16 August 2015

Experiments in Paleo meets Tex Mex

It has a long way to go but at least it finally sprouted!
If you know me, you know that I heart Tex Mex. Fortunately a lot of the ingredients found here in India lend themselves to the Tex Mex cuisine. Confusingly though, avocados are not as popular here and are insanely expensive. They went from being about 25 cents apiece in Kenya to 5 dollars a pop here. It's a travesty; I'm attempting to grow my own avocado tree in rebellion. 

Despite the ridiculous prices, I occasionally splurge and indulge on my favorite fruit. This was one of those days. Since I'm off bread, my favorite avocado toast was out so I decided to make a chicken avocado tortilla soup sans the tortillas. I adapted a few recipes to suit my tastes and pantry; original recipes found here, here, and here.

1 1/2 tbsp ghee
1 red onion
8 cloves of garlic
1 kg chicken mince  
6 c chicken broth
1 tsp Tabasco® sauce
4 jalapeño peppers 
1 tomato, seeded
1/4 c fresh coriander (cilantro) 
1 avocado
1 large lemon/lime
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt and black pepper (to taste)

13 August 2015

Experiments in Paleo: Cauliflower Omelet

This is another recipe I found in the cookbook I mentioned in my last post. You can find the original recipe online here. Whole Foods also has a cheesy alternative here
Photo credit (Mine did not look this perfect)

Ijjit Qarnabit

4-5 eggs
1 tbsp ghee 
3/4 c coconut milk
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 cups raw cauliflower, grated
1/3 c onion, chopped
1/2 c parsley, chopped
salt and black pepper (to taste)

12 August 2015

Experiments in Paleo: Zucchini Hummus

In my ongoing experiment with the fad of eating like our ancestors (only healthier) I found a great online resource with Chris Kresser. Now, I'm not granola-y and am more than a bit wary about health claims that link every disease or mental illness solely to nutrition, but eating healthier can't hurt and if you sign up on his site you can download his recipe e-book for free. This is where I discovered paleo hummus. I LOVE hummus so I had to try this recipe sans my beloved chickpeas. It's tweaked a bit to suit my tastes (e.g. extra garlic & lemon).

Before you can make "hummus" you need tahini. Here's how I make my fresh tahini.

11 August 2015

Experiments in Paleo

As part of my foodie adventure, I am always up for trying something new (and weight loss friendly!). When a friend mentioned to me that she recently switched to a paleo-inspired diet and was able to re-adjust to life without carbs fairly quickly I figured why not give it a try for a couple of weeks and see how it goes. After quite a bit of googling and reading, it sounds like a pretty simple diet for us since we already don't eat packaged food and have access to inexpensive farm fresh vegetables and meat. From what I can tell, we need to switch to more healthy fats and up our protein and vegetable intake. Fortunately, we live in the land of ghee so cooking with clarified butter is not a problem and olive oil isn't blacklisted. Reducing fruits might be more of challenge, but substituting antioxidant-rich berries and low-fat nuts should help with the transition. The main challenge, I think, will be cutting out the grains and legumes. Since we eat a lot of bread, pasta, rotis, rice, and daals, the first order of business was to find some satisfactory alternatives. Fortunately, I found quite a few rice and flour substitutes.

Tonight I'm trying out a recipe for cauliflower rice and pairing it with grilled chicken.

10 August 2015

Southern Delights: Hungry Expat's Yellow Potato Salad

Photo credit
I love Indian food (probably because I don't have to cook it), but I was craving something different for dinner and decided to make some potato salad. This is a conglomeration (like most of my recipes) of several different versions of this dish. Hard boiled eggs are a staple in most southern recipes, but if you aren't feelin' them they are definitely not required. I'm used to my mom's recipe which uses more mustard than most so you can also cut back on that, depending on your tastes. 

05 July 2015

Savoury Samplers: Hungry Expat's Egg Salad

My favorite egg salad is a spin on the traditional and combines ingredients from a few different recipes.
Egg salad sandwich

8 eggs 
2 medium red onion
1/4 c prepared mustard or 1 1/2 tbsp whole-grain mustard
1/2 c mayonnaise*
1 1/2 tbsp dill
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp paprika 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 stalk of celery (optional)
Salt and black pepper, to taste

27 June 2015

Izu Authentic Japanese Restaurant

After a morning of pampering at a coffee spa day morning at Levo spalon, the girls and I headed next door to run a few errands at South Point. While there we decided to grab a bite from somewhere different and headed over to a little Japanese place we'd seen hiding in plain sight on the 2nd floor. It’s definitely an unassuming hole in the wall, but, like its name claims, it’s authentic from the seating to the food. There’s not much in the way of ambiance, it actually reminded me of quite a few hidden Ethiopian gems from Nairobi with its mounted flat screen showing terrible soap operas.

26 June 2015

Beat the Heat: Hungry Expat's G&T

It is a curious fact, and one to which no one knows quite how much importance to attach, that something like 85% of all known worlds in the Galaxy, be they primitive or highly advanced, have invented a drink called jynnan tonyx, or gee-N'N-T'N-ix, or jinond-o-nicks, or any one of a thousand or more variations on the same phonetic theme. The drinks themselves are not the same, and vary between the Sivolvian ‘chinanto/mnigs’ which is ordinary water served at slightly above room temperature, and the Gagrakackan 'tzjin-anthony-ks’ which kills cows at a hundred paces; and in fact the one common factor between all of them, beyond the fact that their names sound the same, is that they were all invented and named before the worlds concerned made contact with any other worlds. –Douglas Adams, Restaurant at the End of the Universe

24 June 2015

Fat Lulu's Cafe and Bar

Ending up at Fat Lulu’s for lunch was a fluke; we fully intended to gorge ourselves at the well-known boulangerie, Di Ghent, only to be reminded it was closed on Tuesdays. Swallowing our disappointment, we dutifully checked Zomato to see what other options happened to be in the vicinity and decided to meet at Fat Lulu’s Crosspoint Mall location instead. 

Ladies who lunch

23 June 2015

Savoury Samplers: Hungry Expat's Deviled Eggs

Smoky Deviled Eggs
Deviled eggs are like manna from heaven (or a Lays™ potato chip); you can’t eat just one. Any good southerner will vouch that these are the best summer appetizer for any holiday garden party, backyard BBQ, or picnic, but I maintain that these can and should be made year-round. Thanksgiving dinner appetizer? Deviled eggs. Need a snack for the office Christmas party? Deviled eggs to the rescue. Random cricket match viewing party? Deviled eggs for the win. Birthday parties, funerals, bar mitzvahs, they are eternal.

22 June 2015

Sutra Gastropub

According to Delhiites, DLF Cyberhub is the only reason to venture over to Gurgaon and I am tempted to agree. Although Gurgaon has its fair share of decent restaurants it cannot compete with the many options scattered throughout Delhi's trendy neighborhoods. However, Cyberhub does offer Gurgaonians a place to eat out, take in some music, and barhop all in one location. While it doesn't have the feel of say a Khan Market or Hauz Khas, it's not far off from Connaught Place. Cyberhub embraces their suburbian-ness by marketing its nearly 50 restaurants, fast food, and lounge options to young professionals, middle-aged businessmen, as well as families. Furthermore, the open-air amphitheater regularly shows cricket matches on the big screen, hosts concerts, and offers the opportunity for wide-scale embarrassment for those gutsy enough to karaoke in front of the masses.

Photo credit

#SufiSutra with Indian Ocean 5 Nov 2014

First up for review is Sutra, a spacious indoor/outdoor bar on the Cyberhub’s 2nd level pub hub. With unlimited 1 drinks every Monday, free drinks for ladies on Tuesdays, Wednesday Sufi nights, and live bands on Sundays, there is something going on at Sutra practically every night of the week. Most recently we visited on a Friday night and were pleasantly surprised with buy one get one happy hour specials until 8:30pm. Drink choices were limited, but still offered a wide enough selection to make everyone in our group happy.

21 June 2015

Beat the Heat: Hungry Expat's Texas Tea

This is the first summer that has felt like summer to me since I moved abroad five years ago. Being from Texas I am used to ridiculously hot temperatures and moving about from one air-conditioned place to another. However, Kenya was extremely temperate and Nairobi never reached over 30°C (that’s 86°F for you North Americans) despite the common misconception that its proximity to the equator means the temperatures are sweltering and desert-like. In short, I got spoiled. This being my first summer in India, I quickly realized how much I did not miss the soaring temperatures and highs of 45°C (113°F) and have thus become hermit-like, holing up in my air-conditioned abode only to leave for basic necessities or after nightfall when temperatures drop to a mere 29°C (82°F).

In order to beat the heat, I’ve reverted to ice baths and summery drinks to stay cool. A summertime staple growing up at my house was iced tea. I could drink gallons of the stuff. However, I discovered early on that my mom’s version of iced tea was *very* different from your typical Southern-style iced tea. It was sugarless. I can hear the screams now. No sugar!?! That’s sacrilege!  My mom was a bit of a health nut in the ‘80s, before it was the thing to be; our Kool-Aid™ had about ¼ of the recommended sugar.

20 June 2015

From Africa to India: Diary of a Hungry Expat

This is the story of my hungry journey, an expat diary of dining and all things foodie. After five years and nearly 80 restaurants reviewed throughout Africa, it's been quite the hungry adventure! But now, after a year in limbo and a lull in posts, African Nights is rebooting itself as a global food and dining blog for the expat set embracing local living. Be it eating out, cooking in, or a night on the town, Diary of a Hungry Expat is here to share our experiences with fellow foodies.

Now based in Gurgaon, a suburb of Delhi, your hungry expat guide will explore a new continent full of new cuisine. Join the adventure as a contributor or leave us a note suggesting somewhere or something new you'd like us to share with our readers.