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Am a contradiction of sorts. i love going out and having a good time with friends, and i can also stay home chill out over a book or a movie.. Am very passionate about writing, so give me a topic and watch me float away into wonderland... I Am crazy about music,books,friends and my doggie... :)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Gujarati Rasoi at Jamavar, The Leela Palace till Feb 13th

"Kemcho?  [How are you]
Majama..[am good]
Thepla joye che/khavu che? [Do you want a Thepla-a kind of roti]"

These are the only words/phrases I know related to Gujaratis.. Infact there are quite a few jokes that do the rounds about the Theplas- they are known to be staples, which when travelling Gujaratis are known to carry in large numbers.. And so, when exploring the cuisine, it was quite a surprise to see there was more to this region than just the few dishes I knew of.

There I was walking towards Jamavar at The Leela Palace down the spiral staircase all set to experience the Gujarati Rasoi, an elaborate traditional Gujarati festival with Chef Punarmali visiting from The Leela Mumbai.  

Dhokla, Khandvi, Thepla are some dishes that come to mind when you hear "Gujarati cuisine"... And so it was quite a surprise reading the menu at the Gujarati Rashi festival. It featured quite an array of Veg & Non Veg dishes. Yes, you read it right. There were quite a few Non veg dishes as well, much to the surprise of my friends who joined in the dinner [they assumed it was going to be an all veg meal].. What I like about Gujarati food is that it is quite subtle, made with simple ingredients [local produce] and quite distinct. The one sticky point about this cuisine is that all dishes have a sweet element in them [jaggery/sugar/Kokum].. 

The Restaurant [Photo credit: The Leela Palace]- we sat in the table at the far end with the beautiful piece of art on the wall.

Aam Panna - which we had more than one glass of.. 

 The delightful starters- Patra [colocassia leaf based starter], Dhokla, Khandvi and Kachori 

Khatti Meethi Daal and Gujarati Kadhi 

 Three kinds of rotis - Bajre ki Roti, Bhakri, Thepla

Poori - made with wheat flour and another flour+ ingredients 

 Rajwadi Kichdi 

 Three main veg gravy - one with Lady fingers, Gawar phalli [Cluster beans with carom seeds & spices] and  Undhiyu (Gujarati Mixed Vegetable).. There was also a potato & dumplings based gravy which was lovely[perfect accompaniment for the poori]. 

The yummilicious desserts - Badam ka Halwa [Almond cooked over a few hours and was rich, ghee packed] and Phirni [Creamy rice pudding flavoured with saffron and cardamom]

The evening was quite an experience, the ambiance, the hospitality and ofcourse the food. It is one of those restaurants that makes you feel like the Royal. 

Open for dinner only- 7 PM to 11 PM
Dates: Till 13th February, 2017.
The menu is priced at Rs 3500 plus taxes

The Leela PalaceAdyar Seaface, 
M.R.C Nagar, Chennai - 600028
Location: Lower Lobby
Reservations: +91 44 33661234

Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit :-)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

[Baking- Recipe] Apple cake

One of the vows I made to myself was that I would bake more often in 2017, atleast once a week. But then nearly a month has gone by and finally I got around to baking. 

I spotted a lone apple in the fridge and since it is one of my favourite fruits, I jumped at the chance to make something with it. I had bookmarked a recipe online for a simple apple cake and got down to making it today. 

Apple & cinnamon combination has been one of my favourites for as long as I can remember. I love a good hot apple pie, alas there are very few places that make it well.  Luckily, this recipe had ingredients [I did tweak it a bit] that I knew could be found in my kitchen which gave me the motivation I needed to get on with it. 

I usually pick out all the necessary ingredients, place them on the counter top, clean out the bowls, spoons and measuring equipment before I start. I did the same today, only thing I hadn't done was peel and slice the apples. I did not forget, but deliberately put it off for the last minute- apples tend to go brown when sliced, remember?!

Ingredients for this cake

[Adapted from this recipe from]

dry ingredients:
  • 1 medium sized apple - peeled, cored and sliced thin [keep this separately till the batter is ready to be poured into the baking tin]
  • cups whole wheat flour (atta)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • ¾ cup plain sugar [did not have demerera sugar]
  • a pinch of salt

wet ingredients:
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon of vanilla essence 
The method..  [preheat the oven at 180 degrees for about 10mins]
  1. In a big bowl, mix all the dry ingredients
  2. In another bowl,mix the wet ingredients  
  3. Now combine the wet and dry ingredients, making sure there are no lumps.  
  4. Pour half into a greased cake tin.
  5. Place half the sliced apples  on top of the batter
  6. Pour the remaining batter and repeat the apple slices on top 
  7. I sprinkled some cinnamon powder and sugar on top as well. Place the tin into the oven and bake for about 25mins . 
  8. Make sure to test with a fork or knife, if it comes out clean the cake is done, else leave it in for few minutes more... 
  9. Allow to cool and serve with coffee/tea.  

Not a great shot, but it tastes delicious.. Happy Baking~!! 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Coffee time- Sipping Kopi Luwak Coffee

During my recent trip to Bangalore, uncle brought out this bright coloured packet and announced we were going to try it. I was curious and picked up the packet. You have no idea how surprised I was. It was a packet of Kopi Luwak coffee. Oh yes, you read it right.

The very first time I heard of this was in the movie Bucket List, starring  Jack Nicholson & Morgan Freeman- watch this scene, it is howlarious..

So, the story goes that the coffee is made in a very different manner, not by machines or man but by a creature of the forest.  The ripest coffee beans are digested by a certain Indonesian cat-like animal called then palm civet or also civet cat and well, Kopi luwuk is what the civet cat chucks out, err is the feces/poop... ya ya you read it right as well..hehe 

I don't know what made this coffee so popular or if it actually is popular. Infact I had a debate/discussion with my uncle about this very thing. I thought maybe it had become a tourist driven thing and so was overhyped. 

Anyways, we decided to brew this coffee and give it a go. Talk about living dangerously, right?! We brewed it in the coffee maker, except for this uncle said we need to add more water than usual. After a few minutes, the coffee decoction was ready . Uncle and I decided to try it black, and must say it had a peculiar taste. Surprisingly, I wasn't disgusted or repulsed while sipping it.. uncle went on to give a sample to his bro, who said we had ruined his mouth with this yuck coffee.. he added some milk to it and well, I actually thought it tasted better black.

One thing for sure is that this is not a coffee you can have more than a sip. Quite rancid. Nothing can compare to our regular coffee brew. 

Other interesting reads related to this coffee

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Flying Elephant at Park Hyatt Chennai rolls out new Menu

Out with the old, in with the New seems to be norm across restaurants now. I see quite a few of them going in for a revamp of their menu, or including a few new dishes into their existing menu. Joining this line is The Flying Elephant at Park Hyatt Chennai

Here is a sneak peek of what lies in store for your next visit here.  There is a Vegetarian Wanton soup that is light and simple, followed by the one dish that stood out for me- The Spinach Phyllo [ spinach and cheese tucked into phyllo pastry that was just wow]. Oh, the Mezze platter with the dip- Muhammara was yumm- it is made with roasted red peppers as the base.. I loved the crunchy texture and the spice factor in this one.

Apart from these, there was the Paneer starter followed by three delicious curries served with a wide range of rotis/naans. The side with the greens as the base was the best of the lot. What Chef has done is bring in the best of various cuisines to shake things up a bit. There are dishes from the Japanese, Indian, Turkish and few other cuisines as well.

The grand finale was this interesting dessert, take on Snicker bars, called the Snicker mess- there were pieces of chocolate, a peanut ice-cream sitting on a bed of crushed peanuts and little dollops of dark chocolate. I felt there was a bit of overdose of peanuts in this one and needed a coffee to clear my palate ... 

Park Hyatt
#39, Velachery Main Rd, 

Velachery, Chennai - 600032
Phone:044 7177 1234

Disclaimer: The reviews posted on this blog are based on my personal experience. Also remember these were just my views!! Remember, no two palates are the same. Bon Appétit :-)