bread Pakora.
Surprise ! It was served with Aloo ki Sabzi. I had never seen that before , perhaps a new addition to those regular bread pakoras.
The bread pakoras had a stuffing of boiled mashed potatoes,cut into triangles and dipped in Besan, a bit of all purpose flour, turmeric and salt, finally fried to a golden.
Rs 30 for 2 pieces with Aloo ki sabzi.

Next station Half way along Chawri Bazar, on the right going towards Jama Masjid .
Shyam Sweets
Nagori Halwa
Moong Daal Halwa
Mattar ki Kachori
Bedmi is a wheat flour Poori,a lighter version of kachori, served with Aloo ki sabzi and a crunchy carrot pickle.
Nagori are small Pooris made from semolina , served with Sooji ka Halwa.

We barely move out and we see a vendor selling
Daulat ki Chat
Can't understand why this name, because it is not a chat !
Milk and cream are beaten together and made frothy, this froth is then served with powdered jaggery and some froth which has saffron. The powdered jaggery works as praline, gives it a amazing crunch.
Our girls- on seventh moon .
A small bowl for Rs .50

We walk through the narrow lanes of Chawri and go into Kucha Pati Ram, Bazar Sita Ram.

9 a.m
Kuremal Mohan Lal Kulfi Wale
The shop opens at 9am, but it was closed.
One phone call and it opened right away.
The kulfis that we had

Mango , Anar, Orange and Apple.
These are whole fruits, cored and stuffed with kulfis and frozen.
Rs 200 per Kulfi.

Kulfi Julep's
Falsa, Jamun, Podina Masala, Imli
These were water based, sorbet kinds .
Mango, chandan, sharifa.( these were milk based )
Rs. 60/ Kulfi

Rabri Kulfi Cream
Khumani, fig, Paan
Rs 60/ Kulfi
Trust us to enjoy these kulfis early morning !

We step out of the Kulfi shop and what do we see
Cycle wale Chole Kulche.
We took one plate and clicked it on a cart.
We thought of Rajani at that time, the cart was just the kind of board she would like.
These cholas are made without onion and garlic, just chole and spices, then enhanced with mint and tamarind chutney. They are packed in a large tin container and covered with layers of woolen fabric so that they can remain hot throughout the day. They are served with kulchas from the local bakery.
Rs 20/ plate

We half heartedly finished Chawri and decided to go to Chandni Chowk. The distance is not much but walking through the busy lanes in a group was tough.
Ę rickshaws come to rescue.

A brief halt at
Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib , we sat and heard the holy shabad and had Karah Prasad.
One of the nine historical Gurudwaras of Delhi.
It marks the site where the ninth guru was beheaded on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb for refusing to convert into Islam.

We continue with our food tour.
Just across Sis Ganj
Bhishan Swaroop Chaat Corner
Boiled potatoes, cut into cubes and deep fried, mixed with boiled cubed Kachaalu.
Spiced up with a special kala chat masala.
A treat by itself, there are more varieties but I observed from the expression that they found the chat very tangy and spicy.

Yellow Moong Daal fritters, jazzed up with grated radish and a spicy tangy green chutney.
The best ram ladoos are available in Lajpat Nagar market, but we were short of time so had to make do with what was available there, though these were excellent too .

Lentil dumplings dunked in fermented water, spiced up with chutney.
I guess you need to develop taste for this , most of the people liked it, and it is my favorite.

These are deep fried savouries made from Bengal gram.
Jazzed up with creamy whipped curd, sweet tamarind chutney and spicy green chutney.
These have kind of disappeared from the markets, and are available only at selected stalls in Old Delhi area.
Papadi Chaat / Golgappe

Melt in the mouth Dahi Wadas, these dahiwadas have nostalgic memories, as they are in the lane where my maasi had her jewellery shop.
The same place serves Aloo tikki, nice and crisp.
Rs 50/ plate

By now everyone was exhausted with walking and eating. So some friends took a break and sat at Haldiram.
Kids had their shake at Keventers, a renowned place for shakes.

We could not miss the Parathe wali Gali so decided to make that the last stop. Quickly went in and clicked some pics.
Pradnya got a couple of Parathas packed.
( our stomachs could not absorb more food )

We come out of the narrow gali and a Cheela vendor was standing
The paneer cheela served with grated radish and carrots and chutney.
Sandwich burger served with chutney.
Two bread slices are stuffed with some grated paneer , dipped into a gram flour batter and shallow fried on a gridle.
This is then ripped open from one side and a Tikki is stuffed in.
Again this was just for tasting.
Rs 50/ plate

A bit of shopping and we decided to leave this bustling area.
Boarded Metro Chandni Chowk to Hauz Khas
Cabs from Hauz Khas to GK 2, Sai Villa

Ok are you guys tiered?
Some coffee? Tea ?

Archana, Apeksha, Pradnya and Valli off to shopping.
The rest gossiping.

Dinner time with some music and dance
We had a variety of junk throughout the day so I made a bowl of salad.
But food was called for from the restaurant, served with hot chapatis made at Sai Villa.
Left overs from yesterday too were served. I really did not look at that food and was very happy with my salad, which was a mix of cucumbers, apples, onion, cranberries and walnuts dressed with salt,pepper and lemon.
Ice creams follow.

10.30 pm
Even though everyone was exhausted Gayathri baked a couple of cakes for the next day's workshop.
A couple of us dancing .
Chaos built up !
No yeast!
Gayathri all worked up " vaishali, how can you dance, I am so stressed ! ,
Relax baby !
I made a couple of calls but all in vain.
So will wait for the sunrise .

Lying down in bed realized that we missed the jalebis of Dariba Kalaan, where each jalebi weighs 250 gms or more with the juicy syrup dripping all over. One can't stop licking fingers !

With thoughts of the day gone by and the day to come I slept off.

Come back tomorrow to  check what we shall do .

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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Blogging Marathon #75 Celebrations, The side Trip.

We are a group of bloggers who run a monthly marathon, where we post three recipes per week. We have been doing this since the last six years. Srivalli, is the lady behind this wonderful event. We also have Mega Marathons where we post all through the month. The concept of mega marathons was conceived on our BM 25 th Meet, which was held in Ahemdabad. It was the first time we bloggers met face to face. Check for glimpses here, here and here. After this there was no looking back.

The second meet was in Chennai to mark the celebrations of 50 th marathon .Check some glimpses here and here and here. Now comes the 75th marathon. For this we chose Delhi as our destination.

Delhi is my home town and I have lived in Old Delhi for a very long time. I am familiar with the small busting lanes , though one sees many changes over the years. Delhi is the hub of street food, hence the destination.

I booked my tickets two days prior to the meet, we had planned for a side trip to Mathura, Vrindavan and Agra. Friends were to arrive on 15 th and I wanted to receive them at the airport. But before that I wanted to meet my school buddies, so I met them on Valentines Day and enjoyed a lavish long lunch which ended at 6 in the evening. With friends around time just flies.

Today I shall share the details of our side trip which will tell you about our holiday of Vrindavan , Mathura and Agra.

Color code for the day: shades of grey, beige, brown and black.
Scene at Domestic Airport , New Delhi
Date: 15 th Feb 2017
Arrived friends: Ritu Tangri , Preeti Garg
Time 1.15 p.m
I'm being dropped by a school friend at the airport, looking for Ritu and Preeti.
Finally spot them and hugs are exchanged.

I had met Preeti before, looked the same, bubbly, cheerful , friendly , a true Delhite!
Ritu, a new face. Appeared shy and reserved, maintained her image for a while.

1.45 p.m
Familiar faces arrive.
Gayathri with her ten year old Shruti, Srivalli and Veena.
More hugs.

2.15 p.m
Sowmya from Bangalore comes in. A new face, oh that looks like Sowmya , somebody screamed and I quickly went up, waved to her and she waved back.
Yes it was Sowmya, a big hug and a very big smile.

2.45 p.m
PJ lands and back stage we planned to send Ritu to receive her.
Neither had seen each other.
Fortunately Ritu recognizes and taps her shoulder, "PJ "?
PJ raises her eyebrow and gives a look.
How I wish I had captured that look.

Lunch at airport
Lentil salad
Fruit salad , all brought by Preeti
Aloo Mattar Parathas
Sarso ka Saag , packed by my school buddy, Sujata.

4 p.m
Departure for Vrindavan by Tempo Traveller

Halt at Sarojini Nagar Market
To enjoy hot pakoras
Whole Onion Pakoras
Paneer Pakoras
Paalak Pakoras
Water bottles

5 p.m
Gayathri removes the sinful chocolate cake from her bag.
The bus filled with the aroma of ganache...( well at least I can always get that aroma).
Gayathri frosted the cake right in the bus .
Cake gone in seconds !
Ah ! What a cake ! Extremely soft, sinful, delicious...yummy !

Slowly back benchers PJ, Ritu, Gayathri clonking off !
Preeti, Sowmya, Veena , Valli and I jabbering.

8 p.m
Arrival at Vrindavan.
Packed in two E rickshaws.
Temple : Bankey Bihari Mandir
Going through narrow lanes where, bikes, cycle rickshaws, and cows made it difficult to walk,
Monkeys sat on rooftops waiting to grab glasses and mobiles.
( the reason why I am without the glasses in the picture)
This is a Hindu Temple dedicated to Lord Krishna. Bankey means bent in three places and Bihari means supreme enjoyer. This is how Krishna , who is bent in three places got this name.
The temple closes at 8.30 in winters, so we were lucky and made it for darshan.

Shopping in Vrindavan
Beautiful clothes for Deity's.

10 p.m
Departure for Mathura
Halt in mathura at my cousins place whom I was meeting after nearly 40 years !
We were served
Fresh fruits
Dry fruits
Kachori with Aloo ka Raita ( this Raita is a Sabzi with more gravy and less potatoes)
One of the best home made kachori I have had.
Chole Bhature.

Gifts from my cousin
Packets of home made spices.

Finally depart for Agra
Reached after midnight after going around finding our venue.
Everyone got into night suits, had some coffee and conked off.

16 th Feb Thursday
Good Morning from Agra
Wake up time 5.15 a.m
Color code : Shades of Green

6.15 a.m
The Taj Mahal, the seventh wonder of the world
Taj, means a crown. Mahal is a palace, so TajMahal means Crown of the Palace. It is a large white marble structure standing on a square plinth. It is embedded with yellow marble, jasper and jade. It is a work of detailed carving and the calligraphy found on the marble reads passages from Quran.

The monument was built in the memory of Mumtaz Mahal., wife of The emperor Shah took twenty years to complete the monument. The monument is situated on the banks of river Yamuna, which makes it a picturesque sight.

As soon as we reached Taj we hired a guide and he told us these and many more facts about this beautiful monument.
Talking about the guide, he did a wonderful job and was our photographer for the day.
Any body smiling ? Yes, we all were, but when it comes to smiles, who can beat our graceful, poised Veena . Hey Veena, are you blushing ?

11 a.m
Breakfast at Devilal Agra
Badaiya with Aaloo Jhol
Meethi Lassi
Makhan samosa
Breakfast hosted by : Pooja and Vijay, my niece and her husband who live in Agra.
She even got a Paan Cake and Paan muffins freshly baked for all of us.

12 noon
Panchi Petha House
Food shopping begins
Amazing variety of petha and gajak.

12.30 p.m.
Departure for Delhi
Lot of chit chatting in the bus, some cooking off !

2 p.m
Halt for tea / coffee

5 p.m
Arrival at Sai Villa, Delhi
A 6 bedroom apartment with a beautiful terrace.
Pradnya and her son waiting to receive us.
6.30 pm
INA, the spice market 
Indian National Army Market is a Food Bazar of fresh vegetables, fruits, meat, spices.
Ingredients from all cuisines are available here.
We picked some ingredients for our up coming work shop.
Some Delhi spices.
Some bakeware.
And check this fruit!
Our friends had never seen this
Rasbhari,this is a berry which is available only in winters, it is slightly tarty and has very small seeds which are edible.

8 p.m
Delhi Hatt
One can see street hawkers and chai wallas .
Dilli Hatt is an open air craft bazar, which has handicrafts , fabrics, gift items and food stalls from different states.
It is a tourist spot , but by now all were exhausted and we just took a stroll around the place and left.

9.30 p.m
Arrive back at Sai Villa
Archana and her daughter Apekaha are there to welcome us.
Finally all BM members arrived.

Dinner Time, dinner ordered by Preeti
Black Daal
Jeera rice
Paneer butter masala
Tandoori roti
Onion salad
Followed by dessert
Ice creams and kulfis.

I bet you guys are exhausted reading this post, so let's take a break! I am going to sleep, Sowmya is sharing the room with me...warning..I might snore ! But hey what do I hear...before me she conks off and I can hear her snoring ! Can you ?
Ok Good night friends, tomorrow is yet another of those special days, do come back !

This is my post for the last week of BM 74, Day 1

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