Your attention please! Superb surprises ahead. Please take a look at the photograph Ive shot under the trees. What you can see are Chennai’s talented homebakers and caterers. What you cannot see are the interesting and delicious food they brought along. All this for our “Whats hot Tasting session”. I ‘ve flown down from Mumbai for this and each time I conduct this session, I get surprised. Pleasantly. With the variety and vivacity.
CHUTNEYS R US
Unusual flavors tango on my tastebuds as I taste Sonya Srinivasan’s Avarampu flowers and leaves, Modakathanet al made to forgotten recipes into healthful, anti inflamatory anti bacterial chutneys and preserves. Bursting with flavor and texture are Chef Jaffar Ali’s superb repertoire of Chettinadu chutneys. Hand pounded and made of the finest ingredients by
Mani Megaly and shanti from Kariakuddi, be it the superb Ginger mango, or the unusual beetroot and broccoli. I taste these again at a memorable Chettinad meal in the Raintree and cant wait to lay my hands on the recipes and share these with you. Infact it’s thanks to the everhelpful Ahmar Siddiqui, Afzal khan, Sanjukthaa Roy and ofcourse Chef Jaffar Ali that we hold this whats hot tasting session at the Connemara hotel.
Fouziya’s line of organic pickles and preserves is tongue ticklingly good. Especially her date n lime pickle.
THE PROOF OF THE PUDDING
How about some traditional Muslim Mithai? Made from the purest of almonds (Badam ke bukath
Badam le lauz)
sobia and noorie zafar also make a superb Ande ki piyosi and more.
Velvetty creamy home made Casatta icecream made by Sadia gibran’s got top vote as did her Roat semolina cake Mamta ki Rasoi brought along delightful icecream made from natural mint and rose
And an unusual muesli butterscotch
Akshita Agarwal, a student baker’s c
akes in a jar (esp the Pineapple crunchy wit Praline) was a big hit.
Shivangi Daga’s eggless dessert classes are in demand. Susan is well known for her Xmas cakes and Brownies. Cindana of Sugar Monkeys for her
Desserts in jars, especially the Red velvet and Carrot cake.
Kashish Bathija has just started off and brought along Indian desserts.
SPECIALITIES & MORE
How would you like to cook and then party with all that you’ve cooked? All in a beautifully appointed recreational Food studio? Shree Periakaruppan’s Foodology with its many specialty chefs (F
Neelima vegan certified chef and stylist from Canada. Damyanti Paul
Srilankan food and more) is the answer. From 16 flavors in coated cashews to food for kiddies parties are Meena and Nisha chabbria’s specialty.
Ready to cook chapattis? Uma Srinivasan has them for you. She does catering too. Mansi of Foody Palace and her home chefs promote home cooked food and each one actually cooks in her own home kitchen.
WANT TO BE PART OF THIS?
Are you a home baker and caterer and want to be part of this? Or a passionate foodie like Rakesh
Raghunathan, food entrepreneur, blogger and TV show host then emailRashmiudaysingh2016@gmail.com, anjali —— instagram, twitter @rashmiudaysingh
WATCH THIS SPACEDue to space constraint Ive given you only a whiff of our tasting session. For more details (contacts etc) watch this column every other Friday…
I’m rejoicing! Im about to share some very heartening food news with you! It’s news that makes our country proud. It’s all about our very own pure vegetarian “annam” which not only stunned the carnivorous gourmets of the world but had them asking for more. This happened in the foodie city of New Orleans at the very prestigious “Dinner lab” and presenting this pristine “annam” along with its benefits as “supreme medicine” was our very own knowledgable and talented, author and chef, the Chennai based Viji Varadarajan.
Which is the first place Id look for recipes and love passed down through generations? A home kitchen ofcourse. And when that home kitchen also caters professionally then the treat doubles.And each time I fly into Chennai I find that the home kitchen magic works wonders. Heres a happy story that began in Bangalore, when three gifted women cooked together. Marium Banu and her two young daughters Sabira and Rashida not only cooked to their mothers recipes but were also actively encouraged by their father to attend cooking classes and learn Moghlai and Continental cooking. Not only did Sabira learn and cook at the young age of fourteen but also rapidly picked up all her mothers cooking tips and guidelines. After marriage Sabira moved to Chennai. Along with her husband Javed,
Sabira has been catering from home for the past fifteen years. They pay personal attention to every detail…from shopping to cooking. They also customize their cooking and menus to the specific needs of their customers. She devotes most of her time to cooking and refining her skills.
At our “Whats hot” tasting session she brought along some of her signature dishes for tasting. Fragrant and rich with masala Biryanis (both mutton and chicken) their specialties are malai chicken, butter chicken, tandoori, drums of heaven, sachlik kebabs, shami kebabs, chicken croquettes, malai kebabs, kheema naan, vegetable naan and assorted desserts. While home delivery is free within 2 kms, they take orders atleast 24 hours in advance.
Sabira shares below her easy-to-make and yummy-to-taste chicken lollipop recipe,
48 Ramaswamy road, D 2. #rd floor, G R A partments, KK Sagar,
Contact Numbers: 9962023786, 9380668064, 9382209805.
SABIRA BANU’S RECIPE OF CHICKEN LOLLIPOP
Chicken – 4 Breast Pieces (Boneless) Grind in the Mixer
Add Chopped Coriander, 2 Onions, 4 Green Chillies, Salt, Red Chilli Powder (As Requried), Juice of 1 Lime.
Mix the above ingredients along with the chicken and form lollipops and insert a toothpick for easy holding. Dip in egg and bread crumbs and shallow fry.
Serve Dipped in Garlic Sauce.
Recipe for Garlic Sauce:
2 Tbsp ginger, 4 Tbsp Garlic and 4 Green Chillies ( Grind Coarsely in the mixer )
Maggi Hot and Sweet Sauce – 4 Tbsp
8 x 8 Sauce – 2 Tbsp
Ajinomoto – A pinch
Sugar – 1/4 Tsp
Salt – 1/2 Tsp
Tomato – 1 (Blanced and Cut Finely)
Juice of 1/2 Lime
Corinader – Finely Chopped
Fry the Ginger Garlic Chilly Mixture in 1Tbsp of oil till all the smell is gone. Then add the finely chopped tomato and fry again. Add the sauces kept measured one at a time. Bring to a boil and switch off.
One of my greatest joys is flying down from Mumbai to Chennai to spot talent that hums in home kitchens and cooks and bakes up delights. At these fabulous fun and exciting “Whats Hot tasting sessions” anyone and everyone who wants to take part emails (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we invite them to bring their culinary creations and join us. And each time I get amazed and delighted with the amount of talent and the diversity. Its also such a joy to meet the dedicated and passionate home talent. It is at the very latest such session that I meet Jayashree Manohar.
THE HEALING POWER OF REIKI AND CHOCOLATE
Grandmaster in Reiki, Jayashree Manohar turned her attention to making chocolates eight years ago. Ofcourse, she continues to give Reiki (to those who need it) and does not charge for it too. Her chocolates are in multi-generational demand. Other than her clients, her parents as well her children love them. Ask for her chocolate roses ( created on sticks, like lollipops and priced at Rs 25 each) they make for great party giveaways. She also makes a Boule’D’ Amande,spice Almond chocollates,Truffle Balls,Swirled Marble Chocolates and Crunchy Peanut coins too. The creative Jayashree also makes “Model Of Taj Mahal” chocolates with imported brand of chocolate combination of Dark, milk and White chocolate. Rates differ according to the varieties of the chocolates. She offers special discounts for bulk orders. Jayashree makes chocolates for the Rotary club of Chennai. Do you believe in the healing power of chocolate? I ask her. No prizes for guessing that she responded with a big resounding “yes”
JAYASHREE MANOHAR, 482,Pantheon Road ,Egmore,Chennai-600008.Mobile No 9841974601/ 9176069367 /42146706
I admit, I am a chocoholic. But what follows is not the delirious outpouring of an addicted chocoholic. This is the result of the most recent research and it “was not supported by any cocoa or chocolate companies,” I follow not just the culinary advances but also the medical and health research that is being done on my favorite subject. Till now we are all aware of the beneficial effects of dark chocolate on blood pressure, but here comes a research which presents another beneficial aspect. This was conducted in May, at the University of Reading in England. They measured the visual awareness and motion detection skills of 30 healthy young adults two hours after they ate either dark or white chocolate. It might interest you to know that dark chocolate contains antioxidants from cacao beans called cocoa flavanols or CFs, whereas white chocolate contains only trace amounts. 30 people were divided into two groups One group ate dark chocolate (containing 720 mg CF), and the other was given white chocolate. Then they were given a series of tests two hours later, when the CFs would be producing their physiological effects. The effects on vision were measured by various complex tests. The researchers recorded the results and then, a week later, they actually repeated the same experiment with the same 30 subjects, only this time they swapped sides. The 15 white chocolate subjects now ate darkchocolate instead, and vice versa.What they found, both weeks, was an improvement in visual andcognitive performances of the subjects who ate the dark chocolate. Quite clearly, CFs increase blood flow to the eyes and brain and that this is what leads to enhanced functioning of those structures. Chocoholics are rejoicing.
SAILING INTO HEALTH
What on earth is this photo of a sailing regatta doing in my Food column? The answer is simple, the young sailing champion Samaria is the inspiration and the reason behind her mother Gulnaz, baking the most unique and healthy cakes. Having tasted Gulnaz’s baking in Chennai at our “Whats hot tasting session” I realized that I had not taken the recipe for her healthy cake. So when I called Gulnaz from Mumbai, they were in the midst of a sailing regatta in Hyderabad which the talented young Samaria was taking part in. I also requested for an on location photo. Voila! Thanks to high speed internet, here it is.
FROM BANKING TO BAKING
The multi-talented Gulnaz Ali having worked for more than ten years in a successful bankers job quit to take care of her daughter and turned to her other passion, baking. “I did this to keep my daughter’s sweet tooth satisfied”. And then ofcourse, ensured that she not only used the finest and freshest of ingredients but also the healthiest. Gulnaz’s healthy cakes are in great demand, as are her regular cakes. She has studied baking and taken special fondant classes too. Ask for her scrumptious banana walnut cake. Amongst her regular cakes, it’s the orange and a Almond cake, hazelnut chocolate cake and strawberry pies…which are her signatures. The recipe for Gulnaz’s part wholewheat cake follows, as do her tips for healthy baking.
GULNAZ ALI, 2/157 Karikata Kuppam, Muthukadu, Near Mayajaal, Chennai. Ph 9840943500/ email@example.com
Gulnaz’s tips for healthy baking
*Use homemade cream cheese/ mascarpone cheese instead of store bought. This way you can keep a check on the amount of sugar in the product.
* Replace sugar with jaggery.
* Replace maida with wholewheat flour. Start with replacing 1/4 quantity in the recipe and slowly increase the amount of wholewheat flour used.
Part wholewheat banana walnut cake.
Maida – 1 cup Whole wheat flour – 1 cup Baking soda – 1/2 tsp Salt – 1/4 tsp Banana – 2, large Unsalted butter – 1/2 cup Jaggery – 1/2 cup Granulated sugar – 4 tbsp Buttermilk – 1/2 cup Vegetable oil – 4 tbsp Egg – 2 Vanilla extract – 1 tsp Chocolate chips and walnuts/ almonds – 1/2 cup Preheat oven to 180C. Grease one 8 inch pan.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the banana, unsalted butter, jaggery, sugar, buttermilk, oil, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until completely combined. Coat the chocolate chips with maida and mix into the batter. Pour the mixture into the greased pan and bake at 180C for 30 to 35 mins or till done when checked with a skewer.
YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE
Do you want to be featured in this column? Like Gulnaz Ali today. Then read on to find out more,The hunt is on, I am looking for baking and cooking talent. Do you bake or cook out of home and so so professionally? Do you know anyone who does so? Please do get in touch with me and we will invite you, along with some others for a “Whats hot tasting session”. After tasting your creations and chatting with you and photographing you, I will then write about you. Please do email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject CHENNAI FOODLINE. You can also tweet and instagram t @rashmiudaysingh.
I write this from Gulmurg and I am delighted to hear from you on email, instagram and twitter. Thanks for keeping me plugged to the foodie network of Chennai. Love your foodie news and views…on foodstores, food services, dessert makers, caterers and more. Please do keep calling (9884065010 ) emailing (Rashmiudaysingh2015@gmail.com) tweeting, instagraming, FB (@rashmiudaysingh). Waitingly yours.
Presenting the latest edition of our “Whats hot Tasting session”. Please take a look at the accompanying photograph which I shot. You are looking at Chennai’s Foodie entrepreneurs, home-bakers many of who have recently entered the food scene. I flew down from Mumbai to Chennai for this “Whats hot Tasting session” and also for shooting the jury episodes of “Times Now’s Foodie” show. Sure! The TV shoot in a local and also high-end restaurant was interesting, but meeting this home-talent was even more engrossing.
All made in home kitchens…from baklava to masalas, from health bars to traditional Indian mithai. I will be writing about each one in detail later on, meanwhile, here’s a quick look…
MIND OVER BATTER
“Mind over batter” is the name of Aarti Rajkumar’s designer cake studio where her Belgian chocolate dream and Banofee pies are lovingly baked. Nahla Fathima, conducts H & H Gourmet classes and is known for the Red Velvet and chocolate hazelnut ecstasy she bakes. Gazeena Sulu’s “Sweet life from Sulu’s kitchen” makes “Patterned jaconde” and other desserts. Innovative and creative, Deepasri Kar ‘s cupcakes and mousses created with palm jaggery (the seasonal, winter gur) are a delight.
BAKLAVA, BADAM KE LOAZ TO HEALTH BARS
Looking for home-made Baklava? M Ayesha Ruhi is your answer. Azra Zafar specializes in traditional, home made mithai be it Ande ki Piyosi or Bread ka halwa and badam ke loaz. Balancing these with healthful, organic fare is Sadia Gibran, who specializes in Splendid health mixes, Oats and Prunes bar, low fat date and walnut cake and more.
Azeema Shahul makes
Wheat muffins, chocolate truffle balls and many a homemade dessert, cakes & chocolates, in a customized designed packing.
BANKERS TURNED FOOD ENTREPRENEURS
Interestingly, two ladies in our “Whats hot tasting session” were successful bankers who are now delighting the Foodie world. Anisa Arif (who Id actually met in her Stanchart days) is now creating a range of the most innovative and amazing masalas you can buy online, be it Sindhi Biryani masala or the Arabic barbecue mix and more. After ten years in the banking line Gulnaz Ali turned to baking. Orange and almond cake, hazelnut cake and more.
Joining me for our “Whats hot tasting session” is the brilliant Senior Executive Chef Ajit Bangera of the ITC Grand Chola which has been making waves since it opened mid 2012. We conduct our Tasting session in this sprawling palatial hotel that pays homage to the great dynasty of the Cholas who nurtured Tamil Nadu’s golden age.All ten of it’s iconic restaurants are being helmed by Chef Bangera. This includes their brand new Italian restaurant, their cute deli contemporary shop “Nutmeg”.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Here’s how we have been helping over the years. Over a fortnight ago, I got a call from Pashupati who said his wife Annapurani was looking for cooking classes in Chennai and that he had read about my “foodonline” several years ago. So I invited Annapurani to our “Whats hot tasting session” and introduced her around, so her queries were answered. Should you have any food or food service related questions, please do email
DO YOU WANT TO JOIN US?
Would you like to be featured here? Are you a home-entreprenuer? Please email (email@example.com, Anjalisharma966@gmail.com) call (09884065010) tweet, instagram, (@rashmiudaysingh) FB. Anjali Sharma will get in touch with you and invite you to our next “Whats hot tasting session”. Looking forward to hearing from you. Waitingly yours.
P.S. Watch this space (every other Friday) for more on each of the home-entrepreneurs featured above.