How many Bohra’s do you know? If you are a Mumbaikar, that number might run into the late single digits, but in Bangalore it would be a rarity. I have one Bohra friend and I’m still waiting for him to get married so that I can sample a Bohri Dawat. I know that’s very shallow, but I need to stay honest! Luckily for me and you – Cubbon Pavilion brings this cuisine that is relished in elite circles to us, this Ramzaan season. The fabulous Bohri Thaal makes its appearance thanks to Chef Zohair, who is from the Bohra community and has personally designed the menu to mirror feasts served at his house.
Whitefield, that suburb of Bangalore that’s now the new ‘IT’ location has a new watering hole in The Whitefield Arms. With the influx of the IT crowd and the expat population, Whitefield is slowly becoming a coveted spot for some weekend indulgences. The English pub and café (with a marked colonial hangover) is a part of the Waverly Hotel & Residences in VR Bengaluru. A moody ambience indoors, with tungsten bulbs, leather bar stools and cozy booths sets the tone for some tipple in the evenings while the cheerful picnic-table seating outside, is primed for a good breakfast or an afternoon of beers. Freshly brewed craft beers are on the cards once they get their brewery license. You can order al la carte from their hot breakfast menu (which runs till 10:30 AM everyday) and have the option of adding a cold buffet to it at a nominal price. The all day dining menu has decided anglo-indian influences and you will see that reflected in the names as well. The Earl Grey mixture with JW …
With the gazillion cookbook’s I own, it would be a shame to let them collect dust. I do pick up my favorites and rummage through the pages greedily for some ‘flashbulb’ recipes, but the rest of them are read once and relegated to the back shelf. Samar’s book runs the ambiguous path of a cross between ramblings of one’s life and recipes that relate to that phase, scribbled onto pages of a scrummy diary. As he states in the preface to the book – he is a glutton. And if he needed to feed his rambunctious appetite without upsetting the balance at home (his wife is a vegetarian), he had to learn how to cook. Years of living away from home, coupled with hosting innumerable impromptu parties has given him the ammunition to be creative with his cooking techniques. The book is a result of him documenting his attempts to create palatable meals through a blog in the Hindustan Times and a column in the Mint.
This is the cake you make when you have a bounty of Apples from the farm or you have a large number of people around the dinner table and you need a dessert that smells like Christmas. I like making non-fussy desserts – a bowl of ice cream with hot chocolate sauce, a large slice of chocolate cake, a decadent brownie or a fruit bowl with custard. This is not to say I don’t like a frilly mielle fuielle, or a triple layered cheesecake – it’s just that I don’t have the skill or the patience to attempt it. When I need to serve a fancy dessert, I just buy it from a patisserie and that’s that. Why mess with the experts, no?
This salad makes my heart sing. You know when you start to assemble a jig-saw puzzle and finally all the pieces fit together? – Same feeling! The star of this salad is a lovely Danish Blue which when paired with Pomegranate, is a cracker of a combination. A lot of people can’t stomach Blue Cheese, but I just adore the pungent, salted butter and yeasty flavor.
On cold rainy days like these, my mother-in-law, (whom I prosaically call Aunty) would suggest a warming Mutton Curry for dinner. As a child, mutton was never on my wish list for special Sunday lunches. I found the meat chewy and stringy and never got accustomed to the strong flavor of an older sheep. Whenever my mother made mutton at home, there would be a general consensus that I would not be partaking of any. My mother herself never bothered to expand her repertoire of mutton dishes (save the Mutton Chops recipe and an occasionally Curry) because excluding herself and my grandmother, no one really cared for it. My vegetarian father was happy with his Buss Saaru (Greens and lentil curry) and I was happy with my chicken kabab and that was that.
Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur, Kolkata, Sri Lanka and New York – Chef Sumit Batra packs all that’s he’s learned across the world and returns to his alma mater at the Oberoi to showcase a new Western menu at Le Jardin. Having worked under culinary gurus like James J. Kent and Daniel Humm who shaped Michelin star winning restaurant Nomad in New York, Chef Sumit attempts to balance simple, fresh produce with complex, new-age culinary technique. We were invited to try his signature tasting menu – a four course journey of interesting flavours and textures.
Round and round we go, but we always come back to where we started. After world cuisine and exotic eats became hot topics, we are all running back to our roots now. Local produce and regional dishes are gaining prominence over everything ‘phoren’. Cooking with local ingredients is the new sustainability mantra, because, God forbid! we rake up the carbon miles. While some may attribute it to being a fad, I for one am thankful to be getting closer home. Nothing can be more comforting and soul satisfying than a home cooked meal of dal, rice and some stir fried veggies. A papad on the side, some pickle to liven things up and you have all round bliss handed to you on a plate. Cubbon Pavilion goes one step further and brings you Sattva – a plethora of vegetarian, no onion, no garlic recipes in a wholesome Thali focusing on foods abundant in Prana (the universal life force).