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.
My recent tryst with Persian cuisine essentials like kashk, zershk and rob-e anar on my vacation to the Middle East had left my palate intrigued. While I did carry the latter two back to India, they soon ran out during my recipe trials. Ever since then I have been craving a meal dished up with these wonderful ingredients. So, the announcement of Persian Food Festival at Namak at Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai seemed like the perfect avenue to satiate my Persian food-starved taste buds.
This food festival taking place until March 12, is the brain child of Chef Mujeeb-ur Rehman hailing from the reputed gharana or clan of chefs/khansamas of the Wajid Ali Shah dynasty of Awadh and Chef Mona Nezhad, a home-chef from Hormuz, Iran. Together they have done an exceptional work of familiarizing Mumbaikars with the nuances of Persian gastronomy.
- Food & travel enthusiast