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.
The land of Kashmir has long been revered for its beauty. But, for me as a foodie I derive intrigue when the talk of Wazas or generations of Kashmiri cooks that cook up the royal Wazwan feasts springs up. These cooks are known to stir up close to 30-40 dishes for a single feast sometimes even working overnight with recipes that are a closely guarded secret. So, when Jyran - Tandoor Dining & Lounge at Sofitel, Mumbai decided to hold a Daawat-e-Kashmir festival showcasing glimpses of the elaborate Wazwan, I made a beeline to sample fares of this gastronomic style.
Meat is an integral part of the Kashmiri cuisine and therefore this gastronomy has an extensive repertoire of non-vegetarian preparations. Chicken and mutton are the favored meats for the traditional Wazwan meal. However, there are select vegetarian preparations that served up as well like the famous Dum Aloo, Rajma Masala and Nadru or lotus stem preparations.
The entire menu for the festival was curated by renowned chef Mujeebur Rehman and here is a look at my gluttony at Daawat-e-Kashmir festival.
Winters always draw my thoughts to the snow-capped region of Kashmir. I have always been in awe of this picturesque place and intrigued by its delicious cuisine that complements its cold climate and beautiful produce. The gastronomy is rich in use of mutton and poultry meats with a lot of attention to usage of spice providing natives the much needed heat from food.
Also, the Wazwan or the traditional, elaborate meal spread entailing 36-courses is the highlight of this cuisine and any epicure’s delight. The Wazas or chefs who prepare the Wazwan have recipes handed down through generations and retain their clan’s secret recipes even today to create an enormous and enchanting food spread.
The cuisine of North-west Frontier region of our Indian subcontinent has always intrigued me. This region comprises of lands stretching from Kabul, Kandahar, Peshawar to Lahore. This was the same route that the Mughal emperor Babur took to make his way into present day India although back then all these provinces fell under the jurisdiction of the Mughal Empire.
As a food blogger my intrigue for this gastronomy lies in the fact that modern day adaptations in most so-called Mughlai food eateries have their roots of kebabs, pulao, tandoor preparations stemming from this North-west Frontier cuisine. Chef Mujeebur Rehman has curated this 'CHRONICLES OF NORTH-WEST FRONTIER' food festival at Poolside restaurant at VITS Luxury Business Hotel, Mumbai. With his over two decades of experience researching and cooking this specific cuisine, he was very kind in shedding light on various aspects of North-west Frontier delicacies.
I am embracing 2017 with a lot of inspiration from Monisha Bharadwaj's latest book, The Indian Cookery Course. I was one of the privileged attendees who got to hear Ms. Bharadwaj share her acumen and passion for Indian cuisine at the Mumbai launch of this book held by Pan Macmillan India and Title Waves in association with Rushina M. Ghildiyal's APB Food Book Club.
A few minutes into the session and so enthralled was I with what the book held as culinary wisdom, that I could not wait to grab a copy for my possession. This book is Ms. Bharadwaj's 15th book exemplifying various nuances of the Indian gastronomy and in its lucid literary style is apt for even a person trying to just start his/her learning of the diverse Indian cuisine.
Move over single origin coffees, it’s the time to brew blends of your favorite morning beverage. Under the brand name SUNBEAN GOURMET COFFEE, ITC's Branded Packaged Foods business is bringing to our breakfast table two very rich, slow roasted and meticulously blended coffee fusions with the crème de la crème of Indian and Central American coffee beans.
These are NICAMALAI & PANAGIRI and these two coffee bean formulations have been arrived at after having tried more than thirty-five flavor combinations and clearing twenty-one quality checks of different coffee beans from the aforementioned geographical regions.
The advent of Friday is an excuse for revelry and what better way to commence the weekend than a soiree with fellow foodies from Food Bloggers Association, India (FBAI). Leaving behind the drudgery of the day, I made my way through the bustling, business locality of MIDC, Andheri East to arrive at Café Mojo in the Goldfinch Hotel.
Café Mojo has been designed around the theme of a modern day English pub complete with typical elements like beer taps, soft lighting, bricked walls and oak table setting. The place promises to delight the draught beer fanatics who now do not need to wait for someone to serve them chilled beer or refill their beer towers. With an interactive E-Pub mechanism patrons are just a card swipe away to pouring themselves their favorite, chilled beer from a beer tap at their very own tables.
As a person with a penchant for seafood, a food festival dedicated to the produce of the ocean is an occasion to engage in gluttony. Therefore, with my obsession for prawns and squid I made my way to Saptami, the multi-cuisine, buffet restaurant at Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport, Mumbai that is holding a delightful seafood festival until 18th December, 2016.
Saptami has been adorned in various elements reminiscent of a fishing village for this food festival, where as part of the dinner buffet a host of lip-smacking seafood preparations in regional as well as international culinary styles were presented by Executive Chef Sudhir Pai and his team.
The remarkable use of seafood was showcased in every food course right from soup to salads, appetizers to entrées, pickles to live teppan counter.
So, here is a look at my gluttony with some of the treasures of the sea at this food festival:
If you are an Axis Bank card holder, you have all reasons to rejoice. Through its #GourmetFest taking place until November 20, 2016, Axis Bank is providing an awesome dining experience to its patrons at some of the most renowned restaurants across Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi NCR. As part of the fest one can enjoy lip-smacking dishes part of especially curated set menus for just INR 799 plus taxes.
Here is a look at my gluttony at Cafe Zoe which is one of the renowned restaurants in Mumbai participating in this Gourmet Fest:
The mention of barbecue conjures up images of ranch and an alfresco setting where fresh meats are being cooked on charcoal fired grills. However, now you do not need to hunt for a farmhouse or ranch to enjoy a lovely barbecue. You can enjoy the pleasures of freshly grilled meats sitting by the poolside right here in Mumbai at the Hyatt Regency, Mumbai.
This upscale hotel in Mumbai suburbs just recently launched the concept of Backyard Barbeque for Friday evenings and is holding a fun buffet package comprising of different meat & vegetable options prepared at live counters and a salad & dessert bar.
- Regional Indian Food & Travel enthusiast