Food Festival: Awadhi Food Festival at Sheraton Bangalore

We all hear/know a bit about the mystic food of Awadh. My search for the cuisine made me read about it on google and also gave an opportunity to interact with one of the secret guards of the cuisine. Sheraton Hotel at Brigade Gateway’s Feast restaurant is hosting the Awadhi Food festival with the celebrated Guest Chef Rehman and their home bread chef Maksood.

Coming back to Awadh, there are many theories about the food. One of them says that there was a shortage of food in the Awadh region (in the yester years), the king ordered his cooks to make food for all. Since the food was supposed to be shared and cooked all day long, the slow cooking process along with hearty ingredients like potatoes, meats and other vegetables were the core. The slow coking made sure the food was cooking in its own juices making it as nutritious as possible.

Awadh food has been influenced majorly by the Mughals. There was a time when Delhi, Lucknow and Hyderabad would compete to be declared the best among the Mughal influenced cuisines. All three have the same base but are drastically different in flavors. Such are the spice combinations that a slight alternation would result in the change of the cuisine’s location. :)

Barbeque/Tandoor is a very important element of the cuisine. Chef Rehman got his fav tandoor from Lucknow to give us the perfect Sheermals and Awadhi Naan’s. Boy they were gorgeous. Did you know that Sheermal’s and other Awadhi Breads are supposed to be had with starters or between Starters and main course? I learnt that today. Chef Rehman is looking forward to share his experience and experiments with the connoisseurs of food. He wishes to challenge the obvious. His food speaks volumes about his 14 year experience in the food research and experimentation.

The drink that was served us was an Awadhi Thandai with almonds, saffron and hint of black pepper.

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The starters were Aatishi aalu, Tandoori Paneer and Veg Seekh.  The Aatishi aalu was baby potatoes marinated in spices and grilled with their skin on. The paneer had a goegeous char on them due to the yogurt and spice mix. The veg seekh kebab was a well seasoned vegetable mix that was complimented by the green chutney very well.

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The Non veg starters included- Gurda Kaleji, Galauti Kebab and Chicken. The Gurda ka came in a spice mix of onions, gingfer and garlic. The Lucknowi specialty Galauti kebab were a hit on the table. The subtle spice mix on the chicken was appreciable as well.

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Both the veg and non veg starters were served with warm Sheermal and Awadhi Naan.

Lets jump to the main course now. Chef Rehman is on a quest to change the way people look at food of the region from where he comes. he does not believe in the usual tamatar-pyaaz bhuna bharta, dal tadkas and the like. He believes that the vegetarian food has  more stories to share. The star of the main course was the Baigan ka bharta. It was light and creamy and garlicky. It checked all the right boxes in my head. :) I have always judged a resturant by its Dal Makhni (When I go out to eat Indian food) the dum pukth way of cooking rendered the dal to have a lovely texture, without mincing the dal completely. I am so impressed by it. The mushroom and panner didnt work for me as I dont like the combination at all. The Paneer cooked  in white gravy was super rich with the almonds but the balance of flavors was something to die for.

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IMG_0260IMG_0266IMG_0270The desserts are the seal the deal for any menu. here there was no exception. We had balushahi, shahi tukda, malai sandwich, lapsi and anjeer ka halwa as the choices.

My most preferred one was the malai sandwich. :D It had just the right amount of sweet and the chena sandwiching the luscious malai in the center was super soft. A must try :) The menu keeps changing a bit each day, which is a good thing.

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Do try the lovely flavors of the Awadh and the hospitality of the Starwood member Sheraton at Brigade Gateway.

The food festival ends on 19 oct. It is available for Dinner and Lunch.

Address: 26/1 Dr. Rajkumar Road, Malleswaram-Rajajinagar, Bangalore, Karnataka 560055  Phone:080 4252 1000

Image Source: Sheraton Bangalore Facebook Page

Image Source: Sheraton Bangalore Facebook Page

Cheers,

Pallavi

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Product Review: #Britannia cake Nut and Raisin Romance

One fine day, my mail box had a green envelope with mysterious contents inside. Brushing aside all random possibilities that came to my head, I was in awe of the gorgeous brown pack of the cake whose name was Romance. :)

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I am a doodle fan and the label had some lovely doodle font on it. It was cute. So I put a pot of boiling water on the stove and took out my precious Typhoo tea bag and put it in the mug. The cake needed a companion and what is better than tea. :)

The cake is made with wheat flour, contains eggs and nuts. Dietary preference must be considered carefully before the purchase.

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Clearly labelled package-IMG_9821

Priced at INR 50, it can be a perfect in a diwali basket/to serve guests at home/for lunch-snack boxes for kids.
IMG_9822 IMG_9819On opening the cover, I found a plastic case shielding the cake. It was a little out of shape due to shipping, I guess. However the cake must have felt safe inside it as it was not harmed at all.

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The cake is not pre sliced so that gives you an opportunity to be as generous as you please.

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The cake has a generous amount of nuts, orange peel and raisin in each bite. However it was a little dry for my taste but I guess that is what shall make it last long enough. With tea it goes perfectly as it gets the much needed moisture. I love the color of the outer cake surface, deep dark brown <3. And oh the waft made me dig into more than one slice ;)

My tea companion and me give a thumbs up to the new product. Go on and gift yourself some happiness :) Ting ting ta ding *Britannia style*

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Cheers,

Pallavi

Posted in Cake, Product Reviews | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Slow Cooked Jeera Aalu/potato stir fry

Jeera Aalu is supposed to a Dhaba comfort food. Low maintenance, super easy to put together and hardly anything can go wring with this one. The version I love, has crispy edges and a pillow-y center. Oh it is to die for.

You shall need:

3 medium Size… Potatoes (Washed, peeled and cut in equal size pieces)

2 … green chillies (Slit in the center)

2 tsp… Oil

1 tsp… Jeera/Cumin seeds

2 tsp… Dhaniya powder/coriander powder

2 tsp… Jeera powder/roaster cumin powder

1 tsp… Amchoor powder/Dry mango Powder (Optional)

Salt to taste

Method:

  • In a Kadhai/wok, heat the oil.
  • Add the cumin seeds and green chillies.
  • Reduce the heat for medium-low.
  • Drain the potatoes well and wipe them with a kitchen towel/cloth. We dont want much moisture on it.
  • Add them to the wok.
  • Keep stirring until all the potatoes are covered with oil.
  • Let it cook for about 30 min, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the masalas and salt. mix well.
  • Now let it cook for 20 more min, so that the potatoes are cooked through and have a crispy exterior.
  • Serve with love.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

Posted in Curry, Dinner, easy cooking, Eggless, How to, Lunch, quick, stir fry | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Soak Sabudana Perfectly

I used to be terrible at handling sago/sabudana. It used to be lumpy mess or oily sticky mess. After following a lot of advise on Chef at large, I found a way to make this work :)

Before I mess it up again, let me share how I learnt the art of soaking the sabudana perfectly. I usually start the soaking around 6-ish in the evening so that I may use it the next day.

You shall need:

1 cup… Sabudana

1+1/4 cup… water

Method:

  • In a bowl, add the sabudana and give it a good wash. I usually wash it three times to get rid of the starch.
  • Drain the water.
  • Add half a cup of water and leave it to soak for two hours.

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  • Using a spoon, mix it all around. You shall notice that the water all soaked and sabudana/sago is almost dry.

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  • Now add another 1/2 cup of water and let it soak for two hours.
  • Give it a stir after two hours and add the 1/4 cup of water and let it soak overnight. Notice the doubling of the volume :)

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  • And Voila in the morning you may use it as you please.

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This has been absolutely fool proof for me this fasting season. Hope you are also able to do it perfectly too.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

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Thank you WordPress

Dear WordPress,

Thank you for greeting me today morning with this.

wordpress 7 years

What a glorious ride this has been.

I still remember 7 years back I was still at college and when it came to deciding on which platform to choose, I chose you because of the name and the logo. It was all sounding so uncomplicated and welcoming.

My blogs have been my strength and my weakness at the same time. People have come and gone but they have stood the test of time. They make me, me for reasons good or bad and I thank you for that.

They have kept me secrets in drafts, they have published my emotions and scheduled all things great. Blogging has instilled such lovely things in my life like determination, patience, love and kindness. I know how it feels for a random blogger to get a comment from a stranger. I make  it point to try to do that as often as I can.

You evolved and so did my blog. Here’s wishing more beautiful years ahead.

Love forever,

Pinksocks

Posted in milestone, Personal | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Project Aloft Star Regional Finale

Fridays for me means all these wonderful things:

Friends

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New Friends

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Beautiful Music

Project Aloft Star India Winner – Natania Lalwani

Hospitable Ambiance

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What happens when MTV and Aloft look for the regional singing star? Its a match made in heaven. Five talented bands fight it out to impress the judges and the rock the crowd. Oh and I got to meet Dr. Palash Sen of Euphoria fame. (YIPPEEEEE…..)

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Jury- Palash Sen, Faiz Alam Anari- General Manager Aloft Bengaluru Cessn...

Jury- Palash Sen, Faiz Alam Anari- General Manager Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Park.

The songs ranged from Garaj Baras by Junoon, to self composed numbers and even the glorious 90’s ads and songs. <3 I sang to my heart’s content and finally landed up being the best Fan of the day too :D

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Aloft Cessna Business park is a member of Starwood Group. Its a business hotel where they have got it all right.

A well equipped gym, pool, high speed internet access, meeting spaces, prompt room service, a chilled out lounge, a pub, cafe and a no fuss menu restaurant is all ready to welcome you.

Address: Link

Embassy Tech Square Main Rd, Kaverappa Layout, Kadubeesanahalli, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560103

Cheers,

Pallavi

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Sabudana Thalipeeth

The husband and I are fasting for Navratri. I shall be keeping the fast till tomorrow aka saptami while he shall be keeping it will Navmi.

It has been a great opportunity to learn new stuff for the Vrat/fast. I could make sabudana perfectly, made kuttu pooris, aalu kuttu kadhi and dahi wale aalu etc. I saw this recipe on Nishamadhulika.com and wanted to give it a try.

Here is all that you shall need:

1 cup… Sabudana/Sago (Well soaked, drained and dried)

1 cup… Boiled and Mashed potato

1/2 cup… Kuttu/singhade ka aata (Buckwheat/waterchestnut flour)

2-3.. chopped green chillies

1 tsp.. Pepper

Sendha namak to taste (Rock Salt)

Ghee/Oil

A plastic sheet to roll the thalipeeth

A pan/griddle

Method:

  • In a mixing bowl, tip in the potatoes, sabudana, green chillies, flour, salt and pepper and make a soft dough out of it.
  • You shall net need any water to bind this one.
  • Lay the plastic sheet flat on the surface and grease it with ghee/oil.
  • Heat the pan/griddle and put a little oil/ghee on it.
  • Carefully transfer the thalipeeth to the pan.
  • Using a wooden spoon with a round handle, make a hole in the center of the thalipeeth.
  • Put a little oil/ghee in the center and around the surface of the thalipeeth.
  • Cook until one side is nice and brown.
  • Flip it and cook for a few min.
  • Serve it hot with lots of love.

It can be eaten with curd/kadhi/aalu ki subzi etc.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

Posted in Eggless, food for fasts, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Four Points by Sheraton, Bangalore

The newest Four Points by Sheraton is in our Namma Bengaluru. Nestled in the business space “Whitefield”, the hotel is easy accessible.

So what makes this property talk of the town?

New Boutique Business Hotel- Leisure is uncomplicated and comes naturally here.

Lobby

Lobby

Reading corner

Reading corner

A part of the Sheraton/Starwood family

I am in love with hand written notes.

I am in love with hand written notes.

Excellent location and Gorgeous artifacts

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The ambiance exudes the glory of The 70-‘s Bangalore

The Best Brew- Pub

The Best Brew- Pub

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Well connected Business Center, Conference rooms and Banquet hall

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A selection of choice of rooms, done up with a lot of taste. (Twin- Deluxe/Superior, Suite.. etc)

IMG_8777 IMG_8779 IMG_8785Signature Four points Sheraton beds and linens.

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Excellent options in terms of food- Best Brews for Snacks and Drinks and The Eatery for Breakfast, Lunch and dinner options

A well balanced Buffet spread for Breakfast makes you look forward to the day ahead/ and the dinner, a peaceful sleep.

The Best Brew- Pub

The Best Brew- Pub

The Eatery- Breakfast and dinner buffet

The Eatery- Breakfast and dinner buffet

Local Snacks at The Best Brew

Local Snacks at The Best Brew

Local Snacks at The Best Brew

Local Snacks at The Best Brew

Local Snacks at The Best Brew

Local Snacks at The Best Brew

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Shrimps

Shrimps

mushrooms

mushrooms

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Dinner Buffet

Breakfast Buffet plus an array of live counters

Breakfast Buffet plus an array of live counters

Breakfast Buffet plus an array of live counters

Breakfast Buffet plus an array of live counters

Breakfast Buffet plus an array of live counters

Breakfast Buffet plus an array of live counters

Breakfast Buffet plus an array of live counters

Breakfast Buffet plus an array of live counters

Breakfast Buffet plus an array of live counters

Breakfast Buffet plus an array of live counters

The hotel has a well equipped gym and a  gorgeous pool too.

Since it was a bloggers meet, it is hard to miss clicking pics with friends <3

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The Shaitano ki toli :*

The staff is hospitable, emphatic and well informed. They shall leave no stone unturned to make you feel at home.

Hope you have a great time staying here.

Four Points by Sheraton, Whitefield,

43/3 Whitefield Main Road,

Bangalore – 560066

Ph: 080 4030 1212

Cheers,

Pallavi

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Ghiya/Lauki with Chana Daal post a Thailand Trip

A true blue comfort food after eight fabulous days at Thailand. :)

Oh I went to Thailand to ring in my 30th Birthday which was on 17 Sept. It is such a beautiful, clean and gorgeous place to be. I didn’t want to come back :( Here are few pics from the trip.

Le Meridin, Phuket

Le Meridin, Phuket

Off to La bangla, Phuket

Off to La bangla, Phuket

Snorkeling at Phi Phi Island

Snorkeling at Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island

Phi Phi Island

Ao nang, Krabi

Ao nang, Krabi

Ao Nang, Krabi

Ao Nang, Krabi

Krabi

Krabi

Phew… I promise I will write a detailed post about the trip super soon. :)

Here is what you shall need for the Ghiya-Chana dal:

1 tsp… oil

1/8th tsp… hing/asafoetida

1 tsp… Jeera/cumin seeds and mustard seeds

1/2 cup… Chana dal (Soaked in water for about an hour)

1-1.5 cup…. Ghiya/lauki

1 tsp… ginger garlic paste

1 … chopped medium size onion

1… chopped medium size tomato

Juice of 1 lemon (or as per taste)

Water

Salt and red chilly powder (to taste)

2… green chillies (chopped)

coriander (optional)

Method:

  • In a cooker, heat oil. Add the hing and cumin-mustard seeds.
  • Now add the green chillies and onions and let them sweat.
  • Once the onions are translucent, add the ginger garlic paste and tomatoes
  • Cook it for about 1 min.
  • Now add the salt, red chilly powder and ghiya and stir.
  • Add the soaked dal and about half a cup pf water. (Remember ghiya leaves a lot of water)
  • Put the lid on and let the first whistle be on full flame.
  • Once it comes, reduce the flame to medium and let it cook for 10 min.
  • Turn off the gas and let the pressure fall on it own.
  • Open the cooker lid, add lemon juice and coriander.
  • Reduce the liquid as much as you wish and serve with love.

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Cheers,

Pallavi

Posted in brunch, Curry, Dinner, easy cooking, Eggless, lentils | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Event: Wazwan at Hyatt MG Road, #Bangalore

Before I go ga ga over the exceptionally great food, beautiful food stories and the very talented Chef at Hyatt Bangalore, lets step back a bit.

What is wazwan in the first place?

It is multi course Kashmiri food menu which is served and shared with pride and love. It is celebrated across the world and loved almost instantly.

So what makes Wazwan so special? 

The formal affair consists of 36 courses. There is a plethora of  beautiful heart warming meat and non meat dishes that are cooked overnight by the king of the kitchen. :)

What are the special spices that go into the wazwan?

From methi to lotus stem, from poultry to meat, saffron to silver vark, butter to oil, curd to sugar. It is not the quantity of the spice used but the subtlety of flavors that lifts the spirits of the wazwan.

What are some of the notable wazwan dishes?

The tabakhmas (twice cooked lamb ribs), rogan josh (the real deal with minimal spices but maximum punch), gushtaba (meatballs in yogurt gravy), Dum Aelva (Not your standard dum aalu), Nadir yakhni (lotus stem cooked in yogurt sauce), phirni and oh so much more.

So here I was on a Wednesday sitting pretty with two exceptional bloggers (Swapna and Nitin) , an Indian food historian (Suresh Hinduja ji) and a gifted chef Gautam. I have had the taste of Kashmiri food from my Bua’s kitchen but that was the end of that.

However, Let us get talking about the wazwan that Pink Poppadum, Hyatt Bangalore (MG road) has to offer.

Prices: Veg at 1250 plus taxes and non veg at 1400 plus taxes, for INR 500 you get unlimited four seasons wine and fosters and for 750pp you get IMFL unlimited. 

Highlight: Ingredients flown in from Kashmir, beautiful ambiance, centrally located

Where: The pink poppadum, Hyatt MG Road, Bangalore.

When: Dinner only. Food festival ends tomorrow.

What all will I get there:

APPETIZERS

TABAKH MAAZ
Tender rib, Kashmir condiments gravy, shallow fried, served dry
MURGH GADH
Boneless chicken, fresh green chilies, tomatoes
Or
NADRU KABAB (v)
Lotus stems medallions, shallow fried
CHAMAN PAKODA (v)
Cottage cheese fritters, mint chutney

SOUP

GOSHT YAKHANI SHORBA
Lamb broth with yoghurt, scented with saffron
Or
KHUMB AUR PISTA KI YAKHANI (v)
Mushroom & spinach stock, cooked with yoghurt & pistachios

MAIN COURSE

ROGANJOSH
Kashmiri classic lamb curry, aniseed & ginger scented
GHUSHTABA
Pounded mutton dumplings cooked in curd, flavored with dried mint powder
DHANIWAL MURGH
Chicken morsels, green coriander and saffron curry
Or
RUWANGAN CHAMAN (v)
Fried cottage cheese delicately prepared in tomatoes gravy flavored with Kashmiri ingredients
NADRU YAKHANI (v)
Lotus Stems, thin yoghurt curry

MAUNJ HAKH (v)
Stir fried kohlrabi with asafoetida
MUTTER HADDAR (v)
Perfect match of whole button mushroom and green peas
DUM ALOO (v)
Small fried potatoes simmered in spicy red gravy
RAJMAH (v)
Red Kashmiri kidney beans cooked in mild Kashmir spicy gravy

BREADS

BAKHARKHANI (v)
Raised flour bread, aniseed & cashew
GILAFI KULCHA (v)
Naan with a filling of leavened dough

RICE

KASHMIRI PULAO (v)
Rice preparation, nuts and whole spices
STEAMED RICE (v)
Boiled rice

DESSERT

APPLE FIRNI (v)
Flavored rice pudding, sweetened apple preserve
Or
HALWA (v)
Enriched with dry fruits

ON THE TABLE

GUND CHETIN (v)
Onion chutney with green chilies and vinegar
DOON CHETIN (v)
Walnut chutney made in curd flavored with cumin seeds
BEVERAGES

KAHWA (v)
Kashmiri green tea flavored with green cardamoms, cinnamons and saffron

Note: Please do not forget to ask for your gushtaba first :)

Photo credit: Suresh Hinduja for Hyatt Bangalore

Photo credit: Suresh Hinduja for Hyatt Bangalore

Photo Credit: Hyatt Bangalore Nadru Kabab

Photo Credit: Hyatt Bangalore
Nadru Kabab

Photo Credit: Hyatt Bangalore Tabakh Maas

Photo Credit: Hyatt Bangalore
Tabakh Maas

Do raise your glass for the chef who will be very glad to come to the table and have a chat :)

Address: Hyatt Bangalore M.G. Road, 1/1 Swami Vivekanda Road, Next to MG Road, Ulsoor, Bangalore – 560008
Phone Number: +91 80 4936 1234

cheers,

Pallavi

Posted in Event Announcement, Restaurant Review | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments