Thursday, November 29, 2012

Re -posting!

Some of the pictures on my blog have disappeared due to a technical glitch, and I'm working on re -posting the pics right from scratch, I truly apologize for not being able to view them but they should be up within a week.

Until then Happy Cooking and Cheers!


A Keralite Special~Fish Galore~ Netholli, Karimeen and Prawn Fry

Lunch cannot be complete without these piscean beauties -Nehtolli (Anchovy) , Karimeen (Pearl Spot) and Konju (Prawn) Fry....its a feast for the senses!!!

For the masala
Chili Powder - 2 tbs
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Fenugreek Powder - a pinch
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 1/2 tbs
Crushed Black Peppercorns - 1tbs
Salt to taste
Lime - 2 halves, squeezed

I have used the same masala to marinate all the three, I had two Pearl Spots, about a half a kilo of anchovies cleaned with their heads off and about half a kilo of prawns de-veined.

Make a thick paste using all the above powders using about 1-3tbs of water if required, the lime juice should do. Smear them onto the fishes and keep them aside for about 1/2 to 1 hour before frying. Heat a deep frying fan with oil (coconut oil is the best, but you could use sunflower oil). Fry the fish till browned on both sides. Serve them with rice and curries.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Green Bell Pepper Soup

The weather is cold in Bangalore...well not that cold.....but cold enough....So one of the days when the sky looked as it would rain and the wind had that chill, what better time to have a soup for the night right?! Thus the green capsicum or the bell pepper soup came to my mind. I had the same thing when Seema Chechi (my Aunt) made it for dinner a few months back at her home.So I thought why not attempt the same thing.

Green Bell Pepper - 4, finely chopped
Onion- 1 large, finely chopped
Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
Chicken Stock or Vegetables Stock - 4 cups
Cream - 1/4 cup
Lime Juice - 1tbs
Crushed Black Pepper to taste
Flour (Maida) - 1 tbs

Into a frying pan, pour in about 2tbs of oil or butter. Saute the garlic and chopped onion till transparent. Then tip in the green capsicum till it becomes soft. Add in the maida and saute it to remove the rawness. Pour in the stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Then pour the mixture into the blender and blend to a smooth consistency. Pour back this puree into a pot and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in the cream and lime juice and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Add the crushed black pepper to taste. Add salt if required and serve warm with some garlic buns.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Estia ~ The Meditterenean Bliss at Aloft Hotel Bangalore

You walk into a decor where it allures you to a warm and balmy shades of blues and oranges. Nice textured walls, wooden chairs and tables, cobbled floor in its true taste of the Mediterranean  The service and the food combined just made the whole experience satisfying. The menu hosts a line up of cuisine featuring the Spanish, French, Italian, Greek, Turkish, Moroccan  Egyptian, Croatian and Portuguese. So we enjoyed the expert,y prepared food with a Turkish Mezze Starter starter of Hummus, Muhammara, the mezze platter which had 4 dips - the hummus, tzatziki, sundried tomatoes with rosemary and muhammara served with some Pita Bread. 

Whilst we were engaged in trying out platter of dips, there arrives our plate of crunchy Phyllo Cigars filled with Spinach and Feta cheese.These crunchy starters were quick to disappear as the creaminess of the spinach and feta with a bite of the phyllo was simply irresistible  Next up were the Jumbo Prawns sauteed in chili oil with a hint of black pepper which was much required. Succulent prawns with the right amount of spice to the dish. By then we were partly full on the tummy. 

Mezze Platter, Phyllo Cigars and Jumbo Prawns sauteed with Chili Oil

The Executive Chef - Chef Biswal then joins in for a for a tete-a tete on how the menu was engineered, where some food is sourced from, especially the beef which is imported to meet the quality of a steak. Chef  Biswal then departs to bring in his mains which were the Angus Rib Eye Steak, with classic onion rings, beans, potato gratin with a pepper sauce. The Steak was juicy and moist on a bed of potato gratin which was infinitely liked, the crunch of the beans and onion rungs to render and the dish was complete like steak is to be! We also got to taste the Adana Kebabs which is authentic lamb kebabs served with some aromatic saffron rice. 

Angus Rib Eye Steak with Potato Gratin, Green Beans and Onion Rings

The Kebabs though were a tad bit dry, but the dish still lingers on with the rice and tomato gravy being superb and spot on. And then finally, the Desserts - a trio of Tiramisu, Baklava and Rose Petal Ice Cream

Lamb Kebab with Aromatic Saffron Rice

Well we definitely licked our spoons to the ice cream, the other two desserts were a slight amiss as on compared to the cold, yummy Ice-cream. Never the less, we were thoroughly entertained and were on the brink of a food coma.........One Happy Family!!!

Tiramisu, Rose Petal Ice Cream and Baklava

Dinner for two excluding alcohol or beverages would cost about INR2000 (excluding taxes)

Estia -Aloft Hotel

17C, Sadaramangala Road, Whitefield

Tel: 080-43125500

Valet Parking Available

Thursday, November 15, 2012

DELIZIOSO - Italian Food Fest @Bene Sheraton Bangalore

I was invited to review the Delizioso - The Italian Food fest which is already running since November 9th, 2012 and will go on till November 18th, 2012. Italian Cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. While Italian cuisine is generally associated with pastas and rich, heavy foods, each region of Italy--including the central-northern region of Lombardy--is distinct in its "staple" foods and quintessential dishes which is what this Fest is featuring. The Lombardy region is best known for its dairy products, including the region's world-famous Gorgonzola cheese.Lombardy is bordered by Switzerland to the north, and it includes part of the Alps. 

Lombardy cuisine consists primarily of rice as the foundation of hearty dishes. Risotto, an Italian rice dish, originated a typical Milanese dish (Milan is the major city of the Lombard region), and has gained international recognition as a main entree across a wide variety of menus outside of the Italian gastronomical scope.At Bene the menu is crafted by the Celebrity Chef Enrico Fiorentini with popular dishes from the regular menu at Sheraton Milan Malpensa.
So while waiting for my rendezvous with the Chef, I scanned through the menu trying to figure out the dishes which of course most of it I couldn't quite decipher. And just when I was  thinking what would be best to order, the Chef arrives with a bang, and before you know I was enjoying tales of his experience. It's simple with Chef Enrico, he's got the humor with some sarcasm along with it, but we were enjoying some hearty laughs and Oh! did we. Chef then departs temporarily saying "I'm gonna cook you something, and all you have to do is eat alright?". Well that's a deal alright. - indeed a fine one I thought to myself.
The first meal was an Antipasti Platter which set the stage to the meal, as colourful and delicious as it should be was a medley of a Insalatina d’orzo con verdurine e cappesante dorate - Barley salad with garden vegetables sprigs & pan seared sea scallops and Tartare di Porcini trifolati e quenelle di ricotta alle erbe, piadinetta (V) - Tartare of sautéed cepes mushrooms with a herbed ricotta cheese quenelle with  a portion of Il pesce d’acqua dolce in 3 modi Marinato, Leggermente Affumicato e tartare - Three different ways we do serve the “Salmon” in Lombardy Sea salt & sugar marinated, lightly smoked & quite raw. 
Gli Anti Pasti  - Appetisers

Then came the Primi Piatti Di Pasta which is the Pasta course which again was a brilliant. Creamy Risotto, fresh ravioli and to die for saffron flavoured potatoes with the cheese foam.(Tortelli di zucca alla Mantovana con gli amaretti e la mostarda (V) - Pumpkin ravioli with a touch of amaretti cookies & candied-spiced fruits, Gnocchetti di patate allo zafferano sulla loro terra, germogli e schiuma al Parmigiano (V) - Saffron flavored potato dumplings served on their own soil, sprouts and Parmesan cheese foam and the Carnaroli ai funghi, infuso di porcini e tartara di gamberoni all’erba ciopollina - Mushroom risotto, cepes infusion and chives prawn tartare).

The next course of course was the Le Carni - the Meat Mains, by then I was stuffed and Chef mockingly asks "Your already full??, but I have just begun"....with a laugh. I was tantalized with L’ossobuco in gremolada secondo la ricetta originale “MA” di tacchino con risotto alla Milanese - Stewed turkey ossobuco with tomato and vegetable sauce, served with saffron risotto and a portion of the Costolette d’agnello in panuria di polenta al Parmigiano - Butter pan fried lamb chops in a herbed polenta crumbing.

The glorious meal came to end with the Lombardy Sweet Cuddles, another platter of the desserts hosting Chestnut flour, air dried fruits and nuts cake served with chocolate ice cream, Red wine poached pear served with double cream & Parmesan cheese ice cream and anise egg free biscuit,Double chocolate & mascarpone cheese mousse with “Brutti e Buoni” hazelnut crunchy bisquit and Polenta & Dark chocolate timbale with bitter orange marmalade. These tasting portions of the dessert were insanly brilliant. But my story doesn't end here. The Chef came back to the table, and we continued on his tales and traveled right across from Milan to Egypt to Syria to Dubai to Korea and now at India to realise I had spent a good three hours chatting and full on the belly.

I bid my good bye to the Chef and he surprises me with a parting gift, a box of Srbisolona - A typical Italian Tart to be had with tea or coffe and a little something for the journey back home.  And I was obviosly aww-ed!!
So in short my experience was worth it and Chef Enrico knows how to entertain his gifts for sure.  So head out to the Bene and make the most out of the weekend while it lasts.

Sheraton Bangalore at Brigade Gateway
26/1 Dr. Raj Kumar Road, Malleshwaram - Rajajinagar
Bangalore - 55
Tel: 080-42521000
Valet Parking Available

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Honey Paneer with Carrot Parathas

We are not great vegetarian eaters, but we try to resort to vegetarian atleast twice a week even sometimes twice in two that sounds worse!!! But yea we are malayalees who just cannot do without the meat and the fish.... sigh!! So anyway one of the dinners we had to force ourselves for a No non vegetarian dinner so I looked up Archana Doshi's recipe on the Honey Paneer which just simply clicked instantly and here we have it.

Paneer - 1cup, cut into cubes
Pureed Tomatoes - 1 1/2 cups
Cumin Seeds - 1tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1tbs
Turmeric Powder - 1/4tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2tsp
Red Kashmiri Chilli Powder - 1/2tsp
Cardamom Powder - 1tsp
Kasthuri Methi - 1tbs
Honey - 1tbs
Salt to taste

Into a bowl of hot water, soak the paneer for about 10 minutes to make it soft. Into a frying pan, pour in a tablespoon of oil. Splutter the cumin seeds once the oil is hot. Then add in the ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute. Add the honey and continue to saute till it bubbles. Then add in the coriander, chilli and turmeric powder and saute for a minute. Add in the tomato puree along with salt to taste and bring to a light simmer.  Drain the paneer and add to the gravy. Then pour in the milk or the cream and mix in. Add the kasthuri  methi and allow the curry to simmer. Sprinkle in the cardamom powder over the top and mix in. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

For the Carrot Parantha

For the Filling
Grated Carrots - 1 1/2 cups
Onion - 1, medium finely chopped
Corainder Leaves - 1 tbs, finely chopped
Mint Leaves - 1 tbs, finely chopped
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Corinader Powder - 1tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

For the Dough:
Wheat Flour (Atta) - 2 cups
Water - 1 cup, lukewarm
Salt - to taste

Knead the wheat flour and water along with the salt to form a soft dough. Keep aside covered for about 30 minutes. In a frying pan, add  a little oil to coat the pan and saute the onions till transparent. Then add in the ginger garlic paste and saute for about 2 minutes. Tip in the mint leaves, coriander leaves, cumin powder and the coriander powder and saute till done. Add in the grated carrots and saute till the the carrots are all softened down. Take off from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Divide the dough into 10 small sized balls and roll out each to a disc. Spoon a tablespoon of the carrot mixture on the disc,and  cover it up with the dough. Do the same with all the remaining dough and keep aside for about 5 mins before rolling it out into small rotis. Fry onto a tawa till browned and serve hot.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Basa Fillets Baked in Lemon, Garlic and Butter with Coconut Rice

I like to keep my dinners rather simple, without any rumpus!!! So for the simple baking with a few ingredients often found in the everyday kitchen, here it is...

Basa Fish Fillets – 2 slabs, or any white fish of your preference
Butter – 3 tbs, melted
Salt – ¼ tsp
Ground Black Pepper – 1/8 tsp
Garlic – 2 tbs, finely chopped
Lime – 2 halves
Coriander Leaves – a handful roughly chopped
Rosemary – just a sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 180C. In a shallow baking dish, mix in the butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Place the fish filets into this mixture so that both sides are evenly coated. Cover the dish with aluminium foil and bake for about 10minutes. Take it out from the oven, and remove the foil. Squeeze the lime over each fillet. Sprinkle in the cilantro and a sprinkle of roasmary and place back in the oven for about 10minutes, until the fish is all flaky and sides start to have some colour. Serve the fish over a bed of coconut rice. You may notice a lot of pan juice, you may chose to spoon it over the filets and rice or toss it. Enjoy!!!

Coconut Rice
Long Grain Basamati Rice – 1cup
Water – 3/4cup
Coconut Milk – 1/4cup
Salt to taste

Cook the rice till tender with water coconut milk and salt as required.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mandarin Relived Fest at Oko, Lalit Ashok

The ongoing Mandarin Relived Fest that has kick started at the Oko is all about featuring the nostalgic best of the Mandarin Restaurant. Chef Liang and his team have dished out an absolutely delectable spread. The meal starts with an Amuse Bouche which is a creamy shot of Hot Mushroom and Pepper Soup. Then comes a warming bowl of Chicken Soup with the Baby Asparagus which is nourishing.

Kai-Hi Low Soon Thong/ Chicken Soup with Baby Asparagus

Followed by two rewarding Dim Sums (appetizers), the Park Charm Kai which is steamed salted chicken with some chinese herbs served with some julienned vegetables for the added colour to the dish.

Park Charm Kai/ Steamed Salted chicken with Chinese Herbs

The chicken was delicate and moist morsels that were just right. Then came the Cha Choy Lung Keen which were crunchy vegetable Dragon Rolls that came with a chili sauce which disappeared into our mouths as quickly as they had arrived.
Cha Choy Lung Keen/ Mini Vegetarian Dragon Rolls

The mains have a good eclectic mix of vegetables which are the Ho Laan Choy, a Cantonese style dish of vegetables and also the Pal Choy Chow Tung which is the Shitake Mushrooms and Stir Fried Greens.Both these dishes were well complimented with the Jasmine Rice (Park Faan). Being the non vegetarian that I am, I couldn't let myself not have a go at the Non-vegetarian options which were the U Tou Kai Tank which is the diced glazed chicken with almonds and a cashew spice sauce.

And for the ones who like a the hit of the chili then the Yu Yan Lat Tho Asi, the sauteed fish with honey in a spicy bean sauce is just the thing to have.

To wind up my meal the creamy mango ice cream with some jellied fruits was the thing for a sweet ending. The menu is set for the whole fest be it lunch or dinner. So relish all this at the OKO, for a mandarin meal while it lasts until the 10 November 2012.

Mango Ice Cream with the Jellied Fruits

Vegetarian is priced at 1195 + taxes
Non Vegetarian is priced at 1295 + taxes 

OKO - Lalit Ashok, Kumara Krupa High Grounds, Bangalore - 560001

Tel: 080- 30527777

Valet Parking Available
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