Monday, July 27, 2015

Foodie Jaunts - 7 Course Meal at Orient 8, Lavasa, Pune, India.

There was a time not so long ago, that is, about ten to fifteen years back, we could enjoy some real good quality Chinese food not just at reasonably priced restaurants but also at roadside outlets. One did not have to always visit a high end restaurant for some good Chinese food. Way back in the eighties, if I remember correctly, a Chinese chef named Col Lee, who used to earlier work for a restaurant, decided to branch out on his own, he set up shop at south Bombay’s prime business district Nariman Point. He sold Chinese food from a hand cart. Needless to mention office goers made a beeline for his cart, after all he was a Chinese selling Chinese food, soon he also attracted the notice of food reviewers. Likewise once while my brother and I were out on professional work, we found this roadside restaurant run by an old Chinese gentleman. It was a makeshift restaurant with plastic chairs and tables, but the food that this gentleman cooked was mind blowing, a high end restaurant would have charged an arm and leg for such good quality food. Now sadly everything has changed, all you get, even in some of the fairly high priced restaurants, is Chinese food with strong flavours, guaranteed to overwhelm your taste buds.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Shojne Daantar Chorchori (Drumsticks and Potatoes in Mustard Sauce)

In the summer months what I like is something simple, as it is vegetables are scarce during the summer months and one is not left with much choice. Whenever my mum saw some good quality drumsticks (called shojne daanta in Bengali) in the market, she picked them up to make this dish. I cooked this dish early this summer for the first time, I had never cooked it before. Did I follow my mum’s recipe? I hope so because it tasted just like hers.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Foodie Jaunts – Breakfast at Mercure Lavasa

If you want to unwind and just relax then Lavasa (situated in Pune district, Maharashtra) is the place to be in. Sometimes holidays too can tire you, thanks to all the sight seeing that you normally do in a tourist destination. Lavasa is one of those places where you just take in the scenic beauty all around you and just experience the place. What better way to begin your day than with a sumptuous breakfast. My brother Aroop Bose takes you on a Foodie Jaunt to Mercure's breakfast.

Mercure Lavasa – Where breakfast is a celebration

by Aroop Bose

When you are out on a holiday a hearty breakfast in the morning becomes very important; after a sumptuous breakfast you might want to skip lunch and save time. Mercure, situated in Lavasa near Pune is one hotel where every breakfast is not just a pleasure but is a celebration.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sarson Ka Saag (Mustard Leaves)

In my post on Yam in a Bowl, I did mention that I had cooked Sarson Ka Saag this winter. I know summer has set in but I feel it would be a pity not to post it particularly when the video is ready.

I love Sarson Ka Saag. Mustard is widely grown in the north of India and also in the eastern parts of the country. It is not surprising therefore that mustard oil is the primary cooking medium in Bengal and of course in the other states located in the east. Bengalis are therefore not unfamiliar with mustard leaves or shorsher shaak as we Bengalis call it. The way Bengalis prepare shorsher shaak is quite different from the way North Indians prepare Sarson Ka Saag. I have a vague idea of the way it is prepared, my mum used to make it quite often.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Foodie Jaunts – Bengali New Year in Bombay

My experience with Bengali cuisine has been quite interesting, needless to mention I am talking about the restaurants serving Bengali food. I wanted to do a post just on these restaurants but then my experience continues, as we keep discovering a new Bengali restaurant every other day, for instance, we recently tasted some delicious Bengali food at Bong Bong in Bandra, Mumbai and Aadrika at Viman Nagar, Pune. I guess I will have to postpone that post for the future while my brother Aroop Bose takes you on a journey of Bengali food served at Bengali restaurants in Bombay during the Bengali New Year.

Celebrating Bengali New Year in Bombay
By Aroop Bose

The Bengali New Year will be celebrated on April 15, 2015 and the restaurants serving Bengali food will present their patrons with special menus for the occasion. In this article I would like to share our experiences with regard to the food we ate from two restaurants in the suburbs of Bombay – one being Oh! Calcutta located in Andheri and the other being Food First in Malad.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Oaler Batichorchori (Yam in a Bowl)

I am back after a long break. Personal matters kept me busy, but now I hope I am able to blog without any such interruptions.

In the past few posts my recipes were accompanied with videos. Now that I have begun to enjoy this process of making videos, I have decided to continue the practice with my future posts as well.

Winter has come to an end, but before it ended I made it a point to get my brother to shoot videos of me cooking with two winter vegetables, one is sarson ka saag  (mustard leaves) and the other is oaler batichorchori, a traditional Bengali dish where the principal ingredient is yam which in Bengali is called oal.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Foodie Jaunts — Unfixed Lunch at Mainland China, Aundh, Pune

There was a sense of déjà vu for me when I visited Mainland China at Aundh Pune this time. It took me down memory lane to 1998, when I used to occasionally do restaurant reviews for Westside Plus a supplement of The Times of India. Anjan Chatterjee who was known for his advertising agency had just forayed into the world of food with Only Fish- a restaurant that focused on fish and Sweet Bengal a sweet shop. Incidentally Only Fish changed to Not Only Fish and later to Oh! Calcutta. 

Soon after Only Fish he launched the first Mainland China at Saki Naka, a rather congested location in Andheri East a suburb located in the north west of Bombay. Here, besides the regular menu, he had introduced an executive lunch for just Rs 175/-. This was a steal, because he allowed the diners to choose the main dish from the regular menu. I was therefore thrilled to find a similar offer after so many years in Aundh. This meal, I noticed, was available only in Aundh and not at their other outlets in Pune or in Bombay.