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Banshi Di Hatti- Rawalpindi ke Mashuur Chhole Bhature

Banshi Di Hatti- Rawalpindi ke Mashuur Chhole Bhature

By Anubhav Sapra

I am not an early riser. I have been planning for years on end to get up early in the morning for workout sessions but I have failed on each occasion. However, my dear friend, Yogesh is a fitness enthusiast. Every Sunday, I used to see his pictures of him cycling through Connaught Place on Facebook. Last time when I met him, it was during the Ramlila Walk in Old Delhi where he informed me about Raahgiri Day, an initiative that provides citizens with the opportunity to reclaim their streets, connect with their community, celebrate their city and hence, reclaim their lives. Many Sundays passed and I never got up on time to attend Raahgiri Day, let alone cycling and walking. This Sunday, I made it a point, come what may, to wake up early to be a part of Raahgiri Day. I made all the arrangements on Saturday night, asked a couple of my friends to wake me up early morning by ringing the phone continuously unless I answer them, set three back to back alarms at an interval of five minutes each so that I could not snooze them and sleep again. And I finally I made in to the Raahgiri Day. I spent three hours there and enjoyed each second of it. The children were skating, senior citizens were walking, and youngsters dancing to the tunes of Yo Yo Honey Singh. It was an amazing experience. I walked around and did some cycling too.

20141026_093635While returning back to my home, my friend Shubhash and I got off the metro at Vishwa Vidyalaya station and hired a cycle on rent at Rs 10 for 4 hours to explore the lanes of Kamla Nagar, Shakti Nagar and Malka Ganj. We stopped at our first food joint – Banshi di Hatti, Rawalpindi ke Chhole Bhature, shop number 5877, Jawahar Nagar, Malka Ganj Chowk (contact numbers: 9811160907, 9811142388). Banshi was the man who started this shop after the partition, originally in Haridwar and later moved to Delhi, where he sold chhole bhature outside the railway office on Mall Road for few years. In 1954, Banshi moved the shop to the current address in Malka Ganj. The shop is now the responsibility of the third generation; Aman runs the eatery, and his father Swarn supervises the quality of the food.

 20141026_094103We ordered paneer ke bhature (priced at Rs. 50) with chhole. The taste was simply divine. The chhole were not that oily and the texture of the masala was intact. Aman added a spoon of chutney over the chhole, a mixture of anardana, pudina, dhaniya, khatai-mukassar, and hari mirch. The pindi chane, kabuli wale is boiled continuously for four hours and then cooked with home-made masalas. Aman opens his shop early morning at 4:00 a.m. to start the preparations. From 8 a.m. till the stock lasts they serve paneer and aloo ke bhature with chhole.

After having had my fill with Shubhash, my fellow foodie, we rode the lanes of Ghantaghar, Shakti Nagar, Kamla Nagar, and Patel Chowk to find out and explore more such food joints for breakfast. The journey that started with Raahgiri ended with more food explorations and a plan to conduct Breakfast Trail Part II, this coming Sunday. All thanks to our friend, Yogesh Khanna.

 

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Veda Café

Veda Café

By Aisha Bhattacharya

 When do Delhiites openly hunt for and request suggestions for a ‘good Indian restaurant’? Obviously, when NRI relatives are coming over from America (Amreeka) or Europe (You-rope) and we want them to see that Indian food has evolved beyond butter chicken and dal makhani. Though in our heart of hearts we know they would rather India is exactly as they left it but we want to show them India has progressed too. So what better way to show them than to take them to a restaurant that has a jazzy take on Indian food? Veda Café is exactly that.

Located on the first floor of the swanky DLF Promenade Mall, Veda Café has comfy seating (that is soft on the rear unlike college canteen benches), unobtrusive music (you can actually hear yourself think in there) and scrumptious food. Like most youngsters in Delhi I too duck into an international brand food outlet for the sake of truth in the statement, “I don’t eat Indian food outside of my home.” But, now I seriously wish I’d eaten at Veda before that day.

We had a reservation for 1 pm and were there on the dot. The manager was not on shift but a server quickly seated us and served us water and handed over the menus. The restaurant was quiet and had only one other table occupied at the time which was fine by me as I would be doing a lot of talking and asking questions which gets difficult on a busy day. Our server – Harish, suggested we try some signature cocktails and mocktails. We gave in and asked him to bring two each.

William TellBeverages (Cocktails):

  1.  Strawberry and Mint Lemonade – beautifully matched flavours that had me sipping with great gusto. Chilled and tasty with a light kick of alcohol so that you don’t smell like an alcoholic when you’re done with it.
  2. Fruit Mojito – a regular Mojito with watermelon and apple chunks. Very refreshing and light on a hot summer day.

Beverages (Mocktails):

  1. William Tell – the most popular mocktail on the menu according to the staff. Apple and smoked cinnamon made it feel a little wintery. A tad sweet for my palette but tasty nevertheless.
  2. Fruit Diet – peach & apricot flavours blended with crushed ice served in a martini glass. Tasted like slush we used to drink as kids. Only back then there were just two favours – orange and cola. The drink took me back to my childhood with its frozen sweetness but as an adult I felt a little more could be done to it. A guaranteed winner with the kids, I think.

By the time our drinks were served another 7-8 people had walked in and occupied 3 tables. I could see that there was still a section out there that enjoys restaurants with soft background music and conversation. The overall feel of the restaurant is easygoing and not fussy at all. It’s the kind of place you can spend a couple of hours in without being disturbed by children running amok and people screaming profanities in general conversation.

The first dish to arrive was the Palak ki Chaat. Crisp batter-fried whole leaves of spinach topped with tamarind chutney, sev and a drizzle of yoghurt. It was such a wonderful take on chaat and spinach pakodas. It was truly delicious in every way possible. Harish was very accommodating when I told him we couldn’t possibly eat full plates of everything so it would be great if we could get a platter with 2 pieces of each dish on it. He arranged with the chef and we received one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian platter.

Veg Platter - Starters Vegetarian Platter:

  1. Tandoori Malai Broccoli: Light and flavourful. A good variation to the regular red masala tandoori gobhi.
  2. Chutney Paneer Tikka – generous pieces of succulent paneer which had a layer of mint chutney inside. I loved it.
  3. Fruit Seekh Kebab: It was supposedly made with apple, pineapple and pears but tasted like a regular vegetable seekh to me.
  4. Manchurian Cauliflower: Now don’t judge. I did and I was sorely mistaken. This is a seriously good dish! A surprising yes to a dish I wouldn’t normally order. If you’re a vegetarian you should definitely try this one dish.
  5. Stuffed Peshawari Aloo – a tandoori aloo stuffed with the usual dry fruit mixture.
  6. Dahi ka kebab: it is their most popular vegetarian starter and I expected it to be more than it is. A tad bit sweet for me but the texture is spot on.
  7. Pudine matar ki shammi: this was a veggie version of the shammi kebab. Quite nice.
  8. Hara bhara kebab with chick peas: this tasted similar to the matar ki shammi just that it had some chhole on top.
  9. Sev the Kurkuri: Delicious, cheesy mushroom wrapped in a spring roll sheet and covered with sev, the deep fried (that’s why it goes from being just tasty to finger lickin’ good).

Non-Veg Platter - Staters Non-vegetarian Platter:

  1. Amritsari Fish and Chips: I thought this was a great way to create a global dish – fish & chips meet Amritsari macchhi. I’m a huge fan of both and frankly this was some amazing cooking. Fresh fish (which is so hard to find in Delhi) and a light batter that made me want a whole plate to eat by myself.
  2. Chicken seekh kebab: no surprises here, soft chicken and light flavours.
  3. Sigri Tikka: the traditional red chicken tikka – again perfectly cooked and well balanaced flavours.
  4. Murgh Malai Tikka: the tikka I was told is marinated with cream cheese and eggplant. I couldn’t taste the eggplant but the cream cheese makes a good impression on the palette.
  5. Burrah Kebab: just one word – YUM! I haven’t had such good burrah kebab in ages. Most places it isn’t soft enough or there is more bone less meat. This was perfect in every way – juicy, well spiced, the right bone to meat ratio and it was cooked to melt in your mouth.
  6. Sakora Murgh Tikka: a chicken tikka marinated in cheese, cardamom powder and coriander. A delicious combination of flavours that keep you going back for more.
  7. Mutton seekh kebab: pretty standard Delhi fare.
  8. Veda Grill chicken: this is your regular Tandoori chicken on the bone. Again well balanced and perfectly cooked.

For main course we ordered only a few items with Malabar parantha and multi grain roti, because after all that there was no way we could eat full portions in any case. We tried their top selling items:

  1. Murgh Hara Pyaz which was a chicken dish cooked in spring onions, very delicious.
  2. Jodhpuri Paneer – fresh paneer with red chillies and some peppers. This was a fabulous alternative to the usual kadhai paneer and shahi paneer that most Indian restaurants offer.
  3. Butter chicken: we only tried the gravy because we couldn’t eat more chicken and I have to say any north Indian would be happy with that butter chicken
  4. Nihari gosht: only gravy again but my oh my, what a gravy! I couldn’t stop myself from eating all of it and given a chance I would have licked the bowl clean.

IMG_20141007_144157 And last but not the least (ever) – desserts:

  1. Shahi Tukda: warm soft bread, soft fresh rabri and a perfect flavour balance. The sliced almonds on top gave the dish a beautiful textural contrast to the softness of the bread and rabri. Almost making it look like an Indian version of the quintessential brownie.
  2. Bombay falooda: a tall glass with crushed ice and rose syrup topped with falooda and then kulfi with Basil seeds on top. Such a vibrant dessert and so typically Bombay!
  3. Jaggery and toasted coconut ice cream: the ice cream is made in house and is quite nice.

Overall I have to say this was one of the most intense eating sessions I have ever had. There were lots of beautifully balanced flavours, perfectly cooked meats and seamless service. We were so impressed with the Nihari that we asked to meet the chef. Chef Bhure Lal was kind enough to come and meet us and I have to admit his humility and openness to learn are amazing. He has a brilliant understanding of food and flavours and it is so apparent in the food served at Veda. It was an honour to meet him, really.

I don’t think you need any more convincing about the food at Veda cafe. So if you’re wandering about the DLF mall and don’t get space at the other outlets, give Veda a try. You might just find your new go-to place for food.

 

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Nutkhut

Nutkhut

By Simran Kaur

On recalling my childhood days and fondness towards spicy chaat and crispy golgappas ,Nutkhut is the first name that strikes my mind and makes me nostalgic.

Nutkhut Caterers is a small stall known for its golden hot tikki, sweet and sour Lachha tokri and charcoaled panir tikka , Nutkhut is one of the oldest and most loved chaat corner in the Gujrawala town. Most interestingly, it was the first street joint in North Delhi to serve pani puri made from mineral water. Its crispy aloo chaat and bhalla papdi too has some charismatic power in it that attracts foodies like magnets. Adjoined by various other small street food joints serving different cuisines, Nutkhut enjoys its reputation and popularity amongst food enthusiasts  who gather at the stall every evening.

unnamedThis time on my visit to Nutkhut, I decided to go for something different so I tried marinade soya chaap roll, served with lemon and onion along with green chutney. It was superbly delicious , full of spices and exploded like a bomb in my mouth. Fairly priced at Rs 160 , the serving was so generous that two eagerly starving people can easily be fed . With its promising quality of food, Nutkhut chat corner has proved that it is not just limited to “chaat” but also stands excellent in its soya dishes.

Nutkhut also has another branch in Model town and a catering outlet named Nutkhut Rasoi near Gola Northend that serves delicious Indian cuisines and is best for home delivery. Its Special paneer thali is favourite amongst people.

So, next time you visit Gujrawala town, don’t forget to take a hault at Nutkhut chaat corner .

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Delicacies at CRPF Mela

 

Delicacies at CRPF Mela

By Anubhav Sapra

CRPF, the world’s largest armed police force and the proud sentinel of India’s internal security is all set to commemorate its Diamond Jubilee Year with the CRPF Mela 2014 from the 17th to the 19th of October. The three day extravaganza, organized by the CRPF family Welfare Association (CWA) is held at SDG headquarters, ISTM Grounds, Old JNU campus, New Delhi from 9 a.m. onwards. Reflective of real unity in diversity, the CRPF Mela presents scores of cultural shows, foot-tapping concerts, a delightful food festival which includes food stalls highlighting regional cuisine and a lot more.

The three day event is a confluence of craft and culture and will be based on three themes: family welfare, women empowerment, and youth well-being apart from the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the force.

Mrs. Suneeta Trivedi, President CWA said, “The annual CRPF Mela held on a central and zonal level alternatively, opens a window of opportunity to showcase CWA’s activities. It offers a platform for our homegrown talents and products to display their skills and rightful value. It also connects separated families and soldiers under one roof and gives them the scope to unwind and rejuvenate themselves before they resume their duties.”

The programme will feature CRPF’s 75 year long journey in the form of a short film. CWA members will be honoured and CRPF personnel will be recognized for their bravery and valour.

The CRPF family Welfare Association, a soul associate of the Force establishes firm support for the Force through the welfare and social domain. It works towards domestic empowerment, skill generation in the field of art and craft for families of the force and providing recreational avenues for the soldiers. The CRPF Mela is a conglomerated product of these efforts.

20141017_161730Now coming to food, one can indulge themselves in a wide array of delicious Kashmiri, Gujarati, Punjabi, South Indian, and Rajasthani delicacies at the regional food stalls. Having a sweet tooth, I started my food journey with GC Durgapur food stall and tasted some of the best sweets of West Bengal, my favourite sweet being a burfi with the stuffing of aam papad. In the same food court, Aye 1 Café, Safdarjung enclave has a food stall selling – Awadhi style biryani, roganjosh, chicken curry, and chicken satay. The satay is a must try. It was soft and juicy, covered with a layer of peanut sauce and coconut milk.

20141017_170207I was delighted to meet Prabhu Dayal, the supervisor of the J&K stall. He graciously introduced me to the J&K cuisine. I started with my all time favorite dish – Badarwa rajma and chawal. The beans were bright red in colour and delicious in taste. I also had Goshtaba, Yakhni, roganjosh, Rista, pulao and a delicacy of the streets of Jammu and Kashmir – Kalari Kulcha. Kalari is traditionally a ripened cheese product indigenous to Jammu and Kashmir. It is a very dense cheese that is usually fried in its own fat and salted prior to being eaten. After frying, it ends with a brownish crispy layer outside and soft, creamy, gooey cheese inside.  The taste is similar to melted mozzarella cheese. Kalari, onion rings, and tomato slices are filled between the two kulchas with a topping of anardana ki chutney and served hot. The taste of Kalari Kulcha was heavenly. This is another must try in the CRPF Mela.

20141017_170917Next, I visited GC Jalandhar food stall which has a nice welcoming name – “Bibiyan da Chulha”. The beautiful interior has been designed by Team Jalandhar GC led by DIG Mr. Sunil Thorb and Deputy Commandant Parvinder Kaur. The CRPF Jawans, in traditional Punjabi dress are serving food with warmth. I had Amritsari Kulcha with chole, Amritsari fish, chicken tikka, tandoori chicken, keema naan, sarson da saag te make di roti. The dishes must try in Punjab food court is fish and Amritsari Kulcha.

The other food stalls are of Rajasthani, Gujarati, South Indian and Uttar Pradesh. I could not try much at these stalls. However, I am sure the food would be decent.

My food journey ended with a cup of coffee at RAF 1 BN. Apart from the food stalls, folk dances, puppet shows and magic shows promise to add colour, vibrancy and fanfare to the event. So plan a visit to the CRPF Mela this weekend to taste the regional delicacies and experience the culture of different states at one place.

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Daulat ki Chaat

Guess what Old Delhi is back with?

By Anubhav Sapra

I am delighted to announce that Babu Ram and his family members are back from the villages of Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh to the by-lanes of Old Delhi- Sitaram Bazar. Guess what he is back with? He is back with the ‘Daulat ki Chaat’, a delicacy of winter. It seems winters are just here!

I spotted Babu Lal, a Daulat ki chaat hawker, at the Chhata Shah ji lane, near Barsha bulla chowk where the famous lotan Chole Kulche sells his scrumptious meal. Till 10 am, you can find Babu Lal at Chhata Shah ji, and from 11 am to 7 pm at Maliwara in Chandni Chowk.

Pamela Timms in her book ‘Korma, Kheer and Kismet’ has beautifully summarized this winter delight. She mentioned,

1012776_558971730853379_1164812161_n“Daulat ki chaat (meaning ‘snack of wealth’) is probably Old Delhi’s most surprising street food. Anyone expecting the punchy, spicy flavours usually suggested by the word ‘chaat’ will be disappointed. It resembles uncooked meringue and the taste is shocking in its subtlety, more molecular gastronomy than raunchy street food, a light foam that disappears instantly on the tongue, leaving behind the merest hint of sweetness, cream, saffron, sugar and nuts; tantalizing, almost not there. I’ve often wondered if daulat ki chaat is a preview of what might be on the menu should we make it as far as the pearly gates. The means by which a pail of milk is transformed into the food of the gods, though, is the stuff of Old Delhi legend rather than of the food lab. First, so the story goes, milk and cream have to be whisked by hand before dawn ( preferably under the light of a full moon) in to a delicate froth, then left out on grass to set by the ‘tears of shabnam’ (morning dew) – but not too many, nor too few. At daybreak, the surface of the froth is touched with saffron and silver leaf and served with nuts and bura (unrefined sugar). Daulat ki chaat is only made in the coolest months because at the first ray of sunshine, it starts to collapse. It doesn’t travel well either- to enjoy this very local specialty, a winter pilgrimage to the shady gullies of Old Delhi has to be made.”(p. 147-148)

A dona of Daulat ki chaat costs Rs 40. Babu Ram’s family members (kinari bazaar- Khemchand, Gali Paranthe Wali- Rakesh, Dariba Kalan- Babu Ram and Maliwara- Babu Lal) are there in the alleys of Old Delhi with their khomchas selling Daulat ki Chaat. The winter delight is available until Holi. So, it is the time for a winter pilgrimage, in the words of Pamela Timms, to the gullies of Old Delhi to savour the delicate dessert.

Reference: Timms, P. (2014). Korma, Kheer and Kismet. New Delhi: Aleph

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Roller Kulfi

Roller Kulfi

By Anubhav Sapra

Jugaad’ is the word that comes to my mind whenever I see ‘roller kulfi’ during Ramnavmi celebrations in Old Delhi. It is the only time in a year where one can savour the roller kulfi or disco fruit kulfi, called by many.

20141014_194446I was delighted, also amazed to see the two roller kulfiwalas in Kamla Nagar, namely, Bablu Kulfi and B.K. Variety Kulfi. You will be able to find them both at Chota Gol Chakkar, near Geeta Mandir. Let me tell you first about the equipment that is used to make roller kulfi. A huge iron cylinder is filled with crushed ice. This cylinder is then put in a stand that has a pedal on one side. It is important to roll the cylinder using a pedal; otherwise the same will melt away. This is taken care of by the two men every time: one who does not lose a single minute to roll the cylinder; and the other who prepares the layers of kulfi by crushing fruits and pouring rabri and milk. All different kinds of fruits – mango, banana, papaya, orange, pomegranate, etc. are added one after the other and interspersed with rabri. The ice inside the roller freezes the juices and with a knife, layers of frozen kulfi are collected in a ‘dona’. The kulfi is fresh and ready to eat before it melts.

20141014_194555Besides the fruit juices, B.K. Variety kulfi pours khus and roohafza syrup too. Thus out of the two, I would recommend Bablu’s( 9810246203) as the flavours are completely natural. The freshness of fruit juices with rabri, without added flavour makes the kulfi truly delectable.

I believe it should be named as ‘Galaouti Kulfi’ as ‘Galaouti’ means ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ and roller kulfis simply disappear in your mouth. The only thing it will leave you with would be its fresh taste.

For all those who missed it during Ramnavmi, this is a last chance to savour the same in Kamla Nagar till Diwali between 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., for only Rs. 50.

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Crispy Kachoris of Janpath

Crispy Kachoris of Janpath

By Anubhav Sapra

I received a tweet yesterday –“the nip is in the air and the nuts are back”, with a picture of a huge mound of groundnuts with a clay pot kept at the centre. The clay pot is filled with the small pieces of wooden sticks.  These are lit so to keep the surrounding nuts warm. It also rained in some parts of North Delhi and the mercury dipped further. To celebrate the pleasant weather, I headed out to Janpath to grab a plate of Crispy kachoris, bread pakodas and samosa.

20141013_165609Ranjeet is the man who sells delicious mouth-watering kachoris on the pavement of Janpath. One can easily find him in the morning (9:30 – 12:00) and evening (4:00 to 7:30), sitting opposite Midland Book Shop with a blue box containing kachoris, samosas and bread pakodas, a huge bucket filled with  Potato and Chickpeas curry and a half-litre sprite bottle filled with green spicy chutney.

All the three dishes are priced at Rs 10 each. I tried each one of them, starting with Kachoris, then samosas and finally bread pakodas. Ranjeet serves kachori in a dona and adds aloo chane ki sabzi to it. He squeezes the sprite bottle to pour some green chutney over it. The kachoris with the filling of lentils were great in taste, crispy and fresh. The samosas and bread pakodas were equally delectable.

It’s a good start to celebrate the onset of pleasant winter weather with light crispy kachoris. My next stop is Old Delhi’s Khemchand, Gali Paranthewali, who is back with his Daulat ki Chaat, a delicacy of winter!

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A Royal Affair

A Royal Affair
By Saira Mujtaba
A cool breeze with the moon radiantly shining behind the curtain of clouds set the right mood to treat the tastebuds with a sumptuous dinner. So, the natural choice was to head towards the ongoing Awadhi Food Festival at Courtyard Marriott in Sushant Lok, Gurgaon. The plush interiors failed to grab my attention because there was nothing on my mind but- FOOD!!
I was cordially greeted by the staff who were dressed in gold and silver anarkalis (which was more mughlai than the Awadhi angarkhas) but nontheless the warm hospitality made up for that. The decor  was colourful and splendid with multi-coloured embroidered umbrellas and punkahs hanging from the ceiling. The aroma was overwhelming and my mouth was already salivating with each breath but patiently waiting for Chef Amit de rigeur. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait much and Chef Amit with his smiling face was right there.
I preferred to take a tour of the buffet and then later decide on what would I choose to have on my platter. But first Chef Amit made a point that the ongoing festival would serve around 100 different dishes spread across 12 days till October 15th! Whoa!! That was indeed impressive. The hors d’ouevre for that night’s Awadhi dastarkhwan had something for both vegetarians as well as non-veg lovers. Harey Matar ki Tikki was a pleasant aberration from the usual aaloo cutlets, while Reshami Kebabs were our very own Shami Kebabs with a fancy name and there were also Kali Mirch ke chote Aaloo and Chicken Shikampori. There were also two kinds of soups namely, Kaddu ka Shorba and Macchi Tamatar Shorba. Chef Amit wasted no time  in cruising us through the main course which had some delightful delicacies. Many known to me already but some that I chanced upon for the very first time. There was Keema Kaleji ka, Nargisi Kofte, Subz Anjeer ke Kofte, Chicken Kali Mirch, Laung Bahaar ki Machchli, Nahari and of course, the Dumpukht Biryani along with its vegetarian variant.
“I have learned the nitty-gritties of Awadhi cuisine from my guru Shri Imtiaz Qureshi Saab. Obviously I have kept in mind that people have become very health conscious these days and therefore I haven’t added desi ghee in abundance but yes, the Awadhi flavours are intact,” quips Chef Amit Dash.
Murgh Galawat kebab.With my mouth already drooling, I couldn’t wait an iota of a second to dig into the Awadhi dastarkhwan. The appetizers  on my platter were Harey Matar ki Tikki, Chicken Shikampori, Reshami Kebab and Kali Mirch ke Chote Aaloo. I chose to start with the veg snacks as being a die-hard fan of non-veg, I wanted the taste of the kebabs to linger on. Kali Mirch ke Chote Aaloo were appropriately cooked with the skin intact. You could either bite into it or just pop the entire aaloo at one go. I chose the latter so that the black pepper and the mild spices came as a whole along with the taste of potato. The Harey Matar Ki Tikki surprisingly wowed me. The green peas were smoothly mashed into a patty that were crispy on the outside and were fried exactly how a tikki should ideally be- golden brown on the outside that enters the palette of your mouth with a crunch. Chicken Shikampori was the usual chicken seekh kebab. The spices were mild but coupled with the green chutney, it did indeed makes you yearn for another piece. However, the Reshami Kebab failed to impress me. The minced meat wasn’t juicy and I had to replace the first kebab which was overcooked on one side. The second that came was undercooked and broke while taking onto my plate. I had to go back to Harey Matar Ki Tikki so that its flavourful taste lingered for a while.
Moving on to the next course, I chose Subz Anjeer ke Kofte, Chicken Kali Mirch and Nargisi Kofte. I had never heard nor had Anjeer ke kofte on an Awadhi Dastarkhwan. But the mild spices and the subtle sweetness of Anjeer (figs) with its grainy texture indeed was a delight for a vegetarian food lover. Chicken Kali Mirch too had a mild gravy but the chicken was soft and tender. With every bite the strong aroma of black pepper engulfed the senses and there was a subtle taste of the dry fruit paste that added the Awadhi royalty to the food. However, the queen of the platter title would go to Nargisi Kofte. The minced meat had absorbed the garam masala and covering the boiled egg, it indeed enamoured the senses. The minced meat was succulent, just how I prefer my koftas (I simply abhor dry koftas) and the cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices blended exotically in the gravy as well as the minced meat. I wanted to have more of it, but also had to save room for the ultimate Awadhi Biryani which Chef Amit had prepared in the typical Awadhi style in which the rice and the gravy with the meat is alternately placed in layers and then kept on ‘dum’, hence called Dumpukht.

Dum Biryani

For me the biryani was a litmus test of Awadhi cuisine and I was immensely gratified to find the flavours intact and the chicken and the rice were not broken. The ‘dum’ style of cooking allows the rice to absorb the juices of the meat and the spices so that with every bite, one feels the aroma and flavour of spices, unlike other variants in which one only gets the flavour of the biryani on eating the meat while the rice remains untouched by it. But Chef Amit had indeed done a great job in bringing out the authentic taste from the kitchens of Awadh. The Biryani tempted me to have another helping with my hand but again my urban dining ettiquette held me back.
Thande Gulaab ki KheerI was full to the brim but the tempting Thande Gulab Ki Kheer and Chef’s special, Nizam Ki Nazaakat was eagerly awaited to satiate my sweet tooth. The Kheer had fresh desi gulab petals and what I loved the most was unlike the usual gulab kheer. The petals were shredded and were not overpowering the taste of the kheer (which happens when whole rose petals are added). The consistency was apt, neither too thick like a pudding nor very watery. Without much ado, I moved on to the Chef’s special- Nizam Ki Nazaakat. I must admit, I was enamoured with the very first bite. The liquified rabri worked amazingly well with the mini gulab jamuns and boondis that floated lazingly. It had a silky touch to it and the gulab jamuns in every bite left me yearning for more. Though I believe that a dash of almond flakes would have brought it a level higher, but of course, not everyone is as reckless about one’s health as I when it comes to food! And Chef Amit rightly knows that.
So all you foodies out there, make sure to mark a day on your calendar to visit the Awadhi Food Festival at Courtyard Marriott to indulge yourself in Royalty!
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New Zealand Avocado Season Launch

*New Zealand Avocado Season Launch*

*Nutritious and Delicious Hass Avocados from New Zealand in Store Now*

*10 October 2014, New Delhi*: The New Zealand avocado season was launched today at an event at the New Zealand High Commission hosted with New Zealand Avocado – the peak body representing all New Zealand avocado growers and exporters. New Zealand Hass avocados are available in India from now until the end of February and currently available in organized retail stores like Godrej Natures Basket, Food Hall and INA Market in single packs, twin packs or on kg basis.

The launch event also introduced AVANZA Ltd, New Zealand’s largest exporter of avocados to Asia, which represents three companies that will collectively ship 10,000 trays to India this season.  AVANZA Ltd will also invest in educating handlers and introducing avocados to consumers through a series of in-store tastings and innovative promotional events with Kunal
Kapur.

*Celebrity Masterchef Kunal Kapur said **“New Zealand Hass avocados are an amazing healthy and versatile wholefood that contain the good fats needed to maintain a healthy heart. They interestingly blend with everyday Indian meals and the soft buttery texture and nutty flavour goes really well with many traditional dishes such as **Bhel Puri and Tawa Pulao. They also blend
seamlessly with curries”.*

Avocados can be used at any time of the day and are a great way to add nutrition, flavour and colour to your favourite recipes. Avocados are great at breakfast, lunch, dinner even desserts and snacks. Kunal Kapur, Celebrity Masterchef and avocado lover, showed guests at the event many ways of using avocado to create delicious and nutritious meals.  Kapur encourages Indians to enjoy the unique taste and health benefits of New Zealand avocados.

Chef Kunal Kapur preparing New Zealand Avocado and kiwi Lassi*Chef Kunal Kapur further adds*, *“**Avocados are a superfood that is hassle free to cook and blends with almost any Indian dish**. The addition of New Zealand Hass avocados makes snacking **colourful, healthy and meaningful. I especially enjoy an avocado right after a good run at the gym.”*

*New Zealand High Commissioner Grahame Morton commented, **“With the entry of New Zealand avocado in India, we have created a new opportunity for Indian consumers. Avocado is not commercially grown in India and hasn’t been widely available.  I grew up in the Bay of Plenty, an avocado area and it is one of my favourite fruits.  As a nutritionally rich whole food suitable for all ages, we hope consumers give it a try.”*

*Adding to this, Trade Commissioner Mr Richard White said, **“We see the consumer preference growing towards consumption of avocados in the near future. Avocado is nutritious, good to taste, fits well in any kind of recipe and is good for your heart”.*

*Tony Ponder, Vice Chair of New Zealand Avocado and Director of AVANZA Ltd says,** “New Zealand growers take the extra time to nurture their Hass avocados on the tree and only harvest the fruit when the taste and quality of each avocado reaches its best.” *

*Tony Ponder further added **“New Zealand growers are supplying India with their best avocados harvested at their best time. The New Zealand Hass avocado season is a special limited time to get high quality and nutritious avocados”.*

New Zealand avocado exporters’ current delivery strategy means that avocados are with handlers in India 5-7 days after harvest, meaning New Zealand growers will deliver avocados of unrivalled freshness.

*Celebrity Masterchef Kunal Kapur’s take on avocados*

The New Zealand avocado industry’s food safety, traceability and quality assurance programmes set the global benchmark so you can be assured that New Zealand avocados are safe and healthy for Indian families.

“I have visited New Zealand. It is a beautiful country that yields premium agricultural and horticultural products that are produced to meet high standards of food safety, quality and reliability,” says Kapur.

Kapur says he loves making a New Zealand avocado and kiwi lassi to have with breakfast or lunch as it’s a quick and easy way to get a nutrient boost and it also helps with digestion.

“New Zealand Hass avocados are rich in fibre which is great for a healthy digestive system.”

Avocados contain over 20 vitamins and minerals and are made up of proteins, good fats and carbohydrates. Kapur says they’re also cholesterol free. Not many people realise how amazing avocados taste when used in baking and desserts. Their creamy texture makes them perfect for ice cream and decadent sweet treats like chocolate avocado mousse.

“My recipe for New Zealand Avocado and Cheese Parantha makes an excellent choice for kid’s lunch boxes and is also a tasty breakfast option”

“I love to give my son avocados once a day to keep him healthy and energetic,” says Kapur.

Avocado also helps your body absorb more of the nutrients from other foods it is eaten with. In fact, it’s regarded as one of the most nutritionally complete foods in the world.

“Adding some avocado to your meals throughout the day is a smart way to ensure you are getting some good nutrition in your diet.  New Zealand Hass avocados are also high in vitamin B6, which helps to maintain good energy levels through the day.”Kapur is encouraging Indians to experiment with new culinary combinations this New Zealand Hass avocado season.

New Zealand avocados work well with so many different ingredients, they really are amazing anytime.

“New Zealand avocados mature on the tree longer giving them a nutty flavour which goes well with salmon and chicken. It can also pair well with light, fresh flavours such as watermelon and the sweetness of strawberry and kiwifruit.” Kapur says.

New Zealand avocados are grown in a pristine environment with strong dedication from growers to produce a premium product.

*Health benefits of New Zealand Avocado*
*Beautiful skin *The vitamins & antioxidants in Avocado can improve your skin from the inside

*Energy & vitality *The iron, niacin and vitamin B6 in Avocado support energy levels and help to unlock energy from your food

*Healthy heart *The good fats and omega acids in Avocado help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels

*Nutrient booster *Avocados help your body absorb more nutrients from other foods they are eaten with

*Protection *Vitamin C in Avocado contributes to  protection of cells from free radical damage

*Healthy digestion *Fibre in Avocado keeps your digestive system in shape

*About New Zealand Avocado*

Avocados are the third*-*largest fresh fruit export from New Zealand.The total crop for the 2014-15 season is estimated at 7 million trays with 4.5 million expected to be exported.  New Zealand Avocado works with the New Zealand industry to set export standards, facilitate market access, promote avocados from New Zealand and provide technical information to all New Zealand growers, of which there are more than 1600, based mainly in the Bay of Plenty and Northland.

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Real Good Brunch by Yummiez

RGC_Delhi_1

Delhi in a unique cook-along brunch prepared with delectable ready-to-cook delights. Brunch is considered to have it roots in England. Originated in the late 1800s, served in buffet style, the tradition appears to have become popular in the United States in the 1930s. When you think of brunch, you usually conjure visuals of salads, grilled meat, cold cuts, veggies and bite-sized delicacies which is light and yet wholesome. A fan of molecular gastronomy, Vicky gave useful hints on how to rustle up easy and yet lip-smacking brunch at home utilizing herbs and spices to bring out the best taste to suit individual palate.

Today, preparations for a brunch, especially at home, is made easy and simple. All one needs is some Ready-to-Cook (RTC) products. A wide variety of products are easily available with the neighborhood kirana store or supermarket.  The benefit of using RTC products is that they cut significant kitchen time and yet allows you to create great tasting food. Vicky showcased three recipes – *Meat Ball Slider*, *Aloo Tikki And Rajma Pineapple Chaat*, and *Chicken Mushroom Penne*. Foodies in the city donned
the apron to learn and cook along with Vicky with some of the newly launched *Godrej Real Good Yummiez Chicken Meat Balls*, *Aloo Tikki *and *Chicken Kheema*. They created their own signature recipes in a short time.

RGC_Delhi_2Speaking about the brunch, Vicky Ratnani, chef consultant, Godrej Tyson Foods Ltd. said, “A brunch with Ready-to-cook products are perfect weekend solutions for urban foodies who lead a busy lifestyle and crave for spending time with friends and family. It allows them to experiment with food and at the same time enjoy a great weekend with restaurant style meal at home. Godrej Tyson has a wide range of vegetarian and chicken products that helps even novices to show off their culinary skills.

*3 quick and incredible recipes for a perfect weekend brunch*

*Aloo tikki Rajma pineapple chaat*

Godrej Yummiez Aloo tikki                                      1 packet
Cooked rajma
1 cup
Chopped onions                                                         tbsp
Chopped red, yellow, green bell peppers                   3 tbsp
Chopped tomatoes                                                     2 tbsp
Chopped chillies                                                        1
tbsp
Tomato ketchup                                                         2
tbsp
Chilli sauce
1 tbsp
Olive oil
1 tbsp
Pine apple cubes                                                        2
tbsp
Chopped fresh coriander                                           1 tbsp
Tamarind pulp                                                           1
tbsp
Garam masala                                                            1
tsp.
Chaat masala                                                             1
tsp.
Ice berg lettuce                                                          1
cup
Sour cream                                                                2
tbsp
Tortilla chips.
100g
Pan fry or air dry or bake the Yummiez aloo tikkis until golden brown. Mix the rest of the ingredients for the chaat. Serve with tortilla chips n sour cream. Garnish with fresh coriander.

*Meat ball sliders*

Godrej Yummiez Magic balls                    1 packet
Slider buns                                                    4
Mayonnaise
Coriander leaves
Ice berg lettuce chunks
Cucumber ribbons
Sugar
Vinegar
Tomato salsa
French fries

Pan fry or bake the meat balls until brown n lovely Marinate the cucumber ribbons with sugar n vinegar. Mix the chopped coriander with the Mayo. Toast the slide buns lightly. Spread with the coriander Mayo. Assemble the slider with the lettuce , meat ball. Marinated cucumber and top with salsa . Serve with fries or potato wafers or banana chips
*Penne Mushroom Makhani Kheema*

Godrej Real Good Chicken Kheema
Cooked penne
Chopped onions
Chopped garlic
Chopped green chillies
Sliced button mushrooms
Makhni gravy
Cream
Butter
Basil
Coriander
Parsley

Sauté the onions , ginger, garlic, chillies until soft add the Kheema and cook for 5 minutes add the mushrooms and sweat for 3 minutes. Add the makhni gravy n simmer until the chicken Kheema  is cooked.  Season to taste. Add the cream basil and parsley. Add the penne and toss well so that the sauce coats the pasta beautifully Garnish with chopped coriander n serve smoking hot!!