Dinner, Food Blogger, Lifestyle, Lunch, Party Snacks / Appetizers, Restaurant Review, Restaurant Reviews, Reviews, Travel

Baali to Baan Tao – Indonesian Food Festival at Hyatt, Pune.

Get a feel of your favourite holiday destination, Bali, sitting right here in Pune ! 

Been Tao -Hyatt, Pune is hosting an Indonesian Food Festival till 5th December, where you can tuck into delicacies like Sari Segara, Lawar Kacang Panjang , Soto Ayam, Ikan Bakar, Bubur Injin to name a few. 

This a la carte menu is curated by Chef Nyoman, from Grand Hyatt Bali, who explained the nuances of each preparation as we sampled each dish in the menu at the preview of this festival. The attention to detail can be seen in the fact that Chef Nyoman brought with him, some of the essential herbs and spices that would be unavailable in India, to ensure that the dishes are as authentic as possible. 

Out of all the dishes we sampled that evening, here are few of my favourites – 

Gado Gado – A salad made with steamed vegetables, tofu, bean curd, egg,  peanut sauce. 

Lawar Kacang Panjang – Long bean salad made with minced chicken , grated coconut, & Balinese bumbu spice.

Chef also gave us a quick demo of how this salad is made. Simple ingredients with subtle flavours. Very light and refreshing. 

Next up were the Prawn, Fish, Lamb & Chicken Satay, out of which the Prawn and Fish Satay were my favourite. The lemonlemongrass stalk used as a skewer for the satay infused a great aroma into the meat as it cooked. 

Lamb satay turned out rather tough and chewy, maybe because of the way it was cut into chunks. So that was bit of a disappointment. But the fish & prawn more than made up for it. 

Sari Segara – This was easily the best dish for me, from that evening. Sari Segara means ‘everything from the Sea’.

This was a seafood soup which consisted of prawns, clams, mussels, squid & fish. The seafood was cooked in a broth flavoured with lemongrass, lemon leaves, fried shallot, potato & beans. Very subtle flavour of the aromatics which let the original seafood flavour shine through. 

Nasi Goreng – A popular fried rice dish , is served with lamb satay & chicken on the side & topped with fried egg. Except for the lamb satay which was rather tough & chewy, everything else on the plate was quite well cooked & balanced in flavour.  

Balinese Lamb Curry – This curry which is best had with steamed rice, has chunks of perfectly cooked tender lamb, braised in coconut milk, fresh turmeric, galangal, & lemon leaf. Quite a hearty dish. 

Bubur Injin – The only dessert on the menu , but definitely a good one if you like a warm rice porridge sorta end to the meal. This one is a Black Sticky Rice Pudding with Coconut Milk. Moderately sweet, with a nice creamy texture of the coconut milk, & black rice which has a nice al dente texture to it. This is one of those slightly warm comforting desserts you’d want to have on a winter evening. 

This festival is open for Lunch as well as Dinner till 5th December 2017 at Baan Tao, Hyatt Pune. 

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I tossed up a delish salad in 5 mins ! πŸ˜ƒ

​I’m just a girl, standing in front of a #salad , asking it to be a #doughnut πŸ˜’

Anyway, this quick 5 min salad I made for #lunch today was quite good ! 

Grilled #mushrooms & #cottagecheese tossed with some #rocketleaves with a generous sprinkling of Keya all purpose seasoning. That’s it ! (all purpose seasoning was a mix of garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, paprika, salt , oregano) 

Mushrooms added a meaty texture to the salad, while the creamy sweetness of #paneer (indian cottage cheese) balanced the peppery flavour of the #arugulasalad ….& it literally took 5 mins to prepare this dish 

(I still want a doughnut though πŸ˜‚) 

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Wok Tossed Prawns & Rice Stick NoodlesΒ 

​Homemade meals + cozy winter afternoons = Bliss πŸ’œ

This one dish meal is my favourite. 

I always have some chicken/prawns, some flat rice noodles/rice vermicelli at home, for a quick wok tossed meal that I can prepare in minutes. 

I used some fresh plump prawns that I wok tossed in some sweet chili sauce, garlic & crushed peppercorn, in a tsp of sesame oil, over a high flame. 

Added cooked flat rice noodles to the wok, tossed till they were coated evenly with the sauce. 

Garnished with fresh spring onion. Yummmm…

Delish meal ready in minutes ! 

PS- That’s why it’s important to have basic sauces, spices & grocery at home with which you can rustle up a quick meal, so that you don’t end up eating junk food. πŸ˜› 

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When all else fails, CHEESE.

​When all else fails, Cheese ! 


It’s been raining non stop, & the weather’s so nice & cool. Perfect for a day long Baking session. I made grand plans for the day! 

First up, kneading the bread dough, as it would take the longest to ferment. That done, I left the sourdough to ferment. Then got on with marinating some chicken, which I later planned to bake along with thin slices of potato, onion, cream & cheese. Marination done, I turned to the fermented dough, shaped & scored  a lovely french baguette, & put it in the oven to bake. 

Within 20 minutes the aroma of freshly baked bread was wafting through the kitchen. So now it was the Chicken that had to go in, to bake. Layers of thinly sliced potatoes, onion, chicken, herbs, cream & cheese were all set to bake & turn into a magical dish, which would later be devoured while listening to the pitter patter, sitting by the french window. 

I poured myself a glass of wine, & settled for a bit, waiting for the chicken to be ready in another 20 mins….

And then….BAM ! πŸ˜‘ *power cut * 

How could I be SO naive & optimistic about this ‘Baking on a Rainy Day Plan’ ?! 

This is #pune ! Even 10 mins of rain, results into hours of powercut ! Hmmph… 

But I wasn’t gonna let my plans be ruined, just bcoz this brilliant ‘Smart City’ decided to cut off power suply! 😏 

So out came the next best thing – the Cheese Board ! 

Now how can you go wrong with a Cheese Board & Wine ?! 

* That’s why I always say – Stock up your groceries smartly * 

I had all the essentials of a Cheese platter ready, & all it took was a little assembling. 

So within minutes we had – Olives, Parmesan, Gruyere Crisps, Mild Cheddar, some Fruit Preserves, Spanish Chorizo, & the lovely fresh warm baguette ready, for a candlelight evening by the window, listening to the pitter patter of the rain, sipping wine & having an awesome evening. 

Well played ‘Smart City’….But I’m smarter than you πŸ˜πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜‚

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World Tapas Day ! 3rd Thursday of June.Β 

​
Its World Tapas Day today !

Which reminded me of this amazing meal I had in Madrid on my birthday last year. 

I went bar hopping ALL DAY….every day πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚ & totally fell in love with the tapas bars in Spain. 

The word “tapas” is derived from the Spanish/Portuguese verb tapar, “to cover”. Before the 19th century, European roads were in bad condition. Travelling was slow and exhausting. Most people could not read or write, and Spain was no exception. 

Inns, called posadas, or bodegas, grew along the roads, offering meals and rooms, for travellers. Since few innkeepers could write and few travellers read, inns offered their guests a sample of the dishes available, on a “tapa” (the word for pot cover in Spanish). 

In fact, a “tapa” was (and still is) a small portion of any kind of Spanish cuisine. What we commonly refer to as ‘small plates’ in restaurant. 

A tapa in Spanish cuisine, is an appetizer, or snack. It may be cold such as mixed olives and cheese or hot such as chopitos, which are batter fried squid. In Spain, patrons of tapas can order many different tapas and combine them to make a full meal. 

There are literally thousands of types of tapas, and they very from region to region, depending on the produce and climate. 

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Fried Halwa (Black Pomfret)

​Lunch today, was a quick & easy fried Black Pomfret/Halwa. 

I love shallow fried fish, and when I make it at home, I can literally have just that, as a meal.  No rice, no curry… just some slices of spicy, tangy, shallow fried fish with a generous squeeze of lemon, & maybe a salad on the side.

 β–   Make a thick paste using – 

Red Chilli Powder, Ginger-Garlic Paste, Turmeric Powder, Cumin & Corriander Powder, Salt, Rice Flour, Kokum Extract, & Salt to taste.

β–   Marinate the fish slices in this paste for an hour. 

β–   In a pan, heat some oil, and shallow fry the marinated fish, 3-4  minutes on one side, flip and then cook for another couple of minutes. (Cook completely on one side, & only then turn over) 

β–   Since the marinade already has a bit of rice flour for binding, I fried the fish directly. But if you want a crispier texture on the outside, you can coat the marinated fish with dry Semolina/Rice Flour just before frying. 

β–   Serve with lemon wedges and salad on the side. 

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Chickpea, Spring Onion & Cheese SaladΒ 

​Some days you eat salad & go to the gym. Some days you eat cupcakes & refuse to move an inch. It’s called Balance 😁 

I made this green chickpea salad (soaked green chickpeas overnight, drained out water & let them sprout for a day. You can eat them raw or boil them for couple of minutes if you like) tossed in fresh spring onion from my kitchengarden, some grated cheese (you can use #paneer  *cottage cheese* /Feta as well) A generous splash of lemon juice, a sprinkle of Salt & Pepper. Quite good actually. 

Ok …but tomorrow is going to be cupcake day ! πŸ˜‚

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