Monthly Archives: October 2012

Dil Garden Garden Ho Gaya

It is always a pleasure to dine at The Club, D.N. Nagar Andheri West. The food is outstanding and the place exudes warmth that is unparalleled. With Awadhi cuisine specialist, Master Chef Mohammad Aslam Qureshi being there this season at Garden Grill, the outdoor restaurant, a visit was a must.

Cheerfully greeted, by the staff, we were seated comfortably at a table which allowed us a good view of the melodious Ghazal singers as well. The Murg tukra shorba had delectable flavours, which helped create an appetite. Hot and tangy, it was comforting to eat. The kebab platter was a delight. The highlight was the chicken kulfi (chicken mice stuffed in chicken drumsticks with aromatic spices n yoghurt). It reminded of a chicken karela kebab I used to eat at Sai Palace at Andheri east many eons ago. Aslam ke Kebab with lamb mince n lentils, was a tad disappointing I must confess.  Vegetarians could gorge on Paneer Tikke and Khumbh Amritsari.

The multi grain rotis in the main course were crunchy yet soft and paired well with the Dal Makhni and the Muroko Mutton Korma. The flavour of the spices and mutton, filled the air as the dish arrived on the table. Boneless pieces of mutton simply melt in my mouth. Butter chicken, Tariwali Machi are other must try for non-vegetarians while the others can relish Zafrani Malai Kofta or Bagar Baigan. The menu is really innovative yet traditional. Lasooni Palak is a real treat. Opt for Amritsari Kulchas if you enjoy a heavy meal and pair them with cholas. And of course there is the famous Biryani too. Awadhi cuisine at its best.

We tried the phirni, which was an apology of the real one. Diluted and not at all creamy. Gajar halwa, gulab jamuns maybe safer bets.

Overall a hearty and robust meal, with mellifluous gahazals and nostalgia.

 

 

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Wines for all seasons

It was an evening with a difference. I was actually dining with Chefs, who were seated along side, rather than being in the Kitchen conjuring up magical dishes. Trendz at The Lalit was hosting a unique culinary experience of food and wine over a 5 course sit-down dinner. Aptly titled ‘Cheers to Chefs!’, it was an evening of fine food and even better wines. Organised by Four Seasons in association with The Lalit, and the Indian Culinary Forum – India’s association of professional chefs, Abhay Kewadkar from Four Seasons wines was his gracious self.  Chatting and sharing information on his wines, as he always does. Chef Salil Phadnis, Chef Vernon Coelho, Chef Sudhir Pai, Chef Jolly, Chef Ajay Chopra were some of the chefs present.

The objective of this eveining is to get well-known chefs from the city to come together for a gastronomic experience involving the fine art of pairing exclusive cuisine with exquisite wines from the award-winning Four Seasons range of wines. And trust me, they did justice.

We were greeted with a glass of Bouvet-Ladubay Brut sparkling wine. It took me by surprise and was the perfect start to a great evening.  This was followed by a formal sit down dinner of molecular modern European cuisine created by Chef Limmer, and the cuisine was paired with Four Seasons wines..

Four Seasons Viognier was the perfect choice for the vegetarian and non-vegetarian salads. I was lucky enough to have sampled this wine even before it officially hit the market, some months ago. The appetizers were paired with Four Seasons Chenin Blanc. My favourite actually. There was a choice of vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisine for the main course as well. While the Four Seasons Sauvignon Blanc was the perfect pairing for the Butter poach rock lobster and the pickled grilled artichoke with saffron, the Four Seasons Barrique Reserve Shiraz was paired with the exotic Forest Mushroon quiche and Herb roasted New Zealand lamb.

For the dessert the obvious choice was the Four Seasons Blush which well complemented the poached chocolate egg in a summer salad with a sunrise setting.

Not too familiar with Chef Limmer’s abilities, as I hardly visit the Lalit, I was impressed with the meal and the presentation of his food. The service however was chaotic and left a lot to be desired.

Fish Amritsari : Recipe

Ingredients:

1 kg fish fillets

60 gms ginger-garlic paste

75 ml lemon juice

35 gms red chilli paste

100 gms besan

Garam masala powder

Ajwain

A few drops of food colour(optional)

2 eggs

50 gms cornflour

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

2 lemons slices for garnish

Method:

Marinate the fish fillets with ginger garlic paste, lemon juice, red chilli paste, salt to taste. Make a batter with the besan, cornflour, eggs, ajwain, food colour and garam masala powder. Heat the oil in a pan, dip fish fillet into batter and fry. Brown both sides uniformly and serve with lemon wedges garnish. Tastes great with a green pudina chutney.

A Grand Prix!

Rahul and Malini Akerkar’s passion and eye for detail never cease to surprise me. The new Prix Fixe (pre-fixed) menu during lunch at Indigo bears ample testimony to that. No rushed affair this is. Well planned in terms of flavours, textures and variety.

So of it’s a quick working lunch or a relaxed leisurely luncheon you’re after, this menu is perfect. The idea is to enjoy your dining experience without having to rush through your meal and yet within a limited time. The precise but varied menu, does not confuse you and yet, there’s something in it for all.

My House Smoked Scottish salmon salad was exotic to say the least. The salmon aroma was appetising and it was light and healthy. The accompanying radish, citrus salad and cucumber sorbet were tangy and refreshing.

Pulled Duck Tortellini, too turned out to be extraordinary. Served appetisingly, it was just right to tease the palate sufficiently. The grilled green garlic marinated chicken with its robust flavours was the surprise of the afternoon. I loved the sweet n sour beans that were served alongside.

Other options were Cauliflower and Green Garlic Veloute; Baby Beets with Horseradish Pana Cotta;; 64°C Truffled Chicken Breast; Ravioli of Mud Crab; Sous Vide Pork Belly; Lemongrass Risotto; Pressed Watermelon with Chilli Vodka and Whipped Feta; Atlantic Scallops with Confit Lamb.

As always I look forward to desserts at Indigo. Macchiato Brulee; Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Rosemary Ice Cream; Chocolate Truffle with Chevre Mousse & Sour Cherry. Delightful choices. The Macchiato brulee was sinful with its coffee flavours,  paired with cute bite-sized custard dougnuts. The Panna Cotta was a visual delight and was equally a treat for the taste-buds.

From Monday to Saturday, the prix fixe lunch menu is available from 12 noon to 4 pm and is priced at Rs 1,320 (all inclusive). An absolute steal and value-for-money I assure you. Be sure to try it.

Toor dal kofta curry: Recipe

Ingredients :

 

1 cup toor dal

1 onion

1” ginger piece

2 green chillies

5 red chillies

1 tbsp dhania seeds

1 tsp oil

1 tbsp tamarind

A pinch of turmeric or haldi

1 tsp ghee

1tsp mustard seeds

A pinch of hing

Salt to taste

Garnish – coriander

 

Method:

 

Soak the toor dal in water for an hour. Grind with salt into a coarse paste. Finely chop onion, green chillies, ginger and mix this with toor dal paste. Steam this for ten mins in an idli maker by adding a spoonful. In a frying pan, fry red chillies, dhania seeds over slow fire, soak tamarind in water and cook with haldi till raw smell disappears. Add chilli and dhania powder and steamed toor balls to the tamarind pulp. Cook for five mins over slow heat. Melt ghee in a pan and add mustard seeds and let them pop. Add hing. Add this to tamarind pulp. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.