Jul 28, 2009

Ronti ( A crispy snack in Konkani / Saraswat Cuisine )

Ronti with jeera and ajwain

Ronti ( Crispy snack in Konkani / Saraswat Cuisine )


1 cup maida
1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoon jeera ( cumin ) seeds or 2 teaspoon black til ( sesame )
1/2 teaspoon ajwain
Water for kneading ( approximately 1/2 cup )
Cooking oil for frying


Mix maida, wheat flour , salt, red chilli powder, oil , turmeric powder , jeera / til , ajawain. Add water and knead into a stiff dough. Knead again for 5 minutes and make a perfect dough. Keep dough in an airtight container / Tupperware for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough and make 5 lemon sized balls.

Make thin chapati using dry maida. Cut it into 1 - inch width strips. You can make 5 long strips from 1 chapati. Then cut 1 - inch diamond shape pieces from each strips.

Heat oil in a kadai. Fry ‘’ Ronti’’ in batches till golden brown. Drain out from oil and spread on a kitchen paper for some time and store in an airtight container. It’ll last for more than a week. It’s a tasty tea time snack and kids ‘ll love it.

Jul 26, 2009

Dum Chicken ( without oil and extra water )

Dum Chicken ( without oil and extra water )


500 g chicken
1 cup ( 200 ml ) fresh curd ( enough curd to coat the quantity of the chicken )
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 - inch piece ginger roughly chopped
10 cloves of garlic ( as per your taste )
3 onions , roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 green chillies , slit lengthwise
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
2 teaspon chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Atta dough for sealing

Whole garam masalas

4 cloves
4 cardamom
2 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1 bay leaf

Atta dough

Mix 1/4 cup atta with 1 - 2 tablespoon water. Make soft dough.


Coat chicken pieces with fresh dahi , garam masala and turmeric powder. Marinate for 1 hour.

Put in everything whole into handi.

Seal the handi with atta dough ( same produre of ‘’ dum biryani “ ) and let it cook in its juice for about 45 minutes on low heat . Seal the edges very tightly.

At the end you should have a soup consistency. Serve with phulkas / rice/ veg pulao.

I made this Dum chicken for lunch. Gravy is very delicious and as soon as we opened the seal of dum chicken , kitchen filled with a nice aroma...just like chicken biryani...!!!!

Recipe credit- Times of India ( 26 / 07 /09 ) , Times Life Page No. 2- Chennai Edition

See the photo below and click photo to view large.

Jul 21, 2009

Lankgawi Wildlife Park

Langkawi Wildlife Park

Langkawi Wildlife Park was formerly known as the Langkawi Bird Park. It features more than 2,500 birds from 150 exotic birds species.

At this wildlife park, you can see hundreds of exotic birds in the beautifuly-landscaped spacious enclosures.

Open Hour: Daily: 9.00am - 6.00pm

Entrance Fee: Adult - RM12.00
Child - RM6.00

Langkawi Wildlife Park
Lot 1485, Jalan Ayer Hangat
Kampung Belanga Pecah
07000 Langkawi
Kedah Darul Aman

Tel: 04-966 5855


Our son Aditya

Jul 18, 2009

Upcoming shopping malls in Chennai - Ampa Skywalk & Express Avenue

Information & Photo credit - Times of India & Ramesh Nair , Chennai


AMPA Skywalk is located on Poonamallee High Road (PH Road) at the intersection of Nelson Manickam Road and PH Road and will have a total leasable space of approximately 3,00,000 sq ft, making it the largest mall in west Chennai. When fully operational, the mall can house 90 stores, with anchor stores like Westside, Star India Bazaar (the first hyper-mart in Chennai), Landmark and PVR Cinemas. Retail names such as McDonald's, KFC, Giordano, Titan, Benetton, Levis, Baccarose, Nike, Dockers, Van Heusen, Wills Lifestyle, Bossini, Adidas, Reebok, Planet M, Bose, Biba, Mustard and Louis Philippe have already planned to open shop here. Along with familiar names, many international brands are making their Chennai entry in this mall and the consumer response to AMPA Skywalk is expected to be extremely positive given the strategic location and this tenancy mix.

In addition to the retail space, the current plans include a seven-screen multiplex on 50,000 sq ft operated by PVR Cinemas, who will make their Chennai entry with this mall, a large specialty food court, fine dining including names TGIF (the first in Chennai) and a family entertainment zone. The mall will have over 1,200 parking spaces across two basements and a multi-level car park (of 12 levels) and the terrace. In addition to this, the mall will also house a 20-room boutique hotel. Spread over three acres, AMPA Skywalk is expected to cater to the shopping needs of central and western Chennai. The mall has been developed by Ampa Housing and is designed by Cheralathan Architects. The mall is expected to open by Diwali 2009; retail levels of ground to third floor are expected to open by the first week of September.

Visit here for more details

Express Avenue

Express Avenue, which is located on Club House Road, off Anna Salai will have a total leasable retail space of approximately 9 lakh sq ft, thereby making it the largest mall not just in Chennai, but South India. The mall will be surrounded by roads on all four sides - Anna Salai, Pattulos Road, Woods Road and Whites Road - which makes it easily accessible. Spread over 11 acres, Express Avenue is expected to become the premier retail destination in Chennai.

On completion, it will surpass the previously largest mall in Chennai, Spencer Plaza in terms of size. When fully occupied and operational, the mall is slated to house around 200 retailers and will have anchor space taken up by the Future Group and the Landmark Group. With such a large size, Express Avenue enables itself to cater to the demand of all formats of shopping needed in Chennai.

The conceptual design of the mall is by SAA Architects of Singapore and the firm, Design Plus, the architect. The design incorporates green building features and promises to be a benchmark of class in Indian retail. The construction is being carried out by BL Kashyap. The mall is expected to show that with the right blend of good design, top brand names and a central location, a mall in Chennai can be highly successful. This mall is expected to open by end of 2009.


Three levels of retail

A mix of 200 luxury, premium and popular brands

An exclusive entertainment zone

Eight-screen multiplex set across 70,000 sq ft

A 50,000-sq ft specialty food court

1 lakh sq ft boutique hotel

Parking to accommodate 1,700 cars across 3 levels

Ample two-wheeler parking

Jul 11, 2009

Dindigul Thalappakatti Restaurant - Anna Nagar , Chennai

The other day we ventured to the newest addition to the fine restaurants in Annanagar; during the lunch hrs. This is located in the heart of Annanagar ( Ist left from Annanagar Roundtana to Chintamani road - behind Valliammal college– turn left at Gupta Sweets), yet far enough to be peaceful from the traffic. This has got one huge advantage in today’s traffic conditions in the form of ample parking space.

The place was crowded and seats were not readily available – one got to wait for their turn if one goes there after 1 o’clock afternoon – could be an indication of its popularity.

The food was good. The biryani tasted quite different from the conventional biryani one gets in Chennai. It was less spicy and made of Jeerakasala rice (instead of conventional Basmati). The service was prompt even during the peak time. But everyone was sweating due to combination of steaming hot food and due to the fact that the air-conditioner was grossly in-adequate to cope up with the Chennai heat / crowd turnover.

We took a parcel (take away) also which is featured here. One more attraction about this take away biryani is that one gets a pack of gravy (mutton / chicken) as well - which one won’t get in other Chennai restaurants.

The prices were relatively high – when one compares to peers like Anjappar, Ponnuswamy, Chennai Rowthar Thalappakettu, at the same time the quantity is nothing much to write about ( A Chennai Rowthar mutton biryani costs Rs.60 for take away – but at this restaurant the cost is Rs.105 Mutton Biryani, Chicken Biryani ( Rs 100 ) , Prawns Biryani ( Rs140 ), Vegetable Biryani ( Rs 70 ).

Also featured is the menu card for you to refer.

The question is whether one needs to pay this high a price for the difference in taste. If the crowd there is any indication, it seems like people don’t care about price any more (recession? – what recession?).

Mutton Biryani, Mutton gravy , Baingan pachadi & salad

Click menu card to view large

Dindigul Thalappakatti Restaurant
F- 11 , 2nd Main Road
Anna Nagar East
Chennai # 26192323 / 26194300 / 26194200

Jul 9, 2009

Yummy burger from McDonald's Anna Nagar

Chicken Maha Mac (Rs 65 )

Filet O' Fish burger ( Rs65 )

Chicken McGrill ( Rs 26 )

McDonald's Family Restaurant
2 nd Avenue
Anna Nagar

Tel # 32467634

Landmark - Near Shaw Electricals & Jayabharatham Furniture

Restaurant opens at 11 am

Email: myfeedback@mcdonaldsindia.com

Jul 4, 2009

Homemade Besan Laddu ( Bassan Undo in Konkani Cuisine )

This recipe is very easy. Here's the recipe  link of  Besan Lddu / Bassan Undo .

Besan Laddu ( also called Besan Undo) is a quintessential Konkani sweet. This divine tasting sweet is an indispensable item during all auspicious events. If prepared properly, this will last long with out getting spoilt. One may notice that the taste / flavour improves on the 2nd day onwards for some un-explainable reasons.

We ( me and my husband) in a joint venture made this the other day.


Makes : 66 laddus
Preparation time : 1 1/2 hrs, including 45 min for roasting the besan flour.


500 gms besan flour ( chickpea flour)
500 gms sugar
200 ml ghee ( reserve 25 ml for frying raisins and cashew nuts )
2 table spoons raisins ( fried in ghee)
2 table spoons cashew nuts ( broken into small pieces, fried to golden brown - in ghee)
Cardamon power from 10 pods.


Buy only fresh besan flour. Sieve flour. Keep it ready.

Take a thick bottomed kadai.

Roast besan flour so that it turns into golden brown and till the taste of besan turns from fresh to roasted. One will also get a nice aroma of roasted besan. This may take appoximately 45 min.

Caution : Under roasting will leave a bitter after taste to the final product and over roasting will turn the flour taste burned. Hence continuous stirring while roasting is recommended for even roasting; on a low flame. Add 50 ml of ghee in between and turn it well so as to mix the flour evenly. Taste the flour to ensure right roasting consistency; judging by aroma or color may be misleading. Note the color change in photos below.

Once roasted, remove from heat, add sugar and other ingredients, also the remaining ghee.

Once the mix cools, roll the mix tightly into laddu. Size can vary as per preference. Spread them on a tissue paper so that any residual ghee will be removed. Store in an air tight container.

This is rich in sweet / calorie.

Ford Fiesta...A new member in our family

For a while, we were thinking of replacing our car. We were actually planning for a mid segment sedan. An opportunity came to us in the form of a sparingly used pre-owned car which was little over a year old at 60% cost of a new car. Yes, it is a Ford Fiesta 1.6 SXi ABS fully loaded petrol car used by a software engineer moving abroad.

We are all happy with our “new” car. A couple of photos for you. The photo location is our vacant plot off Poonamalee High road (Bangalore Highway) near Savita Dental College, Chennai.