Posted on 29. Jan, 2008 by Administrator.
Located along Indiaâ€™s southwestern coast, Kerala is home to gorgeous beaches and a pleasing tropical climate. The region is known for growing and exporting spices including pepper, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, ginger, chilies, and mustard, all of which are featured in local recipes.
My recent visit to Kerala was a memorable one. The time i spent there was one of my best culinary experiences I ever had. What can I say about Kerala cuisine? It is something every person should experience at least once in a lifetime. This was my first time trying the traditional Syrian Christian Cooking in Kerala. It was explosion of flavors in my mouth. Try the one at the Grand Hotelâ€™s restaurant in Cochi.
The essential ingredients in Keralaâ€™s flavorful cuisine include rice, coconuts and a variety of fresh bananas. Also prevalent is fresh seafood, including fish, prawns, shrimp, crabs, mussels and oysters, and fresh fruits and vegetables including jackfruits, pineapples, mangoes, cassava, yam and tapioca. Traditional dishes include appams, chutneys, biriyanis and Sadya, a Kerala feast of more than 14 vegetable dishes served on a large banana leaf. For dessert there are many kinds of payasam.
Banana Chips fried in Coconut oil ” a local snack ”
I spent most of my time around Kochi (Cochin). We were filming for a TV series ” Food of India “.
Kochi is a gourmetâ€™s delight and at all the cuisine is as diverse as it is remarkable. There is a huge variety in seafood, from shrimp, crisp-fried mussel, grilled prawn, lobster and squid done just so and, of course, soft-shelled crabs tossed Kerala-style. But the meen pollichathu, a delicious fish fillet coated with spice paste, wrapped in banana leaf and roasted should be a priority. There is the staple kappa kari, which is fish and tapioca, and puttu (steamed rice cakes) with beef roast. Again Grand Hotelâ€™s restaurant comes top of my list.
Chinese fishing nets
Fort Kochiâ€™s â€˜You buy, I cookâ€™ beach side food stalls, not far from the Chinese fishing nets, offer good fresh seafood and beautiful views. You can also choose from fresh catch prawns, pomfret, snapper, shark or king fish. You can choose your own “catch of the day” from one of the fishmongers opposite the fishing nets. Then, take it to one of the nearby “fast food” shacks where they will cook it for you.
Spice Market and Trading Areas
The region is known for growing and exporting spices including pepper, cardamom, cloves, turmeric, ginger, chilies, and mustard, all of which are featured in local recipes
Curious to learn more about the local cuisine!!
I recommend some hands on cooking experience, with Nimy Paul
Nimmy, a professional cookery instructor,conducts cookery classes. She teaches guests the nuances of traditional Kerala recipes. She offers food and hospitality to guests at her home. Nimmy and Paul belong to traditional Syrian Christian community in Kerala. In keeping with the tradition of their families they enjoy having guests and serving good food.
Posted on 24. Nov, 2007 by Administrator.
Thanksgiving event 2008
World Flavors Event Canada Nov 2008
MORE Images click here for slide show of the event
Diwali Festival of lights lunch @ Wyeth and Johnson and Johnson, PA Oct 2008
Novartis – Diwali Celebration Event Nov 2008
Boston Children Medical Hospital – Cooking demo for kids Oct 2008
AMERICAN EXPRESS – World financial center Down Town NYC – book signing event Oct 2008
Black Rock Cafe Chef Table at August 2008
Fund raiser Event at St Bede’s in New Holland PA May 2008
Spiced Burgers Video Taping Session April 2008
EMC Locations, Boston – MA, Modern Indian Cooking Workshop & tasting, March 12th & 13th 2008
Vanguard Locations, Malvern – PA, Modern Indian Cooking Workshop & tasting, Feb 25th to 29th 2008
Cook Book Club: Whole Foods Market , Saturday, February 16th 2008
Behind the scenes of “Spice Travel” shoot in Cochin December 2007 Kerala India
Hari Nayak at Barnes and Nobles Nov 2007
Fosters, Philadelphia book event
Nov 17th 2007
Padma Laxmi and Modern Indian Cooking
October 27th 2007
Posted on 27. Oct, 2007 by Administrator.
* 2 poblano chiles
* 1 pound potatoes, peeled and diced into (1- inch) cubes
* 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* Â¼ cup celery, diced
* Â½ cup green pepper, diced
* Salt to taste
* 3 cups fresh corn kernels or frozen corn, thawed
* 2 cups vegetable stock or water
* 1 cup cream
* 1 tablespoon curry powder
* 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
Pre heat the grill or a broiler. Grill or broil the chilies until the skin begins to blacken, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let steam until the skin loosens, about 10 minutes. Peel the chiles and chop coarsely, Set aside
In a small sauce pan, add the potatoes and enough water to cover and cook until tender. Drain and set aside.
In a large sauce pan, heat the oil, cumin, onion, celery and pepper and sautÃ© until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add salt and corn and cook for 3 to 4 minutes longer. Stir in the roasted chiles, potatoes, stock, cream, curry powder and 1 tablespoon of cilantro and simmer until the soup thickens, 20 to 25 minutes.
Serve hot garnished with the remaining cilantro.
* 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
* 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
* 1 teaspoon cardamom pods
* 1 (1-inch) piece cinnamon stick
* 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
* 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
* Â½ teaspoon ground cloves
* 1 teaspoon cayenne
* 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
* Juice of 1 lemon
* Salt to taste
* 1 pound (4 breasts) trimmed boneless chicken breasts
Place a small frying pan over low heat and dry-roast the coriander, cumin, cardamom and cinnamon until aromatic. Grind the roasted spices to a fine powder using a spice grinder.
Place onion, ginger, cloves, cayenne, oil, lemon juice and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add the roasted spice mixture to the onion paste.
Marinate the chicken with the spice paste. Cover and marinate for 2 to 4 hours.
Preheat the grill to 350 Âº F. Grill the chicken pieces for 5 minutes on each side on the grill, or until the chicken is tender and cooked.
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 2 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
* Â½ cup apple cider
* 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin, toasted and ground
* 2 tablespoons kokum, seeded and chopped
Cook the butter in small saucepan over high heat until golden brown. Add the apples and cook stirring until caramelized about 5 minutes. Add the apple cider and cook until the liquid had evaporated about 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in the coriander, cumin and kokum and cook for 1 minute. Set aside until ready to use.
* Serves 4
* 2 tablespoons lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
* 2 teaspoons honey
* 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
* Salt to taste
* Â½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
* 2 cup yellow pear tomatoes, halved
* 1 cup red cherry tomatoes, halved
* 1 cup orange cherry tomatoes, halved
* 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped.
In a small bowl combine the lemon juice, red onion, honey, olive oil ,salt, red pepper flakes and cumin. Whisk until well blended.
In a large salad bowl, toss together all the tomatoes. Pour the dressing on top, add the chopped basil and toss gently to mix well. Serve immediately.
Makes 5 Dozen Truffles
* 1 pound semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
* 2 cups heavy cream
* 1 cinnamon stick
* Â½ cup tea leaves
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
* Cocoa powder, for dusting
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl and set aside
Using a small pot, bring the cream and cinnamon to boil. Remove from heat, add the tea and infuse for 5 minutes. Strain the hot cream through a fine sieve over the chocolate. Using the back of the spoon, press the tea leaves to extract as much flavor as possible. Allow the cream to soften the chocolate for 2 minutes. Using a whisk, stir the chocolate mixture slowly until smooth. Add the butter, stirring until mixed. Transfer the chocolate cream mixture into a flat pan and cover with plastic wrap, making sure the plastic wrap touches the entire surface of the mixture. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours until the chocolate is set.
Place the cocoa powder in a shallow plate. Using a teaspoon dipped in hot water, form Â½ inch balls of the chocolate mixture. If the mixture gets too soft while working, refrigerate until set. Roll the truffles in cocoa powder and store in an airtight container in a cool place for up to three weeks.
Posted on 27. Oct, 2007 by Administrator.
Truffles – gold in soil
Truffles have fascinated people for thousands of years. Their attraction is a tantalizing taste and aroma which, once experienced, can never be forgotten. The taste and aroma of commercially collected truffles is so intense that they are used as a flavoring instead of a separate dish. Magical powers and virtues have even been attributed to truffles. They have been collected for at least 3600 years. Growing underground, they are difficult to find and very expensive as a result. Every Spring, truffle hunters in Europe take to the woods, hoping that the sensitive noses of their trained pigs and dogs will lead them to buried treasure. In 1994, black truffles sold for $350 to $500 a pound.
The name “truffle” has been borrowed to describe small, fancy chocolate candies, another expensive and delicious food. Real truffles are roundish, brown, and dirty when they come out of the ground. They are the fruit of the truffle organism, like apples are the fruit of an apple tree.
Fresh truffles are difficult to come by, and expensive, especially the Italian white truffle . Fortunately, white truffle oil is available relatively cheaply on the market.
You can make your own truffle oil by storing pieces of fresh truffle in clean, sweet, mild tasting oil. The oil is first heated slightley then shaved truffles are added .The more finely chopped the truffle is, the more of its essence it will give up into the oil and the less flavor the pieces themselves will retain. Make sure all liquid is drained off from the truffles before adding them to the oil; reserve the liquid for later use. Any kind of truffle may be used to make truffle oil. Light olive oil and grapeseed oil are good.
Store truffle oil in a cool, dark place away from heat, light and oxygen. Some methods of excluding oxygen include sealing wax or plastic wrap on the surface of the oil as well as nitrogen gas dispensers, sold commercially for wine enthusiasts under the name Private Preserve.
Truffle oil that is kept very cold in your refrigerator will whiten and solidify, but this is not necessarily harmful to the flavor. Truffle oil is tolerant of cold, and can even be frozen, but like fine wine it is less tolerant of temperature fluctuations and may lose quality if it is allowed to solidify and liquefy repeatedly. Remove from cold storage only the amount you intend to immediately use, and leave the rest at temperature.
The best use for truffle oil is summed up in one word â€” drizzle. It is drizzled over mashed potatoes, slices of fresh bread, risottos, and flat breads, asparagus, bowls of pasta, gourmet salads , thick soups, and mushroom ragouts and sauces. Beyond the drizzle, it is used sparingly to make vinaigrettes for fancy salads or other vegetable dishes. Finally, once you get a handle on the taste, experiment by adding a little truffle oil to some of your favorite dishes. You may well find that the best use for your oil is one of your own creations.
Truffles and Fried Egg
Posted on 10. Oct, 2007 by Administrator.
20th- Guest Chef @ Sodexo cafe – Pfizer Madison NJ
27th – Guest Chef @ Sodexo Cafe – Merrill Lynch Down Town NYC
3rd – Guest Chef @ Sodexo Cafe – Bank of America Towers – NYC
10th – Guest Chef @ Sodexo Cafe – World Financial Center Down Town NYC
28th – ACUI show – Chicago
The Asia & India Odyssey culinary travel director
1st – Kuwait City – Marriott Hotel – Soul & Spice – Restaurant Opening
7th – Varli Indian Food Festival - NYC
12th – IFFLA awards (Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles)
19th – Guest Chef @ Sodexo Cafe – Bapson college , Boston, MA
26th – Diwali festival Guest Chef @ Sodexo Cafe – Wake Forest Medical , Winston-Salem, NC
7th – 10th – Guest Chef & Diwali festival @ Sodexo Cafe – USAA – San Antonio, TX
14th to 15th – New York’s Indian Film Festival, MIACC
15th – Guest Chef @ Sodexo Cafe – Boeringher Ingelheim , Danbury, CT
16th – Guest Chef @ Sodexo Cafe – BMW North America HQ – NJ
17th – Guest Chef @ Sodexo Cafe – Guardian Life – NYC
2th to 30th – Guest Chef aboard Seaborn Odessey