Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day - The ITC Sonar Way!

ITC Sonar organised a Mothers Day Brunch specially for Kolkata Food Bloggers where the bloggers were invited along with their moms! When I got a call from A of ITC telling me about the event I was mighty disappointed as my mother lives in a different city. But things which are bound to happen..happen...and as if by magic I got a call from Maa that she would be visiting me that weekend!! There I was, all set to enjoy an afternoon out with Maa. ITC hospitality is impeccable and they would never let you down. We reached the venue at the specified time and henceforth started the fun and a super relaxing afternoon with a humongous spread of good food. There was Antara and Manjari joining in with their moms as well. The moms instantly hit it off and that was one of the best thing about that afternoon.





Let me start with the Salad Bar..I mean the spread was simply wow! This definitely has to be the most elaborate salad selection you will find in the city.There was everything that your heart desired. I made up my mind that I would focus on the salads and fill myself up as much as I can. The Mezze Platter with four kinds of dips,Prawn Cocktail,Mixed Seafood Salad,Grilled Chicken Salad and the freshest of greens to name a few that was on offer. I would rather do the pictures do all the talking!


Moving on to the Main course,the spread was again simply superb. You could divide the spread into Indian, Western and since it was mothers day there was an added Bengali section as well. Starting from Biryanis to salans to Kosha Mangsho to Bhetki Paturi to Tenderloin Steaks..they had everything. A special mention of the Dhakai Chicken Biryani that was so flavourful and had moist chunks of chicken.

The Western spread had Jerk Grilled Chicken that was nice and juicy served with some asparagus and carrot. The Ragi Manicoti with Cheese sauce was a new dish for me..it was light and creamy. Egg Florentine, Tenderloin steaks,Grilled Veggies made up for the rest of the menu.


Now coming to my most favourite section - The Dessert Bar! Oh boy what a selection. I was thoroughly confused and greedy and couldn't decide what all I wanted.

I have a soft corner for Bengali sweets so I stuffed up on the Aam Kheer, Chomchom along with the Rum balls,Black Forest Mousse. There were some sugar free options as well that was very thoughtful I felt. And before I forget there was also an awesome spread of Breads as well. Donuts, Garlic bread,cheese bread and many more.


After all that great food there was more to come. Entertainment was also amply taken care of. A live band that was playing some of my favourite old classics added up to the charm. Balloon Art, Cookie making counter,an Artist Corner, an Illusionist who does table tricks left us mesmerised.


Aptly called "The Brunch and Beyond" - You can enjoy this fun filled afternoon with good food and lots of activities for yourself and your kids at the Eden Pavilion of ITC Sonar every Sunday. Talking about kids..I found it truly wonderful that the hotel is thoughtful of the children and they envisioned ways to keep them busy and happy while the parents enjoy their meal. This is something that is not easily seen around the city. As a mom to a 6 year old I would be very comfortable taking my kid to a place which holds his interest too!


The Sunday Brunch is priced at INR 1850 + taxes that includes food and soft beverages along with the fun activities mentioned above. The menu is versatile and changes every week!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Summer Cooler - Mango Yoghurt Smoothie

The much awaited rains have finally arrived in the city and that makes me so happy. I have a thing with the rains. I love it. It soothes my mind and motivates me to do things I love to do. The ongoing event at KFB " Beat the Heat "has provided just the right impetus and I am experimenting again in my kitchen. On my recent trip to the neighbourhood supermarket I picked up a box of Alphonso mangoes but to my dismay they tasted awful.I was might disappointed but didn't have the heart to throw them away. I mean paying more that 250 bucks for 4 mangoes does hurt.So I had to do something to salvage the situation and thus made this Mango Yoghurt Smoothie loaded with the goodness of saffron. This is a perfect accompaniment for breakfast or any time of the day for that matter.


Ingredients:

Mango - 2 medium - I used alphonso but you can use any variety you like.

Yoghurt/Curd - 2 cups

Water - half a cup

Sugar - 2 tbsp.

Saffron strands - a pinch dissolved in a tbsp. of warm milk + some for garnish

Method:

Wash the mangoes well and take out the skin. Mash the mango with your hand into a pulp.

In the blender jar of your mixie , add all the ingredients listed above along with the mango pulp.

Pulse until everything has mixed well and has a smooth texture.

Pour in glasses, garnish with a few saffron strands and served chilled.


 I am sending this recipe to the ongoing event Beat the Heat at Kolkata Food Bloggers

 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Summer Cooler - Cucumber Spritzer

So last nite we decided to pig out at the Smokehouse Deli. Ever since this eatery has opened up its doors to the city..it has definitely become one of my favourite places. I simply love the all white d├ęcor they have, so soothing,so summery.Now talking about Kolkata summers I really cannot find anything positive to say : (. It's scorching here and the sweltering heat is driving people crazy. The only thing that everyone is thinking about is summer coolers...how to keep oneself hydrated. Guzzling glasses of soft drinks isn't going to help in any way so the way to go is to keep it fresh and healthy. Precisely the reason why I started telling you about going to SHD( short for smokehouse) is that I had this super refreshing cucumber cooler and have recreated the same in my kitchen. Nothing like a chilled glass of fresh juice spiked up with tangy flavours. Cucumbers are anyways a saviour in these hot summer months and have a lot of goodness.Here's sharing with you the recipe of this fantastic summer cooler - Cucumber Spritzer.


 

Ingredients:

Cucumber - I medium - finely chopped

Mint leaves - a handful - I used dried mint leaves

Coriander - few stems

Black salt- 2 tsp - adjust according to taste

Sprite - 2 glasses

Ice cubes- few cubes

Method:

In the blender jar of the mixie put in the chopped cucumber,mint leaves,coriander and the black salt. Put few spoons of water and pulse the mixture till it gets a bit slushy. Don't grind it into a fine paste.

Now add the sprite into this mix and pulse again for few seconds.

Pour into glasses, add the ice cubes and serve chilled.


              I am sending this recipe the the ongoing event at KFB "Beat the Heat"

 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Cupcakes with Strawberry and Cream Cheese

Few days ago while I was still very enthusiastic about whipping up a storm in my kitchen I had made some gorgeous Cupcakes topped with Strawberry and Cream Cheese. I carried those beauties to my friends place for dinner and they had nice things to say about it and me too!
Today while going through my folders I discovered the pictures and decided that I should blog about it. The recipe of the cupcake was shared by my dear friend K of Silence Sings and I am going to follow it for good now. By now many of you know that I lack the patience of a baker and hence do not venture much into that territory.But then again once in a while I do push myself or my friends push me a little and I end up baking a few goodies.



Ingredients:

Flour - 1 cup

Sugar - 1 cup - powdered

Butter - 100 gms - I used Amul

Eggs - 2 nos

Vanilla essence - 1 tsp

Baking powder - 1 tsp

Milk - half cup - room temperature

For the frosting:

Strawberries - half a cup - sliced

Cream cheese - half a pack - I used Philadelphia

Powdered sugar - 2 tbsp.

Method:

Before you start make sure all the ingredients are in room temperature.

In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add the eggs , one at a time and mix well.

Add the vanilla essence next and mix again.

Sift the flour along with the baking powder and fold it in into the sugar/butter/egg mixture.

Gently add the milk and fold in everything together.

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Pour the mixture into prepared cupcake mould and bake for 20 mins.

 
Now for the frosting - mix together the cream cheese and the powdered sugar and beat it into a creamy smooth mixture.

Once the cupcakes have cooled down - top each cupcake with a spoonful of the cream cheese mix. Decorate with strawberry slices and sugar sprinkles.