No:10 Fort Cochin : Eat your way through Cochin

A delightful new addition to the Bangalore, No.10 Fort Cochin, brings to us the food from God’s own country. With the walls adorned with the sketches and art of prominent historical, cultural structures to the quintessential  Chinese fishing nets and house boats…. and the beautiful home (of the owners) by the backwaters – The original No.10 Fort Cochin. This cosy new place lets you soak in a bit of Cochin while you savour the food from the land.

Butter Garlic Prawns and the Spicy – Tawa Prawns made with house special spices.

 The place is owned by the wonderful couple Vinoo Vijayan and his wife of Karthiyayni Hotel fame in Cherthala. His wife is the brain behind all those dishes on the menu. What they’ve brought for us is the recipes from their family kitchen, some heirloom recipes and a good mix of some popular food the kerala cuisine. Predominantly a non-vegetarian fare , but the menu does have few lovely vegetarian options. But must be praised is the fact that the owners would be more than happy to accommodate special requests – including any veg dishes if you need  (and if it is possible). Truly sign of warm hospitality. ❤

Known for its immense love for seafood, Fort Cochin offers some incredible seafood varieties.

They recently hosted a Seafood festival and some of us bloggers were invited to try out the seafood menu.

This special menu offered a great line up of dishes made with red snapper, pearl spot, Squids, prawns, pompfets and crabs. And an excellent sadhya that would a vegetarian’s delight. The sensational meen curry ( unfortunately, missed taking a picture of) needs a special mention. Followed by some gorgeous sweet treat-  pazham pori – one of the most popular go-to evening snacks , back in kerala ( with cup of chetta’s chayya ofcourse)

Here is a glimpse of some of the delicacies we had :

The traditional all day breakfast – Puttu with Duck roast curry
Tawa squid rings
House special Pomfret fry !!
Meen polichattu – Fish cooked in banana leaf
Prawns Porichattu
Sadhya with elements such as avial, Kaalan , olan , nool puttu/ idiyappam, and payasam etc.

 

Pazham Pori

Although the seafood festival is over at No.10 Fort Cochin, one can still enjoy the regular seafood fare that is on offer. Do swing by the place if you crave for some kerala non-vegatrian delicacies. A lovely little place with food that has it’s heart at the right place and where you can expect a service with a smile. A lovely interaction with Vinoo and his wife would be a bonus.

Thank you Vinoo and family for hosting us and Anuradha for the invite.

Location : #9, Halcyon Complex, 2nd Floor, St.Mark’s Road.

FB Page : Fort-Cochin-Bangalore

 

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Drifting Focus 3 – Catch of the day!

Drifting Focus Part 3 – Catch of the Day!

Last month I took off to my sister’s place in Pune and also happened to make a quick trip to Mumbai. While In pune I wanted to experience the bazaar life and that’s exactly what I did. An opportunity for another Drifting Focus.

 Because I went all out crazy with camera – I ended up on a clicking spree. I decided to group the photos and split into two part. This post here is first part in the two-part series. (Coming up in the next part is food and other eats )

This 3rd Drifting focus ( & first in the two-part series) takes you a witness some still (ocean, mostly) life at a bustling Fish market in Pune.

When my sisters and I were little, sundays meant accompanying my ma or appa to the fish / meat market, because sundays were designated non-veg days (irrespective of fact that we may have had it during the week). Then in my teens I stopped it because, sadly, you know back then like a typical teenager, it was ‘not cool’ to be shopping with parents , let alone be seen in the fish/meat market. And then I was sensible enough understand and look through that shallow attitude, life happened. And I was all grown up and busy and away from parents. *Sigh*

Memories work in a strange way!
This time when I was in Pune for a couple of days, every time I would pass by a certain fish market , It brought back those childhood memories. I think it the sound of marathi amidst the smell of fish. Because my most earliest memories of fish market was of those market in mumbai, growing up in Vashi, Navi Mumbai.

So here is a glimpse of that Fish Market (and the ocean life it offers) in Pune, through my lens.

I stepped out to explore it and came back with some lovely little memories of meeting some super friendly fish-butchers, some incredible vada pav, and some of these – photos and some good catch ❤

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The wait.
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For the tones of red, blue and green!
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Fresh ‘handpicked’ prawns
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Crowded crabs
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“Why me” !!!

 

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Tray full!
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Tell ‘Tails’ – The long & short of it!
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Catch of the day!
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Pink & beautiful!
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Some dried ones
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Herbs & Other greens
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Fresh, as fresh can be!
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Barely there tomatoes 😛
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The bargain!
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The line-up

 

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In case you are interested to visit or revisit the Drifting Focus so far:

Busy Bazaar – https://lingeringaftertaste.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/drifting-focus-bazaars-of-bangalore-part-1/

Walk in the park – https://lingeringaftertaste.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/drifting-focus-part-2-a-walk-in-the-park/

 

 

International Sushi Training Workshop – by ICFA in association with JETRO

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You had me at Sushi” is all I could think of when I saw my delegate invite to attend the International Sushi Training Workshop 2016!

A one of kind event organized by the Indian Federation of Culinary Associations ( IFCA ) in association with JETRO, at ITC Gardenia, Bangalore.

A sushi masterclass provided by renowned Chef Masayoshi Kazato ( Also the ED of All Japan Sushi Association ) and his son Chef Hideo Kazato. The Incredible Sushi Chefs had been specially brought by the good folks of IFCA. And what an incredible workshop it was!

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Sushi Workshop

 “What is so technical about sushi? It is just rice , raw fish and seaweed …..and wasabi !”  – a sentence you’ll never hear anyone say!!  One of the most refined, technique driven food made with some of the most simplest of ingredients in the world. You either love it or don’t – there is no mid-way with this legendary Japanese food.

I love it and also having made it at home a couple of times ( veg versions at home), I was really excited about this event. To learnt from the Grand Master while sitting the company of some of the best in the field of Culinary Arts , was almost overwhelming. S2

  Not only for perseverance and endurance, a ‘Hachimaki can also be worn to depict enthusiasm & a strong sense of pride. It made perfect sense to see him wear one at the beginning of the session – a man who aho has probably devoted his entire life to perfecting sushi.

Watch him make sushi with some small, masterly yet gracefully was an experience. His movements were swift and effortless – signs of an accomplished and skilled “Itamae“. It was amazing to listen to him speak about sushi with such passion and pride.

Demo in session1

Also, it turns out that this incredible powerhouse of talent is also a funny man! Quite a charmer too. His sense of humour and wit garnered his immensely informative talk on the cuisine of the Japan, the history of Sushi, sushi appreciation , and throughout the demonstration.

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    Knife skills are generally difficult to master and particularly Japanese /Sushi Knife skills are more dreaded in nature. It is not enough to have the the right knife , but it the knife skills that makes a Sushi chef. To watch him and his son almost surgically de-bone and slice a fish was magical ( something I can only aspire to do this in this life!)  It reminded me of Jiro  (from Jiro dreams of Sushi – a must watch for all sushi lovers btw) – and I was incredibly amazed to see that for real. 

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Apparently, there is a japanese proverb that says ‘ a woman’s hands are too warm to make sushi ‘ – which is not true, btw. Aside of good knife skills, to make a sushi one needs a lot ( I mean a lot! ) of cold running water. Because it is all about basic hygiene & cleanliness. A critical aspect he touched upon many many times during the workshop The fish is raw and utmost care must be given while making it. And that reason alone, it is not surprising to see people at home making vegetarian sushi and going out to specialized sushi places for the non vegetarian sushi. Fish collage

 His son, an accomplished Sushi Chef himself, partnered with him during this workshop.

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chef son2 collage

Like father like son!

Bw Magic

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Some interesting facts that I learned:

  • Sushi was brought into Japan from Thailand, Laos. Initially made with only marinated river fish – slowly progressed into using fresh sea fish, roe and prawns.
  • Vinegar , yeast , ginger , sake, soy , mirin are used not only for flavour but also for health/ hygiene benefits. The acid / ph from these ingredients help kill any bacteria that may be in these fish.
  • It is mandatory to wear white when you are making sushi.
  • The shine on the sushi rice comes from drizzling vinegar on them and gently rubbing the uncooked but rinsed grains together.
  •  Sign of good knife skill is when the fillet/slice has at the imprint of the bone.

More glimpses of the workshop :

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Rolling out Nigiris … in batches !
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They say one must finish eating sushi (on a plate) before the tip os this bamboo (sasa leaf art) leaf wilts.
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The rockstar in the spotlight!
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More sushi…
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and then some …
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Wasabi.

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The perfectionist.

Felicitation
The felicitation by IFCA, that marked the beginning of the workshop.

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  Aside of all the Sushi learning , what I also discovered was about ICFA. The consortium of associations that it is, its functions, its vision and most importantly the incredible job it is doing to put India on the global culinary map. Kudos to the chief and each & everyone working towards its success. Truly, another great example of the India Shining ❤

  Thank you ICFA and JETRO for making this happen!

Well, from now on this man is going to be my Sushi kitchen-fairy-godfather…standing right next to Jiro!