Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Super Easy Banana Walnut Chocolate Cake!


Hello guys...

It's been more than two months of lockdown in India and things are slowly becoming normal expect the number of rising Covid19 cases. Like all others, I also wish if there was a reset button for 2020. It's kind of roller-coaster ride for us, human beings. The fun part of the lockdown is that we are mastering our cooking skills. I always thought I can't bake a cake for xyz reasons. But this time, I thought will give it a try (after watching so many videos and bugging my baker friends with silly questions). The result was goey, spongy, chocolatey goodness fresh from the oven. So here is the recipe, do try it and let me know the feedback.

Ingredients

Banana                              - 4 nos (small size)/ 2 big over riped
All purpose flour (Maida) - 1.5 cups
Walnut                              - 1/4 - 1/2 cup (roughly chopped)
Sugar                                - 3/4 cup
Cocoa powder                  - 2 tbsp
Baking powder                - 1 tsp
Baking Soda                    - 1/2 tsp
Salt                                  - 1 pinch
Milk                                - 1/4 cup (room temp)
Vinegar/Lemon juice      - 1 tbsp
Vegetable Oil                  - 1/2 cup
Water                              - 2 tbsp (add extra tbsp only if it is required)

Preparation

  1. Using a blender, grind Banana and sugar to a smooth paste.
  2. Grease the cake tin with oil and line the bottom with parchment paper. Keep it aside
  3. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder
  4. To the dry ingredients add banana+ sugar mix, vegetable oil and mix well.
  5. Add milk, vinegar (or lemon juice) and water and combine well.
  6. Add chopped walnuts and mix again and transfer to the cake tin.
  7. Garnish with some walnuts.
  8. Gently tap the cake tin twice to avoid the air bubbles.
  9. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and bake the cake for 25-35 mins.
  10. Insert a tooth pick or knife in the center of cake, if it comes out clean, leave it to rest for 5 mins in the cake mould before transferring to a wire rack.
  11. Once the cake cool down, slice it and enjoy this super delicious cake with a hot cup of tea/coffee.
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Thursday, May 14, 2020

Summer special dessert - Aam Bhapa Doi (Steamed Mango Yogurt)



I am enjoying this lockdown time by cooking something special almost on daily basis. This is the time to enjoy mangoes to the fullest and I got three variety mangoes from a Mango vendor from Kolar. The Himampasand, Alphonso and Banganapalli mangoes were too good. Using Alphonso mangoes, I created a simple Bengali dessert called Aam Bhapa Doi (Don't forget to read the note) :)

Serves: 4+ 
Cooking time: ~45 mins

Ingredients

Mango                              - 1 (I used puree of 1 Alphonso mango)
Condensed Milk               - 400 gm ( 1 tin)
Yogurt                               - 400 gm
Cardamom powder           - 1/4 - 1/2 tsp
Pistachios                         - chopped, for garnishing
Mango pieces                   - for garnishing 

Preparation


  • In a bowl, whisk hung/set yogurt. 
  • To the yogurt, add condensed milk, mango puree, and cardamom powder. Whisk well to ensure no lumps are there. 


  • Transfer the Aam Doi mix to a bowl/claypot in which you want to steam and cover it using aluminium foil.

  • Heat water in the steamer and once water is hot, place the bowl(s) and cover it with a lid. Steam the mango mix for 20-30 mins. 

  • Once Aam Bhapa Doi is ready, take out from the steamer and leave it to cool down. Bring it to room temperature.

  • Refrigerate Aam Bhapa Doi for 6-8 hours before consuming.

  • Before serving garnish the dessert with chopped pistachios and mango pieces.
Note: It's best to use hung yogurt for this recipe. I didn't have much patience and the yogurt I used directly from the pack was very thick. If you prefer the dessert to be less sweet, then reduce the condense milk quantity to 3/4th tin. Aam Bhapa Doi tastes better and creamier if you refrigerator it for 6-8 hours. For immediate usage refrigerate for 1-2 hours. 

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Monday, February 17, 2020

Cooking with Stars - A Masterclass by Michelin Star Chef Chris Galvin from London at CUR8, Four Seasons Hotel, Bengaluru!




Tasting a spread of Chef's special dishes is always fun and exciting especially if the Chef has already known for his Michelin starred restaurants. I was in the same spot when I recently met Michelin star Chef Chris Galvin at CUR8, Four Seasons Hotel. Chef Galvin believes in farm to table concept and demonstrated four beautiful dishes with the finest ingredients he could source. The dishes he created transported us to the coast of Meditteranean sea.

Click on the video to check out my YouTube video :)

Chef Galvin created four magical dishes - 
  • Imam Bayildi (a classic Turkish Aubergine dish)
  • Escabeche of Yellowfin Tuna with Aubergine Puree and Herbs
  • John Dory with Orange glazed Endive, Cauliflower Puree, with a dressing of Curry Oil, Pine nuts and Sultanas
  • Charred Pumpkin, Burrata, Chima de rappe, Hazelnut, Pomegranate, and Sage.






We tasted some of the finest dishes and in every nibble I had, I could feel Chef's passion for cooking. Throughout the masterclass, Chef Galvin interacted with the audience and also shared his cooking memories and other interesting kitchen stories.

This was my first visit to Four Seasons Hotel after hearing so much about this beautiful property from non-foodie friends. I really enjoyed the Masterclass. Thank you team Four Seasons Hotel, Gargi Guha, Shireen and Samprathi for having me over.

Check out Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru's page here


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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Kappa Chakka Kandhari marked their entry in namma ooru. Have you visited this famous Kerala restaurant in Koramangala?



Kappa Chakka Kandhari (KCK) roughly translates to Tapioca-Jackfruit-Bird's eye chilli; the three important and nostalgic ingredients from God's Own Country - Kerala. Most of us are familiar with this name -KCK for another reason - a popular restaurant that successfully runs in Chennai and previously done few pop-up events in Bangalore finally marked their entry to Bengaluru's food scene. Located in Koramangala 6th Block, this restaurant is hardly 2 months old and always packed with people who love Kerala cuisine. I love the way they reinvigorated the simple Kerala homestyle (mostly Syrian Christian) cooking and Toddy shop food in the restaurant menu.






One of the co-founders and Culinary Director Mr. Regi Mathew have traveled the length and breadth of Kerala in a span of 3-4 years to find the best and extraordinary dishes clubbed with his childhood favorite food. Hence the result is different from other restaurants; here you won't see the usual Porotta and its accompaniments. If you have grown up in Kerala or atleast had a Keralite neighbor then you will be familiar with the terms like Mappas, Moilee, Pollichathu, Varutharacha, Roast, etc when you see KCK's menu. Toddy style food is mostly known as 'Touchings' (a side dish served with any alcohol - it could be simple chips/pickle to even beef roast/ spicy fish fry. KCK has successfully added some of our favorite touchings like Kozhuva (Anchovy) fry, Idiyirachi (Sun-dried Tenderloin crushed and tossed with shallots and curry leaves), Vazhappoo (Banana blossom) cutlet, Mutton coconut fry, Prawns Kizhi (Prawns in coconut masala (peera), wrapped and steamed in banana leaves). Kannan Kozhi Fry served with Beetroot sauce is a must-try dish; the free-range Chicken is braised and splash fried with crumbs of crushed chillies and other spices. If you are missing a glass of toddy, then go for the Absolute Kandhari/Nannari Sherbath/Morum Vellam (Buttermilk) with the touchings.




Nannari Sherbath


Kozhuva fry

If you visit KCK, don't miss their Ramassery idli served with red rice chutney and Sambhar. This dish is originally from a place called Ramassery near Palakkad. Chef told us a brief history of this dish which was once a favorite and convenient dish for local traders who had to travel and pack their food. The idli steamed in muslin cloth on a netted upside down earthenware reminds the diners that we should focus on our old traditions and techniques for simple, tasty and best food.



Mutton Puttu Biriyani

Another favorite of mine was the Mutton Puttu Biriyani which had burst of flavors and the inhouse made rice powder makes all the difference; the Puttu just melts-in-your mouth. On my second visit to this restaurant, I tried their Prawns Puttu biriyani which had mild and unique flavors. Pidi (Rice dumplings in mild coconut milk) and Kozhi curry was also something unique from the menu and a dish you must try. I almost jumped out of joy when I tried the flavorful 'Varutharacha (roasted coconut masala) Kadachakka (breadfruit) curry and Chatti Meen Curry. This is best enjoyed with our simple white beauty - lacy appams. The guests can see their kitchen while dining, so don't forget to give a smile to the sweet ladies and gents who will be busy cooking.

Chatti meen curry


Pidiyum Kozhi Curryum (Rice dumplings in flavoured coconut milk served with Chicken curry)

Whether you have a sweet tooth or not, try their Signature desserts like 'Kandhari Ice cream' or 'Cloud pudding' (best tender coconut pudding I ever had). They even have 'Kol ice' - ice lollies (which takes you back to a different era for sure) and also popular puddings like Paalada and Parippu payasam.
My favourite 'Cloud pudding'

Kol ice

Payasams and Kandhari Ice cream <3

With the influence of Portuguese, Arabs, Chinese, Ceylon (Sri Lankan), Jews traders, and other communities within the state, Kerala cuisine has evolved a lot and it one of the most popular cuisines worldwide. Being a Malayali I could proudly say that, this cuisine can satisfy any palate with its simplicity and uniqueness.

With Chef Regi Mathew

Overall I enjoyed my experience at KCK and waiting to go there again for another belting session (food nirvana). The staffs at KCK are very polite, and helpful. If you don't book in advance, then you may end up waiting for a long time to get a table, especially on weekends. Do visit this restaurant and let me know your experience at KCK. A meal for two would be INR 1500/- (approximately)
Address:
Kappa Chakka Kandhari
#438, 18th Main Road
Near Devi Hospital
Koramangala 6th Block
Bengaluru - 560095
For reservations, contact - 063646 71010

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

'Aromas of Thailand', a Masterclass by Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Commerce H.E.Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit at Foodhall, 1MG



When you get a chance to try an authentic fair of Thai food in Bangalore, it's like a dream come true. A few days ago, I was lucky to participate in the 'Aromas of Thailand', an event organized by Foodhall, 1MG and the main highlight of this event was the Chief Guest who came all the way from Thailand to show us what is Thai cuisine all about. The Chief guest was none other than the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Commerce H.E. Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit.



The extremely humble and sweet person - respected DPM demonstrated three classic Thai dishes - Tom Yum Goong, Massaman Curry, and Pad Thai. I can't tell which one was the best out of three, as each dish transported us to Thailand. The best thing about Foodhall is that they've fresh and topnotch ingredients for Thai cooking, so if you want to cook these dishes at home it's hustle-free.




I had a great time at the event, learned three classic Thai recipes, met the entire team of DPM and they were as sweet as Mr. Jurin Laksanawisit. Thailand is in my bucket list and I hope to visit this beautiful country to explore their cuisine and culture. Till then Bye and  Khàawp Khun Khâ (Thank you) for a great event and also having me over team Foodhall, Saina Jayapal, and Thaitrademumbai.

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