Saturday, October 27, 2012

Den Haag: Baklust


Veenkade 19  2513 EG The Hague, Netherlands

070 7532274

My favourite little vegetarian/vegan restaurant in The Hague! :) Such a cute little place, and the food is REALLY good. They have a number of vegan options, which is great!

(above) Seitan sandwich

Google "seitan". Its brilliant. :P

(above) Houmous sandwich.

(above) Lentil soup.

(above) Mature cheese Tosti

(above) Cheese and Mushroom Tosti

(above) Mango, Passionfruit and something - Vegan cake!

(above) Lemon Pie

(above) Banana Chocolate cake

(above) Carrot cake with Cream Cheese frosting and Walnuts

I loved this place. Will go back more often, and I recommend it to everyone who visits the Hague! :)

Cooking in Den Haag: Special Request - Mushroom Masala! :)

One girl I met in Den Haag told me that when she was in India, her favourite thing to order in restaurants was Mushroom Masala and Chapatis. I have never tried making restaurant-style curries before, but I figured it shouldn't be too hard :P

What I used:

Mushrooms, halved and quartered
White Onions, finely chopped
Green Peppers (Capsicum), chopped
Jeera (Cumin)
Dried Red Chillies
Ginger paste
Garlic paste
Tomato puree
Oil to cook

I was cooking for around 8 people - hence the large quantities!

In a pan, heat oil. Add dry red chilli and jeera to the oil - let sizzle.

Add the onions to the pan. Cook until soft, but not brown.

These are the ginger and garlic pastes I found in the super market here. So easy! :)

One spoon of each into the onions, stir well. Add the mushrooms and peppers to the pan, toss everything together and let cook till mushrooms are tender.

Add some tomato puree to the pan and mix everything well.

Serve with parathas (I found good frozen ones) or, if making with a curry consistency, with rice.

Worldwide Phenomenon: Bubble Tea

I had only heard about Bubble Tea, some new Asian drink that has been taking over the world. I saw it at the Asian Market in Den Haag Centrum, and couldn't resist trying it.

Apparently you can get bubble tea in various flavours and mixes. The "bubbles" are tapioca pearls - those chewy balls that Indian people will recognize from Falooda. I like the original "tea" version - cold sweet milky tea with the tapioca pearls. It was a little funny at first, to constantly stop and chew the tapioca, but then I love Falooda, so... :D

Pretty cool. I love it. Whenever I am in the Center now, I keep popping into the Asian market just to pick this up. :)

Best Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

One of our friends in Den Haag is vegan, and I was assigned the task of making cupcakes for a birthday. I decided to be vegan-friendly and browsed around for recipes.. This is the one that worked best :) Actually, these cupcakes turned out better than my previous recipes that used eggs and milk. I love these! 

Recipe borrowed from: 

I don't have pictures of all the ingredients and step-by-step instructions, but these are what I managed to take between mixing and licking the batter and eventually devouring the cupcakes!

Cooking in Den Haag: Potato Gnocchi with Broccoli, Mushrooms and Red Peppers

So I don't really know what Gnocchi is.. I found instant cook potato gnocchi in the super market and picked it up. I assume I can substitute it for any potato/pasta/carb part of a meal, so I decided to start basic and just cook it with vegetables and flavours I like :)

Pre-cooked Potato Gnocchi
Broccoli, cut into florets
Red Peppers, chopped 
Mushrooms, quartered
Garlic, chopped finely
Green Chillies, sliced
Oil to cook (preferably olive oil)

Cut and keep vegetables ready. Put gnochhi in salted boiling water - remove as soon as they float to the top and keep aside.

In a pan, heat the oil. Add garlic and green chillies and fry for a minute till oil is fragrant.

Add broccoli and mushrooms to the pan. Stir everything together till coated with fragrant oil and let it cook for a few minutes, till mushrooms and broccoli are tender but not soft.

Add the chopped red peppers...

... and the gnocchi to the pan...

Toss everything together and its done! The gnocchi really absorbs the flavour of garlic and green chillies, its great :)

Cooking in Den Haag: Basic Stir-Fry

This is the most basic, throw-all-your-veggies-in kind of thing. I cut up any/all the veggies I have, make a simple flavour mix, stir fry everything and its done! 

What I used here:

(For the flavours)
Extra virgin Olive Oil
Green Chillies, sliced
Garlic, whole cloves, peeled, roasted/softened in a pan
half a Lemon

Celery (because its SO HEALTHY! GO GET SOME!)
White Onions, sliced lengthwise
Broccoli, cut into small florets
Yellow Peppers, sliced lengthwise (to make it look pretty. I was playing with green, yellow and white.)
Button Mushrooms, sliced
Tauge (mung bean sprouts) 

Start with the flavours to give them time to combine. Put the olive oil in a bowl, then slice the green chillies lengthwise and dunk them in the oil. 

Add the pan-roasted garlic and gently mush them around (not too much) in the oil with the chillies.

Squeeze in half a lemon. Done! Set aside.

This is what celery looks like. I have never seen this in India. Its one of the few foods that have "negative calories" i.e. your body uses more energy to digest this, than what the celery produces in you. Or something like that. Anyway, its mostly water and fiber.

Slice the onions, yellow peppers, and cut the broccoli into manageable florets.

Cut the celery into small c-shaped bits, and bring out the tauge (sprouts, yum.)

In a wok, start with barely half a tsp of oil, just for a light film all over it. Let it heat up high.

Throw in the onions first, then the broccoli. Toss around for a few minutes, till the onions soften and broccoli starts smelling good. (Yes, I mean it - smell it).

Next, the tauge and mushrooms. Toss everything together till the mushrooms are tender but not too soft.

Finally add the yellow peppers and pour the oil+chillies+garlic+lemon into the wok. Toss everything together and turn off the heat.

Done :) That's a large plateful of veggies. Eat and be happy.