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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

California Pizza Kitchen - Mexifornia Festival

California Pizza Kitchen is a global renowned pizza brand by itself. It's famous for array of pizzas which are not run of the mill like bigger joints and produce pizzas like an assembly line. The USP of CPK's pizza is that it is minutely inspected and customized as per taste. So, this time I responded to their message "Orale Amigos" and headed to their outlet in Phoenix Market City Mall in Velachery, Chennai.

 So I put on my Mexican hat and sat with expectation that it would be spicy and tangy like our Indian food and at the end I could say that it exceeded my expectations.

 By looking at the number of footfalls that came in and tried out Mexican dishes, Head Chef Malar Mannan and Manager Mr. Srinivasan and his team deserves felicitations. 

Now let us get down to review of the upcoming dishes. Mango Tango I totally loved this combination of Mango and Orange which is jazzed up with  passion fruit syrup and lime juice. Thumbs up for this ! My husband tried Apple Jack which had apple juice, lime juice and strawberry puree. 

Next came CPK Nachos  which was crisp to the T. Perfectly balanced with chili and sweetness. Loved every bite of Jalapenos, chopped tomatoes and cheese sauce. 

The menu also features Crispy Tortilla Salad , crispy to the core with shredded lettuce, cherry tomatoes dipped in tangy dressing is sure to win your heart !

Southwestern Chillie Chicken was the stunner for us. Grilled Chicken breast was done to the perfection, basted with southwest green chili and cheese. They should seriously introduce this beauty in their regular menu.

The highlights of the Mexican menu were the thin crust pizzas, we were served 4 types toppings. We also tried Veg Pizzas, one was Sonora Pizza and another was Mexican Habanero Pizza. Sonora Pizza had thin crust base with roasted tomato salsa, roasted corn and black bean salsa along with generous amount of avocado and cilantro. The veggies were evidently fresh from the taste and the crust was just right in crispness. 
For vegetarians there was yet another delightful and light option i.e. Habanero Pizza.

 The base was traditional topeed with Baja cottage cheese, button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and spiced up with Habanero chili. This was spicy and tangy and left a lingering taste after every bite.

Two Non Veg Pizzas that we tasted were Chicken Asada Pizza and New Mexico Pizza.The unique ingredients for Asada Pizza are sliced chicken with cilantro pesto with new Mexico green chill sauce and a combination of cheddar and fontina cheese topped with roasted peppers. The New Mexico Pizza had thin crust base with ranchito sauce spiced up with chiptole chicken and spiced red onion and new Mexico green chills. Both were distinctly unique.

 Cheesey Chimichuri Penne was a combination of garlic and chimichuri sauce with sprinkle of herbs. Worth trying it. 
 Though Fettuccine Heidi , the look of it , the dish looked inviting but we were full.

 Desserts are always an essential part of visiting CKP. We were served Caramel Banana Flan served on a bed of vanilla sponge with Banana Cream and garnished with Caramel sauce.

 I was full to the brim, may be that's why couldn't relish it but if you are a chocolate lover then don't forget to try 'The trio of Chocolate Mousse'. The way they serve is nothing short of lavish. The chocolate cupcake which is also edible has 3 types of Mexican chocolates: white, milk and dark. 

Enjoy the carnival of flavours with fantastic and pocket friendly Mexifornia menu from May 21 to June 21, 2015 at all California Pizza outlets across India.

Disclaimer: This review was done on an invitation from CPK. So views expressed here are entirely ours.
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Friday, June 5, 2015

Mumbai Tawa Pulao Recipe | Indian One Pot Meal | How To Make Tava Pulav

Tawa Pulao or Tava Pulav is a much sought after street food of Mumbai. A plateful of tawa pulao titillates the hunger pang with its colorful look. Spicy and crunchy to eat goes well for a day meal with an accompaniment of one's choice. I was introduced to this famous street food on my last trip to the city, where I had the opportunity to taste their signature street food. I took an instant liking towards this dish. Readily available vegetables and the quick preparation time is an add on. 

The Churchgate area is lined with street vendors and lunch time is swarming with people. Armed with a huge iron griddle and a ladle the vendor rustles up Tawa Pulao in no time as most of the ingredients are the same as Pav Bhaji sans the Pav. Besides the vegetables Pav Bhaji masala is the main spice used.

2 cups Basmati rice
1/4 cup Green peas
1/4 cup French Beans, chopped
1/4 cup Carrot, chopped
1/4 cup Capsicum, chopped
1/4 Onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup tomato, chopped
1-2 green chilies chopped
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
2 tbsp Pav Bhaji malasa 
2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1 tsp Turmeric powder (Haldi)
1/2 tsp Red chilly powder if you like extra spicy rice
2-3 tbsp Butter
Juice of 1 lemon
Coriander leaves for garnishing 
Salt to taste

Wash and soak rice for 20 minutes. This Tawa pulao is a quick fix if made with leftover rice. Otherwise cook 2 cups Basmati rice first in 4 cups of water in which do add a tbsp of oil and some salt. Cover and cook till the rice is 90 % done. Later fluff it up with a fork and keep aside to cool. 

 Heat butter in a pan or tawa, once it is hot add cumin seeds. When it begins to crackle add onions. Fry the onions until they turn translucent, then add ginger-garlic paste. 

Saute for a minute on a low flame or till you get a nice aroma. Add french beans, carrot, capsicum and green peas in the same order. Fry until they are crisp.

  Now add Turmeric powder, chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes water dries up. Sprinkle red chili powder if you want your rice dish extra spicy.

 Add pav bhaji masala red chilly powder, salt and add rice little by little, be gentle as over mixing will break the basmati strands. Turn off the heat, add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Serve it piping hot with plain raita.


  • I have noticed if you use leftover rice from previous day then rice grains are non sticky and standout.
  • If making with fresh rice, make sure the rice is not very hot as while mixing it may get sticky and clump together.
  • When mixing rice with the masala do it in small portions as it might break.
  • You can also add 1 boiled potato in this dish.

read more.. "Mumbai Tawa Pulao Recipe | Indian One Pot Meal | How To Make Tava Pulav"