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December 2014 Available on the Web via Issuu. Available on the mobile at Google Play Store and Apple App Store (via Magzter and Issuu)

Christmas special!

reviews: delhi, bangalore, Mumbai

cook eel, the japanese way

Tested this month: keya mexican spice!

Christmas recipes from spain

meet korean chef oh wong jong

christmas shopping guide - save loads!

christmassy drinks for your party!

Cognac Maitre de Chai,

food trends: brunches are in! CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 1

Franรงois Thibault

Contents reviews

08 summer's end at sevilla delhi 10 a sunday in the sun gurgaon 12 a tim tai time bangalore 14 monkey see, monkey do bangalore 16 trying hard, but not hard enough 18 it's smokin'! mumbai


94 pullman: respite awaits

roaming rover


28 chef oh wong jong culinary maestro 36 chef raul martinez culinary maestro

24 orange scented turkey 32 Bibimpap 34 turnip kimchi 48 gazpacho andaluz 50 seafood paella 52 baby chicken with chestnuts and prunes 54 coffee parfait with caramel ice cream 58 gruyere eggplant panini 60 pasta with parmesan cheese sauce 87 grilled chicken mexicana 103 tomato-zucchini gratin

events etc.

drinks & cocktails


cover story

20 keeping up with the old ways parul pratap shirazi & vinita bhatia

people you should know

40 melbourne food & wine festival 2015 93 indians becoming experimental quick bytes

food & flavors

42 the elusive eel international flavors 46 the spanish christmas spirit recipes 56 say cheese know your food 62 brunch is the word food trends 86 mexican spice, very nice tried and tested

matters of spirit

68 the best of two worlds cellar speak 72 in the yuletide spirit spiritual quest 76 'cos it's the season to be jolly mix it up

issue bonus

88 stop. shop. shopping guide 100 member spotlight 102 southern living 1995 annual


book review

71 dry martini 78 eggnog 80 hot toddy 82 holiday punch 84 mulled wine


05 editorial 06 born this month 07 contributors 08 reviews 20 cover story 28 culinary maestro 66 ask the experts 94 roaming rover 104 national listings 107 international listings


The Team

useful information








mail the listings editor - PRESS RELEASES AND EVENT LISTINGS


MAIL THE group moderators AT







business services advertising and related enquiries

Sameer Khullar (Delhi/NCR) /

marketing & brand related enquiries


product testing & coordination

parul pratap shirazi /

find us on



t is the season of indulgence. A time when excess is celebrated, when traditions are upheld, gifting becomes extravagant and there is cheer all around. Christmas has transcended religion to become a time of festivity,

irrespective of one’s religious beliefs. And are we glad about it! After all, it gives us another reason to try out some new delicacies.You will find many an inspiring recipe in CaLDRON

magazine’s December issue. Talking about this issue, we decided that it was time to put the spotlight on some of the conventions that used to govern Christmas celebrations in different countries and their impact on food.While speaking to chefs we were floored to know about these traditions, some of which sounded outrageous like the Caganer figurines that feature in Spain’s celebrations. Though we tried to fit in as many of these customs in this issue as we could, some slipped through the cracks and hopefully, will be fodder for next year’s December issue. Besides celebrating Christmas, gifting during this festive season is another great ritual that we Indians have absorbed from our western friends. The givers are happy to give, the recipients are delighted to receive and all is well with the world. However, finding the right gift can be a pain in the assets, we know.Voilà, we at CaLDRON Magazine came up with a special section with budget-specific gifting options. Not content with that, we decided to help you stock up on the right kind of beverages for the parties we know you are going to host through Christmas till New Year’s Eve. Then we went a step ahead and included recipes for making the traditional Christmassy alcoholic beverages. So call this a collector’s issue, or our gift to you – one thing is sure. This is probably THE most addictive issue from CaLDRON Magazine.Yet! Vinita Bhatia

editorial CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 5

Jacques Pépin // born December 18, 1935


acques Pépin is an internationally recognized French chef, television personality, and author working in the United States. Since the late 1980s, he has appeared on French and American television and written an array of cookbooks that have become best sellers. Pépin serves as dean of Special Programs at The International

Culinary Center, founded as the French Culinary Institute, in New York City. He is an active contributor to the Gastronomy department at Boston University, where he teaches an online class on the cuisine and culture of France along with professor Kyri Claflin of Boston University's history department. Pépin also writes a quarterly column for Food & Wine and offers an amateur class each semester based on varied culinary topics. In addition to the Daytime Emmy Award won with Julia Child, Pépin has received two of the French government's highest honors: He is a Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (1997) and a Chevalier de L'Ordre du Mérite Agricole (1992). In October 2004, he received France's ultimate civilian recognition, the Légion d'honneur.

living legend

On May 13, 2010, Pépin, along with other chefs from The French Culinary Institute (known as The International Culinary Center), Alain Sailhac, Jacques Torres and André Soltner, prepared a $30,000-per-couple dinner for President Barack Obama’s fund-raiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at Manhattan’s St. Regis Hotel. On February 5, 2010, during the christening of MS Marina, Pépin was named an honorary commodore of the Oceania Cruises fleet,for which he serves as Executive Culinary Director. He received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Boston University on May 22, 2011. In October 2011, Pépin was the recipient of the first-ever tribute dinner at the New York Food and Wine Festival. Cooking for Pépin at the event, hosted by Martha Stewart, were some of America's best-known French chefs including Alain Ducasse, Daniel Boulud, and others. Pépin currently resides with his wife, Gloria, in Madison, Connecticut.

Awards Won • James Beard Foundation Lifetime at Home Achievement Award • James Beard Foundation's Cookbook Hall • James Beard Foundation, Who's Who of of Fame, La Technique Food and Beverage in America • James Beard Foundation's Cookbook Hall • Chevalier de L'Ordre du Mérite Agricole of Fame, La Méthode • Chevalier de L'Ordre des Arts et des • James Beard Foundation Award for Best Lettres National TV Cooking Show, Jacques • Daytime Emmy, Julia and Jacques Cooking Pépin's Kitchen: Encore with Claudine


• James Beard Foundation Award for Best National Cooking Segment, Jacques Pépin's Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine • James Beard Foundation Outstanding Culinary Video, Today's Gourmet • Co-founder of the American Institute of Wine and Food

image and text source:

born this month



Spanish national, Chef Luis Manuel Ezqueta Figueroa, enjoys December the most. As Head Chef at Casa de Tapas, the restaurant at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, this is when he can recreate some of the authentic Spanish Christmas recipes and introduce his guests to these traditional delicacies. He draws inspiration from his own childhood as well as his stints at popular restaurants in Spain.

Nothing makes the effervescent Mansi Jasani happier than a perfectly round wheel of artisan cheese. She fell in love with this dairy don while in the US. So strong was her passion that she completed a Masters in Food Studies from NYU, bagged a certificate from the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese and landed an internship at Murray's Cheese New York. Her company, The Cheese Collective, makes and sells different types of cheese and she is happy educating people on why cheese is healthy, as long as one steers away from the mass-produced globs, which she refuses to accept as cheese. CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 7

restaurant review Sid Khullar / New Delhi

Summer's End at Sevilla


AN UNFORESEEN VISIT During the course of my travels, I happened to visit Sevilla, half a moon past. A cautious lot they were, only letting me in after checking the teeth and hindquarters of my steed, even shining a light into its nether regions. Further inside, I was only allowed to 8 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014

The Land of Sevilla

the claridges, new delhi

he Land of Sevilla is strange and beautiful. Bubbling brooks and brick bridges connect the many tiny islands King Claridges deemed it be made of. Clumps of candles, their stands sporting beards of tallow illuminate interconnecting pathways for the weary traveller or the bold adventurer. Entry to this land however requires visitors to be well heeled, a condition that, strangely enough is not checked upon entry, but only on exit. They term it, ‘Calling for the Check’, a test of valor that they do not impose, but insist that every visitor who has partaken of the land take on at his own behest. Those who fail, are alas destined for that dastardly penalty imposed by the Minister of Commerce, known far and wide as “Sink, Sponge and Soap”.

This outdoor Spanish restaurant not only looks great, it also serves up fantastic food, and delivered Sid Khullar a very different eating out experience.

proceed on foot and I trudged up to the porch, “Sevilla” written in bright letters across the front to find a lady, clad in black, hands clasped, her countenance illuminated by a pleasing smile. “Table for?” she asked, in a melodious manner. A most curious greeting, I thought and thinking perhaps they counted passages, said, “It is but I who seeks to enter your coveted land”. A look of confusion crossed her face and again she asked, “Table for?”. “One”, I said and immediately all was well again. A brilliant show of

Sevilla's design concept is an outdoor one from the ground up and is very different from most other outoor restaurants in the region.

teeth later, she gestured to the rising steps behind her and asked me to follow. Reaching the top of the stairs, I paused to look upon the Land of Sevilla, the merry streams and pretty bridges, the buildings and the trees, the candles and the glass, but most of all the wondrous aromas of all things fresh and fried, roasted and baked, grilled and steamed. THE TAVERN AND ITS KEEPER A drafty evening it was, with northern winds swirling around my feet, bringing with them the chill of the mountains and the scent of pine. I craved a hot meal, a crackling fire and looked about for a tavern that invited wayfarers. Finding one to the left, I entered and waited, though strangely, the one I awaited, was called, “The Waiter”. He arrived, a slender man in black and white, a mild bow to his manner and a knowing look upon his face. He bowed still further and asked of my pleasure, which was but a platter of food and a glass of spiced wine. No sooner had I stated my request, than the door swung open, a cold draft entered the room and there stood the largest man I had ever seen, poised to enter the room. With buttoned robes of pure black, barrel chest outthrust, he stared at me unflinchingly as his feet pounded upon the cobblestoned

floor, making his way unerringly towards my table. I feared for my life. What unspoken custom might I have broken to have caused offence to this giant of a man? A PROMISE OF FOOD A wide grin creased his face and his voice boomed around the room. “Tavernkeeper Tyagi, I am known as, and not one, but six platters of food will I serve you today”, he said, shaking me warmly by the hand, nearly lifting me off the floor in the process. “First, weary traveller, you shall partake of what we call Cordero, succulent chops of lamb that are cooking in my kitchen yonder”, said the tavern keeper. “And then this here my man shall bring to your table a bowlful of Gambas; fresh and juicy prawns that we cooked with spicy sausages brought in from lands many moons to the west.” So said he and turning around, stomped off towards the kitchen, leaving me agape and a-drool, a most unfortunate combination of expressions as you will no doubt agree. A PROMISE WELL KEPT I sat at the table, amidst candles aglow, and eagerly awaited the arrival of the promised victuals. The giant innkeeper was as good as his word, for in a matter of minutes, my table

AN END MOST MEMORABLE Soon it was I who was groaning, for I had eaten much past my due. I didn’t walk as much as wobble towards the door, quivering in fear that they serve me more. Brimming with gratitude, and just as much food, I thanked the Crier, the Cook and everyone else I viewed. This was my first trip, but not my last; I suggest you visit for you’ll certainly have a blast. ❧


Price: INR 2500++ (Meal for two)

Address: The Claridges, Aurangzeb Road, New Delhi 110011 Phones: 011 3955 5000 CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 9

restaurant review

the claridges, new delhi

Degustation of Lamb

groaned under the weight of many bowls and platters of food, each richer than the last and a delight to my senses. I skipped past the prawns, though the Town Crier seated beside me chomped into them and assured me they were just as described. I tore into the lamb, not one but of two types, the second a Degustation of Lamb, each a perfect example of the cook’s art, the latter with pieces of soft and tender lamb adorned with baby carrots, tiny potatoes, slices of grilled zucchini, romanesco broccoli and crunchy spears of asparagus, the whole bathed in a delicious brown sauce. I crunched into the Grated Duck Liver with Haricot Beans and revelled in the delicate flavor of the liver and delighted in the comforting textures of the Patatas Bravas. I crunched the crunchy skin of the Chilean Sea Bass and savored its succulent flesh, and ate morsel after morsel of the Sandia con Tamate, Queso de Cabara, which was a most ingenuous dish of crisp watermelon stuffed with cheese made from the milk of the hardy mountain goat and tomatoes dried in the hot summer sun.

restaurant review parul pratap shirazi / gurgaon

A Sunday in the Sun A selection of cheeses

Plenty more is required for Fio Country Kitchen and Bar to be THE Sunday destination.Do drop in though, for a four hour meal in a beautiful setting.

This particular Sunday we chose Fio Country Kitchen and Bar at the Garden of Five Senses. The location itself is such a coup, especially for winters. Fio is expansive, lush and very lavish, more so in the evenings, if you can handle the 10 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014


he one good thing about this season of frost is enjoying sunny days outdoors! I’m not much of a winter person; yes, despite having spent most of my life in this city, I find the chill relatively unbearable! To counter that, I spend as much time in the sun as possible; wrinkles be damned, consider the Vitamin D benefits and the possibility of Sunday brunches every weekend!

cold! Set in the foliage heavy environs of one of the prettiest gardens in the city, Fio is picturesque no doubt and given that their alfresco space is larger than the indoor seating, you are sure to have ample space for a large group too. The space is sectioned into smaller alcove areas so you can have a private party while regular diners enjoy a meal at Fio.

The ambiance and beauty aside, lets come down to brass tacks, for I am one person who is only, truly and completely impressed by the food! The Sunday brunch at Fio is laid out in the section called Frangipani, because it’s shaded by Frangipani trees and is fairly well organized. With live counters for eggs (to order), pasta, stone grills for Indian and European, charcoal

restaurant review

Freshly made waffles

grilled Indian and waffles and crepes at the dessert section, the spread is packed for sure. But, yes there is a but, it isn’t as beatifically executed as it looks. Given the price points, expectations are high and they aren’t entirely met. Starting with the cold buffet, which is hard to botch – the cheese spread is impressive and fresh (in terms of taste). In fact I suggest you don’t miss the salad counter and customize a bowl for yourself. Move on to the soups, which are usually quite progressive, like the Burnt Jalapeno and Tomato Basil, which was both hot and fresh. The bread counter is chock a block with the usuals, all made in house, from the rolls to the Focaccia but the real substance comes in as you check out the Italian course served in bain maries. I actually liked the vegetarian selection better – the risotto was in fact very nice but I found the live counter to be uninspiring and insipid. The offering was a selection of pastas in red or white sauce, almost juvenile in my opinion.

Even though the menu mentioned Seafood Paella, I failed to find it anywhere. Among the live grills, I chose the chicken, since the marinade looked essentially the same. Things picked up pace when we decided to switch to Indian food. The Tava Chaamp was very good albeit still cold inside – may have had something to do with the staff behind the counters, who didn’t seem entirely cued into their roles. The Indian spread was quite the respite, the curries were all good and a side of hot Indian breads brought our meal back on track, somewhat! In fact we even enjoyed the vegetarian preps, especially the curried paneer. In retrospect I feel the brunch spread did ample justice to vegetarians, which is new in a sense, isn’t it?! We managed to find a few favourites and tucked into those with fervour. The weather was pleasant and though it’s clear that the buffet spread is self service, half way through the meal, we decided to ask the servers for seconds. So the meal came together with vegetarian Italian and non vegetarian Indian – a few hits,

and misses which could be made up with the unlimited cocktails! Moving on to our favourite course, desserts, we were relatively happy with the spread of pastries, live crepe counter and an Indian halva but it was the names on the tent cards that upset me. For this kind of money, it would make so much sense to run food names through a quick spell check, agreed that it doesn’t add flavour to the food or take away from it, it just builds more confidence in a guest about what they’re likely to enjoy! Since was week one of the brunch, I’m sure a lot more work will go into building it as ‘the’ place to be on a Sunday, so take heed and do drop in, even if it’s for a four hour meal in a beautiful setting! ❧


Price: INR 2450++ (alc + cocktails) 1850++, (mocktals, aerated beverages), 1050++ (mocktails, aerated beverages, for children) - Per Person Address: Garden of 5 Senses, Mehrauli Phones: 011 3955 5000 CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 11

restaurant review Natasha Ali / Bangalore

A Tim Tai Time While Natasha Ali would not pronounce Tim Tai as a must-visit, for those in Koramangala and surrounding areas, it might be worth a shot.

F We tried the Lemongrass Iced Tea and Mandarin Feast. While decent, there was nothing to write home about. Save space for the food, I’d say.


or those of us who don’t want to be tied to just one country’s cuisine when we think Asian, but are not quite in the mood to spend a packet on a meal (at the five stars or chain Pan Asian eateries in town), there’s a new kid on the block who’s offering a mix of Asian dishes at a good price point. Tim Tai in Koramangala came into being a few months ago, on a street that we have come to think of as restaurant central.

Feast (INR 150). While both were decent, there was nothing to write home about. Save space for the food, I’d say.

The restaurant references traditional with a twist by its name and the décor and menu also play on this idea – colorful, with sketches and fun fonts. Inside, it’s bright and cheery with a central island and different types of seating, and the outdoor section has a waterfall wall and garden feel. Needless to say, we decided to sit in the latter section. Tim Tai doesn’t offer alcohol, so you’ll have to stick to the mocktails. We tried the Lemongrass Iced Tea (INR 150) and Mandarin

To start off, we ordered Prawns with Chilli Sambal, Long Beans & Cherry Tomatoes (INR 495) that came with a tangy, delectable Indonesian sambal sauce that my dining companion couldn’t get enough of. From the salads, we chose the Glass Noodle Salad (INR 175), which came with assorted mushrooms and was very light and nice. The Som Tum Thai (INR 175) – the ubiquitous raw papaya salad that is a staple on most Asian restaurant menus these days. This

A CULINARY EXCAVATION Tim Tai had an array of soups (Chinese and Thai), but given that we were visiting it on a warm afternoon with an eye to wanting to try as many dishes as was possible, we desisted. Be prepared to be bewildered by the number of things since the menu runs into!

tim tai bangalore

Dessert was the Water Chestnut Rubies with Coconut Milk and Ginger and Lemongrass Crème Brulee (INR 180 each), both quite good – the crème brulee needed to set just a little more since once I broke into it, it was a tad watery, but lemongrass lover in me forgave the texture and concentrated on the taste, in this case.

dish, honestly, was the only disappointing one for me – it lacked punch. However, the Banana Leaf Wrapped Fish with Balinese Spices (INR 400) made up for it – perfectly cooked and spiced, the fish was moist and had the right flavors.

For mains, the menu has all the curries you could want, from Malay to Thai to Burmese and Laotian, and these are all meal in a bowl dishes.

NOODLES THAT CONNECTED For mains, the menu has all the curries you could want, from Malay to Thai to Burmese and Laotian, and these are all meal in a bowl dishes. There are also a number of noodle and rice options – we stayed simple and had one of each to go with our stir fries of Lamb with Young Peppercons and Thai Herbs (INR 450) and Tamarind Fish with Red Chillies & Kafir Lime Leaves (INR 400), both beautifully done; the lamb perfectly cooked and the tamarind adding an interesting depth of flavor to the fish. I liked the touch of the quick fried

There are also a ton of vegetarian dishes to choose from, and I know I’ll need at least two more visits, that too with a biggish group, to be able to experience the menu properly. In fact, it was only post my visit that I could get why a friend had already visited the place three times in a month – living as we do deep in South Bangalore, finding good places that you can revisit not too far away, and which has a selection that ensures you don’t have to repeat your choices, makes it a winner! So, while we would not herald Tim Tai as the next absolutely must-visit spot in Bengaluru, we suggest you take a trip over there anyway - you are sure to leave happy. If the near full house we saw during our visit, many of y’all already are heading there! ❧


Price: INR 1600++ (Meal for two)

Address: 130, 1st Cross, 5th Block, Koramangala, Bangalore Phones: 080 6569 8888 CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 13

restaurant review

bok choy on top of the noodles and the rice had a really lovely flavor that made me reach for a second helping despite being full.

restaurant review Natasha Ali / Bangalore

Natasha Ali recently revisited the ‘old’ Monkey Bar, which has some new tricks up its sleeve, and the crowd is lapping it up. From cocktails to small plates to sandwiches to dessert, new names are popping up on its menu.


ince it first opened its doors in Bangalore, Monkey Bar has been winning fans and ensuring a good time for anyone who crosses its threshold. Fast forward to today, and the original Monkey Bar on Wood Street has sister concerns in both Bangalore and Delhi. But lets face it, there’s nothing quite like an original, now is there? I was recently back at the flagship Monkey Bar, which has some new tricks up its sleeve, courtesy additions on the menu. From cocktails to small plates to sandwiches to dessert, new names are popping up. Fortunately, most of these newbies are getting applause from its patrons. MONKEY GOES BANANAS It goes without saying that the cocktails at Monkey Bar are always memorable. If you have visited it


a few times, you will have decided your favorites. Amongst the new cocktails, one that stood out Bloody Monkey head and shoulders black currant, berry compote and above the rest was cranberry – fruity to the core! Or the Kiss-Ky Whiskey, an orange, opt for the Mandarin Blast, Abtriple sec and ginger ale laced solut Mandarin, mandarin juice, Jameson Irish whiskey drink. It grenadine and ginger ale, also was smooth and is a serious contender for my affections alongside served in a bottle. my other favorite whiskey drink at FOOD FOR ANY OCCASION Monkey, the Copper Monkey. Much as we love the tipple at Monkey Bar, the food is equally delish Monkeypolitan, a Cosmopolitan and different! Do your taste buds a with a Monkey do-over featurfavor and order the Reddy’s Chicking Absolut Citron, lemongrass, en, crisp fried chicken morsels cranberry juice and orange peel seasoned with curry leaves, black was another winner. For those pepper, coconut shavings and lemwho want their alcoholic beveron. The first time we ordered it, we age fruity with the spirit’s taste were worried it would be too spicy, masked, try the Berry Blast, presented in a pint size Absolut bottle, too fried or too coconutty. But our fears were unfounded; this with Absolut Kurant, strawberry,

monkey bar, bangalore

Monkey See, Monkey Do

restaurant review

Steak n Cheese

Monkey Burger monkey bar, bangalore

The Steak n Cheese was the definite star of the show. Apart from the perfect baguette, it was the mustard that really drove home the point in this sandwich of seared steak, green peppers, grilled onions, mushrooms and of course, cheese.

The Monkey Bar

dish is exactly what you want when drinking, when slightly hungry, when famished, when…okay, you get the idea! The Mushroom Bruschetta was so much more than just bruschetta. Slices of lightly grilled, garlicky baguette get a generous helping of a melange of mushrooms (shitake, straw, oyster, button and porcini) with a dollop of melted brie to finish it off. The only item that didn’t find favor that afternoon was the Kung Fu Rolls; somehow the flavors and consistency didn’t come together and after sampling one each, we stopped. From the ‘Burgers and More’ section of the menu, we chose two new sandwich offerings: the Saigon, a nice take on the Viet-

namese Banh Mi with crisp pork belly rashers, pickled veggies and mayo, and the definite star of the show, the Steak n Cheese. Apart from the perfect baguette, it was the mustard that really drove home the point in this sandwich of seared steak, green peppers, grilled onions, mushrooms and of course, cheese. LURE OF THE CHEESECAKE A round of desserts rounded out our girls’ afternoon, and we tried the newly introduced Cheesecake and Carrot Cake. The Carrot Cake a la mode had a Gajar Ka Halwa-esque topping and was a big hit with my friend, with its cashews and brown sugary goodness. The cheesecake was served in a jar, a deconstructed, layered affair

that consisted of decadent cream cheese, almonds and a toasted marshmallow on top. Now I fell right in lust with this and had my nose in the jar – give me a well done cream cheese dressing/frosting and you have a rare occurrence – my silence! With so many new additions on the menu, one thing is certain - we need to keep visiting Monkey Bar regularly to do its food justice. Amen to that! ❧


Price: INR 2000++ (Meal for two)

Address: 14/1, Krishna Manere, Wood Street, Ashok Nagar, Off Richmond Road, Bangalore Phones: 080 4111 6878 CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 15

restaurant review Vinita bhatia / mumbai

Trying Hard, But Not Hard Enough

5 restaurant, mumbai

We liked the old 5 Restaurant and hope the new avatar manages to resuscitate its food offerings soon, especially since it has to contend with stiff competition from several other eating places and watering holes within a 1-km radius.

Baked Potatoes 16 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014


s much as one tries not to draw comparisons when it comes to writing about restaurants, it is difficult not to fall into this trap; especially when one is visiting the same establishment, albeit in a different location. While the earlier bistro was holed away in an old bungalow on an arterial road of a sleepy suburb, new 5 Restaurant is smack on yet another main street 10 minutes away, but on a chaotic stretch. The al fresco seating of the eatery is, therefore, for those who are aurally challenged or do not mind dining to the acoustics provided by a steady stream of honking vehicles. Thankfully, once indoors, the noise is filtered by

the thick glass windows. That the owners have paid a lot of attention to detailing is evident in various fixtures dotting the restaurant – from the cup-saucer plant holders for the wall garden to the suspended glass globules that cast kaleidoscopic reflections, to tablemats with real rose petals pasted on them. But not as much attention seems to have gone into planning the menu. BRING THE OLD 5 BACK Finally, 5 Restaurant has a bar, something the earlier eatery lacked, though the beverage prices are a little steep. The pretty looking and sweet-tasting Cosmopolitan (INR 395) had more orange liqueur and cranberry than potent vodka. The Iced Tea (INR 125) was refreshing with the lemon zest adding a nice touch to it. The food menu is limited, but we were told it would be beefed up in a few days. While mulling over what to order, we picked up some bread rolls from the breadbasket and were pleasantly surprised to find them warm; perfect with the herbed butter served alongside. It is easy to mistake the Baked Potatoes (INR 285) for a bunch of chrysanthemums and we mean it in a good way. The top half of the

We suspected that the Grilled Pork Chops (INR 455) were not grilled in the true sense of the verb. However, we were willing to overlook this because whichever cooking technique the chef used, it made the meat quite tender. The tiny bacon bits in the potato mash made this a pork-lover’s culinary dream come true. We felt the sweet onion wine jus was unnecessary, especially because along with the sautéed mushrooms, this dish had too many elements. THE MISSES We knew the Parmesan Gnocchi (INR 285) would be creamy. However, the potato dumplings came in a sauce so creamy, that even the inclusion of tangerine zest overpowered any flavor the gnocchi had to begin with. The Basil Mustard Basa (INR 325), one of 5’s signature dishes, was disappointing. We expected the fish to have a slightly spicy marinade of

mustard seeds with the fragrance of fresh basil leaves. Instead, we got pan-fried basa fillets with crushed mustard seeds rubbed over them, with some dried basil leaves sprinkled atop. Another letdown was the Cottage Cheese Steak (INR 365); tasteless, thick slabs of paneer. SWEET REDEMPTION Thankfully, desserts salvaged the meal, especially the Hazelnut Creme Brulee (INR 245) with the excellent crunchy layer of caramelized sugar concealing the creamy custard within. The Banana Flip Torte (INR 245), another 5 specialty, packs a delicious wallop, with a crumbly tart slathered with thick toffee sauce and caramelized banana pieces, all topped with an inch thick layer of white chocolate mousse.

The potato dumplings came in a sauce so creamy, that even the inclusion of tangerine zest overpowered any flavor the gnocchi had to begin with.

Change, they say, is the only constant in life. When it comes to food though, change is likeable only when locations shift, without too much alteration in the quality of the food a restaurant is known for. We liked the old 5 Restaurant and hope the new avatar manages to resuscitate its food offerings soon, especially since it has to contend with stiff competition nearby. ❧

5 restaurant, mumbai

Grilled Pork Chops


Price: INR 1800++ (Meal for two)

Address: Guru Gobind Singh Marg, Below Red Palm Residency, Khar West, Mumbai – 400 052 Phones: 080 6693 9919 CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 17

restaurant review

baked potatoes were cut and the spuds were hollowed out to accommodate layers of mushrooms and jalapenos and crumbled feta, with some grated cheese baked to a crispy brown color. We thoroughly recommend it.

restaurant review Vinita bhatia / mumbai Sweet Mustard Seed Baby Back Ribs

chiis, mumbai

The ‘Limited Time Offer’ menu at Chili’s Grill and Bar is fairly limited and the dishes aren't original. They are however mostly American comfort foods that one associates with this chain of restaurants.

It’s Smokin’!


here do you head when you want greasy, but soul-satisfying, all-American food that are not of the fast food variety? If you reside in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore or Hyderabad, then no prizes for guessing the answer is Chili’s Grill & Bar. The Texas-based chain of casual dining restaurants that offers Tex-Mex inspired cuisine devised a ‘Limited Time Offer’ menu from November 2014 till January 2015, featuring select dishes that had one or more of its famous flavors – smoky, hot and spicy. Equal por-


tions of curiosity and fondness for this sassy restaurant saw us land there. SWEET AND SMOKY Since the menu had only two beverages, Watermelon Margarita (INR 600) and Watermelon Lemonade (INR 250), we opted for the former. Let us warn you that the 45ml of tequila mixed with Chili’s special sours and watermelon puree can knock your socks off, though the presence of the fruit’s seeds can be quite an irritant. The Smoked Salmon Salad (INR 650) came in the same martini glass that Chili’s famous Presidente Margarita is served in. It was too

dry and a slightly creamy dressing would have remedied this issue, while the bitter avocado chunks made this otherwise nutritious salad a turn-off. The Pulled Chicken Corn Cakes (INR 250), on the other hand, was an instant turn-on. The crispy crepe-ish corn cakes were the perfect base for smoked chicken pieces, while the cumin-lime sour cream added a nice twang. AMERICAN LARGESSE One thing we ought to warn you about Chili’s is the supersized portions – yet another American legacy. The Smoked Chicken Quarters (INR 550) is a perfect example of

this. The quartered chicken piece had a lovely glaze of sweet mustard barbeque sauce, while the sautéed vegetables – especially the generous amount of corn – tricked the conscience into believing that this meal was just what the good doctor had suggested; mash and all. Of course, the same conscience reared its sanctimonious head when the Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas (INR 475) wound its way to our table. The enchiladas were stuffed with Monterey Jack cheese and spicy chicken, with a thick drizzle of melted cheese over it. We tried to draw its attention to the healthier black bean salsa and herbed rice, but lost the argument. Realising that we were on the backfoot with our inner self, we decided to go the whole hog with the Spicy Smoked Shrimp Pasta (INR 550), which had more Monterey Jack cheese coating the penne

Spicy Smoked Shrimp Pasta

pasta. The addition of the citrus chili sauce and pesto with lot of vegetables was a good thought to cut what would otherwise have been an excessively cheese-laden dish. Though we knew we were overdoing it, we could not resist trying half a rack of the Sweet Mustard Seed Baby Back Ribs (INR 1000). The menu promised it would be smoky and sweet, but we think someone forgot to tell Smoky! The barbecue sauce, made from crushed mustard, honey and Worcestershire sauce, coating the tender pork ribs was very sweet, and we suspect the corn-on-thecob was meant to equalize matters. The pairing worked, though biting through the corn kernels was a messy affair. Who can endure passing up Sizzling Brownie (INR 225) with a thick slab of brownie topped with a

melting scoop of vanilla ice cream that had a thin crust of frozen dark chocolate over it? Not us! With the production of chocolate likely to end in the next decade, we intend to get as much cocoa into our systems as is possible! The ‘Limited Time Offer’ menu might not be achingly original, but the good thing is that Chili’s has managed to put together a list of choices that do not deviate too far from what we have come to expect from this bar and grill. It is better to err on the side of predictability than to dabble into something that is too novel to digest. ❧


Price: INR 2800++ (Meal for two)

Address: #13, Ventura Building, Central Avenue Road, Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai - 400076 Phones: 080 6741 9002 CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 19

restaurant review

chilis, mumbai

The quartered chicken piece had a lovely glaze of sweet mustard barbeque sauce, while the sautéed vegetables, especially the generous amount of corn, tricked the conscience into believing that this meal was just what the good doctor had suggested – mash and all.



Keeping Up With The Old Ways by Parul Pratap Shirazi / New Delhi and Vinita Bhatia / mumbai

Eating till you burst is perfectly acceptable during Christmas. In fact, you are encouraged to eat till you can only roll on the floor and do no more. But have you wondered about the traditions attached to some of those Christmassy special delicacies? We did, and we asked some leading chefs to cast light on how they came into being.


hristmas — it is that time of the year when homes are decked with boughs of holly, a faux fir tree has tinsel drizzled on it, stockings are hung on walls and guests keep streaming into the home. There is cheeriness and bonhomie all around. And everyone looks forward to indulging in gut-busting lunches and dinners, with some munching in between. But not many know about the history behind some of the dishes they pop into their mouths during the festive times. The traditions, which were once set in stone, have now evolved to become more contemporary. Nonetheless, what is the fun of eating a convention-dictated meal, without knowing how and why it came into being? Let’s take a journey to glimpse some of the orthodox, and some not so unorthodox, conventions that ruled

what appeared on Christmas dinner tables in different parts of the world. CAKE MIXING Cake mixing as a ceremony seems to be the high point of several establishments the world over, and increasingly in India. It is meant to signal the advent of Christmas, when families would get together and each member would toss in a handful of dry fruits and berries in a large bowl of rum or sherry with a prayer for the clan’s wellbeing. From a culinary standpoint this tradition also made sense, given the cool December month needed a spicy and decadent Christmas cake as a hearty, warming dessert. Moreover, it could stay without refrigeration (which was not an option in the old world) for months. We were also told by a Native German that usually the grandma of the family would mix all the CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 21

■ COVER FEATURE dry fruits and berries in brandy and rum for the Christmas cake, but not use all this for that year's cake. Some of the mix would be left over to mix in the next year's cake and so on. So for all one knows, they were eating cake that had some bit that went back to over a decade. Sounds like a sourdough starter, doesn’t it? But then that’s what tradition is all about, a little piece of history and a little bite of a legacy. PANETTONE This humble Italian bread has an interesting story that few know about. Many years ago, a poor Milanese baker fell in love with a rich merchant’s daugh-

ter. Back then, the rich would soak different types of spices, nuts and seeds in rich wine to be mixed into the Christmas cake, while the less privileged made do with bread. The ardent youngster wanted to gift his beloved a decadent cake to profess his love, but he managed to collect only some dried raisins, and orange and lemon peels to add to the flour, eggs, butter and yeast. Undeterred he worked hard and long to bake the perfect bread, and that is how the Panettone came into being. The merchant’s daughter fell in love with baker’s earnestness to please her, as much as she did with the bread and they married and lived happily every after.

Narrating this story, Chef Alessio Mecozzi of CastaDiva Resort & Spa in Italy says that the Panettone is to Italians what the Hot Cross Buns is to Britons and the Fruitcake is to Americans. “Most bakeries start selling Panettones from the first week of Christmas till the New Year. These days, besides the traditionally big Panettones, which weigh over a kilo, they also make smaller muffins, since they are easier to eat, store and gift,” he adds.



YULE LOG Also called the Bûche De Noël in France, where French Patissiers pride themselves in creating visually stunning representations, this is an elaborate cake made by rolling delicate sponge cake filled with pastry cream and frosted with chocolate buttercream. It is designed to look like a log as the name suggests, complete with the ‘age rings’ of the tree bark. It is further decorated with accents that add the final touches,


It isn’t only food that is steeped in tradition; countries too have their own unusual Christmas traditions!

A Mexican Pinata


In Mexico, Christmas celebrations officially kick off on the 16th of December and continue in this manner till the 23rd. Mexican families pray every night and then indulge in an extravagant feast. Chef Raul Martinez Ramirez of La Bodega in New Delhi says that every home had a pinata filled with fruit. Today they hold candy, little toys, masks; anything that would fit and make the kids squeal with delight when the pinata is destroyed.


Christian Chadwick, Director of Whipped bakery tells us how Celtic Brits would bake a few 10 pence coins inside the Christmas pudding. And the one served the portion with the money would be deemed lucky for the year and the year to come! This, Christian said, used to be the highlight of a Christmas dinner at boarding school in Kent, England. All good fun!


The Aussies have it good when it comes to Christmas; they have two every year! Given that the southern hemisphere has them sweltering in the blistering heat during December, their Christmas celebrations almost always include a ‘Barbie on the Beach’ — a beach barbecue with oysters, octopus, fish and shrimp. But David Hopcroft, GM of Pullman Gurgaon Central Park said this never satisfied the soul that originated in Europe. So Aussies had another Christmas in July, when it snowed in the blue mountains and the frosty climate was ideal for a celebration like this. After all, that was the true spirit of Christmas!

meringue (now fondant as well) mushrooms and holly. The history of this cake dates back to the Iron Age, back when people came together to welcome the winter solstice; a time when the main source of warmth was love, liquor and firewood! The same wood would also be used to bake, since it was a commodity worth having multiple uses for. Sponge cake was one of the oldest cake recipes around, so it made sense to use it. But how would they have added elements to suit the season? By adding the holly and the mushrooms that sprouted under the trees ever so often.

And like most gourmet foods, it was the French who made the Yule Log popular. As proud advocates of their cuisine and self-proclaimed (and in time world acclaimed) bakers, their word was gospel. They added decorations to this ode to ‘firewood’ and every bakery in France vied for sales by displaying elaborate versions in their show windows. SPANISH CAGANER Not much is known of this sweet and sad character that originated in Catalonia, possibly centuries ago. While talking to a Spanish Chef, we were told that Spaniards start celebrating Christmas from the first week of December when the first decoration is put up on the tree. The first dish of the season is this strange character who is shown with his pants down and ‘doing the business’! Despite how unappetizing that sounds, it is an old tradition. Since it is a custom that dates back to the 17th-18th century, one can assume it is a character that adds a ‘human element’ to the otherwise highly traditional nativity scene, for where there are commoners, there will be ‘real life’. Incidentally, ‘El Caganer’ literally means ‘the shitter’! continued on page 26 CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 23



Orange Scented Turkey It is difficult to look beyond a superbly roasted turkey while thinking about what to prepare for Christmas. ‘Tis the time for happy gobbling after all! { INGREDIENTS } 1 whole turkey (approximately 4 – 5 kilos), cleaned and dried For Brine 3 liters water 200 gm carrots, roughly chopped 200 gm onion, roughly chopped 100 gm celery, roughly chopped 150 gm leeks, roughly chopped Salt, to taste 200 gm fresh orange, roughly chopped

For spice bundle 3 bay leaves 6 black peppercorn 1 cinnamon stick 1 star anise 4 sprigs thyme 4 sprigs rosemary Cheese cloth to tie spices 15 cm string For rub for turkey 150 gm butter 30 gm breadcrumbs 50 gm parsley, finely chopped 50 gm rosemary, finely chopped

50 gm thyme, leaves, finely chopped 20 gm garlic, finely chopped 30 gm orange zest For roasting 150 gm onions, roughly chopped 150 gm carrots, roughly chopped 150 gm fennel, roughly chopped 100 gm celery, roughly chopped 8 garlic cloves with skin 4 sprigs rosemary 4 sprigs thyme 1 orange, segmented

{ METHOD } • To prepare the brine, combine all ingredients, except oranges, in a pot and bring to a simmer. • Wrap all the ingredients of the spice bundle in the cheesecloth and secure with the string. Add this spice bundle to the brine and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. • Take the pot off heat and let it cool. Once it is cold, add the fresh orange pieces. • Submerge the turkey in the brine overnight. • Combine all the ingredients for the turkey run and let it also rest overnight. • Next day, remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry. Discard the spice bundle • Take a dollop of the rub on your hands and massage it all over the turkey. • Place the turkey in a dish and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate it for 1 hour. • Remove the cold turkey and let it rest outside for 20 minutes till it reaches room temperature. • Preheat the oven to about 200°C.

• Take a deep baking tray and toss in all the vegetables for roasting. • Place the turkey over the vegetables so that the underside of the bird does not burn. • Place the herbs and orange segments in the cavity and bake the turkey in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. • Lower the heat to 150°C and bake for another 4 hours. Into 2 hours of baking, rotate the turkey in the baking tray to ensure even cooking. • Increase the temperature to 220°C and bake for another 9 minutes. • Remove the turkey from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil. Let it rest for another 20 minutes. • Serve it with some roasted sweet potatoes.

* Serves: 9 * Preparation: 1 day Cooking: 6 hours

Recipe courtesy: Chef Anand Morwani of Brewbot 24 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 25


continued from page 23

EGGNOG Milky, boozy, sweet and not supposed to be ‘eggy’, this Yuletide beverage has plenty of history attached to it. Some say it originated in Medieval Britain, a foggy, cold country where anything rich, milk and ale infused was always welcome. Since milk and eggs were not for the bourgeoisie, the rich used this beverage to toast health and wealth during the festive season. But how did it become a drink for the festive season? It was probably when people immigrated to the new land, United States, where they owned farms with plenty of milk and eggs. Rum was added for warmth and so came about the recipe we know now.

MINCE PIES As the name suggests, mince pies were originally filled with meat. They were shaped like a cradle to represent the birth of baby Jesus and his bed in the manger.

The name however remains a mystery. It could have come from the word ‘noggin’ which meant cup for all we know. For now let’s be content with the fact that it happened and it warms our bones.

These are but a few, better known examples of the many dishes that surround the legend of Christmas. All our traditions have deep culinary roots and it must be our endeavor to preserve them for the generations to come. ❧


Eggnog and Mince Pies

It was only when American colonies began to fill with European immigrants and families from the homeland would want to send these treats to their loved ones, that the meat probably got replaced with minced fruit leftover from the Christmas pudding. Once more it was about the shelf life of the dish and not so much the need for the wealthy to show off

What should you be drinking this Christmas? Check out our suggestions on page 68!


Divya bhatia


culinary maestro

“Only if I knew my native cuisine well, could I make people across all nationalities appreciate it” – Chef Oh Wong Jong Vinita bhatia / mumbai


culinary maestro chef oh wong jong

Think Korean food and the first, and probably the only, dish that comes to mind is kimchi. Bibimpap comes a close second, but only to those who might have tried it out in one of the few Oriental restaurants that serve this cuisine. This is a monumental tragedy, according to Chef Oh Wong Jong, a Korean national who cooks, eats and breathes Korean food. A chef at JW Marriott Seoul, he held a Korean food festival at Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel to introduce Indians to unknown flavors of his native cuisine. He spoke to Vinita Bhatia about how he hopes that someday Korean food becomes as omniscient as Chinese or Japanese food. And how he fervently hopes he plays a very active role in this culinary transformation. Vinita Bhatia (VB): Is food something that always interested you? Chef Oh Wong Jong (OWJ): You can say it did. I was born in Yeosu city in the southern part of Korea, in a very traditional household. My father was a manager in an oil company, while my mother cared for younger brother and me. I would always be curious what she put into the pots of boiling stews and the rice. Soon, I could distinguish what my mother was cooking just by smelling the aromas wafting in the kitchen, and that only piqued my interest about the magical world of cooking. That set me on the course to get into the food industry. After completing my schooling, I pursued a four-year degree course in culinary arts from Yeosu University.


VB: You worked in the US for a brief while and it is not easy to find restaurants serving Korean food in most countries, even the US. Why did you decide to specialise in your native cuisine instead of something other more popular cuisine like Chinese? OWJ: After I graduated from college, I joined the Navy where I worked in the kitchen department. Later, I moved to the US and worked at Signature Grill at the JW Marriott Starrpass resort in

Tuscon. Like you said, during my stint in the US I realized there were few restaurants serving authentic Korean food, which I thought was a shame. It was here that I realized that I wanted to return to my grass roots and learn true-to-heart Korean recipes. I figured only if I knew my native cuisine well, only then could I make people across all nationalities appreciate it. In Korea, I had the good fortune to work in some of the finest restaurants like Solpine in Woosong Tower and at the JW Marriott Seoul, where I handle the main Korean kitchen currently.

Chef Oh Wong Jong

Divya bhatia

VB: Deciding to become a chef could not have been easy, since traditionally Korean men do not cook. OWJ: Frankly, once I had my mind set on this course, I did not care for tradition. I knew only two things – that I liked to eat good food and that I liked to entertain people. All I wanted to do was ex-

periments with flavours and taste and make this my profession.


culinary maestro


chef oh wong jong

Bibimpap This dish is a perpetual Korean favorite; so much so, it could even be called Korea's national dish! A nutritious preparation with all kinds of good stuff in there, Bibimpap is easy to prepare and loved by people of all ages. { INGREDIENTS } 2 tbsp sesame oil 4 egg yolks, poached 600 gm warm rice, cooked Roasted white sesame, as needed For pre-seasoning the meat: 400 gm beef, cut into thin slices 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp cooking sake 2 tbsp sesame oil For spinach, carrot, shimeji mushroom, shio-kombu namul

100 gm spinach 100 gm carrot 1 packet Shimeji mushrooms 20 gm Shio-kombu 2 tbsp sesame oil Pinch of salt For the bean sprout namul: 1 cup bean sprouts 2 tbsp vinegar 1 tbsp sugar Âź tsp salt 1 tbsp sesame oil

Nutrititous and crunchy bean sprouts!

Delicious fried meat - protein! Substitute with other meats if you like.


For the gravy sauce 2 tbsp soy sauce 2 tbsp cooking sake 1 tbsp sugar 1 heaped tsp Gochujang 1 heaped tsp Tianmianjiang 2 tsp oyster sauce


culinary maestro chef oh wong jong

{ METHOD } • For pre-seasoning the meat: Mix the soy sauce, cooking sake • Once the meat is about half cooked, add the ingredients for and sesame oil. Marinate the meat in this sauce for half hour. gravy sauce and continue frying for about 5 minutes over • Mix all the ingredients for spinach, carrot, shimeji mushroom, medium to low heat. and shio-kombu namul, and keep aside. • Once the sauce has become thick, it's ready. • To prepare the bean sprouts namul, boil the bean sprouts. • In a bowl ladle out the rice. Spoon out this gravy over the rice. Once it is cooled, drain the excess water. Mix all other ingrediAdd some the two types of namul along with an egg yolk and ents for the namul and then add the bean sprouts, to allow the some roasted sesame seeds. flavors to soak in. • In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp sesame oil. Saute the meat in the * Serves: 4 * oil over medium heat, without letting it get too brown. Preparation: 30 min Cooking time: 30 min

lymbo h s n Nort ch i e ri present itake r a re nts shi ed. edie colours tance, r awe g n i ns rk i se d the p i a r a d o p r n m o r Bibi Black o eys - f rns or outh an ujube e j S n f . d m i n is e k bracke resents ts and e livh t h o d p t r , s an is re d ar ge room t an , c ite mush or oran chilli ts Eas ch. Wh an e a s b en Red , with repres d spin such a nally n t s i hear . Green umber a th food And f mach. s i c . e w u to e dat th c lungs, nd ric e, or s gg. i w a er, or the ish, entr o or e t d he c West ts, ra ents t n, pota s u i e o k r mp spr w rep e pu o yell includ s Food


culinary maestro


chef oh wong jong

Turnip Kimchi

Kimchi is the pickles of Korean food and there are so many types, all accompanying the multi-hued extravaganza that is Korean cuisine. This recipe is for but one of the multiple varieties of Kimchi. { INGREDIENTS } 250 ml water 2 tbsp salt 50 gm sugar 750 gm turnips, sliced fine 125 gm leek, chopped

100 gm Korean parsley, chopped 50 gm garlic, chopped 2 tbsp ginger, sliced fine 100 gm onion, chopped

{ METHOD } • Mix the salt, water and sugar in an airtight glass container. • Add in the other ingredients and store in an airtight container for at least 24 hours. The longer you store it, the better flavored the kimchi. • Spoon out the kimchi without the liquid and serve whenever required.

* Makes: 1 kilo * Preparation: 1 day

Chef ’s tip: You can add more crunch to this kimchi by adding 25 gm salted shrimp. 34 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014

culinary maestro chef oh wong jong

VB: So do your guests at JW Marriott Seoul expect authentic Korean recipes or do they want some fusion fare? OWJ: I am thrilled that gradually Korean cuisine is becoming a rage across the world and global travelers who visit our hotel often ask for Korean food. Not many know that the cuisine is very different from Japanese and Chinese cuisines, with its spicy and tangy flavors. At the hotel, we try to educate our guests about these nuances. We prepare authentic Korean fare with classical Japanese presentations or a contemporary western presentation, but the flavours are uniquely Korean.

Smoked Pork with Radish Kimchi

gung the palace, gurgaon / photo by sid khullar

“South Korea is warmer so the stews and broths from this region are spicier, while North Korean food is more peasant-like with less refined ingredients.”

VB: Were these the same thoughts in your mind while hosting the Korean Food Festival at Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel with its Executive Chef Sandeep Pande? OWJ: Most people perceive that Korean food is like Japanese cuisine. I wanted to help them appreciate them Korean food for what it truly is and its diversity too. For instance, South Korea is warmer so the stews and broths from this region are spicier, while North Korean food is more peasant-like with less refined ingredients.

Overall, Korean food flavours are simple with the inclusion of many vegetables. In fact, there are as many plant based foods as there are non-vegetarian dishes in the cuisine and the choice of meats is equally divided between pork and chicken. VB: Sourcing of authentic Korean ingredients can be very difficult in India. So how did you substitute these ingredients while retaining the authentic taste of Korean food at Renaissance?

OWJ: We had tied up with a Korean national agency called Korean Agro Fisheries and Food Trade Corporation to source various authentic ingredients. But there were some hiccups. For instance, I could not get Korean mustard so I had to use Dijon mustard, which altered the taste of some dishes. But one has to make do with what is on hand. VB: Not much is known about authentic Korean culinary cultures and flavors. Why are some of its highlights? OWJ: Just like in India, in Korea too, we have lot of rituals associated with cooking and eating. For instance, when we dine, the elderly family members eat the food first. In most households, a prayer is said before food is served, which I have observed in Indian homes too. Ultimately, people the world over can be divided by geographies; but food binds them. ❧ CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 35

culinary maestro parul pratap shirazi

“My biggest challenge is making authentic Mexican food for vegetarians” - Chef Raul Martinez The young Chef Raul Martinez Ramirez is new to India but not new to good food. Coming from an old culture like Mexico, he understands and respects tradition, yet his youth urges him to try new things, a very potent combination! As the Executive Chef at La Bodega, Delhi’s newest and possibly only, authentic Parul Pratap Shirazi (PS): It has been almost a year since you came to India. Was it easy setting up the operations at La Bodega, especially since this was the first time you had come to India and were not aware of the expectations from your patrons? Chef Raul Martinez (RM): I came here in January 2014 and La Bodega opened in April, so I had just 4 months to get organized. For the initial few months, I was busy experimenting. I knew my recipes but I had to try them here, repeatedly to see if our customers would like it. I also had to spend lot of time in the market, see the produce and see how these could be fit into the recipes to make the final menu. 36 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014

Mexican kitchen, he wants to pamper guests with fabulous food but which is laced with the culinary heritage of Mexico. He tells Parul Pratap Shirazi how he has La Bodega is an antojeria y bar that is rich with the celebration of authentic Mexican cuisine.

PS: Was this your first time managing the kitchen for a commercial establishment? RM: I had my own restaurant in Mexico which I ran with a friend of mine for two years. Later I decided to come to India and join the opening team of La Bodega. PS: How different was the experience of running a restaurant in India as compared to the one in Mexico? RM: The similarity between the Indian and Mexican market is that the food business in both countries is booming! Everybody in Mexico wants to try Mexican food, but running a commercial restaurant there is very tough. The problem is the government, the politicians and the taxation policies – we have to pay too many taxes. It is also about the high rent because a good

place can cost lakh of rupees in rent. There are other payouts as well, which are not always legal! Coming to India, so many things are different here – the language, the produce and the palate! However, I can now see that some things are also very similar! PS: But aren’t the Mexican and Indian palates almost similar? Both geographies love their onion-garlic-tomato base and spicy food, don’t they? RM: Those similarities do exist, but the spice palate are so different. In Mexico, the main ingredient is ‘chili’, which is very versatile and will give you different flavours! Sometimes it is smoky, sometimes its colorful, sometimes sweet and even citric at times. Indians, on

Chef Raul Martinez

the other hand, have their masalas which is another world of spices. My biggest challenge is making authentic Mexican food for vegetarians. In Mexico, very few people are vegetarian, but in India almost 50% of guests want vegetarian fare. PS: So how did you create entirely new vegetarian recipes, since your cuisine has so few? RM: In some dishes, I just have to remove the protein or the meat and it works. But then I can add another flavour. We have a special menu every month, so every time I try a new dish, I have to try a vegetarian version simultaneously. So, whether it is soup, appetizer or main course, I give options in vegetarian and with meat. Even in desserts I am very careful; whether it is eggs or gelatin.

“When I was young, I didn’t want to study. My mother was fed up and said that if I did not want to study, I would have to work to pay rent and pay my way through. So, I started working in a kitchen as a dishwasher!”

PS: I can see how these challenges are so exciting for you as a chef. Did you study to become a chef? RM: When I was young, I didn’t want to study. My mother was fed up and said that if I did not want to study, I would have to work to pay rent and pay my way through. So, I started working in a kitchen as a dishwasher! When I got this job I was surprised because I didn’t expect to work in a place like that. After some years, my interest in the kitchen grew and I started to study ‘cooking’. I started with one diploma and added another and then another. Also, I went to Monaco and Paris to study and learn. I had the support of scholarships from the government or a foundation. This chance to go out and learn helped me a lot. I believe a lot in destiny, so now I’m in India. This profession has helped me travel, CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 37

culinary maestro chef raul martinez see different countries and experience different cultures, and I am grateful for that. PS: How easy or difficult is it to work here; with the people in your kitchen and with the language as a barrier? RM: I am actually very happy with my team because they are very young people. A young team is always eager to learn regardless of language and all that. So, they like to know more about other cuisines and they want to learn. That helps! When I came here, I asked only for one thing, I need a Sous Chef who has a background in Spanish or French style of cooking and should be familiar with Mediterranean cuisines. My Sous Chef, Santosh, knows all that, recipes and techniques and follows my lead perfectly. Carnitas de pato


PS: How much of a challenge is it working with local produce? RM: It is not a challenge; it’s what you have in front of you, so you have to just work with it. After you fix the system, it is just a flow. There may be limitations in the produce but with some experience, you can go past it and make something special anyway. My menu is designed knowing I won’t be able to source certain things on a regular basis. Whenever I visit Mexico, like I did two months back, I will bring back some favourites, corn, hibiscus flower, chillies, etc, which I need for authentic Mexican cooking. But in the meantime, as a chef, you have to experiment. Every month I experiment and do a special menu with two appetizers, two main course dishes. If people like it then, I add them to my main menu. I love traditional Mexican food but I like to try some

culinary maestro chef raul martinez

“My menu is very traditional; it is home food from Mexico, what my mom or grandmother will make.”

Chilaquiles verdes

modern ideas around it as well, make it more sophisticated also. My head is always thinking! PS: So there is always a dynamic menu happening here? RM: Yes, I want to keep trying new stuff. My menu is very traditional; it is home food from Mexico, what my mom or grandmother will make. So even though I am happy with it, I as a chef feel the need to keep trying new dishes, new recipes. PS: That is unusual because lot of traditional Indian restaurants haven’t changed their menu in decades. RM: This is a very important thing

you just said! Even in Mexico, no one wanted to mess with tradition. But, after we started seeing chefs come in from other countries, especially Europe, they started the change. Whether it is plating or playing with ingredients, they kept the flavours authentic, so Mexican chefs too got inspired. Now it is all ‘new food’ and contemporary cuisine. In India, it’s the same, now there are so many modern kitchens. For me also, this is a good thing, because I get inspired to new things.

cially dal and biryani. When I first came to India, I ate only the local food. These days, I keep trying vegetarian food to know what my guests would like. In Mexico, we used to have a fun concept of inviting other chefs to out kitchens and visiting their kitchen. It brought something new to each of our restaurants every time and was good for the staff too because we would talk about food, produce, suppliers and just make new friends. I want to try bringing this concept in India too. ❧

PS: Have you tried out any Indian food? RM: Yes, I like Indian food, espeCaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 39


melbourne food & wine festival 2015 team caldron

Program For 2015 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival Announced Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is a ticket to the city’s culinary landscape across extraordinary locations.


pop-up artisan bakery rising daily in the heart of the city, a long lunch for 1,500 weaving through a leafy urban oasis, a rollicking ‘low and slow’ barbecue opening party, and a global discussion on the future of food. These are some of the ways Melbourne’s vibrant culinary spirit will be celebrated from 27th February to 15th March, 2015 during the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (MFWF) presented by Bank of Melbourne.


daniel mahon

Transforming the blank canvas of Queensbridge Square for the 4th year with a creative one-off project, MFWF will construct a working bakery, workshop space, and wine, brews and coffee bar spreading the tempting aromas of freshly baked bread into the heart of Melbourne from day to night. In addition to a daily program of Australia’s celebrated bakers, Justin

Little foodies corner


melbourne food & wine festival 2015 For vinous discoveries, Return to Terroir, an international gathering of over 40 biodynamic wineries, will be one of three highlight wine events taking place at Melbourne Town Hall on 28th February and 1st March. Acqua Panna Global Wine Experience also reCHATTING ABOUT CUISINES Chef and author Dan Barber of Blue Hill in New York turns with two sessions – ‘The Classics’ and ‘The Not So Classics’ – to spark lively debate with benchmark will present ‘Theatre of Ideas: In Conversation with Dan Barber’ on 6th March at National Gallery of Vic- wines from around the world guided by leading wine commentators including toria where he will share insights from his 10-year In addition to a daily program of Singapore-based Lisa Perotti-Brown. journey of writing. Gellatly from London’s Bread Ahead and Éric Kayser, a fourth generation baker from Paris, will share their skills with participants.

Australia’s celebrated bakers, Justin Gellatly from London’s Bread Ahead and Éric Kayser, a fourth generation baker from Paris, will share their skills with participants.

One long table will weave through the urban leafy oasis of Fitzroy Gardens for the Bank of Melbourne World’s Longest Lunch on the first day of the Festival where 1,500 revellers will feast on a 3-course menu designed by Shane Delia of Maha and Adriano Zumbo of Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier.

These are just some of the culinary events planned for MFWF to redefine adventurous food, wine and entertainment. If you would like to uncover Melbourne’s hidden gems, hottest restaurants and most talked about dishes, then book tickets online. ❧

The immersery cocktails

daniel mahon CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 41


international flavors

The Elusive Eel

Does the thought of seeing a piece of cooked eel on your plate trepidate you? Well, it should too! Uncooked or incorrectly cooked eels can be poisonous and can trigger a cardiac arrest. However, the Japanese have broken the code on how to best cook this fish with minimal sauces, so its nutritional properties are maintained without losing out on its intrinsic taste. And it’s perfectly safe too!

Vinita bhatia / mumbai


international flavors


the elusive eel

Japan’s tradition of eating eels in the summer months, between May to August, can be traced to the 17th century Edo period. As people suffered from heat strokes and other heat related ailments, Japanese healers discovered that consumption of eels helped people regain their energy and stamina sapped in the hot summer months. With its high protein content and admirable digestive properties, eels are reputed to stimulate the appetite even during the blazing heat of midsummer. FOR A SELECT FEW ONLY Though once found in abundance in Japan, over the years eels sport the halo of an exotic food because it is not easy to get them. In fact, they are an endangered species in that country, which accounts for the highest consumption for eels worldwide. The Japanese are such sticklers for the unique taste of the freshwater eel, called Unagi, that there are few 44 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014

Soy Marinated Grilled Eel

The Japan National Tourism Organization

f you visit any Japanese city on the Midsummer Day of the Ox, which falls sometimes towards July-end, you are likely to see people patiently wait outside restaurants to eat one of the most loved delicacies in the country – eel. If you miss catching sight of these people milling around street side restaurants, your nose will surely lead you to these unpretentious eateries! The combination of sweet soy sauce and the tart sake used to cook the eels gives it an unmistakably unique aroma.

takers for the fish imported from countries like US, Spain, Northern Ireland or England.

For the same reason, a very small amount of eel blood can kill a person.

In other parts of the world too, people are often fascinated with the idea of eating eels but are also fearful about where they eat it. For good reason too – it takes an expert to cook it without killing the eater!

Hence, eels have to be cleaned and cooked properly, as raw eel is poisonous, while overcooked eel becomes very chewy and not very pleasant tasting. Rather than risk cooking it themselves, people prefer to eat it at restaurants that have a reputation for cooking it right.

Eels’ blood is poisonous which discourages other creatures from eating them. It contains a toxic protein that causes muscle cramps, including those of the heart’s muscles, triggering a cardiac arrest.

POPULAR EEL DISHES In Japan, a popular eel dish is Unajyu, where broiled eel and rice are served in two separate lacquer ware boxes, with the eel stacked on

international flavors the elusive eel

top of the rice. This dish is prepared with a broth of eel innards and pickles, with a pronounced flavor of the soy sauce.

Hamamatsu Eel

The Japan National Tourism Organization

Many restaurants have come up with their individual versions of soy sauce-based gravies, which coupled with fresh eel, make it all the rage in their neighborhoods – whether it is the upmarket ‘Nodaiwa’ in Tokyo or the unassuming ‘Matsuyosh’ in the Kabutocho district. Some of the more common ways to cook and serve fresh eel includes Hitsu-mabushi. The eel is grilled, cut into fine slices and later mixed with cooked rice in a wooden serving tub called hitsu. This preparation can be eaten in three different ways – as it is, seasoned with scallions and wasabi or with hot green tea poured over it; a procedure called cha-zuke. There is another way to savor eels though its preparation can take longer. The Kabayaki process is one where the eels are sliced open, the head and bones removed, the body is skewered, dipped in bittersweet sauce and then cooked. There are different methods of preparing Kabayaki in the East and West of Japan. In Tokyo, the eel is cooked after steaming to give it a fluffy texture. In Osaka and Kyoto, however, the eel is broiled over an open fire to provide a moderately firm consistency. In Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Prefecture – a location that is famous for eel production – ‘eel pie’ with

In Japan, a popular eel dish is Unajyu, where broiled eel and rice are served in two separate lacquer ware boxes, with the eel stacked on top of the rice. eel powder kneaded into the pastry is popular as a souvenir. In the Kanto area, eel fillets are roasted over charcoal and are steamed once, after which they are roasted again over medium heat while being basting with oil. In the Kansai area, an entire gutted eel is roasted on a skewer while basting. However, with over-fishing, fewer eels are making it to the dinner

tables in Japan and other countries. It is difficult to breed these elusive creatures in captivity because the larvae often travel upstream in rivers for couple of years before they mature. Until their numbers swell, the Japanese might soon have to go without what is their quintessential soul food. ❧


Recipe Corner

The Spanish Christmas Spirit Christmas arrives early in Spain. 8th December to be precise, when the entire country celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. After the last of the ornaments have been put up on the Xmas tree and gifts have been hidden under it, after the Nativity scene has been recreated, families gather together on Christmas Eve and Christmas for a series of sumptuous meals, one after another. With so many dishes to prepare and devour, tapas take center stage on the dinner table. Dubai’s Casa de Tapas shows how you too can celebrate the holiday season with an array of Spanish delicacies. For all you know, this might become a ritual in your household for years to come!


A Spanish family exchanging gifts


recipe corner

spanish christmas recipes

Gazpacho Andaluz

This cold soup is very popular in the Andalucian region of Southern Spain. Though traditionally served during summer when it offers respite from the heat, it has a special place of pride during a Christmas meal. { INGREDIENTS } 200 ml water 1 loaf baguette bread, cut into 4 cm slices 1 kg plum tomatoes, chopped 20 gm red bell pepper, chopped 20 gm capsicum, chopped 100 gm cucumber, chopped 50 gm red onion, chopped 1.5 liters water 2 tsp sherry vinegar 200 ml olive oil 1 tsp garlic cloves, chopped Salt and black pepper, to taste 50 gm assorted vegetables (carrots, celery, leeks and turnips), diced

{ METHOD } • Soak the bread slices (except for 4 slices) in 200 ml water for • Season with vinegar and then add salt and pepper as per taste. a few minutes. Squeeze out the water and put the bread into a Heat olive oil and sauté garlic till it turns brown. Let it cool glass bowl. and then drizzle it over the soup. • Toast the 4 slices and keep aside. • To serve, place the assorted vegetables and toasted baguette on • Mix tomatoes, bell pepper, capsicum, cucumber and onion individual plates. Pour out the soup into bowls and serve cold. along with the water in the same bowl. • Puree it with an electric blender till it is smooth and no lumps * Serves: 6 * remain. Preparation: 15 min Cooking time: 20 min • Strain the soup and serve.

Chef ’s tip: To save time, make the soup a day before and refrigerate it overnight. Just blend it when you are ready to serve.



recipe corner

spanish christman recipes

recipe corner

spanish christmas recipes

Seafood Paella

When you are sitting with your family for a festive meal, what better than paella to make everyone dig in and finish their food with a smile. { INGREDIENTS } 3 tbsp ginger parsley oil 80 gm Sofrito sauce 50 gm Romesco sauce 1 tsp gm paprika 1 tsp turmeric powder 500 gm Bomba rice, washed and drained 400 ml fish stock 200 gm mussels 150 prawns 150 gm squid, cut into rings 30 gm green peas 16-20 Langoustine scampi 2 red bell pepper, roasted and sliced 2 lemons, sliced

{ METHOD } • Place a paella pan on medium flame. Pour ginger parsley oil • Preheat the oven for 180°C. Transfer the rice into a glass jar and heat the sofrito in it. and cover it with a glass lid. • Add squid and sauté it for a couple of minutes. • Cook it in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Let it stand in the • Add the Romesco sauce, paprika and turmeric. oven for another 5 minutes. • Add the Bomba rice and stir till the sauces coat the grains. • Garnish with lemon wedges and red capsicum slices before • Add the stock and bring the rice to a boil. serving. • Lower the flame and let the rice cook till half done. • Add the green peas and seafood and mix well. Cover with a lid * Serves: 4 * and let the rice simmer. Preparation: 10 min Cooking time: 30 min

Chef ’s tip: Do not stir the Bomba rice too much or the grains will break.



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spanish christman recipes

recipe corner

spanish christmas recipes

Baby Chicken with Chestnuts and Prunes

Nothing screams Christmas like a grilled whole chicken, ready to be carved into smaller pieces and served with an assortment of accompaniments. { INGREDIENTS } 4 tbsp olive oil 500 gm baby chicken, whole and hollowed out Salt and black pepper, to taste 20 gm leeks 50 gm mushroom porcini 50 gm mushroom girasole 30 gm white onions, julienned 100 gm potatoes, sliced thickly 50 gm capsicum, sliced 140 ml chicken stock 40 gm chestnuts 4-5 garlic cloves, crushed 20 gm prunes 20 gm cherry tomatoes

{ METHOD } • Preheat oven to 180°C. are done. • Rub the chicken with salt, pepper and baste with a little olive • In another pan, cook the chestnuts in the chicken stock. Let it oil. Grill it at 180°C until well done. cool and then blend until you get a smooth puree. • Heat olive oil in an oven proof pan on medium heat. Sauté the • To serve, make a bed of the potatoes. Plate the chicken over it. garlic and onions for a minute. Drizzle the puree over it and decorate with prunes and cherry • Then add the potatoes and capsicum. Add the leeks and tomatoes. mushroom. • Mix well to coat it with the oil. * Serves: 4 * • Pour 100 ml chicken stock and let it simmer till the potatoes Preparation: 20 min Cooking time: 60 min

Chef ’s tip: You can also stuff the potato mixture into the chicken before grilling it. Once done, scoop it out and serve it alongside the chicken.



recipe corner

spanish christman recipes

recipe corner

spanish christmas recipes

Coffee Parfait With Caramel Ice Cream

Nothing screams Christmas like a grilled whole chicken, ready to be carved into smaller pieces and served with an assortment of accompaniments. { INGREDIENTS } For Coffee Parfait 150 gm instant coffee 350 ml milk 150 gm egg yolks 140 gm sugar 350 ml cream 990 ml whipping cream

For Toffee Ice Cream 360 ml milk 90 gm sugar 2 egg yolks 100 gm cream 25 gm milk powder 10 gm stabilizer 50 gm chocolate, melted

{ METHOD } For Coffee Parfait • Dissolve the coffee in the milk. • In a thick glass bowl, use a whisk to mix the egg yolk, sugar and coffee until the sugar is completely dissolved. • Place this bowl oven a pan of simmering water. Keep whisking till the mixture starts thickening and becomes creamy. • Remove the glass bowl from the hot water. Place it into a bowl of iced water and continue whisking till the mixture starts coming together. • Add the cream to this mixture and mix it well. • Place the whipping cream into glass mugs. Layer it with the prepared mixture and refrigerate it.

For Toffee Ice Cream • Pour the milk in a saucepan and slowly bring it to a boil. • In another bowl, whisk the sugar with the egg yolks for 10 minutes till it turns thick and pasty. • Add this to the warm milk. • Reheat the mixture for a minute, adding the cream. Keep mixing to ensure that it is smooth. • Take it off the heat and when warm add the stabiliser. • Once cool, refrigerate the mixture. • After half hour, scoop out the ice cream and place it over the parfait. • Drizzle the melted chocolate over it before serving. * Serves: 4 * Preparation: 60 min Cooking time: 20 min

Chef ’s tip: You can use any chopped fruit of your choice as garnish.



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spanish christman recipes

Know your food Vinita Bhatia / Mumbai


Selecting cheese need not be a distressing exercise. Just let your sensory organs of smell, sight, taste and touch guide you, along with the tips in this article, and you’ll do just fine.


o you know Camembert from Gouda? Do you approach the cheese counter at a supermarket with foreboding, wondering which variety goes into a sandwich and which is ideal for a pasta sauce? Do you skip the cheese platter at a cocktail party because you worry about making a gaffe by pairing the wrong cheese type with your wine? Get in line, because there is a lengthy queue of people who have as many, or more, doubts about an ingredient that is supposed to


make food sing; which is unfortunate, because cheese is such a yielding element that lends itself to any dish. Take a dish, slather it with a sheet of grated cheese, bake it and suddenly its very core is altered; it transcends the dimension of ordinary food and is transformed into ambrosia. This is what makes it every cook’s best friend in the kitchen! Yet, there are so many questions that this simple dairy product can throw at an unassuming consumer. And so many answers that depend on your sensory perceptions rather than any rule of thumb. Let

us try to throw light on just a few of these, because covering them all would require a tome, running into several volumes! Before deciphering types of cheese and ideal pairings, one has to understand how it is prepared. It takes 8 liters of milk to make approximately 1 kilogram of cheese. The milk is first boiled, following which starter cultures and rennet are added to help it coagulate. The whey is drained and the milk solids are put into moulds and left to age. The younger the cheese, the fresher it is. However, the more aged the cheese, the more

Cheese being placed into circular wheel moulds for setting over the maturation period.

pronounced its taste. Most cheese aficionados steer very clear from processed cheese and prefer artisan cheese instead. “The reason is that most processed cheeses have more ingredients within them than the actual cheese,” says Mansi Jasani of The Cheese Collective, who sells artisan cheese procured from all over the country and parts of the world. “For best results, identify a cheesemonger in your city and procure small portions of cheese as and when you need rather than stocking up for 3 months. It also helps if

Know your food say cheese

you discuss the type of artisan cheese you are planning to buy before you make the purchase.” SOME PROMINENT VARIETIES Cheese can be made from any kind of milk, though it is commonly made from the milk of cows, goats, sheep or buffaloes. One can narrow cheese down by geography or origin. For instance, there’s Parmigiano Reggiano, which was first produced sometime in the 12th century and is strictly protected by Italy’s Place

Fondue is a typical application of cheese.


Know your food say cheese

Another cheese with an equally intriguing history is Mozzarella, made from water buffalo milk. Another Italian find, it gets its name from the term ‘Mozare’, a technique involved in pressing this soft creamy cheese. It falls under the ‘Pasta Filata’ family of cheese, which is basically stretched cheese. Cheddar is often considered to be American because of its

Of Origin laws. This means that only cheese made from the milk of grass fed cows in the Italian provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua can be classified as Parmigiano Reggiano. It is often confused with Parmesan, which is a generic term used to classify semi-hard, granular cheese.

Gruyere Eggplant Panini

Gruyere Eggplant Panini { INGREDIENTS } 1 kg eggplant, cut into thin slices 1 tsp salt 30 gms paprika powder

300 gm Gruyere cheese 20 gm soft butter ½ French loaf, cut into thick bread slices

{ METHOD } • Soak the eggplant slices in salted water for 10 minutes, to take out the vegetable’s sap. • Drain the water from the eggplants. • In a bowl mix olive oil, salt and pepper. Marinate the eggplants in this for half an hour. • Grate the gruyere cheese and keep aside. • Apply butter on the bread. Place the sliced eggplant and grated cheese on the slices. Sprinkle paprika powder and close the sandwich. • Grill it for 5 minutes, or till the cheese melts. • Cut into triangles and serve with potato wafers.


* Serves: 4 * Preparation: 40 min Cooking time: 10 min Recipe courtesy - Chef Joshua D’Souza, Silverspoon Gourmet

Use regular slices of bread if a French Loaf is unavailable.

Know your food say cheese

Coming to French cheese, two varieties that are often confused with each other are Brie and Camembert. “The technique used to prepare both are similar and they have almost identical flavor profiles. However, the Brie is a younger cheese than the Camembert and has a higher fat content, because of

Brie and Stilton, two excellent cheeses that have marked contrasts in flavor and texture.

While picking Brie or Camembert, your nose is of great help. Though both have a sharp aroma, if there is an overt smell of ammonia, you had better skip buying the cheese.

the cream that is added to it during its preparation,” explains Mansi. The Camembert, though it comes from the same family of cheese, is aged for 5 to 6 weeks before it is sold. The French origin Chevre (pronounced shev) is fresh cheese made from goat’s milk. It is ideally suited for starters, which you can serve with some assorted nuts or fresh fruits. It is best eaten within a couple of weeks and it shares some similarities with feta cheese, which is also made from goat’s milk. The

difference lies in the way the two are made. Chevre can be served as globules, blocks or logs, with the last having a very dense texture and is much firmer. TESTING THE CHEESE Once you know the characteristics of various cheese, you have to pay close attention to the quality of cheese to be absolutely sure that it is not ‘off ’. “I have comes across instances in gourmet stores where the salespeople have tried to sell me spoilt blue cheese insisting it is supposed to smell the way it did,” Chef Joshua D’Souza of Silverspoon Gourmet reminisces. “I

widespread use in that country. The fact however is that Cheddar is as Brit as it gets, and the Americans now call it Wisconsin cheese to avoid confusion. A slightly dry cheese, it has a break-apart texture, which makes it a perfect filling for sandwiches or as topping for various dishes.

decided to play safe and not pick it up, because I was unsure if they were telling the truth or whether my instincts were correct.” In the case of Mozzarella, for example, the litmus test is when you put it on a plain white plate, it should look just as white, even if the ball-shaped cheese is not uniform in shape. Cut out a piece and pop it into your mouth and if it tastes like fresh milk, then you know you have good quality Mozzarella in your hands. While picking Brie or Camembert, your nose is of great help. Though both have a sharp aroma, if there is an overt smell of ammonia, you had better skip buying the cheese. “Another dipstick test of these two cheese varieties is to check their rinds – if it is cracked or extremely dry, it is probably past its sell-by date,” Mansi cautions.


STORING CHEESE Some fresh cheese, like Mozzarella, are stored in their whey to help them retain their moisture content. However, you can store your cheese in separate airtight containers in the vegetable storage compartment of your refrigerator. Storing it in the main section of the refrigerator might deteriorate the cheese, due to changes in temperature as the fridge door is opened and closed several times in a day. Never store more than one type of cheese in the same compartment, for instance a blue cheese with Mozzarella. Another thing to bear in mind is never to wrap the cheese in aluminium foil while storing it. Since aluminium is metallic in nature, at cold temperature it will start flaking and will affect the cheese’s quality. A cling wrap is

a better alternative. If a semi-hard cheese, like Add vegParmesan, has turned etable stock to slightly hard on the surmake the sauce face, but has a soft texture within, you can still thinner if you use it. Employ a clean, like. sharp knife to cut out the hardened portions. Chop and use it in soups for a creamier texture, straining out any big pieces of the cheese that might remain in the dish. Cheese can make a dramatic difference whether you present it as is, or as an ingredient within a dish. The selection of the right cheese is important, but preserving it is just as pertinent. After all, this dairy product never plays second fiddle to any other, and demands its place in the spotlight. Don’t disappoint it! ❦ Pasta with Parmesan Cheese Sauce

Pasta with Parmesan cheese sauce { INGREDIENTS } 200 gm penne pasta 2 tbsp olive oil 30 gm butter

15 gm all-purpose flour 235 ml milk 170 gm Parmesan cheese, grated

30 gm green onion, chopped Salt, to taste Ground black pepper, to taste

{ METHOD } • Boil a pan of water and once it reaches boiling point, add 1 • Add Parmesan cheese and green onion and stir until the tbsp olive oil. cheese has melted, for about another 3 minutes. • Slowly soak the pasta and let the pasta cool till it is al dente. • Add the pasta. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. • Drain in a colander; pour cold water over the pasta. Sprinkle the remainder oil and toss the pasta well. Keep aside. • In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk flour * Serves: 2 * into the butter until smooth. Pour the milk gradually into this Preparation: 20 min Cooking time: 10 min mixture and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. • Cook and stir for about 3 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Recipe courtesy - Chef Joshua D’Souza, Silverspoon Gourmet 60 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014

Know your food say cheese


food trends jaswinder singh / New Delhi

Brunch is the Word Brunching has captured the imagination of the young millennials in most parts of the country of late. But what is about this lazy, laid back breakfast-lunch that attracts so many?


ritish magazine columnist Guy Beringer in an 1895 article in Punch magazine invented the term brunch. “Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting,” Beringer wrote. “It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” Guy was right. Brunch has become a time for people to unwind and connect with the folks we perhaps now interact with only in the


digital world. It is fast becoming the activity of choice for many on a Sunday morning in the metros of India. Although, in some of the metro cities, mostly it is seen as a posh affair with people opting for the biggest and sometimes the most expensive spreads in town. With the information age came television and internet and scenes of entire families and friends gathered around a table in the courtyard of Mediterranean villas. This concept of brunching caught the fancy of

food trends

brunch is the word the well-read and well-traveled Indian millennials who saw themselves as a part of that culture shift in the mid 90s. The nuclear family, globalized economy and shorter spans of time spent with family and friends were already causing a rift in the otherwise close knit Indian family system. Thus brunch seemed like perfect thing to do and India picked up on the trend rather quickly. FOR THE FAMILY, WITH THE FAMILY Brunch with friends and family started replacing the usual Sunday tradition of having a siesta-inducing lunch in an Indian household. It was also the time when experimentation with cuisines other than the local ones was gaining speed among the same group. By mid 2000s, the concept of a lavish brunch spread shared with the closest friends and family had become a part of Indian culture too.

Some, like Villa 69 in Mumbai, came up with the concept of Sunday brunches that were around a particular cuisine, like Oriental food. Guests could relax with a sangria in one hand, listening to progressive house music while making their own salad - and the restaurant claims this theme has taken off very well with its patrons. MORE OPTIONS ADDED Beer and sparkling wines followed the wine brunch shift. Although wine had managed to grab the attention of the young millennial crowds, whiskey and beer still remain the drink of preference among a large section of the consumers. Feeling left out perhaps, beer started showing up with some of the brunch deals that establishments were offering. It was more of a business decision on the part of said establishments to start beer brunches.

Another interesting trend was the addition of alcoholic beverages to the Sunday brunch. While consumption of alcohol used to be frowned upon so early in the day, things changed and more and more consumers started opting for the brunch packages that offer some alcohol with the meal. It started with wine brunches when wine had yet to capture a sizable attention of the millennials. RESTAURANTS GRAB THE CONCEPT Establishments of all sizes and local wine makers for their part, have been quick to grab on to this trend as well. Be it large properties or independent restaurants, wine brunches started featuring on Sunday specials and the consumers lapped them up.

The effects of this shift were evident on the bottom line of various establishments, be it a 5-star or a more modest standalone restaurant. ITC Sheraton in Saket has been offering Sunday brunch packages at all three of its specialty restaurants – Baywatch, Dakshin and Pan Asian, priced between INR 1600 and INR 2500 paired with Fratelli wines. While the break-even target for ITC is 45 covers, the response from patrons has encouraged the restaurants to dabble in other options as well. CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 63

food trends

brunch is the word

What really helped in establishing beer as an alternate for wine was the opening of the economy that allowed more and more international beer brands to make inroads into the Indian market. Local beer brewers saw the shift and upped their game as well and quality of local produce improved, albeit marginally. However, beer also has the tendency to not be the best complement to cuisines with a higher finesse factor.

paired with beer. It also accomplished the seemingly daunting task for such large establishments to keep the costs attractive for the price conscious consumers in India. Most brunch options available don’t require the consumers to

WINES FOLLOW SUIT What followed beer was even more interesting. Sparkling wines and champagne already commanded a premium tag in the consumer psyche. With more and more wellknown brands entering the Indian market, it was only a matter of time.

Feeling left out perhaps, beer started showing up with some of the brunch deals that establishments were offering. It was more of a business decision on the part of said establishments to start beer brunches.

Experimentation continued and iconic establishments like House of Ming at Taj Mahal, New Delhi, came up with a dim sum brunch 64 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014

break the bank anymore. Beer also proved to be a great way for those who still could not figure out the finer nuances of wine to not feel left out during this culture shift.

Sparkling wines and champagne also attracted the consumers who wanted to graduate from beer. Take the case of MoMo Cafe at Courtyard by Marriott in Gurgaon, which launched a champagne brunch and has seen the footfalls go up steadily Sunday

food trends

brunch is the word

CUISINE EXPERIMENTS Sparkling wines and champagne brunches have also opened the doors for even more experimentation with cuisines. Mediterranean doesn’t mean Italian only anymore and consumers have started experimenting with Lebanese and North African cuisines as well. Establishments offering these cuisines as an experience have had their share of the new business pie as well.

Sparkling wines and champagne brunches have also opened the doors for even more experimentation with cuisines. Mediterranean doesn’t mean Italian only anymore and consumers have started experimenting with Lebanese and North African cuisines as well. after Sunday. The beer drinkers from five years ago had grown as individuals and professionals with deeper pockets and wanted to be seen as discerning gastronomes among peers. Brunch with friends allowed them to do so. Validating the reasons for the brunch culture picking up in Delhi, Gaurav Bhatia – Marketing Director, Moët Hennessy India, says, “We live in cash-rich timepoor times. Smart-phones are our constant companions and ‘keeping in touch’ is done via computer

screens from one’s desk. So, we grab every opportunity to bring us back into real time. I personally attribute this reason to the popularity of the brunch culture. It is possibly the easiest, most fun few hours in one’s week; the only time in the week you could dress-up or not, without a care and just focus on the conversations with friends and family. And the good food and great sparkling wine make this experience just absolutely worth it! Even in the land that loves its whiskey.”

“The cuisine at Zerzura is Mid Eastern-Moroccan and as such has a heavy usage of ingredients like Saffron, Zataar, Cinnamon, Dates and dry fruits. Sparkling wines work well with the aromatic flavours of the Cuisine at Zerzura. The fresh fruity notes of the Chandon Brut pair well with the more mellow flavours of the cold Mezze. On an average, 75% guests who drink alcohol, enjoy drinking a sparkling wine over brunch. Along with the cold Mezze, Tagines and Arabic Kebabs, we also offer Wood Fired Pita pizzas that are easy bites to complement the bubbly offering,” observed Chef Naval Prakash of Zerzura. It doesn’t matter whether you are a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian, whether you prefer your Sunday brunch with a dash of alcoholic beverages or not; be assured, you will be taken care of. Package deals of all kinds are available to suit different pockets. Such has been the charm of this laid back late morning-early afternoon meal that it hasn’t died since the turn of the last century and followed mankind into the new millennia. ❦ CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 65

Ask the Experts

Does cooking often seem daunting? Let us help you! Send us your questions about food and cooking and we will get chefs of leading hotels to share their wisdom on how to make that dish, perfect.

How does one know if meat is perfectly cooked, but not overcooked? Anjali Ahuja, New Delhi

When cooking meat, the flesh should be slightly loosen from the bone but not separated entirely from the bone. While preparing gravies, the addition of water or stock ensures that moisture is not lost, resulting in tender meat. You should also cook meat for the right amount of time. While cooking chicken dishes, simmer the dish for 25 minutes for approximately 1 kg of chicken. Similarly, while cooking mutton in a pressure cooker, wait for 2 whistles and take the cooker off the fire. Do not open the cooker’s lid till the pressure dissipates normally. If you are cooking on a pan, simmer for 50 minutes on medium flame.


I use a microwave for baking pizza at home. Though I follow the standard recipe, I do not get the golden brown crust on the base. Where am I going wrong? Surangana B. Nancy, Mumbai

You will get the golden brown crust when you use the combination mode of grill and microwave. If you use only on the microwave mode, the pizza base will get cooked, but it will not turn brown. Can you share some easy tips to get perfect hard boiled eggs? What are some of the indications that the eggs are hard boiled, or the timing for refrigerated eggs as well as those that are at room temperature being boiled? Pooja Sharma, Melbourne

Add a teaspoon of salt and a dash of vinegar to the water in which you will boil the eggs. Let the eggs boil in the simmering water for 9 minutes, stir the eggs in a circular motion after 3 minutes, to distribute the heat evenly.

I would like to know the specifics of and differences between pan searing marinated chicken breasts, microwave grilling them and charcoal grilling them. Also could you tell me how to get a perfectly juicy and thoroughly cooked recipe for this this? Surangana B. Nancy, Mumbai

Pan searing is cooking the meat on a heated pan or a grill plate to seal the open surfaces of meat with indirect heat. While grilling in a microwave, the heat is radiated throughout mimicking the effects of open flame cooking. In charcoal grilling, the most traditional form of grilling, is where the meat is cooked over open flame to the required doneness of rare, medium or well done. While grilling chicken, ensure the heat is not too strong so that the meat isn’t burned, and keep turning it over. The basic marinade for grilled chicken is salt, crushed peppercorns, olive oil or any neutral flavoured oil, wine or lemon juice. To this you can add other flavourings like mustard (either in paste, powder or coarse ground) or herbs like basil, sage, oregano or thyme. Preferably use a single herb in very limited quantities to impart the flavour to the chicken and not overpower the flavour and taste of chicken.

chef vaneet wadhera Presently working as Corporate Chef with Louvre Hotel Group in India under the brand name of Golden Tulip Hotels, Vaneet Wadhera has been associated with variousai’ hotels and restaurants with hotel chains like Park Plaza Hotels, Sarovar Hotels, Habitat World and The Pllazio Hotel. A graduate from Mumbai’s Institute of Hotel Management, he enjoys dabbling in regional Indian, European and other global cuisines. How can I bake soft and spongy cake? Whenever I bake a cake, the top becomes crispy and sometimes hard. When I used fresh cream for decorating, it keeps falling apart and I don't get the required fineness. Can you tell me how to avoid this? Prasanna Kabade, Pune

There could be two reasons for your cake’s top becoming hard and dry. You might be baking the cakes at lower temperature than required, thus resulting in a hard cake top due to moisture loss. The other reason could be the recipe itself, which does not have enough moisture. Coming to the issue about the cream, it could be that you are not whipping the cream to the required consistency of soft peak texture. Use enough sugar as required in the recipe and always whip chilled cream for better results. Also, never apply cream to a warm cake.

Whenever I cook boneless chicken at home, it becomes hard unlike the ones you get in restaurants, which has a soft and melting texture. How can I get the same texture, while cooking it at home? Mansi Maskeri Kanekar, Mumbai

You might be overcooking the chicken. Also, do you use chicken breast pieces? The breast cooks much faster than the thigh meat and tends to be stringy when over cooked. Restaurants use more of chicken leg boneless as it remains juicy and moist for longer. Reduce your cooking time and check the color of the chcken — it turns white when cooked through.

Ask the Experts

I followed a standard bread baking recipe and the bread stayed fantastic for a day. However, the next day it turned chewy, unlike the readymade bakery breads. Why does this happen and how can I avoid this? Madhu Dhawn, New Delhi

Lot more ingredients are added to the flour for commercial breads to have softness and longer shelf life, which is thankfully not included in homemade bread. A bread may also turn chewy if the flour has too much gluten or has not been kneaded well with enough water. Avoid warming the bread in microwave ovens, as that could also make it chewy.

Whenever I store eggless cakes in the refrigerator, they turn hard. How can I prevent an eggless cake with icing from becoming hard, as I can’t wrap a cake with icing in aluminium foil? Mansi Maskeri Kanekar, Mumbai

Keep the cake in a cake box or cut it into pieces and store in containers with airtight lids. The cold temperature in a fridge can lead to loss of moisture, which in turn can harden cakes stored in them.


cellar speak jaswinder singh / new delhi

The Best of Two Worlds Grey Goose is a product that is best described as designed and perfected by Cognac Maitre de Chai, François Thibault, reinforcing my theory that put a master distiller in charge of a vodka and he can turn it into a drink fit for competing with the best wines and spirits in the world.


o one personality has contributed to the cocktail culture as much as Her Majesty’s trusted agent, Double ‘O’ Seven. Before old James Bond came along, martini, much less vodka martini, wasn’t so popular in India. Most people still consider vodka to be a lesser drink, much like a medicinal spirit. I always believed that vodka, in the hands of a master distiller, can be a clean canvas ready for its Rembrandt. If wine is described as a sophisticated lady, vodka can be described as a sophisticated lady with a penchant for trouble. No wonder Jimmy Bond loves it so much! In my quest to find good vodka, I’ve tasted many brands, interviewed bar professionals, toured a few places and tried to learn as much about this beverage as I


know about wine. Strange as it may seem, one of the best ultra-premium vodkas comes from Cognac, France. DESIGNED FOR LUXURY Grey Goose is a product that is best described as designed and perfected by Cognac Maitre de Chai, François Thibault, reinforcing my theory that put a master distiller in charge of a vodka and he can turn it into a drink fit for competing with the best wines and spirits in the world. When American entrepreneur Sidney Frank set out to establish a beverage brand that would resonate luxury for his target market, he zeroed in on France as the base for Grey Goose vodka. François Thibault, who had spent nearly three decades earning his stripes as a cognac Maitre de Chai, or Cel-

lar Master, was chosen to lead the design and perfection of the vodka that would become a synonym for premium in the American market. François took his knowledge of making cognac and transposed it on to the process of making Grey Goose vodka. VODKA THAT MAKES POETRY SEEM EASY Grey Goose is made from wheat, winter wheat from Picardy in North France, the breadbasket of the country, to be more specific. Softer than the wheat produced in CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 69

cellar speak François Thibault hotter climates like India, it imparts subtle flavor nuances that are typical to a good vodka. The wheat is milled to François’ specifications and the entire process from milling to bottling is done with less than twenty employees. The water comes from a five hundred feet deep well inside the bottling plant in Cognac. It carries the signature calcium rich profile that comes from the limestone rich terroir of the region. However, to retain a clean taste for the vodka, the mineral content is removed from the water by a double reverse osmosis process, leaving a mild trail of clean flavor in the finished product. The Grey Goose Original has a very creamy texture, delicate on the nose with notes of citrus and minerals, is easy on the palate and leaves no burning sensation even at room temperature. Interestingly, the naysayers have always maintained that vodka must be consumed chilled or it tends to have a very sharp effect on the palate. Not true. Taste profile of a premium product like Grey Goose has very subtle layers that comes out best at room temperature. THE FLAVORS One of the best things about the clean slate that Grey Goose vodka is, is that it allows playing around with flavors. Available in four flavors, cherry, orange, pear and melon, the fruits add a nice zing to the flavor profile of Grey Goose. Keeping true to his style of using 70 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014

only the best ingredients, François sources his fruit concentrates from Grasse, the perfume capital of France. Like all things French, Grasse has earned itself the reputation as the place that worships the art of perfumes and flavor concentrates. The fruit flavors in Grey Goose do not tamper with the clean canvas – the base flavor of the drink – while enhancing the profile a few notches, ready for the bar professional to experiment with and make exceptional cocktails. THE NEXT BIG THING With his roots firmly planted in Cognac, François has set out to experiment with the very rules of vodka distillation and blending. The result was Vodka Exceptionnelle, the Grey Goose VX, a blend of the best of two worlds – vodka and cognac. Here again, François’ expertise with both drinks shows on the flavor profile of the VX. The VX plays with the idea of blending two very different drinks with very subtle profiles and turns them into something that had never been conceptualized. The subtle, clean profile of the vodka is beautiful-

ly complemented by the notes of mild fruit and spice on the cognac from the Logis estate. The VX is not available in India yet, but we are told it will be soon. With an exceptional product and a reputation for luxury under its belt, Grey Goose is all set to go beyond its traditional market of North America. While Grey Goose holds its own, look out for The VX. It should ideally be priced between INR 4000-7000 in the Indian market and is worth a buy for those who appreciate quality. ❧

With his roots firmly planted in Cognac, François has set out to experiment with the very rules of vodka distillation and blending. The result was Vodka Exceptionnelle, the Grey Goose VX, a blend of the best of two worlds – vodka and cognac.

Dry Martini

The Grey Goose Dry Martini is a classic but remember, never shake, always stir. { INGREDIENTS } 2 ½ parts Grey Goose ½ parts Noilly Prat French dry Vermouth 1 dash orange bitters Cubed ice, as needed Lemon zest for garnish { METHOD } Build ingredients in a Boston glass. Top with cubed ice and stir. Fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon zest

Recipe courtesy: Grey Goose


Spiritual Quest Jaswinder Singh

In The Yuletide Spirit Wondering how to go about stocking the bar for the Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties you will be hosting this month? Let us help you decide.


he holiday season is around the corner and most of us are getting ready to host close friends and family over dinners that are likely to run the length of the night. Tables will be laden with food and booze will flow freely. So what are those must-have spirits that will make these dinners with friends ever more memorable? Here is a list of the essentials that you must stock up for this holiday season. WINE Wines are perhaps the best accompaniment for the season. With the temperatures hovering in the most pleasant zone, it is the best time to open up a bottle of wine at the dinner table. They are easy, enjoyed by everyone and do not require any mixers that can really add up on the number of calories if you don’t watch out


for them. And contrary to popular belief, you do not require getting a Ph.D. to enjoy a bottle of wine with your food. Gaja ‘Dagromis’ Barolo from the house of Gaja, one of the most prominent winemakers from Piedmont region in Italy, is a full-bodied wine. It comes with rich aromas of wild berries and flowers with hints of licorice, dried herbs like rosemary, basil, thyme and mellow notes of spices like cinnamon and black pepper. d’Arenberg ‘Dead Arm’ Shiraz 2009 is arguably one of the best Shiraz outside of European vineyards. The ‘Dead Arm’ is one for the cellar with dark fruits, licorice, oak, flowers, olives, minerals, assortment of strong aromatic spices and a hint of petrichor. The tannins are very rough on the edges but are quite

spiritual quest christmas booze

enjoyable. This roughness in the tannins provides an excellent opportunity for aging this wine in the bottle for a good 10-12 years. d’Arenberg ‘Olive Grove’ Chardonnay is by far one of the best we’ve tasted in recent times. It comes with a pale yet clear color that holds the light brilliantly. The nose has hints of grapefruit, peaches and apricots. A smooth and layered palate with hints of under ripe peaches, apples and lime is well complemented by a zesty acidic zing. Baron Philippe de Rothschild Reserve Mouton Cadet Médoc from Bordeaux is perhaps one of the finest, easy drinking wines from France with a typical French character. Open up one of these and lose yourself in layers of fresh berry fruit, like blackcurrant and bilberry, with notes of caramel, blond tobacco, dark chocolate, black pepper and mild notes of liquorice. VODKA Not everyone is accustomed to drinking wines. Most people in India drink to get drunk. Well, someone has to get there quick and provide some entertainment for the evening, right? With some exceptional vodka hitting Indian market, it is no longer a drink for the swig at a club. Grey Goose is one of the best vodkas in the market currently. Arguments can be made for some products from Russia and East Europe, but the fact is Grey Goose’s French pedigree lends it an exceptional score in our books. Subtle cleanliness in the

flavour profile of the Grey Goose original makes it our favorite for holiday cocktails and straight swigs. You can get your hands on the flavored versions, of which we love the apple and cherry flavors a little too much. It doesn’t end here for this exceptional French product. Try out the Grey Goose VX, a blend with cognac from its home town of Cognac and you will be pleasantly surprised. Belvedere from Poland is another vodka that makes it to our list of holiday spirits with elan. This quadruple distilled, rye vodka offers a bouquet of vanilla and violets on the nose complemented by vanilla and white pepper on the mid-palate and spice and almonds on the end palate with a long, smooth finish. The full, round and smooth taste of this vodka makes it an excellent candidate for some great holiday cocktails. GIN Gin is one of the trickiest drinks to work with due to its genesis from a whole lot of botanicals resulting in a very complex flavor profile. You don’t want it too strong, you don’t want it too light. You can have with just CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 73

spiritual quest christmas booze

tonic or experiment with it and come up with your cocktail recipe, it won’t disappoint. Beefeater is that perfect London gin that offers a very balanced flavor profile, not too strong, not too light. Good for a simple gin and tonic and for cocktails, this product is a keeper at all times. Hendrick’s from Scotland is another gin that makes it to our list. Its milder flavor profile will be well admired by those who prefer to keep their drinks on the lighter side and not get carried away by the yuletide spirit. WHISKEY How can we miss out the most consumed drink in the country? Whiskey is the undeniable favorite of India all year round. For the hardcore fans of the drink, if you really want to make a difference to your holidays, try out one from our list of must haves and you won’t regret it. Singleton of Glen Ord recently made it to Indian markets and is an exceptional product with an unmatched palate. The medium bodied Singleton 12 Y.O. comes with a deep shiny amber color and notes of citrusy fruits, dried orange peel, mild cinnamon, and fruit cake on the nose. The palate is velvety and smooth unlike any other whiskey we’ve tasted in a long time with notes of ginger, cinnamon and soft, smooth fruitcake, it finishes long with a warm, smooth touch of chocolate entwined in peppery notes on the end palate.

RUM Holidays are not complete without a good rum on the table. Love it or hate it, rum never disappoints whether it is cocktails you seek or just a plain ol’ rum-&-coke. Old Monk needs no introduction. For the legions of fans of the drink, it is a must-have item for the home bar. Just as good for cocktails as straight with coke, Old Monk is perhaps the best rum available in the Indian market. We like it mulled with vanilla and spices for that perfect winter cocktail. However, if it is a change that your palate craves, seek out Captain Morgan’s. Spice on the nose and palate will surprise your senses very pleasantly. Slightly more expensive than the Old Monk, it is worth a buy for the holidays.

Your best bet for having a rocking party is to line up all the spirits with their accompaniments where your Balvenie 12 Y.O. Double Wood comes with a nose of guests can simply help them to it. ‘Tis the season to be honeydew and vanilla and tastes of bittersweet toasted jolly. So, you too might as well have a jolly good time nuts, cinnamon and sherry on the palate with a long than running around like a harried bartender! ❧ finish.


Mulled Wine: Get the recipe on page 80!


Mix it up

‘Cause ‘'Tis The Season To Be Jolly! Sitting around a lit-up Christmas tree, surrounded by friends and family and sipping on a holiday cocktail — isn’t that what the spirit of Christmas is all about? So here are some traditional Xmas cocktail recipes that are easy to prepare at home and delicious to share with your guests. 76 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 77

mix it up

christmas drink recipes


What makes eggnog the quintessential Christmas beverage is its creaminess and sweetness, with the taste of spiced rum cutting through this richness. { INGREDIENTS } 4 egg yolks ⅓ cup sugar 500 ml whole milk 1 cup heavy cream 100 ml spiced rum 4 egg whites 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1 cinnamon stick, for garnish

{ METHOD } • Using a hand whisk or electric blender, beat the egg yolks until their color lightens. • Keep adding the sugar gradually, while beating the yolks, till the sugar is completely dissolved. Keep this mixture aside. • Place a thick-bottomed saucepan on medium flame. Mix the milk, cream and nutmeg in this pan. Increase the flame to high and bring it to a boil, while stirring continuously. • Remove the saucepan from the heat. Gradually, combine it with the sugar mixture. • Once it is well mixed, place the saucepan on medium flame and let it reach boiling point again. • Remove the mixture from heat and stir in the rum. Pour the


mixture in a glass bowl and chill it in the refrigerator. • In another mixing bowl, use a hand whisk or electric blender to beat the egg whites till soft peaks are formed. • Add the sugar gradually and continue beating until stiff peaks are formed. • Whisk the egg whites into the chilled mixture. • To serve, pour the first mixture followed by egg white mix. • Use a blowtorch to slightly brown the top. • Sprinkle the nutmeg powder and garnish with a cinnamon stick. * Serves: 2 * Preparation: 15 min Cooking time: 20 min


mix it up

christmas drink recipes

mix it up

christmas drink recipes

Hot Toddy

You don’t need a special occasion to brew hot toddy. It is perfect to soothe a sore throat and keep the sniffles at bay this winter. This soothing drink is also a great way to greet your guests on a cold Christmas evening. { INGREDIENTS } 1 tbsp honey 40 ml rum or brandy Juice of ¼ lemon ¼ orange, cut into chunks 2 cloves 1-inch cinnamon stick 1 green cardamom, powdered 1 cup hot water 1 tea bag

{ METHOD } • Pour honey into a glass coffee mug. • Muddle lemon juice, orange pieces, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon in a mixing glass. Add the alcohol to this and keep it aside. • In a saucepan, heat water. Dip the tea bag to extract the tea. • Pour the hot tea water into the mixing glass and stir well. • Strain this beverage and pour into the coffee mug.


* Serves: 1 * Preparation: 10 min Cooking time: 5 min


mix it up

christmas drink recipes

mix it up

christmas drink recipes

Holiday Punch

With so many things to do during Christmas, making a cocktail that will appeal to everyone need not be a chore. Not when you can simply splash together some fresh fruit juices with a dash of vodka and sparkling wine and leave it with some spices in a bowl for your guests to help themselves to! { INGREDIENTS } 4 cups fresh cranberry juice 3 cups orange juice 2 cups freshly squeezed pomegranate juice 350 ml vodka 2 bottles sparkling wine Star anise and cinnamon sticks, for garnish

{ METHOD } • Pour cranberry juice, orange juice, pomegranate juice and vodka in a large punch bowl and stir till they are mixed well. • Pour this mixture in 8 tall glasses. • Top this with sparkling wine. • Garnish with star anise and cinnamon sticks


* Serves: 8 * Preparation: 10 minv


mix it up

christmas drink recipes

mix it up

christmas drink recipes

Mulled Wine

Nothing raises the spirit of bonhomie as much as sipping on a glass of hot mulled wine. Medieval monks knew about its effect on the spirit as well as the internal system, so just follow their lead in a drink that warms the cockles of the heart. { INGREDIENTS } Freshly squeezed juice of 3 oranges ½ cup granulated sugar 2 cups water 1 tsp clove 2 tsp cinnamon 4 star anise, 1 bottle red wine Cinnamon stick, for garnish

{ METHOD } • Place a saucepan on medium flame. Pour the orange juice in it. Add the sugar, water and spices. • Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat. • Simmer for 15 minutes till the flavor of the spices are infused in the mixture. Add wine and keep stirring to avoid it from boiling over. • Let it cool slightly. • Serve it warm in mugs garnished with a cinnamon stick.


* Serves: 8 * Preparation: 10 min Cooking time: 15 min


mix it up

christmas drink recipes

tried & tested parul pratap shirazi / gurgaon

Mexican Spice, Very Nice The combination of spices used in Keya Mexican Seasoning gives it a distinct Mexican flavor; especially the presence of cumin.


t is hard not to like Mexican food. It is rustic, it is spicy, it is comforting and it shares many similarities with Indian food sensibilities. Maybe that is why it is gaining acceptance amongst Indian households. Just like we Indians have our exhaustive spice mixtures, especially the multi purpose garam masala, Mexicans too have a wide range of spices that they use to up the fieriness of various dishes and lend a unique flavor. These spices, which include ingredients like chili, peppercorns, garlic, onion, cumin, etc., can be either used in cooking Mexican dishes like tacos, fajitas and quesadillas, or as toppings for salsas. A PINCH OF FIRE If you would like to cook Mexican dishes at home and neither have the time nor the ingredients to make the spices from scratch, try the Keya Mexican Seasoning. With a wide range of options from whole and ground spices to herbs and spice and seasoning mixes,


this Mexican seasoning is the latest addition to the brand’s selection of dried herbs and spices. A combination of onion, chili, salt, cumin, garlic, thyme, oregano, cloves and cinnamon, the seasoning mix also includes an anti-caking agent (E551). It is freeze dried and processed locally, from production to packaging. The spice mix per bottle weighs 50 grams; it is not available in larger packs as of now. Keya is the only Indian origin Mexican seasoning available in the market, though imported products offer more variety wherever available. The unique aspect of this product is in terms of flavour; when compared to other spice mixes by the brand I found the seasoning to be particularly ‘Mexican’ considering the presence of considerable amount of cumin. Though it is fairly easy to make a Mexican spice mix at home, this product brings a sense of ease; not very exotic, just very convenient! The true test of any spice mix of course lies in its flavoring. So we

decided the best thing we could do was use it in our cooking. We tried using it as a cajun style rub for grilled chicken. The fact that the food vanished from the plates within minutes of being served is either proof that the Keya Mexican seasoning found favor, or that the package of grilled chicken was just too good to resist. We also tried using it as sprinkling on pizza and pasta. Yes, we know using Mexican seasoning on an Italian staple is pushing the culinary envelope a little too far, but why not be a little adventurous?! The result was a success. It helped break the creaminess of the cheesy pizza without being too overpowering. You can also use the Keya Mexican seasoning to marinate meats, fish and poultry, but we personally liked the Cajun style rub for grills by far, in all our experiments. ❦

tried & Tested

keya mexican spice

Grilled Chicken Mexicana

3 tbsp olive oil 4 chicken legs (with thighs), cleaned Juice of 1 large lemon


4 tbsp Keya Mexican Seasoning, 2 tsp extra for garnish 2 tsp fresh garlic paste Salt and black pepper, to taste

{ METHOD } • Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the chicken legs. 6-7 minutes. • Mix 4 tbsp of Keya Mexican seasoning with garlic paste, salt • Flip the chicken over, turn up the heat and sear for a minute and pepper and rub it all over the chicken pieces. Set aside for till the skin browns quickly. 30 minutes. • Remove on a platter, drizzle the lemon juice over the chicken • Heat the remaining oil in a thick bottom skillet or pan, with and sprinkle the extra seasoning. enough room to grill all four pieces together. Do not overheat • Serve hot with Mexican rice and a cob of corn. or the oil will burn. • Neatly place the chicken legs in the pan, skin side down. • Let it sizzle on high flame for 2-3 minutes, lower the heat and * Serves: 4 * cover the pan to cook for another 6-7 minutes. Preparation: 30 min Cooking time: 20 min • Turn the chicken pieces over and pan grill the other side for CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 87



What is an ideal gift for this festive season? Gifting gets a bad rap because it takes so Should it be grand? Should it be practical? much thinking about what to choose. So let’s Should it look pretty? Or should you just send make things easier for you, by giving you out cheesy cards stapled with gift vouchers various options based on your budget. Surely, and get it over with? it can’t get easier than that!


stop. shop - budget

don't burn a hole in your pocket // INR 1200 and below Who says gifting has to be an expensive affair? Not when you can choose from these amazingly cute and cool things! All around INR 1,000.

Raise a toast to Christmas cheer The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has three delightful Christmas hampers with a selection of cakes and treats that make for a perfect gifting option. These hampers are loaded with various offerings - traditional and contemporary - to celebrate the holiday season with your loved ones. The hamper with 4 ingredients has plum cake, Stollen bread, chocolate muffin and coffee mug, while the 7-ingredient hamper also includes 2 tea cakes, almonds and a coffee mug. The deluxe hamper has plum cake, Stollen bread, chocolate muffin, oats muffin, 4 tea cakes, 4 nankhatai, cashews and a coffee mug.

Resolutions rein­ stated

INR 450 INR 750 and INR 950++

Young, Mad and Silly From a home based start-up by two seasoned travellers who loved collecting fridge magnets, to a full fledged design-based product range across cities, stores and of course online, Chumbak has come a long way. And it is here to stay. This season Chumbak has launched a fabulous

Keep walkin’ and movin’ After a long week of feasting and gorging, most make resolutions to get back into shape. Why not gift them the Valentine Sports gym-wear, yoga-wear and jogging-wear for women? These are made from diverse fabrics like 100% cotton single jersey (knitted), viscose, satin, modal, cotton lycra, 100% cotton fabric as well as dry fit fabric. This range is exclusively made for teens and plus sized women

range of tableware with their signature ‘owl’ motif with mugs, table linen and bowls to go with it. Gift a piece and start the collection for your loved ones; believe us, Chumbak stuff is addictive, once you own a piece, you might even rethink whether you would want to gift them at all! INR 249 onwards

Do you want to support a friend’s resolutions for becoming fitter with the New Year around the corner? A good way to give them a nudge in this direction is by gifting them a gadget like the Omron Pedometer. Omron's validated tri-axis technology allows them to stow it in their pocket or purse and still get an accurate step count, while also offering the traditional option of wearing it on their hip with the enclosed holder. The validated Tri-Axis 3D sensing technology allows use in any position and this device counts steps accurately and quietly, whether positioned flat, vertically, or horizontally. It has Four Activity Modes, Tracks steps, lodges Distance in Miles or Kilometres, counts Calories with large display and buttons for easy use. And you can claim credit for your pal’s leaner look! INR 1,200

INR 399 to INR 1499


stop. shop - Lavish

Stockings Full Of Goodies! // INR 1500 to INR 5000 Hang up those stockings and load them with these fab gifts ranging from INR 1,500 to INR 5,000. And see the faces of your loved one lights up brighter than a lit 'Xmas tree!

Say Hola! With Havaianas 2015 collection Comprising vibrant styles, trendy designs and effervescent colour combinations, the Havaianas 2015 collection has a fashionable twist with some cool prints. The Slim Cool Shocking Pink for women stands out with a mix of fluorescent yellow, shades of red and pink, seamlessly blended with the quirky Japanese Origami print. Origami cranes incorporated on the base in white, red and pink add a sense of freshness to your attire. It is a neo-classic design that brings together modern and irreverent combinations for women. INR 1700++

Such a delectable whiff Fragrances are timeless but with the market flooded with newer aromas by the season, it is hard to choose the right one for the right person. We found two, one for him and one for her, that are almost vintage and are here to stay! From the house of Bvlgari, these divine fragrances make for perfect gifts since they’re both nouvelle and exotic. For the ladies, go for the Omnia Indian Garnet; with notes of mandarin, saffron, Indian tuberose, osmanthus, Indian Woods and amber, this is a robust yet delicate fragrance. For the gentlemen, choose the warm and spicy, Bvlgari ‘Man in Black’. Ideal for the evening, this cologne has sweet notes of rum and spice. INR 4,500 onwards

Small things in a big package The best things in life come in small packages, right? But how about putting together some small packages of goodies in a large hamper and sending it to your friends and family all over the country? Just give the good folks at Ramada Powai Hotel and Convention Centre a call and they will assemble

Go for a smoking haute collection Known for nouveau chic designs for the modern Indian woman, Satya Paul upped the ante by making sarees that looked Parisian and brought back the timeless beauty of Anarkalis which now comprise just a small part of the entire collection. Start a collection for someone you love with the easiest piece to gift, a scarf by Satya Paul. They can then 90 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014

go on to build their collection with apparel of their choice. With 1500 stores across India and the option of online ordering, this gift isn’t going to be tough to source. Though you can take a pick from bags, clutches, fabrics, sarees, kurtas, tunics and more, scarves make for an easy start! INR 4,000 onwards

gift hampers that include parmesan cheese, red wine, olive oil, pistachios, peanuts, cashew nuts, pasta, green olive, chocolate, ginger cookies, chocolate brownie, plum cake, Opera chips and Pringles and send it to the address you mention. Gifting can’t get easier than that! INR Rs 3,950

stop. shop - splurge

Do It With Style // INR 5000 - INR 10000 It is the annual gifting bonanza that your friends and family are waiting for. And we know you don’t want to let them down. After all, luxury might come with a price tag between INR 5,000 to INR 10,000, but the smiles they bring along are priceless!

No more cloudy days The Cloudy Bay Vineyards’ Sauvignon Blanc 2014 speaks of sophistication. The 30th vintage of the brand’s flagship wine has a bright nose with aromas of kaffir lime and grapefruit. A generous palate reveals ripe citrus, stone fruit and lemongrass flavours balanced by crunchy acidity. Perhaps the hallmark of this vintage is its persistent finish, rich with minerality. INR 4,600 in MumbaI INR 4,850 in New Delhi

Have you got the time? Animal print is all the rage. So why limit them to your clothes alone? This Fossil watch for women is a great mix of Americana and new-age style. Indisputably stunning arm-candy, it has an over-sized analogue time display and embellished dial, while the resin strap with its black and brown hues is a must-have for watch lovers. INR 7,500

Deeply divine designer swag Who does not like to make a style statement by adding a designer piece to an ensemble? After all, these days accessories speak louder than the outfit! The arm candy of celebrity folks like Karisma Kapoor, Kajol and Sonam Kapoor, Anusha Lalwani’s handbags and clutches are the ‘in’ thing to be seen with! With an Honours degree in Graphic Design, Photography and Digital Imaging, Anusha’s products are an extension of her own style and vision, one of ‘wearable art’. The artists behind the brand are the mother-daughter duo of Anusha and Kamal Lalwani. Their stockists include Minerali in Mumbai, Evolv in Delhi and Chennai and Neon in Bangalore. This year gifting season’s got serious ‘swag’! INR 5,000 onwards

Something heavenly perhaps? The term ‘heavenly’ is actually trademarked, by The Westin Group, especially for their beds and their spas. This festive season, add ‘heavenly’ to the gifts you give with a spa voucher for The Westin in your city. The Heavenly Spa offers signature treatments and restorative therapies that are ideal for the post party season, so gift a voucher and bring ‘wellness’ in your gifting options. INR 5,000 onwards CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 91

stop. shop - Extravagence PRICE, NO BAR // INR 10000+

If gifting, for you, is not something to a chore to strike off your to-do list; if gifting, for you, is something you spend hours thinking about; if gifting, for you, is about sharing a little of yourself with the recipient of your largesse — then we have narrowed down some options for you.

The Dom has spoken After eight years on the lees in Dom Pérignon’s cellars, the Rosé Vintage 2003 offers an intriguing harmony with a touch of impudence. On the palate, the wine is voluptuous. Its velvety texture is immediately perceptible; it radiates sensuality and finds its final tone in a hint of licorice: an unexpected interpretation of Dom Pérignon’s signature minerality, found in every vintage.

Magical Moments Forever To capture life’s precious moment and keep these fleeting glimpses safe forever, all one needs is the right camera for it. The Canon PowerShot SX400 IS does just that. Whether you have a budding photographer in the family or a friend who’s an aficionado then this cam is totally up their alley! With a powerful 16.0 megapixel CCD sensor that delivers beautiful images, it also comes equipped with the Digic 4+ Imaging processor and 30x Optical Zoom capability. So if you know someone who loves zooming their sights on some picturesque details, this is the gift for them!

This vintage 2003 offers a different expression of Pinot Noir and is demanding, fickle, vibrant and of a fascinating nature. The colour is deep, with light amber and copper tints. The nose incites a burst of richness and complexity. Ripe fruit at first, then fig and strawberry as the wine breathes and grows, revealing guava, violet and vanilla. The silky, spicy material very gradually disappears into a mineral, iodine, salty finish. INR 25,000 onwards

The timekeepers passion The intricate mechanism of a Titan Automatic recognizes the slightest movement of the wrist to power its precision movements. With mechanized craftsmanship and a range of functions, this collection makes each piece a ‘collectible’. If you are planning a gift for a lover of ‘time pieces’ then we suggest one from the ‘Automatic’ collection. For women choose the white, leather strap, diamante accented piece in stainless steel and for men, the ‘butch in brown’ with Sapphire coated glass. INR 16,000 (for ladies collection), INR 19,000 (for gentlemen’s collection)

INR 25,000 onwards

Put A Ring On It Perk up your style quotient with these white gold rings from - an e-commerce platform for customized fine jewellery. These rings are versatile, new age and very trendy and can be accessorized with any outfit. Each ring is beautifully laid out in simple classic styles that will add the perfect 92 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014

finishing touch to your outfit in vogue. The beautiful ring definitely keep your look the way it should be, so that you can flaunt it in style with panache. Every diamond jewelry product from is fashioned from solid gold or platinum and is adorned with high quality diamonds of different cuts and scopes. INR 25,000 onwards

Online food ordering platform,, recently conducted a survey on the shifting culinary choices of Indians. This highlighted that an increasing number of respondents are now moving away from traditional Indian cuisines to explore other team caldron like Middle Eastern and Pan-Asian food.

F, an online food ordering platform, recently conducted a survey on the shifting choices of Indians and their increasing inclination towards non-traditional cuisines, for instance European and Pan-Asian. The survey highlighted that 36% of total orders placed across India on the site are for non-traditional grub. This is testament to the fact that Indians are embracing foreign cuisines and giving their taste buds a break from the conventional dal chawal. As per the survey, Delhi leads the gourmet game with 21% of its denizens opting to gorge on non-Indian

dishes. Bangalore (18%) follows next, while Gurgaon (12%), Hyderabad (12%), Mumbai (10%), Pune (10%) too are showing a growing preference for various international cuisines including Japanese, Mexican, Middle Eastern, European, Italian, Pan-Asian and Seafood. Rohit Chadda, MD and Co-Founder, foodpanda. in, stated, “ has revealed interesting facts about the food consumption habits of Indians through its myriad surveys. Our latest survey brings a clear finding to light about how Indians are going beyond their staple diet to explore world cuisine. These observations help us analyze and understand the food ordering scenario in the country in a much better way, enabling us to serve our customers efficiently.”

GLOBALISATION LEADS TO GROWING INTEREST Pan-Asian cuisine comes across as the most obvious choice for gastronomes at 45% in the survey, followed by Middle-Eastern (11%) and Japanese (9%). Meanwhile, Mexican and European grub have emerged as the least-preferred choice by connoisseurs as a mere 5 % of the orders are made for the same. Globalisation has turned the traditional notions of dining up on its head to an extent that the well-travelled Indian is spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding cuisines while dining out. The crux of foodpanda’s survey indicates that Indians are slowly developing a taste for non-traditional dishes to give their desi food routines a refreshing twist. ❦ CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 93

QUICK BYTES Survey: Indians Becoming More Experimental About Food Preferences

roaming rover parul pratap shirazi / gurgaon

Pullman: Respite Awaits If you want a weekend of R&R near Delhi, head to Pullman Gurgaon Central Park. It is serene, luxuriant and if you want to clock in a couple of hours of work in between some play, they have everything a business traveller needs too!


here comes a time, or times, in one’s life when no matter how much you love Gurgaon as a city, you want to escape its sterile environs for something more sylvan. Nothing too far, but nothing so close that one is reminded about the malls, the crowds, the sprawling townships. I wanted luxury and comfort, but more importantly a place where a family can bond, even whilst engaged in different activities. Pullman Gurgaon Central Park beckoned and I decided to spend a weekend there to see if it could be the balm for my city-jangled nerves. My husband, 8-year old daughter and I checked in on a Saturday morning for a 2-day stay. Don’t forget to inform the hotel if you


have children accompanying you; the room will have a surprise for them, which will put even the most churlish child in a good mood. Ours had some pastries and a little fondant mouse with a cube of cheese, the candy on the side that impressed my daughter immediately. NOT SPACIOUS, BUT VERY COMFORTABLE The Executive Room we stayed in was not spacious, but the designer had used the available space sensibly. The bed takes most of it and is ample for 3 adults with an emphasis on lumbar comfort. It is the kind of bed that you fall back on, sink in and just doze off. Pullman offers a specialized Pillow Selection: there was an Aroma Menu for Deluxe Rooms and special oils and diffusers with an elaborate menu for both pillows and aromas. Spiffy!

Despite the plinth area of the room, the washroom is glass panelled and naturally lit and manages to fit both a shower stall and a bathtub. The automated window covers let the natural light stream in during the day, and lower down for the night. There is a two-seater couch by the window and as luck would have it, Pullman is blessed with quite the view. On one side, you can see the Faridabad road winding into the Aravalis, while on the other the Gurgaon skyline looms. A flat screen TV on the wall, a work table, complimentary Wi-Fi with a cap on usage in terms of MB for up to 3 devices – Pullman has it all for the business traveller as well. SOUL FOOD, AT YOUR DOORSTEP The room service menu has everything you could possibly

the pullman, gurgaon

Champagne Brunch CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 95

roaming rover

the pullman, gurgaon Superior room.

If you check in at noon, your lunch is served at ‘Senses’, the all day restaurant. Though the a la carte is varied and impressive, I can safely The Club Lounge also serves looming buildings in close proximsay that the buffet at Senses could well be one of the best in Gurgaon. complimentary drinks until 8 pm, ity, the view from the pool is of the so don’t be surprised if you see a neighboring foliage, the vast sky, A medley of Indian and contilot of business travellers hooked and Pullman’s nightclub, i-Kandy. nental dishes with an impressive salad spread, the After a nap in the appetiser station Don’t miss the Peanut Butter Sh&* Slick at sun, we headed and an all-new the i-Kandy bar, it’s what I like to call a back to our room addition of sushi for a pre-party makes for an dessert-tail, a blend of Baileys, Vodka and soak in the tub excellent afterand then it was peanut butter. noon meal on a off to the Club weekend. to their mobile devices while they Lounge for a drink before hitting sit back and savour single malts. the party scene at i-Kandy. A speWELCOME TO THE CLUB The Club Lounge serves breakfast, cial mention for the staff on duty If you made the ‘right’ decision to at the Lounge – they had more stay between the 9th to 12th Exec- though it is not as elaborate as the one served at ‘Senses’. patience with children than I can utive Floors, you have to the opboast off and it was actually quite tion of relaxing at the Club Lounge SOAKING IT IN comforting to see the young ‘uns on the 11th floor, which comes Post lunch head to the poolside for so comfortable; it made our cockwith perks that make the entire a spot in the sun. Pullman has one tail hour at i-Kandy even more staycation worth it! The Club of the few temperature-controlled enjoyable. Lounge has two internet ready, pools in the city and if you can large screen workstations, X-Box brave Gurgaon’s winters, I strongly Don’t miss the Peanut Butter Sh&* gaming and refreshments served recommend sitting by the pool and Slick at the i-Kandy bar, it’s what I all day, on the house. It is an ideal soaking in the sun with coffee or a like to call a dessert-tail, a blend of place to park the kids if you want tall milkshake. Since there are no Baileys, Vodka and peanut butter. some alone time; I certainly did! 96 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014

the pullman, gurgaon

want, from pizzas to sandwiches, milkshakes and cocktails as well. Be careful when you order though; the portions are massive. The in room bar is stocked with miniatures of standard favourites, and I was pleasantly surprised to find Beefeaters gin in its midst. The bar pricing is at par with most hotels in the city but if you have a strict brand preference, then I suggest you carry your own, since each room has a set of wine and whisky glasses ready.

roaming rover

the pullman, gurgaon

Club Lounge Facade

Club Lounge The food at SEN5ES

all photos - the pullman, gurgaon

iKandy One of the desserts at SEN5ES


roaming rover

the pullman, gurgaon


The Lobby

all photos - the pullman, gurgaon

La Riviera

the pullman, gurgaon


roaming rover

the pullman, gurgaon The Spa

The DJ line-up for weekends and events was impressive and i-Kandy is ideal for a nightclub experience on a weekend, since it is by the pool.

was the spa that I was most interested in; having been there only once before I was hoping to try a new therapy. I chose the Balinese Massage; they have a menu for essential oil. I chose the ‘Island Spice Oil’, just for its relaxing fragrance. My therapist for the afternoon was very adept and after a 50-minute session I felt like putty in her hands. I chose to shower in my room instead of the spa and then it was time for a snooze.

Post drinks, head to Pullman’s signature kitchen, ‘La Riviera’. Headed by the young and talented Executive Chef Tanveer Kwatra, this is a great place to enjoy hearty yet delicate Provencal food. The menu is paired perfectly with a selection of French and ItalThe Nespresian wines and the If you made the ‘right’ decision to stay be- so machine staff will be happy to the room help you make the tween the 9th to 12th Executive Floors, you in also comes right choice. After have to the option of relaxing at the Club in handy at a meal like this, the a time like 7-layered bed in your Lounge on the 11th floor, which comes room almost sings this and since with perks that make the entire staycation they offer 2 out your name and pods free evthe best thing to do worth it! ery day, brew is tuck in for the yourself a shot and revive yourself from the lethargy night. induced by the spa. Enjoy another lunch at ‘Senses’ before you check out the next day. PAMPERING THE SENSES Keep aside at least one day of your staycation day for Our weekend stay at Pullman Gurgaon Central Park pampering! Depending on the season, the kids can wrapped up two very relaxing days of our lives witheither be at the pool or at the Club Lounge, while you head to the salon and the spa! The ‘Cutting Edge’ out having to fly or drive out too far for that matter. We didn’t need to use 3G on roaming or experience salon has an exhaustive menu for hair services, from Root Touch-Up to Eyebrow tinting. jet lag, yet we felt like we were transported to a mini break we really enjoyed. My suggestion to anyone I chose an express pedicure and it was ideal, over in who lives and works in Delhi/NCR is this – respite 30 minutes and completely worth it. To be honest, it awaits at a Pullman near you! ❦


I have mostly been a silent observer of Madhuri's work, admiring her posts from a distance, often returning to view those lovely pictures. The food on her table is usually the centre of Madhuri's attention, but her sense of aesthetics, styling and variety in her props makes it clear she certainly knows how to experiment and make the most of every risk taken. Each picture is detailed, with little nuances of color and texture within, whether it be the subtle pink in her macaroons, the white string she appears to love or the crumpled brown sheets for the rum cake. As you can see in her photos below, there's plenty of visual appeal in every frame! Madhuri appears to have an innate understanding of food, even more so for a home cook turned blogger (her blog is at, a quality I find interesting and inspiring in equal measure. Her rum cake and ginger cookies have brought much joy to this happy month and to my mind, Madhuri has brought the festive fever of Christmas to the Chef at Large group with warmth and panache.

Sushma Ayyalasomayajula


photos by madhuri aggarwal


"... her sense of aesthetics, styling, variety in her props; Madhuri certainly knows how to experiment..."




photos by madhuri aggarwal

Madhuri Aggarwal CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 101

BOOK REVIEW sid khullar

Southern Living: 1995 Annual Recipes Publisher: Oxmoor House, 1995 Pages: 368 Availability: N/A Price: N/A ISBN: 0-8487-1453-9


love old cook books. In fact, with very few exceptions, I much prefer older books to their newer avatars. There's so much more substance to books that were published in the 90s. The recipes seem more real, there's a purpose to the whole thing and all in all, there's more character to a single page than recently published books can pull off as a whole. For this Christmas issue of CaLDRON Magazine, I pulled Southern Living magazine's collection of annual recipes from 1995 from my collection. It seemed much too Christmassy to ignore and perfect for the issue. A treasure house of nearly 1,000 recipes, all the recipes from all the issues of Southern Living magazine issues in 1995, the book has every sort of recipe one might need - Sauces (Avocado-Tomatillo Sauce, 206), Jams (Red Bell Pepper Jam, 242), Soups (Chilled Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup, 134), Tarts (Fresh Tomato Tart, 170), Dips (Black Bean Dip, 93) and Pastas (Asian Pesto Pasta, 189) among many other categories. Besides useful nuggets of information scattered throughout the volume, this book contains a few features I wish newer cookbooks would include - exten-


sive references and indexes. The end of the book has a Recipe Title Index (a list of all the recipes by name, grouped by alphabet), a Month by Month Index (a list of all the recipes grouped by month of publication), a General Recipe Index (a list of all the recipes, grouped by ingredients and category) and finally a table of Metric Equivalents. The recipes themselves are neatly laid out, in a consistent format (you'd be surprised how many recipe books aren't!) and clearly written. Most recipes don't have accompanying photographs, which could be a problem for the novice cook though experienced cooks don't usually need them. The photographs that are present however, are beautifully styled and well taken. Southern Living 1995 Annual Recipes isn't available in bookstores (not any more it isn't!) and you'll have to keep your eyes peeled. I found my copy on the street in Nehru Place, New Delhi going for the ridiculous price of 100 rupees. â?Ś


southern living 1995 annual recipes

Tomato-Zucchini Gratin


3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced 4 medium-size ripe tomatoes, peeled and thinly sliced 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 3 tablespoons olive oil

{ METHOD } • Arrange half of zucchini slices in bottom of an ungreased 8-inch baking dish; top with half of tomato slices. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. • Top with remaining zucchini and tomato. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over top. • Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve with a slotted spoon.

* Yields: 6 servings * Preparation: 10 min Cooking time: 25 min Recipe by Patti Tripper, Germantown, Tennessee Published in Southern Living 1995 Annual Recipes



The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf introduces 18 additions First Ginger Hotel in Visakhapatnam Ginger Hotels from Roots Corporation, a subsidiary of The Indian Hotels Company Limited, launched its first hotel in Visakhapatnam. The 72 room Ginger Hotel Vizag has rooms priced between INR 2499 to INR 2999 with an introductory offer of INR 2199. The entry of Ginger Hotels into the port city follows the recent announcement to make Vizag a top international tourism spot by developing the Vizag- Bhimli corridor with world-class infrastructure. Key tourist hubs such as Araku and Lambasingi make it an ideal leisure destination as well. All the rooms are designed to make guests’ stay comfortable and convenient with well-appointed amenities such as mini-fridge, satellite television, self-controlled air-conditioner etc. The rooms are also furnished with a workstation to make business on the go productive. The hotel offers complimentary Wi-Fi to all resident guests helping the modern business traveller to stay connected. Guests can indulge in sumptuous Indian cuisine at Red Salt - bright and inviting multi-cuisine coffee shop and an all-day diner.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has launched a new menu with 18 new offerings for the first time in India, including pop cakes, wraps, quesadillas, breakfast combos, cheesecakes and desserts. The menu is segregated into three different sections - Breakfast, Gourmet and Bakery. The Breakfast section incl udes power packed combos aimed at the youngsters because of the sheer range and variety of small bites and beverage combinations to satisfy any hunger pangs. The Bakery section has Pop Cakes as well as delightful sweets like Hazelnut Chocolate Mousse Cake, Almond Cake, Oatmeal, Dates & Cranberry Muffin, Classic Chocolate Muffin and Chicago Cheesecake. The Gourmet bites include different varieties of savory snacks and meals. Vegetarians can indulge in Masala Aloo Salsa Wrap, Margarita Pizza Wrap and Corn Cheese Quesadilla, while non-vegetarians can choose from Murg Kali Mirch Wrap and Spicy Chicken Tender Wrap. They can give it an extra edge with the classic CBTL Cappuccino or the Iced Mocha Latte. The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is present across 9 cities at 30 cafes. Recently, the brand has opened its stores in Ludhiana and Gurgaon to be followed by launching their new store at Kurla in Mumbai.

Food Safety Helpline introduces app Food Safety Helpline introduced food safety mobile app in India for the convenience of the food business operators (FBO) in India to understand, learn and implement the requirements in compliance to Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006. The mobile application will not only provide the information on FSSAI compliance needs but also features food safety inspection for food business houses. The mobile app will help the food business community, who intend to operate with FSSAI regulations with a traceability system at their premises. Currently the mobile app is available for Android phone users. With this app, FBOs can do their audits through a mobile device, generate automated reports and identify the gaps in the system to take corrective action. The mobile app also features the customized checklists for Self Inspection on different industry verticals.

Cremica's range of 'desi' mayonnaise to spruce up boring snacks Spruce up boring snacks with the flavorsome range of Cremica desi mayonnaise. You can serve it with appetizers, kebabs and pakoras for a delicious twist of taste. The three new flavors include ‘Tandoori Sandwich Mayo’, an Indian flavored sandwich mayo that will go well any snacks or appetizers. The other two are ‘Mint Sandwich Mayo’ with the freshness of mint and ‘Tangy Pickle Sandwich Mayo’, which brings the flavors of Indian pickle and tangy spices to sandwiches. Each of the new additions are priced at INR 119 for 375 gms.


Italian home-style cooking at Pune’s La Terrazza

Golden Tulip Chandigarh launches panAsian restaurant

Aqaba launches ‘Trending Thursdays’ This December, Aqaba, the casual-dining, Mediterranean restaurant in Mumbai, has introduced a new concept for movie buffs called ‘Movies Under the Stars’. Guests can enjoy a relaxed evening out on the opulent lawns of Aqaba, while watching a great movie coupled with a bag of popcorn and snacking on some delightful Mediterranean specialties. ‘Movies Under the Stars’ offers a unique way to unwind and catch up on the latest films. This month, Aqaba will screen ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ on 11th December under this concept. On 18th December, the restaurant will host a Chandon evening, while a Christmas party has been organised on 25th December. Grand Mercure Goa Shrem Resort launched Accor has opened the Grand Mercure Goa Shrem Resort, nestled amidst the serene countryside of lush paddy plantations just off North Goa's bustling nightlife and beaches. Owned by the Shrem Group and managed by Accor India, this getaway is situated on the calm and inviting corner of Candolim road and is only 40 minutes from the airport by car. Whether relishing an intimate couple's hideaway or a retreat for the entire family, the 121 rooms and suites at this resort offers havens of space and coziness. With an exclusive array of local offerings including the select Kajah Beedi, Kings Beer, Soda Codd Masala Shikanjvi, guests at Grand Mercure Goa Shrem Resort will be enamored by a string of upscale experiences. Resident guests and visitors can feast on an extensive selection of cuisines at the hotel’s four restaurants and bars. Chy, an all-day café and deli, serves freshly brewed coffee and tea, juices, homemade breads, pastries and a wide selection of snacks. while Festa is a 100 seater innovative, trendy all day dining venue for discerning travelers and international diners. At Junho Bar, guests can enjoy classic cocktails, and a fine selection of spirits and wines with scrumptious cocktail snacks. The lounge sports a majestic floor-to-ceiling Wine Tower, along with a collection of select international wines. Attached to the pool, Sunken Bar, the pool bar serves refreshing cocktails and light snacks. CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 105


Golden Tulip Chandigarh Ambient Resort and Spa launched ‘The Oriental’, its new pan-Asian restaurant and lounge bar. It will serve delicacies from China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia with an array of interesting alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.


They say there is nothing more romantic than Italian food! If you agree with this quote, then plan a visit to La Terrazza, Trattoria and Lounge at Hyatt Regency Pune. Get ready to set on a culinary journey through the beautiful land of Italy as the home-style Italian restaurant introduces a three course set meals starting at INR 675, plus taxes. In addition to the set menu, the restaurant also offers an exquisite array of Italian favourites such as of appetizers, soups, pizzas, pastas and desserts that will leave you yearning for more! With an open kitchen, you can get a visual treat and witness how the talented chefs at the restaurant prepare the Italian delicacies right in front of you!


The Red Cups are back at Starbucks Christmas celebrations at Sofitel Mumbai BKC

Spread the cheer this Christmas with Starbucks, as it brings back its iconic red cups and delightful Christmas Trio beverages: Christmas Cookie Latte, Toffee Nut Latte and Mocha Praline. These are best paired with Starbucks’ signature Christmas desserts, Red Velvet Cake and Winter Cake.

Sofitel Mumbai BKC began the celebrations and merriment of the festive season with a Christmas Tree lighting event on 10th December. It brought the spirit of Christmas to life as little children from the Holy Family School indulged in carol singing and jingles.

If you want to make the season merrier choose from gifting options ranging from Starbucks Christmas Card, Christmas Mugs and Tumblers, Starbucks Holiday bear, Christmas ornaments, etc. You can also participate in the ‘Share the Cheer’ activity with the Starbucks partners at the store, by completing fun tasks such as singing Christmas carols or wearing red colored clothes, and you could the limited edition Starbucks Christmas gift hamper.

And that’s not all! This Christmas, enjoy an irresistible spread with a Christmas Eve Dinner, a Christmas Brunch and Dinner featuring Champagne, Mulled Wine, Christmas Cocktails, live speciality counters, enticing desserts and delicacies from around the world, only at Pondichéry Café.

Guests to the hotel can also soak in some more of the Christmas spirit with a cheerful Santa Claus and a delightful 14-feet tall gingerbread house! Walk-in through its enchanting doorway for a magical experience and surprise your children with special gifts.

Christmas delights at Vivanta By Taj MG Road The Christmas spirit has set in with full swing at Vivanta by Taj MG Road with a 10ft x 8ft life-size gingerbread house, stacked with pudding, plum cake, grandma fruit cake and Santa in chocolate mould. The innovatively designed walk-in gingerbread house will remain in the hotel lobby till 25th December 2014 for the sale of Christmas hampers and goodies.

Harsha K presents a special Christmas menu Mumbai-based Harsha K, known for her desserts, crunchy cookies, molten chocolates, macarons and customized gifting options, presents her Christmas menu comprising a wide variety of edibles. These include gingerbread cookies and houses, sponge Christmas cakes and cinnamon white chocolate bread puddings, fruit mince pies, hot chocolate mugs, marzipans, cranberry hazelnut roulade and hampers of Christmas goodies plus glazed leg of ham and stuffed turkey with cranberry sauce, if ordered in advance. 106 | CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014

Gaylord Bakeshop offers Christmas hampers South Mumbai patisserie, Gaylord Bakeshop, has introduced a range of Christmas hampers that you can gift to family and friends. Available in three sizes — small, medium and large — these include plum cakes, assorted chocolate rocks, marzipan, Santa sweets, champagne chocolate bottle, milk cream, macarons, guava cheese, cookies box and jujubes. The small, medium and large hampers are priced at INR 1750, INR 2600 and INR 3700, respectively.


The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, has appointed Chinese actor Wu Xiubo as the brand’s first Chinese Global Explorer, coinciding with the Grand Opening of The Azure Qiantang, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Hangzhou, located in the capital of China’s Zhejiang province.

Four Seasons Hotel Pudong launches Chinese afternoon tea Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai has for the first time added Chinese elements and flavours into an afternoon tea experience that will have guests coming back for more. The concept of afternoon tea originates in western culture, and nowadays afternoon tea in Shanghai is served with western drinks and pastries. Now, Shàng-Xí at Four Seasons Hotel Pudong, Shanghai offers Chinese afternoon tea, advocating a return to tradition and the classic tea experience. Chinese Executive Chef Simon Choi has created an array of mouthwatering dim sum favourites along with delicately handcrafted classic Chinese confectioneries: steamed shrimp dumpling with black truffle, baked whole abalone puff with diced chicken and gold leaves, baked mushroom and matsutake puff in mayonnaise and chilled mango cream with sago, pomelo and bird’s nest, and more.

This holiday season, make spirits bright with Four Seasons Hotel Amman Four Seasons Hotel Amman has created a full menu of delights for guests during the upcoming holiday season. With the magical Christmas tree lighting up in the lobby of the Hotel, Four Seasons Amman is ringing in the holiday season with Chocolate and Cheese Fondue Nights every Thursday and a pop up Sweets Shop, which can both be experienced at the Foyer Lounge; Christmas Day Brunch and Boxing Day Brunch are perfect for a family gathering at Olea Restaurant; end the year with a classic Harry’s Bar-themed New Year's Eve dinner at Asia and Vivace Restaurants; and kick off the New Year with a family brunch at Olea Restaurant.

Sweeten the holidays with take-home desserts from Beverly Wilshire This December brings the return of traditional holiday desserts from the pastry team at Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel, lead by Executive Pastry Chef Stephen Sullivan. Indulge in delectable made-to-order desserts, a delicious addition to a festive table, or the perfect party gift. The selection of sweet treats includes a traditional Chestnut Bûche de Noël, with vanilla genoise, chestnut pastry cream and rum (serves 8-10), the Signature Beverly Wilshire Caraibe Chocolate Bûche de Noël, with banana compote, chocolate biscuit and dark chocolate glaze (serves 8-10), Modern Fruits Bûche de Noël, with white chocolate bavarois, fruits of the forest gelée and coconut dacquoise (serves 8-10) and Panettone, a traditional sweet bread with dry fruit. CaLDRON MAGAZINE, DECEMBER 2014 | 107


Chinese actor Wu Xiubo is The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts’ brand ambassador

Awww.. did it have to end?


CALDRON Magazine, December 2014  
CALDRON Magazine, December 2014  

Reviews from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, Cover story on Christmas traditions, meet chefs Oh Wong Jong and Raul Martinez, Melbourne food & w...