whats hot tasting session

HEALTHY SNACKING

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HEALTHY SNACKING

It’s been my lifelong quest…to find the secret of howto to dine non-stop gourmet and yet stay healthy. To continue to enjoy all tastes and flavours, to be able to digest it all and then go back for more. I wrote a weekly health column for a national daily for fifteen years. Produced, scripted, directed, presented 52 episodes of a health show on TV and through it all spent lots of time with doctors, specialists, ayurvedacharyas, nutritionists and more. And it was a common consensus, the source of health and energy was the digestive system. And to keep this system working in top form, it was essential to eat healthy (ofcourse) and eat a balanced diet (ofcourse) and to avoid snacking (possible?). We all feel like a nibble every now and then…so the question arises is there such a thing as “healthy snacking?”

Muffins without maida?

Ragi jowar bajra ones?

 Red velvet with beetroot? Healthy, sugar free cookies? Trust the charming baking grandma Maggie Naidu to think of health first. Her

2grandsons here from Holland, David Rehan Ravin vouch for these. As does the charming Anusree Nair who popped in just when I was doing the tasting session.

Healthy cookies: Maggie Naidu and gourmet Anusree Nair

Jasper 8E, Olympia Opaline, OPP AGS, 33 Rajiv Gandhi Road, Navalur, Chennai 600130

9841570111

Quinoa Digestive Biscuits and Naan Khatai?

Energy bars, made of natural sugars with  a low glycemic index… made of seeds, nuts and dryfruits?Pratima Manikandan’s ingenious bars and crackers are the answer.

Energy Bars made of Millet and walnut seeds, nuts, berries, millets and natural sugars to bring together a nutritious snack on the go.

All sweetened with the super healthy dates.

I love biting into the wafer thin, savory seed crackers made entirely of seeds and nuts.

Prathima Manikandan s unique home made seed crackers and energy bars

Prathima Manikandan

A-218, Bhaggyam Urban Ville,

Industrial Estate Road,

Thoraipakkam,

ph: 7358306633/044 48536641


OILS WELL THAT ENDS WELL

The good news begins : A fourth generation Agriculturalist, whose family has it’s own ground nut and coconut farms. She majors in Bs c nutrition and goes on to make cold pressed oils

 from their farm produce of coconut and ground nut in Chikballapur.

Wooden churners extract oils(Marra chekku method)

Cold pressed oils, Sabitha Rakin and Rajeshwsri Muthuraja

These cold pressed oils have no chemical additivesm no crude oil and the fizz shows purity

I m happy to meet 38 year old enterprising Sabitha Rakin

 And  Rajeshwsri Muthuraja  her mother in law who personally ensure and make these cold pressed oils.

They also have packets of Cows ghee…and this too is made from milk from their own 18 cows.

They need  a day’s notice.

Only home delivery…

Sabitha Rakin

Navins starwood Towers

Mambakkam main road

Medavakkam

+91 9176112121

WHATSHOT HOME-BAKER TASTING SESSIONS

I maybe traveling the world but I always circle back to Chennai. Ive been flying in from Mumbai and setting up “whats hot tasting sessions” past 15 years. And with each session I get even more impressed

Infact, in EACH AND EVERY COLUMN there is a local “Foodline” with the latest onChennai’s home catering and baking as my Chennai based assistant Anjali keeps a tab and has been doing so for over 15 years. We held the last one in ITC Grand Chola , which is where I tasted the healthy snacks made by  Prathima and Maggie and got to know all about Sabitha Rakin’s unique cold pressed oils. Should you wish to take part in the next whatshot tasting session please mail rashmiudaysingh18@gmail.com, anjalisharma966@gmail.com

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Recipe: Adlon-Currywurst

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THE MAHARAJA OF GERMANY

Maharaja of Patiala’s fountain: Vijay Vyas, Sabina Held, and Chef Hendrik Otto

Q: What do the Maharaja of Patiala,  Einstein, Berlin currywurst (curry sausage), Michelin starred meals and singing bowl healing, have in common?  Ans: Berlin’s magnificent, over a century old legendary landmark Adlon. The world distils itself on my plate here amid  outstanding culinary talent, luxury, old world graciousness and modern high-tech. Renowned as one of Germany’s finest hotels, since 1907, it truly has been the Maharaja of Germany. Under the same roof, I get a taste of the local Berlin signature  Currywurst, an uber gourmet two Michelinstarred  meal and  also flavorpacked Pan Asian dishes. I not only taste but also request recipes of these. And how do I taste the Indian connection? By requesting Vijay Kumar Vyas to do a healing singing bowl meditation for me.  Not only did the Maharaja of Patiala stay here regularly, ( as did and still do global royalty, heads of state, Hollywood and Bollywood superstars) but he also gifted Adlon a priceless elephant fountain (please see photograph) which occupies pride of place  in the throbbing heart of the hotel. In front of this elephant fountain I catch up with the charming, knowledgable Sabina Held and the celebrated chef Hendrik Otto of the two Michelin starred restaurant, Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer and request their Vijay Kumar Vyas to do my favourite tree pose.

This is when I get to know of about Albert Einstein, Angelina Jolie, Charlie Chaplin to Barack Obama who stayed here.

BERLIN’S CURRY SAUSAGE

Chef Michele Muller of Restaurant Quarre.

I remember shooting (several years ago) for my TV show in Berlin and tasting the Berlin currywurst.  The history of this sausage dish dates back to 1949. Herta Heuwer prepared the very first currywurst in her snack stand in Berlin-Charlottenburg when mixing a sauce consisting of tomato paste, curry powder, Worcestershire sauce. Though this was not a favorite of mine, the Adlon version of  currywurst delighted. I ate mit in their Restaurant Quarre while sitting outside on the terrace, within airkissing distance of the landmark Brandenburg gate, I tasted the “Adlon-Currywurst”. Here, the talented Chef Michéle Müller offers local specialties and

international classics  with a modern twist.

Recipe „currywurst“ sauce

2 pieces onion

3 stems lemongrass

10 pieces lime leaves

4 pieces thumb-sized ginger

½ piece garlic

5 pieces star anise

2 grams cumin

10 pieces cloves

3 tbsp. curcuma

2 tbsp.  curry powder

1 litre mango puree

1 litre Coca Cola

10 litre ketchup

 

Cut the onions into cubes and sauté together with the flavors and spices.

 

Douse with mango puree and Coca Cola and reduce them.

 

Fill it up with ketchup and bring to a simmer. Cover the sausages with it. Serve.

 

 

 

PAN ASIAN

Pan Asian maestro Chef Kai Weigand of Sra bua by Time Raue

Delicious surprise! Tasting   awesome Asia’s culinary diversity in Berlin. Right here in The Adlon’s restaurant “Sra bua by Tim Raue”. Here, the brilliant head chef Kai Weigand, serves up modern Pan-Asian cuisine executed with seasonal produce. I taste his creations, simple, light and intensely flavorsome, precise with a perfect balance between sweetness, acidity and spiciness. On my request,  Chef Kai shares the recipe of the amazing Wasabi prawns, should you need it please email me rashmiudaysingh18@gmail.com as it is too lengthy to reproduce here.

 

HIGH END GASTRONOMY

Dazzling mastery of the culinary arts “tradition eats modern”. Any wonder that Adlons restaurant  Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer has been showered with two prestigious Michelin stars and a huge number of other awards? The European-inspired, imaginative and contemporary creations, it’s classic menu is reminiscent of the hotel’s illustrious past delights. ‘Adlon-style fillet of sole’  the famous ‘Canard a la presse’ are Chef Hendrik Otto s masterpeices.

Here, I have an amazing meal of vegetarian masterpieces too. This, since  Im researching vegetarian dining in Berlin. Masterpieces of flavour and texture dazzle.

 


CHENNAI S CULINARY  HOME-TALENT

…VEGAN HERBISTORE

HERBI STORE’s Akhil and Ranjani

Delicious talent! Ever since last fortnight when I wrote about our Whatshot Tasting session, Ive been flooded with reader- queries about details of the home-bakers and caterers who attended it. I flag off  the series  with the youngest, the talented and committed 18 year old Ranjani and Akhil’s superb HerbiStore. Absolutely loved their creations and was even more thrilled to know that theyre all vegan, sans white sugar too. Guiltfree feasting on intense chocolatey“Peanut butter cups”. Needless to add the protein rich peanut butter is homemade. Couldn’t stop eating the Fudge Brownie in a jar and the Cookie dough.You can order on

@Herbistore_official

DMs and retailing

Ranjani- 9789254650

Whats Hot Tasting Session in Chennai

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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.

 

SONYA’S SURPRISES

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SONYA SRINIVASAN ‘S AMAZING CREATIONS BEING TASTED BY CHEF JAFFAR ALI AND RAKESH RAGHUNATHAN

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

KHANDANI SWEETS: SOBIA AND AZRA  WITH  AFZAL KHAN
KHANDANI SWEETS: SOBIA AND AZRA WITH AFZAL KHAN

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 sobihabibunissa@gmail.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!