Category Archives: Food

Post Event: AXN Top Chef Live Cook Up Session with Chef Saransh Goila

It’s so wonderful to see brands innovate and bring new things to the consumers plate. AXN Top Chef in a recent event tried to do something new as well. They pick recipes from their popular culinary show Top Chef  and brought them to the table in an exclusive session  alongwith the young and talented Chef Saransh Goila for media and bloggers.

AXN’s show Top Chef is a reality show where professional chefs compete against each other to create the finest of dishes and a panel of judges rate them on the basis of taste, presentation and technique. CheF Saransh Goila re-created top 3 recipes for the audience to taste – ‘Macrons with Guacamole’, ‘Quinoa Pasta cooked with Zucchini Salsa Verde’ and ‘Jerk Halibut with Mango slaw’. 

Mumbai Candid brings to you the recipes of all these three dishes. Do try them and let us know how they turn out in the comments below.

1] Macarons With Guacamole

Ingredients

MACARONS

4 egg whites

1½ teaspoons cream of tartar

Grated zest of 1 lime

½ cup sugar

GUACAMOLE

2 ripe avocados; pitted, peeled and cut into large dice

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

½ Teaspoon red wine vinegar

1½ Teaspoon Ground Cumin

0.25 Cup Minced Red Onion

1 Jalapeño Chilli, seeded and minced

2 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

Salt And freshly ground pepper

CORN PUREE

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 stalk lemongrass, smashed

1 kaffir lime leaf

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

3 sprigs fresh cilantro

Salt And freshly ground pepper

1 cup heavy cream

0.25 cup CornNuts, finely ground

MAKES 40 MACARONS

FOR THE MACARONS: Preheat the oven to 185°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine the egg whites, cream of tartar, and lime zest in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on high speed until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue to whip until the whites are stiff and glossy. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip or plastic bag with the corner cut off and pipe small round domes of meringue about 2 inches in diameter onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until a pale golden brown and dry to the touch, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. If it’s a humid day, you may need to turn off the oven and let the macarons dry for up to 12 hours. Set aside to cool completely.

FOR THE GUACAMOLE: Combine the avocados, lime juice, vinegar, and cumin in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Scoop the guacamole into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip or a plastic bag and set aside in the refrigerator.

FOR THE CORN PUREE: Melt the butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the lemongrass and lime leaf and sweat until soft. Add the corn kernels and cilantro and sweat for 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the cream and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the lemongrass, lime leaf, and cilantro and transfer the corn mixture to a blender. Blend until smooth, then pass the purée through a fine-mesh sieve. Set aside.

To serve, pipe the guacamole between 2 macarons. Spoon small circles of corn purée on to a plate or plates and set a macaron sandwich on top of each pool of purée. Dust the plate with the CornNuts and serve.

Prep Time: 45 minutes, plus 3 hours for baking

BRYAN DISHES

“The macaron is something that I use at my restaurant a lot. The idea is to create a very light-flavoured shell that is crisp, so layers of texture can be achieved with a smooth purée or pudding. Normally in the mid-Atlantic it takes about ten hours to prepare these macarons using a dehydrator; I took a huge risk trying to pull this off. I relied on the environment, being in the desert, to dry the macarons overnight.”

2] Quinoa Pasta

Ingredients

SALSA VERDE

Leaves from 2 bunches fresh flat-leaf parsley

Leaves from 1 bunch fresh basil

12 cornichons, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons Capers; rinsed

4 cloves garlic coarsely chopped

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or as needed

Sea salt and Freshly ground pepper

PINE NUT GREMOLATA

1/2 cup gluten-free crackers

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon minced garlic

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

PASTA

1 pound quinoa spaghetti

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic sliced

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

1/4 teaspoon red pepper Flakes

6 zucchini, cut lengthwise into thin slices

2 cups Oven-Dried Tomatoes (below)

SERVES 4

PREP TIME – 45 minutes

Method

FOR THE SALSA VERDE: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Blanch and shock the parsley and basil. When cool, drain, squeeze out the excess water, and chop coarsely. In a food processor or blender, combine the herbs with the cornichons, capers, garlic, and olive oil and process until well combined. Season with salt and pepper and adjust the consistency with more olive oil, if needed. Set aside.

FOR THE PINE NUT GREMOLATA: In a food processor, combine the crackers, pine nuts, and parsley and process until finely chopped. Pulse in the lemon zest and garlic, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

FOR THE PASTA: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the capers and red pepper flakes. Add 1 cup of the pasta water and the zucchini to the pan and bring to a simmer while the pasta finishes.

Drain the pasta. Add the pasta and salsa verde to the pan with the zucchini. With the pan still over heat, toss to combine.

To serve, spoon the oven-dried tomatoes around the circumference of each serving plate. Using tongs, arrange a nest of the pasta in the centre of the plate and top with the gremolata.

HOW TO MAKE OVEN-DRIED TOMATOES

2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2cup garlic cloves, cut into thin slices

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup fresh basil leaves

2 teaspoons sea salt

Pinch of red pepper flakes

Preheat the oven to 275°F. Put the tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the vinegar, basil, salt, and red pepper flakes and toss to combine well. Spread in an even layer. Bake until the tomatoes are soft and darkened, about 2 hours.

3] Jerk Halibut with Mango Slaw

Ingredients:

JERK HALIBUT

1 tablespoon Jerk Seasoning (below)

1 teaspoon olive oil

4 halibut fillets, about 6 ounces each

Salt and freshly ground pepper

MINT-CILANTRO VINAIGRETTE

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3/4cup rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper

MANGO SLAW

1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into julienne

1/4cup chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and freshly ground pepper

RICE:

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon Jamaican curry paste

1 cup long-grain rice

2 cups water

Plantain or taro chips for garnish

SERVES 4

Prep time: 2 hours Season 5, Episode 1 Elimination Challenge: Create a dish that represents the ethnic cuisine of a New York neighbourhood.

Method

FOR THE JERK HALIBUT: In a small bowl, whisk together the jerk spice and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Rub the marinade all over the halibut, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

FOR THE MINT-CILANTRO VINAIGRETTE: In a blender, puree the cilantro, mint, ginger, olive oil, vinegar, sugar, and lime juice, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

FOR THE MANGO SLAW: In a bowl, toss together the mango, cilantro, and three-fourths of the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

FOR THE RICE: In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until translucent. Mix in the tomato paste and Jamaican curry powder, then add the rice and sauté until toasted. Add the water, bring to a boil, cover, turn the heat down to low, and cook until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish and panfry until lightly browned, about 5 minutes per side.

To serve, place a small mound of rice in the center of each of 4 plates, and arrange a fillet on top of each mound. Top with the mango slaw. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and top with the plantain chips.

HOW TO MAKE – jerk seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Combine all the ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Post Event: Washington Apples Meet & Greet courtesy FBAI

Last week, we attended the Washington Apples Meet & Greet organized by FBAI (food blogger association of India) at St. Regis Hotel, Mumbai.

The event comprised of a wonderful workshop conducted by Chef Himanshu Taneja, Director of culinary, St. Regis hotel, Mumbai & his team where they demonstrated a few recipes created with the Washington Red Delicious apples & Granny smith apples. Followed by an interactive session with Washington Apple Commission representative Keith Sunderlal & International marketing director of Washington Apple Commission Rebecca lyons and from USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Adam Branson.

Here are the recipes that Chef Himanshu demonstrated with Washington Apples:

Recipe 1: Puebla Avocado Tartare with Apple Chutney

Ingredients:-

Puebla Avocado- 2no

Onion (chopped)-30gm

Tomato (chopped)-30gm

Green chili (chopped)-8gm

Coriander leaves (chopped)- pinch

Lettuce Lollo Rosso- 4 leaf randomly torn

Fresh lemon juice-15ml

Sliced & toasted French baguette- 4 nos sliced

For Apple chutney:-

Washington red delicious apple-4nos

Sugar-100gm

Water-150ml

Paprika powder-5gm

Zanthan-1gm

Tartare Recipe:

Cut the Avocado into half,  scoop out the fruit & chop it into fine brunoises

Mix all the ingredients, except the lettuce & the baguette, into a thick paste.

Keep it aside.

Apple chutney recipe

In a pan, heat water, sugar, apples & paprika.

Cook till it turns into a jam like consistency.

Keep it aside to cool.

Plating: Get the baguette out and top it up with the lettuce followed by Puebla Avocado Tartare and finally the Apple chutney. Your tartare is ready to serve!

Recipe 2Seb ka chenna payesh

Ingredients:

Reduced milk- 237ml

Washington Red delicious apple (grated)-2no

Angoori Chenna- 10-12 pcs

Almond slivers-15gm

Pistachio slivers-15gm

Recipe:-

In a martini glass, add sweetened reduced milk.

Grate the apple & add the chenna to it. Stir it well and add it in the glass.

Top it up with almond slivers & pistachio slivers. Serve it and watch your guests relish it!


Post the event, was a high tea session, where we were treated with a delicious spread celebrating apples!

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Apple & Raisin Scones, Apple & Mustard Quiche, Apple & Smoked Chicken Quiche, Appy Fizz Paani Puri, Apple Jam Bakewell Tart, Apple Jalebi and many more dishes were on the spread. Well, if apples can be so delicious, they are definitely going to keep the doctors away!

 

 

Review: Grandmama’s Cafe

Nostalgia will transport you back to your childhood, to your frequent visits to your Grandmama’s house, for the food, for the vibe and for the comfort. Grandmama’s Cafe impresses, the moment you walk in, with their embroidered photo frames, white walls, white couches and floral bill boxes. Expect a waiting time of one hour atleast, as getting a table here, is as time consuming as getting money out of the ATM (current scenario). Although, the experience is worth the wait.

We dropped by to try out their specially crafted Diabetic Friendly menu for the Diabetic Food Trail. It comprised of items from their regular menu, some as they were, some with some minor tweaks. The Diabetic Food Trail® is a pioneering initiative which offers a wonderful culinary experience to Diabetics, Pre-Diabetics and Health conscious individuals at over 200 restaurants across Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore & Pune. The Diabetic Food Trail is presented by Britannia NutriChoice Essentials in association with Biocon. Read more about this initiative here:  The Diabetic Food Trail

A set menu, we started our meal with the salads. The Caesar Salad, the only change being, no croutons, was fresh and light. With or without croutons, we are definitely having this again. Although if you’re looking for something to pack a power punch, try the Nutrition Power House Salad – Quinoa, barley, pomegranate, goat cheese, rocket leaves tossed in a lemon dressing. So yum yet so healthy.

Moving on, the small plates from their all day menu, were extremely impressive. We tried the Mushroom A La Plancha – mushrooms tossed on a griddle with garlic, olive oil and sweet balsamic. Addictive, delicious and worth a try. The Gambas Al Ajillo – prawns with garlic, olive oil, chilli and basil, were tasty too, not the best we’ve had though. Not to miss the Kejriwal Grandmamas Style – bread topped with egg, mushroom and green chilli cheese sauce, we wish we woke up to this for breakfast every day!

The Pan Seared John Dory and the Home Style Grilled Chicken were next on our tasting platter. Both cooked to perfection and delicious. By the end of our meal, we were quite full, though we saved some space for dessert and thank god for that.

The Gobstopper
The Gobstopper

From their regular menu and not a part of the Diabetic Food Trail, we ordered for the Gobstopper – flourless chocolate layered with mousse and stuffed with marshmallows. Yes you read that right! We could easily conclude that this is one of the best, most decadent desserts in the city.

At the end of our meal all we said was, we can’t wait to try the rest of our menu, so we’re definitely going back there.

P.S.: If you’re starving and want to grab a quick bite, then maybe you should leave this place for another day. But if you are looking to indulge, Grandmama is calling out to you today.

Venue: Grandmama’s Cafe 

Overall rating
Overall rating

Landmark: Opposite Juhu BeachHotel Royal Garden, Juhu

Phone: +91 22 6769 9966

Follow:

Grandmama’s Cafe at @grandmamascafeon Instagram

Chandni at @chandnitolani and Mumbai Candid at @mumbaicandid on Instagram

Mumbai Candid at @ChandniT @MumbaiCandid on Twitter

Review: Out Of The Blue, Bandra gets a makeover

When we heard that the decade old, Out of the blue, Bandra is changing management, we were both nervous and excited.

The interiors of the place are changed completely, so has the menu. From a cozy, romantic diner, Out of the blue is now a casual, brightly lit restaurant. A wine cellar on one side and tables spread throughout the outside section, dare we say that the canopy style seating was highly missed.

The menu had sizzlers but they were not available and we hear that they will no longer be available at Out Of The Blue (noooo!). We decided to try out some of the new starters, the Bravia Potatoes topped with smoked sofrito and garlic saffron aioli and the Asian Spring Veggies Bao with sesame seeds, crushed peanuts and lettuce. The Bravia Potatoes were good, we loved the saffron aioli that they were topped with. The Bao however, was bland and no dipping sauce was served with it.

For mains, since sizzlers were not available, we settled for the pizzas and pastas. We tried the Bianco and the Harissa Roasted Pulled Chicken Pizza. No choice of crusts were offered, again, a disappointment. Taste wise, both the pizzas were quite average.The pastas on the contrary were spectacular. The Gnocchi, the Aglio Olio and the Arrabiata Spaghetti.

Coming to the desserts, we tried the Baked Philly Cheesecake and the Kahlua and Baileys Mousse. Again, the desserts were great, cheesecake was smooth, consistent and not grainy. The mousse had a strong flavour of Baileys and that’s why we loved it.

Overall, this new face of Out Of The Blue had some hits and some misses. With a little bit of polishing, we think they might be able to shine as bright as the old one.

P.S. Please bring back the sizzlers or we will be heartbroken!

Venue: Out Of The Blue

Overall Rating
Overall Rating

Union Park, Kharr

Landmark: Near Olive Bar & Bistro

Phone: +91 9324839393

Follow:

Out Of The Blue at @out_of_the_blue_restaurant on Instagram

Chandni at @chandnitolani and Mumbai Candid at @mumbaicandid on Instagram

Mumbai Candid at @ChandniT @MumbaiCandid on Twitter

 

 

Review: Oktoberfest at Q-Bar, VITS Hotel

Oktoberfest is much awaited every year as beers from around the world are available at the bars in the city and celebrated with much anticipation.

This year, we were excited to try the special Oktoberfest menu at Q-Bar, VITS Hotel. A limited menu with about 6 dishes and 2 desserts was crafted for the festival alongwith domestic and international beers and beer cocktails.

The decor was nice and vibrant with beer quotes and a complete festive feel to it. The music was a bit too loud for our liking, but then again, it’s a matter of perspective.

Without wasting too much time, we ordered for the Chicken Roll – Flattened Chicken Breast stuffed with chicken mince and spinach. Unfortunately, we were extremely disappointed with the dish as the Chicken was undercooked and inedible. The next, we tried the Chicken Schnitzel which was served with garlic lemon caper sauce and potatoes. The potatoes were delicious and the sauce was flavourful but the Chicken, again, was bland and unimpressive. Disappointed with the food, we thought we should move on to the beers.

A special mention to the bartender who was well informed and attended to us happily. He offered us a spicy beer cocktail which was really good! We loved the flavour and the fruity aftertaste was the cherry on the cake. Next, we tried a British Bourbon Flavoured Craft Beer called Brody’s Beer. This was again our server-bartender’s recommendation. With a hint of honey, this one is a must try for all you craft beer lovers!Overall, Q-Bar, needs to definitely work on the food as it failed to impress us but the drinks were fab and we might just give it another chance for that!

Venue: Q-Bar

Overall Rating
Overall Rating

VITS Hotel, Marol, Andheri East

Landmark: International Airport Zone

Phone: 022 6151 7555

Follow:

VITS at @vitsmumbai on Instagram

Chandni at @chandnitolani and Mumbai Candid at @mumbaicandid on Instagram

Mumbai Candid at @ChandniT @MumbaiCandid on Twitter

REVIEW: 1441 Pizzeria

At 1441 Pizzeria, you can make your pizza and eat it too! And if you’re fussy about set toppings on your pizza, then this place is your heaven.

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We dropped by at the newly opened 1441 Pizzeria in Andheri recently and we had quite a fun time. The concept of this Pizzeria is very simple; choose your sauce, your toppings (unlimited), the crispness of the base, your cheese and voila! A perfect pizza with all your favourite toppings is here for you to enjoy.

We tried two variants on our visit, one from the Classic range and one from their Gourmet range.  From the classics, we chose the Mama sauce, which is a spicy sauce – pretty impressive we must say!

We went with our favourite vegetarian toppings,  olives, jalapenos and mushrooms on a crispy base with Mozzarella Cheese (Classic range is served with Mozzarella). The Chef there helped us put out Pizza in their wood fired oven and there we had our classic pizza with our favourite toppings ready. The Pizza tasted great with the perfectly crispy thin base and toppings of our choice!

Next up was a Gourmet Pizza where we opted for the non – vegetarian option with again an array of delicious gourmet toppings. We added almost all the non vegetarian toppings from the roast chicken, curried chicken, chicken pepperoni, mutton alongwith the regular pizza sauce and four cheeses. How can anything with so many toppings taste anything but delicious! Kudos to us and their Pizzas!

Moving to the desserts we called for the Blueberry Pannacotta and the Crème Brulee. The Pannacotta was a tad too sweet with no tanginess from the blueberries but the Crème Brulee was pretty good. We were almost done with our meal when the server insisted that we try their Nutella Pizza. How could we say no? And glad we didn’t as it was Heavenly! Nutella smothered on a thin and soft pizza base with fruit toppings, totally recommend it!

The staff here is pretty friendly too, they patiently taught us how to make our pizzas. Special mention to the hygiene they maintain at their Pizzeria, everything looked and tasted fresh too.

Overall we loved their pizzas and their desserts. They also have Dough Balls – two variants that we shall try on our next visit!

P.S. You can enjoy their Bottomless Aerated Beverage (Unlimited) at Rs. 55 AI with your pizzas too!

Venue: 1441 Pizzeria

Overall rating
Overall rating

Samartha Vaibhav, Andheri West

Landmark: Below Skyz Gym

Phone: +9191678 91441

Follow:

1441 Pizzeria at @1441.pizzeria on Instagram

Purvi at @foodzealot and Mumbai Candid at @mumbaicandid on Instagram

Mumbai Candid at @MumbaiCandid on Twitter

Review: New Menu at Quattro

Quattro is best known as a vegetarian foodie’s heaven! And when we learnt that they have launched a new menu, we couldn’t wait to dig our forks into it!

So we dropped by at Quattro, Lower Parel on a Wednesday evening and to our surprise, most of the tables were reserved.

The new menu consisted of a limited number of Italian and Mexican delicacies alongwith the classics that were their in their previous menu. We started our meal with the salads, the Insalate Castano which comprised of water chestnuts, beans, cherry tomatoes and shallots tossed in a Mexican sauce and served warm, unique and delicious! We also tried the Liquid Salad which was nothing but a juice of greens like kale, topped with Parmesan cheese.

In the appetizers, we tried the Olive and Mushroom Crostini, Taquitos and the Jalapeno Queso. Our favourite was the Taquitos – Fried gluten-free tortilla cones filled with beans, jalapeno, salsa and topped with avocado ice-cream! Yes, avocado ice-cream!

Oliviera Pizza at Quattro
Oliviera Pizza at Quattro

In the mains, we called for the Oliviera Pizza, which was nothing but a Margherita pizza topped with molecular olives. Quattro is known for their delicious thin-crush wood fired pizzas and this one didn’t let us down!

Spicy Watermelon
Spicy Watermelon

In the drinks, we tried the Spicy Watermelon mocktail and the Michelada – a Mexican beer cocktail. While the Watermelon mocktail was worth a try, the Michelada was too strong for our taste buds.

Coming to our favourite part, the desserts! When they say, don’t forget to save space for desserts, they really mean it for Quattro! Try the Chocolate Saturn and the Tiramisu and just see the pictures to tempt you! A treat for the eyes and the soul. Also, if you are here to celebrate some happy occasion, try the Chocolate Candle, you blow it, you cut it and you eat it!

Venue: Quattro

Overall rating
Overall rating

Janta India Estate, Lower Parel

Landmark: Opposite High Street Phoenix

Phone: 022 6749 6444

Follow:

Quattro at @quattroristorante on Instagram

Chandni at @chandnitolani and Mumbai Candid at @mumbaicandid on Instagram

Mumbai Candid at @ChandniT @MumbaiCandid on Twitter