recipe

My Paradise Peru

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Dining at the most Romantic South American resort, with Thomas Moons and Tula Casteneda.

I write from foodie Paradise.  And what a magnificent gigantic one.  From the frozen peaks of the Andes to the roaring Pacific ocean, the deepest jungles of the Amazon, sand dunes, ancient Inca civilizations, Machu Picchu and the bustling gastronomic capital of Lima. Each region produces a staggering wealth of produce, vegetables, fruit, herbs, grains…you name it. And this great geographic and cultural diversity has brought ingredients ranging from highland tubers to tropical jungle fruits to a complex cuisine of Spanish, indigenous, African and Asian influence. For sure this vast country translates to paradise for us foodies. Ceviche with slivers of fiery chili and corn, slow-simmered stews, velvety Amazonian chocolate. I explore the bounty of food markets, sample grilled anticuchos (beef skewers) on the street corners  and (thanks to my co-chairperson of the Worlds 50 Best Restaurant Academy,   Diego Salazar) dine at the finest restaurants of Lima. But most excitingly, I check out Peru for Vegetarians (ably guided by Maria Jose, Sabrina Chaves, Elda Cantu) It’s a deliciously gourmet Vegetarian paradise too.

FROM LIMA TO THE SACRED VALLEY

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Lunching in the Sacred Valley with Chef Cesare Landau and Cesare Chiara

Please take a look at the accompanying photograph shot in the  globally awarded “Most Romantic resort of South America”. Im feasting not just on the superb Peruvian food but also on the stunning views. Dining on this luxurious rooftop with the glorious coastline of the Pacific ocean below,  is one of the many  memorable experiences that Belmond Miraflores Park serves up.  Helming it is the dynamic Thomas Moons with global experience and training as a chef too.  Lima born Tula Castaneda delights with her knowledge of  Peruvian cuisine. I lunch with them at their renowned  Tragaluz restaurant, chef Jean Paul Barbier’s quinoa tabouleh with  beetroot, mushrooms, watercress, makes a masterpiece out of potatoes with the Peruvian Yellow chilli,porcon mushrooms with truffle sauce and more. August Baert’s Tragaluz delights. Not only is the finest Peruvian chocolate used here, but their superb spa gives me a Chocolate massage too. This is definitely my idea of having my chocolate and eating it too.

In the Sacred valley ( an hour’s flight away from the bustling city of Lima) nature preens in all her magnificence. And it is here in the Belmond Rio Segredo,  that I lunch by the shimmering River Urubamba with the brilliant chef Cesar Landau. In the mellow sunshine of the Sacred valley, Chef Cesar’s creative cuisine with Peruvian ingredients delights, be it the tomato tree with water melon gazpacho, vegetarian ceviche with asparagus, mushroom and seaweed from the lake or the quinoa risotto.

I also get a superb Pisco tasting session from the knowledgable Cesar Chiara.

This award winning national drink is the purest brandy, and from the 8 grapes, two types of Piscos (aromatic and non aromatic)are made. I learn all about that famous  lemon, sugar and white of egg based cocktail Pisco sour. All this in the beautiful glassed in bar and restaurant overlooking the stunning gardens of the Rio Segredo. Close by the salt mines of Maras produce the delicious Maras salt from the ancient  times of the Incas. I can taste this vibrant salt in all my food and when it is used as a scrub in the Willka spa, it revitalizes me and Im ready to feast on Rio Segredo’s banquet again.

QUINOA RISOTTO

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Veggie Peru on a plate: Quinoa and avocado in the sacred valley’s Rio Segredo.

Here’s Chef Cesar Landau’s recipe . A delicious creamy way to  cook  the healthy, protein rich, gluten free quinoa. You can add or omit the vegetables.

Ingredients:

70 gr quinoa/40 gr mushrooms/20 gr zucchini

50 gr cream of milk/30 ml broth of vegetables/ 30 gr parmesan cheese/

2 gr chopped garlic/3 spears of asparagus/ 1  cherry tomato/

20 ml olive oil/5 ml truffle oil/Salt

Black pepper

Method

Boil water with rosemary in a pan. When the water is boiling add the quinoa. Cook for 20 minutes. Rinse the quinoa and let cool

In a frying pan, add olive oil, garlic and let cook till garlic turns golden. Then add the mushrooms, the zucchini and sauté. Then add the quinoa and the cream and let it reduce.

At the end check the salt and the parmesan cheese.Before serving, drizzle with  truffle oil.Grill the asparagus and served on  top.

My delicious discoveries

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Whoa ! What talent! What creativity and what a variety! Each time I conduct our “whats hot tasting session”  for home chefs, caterers and bakers in Chennai I get delighted …and impressed. We conduct this just before the iconic grand  dame, The Connemara went under revamp to emerge more beautiful than ever. Today, I serve up three yummy options…from eggless desserts and cakes to ready to cook chapattis and a culinary recreation school too.

SPRINKLES

Looking for  eggless (strictly) cakes and desserts? Cake pop bouquets, dessert cups, cupcakes, brownies and more? 100%veg mousse cups and dessert cups

The forever helpful Afzal Khan not only organises everything but also helps me with the tastings. He points out that their themed cake pops and cupcakes are delicious and sure-fire kiddie favourites.

Call the talented  Ayushi & Akshita Agarwal of  Sprinkles. Both are student entrepreneurs, use only the finest ingredients and take great pains to take ensure that their patisserie delights their clients. They take a minimum Order: for mini cupcakes and cake pops minimum order is 10 pieces while for brownies its 6 pcs

Aminjikarai, near Ampa Skywalk

Phone: 9840277690

Email: sprinklescakepops@yahoo.in

FOODOLOGY

How about celebrating and learning and eating…all at the same time? Unique and interesting food classes?  Mom/Dad& Me, Couples Date Night, Kids Parties, Mom & me, Dad& me etc. Go check out this creative recreational culinary studio.

A great way to have kiddie parties and spend quality time with your kids. Entertaining and Educational Cooking Experience for Toddlers to Teens.

A delicious way to celebrate! Couples that cook together, stay together! Create a meal that will be memorable and romantic!

Take a look the fun group photograph of the founder Shree Periakaruppan as well as a few of her culinary team. From Bee Bee Martinet’s Malaysian fare to, Tasneem Ayub’s Moghlai to Neelima Sriram’s vegan and vegetarian offerings.

Damayanthi Paul, teaches Sri Lankan cuisine. Kamalika Krishmy. Winner of Superfchef is sought after for desserts, baking and Indian Food!Sumi Shroff specialises in punjabi, fusion and kids menuPreethi  Venkatramani ,Baker Shyamala Sivaraman  and ChefNaren specialises in  Arabic  and international cuisine.  The founder Shree Periakaruppan a dynamic IT professional having lived for over a decade in Washington (and honed her cooking skills) set up Foodology two years ago. Since then, she has had Chennai eating out of her hands.

3A, Second Main Road, Kasturibai Nagar, Adyar. Landline: +91 24454885 and 900 305 4885. foodologychennai@gmail.com

DESI FOOD

Here’s an amazing success story built around ready to eat chapattis.  S. Srinivasan  left his successful corporate career and his wife Uma also quit her job  to take care of the production where two other women help her knead, roll out and seal chapattis. She continues to be a foodblogger.   Giving me his expert palatte opinion, is The Conemmara’s brilliant executive chef Jaffer Ali. We conducted this Whatshottasting session The couple began by supplying 350 ready-to-eat chappatis a day. Today, on an average, the unit at Madipakkam rolls out 3,000 every day.

Ofcourse, they did not stop there.  Snacks, healthy options and more. Chapatis, Pooris, Methi Chapatis and Ragi Chapatis, made with hygienic manufacturing and packing process ensures that the  freshness of the Chapati is retained.  High quality whole wheat flour, oil, salt and mineral water are used. Organic food including samosa, ragi rolls and short eats and podis. Bulk orders, snacks for Events are all part of their repertoire.

Plot No 3032, 1st Floor, 6th Main Road, Ramnagar South, Madipakkam, Chennai 600091

Phone: 9500021540 / 9962530871 / 044-22580049

Email:desifoods.chennai@gmail.com

AN OPEN INVITATION

Are you a home chef? Conduct any foodie services out of home? Would you like to be part of our next “Whatshottasting session’? Please mail your details of work and contact to  rashmiudaysingh2016@gmail.com,  instagram, twitter @rashmiudaysingh Please put “Chennai whatshottasting in the subject line.

Whats Hot Tasting Session

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Talent Unlimited: L to R – Varun Ahuja and Anuj Bagri, Bharti and Bhavna Kumar, Mani Vinaik, Mugdha Agnihortri, Geetha Shridhar, Amna Shehzad Furniturewala, Mrudula Putchahas, AN Malhotra (centre) Radhika Ichhpuniani, Baijul Rathod.

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(W) | 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(W) | 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(W) | 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.

Energy Cuisine

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MAKE FOOD YOUR MEDICINE: DR BENEDETTO REISCH & CHEF KARSTEN WOLF TELL US HOW.

A request. Please take a look at the photograph I’ve shot in the kitchen of this state of the art, medical spa. What you see being extruded from the machine is zucchini and it will be used to make “spaghetti”. And here’s the most crucial part, along with the brilliant chef Karsten Wolf  is the highly qualified and experienced Doctor Benedetto Reisch the dynamic medical Director of the world famous Lanserhof. And this is exactly how the food and the recipes have evolved here…70 chefs and as many doctors did scientific research  together and created the recipes. I’m sure you’ll agree with me that, nowadays, there are as many theories about which foods to eat as there are foods. Confusion, confounded. Whats good one day is declared to be a villain the next day.

Finally, here’s the final word and it is born out of hard core research. This comes from Germany, from the leading Lanserhof medical institution, which has been at the forefront of cutting edge research and most interestingly is based on a symbiosis of traditional naturopathy and state-of-the-art medicine treating both mind and body.

Having blazed trails for thirty years, Lanserhof is Europe‘s leading centre for regeneration and preventive medicine. Lanserhof medical spa, the oasis of regeneration  is perched on the mountainside overlooking meadows, forest and Lake Tegernsee.

It is based on the Classical Mayr Medicine, genetic diagnostics, energy and information medicine and quantum physics with the age-old wisdom of healers, As the dynamic and charming Dr Benedetto explains, “Dr. Franz Xavier Mayr was an Austrian naturophathy physician and researcher, who developed early recognition diagnostics and therapy to cure what we call today chronic lifestyle illnesses”. Here’s the important point,   …The focus is on the digestive system and food.

LANS MED CONCEPT

What we eat, how we eat and what time we eat is a very crucial part of the  LANS Med Concept which consists of four stages of therapy developed by Dr. F. X. Mayr:

1. Rest: Recovery and regeneration of the digestive system

2. Cleansing: Detoxifying and de-acidification of the body

3. Training: Training to achieve a change in lifestyle

4. Substitution: Individual supplementation with vital substances

The therapy activates each person’s basic healing process especially for nutrition-related health problems and brings the metabolism back to balance.
WHAT ? WHY ENERGY CUISINE?

It’s high energy,  it’s easily digested, good health and pleasures of the palate are not mutually exclusive. Energy Cuisine reflects the state-of-the-art research findings of nutritional science, yet still places great emphasis on regional, organic and fresh produce cooked in gentle, product protecting ways.

Energy cuisine results in a strong immune system. Plenty of energy, since there are no heavy hard-to-digest foods that make you sluggish and tired. It provides an ideal balance in the acid/alkaline foods. Through nutrition along Energy Cuisine guidelines, great care is taken to distribute mealtimes correctly over the course of the day.

Burdening the system in the evening is avoided, so it results in sound sleep. Reduced allergies, since fresh produce is used. It results in Healthy blood pressure and of course Enjoyment – without a guilty conscience.

WHEN?
Optimum nutrition at the right time reinforces natural metabolism phases,  turning food to energy. The upshot: better digestion, higher energy quotients, which in turn stokes up the combustion process.A heavy breakfast in the morning? Why?

Our enzymes (protein molecules that control metabolism) are very active Cortisone, adrenaline and thyroid hormones all attain their highest levels during these hours. So what you eat during this period is assimilated really well. Breakfast is the only meal at which heightened carbohydrate consumption does not cause you to put on weight. Give your body high value protein, vitamins and minerals from fresh fruit and vegetables in the morning. Lunch between 12 and 1,30 pm and dinner before 6,30pm is recommended.

The importance of drinking plenty of water underpins the concept of Energy cuisine. It aids in regulating body warmth, further digestion and cardio-vascular functions and remove toxic and damaging substances from the body cells.

It is advisable to drink about 2 liters of water daily.  However for thirty minutes before and after eating, one should not drink. Water dilutes the stomach’s digestive juices and can lead to chronic digestive problems.

HOW?

You’ll be amazed at the difference eating slowly and mindfully can make. This is one of the most important principles. Not only  do you taste each and every ingredient and enjoy it but you digest it all and have a good digestion and great energy.

ENERGY CUISINE RECIPES

The chef has very generously shared some of his amazing energy cuisine recipes. Last fortnight, I was flooded with requests for the Agar agar and detox biryani recipe. Sorry for the delay in sending them to you will do so in the next few days. Should you need Energy cuisine recipes, please instagram, tweet @rashmiudaysingh email rashmiudaysingh2016@gmail.com

Recipe for energy

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Energy cuisine: Chef Karsten Wolf with Dr Benedetto Reisch.

I’m on a quest. As a food critic I not only research (read eat) and write about whats delicious and assess the worlds best restaurants as regional jury chairperson of international academies but am on a mission  to find out whats the final word on what to eat. How to eat and when to eat. And here in the spectacularly beautiful Bavarian mountainside overlooking meadows and forests I find my answers. Its at the world famous Lanserhof medical institution,  which has been at the forefront of cutting edge research and is based on a symbiosis of traditional naturopathy and state-of-the-art medicine treating both . It is based on the classical Mayr medicine and the digestive system and food plays a very important part in it.

The photograph I shot just outside the dining room says it all… Along with the brilliant chef Karsten Wolf who specializes in “Energy Cuisine” is the highly qualified and experienced Doctor Benedetto Reisch the dynamic  medical Director. And this is exactly how the food and the recipes have evolved here…on the basis of research of 70 chefs and as many doctors.
Here I am learning not only the basic principles of what, how, when to eat but also meditation, hypnotherapy…you name it. Attending superb cooking and  baking classes and collecting “Energy cuisine” recipes too. should you need them please email rashmiudaysingh2016@gmail.com

Review: Havana Cafe & Bar

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Are you excited by food? By travel? Does the very name “Havana café” propel you to come rushing to it in Colaba, in the hope of being transported to Cuba? It had that effect on us, we rushed here but alas! The food was anything but Cuban. But boy! Was I transported? Not to Cuba but to the most undiscovered gems in India.

Read my detailed review on timescity.com

France’s best kept secret

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Michelin starred Maestro Chef Arnaud Faye, Cyril Akimowicz and Lucie Rousseau.
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World famous Chantilly cream

I’m excited. I’m learning at a very fast pace. I’m also luxuriating in all the deliciousness of the experience. I’m in France, my most favorite country and that too in Picardy (where France was born), right next to Paris. I have so much to share and a space constraint, so am going to serve you, small DID U KNOW bites.

DID YOU KNOW…FRANCE WAS BORN IN PICARDY? And this in 486 when Clovis made Soissons the first capital of the Franks, in 486, and later Hugues Capet, was elected king of France at Senlis and crowned at Noyon in 987.

So you see how  this past makes Picardy the original French region?

DID U KNOW…  WORLD-FAMOUS CREAM CHANTILLY WAS INVENTED IN THE 17TH CENTURY ?  The bowl of cream you see in the photograph is no ordinary cream, it’s the stuff dreams are made of. It’s velvety, it’s silky, its Chantilly. It takes it’s name from the domaine of Chantilly  which is part of the regionof Picardy. I not only get a delicious taste of the crème Chantilly in it’s birthplace but also watch it being whipped into the magical snow that it is. It was first created herein the royal banquets centuries ago by the famous ood maestro Vatel. Its in  the picturesque cottage-like Restaurant du Hameau (in the grounds of the castle) that I taste the authentic version.  Along with Olivier and Lucie not only do we eat up the creme Chantilly (with strawberries) but I also go back In a horse carriage (this is the equestrian capital of France) and in the luxurious yet cozy  Auberge du jeu de Paume hotel’s spa, actually have a chantilly cream massage. This is what I call, “having my cream and eating it too” . it sure is the world’s  crème de la crème!

DID YOU KNOW… THIS FAIRY TALE LAND IS NEXT TO THE PARIS AIRPORT?

Not only is Picardy a fabulous fairy tale region but (hold your breath)  it is located twenty minutes away from Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport. It’s also within one of the largest most beautiful forests of the Paris region. Im just about getting over these pleasant surprises,  when like in a fairy tale, the Chantilly castle  seems to rise out of the tranquil lake. I zip through it’s finest French collection of ancient masterpieces, (second only to the Louvre) Picardy has carefully preserved the elements of true French lifestyle – medieval châteaux, typical French villages, spectacular seaside resorts, gourmet food, stunning cathedrals, cultural treasures, champagne routes, romantic gardens, and not to forget a certain French art de vivre…

From taking a boat ride on the Floating Gardens, to riding  Europe’s most sensational roller coasters at Park Asterix, I do it all

DID YOU KNOW … DESI FOOD PAIRS WITH FRENCH CHAMPAGNE ?

More suprises…not only does French champagne pair brilliantly with Indian food, but I do an actual tasting of both together. And that too in the historic, medieval cellar of Champagne Pannier. Even though Ive done a lot of TV shoots for my show in the Champagne region I had no idea that the Champagne Tourist Route runs through the Picardy region. A walk through with the champagne expert in the Pannier medieval underground cellar is an amazing trip into history. The guided tasting of the exquisite champagnes is equally amazing. But what blows my mind  is how the French not only pair their precious champagne with Indian kababs and curries but also make an effort to do so for us Indian visitors.  And this premium champagne is served in the l’Elysée Palace (French President’s house) and Air France Business Class too.

MICHELIN MASTERPIECES

Over centuries, Art in every form  has been nurtured in Picardy by kings and queens and llustrious families. Creative geniuses have from Vatel, organiser of extravagant banquets for Louis XIV, to Le Nôtre, creator of magnificent French-style gardens have been celebrated here. Continuing this noble tradition the elegant luxury hotel,  Auberge du Jeu de Paume,  keeps the flame of this tradition burning with its gourmet restaurant, Michelin starred La Table du Connétable.

Arnaud Faye honed his skills under the superstars of gasronomy fromMichel Roth at the Ritz, Thierry Marx at the Mandarin Oriental and is now a superstar himself. He serves up a mix of innovative ideas and revamped classics, celebrating terroir ingredients and traditional know-how.  From Adour salmon façon Bearnaise to crispy ravioli stuffed with green peas.Each dish is a masterpiece. Picardy pampers in every way.

Recipe: Chicken tagine with Dates and Honey

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Chef: Dev Malik

Cuisine: Moroccan

Category: Main Course

Serves: 4-6

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Prepn/Marin: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 kg. Chicken, boneless

2 tbsp. Olive oil

2 Onions, finely sliced

4 Garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp. Cumin seeds

1 tsp. Ground ginger

1 tsp. Ground turmeric

1 tsp. Ground cinnamon

½ tsp. Chilly powder

¼ tsp. Nutmeg

375 ml Chicken stock

250 ml Water

85gms. Seedless dates, halved

60 ml Honey

80 gms. Blanched almonds, toasted.

1 tbsp. Chopped fresh coriander leaves.

As required Salt

Method:

Cut the chicken into strips. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a pan, add chicken in batches, and cook stirring until brown. Drain on absorbent paper.

Heat remaining oil in the same pan, add onions, garlic, cumin seeds and the other spices. Cook stirring until onions are soft.

Return chicken to pan with stock and water. Simmer covered for 10 minutes. Remove lid. Simmer about 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly and chicken is tender. Adjust seasoning.

Stir in dates, almonds honey and nuts. Sprinkle with fresh coriander.