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Friday, 30 November 2012


With a busy week, I am yet to return Madhur Jaffrey's book back to the shelf after cooking Stew of Goodness on Tuesday.

So I ask my guest for a number between 1 and 700. "528". This lead to a healthy light recipe on page 528 of the book - Gobi-Vala Khichri Unda.

So simple (a blessed number that 528 is). Fry 0.5 tsp cumin seeds in 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add a cauliflower cut into florets.

Fry that for 2 minutes or so, add 2 chopped scallions, continue frying for a minute or so. 

Then add 1 green chilli cut and 0.5 tsp chopped fresh ginger. 

Now quickly add 5 eggs, lightly beaten, along with some fresh oregano and parsley from jardin.

Cook around (I pretended I am making scrambled eggs) until eggs are cooked.

It turned out delicious and healthy, maybe you should try it for breakfast.

The dish was spiced up with gifts from my dear lovely neighbour - a home made chutney, some fried rice dumplings (Phool Wadi Jalebi), Indian pickles.

Some Fraser Street Samosas, green salad and a full fancy meal was served from three lucky numbers - 528.

So glad of my number choice.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Happy Birthday Jimi Hendrix

On the corner of Main & Union streets, in Vancouver, is a shrine to Jimi Hendrix.

"You have to go and be crazy, craziness is like heaven"

Since it is his birthday this week and his shrine is about a restaurant and a garden, somerville kitchen Wacky Thursday is paying a tribute to Jimi Hendrix in his shrine.

The location of the shrine used to be Vie's Chicken Inn where Norah Hendrix, Jimi's grandmother, cooked for many years (yes, Jimi's father is Vancouver born).

"Even castles made of sand, fall into the sea, eventually."

It is not clear when all the transitions from Vie's Chicken Inn to a a gallery called The New Tiny to the shrine took place.

"I just hate to be in one corner. I hate to be put as only a guitar player, or either only as a songwriter, or only as a tap dancer. I like to move around."

While unsubstantiated in many online articles, the story is that Jimi used to help his grandmother serve major musicians of that time who used to hang around at the cafe.

"Imagination is the key to my lyrics. The rest is painted with a little science fiction".

Despite being closed, you can easily see this garden where the sign claims Jimi was there on his last day.

Unfortunately you'd have to wait till June to experience walking on the same steps as Jimi (the shrine opens June - September, 1:00 - 6:00 pm).
"To be with the others, you have to have your hair short and wear ties. So we're trying to make a third world happen, you know what I mean?"

I am now dreaming of sitting with my book in this third world that this small spot created and enjoy knowing I am close to the spirit of Jimi.

"I used to live in a room full or mirrors; all I could see was me. I take my spirit and I crash my mirrors, now the whole world is here for me to see".

And finally I leave you with my favourite quote from Jimi (and so true) "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace".


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Wish I Were Hungarian Tonight

I risked being beheaded when I snatched a picture of this recipe from the treasures of a Hungarian Empress.

I wanted my Hungarian Empress to be so proud of my attempt at this that I bought the most expensive macaroni in town.

I even made sure I used Hungarian Paprika. But was it replacing veal with beef I wonder?

Whatever it is, I goofed and hoping the Hungarian Empress is not reading this tonight (even though rumour says she is a faithful somerville kitchen fan).

But see Empress, not only I tried. I enjoyed and I packed lots of lunches to stretch the enjoyment. Now would this keep the ax away from my head?

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Stew of Goodness

Many readers are getting excited over the stews during this season. 

Thanks to Madhur Jaffrey, dinner was a wild rice stew with onions and green beans. So here's a completely vegan stew recipe, filled with goodness.

Put on your aprons and cook away.

Start with 2 Tbsp olive oil heated in a pot. When hot, add a dozen pearl onions (or in my case, a chopped regular onion - I just hate peeling pearl onions).

Stir and fry until they turn brown. Add 0.5 cup green lentils (I used orange lentils for a nicer consistency) and 4 cups vegetable broth. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes.

Continue the goodness with adding 2 chopped carrots (I used orange pepper), 2 chopped zucchinis and 20 cut green beans.

Bring to boil then simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.  

Add as much cooked wild rice as you like with 2 chopped tomatoes and some chopped parsley.

A perfect stew for a rainy night, served at somerville kitchen with some buns and Halloum cheese. Enjoy; if you have a trick to simplify peeling pearl onions, love to hear it.

Monday, 26 November 2012


Those of you who read yesterday's article - A Worldly Evening - would have came across Shishbarak.

The name sounds Turkish to me, but both my mother and some Turkish reader will sure correct me tomorrow. 

Either way, it is a delicious dish and happy to share the recipe with you.

Traditionally, Lebanese women will spend hours making dough and rolling it into those shell-like balls, stuffed with meat.

I, unfortunately, don't have the skill or the time to do this. Instead, I bought ready-made meat perogies.

But rather than boiling them, I roasted them in a 475 oven until they turned brown.

The way to eat this with the balls over rice and covered with cooked yogurt.

Preparing the yogurt is the toughest part of making Shishbarak. So I had to resort to an extremely valuable recipe from my mom - "cooking yogurt".

First, you soak 0.5 cup Italian rice in water.

You then mix a large yogurt container (750 g) with 1 Tbsp corn starch. Pass through a colander into a pot. Add the equivalent of the yogurt container in water. 

Turn the heat on medium and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Once boiled, add the soaked rice (with no water). Stir until the yogurt starts making tiny bubbles.

The secret ingredient for flavour, though, is "Alleyeh" (click HERE for recipe).

Simply, "Alleyeh" is a pre-prepared crushed garlic and chopped cilantro fried lightly in olive oil.

Add a generous amount of this to the yogurt, bring to a boil again and it is ready to eat.

Shishbarak is best eaten warm, not boiling hot.

Again, just pour those crunchy balls on top of rice, cover with the yogurt mix and enjoy.

And it is addictive, I found myself waking up in the middle of the night, eating the leftovers cold!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

A Worldly Evening

Cats was in a social mood tonight. A fire got going. Lovely guests arrived and we all learned more about the world.

A quote from my dear lovely neighbour "the beans, humus, and (100% jardin) tabouleh were a classic combination together, and the radish providing another tangy taste".

The main meal was a turkish-turned-Lebanese dish - Shishbarak - a complicated delicious meal that will take a whole blog article to explain (and that is coming tomorrow with the dish's recipe, so tune back in).

 We were privileged to have my dear Iranian friend for dinner to introduce us to Gaz (Persian White Nougat with nuts in it) that came directly from Iran. 

And this brought the worldly evening to a sweet finish accompanied by café blanc and Iranian cotton candy off Main street.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

International Tour of Main Street

The Empress, the Lady and the Blogger set out their tour today on Main Street, starting with Tosi.

Opened in 1906, this store and its owner look like they never left that year. Italian products, cheeses and lots to see, but the most fun is ringing the bell (and you have to ring lots) to be buzzed in.

Tosi Italian Food Importers
624 Main Street
Vancouver, BC

A block away is a favourite of the Lady and the blogger - European Food Importers - a German store that looks slightly newer than the above and packed with everything sweet and savoury from Germany.

A perfect destination at this time of the year for a massive selection of Christmas goodies - all imported from Germany.


European Specialty Importers
220 Prior Street
Vancouver, BC
From Germany to Iran searching for barberries landed us at Yek O Yek.
A sensory adventure with bulk goods, endless bins of spices, frozen Iranian goodies (including Iranian ice cream - white & creamy), cheeses, olives and freshly made Iranian hot food every day.

Yek O Yek
3046 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
Further south on Main street is Jasmine Halal Meat & Mediterranean Foods - one of the few Lebanese food stores in the city.
The Lady thinks they have the best meat in the city, so meat shopping was in order (but we skipped the sheep's tongues). 
Frozen foods, Lebanese cheeses, olives, groceries, artifacts, sweets - all you need for a Lebanese feast under one roof; with free parking in the back.
But make sure you check expiry dates on everything, particularly if it is on sale.
Jasmine Halal Meat & Mediterranean Food
4323 Main Street
Vancouver, BC
Hungry after looking at all this food and thirsty from roaming, we took a tally of those countries' food stores we discovered and landed on Germany as our favourite.
As such, we settled for German beer and Schnitzels at our favourite booth at:
Deutches Haus
4875 Victoria Drive
Vancouver, BC


Friday, 23 November 2012


I have been dating Tatsu for six months now (Read I Love Tatsu & Love at Tatsu).

But you are so popular now my dear Tatsu that when I come to meet you, I am competing with crowds of fans.

Jealousy will drive me insane.

But look how beautiful you make everything in the world.

Even boring items like California Rolls and Tempura present like pieces of art.

How can I feel anything but love.

You say "let's spice up our date; you always want to do your Tataki salmon style, let's try it tuna style tonight".

The seared tuna with the sweet and hot sauce took pleasurable senses to a higher level.

Just like I was jealous of the crowds, you were not thrilled with my cranky companion who could not think of anything wrong with your food than it is "too fresh" and "not enough salt".

And you wonder why I love you.

Tatsu Japanese Bistro on Urbanspoon