Friday, August 31, 2012

Shitakke Oriental Restaurant - Review

Whitefield is one of the fastest developing suburbs in Bangalore. Due to lots of emerging malls in this IT hub, Whitefield is buzzing with activity in the food and beverage space, attracting some of the country's most celebrated chefs and enterprising restaurateurs, who are proverbially cooking up a storm.
We recently visited Ascendas Park Square which is situated in the iconic ITPB. It has got some very good restaurants one of which is Shitakke
  

The Ambiance is welcoming and nice! The music was not too loud! The huge Buddha statue is very inviting. The decor kept simple.


"Savour the soulful flavours of the mushroom that speaks volumes of the mystical orient. Breathe in the lingering aroma of the exquisite meal that appeases the taste buds of the truest connoisseur.
Experience a slice of oriental culinary excellence at Shitakke. Boasting the freshest ingredients and the most exotic preparations, Shitakke takes us from Bangkok to Tokyo all in one evening, with a menu ranging from its Northern Thai Curries to its Fresh." is what the people of Shitakke have to say!!


Executive Chef Surendra Chetri takes us on a culinary journey and treats us to very hearty Pan Asian delicacies!!
We started with soups like
SWEET CORN VEGETABLE SOUP-American corn paste with whole corn, salt and sugar and vegetable stock.
TOM YUM VEGETABLE SOUP-Lemon grass, galangal, lemon lips, vegetable stock and tom yum paste.
TOMATO CILANTRO SOUP-Ginger and butter, tomato chunks, vegetable stock,salt,sugar and chopped cilantro.
I liked the Wonton Soup
Veg Dimsums!!

 
Chef's Signature dish!
CRISPY SHITAKKE HONEY PEPPER-Shredded shitakke coated with cornflour, deep fried and tossed with ginger, honey and pepper.
 



This is a picture of dry Shitakke Mushrooms!


TAI PAI CAULIFLOWER-Diced cauliflower coated with cornflour and chilli paste, deep fried and tossed with ginger, garlic and chilli oil.

 
The Stir fried veg noodles tasted very fresh and yum! It was my favourite!!
 


 
TOFU, SHITAKKE BLACK BEAN SAUCE-Tofu cut into triangle shapes and shitakke mushroom with garlic, ginger, black bean seed, soya and seasoning.
 


 
VEG THAI GREEN CURRY-Assorted vegetables blanched and sauted with green curry paste to which is added vegetable stock and coconut milk.
 
STIR FRIED GREENS-Chinese green vegetables tossed with garlic, sesame oil and seasonings.
 
 
The mocktails that were served
KIWI ROYAL- Kiwi crush, fresh lime,sugar syrup, salt and soda.
HURRICANE- Grenadine,mango and pineapple juice, mint with a mixture of sweet and sour.
 
 
They have a wholesome lunch buffet the entire week!
Regarding the Price- Light in your pocket Heavy in your Tummy:)
 

Executive Chef Surendra Chetri heads the kitchen at Shitakke!!


Surendra Chetri also has experience in the hospitality field. He has been with some of the major chains across India and his favourite cuisine is Pan- Asian. Partial to cooking Korean food and Japanese Sushi, Chef Surendra goes out of his way to satisfy the culinary tastes and cravings of his clientele across the country.

People Behind Shitakke
 
Formed in 2011, India based “Orange Tomato Pvt Ltd” operates 4 absolutely gorgeous F&B brands – Shitakke, Twenty.21, Oval Bar and Binge.
Orange Tomato’s international luxury offering is a fresh new brand born out of cultured sophistication, yet modern and innovative in concept. The team is a bunch of smart, fresh, talented individuals bringing foreign yet authentic cuisines to the people of India.
Orange Tomato Pvt Ltd is the brain child of Gilbert Soman, Shibu Thomas and Suhani Mehta. In the capacity of Directors, the dynamic and food loving trio, have Muni Rathnam as the General Manage – Operations. Executive Chef Surendra Chetri heads the kitchen at Shitakke. It is the heart of Oriental cuisine . The young brand also introduces its foray into lounges and bars through Binge, one of the most popular hot spots in Bangalore for a great lounging experience and Oval Bar which is setting new standards for an uninhibited partying experience at an all new level when it comes to indulging in fun and pampering your spirits.

 
DISCLAIMER: All the views in this post are my own and done by tasting the product. This is not a paid review

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shahi Paneer a Royal Delicacy!

Shahi paneer is a Royal delicacy of paneer  in a thick, creamy and slightly spicy gravy of tomato, onion and cashew nuts paste. 
 
 
Ingredients
 
200 grams of Paneer-cubed
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 small Onions, finely copped
2 Tomatoes- pureed
2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
1 Green Chili slit lengthwise
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Garam Masala
¾ cup Cashew Pieces
1 cup Milk
1 to 1 1/2 cup Water
Salt to taste
2-4 sprigs of Coriander / mint , finely chopped for garnishing
 
Preparation
 
Soak the cashew nuts in milk for about 15 minutes.
Heat 2 tbsp Oil in a pan on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let it splutter.
Add Onions and fry until slightly golden.
Add Ginger-Garlic paste and Green Chilli and cook for 1 minute.
Add Tomato puree and stir well and cook until oil separates.
While Onions/Tomato mixture is cooking, blend soaked Cashew nuts and milk in a blender until smooth.
Once Onion/Tomato mixture is ready, add Cumin powder, Coriander powder and garam masala and mix well. Add cashew nuts and milk mixture and mix well. There should be no lumps in the gravy. The heat should be on low as the gravy will thicken fast. Add water, Salt and bring to boil.
While waiting for the gravy to boil, slightly sauté cubed paneer in 1 tbsp oil, on medium to high heat in a non-stick pan.
Once paneer is slight golden brown in color, drain excess oil.
Once gravy comes to a boil, add in paneer and mix.
Garnish with fresh coriander, mint or additional broken cashews.
If you like thicker or thinner gravy, adjust the amount of water accordingly.
Serve warm with Rotis or Naan.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bliss Luxury Chocolates - Review

"The Mayans believed chocolate to be the food of the Gods, and our veneration of chocolate is nothing less!" is what the creators of Bliss Chocolates have to say.
Bliss is India's first luxury chocolate brand and has brought the first Chocolate Lounge to India.They are dedicated to crafting exquisite handmade European chocolates & desserts. The first Chocolate Lounge was launched with great success at the Whitefield Forum Value Mall in Bangalore, India in June, 2009.
The Founders of Bliss chocolates are NRIs from Australia who have vast experience in a variety of fields ranging from the Hospitality Industry to Finance, IT and HR. Founded in 2008, Bliss currently has four lounges across the city – the Bliss Luxe Lounge in UB City, the Bliss Lounge at Mantri Square, Bliss Chocolate Lounge at Forum Mall and Forum Value Mall.

I and my dear friend Sweatha of  "Tasty curry leaf" were invited to the lounge for a review and how blissful is that!! 


Bliss is a premium brand that creates unique Luxury Chocolates, Cakes and Desserts. Their raw chocolate is sourced from all around the world and Their recipes are unique and created by world renowned chocolatiers and patisseries.


It was truly a blissful treat to our eye and soul. I loved the chilly and Masala chai flavor and my daughter loved strawberry flavoured chocolates:)

 The Bliss executives greeted us very warmly with these lovely spread of chocolates and desserts. We were served  Balloon brownie -A chocolate balloon over the brownie sizzles in front of you once the hot chocolate is poured over, Belgian Chocolate Truffle Cake, Chocolate mousse cake, a Chocolate Marquise -A dessert that has dark chocolate mousse layered by chocolate brownie  and chocolates with signature flavours like Rum truffle, Cardamom, Raspberry, Strawberry  Masala Chai, Cumin, Praline passion, Pina colada, Almond Sensation, Cinnamon, Honey ginger, Hazelnut and many more..



Blue berry mousse layered with vanilla sponge and topped with blueberry puree, Strawberry Mousse Cake, Mango Passion- A mixture of mango and passion fruit yogurt based dessert for the fruity lovers.


The Belgian Chocolate Truffle cake which had sponge cake layers stuffed with Belgian Chocolate Ganache is completely eggless.

They also have sugar free chocolates. Diabetics and weight watchers can now enjoy without guilt the sugar free range of chocolate bars, in which sugar has been substituted with Maltitol.
They have lovely Gifting ideas and hampers in their website.
Bliss also has launched its new range of gourmet boutique breads at Gourmet West at the Forum Mall, Koramangala, Bangalore. Gourmet West has got multigrain breads, burger buns, Whole Wheat breads, lavash, bread sticks, muffins, croissants, tea cakes and much more!!

It was truly a blissful journey into the world of chocolates especially when you get to taste Indian flavours in a chocolate!

DISCLAIMER: All the views in this post are my own and done by tasting the product. This is not a paid review.







Monday, July 9, 2012

Brown Rice Vegetable Pilaf



Ingredients

1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 large onion (Fried till brown and crisp)
2 medium  carrots, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
10-12 French beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 medium cauliflower, separated into small florets
6-7 medium fresh button mushrooms, halved
1/2 cup green peas, shelled and blanched
1 bay leaf
2-3 cloves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 inch cinnamon
Salt to taste
2 green chillies, slit
2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

Preparation

Soak the brown rice in four to five cups of water for two hours.  Drain and set aside
Heat a deep non-stick pan, add the bay leaf, cloves, cumin seeds and cinnamon and roast for a few seconds or till fragrant.  Add the drained rice and salt and roast for one to two minutes.
Add four cups of water.  Bring it to a boil.
Add the carrots, French beans, cauliflower, mushrooms and green chillies.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and cook till almost done
Add the green peas and mix gently.  Cover and cook till done
Serve hot, garnished with the fresh coriander and crisp fried onions!


Brown rice with vegetables is abundant in vitamins and minerals and the aroma of the spices whets the appetite.

Recipe inspired from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor!



Saturday, June 30, 2012

Forbidden Dirty Rice Dosa!


When someone gave me this rice I had no clue, what to do with it!! But then it was a trial and the dosas came out really crisp. Black rice is not used much in Indian cuisine except for pudding and desserts. Payasam is made out of this rice in the Chettinad Cuisine.
Photocourtesy: Getreal4healthfood


Ingredients

1 cup raw rice (washed and soaked for 3 hours)
1 cup Forbidden black rice (washed and soaked for 3 hours)
1 cup urad dal (washed and soaked for 3 hours)
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds (soaked )
Salt to taste

Preparation

Grind the rice and dals together or separately. If grinding separately, mix  up all the batter which should be of dosa consistency. Add salt and mix. Let it ferment for 4-5 hours.
Heat the tawa and pour one ladle of batter on the tawa and spread to make dosa. The tawa should be on medium high flame.  Flip gently and cook till crisp. Serve warm with chutney and sambar.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Idichakka Thoran ( Stir-fried tender jackfruit with coconut from Kerala)



Ingredients

3 cups roughly chopped tender jackfruit
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt or to taste

Ground to a coarse paste

1 cup grated fresh coconut
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
2 cloves garlic(Optional)
2-3 tbsp water

Tempering

2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp rice grains
2 dried red chillies, halved
1/2 cup onions sliced (optional)
1 green chilli, halved
1 sprig curry leaves

Place jackfruit in a pressure pan with turmeric powder, salt and 1 cup water.  Cook for 1 or 2 whistlesand turn off the heat.  remove from cooker, drain and crush jackfruit with a ladle into small shreds.
Blend in ground paste and set aside.
Heat oil for tempering in a frying pan over moderate heat.  Add remaining ingredients for tempering in the order given.  When mustard seeds splutter, add, onions, jackfruit, Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes till mixture is dry
Serve hot as a side dish.

Note: 500 gms of tender jackfruit is needed to get 3 cups of cleaned and chopped jackfruit.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mixed Dal Dosa (Adai)

I made a little variation from the traditional Adai recipe which is popularly made in Tamilnadu. I used Moong dal , chana dal, urad dal, thuvar dal, Masoor dal (Panchmeli Dal mix).


Ingredients

2 cups Raw rice ( washed and soaked for 3-4 hours)
1/2 cup husked urad dal (washed and soaked for 3 hours)
1/2 cup of mixed dal (chana dal, masoor dal(husked), moong dal, thuvar dal) (washed and soaked for 3 hours)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (soaked along with the dals)
2" piece ginger
2-4 dry red chillies (soaked along with dals)
4 tbsp grated fresh coconut
1/2 tsp asafoetida
handful of curry leaves (chopped finely)
Salt to taste

Preparation

Grind the rice, dals, fenugreek, ginger, redchillies, coconut altogether. The batter should be of dosa batter consistency. Add salt, asafoetida, curry leaves and mix well. Fermentation is not required but leave the batter at room temperature for 4-5 hours. I did not refrigerate it immediately. To make Adai, pour a ladle of batter and spread like a dosa, as thin as possible. Pour a tsp of oil and leave the dosa on medium high till golden brown, flip carefully and fry till golden and crisp!  The dosa comes out very crisp with a lovely golden colour. It is also very healthy for kids! Serve hot with chutney, sambar or pickles! It tastes great with Powdered Jaggery and a dollop of butter :)


Monday, May 28, 2012

Stir-fried beetroot with lentil crumble from Chettinad (Beetroot Paruppu Usili)


This Recipe is inspired from Chandra Padmanabhan's Simply South. Her recipes are a real treasure!

Ingredients

1/2 cup Thuvar dal (pigeon peas)
1/2 cup husked bengal gram(chana dal)
6 dried red chillies
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
Salt to taste
4cups grated beetroot
1 onion, finely chopped

Tempering
3 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp husked black gram dal(urad dal)
1 green chilli, halved
1 sprig curry leaves

Preparation

Wash dals and soak in 2 cups water with red chillies for 1 hour. Drain and grind to a coarse batter, gradually adding 1/3-1/2 cup water.
Add asafoetida powder and 3/4 tsp salt. Mix well and set aside.
Pressure cook the beetroots, let them cool. Remove the skin and grate.
In a pan, heat oil for tempering over moderate heat. Add the tempering ingredients in the order given. When mustard seeds splutter, add onions and fry till pink.
Blend in dal batter and fry over low heat stirring frequently, till mixture is well cooked, crisp and resembles breadcrumbs. (but not hard)
Mix in beetroot and stir-fry for 5 minutes till well blended.
Serve hot with rice.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Bajra ki Masaledar Roti

Bajra Rotis are  very popular in Rajasthan. I did some mix and match to it and gave it a makeover:)


Ingredients
2 cup Bajra Flour (Millet)
1 cup Whole wheat flour
1 medium potato boiled and mashed
1 radish grated
Salt to taste
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 finely chopped onion (optional)
1tsp chilli powder
1 tsp Garam Masala powder
1 tbsp olive oil
water to make dough

Preparation
Sift together the two flours into a bowl. Add the mashed potatoes, radish, all the masalas and olive oil. Add enough water to make a soft dough. Cover the dough to rest for ten minutes. Divide the dough into small equal portions and form into balls. Make small rotis, use extra flour for rolling if required. Heat tawa/griddle and make the roti by adding oil, Fry till they give Paratha like texture.
Serve hot with Pickles, chutneys, or just butter:)

Sending this to Nags for The Balance Mantra.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Bharli Vangi (Stuffed Brinjals)


This  learnt this recipe from a very sweet Maharashtrian friend of mine long back .  Pulled it out of my drafts today:)

Ingredients
    * 12-14 small brinjals/eggplants,
    * 1 cup dry shredded coconut,
    * 1/2 cup peanut powder or peanuts (roasted),
    * 1/4 cup sesame seeds,
    * 1 tbsp each coriander-cumin seeds,
    * 2 tbsp Maharashtrian goda Masala    
    * 1 tsp tamarind pulp,
    * 1 tbsp jaggery,
    * 2 tsp chilli powder,
    * salt to taste,
    * 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste (optional),
    * 1/2 tsp asafoetida,
    * 1 tsp turmeric powder.
    * 2 tsp oil


Preparation

   1. Remove stems and give four vertical slits (not fully) to the brinjals from the top. If you want to keep the stems, give the slits from the bottom of the brinajls keeping the stem intact. Keep them in salt water for 10 minutes and rinse. Set aside.
   2. Roast coconut, sesame seeds, coriander-cumin seeds together till light brown. Powder this mixture and combine tamarind, jaggery, peanut powder, ginger-garlic paste, salt, chilli powder and goda masala with the ground spices. Alternatively, grind all these ingredients together with the roasted mixture.
   3. Stuff all the brinjals with above masala.
   4. Take a kadai or a shallow non stick pan, and heat oil in it. Add mustard seeds. When you hear spluttering sound, add asafoetida and turmeric powder.
   5. Add the brinjals and the leftover masala. Gently fry for sometime. Add 1/2 cup water.
   6. Cover and cook over low-medium heat for about 15-25 min or until the brinjals turn soft and completely cooked. (To keep the masala from sticking to the bottom of the pan, cover the pan with a deep platter with some water in it. It helps the curry cook evenly without burning.)
   7. Remove the lid and stir to check if the brinjals are done. If not, cook further until well done. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapati or rice.
Variations:
1) Chop 1 small onion and combine it with the ground masala in step 2. Follow rest of the method same as above.
2) Add potato cut into vertical pieces along with the brinjals.
3) Stuff small potatoes in the same way as brinjals and cook them along with the brinjals.





Monday, April 30, 2012

VEGETABLE KORMA



Ingredients

1/2 cup shelled peas
1/2 cup cauliflower florets washed and drained
2 small carrots - cut into small cubes (I grated them, as the kids cannot separate it:)
4-5 french beans - cut in to 1/2" diagonal pieces
1/3 cup potato cut into cubes
2 onions - chopped finely
2 green chillies
4 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp salt

(CASHEW-CURD PASTE)

4 tsp poppy seeds - soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and drained
3/4 cup curd
2 tbsp cashew nuts
2 tbsp grated coconut(fresh or desiccated)
2 whole dry red chillies
1/2" piece ginger
3-4 flakes garlic
2 tsp coriander seeds,
seeds of 2-3 green cardamom

Garnish
Chopped fresh coriander and mint leaves

Preparation
Soak poppy seeds, cashew nuts, coconut, red chillies, ginger, garlic, coriander seeds  and green cardamom in little water. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
Drain and grind together to a paste along with curd.  Keep aside.
Parboil the vegetables in very little water.
Heat 4 tbsp oil in a pan.  Add chopped onion and  cook till onions turns golden.  Add the turmeric powder,  prepared cashew-curd paste.  Cook on low heat for 3-4 minutes.
Add beans, cauliflower, potato, peas and carrots.  Stir for 2 minutes
Add 1 cup of water or enough to get a thick gravy. Bring to boil.
Add garam masala and salt.  Simmer for 5 minutes
Boil for 1 minute. Garnish and serve hot.