My thoughts and experiences on food and wine and other things

“V” for Vadai ?!

In Food, Travel on October 17, 2010 at 21:31

On too many occasions I’ve promised myself this dedicace , reverence or lift of my hat to the nonetheless beautifully tasty and so varied food that Indian cuisine is.

The originality in its products used and its cooking techniques as well as methods have well surprised , astonished and brought so much pleasure and joy to the many taste buds to whom I have introduced some of its secrets after having been subject to its numerous mysteries myself.

I will start with for me what would be the “Ultimate Sampling” I name the “Dosa” , this paper-thin crispy pancake like made of lentils flour cooked on a “Tava Grill”often filled with soft and well seasoned melting onions and  potatoes and always accompanied by at least 4 chutney and Sambars (Spicy vegetable broth, coconut, lentils….etc , all more delicious than the other) and my personal touch would be to have on its side , a homemade thick sweet and tangy Tamarind sauce and being able to sip hardly (as it should not be too runny) on a salty Lassi (Yoghurt seasoned and blended with lemon juice and sprinkled with crushed cumin seeds)

Gosh I am craving for it!

I am all mouth-watering although I am at least a week until my next sitting.

I have discovered or was shown this delightfully blissy of a meal while on a trip in Australia, 7 or 8 years back, yes in Oz that was and I may still to this day taste and feel my very first mouthful as I have become a fervent addict ever since.

Thanks to a very special friend.

This dish amongst many others from India and thus even without stepping one foot on this vast golden triangular country brings me to say that my long and lasting wait to go on a trip around the dreamy fields of the Northern country or rememorizing this wonderful story of the Taj Mahal told so many times and that have left me endeavour to feel and live it while breathing its thin air that I have so far never been able to imagine its taste , are only getting one step closer to realization as my growing desire keeps on feeding me with more and more envy to parcour and discover its many secrets.

Vadai, soft ,light and fluffy. This at least is how this savoury “Doghnut” shaped delicacy made of chickpeas flour should be and will take your mind away by its explosion of pungent flavours. The bite into one of those will not take you to the emergency department of the nearest hospital but instead transport you into this corridor of loveliness and yummy feeling that only the best comfort food might be able to provide you with.

Before coming to Rasmalai, I would like to introduce you to this little crispy cushion full of air. You will crack open its top to place inside a cooked potato cut into small cubes or chickpeas with freshly chopped coriander , then filled with tamarind water seasoned with asafoetida before placing whole into your mouth to crush it all in one go and have the most unbelievable experience food may give you….Pani Puri, remember that name because if we ever come to meet face to face ,there is much chance I will blab about it for hours while yourself, like a child discovering its fingers may be used to scratch the interior of his nose ,will be left amazed in the all splendour of the word.

Rasmalai or “Babies Bottom” kept for last , you will have to try it for yourself to find out why , why one would make such a fuss about a very simple recipe and push aside the chocolate éclairs or millefeuille to spoon into this “Soupy” rather looking estrange entremet.

A flattened ball of soft curdled milk  poached into some more milk, flavoured with saffron pistils and a few whole shelled pistachios….when I feel like it , I do cross the whole of London and head south to the Tooting area just to bring some enough to keep a smile on my face for days. What else is there to say but for a shopping therapy, this does the trick !

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