Plum Jam – With a hint of ginger

In continuing with my plum love saga , I made some plum jam and spiked it up by adding a bit if ginger. It gingery zing goes well with the sweetness of the plums. My mom came visiting last week and got along a stash of Plums again. And the best bet seemed like making a jam out of them . I tried it with some toast and it tasted great. A little drizzle on some vanilla muffins would be great too. You go note the recipe.

 

jam 1

 

jam 4

 

 

Plum Jam - With a hint of ginger
Author: 
Recipe type: Jam and Pickles
Cuisine: Continental
 
A super easy jam recipe.
Ingredients
  • Plums - 10-15 - sliced
  • Ginger - half an inch root -finely grated
  • Brown Sugar - 2 cups
  • Vinegar - 1 tsp
Instructions
  1. In a non stick pan add the sliced plums and the brown sugar and let it simmer till thick and gooey. Add the grated ginger and vinegar , mix well and simmer for another 5 mins.
  2. Pass the mixture through a sieve and discard the skin and the seeds.
  3. Let it cool.
  4. Store in a glass jar.
 

An evening of celebrating Italian Food @ Swissotel

Last Saturday saw me attending an evening celebrating Italian Food at the Swissotel, Kolkata. Despite many odds ( last min guests and some other commitments) I found myself engulfed in Swiss hospitality yet again. It was a special evening celebrating the spirit of Italian cuisine – a menu specially curated by Chef Gianluca Cazzin from Fairmont, Abu Dhabi. Originally from Venice , Italy and having trained with many a Michellin starred chefs , Chef Gianlunca has been whipping up quite a gastrnomic storm in Abu Dhabi food scene from past year and a half. I hade the privilege of a candid chat with the very down to earth Chef Gianluca who very sweetly told me that Butter Chicken was his favourite Indian dish! When asked wat his favourite ingredients were , he shot off , tomatoes , olive oil and cheese!

It was a formal evening with beautiful set up that quite set the mood. The guest list comprised of city’s food conneissuers and expats who have made Kolkata their home now. And there I was on behalf of KFB waiting to soak up the experience. It was also the first time KFB was doing a #liveblogging of the event through Facebook and Twitter.

gianluca collage

We took our respective seats and were good to go. It was to be a 5 course dinner – with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. The menu comprised dishes from varied territories of Italy, namely Tuscany , Piedmont and of course Venice.We started with Insalata ( salad) . For the non vegetarians it was Insalata Veneziana – Onion, bell pepper ,raisins and pine nuts with marinated prawns. Raisins and Italian – well that was a first for me. We moved on to the soup – I opted for the veg version – Minestrone di Verdure alla Genovese – homemade pesto ,garden vegetables with toasted ciabatta bread. Earthy and absolutely homestyle. Chef Cazzin was kind enough to introduce each course with a little anecdote attached to it. I was, well, kind of full by now and the wine was working too!

The Primi Piatti arrived – Tagliolini all’Astice – Fresh lobster, chili,tomatoes ,evoo,garlic and zucchini. Fresh and delicious is what I can recollect at this moment. It was a 5 course meal but I had to unfortunately leave due to some other prior commitments. The Tiramisu I heard was mind blowing!

The evening also saw the launch of “Swissotel Cook book” – definitely the first of its kind in the city. Swissotel , Kolkata is at the top of their game when it comes to hospitality and guest relations. The cookbook is a compilation of varied recipes that are a favourite of their regular guests. The hard work of Chef Pranay and Chef Sanjay surely reflects in the same. Ashish , Enakshi and Debiroopa as usual at their sweetest best, taking good care of me.

Well, what else can I write! It was an evening I shall remember for long.

Keema Bruschetta – A DIY Party Snack

So you have a party coming up and you want to rustle up some easy snack/ starter. Worry not, this DIY (do-it-yourself silly!) Keema Bruschetta is the perfect party item. The keema can be made a day in advance( or few days in advance and frozen ), all that needs to be done after that is assembling. I had some leftover keema and this is the outcome! You can use your usual keema recipe or use this one here.

brischetta main

brushchetta

brushetta 1

 

 

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!

kabab and biryani

swiss 1

swiss 2

swiss 4

swiss 5

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

 

 

Baked Meatballs in Cheese Sauce – Served on a bed of Linguine

It had been long that I invited my extended family over for a meal together and Easter break provided that perfect opportunity. The thing with me is, I get into elaborate menu planning when I am having people over that it exhausts me! This time around, however, I decided to keep it simple. The menu was mainly Indian with just this easy Baked Meatballs in Cheese Sauce thrown in for variety. Very easy again, made with very few ingredients but full marks for taste. I served it on a bed of boiled linguine and it turned out just perfect. My family licked their plates clean and theres nothing more that makes me happy when I can feed my loved ones well. You go note the recipe!

 

meatballs 1

 

meatballs 2

Baked Meatballs in Cheese Sauce - Served on a bed of Linguine
Author: 
Recipe type: Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
 
Cheesy and yummy
Ingredients
  • For the meatballs:
  • Chicken mince - 500 gms
  • Dried oregano - 1 tsp
  • Dried thyme - 1
  • Chilli flakes - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Pepper - to taste
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp.
  • For the sauce :
  • Onion - 1 medium - finely chopped
  • Garlic - 2-3 fat cloves - minced
  • Readymade pasta sauce - 4 tbsp. - I used the red tomato based sauce
  • Heavy Cream - 1 cup
  • Butter - 1 tbsp.
  • Grated parmesan - ½ cup
  • Boiled linguine or spaghetti or even penne would do fine - to serve the meatballs.
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients listed under meatballs and roll the mince into small balls.
  2. Line a baking tray with foil or butter paper, assemble the meatballs and bake in a preheated oven for 10-15 mins at 180 degree C.
  3. Once the meatballs are done, remove from the oven and keep aside.
  4. In a pan , heat the butter. Lightly sauté the garlic and onion mince. Add the readymade pasta sauce and fry for 2-3 mins. season with salt and pepper. Or use any herb of your choice.
  5. Lastly mix in the heavy cream and simmer the sauce gently.
  6. In a baking dish arrange the baked meatballs, pour the sauce over it, sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese on top and bake for 10-15 mins or till the cheese has melted and browned lightly.
  7. Serve on a bed on linguine or spaghetti or any other pasta of your choice. Garnish with oregano ,chilli flakes and some fresh basil leaves
 

Tandoori Chicken – The super easy version

There will be days inyour life when no matter how much you enjoy cooking and say its a therapy for you..the very thought of cooking will give you the jitters. Happens to me many times too often. Nevertheless you still want something yummy, something comforting and take aways are not an option either. What does one do?! Make this super easy version of Oven Grilled Tandoori Chicken. Ever since I have been on the  healthy eating path, tandoori chicken has been my faithful companion. Everytime in doubt, a piece of well grilled succulent juicy chicken makes me happy. And the bong in me just needs a bit of rice and daal along and I am good to go. The only effort in this dish is the marination that can be done even a day ahead. The marinated chicken can be frozen too for upto a week.

tandoori chicken 1

tandoori chicken

Tandoori Chicken - The super easy version
Author: 
Recipe type: Starters
Cuisine: Indian
 
Easy Tandoori chicken
Ingredients
  • Chicken drumsticks - 8-10 pieces
  • Hung curd - 2 tbsp.
  • Lime juice - 1 tbsp.
  • Salt - to taste
  • Ginger - garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  • Kashmiri red chilli powder - 1 tbsp.
  • Garam masala powder - 1 tbsp.
  • Gram flour/Besan - 1 tsp
  • Mustard oil - 1 tbsp.
  • Butter/oil - for basting
Instructions
  1. Wash and dry the chicken drumsticks. Make small gashes all over. Marinate with salt and lime juice and keep aside for 15 mins.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the curd, ginger-garlic paste,kashmiri red chili powder,garam masala powder, gram flour and mustard oil.
  3. Add the chicken pieces and coat each of the piece well with the marinade. Cover the bowl with a cling film and keep in the refrigerator for atleast 2 hours or more.
  4. Line a baking tray with foil paper. Place the chicken pieces and grill in a preheated oven at 250 degree centigrade.
  5. Serve on a bed of fresh lettuce and a side of mint chutney and onion rings

Pineapple Relish

Call it a relish or a simple chutney..this one will surely make you happy. It is a very good way to use up a ripe pineapple that you wouldn’t really enjoy otherwise. Even if the pineapple isn’t that ripe this recipe will work just fine. Make it and keep it bottled in the fridge for a week…it will stay just fine. Eat it with simple dal-chawal or serve it as a side with parathas, kababs or just about anything. And its so simple to make that you are going to love me for this. Here’s a quick recipe of Pineapple Relish

relish 1

 

Pineapple Relish
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiments
Cuisine: Indian
 
A sweet and tangy pineapple relish
Ingredients
  • Pineapple - 1 large - grated
  • Turmeric - 1 tsp
  • Sugar - 7-8 tbsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Dry red chillies - 3-4 nos
  • Black Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Refined oil - 1 tbsp
Instructions
  1. In a bowl take the grated pineapple along with all its juices.Add the turmeric powder , salt and sugar and mix well till the sugar dissolves.Keep it aside.
  2. In a pan add the oil .Once it heats up add the black mustard seeds and the dry red chillies.Once the splutter add the pineapple mixture.
  3. Cover the pan and let it cook for approx half hour or till the the mixture becomes thick in consistency. At this stage check for the seasoning .. add a little more sugar or salt if required.
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool completely.
  5. Serve as a condiment.Bottle it up and stock it in the fridge.Stays well for almost a week.