The Flour Works- or does it ?

 After finding a new restaurant that we intended to check out today closed, a friend and I ambled along to Kalyani Nagar to look at a much reviewed place The Flour Works.

Since there were no signs to help us find it, and without an address, we drove up and down several tree lined lanes finally stumbling upon it close to the Joggers park. With a large red and gold signboard it looked, from the outside, like a chinese noodle factory.

Inside was cool and inviting with a high ceiling, if a bit messy in style.In fact it had no style at all. Strange white lace patterned curtains with tie backs. A forest of different wood tones. Teak chairs, dark wood panelling and  pine tables. The decor was, in short, indifferent. The tables were set with maroon runners and the glassware was grubby.

It took some time for a waiter to present himself at our table . The menu seemed to consist of mostly breakfast and brunch items, eggs, porridge, waffles and sandwiches. Since it was lunchtime we thought we would take the waiters suggestion and order  from the Mains .

1-DSC_9722

We ordered a cooling drink each as it was a hot day. Mine was a watermelon, mint and cranberry juice attractively named Frosted and my friend chose another, equally delightfully named,Snow Lemonade.

Fifteen minutes later the lemonade arrived and after an interval of another five minutes the watermelon juice was presented.I liked the waternelon juice which was cool and fresh, with the cranberry giving it a bit of a tang.

We then waited a further 25 minutes for our main course to turn up.

First came the chicken and bean chili topped with grated cheese accompanied by slices of garlic bread. After a break of another ten minutes came the pan fried Basa with a lemon caper sauce along with a cauliflower puree and green beans.

1-DSC_9727

Neither was plated very appetisingly. The fish was underdone and not very fresh though the sauce was piquant. The beans were raw and too mature and woody.The one saving grace was the cauliflower puree which was fluffy and flavourful. 

1-DSC_9724

The chicken bean chili was tasty and hot though nothing special.

Quantities were painfully small. This main course is meant to be fattened with a salad, an appetizer and a dessert. Do NOT expect to share it amongst two people.

The service was tired and unenthusiastic and we seemed to be eating in relay, first one then the next.

All said and done a disappointing meal and overpriced too...a cold drink and a main course came to Rs 1100 for two people.

Perhaps The Flour Works would be more rewarding to those who stick to its breakfast and sandwich menu ?

 

 


Strawberry Fair 2012

 

Strawberries

Do you associate strawberries with India? I think of Wimbledon, the Beatles (remember Strawberry Fields Forever ? ), Strawberry Woman- from the musical Porgy and Bess,  all in all not very Indian connections. It a bit of a shock this year to find every corner stand on the roads throughout Pune covered with mounds of huge strawberries for sale.

 

Maharashtra is slowly becoming the strawberry centre of the sub continent. The temperate climate of Mahabaleshwar and Panchgani has always been ideal for strawberry  cultivation and now areas under this crop have extended to other areas of Satara like Koregaon, Patan and Jawali as well as around Pune and Nasik.

There is an active Strawberry Growers Association and they have been instrumental in organising a STRAWBERRY FAIR in Pune this weekend.

Unfortunately the fair isnt exactly what you would expect! There were exactly 2

farmers as against the 300 promised . Two pathetic varieties were available between

which the "farmers" could not distinguish. There were about 50 packets of strawberries

on sale at a rate higher than one can get in the market.

It was all very disappointing indeed.

None of the many varietes now growing in India were on show.

Neither the   Californian  Solana, Torrey and Toiga  nor the Olympus,
 Hood & Shuksan which have a good red colour and
 are excellent for ice cream making and jams,
least of all the  Beauty, Cardinal, Midway, Midland and
 Redchief varieties which are good for processing into juices.
Other kinds which would have been nice to see and taste
 are the Srinagar or Bangalore varieties
 (developed in India) and the ones that do
well in hilly areas like Royal Sovereign and Dilpasand.
Oh well the report was just another bit of PR for an
organisation badly run and probably wasting the
 money of its members.

 


Fresh Turmeric Pickle- Fresh Haldi Pickle

 

Fresh-turmeric-fingers
Even though the most turmeric in India is grown in Erode in Tamilnadu, Sangli in Maharashtra is the second largest trading post for haldi /  turmeric after Hyderabad .Large quantities of dried turmeric passes through on its way around the world.

There are two  types of haldi grown in Maharashtra . One is a bright yellow with a hard rhizome called "Lokhandi" ( lokhand meaning iron) and the other is a soft rhizome with a lighter colour. called "gadvi"

The fresh turmeric has  a lovely piquant taste and when cut looks so much like carrot.  It has a great flavour ..like nothing else, least of all the spice powder we all know!

I make just enough for one or two meals. A nice accompaniment to any meal, Indian or continental.

Ingredients

2 " fat piece of fresh turmeric / haldi

Juice of 1 lime

1 green chilli, minced

Julienne the haldi into very fine strips. Add the lime juice and green chilli and mix well. Store in the fridge. It will last for at least a week.

Serve with vegetables or chicken.