25 Of India’s Biggest Chefs-Dr.Saagarika Ghoshal| Book Launch| Review

The balmy February evening, making you feel all fuzzy was a precursor to an event of grand proportions. 

 The clickety taps on the keyboards were heard, the wait staff rushing towards last minute finishes & the bustle of excitement increasing by the strike of the minute hand.   

 This was the scene at the Book Launch by Metro-Cash & Carry’s “25 of India’s Biggest Chefs- their stories & recipes” by Dr. Saagarika Ghoshal. 

I, was bestowed with this opportunity,from team “Food Bloggers Association,Bangalore” aka FBAB. They were generous enough to get me a pass, so that I could witness the event.

 

The venue was “Le Méridien” & we were ushered inside the banquet hall, where the magic would take place. All of us anticipated fervently for Dr. Saagarika Ghoshal’s arrival. Then, there she was.. A beautiful, beige & gold saree clad lady, with a heart melting smile. 

 

She waited on for her guests of honour to arrive; the few of the chefs who are listed on the book. Guests of starry repertoire started trickling in & the event started. *starstruck me* 

  

We were treated to an AV by “Metro-Cash & Carry”, which spoke about the ethics of METRO. Emphasising on how METRO believes in “Local produce, by the Locals & for the Locals”.

The book launching ceremony was conducted by all the esteemed guests of honour & the author herself. With confetti flying up in the air & music that pumped your adrenaline, the book unveiled just in the most magnificent fashion.   

   

On the occasion, Dr. Saagarika Ghoshal also felicitated chefs from across the hospitality industry for their unique creative contributions. Those honoured included chefs Abhijit Saha, Kunal Kapoor, Sabyasachi Gorai and Vicky Ratnani, among others.    


  

Brief insights about Metro-Cash & Carry: 

METRO is represented in 26 countries, with 750 self service outlets. Headquartered in Düsseldorf, Germany, METRO-Cash & Carry is a sales division of “METRO GROUP”. 

METRO has built a reputation for the quality of food products and services it offers to hotels, restaurants, catering businesses. The company takes pride in the lasting relationships it has forged to support the food and hospitality sector, and has created the well-recognised Chef-o-logy platform to support and nurture promising culinary talent. The latest recipe book launch is a part of METRO’s continued efforts to showcase such talent among food lovers and cooking enthusiasts.

The magazine called “Foodilicious” by metro
 

We were also lucky to see, clips of the chefs who couldn’t be present for the launch, send in their best wishes to Dr. Ghoshal. 

What is “25 Of India’s Biggest Chefs” all about? 

The book has been launched by METRO-Cash & Carry, where it’s a painstakingly beautiful compilation of signature recipes, by the top 25 chefs of India. The list which decided the top 25 chefs wasn’t an easy one. Each chef, had to in his own way, put India onto the culinary map of the world. He had to be an ambassador who had represented India. 

 

So, in regards to that, they came up with the top 25 chefs & went on to tell you personal snippets of their success story, in this book.

The efforts behind this book seem almost facile but it really was far too abstruse, supplemented by sleepless nights, long conversations & numerous cups of coffee. The project reached its completion within a span of 6 months. 

Here’s the list of who’s who of the culinary world, listed in this book: 

  1. Chef Abhijit Saha
  2. Chef Anil Rohira
  3. Chef Bhaskar Sankhari
  4. Chef Davinder Kumar
  5. Chef Deepa Awchat
  6. Chef Joy Bhattacharya
  7. Chef Kunal Kapur
  8. Chef Manjit Gill
  9. Chef Mayank Kulshreshtha
  10. Chef Narendra Thimmaiah
  11. Chef Nimish Bhatia
  12. Chef Pallav Singhal
  13. Chef Pankaj Bhadouria
  14. Chef Rajesh Dubey
  15. Chef Ramaswamy Selvaraju
  16. Chef Ritu Dalmia
  17. Chef Sabyasachi Gorai
  18. Chef Salil Fadnis
  19. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor
  20. Chef Shaun Kenworthy
  21. Chef Soundarajan P
  22. Chef Sudhir Pai
  23. Chef Vicky Ratnani
  24. Chef Vijaya Bhaskaran
  25. Chef Vikas Khanna

Now, isn’t it a thing of utmost joy to have these culinary stalwarts grace the grip of your fingers & share their recipes & stories with you?

From Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s Shaam Savera to Chef Kunal Kapur’s Haleem Kebab and Chef Vikas Khanna’s Star Anise and Bay Leaf-Infused Lamb Chops, each recipe is a testament to their unique signature styles. It lays stress on convenience & taste.

   

 The event ended on a healthy note, with Chef Sabyasachi Gorai interacting with us while giving us an informal demo on how to prepare the “Ancient Mixed Millets Risotto with Prawns in Coconut Cream”

About the author “Dr. Saagarika Ghoshal” :

She’s the Director of Human Resources at METRO-Cash & Carry India. A lady, who has gone ahead to appreciate food & develop a bond with it. She’s a versatile individual.   

When asked what inspired her?She quoted,” Inspiration is an ongoing process, I get inspired everyday”

  

She reiterated METRO’s commitment to serving the industry. “The chefs in this book have distinguished themselves by the quality, refinement and creativity they bring to each and every dish they serve. METRO hopes to fuel this passion for food not just amidst established chefs, but more importantly, ignite it in future culinarians who dream of blazing a trail in the world of food”, said Dr. Ghoshal  

I, loved the book & I found it, strike a chord with its readers. The book excites you as the pages flip, leaving you helpless in delirium about which recipe is your favourite. 

A must have for the foodie soul & someone who loves experimenting with food. This is a compact, flavour filled & an easy to follow cookbook. 

Statements of appreciation..
 

Go grab a copy & bask in culinary bliss! I’m coming over for dinner 😁

Wishing “Dr. Saagarika Ghoshal” astounding success with her book. 

Click here for more info about FBAB

5 Things That Change When You’re A New Mommy.

I’ve been pondering about drafting this post from the past few days. I mean, I could be all knavish and go on to say, “Oh! Jolly Jelly Beans. Motherhood is the most satisfying thing ever. I’ve just borne a best friend for life. ” 

But, no, I wouldn’t indulge in such pettifoggery and mislead you from the things that will change. Well, Forever!! 

Here are my 5 most favourite/ unfavourable things: 

1. Sleep, will be an ex who you remember with a sad smile: 

You really shouldn’t have treated it, with so much ingratitude. How, you used to decide, when you’d wanna sleep or how you would just hit the pillow & call it a day. Remember, those hibernating naps, where you would sleep for 12-13 hours straight? Good ole days😢😢 Now, your baby decides when you sleep or rather, when he wants to sleep. If you thought, you were a free spirit not bound by rules. Then, you oughta see your baby’s feeding whims. He loves surprising Mommy with 4 a.m. cries. Darling! Welcome to the real “Hunger Games “

  

2. You will never be blessed with peaceful, romantic & carefree dates : 

D’oh!! Who said you would ever have a romantic & a carefree date? Let’s say, you filch a few hours from your baby time & hire a babysitter or just plop your baby at the Grandma’s toasty place. You & your partner, have reservations at the restaurant of your dreams. You order your courses & just when you start feeling the vibe. The phone rings!! “Honey! The baby misses you.” & you hear that wail, like a death knell 😢😢 If, it isn’t during the meal, then it surely will be at the time, you guys decide to have a long, breezy drive. 

And, if your baby comes along with you.. Then, oh well!! It isn’t a date, is it? Muhahhhahaha 😈😈😒😒

  

3. Your fancy Gucci, Dior, & MK purses are replaced by Petunia,  Storksak & BabyCargo diaper bags: 

Gosh! Even those names make me cringe. If, having a baby & his spittle on your shoulder wasn’t enough, now, you need to fashion revamp yourself. Big, floral/block, multi zippered bags filled with diapers, bottom butters, binkys, feed,etc.. is the way of life. Girl!! Your bag, is your identity. It doubles up as, a huge invisible placard that says, ” I’m a new mommy. Don’t mess with me. I’m the human version of Godzilla. I’m grumpy, irritated & exhausted. I need a Gucci more than ever now, but all I get is a diaper bag.” 

  

I feel you girl. Just another 5 years & then you can get your Gucci. Amen! 

4. Going to the Bathroom & having a 2 hour luxury soak with rose petals, bath bombs.. Stop!! :

Well, that’s a thingamaflip of history. It’s been 3 years since I had one. Your child, will miraculously need you the most, when you need some luxury time. When you decide, to pamper yourself with some much needed soak, your baby doesn’t think you deserve that. 10 minute showers are the trend these days. Once your baby is a toddler, rest assured that he’s gonna follow you & ask you, “What you doing inside?” atleast a 100 times in 10 minutes. 

  

5. Your shopping hauls will be filled with the cute A/W collection booties, diapers, toys and all that :

Remember, the last time you shopped selfishly just for yourself? Not anymore. It’s shopping haul for the baby too! More shopping goals & more financial oopsies now! 

“YOU spent $100 on stupid designer shoes for the baby, which he clearly won’t wear for more than 6 months?”, shouts the husband. 

Well, mommy! You’re learning. You’ll get the hang of it. Slowly, you’ll make wise decisions like spending $100 on toys? He won’t outgrow that in 6 months, will he?

Nope!! He’ll get over it, within a span of a week 😱

Now, I have a bonus one for you, Mommy! 

6. Your Playlist & Phones will be filled with “Wheels on the bus” kinda songs & “Baby Hazel” games: 

Yes! You heard me right! Your playlist will have annoying voices, blaring about “little boy blue, Jack Horner & London Bridge” on the damn loop. Then, your phones will start using those free MB’s to fill it with “Counting, Colouring & ABC” apps. This starts with a necessity to keep your toddler shut at the doctors, then you decide to keep him shut at the restaurant, mall, salon & every other place you take him along. 

  

Well, we all are ninjas on alert. We do need our inventories to be well stocked. 

Things will eventually get better and life won’t get back to normal pre baby days, but you’ll learn the art of making this a normalcy. Super proud of all the mommies. 

Welcome to motherhood mommy!! Have a great time here. 

P.S: All images have been sourced from http://www.google.com & are the sole right of the owner. These are not mine to credit. They have been used only for reference purposes. 

Curtain Raiser to Young Chef Olympiad 2016.

And you pondered deeply, with creased foreheads & frown lines, that you’ve seen it all. Let’s ease those creases & frowns & let me give you a yogic breathing session. 

After the deep breaths, things are gonna be pumping up. Ooh!! I’ve just received a weather forecast. 

ACHTUNG!! WEATHER FORECAST:

Foodies, Bloggers & Media influencers, spot a pots & pans rattling hurricane, heading towards India with spices & produce. Expected to arrive by 26 th January 2016. Please prepare yourself with aprons & mise en place. 

Whoa!! What was that about?? Noorain, better spill those beans & make some baked bean salad 😋😋

You know, that i love food. You know, that I love socialising. You know, that I love trying out new stuffs (probably you didn’t, but imma telling you anyway). Now, let’s imagine all those 3 things on 1 ginormous platform. 1 platform that’s the everything of the Culinary World. 1 platform that’s a dream for doe eyed chefs. 1 platform that’s gonna stand testimony, to the culinary hurricane that’s gonna be engulfing India, in a few days. 
Let’s welcome the YOUNG CHEF OLYMPIAD on the 26th of January 2016, conducted by IIHM. The event is backed by Ministry of Tourism, India. 😍😍

I, was invited over by team FBAB, Chef Bibhuti is always a charm, by giving his association members the best events to witness. 

The event was conducted at I.I.H.M- Bangalore. It was hosted by our beautiful hostess Miss Shalini Charles, who gave us an insight of what was going to take place, in the course of the following days. 

The YCO is a very ambitious project, which promises to tap in raw talent present in every culinary student. It’s an interactive event, where 67 countries will be participating to unveil their talented Young Chefs. All of them will be ferociously competing for the title & a grand sum of USD 10,000/- 

The prelims will be held in 3 cities & on 29th in Bangalore. Kolkata will witness the finale.

 

 

The evening, then progressed to Chef Shaun Kenworthy, magically concocting up a beautiful fusion dessert called “A trifle Indian”. It was a merging of East & West. Ginger snaps in orange zest with Mishti doi & Spun sugar.  

What mesmerised me was the way, he spun sugar outta the caramel on a whisk in just minutes. That scene, in a very uncanny way, reminded me of that childhood fairytale called “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Remember, the Emperor wants the most luxurious set of clothes for the parade & he summons spindle weavers, who spin invisible threads of Gold? 😂😂 The story altered here..

  

 Well, here Chef Shaun was the one with the INVISIBLE spindle & spun VISIBLE threads of Gold outta thin air. He certainly, didn’t need it to strike midnight nor did he need the privacy. Off he went, spinning magic. 

  

 
We, then had the immense pleasure of having a tête a tête-à-tête with the Infallible Chef Abhijit Saha. *water please* 

It’s always so overwhelming to meet, someone who has made India & more specifically Bangalore proud. My nerves had me cracking up, all I could so was smile like a buffoon looking at him . Yes, I’m fangirling here. He’s the mastermind behind “Caperberry & Fava”, need I say more??

  

   

Fondly called as “Bangalore’s Masterchef”, Chef Abhijit Saha was filled with humility, wisdom & eloquence. His warm personality, swayed us all. If, Chef Abhijit Saha was a dish, he’d be a nice Moroccan Mushroom Tagine that warms you up & makes you feel good.    

 The event ended with the talented students of IIHM, tickling our tummies with delicious finger foods & short eats. What a well manicured & primed lot they were. Here’s a little sneak peek of the tickle session.   

  
    

Quick bites in deepa’s plate!!
  
Deep blue.. a mix of pineapple juice & mango juice.. yumm!
 

Also, a great effort by team Nucleus for organising the event so effortlessly. Special mention to Taranjeet & Vinay for chatting up with us bloggers. 

Selfie with the beautiful student Bhuvi & my dear friend Deepa!
 

Another special mention to 3 IIHM students, who I could remember. Bhuvi, Manoj & Satya for making us feel so good. They even gave us cupcake goodie bags. Man!! They were delicious 😋😋

Here’s a pic of the students, Miss Shalini, Chef Abhijit Saha & Chef Shaun Kenworthy.  

For all the students, who will be participating in the YCO, here’s a big hug & best wishes from me. May the best one win!!  

Our Chef BB is always a poser, its a joy to see, what pose he strikes in each groupie!! 👍🏻
 

I’ll be there, inshallah to witness the prelims live in Bangalore, will you??


P.S: The group photo belongs to Chef BB & has been used only for reference purpose. 

Shammi Kabobs, a ritual.

Everyone, has a certain favourite from their mommy’s kitchen, a good, delicious shammi kabob is one of them. 

I, fondly remember, mum making these kabobs atleast once a month. She loves everything fresh, from the spices to the produce. She used to make her own chilli powder, garam masala & all that, she still does. The house would be filled with warm aromas of the spices & we instantly would know that, tomorrow would be the “Shammi Kabob” day. 

The “Shammi Kabob” day would mean, takeaways & fries & Nintendo , the whole day. How super exciting 😁😁 Mum, would be slogging the day off, with the mixer going on & off, aromas in the house & huge platters of uncooked circular Shammi kabobs, getting ready to be frozen. She would make it by the kilograms, so that it could last a month. Though, I’m in the process of turning into a vegetarian, I sorely miss this one & sometimes, I do cheat & gulp one down. 😱😱

There are so many kinds of mince kabobs, but the all time favorite kabob, has to be this deliciously blended one with a mix of yellow Bengal gram and meat mince.

It boasts of giving your meat a well deserved transformation. If you haven’t developed a taste for shammi kabobs, now u surely will after trying this recipe.

SHAMMI KABOBS ON A BED OF LETTUCE

INGREDIENTS:

  • Lamb mince or chicken mince- 500 gms 
  • Yellow Bengal gram lentils a.k.a.chana dal- 250gms
  • My secret garam masala- 1 Tbsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • Roasted & crushed cumin (we already have cumin in the garam masala)- 1 tsp
  • A small bunch of coriander leaves and mint leaves.
  • Juice of about 1 lime.
  • Red chilli powder as per taste
  • Garlic paste- 1 Tbsp
  • Ginger paste- 1 Tbsp
  • Greek yogurt- 1 Tbsp
  • Small sliced onion-1
  • Salt.
  • Oil for frying
  • A few cloves of garlic.
  • 2 eggs

METHOD OF PREPARATION:

1)After having prepped for shammi kabobs, you will first need to boil the Bengal gram well enough. Make sure the Bengal gram is boiled to a stage where it’s a la dente. Overcooking the lentils, makes it oily upon frying, as overtly soft lentils tend to absorb oil.

2)Boil the mince with a few cloves of garlic, till tender.

3)Next add all dry ingredients and after a nice mix with the spatula add yogurt, ginger paste and garlic paste with 2 eggs. Later add the mix into a food processor and once it’s nice and homogenous, add coriander and mint leaves with finely sliced onions and a juice of lime.

4) With your bare hands shape them into small circles.

5)Freeze for about an hour before frying.

6)Deep fry the shammi kabobs till golden brown.

DIFFICULTY: MODERATE

PREPARATION TIME:45 -50 MINUTES

SERVINGS: 7-8 PERSONS