Southern Aroma, Markham – Restaurant Review

Southern Aroma

Address: #14 – 7200 MARKHAM RD., MARKHAM, ON L3S 3R7

Cuisine: Indian/Srilankan

Price Range: $50 – $60 (for a 3-course meal for 2 adults and a kid)

Hours: Monday – Thursday   11.00 am – 3.00 pm & 5.00 pm – 10.30 pm

Friday & Saturday       11.00 am – 3.00 pm & 5.00 pm – 11.00 pm

Sunday                            11.00 am – 3.00 pm & 5.00 pm – 10.30 pm

Excellent South Indian/Sri Lankan Restaurant serving delicious and innovative meat substitute dishes.

We (me and my family) had been to Southern Aroma restaurant in Markham for dinner a couple of weeks ago. The décor is different and beautiful with brass bells hanging from the ceiling reminiscent of an old Hindu temple. We have driven past the restaurant lot of times but never felt like going to this restaurant. Since it was not fully visible from the Markham Main road, what little was visible looked dark, even the “open” sign was not visible from the road.

We ordered “Colombo Calamari” from the appetizer menu (based on the server’s suggestion that she could substitute the calamari with soya). It was flavourful and crispy on the outside and juicy inside. It had a burst of sweet, tangy and spicy flavors.

Colombo Calamari

Colombo Calamari – Appetizer

Moving on to the main course we ordered some parotta, veechu parotta and poori(for our little one). We also ordered the Chettinad gardein chicken (alternative veggie option) and Chettinad mushroom. Personally, I was not a big fan of the Chettinad gardein chicken because it was a bit chewy and rubbery. Also, the masala/spice flavors did not blend well with the soya. The Chettinad mushroom was comparatively good and it did have the Chettinad garam masala flavors. The poori was over fried so it was brittle & dry in just a couple of minutes after being served (little one thought it was pappad ; -)). It was the same with the parotta and veechu parotta, it turned dry in just a few minutes.

Now coming to the most exciting and fun part of the dinner, desserts!!!

They had a separate desserts menu but most of them were not available. We were left with only 2 or 3 options so we picked Nutella Kulfi, which we had not tried before. It was good but tasted more like chocolate flavored kulfi rather than hazelnut – chocolate flavored.

Nutella Kulfi

PS: Since my husband loved the fact that they had mock meat dishes he wanted to go there again J. We ordered dishes that we did not order during our previous visit. We ordered Cauliflower pakora, Vegetarian kothu roti (had to return the dish as it wasn’t great but they made it again for us which was better than the previous version) and puttu combo with eggplant masala. The cauliflower pakora was delicious but only came with 3 pieces. We have never tried puttu – eggplant combo before so had doubts when ordering but surprisingly it was the hit dish that day. They had dessert specials so we ordered 2 desserts and got the third one for free. The desserts were pretty good. I don’t remember the name of the desserts we had but I have posted a picture of the desserts. They have a large dessert menu (a separate menu) with close to 20 desserts…Yumm Yumm:-)

Processed with MOLDIV

Recommendation: I would definitely recommend this place for vegetarians looking to try innovative Indian style alternative meat/mock meat dishes.

Rating

Food – 3.5 Stars

Ambience – 4.5 Stars

Service 3.5 Stars

Dum Pukht – Restaurant Review

Dum Pukht

Food Legacy of India

Address: 323 Denison Street, Markham, ON L3R 1B7

Cuisine: Indian

Price Range: $65 – $75 (for a 3 course meal for 2 adults and a kid)

Hours:

Monday – Thursday   11.30 am – 3.00 pm & 5.30 pm – 10.00 pm

Friday & Saturday        11.30 am – 3.00 pm & 5.30 pm – 11.00 pm

Sunday                         11.30 am – 3.00 pm & 5.30 pm – 10.00 pm

Excellent Indian restaurant serving fabulous Indian food in style

We (me and my family) had been to Dum Pukht restaurant in Markham for dinner during the summer and to be honest I was amazed by the stunning décor. We usually check the reviews on yelp or google reviews before we try a new restaurant. When we looked for Indian restaurants, this new restaurant Dum Pukht came up and the reviews were good so we wanted to check out. It was a relatively new restaurant (opened in 2014) with few tables occupied.

We started off with chat papri from the appetizers section of the menu. As mentioned in the menu it had all the flavours like the tangy and sweet taste from the tamarind chutney, mint chutney and topped with chilled yogurt. It was served cold which was perfect for a chat papri. Moving on to the main course we ordered some bread (Latcha Paratha and Missi Roti), Baingan Patiala and vegetable dum pukht Biryani. Even though it took a while to get the dishes it tasted so good that we did not mind the wait time. We requested the waiter to make the eggplant gravy spicy but it wasn’t spicy enough for us, still it tasted yummy so not a big deal. We had never seen missi roti on any of the Indian restaurant menus so wanted to give it a shot and it turned out to be a winner.

Now coming to the most exciting and fun part of the dinner, desserts!!!

They had some of the usual Indian desserts but we wanted to choose something new. We found Raspberry tartoufo to be interesting but they did not have so we chose the Chef’s signature dish Chocolate tartoufo. The portion was good to share and it just melted in the mouth. This might sound a bit exaggerating but it was by far the best dessert I have had in an Indian Restaurant.

final-3

final-1

2

final-2

Beautifully decorated restaurant serving nicely presented and tasty Indian food.  The one thing that I recommend from my experience is ,they could improve the service by sending the food out with less wait time. Overall I would definitely recommend this restaurant to people looking to taste good Indian food served in style.

PS: We liked the food so much that we went to Dum Pukht again (especially for the chocolate tartoufo) a couple of weeks ago  but they did not have it but still the food was good (I have posted a few pictures below) and also there were lot more people at dinner time compared to the last time we were there.

Fun day at the farm!!!

 

Apple picking😀🍎🍏

Fall is here and Halloween is right around the corner🍁🍂🎃….so is the apple and pumpkin picking season.

Last weekend being long weekend we wanted to do something fun as a family. The weather has been pretty good (not the usual chilly October weather) in the last couple of weeks so we decided to do some kind of outdoor activity. The first thing that came to mind was Apple picking!!! I have been wanting to go apple picking for a couple of years now but never got a chance (always forgot the picking season and also the weather becomes chilly so end up staying at home with a cozy shawl😬). This year we went to the farm a couple of times during the summer so was keeping track of the picking seasons for the various fruits and vegetables. Thankfully last weekend was the last week of picking for the season at the farm.

There were different varieties of apple but we picked more of the honey crisp and macintosh apples. The honey crisp apples were the best, as the name suggests it was as sweet as honey and crunchy. The macintosh apples had a bit of a tangy taste. We got a little bit crazy and ended up filling a 20 pound bag full of apples. Since we picked so much I have been trying out new recipes using the fresh apples. Each of us also have a quota of eating atleast 3 🍎🍏 in a day😂 (my little one gets scared when I ask him if he would like to have a fruit wondering if I would give him an apple😂 But he was the one who got too excited when picking the apples)😂

The farm also had a children’s play ground and a straw mountain for kids to play. The trees looked beautiful with all the leaves turning into different shades of yellow, orange and red for fall. It was a day well spent at the farm🙂

Below are some pictures from our farm visit. More apple recipes to follow in the next couple of days😀

 

 

Apple Pickle – Apple thokku – Apple urkai

final-3

PREP TIME: 5 Mins

COOKING TIME: 15 Mins

Ingredients – roast & grind

Dry red chilli – 10 – 15

Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon

Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

Fenugreek Seeds – ¼ teaspoon

Curry leaves – 5 sprigs (50 grams)

2

Ingredients

Apple – 4 chopped (OR) Grated

Mustard – ½ teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Asafoetida – ¼ teaspoon

Masala powder – 2 teaspoons (prepared using the above ingredients)

Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon (preservative)

Salt – to taste

Sesame Oil – 5 teaspoons

Procedure

STEP 1: Heat a pan and dry roast the ingredients given under “ingredients – to roast & grind” and make a fine masala powder.

STEP 2: Heat oil in a pan, add mustard and wait to splutter.  Add asafoetida, turmeric powder and the prepared masala powder.

STEP 3:  Cook for a minute and add the chopped apples. Mix well.

STEP 4:  Cook on low heat till the oil separates from the mixture (take about 10 – 15 minutes depending upon the texture of the apple. The apples I used were crunchy so it took about 15 minutes to soften).

STEP 5: Add salt and mix well. Just a minute before turning off the heat add lemon juice and mix well.

STEP 6: Let the pickle cool down and transfer the pickle to a dry glass jar. The lemon juice serves as a preservative so the pickle can be stored for a couple of days.

TIP: You can avoid adding the lemon juice if are not planning on storing the pickle.
final-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jasmine Flowers!!!!

Yay!!!

11 Jasmine Flowers from my garden!!!!

Jasmine plants are usually grown in tropical countries and are known for the fragrance from their flowers. The fragrance from the jasmine flowers is so unique, soothing and energizing.

Now that it is summer here, I found jasmine plant in an Indian store and bought the plant couple of months ago. It’s been flowering right from the day I got it but it was only 1 or 2 flowers every other day. Today to my surprise there were so many flowers…11 to be precise. I got so excited so I plucked the flowers and took pictures of it to share it with you all. Pictures below….

Jasmine Flowers 1 Jasmine Flowers 2

Strawberry Picking!!!

Strawberry picking5

Fun filled weekend at the farm!!!

It’s summer time and the strawberry picking season is here. We(me and my family) visited a  farm last weekend to pick strawberries. We did not have any plans about picking other fruits or vegetables but since there was green pea in good quality to pick we picked few pounds of green pea(do check out my green peas gravy post). We (especially my little one)had lot of fun picking the strawberries.

Strawberry yogurt Popsicles recipe to follow:-)

Please find below the pictures I took at the farm.

Strawberry picking2 Strawberry picking1Strawberry picking4 Strawberry picking3

Vegetables in the farm

GREEN PEAS

Vegetable picking peas

BEANS

Vegetable picking Beans

POTATOES

Vegetable picking potato

New Convection Oven!!!! – Butter Cookies with Almonds

NEW COUNTERTOP CONVECTION OVEN!!!!!!!

Super Happy & Excited!!!

New Oven 2 New Oven 3 New Oven 4

Yippee!! Got my brand new Black & Decker countertop convection oven this week. I was so excited to use the oven and look what I first baked in my new oven (picture below)….Butter Cookies…Yummy:-)

Cookies 1 Cookies 2

I had problems with my convection oven so was looking to buy a countertop oven and luckily found the best one:-). I wanted an oven that has even heat distribution so the baked stuff doesn’t get burnt on one side and not baked on the other side. This oven worked amazing as the heat got evenly distributed and the cookies were baked to perfection on all sides, in 12 minutes. Yet to try other baking recipes.

More Baking recipes to follow on Tinyminyblog:-)

Hurray!!! 50th Post in TINYMINYBLOG

Hurray!!!

50th Post in Tinyminyblog…Celebration Time:-)

Yay!!! Tinyminyblog has 50 posts already and I’m very happy about it. I wanted to do something special on completing this small (yet challenging to me) milestone just to keep myself motivated. We (my family) went to the dessert place, Caffe Demetre at Richmond Hill on Friday night to celebrate my accomplishment. We had a chocolate mousse cheesecake cake. The cake was flavourful with hints of strawberry and creamy chocolate layers topped with dark chocolate sauce and whipped cream on the side. The taste was awesome. Below is the picture of the cake.

Chocolate mousse cake with fruits

Now all ready to work towards posting my 100th post, 500th post and so on….:-)

Lunch Menu 3 – Beans Sambar – Cabbage Masala – Beetroot Vadai – Rice

Lunch menu 3 - beetroot vadai-cabbage masala-beans sambar-rice

Beans Sambar

PREP TIME: 10 Mins

COOKING TIME: 20 Mins

Ingredients

Beans – 1 Cup

Onion/Shallots – 1 cup

Tomato – ½ cup

Toor dal – ½ cup

Mustard – 1/2 tea spoon

Urad dal – 1/2 tea spoon

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Sambar powder – 3 teaspoons

Tamarind water – ½ cup

Salt – per taste

Oil – 2 teaspoons

Procedure

STEP 1: Wash the toor dal and pressure cook the dal for 5 whistles. Mash well and keep it aside.

STEP 2: Chop the beans to 1 inch pieces. Chop onion and tomato. (I have used both red onion and shallots)

STEP 3: Soak the tamarind in water. Discard the pulp after extracting the juice from the tamarind pulp and save the water.

STEP 4: Transfer the chopped beans, onion and tomato to the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles.

STEP 5: Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters. Add urad dal and curry leaves.

STEP 6: Add the cooked dal and vegetables.

STEP 7: Add the tamarind water, salt and sambar powder. Mix well and let it cook for 10 minutes on high flame.

TIP: This is a simple sambar recipe. I have used homemade sambar powder but you can also use store bought sambar powder.

Beans Sambar Veggies Beans sambar tempering ingredients Beans sambar spicesBeans sambar cooked veggies & dalBeans sambar cookingBeans sambar

————————————————————————————————————————

Cabbage Masala

PREP TIME: 5 Mins

COOKING TIME: 10 Mins

Ingredients

Cabbage – 2 Cups chopped

Onion – 1

Tomato – ½

Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon

Urad dal – ½ teaspoon

Fennel seeds – ¼ teaspoon

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Chilli powder – 3 teaspoons

Salt – per taste

Oil – 2 teaspoons

Procedure

STEP 1: Clean and chop the Cabbage finely (like noodles).

STEP 2: Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, urad dal, fennel seeds and curry leaves.

STEP 3: Add the onion, salt and cook for 2 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes.

STEP 4: Add the chilli powder and ¼ cup water.

STEP 5: Toss in the chopped cabbage and mix well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

STEP 6: Once the mixture becomes dry and the cabbage is cooked turn off the heat.

TIP: This masala tastes good with curd rice.

Cabbage masala Veggies Cabbage masala ingredients Cabbage masala cooking Cabbage masala

————————————————————————————————————————

Beetroot Vadai

PREP TIME: 60 Mins

COOKING TIME: 15 Mins

Ingredients

Beetroot – 1 cup chopped

Toor dal – ½ cup

Onion – 1

Curry Leaves – 1 sprig

Salt – per taste

Chilli powder – 2 teaspoons

Oil – for deep frying

Procedure

STEP 1: Soak the toor dal for 45 minutes and grind to a coarse paste.

STEP 2: Chop the beetroot and blend to make puree. Transfer the puree to a mesh sieve and let the excess water/beetroot juice drain from the beetroot puree.

STEP 3: In a bowl add the toor dal, beetroot puree, finely chopped onion, salt, chilli powder and curry leaves. Mix well. (Make sure the mixture is thick. If the mixture has excess water, you will not be able to shape the vadai).

STEP 4: Heat oil in a deep pan.

STEP 5: Take a portion of the beetroot mixture and make small balls or flatten the small ball to make vadai. Toss it gently into the hot oil.

STEP 6: Cook till the vadai changes to a darker color or till the bubbles in the oil subsides.

Beetroot vadai veggies Beetroot vadai spices Beetroot vadai shaping Beetroot vadai cooking Beetroot vadai 2 Beetroot vadai

TIP: Beetroot vadai can be served with rice or can be served as an appetizer.

Lunch menu 3 - beetroot vadai-cabbage masala-beans sambar-rice2