Since the past few days winter has set in well.
Clear skies; crisp, cold air.
And a mild sun in the mornings.
All made for an enthusiastic outing formula.
B and I would scan the internet and decide on a few places, the earlier night.
B would always look for places serving English breakfasts ... for me. And that miffed me the most.
Because he would inevitably forget it is my veggie day.
And before my dear readers pounce on me for being an ingrate, let me clear the air by saying that yes, I very humbly and with utmost gratitude do acknowledge that the gesture is important.
But in the same breath will love to add, it does not always work.
So, the next morning, as we start, the same conversation plays between the two of us.
"Where are we going?", B asks as he turns the car to get on to the main road.
"I thought you had decided last night."
"?!!!! What happened to XYZ? You said they have a good menu."
"Yes. But you can't try the eggs and bacon or anything. It is your veggie day. "
And finally we end up at our favourite cafe on Koregaon Park.
I settle for my favourite cheese paratha and B for their awesome omelette with mushrooms and cheese.
And both of us share an egg free crepe stuffed with apples smothered with a cinnamon and lemon sauce.
And all of that drowned in honey ginger tea.
This act is replayed almost every other week.
Yes, we are not greatly adventurous when it comes to food. Rather, when it comes to food in Pune.
Partly because it is really not easy to find a good place in Pune that offers good food, good ambience and good service ... all together.
So we usually try to stay stuck to the few favourites that we have in the city.
A few of them, over time, have deteriorated in quality. And a few have stayed strong.
We do try new places but are very unforgiving if disappointed the first time.
And get all the more emotional when we see a good place starting to compromise on quality and taste.
More so, to cater to local palate.
With time, we have learnt not to take a good place for granted. Hence the disappointment is much less now.
Like we stoically took the very painful decision of never going back to our favourite South Indian Mess, place in Rasta Peth, ever again.
Over a long time, we have been noticing a change in the attitude and also the quality of food. But lived in denial till we got bad food for three times, back to back ... that would span over 3 weekends, back to back.
The batter was artificially fermented ... read - loaded with citric acid to give a feel of that fermented taste.
And the medu vadas had diminished in size and become more expensive than before.
But the last straw was when we were served cold sambar and denied a spoonful of chutney. Even their filter coffee has changed in flavour and strength.
I will attribute all this to the change of management.
Having a favourite place of ours for more than 7 long years, this place is now scratched off by us.
Anyway, I am sure we will find another good, very good South Indian joint in Pune.
Till then, we will enjoy our waffles and omelettes and pancakes for breakfast.
So decided to share this vegetarian Chinese mushroom fried rice that I had rustled up one day for a quick meal. These photographs were taken on my phone ... but I was lucky to have natural light as I had made this for lunch.
B loved it as is. I made myself a fried egg on the side.
Quick to make and full of protiens, this makes for a tasty, full meal.
Left over cooked rice
Mushrooms - cleaned and chopped
French beans - chopped
Onions - chopped
Garlic - chopped
Ginger - chopped
Green chillies - chopped
Freshly crushed black pepper powder
How to :
Heat a heavy kadai.
Add some oil. When it is smoking hot, add the chopped garlic and ginger.
Stir well on high heat.
Quickly add the onions and stir well.
Now throw in the vegetables and keep stirring.
Add a pinch of salt .... just a pinch.
On high heat keep stirring till the mushrooms lose all moisture.
Lower heat and add the rice, the soy sauce, a dash of vinegar and sugar.
Mix well on low heat.
When thoroughly mixed, raise heat and add the pepper powder.
Give a few more tosses and serve immediately.
Enjoy it as a quick lunch on a weekday or as a dinner on a lazy weekend night.
Perfect for a winter meal.
Wishing you all a wonderful festive season and a Merry Christmas!
I have soaked my batch of dry fruits in rum and my kitchen , right now, is smelling like ... well ... a food blogger's kitchen.
I'll be baking today this beautiful, favourite cake for the family .... the Rum cake with fruit and nuts.
Do let me know of your creations for this Christmas.