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

Chilli, chilli popcorn!

Crunchy, salty and hot! Sensational popped corn with immense flavour.  The heat got to us but did we stop?..No! Lol…
A must try for this weekend! Hope you’re all good.

Go ahead! Pop some corn!

INGREDIENTS 

1/2 cup popping corn

2-3 tbsps rapeseed oil

1 tsp dried chilli flakes 

1 tsp garlic granules 

Smoked paprika to taste

1 tbsp salt

METHOD 

In a large saucepan, on a medium heat. Pour the oil and sprinkle chilli flakes. Once the oil sizzles, slowly add the popcorn kernels

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well with a wooden spoon

Turn up the heat to maximum and cover the saucepan

The corn will start to pop.  Once it kicks off, lower the heat to medium again

Wait until all the corn has popped

Transfer into a big serving bowl And munch!

Crunchy Quinoa & Roast Aubergine Salad

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Summertime calls for easy and fresh salads. Full of goodness and yumminess!  Here I bring you my new recipe made today.  Extremely healthy and incredibly tasty!  I am one happy lady!

INGREDIENTS

2 large cups quinoa cooked
1 aubergine
1 tin pinto beans drained
1 medium carrot grated
15 mini plum tomatoes quartered
Handful of coriander chopped
2 heaped tablespoons flax seeds

Dressing
6 tbsps olive oil
2 tsp whole grain mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste
4 tbsp water

METHOD

I roasted the aubergine directly on the gas of my stove.  Very Indian style!  I kept the gas on low and kept turning the aubergine as it was slowly roasting.  When the skin wrinkled and the flesh was tender.  I removed it and let it cool down

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Gently removed the skin and then cut the aubergine into small chunks

Placed in a large salad mixing bowl with the rest of the salad ingredients.  I then combined all thoroughly.  Lastly the dressing was added and infused in

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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Instant Loaded Egg Paratha

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My husband is always watching Indian street food videos on YouTube.  This is one particular dish that he was checking and that I was extremely intrigued by.
I think you all know me by now, in that I love to cook really, really simple food and am not embarrassed in taking short cuts to get to the final yummy result!

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This is one of those easy than easier recipes, yet so satisfying and filling.  The protein hit from the egg and cheese really reaches the spot!  Make sure that you have some ready made parathas or frozen parathas like I used in this recipe and you are ready to go my friends!

Enjoy, see you soon! Much love, D x

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INGREDIENTS

Frozen paratha/ready made paratha
Large eggs
Grated mature cheddar cheese
Spring onion sliced
Chopped fresh coriander
Chilli flakes
Butter
Salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Place the frozen paratha in a frying pan and cook through on both sides to a medium golden brown.  Spread a little butter on one side

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Crack one egg onto the buttered paratha and break the yolk gently.  Load on all other ingredients and seasoning

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Cover with a large lid on a low heat for 5 or so minutes or until egg is firm

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Fold the paratha and serve with a hot chilli sauce

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Shallow Fried Padron Chilli Peppers

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As you all know friends, my husband enjoys his food and this totally inspires me to create, bake and make more new dishes.  I was really excited when he came home and was talking about his colleague & friend Nathan making tapas yesterday evening.  They both share a love of food and it’s wonderful as always, to share ideas and experience different cuisines.

The one tapas dish that stood out to me was the “Padron Chillies sprinkled in sea salt”.  Now being of Indian heritage, I adore chilli.  This fascination developed after getting married where all of a sudden I was able to eat as much sweet stuff and chilli, spicy stuff as possible.  Really tastebuds do change when you’re paired in a relationship!  You adopt each others tastes and are more open to trying new foods.

I am yet to make these tasty tapas chillies but Nathan was extremely kind to share his spread and most importantly his recipe.  The padron chilli is known as the Tapas Chilli Pepper ~ used commonly in Spanish cooking, these Padron peppers literally melt in your mouth, with a small amount saltiness and heat making them so very moreish!  They are used whilst green & immature and are very mild.  You really get to enjoy the flavour sensation without burning your palette.

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These had to be shared immediately and thank you very much Nathan for introducing us to them and for the mouth watering pictures!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups of Padron peppers
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt for sprinkling

METHOD

Add olive oil to a very hot frying pan, when oil is hot and sizzling gently place the peppers into the oil

Cook and stir the peppers until the skin is blistered and the pepper soft

Remove the peppers from the pan, place on a plate and sprinkle with sea salt to taste

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Quorn Protein & Peas Curry

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If you want something healthy, tasty and low fat, don’t go anywhere! I have created my non guilty version of the classic Indian matar paneer dish without the guilt! And the paneer?!
Fully packed with protein, which will keep you going for longer and stop you from snacking, especially if you have this curry for lunch. But don’t worry I know this maybe to healthy for some of you so my apple crumble recipe is coming up soon…

Enjoy, hope you’re all well…I am sooo excited as I have a lot more creative vegetarian dishes on the way!..until then, much love, D x

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INGREDIENTS

300g Quorn chicken style pieces or soya chunks
2 cups frozen peas
1 medium onion diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
½ tsp minced ginger
250g crushed tomato passata
Pinch of mustard seeds
Pinch of cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp ground cumin & coriander
Salt to taste
½ tbsp sunflower oil
Water for sauce

METHOD

In a large nonstick saucepan,  heat the oil on a medium heat with the mustard and cumin seeds.  Once they start to sizzle,  add the onion, ginger and garlic into the pan.  Sauté until translucent

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Sprinkle in the garam masala, cook through for a minute or so. Stir in the tomato passata along with all the seasoning.  Let the sauce bubble then place the chunks of quorn into the saucepan.  Mix well, you may need a little water to help the tomato coat the quorn

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Reduce the heat, cover and simmer the curry for 10 minutes.  Add the peas, stir and simmer for a further 7 to 10 minutes

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Serve up with some rice or chapati

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Loving My New Cards…

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I finally got round to designing my name cards. From being an optician to writing about food…What a career change! But I would have it no other way! I am really loving exploring and cooking all types of vegetarian food. I can’t wait to get into my kitchen and start cooking some more.

Hope you are all well friends. Do please come join me on Facebook and Twitter for lots more foodie interaction!

Have a beautiful day friends..Much love, D x

Quinoa with Spinach & Balsamic Glazed Tomatoes

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This has to be my most favourite quinoa salad dish to date! Last night we wanted something really light and healthy and this ticked all the boxes. Recently you may be noticing that I have been creating a lot of Mediterranean recipes. I just love the flavours and am probably secretly craving the sun, sea and sand!
A taste of the Med will hopefully keep me going! Until I get there!

An excellent vegan dish also, just leave out the feta and use an alternative if you wish. The balsamic vinegar helps mingle all the flavours and really brings out the sweetness in the juicy cherry tomatoes. I need to go buy some more quinoa today to make some more. Have a stunning day! Much love D x

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INGREDIENTS

150g baby spinach
12 asparagus spears chopped
16 cherry tomatoes halved
1 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove minced
½ tsp salt or to taste
½ tsp dried oregano
Dash of Balsamic vinegar
1½ cup pre cooked quinoa
Feta cheese (optional)

METHOD

• Heat up the oil in a deep pan with the garlic on a medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the asparagus and cherry tomatoes

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• Season with the salt and oregano. Stir fry so that everything is coated in oil. Lower the heat and cook for 5-8 minutes until the asparagus is tender

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• Splash in a little Balsamic vinegar and mix well. Place the fresh spinach on top of the cooked asparagus and tomatoes and turn off the heat

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• This way the spinach will wilt a little but largely remain soft and fresh. Leave to sit for 10 minutes

• Place the quinoa in a large mixing bowl, mix in the asparagus, tomatoes and spinach. Making sure you get all the juices and dressing in

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• Combine well and serve warm with some crumbled feta cheese

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