Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Our first harvest of home-grown potatoes!

On Sunday Pete harvested the first of our home-grown potatoes from our back garden "allotment" - a variety called Edzell Blues! Of the 10 plants he's grown he harvested the potatoes from just 2 of them which came to a little over 2 kilos. Apparently our yields would have been even higher if he'd earthed them up or something...

Sadly, the colour (which I think is more of a bright purple than a blue) fades almost completely on cooking. But we've enjoyed the potatoes for the last few nights. Tonight Pete roasted them in stock (no oil or butter) and they were even more lovely.


Monday, 2 July 2007

Restaurant Review: Rasa (South Indian) restaurant, London

Tonight I met a friend for dinner at Rasa, a South Indian restaurant in London. Apparently they have 8 branches - the one we went to is in Dering Street between Oxford Circus and Bond Street tube stations.

Neither of us familiar with South Indian dishes we went for their "feast" set menus, one vegetarian and one "vadakkan" (meat) one.

First came a selection of pre-starter snacks:-
* Achappam - my favourite, a flower shaped snack wth a very slightly sweet taste, made of rice flour, coconut, black sesame and cumin seeds.
* Pappadavadai - pappadoms dipped in a light rice flour batter with seeds and fried, for added crunch
* Pappadoms
* Banana chips
* Murukku - crunchy little sticks made from roasted rice flour and seeds

These came with various pickles and chutneys (6 in total).

My starters were
* Chicken samosa - different blend of spices to those I'm familiar with
* Lamb puff - like mum's Indian sausage rolls, very nice
* Parippu - a 3 lentil soup
* 2 chutneys

My friend was given the same soup plus
* Banana boli - a battered plantain thing
* Rathrikka - a battered aubergine thing
* 2 chutneys

For my mains I had
* Thalassery Chicken Massala - a fairly familiar chicken curry dish
* Calicut Chicken Kurma - nothing like the korma I'm familiar with, this was coconuty and had cashew nuts as well - a wonderful flavour
* Malabar Erachi Chaaru - a lamb curry not disimilar from Norther Indian ones

My friend was given:
* Moru Kahiathu - sweet mangoes and green bananas in a yoghurt sauce - the only dish she didn't like
* Rasa Kayi - mixed vegetable dish
* Cheera Parippu Curry - lentil and spinach curry
* Savoy Cabbage - a stir fried cabbage dish

Plus we had a shared dish of spicy potatoes, lemon rice, paratha bread and some Uzhunappam (rice flour bread).

And as if we weren't full enough already the feast finished with some Pal Payasam - a rice pudding with raisins and cashew nuts.

Very nice food, good service, nice little restaurant. Only minus is that looos are 2 floors up!

Total bill (2 red wines, 1 lassi and tap water) came to £59.50 including their service charge!