Sagar Vegetarian Restaurant 

A few days ago I went to review Sagar Restaurant, which specialises in Pure South Indian vegetarian cuisine. The menu allows you to explore other regional veg dishes especially infamous chaats from Mumbai!

My initial impression was that it was lovely.  The decor was simple, clean yet striking, a quiet and calming space, very zen like to be able to eat in peace and comfort. Traditional music was floating in the air which definitely added to the ambiece of the restaurant. 

The staff were extremely attentive, helpful and knew their dishes well. I fancied the Idli Sambhar, my mum who had accompanied me, was recommended to have the Medu Vada. 

These starters were truly incredible.
The idli were like soft clouds that just melted away on my tongue. The silky texture of onion in the sambhar and its consistency was spot on!

The medu vada, simple  crispy battered fried doughnuts, not greasy but cooked to perfection, was stunning when dipped into the coconut chutney and drenched in the tasty sambhar!

I was also pleasantly surprised having ordered an orange juice that I received a freshly squeezed sweet and tangy oj.

For my mains the Traditional Udapi thali was getting prepared and the chilli & onion Uttapam for my mum.

The thali is one of their best sellers and I can totally understand why and I agree! Presented well and all the individual dishes were named and shown to me by Shridhara the manager. 

I found all the elements of the thali complimented each other.  A mixture of curries, dry and saucy. Two types of dal to go with the heaped mountain of rice. The over generous puri/flatbread binded each portion together.

My favourite in particular had to be the dry cabbage bhaji. A soft, salty, crunchy dry curry. Extremely tasty and so very moreish! The creamy yogurt based coconut curry was amazing too!

“Rasam…ummmm!” Was how my mum described the thin almost transparent soup.  It was to her liking due to the chilli factor. It hit the back of your throat with a warming sensation!  I just loved how she reacted.

My siro, a sweet semolina pudding had started to disappear mysteriously.  Yes you guessed right, my mother couldn’t help herself.  She said she never eats siro unless it’s homemade but the look of Sagar’s siro tempted her.  I too loved it. Sweetly balanced, the cashews were toasted and cardamom notes stayed on my palette ~ Divine!!

Overall I can’t rate this restaurant enough.  I have to admit so far it is THE BEST SOUTH INDIAN restaurant I have been to and I have been to a few!

There’s no surprise that there are two more branches of Sagar in Central London.

If you fancy traditional South Indian food, good service and great prices, Sagar is the place to go!

I would sincerely like to thank Shridhara and Jay Kumar for awesome service and the management for having us over for the review

Please feel free to visit their website http://sagarveg.co.uk/ and try this yummy restaurant for yourselves 
Until next time, much love D x

If you would like me to review your vegetarian restaurant dishes in the UK, please feel free to message me on dhmakani@gmail.com

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Himalayan Salt Chocolate Truffles

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Fudge is really big here in the UK. From clotted cream fudge to salted caramel treats. I love fudge and just had to try my hand at making these beautiful fudge truffles. By adding pink Himalayan salt to this recipe I was able to conjure up more depth of flavour. It cut through the sweetness yet lifted the overall taste of the chocolate.

If you haven’t tried this gorgeous flamingo coloured salt, what are you waiting for? Make these today! Do let me know how you all get on. Chat soon. Much love, D x

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INGREDIENTS

1 tin condensed milk
400g dark chocolate
Himalayan salt
Cocoa powder to dust

METHOD

Melt the chocolate in a ban marie on a low heat with the condensed milk. Stir gently as it melts

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Pour into a rectangular dish, level out and then place in the fridge overnight. Sprinkle with crushed Himalayan salt

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In the morning, take a teaspoon full of fudge mixture and roll into a ball. Roll the ball in a dish with cocoa powder making sure all of it is smothered in the luscious cocoa

Repeat with all the fudge mixture. Store in the fridge to retain freshness and shape

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Avocado, Banana Smoothie

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So you know when you first have a baby and the first foods to wean them on are avocado and banana smashed together.  I never tried it until now! But I can see why  babies like it.  I incorporated these two wonderful superpower food ingredients into the smoothie for today with blueberries full of antioxidants but to add a slight kick with a strawberry cordial running through it!

Such a creamy consistency. Blend yourself one…sit back and enjoy your weekend! Much love D x

INGREDIENTS

Half an avocado
1 small banana
Handful of frozen blueberries
200ml diluted strawberry cordial drink

METHOD

Blitz well in a blender or smoothie maker. Add water if you like it more juice like

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The Weekend Detox Soup

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This week has been a very naughty week in regards to food for me. A ll I have been munching on is chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate. I didn’t feel guilty so much during the week as I did this morning!  I had to eat something good for me, healthy and yet have a detoxing effect. 

I’ve always heard my Mum telling me and practically feeding me the goodness of green mung beans.  A natural cleanser, full of protein and a general all rounded nutritious bean.  Normally I cook them as an Indian Curry but that won’t help me with the detox side of things.  I took my large jar of mung beans and created this healthy dish.  Simplicity at it’s best!  Enjoy friends…

INGREDIENTS

1 cup mung beans
3/4 cups water
Vegetable stock cube
1 garlic clove crushed
Salt and chilli powder to taste
Fresh lemon juice

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METHOD

Boil the mung beans in the water along with the vegetable stock cube, once brought to the boil place on a medium simmer for 15 minutes

Add in the crushed garlic, salt and chilli powder, simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the beans are soft and tender

Serve up in a large bowl and squeeze in a generous amount of lemon juice.  Start eating and let the detox begin!

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Kale~Alternative To Crisps?…Really??

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So I was a bit sceptical about kale crisps! But it had to be done.  I love cooking as you know but I don’t like the prep! That’s why I love my food processor so much!

These days we are so very lucky to get prepped fruit and veg ready in bags and washed too…Okay..I’m not that lazy but was tempted to buy a fresh bag of vibrant curly green kale!

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What happens next is so so easy…you’ll kick yourself for not trying it earlier!

If you like crispy seaweed..You will enjoy this.  Let me know how you like them..Have a wonderful day, much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

100g curly kale stemmed, trimmed & washed
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp taco/spicy chilli powder mix
Salt to taste

METHOD

Preheat oven to 130c. 

Drizzle the olive oil onto the kale

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Massage the salt and spicy mix well into the leaves

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Lay out on a large oven tray lined with foil and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until crispy but not burnt

The kale will shrivel so if you want more, repeat the above prices again

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The Indian Onion Soup

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Forget the french onion soup! For a second.  Take it to the next level, spice it up, masalafy it and transform it into the Indian curried onion soup.  You are bound to have these ingredients in your pantry , so no extra shopping!   A quick fix with some fresh crusty buttered bread or even some khichdi (rice and split mung bean dish)

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I had a large sweet white onion and in contrast a red onion to use for this soup.  However I will never really understand why a red onion is a RED onion ? It is very much purple/magenta in colour?…any how…I love onions, I eat them raw in salads, find them delicious paired with a mature cheddar cheese sandwich!  I just love them!  Most of my cooking will involve onions in some way or another but today we are focusing solely on the onion.

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This soup can be cooked in under 20 to 25 minutes.  Is very tasty, slightly sweet because the onions are caramelized in the spices and then you get a hint of heat on your palette at the very end from the red dried chilli flakes.

I know all onion lovers will adore this and it may even convert non onion lovers to loving them.  Hope you have a wonderful day…I’ll see you soon! Much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

1 large white onion sliced
1 large red onion sliced
1 tsp sunflower oil
Pinch of cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
¼ tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp cumin/coriander powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tsp garam masala
1 tin finely chopped tomato
Salt to taste
1 cup water

METHOD

In a large saucepan, heat up the oil on a medium heat with the cumin seeds. Once the oil starts to sizzle are the onions and mix well

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Add all the seasoning and spices making sure all the onion is coated. Cover, reduce to a low heat and cook for 5 minutes

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Pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes with the cup of water, stir well, bring to a boil and gently simmer for 15 minutes

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Serve up with a dollop of natural yoghurt and fresh bread

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Roasted Red Bell Pepper Chapatis

A tasty and healthy flat bread…One of our family favourites!

Shivaay Delights

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Peppers give immense flavour in cooking especially when it’s roasted! Packed with vitamin C, it’s great for when you have a cold. With both my little ones sniffling away and always comforted with a rolled up chapati in their hands when playing. I thought why not introduce the pepper to the chapati?

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I was sooo happy with the result and so were they. A soft orange chapati with strong notes of pepper and coriander. I sent a couple for my Mum to try and she loved them. She wants the recipe! So this one is for you my dearest!

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INGREDIENTS

1 red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves
Handful fresh coriander
¾ tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp coriander & cumin powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp garam masala
250g chapati flour
1 tbsp sunflower oil
Boiling water to bind
Extra flour for rolling
Butter

METHOD

• Preheat the…

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Peppered Cassava

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My Dad adores cassava and they both go back a long way. He grew up on this nutritious food in Africa and also prepared it for us here. My brothers and I fell in love with it too. Such a versatile vegetable that has a distinctive flavour and texture yet takes on spices and other accompanying ingredients so well.

So here you have one of my Dad’s amazing cassava recipes…I thoroughly hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Thanks for sharing Dad…Much love, D x

INGREDIENTS

1 packet frozen cassava, steamed until tender (pieces)
1 level tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
Boiling water
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander to garnish

METHOD

Heat the oil and cumin seeds in a large saucepan on a medium heat. Once the seeds start to sizzle, carefully add the cassava into the saucepan

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Mix well so that all the cassava is covered in the oil and seeds

Pour over boiling water, ensuring that the cassava is just about covered with water

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Sprinkle in the pepper and salt. Reduce to a low heat and cover. Cook for 15 to 25 minutes until the cassava has become even softer and the whole dish looks creamy

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Garnish with fresh coriander and get your serving bowls ready. Tastes superb with some natural yoghurt

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