Brunch at Meal Ticket

This weekend we thought of exploring something local. There is this really cool, family run restaurant on San Pablo in Berkeley called “Meal Ticket” that I had been eyeing for a long time. The name sounded different and it was featured in Diners, Dive-ins and Drives on Food network.

The food was simple diner style made using local ingredients and felt like it’s coming from a home kitchen. It looked delicious, the aroma was great and we dug right in. My daughter had berry pancakes which were scrumptious and topped with fresh fruit. Their baguette was really good and so were the scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms and pesto. My husband had the slow-roast pork with coconut curry which was divine. And yes, don’t miss the fresh orange juice. The weather in Berkeley was great, and I think that helped too.

It’s a treasure, I think I have found my favorite brunch place!!

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Chicken Kofta

My husband had the day off on Friday and he decided to cook his special chicken koftas. Koftas are Indian-style meatballs in a curry sauce. In India, vegetarian koftas are also popular such as lauki kofta (made using bottle gourd and chick-pea flour) or malai kofta (potato and cheese balls). Chicken meatballs are fast to cook and tasty too. Here’s the recipe for these delicious meatballs in yogurt sauce.

Ingredients

For meatballs:

Minced chicken – 1 pound
Mayonnaise – 1 1/2 tbsp
Finely chopped onions – 1/4 cup
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 1/2 tbsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Bread crumbs – 1/2 cup
Egg – 1
Green chilies, chopped finely – 2 or 3
Coriander leaves and mint leaves (chopped) – 1/4 cup
Salt to taste

For the sauce:

Plain Greek yogurt – 1 cup (or regular yogurt, but finish with some cream in the end)
Fennel seed powder (saunf) – 1 tsp
Dried ginger powder (saunth) – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Vegetable oil (or ghee)
Jeera – 1 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves (for garnish)

Method

– Mix all the ingredients for the chicken meat balls in a bowl. Now wet your palms and roll the mixture in balls and set aside.

– Whisk all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce and set aside.

– In a pan, heat some oil and add jeera to it.

– Once the jeera crackles, add the yogurt sauce to it and let this cook for about 10 mins. Keep stirring. You might see that the yogurt curdles a little bit. That is fine. It will come together as it cooks through.

– Now add the chicken balls to this curry one at a time. Let them simmer for about 10-15 mins till the meatballs are cooked. You could add some water if the curry becomes too thick.

– Check the seasoning. Add freshly chopped coriander leaves and a pinch of garam masala to garnish.

– Serve hot with steamed rice or rotis.

Japa curry

Japa Curry is a Japanese food truck in San Francisco and they have the best curry I ever ate, Katsu curry. They serve fried chicken or pork over rice with a bowl of delicious curry and some condiments. This truly is one of the best things I ever ate. I can almost smell it as I write about it…. yum šŸ™‚ They are usually near my office on Fridays. Can’t wait… here’s their website.

I am not sure how it’s made, I will try and find out though and post it here after I try it !!

Avocado parathas

A friend of mine pointed me to this interesting recipe – avocado parathas. Paratha is an Indian flat bread, rolled, then baked on a pan and usually topped with butter or oil. It could be plain or stuffed with potatoes, cauliflower, onions, spinach or paneer. I am always looking for ways to make it more interesting. I tried this recipe and the parathas turned out very tasty and my family loved it…. yummy delight šŸ™‚ They are nutritious, fairly easy to make and a good way to have avocados in your meal. Try it and let me know how you like them. “Show Me the Curry” never disappoints!

Here’s the recipe.

 

Tasty Indian sauce recipe

There are days, especially Thursdays, when I wish there was some ready-made food in the refrigerator. But usually I try not to buy frozen food and serve something fresh to my family everyday. I have some tricks to make my life simple. I make two or three sauces and keep them bottled in the fridge and also chop all theĀ vegetablesĀ over the weekend. My go-to meals are usually Indian curries served with rice or bread. Here’s a recipe that I have for a very tasty sauce for an Indian curry. I make this over the weekend and I use it in a vegetable, chicken, egg or shrimp curry during the week.

Ingredients:
Onions – 2
Tomatoes – 4
Garlic – 4 or 5 cloves
Ginger – 1 inch
Vegetable oil

Roughly chop all the ingredients. Don’t worry about chopping them finely since we are going to puree them in a food processor.

Method:
– Heat some oil in a pan.
– Add onions and saute till light brown.
– Add ginger and garlic and saute for half a minute.
– Add tomatoes and cook for about 2-3 mins.
– Add this to the food processor and grind everything. Your sauce is ready!

You could add coriander leaves to this sauce before it goes into the food processor. But I usually use chopped coriander leaves for garnishing my dish at the end.

When you use this sauce to make a curry, heat a pan with very little oil and add the sauce to it. Let it cook for about 10 mins. Add turmeric powder, redĀ chili powder (to taste), garam masala, salt and sugar. Let this cook for another 2-3 mins. Add boiled eggs or chicken to it to make a tasty curry.

Curry up now….

Today was a gorgeous day in San Francisco….. perfect for an afternoon walk. As I was thinking about lunch options, I spotted “Curry Up Now”…. awesome! Their food is good, delicious and just the right amount of spicy. But there is always a long line of customers waiting. That is a good sign in my opinion. When in doubt, always look at the line outside a restaurant or food truck for that matter. If people have lined up, chances are that the food is really good.

What did I eat? I tried the “chicken kathi roll”. It’s delicious. I think everything they serve is good. Go for it. Here’s where you can find them http://www.curryupnow.com/

 

Indian food truck.... yummy :)

Bengali fish in mustard sauce

Last night’s dinnerĀ was fish in mustard sauce and steamed white rice. My family loves it, it’s hearty and fairly easy to cook. It is a simple yet traditional Indian meal. The mustard sauce can be prepped in advance. ItĀ stays in theĀ refrigeratorĀ for 2-3 days.

Fish cooked in mustard sauce is a traditional fish curry from Bengal, a state in Eastern India. Bengalis are crazy about this and everyone probably has their own version. This is my husband’s recipe which he has perfected with memories from his mom’s cooking and adding his own twist. You have to be a mustard lover to relish this as it can be quiet pungent. So here you go…

Ingredients:

Fish (preferably steak cut) – 4-5 pieces

Black mustard seeds (small) – 3 tbsp.

Tumeric powder- 2 tsp

Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp

Grated coconut – 1/2 cup

Green chillies – 2-3

Diced onion – 1/2 cup

Plain yogurt – 2 tbsp

Mustard oil (substitute with vegetable oil)

Sugar – 1 tbsp

Juice from one lemon

Chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Salt to taste

Preparation:

Soak the mustard seeds in water for 30 minutes or so. Coat the fish pieces with some salt, tumeric powder, red chilly powder and half of the lemon juice and set aside.

Sauce:

For preparing the sauce, grind the following in a food processor- the soaked mustard seeds, diced onion, coconut, greenĀ chilies, yogurt and sugar. You could add some water if the mixture is too thick.

Cooking:

–Ā SauteĀ the fish lightly in vegetable oil and set aside. You could skip this step if you want cut down the oil in the recipe.

– If you are using mustard oil, heat it in a pan till it starts smoking. Turn off the heat and let it cool for a while. Then heat it again and add the mustard sauce to it. Let this sauce cook for about 10 mins. Add some water if it thickens too much and keep stirring. Add salt for seasoning.

– Now add the fish to the sauce and let it cook for another 10 mins.

– Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and remaining lemon juice. Serve with steamed white rice.

Hope you like this…. and let me know if you try it. Enjoy, and stay “khush”!!

The smell of mustard is in the air...