whats hot tasting session
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.
Jasper 8E, Olympia Opaline, OPP AGS, 33 Rajiv Gandhi Road, Navalur, Chennai 600130
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.
A-218, Bhaggyam Urban Ville,
Industrial Estate Road,
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)
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…
Navins starwood Towers
Mambakkam main road
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
THE MAHARAJA OF GERMANY
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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
DMs and retailing
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!