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Apr 2014

CaLDRON Magazine

The Return of the King

18 recipes

page 70

Grab this recipe from page 73!

Sex or Coffee?

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

page 72

Belgian Pork page 61

No Free Lunch! page 40




How did we learn cooking?

We were curious about how most of us have learnt cooking and were quite sure cooking classes would have a major role to play. How wrong we were! Out of 322 respondents, only a negligible percentage had attended cooking classes with the vast majority either having learnt from their mother/parent (50%) or on their own (45%). Telling isn't it? Either there's a huge market for cooking classes or none at all.

My mother/parent, 160, 50% On my own, 144, 45%

My mother/parent On my own Friend/Peer/Sibling Cooking class I can't cook

Original question: How did you learn how to cook? Respondents: Three hundred and twenty two (322) Link to Poll: 2

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



All other recipe photos used are from the sources mentioned in the article.


Chef Shanmugam (Head Chef, Southern Spice, Taj Coromandel), Chef Rajib Majumdar (Executive Sous Chef, Grand Hyatt, Goa), Chef Illa Nicole (Executive Pastry Chef, Grand Hyatt, Goa), Chef Alessio Mecozzi, Rakesh Saini (Chocolatier, 32 Degree Studio), Shreenivas Gadewar, Chef Sanjay Mitra (Executive Chef, Four Points by Sheraton, Pune), Chef Naowarat Charoenwong, Chef Sam Wong, Pebbles Seafood Restaurant (Mumbai), Grey Goose Vodka, Chef Michael Swamy, Hina Gujral, Chef David Rocco, Bombay Blues (Mumbai).

Predictably, we have mangoes as our cover theme this time. There really isn't a great deal of choice you know. Not in this country anyway, where the fruit has semi-deity status and is almost worshipped. Every restaurant worth your while begins dreaming up new mango menus, which apart from an innovative few, are usually menus from years past, dusted off and presented in new avatars. Online shopping portals too do mango gifts and householders are greeted with joy, when they cross the domestic threshold with bags bulging with mangoes. Unless of course it's my house, where we repeatedly put the mangoes into the freezer to eat after dinner, forget about them and now have a few thousand rupees worth of frozen mangoes we're wondering what to do with. The voice of our online compatriots is growing louder with the strength of the Facebook group expected to cross 22,000 any day now. We have yet another informative article from Chocolatier Rakesh Saini this month and loads of photos of Tibetan food from McLeodganj, where the food is dazzling. If you fancy oriental flavors, a trip to McLeodganj is guaranteed to please. We have a surprise for you next month, something you really wouldn't have expected in an F&B Magazine, though we're sure you'll like it. In the meantime, please do continue sending in feedback. We love hearing from you and as you can see from the changing look and feel of this publication, we're listening too! Stay well. Sid Khullar







CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


CONTENTS Check out the mango recipes in this issue!


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CONTENTS Snippets Poll: How Do We Prepare Coffee?, 2 Born this Month: Bartolo "Buddy" Valastro, Jre, 6 Mailbox, 7 Ask the Experts, 48 Featured Members, 90 Listings - International, 84 Listings - National, 82 Reviews Essence of a Rummy Old Monk Dinner, 8 California Boulevard: Expect the Unexpected, 10 He Said She Said: Shot to Smithereens, 14 Punjab Grill Chakhna Menu: Direct Dil Se, 16 Levo's Level Playing Field, 18 A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action, 20 Italian Confluence All The Way, 22 European Times at 153 Biere Street, 24 Specials Unravelling Pasta the Italian Way, 36 Understanding Types of Cacao, 40 Point of View: There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, 42 Best Kept Secrets, Unravelled, 46 Events: Karen Anand's Farmer's Market Comes to Town, 50 Events: Dubai Food Festival 2014 - Savouring Success, 52 DIY: How to Poach the Perfect Egg, 54 Mix-It-Up: Muddling with Mango, 64 Culinary Matters: Making a Career in Food Styling Hands On: Ambrosia in a Teacup, 38 Show Business: Viva la Dolce India, 74 Perspective: Sorry Honey, I'd Rather Have Some Coffee, 76 Nostalgia: Everyone's Favorite Uncle, 80 Flavors of India Chettinad Cuisine: Fieriness at its best, 26

Recipes Mor Kali Uppu Urundai, 28 Chana Jor Garam, 32 Tamatar Shinghade ki Chaat, 33 Bakewell Tart, 33 Chocolate Cupcakes, 34 Pizzocheri from Valtellina, 37 Torta Sbrisolona, 38 How to Poach the Perfect Egg, 54 Double Cooked, Braised, Belgian Pork Belly, 61 Mango Butter, 71 Kairi ka Abshola, 72 Mango Srikhand, 73 Sookha Aloo, 75

Mix It Up Mango Margarita, 64 Bangkok Thailand, 65 Mango Collins, 65 Black Forest Coffee, 77 Coffee Chillo, 78

Cover Story The King Comes Visiting, 70 Kitchen Kin Chef Naowarat Charoenwong, 56 Chef Sam Wong, 60 Spirit-ual The Feast of Assuerus with Torres, 30 Food Porn Tibetan Food at McLeodhanj, 88 CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



Michel Roux, OBE (born 19 April 1941), also known as Michel Roux Snr., is a French-born chef and restaurateur working in Britain. Along with his brother Albert, he opened Le Gavroche, which later became the first three Michelin starred restaurant in Britain, and The Waterside Inn, which was the first restaurant outside France to hold three stars for a period of 25 years. Michel followed his brother into becoming a pastry chef, and again to England in order to open their first restaurant. Together they have been described as the "godfathers of modern restaurant cuisine in the UK", and Michel has been inducted into several French orders, and has received two lifetime achievement awards from different publications. He was decorated during a period of National Service for France during the 1960s.

Information & photo courtesy: Wikipedia,


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

MAILBOX “I went through the article on Four Points by Sheraton in Pune in the March issue of CaLDRON magazine. I must say that Vinita Bhatia covered every aspect of the hospitality practices of the hotel. It is interesting how the Guest Experience Index (GEI) was given a lot of importance. It was a very nice article. If I were a traveler, I would definitely give the hotel a try after reading your article.” Sanjay Mitra, Executive Chef, Four Points by Sheraton, Pune Thank you Chef! - Vinita Bhatia

Hina and we can't wait for them to be published. - Sid Khullar

Some of my favorite picks from the March issue are the review of Quattro by Hrishikesh Thakker, the “I enjoyed all the articles article about Terra Farms at in the March issue of the Manori Island, the coverage magazine. The article by about the Malvani food Rakesh Saini is informative festival as well as the book and worth reading. And review of Kunal Kapur's ‘A Vinita Bhatia’s article on chef in every home’ by Vinita Malvani cuisine is superb. Bhatia. I loved reading it and am I also liked the review about going to try the recipe for Ambrosia and the article Crab Masala soon.” about the Indian food snob Suchitra Shenoy, by Sid Khullar. The ‘Drink in Mumbai Style’ section was so colorful We're happy you liked the and full of spirits, and the issue. This issue too has an ‘Ask the Experts’ column is article by Rakesh Saini. - Sid spot-on. Khullar I think that promoting the Cycle-on Project and Angel “Mamma mia! The photo Express is such a kind deed. “I just sat and read my very feature of the Magnum Thanks for a delightful read! first CaLDRON magazine ice cream babies featuring Sonal Gupta in one sitting. My favorite Rhea Mitra Dalal, Sailesh Thank you Sonal. Your article in the March edition Mehra and Vee Delta was words of encouragement was the article by Sid awesome!” will go a long way. - Vinita Khullar about food snobs. Siddhanth Sawkar, Bhatia And I really can’t wait to try Bangalore out the Kurkure Okra from “What's the iOS app for the recipe section.” “Wow, I loved Rhea Mitra CaLDRON magazine Nisha Pillai, Seattle, Dalal’s picture where she called?” US is enjoying her Magnum Monika Manchanda, That is very kind of you to icecream in the March issue Bangalore say Nisha, thank you. - Sid of CaLDRON magazine. Khullar It was so original and so “If I search for the Issuu app Rhea. And it was a Saturday on the iPhone’s Appstore, it “When I grow up, I will evening when I saw the issue only shows me Ozapp reader work for CaLDRON instead the first time, and I saw the in the search results. Is it the of being a railway engine cocktail recipes. Now I am same thing?” driver!” planning to make one of Karishma Pais-Kim, Abhijit Ganguly, them.” Ahmedabad Bangalore Finla Noronha, Monika, Karishma, please And you're so welcome to Belgium look for CaLDRON and come aboard, but only w hen Siddhant, Finla,with selfies you'll find Magzter. Magzter you grow up! - Sid Khullar like that, we just couldn't is a publishing platform. resist! - Sid Khullar Sandeep Srinivasa “I was delighted to see that my photo of thandai was “I am not surprised by used in the March issue of the quality of the content CaLDRON magazine for the in the March issue of article about Holi. Thank CaLDRON magazine. But I you so much. I also liked the am surprised by the quality title of the article ‘Frolic, Fun maintained in every issue, and Food’ and thought it which I can only imagine is was quite interesting.” very difficult. The pictures Hina Gujral, have such a clear and crisp Bangalore look, while the articles are so The next issue will have spell binding. your recipes and your photos CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

Letter of the Month “What an issue! I started with the first page and couldn't let go till I had reached the last page! Actually correct that – I couldn’t stop going over Rhea Mitra Dalal's picture again and again! While I was going through the magazine, I did hear vague sounds of the doorbell ringing, my husband and child calling me for dinner, the mobile phone buzzing, etc. But I just could not stop going through the issue. In short, I was like a pubescent 15-year old teen boy with his first Playboy magazine! I loved it all. Thank you!” Jenifer Petigara Mistry, Mumbai

We are always interested in knowing what you think about CaLDRON. Complaints, compliments, censure – go right ahead and email us your opinions at Missed reading the earlier issues of CaLDRON magazine? They're all on this link Receive notifications of future issues, by filling in the the subscribe box on the website.



Essence of a Rummy

OLD MONK DINNER Pairing fusion Indian fare with one of the oldest rum brands, Old Monk, is an interesting affair, especially at a time when restaurants are increasingly focusing on wine-pairing sessions. Singh Sahib at Eros Hotel manages to pull this feat off adroitly.


he three S’s of any sit down, formal dinner ought to be service, specialty and satisfaction. Service is paramount because the focus is not solely on the food; it is on the combination of ambiance along with the food or beverage in focus. Specialty would ideally mean uniqueness in terms of flavours, chef, cuisine or product for the evening and satisfaction factors in as No.3 though they are all equally important. One evening that satiated all these criteria was the Old Monk Rum Dinner at Eros Hotel at New Delhi. Media was hosted at Singh Sahib, the hotel’s Indian fine dining restaurant, which is also a favourite of mine. The evening started on a nostalgic note, courtesy the sarangi music played live and a round of rum cocktails going around, of which the Mojito was the one for me.

Caramelised Chevre on a bed of hand torn lettuce, onion marmalade - cherry tomato chutney

Planned to Perfection The dinner was organized at a long table in the verandah and I wondered how would the food fare with a crowd of over 20 people and a nip in the air. The evening turned immediately Old Monk is a rum I work with often: promising when the first course was I cook with it and mull it for friends served – each guest had a server, the and it’s been exactly 20 years since I single file of servers carried out their had my first sip. This meal felt like it trays, laden with individual portions was designed for me! and everyone was served simultaneously. Now that’s classy stuff! 8

The first course for non-vegetarians was the Yellowfin Tuna seared in homemade masala with yoghurt onion relish and pickled eggplant and it was one of the most spectacular dishes I have enjoyed in a long time. Tuna is a tricky fish; we buy it preserved in brine, water or oil because Tuna has dry flesh and serving it seared isn’t easy. Yellowfin would qualify as the Kobe of Tuna and the Chef did ample justice to it. The marriage of a yogurt CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


Yellow Fin Tuna seared in home made masala with yoghurt onion relish and pickled eggplant

onion relish and the fantastic pickled aubergine felt like it was customized for me. I would rather a Chef indulge me this way than with a Salmon Tikka, where the fusion just doesn’t happen! For vegetarians the first course was the Caramelised Chevre on a bed of hand torn lettuce, onion marmalade and cherry tomato chutney and it was well received. This course was paired with my all-time favourite rum – Old Monk 7 years. Though the tasting notes it as light bodied, I personally found it robust with beautiful flavours of oak and vanilla and a superb chocolate finish. Fun Fusion Fare Our second course was Duck Galouti with pan-fried scallops, orange carrot mash and crisp Indian salad. The finesse of this elegant dish was evident in its presentation. Each element – the duck, scallop and the carrot – had individual personalities. For me this was a party on a plate. One had to make special mention of the orange carrot mash. It’s a seemingly insignificant brush stroke but it was very well thought out and delivered. For this course we tasted the Old Monk Gold Reserve, which is most likely going to feature as my second most favourite rum. The palate cleanser for this meal CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

was a tribute to Indian food, as Singh Sahib always does, the Aam ka Panna Granita – punch-filled and very soothing. The next course was what I was awaiting the most – the Star Anise Scented Rack of New Zealand Lamb with cumin vegetables and barley

The Yellowfin Tuna seared in homemade masala with yoghurt onion relish and pickled eggplant was one of the most spectacular dishes I have enjoyed in a long time. khichri Parmigiano. The rack of lamb was cooked to perfection, though I felt that the barley khichri was a bit out of place. Paired with Old Monk Supreme, in retrospect, it was the pairing that really brought out the meatiness of the lamb. With notes of burnt caramel

and a certain fruitiness, this variant complimented the meal perfectly. Saving the Best for Last I barely had room for dessert, because despite the beautifully accurate portioning, this was one generous meal! We had the Belgian Chocolate and Caramel Duet with pistachio crisp and Old Monk Supreme Brulée. The Brulée is definitely worth trying out at home. I loved the delicate hint of rum, which is just about enough for a delicate dessert like this! Our evening ended with a petit four of Liquid Paan and Chocolate Mocha – a very sophisticated touch, one must say! The objective of the evening was education and appreciation of how rum pairs with food. I loved Old Monk before and now I am happy that I have more variants to choose from, since wine is my second favourite poison, a food pairing with rum with unusual and a definite learning! ■ - Parul Pratap Shirazi

Rating: 4 out of 5 Price: Address: American Plaza, Nehru Place, New Delhi - 110019 Phones: 011-46208282



California Boulevard: EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED Given the demonstrable presence of talent, data and intent, I have little doubt that The California Boulevard will exceed your expectations, now and in the future.


associate Rajouri Garden with quite a few things, epicurean pursuits being nowhere near the list. Change however, being the dastardly constant it is, brings in its wake the overturning of assumptions, notions and embedded perceptions. The California Boulevard (TCB) may be the exception I strongly suspect it to be.

and fizzy chasers. Having said that, TCB might want to consider adding more cocktails to its existing list. It will complete the already comprehensive nature of the menu.

Looking around, you see ‘live’ concerts of artistes on LCD screens, who were born on that day or in the vicinity with interesting tidbits of information flashing on three, vertical, My first clue was the beverage menu, synchronised LCD screens. This content is definitely engaging; I confess to which was just about as complete a being entranced more than once when beverage menu as I’ve seen; separate sections for everything under the sun, visuals of some of my favorite actressincluding sections for health drinks es were featured on the screens. Ganderi Kebab - chicken wrapped around sugarcane sticks and deep fried, then served in shot glasses, with a tangy sauce.

Later, you notice some staff members sporting headsets, which I later learnt were for better coordination as well as enhancement of the guest experience. For example, letting the valet know the guest is on the way down. Obviously, there’s more to TCB than that which meets the eye. Talent in the Kitchen Too This restaurant has some serious talent in the kitchen in the presence of Chef Nitin Pal Singh. His thoughtful menu, for all facts and purposes, should translate to some very happy diners. The ambiance isn’t what you expect from your usual ‘multi-cuisine restaurant’ and the menu too is relieved of some of the burden of suspicion, given its multi-cultural contents. The mezze platter with perfectly done falafel, the crisp and crunchy Dilli ki Chaat; tender and spicy morsels of the Lahori Fish Tikka; the well wrapped and succulent Chicken Dumplings that were ethereal with the light soya sauce they came with, the incredibly soft Kakori Kebabs with their sweet aroma that tasted heavenly with the Onion Jam; and the Spinach and Walnut Seekh Kebabs that were a well thought through combination of flavor and texture – among so many


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


This restaurant has some serious talent in the kitchen in the presence of Chef Nitin Pal Singh. His thoughtful menu, for all facts and purposes, should translate to some very happy diners.

Gosht Nihari - usually slowly simmered till the gravy is delicious meaty and spicy.

other well done dishes. My only grouses were the Bang Bang Duck Roll where the meat felt like duck but didn’t taste anything like it, and the Pork Chops that had been hammered thin, but I prefer them in their thick, fat lined avatar. I ate my way through the most delicious and simple TCB Pizza that was topped with just roasted garlic, pesto, cheese and tomato sauce and was forced to admit their recipe for Butter Chicken was so good that I need to get Chef Nitin Pal to part with it somehow. Thumbs Ups All Around Food alone isn’t the only thing that keeps a restaurant going. If you observe the better restaurants, you’ll find their food and service usually goes through a recurring sine wave. Those that collect, analyze and act on data usually end up with climbs, drops and plateaus, indicating the results of disciplined ABC testing of data based scenarios.

system of guest feedback collection, collation, analysis and action. Staff members are collectively incentivised for successful feedback collection from guests. The responsibility for feedback forms is shifted to an integral part of the billing system and staff members are collectively penalised for discrepancies with feedback forms. This system is external to the restaurant randomly checking back with guests on their feedback and managers are accountable and liable for explanations if feedback scores go below a certain, very high number.

One issue I’ve regularly seen with restaurants is not their ability to Where am I going with this? TCB has output awesome food and excellent some of the most interesting data an- service, but their ability to do so conalytics I’ve seen in a while and ends sistently. It isn’t about winning your up with two thumbs ups for being customer’s hearts, it’s about continuable to successfully implement a solid ally doing so by knowing for certain CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

why those hearts were won to begin with. This was possible through sheer intuition some time ago. However, with an increasing number of options available to diners and the increase in the culinary aspirations of the consuming public, these decisions increasingly require the support of data, in the form of robust processes and honest analysis. I believe TCB is doing all of this and it will exceed your expectations, now and in the future. ■ - Sid Khullar Rating:4 out of 5 Price: INR 2500++ (meal for two) Address: J 2/5, BK Dutt Market, Rajouri Garden, New Delhi - 110027 Phones: + 91-9971108571, 9971108561



Diva Kitsch:

A Plated Brunch! Enjoy unlimited Dim Sum and pleasant unusually plated main courses for a leisurely Sunday brunch at Diva Kitsch - a place where Pan Asian cuisine gets an entirely new meaning!


ho does not love elaborate brunch buffets. Every hotel worth their salt has put together one with specials like sushi bars, oysters on ice, complimentary wines and cocktails. However, nothing beats an exquisitely plated meal! So, if you combine the leisure of a Sunday brunch with courses of piping hot, plated, gourmet meals, you have yourself a super Sunday on the anvil. That is exactly what Diva Kitsch has done with their Sunday Brunch menu, which starts with an array of Dim Sum and flows into a main course, ending with a delightful desserts platter to complete the meal. Despite its name, Diva Kitsch is not ‘typically’ kitschy – it is a more whimsical take on ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Fairy lights adorn a vintage cycle and your napkin is a kitchen duster, complete with red and white checks. The ambience is casual chic and you can see many a family carting kids over for meals who may be too young to understand what is being served, but who enjoy the food nevertheless. Take a window table and watch south Delhi scramble past and thank your stars you are at a place like ‘Diva Kitsch’ on a sweltering Sunday afternoon!


The Asian Styled Beef topped with a fried egg, which is served on a flaky Malabar Paratha.

Cutesy from the Words Get-Go The Sunday brunch begins with unlimited Dim Sum, which is great since the portions come in cutesy pairs or singles in tiny little bamboo steamers. You can ask for what you liked most as often as you want. The vegetarian selection included Chinese Greens and Water Chestnut, Wild Mushroom, Spicy Root Vegetable and Asparagus and Wild Garlic, and each one was

unique and wonderful. That is what I like about Chef Ritu Dalmia; she respects each ingredient for its individual traits, either showcasing it as it is or pairing it perfectly. I especially enjoyed the Wild Mushroom and Asparagus and Wild Garlic and so did my 8-year old. Among the

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

REVIEWS - DELHI meaty Dim Sum, we flipped over the Chilli Pork and Five Spice Beef and had an embarrassing load of these two. The pork is nice and pungent and the beef is cooled off by the star anise, so our advice to you is not to miss these. Apart from these, my daughter especially liked the Prawn and Japanese Ginger, which is very reminiscent of sushi, and Barbequed Chicken. Wide Selection of Mains For the main course, the selection is extensive and mostly Pan Asian barring the Kitsch Breakfast Platter. The platter includes a choice between Asian Fried Eggs, Asian Scrambled Eggs or Thai Style Omelette with sides of Ponzu Sauteed Mushrooms,

If you like a full plated meal like I do then blindly go for the Kaffir Lime Scented Sea Bass with Coconut Chilly Rice. The fish was done perfectly; flaky and light with an amazing topping of Kaffir lime coconut sauce.

Sesame Toasted Greens, Kidney Bean Mash, Sweet Potato Rosti, Homemade Sausages, Sesame Bun and Flaky Malabar Paratha. Talk about getting confused about options! If you like a full plated meal like I do then blindly go for the Kaffir Lime Scented Sea Bass with Coconut Chilly Rice. The fish was done perfectly; flaky and light with an amazing topping of Kaffir lime coconut sauce. We also tried the Asian Styled Beef topped with a fried egg, which is served on a flaky Malabar Paratha. This delightful prep has a seared, very well seasoned tenderloin steak, moistened with a gravy sitting atop a perfect Malabar Parantha – just my kind of eating! The kid chose smart; she had the Slow Cooked Ribs with Apricot Chilli Salsa, Kidney Bean Mash and Crispy Greens and she did not share a bite! I managed to sneak a few bites and decided right then, that this would be my order when I visit next. The ribs were dripping good, though I wish the portion was slightly larger. Dessert was an assorted platter, which the Chef likes to play around with. So, it is liable to change every weekend. Ours was a combination of Diva Kitsch classic Creme Brulee, baked Strawberry Cheesecake and a Nut Chocolate Brownie that was the perfect end to a lovely meal. The brunch menu at Diva Kitsch is balanced beautifully between vegetarian and non-vegetarian fare. This kitchen does tremendous justice to their vegetarian patrons, which is very refreshing. ■ - Parul Pratap Shirazi Rating:4 out of 5 Price: INR 1850/2500++ (per person - lim-

The spare ribs were dripping good, though I wish the portion was slightly larger.

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

ited / unlimited Prosecco)

Address: D-17, 1st Floor, Defence Colony, New Delhi – 110 024 Phones: 011-40648861, 9871474753 13



ow, every restaurant has its share of hits and misses. But what does one do when the misses outweigh the hits? While it's fashionable these days to rip apart an eatery just because one didn't like the food, the drinks or the moustache of the server, one also has to bear in mind that many elements come together to make a restaurant what it is. Therefore, we will break down our experience at He Said She Said (HS3) in Mumbai into these individual elements to be as judicious and neutral as possible.

the al fresco, which has a bar at one end. Another bar is set in an enclosed semicircular room. The walls have pop art figures with speech bubbles where guests are welcome to chalk in their comments.

Ambiance Spread across 13,500 square feet on three levels, currently only the ground floor of HS3 is functional. Quirky, colorful, spacious and loud - these adjectives perfectly sum up

The Shots Most people usually order shots either at the beginning or the end of their drinking session, and more often than not screw up the face because shots taste terrible. “There-

Kuber Sarup, Partner of HS3, said that the place was designed to give the impression of a park where people could catch up for drinks with friends in an uber-casual atmosphere. The high picket fence chairs with complementing chairs sure lend it that feeling. The music, however, can get a little loud, but then again it’s a bar, so why not?

fore, we decided to offer shots that would replace other drinks at HS3 and worked with mixologist Nischal Gurung to create signature shots for us,” Kuber explained. The expansive shots menu has various sections and the drinks have quirky and original names. But that is where the excitement stops. The pepper vodka based Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Rs 199) is served with a slit green chilli on the rim. We thought we’d do an enactment of ‘Knock Me Down’ – the popular single from the rock group that inspired this drink – but while the drink was spicy going down, it didn’t curl our toes. We had a niggling doubt that the popularity of Cha Maila (Rs 150) had more to do with just telling the server something on the lines of,

We don’t know what he or she said. But we know what was left unsaid – simply forget the shot drinks and stick to your regular ones, even though He Said She Said in Mumbai fashions itself as a shots bar and café.

He Said She Said:

Shot to Smithereens 14

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REVIEWS - MUMBAI “Cha Maila, get me two of those”, because the caramel-infused whiskey shot served with a cinnamon stick isn’t heady enough.

distress its poorer cousins subjected us to earlier. The layered shot of Amaretto, Baileys and Cognac was potent and pleasant, and we strongly recommend it. Incidentally, we Paan lovers might like Paantini (Rs made an interesting observation 149), a vodka shot flavored with – the only intoxicating shot we had betel leaves, but it was a tad bitter was the most expensive one on the for our tastebuds. Melon Water (Rs menu! 149) is served with a scooped out ball of watermelon on a skewer, but it reminded us of cough syrup Lacklustre Food

Our Observations One reason why shots aren’t a regular feature in any drinking session is because of their diminutive size – people think they aren’t getting bang for their buck. HS3 is trying to break that mould by pricing its shots at an average of Rs 200 per shot, but the shots aren’t potent enough to break that consumer perception. In fact, it probably strengthens it.

The pepper vodka based Red Hot Chilli Peppers shot is served with a slit green chilli on the rim

shoved down our throats as kids. With growing trepidation, we tried End Of The Road (Rs 199). There is no polite way to describe this gin-based anise and mint shot other than to say no cop will stop you for a DUI offence if you have several of these, because your breath will smell of Listerine mouthwash. We had given up hope of coming across any decent shot, when we decided to give the ABC (Rs 349) a last shot, which redeemed the

Quirky, colorful, spacious and loud - these adjectives perfectly sum up the al fresco, which has a bar at one end. CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

The food menu, we were told, was crafted by an ex-Michelin star chef. We think something was lost in translation from what this chef had in mind and what finally comes out of the kitchen. Spicy Jalapeño poppers (Rs 138) are usually hollowed out Jalapeño peppers stuffed with some mixture. We instead saw croquettes with too much bread and potatoes and too little of the jalapeños, chopped or otherwise. The deep fried Okra Kurkure (Rs 120) is a nice savory accompaniment to a drink, if you are tired of having peanuts and chips. The BBQ Chicken Wings (Rs 174) had a thick tangy sweet sauce and is just the thing you’d reach for with your glass of beer. The Fish Taquito with Fruity Relish (Rs 195), small bitesized pieces of fried fish served with some strawberry relish on a tortilla, was what we liked the best of what we tasted during our meal.

Another thing we observed was that most guests at HS3 were having drinks other than shots. Did they learn this was a better proposition or did the novelty of downing shots wear off for them? HS3 has a great buzz going for it, so maybe its management might consider either making its shots more potent or transforming it into another hangout where folks can come to drink, to good times and bad. ■ - Vinita Bhatia Rating: 4 out of 5 Price: INR 3000++ (meal for two) Address: 7, Janta Industrial Estate, Senapati Bapat Marg, Mumbai. Phones: 022-67496444 15


Punjab Grill Chakhna Menu:


Who’d have thought that hearty Punjabi bar foods could elegantly transform into tapas? With the Chakhna menu, Punjabi Grill did just that! And what presentation!

Disclaimer: All characters in this article are real, but conversations appearing in this work are purely fictitious. Any resemblance to an actual dialogue is purely coincidental.


014 began on a hectic note for the folks at Punjab Grill, what with planning and executing the Winter Menu, an initiative that reviewed well. So, Chef Gurpreet Singh (GS), Corporate Chef of Punjab Grill; Deepak Bhatia (DB), Sr. VP of Lite Bite Foods and Sonali Kapoor (SK), Head-Marcomm of Lite Bite Foods sat down to unwind over drinks and discuss what's next. This is our summation of what we think transpired. GS: I’m glad the Winter Menu festival is done - I am already for a year-long vacation!

GS: Say, let’s do a festival focusing only on drinks and bar foods?! SK: Yeah! A Chakhna menu with unusual desi appetizers and drinks. It’ll be a great marketing theme Punjabi Grill’s version of tapas. DB: But most tapas have dainty presentation, while with Punjabi food, people visualize hearty, wholesome fare. So how do we pull this off? SK: For the finger foods, let’s dig into offbeat fare, focusing more on presentation. As a fine dine restaurant, our guests expect novelty. We’ll source unusual cutlery and dishes from Chawri Bazaar in Chandni Chowk. And play hit songs by Honey Singh and Mika Singh on a loop. You can’t get more Fun-jabi than that!

SK: Ditto. But, having raised the bar GS: Coming to beverages, how about modifying some Punjabi for ourselves, we better get thinkthirst-quenchers? Like a frozen ing. tequila-based margarita of Ganne DB: Our recent sales figures show ka Juice, with sugarcane juice, mint, black salt and ginger, served with a that 30 percent of our business piece of sugarcane? Or a Rasbhari came from beverage sales and 20 Margarita with tequila, cape goosepercent from appetizers. Interestberry, sugar syrup and black salt ing, haan? served with a hollowed out wooden 16

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

REVIEWS - MUMBAI spoon to scoop and eat like granita? We’ll label the beverages ‘Chakko’, indicating that we’re offering authentic Punjab da drinks but with a tweak. DB: And thandai with tiny pineapple pieces in it! Holi is just past, summer is upon us. There’s nothing better than thandai in this weather! We can serve it in a brass lota with a handle. Also, Tthe Chakhna food menu has got to be just as innovative. We can have the usual spiced

Only a Punjabi knows the thrill of slurping on a chuski, while taking in the fun and excitement of a local village fair. Wings we get these days. Let’s also do Amritsar Fried Fish in a new avatar, calling it Ambarsari Machchi. I will roll fresh river sole fillets with a spicy batter with lots of carom seeds, deep fry it and serve with a sprinkling of chaat masala on a bed of spiced potato chips with a wedge of lime, so guests can squeeze it over the fish tikkas before eating. Just like we get it on the streets of Amritsar!

‘The Inventive Trio: Chef Gurpreet Singh, Sonali Priya Kapoor and Deepak Bhatia

peanuts and Channa Chor Garam, the latter drizzled with cranberries. GS: I’ve always wanted to do something different with the ubiquitous Aloo ki Tikki. How about using prawns instead, and serving it with a matar mixture? A crusty exterior with mildly balanced flavors so that the prawns stand out, and crushed green chilies in the mashed pea mixture, to up the spice quotient. Also Tandoori Kukkad Wings, but with a glaze of tangy tamarind chutney like the BBQ Chicken CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

DB: I think we have finger foods sorted. Now for some innovation in the mains. After all, guests rarely leave Punjab Grill without eating rice dishes. GS: I got it - toss up Anda Tawa Pulav with some roasted makhana (fox nuts) thrown in. To glam it up we will serve it with a fried egg and spiced tamarind water on the side. SK: Guys, we get many non-Indian guests who want to try Indian food with an international culinary edge. Design something for them.

GS: How about a cheese cream fondue with fried and flaky mathri as accompaniments? And we’ll end the meal with Mele Di Chuski, an assortment of flavored, vodka-based golas served in a glass. After all, only a Punjabi knows the thrill of slurping on a chuski while taking SK: I’ll get butter paper that in the local village fair. It’s time we is printed with images of acquaint others to that excitement. Punjab Kesari newspaper and we can serve the fish DB: Wow, has this brainstorming and chips on it. It’ll add that session been awesome! Guys, I dash of authenticity to the think we’ve got the Chakhna menu presentation. down pat. Now let’s get down to

GS: Remember how up our grandmas would add spices and herbs into the paneer before setting it? You hardly get that anymore. Let’s do a Masala Paneer Platter with herbs-infused cottage cheese, cooked in a tandoor and served with a drizzle of saunth chutney. Also a mutton dish bhunnoed with lots of khada masala and fried onions, ekdum desi ishtyle. SK: Sweet! We can present this bucolic dish in an old-fashioned ironing press, like what the nukkadwala istriwala uses to iron clothes.

executing it. If the response is good, then we’ll put dishes in our main menu too. GS and SK, together: Let’s drink to that and say, “Burrah!” ■

- Vinita Bhatia Rating: 4 out of 5 Price: INR 2000++ (meal for two) Address: Juhu Shopping Centre,, Gulmohar Cross Road No 9, Juhu, Mumbai - 400058 Phones: 022-26245735 17




PLAYING FIELD … is on higher ground. Only those restaurants that are passionate about every ingredient going into every dish can come out to play with Levo.


ating at a chef-centric restaurant is always a pleasurable experience, especially when the chef is omnipresent. You can look forward to tasting dishes that have the chef ’s unique stamp on them. Secondly, the chef is likely to pay attention to what you are actually enjoying and what you are pushing away from your plate and tweak the upcoming courses accordingly. And if the chef is happy to talk about the food at length, that’s an added bonus. Levo scored on all three counts.

fully has certain dishes marked as healthy options, while others carry a symbol showing that it is the chef ’s recommendation.

Our meal began with an amusebouche of Soft Polenta with Ratatouille (Rs 450). Historically, Italy and France might have been at loggerheads on various issues, but the tiny mound of Italian porridge was the perfect comrade-in-arms for the French sautéed vegetables. The Sambucca Prawn (Rs 590) has an interesting story. Chef Rajeev used to cook these medium sized prawns with a popular wine brand, European Soul Food until his boss took umbrage. He The restaurant has 180 covers, which includes an expansive al fres- tweaked the recipe to go with the co area, a private dining room with colorless and almost flavorless its separate entrance and outdoor Sambuca, and voila, the boss liked area, as well as a spacious banquet it. Well, we have to thank his boss, hall. The food is inspired by Euro- because this dish was a hit with us too, especially with the mild fieripean cuisine, though Chef Rajeev ness of chili flakes on top. has chosen only those dishes that will complement the Indian palate. Healthier Options Abound The extensive menu has various vegetarian options and thoughtWe knew that pizza would feature


somewhere in the menu, but we were not prepared for an healthier alternate, the French Pissaladerie (Rs 325). Served with amazing pesto sauce, it is easy to see why it is the popular choice amongst the waist-conscious celebrities who frequent Levo. Thankfully, for once healthy food did not translate to boring fare, given the thin crust of the bread, oodles of grilled veggies and extra virgin olive oil drizzled over. Now, crepes top the list of foods that always fail to impress us and we thought Levo’s White Mushroom Crepe (Rs 590) would join our list of least-loved fare. But, the soft crepes filled with peppy pesto sauce and chopped mushrooms might escape that list after all. Next up was Pulled Pork (Rs 790) served Texan style, where the braised pork was shredded finely and served with potato mash and caramelized onion jus. It would have been equally at home with CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

REVIEWS - MUMBAI some rice or bread, and we hope Chef Rajeev serves these on the side. The Coq Au Vin (Rs 650) is prettily, and sensibly presented in two covered jars, one with the chicken in gravy and the other with steamed rice. Even those who would give European food a wide berth will like its taste because it resonates with flavors that Indians will relate to.

Chef Rajeev Arora claims that the food at Levo is still evolving based on the hits and misses at the restaurant

Pleasantly Surprised Our last dish was the Lamb Navarin Printanier (Rs 850), which is New Zealand lamb in a brown sauce stew with vegetables. At this point, we noted that quite a few dishes on Levo’s menu had braised meat and brown sauce. Chef Rajeev later revealed this is how he prefers to cook his meat at home, because it is simple, flavorful and easy to polish off.

items on his menu will find favor with his diners and he keeps reworking his dishes based on comWe doubted Levo could surprise us ments from regulars. In his own with any more delights, but we were words, the food is evolving based on the hits and misses at the restauwrong. As we carelessly scooped up a spoon of the ice cream placed rant. before us, little did we expect the Thankfully, for once fiery burst of chillies to hit the back of our throats. The Ferrahealthy food did not ri Chilli Ice cream (Rs 250) is translate to boring definitely something to watch out for. The Basil Pannacotta (Rs fare, given the thin 290) reads a lot more interesting crust of the French than it tastes. Served with olive compote and raspberry sorbet, Pissaladerie’s bread, this gelatinous dessert takes oodles of grilled some getting used to. However, Chef Rajeev was veggies and extra virgin willing to accept that not all the

olive oil drizzled over.

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

It is always a pleasure to meet with such an affably humble chef, and we see ourselves heading back to Levo soon. Besides, there are so many interesting dishes on the menu that demand to be savored. How can we resist this lure? ■ - Vinita Bhatia

Rating: 4 out of 5 Price: INR 2200++ (meal for two) Address: Mukti Business Park, B Wing, 141-A Model Town, Versova, Andheri West, Mumbai - 40005 Phones: 022-30932030 Ext: 869 19



hen a place has Elvis-inspired items on its menu, and you are a great Elvis fan, then Elvis songs keep spinning in your head incessantly, as you eat up a storm. The latest venture from Impresario Entertainment and Hospitality, Social serves as a combination of play and workspace, where during the day you can work on your laptop, and in the evening it seamlessly transitions to a party spot where you meet your buddies at the bar.

read like mini newspapers, and are brilliant. The economically viable drinks are rather fun, each with a twist in taste and presentation. From beakers to huge test tubes, bowls to glass bathtubs, your drink is sure to attract attention!

The Earl of Gin piqued my interest. I like gin and am an Earl Grey tea addict, but this one needs a little work. The teabag is served on the side with the iced drink and you have to dip the bag into it. Now, since tea requires hot water to actually brew, the Earl Grey flavor The Cosmo-Explosion (INR 280) is doesn’t infuse and the drink is more Social’s take on the classic Cosmo- gimmicky than tasty. politan, with cranberry juice, triple sec and vodka, poured over a mass Rustic and Funky of Cotton Candy and then, for an With a name like Elvis Presley additional flourish, your server will French Toast (INR 150) I just had set orange rind on fire and toss it in. to have this dish and my reaction Old Smoke (INR 280) is whiskey, to it elicited amused reactions from The upstairs area is more cafe style, sweet and sour, orange zest and of my companions; it was that good. though both spaces have a bar and course, smoke. The thick Texas style toast was lots of stripped wood and exposed slathered in peanut butter, while the

a little less

CONVERSATION, a little more

ACTION brickwork and an overall log cabin vibe. We landed there for a Sunday brunch, wanting to avoid the Saturday night crowd when the noise and activity isn’t conducive to savoring the menu (yes, we’re serious about our food like that!). We revisited it for brunch the following Sunday. In fact, I see Social becoming one of my go-to places for weekend meetings. Interesting Drinks The menus for food and beverages 20

The food at Social is innovative and brilliant, while the drinks will remind you of chemistry class, but in a good way. In short, a fun time is guaranteed!

banana pieces laden with cinnamon butter, toffee syrup and powdered sugar, are browned on the griddle. You can also add a side order of bacon (INR 60). I strongly recommend the bacon laced Saddlebags (INR 180) pancakes, which are served with chicken sausages, fried eggs and maple syrup. The Social Breakfast Trays (INR 250 and INR 280) has insane amounts of food and a beverage packed into a large wooden tray. CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

REVIEWS - BANGALORE It comes in a variety of options from English breakfast to a healthy option to a couple Indianized versions.

Sid's Very Posh Breakfast

Achmed’s Mezze Platter (INR 280) was a hearty meal for a vegetarian; it is served on a thali with metal bowls of Hummus, Baba Ganoush, Tabouleh and Falafel. The Sausage Fest (INR 350) is aptly named. The hearty portions of grilled pork and chicken sausages served with mashed potato and gravy are made for sharing, as much of Social’s menu is. From the Pita Sliders section, we chose the Thai Sweet Chilli Fish Bao (INR 180) which was a big hit.

It will take a few more visits to Social to taste half the expansive menu, which has burgers, Social Dawgs, a range of mains, some Chinese and sizzler dishes and a page long list of desserts, which I eyed but had to decline.

kebab lover. It comes as two mini pav sliders, with folded fried eggs and fixings. The fries that came with one of the dishes were so good, we decided to have a Mexican Poutine (220), house fries with Mexican toppings, even though we were too stuffed to do it justice. It will take a few more visits to Social for us to taste half the expansive menu, which has burgers, Social Dawgs, a range of mains, some ChiWhile the prawn crackers deserve nese and sizzler dishes and a page long list of desserts, which I eyed special mention, the dish by itself had the requisite Thai flavors, which but had to decline. were perfectly balanced. In less than a month of its openThe Anda Shammi Sandwich (INR ing, Social is already a hit, which is 120) is a must-try for any shammi no surprise given its affordability CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

and the setting. The service however needs to pull up its socks. The second time I visited on a Sunday morning, they ran out of bacon and every kind of tea; which is just plain silly. I hope they sort their bigger-than-usual teething troubles, because the food is wonderful and the scattered goings-on behind the scenes should not mar one’s experience. ■ - Natasha Ali Rating: 4 out of 5 Price: INR 900++ (meal for two) Address: Opposite Hotel Empire, 46/1, Cobalt Building, Bangalore – 560 001 Phones: 080-41713016, 41622755 21


Italian Confluence

All The Way Modern met tradition at Bene’s Italian food fest in March and the result was a delicious Italian meal, with the right dose of convention with molecular gastronomy.


ver the past few years, I have met several chefs from all over the world. My personal observation is that the enthusiasm and zest that the Italian chefs display in their cooking is a joy to the heart and the stomach too. As Chef Paride Noviello pointed out this is probably because Italians love to eat and everything Italian usually revolves around food. From breakfast to lunch to teatime to aperitifs to dinner and then dessert, Italians fully appreciate and indulge wholeheartedly in their country’s food culture. Chef Paride was present at Bene for Sheraton Bangalore’s Italian food promotion between 14th to 23rd March, 2014 where he took us through a range of amuse bouche, all of which were vegetarian. He specially created these because he is aware that India has a large vegetarian segment.


While showcasing his specialty Zuppa Di Carrciofi Con Parmigiano 24 Mesi soup, Chef Paride kept up a running commentary about its ingredients, methodology and Italian cooking and culture, which was pure joy to listen to.

He then treated us to a beautiful Italian meal, which included a specialty soup of his own creation. What elevated the meal was his adept use of molecular gastronomy that went hand-in-hand perfectly with the traditional Italian style cooking. Chef Paride spoke of his love of using only the freshest of ingredients and his penchant for visiting markets to get the choicest ingredients to cook with. Chef's Special While showcasing his specialty Zuppa Di Carrciofi Con Parmigiano 24 Mesi soup, Chef Paride made it look like an effortless task that one can prepare with elan - I hope to recreate it someday in my kitchen. All through he kept up a running commentary about its ingredients, methodology and Italian cooking and culture, which was pure joy to listen to. Take some mushrooms, leeks, artichokes, milk, CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


Zuppa Di Carrciofi Con Parmigiano 24 Mesi soup - a delicious blend of cream, cheese and mushrooms that bowled us over.

cream and throw in a few spices with some white wine and vermouth, and the smells that wafted around the restaurant was enough to put you in food heaven!

artichokes and mozzarella cheese. Interestingly, all tomato dishes that the chef served up had the skin peeled off, which made for a much crisper texture that I loved. Another enchanting creation was The soup was blended and then the Bietola Marinata, Arancio Con served up with 24-month aged par- Noci E Caprino – a beetroot and mesan, which was not grated but goat cheese salad with orange and was converted into an airy whipped walnut. cream. It had the strong pungency and tang of parmesan, but was Beautful Simplicity extremely light on the tongue. I The pasta course was a fabulously coined this concoction ‘Air Parme- simple risotto with Tropea onions san’ and Chef Paride insisted we and an apple puree garnish that taste it before it hit the soup, and was a little too much like applewere we glad we did! sauce. I simply scraped it off and concentrated on the risotto on my The starters were simply delightful. plate. Seeing it was mushrooms These included bright bites like versus chicken for the main course, mushrooms with shaved polenta I forwent meat in favor of the Mille and Scamorza cheese called Funghi Foglie Di Pane Carasau, Zucchine Trifolita Con Foglie Di Polenta E Confit and Porcini E Coulis Di PepScamorza. There was also a conerone, which turned out to be the fit of tomato with roasted onions, perfect choice. The chicken dish, CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

while beautifully tender thanks to Chef ’s sous vide cooking style, was not quite as flavorful as the porcini mushrooms and zucchine with the bright orange bell pepper coulis. The chef ended the meal on a high note, serving up a dessert of Fisherman Fresh Panna Cotta with Chocolate Espuma. There was a lot more on the menu at Bene during the Italian food festival, and if what I tasted during our meal at the specialty Italian restaurant of Sheraton Bangalore was any indication, guests were in for a real treat during the festival. ■ - Natasha Ali Rating: 4 out of 5 Price: INR 2500++ (meal for two) Address: Bene, Sheraton Bangalore Hotel, 26/1 Dr Rajkumar Road, Malleswaram-Rajajinagar, Bangalore Phones: 080-42521000 23


European Times at

153 Biere Street T

he opening of a new restaurant, while of immense interest, has become a regular feature on the Bangalore food scene. However, when a well-known player ups the ante by creating an experience that is not just around food, ears are sure to perk up. 153 Biere Street is the new venture by the same group that brought The Biere Club, Bangalore’s first microbrewery. A corner of the one-acre property is given over to the familiar Biere Club setting – black and white cartoon etchings on the wall, the wooden furniture, the bar with their brews on tap and the huge metal tanks where you know there’s some good beer to be had, and the signature Biere Club grub.

on one side for performances – it brought back memories of my life in New England. Of open air malls in Connecticut and New Jersey as well as small towns in Massachusetts and Vermont that don’t allow cars to traverse, where people can leisurely stroll about, shopping and chatting, with a street performer dotting the landscape here and there. I visited 153 Biere Street the weekend it had its La Fiesta carnival, and was treated to performances by stilt walkers, fire eaters, street musicians and dancers. Even on a regular weekend, they have enough activities to keep the kids entertained and make the trek to Whitefield a worthwhile exercise.

Do-Something is an arts-n-crafts For one, you will feel like you’ve store that sells trinkets and has left the city of Bangalore, in fact pottery and painting workshops for the country of India, far behind kids, and even adults who want to you, and have wandered off into a try their hand at it. Ohana Flowers European vista someplace. Cobble- provides gorgeous floral arrangestone paths, old-fashioned wrought ments, while in the middle of the iron street lights and park benches, square there is a revolving marketcolourful building facades with place – organic foods and beauty window box flowers, a stage space products, handmade clothing and 24

The beauty of 153 Biere Street does not lie in the feeling of having left India behind and entered a European vista. It also lies in the fact that kids and adults both will love it in equal parts.

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


The very picturesque outdoor seating area sets the mood for everything to follow.

bags, and such. The plan is to have different vendors, so one is always likely to come upon something new on different visits. There is also space on the first floor of one of the buildings, where private parties are organized.

zas going in and coming out, with the cheese bubbling on it, every so often.

cakes and handmade chocolates and truffles, you won’t know where to start, or indeed, when to stop! The part that really got my ‘wow’ The Victorian style bakehouse is the was the price – everything was unpersonal vision of Shaun Kenwor- der INR 100! thy, Executive Chef for the Biere Club ventures, and I fell madly Located right near The Forum ValWaiter, There's Bacon in love with this place as soon as ue Mall, this European haven has in my Drink! I walked in. Brightly hued walls, already become popular with the In case you think you only get Biere black and white quotes in beautiful Whitefield set, and as word spreads, Club’s food at 153 Biere Street, rest old style cursive and with an alto- is sure to be the destination du jour assured; there are two additional gether very Alice in Wonderland for all ages looking for a chilled out delectable choices on the premfeel, this is a must-stop on your way to spend the weekend and get ises. The first is an organic, Caliwanderings about 153 Biere Street, away from it all, without having to fornia-styled open air restaurant not once, but as many times as venture that far. Oh and good food called ‘Mustard and Cress’, which possible! n drink will be a given! has a range of cocktails, including bacon infused vodka, and food that ‘Everything Stops For T’ is an - Natasha Ali encompass every taste and a fair old-fashioned bakeshop – there isn’t number of styles, with innovative any seating indoors, but who wants recipes. The focus is on fresh, local to sit when you can walk around Rating: 4 out of 5 produce and fare; emphasizing like a little kid at the candy store, Price: INR 1500++ (meal for two) the organic stuff they grow on the looking longingly at all the goodies. Address: 153, Hagadur Main Road, location. At one end of the ‘Mustard From mini quiche to tarts, fairy Whitefield, Bangalore - 560066 and Cress’ seating area is a wood cakes, pastries, authentic cheesePhones: + 91-9845346932, 9986638498 fired oven and you can see the piz- cake, cookies and luscious looking CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



Chettinad Cuisine: Fieriness at its Best

If you want a cuisine that is delicate and subtle, then Chettinad food is of the dish. At second bite, you can literally feel a burst of several Chettinad food – a cuisine that is bold and beautiful and unabashed A Chettinad meal is traditionally served on banana leavesand it’s an art eating off it. It can be highly to watch someone unacquainted with this art try to eat off the leaf in a dignified manner!


irst things first – Tamil Nadu’s Chettinad cuisine is not for the faint hearted. It is boldly spiced and aromatic. In fact, it is so spicy that it ought to come with a statutory warning in bold letters, since you simply can’t take it lightly! Chettinad is a small region in the Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu, and till a couple of centuries ago, majority of the locals were merchants who travelled to Southeast Asian countries for trade. Their travel played a huge influence in the way these Chettiars


cooked their food. For instance, the sticky red rice Kavanarisi pudding is inspired from a similar dish cooked in Burma, which was a common business destination for Chettiars. Why just food? Their travels exposed them to different cultures which they happily soaked into their lifestyle. A good example is the usage of fine china soup bowls and silverware, when they hosted English guests during the British Raj. Their kitchen utensils and cutlery were so ornate

that today they are considered collectibles, valued for their design, large size and vintage make. Even today, Chettiars are legendary for their hospitality and the size of their kitchens. Their lavish banquet halls are testimony to the feasts served there. A traditional meal can sometimes include over 20 dishes! In the olden days, the kitchen had a communal feel, since Chettiars followed the joint family system. Hence, every meal was a large and elaborate CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

FLAVORS OF INDIA affair. So important a role did food play in their lifestyle, that every self-respecting Chettiar would eat his meal only at home and would carry large tiffins filled with food if he couldn’t be at home for lunch or dinner.

Influenced by Travel & Habitat The dry and hot climate of Chet-

seafood. Meat is restricted to fish, prawn, lobster, crab, chicken and lamb as the Chettiars do not eat beef and pork for religious reasons. Food is an integral part of the slow-paced Chettinad life, even in contemporary times. Walk through the lush paddy fields of the county and the tantalizing aroma of spices beckon you. Even the richest family is very conscious when it comes

Distinct Character One unique characteristic of Chettinad cuisine is the presence of a boiled egg atop most dishes. These are often eaten with rice or ricebased accompaniments such as Dosais, Appams, Idiyappams, Adais and Idlis because the monotonous taste of these perfectly balances the spiciness of the gravies. The other distinctive feature is the fieriness of

s not for you. At first bite, you will be caught off guard by the spiciness unmitigated flavors in your mouth. By this time, most are hooked to dly proud about these attributes.

tinad greatly influenced the food preparation methods. “Locals dried their meats in the sun, in a process called Aatu Kari Uppukandam, to preserve them better. Similarly, seasonal vegetables are salted and these Vatthals are added to Aviyal, Sambhar or Poriyal during the monsoon months,” reveals Chef Shanmugam of Southern Spice Restaurant at Taj Coromandel. Though he has over 14 years of experience specializing in South Indian cuisine, he is drawn more towards Chettinad food because of the complexity of its flavors, despite the simplicity of its preparation and presentation. Given the region’s proximity to the coastline, the cuisine has seen the inclusion of myriad varieties of CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

to using produce – they only cook as much as will be eaten during a meal. The matriarch of the household keeps a careful watch on food preparation and she will not tolerate it if food leftover from lunch is re-heated and re-served during dinner. Doing this is as good as submitting a disgraceful apology for being a pathetic homemaker.

the food and the rich aroma rising from it. The spiciness is courtesy the practise of using freshly ground masala with whole red chillies and freshly grated coconut. “The fragrant aroma is derived from spices like Marathi Mokku (dried flower pods), Anasipoo (star aniseed) and Kalpasi (dried bark), fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorn, cumin seeds, fenugreek, etc., Rice is omnipresent in almost every that are liberally used in the prepameal of the day, be it in the form ration,” says Chef Shanmugam. of Idli, Dosai, Adai or Pongal for Tamarind is what gives the dishes breakfast; Appam and steamed rice its tangy flavor, while grinding for lunch and dinner. Papad and whole red chilies with coconut ups appalams are another must-have the fiery quotient. Oil is liberalduring lunch and dinner, along ly used in most dishes, so weight with some homemade pickle. watchers might want to be judicious while enjoying Chettinad food. 27

FLAVORS OF INDIA Traditionally, the spices are ground coarsely using grinding stones that lend the masala a unique texture and flavor. Even today, many households prefer grinding masala in a stone grinder rather than using an electric mixer. This heavy contraption has a depression in its center where the spices are placed with some water. Another vertical stone pestle is used to grind the spices by moving it in quick circular motions – an exercise that can put any gym rat to shame. A Scientific Cuisine The bright red color of the Chettinad gravies can strike fear in the hearts of many an adventurous gastronome, but the fact is that it will not burn a hole in your digestive tract. In fact, Chettinad food imbibes many Ayurvedic practices, which makes it one of the healthier cuisines in the world. Take the ubiquitous presence of Idli, Dosai and Appam in almost every meal. These are made of fermented rice, which is easily digested. The method of sun drying vegetables helps to trap the nutrition of the produce, which is released when it is added to stews and gravies. Even the spices are not randomly chosen to merely add flavor to the food. Instead, each spice offers health benefits ranging from aiding digestion to quelling cough. Take the case of turmeric, which has antiseptic qualities, and is a mainstay in almost every preparation. Then, you have the liberal usage of garlic that is known to fend off the common cold and fortify the heart. Sift through the mélange of spices that goes into almost every dish, and suddenly the 28

Mor Kali Uppu Urundai

Want a hearty and healthy appetizer? Look no further than these steamed rice dumplings, tossed with powdered lentils and a spice mix. Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 30 minutes Serves: 4 Ingredients: • 100 gm curd • ½ kg rice flour • 150 ml hot water • 5 gm mustard seeds • 20 gm urad dal • 20 gm channa dal • 50 gm cashew nuts (crusted) • 10 gm green chili, chopped fine • 10 gm ginger, chopped fine • Few curry leaves • 50 gm fresh coconut, grated

• 2 dry red chilly, julienned • 50 ml coconut oil For the Podi Masala • 20 gm Bedgi red chilli • 15 gm channa dal • 15 gm tur dal • 25 gm urad dal • A pinch of asafetida • Salt, to taste

Method: For Podi Masala 1. Take all ingredients and roast it till you get a fragrant aroma. Cool and ground to a coarse powder. For dumplings 2. Pour the hot water in a vessel and mix curd in it. Immediately, add rice flour and salt, mix it properly and keep aside for some time. In a pan, heat the oil. Add mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, cashew nut, and curry leaves, green chili and ginger. Saute till they turn golden brown. 3. Add grated coconut and saute for a few seconds and add this mixture to the rice dough. Apply oil on your palms and make small balls out of the mixture. 4. Now spread the balls on the steamer plate and steam it for 10 minutes. 5. Heat a pan and add curry leaves and chilly flakes along with the steamed rice balls. Toss with Podi Masala and serve hot.

therapeutic benefits of each individual condiment dawns on you – be it the antibacterial property of the star anise, or the ability of glucose-enhancing cinnamon that can help keep diabetes at bay.

Chettinad cuisine offers a bouquet of benefits with a complex balance of many distinctly different flavors – each of which are robust and demand your attention when you sit down to savor your meal. Because savor it you will, alongside sips of Most desserts use jaggery in place of some buttermilk to soothe the consugar, and besides lending an earthy flagration that will light up in your taste to the sweet dish, jaggery is a mouth. ■ great energy booster. Not just that, it helps alleviate anemia, asthma, - Vinita Bhatia menstrual cramps and also helps in With inputs & recipe from Chef purifying the blood. Shanmugam, Head Chef of Southern Spice at Taj Coromandel Photos Courtesy: CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



‘And they that were invited, drank in golden cups, And the meats were brought in divers vessels one after another. Wine also in abundance and of the best was presented, As was worthy of a king’s magnificence.’ - The Book of Esther

The Feast of ASSUERUS with Torres Wine pairing are tricky affairs. Torres Wines hosted one such event at 1911, The Imperial and it was a perplexing meal at best, with some hits and some misses. 30

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



absolutely no texture relief and absolutely none needed. Around this time a new wine sploshed into one of many goblets around me – the Torres Gran Vina Sol 2011 (INR 1400). This blend of Chardonnay (85%) and Parelleda brought intense floral and fruity notes with undertones of lemon-vanilla cream on the palate, and a short, dry Hosted at 1911, The Imperial and led finish. It would have been good with by Marta Delfa, the Brand Ambassa- the salad, but didn’t do much for dor for Torres Wines, the few of us the soup, which needed something smoother and less intense to underwho arrived at the appointed hour, spent the first sixty minutes discussing score its buttery nature. the wonderfully stretchy and malleable concept of time as perceived by We continued our dinner with a diour fellow enthusiasts and the next sastrous Goat Cheese Tart with Black thirty making small talk with the same Pepper Tomato Jam, Pumpkin Seeds people. and Arugula. If it was goat cheese, I would really like it to taste like goat Some abominably pedestrian and ill- cheese; naming a goat the Vice Presthought-through hors d’oeuvres made ident of production simply doesn’t the rounds, which I partook of with cut it. Alongside this was served a gusto; substandard fare works just as light, subtly spicy, airy and mildly dry well as the gourmet in muffling the Torres Ibericos Rioja 2009 (INR 1850) socially unacceptable mutterings of a that I think would have gone well with neglected belly. In any case, the Torres the soup, but then we’re all so wise in De Casta 2011 (1400) was a good the retrospect, aren’t we? drink I felt, for the occasion; easy to drink with hints of dryness and the Food Pairing Adventure tiniest dash of syrup, the bouquet At this point, was presented a lamb reminiscent of fresh cut cherries acdish with creamed spinach, orange companied by a balanced palate and a glazed carrots, butter milk crisp onion and lamb au jus, alongside a generous long-lasting finish. splash of the Torres Celeste Crianza 2009 (INR 3000). By itself, the wine Some Surprises My canine second-nature was thrown had a fruity bouquet. It was mild and some more bones when we were dry on the palate with a very quick seated and began dinner, as I happen finish – I didn’t see much to it. to be a little better acquainted with food than I can claim to be with wine. The lamb was well made with interestStarting with a ‘Fresh’ Salad with ing flavors and textures, and made for Citrus Vinaigrette, Shaved (startling- involved eating; the kind where ly dry) Red (much too common to you’re conscious of which element on mention) Beets, Balsamic Onion and the plate is the hardest and therefore Crumbled (much too mild) Feta, we is speared last on to your fork to hold continued on to what was probably the rest together. So you start with one of the most divine soups I have slicing off a bit of the meat, skewering ever tasted – Light Butternut Cappuc- some onion and finishing with a firm cino with Hazelnut Foam and Chloro- slice of carrot, then smear on some phyll Oil. This was a buttery and rich spinach with your knife and pop the mouthfeel for a sauce-like fluid that whole into your mouth. Then, as a was mildly cheesy, mildly nutty with matter of protocol, I ate my food and was at a sit-down wine dinner recently, one of the many that the capital sees every so often. Each such evening has a few mandatory roles, that were willingly filled by guests and invitees; the socialite, the socialist, the social networker and of course, the comedian.

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

drank my wine together, as I was doing for every course and every wine; they came together like magic! The Torres Celeste Crianza 2009 appears to be made for mildly spiced, meaty dishes. The food made the wine sparkle and fizz and pop with character, while the wine made the food reveal flavors within that I could not identify, and definitely could not get enough of either. This is one wine I’m buying for home and strongly suggest you do so too. All That's Well... We finished with a very interesting Torres Moscatel Oro (INR 1400) and a snifter of Torres 10 Brandy (INR 2250). The Brandy initially was quite drinkable, lacking the strong alcohol + vanilla bouquet, making it easy to drink, I later thought it tasted ‘watered down’ for lack of a better word though its alcohol content certainly wasn’t low. One expects a long, gradated finish with brandy, but that too didn’t quite come across. The wine however was another story, a dessert wine, on drinking which, my first impression was the joyous meeting of Roofafza with White Rum and a splash of distilled water. I wonder why I have not come across the combination before? On second, third and tenth sips however, it was quite different and the initial impression was obviously cultural factors at play. This one had a sweet and floral bouquet with hints of jasmine, honey, a dash of vanilla and a wisp of oak on the palate with a short-medium finish; another wine I’m definitely buying. I’m led to believe all of these are available all across Delhi/NCR and I’d like you to believe, you’d do well to explore the Torres range. ■ - Sid Khullar 31


You, me and HIGH TEA A wise man once said that life is like a cup of tea – it boils down to how you make it. What better way is there to luxuriate in the loveliness of life than treating yourself and your friends to a spot of afternoon tea? And no high tea is complete without some delicious snacks to accompany it. Chef Rajib Mazumder and Chef Chef Nicole Illa of Grand Hyatt Goa share their recipes to make your high tea a success with some Indian savories and English delicacies. Chana Jor Garam

Preparation time: 20 minutes ◉ Cooking time: 10 minutes ◉ Serves: 2 Ingredients: • 250 gm chana jor garam • 50 ml oil • 10 gm cumin seeds • 20 gm green chilies, chopped • 1 bay leaf • 20 gm coriander powder • 10 gm red chilli powder • 10 gm cumin powder, roasted • 10 gm black salt • 10 gm dry mango powder

• • • • • •

20 gm coriander, chopped Salt, to taste 30 ml lemon juice 30 gm onion, chopped 30gm tomatoes, chopped 10 gm raw mango, chopped • Chaat masala, to taste • Some nylon sev for sprinkling

Method: 1. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds, green chilies, bay leaf and sauté for a minute. 2. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, roasted cumin powder, black salt and dried mango powder and sauté on low heat. 3. Add chop coriander, salt and mix. 4. Transfer the mixture into a bowl. 5. Sprinkle lemon juice, onion, tomato, raw mango, chaat masala, nylon sev and chana jor garam over it, mix 32

Chef 's Suggestion: Pair this spicy savory with some strong Assam Tea.

gently and serve. 6. Make paper cones and serve the Chana Chor Garam in it. Chef's Tip: If you can’t get the readymade flattened Chana Jor Garam, soak black grams overnight and use those instead.

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Tamatar Shinghade Ki Chaat

Preparation time: 20 minutes ◉ Cooking time: 20 minutes ◉ Serves: 2 Ingredients: • 450 gm tomato • 50ml mustard oil • 20 gm Bay leaf • 50 gm fennel seeds • 15gm salt • 20gm fresh mint leaves • 50gm onion, chopped • 100 gm coriander leaves, chopped

• • • • • • •

150 gm water chestnut 30 gm peanuts 25 gm mint chutney 15gm lime juice 25 gm tamarind chutney 12gm cumin powder 12gm red chilli powder

Method: 1. Deseed the tomato and cut it into dice shapes. 2. Heat oil in a pan and sauté the bay leaf and fennel seeds in the oil. Add some salt and mint leaves. Sauté nicely and let it cool down. 3. Once cool, mix with chopped onion, tomato, coriander, diced water chestnut and roasted peanuts. 4. Add the green chutney and lemon juice.

5. Add tamarind chutney. Sprinkle cumin powder, salt and red chili powder. 6. Check seasoning and garnish it well before serving. Chef's Tip: If serving at a party, you can serve the mint and tamarind chutney on the side so that your guests can take it according to their preference. Chef 's Suggestion: Earl Grey would go flawlessly with these subtle flavors.

Bakewell Tart Ingredients: For Almond Cream • 240 gm butter, unsalted • 240 gm white sugar • 1 pinch of salt • 2 gm lemon zest • 5 eggs, whole • 240 gm almond powder • 76 gm flour

Chef 's Suggestion: Masala Chai will enhance the flavors of this dish.

For Sugar Dough • 440 gm flour • 350 gm butter, softened • 190 gm icing sugar • 40 gm milk For Rasperry Jam • 1 kg raspberry puree • 400 gm sugar

Method: For Almond Cream 1. Paddle the butter, sugar, salt and lemon zest until creamy. 2. Add the almond powder. 3. Slowly add the eggs, one by one. 4. Finish by folding in the flour. Scrape down the sides frequently whilst mixing.

cream with the fancy sliced almond flakes on top. 9. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and cut it into big slices. Chef's Tip: You can serve this tart with some whipped cream or chopped cherries on top.

For Sugar Dough 5. Mix all ingredients for the sugar dough with a paddle for two to three minutes. 6. Pre-bake the sugar dough in the frame. 7. To make raspberry jam, mix raspberry puree with sugar and reduce the quantity till it is half. 8. Apply a layer of raspberry jam. Then pour the almond CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



Chocolate Cupcakes Ingredients: For the Cupcakes • 585 gm unsalted butter • 335 gm Amul cream • 8 eggs, whole • 665 gm white sugar • 1 gm cooking salt • 2 gm vanilla essence • 550 gm self rising flour • 30 gm baking powder

• 25 gm cocoa powder • 50 gm chocochips For Vanilla Frosting • 500 gm butter, softened at room temperature • 500 gm icing sugar • 1 vanilla bean

Method: Add seeds For Almond Cream of vanilla 1. Melt the butter and cream together and let it cool down bean. Paddle to room temperature. everything 2. Whisk egg, sugar, salt and vanilla essence together. until light and 3. Sift flour and baking powder together. Fold the flour Chef 's pale in colour. into the egg mixture. Add the butter-cream mixture and Suggestion: The little ones Scrape the bowl mix well. Add cocoa powder and chocochips. will enjoy these frequently while 4. Store this cupcake mixture in the chillier. with some hot mixing. 5. Preheat oven to 175°C. chocolate 6. Line muffin moulds with butter paper and then fill in Chef's Tip: If desired, other flavours can the muffin mixture to almost 3/4th of the moulds. be added to the frosting in the form of fruit jams or chopped 7. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. nuts. 8. Once baked, let the moulds cool and then remove the cupcakes and let cool further on a wire rack. 9. To prepare the frosting, mix butter and icing sugar.

A three-year diploma holder in hotel management from Patna’s Indian Institute of Hotel Management Chef Rajib Majumder began his culinary career at The Hilton in New Delhi in 1997. He later moved to The Park Hyatt, Delhi before shifting to Dubai in 1998 to work at the Dubai Golf and Racing Club as Chef de Partie. He joined Grand Hyatt Mumbai in 2006 as Sous Chef. Four years later, he took over the reins of the kitchen of Grand Hyatt Goa as Executive Sous Chef. When not busy dishing out culinary marvels in the kitchen or training the impeccable staff at the Grand Hyatt Goa, Chef Rajib indulges in reading, travelling and photography.

A German national, Chef Illa Nicole began her career in 1988 at the Konditorei Knigge and later worked at some of Germany’s most prestigious hotels such as Hotel Bayerischer Hof, Hotel Koenigshof, Konditorei Arzmiller, Hotel Traube Tonbach, etc. In 2001, she joined Harrods department store as Junior Sous Chef Patissier, where she prepared various French pastries, tea cakes, fruit cakes and flans, cheesecakes and creperie items. Nicole shifted to the Middle East in 2004, where she worked at Ritz Carlton, Bahrain, The Fairmont Dubai, Sharq Village & Spa, Essque Hotel / Tiara Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, and the Moevenpick Hotel Jumeirah Beach Residence. Illa Nicole joined Grand Hyatt Goa in November 2010 as Executive Pastry Chef where she integrates her global exposure to the art of pastry-making at the hotel. 34

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CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



Unravelling Pasta the Italian Way!

Aspirational Italian food has not gone beyond pastas and pizza, and Chef Alessio Mecozzi hopes that people do not base their opinion about Italian cuisine based on these. According to him, traditional Italian food is wholesome, hearty and not very fanciful in its presentation – just like its people.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



ne man’s pasta can easily turn out to be another man’s porridge. Simple as it looks, cooking pasta can sometimes result in embarrassing disasters. “It’s all because people do not understand the concept of al dente. Most people just do not know what it actually means, so you either get pasta that is raw and sticky or you get a mush,”

ability. For instance, potatoes and cabbage were grown in almost every household and were liberally used in most dishes. Chillies were rarely used for spicing any dish – instead black pepper and herbs were used to tweak the spiciness, again because they were grown in the kitchen window sill. Since winters in Italy can get difficult, milk was preserved in the form of cheese, and these were sliced off

Pizzocheri from Valtellina Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 90 minutes Serves: 4 Ingredients: For Pizzocheri pasta • 250 ml water • 400g buckwheat flour • 2 pinches salt • 100 g white flour For the dressing • 250 g Assiago • Some chard or cabbage leaves

Packaged Pizzoccheri Pasta

• 100 g butter • 150 g Grana Padano cheese • 350 g potatoes • 1 garlic clove • Sage leaves • Pepper, to taste cheese • 250 g pasta

Method: For Pizzocheri pasta 1. Mix the flours in a bowl. Add the water and salt; knead until dough is compact. 2. Wrap the dough in a plastic wrap and let rest for at least half an hour. 3. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin up to a thickness of 2-3 mm. Cut strips of 7-8 cm in width. Overlap the strips, dust with flour, and cut along the length of the resulting wide noodles about 5 millimeters. Let them rest.

says Chef Alessio, the head chef at luxury Italian getaway spot CastaDiva Resorts and Spa at Lake Como, was invited to hold a popup Italian kitchen at Hotel Ambassador in Mumbai earlier this year. The idea was to acquaint Indians with traditional Italian cuisine, which goes beyond pasta and pizza.

and then added to the dishes to make it nutritious and creamy at the same time.

The Real Deal Sadly, Chef Alessio rues that what the rest of the world perceives as Italian fare is just an exotic imported version, rather than the real thing. Having worked with Italian Michelin star chefs like Chef Alessio pointed out that Antonello Colonna, he has realtraditional Italian fare is hearty, ised that fancy food can attract atusing only fresh produce, detention for a while, but traditional pending on the season and avail- cuisine lasts forever. CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

For the dressing 4. Disconnect stem from chard leaves; cut into 1 cm sticks. Cut leaves in small strips. 5. Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. 6. Put the vegetables in boiling salted water and cook for five minutes. Add the pasta to the vegetables in the water along with the cheeses. 7. After 10 minutes of cooking, drain the pizzocheri pasta and vegetables. 8. In a hot pan, melt butter. Add sage leaves and garlic, saute until the garlic browns. Remove the garlic. Pour the melted butter on pizzocheri. 9. Serve hot with a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper.


Torta Sbrisolona Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 60 minutes Serves: 8 Ingredients: • 250 g flour • 150 g corn flour • 150 g almonds, blanched • 50 g almonds, unpeeled • 200 g sugar • 200 g butter • Zest of 1 lemon • 2 egg yolks Method: 1. Preheat oven to 180°degrees. 2. Chop the almonds, but not too finely. Set aside a handful of almonds with skin, for the final decoration. 3. In a large bowl place all the ingredients: the two types of flours, almonds, butter, lemon zest and egg yolks, sugar (with the exception of a couple of tablespoons). 4. Mix them together without getting them too compact. 5. Grease a cake tin at least 25 cm in diameter, preferably a springform one, because it will be easier to remove the cake after cooking without breaking it. 6. Distribute the dough on the pan, trying to crumble with hands as much as possible. The dough must not be compacted on the bottom when you are finished. 7. Garnish the cake with remaining almonds and bake in the preheated oven for about an hour. 8. Allow it to cool and detach it from the pan, being careful not to break it. Sprinkle the cake with two tablespoons of sugar and serve.

That is why he decided that during his stay in Mumbai in February 2014, he would focus on the real thing. He specially crafted a five-course menu that included his signature dishes such as Eggplant Parmigiana, Parmesan Fondue, Red Cow Parmesan Cheese Risotto, Duck Ragú and a home-style tiramisu. In fact, a few of these dishes are those that he routinely cooks for actors George Clooney and Robert De Niro, who often drop in at Casta Diva Resorts and Spa. “They really enjoy good

Then he proceeded to show us how Torta Sbrisolona, a slightly hard and crumbly cake is cooked. Sbrisolona was apparently a favorite amongst shepherds in northern Italy, because during winter months they

Packaged Torta Sbrisolona

food and insist on traditional fare cooked without too much drama". Chef Alessio, during the popup kitchen, cooked a couple of dishes to give us a taste of con38

ventional Italian food. He prepared Pizzocheri from Valtellina, which he called a peasant’s meal, made of short tagliatelle pasta, because it was simply prepared with lots of vegetables, aged hard cheese and hand rolled buckwheat pasta.

would take their animals higher up in the mountains to graze and since Sbrisolona does not spoil quickly, they would pack it when they were away for weeks.

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Tips for Cooking Pasta While we were interested in learning more about these simple, rustic dishes, what we really wanted to pick Chef Alessio’s brains on, were on tips to become migpasta warriors in our kitchens.

your filling and using your thumb, depress the area around the edges of your desired ravioli. Ensure there is no air trapped inside your ravioli while closing both layers of pasta, or the filling will break out while cooking the ravioli.


Here are some of his sugWhile making tortellini, gestions on how to cook the resist the temptation to perfect pasta: use more filling. Tortellini is supposed to have more As much as is possible, pasta than filling. avoid the store bought pasta. It’s easy to prepare You can refrigerate torthe dough at home and if tellini and ravioli if you are one does not have a pasta hosting a party and don’t rolling machine, then one want to prepare it at the last can always make small balls moment. But when it’s time of the dough, roll it flat to cook the pasta, do not with a rolling pin and cut it take it out from the refrigerinto the shapes of fettucine, ator and toss the frozen ravlasagna or ravioli pasta. ioli straight into the boiling However, if you make pasta water. The pasta needs to be regularly at home invest in a closer to room temperature pasta maker to save yourself before immersed put into some hassle. hot water, so that you do not have doughy pasta. After you have rolled your fresh pasta, if you do But his final tip is the one he stresses on most - use not intend to cook it immediately, wrap it in a cling your ingenuity in the kitchen and don’t worry too fling and refrigerate; else the gluten will start reacting much about the technical and it can become difficult aspects on how to prepare the perfect dish. In the end, to work with the pasta. An easy way to make ravi- if your family enjoys what oli it so roll out a rectangu- you cook, who cares about what the purists have to lar pasta base, then take a cookie cutter, slightly make say?! ■ shapes in the dough. Spoon your filling in the center of - Vinita Bhatia the shapes, leaving at least Photos Courtesy: a centimeter and half of dough on the edges. Roll another pasta sheet over Recipes Courtesy: the one where you placed Chef Alessio Mecozzi




CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

At the pop-up kitchen he hosted at Hotel Ambassador in Mumbai, by Chef Alessio Mecozzi prepared Pizzocheri from Valtellina, which he called a peasant’s meal, made of short tagliatelle pasta, because it was simply prepared with lots of vegetables, aged hard cheese and hand rolled buckwheat pasta.


Understanding Types of Cacao

We’ve probably all heard the term cacao by now. What is it and how does it affect the chocolate you eat? Read on to find out.


here are many chocolate lovers who pledge they will not go to heaven, if that hallowed place does not have this delectable bar of goodness. So what is it about chocolate that has makes women swoon with pleasure and compel even the most stoic of men break into a song? The answer lies in a simple fact - chocolate makes one feel good all over.

ulants. Theobromine and theophylline work slowly to up your energy level. • Copper prevents anemia and ensures that iron makes effective hemoglobin. • Cocoa butter stays liquid at normal body temperature which helps prevent it from blocking your arteries.

The Origin of Chocolate So where does chocolate come from? It comes from the cacao And we are not talking through tree, which bursts into cacao pods, our hat here. Science has proven that chocolate contains various which further are dried to make cosubstances and chemicals that gives coa, from which comes chocolate. us a nice tingly feeling. Wondering Cacao trees are cultivated in few places worldwide, and based on the what these substances are? Let’s a region of their growth, they have a take a look at some of them: distinct flavor. • Phenethylamine is the same substance that can be found in the There are two types of cacao cultivated in South America of which brain when you are in love. • Anandamine creates a mild form Criollo grown in northern parts of the country is the most coveted and of euphoria. • Methylxanthines which are stim- is also a rare variety. This cacao tree 40

has low acid levels and produces a complex, full-flavored chocolate paste. It accounts for just 1 percent of the world's cocoa production. The second variety, the Forastero bean from the Amazon basin, is inferior to the Criollo. This type, which has a harsh bitterness and acidity levels. grows faster (with a robust production of pods) and accounts for approximately 92 percent of the world's cocoa production today. If fermented properly, it can produce a mellow flavor and is preferred for milk chocolate. And then there are the hybrid varieties. The Trinitario cacao type, for instance, was born after disease devastated Criollo cacao plantations in Trinidad in the 17th century. This type has the hardiness of the Forastero with the full flavor of the Criollo. It accounts for approximately 5 percent of the world's cocoa production. The Nacional type is a Forastero hybrid that surfaced CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

SWEET SOMETHINGS in the Ecuador region and accounts powder with vegetable for approximately 2 percent of the shortening. world's cocoa production. • Semisweet or Bittersweet (35%+ cocoa liquor) – The higher cocoa With all these different beans at liquor and lesser sugar makes for hand, chocolate manufacturers can a better chocolate. make the flavor of their chocolate • Sweet Chocolate ( 15%+ cocoa products unique by blending liquor) – According to the different cocoa beans. USFDA, sweet chocolate is the solid or semi-plastic food Types of Chocolate prepared by intimately mixing What is the yardstick to classify and grinding chocolate liquor chocolates under types? The with one or more optional percentage of cocoa liquor by weight nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners, in the chocolate bar. Cocoa liquor and may contain one or more of is pure cocoa mass in liquid form, the other optional ingredients. roughly having cocoa solids and • Milk chocolate (10%+ cocoa cocoa butter in equal proportions. liquor) Milk chocolate flavor has a lot to do with the type of milk • Dark chocolate can be categorized or cream product that is used by industry as: in its manufacture as well as the • Single Origin, Vintage or Grand strength and taste of the cocoa Cru – these are dark chocolates liquor. whose origins are specific to a • White chocolate is cocoa butter, region or plantation. sugar, milk or cream powder and • Unsweetened – this chocolate spices. is used for cooking purposes as • Sugar and sweeteners in it has a cocoa liquor component chocolates of more than 85%. If you are • High-grade cane or beet sugar looking to replace this in baking is used in the manufacturing of your best options would be chocolate. You cannot add sugar good quality cocoa to chocolate liquor to make a sweetened chocolate because it will result in a gritty product that will not temper properly and is most likely to be a disaster in consistency and shape. The addition of substances like sugar syrups including

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

glucose or corn syrup, will mess up your chocolate - and no one wants that! They say that nothing makes a better match than a nice big bar of good chocolate! And when biting into it, cast aside all thoughts of guilt for cheating on your diet. After all, the best things in life are sweet and guilt-free! ■

Rakesh Saini of 32 Degree Chocolate Studio is a trained chocolatier from Ecole Chocolat in the US. He conducts workshops on chocolate modeling and sugarcraft, teaching participants the art of crafting fine chocolates. He specializes in theme based cakes and cupcakes.



There’s No Such Thing As A Free Lunch Nothing in life comes free. Why do a growing tribe of food bloggers, Instagram-ers and Twitter users among others, expect a free meal at restaurants merely because they will mention the establishment on their digital personas? Even worse, some threaten to defame establishments if their demands't aren't met.


hat does an average diner do when he visits a restaurant to dine? He eats, pays and leaves. The new-age diner might then go ahead and write about his dining experience on various food related blogs and websites. Lately a new breed of diners has emerged. This increasing tribe often fashion an online entity around food, and then approach restaurants asking for a free meal. In return, they carry a mention about a particular dish, menu, the chef or establishment – either as a blog post, an Instagram photo, a tweet or an online article. This would have been an ideal situation for everyone involved, except that restaurant owners are now beginning to turn down these offers and no longer want to offer free lunches to people on


It makes one wonder how and when food blogging became so big that it spawned an entire industry – from people teaching people skills on how to shoot food photos, to courses educating newbie bloggers on how to write reviews and even associations trying to bind them together.

the fringe of mainstream media. While they are happy to have a photo of the Watercress Soup, a snippet about the Galouti Kebab or a mention about an ongoing food festival in cyberspace, they now expect the people posting this information to foot the bill for their meal. They are even willing to risk a negative review in the bargain. So, what turned the tide in what was beginning to become a widespread phenomenon? The Gauthier Soho Case Recently, Paul Turner, who runs a blog titled Hungry Londoner, emailed Gauthier Soho in London stating he could post a positive review about the upmarket restaurant, if they arranged for a review meal. Instead, Gauthier Soho’s Head of Marketing, James Lewis, posted the email on Twitter and proceeded to rant about ‘food blaggers’. Needless to say, many added to his voice. Twitter, however, suspended James’ CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


account, but by this time a debate had been sparked about the integrity of the food blogging community. James defended his action while talking to The Independent and said, "There's been an ugly development in recent times that I call the food blagger, which is someone who uses the food blog as a platform to gain free stuff under the disguise of a review. I can put up with most of this sort of stuff. But what really irks me is what I see as somebody trying to get a free meal in return for a guaranteed positive review. It's a bribe, basically."

what Paul Turner did. At the same time, there are many who do not announce themselves, eat, pay, leave quietly and then write an honest review. “Then there are restaurants, even the supposedly better ones, who actively solicit food bloggers with the promise of a free meal for a good review. Many times, even when it is not explicitly stated, it is understood by both sides what the promotional meal is all about,” she adds.

ones are weighing the pros and cons of this decision. Nityanand Shetty, Director of Pebbles Restaurant, mentions how he has been resisting the suggestions of his marketing team to host a blogger’s table, because he is unconvinced how inviting 20 people who have blogs and claim to be food writers can translate into incremental business for his restaurant.

“I would rather host food writers willing to pay for their meal, because PR agencies for the restaurants com- as a fine dine restaurant we use only pound matters as they strongly rec- premium produce and these don’t ommend that their clients host this come cheap. If a writer is interested However, can one truly call this growing clan for curated meals, in in the food we serve, we are always exercise a bribe? Goa-based blogger the hope to get some positive bytes happy to talk to them about it. But Aparna Balasubramanian feels that about their establishments. Despite why should they not be willing to James’ point-of-view is valid betheir misgivings, most restaurant pay for it?” he questions. cause there are bloggers who will do owners give in. The more prudent CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


POINT OF VIEW Freaky Freebies Hyderabad’s Sreya Vittaldev has also seen the phenomenon of food bloggers asking for freebies on the rise. In her opinion, if someone wants to establish themselves as a food blogger, critic or reviewer, they should pay for their own meals unless offered other wise. It is only when they are treated like a customer, that they would know exactly how the meal experience feels. “When you are treated like a food reviewer, there is a direct attitudinal shift and you'll never really know if your review would be genuine. Just pay for your meals, don't badger restaurants or write a bad review just because you weren't given a free meal,” she advises. Another food blogger, Poorna Banerjee, makes it a point to mention in a restaurant review’s disclaimer segment that it was an invited meal. She also objects to terming the dining experience as a review because one person's taste buds are different from another one, so two individuals can have different reactions for the same dish. At the same time, can a food blogger actually fit the shoes of a restaurant reviewer and vice versa? A restaurant owner, who is also a chef, is disdainful about the growing numbers of food bloggers and on condition of anonymity states that most of them just create a blog cataloguing recipes taken off the Net with some basic tweaking here and there. They call themselves food bloggers and expect restaurants to roll out the red carpet when they come a-visiting. “I doubt customers who are going to visit my restaurant will actually 44

read an individual’s blog before visiting. They might visit a food platform like Zomato or Burrp to get real-life feedback from other paying customers, but I doubt one blogger’s review will make that great an impact on their decision to visit a restaurant,” he adds. It makes one wonder how and when food blog-

pensive) food on their menu. Rhea Mitra-Dalal too wonders what food blogging has come down to. When these associations takes groups of bloggers to review restaurants, though no one enquires about the credentials of these very bloggers. “How much, if anything, they know about the cuisine at hand seems irrelevant to the organization and to bloggers themselves. I blog therefore I review is the credo,” she states.

In the end, one restaurant owner puts it very succinctly by drawing "I would rather host food writan analogy to movie reviews. He ers willing to pay for their meal, explains how before a movie is because as a fine dine restaurant released, the stars in the picture we use only premium produce promote it on every channel imagand these don’t come cheap. If a writer is interested in the food we inable. Then different reviewers serve, we are always happy to talk will post their take on the movie to them about it. But why should in different publications and onthey not be willing to pay for it?” line platforms. Some people might choose not to watch the movie, Nityanand Shetty, Director, Pebbles Restaurant based on the review, but frankly it’s a very small percentage. A bulk of ging become so big that it spawned the moviegoers will rather take the an entire industry – from people opinion of their friends and peers teaching people skills on how to and then decide whether to watch shoot food photos, to courses edu- the movie. cating newbie bloggers on how to write reviews and even associations He believes the same logic aptrying to bind them together. plies to restaurants. One reviewer might thrash an eatery. But if your What is astonishing is that some friend talks highly about his dinof these associations even negoing experience there, you will give tiate with restaurant owners to it a shot – unless you are a food host bloggers tables, where the blogger looking for a free meal! He association takes the responsiadds that he would rather focus on bility of getting at least 10 odd giving his paying customers a meal bloggers who will attend the event that is value for their money, than and write ‘mostly good’ reviews focus on what some ‘food blagger’ about the place. The restaurant has to say about his restaurant. ■ only has to pay the association a certain amount for rendering these services, besides pampering the - Vinita Bhatia bloggers with the best (read exCaLDRON Magazine April 2014

Want to learn how to make this yumy Paneer Mango Curry? Head over to Hina Gujral's blog at www.funfoodandfrolic.

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014




t is not often that a cookbook evokes strong feelings of nostalgia, unless it comes from an author who is a well-known personality in the food industry. And then along comes a book by a food blogger and passionate cook, that manages to rekindle some hidden memories about food you had enjoyed in your childhood or a dish that was lovingly spoken about by a friend.

The Best Kept Secrets project began with Perzen inviting food bloggers to share Indian regional recipes that had a wee bit of secret to in their preparation. Of the 30 entries she received, she shortlisted 16 and then posted them on her blog for an online voting process. The 10 recipes that bagged the maximum votes were chosen for inclusion in the ebook. What’s surprising is that Perzen managed to organize this crowd-sourcing initiative in just a Perzen Patel manages to pull this off month – January of 2014! with her crowd-sourced ebook ‘Best Kept Secrets’. Her tryst with writing A Worthy Effort her own cookbook is one that many ‘Best Kept Secrets’ is an admirable aspiring chefs and foodies dream cookbook, especially if one were about. That she was able to bring to keep in mind that it has been it out is an achievement in itself, considering most of us are still busy created by a 26-year old marketing professional who took up cooking trying out different cuisines (and writing those never-ending reviews as a passion and has since managed to amass a good number of followon a zillion restaurant portals). The challenge is also in reaching a ers for her blog, titled www.bawizenith of culinary class, to be con- While the ebook excels fident of converting all that day-to- in endearing stories about food and day experimentation into a present- dishes from all over India, it also able, palatable ebook worth sharing illuminates how ingredient proporwith other food aficionados. tions have changed over the years.

Till a few decades ago, meals were made specifically for lunch or dinner. Everything was consumed on the same day. Back then, few possessed refrigerators that encourage the indulgence of ‘leftovers’, a legacy we sadly seem to be passing on to our children. Much of our cooking today is designed with the idea to clear the fridge or reuse leftover ingredients – rather than procure fresh produce and cook them while they are still fresh. Most dishes presented in the ebook contain ingredients that we already have in the kitchen, or are easily available at the local baniyaji. I loved the part about the proportions in each recipe. The writing style is free flowing, with minimal grammatical mistakes – another thumbs-up for the effort from a person without a media background or knowledge of publishing books. The font is also easy on the eyes, as I found out not only on my laptop, but also my iPad.

Best Kept Secrets UNRAVELLED


Perzen Patel, aka Bawi Bride as she is more popularly known courtesy her blog, started a ‘Best Kept Secrets’ project. This ebook carries recipes from food bloggers; recipes that had been handed down to them by their families or acquaintances.CaLDRON Here’sMagazine a look at April 2014 the revelation of these secrets.

BOOKED Many Hits, Some Misses The stories that accompany most recipes were absolutely delightful. The origin, region, era and context of a recipe are succinctly captured in those lovely snippets of history. Everyone will want to try at least one of the easy-to-cook recipes inside, and feel proud to have relived a piece of our country’s rich culinary legacy.

to. It confuses one while trying out the recipe, because one can’t be sure if the end result should be a reflection of the accompanying photo or not.

The book design deserves a mention - simplistic, yet profound. All the goodness within this virtual coffee table tome is scripted with the occasional splash of red, reminiscent of grandma’s homemade pickle jar. Best The only thing we would have liked better in the ebook Kept Secrets is much akin to that pickle; nurtured with was the quality of the photos. While we are aware that love and care until it is ready to be shared with the most of them are photos clicked by novice food blog- world - and we love it! And if you want to know what gers who are more passionate about cooking than click- we are talking about , download the free ebook from, an evocative photo goes a long way in tempting crets/. ■ one to try out a recipe. For instance, in the case of the Kosha Mangsho, the texture of the mutton is hardly discernible, while the redness of the fish slices in Ilish Bhanpe creates an illusion that the fish hasn’t been cooked as well as it ought

- Shreenivas Gadewar

"With Best Kept Secrets, the idea was to curate a book rather than author the entire book myself” - Perzen Patel Who doesn’t like secrets, especially those of a culinary nature? Perzen Patel tells Vinita Bhatia why she decided to come up with the ‘Best Kept Secrets’ project, which debuted with a compilation of almost-forgotten recipes. And she promises better things are underfoot in the project, going forward. Vinita Bhatia (VB): How did you become interested in food blogging? Perzen Patel (PP): I always knew I wanted to build a career around food, and it was one of the reasons my family moved to New Zealand in 2000, as there weren’t many good hospitality colleges in India. There I came to be known as the Continental chef, and as someone always eager to whip up dips, pastas, baked dishes. After my marriage I decided to learn Parsi cooking. Regular secret calls to my mom in NZ at midnight wasn’t the best option and I realized there were hardly any trusted online resources to learn Parsi food. Given the rate at which Irani cafes were dying out, I worried that soon the history and stories behind Parsi food would be lost if someone didn’t do something about it. With Bawi Bride I tried to docuCaLDRON Magazine April 2014

ment my quest to master Parsi food, and its former glory. One month into my journey, my husband and readers convinced me that simply writing about Parsi food wasn’t enough and that I should start feeding it to others too. That’s how the Bawi Bride Kitchen started. Today, I cater Parsi delicacies as well as dips and desserts, organize personalised cooking classes and host Parsi meals at my home.

digital version every quarter and then hopefully roll out a physical version later. The first edition was free, while the next ones will come at a nominal cost to make the project sustainable. Now, I am planning to come up with the second edition, which will be on the theme of eggs.

VB: But since you specialize in Parsi cuisine why didn’t you make that your theme for the ebook? VB: And how did the Best Kept PP: While publishing a book on Parsi Secrets project come about? cuisine is my ultimate goal, I am still PP: Folks often have secret recipes, learning and testing Parsi recipes mypassed on from generation to genera- self, so it will be a while away. With tion, which aren’t made public. It’s not Best Kept Secrets, the idea was to merely the recipes that are interesting, curate a book rather than author the entire book myself. but also the history and memories associated with them. The Best Kept - Vinita Bhatia Secrets project was an attempt to document these secrets. I plan to release a 47



Stumped about a dish that did not turn out right? Unsure about trying out a particular recipe? Let our expert chefs guide you through all your cooking dilemmas so that you can create the dish of your dreams.


45-year old Chef Sanjay Mitra started his career with the Oberoi Grand in Kolkata. He trained under chefs like Chef MJ Brando and Chef David Wong to better appreciate Chinese cuisine, and fine tuned his understanding of Thai cuisine by training under award winning Chef Chitlada Tapradith from Thailand. He has also travelled to Shenzhen and Hong Kong to further his knowledge of Oriental cuisine. Chef Sanjay launched the Italian restaurant Favola and later moved onto the Sheraton Hotel in Udaipur where he launched the city’s first Chinese restaurant called ‘Wok by the Lake’. He is currently the Executive Chef of The Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Pune.


made a cheesecake but I did not add any cream cheese. Instead, I substituted it with some hung curd. The cheesecake tasted amazing, but it wasn’t creamy enough. How can I keep a cheesecake low on fat but improve its texture? Priajit Sandhu A: Making cheesecake with hung curd is a super idea. However, you cannot make it creamy and keep it low on fat at the same time. The only way to increase its creaminess is to use buffalo milk or high fat content milk when you make the curd. On the other hand, if you want to keep it low on fat, then use milk with low fat content to make the curd. The texture can be improved by creaming the hung curd well on a marble work surface with the heel of your hands. ■


came across a terracotta pressure cooker at a neighborhood shop. I was tempted to buy it. My husband was a little skeptical about the pressure gauge

and worried about it exploding. So, I decided not to buy it. I want to know if this is a safe product to invest in. Arpitha Shankar


y cook burnt the bottom of my favorite enamelled Le Creuset pot. How do I clean it without ruining the enamel? Is it enough to soak it in baking soda? A: Look for a safety seal on Jyotsna Kaur Habibullah the product to ensure that it has passed the requisite A: Le Creuset pots are ususafety test and has been cer- ally made with cast iron or stainless steel, hence there tified by the right authoris no danger in cleaning ity. Since it is a terracotta it as you please. Soaking utensil, it is possible that the safety valve will not get it with dish detergent and a proper seal. At the most, water and cleaning it with Scotch-Brite should do the pressure cooker will crack if unable to withhold the trick, but give it good soaking time. You can also the pressure within. Incitry Easy-Off oven cleaner dentally, if the terracotta to get better results. Just pressure cooker is glazed from the inside, the taste of ensure that it is not glazed the food you cook will be clay pot cookware. ■ super. ■ s it possible to make have a packet of samGajar Ka Halwa without bhar onions. Can some- milk?? one suggest what else can Dhanshree Arora I make with them besides sambhar? A: Yes and no. You have to Sunita Tainwala Pradhan use some form of milk. You can cook the grated carrot A: Pickle them in malt with sugar and little water vinegar and use them as till soft, and then add khoya an accompaniment to the or mawa, which is reduced Indian food you cook. ■ milk. Finish with cardamom powder and ghee. ■



CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



tried making a mango popsicle. After freezing for about four hours, I removed it from the mold but it did not come out in single piece. Where am I going wrong?? Vidya Lohith A: You need to use a water and sugar solution as a base for making popsicles before adding the flavouring. The reason your popsicle did not de-mould as a single piece is because you added more fruit pulp and reduced the water quantity. Next time, try using just sugar, water and lime juice and freeze this solution. While de-moulding, rub the mould between the palms of your hands before attempting to pull it out. Alternatively, hold the moulds under cold running water prior to de-moulding. Once you perfect the art of demoulding, start using flavourings or fruit pulp in reduced quantity. ■


made ghee at home. What should I do with the leftover brown residue, which I think is

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

called khoya. Is it of any use or should I just throw it in the dustbin? Shubhra Rawlins


an you tell me how to bake a perfect eggless cake in the microwave? I tried to bake one for 25 minutes at convection mode, but it became sticky instead of turning A: I presume you made ghee by fluffy? cooking malai or cream from milk. Nidhi Vishnoi Sharma The brown residue is not khoya – it is just leftover milk solids. You can A: Each microwave has different discard these solids if they are in settings and you’ll have to expersmall quantities. Or you could add iment a bit. I suggest you avoid them to steamed rice with a little using the convection mode and salt; it will taste like crunchy ghee opt for the eggless cake pre-mix rice. You can use these solids to readily available in the market, till make ladoos with flour or lentils you understand the setting of your – it will come out super with an microwave. Your baking time is unexpected crunch. ■ quite high. In your current recipe, incorporate lot of air by vigorouslease help me with the correct ly beating the mix before you add the fat and then instantly bake for proportion of rice and urad three minutes on high. Also, try dal for making dosas at home. I reducing the sugar content, which goof up every time! is rendering it sticky. Instead, blend Archita Chanda Ray the butter sugar and water very well A: Use 225g parboiled rice, 75g of separately, before you add the milk basmati rice and 150g of urad dal. with baking soda. Lastly, add the flour sieved with baking powder Soak it with ½ tsp of fenugreek and vanilla essence. Try to fold in seeds. ■ the flour quickly before you bake. ■




Karen Anand's

Farmers' Market Comes To Town

Karen Anand's Farmers' Market might not fit the definition of a marketplace where local produce growers showcase their wares. It was too posh, with the presence of fine-dine restaurants rather than desi planters, but a visit was nonetheless a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon with family.


hat the Farmers’ Market at The Westin was not for everyone was fairly clear from the choice of its venue. As a concept, farmer’s market is not very Indian or very defined. So, I found myself, as did many others, questioning its viability, purpose and objective.

give and take, buy and sell. The purpose of such an event is to bring certain products to the forefront, especially those that do not have a store or even a shelf in a store. After all, the objective was to a have a nice Sunday of family, friends, browsing and fun. Having found these answers within, I was able to have a much better time at the Farmers’ Market by Karen Anand, Since I did not ask anyone this question, here is my deduction. held on a sunny Sunday at The Viability is why we indulge in enter- Westin, Gurgaon. Spread spiraling around the pool, gardens and prise to begin with: quid pro quo,

Prego, the Italian fine dining, it was a bit of a mela of food – how can one not love that? A Skewed Mix The products at the farmer’s market were a slightly skewed mix of indie and commercial produce. However, if one had a keen eye for food, there was plenty to tuck in and to take home. I steered clear of commercial wines, snacks and sadly, the readyto-serve stalls too.

Karen Anand at the Farmers' Market


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


Pretzels and more for the taking

No one had come forth with a cooked/meal product for the day, except the usual suspects of our neighbouring Delhi. Most of these were fine-dine options, so I figured if I had to have a burger, I could hop into the comfort of Seasonal Tastes in Westin and enjoy it in the serenity of space and the comfort of air conditioning. Did I mention it was an unusually warm day? Here is what I found and loved. Chocolates – beautiful, fine, gourmet, fantastically priced chocolates by Sugarama, based out of New Delhi. These had a ganache filling of Callebaut and a shell of Callebaut too! The variants were fun and experimental and some tried and tested, but done very well either way. I especially loved the rum, star anise and strawberry chilli, where the chilli is a bear hug just for your throat a few seconds into swallowing the lovely strawberry ganache. My eight-year old however loved the ginger one. I’m was also thrilled with the Jalapeno Pickle I bought from Bela’s Spice Jar, which was enthusiastically sold to me by a very charming gentleman, who had the salesmanship to offer me a smaller jar when he CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

saw me contemplating the size of the one displayed. The pickle was lovely, juicy, red jalapeno bits with a bit of crunch still left in them, in an Indian-style masala; kind of Goan actually! It went very well on toast, with mutton curry and even with a round of pepper sambar. Then I bumped into some more dessert, Frugurpops by The Gourmet Factory, which had fun, fresh fruit popsicles. These came in dramatic flavours like Strawberry

Part of me missed the fresh produce and artisan products that one associates with farmers’ markets. At the same time, given the skewed certification and the presence of too many independent players, how safe is it to showcase products that don’t have much of a precedent?

Cheesecake, Mojito and Chocolate Oreo, though the kid and I had the gorgeous Strawberry-Kiwi. For home products, I found an adorable pottery jug from Desi Origins Store based out of Gurgaon. Wish I had carried more money, there was a ceramic tray that was meant for my kitchen! Playing Safe for Lunch For lunch, we decided it would be a good idea to play it safe. We enjoyed a round of Pad Thai and Dim Sum from the Eest stall, which is Westin’s signature Asian restaurant that served up very chic Asian fare. I also tried the Bratwurst with Mash from another vendor, but I could not get its name. Part of me missed the fresh produce and artisan products that one associates with farmers’ markets. At the same time, given the skewed certification and the presence of too many independent players, how safe is it to showcase products that don’t have much of a precedent? That is a question to ponder, whenever one debates the pedigree of a farmer’s market in India. ■ - Parul Pratap Shirazi 51


The inaugural 23-day Dubai Food Festival solidified United Arab Emirate’s position as a burgeoning culinary capital. Visitors enjoyed over 11 major events, countless activities, and promotions from over 700 participating restaurants.

Dubai Food Festival 2014:


Savouring Success

s the Dubai Food Festival drew to a close on 15th March, 2014 with the Taste of Dubai, organisers of the inaugural Dubai Food Festival (DFF) declared the 23-day event to be a grand and gourmet success. Organised by Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), the DFF was a citywide celebration that saw over 11 key events, 26 international chefs, and over 700 restaurants host, and participate, in a range of food-related events, tastings, activations and promotions. Appealing to both residents and visitors, it showcased the diversi-


ty of the Emirate’s culinary offer with cuisines inspired by the 5400 restaurants operating in the city, and the over 200 nationalities who call it home. Along with solidifying the Emirate’s profile as a burgeoning gastronomy destination and contributing to the further development of its fast growing food and restaurant sector, the festival also further enhanced Dubai’s dynamic destination offer – adding a new annual event for residents and visitors to enjoy. Her Excellency Laila Mohammed Suhail, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, said, “The inaugural DFF was a true demonstration of the Emirate’s ascension as a vibrant and

unique culinary capital. It provided a platform to showcase and demonstrate our rapidly expanding food and restaurant sector, as it also established yet another compelling reason for Dubai residents to celebrate, and international guests to visit. The success of the inaugural Dubai Food Festival is not only testament to our extraordinary gastronomy offer, but also the tireless dedication of our partners and the unparalleled professionalism and creativity of the local food and hospitality industry.” Starting on 21 February, 2014 with the new Dubai Food Carnival, and ending on 15th March, 2014, with the Taste of Dubai, the Dubai Food Festival saw a diverse array CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

EVENTS - INTERNATIONAL Everyone in on the Action Restaurants, malls and hypermarkets across Dubai also got in on the appetising action with a series of activities and specials. Over 700 restaurants, ranging from the fivestar Blue Jade, to chic yet casual cafés such as Bateel Café, created special set menus and special dining promotions to celebrate the inaugural Festival. Malls, including Interesting Event Lineup Dubai Mall and Deira City Centre Events also adding specific culinary organized 10 in-mall shows as they themes in celebration of Dubai Food Festival were the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2014, Gulf Photo Plus 2014, Global Village with their Global BarbeOver 700 restaurants, que Fiesta, and the Dubai International Boat Show. Also new, and ranging from the fivea first for Dubai, was the popular star Blue Jade, to Dubai Food Festival Beach Canchic yet casual cafés teen, which took place on city beaches between 27th February such as Bateel Café, and 8th March. Beach Canteen created special set saw 16 restaurants ‘pop-up’ to create three tempting yet tempomenus and special rary dining districts on Jumeirah dining promotions 1 Open Beach, Sunset Beach and Kite Beach. to celebrate the of over 11 consumer and industry events take place across the city throughout February and March. Along with the opening and closing events, key Dubai Food Festival events included Gulfood, the Grand Kerala Festival, The Big Grill, The Taste of Peru, and the Global Restaurant Investment Forum (GRIF).

Co-op or Lulu, during Dubai Food Festival, had the chance weekly to win a slice of the 1.2 Million AED worth of prizes up for grabs. Establishing a lasting legacy beyond its 23-day run, the Dubai Food Festival also launched the Dubai Food Festival Gourmet Trail, during the Festival’s second week. Demonstrating the diversity and vibrancy of Dubai’s gastronomic credentials, and designed to share insight with residents and visitors alike, the Gourmet Trail maps a small yet outstanding sampling of the over 5400 restaurants, bistros, canteens and cafés that operate in the Emirate. With over 100 restaurants, representing some of the most unique and best Arabic, world, 5-star, low-cost and secret dining experiences available in Dubai, the Trail was a collaboration between Dubai Food Festival and the who’s who of the Emirate’s vibrant food blogging community including well-known food bloggers Shaikha Al Ali of When Shaikha Cooks, Samantha Wood of FooDiva, Sarah Walton of The Hedonista, Tala Soubra of Fork it Over Dubai, Saba Wahid of Culinary Delights, and Karen McLean of Secret Squirrel Food. ■

Adding star power to the Festival’s inaugural Dubai Food full calendar of events includFestival. ing Dubai Food Carnival, GRIF and Taste of Dubai, were over 26 international and celebrity chefs. Representing cuisines from around the world, these award-win- also gave shoppers the opportuni- CaLDRON Team ning culinary superstars included ty to experience diverse cuisines such well-known names as British at food court outlets as well as the Chef, Silvena Rowe; French Chef, opportunity to win grand gourmet Jean Christophe Novelli; Food experiences. Are you organising an event in your Network Channel personality, Reza city / country? Mail our Listings Mahammad; Australian power pair, 60 branches of the UAE’s leading Editor the details, with pictures at Greg and Lucy Malouf; Queen of hypermarket chains also ran unique It will be the Arabic Kitchen, Egyptian Chef, promotions designed to reward featured on our website and may be Manal Al Alem; Lebanon’s Chef of shoppers at all their Dubai-based included in CaLDRON Magazine the Year 2013, Maroun Chedid; and outlets. Shoppers spending AED too. Indian TV star, Sanjeev Kapoor. 250 at Spinneys, Carrefour, Union CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



How To

Poach the Perfect


Poaching an egg perfectly is tricky, but not impossible. Let us show you how to achieve this feat with minimal chances of failure.


oaching an egg well is still the subject matter of not a little voodoo. The method described here is something I do at home, very often, which results in perfect eggs every time, unless I decide to experiment. This is, however, not as much the result of my experiments as it is the result of reading the right people. Apart from many sources, the single, most useful tips came from Chef Heston Blumenthal. You’ll see many methods being shown on TV – the whirlpool technique, the bubbles technique, the vinegar technique and so on. I’ve tried ‘em all. None work for me as well as this. Step 1: Choose Your Egg Fresh eggs have thick albumen. Older eggs have thinner albumen that becomes thinner as time pass-


es. Put a thin fluid into hot water and it goes all over the place. So, choose fresh eggs, and then strain them a little, so the thin albumen is drained out (use it later when frying eggs) and only the yolk, surrounded by thick, thick albumen remains.

bowl. Keep it there for 3 to 4 minutes and then taken out with a slotted spoon to drain the water.

Step 4: Serve There are many ways to serve poached eggs. • Pour over Hollandaise sauce • Serve over chili mayo (as in the picture) Step 2: Heat The Water • Serve in whipped, garlic yogurt; I use an induction cooktop these drizzle over melted butter / olive days and usually heat a saucepan on oil (Turkish, Chilber) 2100 watts till it is bubbling away • Serve with freshly cracked black merrily. I then reduce the power pepper, sea salt and a drizzle of to 600W and slip a tiny heatproof, extra virgin olive oil ceramic bowl into the water, submerging it. You can also place an That’s it. As you can see, there upturned plate within, the point being to shield the egg from direct s no witchcraft, rituals or lamb sacrifices are involved in poaching the heat. perfect egg. Aren’t you glad? ■ Step 3: Cook The Egg - Sid Khullar Slide the egg yolk with the thick, thick albumen into the submerged CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



“The secret of good Thai food is balancing spiciness, sweetness and saltiness by using the right kind of herbs” - Chef

Naowarat Charoenwong Chef Naowarat Charoenwong hosted the ‘Taste of Thailand’ food festival at Sofitel Mumbai BKC in March, 2014, to acquaint guests with the taste of traditional Thai food. Vinita Bhatia met up with her to learn the uniqueness of conventional Thai cuisine and the similarities it shares with Indian food. Chef Naowarat Charoenwong


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

KITCHEN KIN - INTERNATIONAL Vinita Bhatia (VB): It is interesting to note that there are a lot more female chefs in the industry today as compared to earlier, especially in countries like Thailand where traditionally men wielded the kitchen knifes in restaurants. So, why did you decide to become a chef? Naowarat Charoenwong (NC): I think I got the inspiration from my Over the past eight years, Chef mother who was an excellent cook. Naowarat, or Nana as she is fondly Our weekends would be spent called, has worked in the Arma Thai entertaining family and friends who Restaurant, Blue Ocean Restaurant, kept coming back for more. What Red Snapper Restaurant and Chom was unique about her cooking was Talay Restaurant across Bali and the authentic recipes handed down Krabi. As the Thai Culinary Special- to her from her mother. She also ist at Sofitel Phokeethra Krabi Golf had a passion for cooking and had and Spa Resort, she realized that the knack to innovate and play while people enjoy Thai food, they with ingredients, giving dishes new often did not get the chance to enjoy meaning. traditional Thai fare. Therefore, she decided that while hosting the I used to assist my mom from a ‘Taste of Thailand’ food festival at very young age. She taught me a lot Sofitel Mumbai BKC, she’d use only of tricks and tips, which I realized conventional Thai herbs and spices could easily be used at a profesin the dishes, so that people could sional level, if I decided to pursue a appreciate the subtle fiery flavors of culinary career. More importantly I this cuisine. enjoyed cooking too, so I figured During her first job at Chaweng Regent Beach Resort, Chef Naowarat Charoenwong spent long hours chopping and assembling vegetables, mopping floors, cleaning cooking counters and doing everything, except active cooking. This is where she learnt an important lesson, which she still follows religiously – always keep your workspace clean.

I would rather select a career that I enjoyed. As time passed by, my teachers at the Dusit Thani College were equally motivating. And then Chef Indrajit Saha, Executive Chef of Sofitel Mumbai BKC, who used to be our chef at Sofitel Phokeethra Krabi, was a great role model from whom I learnt a lot. VB: How did you land your first job as a chef? NC: I completed my Bachelors in Business Administration from Dusit Thani College in Bangkok Thailand, specialising in Kitchen and Restaurant Management. I was fortunate to be selected through on campus recruitment for my first assignment as Trainee in the Hot Kitchen of Chom Talay Restaurant (Chaweng Regent Beach Resort) where I trained and learnt the basics. This acted as the foundation for my culinary career. I then moved to various restaurants and hotels across Thailand, climbing up the ranks and honing my culinary skills.

Som Tam (Raw Papaya Salad)

This salad, bursting with flavor and color, is super easy to prepare. Preparation time: 20 minutes ◉ Cooking time: 10 minutes ◉ Serves: 2 Ingredients: • 300 gm raw papaya, julienned • 20 gm small green chillies • 10 gm garlic • 50 gm cherry tomatoes, halved • 50 gm long beans • 40 gm peanuts, roasted and crushed

Thai Seafood Sauce • 10 gm big red chilies • 20 gm garlic • 10 gm coriander • 100 ml light soya sauce • 100 ml lemon juice • 70 gm palm sugar

Method: 1. Make a fish sauce by mixing all the ingredients. Keep aside. 2. Take a mortar and pestle and crush garlic, green chillies and long beans. 3. Toss the raw papaya and tomatoes with the crushed ingredients. Add the Thai Seafood Sauce over this. 4. Garnish with coriander and crushed roasted peanuts CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


KITCHEN KIN - INTERNATIONAL My first role involved learning the basis of kitchen operations including preparing the food for the day’s menu; retrieving food items from the fridge or freezer; washing, peeling and cutting food items like fruits, vegetables, or certain types of meats. Then I would also have to mix ingredients for salads; portion or wrap food items or dishes; store food in containers and in the fridge or freezer, weigh or measure ingredients (e.g., flour, salt, sugar, oil); refill kitchen condiment bottles and shakers; stack and store food supplies, equipment, or other utensils in the kitchen. Then I would wipe down the kitchen surfaces using proper sanitizers, clean used kitchenware or dishes; clean the kitchen floor and collecting dirt and debris in a dustpan, empty out the dustpan in the garbage or squeeze out the mop into a bucket. These are very basic tasks but it laid the foundation for me to understand the need

know how to balance between hot basil and sweet basil, because both have unique flavors. However, the cuisine is now trending towards molecular gastronomy; the modern VB: There is a lot of interest about interpretation while not unusual, gives it a refreshing twist. Thai food in India. However, as with any cuisine that gains popularity, most know only a few dish- VB: What was your most vives from the country like the Satay id memory of your first visit to Kai and Thai Green Curry. What India? aspects of Thai cuisine would you NC: I visited India for the first time for the Thai food festival at Sofitel like to educate diners about? Mumbai BKC. I found India very NC: Known for its balance of flavours between sweet, salty, sour and hospitable and the people very friendly. I tried some local food bitter, the main elements of Thai here such as Pani Puri and Pav food - cilantro, lemongrass, Thai Bhaji and really liked it. The food basil, mint, etc. - remain eternal. These traditional herbs and spices here is very different to my food are still used to provide that zing to back home but the spices are so well infused that they make for a delecour cuisine. table treat. The secret of good Thai food is balancing spiciness, sweetness and In Thailand, I was exposed to Indian cuisine since lot of Indian destisaltiness by using the right kind of herbs. For instance, one should nation weddings take place there. to maintain a clean and hygienic workspace, which is fundamental to the operations of a good quality kitchen.

Spaghetti Phad Krapaw Seafood

This stir fried spaghetti with hot basil is a simple preparation and you can add a healthy touch to it by tossing in some seafood. Preparation time: 20 minutes ◉ Cooking time: 20 minutes ◉ Serves: 2 Ingredients: • 120 gm spaghetti • 10 ml oil • 15 gm garlic • 10 gm small green chillies • 50 gm baby corn

• • • • •

50 gm red capsicum 10 gm Thai hot basil 50 gm prawns, medium-sized 75 gm snapper fillets 50 gm calamari

• • • • •

15 ml Thai fish sauce 25 ml oyster sauce 4 gm green peppercorn 10 ml light soy sauce 10 ml dark soy sauce

Method: 1. Boil the spaghetti and keep ready. 2. Take oil in a wok. Sauté garlic, green chillies, capsicum and baby corn for a couple of minutes. 3. Add the seafood and stir fry again with oyster sauce, light and dark soy sauce 4. Add the spaghetti in the wok and mix well. 5. Arrange this on a serving plate and garnish with Thai hot basil and green peppercorns.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

KITCHEN KIN - INTERNATIONAL Chef Naowarat Charoenwong

was the best Thai food he had ever had and wanted to set up a Thai restaurant with me.

VB: People are increasingly going back to traditional ways of cooking, and using fresh produce. What do you think about this movement? NC: People today are much more experimental when it comes to trying out varied cuisines, because they have travelled a lot and are aware of the different tastes and cuisines available. They seek the same cuisines when they come back, which has opened a wide gangway for global flavours. Today’s generation doesn’t just limit itself to the taste of food alone. Instead, they place equal emphasis on the presentation of dishes and the experience one garners through any restaurant. I too like to use fresh ingredients and make So, I was able to connect with the iment with different foods. Thai sure they are thoroughly cleaned Indian culture a little easier. These food shares a lot in common with as you should be able to savour the weddings have lavish menus so I Indian food, as we use lot of spices fragrance, freshness and taste in was able to get a glimpse of the vast in our food as well, only it’s slightly every bite. I believe that Thai food array of Indian cuisine on offer. different from what goes into Indi- is best relished in its simplicity and an food. I found that Thai food is authenticity. ■ VB: What is your most vivid well accepted in India and as more memory of your trip to Mumbai? people are getting health conscious, - Vinita Bhatia NC: My most vivid memory was the demand for good Thai food is Recipes Courtesy: to see how despite being such a going to rise. Chef Naowarat Charoenwong fast paced city, people still made time to come together to dine and VB: Describe your experience experience new cuisines such as the cooking traditional Thai food at ‘Did you know? The most exTastes of Thailand Festival at Sofitel Sofitel Mumbai BKC’s Thai food pensive coffee in the world, Mumbai BKC. It’s very heartwarm- festival. Kopi Luwak, comes from the ing to see families unite and spend NC: I ensured that my recipes time together savouring meals and remain authentic. I also added a few poop of a cat-sized mammal bonding. secret spices that my mother had called civet. Civets are fed taught me, which greatly enhanced the finest ripe berries and VB: Do you think there are any the taste of the dish. The best their partially digested excresimilarities between Indian cuicompliment I received while I was ta is harvested and sold for sine and Thai? cooking at Sofitel Mumbai BKC’s anything between US$200 to NC: I find that people in India love Thai food festival was when a guest eating and are not afraid to exper- asked to see me and said that this US$ 700!’ CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



“Happy People Make Happy Food” - Chef

Sam Wong


est, the Pan Asian restaurant at Westin started out on a great foot. Their sushi buffet was the talk of the town at one point and many were the mavens for this gorgeous restaurant. Then came a slump. It was unclear whether it was the influx of Asian fine dining options in New Delhi or whether the novelty of Pan-Asian cuisine had worn off. But now it is time for a revival. With a bevy of new chefs, from the country of the cuisine they represent, it is time to take note of Eest once again. Parul Pratap Shirazi had the opportunity to meet Chef Sam Wong, the new Chinese Chefde-Cuisine for Eest and came back impressed by his enthusiasm and positivity. Parul Shirazi (PS): How would you chart your culinary footsteps in New Delhi?


If you want to enjoy a fabulous dinner of Chinese and Japanese dishes, a place where you can savor salmon and tuna sashimi blindly, then Eest, the Pan Asian restaurant at Westin, with Chef Sam Wong at the helm, is the place to be. Sam Wong (SW): I have been in and out of India for 13 years, between Bombay and Delhi, therefore Delhi is like a second home. Before I joined the Westin team, I was with Crowne Plaza Today in Okhla as part of their pre-opening team. Before that I was on the opening team at Westin, Sohna. But what really made me strong was that I started my career in India with The Oberoi Hotels. 13 years ago, Taipan at the Oberoi was one of the best Asian restaurants, and that was my foundation here. I learned from the locals on how to improve myself.

“Initially when I came to India, nothing was happening on the culinary scene. Now you see India growing and in so many ways, it is better than Singapore. That is why I came here.” Chef Sam Wong

PS: That’s interesting, but how did India happen for you? SW: Initially when I came to India, nothing was happening on the culinary scene. Now you see India growing and in so many ways, it CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

KITCHEN KIN is better than Singapore. That is why I came here. The country is cosmopolitan, people are travelling more and they want to try different things. They know Chinese and Italian food and they sometimes understand it better than most chefs! We can’t fool them. So, we have to concentrate on all aspects of the cuisine. PS: So do you see seasoned travelers who are your guests as a challenge? SW: It gives me the opportunity to work on my cuisine better. I have to be better than their expectations. PS: But, do you think it’s unfair when locals want a cuisine tweaked to suit their palate? SW: No, for me it is fine. I know a dish has to be a certain way. But if a guest wishes for it to be say, more spicy, I will do that. The flavours remain the same, so the authenticity

Double Cooked Braised Belgian Pork Belly

Ingredients: • 250 gm Belgian pork belly • 10 gm garlic, chopped • 50 gm broccoli florets • 40 gm snow peas de string • 30 gm asparagus, cut into 6-cm

• • • •

strips 10 ml oyster sauce 5ml dark soy sauce 5 ml light soy sauce 2gm chicken broth powder

• 120 ml basic clear stock • 10 gm potato starch, diluted • 10 gm chilli bean sauce

Method: 1. Bring the pork belly to a boil for 30 minutes. Remove and strain. 2. In a wok, sweat away the fats of the belly. Remove and blanch with hot water. 3. In another pan, sauté garlic in some oil. 4. Add all the vegetables, stock, broth powder as well as the sauces and bring to a boil. 5. Pour in the pork belly and braise for three minutes. Add the potato starch and mix well. 6. Serve with some garnishing of chopped spring onions on top. CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



Sam Wong with some Maiko performers

is maintained. I know if I see a Japanese guest, I will automatically make it less spicy. PS: How has your guest experience in Delhi and NCR been? SW: I feel The Westin, Gurgaon is amazing because we have a very diverse clientele, which gives me an opportunity to serve different kinds of people. If I compare it with my previous experiences, it is very cosmopolitan. For instance, we have guests from elite airlines who know their cuisines, and then we hosted a conference for the University of Singapore – two disparate set of guests, but each who are discerning in their own ways. That makes us more vibrant. We have people coming from all walks of life. You see the Japanese, 62

they like it a bit more quiet, so we have provisions like private dining areas dotted around Eest itself. The restaurant offers you privacy of all kinds. PS: Have you made changes to the menu as yet? SW: Ever since I joined, I have been implementing new dishes. We started the Chef ’s Special Menu with Chinese, Thai and Japanese dishes. PS: That’s great, chef, but what do you like to eat? SW: (laughs) I like Malai Tikka, because I had never tried anything like it. The marination is super, they use cheese and there are so many procedures to marinating – rest the marinade for few hours, then another process of marinating. They use cashew paste for binding. The

process itself is fascinating, so many levels. PS: What changes have you planned for Eest? SW: I am working very closely with my Japanese and Thai chefs so our guests can expect something new every quarter. These include Chef ’s Special Menu, Unlimited Sushi and Sashimi on Thursday nights and we also tried some new dishes. Guest experience is important to us so we have also planned a tasting menu, a combined experience of three Asian cuisines all under one roof. It is done in courses, so guests can try our menu in one meal. Now isn’t that a plan? ■ - Parul Pratap Shirazi Recipe Courtesy: Chef Sam Wong

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014





It is the season where mangoes will flood the markets. You can’t visit a fruit seller without bumping into these golden globes. And while mangoes manage to find their way to the dinner table effortlessly why should it not feature on your bar menu when you are entertaining guests? Here are some easy recipes to help you come up with some cocktails that will mesmerize your visitors.

Mango Margarita

Who does not like a margarita? And who does not like mangoes? So it’s a nobrainer that a combination of the two will be a hit. Here’s a recipe for Mango Margarita from Pebbles Seafood Restaurant to help you get this cocktail going. Serves: 4 Ingredients: • 1 ¼ cup mango cubes • 1 tbsp coarse sugar • 1 tsp lime juice • ¾ cup Triple Sec

• • • •

¾ cup tequila ¼ cup crushed ice ¼ cup granulated sugar 1 lime, for zesting

Method: 1. Begin by zesting the limes. 2. Pour the coarse sugar over the lime zest and toss with your fingers to combine. Set aside. 3. In blender add mango cubes, ice, tequila, triple sec, granulated sugar and lime juice. Blend until completely smooth, adding more ice if necessary to get it the consistency you want. 4. Use a piece of lime to moisten the rim of the glasses. Dip the rims of the glasses in the lime sugar that was prepared earlier. 5. Pour the drinks and serve them immediately.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


Bangkok Thailand

A bold and adventurous blend of Grey Goose L’Orange flavored vodka and Noilly Prat Original French Dry Vermouth, accented by juicy mango and the savory notes of red chili and coriander leaves. Ingredients: • 1 ½ parts Grey Goose L'Orange • 1 red chili, deseeded • ⅓ parts Noilly Prat Original French • 3 coriander leaves Dry Vermouth • ⅓ parts simple syrup • 1 ½ parts Alphonso mango, juiced Method: 1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the coriander leaves, mango and chili. For a more subtle mango flavor, cut the mango into pieces and shake without muddling. 2. Add syrup, vermouth and vodka, then shake vigorously before finely straining. 3. Serve in a martini glass.

Mango Collins

This cocktail is a refreshing take on the classic Tom Collins. Ingredients: • 1.5 oz Vodka • .5 oz Mandarine Napoléon • 3 oz Mango nectar

• 1 oz Fresh lemon juice • Club soda

Method: 1. Add all ingredients except the soda to a shaker and fill with ice. 2. Shake well. 3. Strain into a glass filled with ice. 4. Top with club soda and garnish with a mango slice.

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



Making A Career In

FOOD Styling With the number of food channels abounding in media – be it print, digital or broadcasting – food styling is a lucrative career option. Making food look appealing and appetising is no longer a satisfying creative pursuit. It is a lucrative profession too, if you choose to pursue it.

Chef Michael Swamy believes that the profession of a food stylist is ideally suited for those who are truly passionate about food, and who do not merely view it as a money-making affair.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



hen I started work- for his client or for the consumer. ing in the food They have to make the food look industry in India appealing, natural and not too and later overseas, I A food stylist aims always focused on making the food I served to my guests look appealto bring out the ing. After all, one devours food best in a product with their eyes before they savor it on their tastebuds. It was during or produce either my stint at the Le Cordon Bleu for his client or for academy in London that I stumbled across a book on food styling, the consumer. They which piqued my interest in this have to make the specialisation. It was then that I realised that what I was doing as a de food look appealing, rigueur act is actually a specialised natural and not too field. So, on my return to Mumbai, I decided to try my hand at profescomplicated, so that a sional food styling. It was not easy going initially, and apart from a few assignments and advertisement campaigns, my work was primarily limited to cookery books, packaging, recipe booklets as well as images to go with articles in print and digital media. Styling Indian food is especially tough, but my experience with French cuisine and pre-plating dishes using classical items and fabrics as props went a long way into shooting interesting photographs.

consumer is tempted to either buy the product or try the food.

complicated, so that a consumer is tempted to either buy the product or try the food.

Food styling is largely about communication, knowledge of the latest trends in art and design. It involves the coordinated efforts of a good photographer, a food stylist Food styling is an art form and a and sometimes a prop stylist or specialized field that relies greatart director. Often the food stylist ly on the knowledge of food, lot and his assistants handle this role of skill, oodles of creativity, meof directing and prop styling.Print ticulous craftwork and ample media companies, which bring out patience. With the burgeoning cookery books, magazines or menu interest around food, food styling cards of restaurants, rely on food has emerged as a lucrative career stylists extensively. Additionally, option, but it is best suited for those companies that offer food products who have the dedication and paalso require their services to make tience to pursue it. their products look tempting for the end consumer; be it on their What is Food Styling? packaging or marketing collateral. A food stylist aims to bring out the These days, with the emergence of best in a product or produce either television shows, food stylists are CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

required to make the food cooked by these chefs look alluring so that viewers rush into their kitchens to try out the recipes. And then there are advertisements, billboards, hoardings or food displays at competitions, etc, where a food stylist can do justice to the food. Food Styling in India Food styling as a profession is relatively new in India. So little known is this specialisation that if one were to state that they are a food stylist, they are met with incredulous looks and are asked what precisely they do for a living! Some people from the hospitality industry dabble in this stream on the side. But not many amongst them pursue it professionally, which is probably why there are few food stylists in the country. Some food bloggers do manage to capture good photos of food, but they are still a long way from professional food stylists. Most often copy other people’s ideas without using their own minds. Following ideas is one thing; but improving on them is another. Food styling is a high-pressure profession because food prepared for styling remains at its optimum best for a very short time. This is where skill and decisiveness come in. The relationship between stylist and photographer must be very close, as most photographers do not understand the chemistry of food. The logistics of the job in hand should be sorted out well before the shoot. Food styling is ill understood, and ill appreciated, in India. Major assignments come through advertising agencies, which require the representation of a concept that is 67

CULINARY MATTERS foreign in origin for an indigenous product. The agency personnel rarely understand that the intricacies involved in obtaining good results in a studio cannot be created with ad-hoc conditions.

challenge makes the job that much more interesting. I often purchase these products on my international travels, or ask my friends to buy them for me.

Resources to Rely On It is important to keep abreast of the latest in the field of food styling and photography. Some great resources I rely on include Dolores Custer who teaches this subject at the Culinary Institute of America, and John Carafoli; both have written books on food styling. I also recommend ‘Lighting for Food and Drink Photography’ by Steve BavisChallenging Tasks ter to people who are interested in As styles go, it takes a lot of creativ- this subject. ity to do justice to the loud colors of Indian food. I try to use modern Besides understanding and learning style pottery against a backdrop the art of styling, one has to learn a of antiques, blending rich Indian lot about styling for various forms fabrics with plated or pale coloured of printing and packaging, especialfood so that Indian food is present- ly by way of design and layout. As ed imaginatively. a photographer, I make it a point to keep learning about lighting, coUntil a few years ago, much of the lours, filters, lenses, camera angles styling in India was done using fake and back lighting. These aspects materials such as shaving creams, are important to a food stylist to boot polish. The laws with regard understand the food and its reacto food and advertising, though tion to light and various weather well defined, is not observed in the conditions. breach by quick-fix ad agencies etc. In recent times, however, speciality It is also imperative to learn about foodstuffs and produce are availdifferent props, like cutlery, plates, able in greater range and variety. flowers and decorative pieces, that The upmarket hospitality trade has one can use for food styling. Meetencouraged this interesting change ing with designers and producers in the colours, garnishes and styling of crockery and cutlery in addition of food. to browsing through markets for the latest collections helps one stay Yet, many international aids avail- updated about the latest props in able to stylists overseas are still vogue. unavailable here. Items like fake ice, readymade sprays, smoke A food stylist’s remuneration dechips, gels and specialised props pends on various factors, like their are difficult to come by, so one has location, their credentials, and also to innovate. At the same time, this the quality of their work. HowevOften the agency will send a subordinate or Assistant Art Director to supervise the operation, who is a novice in his own field. Thus, the process of organising and setting up a shoot requires much explaining and a waste of precious time. Worst of all, it seems there are too many cooks wanting to spoil the broth.


er, most people pursue this career initially because they are very passionate about what they can do with food and have an eye for little details. Once they perfect their skill, then money is no bar. So, do you have what it takes to become a food stylist? ■ - Michael Swamy

‘Many international aids available to stylists overseas are still unavailable in India. Items like fake ice, readymade sprays, smoke chips, gels and specialised props are difficult to come by, so one has to innovate.’

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

Cockle (Tisreo) with coconut lime curry

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014




VISITING It is that time of the year when the delicious golden globes of goodness flood the market. Yes, mangoes have begun making their annual appearance.


hat is common to Azadpur Mandi in Delhi, Crawford Market in Mumbai, APMC Market at Huskur Road in Bangalore, Koyambedu Complex in Chennai and Mechhua in Kolkata this time of year? Visit any of these and you will be greeted with the sight of cartons of mangoes piled up all over the place. Add to this TV commercials featuring Katrina Kaif seductively slurping on a luscious mango making the rounds with increasing frequency. So we know for sure that mango season has officially arrived in India. The humble mango is probably the only other thing that unites most Indians, besides their fondness for cricket and movies. Over the next couple of months, homemakers will haggle with fruit vendors to bring down the fruit’s prices, while restaurants will brazenly promote their mango-based recipes. Din-


Langra, Badami, Baneshan, Safeda, Himsagar, Kishen Bhog, Mankur, Mulgoa, Sindura, etc., which grow in different parts of India. And each have distinct use as well. Kesari Mangoes and their Diversity is ideal for preparing pulp, while Dashepuri is used for making jam That Indians love their mango is clear from the fact that it is deemed and Totapuri mango is utilized for the country’s national fruit. But did pickling. you know that there are over 400 varieties, and half the world’s man- Aslam Khan, a fruit vendor at Crawford Market, states that goes are grown in India? In fact, while locals are major India has around 30 types buyers of of mangoes, dependmangoes, ing on the region. ner tables across the country will feature at least one dish made of mango daily. Mango mania is truly here.

The most premium amongst these is the Alphonso, which originates in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Other varieties include Totapuri, Malda, Dashehari, Kesari, Raspuri, Neelum,

Photo courtesy: Bangdoll CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

COVER STORY Changing Times in Business Countries like England, Germany, Italy, Sweden and France have passed a ruling insisting that fresh produce exports adhere to new stringent guidelines on health, hygiene and durability issued by European market regulators.

However, most Indian exporters are clueless about the protocols for sending their mangoes to these pack houses. Sources in the APMC market in Navi Mumbai reveal that this year they will focus more on the exports to Gulf countries as there are many Indians there who just can’t do without their daily dose of mango. They also intend to Exporters will now have to route focus more on domestic business; their mango shipments to Europe a decision that is sweet music to only through APEDA-recognised the ears of local customers. Buyers, pack houses. Several rounds of like Anupriya Sethuraman from inspections, examinations and testing of these consignments will Chennai, are confident that they got To make it convenient for corporate be conducted at these pack houses the sweet end of this deal. When customers to gift mangoes to their following which the National Plant Anupriya makes a trip to Koyambedu Complex this year, she can get overseas clients, courier companies Protection Organisation (NPPO) like DHL Couriers and UBX Cou- will issue phytosanitary certificates her Mulgoa mangoes at much lower riers manage end-to-end logistics. qualifying them for shipment. This prices as compared to previous years. new policy has come into play Though this time around, there might not be a lot of mangoes fea- because the European Union (EU) was concerned about the levels and Tiips on Choosing Right turing in their cargo to Europe. types of pesticides used on various At the same time, after learning about the EU’s produce exported to the region. especially sweet and pulpy Ratnagiri Alphonsos, a large part of the business comes from people who buy these semi-ripe fruits to send to their friends and relatives overseas. “Every year, we get many customers who buy cartons of mangoes to gift to their families in countries like the US, UK, Middle East and South East Asia. In fact, the better produce is often exported, while the mid-range and inferior varieties are kept for local consumption,” he reveals.

Mango Butter

Make a batch of Mango Butter based on Hina Gujral’s recipe this summer and refrigerate it. You can use it as a filling for muffins or cakes or simply spread it over a bread slice. Yield: 500g Ingredients: • 900g mango pulp • 80g caster sugar

• 115ml lemon juice • 115ml orange juice

Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 100°C. 2. Place mango pulp, lemon and orange juice in a large pan over low heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. 3. Spread the sugar on a large baking tray, place in the oven and warm for five minutes. 4. Blend or sieve the mango mixture, then return to the pan. 5. Stir in the warmed sugar and cook gently over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. 6. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, for up to 30 minutes or until mixture is thick. 7. Spoon the butter into clean and dry jars and seal it well. Use the jam within three weeks of making it.

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


COVER STORY decision, Anupriya has become more cautious about the mangoes she will pick up for her family. Her local fruit vendor, Arun Krishnamurthy, revealed how the fruit is harvested and packed before shipping. “First, we harvest the raw mangoes directly from the tree and rest them on dry hay to let them mature the natural way. Every day, the mangoes are turned over a little. This way the fruit’s skin goes from green to golden yellow gradually and it also ripens evenly.”

have green spots. While selecting mangoes, he recommends checking the firmness of the fruit by pressing it gently. If it is still, then it is still raw and if you bring it home, he suggests keeping them inside a big rice jar to let it ripen naturally. And if it is mushy, then skip it entirely, unless you intend to make Aamras and finish it off that very day.

least half hour before using it – this will rid it of most of the pesticides sprayed on the fruit. So go on, enjoy the mangoes while they last. Because like all good things in life, the season for this luscious fruit will come to an end quickly; in fact, way too quickly. ■

The skin of the mango is also another indicator of its freshness. The older the mango the more wrinkled its skin will be. Also, if a mango has He also added that it is not import- black spots on its skin, you might want to give the batch a miss. He ant for the fruit to have an even strongly reiterates that one should yellow colored skin throughout soak mangoes in warm water for at and it is perfectly natural for it to

- Vinita Bhatia

Kairi Ka Abshola

The pulp of Kairi, or raw green mango, is a natural coolant. Abshola means water that douses fire. So what else can be the perfect drink for hot Indian summer than the Kairi Ka Abshola? Serves: 3 - 4 ◉ Preparation time: 1 hour Ingredients: • 2 raw mangoes • 2 - 3 heaped tsp sugar • 1 tsp cumin powder • 1 tsp mint powder or 2-3 mint

leaves • Salt, as per taste • 1 tsp chaat masala • 1 glass water

Method: 1. Pressure cook the mangoes with skin in little water until soft and mushy. 2. Keep the water aside and peel off the mango skin. Squeeze out the pulp and discard the seeds. Let the pulp cool at room temperature. 3. Once pulp is cool, mix it with sugar, salt, mint, cumin powder and water in an electric mixer. Blend it until it is combined well. 4. Let it chill in fridge for 30 minutes. 5. Pour this drink in serving glasses over crushed ice. For garnish, sprinkle the chaat masala on top along with some mint leaves.

Recipes courtesy: Bangalore-based Hina Gujral is a financial analyst-cum- food blogger who manages a food blog – She aspires to become a professional chef and run her own bistro by the hillside someday. 72

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


Mango Srikhand

This Maharashtrian delicacy does not need any introduction. It is our desi version of what the world calls flavored yogurts and popularly known as Amrakhand, which is shrikhand blended with mango pulp. Serves: 2 Ingredients: • 2 ripe mangoes, peeled, cubed and pureed • Hung curd made from 1 litre of

curd • 2 - 3 green cardamom pods • ⅓ Cup powdered sugar

• A pinch of saffron strands

Method: 1. Hang the curd in a muslin or cheesecloth for 3-4 hours. Ideally, this should be done overnight. 2. Once all the whey has drained out of the curd and it has thick cheese like consistency blend the thick hung curd with crushed cardamom, pureed mango, saffron and sugar. 3. Blend till smooth. 4. Pour into individual serving bowls. 5. Chill and serve along with cubes of mango.

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



Viva La Dolce India Dolce India sees David Rocco travel across India where he recreates an Indo-Italian version of some of the country’s intrinsic dishes. Not only did he survive the streets and foods of India, he went on to fall in love with the country.


talian-obsessed celebrity chef David Rocco is eating his way through India, combining ingredients and techniques from his beloved Italy with those he’s never experienced before’ – this is the introduction for David Rocco’s new TV Show, Dolce India aired on Fox Traveller on Thursdays and Fridays at 9.30pm. After having met him, I can say that this is an apt introduction, but it doesn’t encompass an iota of how grand the show actually is. This is neither a review of the show nor an appreciation for David Rocco. Rather, it is the perfect ode to an evening spent in his company at his host hotel in New Delhi, ITC Maurya. David Rocco redefines humility. It is so easy to enjoy a meal with him, especially if you consider the fact that he is a foreigner and a celebrity. Last year, we had the pleasure of a sit-down lunch with David – his humour was sharp, his charm was indelible and his love for food, blatantly obvious; a combination


that we food writers fell in love with. 53 weeks down the line, I met with him again and he remembered me by name and some anecdotes we shared a year ago. Now that’s charm! This time around, his twin daughters, Emma and Georgia, and his lovely wife, Nina, accompanied

host’s sensibilities and style. David’s Indian favourite, Fratelli Wines, flowed and BBQ was on the menu. You know when David Rocco cooks live and you enjoy a gently grilled Salmon steak with a glass of Fratelli Sangiovese! Talk of Show Business The evening was abuzz with talk about the show, with the production chiming in with their stories of the shoot. All in all David not only survived the streets and foods of India, he went on to fall in love with the country.

I wish I had caught the Fratelli Wines episode, but I was promised a CD so I could catch up. I know what to expect from this feature – David’s unparalleled enthusiasm and fantastic Fratelli wines set in the romantic environs of Akluj, Maharashtra. I just can’t wait to see it! The show sees David travel him, so it felt like an evening in the across India with a local theme for Rocco home. That’s also the way each episode. He is shown a dish, ITC properties function; if you have an ingredient or a desi specialty an occasion or an event, the venue and he then goes on to recreate an transforms into a reflection of the Indo-Italian version of the same. CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

We saw a glimpse of it that evening, when he did a live demo of Garam Masala Bolognaise, based on Chef Manisha Bhasin’s recipe. It was such a surprise on the palate, yet such an obvious marriage of flavours. I have tried it already and I suggest you do a Calzone with it and thank David Rocco in your heart! A Road Less Travelled While travelling around India for

his TV show, David fell in love with Mumbai, discovered Bombay Duck fish, did yoga, played cricket and looked rock star fabulous while doing it! He found more ways to cement the cultures of India and Italy into one large mould.

Indian in a past birth!

Next time we meet, I want to cook my version of Indo-Italian for him and Se Dio Vuole, I will. Till then let’s commune over Dolce India which in terms of production has spectacular cinematography and is not in the least pretentious or Watch him dig into local dishes with abandon and then observe his patronizing. ■ expressions – they are uninhibited; - Parul Pratap Shirazi watch his body language – he fits in. One feels the he was probably

Sookha Aloo

This flavourful potato dish by David Rocco makes an excellent side when you are cooking for a crowd. Ingredients: • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds • 10 curry leaves • 2 to 3 green chilies, chopped

• 3 to 4 large potatoes, peeled and cubed • Salt, to taste • 1 tsp turmeric

• 1 to ½ cups water • Fresh coriander, chopped

Method: 1. Heat up the olive oil and just before it reaches the turmeric. smoking point add in the mustard seeds. When 3. Give it a good stir so everything is evenly mixed, then tempering mustard seeds, you want to make sure the oil add water. 4. Let it simmer on medium for about 30 to 40 minutes or is hot so they pop. 2. Once they have popped, reduce the heat and add the until the potatoes are tender. Finish with coriander and curry leaves and chilies. Once they have flavoured serve. the oil, add in the potatoes and season with salt and CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



Sorry, Honey, I’d Rather Have Some Coffee Le MÊridien Hotels and Resorts commissioned a survey on global coffee and travel habits, which revealed that more people would rather choose coffee over sex for their morning buzz.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



e Méridien Hotels and Resorts commissioned a survey on global coffee and travel habits as the Paris-born brand began to roll out Master Baristas at its hotels and resorts worldwide. The survey found that coffee surpasses sex as the ideal wake-up call according to more than half (53%) of the global respondents. The study also established that coffee drinkers are addicted to this morning ritual as 54% of respondents make their morning brew right at home and an overwhelming 78% would rather give up alcohol, social media or sex with their spouse for a year rather than forfeit coffee – proving that a bean buzz remains the ultimate high.

Spilling the Beans: • More than half the respondents feel that they could go longer without sex than without coffee (56%). • 61% of the respondents would reach for coffee first thing in the morning, rather than their spouse. • More than 50% of the respondents make their own regular daily coffee. • Chocolate is the favorite food of more than half the respondents to pair with their coffee.

can say a lot. The Le Méridien study found that many people (58%) prefer to drink coffee to relax, while 55% also drink it primarily for the taste. Majority of respondents (51%) feel they could go longer without sex than without coffee. Of all the effects felt from lack of coffee, approximately one-fourth (28%) feel less creative, 22% cannot get out of bed, and 16% say that they are not able to talk to other people without it. The vast majority of people need a coffee caffeinated kick during long meetings (81%), while only 56% would request water.

Source: Le Meridien Resorts and Spa

With speed of information, contions and flavors from around the venience and connectivity leading This study was based on a survey world are so distinct that a majority the charge in today’s society, it is no conducted by Studylogic LLC via of seasoned jetsetters (53%) claim wonder that coffee and social media telephone of 7,455 coffee drinkto have experienced nostalgia for a are closely intertwined. The study ers from six different countries: destination due to the cup of coffee found that a majority of responthe United States, Dubai, China, they enjoyed while traveling. dents (64%) access social media France, Germany and India. It while having coffee and traveling, showed that coffee remains an A Cup to Fuel The Day all at the same time. on-the-go necessity as, on average, A ubiquitous necessity and source people drink more coffee when they of energy, the coffee one consumes are away from home. Coffee tradi- – and how much –

Black Forest Coffee

This summer, you can swap your cup of java beans with this cool blended coffee drink. Ingredients: • 100 gm coffee ice cream • 90 ml Milkmaid milk mix • 60 ml coffee concentrate • 30 ml chocolate sauce • 35 gm canned cherries

• 30 gm whipped cream • 1 pitted cherry • Little chocolate shavings or vermicelli

Method: 1. In a blender, blend the ice cream, Milkmaid, coffee concentrate, chocolate sauce and canned cherries, until it is smooth and frothy. 2. Pour this into tall individual glasses. 3. Garnish with the whipped cream, placing a pitted cherry on top. Sprinkle some chocolate shavings and vermicelli over this. CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


PERSPECTIVE While drinking coffee on the road, people like to stay connected through various channels as most respondents (72%) will either check their social media accounts or read a newspaper/magazine. “Coffee continues to be an increasingly important part of the travel experience, and to develop high impact programming for our Le Méridien guests, it was important that we had an understanding of global coffee trends,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin. “The new Le Méridien Master Barista program, derived from key findings from our study, will further bring to life a quintessential European café and breakfast culture at Le Méridien hotels and resorts around the world.” Coffee's Growing Popularity This study has very well established that there are coffee lovers who would gladly forsake elements, which others would consider as their daily must-fix, to get their fill of caffeine. But does coffee really have such a fan following? Apparently, yes.

There is a Facebook page called ‘We All Love Coffee’ which has over 1,07,000 followers – who profess their passion for this drink. In response to a post about where would you be without coffee, Matthew Olaver of California quipped he would either be dead or in prison! New Jersey-based Morgan MacKenzie believed he would be passed out face-first on his keyboard. So maybe there are many out there who are addicted to their regular cup of java, but there’s an upside to this addiction. According to research by Michael Yassa, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, drinking a couple of cups of coffee daily could boost the brain's ability to store long-term memories.

have beneficial effects for health." One study published in 2006 showed that those who drink at least one cup of coffee daily were 20% less likely to develop liver cirrhosis -- an autoimmune disease caused by excessive alcohol consumption that could lead to liver failure and cancer. Yet another study from The American Chemical Society found that people who drink around four cups of coffee a day reduce their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes by 50 percent.

Before you pour yourself another cup of coffee to celebrate these studies, here’s a word of caution. All these studies also maintain that excessive coffee drinking could be injurious to one’s health. So moderTalking to a publication, Yassa said, ation is the key to enjoy your cuppa "What I've taken from this is that and know it is working a wee bit I should keep drinking my coffee. of magic on your system as well. Our study suggests there's a real And it’s always a great way to start a learning and memory benefit, but conversation. After all, it is not for other studies suggest caffeine is nothing that coffee is called lighting associated with increased longevity, in a cup! and a resistance to Alzheimer's dis- Vinita Bhatia ease. In moderate amounts, it could

Coffee Chillo

This coffee cooler is the perfect pick-me-up any time of the day. And it also doubles up as a great dessert. Ingredients: • 100 gm Espresso ice cream • 90 ml Milkmaid • 60 ml coffee concentrate

• Crushed ice • 30 gm whipped cream • Some cocoa powder

Method: 1. Combine the Milkmaid, coffee, crushed ice, and ice cream in a blender. Cover the blender. 2. Blend the ingredients until they are smooth. 3. Pour this into tall individual glasses. 4. Garnish with the whipped cream and dust with some cocoa powder. Recipes courtesy: Bombay Blues 78

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

“Bicycle Changed her Life”

You Can Help change some more ... Donate a Bicycle today and help change a life.

Dipesh +91 9833152162 | Vaishali +91 9833800132 |

Cycle-On is a joint initiative by Youth for People & The Campus Bicycle Project

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

Our Mission is to Empower Rural communities, especially Children with Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Mobility Solution; A BICYCLE through Study-to-own (for children) & Work-to-own (for adults) programs



Everyone's Favorite Uncle

Sometimes, change can be a jarring experience, especially when it comes to restaurants. But one can always bank on Uncle's Kitchen in suburban Mumbai to remain the same and provide a predictably good dining experience. You know an establishment has achieved landmark status, when its very location becomes, well, a landmark! Though Uncle’s Kitchen has moved to a new place in Orlem in Malad, the Mith Chowki junction where the restaurant was located earlier is still called Uncle’s Kitchen junction. Such is the popularity of this restaurant! Uncle’s Kitchen has a quaint history – it was started by Jerome D’souza in 1987 and named after a gent lovingly called Uncle by everyone in Orlem. He quit his job in the Middle East to set up the restaurant at a time when Malad was known as the boondocks of Mumbai and was home to many middle-class families, for most of whom eating out meant opting for dosa-idli-medu-vada at a local Udupi restaurant. Uncle’s Kitchen was instrumental in introducing Chinese (or rather Indo-Chinese) food to an unsuspecting crowd, who soon came to equate Chinese food with Uncle’s, as it is fondly called. Even today, old timers in Malad swear by the restaurant’s Chinese fare and refuse to eat elsewhere, even though this suburb now has a healthy smatter80

ing of establishments that serve Indian Chinese food. And I must add that this throng includes my eight year old who staunchly maintains that Uncle’s Kitchen and Chinese food are synonymous. Tracing its Roots The original Uncle’s Kitchen restaurant in the ‘90s was situated at the junction of Marve Road and Link

The speciality at Uncle’s is their special Schezwan sauce, which is used to spice up most of their dishes. There are people who order takeaway food and insist on multiple packets of this sauce to be sent with their food, which they later use to cook Schezwan Fried Rice at home.

For the initial six months of 1987, Jerome D'Souza himself cooked food and served food at Uncle's Kitchen

Road and could seat around 40 people. One unique bit about the restaurant was that it had a huge laburnum tree growing bang in its center. Instead of chopping the tree down, the owners placed tables strategically around it! In the early days, residents from far-flung and upmarket suburbs of Mumbai would drive down to Uncle’s Kitchen to eat the famous Mixed Rice, which included chicken gizzards and shredded chicken as well as their Chicken Lollipops. And locals would saunter there to ogle at their cars. In fact, a popular sentiment back then went that if one wanted to see the best cars in Mumbai, just sit outside Uncle’s Kitchen on a weekend night. CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

Hakka Noodles (INR 120), Chicken Manchurian (INR 125) and Chilly Chicken (INR 125). Today, the restaurant offers close to 200 dishes, though most people stick to the tried-and-tested Schezwan Fried Rice (in egg, vegetable or chicken variations), Chicken Lollypop and Hakka noodles. Till the 90s, Uncle's Kitchen was little more than a shack, but it drew patrons from far-flung suburbs of Mumbai

Total Value for Money Uncle’s Kitchen was, and continues To cope up with the growing num- to be, the dating spot for couples on a tight budget, including my husber of diners, people would place their orders whilst waiting and get band and me during our courtship the food served to them on the ta- days. You can eat to your heart’s ble, within minutes of being seated. content without burning a hole in This practice is continued till today, your pocket and the waiters will which is why when people want a Chinese meal on-the-go, Uncle’s Kitchen is where they head to. The speciality at Uncle’s is their special Schezwan sauce, which is used to spice up most of their dishes. There are people who order takeaway food and insist on multiple packets of this sauce to be sent with their food, which they later use to cook Schezwan Fried Rice at home. I admit I am guilty of doing this all the time too! The popular dishes at this restaurant continue to include Chicken Lollipop (originally called Drums of Heaven, INR 125), Chicken Schezwan Fried Rice (INR 120),

Uncle's Kitchen as it is today CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

The hot-selling ‘Drums of Heaven’, which is popularly called ‘UK’s Chicken Lollipops’

The menu does not have a dessert section, because even the owners have probably realised that people come to Uncle’s to satiate their craving for Chinese food and not much else!

A couple of years ago, the original hotel was moved to another part of Orlem in Malad to accommodate a road-widening project. This restaurant is now split into two levels – the ground floor is the non-AC section, while the first floor has an AC-section – with two different rate cards. Some things have The air conditioned first level of the not changed in the new location; new Uncle's Kitchen especially the taste of the food, the speed at which orders are served, not intrude on your privacy either. the value-for-money fare and the In fact, the ever-smiling Ronnie crowds that still wait patiently for D’souza and Uncle Peter will direct hours for their turn to eat at Uncle’s. you to a table where you can have Another thing that is still a conquiet conversations, without being stant are the yellow plastic dishes disturbed by families with ramin which the food is served, quite at bunctious kids. odds with the nicely-done restaurant. Noisy kids are aplenty here, since this is one place that serves non-veg But then again, sometimes, change fare that even the predominantcan only be a jarring experience. ly-vegetarian crowd of Malad feel Thank God, you can always bank at home with, courtesy the extenon Uncle’s Kitchen to remain the sive vegetarian options they can same and provide a predictably choose from. Paneer Chilly is the good dining experience. most-preferred appetizer, followed by the Veg Manchow Soup or Sweet - Vinita Bhatia Corn Soup and Veg Schezwan Rice. 81

LISTINGS - NATIONAL Plaza Premium Lounge plans expansion in New Delhi airport

Caramelah Carnival at Mad Over Donuts

Spice up your teatime with ‘Parle Rusk’ Parle Products launched Parle Rusk across India in pack size of 200 grams priced at Rs. 25. One of the oldest and most popular snacks while savoring a hot cup of tea, these crispy and crunchy toasts are enriched with fresh cardamom and then baked. Rusk as a category is traditionally known to have a higher affinity with the masses, and Parle promises to further build on this connect.

Mad Over Donuts had launched ‘Caramelah Carnival’, introducing a popular flavors of the season – the Salted Caramel. Three donuts and one cakeling will be rolled out as part of the Caramelah Carnival during the sizzling summer months.

Plaza Premium Lounge in the domestic departures section of Terminal 3 at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport presents its new expansion featuring more seating, freshly installed individual massage rooms along with a brand new bar. This expansion increases the lounge total area to about 7500 sq ft. Vegit launches Pav Bhaji Mix in western market Vegit, an agro division of Merino group specializing in ready- to-cook segment, has announced expansion of its product portfolio in western market with the launch of Vegit Pav Bhaji. Offering classic Indian flavors, its preparation involves minimal time and effort on cooking, without missing the taste of traditional Pav Bhaji. Priced at Rs 60 for retail buyers, it is also available for the hotel, restaurant and catering segments.

The Baker’s Dozen opens 3rd outlet in Mumbai The Baker’s Dozen opened its third outlet at Bandra in Mumbai, a year after it started operations in Prabhadevi and followed this with an eatery in Kemps Corner. This chain of artisan bread shops is the brainchild of Aditi Handa, a baker from New York’s International Culinary Centre, her husband Sneh Jain and her brother Siddharth Handa, Director of Mimansa Industries.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


Cremica's Sandwich Mayo range for tiffins Add innovation to your family’s boring lunch boxes with Cremica’s new Sandwich Mayo. Available in different flavours, this spread will spice up your family’s perception of boring school or office lunches. You can also use the seven variants of the mayo – Original, Chipotle, Cheese, Korma, Tangy Pickle, Tandoori and Mint – to marinate vegetables, cottage cheese, chicken and fish to add that an unique twist to your dishes.

Hotel bookings get quicker and easier with, an online hotel booking platform, has launched a new user-friendly interface to offer users ease of navigation and wider options to choose from, to guarantee a quick and hassle free hotel booking process. The split screen display allows for a faster and quicker comparison of hotels thereby streamlining the entire selection process. Once the user has put in their requirements, a part of the screen will fetch details of the hotels chosen by the user, while the other half will present a complete list of all the other options available to the user around their pre-specified budget. In short, the interface ensures that users need not go back and forth between screens to zero in on the ideal hotel. CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

Sicilian Food Fest at Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel From 11th to 20th April, 2014, Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel is holding a food festival that delves into the cuisine of Palermo. Italy-based Chef Tony will craft the diversity of the Sicilian cuisine with its simple and rustic style of cooking for the hotel’s patrons. Unique appetizers like Triglia A Scapece (red mullet fish marinated and steamed with carrot, onions, sage, olive oil and apple vinegar), Fette Di Cotto Al Marsala Con Scalogno (honey roast ham in marsala wine sauce with spring onions), Fritto Misto Di Pesce (deep fried calamari, prawns and ladyfish), etc, will set the tone for a delicious meal. Some rustic pasta dishes that Chef Tony will rustle up include Tagliatelle Con Funghi E Crema Di Pistacchi (homemade pasta ribbons with garlic mushrooms and pistachio pesto), Linguine Alla Sambuca Con Carciofi (Linguine in artichoke, sambuca and cream sauce), Penne Con Spada In Salsa Pizzaiola and much more. 83


Sugar-Free NaturVits now available in UK

Meliá Hotels International announces ME Milan Il Duca Meliá Hotels International will open ME by Meliá hotel at the Piazza della Repubblica in Milan in 2015. Close to the Corso Como, one of the chicest areas of the city, the new hotel will be housed in a building created by renowned architect Aldo Rossi. It will have 132 rooms, including 34 suites – amongst which will be the signature penthouse ‘Suite ME’ – Lounge-Bar and Restaurant, and ultra-modern conference rooms. The 600 square metre rooftop bar, another hallmark of ME hotels, will boast panoramic views over the city, showing off sights including the Garibaldi. Gabriel Escarrer, CEO and Vice Chairman of Meliá Hotels International, said, “The announcement of a new ME in Milan, prior to the imminent openings of ME Ibiza and ME Mallorca, constitutes the next step in the international positioning of the ME by Meliá brand as providing revered hotels for modern and discerning travellers, combining business and pleasure with authentic lifestyle experiences.” The news follows the announcements of the openings of ME Ibiza and ME Mallorca in 2014 and Zaha Hadid’s ME Dubai in 2016. It will be the first ME hotel in Italy, where Meliá already manages hotels including Gran Meliá Rome, Meliá. 84

NaturVits range of dietary supplements from Ayanda is now available in the UK. Ayanda is a Norwegian manufacturer of fish oil products and nutraceutical food supplements. This new supplement product line includes supplements for adults and a special offering for children over three years. NaturVits Omega-3 with Vitamin D3 for adults, Omega-3 with Vitamin D3 for kids and Vitamin D3 all retail for £14.99 for 30 soft jelly drops and CoQ10 retails for £19.99 for the same quantity.

Clarke Quay Singapore’s Executive set lunch 2014 For the sixth year, Clarke Quay’s Executive Set Lunch returns this April with a wider selection. Be it a well-deserved lunch break, business meeting, catching up with friends, or simply finding an excuse to indulge in a good feast, this Singaporean hotel claims to have the perfect lunch for every budget. Priced at SGD$15, SGD $25 or SGD $35, Clarke Quay offers varied options and a variety of set lunch offerings at one destination. The wallet friendly set menu at SGD $15 offers a host of old and new favorites from participating outlets such as Bayang, Fremantle Seafood Market, Hooters and Renn Thai and more. Notable highlights include Ayam Pangang with rice, Fish & Chips and Chicken Quesadillas. A five-course set menu from Vintry Singapore will feature its signature Caramelized Roast Pork Rice plus many more delicious dishes! CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


At Angel Xpress Foundation, we believe that that children are best nourished whenwhen they are heavyheavy doses of At Angel Xpress Foundation, we believe children are best nourished theygiven are given caredoses and guidance to shape theirto lives. Wetheir provide a platform for educated adults to fill theadults education of care and guidance shape lives. We provide a platform for educated to fillneeds the of underprivileged children, to nurture a better futureto where educated children make responsible choices. education needs of underprivileged children, nurture a better futurecan where educated children can To joinmake us, you can: responsible choices. To join us, you can: • Teach English, Math, Art, Art, Craft, Dance etc at of our centres for just 2 hours / week. • Teach English, Math, Craft, Dance etcone at one of our centres for just 2 hours / week. • Sponsor a child – Rs. 5500 a year enables us to alter the childhood experience for afor slum kid.kid. • Sponsor a child – Rs. 5500 a year enables us to alter the childhood experience a slum • Donate clothes, shoes andand toys. • Donate clothes, shoes toys. • Sponsor trips to picnics, movies, malls etc,etc, andand much more. • Sponsor trips to picnics, movies, malls much more. We operate out of our centers in: We operate out of our centers in: Bandra Bandstand Promenade | Rajesh Khanna Garden, Santacruz | Rotary Park, Juhu | In-school programs for select vernacular BMC schools. Bandra Bandstand Promenade | Rajesh Khanna Garden, Santacruz | Rotary Park, Juhu | In-school programs for select vernacular BMC For contributions, please contact: Anubha Sharma, Founder: 9930070086/ anubha.sharma9@angel or schools. Beenaa Advani, Co Founder: 982024456 / Beenaa.Advani@angel, For contributions, please contact: Anubha Sharma, Founder: 9930070086/ anubha.sharma9@angel or Like us on Beenaa Advani, Co Founder: 982024456 / Beenaa.Advani@angel, Like us on

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014



InterContinental opens first hotel in Nha Trang

Holiday Inn Hotel opens in Kanazawa, Japan InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) opened the 101-room ANA Holiday Inn Kanazawa Sky, the company’s second hotel in the historically rich area. Situated in Kanazawa’s commercial district, ANA Holiday Inn Kanazawa Sky is walking distance from the city’s downtown area and the main train station. It is also close to popular tourist attractions, including Kenrokuen Garden, which is hundreds of years old and is one of the ‘Three Great Gardens of Japan’. With the lobby situated on the building’s 16th floor, guests are welcomed by a panoramic view of the cityscape as soon as they walk out of the elevator, including landmarks such as the 400-year old Kanazawa Castle – the previous residence of Samurai soldiers and their families – and the Hakusan Mountains to the south of the city. Fergus Stewart, Head of Japan, IHG said, “Kanazawa is a city which is becoming increasingly accessible for leisure travelers and with the new Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train scheduled to start service in early 2015, we are confident this trend will continue. The city is brimming full of history and culture, with plenty to see and do for both group tours and independent travelers, domestic and international guests alike.” With three restaurants, the hotel offers its guests a variety of cuisines to choose from too. 86

The new 279-room InterContinental Nha Trang is now open in the coastal city of Nha Trang in Vietnam. The hotel overlooks the pristine coastline and waters of the Nha Trang Bay and includes 56 luxuriously furnished suites.

Goodwood Park Hotel’s Durian Fiesta is back Singapore’s Goodwood Park Hotel has brought back its Durian Fiesta with an impressive showcase of irresistible new creations. These handmade delicacies are made with the finest D24 durian, known for its alluring aroma and creamy intensely-flavoured flesh. Scrumptious highlights brimming with D24 durian goodness this year include Durian Gula Melaka Roll, an Asian take on the Swiss roll; Durian Malay Cake inspired by the local traditional steamed cake, as well as petite pastries of Mini Durian Charlotte; a dainty ‘sandwich’ made with Boudoir biscuits or ladyfingers, and Mini Durian Donuts. Customers can visit the hotel’s deli up until 13th July, 2014 to purchase these tempting delights and other signature items such as Durian Mousse Cake, Durian Puff, Durian Strudel, Durian Crêpe and Durian Ice Cream. CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


Waldorf Astoria Beijing is officially open

Hotel Indigo comes to Rome InterContinental Hotels Group will debut its boutique brand in Italy this month with the opening of Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George. Located at Via Giulia, this premium hotel is right in the heart of the city’s historic centre. As IHG’s boutique brand, every Hotel Indigo property is designed to reflect the local neighbourhood. From the building design to the hotel’s artwork and locally inspired menus, every Hotel Indigo is unique to its surroundings, so no two hotels are the same. Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George’s 64 bedrooms combine Renaissance features with contemporary Italian design, while echoing the artistic charm of the neighbourhood. Guests can relax in the hotel’s Spa which includes a Roman bath, enjoy delicious Italian cuisine in the I Sofà di Via Giulia restaurant or in the summer months, take in the spectacular views of St. Peter’s Dome via the Roof Top Bar and Restaurant. Paolo Falchi, General Manager, Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George comments, “Set in the heart of the city, Hotel Indigo Rome – St. George offers the perfect setting for exploring this historic location and its iconic attractions. We look forward to welcoming guests to the hotel to show them what our enchanting city is all about!” CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

Hilton Worldwide and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts announced the opening of Waldorf Astoria Beijing, marking the second Waldorf Astoria hotel in China. The property features 176 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and suites, three restaurants – including ‘Peacock Alley’, ‘Brasserie1893’ and ‘Zijin Mansion’ – 796 square meters of function meeting space, a spa and fitness center with heated indoor swimming pool. The hotel is operated by Hilton Worldwide and owned by China Oil & Foodstuffs Corporation (COFCO). Shangri-La Hotels And Resorts appoints Gerard Basset as Wine Ambassador Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, the Asiabased luxury hotel group, has appointed Gerard Basset OBE, as the group's first wine ambassador. The UK-based French native won the 2010 Best Sommelier in the World title and is the only person ever to simultaneously hold the Master of Wine, Master Sommelier and MBA Wine honours. Basset will work alongside Yang Lu, Shangri-La's corporate wine director. 87


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

Tibetan Food in McLeodganj We bring you a giimpse of Tibetan food from McLeodganj, which, if you like Tibetan food, is a veritable treasure house of food, available in cafes tucked into little nooks and corners of fidgety little lanes. A must visit!

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


Rice is a staple and so are noodles and other types of dried, flour shapes. Know that MSG is used in nearly every dish, including rice. You'll know it's there by the crunch in your rice.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


To avoid communication gaps and to make it easier to draw up a bill later, many cafes ask the customer to write out their own order.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


You'll find many different types of pork, all the variants delicious and simply flavored. This here, is Chili Fried Pork.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


Vegetable dishes are easily available too, as most Tibetans are Buddhist, some sects of which prescribe vegetarianism. Shown here, Potatoes with Green Bell Peppers. Inset: Fried mushrooms, just one more of the many delicious vegetarian dishes you will come across.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


La Phing is a popular snack. Made using chopped flour pancakes, wheat gluten, garlic, chili, soy sauce, MSG, vinegar, salt and water at room temperature, this is a delicious room temperature noodle soup that must not be missed. Apart from La Phing, most of the noodle soups you'll find are refreshing and light. It might be a good idea not to eat a whole meal, but to pop into a cafe every now and then, whenever you feel peckish, for a single dish snack, coming back again to try more, while continueing to explore the culture all around.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


Noodle soups of both varieties are available - vegetarian, like this spinach noodle soup and non vegetarian, like the sliced chicken and noodle soup shown alongside.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


Most food is kid friendly, with low-spice options available for the asking. It is a great experience for children, especially the shopping.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


Apart from Pork, you'll also find chicken and mutton though very little beef. Shown here, is a cold salad made with spring onions, chives, sliced pork, garlic and soy sauce.


CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CaLDRON Magazine April 2014


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CaLDRON Magazine April 2014

CaLDRON Magazine, April 2014  

Mangoes in food and drink, unethical bloggers, coffee versus sex, Tibetan food and lots more, in addition to regulars including reviews from...

CaLDRON Magazine, April 2014  

Mangoes in food and drink, unethical bloggers, coffee versus sex, Tibetan food and lots more, in addition to regulars including reviews from...