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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A Slice of Food History at the Oberoi Bangalore – Recipes from the Bygone Mughal Era

    If Kitchen archaeology were a profession, I would have probably taken it up , last night. Unearthing the recipes , the techniques , the tools, the ingredients that are lost in time. Unraveling the hidden culinary treasures of the bygone era. Bringing them back to life, one by one.

Imagine the challenge of creating ( or recreating) something that you ( or anyone you for that matter) has never seen, tried or tasted before. Imagine the excitement of having successfully revived a lost piece of culinary puzzle ( and yet be retrained about that because there is no measure of that success. No benchmark to tally it against)

Imagine the joy of doing that…pretty much everyday.

Osama Jalali ( along with his mother Nazish Jalali) do exactly that. Prolific Food Historian, Food Journalist and Chef Extraordinaire Osama Jalali, is one of the few people in our country who is extensively working on towards reviving lost recipes of India. He has taken up baton for bringing them back into the present. He, with his mother, have become champions of such lost genre of culinary experiences.

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One of his collaborations is with The Oberoi, Bangalore where they are showcasing some of the culinary treasures from the bygone era, straight out of the Mughal Kitchens.

The Mughals beautifully synergized elements from their Mother land with the indigenous aspects of India. This same marriage happened in their food as well. Since they were great patrons of art, finer aspects of living and retold definitions of luxury and opulence, the same sense of indulgence and generosity were seen in their food and their feasts.

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For Oberoi Bangalore , they have created a menu that gives a glimpse of some of the cherished dishes which once found pride of place in the Mughal kitchens.

This menu has tapped Khansamas who had retained these recipes for generations tapped to. Locals from Old Delhi, Rampur and Lucknow have also been consulted to gain insight into these dishes which had found a place in local markets and homes including food historians such as Salma Hussain who has extensively researched on Mughal cuisine and have written books on the era too.

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The show casing menu

Appetisers

Murgh pateeli kebab : Chicken pockets filled with raisins, pistachios, apricots, mince, pepper and saffron cooked in a “taambe ki pateeli” or a deep vessel usually of copper. This kebab is from the table of Bahadur Sha Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor.

Yakhni kebab : Lamb cooked in Yakhn or broth flavoured with cloves. The meat is pulled apart and pounded on a “silbatta” with saffron and caramelised onions. These are combined into patties and pan fried.

Kebab e burghul : Broken wheat, pepper, coriander and lentil kebab served with a spicy mint chutney. This is a vegetarian version of the original as Aurangzeb was vegetarian towards the end of his reign. The khansamas employed were not Indians as there were revolts all over the kingdom during his reign.

Mewa shahi kebab : Babur loved dried fruits and this rich kebab of cheese, khoya, yoghurt, spices and dried fruits is an ode to the Emperor.

thali-full-mainMain Courses 

Piston ka qeema : Lamb mince cooked with Afghani pistachios and spices. A creation from the era of Bahadur Shah Zafar who was captive at The Red Fort.

Murgh zameen doz : Chicken marinated with almonds, yoghurt and spices, wrapped in dough,cooked in a earthen pot under the earth, Zamin Doz. Influences of this style of cooking may be traced to Akbar’s alliances with the Rajputs.

Amba qaliya : Braised lamb with ‘kairi’, raw mangoes, onions, ginger, coriander, dry fruits and saffron. The fondness of the rulers with mangoes at varying stages of ripening is evident. This recipe is from the tables of Jahangir.

Mutanjan Pulao: Layered rice and chicken pulao with cloves, orange, cardamom, dates and figs. The unique taste of spices, meat and sugar is interesting. Bahadur Shah Zafar was fond of creating new recipes; however, he hardly ate them and enjoyed feeding his guests.

Murgh Mussalam: (whole chicken) This is a rich dish in which a whole chicken is marinated, stuffed with eggs, prepared with spices like saffron, cinnamon, cloves, poppy seeds, cardamom and green chilli, and decorated with almonds. It is considered a gourmet dish in the book of Moghul cuisine Dastarkhwan-e-Awadh, where it is described as lending a certain majesty to the dastarkhwan (tablecloth upon which the dishes of a meal are places).

Arbi ka saalan : Fried spiced colocasia in a gravy of fried onions and toasted nuts

Khandaiyan : ‘Katliyaan’ or diamonds of cooked chickpea paste in a yoghurt and Qasuri methi gravy. A dish of Afghani origins that also finds variants in Rajasthan. A recipe handed down by the ancestors to Nazia Jalali.Qubooli : Rice and bengal gram cooked together with saffron, spices and dry fruits. Another vegetarian creation from the era of Aurangzeb. There is also a meat variant of this dish.

Desserts

Maleedah: Pounded ‘makke ke rotis’ with almonds, dates, apricots with sugar, cinnamon and cardamon powder

Gosht ka halwa : Meat, spices and sugar cooked together to create a most unique halwa

Pricing : INR 1600 – INR 1800 per person.

For reservations call 2558 5858.

 

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:

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

 

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

 

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More Cocktails
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The incredibly good Tarela Rainbow Trout
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Mint Julep
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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
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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.

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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.

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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

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Vegetarian Kabab and some fresh veggies as prop decor
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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 

Sodesh Momos – Dessert dumplings from Namma Calcutta

   Desserts ….are always a good idea! Desserts that are not overly sweet or the ones that are savoury sweet or simply some out of the ordinary desserts have been my recent fascination.

While a lot of Bengali sweets are notorious for being sugary sweet .. but there are a few that aren’t. Sondesh is one such blessing in the form of dessert… One of my favourites.

So when the good soul from the new Bengali eatery “Namma Calcutta” in the city informs me the I will be sent a sample of their signature dessert that involves Sondesh … I was sent to “Sondesh” heaven, almost instantly!!

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This creative dish is the brainchild of Ranaq Sen ( the owner ), inspired by his mother’s cooking.

It is called Sondesh Momo – a sweet dumpling/momo – made with whole wheat flour infused with Nolen Gur ( date palm jaggery ) , stuffed with gorgeously delicious sondesh and served with Nolen Gur dipping sauce!

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  It is incredible to see how Ranaq’s eyes light-up when he talks about his  signature dish.

     The sondesh is his mother’s recipe and indeed a special one, that! The sondesh stuffing is absolutely delicious.

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The idea of using familiar flavours and turning it into something new has always appealed to me. That was indeed one the first things that got me interested in this dish.

The experience of dipping the mildly sweet dumplings/momos in the lovely nolen gur sauce makes it fun!

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My only little wish is that the dumpling / momo wrapper be a little less thick. Maybe the fact that it is made of whole wheat flour has something to do with it.

Thinner wrapper will only enhance the experience of these having these beauties – because it would mean more sondesh !! 😛

Solo momo

     An simple creative fusion of familiar flavours & techniques , indeed makes this dish an interesting one. It also happens to be one the most sought after dishes at Namma Calcutta.    Solo momo dip 1 NEW

If you are into not-so-sweet desserts, and happen to be in Koramangala , Bangalore – do swing by Namma Calcutta and give this a go! ❤

Full Circle – Blog Project

Rasam Saadam

     Desire to eat / food – for many is a mere biological need. Not much thought is given into what is being had not do they pause for a moment to relish it. And then there are some , for whom, it is a sensorial experience. Beyond flavours, it also about passion, comfort, memories and legacies. And I’m happy that most of the folks on my TL fall in later category!

That is a precursor to my new pet blog project called – ” Full Circle”

Through this project , I will revisit some of old favorite food ,comfort food, unique local / regional recipes, old & forgotten recipes – in my style! All this while I keep the focus on diverse Indian Food.
This is how I attempt to channelize of passion for modern plating. And this way of taking something local and making global (Sorry, couldn’t resist!)

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Kicking off the Full Circle series with – ‘Rasam Saadam’
P.S – rasam sadam by itself is and will always be legendary and my favorite.

Rasam Saadam – Rice flour ravioli stuffed with vendiya keerai poriyal (fenugreek/methi) …in poondu – parupu (garlic & dal) rasam broth. Garnished with onion flower & coriander.

This is more an announcement post . I will move this to a separate section soon – Because it’s totally worth it! ❤