Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Kashmiri Food Festival @Nook-Aloft, Cessna Business Park, Bengaluru

Aloft  hosted bloggers table for their ongoing Kashmiri Wazwan food festival. Chef Sandeep Kumar and his team of chefs from kashmir Abdul Halem and Reyaz have curated a wonderful menu. The festival will end on the 24th January 2016. 

Every single dish starting from the kababs to curries and biryani, I tasted was prepared to perfection the quality and service is always consistent. Aloft is Located at Cessna Business Park, Sarjapur-Marathahalli Outer Ring Road, Kadubeesanahalli, Bellandur Post, Bangalore.

Chef Sandeep Kumar and his team of chefs from Kashmir Abdul Halem and Reyaz.

Entrance display at the kashmiri festival featured vegetables, spices, dried mushrooms, dry fruits and masalas from the region. The boat which was on the display is called as shikara which is used to transport vegetables and daily needs for people who live on boat houses in Kashmir.

Closer look at dried mushrooms called gucchi and spices...

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About Aloft: 
Aloft Cessna Business Park, is a perfect confluence of leisure and business featuring 191 spacious, loft – like rooms, an urban design aesthetic, live music performances and an active social scene.

From its high-tech work space with complimentary hi-speed 70 Mbps of wireless internet access to entertainment amenities like plug & play docking stations and a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple electronic gadgetry like PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops all linked to a 42” LCD TV, Aloft Bengaluru Cessna Business Park has everything India’s next generation traveler seeks in best hotels in Bangalore.

Main Buffet

Once all of us settled down a bit we started indulging in lip-smacking starters and few welcome drinks: my drink was a mint and ginger infused lemon soda...

Kababs and Salads

Starters Counter: From the starters we tasted mirchi bajji, tbak maaz, muttar galouti kabab, murgh tikka, paneer pasanda and crumb coated basa.

Live Station: Chefs preparing tabak maaz and galouti kababs...

Salads: Black chickpea salad, pineapple salad, Salsa and chips, macaroni pesto salad...

Noon Chai: traditional Kashmiri Chai prepared with cardamom and saffron.

Chutney for Kababs and Biryani: Raddish chutney, Garlic Chutney, Imli( Tamarind and chilly chutney, ginger chutney, onion chutney, chilly and sesame chutney,  coriander and apple chutney and mint chutney...

Tabak Maaz: This starter was packed with flavors. Tender ribs of lamb marinated in kashmiri masala and fried in pure ghee literally melted in my mouth.

Shammi Kabab: Meat mince cooked with chickpeas and 15 different spices ground till smooth paste and shallow fried in ghee this kabab needs no explanation it was too good with chutney.

Bohri Fried Lamb Chops: Lamb chops cooked in special garam masala and then grilled on coals the taste was spicy with a hint of tang perfectly matched with biryani.

Muttar Ki Galouti: Peas and paneer kabab the flavors and taste was subtle and very creamy texture.

Paneer Pasanda: Grilled cubes of cottage cheese in a chilly and spice blend was grilled on coals the cheese was soft and very creamy.

Chicken Tikka: This is a must try here at aloft nook. I enjoyed this tikka and always like this preparation at aloft matches perfectly with naans and biryani.

Kachumber salad

Kashmiri Naans very different compared to regular naans. These breads are stuffed with assorted nuts and khova (milk solids) every bite of this naan with the spicy curry matched really well. These naans very crispy on the out and soft in the center excellent with the curries.

Fragrant curries and biryanis, I would love to indulge into all day! Tosh Wagan: a brinjal yogurt curry, Gucchi Matar Pulao: Dried Mushroom Pulao, Rawagan Gad: Fish Curry, Gosht Mirchi Korma: Tender pieces of lamb simmered in spicy curry, Murgh Dhaniwal: Chicken simmered in spicy yogurt gravy. 

Gogji Haak: turnip and meat simmered in a spicy spinach gravy same version for vegetarins was paneer and palak, Mutter Tasman: Mushy pea gravy with chicken, Kashmiri Rajma: kidney beans cooked in red gravy, Lasooni Dal: blend of three dhals cooked and simmered with garlic and garnished with garlic tempering.

Kashmiri Murgh Biryani: I liked the biryani meat was flavorful very tender and the rice was cooked to perfection. Enjoyed this biryani with 2 different chutneys garlic and chilly.

Dessert Counter

Shofta: dry fruits custard, Mirchi ka Halwa: chilly pudding and Zarda Rice: saffron scented sweet rice  were unique and traditional desserts displayed to amaze guests.

Overall the buffet spread was too good, every dish was lip-smackingly delicious. Hats off to all the efforts by Aloft and Chefs team. We enjoyed the tasting session. 

Three picks from the tasting session is the tabak maaz fried lamb literally melted in my mouth, kashmiri murgh biryani, rice and meat was packed with flavors I happen to have three servings of this biryani. Finally the shofta warm and soothing halwa has always been my favorite.

Monday, February 20, 2017

7 Different Biryanis By Qureshi Brothers @Majlis, Bengaluru

'Jashn-e-Biryani Festival' at Majlis (Kammanahalli CMR Road, HRBR Layout, Bangalore) hosted me for bloggers table. This festival is truly a biryani lovers dream come true. One can enjoy exotic Kathal (jackfruit) Biryani  to Murgh Rampur Biryani at an affordable cost.

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Majlis is a Indo-Arabic restaurant menu consists a mixture of Lebanese and Indian dishes curated by Celebrity Chef Ashfaque Quereshi and Chef Irfan Quereshi. The Qureshi's are well known chefs in India their four fathers have cooked and served nawabs. The brothers have curated some authentic biryani recipes from the past for this festival 

The biryanis we tasted had subtle flavors and taste. Meats and veggies specially the rice was cooked to perfection. I was amazed after tasting few biryanis, never tasted such unique combination yet packed with so much flavors.

We started our meal with a Jaljeera and Watermelon slush welcome drink...

Peri Peri Hummus and Pita Breads

Qureshi Brothers

Our Table

kathal ki biryani a jackfruit biryani. When the jackfruit is not ripe its considered as a vegetable in India, we prepare many dishes with kathal for auspicious occasions. Using kathal in place of meat and transforming the vegetable to taste like meat is art to me.The vegetable was cooked with garlic, coriander, turmeric and whole spices, this biryani was pure perfection.

Then came the murgh rampur biryani. This biryani was cooked with spiced chicken broth and baked on coals for flavor. I have tasted many chicken biryanis, this was my favorite. the taste was subtle, very aromatic biryani.

Bohri Biryani with dry fruits and veggies. After feasting on yummy meat biryani I was not a huge fan of the vegetable biryani. It was prepared to perfection. this biryani would perfectly match with kababs.

Samadurai Ratan is a Prawn biryani. Prawns were marinated and cooked with spices and saffron. Prawns were not rubbery it was juicy. This biryani can be eaten alone without any sides like raita or salan.

Kacchi Gosht Biryani. Meat marinated in yogurt and cooked with aromatic spices and mint is a famous biryani from Hyderabad. Meat literally falls of the bone every bite of this biryani melts in your mouth.

Dum Lucknowi Biryani  or the Awadhi Biryani where the rice and meat are cooked separately and then layered and sealed with wheat dough and baked on coals was absolutely delicious.

Tamatar Salna...A tomato gravy served with biryani for added taste and flavor.

Must try here....Murgh Anari biryani which was stuffed with cheese and pomegranate. The combination of cheese and chicken in a biryani was new to me, very modern or would call it a mashup of two recipes the briyani was too good.

Om Ali (Egyptian Bread Pudding)  
Phirni (Rice Pudding)

Overall enjoyed the biryanis. My picks from the entire tasting was Murgh Anari biryani,  kathal ki biryani and  murgh rampur biryani was simply superb I would like to go back to taste these biryanis again.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sweet Corn Chicken Burger

I must thank supa corn for sending me a large batch of their corn. I had to think out of the box and create a dish or two using the corn hence created this burger. This was my first attempt trying to incorporate chicken and sweet corn, combination was very good. Everyone in my family enjoyed the taste and flavor. I will be preparing this recipe again.

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4 Burger Buns
500 Grams Boneless Chicken
1/2 Onion
8 Pods Garlic
1 Inch Ginger
5 to 8 Green Chilies 
5 Sprigs Corinader Leafs with stems (washed and reserved)
1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese (grated)
5 Sprigs Spring Onions (finely chopped)
1/4 Cup Supa Corn
Salt as per taste
Oil as required
For Garnish: Micro greens, pepper powder, Lime juice, lettuce, Tomato and Onion Rings.

Wash the chicken pat it dry and chop into medium pieces.
Add chopped chicken to a mixer jar and pulse twice or thrice to form mince. Always mince chicken in 2 or 3 batches the chicken will get minced fast.

Add the mince to a mixing bowl. In the same mixer jar add sliced 1/2 onion, chilies, garlic, ginger and coriander grind till smooth paste and add to the chicken.

Add chopped spring onions and corn, mix all the ingredients cover and place the chicken in the fridge to marinate for 8 hours.

Once the chicken has marinated add salt as per taste. I added 1 1/2 tbsp salt mix well. Apply oil to your hands and start forming chicken patty.

Heat pan on medium flame add 6 tbsp oil gently place the patty in the pan and fry for 2 minutes on each side drain excess oil and place on a plate.

Top the patty with cheese and microwave for 1 minute until cheese melts. In a mixing bowl add the micro greens, lime juice, salt and pepper powder and serve.

Cut the bun into half and apply butter toast till crispy apply mayo or thousand island sauce, place the patty and garnish with micro greens and serve right away...Enjoy...πŸ˜‹

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Enjoying Japanese Cuisine @The Chancery-Matsuri, Bengaluru

I was hosted by The Chancery-Matsuri a Japanese Restaurant located on Lavelle Road. Matsuri is a hotel that is run by a division of Toyota. 
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What I really liked about matsuri is the location its centrally located right opposite to airlines hotel. Ambiance is very calm and inviting.  
Since I've never been to Japan or tasted the authentic food I cannot comment on the food, the knowledge about Japanese food and culture I have is purely from internet, however this was a new experience.

Exactly six years ago, I was introduced to sushi it was very popular among foodies in bangalore, since then I'm a huge fan of sushi, eating raw fish is never heard or seen in our community after tasting sashimi it was salty and perfectly paired with beer. On few occasions I have tasted udon noodles, miso soup and tempura but never really indulged in full on Japanese meal. 

Executive Chef OKANO at Matsuri treated us to array of dishes I've never seen or heard, Starting with the soup to egg custard topped with udon noodles it was all new to me. Japanese cuisine from a Bengalureans prospective is very simple with clean flavors. 

Mint and basil infused lemon juice...

Paan Lemonade

Kuzu tataki soup (red snapper fish soup)

Shokado Gozen which consists of chicken and vegetable tempura, suno mono & mizore-su, sashimi. 

Sunomono and mizore-su (Japanese style pickled vegetables in mizore-su gravy) 

Salmon, tuna & squid sashimi 

Carrot, okra, zucchini & chicken tempura


Ebishinjo, yasai takiawase (shrimp dumplings with vegetables) 

Tuna sushi

Vegetable sushi 

Odawara-mushi (egg custard with udon noodles) 

Kake udon (udon noodles with soya based soup)


Fruit crΓ¨me mitsumame 

( cubes of seaweed agar served with sweet bean paste, fruit and ice cream)

Overall I enjoyed the food. It was almost like our thali meals small portions but really filling. Three picks from the entire meal was the snapper soup subtle flavors soothing and not fishy, second dish was egg custard with udon noodles, steam cooked spongy eggs with soup and noodles was feather light it was all gone in seconds, third and final dish had to be the ice cream with sweet bean paste and fruits never tasted the beans and icecream combo before enjoyed the taste and flavors.