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Some people are too stingy in sharing a recipe not knowing that the taste lies in the tact, interest and passion of the person who cooks - I believe-Sharing is caring -Pushpee

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Rich’s Gourmet Guide 2016

Entering a roomful of designer cakes was the biggest surprise for me. I have never seen such a big selection of beautiful cakes, neither at a party nor at any patisseries. It seemed like fairy tale word!!

Chef, chefs at everywhere, some carving out attractive figures from candy clays, some demonstrating the techniques of glaze truffles to coat the cakes, some designing chocolate ribbons and some creating innovative candy flowers. Then there were also chefs preparing smoothies/fruit mocktails and some baking savories/soups.

RICH”S GOURMET GUIDE 2016 organised by Rich's Graviss was the first of its kind held in Mumbai at Hilton Hotel. This endeavor was undertaken to bring the international food trends to its food service and bakery customers in India. Their large variety of products like Niagara Farms, Whip toppings, Truffle base, Cremagic, Nugel-Neutral, Chocolate compound kept the home-bakers mesmerised.

There was an interesting talk by celebrity Chef Varun Inamdar Master Indian Chocolatier. He showcased live demonstration of global trends in foods and his first volume of Barcode- Artisanal chocolates with flavours across 5 states of India, his message being ‘work with honesty and interest’.

I attended the live demo of  Beverage session and Cake session.

In demo of beverage session, the chef used the product Niagara Farm to prepare pineapple  Smoothie, freak shake, bubble tea and cold coffee.

Chef prepared smoothie by blending yogurt, honey, mint leaves, pineapple pieces, whipped cream, ice and chilled water.

In another pretty glass jar, he placed strawberry jelly, then poured jasmine ice tea. Prepared a foam by mixing equal ratio of cream, milk and water and covered the tea with this foam.

The freak shake was an interesting drink. He got a jar and applied the chocolate on the rim of the jar, then blended brownies, castor sugar, Olio biscuits, Niagara farm milk, cream and poured it into the jar. Covered it with brownie cake and cream…very freaky indeed!!

In another session of Cake designing, Chef demonstrated the new trends of making cakes by using chocolate biscuits and Indian sweets like rosgolla to give a completely new taste. He gave a live demo of making truffle for coating cakes to give a shiny look. He made glaze by mixing 1kg of Cromagic with 200gms of Nuegel and 1.5 kg of dark compound. He boiled Niagara farm and poured it over chocolate compound, using spatula to mix. The mixture has to set it in fridge and then double boil and poured over  the cake to give a shiny chocolate look. The cake can then be decorated with chocolate chips and candy ribbons.

I had a lovely time listening to home baker’s stories.  Many of the women were full time home bakers and were so very interested in learning the new techniques. 

The main objective of the event was to make our bakery and food service customers aware of global trends and also global cuisines which could be made using Rich’s products. The purpose is to inform and upgrade the quality of offerings of both bakery and food service operators to general public. I believe with Rich’s Gourmet Guide 2016, we have been able to achieve that.” Said Pankaj Chaturvedi, CEO & Executive Director at Rich Gravis Products Pvt. Ltd

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Turkish Delight - Baklava

It was my nephew’s birthday and I wanted to make some sweet dish for him. His family like cakes and it is always bought from store. I decided to make Turkish delight- Baklava.

Now, I have never made Baklava, it would be first time for me too.  Back in those days, for a new dish, we had to join the cooking class to learn it from experts. But thank goodness, there is U-tube – our guru.

I saw more than 10 videos of different ways that people made this dish, around the world. It was so easy.

So what is Baklava?

Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry made of layers of filo/phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey.

I decided to make from scratch.

Made the Phyllo dough by mixing flour with salt, lemon juice, olive oil and water. At first it will be sticky but working on it for about 10 minutes will give a smooth dough. Keep it in fridge for some time.

Make small balls, I made about twenty.

Roll them to 2-inch diameter and stack them

Take a stack of three layers, with enough flour between them and roll them to 6-inch diameter

Separate one end and roll it over

Roll out the one layer

Unroll the layer in the greased baking dish.

brush the pure ghee over the layer. You can also use olive oil or unsalted butter instead of pure ghee

Repeat this process for ten layers, separating each layer, and laying them in baking dish and brushing each layer with oil

Crush walnuts and pistachio and spread evenly over the layers.

Cover the dry fruit layer with ten more layers of rolled dough, separating each layer with a film of ghee

Cut through to make smaller slabs

Ready to go to oven after evenly spreading a film of ghee

Bake it for 20 minutes

Normally people make syrup but nowadays syrup bottles are readily available and come in different flavours. I used mint flavoured syrup.

Pour the syrup generously over the baked babes.

Sprinkle the rest of walnut and pistachio mixture and serve.

 It is perfect gift to give somebody and my nephew loved it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Stuffed Bread at Potluck

During my visit to super market, I chanced upon this box of flatbread mix. I read the instructions on the box, it was easy to follow. It was just mixing and baking, as simple as that. I was naturally interested.

The packet had flour with herbs and a packet of yeast. I brought it home then waited for some occasion to try this out. Making only for my self is not my idea of fun. Sharing with friends and enjoying the meal has different kind of pleasures.

The opportunity finally arrived when my friends planned a potluck lunch. I told them I would make stuffed Pizza with spinach and mushrooms. But what I had planned did not happen. I had ordered Spinach but my vegetable fella ditched me the last minute, and also, one of my friends warned me not to use mushroom, (she hates it, she said) so I was to make changes and think of more friendly veggies.

I don’t normally follow the instruction on the box, I like to create my own recipes.  So although the box said plain flat bread, I had other plans. I decided to make stuffed bread instead.

I made the dough using yeast and milk

Left it in a warm cabinet for over two hours till it grew double its size.

In the meantime, I prepared other ingredients.

Grate the cheese and keep it aside

Chop onions, capsicum and green chilies, boil corn and green peas, and crush dry fruits like almonds and walnuts. Keep them aside

Prepare tomato pure,  fry in oil with garlic and black pepper, add little sugar and tomato sauce.

Back to the dough after two hours, I spread the dough on a plate

Spread the tomato puree

Spread all the vegetables and dried fruits

Cover it with grated cheese

Add spice powders such as Chili lime seasoning, cheese powder, cinnamon powder, paprika and garlic powder

Fold the dough over the veggies 

Cover the baking tray with aluminium foil. Asahi Kasei is the best brand that I have used so far, specially when I do not want to use oil, I just layer my tray with this foil and the food does not stick to trays.

Transfer the bread roll on to baking tray

Make cuts on the bread roll

Baked it for 15 minutes in pre-heated oven on high heat

Slice, top it with grated cheese and served it warm.

You had to be there to taste……everybody loved it…

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Orange Is the Color in Summer

Its too hot nowadays and you can find juice stall almost in every street of Mumbai. The price of the juice may vary from lane to lane and from shop to shop. One street hawker sells it for Rs35 and twenty steps away, on linking road, it shoots up to Rs60. Have it in restaurant and pay Rs150 and if you are in five-star hotel, then it can spiral to their whims.

But, this is the perfect juice to heat summer.

In my photography challenge, I was asked to post pictures with three different stories.

I went specially for orange shopping. The oranges are not really fresh, but I have clicked in the afternoon, in natural light by the room window. The pictures then transported to photoshop for little editing.

so here it is:

Kill summer heat with orange juice

Oranges on the go

Fruit Basket

Thursday, April 21, 2016

One Evening at True Tramm Trunk

True Tramm Trunk at Juhu seems to be the favorite hangout place for youngster. They have the most peppy music that is quite loud and catchy, the leaves little quiet moments for conversation but everybody was tapping their feet, swinging their body as they sipped on drinks and enjoyed the finger food.

The ambience is good, with low-lit rooms, seating is either on high table-chair or a comfortable islands of easy sofas with cushion for relaxed evening. Two walls address a big TV screen playing some sports or other, while other walls have attractive wall art. There is a separate large room where one can have private parties.

It was interesting to see tables lined up with crushed ice at the centre of the table, where one could keep the bottles to cool while they feasted on finger food.

I was there on invite to #FBAISoiree and sample the new drink, ‘Turning Point Sangria’. It’s specialty being that you could drink straight from the bottle, while on the go. There were two unique flavors: Metropolitan and Nashik Mule.
Metropolitan is the combination of red wine, sugar and nature identical flavors of orange and cranberry. You could drink it chilled, directly from bottle, or pour it in glass, add some chopped apples and oranges and top it with ice.
Nashik Mule is the perfect blend of white wine, sugar and nature identical fruit flavors of orange and ginger ale. You could drink it chilled or pour it in glass. Add some chopped apples, oranges and curry leaves and top it with ice.

A brief hic-story of Sangria

In 200BC, the Romans plant vineyards in Spain. The locals make merry of concocting a fruit punch which was referred to as Sangria and have been thanking Romans ever since
In 1964, the Big Apple gets its first taste of Sangria at the World Fair. Americans take to it like fish to water.
In 2014, Turning Point Sangria launches in India and turns the century old drink into modern and cool beverage!

It was great meeting other food bloggers. Our #‎Quizmasters Alok and Saher killed it with the #‎FBAIQuiz with 5 teams asking questions on all things Food and Sangria! There was continuous stream of finger food appearing at intervals, which was tasty and spicy.

There were other cocktails too, served in bottle with Bihari names, innocent drinks but with funny names, that created the curiosity to taste just a bit.

Rest of the evening was spent watching others dance……a wonderful evening indeed!
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