All posts tagged: Traditional

Matriarch of Moplah Cuisine – Ummi Abdulla’s menu at Dakshin, ITC Windsor (Palace Road)

She carefully inspects the thickness of the pastry that encases the succulent chicken filling. A cross between a samosa and a gujia, the Kozhi Ada is a Moplah specialty that is actually served as a tea time snack. She laughs when I ask her about the equally enticing Ulliyada which has a caramelized onion filling. ‘Moplah cuisine is not high on vegetarian delicacies’ she says smiling, but she improvised to please the vegetarian guests. She signals to the ITC staff that the Ada is up to the mark and then settles down to regale us with tales from Moplah land. After two hours of abject gluttony and childhood stories, I’m floored by this 80-year-old diminutive food adventurer called Ummi Abdulla. Her first love – traditional Moplah cuisine, is being showcased by Dakshin, ITC Windsor till the 12th of September. Right off the bat, let’s just say you need to experience it!

Chef Vittorio and The Art of Time Travel @ Ottimo (ITC Gardenia, Residency Road)

Ottimo is known for its excellent Italian cuisine, plated ever so brilliantly by Master Chef Vittorio Grecco. The Pan-Italian restaurant has awed Bangalore residents with its renditions of quintessential Italian favorites with a focus on the freshest ingredients. So when the Chef decides to have a food festival called “The Art of Time Travel” – you pay attention! A spectacular four course menu with a twist – one portion prepared in the Classic way and one portion plated in a Contemporary way. The festival which is on till the 2nd of June has Chef Vittorio channel his creativity and playfulness in every dish that hits the table. The future of Italian cuisine might just be taking baby steps in Bangalore 😉 When you are presented with such an alluring menu, it’s hard to be objective with your choices. It’s a blessing that there were four of us and we were not squeamish when it comes to sharing! The end result is we ended up eating just enough, but pretty much trying most of the festival …

Kosha Mangsho – Bengali Mutton Curry

I am generally not encouraged to whip up Indian delicacies in my kitchen. According to my husband, the dishes pale in comparison to the ones his mom and my mom make. (#pissed). Praise for my Indian recipes (from him) are few and far between, so I have given up trying to fight the matriarchy bias and slowly relegated myself to cooking other cuisines when he’s around. There are a few things however, that he has warmed up to over the years we’ve been together – my excellent Nimbu Dal, killer Andhra Chilli Chicken, Spicy Mangalore Chicken Ghee Roast and the decadent Kosha Mangsho. In this domain he has unabashedly crowned me Queen Bee. It’s not that his opinion on my kitchen skills matter a whole lot – it’s just that I’m super competitive and I like to win…at everything. If that means sneakily perfecting a few dishes that leave no room for competition – then so be it!

Dakshin’s new menu – A century in the making! (ITC Windsor)

Being a South Indian myself, I am wont to think that I don’t need to dine out in a restaurant that specializes in South Indian cuisine. Why, my mom could churn out the same things at home and I would probably like that better because my palate has developed a taste for it over the years. This deluded thought process however, has robbed me of one of the best fine dining experiences the city has to offer – till today. (Ok, it was three weeks ago, but let’s not get that specific!). Dakshin has been rated time and again as one of the finest South Indian restaurants in the country (It just won the Times Food Award for the third time in a row this Sunday). Specializing in authentic coastal and regional specialties of the five Southern states (Telangana included) – it strives to recreate the splendor and diversity of a cuisine that is definitely not restricted to Idly-Vada-Sambhar. The restaurant has taken it up a notch and now indulges us with an array of …

Hobson Jobson Festival @ Monkey Bar (Wood Street)

Missy baba, Tip-top, Abli, Bleddy Buggers, Dekchis, Blessed thing, Suzies – If all this sounds like mumbo-jumbo to you, you probably didn’t have cool Anglo-Indian friends and neighbors like I did! Growing up in the Cantonment area of Bangalore, I was exposed to more than my share of ‘my girl, ‘junglee’ and ‘what men (man)?’ than I care to remember. But what it also did, was expose my palate to the wonder that is Mutton Ball Curry, Coconut rice, Railway cutlets, Bobo Curry, Kedgeree and Keema Puffs. I’m not ashamed to say that I sat close to Melanie Lushington during junior class, so that I could share her tiffin! So it is with some nostalgia that I welcome the Hobson Jobson Festival at Monkey Bar. A tribute to all things Anglo-Indian, but with the customary monkey-business thrown in!

Chicken Chops Masala – Like Mumma makes

My horoscope this weekend prophesied that I would take a long drive and even have a picnic. Boy was I skeptical! I hardly get my a** out of bed earlier than noon on a Sunday, so I was pitting my practiced laziness against the schemes of the universe. We went out for a party on Saturday night and like with all parties came home in a more than happy daze and flopped into bed. I challenged the universe to beat the combo of my hangover + laziness! I got a call at 9:00 AM in the morning… groan. I rolled over and half blinking looked at the screen. It was my sister. I picked up the call, knowing that leaving it unanswered would just lead to a barrage of calls until I wished the phone would self destruct. Would I please drop her to her exam center? – she had to take an MBA admission test. Since I was the one who goaded her to apply, I had to give in. I didn’t even have …

PanchPhoran Dal (Five Spice Lentils) – Comfort food at it’s Best!

I know I’ve said many times that making regular dal and rice bores me. That dosen’t mean I don’t make it. No week is complete without Dal being made atleast twice. It’s what we grew up on and it’s what I crave when I come back from a long trip to unfamiliar places. Eating dal and rice with a veggie on the side and a smattering of pickle is nothing short of a homecoming! The fact that it’s such a commoner on the dinner table and gets made so often, I’ve actually never written down a recipe for dal. So this was my first attempt at documenting the precise quantities. I kept a little sheet of paper next to me and kept jotting down what I threw into the pan. Now I finally have a dal recipe that I can pass to the co-resident and ask him to attempt it when am too bored to move a muscle J We use mustard seeds and curry leaves to temper the dal. However, this one uses a …

Simple Chicken Curry for Complicated Days

There are days that are easy, breezy and simple. And there are days that can grate on your nerves that burrowing your head deep into a pillow seems like the only way out. Unfortunately, even that option is but a distant dream when you have to finish gazillion things in the limited span of 24 hours. It’s not every day that I spin through life in a haze. I actually like my little routines of measured slowness. (Now the definition of slow for an Aries can be very different from the rest of the world, but nonetheless!). And there have been more days than I can count on my fingers, that ordering takeaway is the norm. But when everything seems to be spinning out of control, I crave desperately for a home cooked meal. (Mommy…can I come home?). Oh wait, driving there is going to take me a good part of an hour, eating there another, and driving back another hour! I can’t spare three hours in a time strapped continuum. Famished, cranky and hungry …