onions


Bade miya, here I go again, my my, how can I resist you? The song hummed in my head as I rushed from work to home to catch my Meru. 5:15, my Nokia phone informed me, as we crossed the Sea Link on my way to South Mumbai. I was on my way to the Regal theater for the Mumbai by Night Tour. But that was still at seven. Maybe, just maybe I could catch a bite at the iconic Bade Miya, a street side stall in Colaba, known for its kebabs. A South Mumbai institution.

“Do you know where Bade Miya is?” I asked the cabbie.

“Behind the Taj,” he replied as he pressed on the accelerator and the robotic woman voice in his cab chanted, “You are going over the speed limit. Slow down.”

Please please please, I hope we make it. We were now stuck in front of the Haji Ali Shrine, inching our way to the beautiful Breach Candy, with its neoclassic architecture. 5:45, my phone clock tells me. Yes, we’ll make it! We’ll scrape through this Mumbai traffic!

I squealed as the cabbie dropped me off and sucked in the charcoal-smoke air. Bade Miya, here I go again, my my, how can I resist you?

An English-speaking vendor tapped me on the shoulder. “What would you like to eat?”

My eyes ogled the full chicken breasts with bones on the skewers. “What’s that one? Which is your bestseller?” I asked in the same breath.

“Chicken tangdi kebab. One hundred thirty rupees.”

“I’m in!” Oh the charcoal smell, the smog, Mumbai I love you! And yes, of course I was starving. I usually eat at five pm.

Chicken seekh kebab

“Take out?”

“No, I’ll eat here.”

He led me to a corner where there were two British tourists, who looked Indian, but it was there first time in India. And sitting in front of me were a young UK couple who were also tourists. We ended up chatting about the local train and places to visit in Mumbai, when my order arrived.

“Waiter, do you have a fork?” He ignored my high maintenance request and handed me a spoon. I took the chicken breasts in my hands. Bite. Chew. Juice. Bade Miya. My my, how can I resist you? I don’t like spice, but all of sudden I fell in love with spice, as I chewed and my nose dripped. Spicy, tangy, juicy, charcoaly. Bade Miya’s tangdi is one of the best kebabs I’ve tasted!

The waiter also slapped this concoction on my table–

I don’t like eating raw onions because it gives me bad breath but I couldn’t resist trying this mix of onions, lemon, chutney and something else. And again, I think I fell in love with spice. This salad of sorts complimented the saltiness of the chicken, and it was spicy, tangy, oniony, savory. It was absolutely delish and worth the bad breath!

The only hitch to my meal was the chicken had blood on its bones so to avoid bacteria, I stayed away from the meat near those bones.

I looked at my phone watch. 6:30 Perhaps I still have time to find a clean bathroom and take photos in Colaba.

Bade Miya just how much I’ve missed you. Yes, I’ve been broken-hearted, blued since the day we parted, why why did I ever let you go? Bade Miya, now I really know, I could never let you go.

This is my last six months in Mumbai and I’d like to catalog images that make my father’s city unique. I always want to remember Mumbai, and I’d always like to see her through a traveler’s eye.

This is where I run to for last minute groceries after school. It's very much like the sari-sari stores in Manila.

Back to work for me means reentering the rat race. It means waking up at four in the morn to finish unfinished tasks and chat with B. It means that students, teachers, school and innovation are at the forefront of my mind. It also means self-care takes a backseat. All you have to do is look at my one month old pedicure and eyebrows in want of threading! (Note to self: visit the parlor next weekend.)

But as I’ve discussed in previous posts, within the limits of my schedule, I would like to continue eating healthy, writing and taking photos. There’s so much learning that occurs while I do this. Besides, hopefully improving in my craft, I’m exploring the WordPress blogoshphere and it’s opened up a whole new world to me, a new dimension that has somehow made life more interesting. I’m thoroughly enjoying reading and listening to the various talents out there and learning from them. I’m learning how to give feedback and encouragement. I’m also convinced that blogging can be used as a valuable tool in 21st century education and it’s something that I’d like to slowly introduce to my school’s interested students and teachers.

So why the diversion into reentering the rat race when I’m supposed to be sharing my broccoli-mushroom curry recipe? It’s because this is a quick recipe. And perhaps I should add a category called quick recipes for those who are always on the run but still want to take care of themselves by cooking 30 minute meals with minimal dish washing.

This recipe serves one and is pretty good with basmati rice.

Ingredients:

1 cup broccoli, sliced
1/2 cup button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 red onion, chopped
4 cloves, chopped
1/2 cup of low fat milk
1 teaspoon of Thai green curry paste
1 tablespoon olive oil

Pour the olive oil into a pan and saute the garlic and onions until the onions are translucent.

Add the milk and Thai green curry paste. In India, I’ve found this curry paste in Nature’s Basket. In Manila, you can get it from Cash and Carry, and in the States, I’ve seen this in the Asian section of Walmart. Stir the curry paste until it dissolves.

First add the mushrooms and cook for around three minutes. Then add the broccoli and cook for two.

Pour the veggies on top of steaming hot basmati rice and it’s all ready to eat! Bon appetit!

I know that I got carried away with my story in my last entry. My purpose in doing this blog is to eat healthy, and practice photography and writing. Sometimes I find myself stumbling upon personal stories about traveling, people, art and life. I don’t want to restrain this organic progression, thus the off-the-beaten-track posts. Bear with me! 😀

During the fourth of July weekend, Linda whipped up a taco salad for me and B, which coincidentally, is also a popular salad in Manila. Here’s a healthy recipe that serves two!

Ingredients:

For cooking the beef:
1 cup lean ground beef
1 cup bottled salsa (Linda’s personal touch)
1/2 medium sized red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste

For making the salad:
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced
1 white onion, diced
1/4 cup black olives
1/2 cup low fat cheese, shredded
1 cup corn chips (optional)

Heat a pan and pour the olive oil. Add the garlic and onions. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and salsa and cook for around 30 minutes. Add the paprika, salt and pepper.

Place the ingredients for making a salad on separate bowls or a platter with dividers. Assemble your own taco salad by filling your plate with lettuce, beef, tomatoes, olives and onions. Add the corn chips if you like. Sprinkle the low fat cheese on top. Bon appetit!

Healthy Eats Facts:
Lean ground beef — good source of protein
Lettuce – besides having vitamins A, C and K, lettuce has manganese and chromium. It also has a lot of fiber.
Tomatoes – has lycopene which contains anti-oxidants and cancer preventing properties
Olives – have monounsaturated fats and vitamin E
Garlic and onions – has anti-bacterial and anti-viral benefits
Low fat cheese – has calcium which can contribute to preventing colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraines and PMS

Source:
The World’s Healthiest Foods

Yesterday was grocery day. B peeked into the fridge and said that we needed to finish what was in there. We bought cherry tomatoes from Wegman’s three weeks ago and they weren’t overripe, but the slight mushiness in the texture told me that they sure were getting there. Slightly overripe tomatoes are perfect for this classic soup that brings out the taste of pasta and/or whole wheat bread which you can dip into an olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix.

Again I wasn’t planning to post this recipe today, but a friend wanted to try it out. So Gracie A., this one is for you!

This recipe serves 2-3.

Ingredients:

2 cups of cherry tomatoes (or any tomatoes that you have)
1/2 red onion chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 cups of tomato sauce
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of grated cheese
salt and pepper
Italian seasoning
basil leaves to garnish

Pour the olive oil into a medium sized pot and heat for a minute or two. Add the garlic and onions and saute until they are brown.

Pour the water, tomato sauce and tomatoes into the pot. Sprinkle salt and pepper according to taste.

Bring the soup to a boil, then let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cool the soup for around two minutes and transfer to a blender. Liquefy the soup.

Grate the cheese and sprinkle on top of the soup. Add Italian seasoning according to taste and garnish with basil leaves.

Bon appetit!

Healthy Eats Facts:

Tomatoes – has lycopene which contains anti-oxidants and cancer preventing properties
Garlic and onions – has anti-bacterial and anti-virus benefits
Olive oil – I’ve been using extra virgin olive oil for the past few years in almost all my recipes because it’s good for the heart and bones. Research has also shown that it can improve one’s cognitive functions.
Cheese – rich in calcium
Basil leaves – rich in vitamin K and has anti-bacterial properties

Sources:
The World’s Healthiest Foods

In late May, my friend Paula visited me in Mumbai! It was a magical experience for both of us because before I left Manila, she said she would visit me in my new city. A year later, she was assigned to a workshop in Ahmedabad, which is a one hour plane ride from Mumbai. Since both of us are always on perpetual diets, I decided to make some high protein low carb food.

Unfortunately, with all the sightseeing we planned, I was only able to cook her one special homemade meal with my Southeast Asian influence. Nevertheless, it’s so much more inspiring to cook for two!

Ingredients:

2 chicken breast fillets
5 cloves of garlic minced
¼ red onion diced
spinach
mushrooms
1 cup basmati rice
1 cup water
olive oil
Salt and pepper

Boil 1 cup of water and add 1 cup of basmati rice. Put the stove temperature on low and boil the rice for 20 minutes or until the rice has absorbed the water and is tender.

Rub salt and pepper on the chicken breast and leave for 15 minutes. Pour a teaspoon or two of olive oil and sauté the garlic and onions until light brown. Add the chicken in the pan and cook for around 20 minutes. Taste the chicken to make sure that it’s cooked all the way through!

To blanche the mushrooms and spinach, boil some water. Pour in the mushrooms for five minutes and the spinach for one.

Plate the chicken, rice, and veggies. Welcome to Mumbai, Paula!

Healthy Eat facts:

Chicken breast – besides being a good source of protein, chicken has cancer protective nutrients
Basmati rice – full of fiber and nutrients

Garlic and onions – can lower cholesterol

Spinach – rich in vitamin K

Source: http://whfoods.org

Mushrooms – contributes to improving one’s immune system