Sunny California is now raining cats and dogs. The cities are wet, green and cool from the rains. Some spicy snack accompanied with a nice wintery cocktail makes this recipe so good.
Roasted Chickpeas with cayenne and spices
2 cans garbanzo beans
cayenne powder (according to taste)
1/4 tsp cumin seed
Spice mix (Method below)
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
For the spice mix:
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp dried lentils
5 dried red chillies (more for more heat; less for less heat)
1/4 cup shredded coconut
Roast coriander seeds and chillies in a tsp of oil. When they start to brown, reduce heat and add shredded coconut. Cook until brown or until coconut loses moisture. Make into a coarse powder using your coffee grinder.
- In a pan, put 2 tbsp olive oil.
- Put cumin seeds and let it splutter.
- Wash the garbanzo after draining the liquid from the can.
- Put the washed and drained garbanzo into the pan.
- Saute for a min and add the cayenne powder.
- Mix and add salt. Keep sauteeing.
- After about 5 mins, add the ground mixture. Mix and let the garbanzo roast for another 2-3 mins.
- Top off with butter.
- Garnish with cilantro and a slice of lime (the lime can be squeezed onto the garbanzo for added flavor)
So recently we had been to a few small towns north of San Francisco. It was super cute and gorgeous up there. We stayed at this cute little town called Ukiah.. Oops! Not town. Cute little city called Ukiah which has a total of maybe 30 streets altogether. Staying at Ukiah was a lot of fun. There are many small shops each specializing in something – prom dresses, shoes, beads, coffee, dutch bakery… so many shops and selling products of high quality and unfortunately for the size of the town straying their focus on the quantity they sell.
There are three shops in particular I want to talk to you about. One was this beads store. One a pasta-ish very American-Italian place. One a coffee shop (obvious for my love of coffee).
The Beads store – Beads Fever – absolute brilliance. Locally owned and sells beads imported from different parts of the country. The people there are very friendly and helped us a lot even though most customers are jewelry makers. We bought a few strands of different beads and left the place to visit the famous Fort Bragg Glass Beach and to pass by the famous Redwoods forest.
Next stop – North State Cafe – this American-Italian restaurant. The owner reminded me a lot of Aaron Eckhart… Very cute and super friendly. On our way back from Fort Bragg, it was already getting late and this was one of the few places open in the city. It looked very decent and so we stepped even though we saw they worked only till 9pm. They still had the open sign on and we wanted to check if they would still serve us. The waitress seated us at a table, asked us in an almost loud-rude tone if we needed some drinks. And when we said yes, she stomped herself all the way to the front counter of the restaurant and back indicating some sort of irritation at us. A few minutes later, the owner himself came and started asking us for our orders. He was very pleasant. Patiently answered all our questions and told us we were in no hurry. The girl in the meantime was stomping hard on the floor while she walked back and forth throwing cold looks at us. We found it very uncomfortable. And me being me, I was on the verge of asking her if there was a problem when she came out of the restaurant’s kitchen bidding goodbye to the owner throwing us another cold look and went out the door. The food tasted great. Although I had ordered for a pasta which I’m sure others with a strong flavor for sun-dried tomatoes and garlic would have loved. Kar’s cajun pasta was very very yummy and probably one of the best pastas I’ve tasted. And the merlot was hands down the best I’ve had (considering I’m not a great fan of the merlot… and the menu otherwise had the cab which I absolutely detest)
Third stop – The coffee critic – Me and Kar love our coffee. Infact our love for coffee is sooo crazy that anyone coming to our place will always find 3-4 different kinds of ground coffee powder. Currently we have a dark italian french roast, viennese, italian espresso and our very own Indian Leo coffee and coffee day. Please feel free to drop in for some of the best coffees in Sunnyvale So anyway we found this huge building almost in the heart of Ukiah with a large board titled the coffee critic. The two of us raised our eyebrows. As usual our love for coffee and the need to have only good coffee urged us to go in. Alas the place had already closed for the day. So we left and came back the next day. Early in the morning for that hot cup of coffee after the unusually good bed & breakfast’s black coffee. The coffee critic is a huge place. Boasts the ambience of a place that truly knows their business well. Has extensive menus. Friendly staff… but wait except for the one who served us. This girl was probably racist. I don’t know why but she kept throwing smiles at all customers except us. We were super friendly like always. We even got the attention of one of the other waitresses in the shop who was super friendly with us. There was no reason for anyone to get so cold. This black-haired girl literally threw the receipt on the counter asking Kar to sign it. The coffee was good but the experience was not. Our expectations of the place crushed after being treated like that. The Coffee Critic serves some of the best coffees in the US. Although I pity the owner who is probably losing a lot of business coz of some silly young girl.
Overall, our dining experience during this small trip was good. I even got Kar to get lunch at Denny’s one day. We saw the best and the worst parts of Ukiah. Ukiah is a sweet little town despite our dull moments in the place.