Thursday, December 10, 2015

Cranberry Pickle

Here's a great recipe for cranberry pickle, Indian style.


Fresh tart Cranberries: 1 cup

Mustard seeds (available at Indian Store): 3 tablespoons

Fenugreek Seeds (available at Indian Store): 1 tablespoon

Red Chili Powder: 1-2 tbs

Turmeric Powder: 3 tsp

Asafetida (asafoetida or hing) (available at Indian store): 1-2 tsp

Salt to taste

Water: 3/4 cup

Cooking oil: 1 tsp


1. With a teaspoon of oil in a pan, lightly roast cranberries for 2 minutes. If you live in a warm, sunny place, keep the cranberries out in the sun for a couple hours- that's the real way to do it.

2. Meanwhile add turmeric, asafetida and red chili powder to water and bring to boil. Boil for about 3-4 minutes and then allow to cool to room temperature.

3. Transfer the roasted cranberries into a jar that you plan to use to store the pickle. Then pour in 3/4 cup of the turmeric+asafetida+red chili powder water into the jar and give it a stir. Some of the cranberries will float and that's okay.

4. Make a fine powder out of mustard and fenugreek seeds in your blender. A coffee grinder works well for this purpose.

5. Add the above powder into the pickle jar. Add salt to taste. Then stir everything together to get the flavors going.

6. Cover the jar with some plastic wrap/cling film and then cover tightly with the lid. Set aside for 2 days. On the 3rd day, remove lid and wrap and stir the pickle a few times. Give it a taste and adjust salt if needed. Cover again and set aside for 1 more day.

*When you open the lid, you should be able to smell the mustard and fenugreek--- it smells divine!*

At the end of Day 4 Cranberry Pickle is ready to be eaten. Serve with Indian bread (chapatis, paranthas, etc) or as a side to basmati rice and lentils. It's easy to make, tastes delicious, and only gets better with age. I'd say it is quite healthy too, if you look at the ingredients. I liked it a lot. Hope you like it too!

Delicious Cranberry Pickle

A closer look

Friday, September 25, 2015

Easy Paella

Here's an easy recipe for Paella that you can whip up on any weeknight. But first things first- the rice, saffron and the pan. These are of utmost importance, especially the rice and saffron.

*The rice must be short grained and be able to absorb as much flavor as possible and not become creamy and mushy in the end. The kind that works really well is Arroz "Calasparra" from Spain (you can order it online from amazon).

*Saffron is the exotic spice that has a very interesting flavor profile, is not as overpowering as turmeric, and a little goes a long way.

*And then the pan- well, I am not sure that a paella pan is a *must* (I mean, for that matter, you should be cooking your paella on open fire outside, not on the stove in your kitchen!). However, if you intend to make paella often, and believe in presentation, that do invest in a decent paella pan.

As for me, I got lucky- my dear bro and sister in law gifted me with a nice paella pan as well as the rice! ;)

The Rice

Arroz Calasparra 

Paella Pan 

Yield: 2 adults, 2 inconsistent teenagers

Time: < 1 hour (prep time+cooking time)

This recipe incorporates salmon and shrimp. Other seafood such as clams, calamari, etc work well too. Vegetables such as peas, carrots, green beans will be good as well. 


1. Calasparra Rice: 2 cups 

2. Broth (of your choice): 4 cups (and 1/2 cup extra just in case)

3. Tomatoes rough chopped: 2-3 cups (OR 3-4 tbs tomato paste)

4. Saffron: 10-12 strands

5. Garlic minced: 2 tsp

6. Salt to taste

7. Freshly ground pepper: 1/2-1 tsp (or more if you like pepper!)

8. Crushed red pepper or paprika for kick: 1-2 tsp (adjust to taste)

9. Cooking oil: 3 tbs

10. Oregano: a pinch (italian seasoning will work just fine)

11. Salmon (boneless skinless) cut into 2 inch pieces- approx. 2 pieces per person 

12. Shrimp (raw, peeled, deveined, tail on): a couple handfuls so everyone gets enough


1. Pour oil into your paella pan, get the heat going. Add oregano (or italian seasoning), minced garlic, tomatoes and fry for a couple minutes. Then add the rice (tip: soak the rice in water for 10 minutes prior to cooking for faster cooking) and stir for 2-3 minutes. 

2. Now add broth, pepper, paprika/crushed red pepper, salt to taste, and saffron and bring it to a boil. Then lower the flame, and continue cooking, without covering the pan for 15 minutes. Do not stir. The rice should have softened a bit at the end of 15 minutes. 

3. Now gently fold in the salmon and shrimp. You might have to add 1/2 cup broth at this point if you think that the rice needs some more cooking. Don't worry, it won't get mushy! Let it all cook for another 7-10 minutes, until the liquid is all absorbed and the shrimp is pink. Cover until ready to be served. 

Garnish with fresh parsley, zing it up with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Pair it up with some Spanish wine and enjoy! 


Paella- mm mm! 


Friday, July 31, 2015

Anthony Bourdain- Close to the Bone 2015

After Alton Brown, it's Anthony Bourdain, the "No Reservations" guy from Travel Channel. I got to see him live on stage at Paramount in Seattle on Monday night. I was smart this time as I bought the tickets well in advance and got pretty decent seats.

The Tickets

To be honest, I went for the show with no expectations- I wanted to be surprised. And indeed I was. The only props on the stage were a podium, a stool, and a beer bottle placed on the stool. At 7:30 sharp the lights dimmed and the audience applauded and cheered as Anthony Bourdain very casually walked on stage, clad in a pair of jeans, a gray-blue shirt with sleeves rolled up to reveal his tattoo sleeves, and this gorgeous pair of shoes. And he started talking.

That's him! 

2 Immediate Impressions that made me wonder if this was a good idea: 

1. His favorite word is the F-word. It seemed to me as if he started and ended every sentence with it and then threw in a few more in between.

2. He dislikes Food Network channel as well as some of the people on that channel. ;)

As he continued though, I got drawn in:

Curious Mind- The one virtue he relies on when he travels is his curious mind. He does not refrain from asking the stupidest of questions, because that's how he learns about the place, its people, their food, their culture, the history. That is true. If you don't ask questions, you don't learn. Period.

Food, an Intimate Gesture- He has traveled to over a 100 countries, and has been offered and eaten all kinds of food. Often times he has had to take heavy doses of antibiotics after eating some of that food. But over the years he has learned that when you are offered food by somebody, it is a very intimate gesture. By offering you their food, they are telling you their story, and opening themselves up to you- and to refuse that food is a very rude thing to do. I think that's profound.

Food Obsession- He talked about how much we have gone overboard with the whole food craze. We are obsessed with taking pictures of food (I am guilty of this myself) and posting on social media. We eat too much, exercise too little, and then complain about obesity, cardiac problems, diabetes, etc. Sure, let's eat good food, but let's also be fit enough to be able to walk a few steps without having to feel like our heart's going to pop out of our bodies! We are overdoing the whole organic thing too. Yes organic food is way better for the body, but how about making it more affordable?

He also mentioned the "farm to table" trend that has been going around lately and how he finds it ridiculous. He is right- "doesn't everything grow on the farm anyways, and then we eat at the table....!"

About the whole gluten intolerance insanity, what he said made sense- if you have celiac disease, you should first go see the doctor! Don't just decide that you are most definitely intolerant to gluten and then go looking for gluten free pizza!

Describing Food- When he eats something, he only uses simple terms such as good and very good. He doesn't get all fancy-shmancy because "there's only so many ways of describing a salad!"

Indian Food is Delicious! While joking about vegetarians, he said that when he traveled to India, he ate only vegetarian food because that's all they eat there. Well, he is wrong, because that's not all we eat in India, but yes, there is a wide variety of vegetarian options available there. He did say that he would be happy to eat that vegetarian food for as long as possible because "it is delicious!" He sure got that right!

Adoring Dad-  He very lovingly talked about his 8 year old daughter, and how she seems to have taken after him in terms of food. He said that becoming a Dad has completely changed him for the better. He also mentioned his jiu-jitsu marital artist wife a few times. So we got a tiny peek into his family life, which is always a nice touch.

And I thought hmm, he is good! This is a good show! 

The above, by the way, is just an excerpt. There was a lot more he said and most of it was pretty deep, I must say.

He did a little Q&A session in the end, answering questions from the audience. One of the questions was which is the "worst country" he has ever visited? With a little laugh he replied, "Probably East Europe." He said he didn't really like Romania, though Romanians are beautiful people. And when asked about the best country, his immediate answer was Iran. He said that in his experience, the Iranians were the friendliest of the lot. Finally when asked which is his favorite place to eat at in Seattle, he said he likes Salumi, and then he added that he'd rather dodge that question. ;)

Alton Brown Show Vs Bourdain Show: 

There was a lot more cheering and applauding that happened on Alton's show, as compared to this one. Perhaps because that was more of a cool cooking kinda show, with more audience interaction.... plus somehow Alton's personality just seems more likable. Well, Bourdain's style is very different- he seems unpretentious and blunt. And not a whole lot of people appreciate unpretentious and blunt. I was very excited at the Alton Brown show and wished that I could go meet him and talk to him, whereas at this show, I was very calm. I laughed here and there, but there was no crazy-fan-screaming-her-lungs-out scene going on.

Let's put it this way- after the Alton Brown show I was simply star-struck, whereas the Anthony Bourdain show got me thinking and my desire to travel the world has become stronger. I absolutely want to travel, meet new people, experience new cultures. And I want to try food that is offered to me by kind strangers in new foreign lands, because I want to know their story.

Close to the Bone 2015

Just in case you are wondering about the beer bottle on stage, that was for Anthony. That's what kept him hydrated!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Cucumber Gazpacho

Here's my recipe for a lovely cold soup, perfect for these hot summer days- Cucumber Gazpacho. You can whip it up in under 10 minutes:  

Yield: Enough for 2 adults, 1 adventurous teenager, and 1 fussy teenager


English Cucumber- 3, rough chopped (I prefer English cucumber because it is pretty much seedless, and I do not peel it either). 

Garlic- 2-3 cloves

Green Chilies- 2

Cumin Seeds- 1/2 tsp

Chickpeas- 1 can, drained, rinsed (to get rid of "canny" smell) 

Lemon- 1 

Salt to taste


Avocado slices

Sour Cream- 1 dollop (or more!) per person

Bacon bits


1. Put chopped cucumber, garlic, green chilies, cumin seeds, and salt to taste in the blender. Blend it all together until nice and smooth. 

2. Transfer to a dish, add chickpeas to this. Adjust seasoning if required. Freshly squeeze a lemon for zing. Stir. Refrigerate for minimum 30 minutes before serving. 

3. Serve with avocado slices, and top with a dollop of sour cream and some bacon bits. Mm! 

It is delicious, healthy, hydrating, and above all, will keep you cool! 

Cucumber Gazpacho 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Chicken Pickle


When I was a little girl, I used to often visit my parents' friends, The Reddys. 

Quick Interruption: In India, we address our elders, related or otherwise, Aunty and Uncle. That's how we show our respect towards them. 

Continuing on: I enjoyed going to their place. One, because I was very fond of Uncle and Aunty. And two, because I was crazy about this one "thing" that used to sit very elegantly on their dining table- a pretty little container placed very neatly at the center. No, it wasn't the container itself that I was in love with, but with what was inside it- the deepest, most attractive red colored, delicious smelling, tongue-tingling, lip-smacking pickle! Not just any pickle- but an extraordinary mutton keema pickle! As I write this, I am salivating merely thinking about it! That look, that taste I will never forget. And I have never ever eaten another mutton keema pickle like that ever again..... never ever.... EVER! 

Here's my take on the recipe. It is quick, easy, and turns out real delicious. This one's for Chicken Pickle. You can follow the same recipe for minced mutton (keema) or lamb, and even fish and shrimp (fish and shrimp will cook faster of course). Doesn't require marinating, so you can make it even on a busy weeknight. 


1. Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs- 4

2. Cooking Oil- 10 teaspoons *No skimping on this please!*

3. Cumin Seeds- 1 tsp

4. Fennel Seeds- 1 tsp

5. Mustard Seeds- 1/2 tsp

6. Garlic- 6 cloves, smashed OR 1/2-1 tsp powder

7. Ginger paste- 1/2-1 tsp

8. Lemon juice- 1 good size, freshly squeezed 

9. Salt to taste

The Pickle Dry Mix: 

1. Red Chili Powder- 2-4 tsp (adjust according to liking)

2. Fenugreek Seed Powder- 1-2 tsp 

3. Mustard Seed Powder- 1-1.5 tsp

4. Sesame Seeds (or powder)- 2-4 tsp 

5. Turmeric powder- 1-2 pinches

6. Cardamom- 2-4 crushed

7. Asafoetida- 1/2 tsp 

*I also like to add 3-4 finely chopped thai green chilies for extra kick


1. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. 

2. Pour oil into the pan. Get the heat going. Splutter mustard, cumin, fennel seeds, followed by a pinch or two of turmeric powder and gently add the cut chicken to this. 

3. After allowing the chicken pieces to hang in there for a minute or so, start stirring and frying the chicken. Add smashed garlic or garlic powder and ginger paste. Stir. Then add salt to taste. Continue frying for around 15 minutes to cook the chicken completely. 

4. Now add the pickle dry mix and continue stirring and frying, so as to coat all the chicken pieces with the beautiful spices, for another 15 minutes. 

5. Give it a taste. Adjust salt etc if need be. That's it! 

Note: Some people like the chicken to be more on the dry side- if you like it dry, continue frying for another 10 minutes.  

6. After a minute of cooling, squeeze a fresh lemon and give it all a quick stir. Chicken Pickle is ready to be enjoyed! It is hot and spicy, with a hint of citrus. Delicious! 

Spicy Hot Chicken Pickle

Serve with chapatis or parathas. Goes well alongside some plain dal-chawal (lentils and rice) and salad. Mm mm! You can refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days, and it will taste just fine. 

Can I guarantee that this will taste like Reddy Aunty's pickle? Absolutely not! I guarantee that it will taste pretty dang good, though! :) 

Thursday, June 4, 2015


May is National Egg Month and apparently, June 3rd was National Egg Day. Well, how would I know- I mean, out here, pretty much everyday is egg day! I think that every human being should know how to cook an egg. If you haven't taught your children how to cook an egg, I suggest you wait no more, and teach them!

Here's an easy, quick, healthy, and delicious recipe for egg-any-time-of-the-day, simply called Egg-in-the-Hole:

Yield: 1 serving


Bread- 1 slice 

Egg- 1 

Cooking oil or Pam- a few drops/1 good spray

Salt and Pepper to taste


1. Spray your pan with some Pam or put a few drops of cooking oil. Get the heat going. 

2. Cut a "hole" in a slice of bread. You can make it fun by cutting out different shapes such as heart, mickey or minnie mouse, or a skull! Save the cut-out bread piece. 

3. Place this slice of bread with the hole onto the heated pan. Then crack an egg into this hole. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the cut-out bread piece very gently back into the hole with the egg (avoid pressing it). Cook for about a minute on low flame, and then flip. The bread will have become nice and brown and crisp on that side. 

4. After flipping, cook for an additional 30 seconds to a minute. If you like the yolk runny, half a minute will do. 

5. That's it, egg-in-the-hole is ready to be enjoyed! 

Psst: if nobody is watching, you may lick the plate clean! ;) 

The Hole

Egg cracked into the hole

Salt and Pepper

Place the "heart" back to cover the hole

Golden brown and crisp, then flip

Ready to eat! 

Delicious yolk under the "heart" 

Mm mm! 

Dunk and eat!

Last bits.....


Friday, May 8, 2015

Egg in Avocado

You might have seen ads stating, "Lose Belly Fat," and they show an attractive picture of egg in an avocado. It actually looks pretty good. I love avocados, and eggs are quite the staple in our diet. So this morning I figured I might as well try this egg in an avocado for breakfast. Upon searching online I found a super easy recipe, and here it is:


1. Avocado- 1, nice and firm, not too ripe

2. Eggs- 2 

3. Salt to taste

4. Freshly ground pepper

5. Couple drops of oil


*Pre heat the oven to 450 degrees F. 

*The online recipe called for a ramekin, and didn't use any grease at all. But I wasn't too sure, so instead, I lined a baking pan with aluminum foil, and also added a couple drops of oil onto the foil, just in case. 

1. Cut the avocado into two longitudinal halves. Scoop out just a tad bit of the inside to make space for the egg. Place in the baking pan. I put a couple drops of oil before placing the avocado, just because I didn't want it to stick to the foil and get all messy.

2. Crack 1 egg each into each avocado half. Some of the egg white might spill over, but that's OK. You might have to do a little balancing act with the avocado so it can hold the egg. Add salt to taste, and freshly ground pepper. 

Egg in avocado ready to go into the oven

3. Place this in the oven pre heated to 450 degrees F for about 12 minutes. At the end of 12 minutes, the egg white should have firmed up, leaving the yolk almost firm, but not quite, with a little bit of ooziness to it (I like it that way). That's it, it is now ready to be eaten. 

Egg in Avocado ready to be eaten! 

The Eating:

As I dug into the egg with my spoon, the yellow yolk oozed out, and looked very enticing! I went all the way down so as to get some of the avocado goodness as well. When I placed this spoonful of baked avocado and egg into my mouth, I was taken aback at how buttery and creamy it was. The avocado was warm and had got a lovely smoky flavor to it. As for the egg- one can't really go wrong with eggs. The interesting thing I noticed was that the avocado retained its green color. The other more interesting thing I noticed was how filling it was! I felt extremely full after eating a few spoonfuls- I could barely eat that one half avocado!  

Avocado retained its green color!

A couple things: 

1. Personally, I think I prefer cool avocado rather than warm. But maybe it is a matter of acquired taste. Baking does impart a smoky flavor to the avocado, which is nice.

2. I like my food to have a little bit of a crunch factor- so maybe next time around I'll sprinkle some nuts. Bet that'll taste good. Plus one can get creative with the toppings here, so you can jazz it up with chopped green onion or leek, cilantro, etc.

Final Verdict: 

Baked egg in Avocado in an excellent way to start your day. Your body and mind will thank you. And even if you don't lose your belly fat, you'll most certainly decrease your empty calorie intake that you might be doing during the course of the day. Because after eating this, believe me, you will not feel hungry for hours together!! No kidding!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Fooding in O'ahu, Hawaii

Almost everybody I know who has been to Hawaii has told me that other than enjoying the gorgeous weather, all you can really do there is hang out on the beach and indulge in ocean-related activities, and people who claim to be foodies tell me that the food is very mediocre. Well, if you just stay in the hotel/resort, sure, that's all you can do, and the food is bound to be not just mediocre, but quite sad (big difference between resort food in India and resort food here)! When I visit a new place, I like to go out and explore, and soak in the culture of that place as much as I can. And being a foodie, I of course like to check out local food. Thankfully the family has realized the joys of venturing out too.  

Here's a snippet of our fooding while in O'ahu:

Highlight 1: 

Ko Olina Hawaiian Bar-b-que: 

Went to the Hawaiian BBQ place near the resort without expecting much. Surprisingly, it was actually very tasty! The Loco Moco was in fact extremely delicious. Loco Moco is a Hawaiian dish that comprises of white rice, topped with a hamburger patty, and an egg (sunny side up, or fried- your choice), and all this is smothered in a delicious (usually brown) gravy. The garlic mahi mahi and the garlic shrimp were very delicious too. The garlic sauce is to die-for! Super garlicky, and yet mellow. Their lunch plate comes with a side of macaroni salad, which was nice and cooling in that heat- and the vegetable is one lettuce leaf! ;) For taste, I'd give it full points. Price-wise- now clearly Hawaii is not cheap. A regular plate lunch is anywhere from $12 to $15.

The menu

Plate Lunch Menu

Garlic Shrimp- with 1 lettuce leaf ;) 

Garlic Mahi Mahi- delicious!! 
Loco Moco (ref: 12850507203_7393638144_o.jpg)

Highlight 2:

Little Village:

This restaurant is located in China Town, and as you enter, you might hesitate a little bit just by the looks of the inside. There are chairs that have been duct taped, and the general look is not that great. But never judge a book by its cover! The fried rice looked pretty plain, for being called "The Mother of All Fried Rice." They make it with salted fish and minced chicken. But one spoonful into the mouth, and there was a flavor explosion, literally! It was oh-so-delicious!! The Shoyu Tofu with Leek and Chili was amazing- the tofu looked almost like thick noodles, and was beautifully firm. The shrimp sizzler was delightful. All the food was gobbled up in no time! The service was very good, the people were friendly enough, and above all, the food was crazy good. So good that we went there a second time for dinner! This time I tried eggplant tofu curry, which I was afraid would be sweet (most Chinese restaurants here sweeten up their sauces, that I am not a fan of). So with a bit of suspicion, I put an eggplant into my mouth. Imagine my joy when I tasted real curry flavor, without any sweetness- mm, it was superb! They had used both purple and green eggplant, with nice and firm tofu, and it was very delicious indeed. Overall, awesome food, great service, and as for the price- we've already established the fact that Hawaii is not a cheap place for eating out (or even groceries, for that matter).

The Menu

Some of the dishes on the menu

Shrimp Sizzler

Shoyu Tofu with Leek and Chili

Eggplant Tofu Curry

Highlight 3: 

Food Trucks in Northshore/Haleiwa, Kamehameha Hwy:

Utterly glad that we decided to check out this gem of a place, filled with food trucks including Giovanni's Shrimp Truck, Dat Cajun Guy, 'Okina Cafe, Snow Factory, VJ's (burgers and tacos), and a couple more. I wanted to try the Hawaiian specialty- the poke bowl. Poke is basically raw fish combined with soy sauce, ginger, sesame oil, and sweet onions. A poke bowl consists of this marinated raw fish over plain steamed rice, and topped with fried wonton. Now I am not a big fan of sushi or sashimi. Or I guess, more precisely, I prefer my seafood cooked. So I wasn't sure if I'd be able to eat this stuff, but I simply had to, as it was on my to-eat-in-Hawaii-list. One bite, and I was bowled over! That ahi just melted in my mouth! There was nothing fishy about it at all, which means it was fresh as a daisy (well, OK, freshly caught fish, in this case!). The fried wonton added a nice crunch factor, and I thoroughly enjoyed that ahi poke bowl. I of course had to take a bite of everybody's food. Giovanni's Shrimp Scampi was ridiculously delicious, as was the "No Return Spicy Shrimp." The spicy shrimp was very spicy indeed, but a bit too acidic. I'd cut down on the vinegar, but it was delicious nevertheless, with the shrimp cooked to perfection. Be prepared to use your hands to peel off the shell- it could get a bit messy. The mahi mahi tacos were alright- could have used more seasoning. So the tacos, I'd say, weren't that great. 

We tried another Hawaiian specialty- the combined shave ice, cookies and cream flavor. The lady told us that it was 50% shave ice, and 50% dairy. Whatever it was, it was astoundingly delicious, almost like cotton candy ice cream, in fact even better. It is definitely the best dessert I have eaten in a long time! Oh, and we tried the other famous Hawaiian parfait- The Acai Bowl. To be honest, I think it is a bit overrated. Frozen acai berries are blended with a liquid such as coconut milk or almond milk and made into a scoopable smoothie, then topped with granola, followed by sliced bananas, strawberries, and maybe a few blueberries. It sure looks very pretty. But that's about it. I am not sure why it is a such a big deal. But that's just my opinion. All in all, this food truck spot is highly recommended. 

Tip: Be prepared to shell out a good amount of cash. A couple trucks accept credit cards, but cash is preferred. Again, even though these are food trucks, it is not a cheap affair (especially if you are a  foodie family of four!). 

Giovanni's Shrimp Truck

Shrimp Scampi

"No Return" Spicy Shrimp

Ahi Poke Bowl
Melt-in-mouth Ahi
Mahi Mahi Tacos, with garlic sour cream

Cookies and Cream Combo Shave Ice

Acai Berry Bowl 

Highlight 4: 

Kua'Aina Sandwiches and Burgers: 

We just happened to spot this place. It was late, and we were exhausted roaming around in the heat. We had gone to Diamond Head Crater earlier that afternoon. What they claim to be a "hike" is really just walking up a bunch of steps, and passing through a concrete lighted tunnel that is 225 feet long, followed by more steps. First stairway consists of 74 steps, second stairway has 99 steps, and then finally 52-54 more to reach the summit. The view is spectacular. 

So anyway, we thought burgers and sandwiches for dinner might not be a bad idea. Once again, what a surprisingly good place- the food was delicious! I again opted for mahi mahi, and it was great. We got an order of fries to share- they were shoestring fries, perfectly seasoned. They actually scoop out half an avocado and put it in your sandwich- it is beautiful. The burgers and sandwiches also come with grilled onions, some lettuce, and tomatoes. Come to think of the price, this was actually very well priced- probably the cheapest food we ate during our entire trip. So there, great food at a decent price- we were happy! 

Kua'Aina- born in the same year as me! ;) 

Mm mm! 
The mahi mahi is right there, under the avocado and onion....

Other than the Food: 

I found the general atmosphere to be tranquil. The hand gesture, "shaka," is so cool. I wish people around here too would start using the "shaka" while driving rather than getting all upset and sticking up their middle fingers at each other! ;) The place reminded me of Delhi and Bangalore (India), places I grew up in- mostly because of the vegetation all around. Hibiscus seems to be growing wild. Not to forget, those beautiful, colorful and fragrant flowers are everywhere too. And oh, my old favorite, bougainvillea! That place sure is a tropical paradise for plants. We got to attend an evening of music and hula (traditional Hawaiian dance form), and it was marvelous. The hula is such a graceful dance, and every move has a meaning, which is just lovely. The two young men who showed off their ukulele skills were excellent. What a show it was! 

We also visited the historic Pearl Harbor. The movie about USS Arizona was quite moving. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to visit the memorial itself because of strong winds that day. The other places we went to were the very beautiful Tantalus Lookout, the serene Valley of the Temples, and Diamond Head Crater. Other than that, we drove around the place, and just kept going, "ah, ooh, wow!" at everything we saw (especially yours truly- I tend to get a bit too carried away, you see....!). 

Hawaii is more than just the blue ocean, beautiful weather, and gorgeous sunsets. There is so much more to see, and experience there. And this is just the island of O'ahu we are talking about. 


More flowers


Going back to food- to summarize, the Hawaiian food scene is in fact quite spectacular, with an abundance of seafood, as well as fruits, of course, and veggie options too. In fact, I'd say the food options there are very healthy. O'ahu is full of fruit trees, including papaya, mango, plantain, pomegranate, etc. I think I spotted a few lemon trees too. And how can I forget those coconut trees? And of course there are pineapples growing everywhere. They also grow coffee- though I am not too crazy about Kona Coffee- it is much too light for my palate. I also realize now that food doesn't always have to be smothered in spices (now that's something for this ghost pepper fan!).

Plantain, with flower and all

The only two foodie things I couldn't do were attending a Luau where they roast a whole Kahlua pig, and eating poi. Well, there's always a next time!

My souvenir- Hawaiian Rice Paddle (made in China!)