Tag Archives: recipes

A Patiala Peg of Royal Flavours

For us ordinary mortals, the food cooked and served from the Royal kitchens in India is always a subject of mystique and intrigue. One often wonders, what is it that they eat, how is it cooked, what are the secret ingredients that set their food apart and so on. After all royalty and food have always been an interesting but typical combination.

Fortunately, as a food writer and a passionate foodie, I have travelled and have been fortunate enough to sample food from some of the Royal Kitchens and yet, the unknown ones, continue to fascinate me.

Rajkumari Sarvesh Kaur from the Royal family of Patiala curating a food festival titled Royal Kitchens of Patiala sounded exciting enough. Add to that Chef Amninder Kaur, whose die-hard fan I am and thus sampling a meal at Masala Bay, Taj Lands End was the most obvious thing to do.

Chef Amninder Sandhu, Taj Lands End along with Rajkumari Sarvesh Kaur  had created a menu which could plunge any food lover into a coma. Executing the royal recipes  Chef Amninder had served Mutton Yakhni Shorba, Teekkha Kebab, Murg Kibiti, Shahi Paratha, Paani de Haath di Roti, Halwa Behzai and Shahi Phirni.

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The recipes were all from the Royal family which had generously been shared, which I thought was a wonderful thing to do.

The setting was perfect, the table befitting a royal meal. The only time in my life I have felt close to royalty, I must confess!

The Mutton Yakhni shorba arrived. The aroma was evident and the flavours subtle but distinct. I was off to a great start. The Teekha kabab lived upto its name, fiery it was and perked up my taste buds instantly.

Locally sourced ingredients and cooking methods are what are intrinsic to this cuisine and Chef Amninder had executed these to perfection. Most of the dishes were slow cooked, one could easily tell the difference, as the flavours were pronounced and the spices, subtle.

The main course was a melange of flavours with unique textures teasing our palates. Cocktails using traditional Indian spices were cleverly paired with each course. The chutneywali masoor dal struck me as unique, although I still prefer the basic one myself. My vote went instantly to the creamy gobi or cauliflower, swathed in cream but decadent, nevertheless.

The shahi paratha again was a treat. Bursting with a sinful filling, it paired well with the rich gravies and dry preparations alike.

The kofta roganjosh was delicious, with a soft and creamy texture and the right hint of spice.

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What can say about the mutton aloo bukhara? Yes with dried plums wrapped in masala and inextricably co-mingled with the mouth-watering mutton this dish was the piece de resistance for me. Cooked to perfection, the mutton simply melt in the mouth. Luscious flavours enveloped my palate and I was satiated. So much so that I skipped the halwa behzai, which I had all along been looking forward to.

The food boasted of unique flavours, with no spice overpowering the core ingredients. Yet, the food was rich and heavy, expectedly so. The cuisine is meat intensive and does not make use of too many vegetables.

Being a Punjabi myself, sampling this food from the royal kitchens of Patiala was a revelation, but one that I will always cherish.

 

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Dealing With Diabetes

With the alarming proportions, diabetes is assuming across the world and especially India, it is indeed heartening to see the husband wife duo, Seema and Manoj Pinto, proactively share their experience to inspire people to cope with diabetes through healthy eating and the Diabetic Food Trail is a positive step in that direction.

The Diabetic Food Trail 2016 is all set,  to begin on November 12. The aim is to offer Diabetics, Pre-Diabetics and Health conscious individuals, a wonderful culinary experience at over 200 restaurants across Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore & Pune, where Celebrated chefs from acclaimed restaurants across the country will get a chance to showcase their culinary talents to an all new set of target audience that did not have many options for healthy and diabetic food earlier.

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I was fortunate to have experienced this in Mumbai at Meluha-The Fern Hotel in Powai, where, Executive Chef Parimal Sawant, along with his team demonstrated several recipes including a salad, soup, main course and dessert which are healthy and suitable for diabetics. The demos were fun and interactive, with Seema constantly asking chef pertinent questions and the chef sharing helpful tips.

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Apart from being simple recipes, what appealed to me was that the ingredients were ones which could be easily procured as opposed to exotic ones usually suggested. The chefs at Meluha-The Fern exhibited a great deal of innovation in crafting those recipes.

Furthermore, I was glad to know that the Diabetic Food Trail will also introduce a special Healthy Dessert Trail which will allow diabetic patrons to sinfully indulge in  their guilty pleasures-desserts as these desserts,  do not contain any processed sugars.

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Seema Pinto – Director, Semora Entertainment Works and the brain behind this initiative says, “The focus of the second edition is on Diet and Fitness in effective Diabetes management. For a person with diabetes, eating nutritious and well-balanced meals with a regular fitness routine is vital in managing diabetes. This applies to pre-diabetics and the health conscious too”

The aim of this masterclass is to help individuals understand the ingredients, nutritional values, read packaging labels, learn exciting recipes which will help elevate the eating habits of diabetics without compromising on taste. These masterclasses will be held by renowned nutritionists and chefs across the 5 cities.

 

Some of the participating restaurants include Sassy Spoon,  Zaffran, Copper Chimney, Lemon Leaf, Boveda, Fern Hotels, Renaissance-Powai,  Woodside Inn, Mirchi & Mime, Smoke House Deli, Faasos, to name a few.

That’s not all, Seema has put together some well-researched  recipes in a small book which can benefit diabetics a great deal, which you can enjoy cooking too.

So eat healthy and stay fit and yes, diabetes can be controlled with eating right, apart from exercise.

 

Recipe: Hungarian Chicken with Eggs

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A simple recipe, can be made at home in minutes with minimal ingredients. Delicious and filling.

Ingredients:

200 gms chicken salami

4 chicken frankfurters

2 onions sliced finely

3 tomato slices

2 green peppers cut into fine strips

4 eggs lightly beaten

I tbsp oil

Pepper powder

Paprika powder

Salt to taste

Method:

  • Cut salami into strips and frankfurters into 2 cm pieces. Heat oil in a pan and lightly saute both for a few minutes.
  • Add chopped onions and peppers and saute, allowing them to turn tender.
  • Add tomato slices, and mix well on a low flame.
  • Pour beaten eggs and stir till set.
  • Sprinkle salt, pepper, paprika powder and serve immediately.

Note: Pairs well with bread/ Indian pav

Drumstick Brinjal: Recipe

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Drumstick Brinjal

Ingredients:

1 medium sized brinjal

1 drumstick

4 tomatoes finely chopped

1 inch fresh ginger piece chopped finely

Fresh coriander leaves chopped

2 tbsp oil

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp cumin seeds

¼ tsp cumin powder

¼ tsp chilli powder

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

Salt to taste

Method:

  • Cut the drumstick into 4 pieces and cook in water with salt and turmeric powder.
  • Cut brinjal into small pieces and also cook in water with salt and turmeric powder
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin sees till they pop.

  • Keep on low heat, add cumin, coriander, chilli powders and immediately add the ginger and tomatoes. Add salt.
  • After 2-3 minutes, add the cooked vegetables and stir well.
  • Cover and let the vegetables cook over a low flame, for 5 mins in the gravy.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis
  • Cut brinjal into small pieces and also cook in water with salt and turmeric

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin sees till they pop up. On low heat, add cumin, coriander, chilli powders and immediately add the ginger and tomatoes.  After 2-3 minutes, add the cooked vegetables and stir well. Let the vegetables cook over a low flame, for 5 mins in the gravy. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis

Introducing Oleevia…….

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I met an interesting young lady called Oleevia and I discovered our common passion for cooking. There is something about Oleevia I want to share with all of you.  It is quite exciting. To know more about her, click on this link

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Green Peas Masala : Recipe

Ingredients :

1 cup green peas

3 onions

4-5 cloves garlic

1″ piece ginger

3-4 green chillies

4 cashewnuts

1 tbsp oil

half cup fresh coconut milk or powder

half tsp garam masala

a pinch of haldi

2 tbsp butter

salt to taste

coriander leaves for garnish

 

Method:

Fry the garlic, onion, ginger chillies in oil. Grind along with cashews to a smooth paste. Melt butter and and fry green peas. add garam masala, haldi and the ground paste. Keep stirring till brown. Add the fried green peas and salt. After 2 mins, add coconut milk. garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot wit rice or rotis.