Archive for May, 2008

Choley Bhature

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Don’t you just love the culinary diversity of the Bay Area? I mean, you don’t have to take an 18 hour flight just for some authentic Indian dishes or fly all the way to Korea for some honest to goodness soontofu served the old fashioned way. When you’re in San Mateo, there are more Japanese restaurants than Mexican taquerias.

At one of our usual gatherings, Alvin and Anne one time brought a small box of food to go from one of their favorite Indian restaurant here in Newark.

The fried bread (bhature) was a slightly sweet kind similar to the Taco Bell challupa. [I know it’s a pretty barbaric reference or point of comparison but hey, I got this theory that food is easier to “understand” and thus appreciate when you can describe it in familiar terms]. You then dip that on a sweet to mildly spicy dish of garbanzos which I guess is the “choley” (chickpeas to you Amerikanos) that is then seasoned with something similar to a salsa verde (but with hints of cumin and some sort of lime).

You could probably count with your fingers the Indian dining places I’ve been to but I guess my recent forays into developing my own chili bean recipe has conditioned me into exploring more of the spicy stuff and triggered this interest on the earthy flavor of cumin.

So eventually, I found the Chatpatta Corner here in Newark. It’s near the 76 gas station in front of Ardenwood Farm right across the car wash. Only when I got in the store that I realized I didn’t even know the name of the dish I came there for! After I described it to the lady by the counter she was positive she knew what I was talking about. Bingo.

She also made it clear that they don’t serve any meat whatsoever and I said “you mean you don’t have meat today?” and she said: “nope, we don’t serve meat any other day”. And I was like “Ohhh”.

Fast forward to lunch time today. On my second visit I tried out the samosa which is usually a safe bet since middle eastern and mediterranean variants are usually similar to our Philippine empanada (of course without the ground beef). Theirs is nicely fried with a neutral potato filling and you eat it with some yogurt and the green chili dip.

Long story short, garbanzos as it turns out are good particularly for diabetics and is considered to be among the six healthiest staple foods in Middle Eastern cuisine. They contain healthy nutrients and an excellent source of fiber, which is known to help lower cholesterol, fight heart disease and stabilize blood sugar levels.

On YouTube:

Also: SF Chronicle Article here about chaat.

As Anthony Bourdain once mentioned in one of his TV shows: “anything that’s hot and spicy that makes
me sweat is good”.

I heartily agree.


Twitter in Plain English

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Twitter in Plain English from leelefever on Vimeo.

Bob’s Birthday 2008

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Click here for 720P HD format!

Bob’s Birthday 2008 from Kyo Suayan on Vimeo.

Bay to Breakers 2008

Monday, May 19th, 2008

“Why don’t you be different, just like everybody else?”

Bay to Breakers is a 7.6 mile footrace celebrated every third Sunday in May. Participants wear the most outrageous costumes (and sometimes, lack thereof). Nudity is prohibited but not enforced. It was started in 1912 to lift the city’s spirits after the 1906 earthquake. It’s essentially a huge party with some 65,000 participants, with people of all shapes and sizes (ahem).

Race starts off at the Embarcadero and ends inside the Golden Gate Park. Lot’s of traditions on this annual event. Those discs flying at the starting line are actually tortillas. There is another small group wearing huge salmon costumes running ‘upstream’ is called “Breakers to Bay”.

Bay to Breakers 2008 from Kyo Suayan on Vimeo.

I’ve always been wanting to go but only managed to for the first time this year. Also If you watch closely, you will see one team wearing the infamous orange CPDRC Inmate costume on one of the street corners. It’s also the first time I’ve heard of the Ramones’ “I Wanna Be Sedated” played with an accordion!

Bay to Breakers, 2008

Had a memorable time. Even bumped into a San Francsico icon, the real Frank Chu on our way back to the car. He just crossed the finish line as we were leaving apparently.


Calendar: Bay Area Weekend Activities

Saturday, May 17th, 2008

What are you doing this weekend? Share weekend outdoor activities here (picnic, hiking, biking or outdoor gear sale etc.). Explore the great outdoors and enjoy the nice Northern California weather.