An Exercise In Trivial Pursuits

Fatshion, Food & Frivolities – Life in Las Vegas & Singapore


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Fat-shionista #574

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This is what I wore yesterday. I was a little busy bee helping T set-up his office (mostly cleaning up after him), then I went out to get groceries. I usually only buy groceries on Wednesday unless I need to get something that’s at a really good price – yesterday it was 79c Pilsbury cake mix and Gardein for only $3.49 per pack at Smith’s. My sister Rachel wanted 10 boxes of WHITE cake mix which she uses for her rainbow cakes. Apparently they cost about $5 each in Singapore but I only managed to get 9. I guess other people had the same idea.

Other than that, T and I also went out to Mantra Masala (just about 10 minutes from our house) for Indian food before heading to catch Interstellar at Town Square. Dinner was good even though it was quite pricey for the location and we ordered only vegetarian but because it’s near where we live, we’d probably go back. T asked for 8/10 spice level but said he could probably handle 10/10. Made me so proud! Whahahaha!!!

The movie afterwards was 5/5 in my books because it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a science-fiction movie that could suspend my disbelief. Compared to Gravity, I liked the soundtrack and effects so much more. Oh and earlier this year, when T went to E3 in LA, we stayed at the Westin Bonaventure – which was where the NASA space station in Interstellar was supposed to be. It was so obvious because I thought the hotel was quite weird and creepy to begin with. It had strange pods and all these concrete upper floors.
IMG_9080So anyway, this is what I wore yesterday:

Top: Heather Grey Pocket-Front Cropped Tee from OLD NAVY

Accessories: Pink bangle from SONIA RYKIEL POUR H&M; Pastel floral necklace (gift from T)

Bottom: Lilac with blue dots ROCKSTAR skinny jeans from OLD NAVY

Bag: Beige bag with Pink bow from BETSEY JOHNSON

Footwear: Dark Beige moto boots from MADDEN GIRL

 


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Meatless Monday: Dhal Nat for Curry

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I like what I did with the name of this recipe and my friend Natalie Giacchi who gave me the original recipe thinks it’s dodgy. But since she countered that statement with some “hahahas” I take it to mean that it’s okay with her.

Dhal or Dal is the Hindi name for lentils. Lentils is a great source of very affordable protein. In the same vein as the Chickpea Curry from 2 weeks ago, a vegetarian can only eat that many eggs and tofu for protein before getting sick of it. Also, T loves Indian food.

After researching recipes, experimenting and talking to my Indian friends (hello Shridar Mani), I’ve come to the conclusion that cumin and onions are the key ingredients and you must remember to fry your spices before you add fluids.

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Dhal Nat for Curry

Serves 4 – 6. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour

1 cup lentils

4 cups water

2 medium sized potatoes (diced)

1 medium sized carrot (chopped up)

1/2 large onion (sliced)

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon tumeric

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

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Method:

1. Boil chopped up carrots and potatoes until slightly soft. (About 15 – 20 minutes)

2. In a pan or skillet, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil then fry up onions and garlic. (I just use the enamel pot that I’ll be cooking the curry in.)

3.  Add all the spices into the hot oil and turn the heat up. Once everything is mixed and nicely browned, turn heat down to medium.

4. Add boiled potatoes and carrots into the oil and stir.

5. Add pre-soaked lentils (prepare the lentils according to your package) and 4 cups of water to cover the mixture and turn the heat up high.

6. Continue stirring curry and once it comes to a boil, keep it boiling for 5 minutes before turning it down to medium heat.

8. Simmer on medium for 30 to 45 minutes until lentils are mushy.

Yum!

This recipe makes for a rather mild curry and if you want more heat, you can add chili powder or more cumin – which is the spice that you normally smell when you eat curry. Also, if you refer a more diluted curry, add a cup more water.


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Meatless Monday: Chickpea Curry

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So I was hankering for some old fashion Singaporean street snacks in a paper cone just the other day… Growing up in Singapore, the Kachang Puteh man was a staple on street corners, even game arcades and most often at the cinema. If you were to ask me, it’d be very difficult to pick between having some tasty kachang puteh and some buttery popcorn – as a child of multi-cultural Singapore, I’d say I want both and all at once if possible. My favourite kachang puteh variety would be the steamed chickpeas (followed by the peanuts a close second) and this brings us to the perfect segue (or so I say), to today’s recipe – the chickpea curry.

T shared the original recipe with me and asked if I could make it. Chickpeas are great for vegetarians because they are high in protein, allowing us to take a break from eggs and tofu. I tinkered with it a little and what I’m sharing below is what we had for dinner. This curry I made has a little kick but is not too spicy. I’ll definitely be making it again soon!

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Chickpea Curry

Serves 2 to 4. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes

2 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)

1 cup cauliflower florets (about 1/2 a small head cut up)

1/2 cup carrots peeled and chopped

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion (diced)

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons (meat) curry powder

2 teaspoons garam masala

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 can diced tomatoes (14.5oz)

1 1/2 cup coconut milk

1 can chickpea (rinsed and drained)

2 tablespoons butter (Optional)

Method:

1. Put peeled and cubed potatoes and chopped carrots in a covered pot of water and bring to a boil. Simmer until potatoes are tender. Add cauliflower florets to the pot and turn down the heat for 5 minutes.

2. In a pot or pan, heat cooking oil. Brown the onions and garlic.

3. Add curry powder, garam masala, cumin, salt and ground ginger to the oil and stir for about 1 min.

4. Add diced tomatoes, coconut milk, butter and chickpeas into the browned spices. Stir over medium high heat.

5. Add potatoes, carrots and cauliflower last.

6. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat.

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Mmmm… super yum! Served with steamed basmati rice and some crispy papadum! Protein, fiber and carbs all rolled in one meal!

ps. I bought 5 tins of Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) for 88c each! HOW CHEAP IS THAT?!??!?! Can’t wait to cook this again… YUM!

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Mount Everest India’s Cuisine (Las Vegas)

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First off, when we saw the name we thought it should be Nepalese food instead of Indian but I guess both cuisines are very similar so it could work too. Who cares what the name is? This place is a keeper!! YUM! Non-pretentious, yummy and affordable!

The first Indian place T and I went to in Las Vegas is an Indian buffet place called India Masala. I had a crazy craving for spicy food and we happened to drive past. For just under US$40 for both of us, we ate till we were so full and I was excited to know that there was good Indian food here. And ever since, we’ve been on a hunt! Mount Everest is our 2nd and so far, the best (there’s a 3rd which I will talk about in another post soon).

Credit goes to our friend May Leng who said she’s always wanted to visit this place but never did. She suspected it might be good because there were usually Indians outside – an indication of authenticity, if you know what I mean.

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For US$48 (including taxes), we had Paneer Tikka, Malai Kofta, Channa Masala, Garlic Naan, Onion Kulcha, Samosas and a Mango Lassi (just me). The basmati rice came free (I say this because it apparently isn’t always the case.) It was so good that we were talking about it even days after this meal. The portions were pretty decent. T and I ended up doggy-bagging some of it! And guess what? It’s even more delicious the next day!

Authentic Indian cuisine, affordable prices, decent portions and good service – great casual dining experience.

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Highly recommended. Will definitely go back again soon!! 4.5/5*

Mount Everest India’s Cuisine

3641 W Sahara Avenue

Las Vegas, NV 89102

Ph: 702-892-0950