O Sitar- Indian cuisine on a Portugese island

When I think of "cow on the run" this is what comes to my mind (since I have been living on this island of course)...

I think cows running down the road with the famers just behind them. BTW, this is a normal occurance here and the main cause for traffic and people running late. However yesterday cow on the run took on a new meaning. Yes, one of those 4 precious cows in the field behind our house decided he wanted to escape and no longer live with the other 3 cows. So he hopped the fence into Ginger's (our dog) fenced in area. Ryan was on his way outside to herd it back over (me with a video camera in tow) when we spotted our landlord who had already coaxed the cow back into his area. Problem solved? I think NOT!!! When we went to let the dog out last night she ran to her patch of grass only to come face to face with the escapee cow! Let's just say it was traumatizing for all of us!

Yesterday morning I returned a plate to my neighbor that we still had at our house and the next time I went outside she brought me these. I love getting fresh eggs. I'll be using these when I make bread this weekend.

Yesterday was also my big trip to the grocery store. It was necessary that we get some food in this house. I don't know what happened. We had some foods, but others were missing so we could never really get a complete meal/snack. So I planned to go to the commissary in the earlier part of the day. Too bad the produce wasn't out yet (although it was later on in the day and Ryan did go pick some things up). I did find some other items, including some new things I had not spotted on previous trips. Some I bought, others I didn't but I still took some fun pics:

I thought this gluten free corn pasta sounded really interesting. I noticed a few gluten free items around, including pancake mix, so I am wondering if there is someone on the island with celiac and therefore is following a gluten free diet, or someone voiced a wheat allergy or something like that. Maybe one day I will buy this just to give it a try.

I also noticed that they carry whole wheat pasta, so that is a good thing. Only one variety, but that is better than none. I personally like whole wheat penne.
This may sound silly, but I was super psyched to find these. Yes, I totally bought a can.
Then further down the row I spotted this and started drooling. When did they start carrying Amy's soups. Yum! Then it made me want to make my own bean soup in the crockpot, so there is some inspiration there, may be I will make my own.
It got cut off, but I discovered that the commissary does carry Nature's Path cereal (although only one flavor). I did not buy this because I recently won a giveway from Julie Golean and I know I have a bunch of Nature's Path products (including cereal) coming to me shortly.
I spotted some flax seeds and bought them since some of the bread recipes I liked called for them and now I have flax seeds should I need them in any recipe.
Yes, I found some Kashi TLC bars. I think these will make good snacks, and I love that if they were only going to have one flavor available to me that it was this one. Yum cherries and chocolate.
I just wanted to show everyone what our Activia yogurt looks like over here. This is actually the German version. They do sell the Portugese version at the local stores, but this is from the commissary. Ryan likes this kind, but in the States I never ate it because it contained gelatin (kosher gelatin-but final word from a rabbi is that this is still from animal source...long story!) so I never ate it. I love that this version because it is gelatin-free, and the same goes for almost all yogurts outside of the United States. I am so happy I have tons of options for yogurt now.
So while I was putting away Ryan's yogurt and the yogurt I bought for myself, those German Muller yogurts with the fruit on the side, I decided to make a snack and mixed it up with some special K cereal. It was really good until the cereal turned to mush! I think I need a crunchier cereal next time.
I also bought these dried apricots. They are from Germany too. I picked these because they are unsulphured! And no added sugar, just dried apricots.
I could really tell the difference because the color was so dark on the outside.
So I would say it was a pretty successful trip to the commissary, but like I said, Ryan went back after work to get the produce...romaine lettuce was finally available.
After that we went out dinner because it was like a Friday night for Ryan since there is no work today. The original plan was to go to the Indian restaurant, but Ryan heard about another place, which we didn't find after a quick look in that direction and with it getting late we just turned around and went back for Indian food. No worries, we were both in the mood for Indian.
I will point out that it was just one of those nights. First I realized I left my camera at home. No problem when I have an iPhone, right? Wrong! I guess my battery died somewhere along the way. Darn, what to do now? Ryan to the rescue...I used his phone. So for some reason these pics are smaller than usual, but hey, at least I managed to get some pics!

This place is called O Sitar and it is the only Indian restaurant on the Island. They are almost always empty (although I have heard other people say they eat there too) and it is like having dinner cooked for you in someone's home. You get to order off a decent sized menu, but the kitchen literally looks like the one in our own home. After the owner cooks one thing, he brings it out himself, or sometimes his wife does. Everything is made to order and it can take some time for the meal to come. But this also allows for flexibility in the preparation since you can tell him what it is you want and he can acommodate that.
So we started with some papadum.
With some mango chutney and another type of sauce. Looks like there were hot peppers in there.
I love the funny looking Coke Light can. They also have coke zero around here.
Here is the naan he makes here. Very interesting...
You can see it is much thicker than what we typically think of as naan bread. This is certainly different from any other naan I have had before, but it is good.
I love the rice here because it comes in so many colors.
Usually Ryan and I order 2 vegetable dishes and share, but last night Ryan wanted to try something different and order a chicken dish so I took this opportunity to try something different too and get this shrimp dish (I don't eat chicken and Ryan doesn't eat shrimp!). It was very good and I was happy my shrimp had no heads and were deveined.
Ryan had chicken tikka and he said it was very good.
Overall it was a very good meal, although I will say I did miss having my vegetable korma. My fave dish is mattar paneer, but he does not offer that on his menu. I think there is a lack of ability to make the paneer (homemade Indian cheese) here, but that is just my opinion, since I noticed it was no where on the menu.
Afterwards we wanted a coffee so we went to Make Me Nuts. Hmmm looks a lot like Dunkin' Donuts! They were almost all out of donuts this late at night, which was fine since neither of us actually wanted a donut.
Instead we each enjoyed a latte and split a chocolate chip cookie.
I thought this was really cool so I took a picture. This places also does cakes and cupcakes and crepes and ice cream, and well just about everything...breakfast food, salads, sandwiches, breads. but this cupcake "tree" looked awesome.
And so that ends our "Friday" night out. Not sure what the plan is for the rest of the day, but I know I plan to get to the bread making soon. I have the ingredients already for both loaves I am going to attempt this weekend, so I will keep you posted.
QUESTION: Do you like Indian food, and if so what is your fave dish? What is your favorite "ethnic" food? (Keeping in mind of course that for some of you what is "ethnic" to me is actually your own cuisine! That's one thing I love about traveling is trying native foods and then I can almost always find them served somewhere in the United States.)

4 comments:

Mer said...

I love Indian...and most ethnic foods! Thai, Vietnamese...(pardon my spelling).

Gina said...

I LOVE Indian food!! I love it all really, I will eat anything that is given to me :)

Crazy story about the cow. I just can't imagine dealing with a live COW! Too funny. And was your dog ok?? Or maybe scared to death?!

I bet the island has finally realized that celiac disease is big, AND more and more people are using low gluten diets to help with tie r GI issues (like meyself!) so good for them.

Rachel said...

Crunchier cereals work better in yogurt. Flakes don't really hold up well. Kashi Go Lean type stuff or granola. Shredded wheat is good too. Also don't add it all at once. that way you still have crunchy stuff at the end.

I LOVE Ethiopian, Afghan, Middle Eastern, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese... Not so big on Indian anymore, due to use of ghee/butter/cream stuff in almost everything. I much prefer Afghan and Ethiopian... Mmmm. Injera bread.. <3

Melissa said...

Scary cow story! I'm glad your pup didn't get hurt. I bet he was spooked though!

It's interesting to see how products differ from country to country. I like seeing your commisary finds!

I've never tried Indian food. I'm not a fan of spicy foods so I'm a scared! I like Thai food though. Just not the spicy stuff. Looked like a fun date night :)

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