If you mention the name Alok Verma in Mumbai's food circuit, you will rarely come across someone who is not aware of him or his impressive work. From a doctor by education to a food blogger by passion, from an e-cookbook author to an extremely talented food stylist, this young man, all of 25, wears many hats with ease. His award winning, drool-worthy instagram handle @allaboutthatpalate is proof of his culinary and food styling prowess.
So today it is an absolute delight to have a tête-à-tête with this handsome man where he lets us into his world of food.
The mention of Burgundy conjures up images of lush French countryside blessed with scenic expanses of vineyards that produce some of the most exquisite and expensive wines of the world. Also, Burgundy's traditional cuisine, which is a melange of local household favourites to delicacies that originated in royal kitchens of France is not less illustrious either.
But, rarely do we see Burgundy's gourmet offerings showcased in depth in Mumbai. So if you want understand what Burgundy cuisine is all about, then 'An Evening in Burgundy' or simply the Burgundy food and wine trail at Le Cirque Signature at The Leela Mumbai is the perfect setting to commence your Burgundy exploration, both in terms of wine as well as food. Chef Lorenzo Severini, Chef de Cuisine at this Franco-Italian specialty restaurant is unravelling culinary marvels of Burgundy this month in Mumbai through a very specially curated menu.
The gastronomy of North-west Frontier lands of the Indian subcontinent entails food from the regions in and around Lahore, Peshawar, Kabul and Kandahar. I am fascinated with the culinary style of these lands as contemporary creations of Mughlai food we experience in restaurants today have born out of recipes of kebabs, breads and pulaos originating from this North-west Frontier cuisine.
Chef Mujeebur Rehman has curated a special spread inspired by flavors from culinary styles of the aforementioned places as part of dinner buffet until Sunday 5th Nov at Bayview. So, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to savour some rich and delectable preparations before the festival concludes.
Here is a look at my gluttony with some of the North-west Frontier cuisine speciality dishes as part of the dinner buffet at Bayview:
If you think healthy food isn't impressive, then the ‘Healthy Salad Specials’ menu at The Brasserie, the all-day dining café at Hilton Mumbai International Airport will surely change your outlook. Chef Balaji Srinivasan, executive sous chef of the property has put together a simple yet splendid a la carte menu of salads that integrates some fine culinary techniques and ingredients. I savoured quite a few of the salads and my palate felt indulged with all of them sans any guilt.
So, here is a look at some of his nutritious, delectable creations from this menu:
Mumbai's legendary seafood restaurant Mahesh Lunch home is holding an interesting Crab & Wine festival at its Juhu outlet until 17th October.
These crab delicacies cooked in Indian as well as culinary styles from across the globe have been curated as part of a special a la carte menu. Ample options are available in both appetizer & main courses for guests to make a choice that suits their taste buds.
Since I do not consume alcohol I did not sample the wines during the festival. However I went all out and tried numerous crab dishes in both courses.
Here is a quick glimpse of some of the dishes.
The mention of Rajasthan conjures up images of not only desert landscapes but also renowned clans like Rajputs, Marwaris, Mewaris and Shekhawats. These two factors have immensely contributed to the culinary legacy emerging from the state in terms of ingredients used, method of preparation and flavour profile.
The arid climate lends the cuisine with a heavy use of dairy products like milk, yoghurt and ghee as substitutes for water in this arid region. Also, the food is spicy to match up to the climate (as surprising as it sounds) and the heat in the food is balanced off with sweet ingredients. So, Rajasthani food is one that is high on taste playing in the range of spicy, tangy and not blatantly sweet flavour profiles.
The mention of North Indian food sets one’s mind racing in the direction of popular delicacies from cuisines like Punjabi, Kashmiri, Awadhi and Mughlai. However, the northern part of the country has many more culinary styles to offer that are yet to receive the attention that the aforementioned gastronomies have garnered. One such cuisine being Rampuri cuisine that was recently showcased at a specially curated food festival at renowned Masala Bay restaurant at Taj Lands End Hotel, Mumbai
Chef Mujeeb Ur Rehman, a descendant of khansamas in Nawab Wajid Ali Shah' court gave a glimpse of this lesser known cuisine from Rampur city of Uttar Pradesh state to Mumbaikars through some fantastic heirloom recipes during this festival that concluded on July 9.
Centuries ago the city of Rampur became renowned for being home to illustrious poets as well as numerous khansamas. It was the khansamas in the royal court of Rampur, who went on to give the Rampuri cuisine it's intricate flavours using predominantly khada masala or whole spices, nut pastes and highly aromatic ingredients like ittr, sandalwood powder to create a very refined gastronomy in terms of food technique as well as flavour profile.
In a typical Indian household PAPADS & BADIS are sun dried all through summer for use in subsequent monsoon to make up for lack of availability of a lot of produce during the rainy season. Primarily these two preparations are lentil based but some regional variations may also use rice or sago and follow an intricate process of preparation.
The women of the household engaged in making of the above preparations every summer. These preparations were made as part of a future food strategy planning at a time when there were no refrigeration techniques & local produce was available in specific seasons only. Today these practices are on a decline cause of year round availability of ingredients and sophisticated refrigeration techniques.
My intrigue in the food of beautiful Turkish lands of Izmir & Urfa began when I got hooked onto Turkish sitcoms Fatamagul and The Little Lord respectively on a popular TV channel. The shows constantly referenced yum food like kebabs, meat balls and fresh bread in different episodes. A quick trip to the Middle East gave further information into famed sweets called Turkish delights, flat bread gozleme, traditional ice-cream dondurma & many more delicacies.
This small exposure had left me enthralled and craving for Turkish food, which I could not find in Mumbai. But, with the recent Turkish Food Trails experience initiated by Pondichery Cafe in Sofitel Mumbai BKC in association with Turkish Airlines, I knew I had found a solution to beat my intense cravings for Turkish food. So, with much excitement I made my way to the aforementioned restaurant. Chefs Emre Guven & Ramazan Aydin had been specially flown in from The Elysium Istanbul - MGallery by Sofitel to provide Mumbaikars an authentic Turkish food experience under the aegis of Manav Koul Executive Chef at Sofitel - Sofitel Luxury Hotels and Resorts & his sous chef Gurpreet Singh. The food experience is part of regular lunch and dinner buffets at the café.
It was #WorldMacaronDay yesterday & just an excuse for me to indulge in one of my favourite sugary treats, the macarons.
So, lets find out what is so special about a macaron that makes it the talk of the town. Well, it is confection comprising of egg whites, sugar, powdered almonds and food colouring. The former two are ingredients that give rise to a meringue and hence the name macaron is the Italian term for meringue since this sweet delight is a meringue based dessert and finds its roots in Italy as long ago as 8th century. But, upon its advent on French soil in the 16th century the mixture of the three aforementioned ingredients was piped out as discs and two such discs were brought together after baking with a filling of jam or buttercream. That was the birth of the French macaron. So, this sweet delight that dates back to the 16th century has risen in popularity in India in the past half-decade or so with the arrival of chic dessert bars and patisseries.
- Regional Indian Food & Travel enthusiast