Monday, September 1, 2014

Withlocals - Eat with Locals

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Photo credit Withlocals

Recently I came across this website called the Withlocals which I thought it was really cool. Under the website you can choose to Eat Withlocals, Tour Withlocals and Activities Withlocals. You can either register to be a host or a guest. I thought this is really an interesting concept whereby you get to experience the local culture with a local family. So example, if you are on a trip to Thailand, you can choose to eat, tour or involve in an activity with your local host.

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Vegetable Fritters

To understand and experience this innovative concept, I gathered my foodie friends, Ian and Si Han to Eat Withlocals in Singapore. I decided to visit Beena who has registered to be a host in Singapore. Being a foodie and blogger, I thought it would be interesting to experience and learn about Indian cuisine which is not my forte.

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Vegetable Fritters

The build up to the actual day is actually quite mixed. We do not know what to expect but at the same timing looking forward to meet the host and try her cooking. As I am visiting someone's home, I bought a box of chocolate for the host. We started with brief introduction of ourselves and what we do for a living to get to know one another better. Things started to warm up a bit more with the wines and when the Vegetable Fritters were served.

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Puri

Soon dinner was served and Beena cooked us a feast. Beena is an excellent cook and she is one that cooks from scratch. Besides rice, Beena also prepared Indian Puri. She made her own dough and then deep fried them. The puri bread was so good that Si Han asked for the recipe.

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Potato

I have been cutting down on my carbo intake but the Potato made by Beena was so good that I could not help going back for more. Ian even made the comment that how he wishes all curry puff is stuffed with this beautiful potato fillings.

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Dal

A staple Indian dish is the Dal which can be eaten with either rice or roti. A lot of Indians are vegetarian and this provides the main source of proteins. To be frank, I think I can just eat the whole bowl by itself without the rice or roti. Dal is similar to baked beans in my own context.

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Chicken

Beena also prepared a Chicken and Prawn dish to complete the dinner experience. I think Beena was afraid that we cannot handle spicy so she has toned down the spiciness. Nevertheless, the dishes were just as beautiful with the play of different spices lingering on the palate.

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Prawn

Wrapping up the wonderful night is a warm dessert prepared by Beena's hubby. Pardon me for my bad memory but if I am not wrong the dessert is called Sooji Ka Halwa, made with ghee, semolina and cashews. Usually Indian dessert are very sweet and I was glad that this was done less sweet which is perfect for me. The textures of the dessert tasted like having couscous coated with honey sweetness.

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All the three of us left Beena's place with a smile on our face and a satisfied tummy. We really appreciate Beena opening her place for us and cooked us such a wonderful feast. More so that she cooks from her heart and prepared everything from scratch. How I wish she would be my neighbour and I could go over to her place to have my meal everyday. Thank you Beena, you have been a great host.

To find out more out Withlocals, check out their website at https://www.withlocals.com

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