South Indian breakfast! Yep, this is very common in south India. I finally decided to make it because I have so much of SOOJI flour left in the house. Now that I am home I figure I make the most of what I have in the house to make small breakfast and lunch entrees.

For upma what you need is urad daal, chana daal, curry leaves, one tbsp oil, mustard seeds, green chilli, cashews (or peanuts), chopped onion, one cup of water for one cup of sooji flour, and salt to taste, turmeric (optional).

So first, let mustard seeds heat in oil, then add curry leaves, green chilli, both daals, and cashews (or peanuts). Let it fry for couple of minutes and add chopped onions. Once you think these are cooked, add cup of water and let it come to boil. Once it’s boiling, in small amount keep pouring the sooji flour as you keep whisking the mix (this way lumps won’t form). You can add salt to taste and turmeric if you want yellow color (otherwise, it will be just plain white color).



Busboys and Poets

Today, we had the opportunity to try out a new brunch place while I am here for another 5 weeks – B&P. We met up with Sunil and Ruby for brunch and they suggested this place in Shirlington. I had the Egg Wrap and Mehul had the buckwheat pancakes with fruit bowl. They were both real juicy and good 🙂 I loved my egg wrap, I would definitely go again.

FL – Miami and Key West

Apparently, I was planning to go on my “babymoon”. When I was talking to a friend Carey about going to Miami to get some warm weather (in between jobs), she was like “oh you are going on your baby moon!” I was like wait a minute – what is that? I didn’t realize that this term was a general knowledge that I lack to have.

Anywho – we were planning to spend 4 days in Miami and 2 days in Key West.

We ate out a lot (obviously!), but key west was much better than Miami when it came to food.

The cafe was the best in the Keys. We had Hungarian Spiced Vegetable Ragout (along with iced chai) and it was delicious.

We also checked out Better than Sex , which was recommended by friend Melissa. We tried Kinky Key Lime. I’ve never had Key Lime pie or cake – I always thought I would hate it. Well, Better than Sex proved me wrong. This was over the top delicious.

I also recommend staying at the Duval Inn. They had delicious breakfast every morning and there was a Happy Hour every evening from 4-6 – I only had ginger ale while the hubby got these drinks 😦

Egypt: no sign of falafel (From Cairo to Aswan to Luxor)

Alright, after one week of being well fed in Turkey, I had such high expectations for food in Egypt. Especially for a good dose of falafel. Well I had to wait all of six days to have a taste of falafel on my seventh day in Egypt, and by this time last thing I wanted was a falael. No offense to the country or the tour company we went through but as you can already see, I was pretty disappointed. Not only because I didn’t get a falafel, but I didn’t get any good vegetarian food at all. We were taken to a decent buffet style restaurants for food in between the tour, but Turkey set the high standard.

After visiting Sakkarra, we were taken to Restaurant Pharous. We haven’t even got to the entrance and we hear bunch of people playing music welcoming us and expecting baksis (tip). When we sat down, we got a decent choice of vegetarian pre-picked menu items. We had no choice in it – in face, there was no menu. our guide told them about us being vegetarian and they brought out about ten little plates of food. When we asked whether they had falafel, they said no. The food did not seem bad but it didn’t have any taste to it. I ended up eating lots of bread.

Alright, let’s move on to the best part of the trip in Egypt. CAIRO! It started out as us checking in at the Oberoi Meena House. The hotel was amazing. It was totally a 5 star. We found out that they had 3-4 restaurants, breakfast cafe (which is right across from the Great Pyramid and has a great view, see photo at bottom), pool side bar, and inside bar. We only had time to check out two restaurants: Indian (The Moghul Room) and Oriental (Abu Nawas). The Tulsi Paneer under appetizer was the best paneer we have ever had. We in fact went there for dinner two nights just to get the Tulsi Paneer. For dinner we had Malai Kofta with Garlic naan and rice. The next night we had Chana Masala.

At Abu Nawas, we had apple avocado salad and kaysheri, along with entertainment of Belly Dance and the Whirling Dervishes

This was our view from Oberoi breakfast cafe every morning: