Lal Bagh Botanical Garden

Lal Bagh Botanical Garden is located in South Bangalore

The Lalbagh Botanical Garden is not only one of the largest botanical gardens in India, but also the first of its kind, with planned routes, glasshouses and ornamental flowers growing throughout the property.

The garden itself is spread over an area of 240 acres and its construction was commissioned by the famous ruler Hyder Ali. It was finally completed by his son, Tipu Sultan

A few pictures of Lalbagh:

Lalbagh Glass House
Lalbagh Glass House
One of the many trails inside the garden
Lalbagh Lake
Lalbagh Lake
Tree with roots more than 200 years old

A Trip to Bangalore

I have always wanted to visit Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka state in India.

Bangalore is most well known as the tech hub of India.

Today, we visited Bangalore Palace, where construction started in 1874 and completed in 1878

The palace was built in Tudor Revival style architecture with fortified towers, battlements and turrets. The interiors were decorated with elegant wood carvings, floral motifs, cornices and relief paintings on the ceiling.

Some pictures of the palace from outside –

The palace is enclosed within beautiful gardens with exquisite wooden interiors. A few pictures from the interiors of the palace

One of the corridors
A beautiful painting

This palace is definitely worth a visit

Saag Chana (Spinach Black Chickpeas Curry)

Ingredients

  • 400 gm chopped spinach
  • 2 cups black gram (desi chana) soaked overnight and boiled
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 finely chopped tomato
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2-3 dry red chillies, roughly torn
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste

Method –

  1. Boil the black gram, drain the water and set aside
  2. Heat oil in a wok
  3. Temper it with fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and dry red chillies
  4. Let them crackle
  5. Add ginger garlic, sauté till raw smell goes away
  6. Add chopped onions and sauté till pink
  7. Add chopped tomatoes and salt and cook till tomatoes are soft
  8. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and sauté for 1 minute
  9. Add the spinach and black gram and cook for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally
  10. After it’s cooked, drizzle lime juice and add ghee

Matar Alu Torkari (Peas and Potato Curry)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh shelled peas
  • 1 medium potato, cut into small cubes
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 2 green chillies, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp refined oil

Method

  1. Heat oil in a wok
  2. Add the cumin seeds
  3. Once it sizzles, add the grated ginger and sauté for 15 seconds
  4. Now, add the tomatoes and saute
  5. Add the potatoes and fry till tomatoes are soft and potatoes are tender, sprinkling water if required
  6. Add the turmeric powder and salt to taste
  7. Now, add the peas and sauté for 2-3 minutes
  8. Add 1/2 cup warm water and cook covered on low heat till done

Chirer Pulao (Flattened Rice Pulao)

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups chire (flattened rice)
  • 1 medium sized boiled potato
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tbsp cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp raisins
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped finely
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp ghee

Method

  1. Wash the flattened rice thoroughly and drain in a colander
  2. Dice the potatoes into small cubes
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan
  4. Add cumin seeds and fennel seeds
  5. Sauté for a few seconds
  6. Add the peanuts and fry on high flame for 1 minute
  7. Add cashew nuts and raisins and sauté for 30 seconds
  8. Add boiled potatoes and fry on high flame for 2 minutes
  9. Add onion and fry for 2 minutes on high flame
  10. Add turmeric powder, salt and fry on high flame for 2 minutes
  11. Now, add sugar, sprinkle some water and fry on high heat for 1 minute
  12. Add the flattened rice. Stir and mix for 2-3 minutes
  13. Switch off the flame
  14. Add ghee, mix well
  15. Cover the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving

Smoked Pork and Potato Curry

Ingredients –

  • 500 gm smoked pork
  • 4 potatoes, cut into halves
  • 1 finely chopped medium onion
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 5-6 slit green chillies
  • Finely chopped coriander leaved for garnishing
  • 2 tbsp mustard oil

Method –

  1. Heat the mustard oil in a wok till smoking
  2. Add bay leaves and saute for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add slit green chillies, finely chopped onion, garlic paste, ginger paste, turmeric powder and salt
  4. Cook till the onions turn light brown
  5. Add the pork and potatoes
  6. Cook on high flame for 5 minutes, starting continuously
  7. Add 3 cups of water and stir
  8. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes on medium heat
  9. Uncover after 40 minutes, stir and mash a few cubes of potatoes to thicken the gravy
  10. Cook for 5 minutes or until the gravy reaches the desired consistency
  11. Finally, add chopped coriander leaves, give it a quick stir and turn off the heat

Vanilla Cake

Ingredients

  • 325 gm all purpose flour (2.5 cups)
  • 350 gm powdered sugar (1 3/4 cups)
  • 2.5 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 180 gm butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2.5 tsp vanilla essence

Method –

  1. Ensure all the ingredients are at room temperature
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  3. In a mixing bowl, add the measured softened butter and powdered sugar.
  4. Start creaming the butter and sugar mixture with a mixer or with a spatula. Continue creaming it until it is soft and fluffy.
  5. Start adding the eggs and yolks, one at a time, and continue with the creaming process. Continue until all the eggs have been added. Scrape down the side of the mixing bowl in between and mix until all the eggs are totally incorporated and the mixture is very soft and fluffy.
  6. Add the vanilla essence and mix well.
  7. Start adding the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, little at a time ( roughly in 4 turns). Gently fold the mixture until the flour is fully incorporated with the butter, sugar and eggs. Do not over mix. Instead just keep folding gently.
  8. In case you find the batter too thick, add 1 tablespoon extra milk at a time and fold the mixture. The desired batter should fall like a ribbon when you pour it from above. Scrape bowl and blend an additional one minute on low to medium speed.
  9. Bake at 180 C for 40-45 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and dry.
  10. Remove the cake from the oven and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes.

Chicken Salad Sandwich

Ingredients –

  • 1.5 cups boiled and shredded chicken
  • 1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • A few lettuce leaves, torn
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 slices bread

Method –

  1. In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients except bread and lettuce
  2. Place the mixed ingredients equally over 4 slices of bread
  3. Top with lettuce leaves
  4. Top with remaining bread
  5. Cut into triangles and serve

Ou Tenga Masor Jhul (Fish Curry with Elephant Apple)

Ingredients

  • 5 pieces Rohu fish
  • 1 potato, boiled and chopped into medium pieces and lightly mashed
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 ou Tenga (elephant apple lightly pounded), boiled in 2 cups of water for 2 whistles
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 green chillies, slit
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Mustard oil

Method –

  1. Rub the fish with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt. Marinate for 15 minutes
  2. Heat 2 tbsp mustard oil in a wok
  3. Fry the fish lightly and set aside
  4. In the same oil, add fenugreek seeds
  5. When the seeds darken, add the potatoes and sauté for 2 minutes
  6. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste along with the ginger garlic paste
  7. Sauté for another 2 minutes
  8. Pour the boiled ou Tenga and liquid over the potatoes
  9. Add the chillies
  10. Once the gravy comes to a boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for 8-10 minutes
  11. Add the fish and simmer for about 7-8 minutes
  12. Switch off the flame and sprinkle black pepper powder and chopped coriander leaves

Lemon Pepper Chicken

Ingredients

  • 600-700 gm boneless chicken, cut in strips
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 onion, pureed
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp ginger julienned
  • 2 tbsp Cream
  • A small bunch of chopped coriander leaves
  • 4 green chillies
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)

Method –

  1. Marinate the chicken with 1.5 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, yogurt, red chilli powder, 1 tsp black pepper powder, chopped coriander leaves and salt
  2. Set aside for 15 minutes
  3. Heat 1.5 tbsp oil in a wok
  4. Add the julienned ginger
  5. Add 2 sliced green chillies
  6. Sauté for 1 minute and add the onion puree
  7. Fry till golden brown add add the balance ginger garlic paste
  8. Sauté till raw smell goes away
  9. Add the marinated chicken pieces along with the marinade
  10. Sauté for 2-3 minutes
  11. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about 10 minutes
  12. When the chicken is tender, add 2 tbsp cream and kasoori methi
  13. Add 1 tsp black pepper powder, sliced chilli and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice