Sharmi on the Trot

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Archive for the tag “breakfast food”

Review: Bagrry’s — Nutritious, Healthy and Tasty

Healthy products from Bagrry's

Healthy products from Bagrry’s

I had never been fond of oats growing up. My grandfather would take porridge every morning for breakfast and tried to inculcate the habit in me. My mother would use oats creatively to get me to eat it. I refused every single time and eventually everyone gave up. I don’t know why I disliked it so much really because I can’t pin point a reason. But then, something miraculous happened. I grew up!
As we grow older, our tastes and habits change. Often we find ourselves enjoying things we had never dreamed we could during our childhood. There was a time when my dress code used to be jeans and a tee with sneakers. Never in my wildest imagination could I even think of dressing up in skirts and dresses. 15 years down the line, I can imagine my younger self having a good laugh to the point when tears roll down her cheeks!
Similarly my eating habits have undergone changes and believe it or not, my day starts with a bowl of oats and sometimes, even ends with it when I feel lazy to cook dinner. If the laziness reaches extreme levels then it’s about pouring muesli into a bowl, adding milk or flavoured yoghurt and maybe some additional berries to give it an extra kick! As you can make out, I don’t tend to follow the breakfast rules!

Cornflakes with almond and honey

Cornflakes with almond and honey

Oats, the old fashioned kind

Oats, the old fashioned kind

Masala Oats, very very delicious

Masala Oats, very very delicious

Crunchy Muesli with nuts and cranberries

Crunchy Muesli with nuts and cranberries

Last but not the least, White Oats

Last but not the least, White Oats

Bagrry’s have been around in the Indian market for over two decades. I recently had the honour to review some of their products and everything I tasted put a genuine smile on my face. While their Muesli (my absolute favourite) is filled with dried cranberries and nuts which you can taste with every bite, the Masala Oats are delicious and have the perfect balance of spice and mild. Don’t even get me started on the Cornflakes. They make one with almond and honey and the taste is heavenly when doused with milk. It’s sweet, yet not the sickening kind, and there is no scrimping on the almond flakes. The Old Fashioned Steel Cut Oats make one of the best breakfast bowls. Cook with milk or hot water, load up with fruits and nuts, even maybe a bit of jam or jelly for guilty pleasure and voila, a healthy well-balanced breakfast awaits you to power start a day. Oats are so versatile that one doesn’t need to have it the way it’s advertised usually. Use it to make cutlets or even chops, they are beneficial and so much healthier than loading up on empty carbs.

Cornflakes go so well with milk!

Cornflakes go so well with milk!

Another view of the cornflakes

Another view of the cornflakes

Muesli served with milk and flowers. It makes any breakfast special!

Muesli served with milk and flowers. It makes any breakfast special!

For muesli on the go, mason jars are perfect.

For muesli on the go, mason jars are perfect.

My favourite way to eat masala oats -in bed with coffee!

My favourite way to eat Masala oats – in bed with coffee!

Bagrry’s tagline reads ‘Let’s put health first’. I couldn’t agree more. The pace at which one consumes junk food on a regular basis is scary. Bad eating habits not only affect one’s health but make one lazy and unproductive. Bagrry’s offers consumers all-natural, innovative and extremely healthy products with no compromise in quality. One can choose from 12 different varieties of Muesli ranging from chocolate to dried fruits and nuts. There’s also a wide range of oats on offer. If you don’t like masala, pick up the usual old-fashioned kind. From high-fibre bran to three kinds of cornflakes to the ‘Oats for India’ range that offers oats for atta, suji and poha; Bagrry’s even offers green tea for the health conscious.
Personally, I would definitely choose Bagrry’s during my grocery shopping trips. I’ve enjoyed each and every product I’ve used and would recommend it to every health-conscious eater out there.

For more information check out Bagrry’s. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram

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Food in Calcutta: Tiretti Bazaar’s Chinese Breakfast

 

Homemade Chinese delicacies

Homemade Chinese delicacies

The steaming bowl of broth and fish balls beckoned invitingly. The woman who had set up her stall by the roadside looked at her container on the fire that kept the soup warm for customers. She had just ladled out a serving along with handmade fish balls in a red bowl keeping up with the Christmas week celebrations. I bent down to smell the contents. All it needed was the customary decking with soy and it was ready. The table next to her is always kept ready with seasonings and cutlery. Break the generous fish ball and take a bite. Wash it down with the hot broth and that’s when you realise why you made that early morning journey to Tiretti Bazaar in Central Calcutta (Kolkata). (Do pardon me but I’m used to calling the city I grew up in Calcutta and not Kolkata).

The steaming soup container

The steaming soup container

Recently a lot has been written and discussed about the unique Chinese Breakfast in Calcutta. Many have called it a recent discovery while some have ventured out to try the food because of the visibility on social media. But for the old timers, it’s a matter of habit. I was introduced to Poddar Court about 10 years ago on a chilly winter morning by a dear friend. Having picked me up from home in the wee hours, we drove through the empty roads to reach the central part of the city.

Fish ball soup and Pork Bun

This time round when I visited home for Christmas and impromptu brekkie plans were made, I realised I was going there with the same friend. We were older but not wiser, yet our appetite for Chinese food remained the same!

Get them buns steaming hot. You get a choice between chicken and pork

Get them buns steaming hot. You get a choice between chicken and pork

You can shop for wallets as you devour pork spring rolls!

You can shop for wallets as you devour pork spring rolls!

Years ago, Chinese immigrants made Calcutta their home. They brought their food and culture to the expanding city and today, they form a unique part of Calcutta’s cultural heritage. As Chinese restaurants blossom, a visit to Tiretti Bazar will give you a taste into delicious homemade Chinese delicacies. From dumplings filled with minced meat to steaming buns with homemade fillings, sausages to prawn crackers, delicate broths to deep fried meat balls.

As you enter the road, you’re greeted with the view of a market. Fresh roses the flower seller sets up are gorgeous and red. Walk further down and you encounter fresh vegetables and greens – from bok choy to Chinese cabbage. Then you have the meat and fish sellers showcasing their wares and finally, the smell of steaming dumplings tell you you’ve reached your destination. The number of sellers has dwindled over the years but that does not stop a handful of enthusiasts from selling their homemade delicacies every single day no matter the weather. “Even if it’s raining, you will find one of us at least selling food so that no one goes back empty handed,” said the man who sells crumbed spring rolls along with wallets. The stalls are set up early in the morning, about 5ish and they wrap by when their stocks run out, which is pretty early if I can add. If you decide to come here at your leisure, you’ll be disappointed. The earlier you arrive, the more food you will get!

Steamed dumplings

Steamed dumplings

You want more? There's plenty!

You want more? There’s plenty!

Work never ends. Preps for the buns start in the evening while for items like dumplings and rolls, early morning plays a crucial role. As I dug into fish ball soup, prawn spring rolls, pork and fish dumplings and steaming pork baos, I craved roasted pork. If you want to try it, make sure you go there on the weekends because that’s the only time you’ll get it. If you’re in Calcutta and want to do something local, eating Chinese breakfast at Tiretti Bazaar must be on your to-do list!

Get some sausages to cook at home!

Get some sausages to cook at home!

Buy what goes into the sausage so you can attempt making them yourself!

Buy what goes into the sausage so you can attempt making them yourself!

After breakfast, why don't you complete your veggie shopping too?

After breakfast, why don’t you complete your veggie shopping too?

The roses that greet you when you enter and leave the breakfast road!

The roses that greet you when you enter and leave the breakfast road!

PS: Pocket pinch for 2 hungry eaters: Rs 300 approx
How to reach: Nearest metro station is Central. The food place is walking distance with the help of strangers whom you’ll have to ask for directions. If driving, then park in front of Poddar Court, near Lal Bazar

Decadent Weekend Breakfast on a Weekday!

So what if it’s a weekday? It doesn’t stop me from creating weekend breakfasts. In fact, I feel all the more happy because as I dig into delicious food, I feel a spring in my step. The day starts well and generally it ends on a rather happy note.
There are many variations of this North African dish – Eggs with bell
peppers or Shakshuka. Mexico celebrates eggs with tomatoes as Huevos Rancheros. I try to walk on an unconventional path and often make a mixture of the two. And I often eat it on Sundays with a large mug of coffee — it’s heaven in the pan!

Ingredients
2 Eggs
1 small bell pepper (chopped)
1 small carrot (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 small tomato (chopped)
2 button mushrooms (chopped)
2 tbs tomato puree
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp chilly flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt to taste
Coriander to garnish

Method
– Heat the oil in a pan.
– Saute the onion, garlic and chilly flakes till the mixture is soft and has a lovely reddish tinge.
– Add the bell pepper, carrot and smoked paprika. Cook till soft.
– Add the mushrooms, tomato and salt to season.
– Add the tomato puree and oregano. Cook till everything is nice and squidgy.
– Make a small parting in the middle of the vegetable mixture and crack the eggs.
– If you like your eggs to be runny, cover the pan with a lid for about
a minute till it cooks. I cover it for about 3 minutes till the yolks
cook through. Garnish with coriander.
– Enjoy either with bread or as it is, straight off the pan!

Yes, that's what breakfast looks like!

Yes, that’s what breakfast looks like!

A close up! Enjoying the hot eggs!

A close up! Enjoying the hot eggs!

PS: I love making this for family or friends. It tastes much better if
you make it for about 4-5 people.

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