Sunday, April 27, 2014

Quick Fix Summer Salad

Hello All! Am sure you guys must be wondering whatever happened to me.Well a lot of things actually..friends visiting, sonny boy being unwell,short trip to hometown and then this disgusting Kolkata weather. I mean this is my 8th year in this city but it has never been this bad. And to be honest am in this constant fear that my little boy will not be able to cope up with the heat and fall ill. But then as my friends tell me that kids do just fine..its us moms who hyperventilate. After all we have also survived everything and come so far!

I am having to really drag myself to even make a square meal for my family.Now even the husband is noticing and asking me if everything is ok with me.So I decided that I HAVE to get back to my love.My dearest bunch of blogger friends at KFB have been whipping up delicacies and I am taking inspiration from them. This bout of laziness also meant that my pantry is practically empty and I am having to make do with whatever is available.

Making a start with a Quickfix Summer Salad with a dressing with Asian flavours. Hope you will like and I promise to get back full swing.I used everyday salad veggies like cucumber,onion,tomato,corn and some green apples which gave it the perfect balance.


Cucumber - 1 large - cut into cubes

Tomato - 2 medium - cut into cubes

Onion - 1 small - cut into cubes

Sweet corn - 1 cup - microwaved for 1 min

Green apple - 1 medium - cored and cut into cubes

Carrot - 1 large - cut into cubes

For the dressing:

Olive oil - 4 tbsp.

Roasted cumin powder - 1 tbsp.

Salt - to taste

Chili flakes - 1 tsp - adjust according to taste

Lemon juice - 1 tbsp.

Honey - 1 tbsp.


Clean the vegetables and cut them into cubes. Take a bowl of chilled water and immerse the chopped veggies for 15 mins.

In a glass bowl mix well all the ingredients listed under dressing. whisk well.

Drain the veggies and transfer to a salad bowl. Drizzle the dressing on top, mix well and chill in the refrigerator for a while.

Eat it as it is or it even goes very well with everyday home cooked meals like dal-chawal.

               I am sending this recipe to the ongoing event at KFB "Beat the Heat"


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Poila Boisakh Feast with ITC Sonar

Poila Boisakh or Bengali New Year is the time for hogging! We welcome the new year with sumptuous feasts and spread the love and cheer for better times ahead.When I was a kid this time of the year brought in a lot of happiness - new clothes and lots of good food. My family being the traditionalists one day before Poila Boisakh - that is on Sankranti we would be served pure vegetarian food - Enchod er Dalna( Jackfruit curry),Aam Dal( Lentils with raw mango) and Shojna Chorchori(Drumsticks cooked with mustard). This was basically done to cleanse the palate so that we could gorge on the non veg delicacies the next day! The tradition continues in my household. But with times certain things do change and now one has the luxury of taking the day off from kitchen on this auspicious day and still indulge in such traditional delicacies! With the emergence of speciality restaurants and the concept of fine dining taking the foodie world by storm one has so many options to choose from. All you need to do is dress up pretty and head to your favourite restaurant to relish the delicacies. KFB was invited by ITC Sonar to preview their brand new POILA BOISAKH MENU that has been specially designed by Chef Gaurav Lavania Sr. Sous Chef at the hotel. The interesting thing here is that Chef hails from UP and is married to a Bengali so that kind of influences his take on authentic Bengali cuisine.He brings in some subtle twist of taste to his dishes and as he rightly said that there has to be something different from the everyday home cooked meals. I couldn't agree more.

Our meal started with Gondhoraj Lassi. Very mild flavours of gondhoraj lime surely added to the taste and in this awful weather that we are experiencing here in Kolkata it was the perfect start to a wonderful afternoon.

The starter platter was a very interesting mix - something new and something very very rooted. It had Bhetki paturi (Fish fillets with mustard steamed in banana leaves) - quintessentially served as a main course I quite liked savouring it as a starter. Then there was Triguna Chingri Bhaja( crispy fried prawn) which had this quirky coating of posto,til and kalojeere! Crispy outside - soft inside - it was my most favourite item on the menu. And then there was our  good old Jhuri Aloo Bhaja.

Triguna Chingri
Bhetki Paturi

 As is the rule whenever we have such meets  - there was endless chatter and non stop flow of food. The main course had an extensive spread of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes served along with Luchi and Ghee Bhaat.

Aloo Posto ( Potato with poppy seeds), Narkel Diye Cholar Daal, Mochar Ghonto( Banana blossom curry) and Thor ( Banana stem curry) it was all there.I personally love vegetarian Bengali dishes so you can guess how happy I was to sample these.

Chingri Malai Curry

The non veg fare had every bangali's favourite dish - Chingri Malai Curry(Prawns cooked in coconut milk) Rui Kalia ( Rohu fish in a onion gravy ) and Kosha Mangsho( Spicy lamb curry). The Malai curry was nice a creamy, would have liked it a bit more sweeter though (blame my Dhakai genes, we put a pinch of sugar in every dish we cook) but I can understand that it was controlled keeping in mind varied taste of the customers.

Rui Kalia

The Kosha Mangsho was spicy and robust and full of flavours from slow cooking. The meat was succulent and juicy and was a match made in heaven with the Phulko Luchis! Got to know from Chef that it was more of a Murshidabadi preparation.

Kosha Mangsho
We finished off our meal with Aam Khejurer Chutney ( Raw mango and Dates chutney) and Papad just like we would do in a Bangali Biye Bari ( Wedding feast).

Aam Khejurer Chutney
I was totally full by now but my love for Indian/Bengali desserts took over me. I cannot resist Indian sweets - give me a sandesh or a rosogolla over chocolate truffle anyday. The dessert platter had Nolen Gurer payesh ( Date palm jaggery rice pudding), Rajbhog( a kind of rasgulla) and Chhanar Jilipi ( sweet made of cottage cheese). My favourite was the payesh - not too sweet and very flavourful. Relished on the Rajbhog and Chhanar jilipi too!

So that was the end to a great Bengali meal. Am leaving you with few more images to drool over. This is sure to make you crave for this meal this Poila Boisakh.If you are looking to take a break from savouring home cooked Bengali food and enjoy a selection of dishes with a subtle twist of taste - then this is surely for you.

All you have to do is head over to ITC Sonar and indulge in some great food which as they say is the soul of any ITC hotel.They believe that a hotel is a spirit of the city in which it stands and they work with this philosophy.

The Bengali Fare Buffet is on at the Eden Pavilion from 11th to 19th April (dinner buffet) and on 15th April traditional Bengali delights would be showcased both for lunch and dinner buffet).This would be in addition to the live action stations at the Eden Pavilion. The spread would include an array of Bengali veg and non veg delicacies.

Its priced at Rs.2000 plus taxes with soft beverages and Rs.2750 plus taxes for unlimited premium brands of select alchohol.

There is a Special Menu planned at Peshawari too if you crave for some North west frontier cuisine

For reservations and further details call - 033-23454545