Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cafe Beaubourg in Paris

Apologies for the lack of restaurant posts. I have been traveling outside of India in the past month, and will be for the next few months. I was contemplating for a while if I should blog about restaurants that are not in India and I decided to go ahead with it because who knows, maybe some "multi-cuisine" restaurants in India would benefit from these posts.

A few weeks ago, I was in one of my favorite cities in the world; Paris. It's been about six years since first and only trip there, and I knew then that if I were to ever leave NYC, I would move to Paris. That fantasy didn't even come close to true but here I am, back in Paris again!

Since this it the very first "international restaurant" post, I'll keep it short and sweet. This was a quick lunch stop at a cafe before our visit to the very stylish and high-tech Pompidou Centre.

Cafe Beaubourg, Paris
The croque-monsieur is perhaps the most popular sandwich in Paris. A thin slice of ham and gruyère cheese between slices of white breads, grilled and served hot.

Cafe Beaubourg, Paris
Fois gras was one time my most favorite things to eat. I loved the creamy, satiny texture and the decadent, almost sweet taste. It's very sick, I know, and absolutely horrible what they do to geese and ducks just to get their liver to swell up to a certain size only to slaughter them, but hey, I'm in Paris and you don't get this quality of duck liver in India!

Click here to learn more about the Pompidou Centre

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How to Make Homemade Ladakhi Thukpa

One of the things we did while in Ladakh was stay in a traditional farm house. You can read more about our experience here but one of the many things I learnt while living with this wonderful family was to make Ladakhi thukpa. Most, if not all, of the ingredients used were grown in the family farm, right in front of the house. Water used for the thukpa broth came from the river that flows right through the house compoundand the dehydrated paneer was made from milk that came from their own cow. It will be hard to top Tundup's thukpa since my ingredients will never be as fresh but I'll be sure to try!

Cooking in Tundup's kitchen.

Ingredients from Tundup's farm

For the broth
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
4 medium radishes, chopped
1/2 cup spinach, blanched
3 small onions, chopped
5 big garlic cloves, chopped
4 sprigs of spring onion, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoons cumin powder
1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon turmeric
4 tablespoon mustard oil
Salt to taste

For the Noodles
1 eggs for noodles
3 cups atta
About 1 cup water

In a heavy skillet, heat mustard oil until hot and add onions and garlic and fry until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes then add all the masala powders and pepper. Add spinach and radish and cook well for 10 about minutes. When radish is soft and spices are fragrant, add about 4 to 5 cups of water and bring to boil. Lower heat and let it cook while you make the noodles. Add chopped spring onions and cilantro right before serving.

Making thukpa noodles
On a big bowl, mix flour with egg and add a a few tablespoons of water at a time while kneading mixture into a dough. When thoroughly mixed, roll out dough like a chappati and then slice the flattened dough into long strips. Slowly add dough strips into boiling broth and cook covered at medium heat for about 20 minutes. Add salt to taste, or do what the locals do which is omitting the salt altogether and taste the natural sweetness of each and every ingredient used to make this delicious dish.

Dehydrated paneer

Making noodles

Cooking noodles in thukpa broth

My very first bowl of homemade Ladakhi thukpa