Yesterday was probably a day that I will remember for a long long time. The formal launch of The Yellow Chilli in Ahmedabad. It is likely that I underestimated the love for food that Amdavadis nurture! I was overwhelmed by the media’s enthusiasm in covering the Press Conference yesterday afternoon. I was impressed by the way my team had things working like clock work all through the day. I am sure there were many a tense moment behind the scenes, the creases smoothened out by Rajeev Matta (COO), Saurabh Saxena and Jahid Inamdar. Thanks all and kudos to you. I am sure there were around seventy media persons who addressed their queries and answering them took more than a couple of hours! A short rest period and then it was time for the evening party which was graced by eminent personalities of Ahmedabad. I had a chance to have extensive conversations with Mr Vimal Ambani, IG, DGP and Commissioner Police, Mr Chonas of Havmor, representatives from Zydus, and columnist Esther David.
The food? Well, we had the tables really spread out! Most of the menu items were presented and the sweet tooth of Ahmedabad was truly and magnificently pampered with Chocolate cake, Mango cake, Gulab-e- Gulkand, Fruit jelly, Badam Halwa.
As visions of such great desserts come before you, let me share some more desserts here.
Off now for the live demonstrations at The Kitchen Show (I am in Bengaluru!)…
It is a simple principle that always gives me great joy in life. Make a plan and go for it! It could be a planned day or a planned week, month or a year….like yesterday, was a planned Sunday for us. Did the shopping that was planned, cooked a lunch of Thai Green Curry and Jasmine Rice, saw two movies at home back to back, and then again feasted on some marvellous prawn curry sent over by our dear friend Nirmala aunty. Totally relaxed and so did Alyona as she got a good break from cooking!
Leaving for Delhi tomorrow to meet up family and attend a wedding. Then following on to Gurgaon for a Wonderchef show. It could be on the 15th or the 16th.Will post details as soon as I get confirmed info.
Which is the food that is in high demand in this season? Some will say mangoes and some will say ice cream! We now have so many brands to choose from with the Italian gelato also gaining favour. There are some classic ice cream desserts that are famous around the world, but I would like to mention the Arctic Roll which is a British dessert made of ice cream wrapped in sponge cake to form a roll, often with jam between the sponge and the ice cream. Another is Baked Alaska, a dessert made of ice cream straight from the freezer placed in a pie dish lined with slices of sponge cake and topped with meringue. The entire dessert if then placed in an extremely hot oven just long enough to for the meringue to set. The meringue is an effective insulator, and in the short cooking time needed, it prevents the heat from getting through to the ice cream. Ice-creams now come in a mind-boggling variety of flavours. Many people also like ice cream sundaes, with ice cream, hot fudge, nuts, whipped cream, cherries and other toppings of their choice. Here I will help you make ice creams with decidedly different flavours! Enjoy!
Till I write again
Entire country was watching and waiting to hear the passing of Women’s Reservation Bill in the parliament today, but as has been happening for the last 14 years, today also it met it’s normal opponents and not seen the light of the day. A golden opportunity lost again!
As we prepare to get some food shots done for the book on recipes for fussy kids, let me tell you that the enquiries on how to get the little ones to eat are mind boggling! I am sure this book will be met with open arms…kids love food that looks good and for me presentation is paramount! I always think of the plate as an empty canvas that needs a pictorial representation. Most chefs prefer the classic white or earth tones as these complement all colours of food. Only recently have I started playing with coloured crockery as vivid as turquoise to offset maybe, a rich orange moist prawn preparation. I have also served hot spicy rasam in shot glasses!
It is easy to go overboard in garnishing the food. But the first rule of ‘keep it simple’ helps here. Garnishes are best made with edible items. Recently, we had to garnish a pineapple mousse. It was pale yellow, nearly cream in colour. Cherries are run-of-the-mill so we decided to use caramel art. Well, the sugar syrup went a little ahead than we expected and as the lights were set, the mousse ready to melt, we spun the sugar into wisps of sugar threads. Took a bunch and put it on the mousse. A bit of creativity is very satisfying!
The more popular garnishes like lemon twist or slice, cucumber twist, carrot juliennes, carrot bundle, spring onion whisk, red chilli flower, tomato wings and roses, chocolate and sugar craft can help you create some wonderful looking plates. Play around with two to three colours, never more, for it should be easy on the eye. Sauces also play a key role in dressing up the plate. Sauce can be served around or under the food and if you desire to pour it on top, pipe in thin ribbon form ensuring that the food is not hidden under it.
Presentation is the key to a successful dish. Here are my favourites:
Till I write again,
This week has been a roller coaster , right? First the coverage of the cricket matches. I think the world had stopped for so many when Sachin’s double century was on live TV. Alyona told me that the shopkeepers were not keen to attend to their customers that afternoon! And many offices were too silent, because they were logged onto cricinfo. More constructive happenings today with the Budget being announced. I am so happy for the 60% of tax payers who are relieved with the announce ment of tax rate cuts by Pranab da in the Lok Sabha today. It was a long overdue and will make tax compliance more realistic. You can check with me next year that the tax collection will be much higher than what it is this year.
Today was the last day of induction programme with Mr. Hassan Mechmechani who had come down all the way from Baharain. We gave him a farewell and handed him all the soft and hard copies of the programme. His last visit was to The Yellow Chilli, Powai to understand the working of the buffet menu. He was very impressed with the turn out for the lunch at the restaurant.
Will be in Ahmedabad on Sunday to shoot Matla Undhiyo in traditional style and thought that while I am there why not go to some landmark food places and focus camera in places such as Vishala, Rajwadu, Sarkhej Raza, Bhatiyer Gali, Mehta Chawana Shop, Sabarmati jail….
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a long happy weekend with Holi holiday being the most fulfilling and fun filled with friends and family. Some goodies for you to cook on this festival – feather light Poha Idlis, kid friendly Corn and Cheese Dosa, easy to make Rose Sandesh.