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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Zohara Mediterranean cuisine, West Hartford CT Review



      Felt like long that we have not dinner outed for as a family. Recently, if we were eating out it's always been take outs. We love to go out for eating as a family, sitting in a comfy place with the comfort of food sharing and conversing with each other. Because regular days are so busy and we always in a little hurry. On Friday nights a new place new food gives boost for a good relaxing weekend ahead. That’s why we always look forward to Fridays and is our favorite for dinner outings.



      Zohara, the Mediterranean flare has been in my pending list for a little while now. Finally made it to Zohara, a comfort, complete, casual culinary tale. In the heart and hustle of blue back square, Zohar is casual, open modern kitchen and with a bunch of humble attentive staff and casual clean sitting. Just like its name, Zohara is a jewel in midst of blue back square. We started our day housemade lemonade with a mindful hint of mint flavor. As chickpeas are our family favorite, we were there to start with crunchy chickpeas and hummus that comes with pita bread. My kids loved hummus -pita and crispy crunchy chickpeas. Zohra does not have any specific kids menu but the main menu is good enough for ordering for kids. I am sure you will find something for kids to relish. Freshly baked from the hot oven palatable pita coupled well with velvety hummus with a tiny tint of sesame taste definitely a raving twist. 



      For our main, I opt for a roasted whole cauliflower with pine nuts pomegranate, tahini, and herbs. Spice up roasted cauliflower topped with green chutney and jeweled in pink pomegranate seeds, it definitely takes a level up Zohara’s culinary tale. It was not just the looks but enticing and appetizing taste carefully roasted cauliflower with green herb and pomegranate gives you a good shake on your taste bud. For hubby, we had lamb shank with green peas, pomegranate, and lentil. A melting in mouth meaty flavored lamb shank is a must try. Love the twist of chic green peas served with whipped hummus is definitely a chefs innovative take.


      For kids they wanted chicken, so we had Chicken harissa. We were little disappointed with the portion, only four chunks of chicken but was immediately made up with the taste of succulent, rightly roasted chicken and crispy harissa chili and onion. 


      At the end, we wanted to leave on a sweet note so, ended with rose pudding. As I don't go overboard on sugar, got my share of one spoon from my kid's plate. It was luscious whipped and luxurious red rose syrup on top with garnished green pistachio. A well spent Friday evening with zestful Zohara with her comfort culinary tale worth the price. Yet to explore a few more dishes and will relish them next time in my next visit. Have a wonderful weekend.

My rating is 4 out of 5.

Address: 991 Farmington Ave, West Hartford, CT 06107

Hours:
Saturday 11AM–2AM
Sunday 11AM–12AM
Monday 11:30AM–1AM
Tuesday 11:30AM–1AM
Wednesday 11:30AM–1AM
Thursday 11:30AM–1AM
Friday 11:30AM–2AM

Phone: (860) 955-0300

Menu: zoharact.com

Saturday, July 22, 2017

A little bit of Sky (Thoda sa Aasman) - #OOTD

 
      I don't recall when exactly, but that time in the early 90s, there was one Indian TV drama series called Thoda sa Aasman"(A little bit of Sky). The series emphasized on women inner world, and her sensitivities. And the serial also portraited several different women from the various walks of life. Even when I was very young, the serial stayed with me, not sure because of the stories or because of the name of the series. I feel that life is always all about a little bit of earth and a little bit of sky. The earth keeps you grounded and real. On the other hand, sky adds color to your dreams and imagination.
"Thoda
       It's about six months now since I started my blog and three months now since I posted it public. It's an incredible feeling how you all responding to my blog. It feels amazing reading all your comments,  how you took time reading it and writing back to me, it means a lot.


       This week one of my friends left the USA, after all the good feelings, it again felt sad. Saying someone bye is not easy for me. When I left India and made the USA home, those friends became my family. Probably that is the reason saying goodbye to them was very hard; I felt sad the whole week.
However, life goes on. When I started my blog, I thought, I would post only ethnic or traditional Indian outfits. But, now I strongly feel that it will deny the western outfits that I wear on a regular basis. Last Sunday, I took these pictures of my outfit. I am posting a lovely pink dress from Zara. Pink or blush pink is trending everywhere this season. I like this soft shade of pink which has a very gentle and feminine appeal to it with dramatic sleeves. Ideal outfit for a summer day. I kept rest of the look very simple, a pom-pom earring and a jeweled sandal. Hope you like it. Happy weekend guys!


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Bilahir Tok(Assamese style Tomato Chutney),birthday memories




      I grew up in the mid-80s and early 90s Assam, India where we celebrated our birthday parties with home made food even the cake was made by our moms. There was no elaborate decorations or video games or pizzas. However, our happiness or celebration was not any less than today's birthday. As every childhood has its own charming tale. Those were the days indeed.

      In those times, the menus were fixed almost for every household. Crisp Luchi (fried dough) was a must have for a birthday or any other celebrations accompanied with green gram thick velvety gravy and succulent tomato chutney (bilahir tok). The other day my daughter completed five years. It was on a weekday, and we celebrated it at home, and on Saturday she is going have her actual birthday party with friends. I thought why not celebrate it in our old back home way, how we used to. Just like my mom, I made luchi and quintessential bilahir tok. They say, you re-live your childhood through your children. Ah, how true. I remember how my mom used to get up in the morning and prepare. How the fragrance waft into our taste buds. How heavenly it felt with those flavors and fragrances. Today, I thought why not with this post share my favorite bilahir tok. Hope you all will like it.


Ingredients

1. 4 tomatoes on the vine
2. A cup of grapes
3. A cup of cut pineapples
4. 1 to 2 tablespoon oil
5. Pinch of turmeric
6. Salt as per your taste
7. Pinch of chili powder
8. A cup of jaggery or molasses
9. Spices - pinch of nigella, pinch of cumin seeds, pinch of mustards seeds, pinch of fenugreek seeds and pinch of anise seeds and 1 dry red chili



      First, cut the tomatoes into bite size pieces. Put a pan on the stove on low to medium heat and add oil of your choice. I use either mustard oil or olive oil. Then put the whole spices in the oil and once it starts to crack put the turmeric and chili powder. Adding chili powder gives a nice color to the chutney, of course, it's optional. While putting the chili powder your heat should be low otherwise it will burn. Then add the tomato pieces. Stir it until it gets mussy and cover it for 5 to 7 minutes on low heat. After that add jaggery or molasses and stir it for 2 to 3 minutes. Once all ingredients get mixed, add grapes and after 2 to 3 minutes add pineapple pieces. Stir it gently, cover it and cook for 5 minutes on low to medium heat. Done.


      Now it is ready to serve with puffed luchi. It goes well with steamed rice or pilaf too. We had it with luchi. We went through a little guilt trip, but it's worth to have when it brings you the joy of your childhood memories. Sorry, my one more excuse for eating fried food. 


      This recipe is very popular in both Assam and West Bengal, India. However, my preparation is not exactly the traditional way. I added fruits like grapes and pineapple for a more fruity flavor. The best part of this recipe is that it is prepared with jaggery or molasses, which is known for digestion and many other health benefits compared to regular white sugar.

      My mom used to make kheer (Indian rice pudding) for our birthdays. I skipped it this time. Our birthday girl wanted to have a homemade chocolate cupcake. I made it for her. Our little one enjoyed her birthday very well as we used to enjoy as a kid. But she refuses to have a homemade cake for her actual birthday as mommy is not good at decoration. Happy weekend guys!

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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Meghali Das

"Fashion Changes, But Style Endures"
COCO CHANEL

Introduction:
     Avon Diamond Executive President, India, Meghali Das is from Assam, India. No need for any elaborate introduction, she is the Secretary of North East Fashion Council (FNDC), India and is known for her great aesthetics for hand loom and handicraft. Her subtle yet elegant style is impactful and inspiring. Presenting her and her style...



1. What is your style?
     Meghali Das: I do not follow fashion. My comfort is my style and I always go for what suits me than following a trend.


2. Your top three favorite looks?
     Meghali Das: 

  • Totally ethnic, be it mekhela chador or saree with matching Avon jewellery. I love my hand bags and a very good collection. 
  • Love to wear skirts with knee high boots in winter depends on where I am going, weather, climate and occasion.
  • Blue denim and white shirt.

3. Eye makeup or Lipstick or both?
     Mehali Das: Depending on occasion both at times, but surely eyes at all times. Like to keep it subtle during the day.


4. Your favorite weaves or embroidery techniques you like?
     Meghali Das: Traditional wear from northeast, from all the eight states. Love to wear from Gale, Puwans and Jansems and all indigenous tribes of all states. I love hand loom.


5. Your ideal day wear and ideal night wear?
     Meghali Das: Depends...for work I prefer formal or else casual. Night is soft n comfy. 


6. What do you like to wear for a wedding?
     Meghali Das: The complete look with make up, jewellery, hair, bag n shoes, including flowers in my hair. 


7. Three accessories always in your collection….
     Meghali Das:

  • Watch - If I wear a stylish watch then I do not wear a bracelet.
  • Scarf - Scarves are nice to add color especially in a plain top.
  • Jewlery - If the neck peice is big then I wear tiny tops. If I wear danglers then no necklace. If I wear a cocktail ring then no other rings or bracelets.

8. Any gIndigenous Diva Tip?
     Meghali Das: Do not just follow any trend. Make a trend and let people follow it.


Indigenous diva


Indigenous diva is someone who has a style of her own. She explores awesome Assam silk, the magic of mairang phee, delights in dabu prints, bespoke banarasi or baluchari, packs herself in patola or paithani, keen for Kanchipuram or Kalamkari,  finds lyrics in Lucknow chikan, lives up in leheriya with charm in chanderi. Let’s celebrate all those weaves and hand work embroidery around the globe.. And her....She emerges from yesterday's heritage and blends into today's modern and contemporary ways. It's all about women and her signature style. Let’s hear from those divas and connoisseur. #indigenousdica

Introduction

  1. What is your style?
  2. Your top three favorite looks?
  3. Eye makeup or Lipstick or both?
  4. Your favorite weaves or embroidery techniques you like?
  5. Your ideal day wear and ideal night wear?
  6. What do you like to wear for a wedding?
  7. Three accessories always in your collection….
  8. Any Indigenous Diva Tip?

Indigenous Diva Guests




P.S. Through this post we feature all the hand loom lovers in the world along with their unique swag. We would love to feature your love for hand loom. Please write to us at: Acupofassamtea.


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Freshii, Westport, CT review



      When I moved to the USA 15 years back, it was not only difficult but almost impossible to find choices for good fast food chain. Although a couple was there, it was not as widely known as today. But now from a couple of years ago, thanks to the food entrepreneurs and nutrition enthusiasts, you have the choice for healthy fast food chains.



      Recently we visited Fresii in Westport. The name says it all..is not it? The whole new take on good and real food, offbeat entering Fressii itself gives you great vibe. Located in the prime location with excellent shopping options and just a walk away from Saugatuck River, ivory walls and fresh green interior apparently makes you feel fresh.



      We started our day with a few drinks, precisely juices. Freshii menu consists Wraps and salads, burritos and bowls, soups and smoothies all healthy assortments. I went ahead for Mediterranean bowl -quinoa and field greens, feta cheese, kalamata olives, almonds, red onions, cucumber, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, red pepper sauce and you have choices for adding extras like meat, chicken, shrimp or falafel. I added falafel to my bowl. The great part of Freshii is you can customize it as per your taste and make it fun for you. I love that they added crunchy almond, it just goes so really well with the whole Mediterranean theme. You are eating healthy food yet at the same time no compromising on taste, Fresii food taste says it all.



      My husband got  Buddha Satay -rice noodles, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, crispy wontons, green onions, spicy peanut sauce. It was quite scrumptious. Admittedly a very innovative take.  I was hitched by the playfulness of the menu, the way how spicy sauce blends with rice noodles like American take blends with the Asian take.

      It is little expensive, has great portion sizes but worth paying for the freshness for sure. I fell refreshed and surely worth visit next.

      My rating is 3.5 out of 5.

Address: 1 Main St, Westport, CT 06880
Phone:     (203) 222-3599
Hours:
Saturday        9AM–8PM
Sunday          10AM–7PM
Monday         8AM–8PM
Tuesday         8AM–8PM
Wednesday    8AM–8PM
Thursday        8AM–8PM
Friday            8AM–8PM


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