Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Discovering Ottolenghi – The Seeds Of Love Towards A Chef Are Sown

By Lakshmi:

On a recent Sunday morning in the UK, reading through the pages of the Guardian, I discovered a chef named Ottolenghi.

Yotam Ottolenghi as I discovered later is a Israeli born, European trained chef who writes a weekly column entitled The New Vegetarian for The Guardian. He owns several successful restaurants in London and is a bastion of bringing fresh flavors and foods together to create simple, healthy concoctions that please the palate and are good to the body.

On this occasion, he was waxing eloquence on the addition of coconut, “I must point out that the chewy texture of the freshly grated flakes contrasts brilliantly with the more yielding beans.”  The dish being prepared was Sprouted Broccoli and Edamame Salad with Curry Leaves and Lime.  Suffice it is to say that I wanted to eat the salad right there, but had none of the ingredients on hand.

Tonight, back home in the US, I recreated his vision in my kitchen.  The fresh tender spears of broccolini complimented the crunchiness of the Edamame.  The coconut, mustard seeds, red chilly, curry leaves and lime added zip and zang to an incredible fusion of beauty and flavors.  The outcome was a dish that looked absolutely beautiful (see the picture above and tell me if you agree) and tasted like something you would be served in a tropical paradise many miles away.

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the recipe, just scroll towards the middle of the page on this link to bypass the chicken recipe and get to this one.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/mar/22/fresh-coconut-recipes-chicken-broccoli

If you give the recipe a try, do drop us a line and let us know your experience.  Stay tuned for more posts on awesome salads we’ve discovered as we continue to nurture the seeds of love for Ottolenghi.

Founding Farmers- Organic Bliss Inspired by our Past

New Orleans French Toast at Founding Farmers
(www.blogspot.com)

By Rohan: 

When you arrive at Founding Farmers, it feels as if you have jumped into the pages of a coloring book. Vibrant landscapes of American agriculture cover the walls and statues of barnyard animals are scattered everywhere. You sit at wooden picnic-style tables, waited on by staff dressed for the occasion, and prepare for a delicious ode to American history with a modern twist.

The items on the menu feature specialties from several American cities prepared with fresh, organic ingredients. Items like New England French Toast will make your mouth water with its warm cinnamon aroma that is a perfect pick-me-up. In addition, Founding Farmers’ delicious doughnut holes caked with powdered sugar or their moist biscuits will get you energized for a day of touring the nation’s capital.

All of us at Paupers are vegetarian, and Founding Farmers takes pride in providing plenty of meatless options for people with this dietary restriction. A myriad of egg dishes, classic breakfast options like pancakes and waffles, and my personal favorite–the aforementioned french toast, make dining at Farmers feel like a feast.

At the end of a satisfying meal topped off with fresh juices and soothing coffee, your waiter hands you your bill in a small tin mailbox–just another way Founding Farmers will win you over with its childlike charm. The fun doesn’t stop at breakfast! Make sure to re-visit Founding Farmers for an entirely different menu for lunch and dinner. A word of advice: do not forget to make reservations, this place is always packed!

Founding Farmers has two locations in the DC metro area–one in the heart of our capital and the other outside in Rockville, Maryland. Find out more at http://www.wearefoundingfarmers.com/

Rajdhani, Mumbai – Where a Vegetarian Thali Rocks

Rajdhani Thali
Source: http://www.go-nxg.com/

By Lakshmi:

Growing up in Mumbai with a plethora of Gujarati friends, I absolutely loved the food at their homes.  Many of these friends had “Maharajs” or cooks in their home, who cooked for the extended family of parents, siblings, their spouses and kids who all lived under the same roof.  Food was abundant, the cuisine vegetarian with the perfect palate pleasing combination of sweet, spicy, sour and salty at the same time.

There is many a restaurant in Mumbai that recreates this traditional Gujarati Thali (plate).  For a fixed price, you get to eat unlimited quantities of food, all served at your table.  The waiters are incredibly efficient and observant, always watching discreetly to see if something is done on your plate, so they can appear with more.

On my last couple of trips to Mumbai, I discovered Rajdhani.  This chain has outlets throughout India and claims to have 72 different rotating menus with 22,464 delicacies from Gujarat and Rajasthan.  Never knew you could have that much variety at one restaurant!

Now to our experience.  We ate at multiple branches and the food always hit all the right notes.  Let me warn you that on weekends, the place has a very very long line, so your best bet of eating with no wait is hitting it on a weeknight.  First, a waiter comes by with an urn of water for you to wash your hands.  Next you are served an an assortment of appetizers, followed by fresh breads with an assortment of curries, rice and of course dessert.  All accompanied by a yogurt drink (chaas) which is the perfect cooling antidote to the spicy, hot food.  And when you are done, you can ask for paan for a token price (that sweet betel leaf confection) which is the traditional way to end a meal.

On our many visits, our appetizers included muthias (fenugreek leaves mixed with chick pea flour and deep fired), dhoklas (steamed cakes of rice or chick pea flour) and dahi vada (deep fried lentil balls soaked in a spiced yogurt sauce).  The curries are too many to mention and the desserts included rasgulla (milk balls in sugar syrup), moong halwa (a lentil based dessert flavored with cardamom and saffron) and fruit salad.

So, why chose Rajdhani over a plethora of options?  First, if you are in Mumbai, you’ve got to try the local cuisine which is so different from what most Indian restaurants serve around the world.  Second, for a price of 500 rupees, a couple can eat to their heart’s content.  And the final reason is to absolutely go and eat like a local where the locals eat.

To learn more and get enticed, please visit their website at

http://www.rajdhani.co.in/index.html