The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


June 21, 2013

Hot Breads Bakery - My Favorite Indian Street Food Cafe

What do corn on the cob with queso fresco, fried yams, kenkey, injera, cassava bread, dhal puri, badam vaja, soto ayam, jalebi, empanadas, sabikh, and crepes have in common? Any guesses? They are all varieties of street food found across our borders. Street food is a ready to eat food or drink that is sold on the side of streets in stalls, portable carts, or folding tables, travelling pedestrian vendors, public markets.
My stomach cannot handle street food from a street vendor in India anymore (as I've tried and tested on my previous trips). Man I miss those gol gappas or pani puri served in dried banana leaves. It was all about the experience, you see. Lucky for me there are a few bakeries/cafes that sell such street food near my town. I can enjoy these in the comforts of air conditioned and spacious seating accommodations. The one I really like and go often is Hot Breads Bakery. I reviewed them about two years ago and cited how much I loved their cakes and cookies.
This year, it's all about their take on street food such as samosa chaat, kati rolls, and bhel puri. Oh man just typing these is making my stomach grumble.

Feast your eyes on this mighty filling and mouth watering Samosa Chaat. By far the best I've eaten in the NY/NJ area. It beat out Sukhadia's version in Edison. The breakdown of this meal starts with a warm and toasty samosa that is fried to perfection without being too oily and/or crispy. It is also important to note that the potato curry filling had just the right amount of seasoning without overpowering it. Once this crispy samosa is cut it into pieces, it's layered with other equally flavorful ingredients such as chole curry, tamarind and mint chutneys, sev, chopped red onions and fresh coriander. 

Check out these Super Sized Kati Rolls!
Their Paneer Kati Rolls are good as well! My parents are pretty picky and even they loved them; probably because they were well seasoned. I ate this for lunch and dinner one day because each  half was pretty filling. The Indian flatbread or tortilla is filled with roasted paneer, bell peppers, onions, tomato, and seasoning. It's flavored to perfection. You can ask them to make it mild, medium or spicy depending on your spice level as well as request more tamarind chutney (sweet) to tone down the spicy taste. 

The takeaway from all this talk about Hot Breads is that it doesn't break the bank..hence the term street food. Every "street food" item on the menu is between $5-7 and it's quite filling. That's enough for me to return. Next time, I'm going to try this popular Bombay item called Vada Pav. Have you ever heard of it?

Also check out Wanderfood Wednesdays; where Laura takes you on a journey around the world one dish at a time. Until then, tata! 

June 16, 2013

Happy Fathers Day!!

To the smartest person I know...

What can I say about my dad besides that he's really smart and overall a cool guy. He's devoted to his family and work, passionate about the sciences, mathematics and literary works, and not bad in the kitchen either. You have to try his famous cauliflower curry!  
Today's special was Pesarattu dosa (made with whole moong) served with ginger and coriander chutney and dahi wada; two of his favorite dishes. Both of these dishes are high in protein and we know how much he loves his protein. For dessert, we ate cheese pastries from Au Bon Pain and they are really delicious. After such a heavy meal, we all took a nap and ended the night watching To Kill A Mockingbird (1968). 

How did you celebrate Fathers Day? We would love to hear from you!

June 10, 2013

My Foodilicious Weekend!

What can I say except I absolutely loved the weather this past weekend. It certainly brightened up my mood for doing errands and some good ol' home cooking.
Friday night my mom made Sarvapindi, a dish planned for Mothers' day for her mom but was postponed because we were all sick at that time. After dinner, we played rummy (different from gin rummy and played with 13 cards) and ate rasmalai. Guess who won 3 times in a row? Me, of course. The next day, my dad and I went to work for a few hours to unpack boxes and rearrange furniture in our new office. I'm not a fan of working on weekends but I knew the sooner we settled in, the easier everything will be for all of us. A productive day deserves a good meal. That night, I made paneer kati rolls for everyone. It's quick and easy especially if you use ready made rotis or plain parathas (I recommend Deep Foods brand). I used to eat these all the time when I was working in the city. They're cheap and filling.
Since I worked so much on Saturday, it's only fair that Sunday should be a lazy day. I caught up with all my shows from the week, cleaned my room, and organized my closet. Why does it always feel like time flies by on Sundays? Before I knew it, it was time for dinner. My mom and I made Spinach and Cheese Naan Pizza. Oh Goody!

Pizza is my grandma's favorite American food. I wonder why? Any guesses. She loves the crispy, crunchy crust and the stringy cheese.  We love it because it's easy to make and it's foodilicious!! We sauteed a bag of frozen spinach and red onions with ginger-garlic paste, salt and chili pepper. Then we laid out the naans (from Costco) on a baking tray and spread pizza sauce (you can also use pasta sauce) evenly on them. Next we spooned the seasoned spinach and onion mixture all over and sprinkled the naans with shredded pepper jack cheese (we love the spicy flavor). We popped the trays into the preheated oven (375 degrees) for about 10-15 minutes or until crispy.

Have you tried naan pizzas before? What are your favorite toppings? Feel free to share!