June 3, 2009

Nupur's "The Indian Vegetarian 100"

A few days back, I was talking to a journalist who was doing an article for the Hindustan Times about Indian food blogs. She asked me a couple of a couple of questions I couldn't really answer. Her questions were "What do you think brings people to your blog? Is it your recipes or the pictures on your blog?" I would like to believe it is the mix of recipes my blog offers, but I'm not sure.

My blog statistics show me that many people come to my blog through searches while some follow me regularly. Quite a few of my blog followers subscribe to my posts by e-mail and I know many follow me regularly because they leave comments at my posts.

So now I ask you all, "What is it that attracts you to my blog and posts?"
Is it the recipes, my style of writing and presenting recipes, or is it my pictures (maybe)? I would really like to know your opinion so please don't hesitate to tell me. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

Waiting for the monsoon

It's still quite hot here and we're waiting for the monsoons to stop threatening to arrive and actually keeps it's promise to reach us this week. I am in the middle of some cleaning and clearing up around the house and am a bit short on time this week. I should be back to posting regularly from next week.

So today's post is a non-recipe post but very much a food related post.
A couple of weeks back, The Indian Vegetarian 100 on Nupur's blog, One Hot Stove, caught my attention. I enjoyed going through her list and decided to do my version here. She requires us to:

  • Copy the entire list, along with these instructions, into your blog post
  • Bold the foods that you have tried
  • Strike out the foods you would never try
  • Tell us your score in the comments :)
  • If you wish to, make your own list or add to this one.

So here is Nupur's 100 with my scores! I have crossed out a few on the list as foods I will never eat agian, but that's not to say I will never have them. I might be starnded on an island with only these and I wouldn't have any choice but to eat them!!

1. Ripe mangoes

2. Curd rice

3. Chaat

4. Phulka

5. Puran poli

6. Boiled peanuts (not a particular favourite)

7. Samosa

8. Stuffed baby eggplants

9. Aviyal

10. Stuffed paratha

11. Masala chai

12. Tirphal

13. Murukku

14. Curry leaves

15. Banana chips fried in coconut oil

16. Jaggery

17. Vada pav

18. Tender coconut water

19. Paneer

20. Madras filter coffee

21. Boondi laddoo

22. Boondi raita

23. Navratan korma

24. Kokum

25. Masala peanuts

26. A home-cooked Indian vegetarian meal

27. Sugarcane juice

28. Sabudana/sago in any form

29. Horsegram

30. Maggi noodles

31. Podi with rice and ghee

32. Roomali roti

33. Bitter gourd

34. Nylon sev

35. Vegetable biryani

36. Thali at a restaurant

37. Plantain flower

38. Undhiyu

39. Nimbu pani

40. Papad

41. Kotthu parotta

42. Panch phoran

43. Drumsticks

44. Indian "French toast"

45. Sarson ka saag

46. Bhakri

47. Pav bhaji

48. Sitaphal

49. Glucose biscuits (I will not eat these if I have a choice)

50. Sprouts

51. Chole-bhature

52. Amla

53. Tomato "omelet"

54. A wedding feast

55. Grilled corn on the cob with lemon juice, salt and chilli powder

56. Cadbury's fruit and nut chocolate

57. Sai bhaji

58. Solkadi

59. Indian-Chinese meal

60. Jalebi

61. Black forest cake

62. Bharwa bhindi

63. Kashmiri saffron

64. Misal

65. Ripe jackfruit (not my favourite, always give it a miss)

66. Idli-chutney

67. 'Tadgola' (I don't know how I missed that this was "nongu"!)

68. Bhut jolokia

69. Baby mango pickle

70. Meal off a banana leaf

71. Falooda

72. Moong khichdi

73. Bebinca ( I really don't like bebinca)

74. Daal baati

75. Methi greens

76. Basundi

77. Gunpowder

78. Appam-stew

79. Sweet lemon pickle

80. Ridge gourd

81. Bisi bele bhath

82. Coconut burfi

83. Caramel custard

84. Thecha

85. Rasam

86. Baingan bharta

87. Mysore pak

88. Punjabi wadi

89. Chhunda

90. Dal makhani

91. Paper dosa

92. Gongura

93. Hand-churned butter

94. Pakoda

95. Curd chillies

96. Mustard oil (just can't get used to this)

97. Fresh cashews

98. Tomato pickle

99. Rajma-chawal

100. Chaas

My score : 95%  96%.

(Not bad, huh? It helped that a lot of Nupur's choices are part of my repertoire). I know what Kotthu Parotta (#41) is but have never had it. I didn't even know what Tadgola (#67), Bhut Jolokia (#68) and Thecha (#84) were! I have never tasted Punjabi wadi (#88).
Edited (4th June, 2009): I just realised from some of the comments that I actually seem to have missed that "Tadgola" is "Nongu" so I have definitely had this.

And I am adding my own list of 25 more vegetarian "must try at least once" Indian foods. And I quote Nupur here.
As she says, "It is a highly subjective and very eclectic list, featuring what I believe are some unique ingredients, restaurant classics and regional specialties. It demonstrates my biases, because many of my own favorites are in there to the exclusion of other dishes."

Yet I hope that you will find some of your favourites listed here and in time, perhaps, come to adopt some of these or try them out at least once whenever the opportunity presents itself.

1. Chakka varatti (jackfruit-jaggery jam)

2. Kappa (tapioca/ jassava) chips (the plain salted variety)

4. Pazham pori (Ripe plantain fritters)

5. Crisp and spongy Uzhundu Vadai (Black gram lentil fritters)

6. Parippu pradhaman (Lentil-jaggery-coconut milk kheer)

8. Gulab jamuns (preferably home-made)

9. Mishti doi (Bengali sweet yogurt)

15. Poruvalangai (Wheat lentil laddoos)

16. Kai murukku (Hand-made murukku)

18. Sevai/ Nool pittu (south Indian rice noodles)

19. Kulfi

23. Ellurundai (Til laddoos)

24. Molagai bhajji (Stuffed and batter fried chillies)

25. Chickoo/ Sapota (Sapodilla)

If you should choose to do this meme, remember to stick to Nupur's rules and have fun. You can find her original 100 on her blog, and there she has linked each of the 100 food items to a post or an image.


Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

I definitely follow your blog because of your diverse recipe list! The first thing that sparked off my interest was the fact that you do a good amount of baking, which I love to do too!

Ramya Vijaykumar said...

Hey Aparana, this is simply the best question everyone oughta ask themselves!!! The recipes or the pictures, to me its the recipes the way things are done the twist you give a magic ingredient here and there that changes the taste and ofcourse the pictures are just to tell us what consistency/how well it could be presented/what color you could expect pics are guidelines and its the recipes and the writings that bring me to your space!!!

sra said...

You've never tried tadgola? I love tapioca chips too, but the karam variety.

sra said...

Congrats on the mention in HT!

Raaga said...

Hey Aparna... tadgola is nungu... I am sure you've eaten it :)

congrats on the HT mention... I shall go read now.

My list is here: http://onlineraga.blogspot.com/2009/05/indian-vegetarians-100.html

Ria said...

Congrats Aparna! I follow your blog because of the variety in recipes.You don't stick to just traditional ones,instead your blog offers a whole bunch of trad food, cakes,pies,cookies, breads etc. When I browse through other blogs,they claim that their recipe is the best, but the pics just dont say so (I'm not judging anyone)
Where as in your case, you have a lovely balance of both! Lovely recipes & lovely mouthwatering pics! You truly deserve the mention in HT. WTG!!

P.s-Hope the wound I caused you by my mysore pak attempt using your recipe is somewhere healed by this! :( I somehow just can't forget that! I usually don't let my tongue loose like the way I did then! I was a bit crazy that day! :)Ghee/ butter are my first love! :P

Simran said...

You must, must try punjabi wadi. It's one of a kind :)

Aparna said...

Roshni, good to know you enjoy baking too. Though sometimes I wonder if I'm not doing too much of baking! :)

Ramya, you're right but it never struck me to ask myself that question till someone else asked me the question! And I have been blogging for a year and a half now. :)

Sra and Raaga, thanks for pointing that out. I have no idea how I missed that Tadgola and Nongu were one and the same! My score is up 1%.
Btw, you both haven't answered my question or perhaps you thinkkeeping silent is more diplomatic. :D

Got that, Ria. It is possible that many bloggers honestly feel their recipe is the best version. I do feel that about a few of mine, I just haven't said so. :)
And not all good cooks are necessarily good photographers so that could be another reason.
I never realised you were the "mysorepak" waali Ria till you mentioned it here! And I wasn't upset by your remark. So no issues. :)

I shall, Simran whenver I get the chance.

jayasree said...

I come here for your variety recipes as your blog name suggests. Pics surely help as a guideline of what to expect of the dish.

Congrats for the mention in HT. Liked your addition of 25 must-try foods.

Happy cook said...

I remember seeing this in Nupurs place too.
You don't like glucose biscuit, i don't love them but i like them, maybe because of some chilehood memory ;-)

I should google to know mre about Irani chai.
Now about atracting to your blog question, i love your passion for making bread and baking, i guess that is why i am here :-)

Sharmila said...

After trying your Rose cookies ... which were so successful I could post them in my blog ... am a fan of your blog. :-)
And you inspire me to try my hand at baking too. :-)

Suparna said...

hi aparna,
I salute ur passion for cooking variety of dishes and also blogging it with a beautiful intro/write up, pics are really good.
It's hard to choose a particular reason as to y I visit ur blog...hmmm...may be the homely feeling I get in reading ur posts...for me that matters the most :)

Enjoyed this post, it's a unique idea :) ooooo I hven't heard of so many dishes that u've mentioned here...shall see them in detail :)
love u!

Srivalli said...

Congrats on the mention Aparna..you have a lovely space..I simply enjoy checking out what you dish out here...:)

Curry Leaf said...

Wow,Aparna great to know about your HT column.GREAT YOU Are.I actually came to know you thru BBD :small breads.Then started visiting periodically,found that you are truly diverse in your recipes especially baking.What increased my admiration was that you were baking from India.I had thght it impossible what with power problems,availability of items etc.That too another fear factor was you are a daring baker.
The pic part is the first attraction.On opening the browser your dish pic arrests the attention.After savouring the pic only I go to the recipe which I cherish.

rekhas kitchen said...

Aparna I realy enjoy your recipes that means I came here for your different and delicious recipes

Red Chillies said...

The one thing I enjoy most in your posts is your writing. It is effortless, honest, upto the point has good flow and not boring at all. You are one of those few food bloggers who has that good sense of writing.

I also visit to see your baking recipes. Congratulations on the mention.

egglesscooking said...

Congrats Aparna! I visit for (I'm awed by) your baking skills. I don't know if I would be baking if I were in India. But you on the other hand try so much western stuff with so much ease.

bee said...

recipes of pics? i go for writing style, usually.

TBC said...

Congrats on the HT mention, Aparna! :D

Bharti said...

I like to visit blogs that strike a chord. What you write is unpretentious and honest. The choice of recipes also plays a role. I agree with the kulfi and gulab jamuns. I have not tried many of the items on your list yet.

Vidya said...

Hi Aparna,
I landed on your blog a few months ago and was instantly hooked on to it. Nice style of writing and gorgeous pictures. I learn something new everytime I visit..like the names of all those yummy goods you bake. And this new list! I have no idea what sai bhaji is - never heard of it. will be googling now :)
Wishing you all the best, congrats on the mention in Hindustan Times.

Divya Vikram said...

I come here for baking recipes! Lovel list. Now off to check those 25 recipes!

Miri said...

Photos can only take a blog that far - the content has to be good enough for one to return. I like your chatty style, varied recipes and the fact that you attempt baking recipes I would probably think thrice before trying! :)


Aparna said...

From most of your comments, it seems my baking is attraction here. :)
Thanks everyone, for taking the time to answer my questions.

Sweatha, I got to exploring baking because it was different and I enjoy it.
As for power cuts, I have been lucky that wherever I have lived in India, it hasn't been a problem as yet. :)

As for being a Daring Baker, there's nothing frightening about that. Its a learning experience and lots of fun. :)

Supriya, its nice to know you think I write well.
Maybe I should write a book! :)

Madhu, I'm sure you would bake if you were in India too.
Actually there are people in India who do a lot of baking, mostly in the Christian community.

Curry Leaf said...

Thanks for the reply comment Aparna.But I can never imagine myself as a DB thgh I secrely wish I acquire more baking skills and plunge in to become DB.Thanks

Aparna said...

Its all in the mind, really. I'm sure you could do it. Personally I think if I can be a DB I'm sure anyone can. :)

di_ani said...

new awards
for you here:



param said...

Hi Aparan,

I was just browsing the net looking for something to do in goa. I am basically from mumbai and just recently shifted to goa. Even i am a "stay at home mom". The reason i am writing to u is a i was wondering if u are running some classes for cooking, i mean ur receipes look so good that learning them in person would just be great.Do let me know. thanks

Aparna said...

Thank you Diana, for all those awards though I'm not sure I deserve them. :)

Hi Param,
Good to know you are in Goa. Where do you stay?
I haven't thought of running classes so far. :)
The recipes on my blog are just what cooks in my kitchen. I would be happy to help you out with any of my recipes, if you wish.

Nupur said...

Aparna- I am commenting on this post long after it was written because I was on vacation and this is the first chance I got to catch up with the blogs.

To answer your question about why I read your blog, I do so for two reasons- (a) I love your passion for baking and how you adapt baking recipes from all over the world to your kitchen in India, (b) your traditional regional Indian recipes.

Thank you so much for playing along and doing my list, your score is very impressive!

I LOVED going through your list of 25 foods, they all sound divine. My score is a mere 16/25 so there are many of those that I must find and try :)