A Taste of India: Rasika

Hey ya’ll! I know technically I didn’t blog for three days, which breaks my resolution, but I had no wifi or internet connection where I was, so I’m not going to count it! The weird thing is that I was in Washington DC, so you would assume that I would have wifi, but nope. They charged you a lot of money to access the hotel wifi, yep not doing it. Ya’ll had to live a few days without my awesomeness, which I know is pretty hard. So for the next few days I’m going to recap my trip to DC (which I love btw). Seriously I think I could live there. It would be a great place for a registered dietitian and there are sports teams (did I mention that I have an insane crush on the super sexy John Wall). So we got in around 4 to Baltimore and had to drive to DC. We didn’t have dinner reservations until about 9:45, so we tried to figure out what to do in the meantime.

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Say hello to my little friend. Lets stop lying to ourselves because this is actually HUGE. We ended up going to Moe’s Seafood in order to get a little snack to hold us over till 9:45. My younger brother and I ended up splitting an order of crab cakes. I was totally expecting some small dinky thing, but no these were enormous monsters of crab. Delicious succulent crab that is. The crab was so fresh, duh its Maryland, and it was packed with flavor. There wasn’t an overwhelming amount of breadcrumbs, which was nice because you mainly tasted the herbs and the crab. I was in heaven. I am a sucker for good seafood, especially crab cakes!

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My dad ended up getting an order of clams with some type of parmesan crust on top. They looked really good, but since there was only three I didn’t have any. That didn’t stop my little brother from taking one though. He seriously will take all your food even if you are in the middle of eating it. Happened multiple times throughout the trip. After our quick seafood snack, we hopped in our rental car and drove towards DC.

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Our 9:45 pm dinner reservations were at an Indian restaurant called Rasika. I had found this place on Eater’s guide to DC and from reviews on yelp. This was the best place to go. If you are ever in DC, I would definitely recommend going here. I want to ride the train down from NYC just to go here (lies because I also want to explore Georgetown more). Anyways this dish was Mango Shrimp. It was simplistic, but packed with tons of flavor. I love the hint of the mango in the glaze on the shrimp. The vegetable medley that came along with it went well and provided a more cooling effect with the hot shrimp.

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Oh you sweet potato samosas, how I love thee. You can’t really go wrong with anything that is wrapped in a fried wonton like wrapper. This was no exception. The sweet potato was a creamy mixture inside that went well with the crunch of the fried outside. The sweetness from the cranberry chutney was a nice addition to the dish. It provided a bit of a sour acidic flavor that balanced off the sweetness from the potato.

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Oh Palak Chaat, you are what dreams are made of. Really though. I have been craving this ever since. I can’t wait to look for this in NYC. That is how good it is. The spinach is crispy from being fried in hot oil. There is yogurt, tamarind, and dates in the mixture. There is also chopped tomatoes and red onion. I don’t think I can really explain this dish good enough to give it the justice that it deserves. The crunch of the spinach provides a good texture to be paired with the creamy smoothness of the yogurt. It was the most amazing thing. I am definitely going to try to remix this recipe into a healthier version (although the only bad thing is that it is fried).

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Hello Cauliflower Bezule. This was fried cauliflower. Hmmm there seems to be a trend here of fried food. What can I say? We southerners love to consume some fried foods. I do love cauliflower, so this was a definite thing that I had to get on the menu. It had mustard seeds, curry leaf, green chiles, and lemon juice. I liked the dish, but I thought it was just okay. I would have rather had more bowls of palak chaat. My brother seemed to really enjoy this though. It was a little too spicy for me.

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This sort of looks like green throw up set in small clams. Well it was really good tasting vomit. Hahaha. No I didn’t actually eat vomit. These were clams caldine. SO GOOD. There was coconut, green chiles, and cilantro. I think the coconut calmed down the spice from the green chiles because I didn’t get any kick from these. Instead it was more of a sweet tasting broth and sauce in the clams. They were amazing. We threw these back so quickly. When the bowl was empty, we all were pretty sad. I would definitely order these again.

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You need a good portion of naan bread at any meal that comes with a variety of stews, sauces, and broths. We used the naan to dip into the clam sauce, the curry, and the masala. It was such a good vehicle to get all that delicious food in my mouth.

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This was the chicken tikka masala. Oh how the naan tasted so good dipped into the sauce. This was a pretty great dish. It was packed with a ton of flavors from the Indian spices and the herbs. The chicken was cooked perfectly. It was tender and not overcooked. I felt like I was slowly disappearing into an Indian food coma.

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Oh shrimp curry, how sweet you are to me. It actually was really sweet, but in a good way. It was the Shrimp Kerala Curry. It had coconut milk, cumin, and black pepper. This was definitely my choice over the chicken dish because of the thick creamy texture from the coconut milk. I loved the sweetness that the dish had and it went perfectly with shrimp. Of course I dipped my naan into this.

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My oh My. I don’t remember the name of this dish, but it was amazing. It was pork chops with a mint leaf sauce to rub on top of it. The lamb was so tender and just fell off the bone. I actually picked my bone up and started eating off it in the restaurant. I’m gonna get all the meat possible. The waiter loved this dish so much that he told us on his days off he comes to Rasika to enjoy a malt and these lamb chops. We all loved the lambchops so much. Get these along with the palak chaat and you won’t regret it.

Now comes for the time when my brother decided to order four desserts. I really only wanted one or two to share, but no he thought that it would be a good idea to get four desserts. He pretty much ate most of all of them, which I was pretty impressed with.

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These were apple doughnuts, which I really enjoyed. They were thick instead of airy and light. It was a good thing though, which you normally wouldn’t want or expect with your doughnut. The plate was covered in pistachio crumbs and a vanilla ice cream. It was definitely a good choice for dessert. Oh if we only stopped at this one.

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This was the dessert that I had wanted to get. It was Shahi Tukra, which may be the best dessert. It was a bread pudding type of dessert. It came along with apricots, figs, mangoes, and cherries. I was in heaven. It even came along with some edible foil on the top. If you only get one dessert, which is probably the smartest idea, I would definitely get this one.

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This was Gulab Jamun. Another interesting Indian dessert. I was really excited to try this once I googled on my phone what it was. It was a sort of dumpling like dessert. It was served on top of a tropical fruit curd and with a scoop of nutella ice cream. I would definitely like to try this dish at another Indian place because I feel like it was really good, but I was so full and only had one or two bites, so I didn’t get to really taste the full potential of this dessert.

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I thought this was disgusting. My brother and dad enjoyed this a lot, so at least someone got some pleasurable tastes from it. The reason I didn’t like it was all the different textures and flavors mixed in one cake. This was the baked kulfi. It had a rose cream on top of orange saffron cake and topped with baked marshmallows. That is too many different things in one for me to enjoy. I did like the fruit on the side though.

Overall I definitely give this restaurant a five star. Our waiter was amazing, the food was delicious, and the atmosphere of the restaurant was so cute and whimsical. It was the perfect way to start out our food adventures in dc.

What is your favorite Indian dish?
Have you ever been to DC?

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WIAW: Living in the City

Hey ya’ll! It is that time again: What I Ate Wednesday. We can give a big thanks to Jenn for hosting this lovely foodie day of the week. I am glad that it is Wednesday. I need a break from school. Sometimes it can get so exhausting having 6 hours of straight class on two days of the week. I can’t wait for next semester when I will only have one class a day. I need that even though that means I will lose my four day weekends, but don’t worry because I will still have three day weekends haha. Oh the good life of grad school. Now lets get to the food. I’ve been enjoying some interesting things while I’ve been living in NYC.

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Who remembers that one time that I went to rave brunch and was pretty plastered by 3 pm? Oh yes I don’t really remember. Just kidding, I wasn’t that drunk, but I was pretty tipsy. Anyways I never showed ya’ll what I ordered because while most people go to drink there is also food served there. I had crab cake eggs benedict. They were actually pretty good. The english muffin was toasted perfectly and the eggs were poached well. The crab cake was just mediocre, but you can’t go wrong with putting crab cakes on top eggs benedict. It came with this awesome hash mix. I wish there had been more of that. It was awesome to dip in ketchup.

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This may be the greatest thing that exists on planet Earth. Welcome to Bibimbap. One night when we were out with our guy friends, Carrianne and I really just wanted some greasy Chinese food. However it was 2 am on a Saturday and we were over by Grand Central, so finding greasy Chinese open at that hour wasn’t the easiest. However we ended up in the wonderful Koreatown. We had a miss adventure where we thought we were going for Korean BBQ, but we ended up in a Korean Karaoke bar. We left and decided to just go into the next restaurant. There I discovered the greatness of Bibimbap. This is a fried rice kind of dish where the rice cooks against the hot pot and gets super crunchy. Mine is topped with bulgogi, a fried egg, carrots, and other delicious vegetables. There is an awesome spicy Korean sauce to go on top of it too. I drenched mine in it. I can’t wait to have more bibimbap in my life.

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I forgot to show these weeks ago when my roommates got them for me, but they spoiled me with Crumb’s cupcakes. I have the birthday cake one, carrot cake, coconut, and pumpkin. The birthday cake ended up being my favorite with the pumpkin following close behind it in second. The birthday cake one had the best icing. It was a simple buttercream with sprinkles. The thing I liked about the pumpkin and birthday cake was that they were stuffed with icing too. That is one reason why I love Crumb’s. They stuff their cakes. The cake was a funfetti cake too, which is probably why it was birthday themed. Overall these were great and the best part was I lost weight haha.

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This picture is a little blurry, but it was super dark inside the restaurant. This past Saturday after Carrianne and I were running errands around Soho, we decided to stop somewhere and get a little snack. I ended up getting wine glazed pork belly, which was to die for. It was this cute little Korean restaurant called Kori. I will definitely be going back because the food was so good. They had bibimbap too (with pork belly), so you know I will be going just for that.

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Well it was Saturday and while we were at the Korean restaurant we decided that we needed to go to a happy hour to get some drinks. Unfortunately this wasn’t a very easy thing to do since it was about 6:30 and we obviously weren’t going to make it. We finally found this place, but we missed the happy hour. Oh well we were still getting drinks. Mine had passionfruit vodka, lemonade, and cherry juice in it. Oh man. It was delicious. I could have thrown a few of these back. My second drink was just the wine of the night, but afterwards I was feeling good.

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The funny thing about the happy hour place we ended up at was that they served dim sum all day. Well of course I was going to get some more food since all I had were those few slices of pork belly. I ended up getting pork soup dumplings. They were pretty good. The dumpling wrapper was super sticky, but overall it was good. The broth inside was perfect. Probably one of the better broths I’ve had in regards to soup dumplings.

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It was dim sum, so I obviously was going to get my staple dish. BBQ pork buns. They were delicious. I don’t think you can really mess those up unless you are drunk while cooking, but still. All you do is steam. I am glad that I got to have a little dim sum on Saturday night because I really can’t live without dim sum. It is definitely one of the greatest meals of the day. I still need to venture out to Flushing to go get my real dim sum on.

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OMG DROOOOOLING. Carrianne decided to make pumpkin scones on Sunday night and I was like yes, yes, and yes. They were so delicious. At first when she was making them I was getting a little skeptical because the dough looked super sketchy. However they turned out perfect. The icing on top was amazing too. It was a cinnamon and sweet frosting that soaked into the scone, which made it taste even better. This was a perfect way to end Sunday night.

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I’ll leave ya’ll with a cute little picture of some red pandas that I saw at Central Park Zoo on Friday. They were the cutest things ever. I really wanted to steal one and take it home as a pet. I would have loved it and cuddled it sooooooo much.

Have you ever had Korean food?
What is your favorite animal at the zoo?