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Cocktail Magic at Mamagoto

September 20, 2014

Cocktail Magic at Mamagoto

By Aisha Bhattacharaya

A warm September evening, good company, food and innovative cocktails in glasses crammed with ice cubes. That’s when you realise that life is good. This was the scene last evening at Mamagoto in Khan Market.

As a brand that is associated with fantastic food and has been around for 4 years already, it is safe to say that Mamagoto is here to stay and has plenty of tricks up its sleeve. They are well known for the wide spread of Asian food that is always cooked to perfection and maintains a consistency of standard. To add to this they are now experimenting with various new cocktails. I was lucky enough to get an invite for a Bloggers meet to try out their exciting new cocktails and give feedback.

There are 5 new cocktails on the menu:

1. Mama Gymkhana (359): honey, fresh ginger, hazelnut essence and orange juice mixed with blended scotch (Black & White)

2. The Botanist (399): Gin (Tanqueray), light coriander, muddled cucumber with sugar and lime

3. Oriental Pop (359): basil leaves muddled and balanced with white chocolate syrup, white rum (Bacardi), sugar and lime

4. Ohjay (359): cinnamon essence, spiced rum (Captain Morgan’s), orange juice, orange chunks and lime

5. Passion fruit mojito (359): the classic Cuban cocktail of mint, lime chunks, sugar and white rum (Bacardi) gets a nice tropical twist with some passion fruit puree

Mamagoto - OhjayThe first drink I tried was the Ohjay – the idea of Captain Morgan’s spiced rum with orange and cinnamon was rather exciting. The drink is visually appealing and was served in an Old Fashioned glass on ice and was garnished with a lovely orange spiral. Initially, I couldn’t get a strong enough flavour of the spiced rum and the orange juice was overpowering mostly because of its typical Real packet juice flavour. I felt the rum travel down my oesophagus and leave its distinct burning trail but other than that it didn’t pack a punch. The marketing manager for Azure hospitality, Priyanka Shangari was present at the event and came over to me and asked me what I felt. I told her and she called the bartender and asked him what could be done to make the drink more suitable for me. He asked me why I didn’t like it and I told him I prefer the taste of fresh OJ over tetra-pack OJ. He offered to remake the drink with fresh orange juice and I agreed. The fresh orange juice version of Ohjay was absolutely delicious! The fresh orange juice enhanced the cinnamon flavour which in turn added to the spicy flavours of the rum. This version hit all the right spots.

The second drink was the Mama Gymkhana – I was very interested to see how hazelnut would pair with honey, ginger and blended scotch. First off, visually similar looking to the Ohjay in terms of the glass and colour but on closer inspection you see the ginger slices on top. This drink is well blended and extremely smooth. If I didn’t know there was supposed to be hazelnut I wouldn’t guess off-hand that there was any. One of the other bloggers got his drink changed and said it was better with more hazelnut and less honey. I liked it anyway. It’s a brilliant drink and would go down well with men and women even though most people think women don’t drink scotch.

Next we tried the Oriental Pop – here again some interesting combinations of basil leaves and white chocolate syrup. I tried some of the syrup separately and it was pretty good. Visually the drink looks like Limca with basil leaves. The taste is interesting. A little sweet for me and the Bacardi has a strong hit. But an innovative concoction deserves credit and they’ve managed to pull it off.

The Botanist was being served to someone else and it looked good. Similar to the Oriental Pop in terms of colour but the clear distinction of the coriander leaves was there.  So, I asked if I could try some and a sip was had. Not much was clear in that one sip. A very light flavour that is quite neutral. Maybe more could be done to the drink in terms of giving it that extra punch but I’m not so sure. I didn’t have enough to judge it in a real sense.

Mamagoto - Passion Fruit MojitoLast but definitely not the least was the Passion Fruit Mojito – unlike any other mojito you’ve ever had. The first mix they gave me was sharp, sour and the Bacardi was overpowering. The passion fruit and lime accentuated all the sour notes of the drink and the Bacardi being particularly strong just made it very hard to drink. I walked up to Priyanka and asked her if some changes could be made and she kindly agreed. I asked the bartender to go easy on the lime and put a little extra sugar syrup and to add some of the fresh orange juice that had been squeezed for the modified Ohjay. He topped the drink with Soda this time and Wow! The right balance was needed and this went straight to the top as my favourite of the 5 drinks on the new menu.

Mamagoto has been in a constant endeavour to give people a fantastic food experience and that achievement has led to the quiet incorporation of an innovative drinks menu that will give your taste buds a real kick and get the party started for you whenever you want. The new cocktails are tasty, innovative and definitely worth a try. Another thing which should be mentioned is that they are not stingy with the amount of alcohol in their cocktails. You can taste the liquor and you know you’re paying for a worthy drink. Their ability to take feedback and implement it immediately is amazing. Most places say, “It’s made like this here”. But not at Mamagoto, if they can make something better and improve your culinary experience they will. This is not to say that every person who says something is bad just for the sake of it will be accommodated but to say that if you have a genuine problem they will try their best to sort it out for you.

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Mini Samosa

September 20, 2014

Mini Samosa

By Anubhav Sapra

Long back I read an article titled ‘Samosa trail’by Chitra Balasubramaniam, where she tried to cover the journey of Samosa in Delhi and discussed its variants at great length. Starting from the legendary Embassy’s samosa to the Japani Samosa, she had covered it all! Here are a few of them:

Embassy Samosa: Weighing 300-350 grams, this samosa isfilled with cubed potatoes, paneer pieces, matar (peas) and loads of green chillies.

Where: Lutyen’s Connaught Place.

Farukhabadi Samose: It has mashed potatoes, to which salt and red chilli powder are added.

Where: Shanti Mohalla, near Gandhi Nagar market.

Allahabadi Samose: This variant of the samosa is filled with well-fried dal.

Where: Bengali Sweet House at Bengali Market

Japani Samosa: This snack has a total of 60 layers filled with aloo, matar and very little spice which seeps through the incredibly crisp layers. This is served with delicious, piping hot pindichane and an interesting pickle of lauki (bottle gourd) and mango.

Where: Manohar, Chandni Chowk

10622942_10153118647813098_4898362365236600978_nRecently, I was at Connaught Place, getting my breakfast packed from an eatery famous for Chole Kulche near Scindia House. While crossing the subway from the Hindustan Times office to the other side of Naurang House, I noticed a man sitting on the pavement near Parsvnath complex, swiftly wrapping mashed potatoes with a thin dough and frying it. The size of the samosa took me by surprise! It was so small that it has been rightly named Mini Samosa. The weight of one samosa would besomewhere between 10-15 grams. Inflation, a key poll issue in last general elections, seems to have no effect on the mini samosa. 6 samosas are served with green coriander chutney at a minimal price of Rs.10. It is a treat to your taste buds.

Sri Ram, the owner, and his son Rajesh, who hail from UP, have been selling this delightful, affordable snack to office goers sincethe past 12 years at the same pavement.

The next time you are in Connaught Place, near Barakhamba Road,find your way to the Mini Samosa wale and gobble up the mini treat! I’m just happy to have added another variant to Ms. Balasubramaniam’s list.

 

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Yadav Ji’s Chole Kulche

September 13, 2014

Yadav Ji’s Chole Kulche

By Anubhav Sapra

Saket has some decent eating joints for office goers in J block market. By decent, I mean good quality, reasonably priced food which anyone can eat. One such place in J block Market is Om Prakash Yadav‘s Chole Kulche. What attracted my attention to Yadav’s Chole Kulche cart was the horde of people of all age groups who thronged his stall – school children with empty lunch boxes getting chole kulche packed, office goers eating paranthas with chole and some of them getting packed chole kulche in Aluminium foils for their colleagues back in office.

20140903_150627Om Prakash Yadav hails from Siddharth Nagar in Uttar Pradesh. He has been selling CholeKulche for the past 24 years.  His cart is right opposite Neelu Nursing Home in J Block Market. The interesting part about Yadav ji’s Chole Kulche are the lemons which you can cut and squeeze over the chole yourself, unlike at other places where you need to ask the Kulche man for a few drops of lemon. Also, pickles of green chillies and mangoes are lying in huge quantity in a tray and one can pick as much as they want. I asked for the knife from Yadav ji to cut lemon in to two equal halves and squeezed them over the chole to make the spices a bit mild and savored them with kulchas which were soft and fluffy.

A plate of Chole Kulche and Parantha Kulche is priced for Rs 30 and a glass of boondi raita is for Rs 20. So, next time you are around Saket Market, try Yadav ji’s Chole Kulche. To add that tangy flavor, do not forget to add the lemon juice.

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Pakode Wala

September 8, 2014

Pakode Wala

By Anubhav Sapra

The sudden spell of rain last week in Delhi brought a big relief to Delhiites from the scorching heat.  The word ‘rain’ has become synonymous with Samosas, Jalebis, Pakodas and Chai. The two famous Pakoda shops in Delhi are in Nauroji Nagar (Khandani Pakode wala) and Karol Bagh (Bajaj Ji Pakode ki Dukaan)

My mother always boasts of Khandani Pakode Wala whenever she relishes the taste of Pokodas of Nauroji Nagar as my Grand Uncle used to bring Pakodas straight from there in the evenings for snacks. I also became a huge fan of Khandani Pakoda wala and went there quite often whenever it rained in Delhi. The shop is located on Rajmata Vijaye Raje Scindia Marg. If one is on Ring Road, moving from Bhikaji Cama Place towards Safdarjung Hospital, you’ll find the shop on the first left turn after the Bhikaji flyover.

20140902_180155The list of pakodas on offer at Khandani Pakode wala is long – Seekh(mashed potatoes and peas), Kamal Kakdi(lotus stem), Cauliflower, Karela(bitter gourd), Palak Methi (spinach, fenugreek leaves and onion) and Hari Mirch (green chilli) pakoda. The pakodas – crunchy from outside and soft from inside – are served with onion chutney.

While I was in Delhi University, a few of my friends were studying in Tibia College in Karol Bagh. I used to visit my friends for the sole purpose of savouring the Pakodas of Bajaj ji. The address is Shop no. 120-121-122, Netaji Subhash Market, Tibia College, Ajmal Khan Road, Karol Bagh. The other day it rained and luckily I was in North Delhi. I landed at the shop to savour the pakodas. The person who weighs the pakodas is Mr. Banwari, who has been working there since his childhood, for the past 25 years. It is interesting to see him communicating with the customers- “ek dal ka, ek baigan, ek palak, ek paneer”, swiftly passing the pakodas for frying. The chutney they serve is of coriander and besan ke boondi. I got a plate of mixed pakodas (bread pakoda, dal ke laddo, paneer pakoda and Kamal Kakdi/Bhea (lotus stem) to take home from Bajaj ji Pakode wala and relished them with boondi chutney and chai. It’s time you tasted them too!

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.
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Sparkling Himalayan

 

Sparkling Himalayan

DSC_0138 copyAt the recently concluded Lakme Fashion Week Winter Festive 2014, Himalayan launched and displayed their new product- Sparkling Himalayan. Sparkling is enriched natural water from the Himalayas with a hint of carbonation that adds a zaniness to the taste. It can be used to add fizz to long afternoons, leisurely brunches or a shine to the evening on being used as mixer with the finest drinks. Priced at Rs 50 for 500 ml and at Rs 90 for 1 litre, Sparkling Himalayan will be available at all restaurants and Taj properties across Delhi & Mumbai

The Himalayan Sparkling Bar setup at the venue treated guests with mocktails made out of Himalayan Sparkling. Ranging from the cooling Cucumber & Curry Leaf Lemonade to the Refreshing Peach Mohito, the mocktails were quite a hit with the fashionistas at the venue.

Untouched, Unprocessed, Crafted by Nature…Himalayan, the natural mineral water brand, brought a truly ethereal experience at the Lakme Fashion Week this year. Through an association with renowned designers Shantanu and Nikhil, Himalayan presented the stunning Himalayan Couture Collection, which was an ode to the Himalayas. Using primarily fluid fabrics, the collection is quietly glamorous, with creative architecture & intriguing fabric cut-outs that balance a mix palette of greys, whites & blacks with reds & blues

MOCKTAIL RECIPES

 Cucumber & Curry Leaf Lemonade

Glass: Collins

Ingredients:

60ml Fresh cucumber puree

8-10 curry leaves

30ml sugar syrup

10ml limejuice

A wedge of lime

Sparkling Himalayan

Garnish: Cucumber stick

Method:

  • Fill glass with 3/4 cube ice
  • Add the cucumber puree, sugar syrup & limejuice
  • Squeeze a wedge of lime and drop it in. Stir
  • Tear a few curry leaves and drop in
  • Top it with Sparkling Himalayan
  • Garnish

Kokum & Tangerine Sherbet

Glass: Pilsner

Ingredients:

45ml Kokum syrup

4 slices of orange

10ml limejuice

Half teaspoon black salt

Sparkling Himalayan

Garnish: half orange slice

Method:

  • Take a shaker and add orange slices in it
  • Muddle
  • Fill shaker with 3/4 ice
  • Add kokum syrup and limejuice
  • Shake and strain it over ice in a tall glass
  • Add black salt and stir
  • Top it with Sparkling Himalayan
  • Garnish

Blue Breeze

Glass: Pilsner / tall glass

Ingredients:

30ml Manama litchi crush

10ml Manama Blue Curacao

10ml limejuice

A wedge of lime

Sparkling Himalayan

Garnish: Cherry / Orange slice

Method:

  • Fill glass with 3/4 ice
  • Add litchi crush, limejuice, squeeze a wedge of lime and drop it in
  • Top it with Sparkling Himalayan
  • Swirl the blue Curacao and stir
  • Garnish

Peach Mojito

Glass: Collins

Ingredients:

45ml Manama peach & apricot crush

8-10 mint leaves

6 lime wedges

Sparkling Himalayan

Garnish: Mint sprig

Method:

  • In a Collins glass add lime wedges
  • Tear mint leaves over lime and muddle
  • Fill glass with ice and add peach apricot crush
  • Stir and adjust the flavours
  • Top it with Sparkling Himalayan
  • Garnish

 

 

Anubhav Sapra is an avid foodie! He is a Founder but proudly calls himself a Foodie-in-chief at Delhi Food Walks. He is also a street-food and Indian regional cuisine connoisseur and loves to write about street-food.