Monday, August 22, 2016

Chinese, Indian or both?

"Chinese!", I said, the moment we decided we were going to eat out that evening.

"But I was planning to go for Indian cuisine", my husband sulked.

So the golden mean was obviously, to find a place that served both. We did some research until we discovered Veda & Djinggs, in Sector 29, Gurgaon, which promised to bring together the best of both worlds, with the food being prepared in the most authentic way. We headed there straightaway! It was easy to locate.

Indeed the delectable menu had many an awesome dish from both cuisines!
The staff were also friendly and smilingly answered our questions about the ingredients used, methods of preparation, etc. They told us that there were separate teams for each cuisine and the experienced chefs were on board who innovated with the recipes and styles of serving. However, the core essence was to maintain the authenticity!

For example, they would cook each portion of biriyani in a claypot and serve it as it is.. this retains the flavour and adds an extra dash of taste!

There were many innovative dishes such as Dahi ke kabab and Palak patta chat, which we loved.

So next time you are in Gurgaon, do check out Veda & Djinggs!
Photos Courtesy: Team Veda & Djinggs, Santanu Saha

For detailed menu and further photographs, do contact me!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Goodies to spice up your Platter

Godrej is a name associated with great quality. And here's presenting a box of goodies from the newly launched L'Exclusif range, brought to the Indian market by Godrej Nature's Basket. Isn't the assembly tempting?
What I adored about these products are:
a) Innovative recipes, using natural products: The taste of mustard powder and honey together as a coating of cashew nuts is just an example. Be it jams, nachos, coated nuts, chocolates or icecreams, this wide range of products has something for every meal to #FeastYourSenses! View the range here!

b) Hygienic packing: Once a pack is opened and partially used, storage of the remainder has been kept in mind while packaging.
c) Attractive label graphics: Bright colours on a sober black background have  resulted in attractive  graphics that would tempt you to try the products right away!

d) Reasonable prices: You may be wondering about the prices of the products, especially when they are of such great quality and so well presented.  But I was surprised to find them to be priced very reasonably.

These products have become the secret ingredients of the unconventional servings I conjure up for my guests. Would you like to try some?
Photos courtesy: Supratik Bhowmick

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sri Lanka : A Teaser

Many people would ask me, "What to do in Sri Lanka?"

Because, I was in Colombo in November 2015, and in Kandy the following January.

Here are the reasons why you should NOT be asking me that question:
I was there for work. Alone. Not exactly, but without friends and family - I had senior colleagues with me. And amidst tight deadlines. So much so, we had to work day in and day out, even during weekends, leaving us no time for enjoying.

Now comes the reason you may still consider asking me, nevertheless:

A beautiful country is beautiful in all aspects: so what I could absorb is enough to give you a feel.

Look at this- the road is adjoined by a railway track, and the sea is right after that!

Colombo has a sea face along Galle Face Road.. the view of the sunset is so tranquil. 

Kandy, on the other hand, is a land locked town. The key attraction is the beautiful Kandy Lake. It is a man made lake... a jog round it is a perfect start to your mornings!

And while you move around the lake, you'll come across the world famous temple, Temple of Tooth. Many followers of Buddhism travel from all over the globe just to visit this temple. Just make sure you are dressed decently. Men in shorts are not permitted inside.

But, what to eat? Well, all cuisines are available. And if you want to try something Sri Lankan, then try their chicken curry. Make sure you check out the local bakeries which offer fresh pastries, cakes and snacks.
You may like to shop for Sri Lankan cottons, gems and local handicrafts in Kandy. Money exchange is quite convenient, so there is no need to carry too much local currency.
Photos courtesy: Myself
For more details, contact me on my Facebook page

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Summer Collection Menu at The Imperial

While the heat waves sweep over North India, do not let the heat get your appetite. Try the Summer Collection Menu at The Spice Route, The Imperial, New Delhi, which balances our desire for good food with the fruit of the season – mango. When asked for the inspiration behind such an innovative palette, Chef Veena smiles and says, “We dress differently in Summer. So why not eat differently too?”

You are in for a surprise as you shall move on to try the new, yet simple recipes inspired from Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. For example, the traditional salad is replaced by YUM SEE KLER, also called “Four friends’ Salad”, which contains tangy carrot, raw papaya, raw and ripe mango.

Tossed with peanuts, this keeps you admiring the balance of the ingredients and sets your mood on the hunger track, where you want to delve for more.

Another salad you may like to try is YUM MAMUANG, Chef Veena’s signature preparation: freshly grated green mango tossed in spicy and tangy Thai dressing. 

But do not let the salads fool you to think that the Summer Collection Menu is all about vegetarian dishes. Chef Veena admits that some of these recipes are her own, but born out of experimenting with different spices.

Next in the menu that is likely to catch your fancy are AMBA ISSO TEMPERADU and ALLEPPEY FISH CURRY. The first is a Sri Lankan preparation of prawns, stir fried with curry powder and slivers of raw mango, while the latter is a recipe from Kerala, as suggested by the name. It is fish fillet cooked in traditional Kerala curry and raw mango.

For the chicken lovers, the menu features GA XAO HOT DIEU, a Vietnamese preparation of stir-fried chicken with ripe mango and cashewnuts. It has a subtle tangy taste, which makes it my personal recommendation for all food lovers.

Mangoes dominate the main course too, where Chef Veena tosses up Jasmine rice with ripe mango cooked in coconut milk. I never knew one could cook rice like that!

Also try the MAAMBALAM  APPAM, or soft centered rice pancakes with mango. And if you still have space left in your tummy, finish your meal with the Vegan Mango icecream. 
Photos Courtesy: Self, Team Imperial
For more photos, visit my Facebook page.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A new ingredient for Cocktails

The next weekend is going to be the most special one of the year: its the last one. And also the first one of 2016.

As we bid farewell to a year that flitted by so quickly, needless to say, friends would get together at my home for series of parties. A key reason is I have some recipes of nice cocktails up my sleeve. Being a non alcoholic person myself, I turn out to be the hostess who is sober even at wee hours, and the festivities can go on as long one wants.

When I got invited for a hands-on cocktail learning session with Black Dog whisky at Social, Defence Colony, I was sceptic initially. Scotch is not something that I had ever used, or even heard anyone use for cocktails.  However, I chose to go.
The venue was had a rustic, yet funky feel, which seemed so perfect to bring together photographers, journalists, bloggers and more on a winter morning.

The chef, with loads of experience under his belt, not only demonstrated, but also encouraged us to toss up quite a few cocktails ourselves, giving us valuable tips such as never to be miserly with the ice. The recipes were very easy, and most ingredients are usually available in our kitchens!

Paired with tasty food, the cocktails were enjoyed by everyone present. 

So next time you are served a unique drink from my counter, you know what the secret ingredient is, don't you?

For more details or photographs, check out my Facebook page.

Photos courtesy: Supratik Bhowmick