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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Kerala Style Okra Curry

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My taste buds fancied something different today I aim to make different dishes at least once or twice a week to mix it up a little and have a bit of variety in our usual day-to-day lives

I found this recipe online by the amazing Tarla Dalal.  I’ve never combined vegetables in a South Indian based curry and I’m extremely happy that this was my first one.

So moreish, healthy and luxuriously coconuty plus the sourness of the yoghurt and spices to cut through the sweetness

The recipe can be found @ http://m.tarladalal.com/Dahi-Bhindi-(–Kerala-Style-)-267r

I’m very sure you all will enjoy it as much as I did!

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I have an easy and versatile potato curry coming up soon! Keep watching!

Until then, much love, D x

Sweet Semolina Halwa Pudding

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I have always been wanting to make the dishes that my Mum made look so simple to make.  I would sit on the kitchen stool and watch in awe.  One sweet item I have always wanted to try is a warm sweet semolina dessert.  A halwa..little grains of semolina combined with flaked nuts and overall aromatic saffron undertones.

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I followed an amazing recipe by Dassana Amit @ http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/saffron-halwa/.  I made half of the quantity stated and found when adding the milk there was plenty to go round.  A wonderful Indian semolina pudding…something a little different but I guarantee you’ll get hooked!

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A Cherried Chianti

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We bought this wine earlier this week, which is from the Tuscany region of Italy.  I don’t drink red wine easily as some are so full bodied and overwhelming but this particular Chianti appealed to my light palette.

It has sour notes with a soothing warm feeling as you sip.  I was amazed to sense the cherry flavour that I tasted almost immediately as it has mainly cherry notes running through it. An easy wine to drink and quite delicious. Went really well with a roasted vegetable oven baked pizza. I know I will be buying and drinking this again soon!

If you get the chance..Do try it and let me know how you like it. 

Have a wonderful weekend friends.  I promise more food recipes coming up next week!  Much love, D x

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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Mary Berry’s Chocolate Cupcakes

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I adore Mary Berry, the absolute Queen of Baking here in the UK. A beautiful person, so extremely talented and has dedicated her career to help us perfect our home baking. I just know that when I use a “Mary Berry Recipe” I will have fantastic results everytime.

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Here is one of our favourites…I put the chocolate icing onto the cakes whilst they were still warm and this way it melted into a rich chocolate sauce with an ultimate moist cake centre…ummm chocolate heaven!

Enjoy friends…Have a wonderful day! Much love, D x

CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE RECIPE
@ http://www.bakingmad.com/mary-berry-chocolate-cupcake-recipe/

INGREDIENTS

CHOCOLATE CAKE
4 tbsp water boiling
40g cocoa powder
3 eggs
175g butter (unsalted) softened
165g caster sugar 
115g self-raising white flour
1 tsp baking powder 

CHOCOLATE ICING
60g butter (unsalted)
30g cocoa powder
3 tbsp milk
250g icing sugar 

METHOD

1. Line two 12-hole muffin tins with paper cases. Sift the cocoa powder into a bowl, pour in the boiling water and mix into a thick paste. Add the remaining cake ingredients and mix with an electric hand whisk (or beat with a wooden spoon)

2. Divide the mixture equally between the 24 paper cases. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for about 10 minutes until well risen and springy to the touch. Cool in the cases on a wire

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3. To make the chocolate icing melt the butter and pour it into a bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder and stir in the icing sugar a little at a time to make a glossy and spreadable. If the icing is too thick, gradually add the milk until it reaches the desired consistency. Using a palette knife spread the icing over the cakes and leave to set before serving

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Potatoes Purèe ~ Family Recipe

This looks beautiful! Can’t wait to try it!

Black Salad

purèeWho doesn’t love smashed potatoes?They are not the lightest side dish, but they taste amazing. This recipe is my father’s, it’s light and delicate. It is perfect to be served not only with meat, but also with fish. Be prepared to the fact, that once you get used to fresh purèe, you won’t be able to eat the pre-cooked one sold in the supermarket.

One trick: you can always boil potatoes with the skin: when you smash them, the skin get trapped in potatoes masher and doesn’t pass through.

Time:  1 hour preparation + 15 min cooking

Ingredients:  [ 4 portions]

  • 700 gr boiled potatoes
  • 50 gr grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 glasses milk
  • 2 spoons butter
  • pepper, salt, fresh parsley,nutmeg

1. Boil the potatoes until they are soft. You can use normal pots or, if you own it, a pressure cooker.

2. Smash the potatoes directly inside a…

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Fine Pressed Fruit Juices…James White

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I was contacted by James White to sample their new range of freshly pressed apple juices.  Ummm…a fruity treat and non alcoholic, I was tempted immediately!

I had expected a few small bottled samples but how grateful was I when, three elegant looking glass wine bottles arrived all pristine and packed to perfection.  After unravelling the bottles out of the fun bubble wrap, my 4 year old son caught his eye on the rosé looking “Russet Apple Juice” an “Indulgently rich clear pressed English Russet”

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I also received the Bramley and Cox apple juice too.  Those I shall be opening in due time…can’t wait! Especially as the first one I opened was stunning.  The russet apple juice had a very interesting flavour journey that it took my tongue through.  With notes of tang, then a little wild bitterness turning into the rosiest and sweetest of flavours.  I happened to have some Wensleydale, cranberry and blueberry cheese that I accompanied with the russet juice and found that as recommended it went extremely well with it.  It made the cheese taste that bit stronger and gave the berries in the cheese more oomph!

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Great for adults as a non alcoholic option to wine and as my son announced to to us all…it was AMAZING! To be honest he had most of it. I’m keeping the next two bottles away from him!  Or I may not be able to sample any…

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