Monday, 20 February 2012

European food experience: Cakes,Pastas and more.

Being an Indian spices are almost a "must be ingredient" in food for me. Ever since I have been in Karlsruhe, my non-Indian food experience was very much limited to the mediocre Mensa food.

[Terminology: Mensa = Place of cheap food for people in the university. For the people who don't like to cook on their own and for the people who haven't had good food before, it can be a satisfying experience. There can be exceptions to the above sometimes, but exceptions are exceptions!]

                                 Image: The Exception-Pasta with Indonesian sauce at Mensa

Like many good things, this idea came to my mind when some stone hit my head. Though I am living in Germany, I am almost eating the same as in India, "Where is the damn experience I wanted?!"

Pasta Woche:
So began the Pasta week, where I tried different combination of Pastas and self invented Pasta-Sauces.
From regular Spaghetti, Penne to Fusili, I even had Bandnudeln (similar to Fettucine/Tagliatelle).
I invented a sauce made with Spinach,tomatoes, Tuna fish and Oregano as a major spice (No Indian spices!). One of my dorm mates even got the recipe from me! (This falls into the category of bragging, but it really feels nice when you invent something and one of the few ones to eat it wants the recipe already).
                                         Image: Pasta Fussili and the sauce mentioned above.

Few weeks ago, I hardly had any idea how to bake a cake. The reason is simple, I had never used an oven before!
My cake experience started with baking simple cakes with borrowed recipe for my cousin's birthday and for my parents anniversary, and now thanks to Julia (a very fast baker!), I can bake four different kinds of cake.
                                   Image: Cake which looks like girl's hair tied (Before baking)

                                                               Image: Chocolate cake

Image: Apple cake (Before baking)

                                        Image: The cake I made for my Parents' Anniversary

Bayerische Fruestuck:
The traditional Bavarian breakfast includes Bavarian Bretzel, Weiss Wurst and a Bavarian Beer (Yeah, that's right, a beer for the breakfast!). Funny thing is I don't eat meat by choice (Weiss wurst is made of pork and/or beef) and I have stopped alcohol consumption (For more, read my earlier blogpost).
But Jonas made sure, not only the five folks who wanted to do a Bavarian breakfast turned up, but he also took care of my food preferences. He found vegetarian weiss wurst and alcohol free Bavarian beer!
So nice of him!
      Image: Bavarian breakfast (modified): Bretzel, Weiss wurst (Veg), Erdinger beer (alcohol free)

From Pastas to cakes and Bavarian breakfast, my food experience is growing from day-to-day. Just today, I made a multi-culti dish with Srilankan Soya, Greek spices, Indian Masala, Georgian alcohol, Thai sauces and other German ingredients. I had a real go at it after I fasted the whole day without any food. (It's Shivratri!)

Although the title reads European food, I also must add the three visits I had to the "Yang-Da" Chinese restaurant near Herrenstrasse Haltstelle. Despite being right in the centre of the city, it is only known to few people and has some authentic Chinese food, which you will be able order only if you know Chinese or accompanied by a Chinese because the menu is in Chinese!
[Tip: Eating with chopsticks is real fun once you learn how to use it.]

The fish which comes in a bowl full of spices has become my favorite there. All the three times I have visited, the restaurant has never disappointed me and has good value for money. (We were even offered complimentary Jasmine tea after the dinner).

My food experience doesn't stop here and will continue to feature in my future blogposts. It is only few hours from the next cricket match in Australia, no matter how the quality of cricket and players has changed over the years, the ardent cricket fan inside me still wants to wake up early and catch up with the game.

Untill the next post,
Good bye.

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