February 27, 2014

A Preview of The Mexican Food Festival with Chef Eduardo Perez at Taj Bengal, Kolkata

"The great variety of flavors and textures in mexican cuisine gives us not only a healthy and balanced diet, but also a very exquisite one. "
-Chef Eduardo
Mexican Food Festival will continue till 2nd March'14. 
The A la Carte Menu price is 3000/- (inclusive of tax)
for Two. Few Mexican dishes will be available on the 
buffet counter too at the regular buffet price at THE HUB.
After Delhi, Mumbai, It is quite exhilarating for the foodies of Kolkata to assay the authentic Mexican Cuisine. Taj Bengal Kolkata proudly invited Chef Eduardo Perez to host the Mexican Food Festival for a week and to share his culinary magic with us. Ensuring the fact that now a day eating out has changed our palates to such an extent that our minds and bodies crave for changes and expect lots of verities in the flavours to whet the insatiable appetites. This kind of food festival not only is an eye opener for the people who have never tasted the respective cuisine but also for them who love scaling and experimenting their taste buds often. Being a part of Kolkata Food Bloggers(KFB), the invitation for the Food preview of the Mexican Food Festival and meeting the Chef in person did open a plethora of knowledge about this particular cuisine. The tables got decked up with the twinkles of the cutleries,  myths got unfolded, tasting and learning session started - two hours moved in a mesmerizing trance where we had a short tour to the Mexican kitchen and traveled back to our own city to enjoy the dishes on our own way.
Mexican food in taste and ingredients is a bit close to Indian fare. Though ginger is absolutely not used in Mexican cuisine, usage of chilies, coriander leaves, onion, tomato, garlic are used amply. Mexican cuisine may sound one of the most complex flares in the world of cuisines mainly when we got to know that Mole sauce itself needs almost 30 ingredients to cook. Chipotle chili paste or sauce is one of must ingredients the Chef shared. No usage of milk but of water and corn oil enhance the taste of the dishes.  Considering Tortila, Rice, Corns and Beans as the staple food, we got awestruck to hear that there are more than 100 types of chilies they use in their dishes. Mulling over the fact of their meat intake, Beef comes first and then follows the pork, lamb, chicken and seafood.  Cheese is one of the very common ingredients but Mexican cuisine has their own specialty cheese production, naming some famous are Oaxaca and Panela.
The Menu for the Mexican Food Festival has been designed not to open an extensive array of Mexican food but keeping it simple and compact. Focusing mainly on the traditional Mexican dishes is what exactly the Fest got conceptualized. The A La Carte menu offers one soup, two starters, two main course dishes and one dessert.  Keeping the proverb in mind “When you are in Rome, you have to be a Roman” The dishes were presented with a bit twist to add the Indian flavor to our taste and also at availability of the ingridients that can be easily available in Kolkata. Our serving started with the most traditional and authentic soup. The soup was cooked with three times lesser spiciness that should cook as an original Mexican way. Usually avocado too gets added in the soup but in Kolkata the availability of good avocado is very rare. The Chimichangas were presented with the addition of the famous Indian Panipuri flavor. Chicken Fajita won my heart. Though it is not presented in a Totilla wrapper but more over like a salad. The Mole Sauce here cooked with more than 13 ingredients and what surprised me the usage of chocolate, banana, and cookies in the Mole sauce. Yes, every cuisine has its own charm and magic. The winner was the Churros which were served with a scoop of freshly made Vanilla and diced raw coconut Ice cream and Chocolate sauce. The whole menu, as I have told earlier has been designed keeping in mind to focus on the Mexican Traditional cooking and the authentic way to serve it. But observing the taste buds of the people some variations got added with some twist and turns. Overall the Journey was explicable and delectable.
Chef Eduardo Perez: Lives in Merida, Yucatan Mexico. Graduated from the Letty Gordon Institution at Mexico City and the International School of Chefs at Merida, Yucatan, Mexico where he teaches today. "Giving colour and taste to the Mexican Food festival across India in association with Corralejo Tequila, Taj Bengal is going to host Chef Eduarado Perez to enchant us with his exquisite 'Mexico' and 'Maya' seasoning, using authentic Mexican ingredients "
Soup
Sopa Azteca (Chicken Tomato Chipotle Soup with Fried Tortilla)

Starters

Chimichangas (Flour Tortilla stuffed with soft Potato Tomato Onion Coriander and Lemon)
Chicken Fajitas (Flour Tortilla with Mexican spiced grilled Chicken and Cheese)
Chicken Fajitas (Flour Tortilla with Mexican spiced grilled Chicken and Cheese)

Main Course

Mole Con Pollo (Chicken with sweet Mexican Sauce)
Mole Con Pollo (Chicken with sweet Mexican Sauce)
Enfrijoladas (Corn tortilla stuffed with Cottage Cheese & sweet corn with spicy kidney beans sauce)
Enfrijoladas (Corn tortilla stuffed with Cottage Cheese & sweet corn with spicy kidney beans sauce)
Dessert
Churros (Deep- fried sweetened dough with cinnamon served with vanila-coconut Ice cream and Chocolate Sauce)

For more photographs please visit HERE.
Read more experiences here by Archita & Amrita..

[Disclaimer: This is an Invited Review and solely based on the author's honest experience . No monetary benefit is included]


February 26, 2014

Adaa BaNga (Eggplant with Hilsha Fish Head)

Treasures are those traditional recipes which flowed directly from generation to generation. Each family prizes the honour of such handful of recipes, so do I.  Today I blog on food, I experiment dishes using various spices, sauces every day the hyper marts luring to us. But whatever it is or how may fancy dishes I cook, nothing can beat the taste of the dishes that I have tasted/learnt from my mother or grandmother or great grandmother. The usage of fewer spices was always the key ingredient at my grandmother’s house and the must usage of the freshly ground homemade spices. For me my maternal Grandmother, my Aunt who is much older than my mom and my mom are actually the culinary goddesses from whom I have learnt to cook pure Bengali dishes with the minimum ingredients. I have also learnt to enhance the taste by adding a dash of pure ghee in the dishes just before taking them off the flame.  What is an authentic dish or what is the originality of the recipe, these are very controversial concept to me. Some dishes evolved somewhere then by twists and turns these have reached to our hands. Some have some documents some have not. But what exactly traditionally known to us are the recipes that we have learnt from our ancestors. 
Aada BhaNga is one such dish that I have solely learnt from my mom's family and at the same time I also consider it as one of the signature dishes among the other inherited Bengali traditional recipes. My parents and their family originally are from East Bengal now known as Bangladesh. My grandmother was the daughter of the Sushong Rajbari, Bangladesh which was considered as to be the staunch Brahmin family. In their cooking there was never been any usage of garlic, onion and chicken.  Only the red meat, that was also after offering to the god, was allowed to the kitchen. The meat used to be cooked without garlic and onion and the cooking style is/was widely known as Veg- meat curry. Coming to the Aada Bhanga recipe, I have seen this dish only cooked with the Ilish/ Hilsa head with the Brinjal/Eggplant at our home. But in Rajshahi. Bangladesh it is quite famously cooked with the Aar/Artamim/Sperata aor Fish blocks but the Brinjal and ginger are the common ingredients. In West Bengal this dish is also known as Tottora.   So there must be many names, many ways to cook a dish. But here I will share the way how I have learnt from my grandmother and how I cook at my home. As the name suggests, Aada means Ginger and BaNga means to break.  In this dish the main ingredients are the ample use of the ginger paste, Ilish/Hilsa fish head and brinjal/eggplant, where the incorporation of all enhance the taste and elevate the aroma. So here is the recipe:
Ingredients:
Brinjal/Eggplant-  2 medium size
Ilish/Hilsa fish head - 1 medium (cut in to four halves)
Mustard Seed- 1/4 tea spoon
Ginger Paste- 1 table spoon heaped
Turmeric Powder- 1/8 tea spoon + 1/4 tea spoon
Salt as per taste
Green Chilli- 2-3 (more or less)
Mustard oil- 2 table spoons (+ 1 table spoon if required)
Method:
  1. Cut the Brinjal length wise one 3 inches long and 1 inch thick. Reserve.
  2. Rub the Ilish/Hilsa head with 1/8 tea spoon turmeric powder and salt.
  3. Heat oil in a Kadai/ Pan. The oil should be heated properly.
  4. Fry the both side of the Ilish/Hilsa head pieces till they turn semi brown.
  5. If there is enough oil remaining then don't add extra oil. Add extra oil only if needed.
  6. Add mustard seed and let them sputter. Add the Brinjal pieces and fold nicely along with the oil and the mustard seed. Keep on frying for couple of minutes and then cover it with a lid. And cook for 3-4 mints in a low flame.
  7. Take off the lid. Add salt and the turmeric powder, fold nicely so that each piece of brinjal gets seasoned. Again cover it with the lid and cook for 3-4 mnts.
  8. Take off the lid and add the Ilish/Hilsa Fish head pieces and break them in more small pieces with a turner. Along with the brinjal pieces too.
  9.  The Birnjal will keep on getting soft and with the turner  keep on stirring and folding all together nicely.
  10. As much dry you will make it the taste will enrich more. So keep on sautéing the stuff till it starts to leave a frying smell. Add the ginger paste and sauté nicely for 3- 4 mints. Let the aroma of the ginger spread with the frying smell of the brinjal and hilsa head.
  11. Add green chillies and then serve hot with white rice. 




February 24, 2014

Restaurant Review: The Corner Courtyard, Kolkata

Boutique Hotel and Restaurant it is, that built a new illustration in the history of décor with its minute detailing and keen collective observation to exhibit a work of art in true sense. The Corner Courtyard is the dream and brain child of Megha Agarwal who one day took a stunt and made possible the impossible thing by remodeling a 108 years old building with the beauty touch ups that limns the European architecture, at the same time the vintage grandeur too. Megha, Born and brought up in Kolkata, but not a Bengali, an ex PWC consultant, has dreamt from her childhood to do something of her own, something that might  delineate the richness and the heritage of Kolkata. Pristine white building standing high just by the main road of Sarat Bose road, beside the Moon Light Petrol Pump never displays the fact, that upon stepping  the door you are actually entering in a world of class which will for a while give a mesmerizing tour of an utmost contentment.
Amrita and I represented Kolkata Food Bloggers when the team of  The Corner Courtyartd warmly invited us to sample and review the special Spring Summer Menu which has been specially designed for the ongoing fund raising program for the SOS Children Village Kolkata in collaboration with Actor Kunal Kapoor's online fund raising portal 'Ketto'. The Spring Summer special Menu will be on till 26th Feb'14. 
On entering there we were cordially greeted by the PR team Riddhi and Namrata and shortly joined by the owner Megha too. They shared their experiences and the stories how The Corner Courtyard materialized. We get to know all the unique knick Knacks, the huge collection of brass door knobs and latches, were a lifelong collection of Megha herself. The whole interior exhibits an outcome of a passionate team work who not only fastidiously collected the possessions but gave them the proper home to get observed by toning the classic sense of beauty at a home of vintage décor. 
Each and everything has been exemplified the richness and the essence of a world class décor. Say it about the crockery or the cutleries, the lamps or the Chandelier, the knick-knacks or the books all are unique and aptly presented to enrich the beauteousness of the place.
A fresh orange juice served promptly. When it comes to food we were introduced with Head Chef Rohan and Chef Chanchal. They briefed us about the cuisines they serve there and about the Spring Summer Menu. The corner Courtyard mainly serve the Global cuisines with some fusions by the Chefs. Very courteous F&B Manager Rozario took all the charges to decide our menu as we made our thumbs up that we were ok with everything. The dishes one by one kept on adorning the table and Rozario kept on giving all the instructions how to eat a dish and the detail of the particular dish. We were served three starters: two dishes from the Regular course Menu and one form the Spring Summer Menu. 
First we were served Oven Roasted Beets, crumbled feta, almond & wine poached pear wedges tossed with lemon dressings. A perfect blend of all the dressings incorporated with the juicy and soft roasted beets and the crunchy wine poached pear wedges. At each bite it gave a perfect and balanced flavour that can be easily devoured without any sides.
Another starter followed next from the regular course menu was the Grilled Italian Chicken Patties with salad caprese and parsley garlic aioli. Its was a winner for me. Thanks to Rozario who insisted to have a piece of chicken patty, a slice of tomato and buffalo mozzarella cheese dipped in the  parsley garlic aioli and have the bite altogether. And yes we tasted the heaven soon after the bite. The dish picked up from the Italian cuisine and the true nature to have the dish is just the way we were directed. Otherwise someone would come up with a feedback that the patty is too salty if eaten separately. The taste of the dish will be perfectly balanced only if one would have it in this way. It was really the stunner. The parsley garlic aioli itself was very balanced in taste too.
Grilled Chicken Satay with kafir lime infused Apple Red cabbage chutney & Sweet chilly Balsamic Dressing was served next from the Spring Summer Menu. It didn't reach the expectation. Though the dish was presented in a very innovative way with the Apple Red cabbage chutney, the Satay itself lost its original taste where I found a layer of thick spices on the Satay overpowering it.

Next we were served the Main course. The two dishes came directly from the  Spring Summer Menu. Both were quite proportionate and each dish was enough for two adults. 
Grilled Italian Lamb meat balls with spaghetti Americano and crumbled Feta and Peruvian Styled grilled fish topped with cajun spiced crab meat with tomato, tobasco butter with lemon smashed potatoes & sautéed garden vegetables. Both were very tasty very much balanced in taste. I liked most the Peruvian Styled grilled fish topped with Cajun spiced crab meat with tomato, tobasco butter with lemon smashed potatoes & sautéed garden vegetables. This was for the first time I had a chunky size of Bhetki fillet which was perfectly cooked and the special fishy smell of the Bhetki itself had totally got lost when I had a bite along with all the other condiments and with the mashed potatoes. Though it was quite heavy but I really enjoyed the taste.
Last but not the least we were served two desserts next. Chocolate Eclair and Chocolate mousse in dark Chocolate Cup shell. The dessert section for the time being is taken care by The Rouge, one of the famous bakery houses of Kolkata. The Corner Courtyard is right now have a space problem therefore the in-house dessert portion has to be outsourced. But we surely look forward to taste the own in-house product as till date the food and the service they have provided is excellent. 
What I liked and felt most was the freshness that each and every ingredient had offered. The true essence of a recipe makes a dish perfect when you have the balance of all spices and the fresh ingredients which not only enrich the taste but satisfies your taste bud too.
We had a long chat with Chef Chanchal over our meal and then he gave us a short tour of the hotel rooms. Each room has been conceptualized with the theme of Colour and each colour represents the heritage and cultural aspects of Kolkata. The interior of the rooms and the furniture all are the perfect blend of the European and vitange Kolkata.

It was a great experience at The Conner Courtyard. A must visit place in Kolkata which will take you to a different world for a while away from the humdrum of the city life.

For more photographs visit HERE...

Read what Amrita of Sweet 'n' Savoury experienced HERE..


[Disclaimer: This is an Invited Review and solely based on the author's honest experience . No monetary benefit is included]


February 17, 2014

Singapore Peranakan Food Festival at Swissotel, Kolkata

Singapore thy name is an intrinsic part of my life as it is my birth place. And one could guess when the invitation to the Singapore Peranakan Festival by the Swissotel called the KFB (Kolkata Food Bloggers) to join, my joy knew no bound. That sumptuous taste of the food of my birth city still smacks my lips. And from the core of my heart I so much want to taste the real taste of joy what I miss badly. Though with an excited heart of a little girl I headed towards to sample the food, I had no clue about Peranakan but of Singapore. A little search on net gave a vague idea but what we learnt and got shared at the fest was different which came direct from the maestros who flew from Singapore. Archita and I reached on time and promptly we were joined by the two guest chefs - Chef Abdul Halim bin Ahmed and Chef Jasper Kok
From Left to Right: Chef Abdul Halim bin Ahmed, Chef Jasper & Food Blogger Archita Chanda Ray
We started all our queries with Chef Abdul Halim bin Ahmed, the senior Chef and he with a smiling face passionately kept on answering all our questions. What we learnt about the Peranakan cuisine is that the cuisine mainly evolved by the influences of Chinese, Malay, Indonesia and the inter-marriage in between them.  It is locally famous as "MAMA cuisine" (Malay + Chinese). Chef Jasper shared that it was very hard to differentiate the taste between the Singaporean cuisine and Peranakan cuisine, only  those, who always dealt with the food could distinguish the taste. The special characteristic of the Peranakan cuisine  is, it offers milder taste than of the Chinese and Singaporean cuisines as very less spices are used in this cuisine. And that we found just after we started tasting the food. For Peranakan Cuisine the main spice paste that they use is made out of Shallot, Garlic, Chilly, Lemon grass and Blue Ginger. We got very confused with the Blue Ginger, then Chef Mahesh revealed it was nothing but Galangal. The usage of Coriander and Turmeric Powder is very common which leads the taste quite similar to the Indian Cuisine. 
From Left to right: Ayam Lemak, Ayam Percik, Beef Rendang, Laksa add ons and the Soup & Ayam Buah Keluak
Every cuisine has its own story and Prenakan is also no exception. We moved with the tasting session and the munching and chomping kept on beating the music of appreciation where the Chefs kept on discussing about their creations of the night and the stories behind the Cuisine.  The Fest at Swissotle went for 6 days and every night the buffet menu was different. The menu got decided upon the likeness of the people in Kolkata where our friendly Chef Mahesh helped them to understand the taste buds of Kolkata people. We attended the fest on the last day and that really helped us to know about the true essence of the success of the Fest.  The Singapore Peranakan Food Festival was a real success where the varieties and the vast ranges of dishes got offered throughout the 6 days. People really appreciated the dishes were Chilli Crab (We missed it as it was not on the menu that day), Beef Rendang and Babi Pongteh. I don't eat beef so can't say about it but yes why people liked Babi Pongteh I can vouch for that. Three different types of Chicken preparations were served that night and each one of them were unique in taste. I found the dishes much similar to our south Indian curries and upon asking it Chef Jasper said yes as he told earlier Peranakan was more of a mixed cuisine where one would get similarity with chinese, malay, Indian and Indonesian cuisines.
Prawn Oatmeal
Prawn Oatmeal made us all surprised. The dish is new to us. And it looks very modern too. Chef Jasper told us that this is not a Peranakan Cuisine but a Chinese one which is not very old in the world of cuisine. It is kind of a bit fusion that they now offer in an attire of modernization. White oats just got sauteed with a dash of salt and white pepper  and then added it with the fired Prawns. The taste is very balmy but exotic. A must say signature dish from the chefs' side.
Babi Pongteh
The stunner of the night and also the most tasted dish I should confess was the Babi Pongteh. It was a Pork preparation cooked in a very mild bean sauce and almost with the minimum spices. The pork was succulent and juicy just melted in mouth on each bite. I was not able help myself to go for two serving. It is exactly the best example of what Peranakan Cuisine is famous for. The taste with a very milder base and usages of less spices. 
From Left to Right:  Veg Nasi Goreng, Broccoli & Cauliflower, Nyonya Chap Chye & Fried Bee Hoon
Each and every dish are so mild in taste that one would feel like help himself/herself with multiple servings. Whether it is the  fried Bee Hoon ( Singaporean Noodles) or the Nasi Goreng or the lined up veg dishes all will give one the divine taste that an authentic cuisine offers. There is no addition of the store bought spices or the addition of too much sauces. 

Soto Ayam , the soup which taste very much like an Indian Chicken Stew.
Bubur Cha Cha & A H Bo Leng
Two of the traditional sweets of Peranakan Cuisine were served on the counter along with an array of dessert collection from all over the world. I am not a very traditional sweet lover but more of a chocoholic whom the pastries lured more. But I literally enjoyed the story behind the dessert A H Bo Leng.  Though A H Bo Leng doesn't come under the Peranakan cuisine, it is more of a Chinese dessert. In Chinese it means "Happy together again with family". Small round balls were made out of  glutinous rice flour and then boiled in the sugar syrup.  The story that Chef Jasper shared was, every year on 22nd December , every household in Singapore would prepare this dessert and will to eat depending on the number of the age of the person. He also added that another name of the dessert is Tang Yuan.

From the core of my heart I would like to thank Swissotel for offering Kolkata the real and authentic taste of the world cuisine with an addition of a healthier version to it. It was always a great experience to meet the experienced and the learned Chefs in person. A place where any one of any age can enjoy the food, where the Chefs personally take care of their customers and salute their taste buds. Last but not least heartiest thanks to Team Swiss  and Chef  Abdul Halim bin Ahmed & Chef Jasper for giving us this opportunity to witness the authentic world cuisine and congratulations on the great success of the Singapore Peranakan Food Festival.

To view more pictures of the fest visit HERE.
Read what Archita of My Food My Life experienced HERE.

[Disclaimer: This is an Invited Review and solely based on the author's honest experience . No monetary benefit is included]

February 5, 2014

Chicken Keema Mattar Stuffed Stromboli/ Minced Chicken Peas Stuffed Stromboli

I have never ever imagined in my life that Bread making/baking will be that tad easy. The only special trick that learnt is to choose the right yeast and the pairing of it with the desired Flour.  I have first tried my hands with the Active dry Yeast. But to my disappointment I was not able to accumulate the trick to make the yeast work. But if you have experienced bread baker friends around, you will know success is not too far. It is Amrita and Sayatani I must mention who truly helped me to cheer in joy to see the first fluffy and soft bread coming out of my oven.  One can really feel the sheer joy when success kisses your hand and your hard work pays you.  Instant Yeast it was on which I am now fully and blindly depending on. First I tried a basic bread recipe with 1 cup of flour. After it got successful I move on to a next step to experiment bread with some stuffing. And now my kitchen is smelling more of the baked breads when Sarani annouced to have a Bread Baking event on our KFB group.  She named it 'Yeasty Feasty' and welcomed all Food Bloggers to join the event. To get the detail pls click HERE
Italian cuisine is always significant with its diversity and the range of dishes that serves and is famous all over the world. Whether it is the various types Pasta or bread, the varieties the cuisine serves are unbeatable. This time I preferred to welcome a bread recipe from Italy to my Indian Kitchen. So I made an Indian Italian Bread that I called: Keema Mattar stuffed Stromboli. Stromboli is a kind of variation of Italian Focaccia. Only the difference is the dough is pierced to allow the stuffing to erupt through the holes during baking.  But Stromboli itself is very controversial when it comes about its origin. Some claims it originates in the United States and some in Italy. Recently I treasured one bread baking bible where it states that it is from Italy and the basic base is the same base of a regular Pizza one. So I followed the basic Pizza dough recipe and added my stuffing to it. No need to say it comes out super tasty. So I don't mind whether its an American or Italian by origin as long as food is concerned it has its own charm and when it is tasty who thinks of the origins. So here is my recipe. Do try it and let me know if you have enjoyed it too!!!!
Partially adapted from HERE.
(Yields 3-4 adults)
Ingredients:
For the Stromboli Dough:
All Purpose Flour: 3 cups
Instant Dry Yeast; 3 tspn (I have used the HIGH ACTIVE PRIME INSANT DRY YEAST, available in New Market , Kolakata)
Sugar: 1 tpsn
Salt: 1tspn
Olive Oil: 2 tbspns
Warm Water: 1 & 1/2 cup

For the Stuffing:
Minced Chicken/Keema: 200gm
Green Peas: 1/2 cup
Onion: 2 medium (Finely chopped)
Ginger-Ginger paste: 1 tbpn
Tomato: 1 large
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tspn
Cumin Powder: 1tspn
Coriander Powder: 1tspn
Salt & Sugar - as per your taste
White Oil - 1 & 1/2 tbspn
Red Bell pepper:  1/2 cup sliced
Mozzarella Cheese grated: 1/2 cup (You can add more)

Egg - 1 (For the wash)

Method:
  1. First let us make the Stromboli Dough. Mix all the dry ingredients nicely.  Then add the liquid and knead at least for 10 - 15 mnts unless the dough looks smooth and soft.
  2. Cover it with a wet cloth for an hour. You will find it in a double of  its size. Knead it again for 2-3 minuits and leave it for another hour to rise again.
  3. In the meanwhile make the stuffing. Heat oil in a Kadai/Pan. Add the chopped onion and the Ginger-Garlic paste. Saute nicely till it turns brown. And the tomato and fry till the mixture starts to separate oil.
  4. Add the Minced chicken, Green Peas, Turmeric Powder, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Salt and Sugar to taste. Fold them nicely , then cover with a lid for 4-5 mnts and cook in a medium heat. Then dry the juice whiling cooking it on high flame and then take it off the flame and reserve.
  5. Now take a Flat baking tray on which you will bake the Stromboli. Cut a wax paper according to the size of the Baking tray.
  6. Sprinkle Flour on the wax paper and the then roll the dough in to a rectangular shape leaving an inch less from the boundary line of the wax paper.
  7. Spread the Chicken stuffing lengthwise. Then cut the remaining dough in to 1/2" strips sidewise. Pls check the following link to get a proper knowledge (HERE). Now keep on braiding the strips on from one side and then the other from the opposite sides.
  8. Pre- Heat the Oven for 10 mnts at 190 degree C.
  9. Now when you will bake the Stromboli make sure you have greased the Wax paper properly. So just slowly lift  one side of the stromboli and grease the wax paper and then the other side.
  10. Now thoroughly brush the  top with the lightly beaten egg wash.
  11. Bake for 15 mnts. Then again brush the top with Egg wash and bake for another 15 - 20 mnts until it gets a nice light brown shade and crisp.
  12. Serve with any dip or some salad.
Note:
If you would like to know more about the roles of different types of YEASTs, pls visit HERE. Suma has given such a nice detail information about Yeast.
Updated: Active Dry Yeast is available in the stores like Spencers, In & Out or the Local grocers in Kolkata.... 1 tspn Instant Dry yeast = 1 & 1/4 tespn Active Dry Yeast. (Amrita Thanks for the guidance)

This is off to the ongoing event 'Yeasty Feasty' By Kolkata Food Bloggers Group.


February 1, 2014

Chop Suey - An One Pot Meal

The other day the man was on his office tour, that meant the lady and the kid of the house had to satisfy their appetite with some light and in-elaborate dinner menu. I had stored some extra boiled Noodles from the morning breakfast. Had the plan in mind to go for a stir fired noodles. But the lil one fully denied having the same kind of dish again. So the mamma, to give it new twist to her baby's taste hit the kitchen with the plan to make Chop Suey.

Chop Suey for me is filled with so many fond memories. My dad makes the best chop suey of the world. Ok may be I am on exaggeration but for me dad's handmade chop suey is the bestest of all. Due to my Dad's job profile; we (My sis and me) used to meet him only during our vacation time or some surprise visits from his side. He then and now is around us, means we are celebrating a kind of food fest at home with his experimental dishes.  The vegetables which I hate most, becomes totally delectable and sumptuous when my dad cooks it. His style of cooking is exploring and using the spices/sauces whatever comes handy for him. He mixes that and this and the dish becomes exotic. If afterwards we ask him the recipe he would start surfing and taxing his brain but would never come up with the proper ingredients what he exactly used. Therefore every time he cooks the same dish, It will taste different and always tasty.  Chop Suey, I first tasted and came to know about the dish when one day it was served from my Dad's kitchen. We were not allowed to the kitchen. Only Mom was allowed to assist dad. The surprise dish Dad carried with him leaving the aroma and steam swirling him and we took our position in no time to our dining table to devour the dish. The taste was just out of the world. When the other day I cooked Chop Suey, I kept on telling Lil K that my dad cooks this dish the best. I tasted mine but it failed to get that taste, which only Dad can recreate. But for lil K she thinks her mom cooks the best Chop Suey. Same like me she first tasted the dish and introduced to it too for the first time and embedded it in her mind that her mom is the best cook.  A smile spread all over my face and I finished my dinner as fast I could and rushed to give a ring to my parents to share the memories how it came back to pair with the present.

"Chop suey (/ˈɒpˈsi/simplified Chinese杂碎traditional Chinese雜碎pinyin suì; literally "assorted pieces") is a dish in American Chinese cuisine and other forms of overseas Chinese cuisine, consisting of meat (often chicken, fish, beef, prawns, or pork) and eggs, cooked quickly with vegetables such as bean sproutscabbage, and celery and bound in a starch-thickened sauce. It is typically served with rice but can become the Chinese-American form of chow mein with the addition of stir-fried noodles."(Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chop_suey)

Ingredients:
Boiled Noodles: 2 cups
Mixed Veges:  1 & 1/2 cups (sliced- Carrot, Beans, Peas, Coloured bell, Baby Corn etc.)
Boiled Shredded chicken - 1 cup
Chicken Stock - 4 cups (Pls See Notes)
Garlic - 6-7 cloves
Corn flour -  2 tbspns (heaped)
Water - 3tbspns
Light Soy Sauce - 1 tbspn
Plum Sauce - 2 tspn
Salt and Sugar as per taste
Oil- 2 tbspns
Method:

  1. Heat oil in big Kadai/wok. Add Garlic. When it will turn brown add the vegetables and the shredded chicken slices.
  2. Cook on a high heat for couple of minutes. Add the Salt and sugar and then keep on frying until the veges look semi soft.
  3. Add the sauces, fry for a minute then add the Noodles and the chicken stock. Bring the stalk to boil.
  4. Dilute the corn flour with water nicely so that it should not form any lumps. Slowly add the corn flour in to the Noodles and keep on stirring continuously.
  5. After couple of minutes take it off the flame and serve hot.
Note:
# To make the chicken stock I just add a table spoon Chilly vinegar, 7-8 garlic cloves, Chicken breast (1 pc), Salt to taste and water. Let the chicken breast boil nicely and then take it off the flame.
# I have made the gravy very less starchy as I thought my daughter would like that way. But Basically Chop Suey looks and tastes better when it has a thick starchy sauce for it.