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, 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, 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, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
HEALING & YUMMY
Joy of joys! My latest “Whats Hot tasting session” not only served up delicious surprises but an amazing range too. Home enterprises run by passionate foodies and look what they are upto. From anti-bacterial, anti-aging healthy fare to traditional, home made Muslim sweets.
Age old flowers, forgotten recipes, organic fruits and vegetables…you name it. Sonya Srinivasan grows them in her own organic farm (be it Avarampu flowers or modakathan) and makes the most delicious Anti -inflamatory anti bacterial, anti-aging chutneys, decoctions et al. We do a tasting of the tasty and wholesome Aragarkovil dosa of Black urad dal. Delightfully vibrant and flavorful chutneys and more. Plenty more. Dual grained atta with a little twist, wheat and oats spiced with dry ginger powder and a hint of fennel powder, wheat sprouted ragi powder with Jeera powder, azhagar kovil dosa batter made of whole Urad with skin and spiced and atta with powdered curry powder and corn flour too.
Sindhi food lovers delight: sweets and savories such as Singhar ki mithai ( made from non – salty sev of besan or gramflour), Tosho ( sweet flour rolls) , Seero Malpuro ( Malpua served with sooji halwa) and Sindhi khicha ( Tapioca). Loved the healthy yummy Peanuts and rock.ginger sweet too.
And all that wasn’t enough, Sonya grows and sells Indian pittu apple to Dragon fruit and avocado too. Ph. 944444-2662
Can home deliver too.
AZRA & SOBIAs SWEETS
I cant stop eating it. The purest and sweetest taste of the finest almonds in this “badam ke bhukath”.And to think that its made of only almond and sugar. Making these traditional Muslim sweets are Azra Zafar and her daughter in law Sobia Habibunissa. These traditional Muslim sweets are made during marriages. Making these sweets is a time consuming exercise and needs lot of hard work such as Ande ki piyousi (eggs ,khoya ,saffron and ghee ), badam ke loaz ( pure badam and khoya and saffron). And they also make the humble pumpkin into a delight in their kaddu ke loaz ( pumpkin khoya and saffron ) and dum ke puri ( puri stuffed with badam halwa and baked). When I request for the recipes I am told these are “fiercely guarded recipes, handed down over generations and cannot be shared with outsiders.” Atleast we can eat them, and that’s fabulous!
Call 98405-38889 or mail email@example.com
A MILLION THANKS
I have to place on record my thanks to the ever helpful, knowledgable Foodies who helped me taste my way through this tasting session. Brilliant Executive chef Jaffar Ali who has honed his skills over the years, showcases them brilliantly be it in the Connemara’s Oriental or the Chettinadu cuisine restaurants. Afzal Khan’s amazing knowledge and skills in food and beverage are well known. Infact it’s thanks to the everhelpful Ahmar Siddiqui, that we hold this whats hot tasting session at the Connemara hotel. Rakesh
Raghunathan, food entrepreneur, blogger and TV show host peppers the evening with his lively food comments and Anjali Sharma coordinates and puts it together. Thanks to all the participants and foodies our Tasting session turns out to be a truly “Whats hot” one!
Is it possible? Can just one evening tasting session deliver the best of a city’s food-scene? The very best of cupcakes Gourmet shewaramas, salads et al? yup! possible, but only when the knowledgable foodie hostess and publishing consultant and whiz, the lovely Faarah Mehta generously sources and then equally generously opens up her stylish villa (private beach et al) for my Whats hot tasting session. As does her foodie husband, retailing tycoon, the dashing Saagar Shewakramani. High voltage, brilliant editor of a leading lifestyle magazine Kavita Srinivasan, Sridip Ganguly, software expert are foodies extraordinaires too.
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.
Mumbai’s second WHATSHOTTASTINGSESSION with talented home caterers and bakers.
Company Name: Sweet Bliss by Ravisha Sharma
Twitter & Instagram handles: @ravishasharma
Specialties: Cupcakes, marshmallows, cake pops,
Company Name: T’s Kitchen by Tejas Navin Master
Phone: 099203 16702
Specialties: Chicken Cafreal, Goan Roast Chicken, Mutton Sukha, and Pasta
Company Name: Cocoa Love by Harpriya Kohli
Twitter & Instagram handles: @harpriya_kohli
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/cocoaloveandmore
Specialties: Cheesecakes, Tea- time cakes- Vanilla pound cake,
Pineapple upside down, Carrot cake and Marble cake,
Cupcakes, brownies (Plain, Walnut and Flavoured)
Desserts (eggless)- Chocolate mousse, soufflé and
Tiramisu, Chocolates (flavoured)
Company Name: Sweet Escape by Nikita Bokadia
Instagram handles: @nikitabox
Specialties: Brownies, shaped cakes and chocolates
Company Name: Bakery Junction by Lakshmi Nambiar
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/BakeryJunction
Specialties: Cakes, Cupcakes, Theme Cakes
Company Name: Tooth Fairy by Rachana Shah
Instagram handles: @toothfairybakes
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tooth-Fairy/
Specialties: Semi-sweet gooey chocolate
brownies, Oatmeal cookies, banana-chocolate
loaf/muffins and any other tea-time binge snack
Company Name: Cheesecake Republic by Aishwarya Jalan & Shruti Jalan
Phone: 9820302204 / 9820401012
Instagram handles: #cheesecakerepublic, @shrutijalan14,
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/cheesecakerepublic
Specialties: Baked & No bake cheesecakes, tea time
cake loaves, carrot cake, squidgy cake, mud cake with
or without rum, mud cake with or without pecans,
Honey almond cake, lemon bars and many more.
Company Name: The Odd Hour Kitchen by Shivani Savant
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/TheOddHourKitchen/info
Specialties: Muffins, Cookies, Quiches, Breads & Cakes
Company Name: Just Cookies by Dinesh Poddar
Company Name: Bhuke Plate by Cherina Gamadia
Instagram handles: @bhukeplate
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/BhukePlate
Specialties: STUFFED PASTAS, MEZZES, SALADS
Company Name: The Little Food Co by Bhakti Mehta
Twitter & Instagram handles: @littlefoodco
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Little-Food-Co/
Specialties: Thai paani puri, Mexican fish tacos, Mushroom & leeks lasagne, crepe station, falafels, baked fish, soy honey chicken
Company Name: The Hungry Bunny by Sama Ankolkar
Twitter & Instagram handles: @thehungrybunnymumbai
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/THBMumbai
Specialties: Muslim and Italian dishes
Company Name: HOT ROCKS BBQ by Srikar Shetty & Neville Patel
Twitter & Instagram handles: @hotrocksbbq
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hot-Rocks-BBQ
Company Name: Food Biz by Amar Jog
Phone: 98196 95223
Twitter & Instagram handles: @AmarJog
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/foodbizinc
Specialties: Appetizers, Ethnic Foods, Modern European, Concept Stations
DESSERT MAKERS (WHO WORK OUT OF HOME)
I am very khush! Have discovered amazing home baking talent. Here are some of the results of my latest #whatshottastingsession.
HERES HOW I DID IT
Anyone who bakes professionally out of home can take part. For the past 20 years, I have been regularly conducting these sessions (in Mumbai and Chennai) in order to discover and encourage home talent and to include the talented ones in The Times Food Guide.
I was flooded with Instagrams, tweets and mail requests. I invited 21 dessert makers (and 6 gourmet tasters) to the centrally located, evergreen Gaylord with Noel and Robert being ever helpful.
LOOK WHO’S BAKING
Passion powers these talented women, some have switched careers, others moonlight. From strategic global account manager, engineer, fashion stylist, product manager to CA, doctor, recruitment firm director and architect. Many are professionally trained too. From popcorn cupcakes to gluten free treats…they do it all. Please excuse my sketchy writing…to get full details you’ll have to wait for the Times Food Guide 2015
Sugarfree , gluten free and healthy desserts from Charvi Bubna’s “cheat clean” (Try her brown rice flour and honey brownies. 9820934080)
Eggless expert Shailee anklesaria’s “Sugar fairy” makes cakes et al, super oatmeal cookies (9820246367)
Egg and gelatin-free “Choco kisses” from Kairvi mehta and jayshri Mehta (9820029065)
Tara kapur’s “bombay bizarre baker” (9820006440) caters to all those with food allergies. Go for gluten free almond cake,
“Charlene and the chocolate factory” (9833258908)
Charlene Vaz specializes in truffles and chocolates with an indian twist.
Yummy Japanese chocolates by
Varsha kalani’s “okashi” 9833505747
Call “the dessert table” (9867385908) Delafruz tangri and Jalpa timbadia for super customized desserts with matching crockery and cutlery. Must try Chocolate cake with marshmallow frosting.
Shillpa Bhambri is the only exception, she’s been featured since my first book (1997), her latest fusion cupcake was a hot seller (Cakeline 9619559433
Hand painted cakes and more by Jahan bloch ‘s “chic confections” (9930704646).
Dimple sanghvi’s “the mad batter” . candy castle cupcakes , glitterati cookie tower (961911760)
Egg and gelatin free desserts in jars by Innovative Nishita Kamdar ‘s “JAR designs” ( try paan velvet 9819365658)
Internationally trained Shikha Murarka’s “MishMash” s (9819766027) sugar and fondant work ( popcorn cupcakes, a handbag cake) were delicious.
Mango yoghurt cheesecake, red velvet cookies were Shanaz Barodawalla’s signature “sweet flavours” ( 9890453087)”Knead with love” s Richa Lulla’s (9833480814)
Umehani rangwala’s “lovecrumbs” caters to all your cake needs (8108429266)Try Witty meha Agarwal’s “the big apple baking co”’s orange cream. 9833015376″My butter half” by yeshi chaudhary ‘s red velvet was yum. 9769299795
Thanks foodies extraordinaire for tasting, eating, tweeting… Urvika kanoi ( professional chef who helped coordinate this tasting session.) Vasudha kejriwal ( marketing manager) Dinesh bahrani ( Head chef at Boveda)
Kritika dayal ( at a leading magazine firm)
Ronak Rajani ( social media marketer)
Rishab verma- (LCB trained pastry chef )
WITH SHUKRAAN FROM DUBAI
A million thanks for all your Eating-out advice in Dubai (on instagram and twitter.) Will be conducting more #whatshottastingsessions as soon as I return. If interested please contact, twitter, instagram @rashmiudaysingh email@example.com