Friday, May 15, 2015

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Quinoa

For over 2 weeks now I am doing this Project #saladeveryday on my Fb page. I feel salads are a way of life and the easiest and fun way to include fresh veggies and fruits in your diet. With a fussy 7 yr old and an equally fussy husband when it comes to eating greens, I have been pretty much successful in this effort of mine.
This week its the the Salad Week at KFB and I made an easy  - Roasted Vegetable Salad with Quinoa. Now I am very new to quinoa, this is probably the first time I am using this grain as I have heard such nice things about it, it being sort of a wonder grain - gluten free and all that. My friend Sarani of Cocoawind uses it in many innovative ways! I found the texture nice and it went well with the vegetables alomost making it a complete meal.


Carrots - 1 medium - cubed

Cucumber - 1 medium - cubed with skin on

Mushroom - a cup - halved

Tomato - 1 large - cubed

Beans - a few - stringed and cut

Onion - 1 large - cubed

Oilve oil - 2 tbsp.

Honey - 1 tbsp.

Salt - to taste

Pepper - to taste

Balsamic vinegar - 1 tsp

Quinoa - cooked  - 1 cup - Follow instruction on packet. The quinoa to water ratio is 1:2.

Method :

In a baking tray toss together the cut vegetables with olive oil , honey, salt pepper and balsamic.

Heat oven to 180 degree C and grill the vegetables for 15 to 20 mins.

Serve warm along with the cooked quinoa.

                                          I am sending this recipe to the ongoing KFB event

The Kabab and Biryani Festival at Swissotel , Kolkata

Durbari - the Indian fine dining restaurant at the Swissotel is hosting a Kabab and Biryani Festival starting today. I was lucky enough to get invited for a preview of the same and I totally loved it. The menu is very innovative with very different and not run of the mill kababs and grilled items. They have introduced the concept of a set menu where diners get to taste a wide array of dishes at a fixed cost. The servings are unlimited and has three courses - almost 7 to 8 types of kababs , biryani and a dessert along with a glass of wine.
I had a chat with Asish - the F&B manager and also Chef Shubrodip Ghosh who has designed the menu. Each and every item included in the menu is new and will surely impress you. Set menus let the diners enjoy the courses well without getting overwhelmed when too many items are served at one go. There is a choice of Veg and Non veg - you choose what you want!The vegetarian selection has kababs like Aam aur chana ka kabab, Noril Makai ki seekh and Dahi potli to name a few while the non veg lovers can gorge on Lahsooni Tawa Jheenga , Saloni Machi Tikka , Murgh Chandi Kali , Shirka Pyaz Boti and so on!

The famous dips at Durbari

The yummy kababs

Noa sahi tangri - Tandoor roasted drumstick filled with spicy minced chicken

Dum Murgh Biriyani
The Gosht Dum Biryani was very flavourful doused with generous amount of desi ghee and succulent pieces of mutton served with a side of raita.
Gulam Jamun with Paan icecream
Finished the meal with Gulab Jamun and some homemade paan icecream which was a perfect end to the scrumptious meal. Dining at the Swissotel is always a pleasure and their top notch hospitality just make it even more special. I am off on a holiday tomorrow and there couldn't have been a better way to start my vacation.
If you are around this side of town or now with the summer hoilidays on, want to indulge in some good food, try out the Kabab and Biryani Festival here.

The set menus are priced @ 1700 INR for Vegetarian and @ 2000 INR for the Non - Vegetarian option. Servings are unlimited. It is on at Durbari for both lunch and dinner from today onwards.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Amritsari Pedewali Lassi - Your favourite summer drink made even better

I have been hearing and seeing so many pictures of Amritsari food on various food groups that I had to do some research. The Kulchas, the choley, the mithais, o my god the list is endless. I am not even thinking of the awesome non vegetarian spread you get there. But one such item that caught my fancy is the Pedewali lassi. Google didn't have extensive information on it but I chanced upon some recipes. Its super easy to make ( assuming this is an authentic recipe ) and its delicious. So when KFB announced their Summer Cooler event I jumped in to make some Amritsari Pedewali Lassi.God willing I will make a trip to Amritsar soon, till then I am treating myself to this yummy goodness.

Curd/yogurt - 2 cups
Malai peda / Khoya - 5-6 nos
Vanilla icecream - 1 scoop - my own addition as I thought it would add to the taste.
Sugar - 1 tbsp. - optional
Ice cubes - a few - optional
Crushed pistachios- a handful for garnish
Saffron strands - a few - optional
Just put everything in a blender except the pista and churn till frothy.
Serve chilled garnished with some crushed pistachios.

                               I am sending this recipe to the KFB Summer Cooler Event


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Groupon Dining Vouchers - A Review

So much has changed in the food industry in the last 5 years. A dining experience at a city 5 star or your favourite restaurant, then, needed a lot of planning and also the moolah but not anymore. Groupon has kind of revolutionised this whole eating out experience and at half the cost literally. Its a one of a kind service where you can avail a wide variety of deals on restaurants. You can know everything about Groupon here. I was approached by a reputed marketing firm managing the Groupon account to dine at one of their partner outlet. They gave me two vouchers to the Lunch/dinner buffet at Hyatt and I roped in the husband to join me for a weekday lunch.

The buffet is on at their 24 hr dining outlet The Waterside café. The ambience is soothing with view of water fountains through the glass façade. Since it was a kind of an official outing for me I wanted to inform the restaurant manager my purpose of visit. Unfortunately, what I got was a very vague response. After explaining myself to three people, the husband and me took a seat by the window. The waiter filled our glasses with water and left hurriedly.

I shall now get to the food and the spread instead of reaccounting my experience (to which I will get back later). The buffet at the Waterside Café has a wide range of everything. From salads to starters to main course to dessert and also a live cooking station. You can eat to your hearts content and be happy about it. And since you just pay just about the half of the original rate when you book through Groupon, double happiness there! The process is easy, you just need to take a printout of the deal voucher, hand it to the staff there and start with your meal.

Now coming back to my dining experience at Hyatt, a lot was left to be desired. At the very onset, they were clueless that someone would go to review on behalf of Groupon ( I was told they were already informed of my visit) and my attempt to make them understand wasn't helping either. The manager definitely needs puts a smile on his face, that would help him in a big way in the service industry. They were also quite uncomfortable with me taking pictures (that explains this almost pictureless post) and I was asked to wait for good 20 mins before they could tell me if it was ok to click or not. I was there for a quick weekday working lunch and wasting 20 mins already did not make sense to me. Honestly by this time I had got restless and was in a hurry to get out of there. Of course there was someone from the marketing team who came to ask if everything was ok but by that time the damage was done.

On a positive note, I did have a chat with their executive chef Clement D souza who told me that they experiment a lot with the buffet menu and try and make is as interesting as possible incorporating dishes from different cuisines. As I could see, the spread did have a good mix of indian and continental dishes to choose from.

They Hyatt offer is available till the end of this month and you can know more about it here

I would highly recommend Groupon to my readers ,because their deals are a steal!

Note: The folks from Edelman were kind enough to send me a couple of pics so adding it for your ref.