I’m stumped. Call it “thaali” call it “thaal” but how do I define this fingerlicking (literally too) shortcut to : bliss? guiltfree non stop eating ? Taste of culture? Yes all this and more. Over the years I’ve been on a thaali- high be it at the South Indian (A RamaNayak Udipi or Mani Bhawan) or the Gujarati (Shri Thacker Bhojanalaya). Till now it is been only about vegetarian thaali’s (except for a fly by night wannabe non veg Bohri thaal restaurant in Grant road). And then along comes the gourmet of all gourmets, the high octane award winning charismatic actor who has four generations of film and gourmet genes. Rishi Kapoor s passion and gourmet gusto is infectious. Inspite of his hectic schedule he drove all the way to taste Gordon Ramsay’s cooking (when I was shooting with Gordon for channel 4). Over the years the charmer has guided me to his favourite foodie haunts. Once again this knight on a white charger (er SUV) fetches me and drives me to his tried tested and tasted Bohri thaal restaurant (!). He does not reveal the name or wherabouts. ” Its all part of the experience and mystique. And I have already booked” he insists.
I’ve been doing it again and again. Traveling the world but always circling back to Chennai. In fact, in EACH AND EVERY COLUMN there is a local “Foodline” with the latest on Chennai’s home catering and baking as my Chennai based assistant Anjali keeps a tab and has been doing so for over 15 years.
I’ve been flying in from Mumbai and setting up “whats hot tasting sessions” past several years. And with each session I get even more impressed with the enterprise and hard work of the home caterers here. Heres a sampling
ANITHA UDAYA KUMAR
Looking for healthy cakes? Yes! There is such a thing. This therapeutic yoga trainer’s latest offerings are very exciting…cakes made of 100% whole wheat or ragi or millet. She also bakes without egg , butter and no sugar too. And ensures they are tasty.
Anitha Udayakumar, home baker for the past 4 years is talented and hardworking and takes the name of her company “Fresh Cake Zone” very seriously. She buys only the finest ingredients from Nilgiris and bakes fresh every time she receives an order to do so (she needs 1-2 days prior notice) The staff of Pazamudirnilayam and Nilgiris bulk orders to orphanages.
My other hobbies are painting, fashion designing, swimming and I’m a therapeutic yoga trainer too. Her hot selling cakes are eggless butterscotch, EGGLESS choco truffle, tea cakes. She also bakes wedding cakes, birthday cakes et al. And teaches too. She has added on basic baking classes, advanced buttercream class, Barbie cake making class, and a chocolate making class too.
14/38,A5, kailash flats, mangadu st,
9003030816, 8825537479 (watsapp)
The Chennai home baker scene continues to sizzle and sparkle. Here’s the latest.
Ranjini from Adyar makes organic vegan chocolate and peanut butter cupcakes. Ph. 97892-54650. The cupcakes can be customised to requirements of the customer ( ratio of the chocolate to the peanut butter.)
Bhavna Arya from Intox homemade ice creams has two brand new flavours: sugarfree matcha japanese green tea with honey and almond slivers, and sugarfree green coffee beans roasted with cranberry chunks. Call 195001-13344 to book your jar.
R Sivakumar has fresh and homemade sambhar, rasam and turmeric powder and mulitgrain mix also available. Mail email@example.com or call 98848-51119 I can even supply in bulk.
Kumar is offering home made passion fruit juice without any no colours or essence. Dilution 1: 4. Call Kumar at 26157846 or 99626-37422.
Deepika from Aumly is taking orders for Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate Granola made with organic rolled oats, can be used for a healthy breakfast or a snack. No need for added sugar thanks to the peanut butter and preservative free Chocolate & Hazelnut Spread made using semi sweet chocolate & real hazelnuts (not essence) to make the spread. Order by Wednesday for pick up on Friday. Ph. 89 39 77 43 19. Address: 12-Z, Rutland Gate, 4th St, Aroshree Kailash, Ground Floor. 48 hours notice required.
Reema’s Swad Cooking Classes schedules for vegetarian and eggless Cake Baking Class:
Date: 26th – 27th Aug; Timing: 11- 4 PM.
This class includes:
- Baking Cakes and Cup Cakes in Vanilla, Pineapple, Strawberry, Butter Scotch, Chocolate, Tuitty fruity, Orange and Litchi flavours.
- Icing on Cup Cakes
- Pineapple Pastry
- Black Forest Pastry
- Chocolate Truffle
- Photo Cake
- Barbie Doll Cake
- Kids Favourite Choco Lava Cake and Cake Pops
- Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese
- Glaze Icing
- All sessions are practical sessions
- Individual attention given
- Printed Recipes
- Sessions are exclusively for Girls and Ladies only
- All material for the class will be provided
Contact Reema at 89395-66195 or 49525790.
I write from the dazzlingly beautiful capital of music, waltz, culture, psychoanalysis, art and food. And I write this while tasting the delicious hearty Austrian national dish of “Goulash” Gulasch (adapted from Hungary). And do so in the most famous “Goulash and Champagne” restaurant of the very Austrian Grand Ferdinand. It is steeped in history: originally a 19th-century palace, it was bombed in the last days of the Second World War, housed Austria’s Secret Service headquarters and now combines luxury with history and modernism. It is the only Austrian-run hotel directly on the Ringstraße, the main artery of Vienna. The perfect place to sit with Leo Cyrzyk and watch the world go by and taste Chef Jurgens authentic Austrian goulash. A delicious thick stew (which originated from the herdsmen of Hungary several centuries ago) Paprika is what adds flavour to this goulash of beef, tomatoes, green pepper.
Hungarian goulash traces its roots back to nomadic Magyar herdsmen in the ninth century. Shepherds cut meat into cubes and slowly stewed them in a heavy iron kettle over an open fire until the liquid.
Vienna has always been very demanding. The second best was never good enough. This was true for music, literature and theatre, in crafts, and especially in food. In the Gulasch & Champagne, one can sip the best of the champagne to the Velkopopovicý beer.
In times of the Habsburg monarchy the Austrian cuisine extended to Milan and Budapest. Just like in the “Grand Ferdinand Restaurant” which is under major reinvention. So meanwhile I sit in the Gulasch and Champagne, getting an authentic taste of Austria and raising a toast to Grand Ferdinand and Vienna. With the finest champagne of course.
I confess, I am a millet-fan. Millet rotis (made yummy with finely chopped onions and mint, and soft with ghee) are my staple diet.Not only is this a gluten free grain but also has magical healthful properties (more about that later in this column). I am also an idli fan…those soft, fluffy, pillows of steamed delight. So imagine my joy when I chanced upon “millet-idlis”.
This at my latest “whats hot tasting session”
Millet idlis by Phokkisham
Millet fans, this is your mecca. The gifted Nandini Gopinath of Phokisham is obviously not only a millet fan herself but also aware of it’s many health benefits too. She makes the most unique Millet icecream and millet idlis and dosas too. And here’s the best part, she sells idli dosa batters in packets too. And it gets even better for us millet-buffs, Nandini makes millet based milagai podi, millet based chapatti atta and millet based dosa flour with herbs like methi leaves and mudakathan keerai too. Please make a note: all millet based dosa batters are made to order except for red rice and bajra batters which are readily available.Along with the millet based batters, Nandini also makes the traditional rice based idly and dosai wet batter made from pure, traditional rice varieties like red rice, kambu, thinai kudhirai vaali etc. Nandini has pure mountain honey for sale and also prepares tomato chutney.
Nandini Gopinath from Phokkisham at 4202 89 89. Address: #1-A, Mangadu Samy St, Nungambakkam (opposite Perumal temple).
Did you know? Magic Millet
Did you know that millet is extremely heart-healthy? It’s a good source of magnesium, which is known to reduce the severity of asthma and to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Magnesium has also been shown to lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack, especially in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.
Did you know that phosphorus provided by millet plays a role in the structure of every cell in the body?
Did you know that the magnesium in millet can also reduces risk of type 2 diabetes? And studies have shown that eating millet (high in insoluble fiber,) helps avoid gallstones. Millet is rich in iron, calcium and B vitamins. I love millet’s taste and texture too, is it any wonder
I’m a confirmed millet-fan?
La Vita Buono
Balance. I believe in that magic word “balance”. So when Elizabeth, the talented passionate young IT professional changes careers to bake cakes, its time to revel in them..
Elizabeth from La Vita Buono lives in Mogappair West, takes orders for cakes Barbie cakes, brownies. She specialises in Baked dishes and Italian food, especially veg and non – veg pastas, lasagna, white sauce etc . Can home deliver. Call 89 39 45 07 42
It’s all thanks to “Foodline” that I am able to get plugged into the magnificent foodie network of Chennai. When you write in to Foodline, I not only include your details in this column but also invite you to our “whats hot tasting session” .
What follows that tasting session is a write up (like in the column above) . So please do keep in touch.
Mamta Ki Rasoi
From 2 nd cross street lakshman Road ,CBI colony Khandanchavadi Omr is having a workshop on chocolate making, wrapping, packing, storing and n bouquets on 3rd Jan, professional Baking workshop on different types of cakes & cup cakes, different types of icing n cake decoration ,Muffins,Brownies, doughnuts, tarts,Cookies, Breads, buns, puffs,Pizzas,burgers etc on 4 & 5 Jan. call 98407-24819. visit mamtakirasoi.blogspot.com
Narayani is a home baker specializing in brownies and also takes baking classes. She has conducted 30 episodes of cookery shows in Captain TV and won numerous competitions. Ph. 8056014246
Baked Delightss by home baker Smitha Kuttayya and Global Theeni by Smitha Kuttayya has an offer for new year that you can’t miss!! Order the new year meal for 2 that includes a veg quiche, 4 pieces of roast chicken, herbed baked rice, cheesecake and Irish cream. The package is priced at Rs.2000 and is valid from the 1st to the 10th of January 2017. Ph. Do call at 9444385425 to book your order.
Home caterer Deepika from AUMly is now offering the following items:
- Marinated feta in thyme and extra virgin olive oil which is perfect for salads or on your cheese platters. Rs 262.50
- Organic tea from Makaibari estate
- Bai Mu Dan Darjeeling peony white tea. Ra 249 for 25 gms
- Darjeeling oolong tea Rs 331 for 100 gms
- Summer solstice muscatel Darjeeling second flush black tea. Rs 578 for 100 gms
- Silver green tea. Rs 605 for 100 gms
- Lime pie Made from organic farm limes. A buttery crust with tangy lime curd filling. Rs 126 per slice.
- Lime Ginger Syrup. Farm-grown limes are used to make this syrup. No chemicals, no preservatives. No extra sugar necessary. Perfect thirst quencher for our warm days.Rs.315/- for a 500ml bottle. (Makes approx. 20 glasses)
- Organic Rajma from Uttrakhand (Mix of 4 varieties of rajma, Rs.37/- for 100gms)
- Organic Raw Rice (Farm-grown, unpolished rice for everyday eating. Rs.221/- for a 3kg bag)
- Bread Crumbs (Made on the farm, with no added preservatives Rs.52.50 for 300gms). Order by Wednesday for delivery on Friday. Ph. 89 39 77 43 19. Address: 12-Z, Rutland Gate, 4th St, Aroshree Kailash, Ground Floor. 48 hours notice required.
Its been my passion! Past three decades I’ve been collecting deliciously useful and usable information which you can’t get for love or for money.In Chennai and in Mumbai. I’ve compiled many a Times Food Guide of these home caterers and bakers. From ordering cakes from chefs who work out of home, health tiffin dabbas fabulous seafood to more.
HOW I GOT TO THIS PRICELESS INFO
I did this through word of mouth, through readers calling and writing to me, through my Foodline, and the latest through email and twitter too. Now I know what Columbus must’ve felt like. Except that he, the compulsive explorer, did not have the benefit of twitter… like I do! Here’s how I went on my voyage of discovery: I tweet requested for recommendations of favourite caterers, dessert makers, tiffin dabbawallahs and shops.
HERE’S HOW I DID IT…WHATS HOT TASTING SESSIONS
Anyone who bakes or caters professionally out of home can take part. For the past 3 decades, I have been regularly conducting these sessions (in Mumbai and Chennai) in order to discover and encourage home talent. I get flooded with instagrams, tweets and mail requests. We hold “tasting sessions” where we invite all those who had gotten in touch with us. They brought along their goodies and we try, taste and test each one.
HERE’S HOW YOU DO IT…
Should you want to be be part of this “whats hot tasting session” please email your details (background, specialities, pricing, home delivery, contact details) firstname.lastname@example.org or instagram or twitter @rashmiudaysingh email email@example.com Call 9884065010.
It was in my latest “Whats hot Tasting session: that I got a taste of Chennai’s amazing home bakers and caterers.
Fabulous fusions. All home made. Creative, innovative and yum. Be it one where Italy tangoes with Kolkatta street food or whisky infused icecream. We loved the Innovative string spaghetti sparkled with spice and with Kolkatta’s popular street food, jhal moodi. As also the unique and tasty North India meets South India Kozambu parota sandwich. The Black label infused icecream was deliciously heady. Helping me with the tasting was Leela Palace’s brilliant executive chef Dharmen Makwana. We sampled it all Badam halwa cup to Rice kesari moghlai malai kofta and it was a delight to meet her fashion desinger daughter Richa Goenka too.
It’s not just all this that the creative Dipika Agarwal conjures up but also many a healthy and organic option. organic rice flour for Rs 63/- a kilo, homemade and preservative free chocolate and hazelnut spread at Rs 210/- a jar, coconut macaroons made from organic coconuts from her farm and baked in a wood fired oven for Rs 84/- for a pack of 6, multi-grain pao buns which go well with vada and bhaji for Rs 15.75/- a piece.
Order by Wednesday to pick up by Friday.
Ph. 89 39 77 43 19. Address: 12-Z, Rutland Gate, 4th St, Aroshree Kailash, Ground Floor. 48 hours notice required.
Looking for delicious salted caramel sauce? extra fudgy hot fudge sauce ? and that too home made and preservative free? The dedicated and talented Aparna Philip from “Oh Myy” has them all for you. These are great any which way you like them, lick them, slather them on bread, on a biscuit or top up your sundae. She also makes a rich, lemony and tangy lemon curd which goes well with a hot buttered toast or as a filling for tarts, crepes, cakes or meringues. Check out Oh Myy’s honey roasted peanut butter which can also be give a savoury twist by adding some spices to make an exotic satay sauce.
Contact Aparna from Oh Myy! @ 98410-29931.
I write this column from Chennai, where I am conducting an exciting #whatshottastingsession too. Are you a home baker? Provide foodie services out of home? want to be part of our next #whatshottastingsession? mail firstname.lastname@example.org, instagram, tweet @rashmiudaysingh. Dr Rajul Matkar, from Dubai (a gynaecologist who for a passion, bakes, develops healthy recipes, caters malwani food too) came specially. As did Sameer Malkani, dynamic chief of the Food Bloggers Association of India who has been conducting many a #homechefmatters session. All are welcome.
I can’t stop smiling. Discovering Mumbai’s talented home chefs at our #Whatshottastingsession has this effect on me. Organised specifically for our very own “Times Food guide 2017” at the city’s landmark, sixty year old Gaylord, where the ever helpful team plays host to taste magicians (from Powaii, Chembur to Colaba) who present their sweet and savory magic…
The Bohri Kitchen (TBK), Colaba, 9819908095
Superb Raan, Mutton Samosas, Dum Biryani and other Bohri specials by the brilliant mother and son team of Nafisa Kapadia and Munaf. This exciting home dining concept hosts 12 guests once-a-week. They also deliver across Mumbai, at a day’s notice. If you live between Mahim to Colaba, give TBK two hours’ notice for home delivery.
The Mad Batter, Walkeshwar, 9619117601
Baking since she was 10, Dimple Sanghvi offers all kinds of eggless bakes – cakes, whoopee pies, Glitterati Cookie Tower, brookies… The 21-year-old’s home baking venture is popular for its boozy treats (Jack Daniels Dessert Jar and Cookie Shots).
B.O.H. (Back of House), Nepean Sea Road, 9867199994
For dips, small eats and all kinds of vegetarian fun fare for home parties for upto 40 people, call Mansi Koradia. Rosemary Mushroom on Toasties, Lebanese and Italian starters and maincourse, and kiddie specials, Jain specials… she does them all!
Simple Bakes, Chembur (E), 9820433391
Nothing simple about the baking adventures sisters Poornima and KavithaBalasubramanian undertake. Ask them for brookies, bespoke fondant cakes and especially the fusion cakes. My favourite, the Paan-flavoured cake.
Ambrosia, Powai, 9820968751
Call Rachna Prasad, for Mughlai, Rajasthani, Goan, and Bengali specials, non-vegetarian dishes being her speciality. A dedicated menu for kids (pasta, cutlets, kebabs, and her popular creamy cup potatoes) too.
Ashey’s, Bandra (W), 8828403690
Eggless macarons? Student and homebakerAshima Chawla’s Sesame and Pistachio macarons will never have you go looking elsewhere. Interesting combos of jar and fusion desserts too.
Baked With Love By Annie, Matunga (E), 9819363304
Hazelnut Truffle Decadence, Vanilla and White Chocolate Torte, Philadelphia Cheesecake, 23-year-old AnneitaaBhambani does them all and does them well. Customised, eggless cheesecakes, brownies, cakes and cupcakes on a day’s notice too.
Love & Flour, Nariman Point, 9930152303
A Hotel Management graduate, Sarah Patka honed her skills in the Taj and Oberoi kitchens before she set up her home bakery that specialises in custom made cakes (fondant and non-fondant), cookie pizzas and brownies.
Nosh, Worli, 9833104829
Commercial artist, product designer Karishma Mehta moonlights as a home chef with her newly set up catering business Nosh. Ask for dips like the Pizza Dip, bite-sized party food, and desserts ( in glass jars and ready-to-eat containers.)
Icekreamskee, Andheri (W), 9321129029
Looking for freshly made, preservative-free ice creams in a variety of Indian and international flavours? Give mother-daughter duo Asha and Sucheta Thakur 24 hours’ notice. Asha has been making ice creams at home for 17 years now. Must-ty flavours, Masala Chai Biscuit, Thandai, Fresh Orange, Rose Pista and more. Vegan ice creams. Home delivery too!
That’s The Story, Malad (W), 9619946134
Have eggless macarons, pana cotta, crème brulee, gelatin-free cakes and desserts delivered at your doorstep. Premium ingredients and experience in commercial kitchens ensure that 25-year-old Swati Soni’s desserts offer just the right kind of a sensory treat. Try the Deconstructed Lemon and Basil Tarts with Pistachio Shortbread and Saffron and Pistachio Nankhatai!
I’m excited and thrilled about our Whats Hot tasting session, which took place yesterday. Many a home baker and caterer attended,. at the Hotel Leela Palace. Its fabulous to be able discover talent like this and then to write about it in this column, instagram and tweet it and share it with all. Should you wish to be included in the next Whats Hot Tasting session, please instagram/tweet @rashmiudaysingh, email email@example.com
I cant stop smiling. Thrice as nice. That’s how I feel as I write this review. “The Village shop” (TVS) is a charming family run café (I have a big fat soft corner for family-runs and the home spun quality of their food).
Read my detailed review on http://www.whatshot.in/critic-review/the-village-shop-r-9397
Please excuse me if I’m getting carried away. I can’t contain my excitement at discovering Mumbai’s talented home chefs. And this #Whatshottastingsession is organised specifically for our very own “Times Food guide 2017” which is being readied for going to press. On a rained out evening, we meet (fittingly enough) at the city’s landmark, iconic sixty year old Gaylord and the ever gracious AN Malhotra plays host to Mumbai’s most talented taste-magicians. I’m grateful to the ever helpful team at Gaylord and also to the home chefs who’ve come all the way from Thane, Ghatkopar, Mulund, Mira Road…Im so happy. Cant stop smiling.
Breakfast & Bites | Worli | 9821086711
Looking for healthful and yummy fare? Call Mother-daughter team of Bharti and Bhavna Kumar. Crunchy and nutty bowl of muesli, Honey Nut Granola and Savory Oat Crisps (Matri), yummy trail mixes and Oatmeal Cookies, too.
Amshefs Gourmet | Bandra | 9820769788
Party time? How about a variety of sinful dessert dips like Cookie dough dip, Nutella Caramel Cheesecake dip and more ? .yum Golden Addictive hotseller (roasted almond n caramel popcorn clusters with a hint of salted caramel)? Amna Shehzad Furniturewala makes all this and more.
Through The Food Door | Thane | 9987090418
Mani Vinaik’s ‘Chocolaticious’ Brownies, boozy bakes and coloured ganache have a fan following. Try her decadent Cream Cheese Pound Cake. This expert at catering for kiddie parties; is also known for themed cupcakes and Lasagne.
Rainbow Rasoi | Powai | 9892098240
Radhika Ichhpuniani (A highly qualified CA turned chef) takes catering orders from her FSSAI certified home kitchen and dishes up delicious vegetarian Italian, Mexican and Indian fare. Mini Pizza Uthapams and Mexican rice are a must-try!
IndiKitchen | Mahalakshmi | 7045313491
This food delivery service by youngsters from the corporate world ( Alok Shah, Chirag Arya, Varun Ahuja and Anuj Bagri) serves it all… Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner. Try the Biryani, Chicken Kalimiti and the range of Wow Paws.
Cup-a-Luscious | Mulund | 9833042828
Eggless delights: Chocolate Strawberry Dessert Jars, Pushpops, and customized cupcakes with fondant. Blueberry cupcake takes the cake! Baijul Rathod 26-year-old freelance architect take a bow.
The Humble Pie | Ghaktopar | 9880069696
A network engineer turned pastry chef, MrudulaPutchahas adiploma in patisserie from Lavonne Academy of Pastry Arts. Pies, Tarts, Cookies, Brownies, Cakes and Cupcakes, she does them all. My favourite: Sticky Toffee Pudding in a dessert jar.
Indian Food Express | Sion (E) | 9969134995
Found. Home made and fabulous my favorite Mulgapudi Gunpowder, Sambar Powder, Rassam Powder and the softest idlis. A teacher, marathon runner and social entrepreneur,Geetha Shridhar has been featured in many cookery shows for her famed BisiBele Bhath.
The Hungry Momma | Mira Road | 9820502049
CallMugdhaAgnihortri for catering orders for Kiddie Parties and house gatherings. Dhansak, Indian Street Food, ChingriMalai Curry, DaalPakwan, dips, and fish pickle. Brownies, muffins, cupcakes to mousse and Jar Desserts.