Sushi Festival at Zen, Leela Palace : Sushi Galore

Zen , at the Leela Palace Bengaluru has been running Sushi Festival, as a part of their ” From the Land of the Rising Sun” Promotion.

A few of us food bloggers and enthusiasts were invited for a chef’s table to preview the promotional menu.

  Chef Boonlurah Panchai has put together an incredibly grand, specially crafted spread of 26 varieties of delectable items- that included sushi, sashimi, tempura rolls , salmon roe and with the quintessential Japanese ingredients and interesting use of truffles, avocado etc. All of this beautifully complemented with the traditional soy, pickled ginger, wasabi ( a little less pungent than normal) , spicy Japanese mayo and yuzu.

The centerpiece of the spread was the sashimi platter. Stunning to look at. Tuna, Salmon, Octopus, Hibachi and Scallops, although slightly thick in their cuts but, delicious.

The festival has been on for a couple of weeks now and it comes to an end today – 21st March.

Priced at INR 2500++, the festival offers great vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian options.

There is a glimpse of some of food from that afternoon:

Spicy Crispy Asparagus Roll
Tuna & Salmon Roll

Sashimi Platter

 

Ebi Tempura Roll 

An Afternoon at Soda Bottle Opener Wala

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  The beauty of Parsi Cuisine lies in its simplicity. The eclectic mix of Indian & Iranian flavours, blend of mild sweetness and spiciness, an occasional surprise of tartness , makes it interesting.

Soda Bottle Opener Wala  (SBOW) is just the place for this.

A place that not just offers this easy-on-the-palate delicious parsi delicacies but also lets you soak in a bit of a quirkiness, a little mad yet, relaxed and laid back moments of a typical Irani Cafe. The place has a character that can seen in the food, the decor , the way the food is presented , the serving staff etc. Something that demands to be experienced.

Having been around for a while, SBOW has just introduced a new menu. Their in-house chefs – the talented Chef Danish & Chef Manbeer have tried to bring in the experience of the street food, popular food legends and food re-inventions and put their culinary spin on it and devised this new Menu.

A bunch of us got an opportunity to try out a few of those new set of dishes and cocktails.

Thank you team SBOW for having us over!

Here is a glimpse, in the form of a photo journey, of what the new menu has to offer:

corn-sticks
Adu-Tedhu Babycorn fry with Cheese sauce
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One of the cocktails

 

fried-egg
The quintessential Parsi .. Kheema Khari Par Eedu ( Egg on Mince)
cutlet
Aloo Aunty’s Vegetable Cutlis ( Veg Cutlet)
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Squid & Prawn Patio Served with Malai Parantha
falooda
Falooda
prawns
Parsi Style Jumbo Prawn with Curry and rice

 

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More Cocktails
fish
The incredibly good Tarela Rainbow Trout
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Mint Julep
coffee-dessert
Matunga Coffee Cake . One of the best coffee desserts I’ve had in a long long time. Incredibly decadent.
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Spiced Raspberry Soda
custard
Lagan Nu Custard
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White Chocolate Orange Brownie …and a glimpse of the decor
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A paused moment
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The props
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The blue vespa…almost a mascot

 

Get to know more about the place and for reservation – Click here 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spicy Yogurt Chicken / Dahi Murgh

Spicy Yogurt Chicken / Dahi Murgh

There is something extremely comforting about curries. And there is no reason to stress out to make most of them, for they are real simple to make.

Our Indian cuisine boasts about a number of curries, from all regions. There are traditional recipes , popular recipes  and heck, in many cases, every household has its own versions of those recipes. Chicken curry is one such dish. Chicken in yogurt based curry is hugely popular and I believe it is one such curry , for which the recipe would vary from region to region, kitchen to kitchen.

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This post here is about my version. A version that I picked up when I started making chicken curries , back in the day with my ma.

I love this because it is extremely flavourful. I love the rich intense aroma when it is cooking. I also love it because it really easy. And you can’t really go wrong with this.

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 The flavour, the heat of the spices blends so well with the mild tang of the yogurt. It tastes gorgeous. ( Yogurt also keeps the chicken very tender) 

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 This can be made with lamb too, if one prefers that.

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Recipe : Spicy Yogurt Chicken / Dahi Murgh

Ingredients – For 2 -3 servings

  • Chicken – 1/2 to 3/4 kilo chicken ( I used curry cut. Feel free to use boneless. Although, chicken with bones are so much more flavourful than the boneless.) 
  • Dry Spice –
    •  Coriander seeds – 1 & 1/2 tsp
    •  Dried red chillies – 6-8 (depending on how hot they are)
    •  Dried Ginger – 1 inch ( or use the powder – 1 tsp)
    • Jeera / cumin – 1 & 1/2 tsp
    • Cinnamon – 1 inch
    • Cardamom – 5-6 pods
    • cloves – 3-5
    • Yogurt – 200 – 250 Ml
    • Turmeric – 1 & 1/2 tsp
    • Garlic – finely chopped – 1 &1/2 tsp
    • Salt – to taste
  • Onion – 2 small to med size
  • Bay leaf – 1 -2 med
  • Oil & Ghee (optional)
  • Garnish – Almond flakes & mint leaves ( optional)
  • Lemon ( optional)

Method :

  1. Make sure the chicken is clean and cut into desired size.
  2. Roast the dry spices ( coriander + red chilli + dry ginger + jeera + cinnamon + clove + cardamom) in a wok/ pan for a few mins so they lightly release the flavours. Let it cool for a few mins and grind it into a fine powder. Keep aside.
  3. To marinate the chicken , take a bowl large enough. Add the chicken, tip in the yogurt, salt, turmeric, chopped garlic and 2 -3 tsp of the ground dry spice blend. Massage it well and let it rest for anywhere between 2 hours t 24 hours. ( in the fridge)
  4. When ready to cook – In a pan, add a bit of oil,  the finely sliced onion  and bay leaf. Sauté it a little , or till the onions are a bit translucent.
  5. Add the chicken that had been marinating.
  6. Saute it gently in low heat. Add another 1-2 tsp of the ground roasted dry spice powder ( the one used in the marinade). If you like enjoy your curries with more heat- feel free to add a little more red chilli powder. Add half cup water, mix well and cover it. Let it cook for about 20-25 mins. Make sure it is in low- med heat throughout.
  7. In between make sure you stir it from time to time.
  8. I also added about 2 tsp of ghee in between, while it was cooking ( You could either use butter or oil or Completely drop the idea) There is enough fat in the yogurt already 😛
  9. When ready, garnish it with some almond flakes and fresh mint.
  10. Works well with rotis, naans, pav or just a bowl of good old rice.

Royal Rajasthan : Food Festival, Oberoi Bangalore

“Rajasthan, the mystical beauty & the land of the royals, is not only rich in its culture but also the food.” And Oberoi Hotels Bangalore is hosting a celebration of this rich heritage – The Royal Rajasthan Food Festival 

Two incredible chefs – Chefs Vipin Mogha and Rajender Joshi,  from The Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur and the talented Mangania folk band have together to create a unique journey across this incredible state of India. An experience that is on offer at Le Jardin, Oberoi Bangalore.

I was invited to dine at this fest and through this post I intend to share a little glimpse of the my experience. Title Collage

The seasoned chef duo, have been specializing in cuisine from this amazing state of India. 

The interesting array of food ( roughly about 75 authentic dishes on a rotational menu) in this fest showcases the culinary strength of the duo and the nuances of the traditional rajasthani cuisine.

DollMan

What we get to savour are some quintessential foods of the state – like the Lal Maas, Ker Sangri, Junglee Maas, Safed maas, Dal Pithode, Gatte ki Sauzi, Mirchi Pakode, Dal Baati Churma, Jalebi , Ghewar to name a few.

Chillis
Fresh green and dry red chilli
Dal Bati chura
Dal Bati Churma

Some of the delicious dishes that this fest showcases are Amrood ki Subzi, Ambi Mangodi , Khad Khargosh , the incredibly flavourful Punchkuta ( It is a dry curry that celebrates the Ker, Sangri , and 3 wild berries) , Aloo Shorba.

What makes the dishes standout is not just the flavour, and technique but also ingredients that go on , the legend behind the dishes…and how the dishes came about. It was a delight to hear the stories, from the chefs, behind these signature dishes, while relishing them.

A satisfying dining experience lets you soak in a bit of culture and the royal rajasthani hospitality.

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Raw Ker Sangri

veg kabab
Vegetarian Kabab and some fresh veggies as prop decor
Thali1
Vegetarian Thali
Steam dal
Piping hot Dal on a beautiful earthen chulha.
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Non-Vegetarian Thali
Ghewar
Ghewar
Jalebi
Jalebi ( and Rabri, not in the frame)

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Period of the FestivalAugust 30 th to September 10th
Timing : Lunch ( 12:30pm – 3pm) and Dinner ( 7:30pm – 11pm)
Format : Buffet ( with a rotational menu)
Pricing : INR 1575 plus taxes per person / INR 1775 plus taxes per person with one domestic beer
Prior bookings preferred. Call at 080 2558 5858 

Earthy Mediterranean Salad

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     Another post that was  long overdue…. but incredible that I happened to post this on St.Patrick’s Day!! Saw a lot of green & white on my FB timeline while I was going over my archive. 😛

I’m going to skip the story on this one and head right into the recipe.

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This one happened only because of the black radish I got from the farms of First Agro Sakura Fresh.

Gorgeous black & white beauty …some complementing greens to go with…balancing the contrast with some subtle beige and some more whites thrown in …. you get yourself a beautiful looking , quick hearty salad …..that almost looks like a St.patty’s day salad 😛

Salad1

The spice of the harissa goes perfectly well with elements of this salad. Feel free to tone it down with a squeeze of lime or by blending it with yogurt.

I just mixed it with some olive oil and a dash of vinegar ..and that was my dressing.

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The flavour profile – the blend of spice & pungency & zesty because of the presence of radish , goat cheese, chickpeas, harissa , vinegar, helps bring out the mediterranean feel of it.

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Recipe – Earthy Mediterranean Salad

Ingredients :

  • Radish – 2 small to medium size black radish ( feel free to replace with regular white /red)
  • Boiled chickpeas -3/4 cup
  • Steamed Broccoli Florets –  3/4 cup
  • Spinach – roughly chopped – 1/2 cup
  • Goat cheese ( as much as you like)
  • Fresh coriander – a handful

For the dressing –

  • Harissa sauce ( store bought ) – 2 tablespoon appox.
  • Olive oil – 1 -2 tsp
  • White vinegar – 2 tsp

Method :

  • Make the harissa dressing by mixing the harissa sauce + olive oil + white vinegar in a bowl. Keep aside for later.
  • Slice the radish the way you’d like to. Keep aside.
  • Roughly chop the spinach and coriander …keep aside
  • Assemble the salad by tossing all the ingredients together.
  • Drizzle the dressing and toss well. Or serve it on the side.
  • Note – Feel free to tone the spice level down with a squeeze of lime or by blending it with yogurt.

Roots & Rustic – Salad

salad2

Colours, they say, affect our mood. Something, I’m sure, we all agree. It could be the colours we wear, or colours that surround us… it does crazy things to how we feel, lifts our mood or pulls us down.

It also applies to the food we eat. Just to set the record straight- I’m only talking about the natural colours of food. All the food that nature offers are colour coded , naturally! And those colours are not just to please the eye but they are an indication of a certain specific nutrient that the particular food offers. How incredible is that – nature’s way of colour tagging the nutrients and health benefits!

I’ve been reading about this new Rainbow Diet / Eat by Colour Diet that is getting very popular. Was a part of one such discussion thread on the topic in a popular FB Food Group. There was a lady who mentioned that Craving for a certain vegetable is an indication of a certain lack of nutrient in our body. Need to look that up, but I definitely found that interesting.

salad3

I’m talking about colours because that was the inspirations behind this post… this salad. Although colours are always on my mind when I make anything….but here was all the more important – Because it the base of the salad is Black Rice!

Black rice is an incredible offering from Nature! I got mine from the good folks of First Agro Sakura Fresh .

So this one is said to be a natural Super Food because it of it’s High content of Antioxidants , fibre , iron , protein. It is Gluten free too. It is starchy, yes. It has a this beautiful roasted nutty flavour and aroma …and it turns purple when cooked! The grains also look very rustic  -with streaks of purple , brown against pale white. Rice white_

After I clicked it all white , I decided to click it in another way too… something that is truly reflective of it where it has come from and something that justifies its characteristic – Right from the earth. ( So ended up using my old gardening tool as a prop … 😛 )

rice2

Which one do you like more? 🙂

Anyway, back to salad. So, I had this black rice, but needed colours from the other elements of the salad. Had some baby carrots ( again from First Agro – arguably, they are only ones in the city that grow them I think) .I had roasted a few with some spiced honey the previous day ( that disappeared in no time)…and there was a demand for tha to be made again. So thought it would perfect with the black rice. And decided that I would need something sensationally spicy & fresh to lift the flavours of this salad, and a chimmichuri seemed ideal!

salad4 solo

I started this post by talking colours …. this salad is all that for me! Colours of salad elements…. makes it so much more sassy! Make more so much more appetizing. Bring in a certain balance in nutrition too!

For this  , I wanted to use the gorgeous blue deep plate / bowl plate ( is there even a name for such plate that almost a bowl ?) that my dear sis got for me. ❤ Salad solo_

If it looks good to eyes , but generally does taste good ( * there are always exceptions though) But this salad was true to itself.. that is what I think! Can’t wait to make this again…

Salad side

Recipe : Roots & Rustic Salad 

Ingredients – for 2-3 servings 

  • Black rice ( Used the hierloom black rice – You may use any other variant of black rice or even brown) – 1/2 cup
  • Baby carrots & Baby white radish ( use baby roots you like or regular roots cut in any shapes you wish) – no measure really for this ( as much as you like)
  • Purple Amaranthus leaves – 3/4 cup
  • Spring Onion – 3/4 cup
  • Lime wedge ( optional)
  • Mix of seeds and nuts ( optional)
  • salt + pepper for seasoning ( to taste)

Ingredients for the Spice Honey marinade for roasting the roots- Make sure you make enough to coat the roots you have for roasting. The following recipe will for a 1/2 cup of dressing:

  • Honey – 3 tbsp
  • Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • pepper powder – 1 tsp
  • balsamic vinegar – 1 tbsp
  • mustard oil ( you can use regular veg oil / olive oil) – 2 tsp
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for Chimmichuri Dressing :

  • Fresh & roughly chopped Basil + Parsley + Coriander =3/4 cup
  • Garlic pods – 3 med ( chopped / grated)
  • Olive oil – 2-3 tsp
  • Vinegar / Lime juice – 1-2 tsp ( based on how zingy you like it to be)
  • salt & pepper – to taste
  • Cruched dried red chillis ( or flakes , maybe) – 1 -2 tsp ( or to taste)

Method

  1. Wash & soak the black rice in water for about 30 mins – 1 hour. Cook it after in a pressure cooker ( with water in a 1:2 ratio) for about 2 whistles + 5 mins in low gas.
  2. When ready – rinse the cooked black rice in cold water. And keep aside. You could drizzle some olive oil and salt to that though.
  3. Baby roots :
    1. Clean the baby roots , do NOT peel the skin. Leave them on.
    2. Pre-heat the oven for about 200 o .
    3. Make the marinade by mixing all the marinade ingredients together.
    4. rub the baby roots with the marinade.
    5. Put them in a baking tray and bake/roast it for about 30-40 mins ( or based on your oven. DO keep checking on it though)
    6. When ready, take it off the oven and keep aside
  4. Clean the amaranthus and just pluck the leaves. Keep aside
  5. Finely chop the spring onions and keep aside
  6. To make the chimmichurri dressing
    1. Pound all herbs + garlic +  red chilli+ a little olive oil together in a mortar & pestle. ( you can do this all in a blender too. Note that the texture might vary though)
    2. I like it a little chunky and course – so I stopped when I reached that texture.
    3. Put the paste in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients ( vinegar , remaining olive oil ) and whisk well.
    4. Add seasoning and keep aside for the salad
  7. To assemble – there is no measure though – In a salad bowl / plate – add some amaranthus leaves, some cooked black rice, add the chopped spring onions , and the desired amount of roasted baby roots. Top it with some mixed nuts & seeds if you like. Drizzle the chimmichuri ( maybe a spoon and a half  per serving… or more if you like it that way)
  8. And eat!

 

 

Classic Breakfast Egg Sandwich

I’d been missing in action for a little over a month now. Got really busy with work and just couldn’t take time out for blogging. I feel so bummed 😦

So I thought I’d warm up to blogging by posting something really simple …something a feeling of having blogged without spending too much time on it…And almost no recipe.

You see this is just to get me into the groove! 😛

Here’s my Classic Breakfast Sandwich with Fried Egg, Avocado and Tomatoes

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I love how simple it is to make this. Not only is it supremely delicious , but it is wholesome and healthy! Oh yeah, gorgeous to look at too… the colours ❤

Egg2NB_S

I love cheese but in this , I skip it. Because who needs cheese when you have this sexy, silky, creamy, oozy yolk!

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To make this delightful sandwich, you’ll need-

Bread + Some fresh spinach + Tomato Slices ( with a sprinkle of dry basil ) + slice of Avocado + Fried Egg + seasoning + Chopped Red Chillies + Fresh Coriander

Layer it the way you’ll like… There are no rules!

Perfect breakfast that could easily be lunch or dinner …. ❤