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 dishes.


July 8, 2011

Tandoor Chef's Samosas

The one thing I've learned since watching my mom cook is that sometimes, shortcuts are necessary to cut cooking time. That's why whenever we have company over, we love serving snacks that don't require a lot of assembling or heating time. Recently Deep Foods, leading manufacturers of Indian food contacted us to review some of their products and we were happy to provide our feedback. 
So today we will be sharing our thoughts on snacks, specifically samosas made by Tandoor Chef, one of Deep Foods' brands. Three varieties of samosas are available: Palak paneer samosas, jumbo samosas with coriander chutney, and tandoori chicken samosas. We tried the Palak paneer samosas and the jumbo samosas (pictured above).

Click image to enlarge
Samosas contain no artificial flavors and made with 100% natural ingredients. We liked the fact that chutney (dipping sauce) was included but the consistency was watery. We added some ketchup to make it more thicker and bring out the tangy flavor which fit well with the spicy filling. In terms of appetite pleasing, better to grab a samosa than a candy full.

Next up, Palak Paneer samosas:

Click image to enlarge
The flavor test: good taste, medium spicy, and well cooked filling. We liked the crunchy crust and crispy texture after baking them (as per the cooking instructions on the box). Another winning point is that they weren't too oily and are the perfect size for a snack. The spicy taste of these samosas go great with a "cold one" or hot beverages such as Chai or tea. The only con for this snack is that no sauce was included in the box.   

Now I will attempt to read your mind...wait for it...You're wondering where you can get some samosas. Currently, these snacks are available at your local Indian grocery store.   

July 2, 2011

Begum Palace - Gem of the North

My dad celebrated Fathers Day this past Thursday with his two "little" girls: my sister and I. We started off the day by surprising him with a new Smartphone like ours. We were so proud and so was he! We were so famished after we went over all the cool features and setup of his new toy, that we decided to go out for dinner. After dining at most of the restaurants by our town, we decided to trek a bit farther and went to Begum Palace restaurant in Madison.
Although the restaurant appeared small, it was quite the opposite inside. Since we went on a Thursday night, it wasn't too crowded or noisy, which was perfectly fine with us. I especially enjoyed the music; it was a mix between classical Indian, instrumental, and trance. Here are some pictures from our evening for your viewing pleasure.

We started off the evening with some appetizers: Mirchi pakoras, pani puri, and papdi chaat. I loved the pani (seasoned water) in the pani puri a lot; it was cool and refreshing. My parents love spicy food, so they enjoyed the mirchi pakoras. The appetizers were so tasty, we finished them off pretty quick and couldn't wait to dig into the entrees. We ordered Bhooni Bhindi (Green okra cooked with onion, tomatoes and various herbs and spices), Saag and Paneer Koftas (chopped spinach and Indian cheese dumplings in a tomato based gravy sauce), and Achari Chicken kebabs (Hot and spicy Indian chutney infused into the chicken kebabs tossed with onions and topped with cilantro). We ate these with Peshawari naan (Unleavened bread stuff with coconut, nuts and raisins baked in the tandoor) and basmati rice. After all that food, everyone was pretty full but I was still contemplating about dessert. Our dinner was completed with a plate of warm and juicy gulab jamun on the house...we must have charmed the host.
Overall, we enjoyed our evening which was filled with nice conversations, delicious food, and good company. My parents were impressed with the courteous wait staff and the friendly nature of the owner who strolled by a couple times to make sure we were enjoying ourselves. That's what I call SERVICE. I would definitely dine there again!