Indian cuisine

INDIA SHINES…AGAIN!

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INDIA SHINES…AGAIN!

It’s a starry superstarry night in magical Macau. Here, at the prestigious Asian Oscars of gastronomy  Indians and Indian cuisine is shining as our very own Gaggan Anand’s restaurant is crowned Asias best in fourth consecutive year. Asias 50 best restaurant awards are flagged off under the star spangled sky as culinary superstars mingle amid a feast for the senses by the poolside of the super luxurious Wynn Palace.

The Minister of Tourism, Celebrated chefs, restaurateurs and industry VIPs are in attendance. Asia’s 50 best restaurants in it’s sixth edition this year continues to grow in influence and magnetizes the best. Japan  has the highest number of restaurants on the list (11), followed by Hong Kong and Thailand (9 each.)

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Superstars at Asian Food Oscars in Macau:
Gaggan Anand, Helene Pietrini, Manish Mehrotra, Sachin Poojary, Dharshan Munidasa.

ON YOUR REQUEST…SUPERSTAR’S RECIPES

Over the years, I’ve been receiving many a reader request for recipes from these superstars. Each one generously shares his. I serve them to you with a delicious scoop of news on each restaurant.

ASIAS BEST RESTAURANT..GAGGAN

“Lick it up” is genius Gaggan’s latest innovation which has already become an icon. The dish is designed to be ‘licked up’ directly from the plate. Constant creative evolution, soulfulness of Indian street food delivered through hyper-modern cooking techniques in a delicious way marks all his 25-courses.

Fish Gunpowder

Gunpowder

Ingredients:

10 g curry leaves 1 gm hing or asafetida 20 gm sesame seeds (black or white) 20 gm urad dal

20 g Channa dal 20 g  rice 50 g red chilly of ur choice

Method:

Roast all ingredients and rough grind them.

Fish with Curry Infusion

Ingredients:

100 g x 4 pcs fish any choice 50 g red onions, finely chopped

25 g ginger, sliced 25 g curry leaves 15 g green chili 15 g turmeric powder 50 g coconut oil, salt to taste .

Method:

  1. Portion  filleted fish into 100 g each.
  2. Heat up the coconut oil, add curry leaves,  red onions,  ginger until fragrant.
  3. Roast for 2 minutes, add turmeric powder and chili
  4. Season  with black salt and sugar.
  5. Blend mixture in blender and chill on an ice bath.
  6. Marinate the fillets with the curry infusion .
  7. Steam the fish with marinate

Take 50% cooked rice and 50% coconut milk blend. Place like a small coin in centre.Place fish in centre.

INDIAS BEST RESTAURANT

New Delhi, New York and now London… “Indian Accent” outposts continue to magnetise loyal fan followings. Leading the way,  Manish Mehrotra has put modern Indian food on the gastronomic map. Contemporary  food with an ‘Indian accent be it galautis  stuffed with foie gras. Or pulled pork phulka tacos dazzle with their flavour and texture.

Tandoori Pineapple, summer shahtoot,Jaggery Glaze

Ingredients:

I Pineapple /   2 tsp Demerara sugar/ 2 tsp butter/ I tbsp. jiggery/  1 tsp fennel seeds/

2 Star anise/ 2tsp roasted sliced  almonds

Method:

  1. Clean and slice pineapple. Into ½ inch slices.
  2. Brush with butter and dust with demerara sugar
  3. Put on the skewers and cook in tandoor or oven till edges are charred.
  4. MeanwhileHeat Jaggery, Fennel Seeds, &star anise in a pan with 4tbsp of water & cook to a  thick syrup. Strain. Cool.
  5. Add fresh shahtoot (mulberry) to  syrup. Toss gently.
  6. Arrange charred pineapple on a plate and drizzle sugar coated shahtoot on top
  7. Garnish with sliced almonds.

SRI LANKA’S BEST RESTAURANT

Chef Dharshan Munidasa has single handedly put Srilanka on the world gourmet map. And he is the only chef who has two restaurants featuring on the 50 best list. Set in a preserved 400-year-old Dutch hospital in Colombo “Ministry of Crab” is a Crab lovers paradise. His Japanese  “NihonBashi” continues to be on the list.

Garlic Chili Crab

Ingredients – 500g meaty  crab

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil/1/2 cup chopped onion/1/4 cup chopped garlic

1 teaspoon chilli flakes /1 tablespoon soy sauce /1 cup chicken stock

In a skillet throw in oil, onion, garlic and clean crab. Add chicken stock. Cook for 8 minutes. Add chilli flakes, cook for 2 minutes. Splash soy sauce and plate up.

FROM INDIA…

Competing with the Japanese restaurants of Japan and still holding it’s own is a matter of pride for us. I refer to Wasabi by Morimoto. What

sets this fine dine Japanese restaurant apart from the others is the amazingly creative and fabulous vegetarian menu. Ofcourse, the gifted chef Sachin Poojary and executive chef Amit Chowdhary  ensure that the exquisite  non vegetarian dishes are as impeccable as ever.  This Japanese salad dressing has My favorite past 14 years…

Soy onion salad  dressing:

Ingredients:-

1- Onion – 8nos/ Soy – 400ml/ Mirin- 76ml/ Rice Vinegar- 200 ml/ Grape seed oil -200ml/ Sesame Oil- 100ml/ Mustard Paste – 16gm / Sugar 26gm/ Black Pepper – 1/4 TSP

Method:

Fine chop onion/ In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients except the grapeseed oil. / Mix ingredients well and slowly whisk in the grapeseed oil.store in fridge. Toss into salad when ready to serve.

DYNAMIC DREAM TEAM

Driving these awards and making them into high-octane international influential forces ( in gastronomy and tourism)  is the London based   dynamic dream team.  Helming and driving the awards Charles Reed, Helene Pietrini, Tim Brooke Webb, William Drew  Tiago Restani, Laura Price, Rikki Muddie Emer Schlosser Giulia Sgarbi, Rula Danias and Kate Cheverton. and I shoot their photo post awards..under the stars of course!

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My post awards celebratory snap shot of  the dynamic  dream team of Asia’s 50 best..
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Review: BOMBAY CANTEEN

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Indian Cafe & Bar

We are rejoicing! Many reasons…not only is it a joyful experience but there is distinct joy in the food too. There is  a palpable youthful vibe not just in the ambiance, the staff, the diners but once again, in the food too. Bombay Canteen celebrates India and ofcourse Bombay.  Much like my brilliant world renowned artist guest Jaideep Mehrotra  whose  works embody the melting pot of cultures in our metropolis, a melange of the eastern & western sensibilities. Like the Sachin Sculpture at Sasmira Junction, which pays tribute to a local lad using state of the art material to create it.Both, he and his lovely wife Seema feel that ‘Bombay Canteen’ has both these elements and manages to capture them well in their flavours and presentation.

 

DECOR

Walk into this airy 4,000 sq. ft  of brilliantly done up space  and be charmed by the Bombay nostalgia in this unfinished “bungalow” with it’s stained glass, long rustic bar, printed tiles, manually lettered pricing boards.Thankfully it   does not degenerate into a themed cutesy cafe,

space,  Kudos to the Busride Design Studio.

NYC to MUMBAI

This Goan chef, worked in Mumbai and took NYC by storm way before glamorboy Vikas Khanna. I first met Chef Floyd Cardoz fifteen years ago, when I had been flown down to NYC  by Asia Society for a panel discussion on Indian food with the icons, Madhur Jaffrey  and Danny Meyer. I ate with Danny Meyer at “Tabla” , Floyds introduction of Indian food to America and loved it.  A couple of years ago, i ate at Floyd’s  “Northend grill” and came away disappointed. Both have since shut, Floyd still straddles both continents (Whitestreet in NYC and Bombay Canteen here). This one marks  his return to and celebration of Indian cuisine. Along with Chef Thomas  Zachiaras they use only local ingredients (many not served in restaurants) and evolve Indian cuisine by making it “cool”. Their passion shines through.

FOOD

Flavors and textures do a rocking jugalbandi! Like the crisp Arbi tuk and mugra chaat. Goan pulled pork does the dandiya with theplas. Eggs Kejriwal get yummier with Kerala coconutty chutney. It begins with the “chintus” (tiny floating snacks much like David Chang’s Ma Peche) super

Unda Curry Devilled Desi Eggs, paper-thin lotus-root fryums. Chhotas (salads, tacos and more) Badas (

Spiced Grilled Chicken Kaleji ) and we also ask for the “Patiala” ( large sharing dishes) fish. Chef Zachiaras’ coconutty My uncles mutton curry delights. Whoa! the rum-spiked Gulabnut, is Floyd’s improvement on the cronut, but for me its the fleshy guava tan ta tan ( tart tatin) with it’s red chilly icecream that works the magic. A fully stocked bar,c raft beers by The Gateway Brewing Co are the other upsides.

MINUS POINTS

My assistant calls to book the table in his name (I never book in mine) and is told they are booked up till 9.30pm.He persists and finally secures a booking for 7pmand for atleast the first two hours the cafe is more or less empty. The loud music jars and keep getting louder. Multi-Grain Khichdi, Steamed Kokum Idiyappam, banana deep fried pakodas

are ho hum. Infact, the vegetarian fare does not sparkle as much as the non veg one. Milk Braised Kashmiri Raan not available.Ice Cream Sandwich and masala chai popsicle sound better than they taste,

 

MY POINT

Balle balle! Indian cuisine gets its much needed complement of playfulness, modernism and global sophistication. Thankfully no molecular gastronomy here! No chicken tikka masala either!  Sure they don’t ace everything, the portions could be larger, the vegetarian fare more finetuned. Accessibility is the guiding ethos,  it is a go-to, drop-in (open for dinner only) canteen for enlightened food lovers on all budgets. I love the way this canteen  marries locally sourced, serious food with an ultra-casual, spontaneous dining ethos, Eating here feels unencumbered, honest and joyful…that word again!

P.S. I just hope this brand new Canteen keeps it up.

 

Bombay Canteen, Kamala Mills, S.B. Road, Lower Parel, Open for dinner only 7:00 pm – 1:00 am

Ph 49666666 Meal for 2 Rs 2000

RATING FOOD 4 SERVICE 4 DECOR 4