Tuesday, December 19, 2006

THE Pizzeria

I invite * to join me for luncheon at a Pizzeria where Pizzas are baked in a mango-wood fired oven. Time and Date: will be told personally.
The Pizzeria that I speak of, is located at Vasant Vihar (New Delhi), by the name Sartoria. I know quite a few places in Delhi which bake their Pizzas in ovens, but sadly the ovens used are the electric ones. Sigh!

A clay oven...Can u spot the chimeny on the top?

Another clay oven

Traditionally, Pizzas are made in either a wood or a coal fired 'Brick Oven'. But these days 'Clay Ovens', fired by the same fuels are more popular. If you have ever chanced upon a 'Brick Oven' and have had a Pizza baked in that, I must say you are DAMN lucky!

A wood fired oven

I conclude by saying that Reeta yearns for a Pizza baked at a Pizzeria which has a 'Brick Oven'; and the Pizzeria be situated at one of the lesser known places (approachable only by foot) in the bylanes of Himachal.
And my ideal Pizzeria would look something like this:

P.S.: For those who would like to own the latest electric oven chk out the one being sold by
Kalamazoo, while I ready myself to savour one made in an oven fired by mango-wood.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Not Just Paranthas

One can see many 'Dhaba-theme' restaurants coming up all over Delhi these days; NJP is another such place. 'Not Just Paranthas', is a cute little eatery tucked away in a bylane of West Delhi's Rajouri Garden. The food is good; the ambience, cute; the menu card, innovatively designed to take the form of a newspaper.


We ordered Chur Chur paranthas which are their speciality, having an extra dose of butter and crushed with hands giving it a unique touch; aloo pyaz parantha; gobi paranatha; mooli parantha; Dal makhmali (balck lentils); kabul chana masala and Dal sukhi chatpati (Yellow lentils for dad). I just had a small bite from each of the paranthas, all were 'ok' barring mooli which was 'bad'. Personally, I prefer mom-made paranthas anyday, so I had ordered a plain Naan to go with Dal Makhmali. Dal Makhmali which is the dearest to my heart was excellent; Kabuli chanas were nice but the fact that they had bits of paneer in it did not go well down my mind and tastebuds. Dal Sukhi Chatpati was liked by the elders; I did not even touch it so can't say much. The chuski bar (serving Indian style flavoured ice-lollies) is an attraction for the kids.


Having seen too many 'Dhaba-theme' restaurants, the charm of visiting them is fading away. Still I liked this one. It was nice to see sweet li'l soemthings decorated all over the place. At NJP, all the seats are made of rassi (jute rope) and wood. There are knick knacks like small models of cycle-rickshaws, lanterns hung here and there, old vessels placed all over the restaurant. The loos have 'Shreemaan' and 'Shreemati' written over the doors to differentiate the one for men from that for women. What I liked best was a signboard saying -Kripya bhojan ke liye hathon ka prayong karein' i.e. please use hands to eat your food. And what was even better was the spoons that were laid neatly over all the tables :D...pooooohhh

Sunday, November 19, 2006

There is difference between 'being merrily high' and 'being drunk'

And I insist, I am nt drunk... NO!! I am nt.. M just merrily merrily high! Anyway...went to Q'Ba, Connaught Place, E block with P... The ambience was ok, the service was very nice, the food was pathetic... Not worth one penny we spent there.The vegetable seekh kebabs were hopeless, the blue breeze tasted like a long lost cousin of Pina Colada...It was neither Pina Colada nor Blue curacao.. but sumthing else only... sumthing that I could nt figure out... Dal Makhani was good... The bread was cold and funny. I say that if u go there... U must try this... U must try visiting the loos. They r gr8... really!!! They r!!! Plants in each loo. Wow!!! Had they just thought about the food a bit more...Ufffffff!!!!!

Switch to evening... Had thoda sa neat whisky... got merrily high... insisted that Chicken Little takes me to a particualr shop frm where I had banta (Lemon) and desi patte wala Paan (betel leaf)... And CL thinks m drunk.. m nt!! m only merrily high!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Nawabi fare

Hyderabadi, Lucknawi, Kashmiri, Pakistani, Karachi-an, Bombay.... These are not the names of different places; these, are the names of special places. Places, from where the Nawabi fare, as I like to call it, has come into being. I am talking about the ever delightful, the delectable, the sumptuous - BIRYANI.
One visit to the India International Trade Fair (IITF 2006) made me buy sixteen, yes, sixteen packets of biryani masalas from the stall of my favourite brand Shan. They are available at IITF-2006, Pragati Maidan, Hall number 12, Pakistan pavillion area. Those who are in Delhi or would be visiting Delhi, anyday till 27th November, must try, Shan Biryani masalas. I bought enough supply to last a year. I am going back tomorrow to buy some more stuff from there...maybe the pickles this time... Coming back from the fair I heard two aunties calling me... beta... beta ... Shan ka stall kahan pe hai... they were desperate to know the exact location... I obliged to tell them the directions till they were happy and satisfied.
Back to the Biryani.... I prefer the one dat is cooked in the traditional cauldron with the atta (wheat-dough) sealed onto its ends... And yes I love onions... loads and loads and loads of them in my Biryani... The Hyderabadi Biryani is the best I have tasted so far and if voted, I think, it will be the national Biryani of India.. Wotsay??
Ah yes, I love only Veg Biryanis!!!

Skeeter's shopping!! Whoa!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Potato feast continues...

Day before yesterday was in no mood to cook anything...but as I went to the kitchen to pick up a glass of water I saw these mashed potatoes...couldn't resist.... thought... y nt indulge and feast... yet again!!!!!

These were followed by a tall glass of Tang.... YUMMY!!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Potato feast: The Punjabi way!

Punjabis love their potatoes. Potatoes or aloos as they are called, form an important part of any punjabi household's kitchen. Be it the Aloo Paranthas for breakfast or the vegetable served in the main course (dry/curried) or the fried aloo chaat served as a snack, aloos are an indispensable part of the daily menu.
The other day Skeeter discovered that the humble potato is the most used vegetable in Skeeter's kitchen as well! Here are some pics....

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Chefish blunders

Chef went up the market, to fetch a few ounces of batter
Chef went mad and lost the hat
And the Utthapam came floating after!

P.S. : The tragedy mentioned in the post happened because Skeeter was not in a mood to cook... :P

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Chaiwali loves her Cardamom Spice

Recently mom fulfilled the deepest desire of Skeeter's heart...Ever since Skeeter has started making tea, she wanted to use the pestel to crush cardamoms by placing them on the black granite shelf of the kitchen. But mom insisted Skeeter uses the mortar and the pestel to crush them.
Skeeter has seen people just tearing away the upper covering (green bit) of the cardamom spice and throwing it into the boiling tea. That, Skeeter thinks, is JUST NOT DONE!!! It is just so unfair to the cardamom - the most aromatic spice. Skeeter humbly requests all tea lovers to crush the cardamom spice and release the aroma trapped in the seeds to unleash the mystic flavour that lies within. Not only will it make your tea taste much more flavourful, it would also do justice to the spice.
The mortar and the pestel have a different story altogether. They are Skeeter's most loved tools in the kitchen. No modern day pepper-crushers beat the traditional mortar and pestel. Even chefs like Kylie Kwong swear by them. Skeeter just loves the way in which Kylie seasons the dishes with basic ingredients such as Sichuan pepper and salt (of course ground using the traditional chinese mortar and pestel). Skeeter's personal favourites are those made of wood and marble. If you happen to visit Forest Essentials@ Khan market or Greater Kailash M-block market, you are likely to chance upon the most beautiful mortar and pestel set, Skeeter has ever come across. Ofcourse, it is not for sale. Else, Skeeter would've definitely picked it.
And now a confession: Skeeter want to become a chaiwali. Pouring endless number of frothy cuppas to those who pass by my shack under a tree @ a road in Manali, Leh, Dharamsala and many more places up there in the Himalayas. Ofcourse Skeeter would serve Cardamom tea and only that!!! And yes...This is one business that even the rains or the chilly weather cannot dare to dampen. :P

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Wait - ing

Some WAIT to earn money and some, because they cannot find a better way to earn. There are others who WAIT bcoz they earn well while WAIT- ing and they do not mind this profession. They like to WAIT upon people, they like to serve... They like to take orders, and they love to remember the largest o' orders by heart. The other day, I chanced upon a lady WAITER... She was gud at her job. She WAIT- ED with perfection... She remembered our order by heart and she served her guests (read us) well...
Also, Skeets remembers having been to a cafe at Khan market in the month of March...We were two... PeaNUT and Skeeter... We entered hungry... All tables were taken up... We turned to move out. The lady (who was the owner of the place) stopped us, handed us the menu and very politely asked a guest to leave the table as she (the guest) was done with her food....We sat. She explained to us what exactly would we get if we ordered what we were contemplating t0 order... We ordered a sandwich, drinks. The food was good..perhaps because we were very hungry.... and the best part was that when we were leaving, she (the owner) was WAIT-ING upon other guests...STILL she had a SHARP eye on the door... She managed to shout bubbye--hope you njoyed the food.... THIS, is exactly what the subtle art of WAIT-ING is all about.
I would love to WAIT upon people sumday... at one of Reeta's Restros.

Dream on...

(The name of the cafe is not mentioned here because of the nature of the post)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dilli gol hai!!!

Yes dilli gol hai!!! Mere liye to gol hai... Wherever Skeeter goes she reaches CP...haha!!

The other day, the weather took a turn for good and the heavy downpour lifted everybody's spirits. Skeeter was working late... And was damn hungry...

Wenger's had been on the mind since days... So she headed there. Got herself 1 Blueberry Mousse, 1 Tiramisu and 1 Hazlenut Swiss roll.

The Tiramisu won the taste buds for its perfectly blended ingredients.

The day ended in a superb way... The drive from CP to North Delhi (windows rolled down) for which Skeeter passed through one of her fave stretches of road shall keep Skeeter in a good mood for many days to come...

Happy Blogging!!!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Buds taste...

Always, there is this reaction which you are required to give, when someone makes you taste something... Never say YIKES at the first go.
Taste again...
It is not always that we can judge the taste of a particular food, at just one go.
If you sit back and think, you will be able to recollect many such foods that you did not like at all the first time you tasted them... Skeets doesn't know the logic behind this... All she can guess is... your taste buds are adjusted to like what you love to eat. The rest of the stuff, i.e. what your taste buds reject at one go...well.. you never know you might just develop a taste for just about anything. Skeets did... for a few new flavours of wafers, for bitter gourd, for yellow lentils (though Skeets still likes to tell herself she doesn't like them) and for loadza stuff that she can't remember.. not right now..

This also stands true in case of cuisines different from one's own culture. The key to developing a new taste is the art of appreciation.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

An Ode!
....to the Master Chefs.

Forks and Knives
Are your wives
Pans and Cauldrons
You call them your sons
Plates and Bowls
You play with them
Chopper the lopper
Your own daughter...
Serve, you do that pretty well
The smile on those satiated faces makes your heart sing 'Jingle bells'...

Have had this obssession for perfectly hand chopped food stuff...The other day chopped some veggies for mama...Was wondering where that obssession came from...Then came the answer... TV shows... Have seen chefs chop away the most difficult to chop veggies with such an ease.... Whew!!!
This post is an ode to the Master Chefs of the world...R, Kylie Kwong, Tarla Dalal, Chef Sultan.... hmmm all of them... Mama... the greatest of them all!!!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Yikes Maggi!!!!!

Yes I am talking about MAGGI!!!!!!!

Worst day in my life ever....Mama was not in a mood to cook. Everyone selected their options from the leftover food...Skeets opted for maggi and a cheese toast along with a tall glass of Tang to satiate hunger. Maggi always come first.So Skeets took out the pan, poured water and put it to boil. Added maggi and tastemaker(less than half of it). Took out a stirrer AND before her eyes were 3-4 small ants/worms ....Skeets doesn;t know what breed were they..so she can't call them a name...But m putting up the pics ...
YUCK! :( :( :( Have to write to maggi ppl about it...Recently had sent a big carton of Maggi to the sis...Hope nothing like this comes out of those...Skeets is too shocked to write more...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Simply Delhi!!!

The other day Skeets took the metro from North Delhi (Vishwavidyalya to be precise)...went to office (Central Delhi)...finished work and off to Dilli Haat in an auto. That was travelling from one end of Delhi to the other...whew! Skeeter's first in a few months...

Haat stop...
It was the last day of the Teej Mela at Dilli Haat..Did a round of the place and went to INA market opposite Dilli iHaat...You get everything from Shhitake mushrooms, bell peppers, red chillies (small ones which are not available with the neighbourhood veggie vendors these days), Bok Choy...you name it...love the variety and the freshness....
Apart from other stuff, Skeets got home Australian grapes...and made Grape Yoghurt...Here's how:
Slice/chop(as you wish) 3-4 Australian grapes
Beat the yoghurt(1 BOWL), add 2-3 spoons of milk
If your health and weight permit, add half a tablespoon of powdered sugar to the yoghurt
Then, add the sliced/chopped grapes
For the garnishing, place the sliced/chopped grapes on the top as well(see pic)


You can add any fresh fruit of the season that you like in the same manner as above and if you have that kind of time,you can puree the fruit and mix it with beaten yoghurt. It will taste like the flavoured yoghurt available in the market.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tomatillos: Recipes and legends

Call them Tomarillos, Tomatillos, Promodoros, Tomatas, Tomatoes or what you please. Tomatoes are Tomatoes. Eat them raw, make yourself a Bloody Mary, put them in ur vegetables, make a yumilicious tomato Soup, extract their juice, make a pizza topped with Tomatoes, throw them on each other(as they do in Spain's Tomato fight)...You will never pass a single day without crossing a tomato in your kitchen(unless it is by choice).
Here are a two good uses, I put tomatoes to:

Bread Pizza
Take a slice of bread (white or brown), spread some tomato sauce on it. Top it with finely chopped Tomatoes, onions and green chillies. Top it all with mozzarella cheese and bake it in the oven, till the bread is crisp and the cheese, melting.... You can obviously add your own twist.... Instead of green chillies you can use red chilli flakes, or if you don't like chillies, put in a dash of oregano or top with olives.

Cheese and Tomatillo Grilled Sandwich
It is the simplest and quickest recipe. Put on your grill toaster. Meanwhile chop/slice a tomato. Put it on a slice of bread (brown bread tastes good with this recipe). Top with loads of mozzarella. For seasoning, either use peppercorns (freshly crushed) or oregano. Cover with another slice of bread. Grill for 2 mins till the bread turns crisp. Enjoy!
Legend & Trivia
The legend goes that tomatoes were known in some places, especially the U.S. as 'love apples', at other places as 'wolf peach', 'devil apple' etc. They were considered unfit for eating as people thought they were highly poisonous. Probably the strong odour of the leaves and stems made people develop this notion. However, this did not prevent them from using tomato plants as decorative plants. Ex-U.S. President Thomas Jefferson once ate a tomato in public to prove to people that it wasn't poisonous!!!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cheese Ol' cheese...Stringy cheeeeseeee....lovely cheeeeese...Dear ol' cheese

Celebrating cheese. A Just-Like-That post :p
Enjoy the craziness.

What is with cheese, I know not....
but cheese is cheese
yes it is....
yummy cheese, stringy cheese,
gimme more, will you please?

Dear cheese, lovely cheese,
Ol' cheese, new cheese,
gimme more, gimme please!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


About 2-3 days ago, Skeeter tried the Gouda variety of cheese. It is not that she hasn't tried it before. It is just that earlier in life she could not appreciate the slight tart taste of this fantastic cheese. This time, however, she liked it. The reason being that Skeets is learning the art of appreciating food stuff that she hasn't really enjoyed till date.
Take for example the Pani Puri available in Maharashtra...what with the hot cholas/chickpeas stuffed in the puri to the jaggery(gud)-only chutney used. Skeeter HATED it for the first time she had it in Pune. Moving on, as an avid lover of golgappas (as they are called in saddi Dilli,), Skeets couldn't resist trying them again and again at several places in Pune. But, there was no difference in the style (hot cholas, I repeat) whatsoever. And as she tried the new places, she slowly started developing a liking for the Maharashtra style Pani Puri.
In Delhi, however, the golgappa walas fill it with imli and gud chutney (tamarind and jaggery), boiled alu and chanas which are cold (of course along with the Pani) and not sizzling hot as in Maharashtra.
Being a 'sort of' spoilt brat, Skeets has always had a say in what she'd would 'like' to eat...but once she landed in a hostel, Skeets started developing the art of appreciating foods she did not like AT ALL!!! The Art, that Skeety speaks of, was however developed, not by choice, but by 'need'. The need, to survive.
Keep the fire kindling!

Sunday, July 16, 2006


Skeets has created this blog for all food lovers [vegetarians have an advantage here ;) ] to come and share their experiences here. The Foodies' Zone is a platform for food lovers to meet and discuss all about food be it recipes, new restaurants on the bloc/cafes/streetside delight, stories and just about anything related to food. Reeta Skeeter, also called by the self as Skeets, Skeety, Reety Skeety is a Delhi girl and undoubtedly a food lover. She invites you to a cuinary journey that begins with this post :)
Happy Blogging.

Keep the fire kindling!