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June 25, 2015

Chewy Fudge Brownies

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Life beats a charming rhythm when you uncork it from its mundanes. It sings a different chime when you whisk away from the regular. Our weekend went by, but it was nothing like the usual. Before it flipped over to Saturday, we headed out of city for three solid days of fun and adventure to a place we had little known or expected it to be. Well, two and half, if I have to be precise. North Conway it is known, a lovely little destination for home-lost adventurers like us. There's so much around there for every season that a couple of excuses to go back there again may not seem enough. Tucked in sheer wilderness under the bellies of New Hampshire, here's where every vacation can be an inspiration to another one.

As the roads wind up to the city of North Conway, the scenes change. Its urban at the face of it, yet cleverly rural. There are malls, restaurants and ad banners everywhere. Yet, as you drive up the northern hemisphere, the mountain peaks play a peek a boo at every tide of the road. There's a cast of green spell in all shades, a submission to nature, with breath taking views that make you wanderlust. It makes you twisted in tongue and in loss of words.

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We went camping in a group of ten, living life in tents and sleeping bags, holding lanterns to cook food on the grill, sitting by the fire and toasting up s'mores, curling up the feet to bare the chilly nights and seeing starry constellations in inky-black skies. And that, makes you forget the clock. And, the cameras too! For the first time ever, we took our SLR out on a trip and came home without shooting any on it. Its hard for me to swallow that.

New Hampshire does that to you. You get to live what you don't see everyday. Many choose to stretch their lazy bones on the sand, either batting their eyelids and soaking up some sun or, flipping a book. But, we went tubing along the river shores where the loons nest. We let the sun shine on our backs. We wallowed and waded through knee deep waters, where the sand and stones make you wiggle your toes and the sun seeps skin deep to stimulate melanin. We ventured into woods and echoed tweets of finches too.

Its the kind of place that makes you want to wake up early to chirping birds and stay up late to the sounds of cicadas. It doesn't matter what hour of the day you are stepping into. There always seems a pause. Where the only other sounds are either the ripples of the meandering Saco river, the sway of tall ferns and chirping of finches. And, that was our home for those two odd days, all well lived.

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When the sun went down to take its dip into the Atlantic ocean, we warmed ourselves by the fire, lit up the grill and ate Quesadillas, Corn on the Cob and drank Sparkling Fruit Mocktails. Brownies followed for the dessert. I baked these Brownies in the morning we left out and took them along for those camping dinner treats. They are wonderful to share in a group where splurging on good food can never seem enough, more so when you are in a gang of ten odd folks who enjoy good food and hearty laughs!

These Brownies are one bowl and simple to make. They are a cross between fudgy and cake-like. While they don't slop, they are intensely chocolaty and rich, much fudge like. They have crackling tops which make them look beautiful. And, no Brownie is good without generous scatter of walnuts. I promise you will love them, as much we all did.

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Chewy Fudge Brownies

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 1/4 cup of bittersweet chocolate
1 cups of granulated sugar
1/4 tsp of salt
2 eggs
1 cup of plain flour
1 tbsp of cacao powder
1/2 tsp of instant espresso coffee powder
1/2 cup of broken walnuts

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9x9” square baking pan by lining it with parchment paper. I like to let the edges of the paper hang up a bit on the sides to make it easy for the removal.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Add the chocolate chips and melt them over medium low heat. Once melted remove from heat. Alternatively, you can microwave the butter and chocolate chip on high heat for 1 min. Allow it to rest for 2 mins, then add the sugar, eggs, flour, cacao powder, espresso powder, salt and broken walnuts into the melted chocolate butter mixture. Whisk well together. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan, leveling the tops. Bake them for 35-40 minutes. Test by inserting a skewer at the center. The skewer will have flecks, however there should be no wet batter coming out of the baked brownies. Allow them to cool completely and then slice into squares before serving.

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Notes:

I've used cacao powder here. However, you may use cocoa powder and up the quantity to 2 tbsp. Cacao is stronger than cocoa powder, hence you will require more cocoa powder, if being used.

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June 17, 2015

Banana Cardamom Muffins

Over the past 2 months that we have been here in the US, I have baked only once. And that was when these Banana Cardamom Muffins were made, much on demand by my husband. While banana bakes don't make it to the list my top favorites, I love baking with them and I am now slowly getting closer to loving and appreciating them too. I have come to appreciate the way bananas lend an inherent sweetness to a dish and that helps to reduce the overall amount of sugar. And this one certainly did!

It seems ages since I whipped butter with sugar or whisked batter to make good ol' cakes. On our visit to the States last year, I splurged on baking and took advantage of the large convection oven that the homes here are bestowed with. This time around I made a conscious decision to stay away from baking a ton to avoid all that sugar overload.

I cannot possibly imagine a home that does not stock bananas. Its such an easy takeaway fruit with easy-peasy peeling and no de-seeding. So clean, mess free, hassle free and completely satisfying to a sweet tooth!

We get panic attacks at home when we run out of them! Seriously!

I believe every blogger should have a repertoire that boasts of a couple of recipes starring 'the bananas'. Cakes and muffins take the lead here. A banana muffin is the easiest bake you can ever put together and there are little chances that you will go wrong. It replaces egg with utmost ease adding loads of flavor. And it hardly matters how its flavored additionally. It could either be the classic vanilla scented or chocolate studded or just none at all! Either ways, they all taste delicious. Bananas sing by themselves. They have a characteristic sweet flavor of their own. So should you leave them by themselves, they will yet shine. May be a kick of aromatic spices will add bounce to them.

These muffins were made on a lazy afternoon to go along with our evening cup of tea. As I set out the muffin liners and put the batter together, I realized that my pantry had run out of stock for vanilla extract. A BIG sin for any baker, I guess! But here's where traditions come to rescue. Our by-gone generations have sworn by the fact that bananas and cardamoms make a match in heaven. And I cannot deny that! We have grown up eating desserts and sweetmeats made from bananas heavily scented with cardamoms. So, when these muffins were made, they swept our home with warm, mellow headiness from cardamoms, the jaggery and bananas, making these undeniably irresistible to wait till they cooled. Couple of them were downed warm right as they were out of the oven. These muffins certainly make a lovely tea time treat. They are wonderful to carry out on picnics and long drives.

As for me, they brought back warm fuzzy memories of home and my mother's kitchen where the pairing of bananas and cardamom ruled the roost on many occasions.

Banana Cardamom Muffins (Eggless, Vegan adaptable)

Yields 9 large muffins

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup mashed bananas (about 1 large over ripe banana)
1/2 cup milk (replace with soy milk / nut milk of your choice for vegan option)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup powdered jaggery (packed)
1/4 cup fine sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon fresh cardamom powder
Handful of chopped walnuts and raisins

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Line the muffin tin with paper cases.

Mash bananas along with milk, jaggery and sugar in a food processor. To this, add vegetable oil and whisk well. Set aside.

In a separate glass bowl, sift the all-purpose flour and fresh cardamom powder along with baking soda.

Make a well in center of sifted flours. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients. Fold gently. Few lumps are perfectly okay, but do not over beat. Finally fold in the walnuts and raisins. The batter should be thicker than the regular cake batter.

Scoop out spoonful of the muffin batter and dollop them into the lined muffin tins. Scatter a handful of walnuts and raisins. Bake for 25 minutes at 180ºC or until a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool before removing from pan.


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May 31, 2015

Salad Leaves with Cheese Croutons, Pine Nuts, Feta Cheese with Dijon Mustard and Honey Dressing

Earlier this month, we placed admissions for our daughter with a school here. It's her first stint of being at school and experiencing life outside the home here in the US. What we call as Nursery back in India, Kindergarten Prep is what they are known here. We opted the 3 day class with 3 hours per day to start with, where our little girl can play, learn and socialize with kids of her age like she did back in India. Unlike last year, I did not have butterflies fluttering my tummy this time around. :)

The school comes with promises. Like most schools do. With all those colorful brochures and pamphlets where couple of tiny tots from different ethnic races in their colorful attire thump their hands high up in the air with a tight fist symbolizing they will emerge to be toppers and winners, I pinned huge hopes on my daughter's learning here. The first two weeks went off in a whiz. Nothing much done. She walked in, played and walked out. She came back home happy with ugly sketch pen scribbles on paper that were below her capacity, or even for a three year old I suppose. Scribbling on paper is the first thing she did as 2 year old toddler. As a 4 year old today, she is equipped well to read and write alphabets and numbers and count them with ease. She draws well within borders and identifies good deal of animals, birds, colors, fruits, vegetables, et al. I expected continuity to her learning instead of re-learning those basics that are of least value to her.

Back in India where she spent a year at pre-school, the teaching curriculum was different than it is here. She went to school in an odd pairing of green blue uniform set, her most hated attire that she never recalls or speaks about here. Teaching, as monotonous it may sound was its methodical best. She had text books for each month - a month for colors, another on seasons, a month for food, a month dedicated to people around us, a month each of something to cover the year. She carried back homework every single day. There were notes with signatures exchanged between the teacher and the parent. Her school followed the Western style of teaching and curriculum, they claim. Yet, there was no respite to uniforms, truck load of homework, project work that seemed more a burden to the parents rather than the children. But in all, there was a lot she learnt progressively over the past one year. There were regular PTAs, a detailed progress card and it made me quite happy.

But here she goes. Essentially to a playschool in real sense. Play, fun and creative learning, they say. Scribbling on paper is no creative learning in my opinion. Its what toddlers do, not preschoolers. D says I could be the typical stereotype Indian mother who expects a lot of academic driven learning from the school and her daughter. I may not be the one, but if I am, I see no harm.

It could take a while for me to come to terms with these differences. Not too long, I know. But by then it will be time for us to head back to India. Till then its stress free, happy learning and exploring for her. For now, I see joy in her making new friends, mingling into diverse cultures and am glad she is enjoying every bit of her preschooler life.

Coming to the recipe, I have this gorgeous salad for you that is not actually complicated to put together as it may sound by the length of this recipe below. You may choose store bought bread croutons or just skip them all together. Even with the basic ingredients this salad gets notched up with sharpness from Feta cheese and Dijon mustard and Honey dressing. The cheesy bread croutons give a lovely crunch and go very well with the sweet-sour salad dressing.

Salad Leaves with Croutons, Pine Nuts, Feta Cheese with Dijon Mustard and Honey Dressing

INGREDIENTS

3 cups packed organic salad leaves (I used a mix of variety of lettuce, baby spinach, romaine, kale, arugula, etc.)
1 tbsp. cup pine nuts
2 tbsp. Feta cheese

For the cheese bread croutons:

2-3 slices of whole wheat bread
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Italian herbs
2 tbsp. of mild cheddar

For the Dijon Mustard and Honey salad dressing:

1/2 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

Chop bread slices to cubes of 1.5" each and arrange them side by side on a baking tray. Drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some dried Italian herbs on them. Bake them in a pre-heated oven at 180 deg C (356 deg F) for 14-16 mins flipping over mid way to ensure even browning. Grate 2 tbsp. of cheddar cheese evenly over these bread cubes and bake them further for 5-6 mins. Remove and allow it to cool on a wire rack. They should crisp well as they cool down.

In a large salad bowl, toss the mixed salad leaves along with the baked bread croutons and pine nuts. Set aside to be tossed with dressing of your choice.

For the salad dressing:

Whisk lime juice, mayonnaise, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl.

To put the salad together, drizzle a generous amount of the prepared Dijon mustard and honey dressing and toss them together. Serve immediately.


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May 1, 2015

Tomato Bread Upma

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Hang around here! It may seem a while since I got down here with a good post that brought along a recipe. But I assure, my inspiration to cook and share hasn't faded. Its just got a little dented, I promise. And I'm on my way to fill those dents. The least, I am making an attempt.

If you are on my Instagram feed, you know what we are up to. We've left behind tropical heat and heavy rains of Bangalore and made our way to wilting snow, chill weather and stark landscape of New England region. Two weeks ago we crossed oceans and nations to join D in the US. Yes, again. And its a 3 month vacation this time too. We are back to the country that seems more familiar and less formal this time around. The chill and the numbness is as biting as it previously was, but far more tolerant; probably due to the onset of spring that's just around the corner. So does the familiarity of the naked leafless foliage piercing high into the skies and that typical smell of cold mist in the air (I strongly perceived this the moment I got out of the NYC airport), the drive-right-culture and all other contrasts.

Over the past year since we took the last break and came back to India from US, I rejoined work and our little girl joined school. I moved later to live with my parents for help with our daughter in absence of D, so that our little girl wouldn't miss her dad as often. Life just got woven into busyness and humdrum of the usuals - wake up, rush to work, return home, retire to bed, wake up, rush to work, return home, retire to bed. In iterations, in constant loop as you can imagine. This, peppered with the common juggles of a homemaker and being a mother to a hyperactive, talkative girl made it more demanding. This break was so needed. To slow down a little and make time for self. To wean away from the usual mundanes of life. This time is for togetherness, for D, our little girl and me. Time, to travel places far and around. Time to live hobbies all over again. Time to live time and the moment. Time to whip up more delicious memories together again.

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On another note, I wanted to share a happy news with all of you. Veg Bowl blog has been featured in First Site Guide under the section 'How To Start a Food Blog' guide as a part of their Useful Resources under No.17 - the 'Best Vegetarian Blogs' list. First Site Guide is all about helping you make your blog the best blog it possibly can be. I am thrilled to be listed here and hope this will reach out to many more readers and help them further.

Last month Veg Bowl turned another year older. It clocked 6 years of happy cooking, blogging and sharing. And though it did not come with any customary blog post with the dessert to call for its sweet celebration, I well know through your mails and comments on the loads of love the blog has whipped up over these years. Here goes a warm and huge bear hug to each one of you from me for being supportive directly or directly and motivating me to hang around, even when the tides were not sailing smooth. A BIG thank you to each of you!

My recipe post for today is this simple, yet delicious Tomato Bread Upma that makes up for a great breakfast or a good tea time snack of bread leftovers. Its spicy, tangy, quick and delicious. Hope you make it and love it as much we do.

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Tomato Bread Upma

INGREDIENTS

6 slices of whole wheat bread
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, finely diced
2 tsp. peanuts
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 tsp. red chilli powder
1 tsp. sambhar powder
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. sugar
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves and chopped green chillies to garnish, optional

DIRECTIONS

Stack the bread pieces on top of each other and dice them through using a knife. Tear them into 1 inch cubes. Else tear them roughly using your fingers, crumbling them through into uneven pieces.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the peanut and fry till they brown lightly. Then fry the chopped onions and the torn curry leaves. Fry them on medium high flame till the onions turn slightly brown in colour. Next, add the diced tomatoes and fry them till they become mushy and you see oil on the edges of the pan. Add the chopped green chillies, turmeric powder, the sambhar powder, red chilli powder, sugar and fry further for a minute. Add the diced bread pieces and stir them well. Fry for a couple of more minutes stirring till all the spices and tomato paste has coated the bread pieces well. The bread will soften a little and this is unlike the dry bread upma we usually make. Season with salt to taste. Fry further for 2 more minutes. Remove from flame and garnish with coriander leaves and green chillies. Add a dash of freshly squeezed lime juice if required to taste. Serve hot.

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February 19, 2015

Korean Food Festival Review: Sheraton at Brigade Gateway


One would probably think what a vegetarian has got to do at a Korean Food festival. This is precisely the reason for the review today. When the PR team at Sheraton reached out to me with an invitation for their ongoing Korean Food festival at Feast, my uncertainties in regard to vegetarian menu were sent out on an email to them. They responded promptly assuring that there was enough on the menu for vegetarians and we would not be in last minute surprises. We made our way through the city to reach Sheraton’s food lounge, Feast where this food festival is currently being hosted. Feast is a well-designed, multi-cuisine restaurant located at the ground floor of Sheraton hotel. Adding to their assortment of multi-cuisine spread, Feast is out to host the exotic culinary flavors from Korea in an anticipation to introduce Korean flavors to Indians.

Chefs Link Chan Jae Chung and Shane Yun-Gi Hong from the Sheraton Seoul D Cube city Hotel have gone lengths to create buffet spread that well comprises of an array of authentic vegetarian and non-vegetarian Korean dishes with no compromise to flavor or ingredients.

Chef Marty and Chef Link walked us through a round of introduction to the Korean cuisine, citing prevue of what goes into their cooking, their techniques, medicinal value, common ingredients and their affinity and influences from the Japanese and Chinese cuisines. It was interesting to know that their National dish – Kimchi, a household staple comes in over 200 varieties and is fermented even up to 30 years for its medicinal value and authentic tart taste. Koreans’ love for fermentation is seen in the liberal use of fermented products such as soy sauce, fermented chilli peppers, fish sauce, fermented radishes, cabbages, etc. This comes through strongly in many of the dishes and the dominance of fermented pastes is quite prominent and could possibly be an acquired taste for many unknown to this cuisine.

The soups on course, the Korean Spicy Squid Soup and Kimchi Soup catered to the non-vegetarian tastes. Chefs at Sheraton put together an appetizing vegetarian version of the soup in Korean flavors. Be warned - fish sauce is often termed to be vegetarian in South East Asian cuisines, hence it would be best if you could check with the chef for its use in their vegetarian menu.

On the menu, we started off with the Gimbap, that has close resemblance to the Japanese Sushi. Layers of sticky white rice and vegetable juliennes, encased in the black seaweed nori sheets make up for pretty, healthy bites. Water Kimchi, made from fermented turnips, radishes, apples, was another interesting dish that tantalized our senses. It has a strong pungency from fermentation and you bet one cannot indulge on this beyond a couple of bites. The Konguksu, which is cold noodles served in soya milk broth was quite similar to vermicelli kheer, minus all the sugar. A dish that I thought deserved an applause was Japchae. The sweet potato noodles, stir fried in sesame oil with vegetable juliennes and garnished with sesame seeds and slivers of chili was delicious and deserved multiple helpings. Although Japchae is most commonly served as a side dish, I could probably eat it on its own as a main course.


The Korean Mini-Pancakes that were served had close resemblance to Indian maida dosa. Nothing exceptional to mention about.

Kimchi Fried Rice was good, but can be passed for the more interesting Bibimbap, a signature Korean dish. Bibimbap is served as a bowl of warm white rice topped with sautéed and seasoned vegetables and Gochujang (chili pepper paste), soy sauce, or salty soybean paste. Yet another dish that had unique flavors from the fermented ingredients used. This is a must try I suggest.

Traditionally Korean desserts are low on sweetness and can actually be termed as healthy! The Honey Rice Cake and Baek Seol Ki were basically cooked rice cakes which tasted very close to the rice modak sheath we make during Ganesh Chaturthi. These did not impress my tastes and left me disappointed for not getting that ‘sugar-kick-kind-of’ dessert. Song Pyon was better with a mild bean filling, although I would still give it a pass and enjoy the Korean tea that soothed our senses with sweet and warm hint of ginger and cardamom.

Unknown to a cuisine and being welcomed into a new world of flavors, I am glad to be a part of this invite at Feast. If are like me and have never tried Korean food in the past, or you’ve assumed it to be faithfully non-vegetarian, then put your reservations aside and give into a whole new world of authentic regional gastronomy. It can put you into a cozy surprise! So head out this week to discover the unique culture and rich flavors of Korean food at Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway as it invites you to be a part of this celebration between 13th February to 25th February, 2015.

Price – Lunch @ Rs. 1395+taxes and Dinner @ Rs. 1545 + taxes.




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November 27, 2014

Spiced Roasted Walnuts

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Right at the fag end of the year, in midst of the festivals that went by past month and more awaiting the mark of year ending, here I am making every sincere attempt to blog and replenish my repertoire with some recipes to tease your taste buds. With barely a blog post a month in the recent past, I have been panting hard to fuel this space with enough meat off late, more evidently seen from the sparse posts that pop out of my drafts occasionally or my dwindling presence on any social networking forums. The motivation, that has been lacking from several other personal commitments consuming my time and the dear camera lens of mine that gave upon me recently. Yet, at the hindsight of my brain lingers a constant thought to fuel this little space of mine with recipes, even if that means battling a writer's block or picking an offbeat recipe from my drafts for a go.

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It hit upon me hard how fast the time is fleeting by and how much close we are to the year end when the folks at Sheraton reached out to me to be a part of their Cake Mixing ceremony. December already? Almost. I think hard. My thoughts racing by. My heart pounding faster. Where and how did I let the time go? The Indian festivities crept in and they slid by sooner than I had realized. We cooked a lot. Partied, merried and ate well too. The usual course of chalkis, laddus, karjikai, shankarpali, nippattus, masala shenga and whatnot was followed this season too. We made them all at home and saw joy in sharing them with our family and friends. But none of them made it here. And I barely realized it go by.

So I bring about these simple, deliciously spiced and roasted walnuts for the Thanksgiving today. The spices that go in it to tangle the taste buds with measures of salt, spice and sweetness. They are baked and can be stored for a while. They make excellent for gifting your friends and relatives. And I hope they make up for the loss of all those recipes I have been meaning to post here for a while!

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Spiced Roasted Walnuts

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups walnut halves
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon red chilli powder

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, whisk honey and oil. Add in the sugar, salt, cumin, coriander, and red chilli powder. Toss in walnuts; mix well to coat. Transfer to a baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven of 200 deg C for atleast 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.

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October 18, 2014

Awadhi Food Festival Review: Sheraton at Brigade Gateway

Earlier this week I headed over to the Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway located in the heart of city on Malleshwaram-Rajajinagar road to experience the flavors of Awadhi cuisine. I was invited to be a part of this 10 day long food festival hosted by Sheraton in all splendor to celebrate the traditional cuisine of Lucknow - it's warmth, feel and richness you will experience right at the entrance of Sheraton's Feast restaurant where this festival is currently running till the 19th of October. Make your way through the city and be there to indulge in the vivid, rich flavors of Awadhi khana.

Cuisine from Awadh isn't unknown to many. It comes with a legacy from the Nawabs and the kings. With heavy influences from the Mughal cooking techniques such as dum, Awadh cuisine bears striking similarities to those of Persia, Kashmir, Punjab and Hyderabad. It's essence lies in its richness with liberal use of exotic spices including saffron and sandalwood. While Awadhi cuisine is predominantly known for its non-vegetarian delicacies, my eagerness to visit this food festival was to explore the uncharted reigns of vegetarian delicacies of this region. What's in it for me and if it was really worth the visit? A year ago I had a chance to visit Lucknow and savor their local cuisine. However with Sheraton's Guest Chef Rehman and their in-house Chef Maqsood re-creating the Nawabi flavors, this food festival promised to offer more than what I had known and savored in the past. So I put my thoughts to rest and headed for an evening to savor the royal feast put together by the F&B team at Sheraton. Indeed worth every bit.


The food festival is being held at Sheraton's signature restaurant - Feast, which is located on the ground floor of the hotel. As a well designed restaurant in warm shades and rich feel, Feast has 4 counters boasting of live cooking at every counter, each specializing in a particular cuisine. The staff is courteous and willingly helpful beyond what one can ask for.

Accompanying the theme for food festival is a musical stage with live musical play, scoring the perfect background to set traditional mood.

We started off with a platter of starters that catered to both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian taste buds. Through it's course, Chef Rehman walked us through an array of dishes on the menu they had to offer, explaining their history and significance, each unique and rich. Aloo Neze Se and Achari Paneer Tikka served were both delicately flavored with smoky tandoori flavor that's typical of the Nawabi cuisine, a delight to someone like me who loves tandoori food and its grilled flavors. Grilled babycorn was good, but nothing of out the box to state.


Next came along a basket of some delicately fragrant Sheermal Roti and Awadhi Naan. Sheermal Roti was unique with light toned sweetness from saffron and cream. So delicious that you could snack on them by themselves. The Sheermal Roti went through second and third helpings. Awadhi Naan, a crisp and flaky mildly spiced bread with herbs and spices was in the second lead.

On the main course was Nawabi Baigan Bhurta that stole the show away. Unlike the Punjabi Baingan Bharta, Nawabi Baigan Bhurta though not visually appealing, was rich, creamy and delicious. Worth every bite and rightly fit for the kings. The Paneer Begam Bahar, a chic cottage cheese based dish, lightly spiced in gravy of cashewnut and almond paste was another dish I thought was delightful. The chef did highlight that Dal Mumtaz was a must try. This unique dal made of urad dal was simple and grounded and so satisfying to my taste in contrast to its rich, cream laden counterparts. Dhingri Dolma and Subzi Sheek Noorani, both heavy on Indian spices were delicious. Subz Dum Biryani was robust in flavor, but not any spectacular. So was Dal Makhani as a usual accompaniment.

Up on menu for desserts were Shahi Tukda, Balushahi, Malai Sandwich and Anjeer ki Kheer. I loved the simplicity Awadhi desserts had - not cloyingly sweet, nor heavily creamy or fatty as I had presumed. Anjeer Kheer was delicious. Shahi Tukda was unlike what it usually is, distinct, soft and just right on sweet.

The Awadhi cuisine is undoubtedly a royal feast meant to pamper your senses and made to feel like Nawabs. So if you are in a mood to dine out or celebrate an occasion or pamper in some Nawabi indulgence, head out to Sheraton where this festival is currently running till the 19th of October. The Dastarkhwan awaits!

Address:
Feast, Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway,
Dr. Rajkumar Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka
Ph. No.: 08042521000 / +91-9880699111



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