Friday, 13 May 2016

Rendezvous with Raj Barir Khawa dawa at The Gateway

The Gateway Hotel, Kolkata recently invited KFB for a tasting of their upcoming festival called 'Rajbarir Khawa Dawa' where they will be showcasing selected dishes from different Rajbari's. 
With just two days left for me to begin my vacation, I was unsure of attending the same till K asked me to join her and so I ended up enjoying a sunny afternoon relishing Bengali cuisine. Nothing like meeting good friends over a sumptuous meal. 
Greeted very warmly by PR Ritu and executive chef Asish Kumar Roy, we started our roller coaster ride on the various influences on Bengali food. 
Chef Asish tells us about the impact of Mughal and British influence on Bengali food and how certain dishes have evolved through those influences. Different Rajbari's adopted them to make it their signature dishes. For eg the Fish roll influence from Sovabazar Rajbari which was a regular hang-out of the British officials who lended their western touch to it and the safed ilish or lal mangsher pulao which specialities of Cooch Bihar Rajbari influenced by Marwar, Rajasthan. 
We were served a thali of selected Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian dishes.

To beat the heat, we were served with Masala Chaas which was loaded with curry leaves and spices.

We started our food rendezvous with starters- Fish roll and Postor bora narkel diye. 
The fish roll held me in awe with its packed crusty crumb and the mace flavoured prominent filling. 

The vegetarian array of dishes were the Aam diye Mausur dal which was pure comfort dal with chunks of raw mango, Potoler dorma and Begun Basanti, my favourite of the day. Lightly besan coated and fried pieces of brinjal with a beautiful mustard prominent gravy made my taste buds supremely happy. 

The non vegetarian dishes were equally impressive with the Safed Ilish which turned out to be everyone's favourite. The delicate Ilish fish with mild flavours was a royal treat to all of us. 

The mutton section had two offerings in a dish called Gumo aanch er mangsho and a lal manghsher pulao. The first one is meat cooked in slow fire, by putting dying charcoals on top, a classic example of the dum style of cooking famous in Mughlai kitchens. 

The lal mangsher pulao is from Cooch Bihar influenced by Marwar, Rajasthan. 

Another interesting dish was the combo of Machher kochuri and sada aloo hing morich. The fish kachoris were gulped down with the lightly flavoured potato dish in no time. 

The dessert served was the Burdwan er lyancgha and Aam sandesh. 

This event will be celebrated from 21st May onwards. 
The Raj Barir Khawa dawa will be hosted at the Buzz for Lunch (12:30 PM-3:30 PM) and Dinner (7:30 PM-11:30 PM) and will be available in set menu under the Niramish and Amish Bhoj priced at Rs 550-Rs 850


Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Watermelon Breeze-Summer Soother

Every season has its own charm and even though Summers have been dreadful this time, there are few good things about it like the arrival of watermelon and mangoes amongst other fruits and vegetables.
This year I had a special yearning to try out Summer Coolers and decided to do an Instagram series on the same. You may check it out here
I have made a list of many other Summer coolers but ain't sure how many I will be able to try. 
The watermelon breeze needed to be tried for sure since I  first had in a restaurant called Hakuna Matata on Park Street. It was such an amazing drink, such a soother and yummy cooler. It hardly takes 5 minutes to assemble it and is so fresh and healthy. 
Soother yourself this Summers with this simple, healthy and refreshing drink. 

Ingredients :
  • 1 cup Coconut water
  • 2 cups Watermelon chunks, deseeded
  • mint leaves
Procedure : 
Take watermelon chunks in a blender and blend well.
Add coconut water and blend again.
Pour in glass of your choice and chill it in the refrigerator.
Sprinkle with mint leaves and serve.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Dal Chawal Chokha - Mummy's recipe

There are recipes that you feel only one particular person can make it that good. For me, there are many such that I associate perfection of that recipe only if its made by that person. The Rajma recipe I shared few posts back is one such. 
When I think of my mom and wonder which recipe of hers I love the best, I actually feel lost. For a child, his/her mother is always the best cook because that's the food we grow up with, that's the food we associate love and care with, that's the food we find comfort in. When I was away at hostel for 4 years, I missed mom's simplest of dishes. I would crave for a bowl of dal with a roti and a piece of mango pickle, just like how I would enjoy at home.
My mum's dal has been famous with my Bitty Mama too who would insist on this lavish meal of dal chawal chokha whenever we would visit them in Punjab. I remember how coyly we would all be seated with our plates relishing the simplest of meals with loads of lemon juice on top. Such simple lovely days. 
I first attempted making Mom like dal after marriage and it was a complete disaster. It was awful and terrible, the dal was overcooked, the tadka wasn't cooked well and I tried cooking in very very less oil. Many attempts later I still do not make it as well as she does and love to relish that simple bowl of mum made dal with my roti and pickle and on some days with the chawal and chokha. I am blessed to be living in the same city as my parents do and often find myself getting pampered with food and love. 
This Mother's day, I want to say a simple I love you to my mom who has always been by my side and, who has loved me for everything that I have done, who has been my partner in a whole lot of maniac things I keep doing. Love you Mummy. 

Ingredients : For 2 servings

Dhuli Moong Masoor dal :
  • 1/4 cup dhuli moong dal (Split Skinned Green Gram)
  • 1/4 cup dhuli masoor dal (Split red lentils)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, grated
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 " ginger, chopped
  • 1-2 green chillies, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds) 
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • coriander leaves for garnishing
Aloo Chokha : 
  • 4-5 medium sized potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp amchur powder
  • 2 tbsp refined oil
  • lemon juice
  • coriander leaves for garnishing
Procedure : 

Dal : 
Wash and drain the dals.
Take a pressure cooker and add water. Add the dals.
Add salt and close the lid. Allow to cook for 2 whistles. 
Take ghee in a pan and add jeera, garlic, onions,  green chillies and ginger one by one. Cook till the onions brown well.
Then add grated tomatoes and cook till the masala leaves oil.
Add haldi powder and cook for a minute.
Now add the boiled dal and stir. 
Adjust salt and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. 

Aloo Chokha :
Take oil in a pan and add onions. Cook till the onions brown well.
Add the boiled and mashed potatoes and stir well. 
Add salt to taste and amchur powder. 
Sprinkle lemon juice and adjust according to your taste. 
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with boiled rice and lots of fresh lemon juice sprinkled on top. 

This recipe is part of Kolkata Food Bloggers ongoing event Comfort Food where Sayantani Mahapatra of A Homemaker's diary is the featured blogger.

Happy Mum's recipe relishing

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Aamlicious festival at Khandani Rajdhani

The best part about Summers is getting an opportunity to relish the King of fruits~the mighty Mango. Mango is used in both its raw and ripe form in a wide range of food all over India. 
I look forward to relish my favourite fruit in a variety of dishes and so when I received an invite from Khandani Rajdhani to experience their Aamlicious festival, there were no second thoughts.
I have a weak heart towards the Rajasthani and Gujrati food because I have friends from these communities since my school days. A visit to their house means relishing their simple and flavourful food. 
Khandani Rajdhani, is a personal favourite . I have enjoyed their grand Thali many a times when they opened first in Kolkata. Last Durga Puja, I was pleasantly surprised to see them opening up in the heart of the city, Park street. At Khandani Rajdhani, they believe in pampering you big time. From the moment you enter their restaurant till you leave with a happy heart and a full stomach, the staff continues to charm you throughout with their smiling faces and caring nature. 
All this and more were reasons enough to make my husband babysit our daughter while I walked down to Park street to enjoy my Aamlicious day. 
I was warmly greeted by Debjita Mallick, the PR & marketing Manager, and the rest of the staff. The traditional Tika was adorned on my forehead and I was seated with a big thali with numerous little bowls.  

While me and Debjita got our seats and started talking about everything, the manager politely urged us to begin with the starters which were already served to us. The polite servers always make it a point to tell their customers the name of the dish they are serving. On my plate was an array of starters like sprout keri kanda salad, Maharaja shahi dhokla, keri samosa served with 4 different types of chutneys. The Kairi panna served alongside was perfect for the scorching afternoon. 

The most lovely part about eating at Rajdhani is that you are so well looked after. There are servers who keep an eye on your plates and keep urging you to try more, almost like a close relative who loves to feed you till you start crying full. 
My plate soon had dishes like the famous Ragda patties, Aam ki launji and dal baati churma which came loaded with a spoonful of ghee. 

The main dishes of the day were Paneer makkhanwala, flower capsicum, Aaam batata chips tindora, choula, panchkuti dal, surti dal, kadhi. All this was served with Phulka, puri, rotla adn my favourite Khuba roti. We also had khichdi and rice as options. 

The desserts of the day were  Shreekhand, Corn halwa, Malpua with rabri and Aamras. 
The Aamras that they serve is from Alphonso mangoes from Mumbai.

The entire meal was nothing short of a sheer delight. The simplicity and flavour of the dishes were so pronounced. My favourites were the khuba roti with keri tindora sabji, the ragda patties, the keri samosa, the yummy raw mango chutneys and the delicious Aamras. 
Their Aam ki launji needs a very special mention. For me it was the dish of the day. The sweet, sour, spicy flavours along with chunks of raw mango bowled me over. 

Pic courtesy : Khandani Rajdhani
The Aamlicious festival at Khandani Rajdhani is on throughout the Summers and will have a special rotational mango menu with 2-3 special dishes from raw and ripe mango. Some of the dishes on their menu will be the delicious and rare Kairi Chana Dal Dhokla, the inventive Kairi Samosa Sabzi, lip-smacking Mango Kofta Pulao, exotic Malabari Mango Kadhi and the regional delicacy Mango Pachadi, evergreen favourites like the Mango Raita, Fajeto and Aamrakhand and the Mango Jalebi for all those with a sweet tooth.
Find out more about them here

Happy mangoeing


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