A Chocolate and Mango Tango

Mango Brownies

Mango lovers will vouch for its lusciousness, lingering nectar-like after taste, and above all, its versatility. The grand fruit lends itself, and graciously so, to all manner of flavors and fares. It could be dunked in a sweet and spicy chutney base, or juiced up and slurried into mocktails. What you could also do with it, if you’re left, by the end of the season like us, with a truckload of the king of fruits, is pair it with chocolate and whisk up a batch of gooey, gorgeous brownies. It’s the kind of recipe that, just like the fruit, is malleable and lets you tinker and tussle until you have the perfect tango of tastes. Not that we endorse any other fruit in it, just yet. We’re still relishing the last crumbs of this mangoey, chocolicious dessert..

Mango brownies Mango-nut Brownies (Makes 16)

  • Dry Ingredients – 
    • ½ cup (65gm) all purpose flour / maida
    • 3 tbsp (20gm) cocoa
    • ¼ tsp baking powder
    • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (113gm) butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200gm) sugar, ground fine
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp mango essence
  • 1 cup fresh mango puree
  • ½ cup walnuts, roasted and chopped (reserve 1 tbsp for garnish)
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips (reserve 1 tbsp for garnish)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 350ºF.
  2. Grease an 8″ or 9″ square pan, line with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar. Set aside to cool
  5. Once the butter is cool whisk in the eggs, vanilla, mango essence and mango puree.
  6. Mix in the dry ingredients.
  7. Finally stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips.
  8. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 min. Cool the brownies in the pan. Make the mango-sugar glaze (recipe follows).
  9. Cut the brownies into 16 squares but do not remove them from the pan. Drizzle with the mango sugar glaze and sprinkle the reserved walnuts and chips on top. Then place the brownies on a serving plate or storage box.
  10. If you are not using the glaze you can also put a teaspoon of icing sugar in a sieve and dust the brownies with it.

Mango Brownies

Mango-sugar glaze

  • 1 tbsp fresh mango puree
  • ½ cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp cold milk / mango nectar or as required 
  1. Stir together the mango puree and icing sugar. Add milk/mango nectar one teaspoon at a time until you get a flowing glaze. Pour the glaze over the brownies.

Mango BrowniesStore the brownies in the refrigerator in a covered container for 2-3 days. Or, freeze the unglazed brownies, well wrapped, for a couple of weeks. Thaw at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.   

Mango Brownies

Posted in Bakes And Cakes, Funnibles, Picnic Basket, Sweet Treats | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Crunch! Munch! Roasted Makhana

Roasted Phool MakhanaLotus seeds or phool makhana have umpteen health benefits and with minimal effort, can be turned into a delightful snack option to use as a filler between meals, after a rough exercise session, after school or work, or while simply acquiring couch potato status to binge watch a favorite TV drama series. They are brimming with antioxidants and fiber, and can be nibbled on guilt-free, as they’re low in calories and fat. Oh, and they’re simply delicious, as they graduate from being pillowy little buttons to crunchy puffballs.

Roasted Phool Makhana

Roasted Phool Makhana (Lotus seeds)

  • 2 teaspoons ghee
  • 2 cups phool makhana
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • Fresh cracked pepper
  1. Heat the ghee in a kadhai or heavy bottomed pan placed on low heat. Add the phool makhana. Roast on a low flame for about 10 minutes, tossing frequently.
  2. Sprinkle the salt and pepper all over. Switch off the heat and allow the makhana to cool completely in the pan before transferring to an airtight container. They stay well in a tightly closed container for about a week.

Roasted Phool Makhana

Posted in Appetizer Alley, Funnibles, Picnic Basket, Snack Attack | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Velvet ‘n Cream, Chocolate Pudding Supreme

Chocolate Pudding

There’s only one thing to turn to as a mood enhancer when us Tadka girls get together after a long gap, having each succumbed to the despair of illnesses alternating with inertia – chocolate. We’d say dessert, but it wouldn’t possibly have the same bearing unless it comprised cocoa. And so one sunny afternoon we huddled together to gorge on a delicious, spicy, homely meal that hit most of the right spots, as we caught up on this, that and the other. We then settled cozily into our alcoves on opposite sides of couches, thumbs twiddling in anticipation for the clock to tick at least a minute or two before we could barge into the kitchen and dive face-down into the lavish depths of rich chocolate pudding waiting for us in the refrigerator. There wasn’t much to be said once we did – just experienced, the way you would a Broadway musical – with all your senses open and in the moment. Figuratively speaking, of course, because coming to think of it: you wouldn’t want to eat this in public.

Chocolate Pudding

Intense Chocolate Pudding

(Serves 5-6)

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2½ tbsp cornflour/ cornstarch 
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 120gm good quality dark chocolate, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon instant coffee 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. In a medium, heavy bottom saucepan, stir together the sugar, cocoa, cornflour and salt.
  2. Place on a low flame and slowly whisk in the milk and cream. Stirring continuously cook for about 10 minutes or until the pudding thickens and starts to bubble on the sides.
  3. Stir in the dark chocolate and coffee. Once the chocolate melts into the pudding take the pan off the heat.
  4. Stir in the vanilla.
  5. Pour the pudding into a jug and then into individual ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours.
  6. Dust with cocoa powder and pile on dollops of whipped cream, if desired. A few chocolate shavings on top would be a lovely finishing touch.

Chocolate Pudding

Adapted from here – Alice Medrich’s Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate Pudding




Posted in Sweet Treats | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Here’s to Healthy Snackin’ – Zucchini Chillas

Zucchini Chilla

We’re back on the school routine wagon, with umpteen mails urging parents to stick to healthy snack and lunch options flooding our inboxes, from the kindly coordinators. A seemly plot, if you ask us, when our own preferences are taken into consideration, what with the mounting piles of organic fruits, especially mangoes, and crisp green vegetables in our weekly takings. We never miss an opportunity to slink typically boring vegetables into everyday meals, and here we did just that by tossing in some grated zucchini with that yesteryear classic from Mom’s recipe repertoire – besan chilla. The outcome was delicious, and it showed in the smiles of contentment on our super hungry school goers’ faces. These are great as a breakfast option too and they’ll keep your little champs filled and fulfilled, even if it’s only until the time that the much awaited lunch bell dings!

Zucchini Chilla

Zucchini Chilla (Chickpea flour crepes)

(Makes 6)

  • 1.5 cups grated zucchini (One medium zucchini)
  • 1 cup chickpea flour/besan, sifted
  • 2 tbsp brown rice flour
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp chaat masala
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 1 green chilli, de-seeded and minced, optional
  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • ¼ tsp lemon zest
  • ¼ cup of water, or as needed
  1.  Mix together all the ingredients except the water in a large mixing bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes. The zucchini will start to release its water and make the flour wet.
  2. Add enough water to make a pancake batter type consistency. Mix well.
  3. Preheat a nonstick tava or griddle, grease lightly. Pour in a ladle of batter in the centre and use the ladle to spread the batter into a 6″ circle. Cook on medium heat until the chilla browns on the bottom and then flip and cook the other side.
  4. Serve hot, with tomato ketchup, chutney or raita.

Zucchini Chilla


Posted in Breakfast Basket, Homestyle Indian, Snack Attack | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Restaurant Review: Mango Festival at Grand Mercure

It has often been said that the towering piles of mangoes in all their green-gold hued glory are the only thing that make summers bearable in India. Celebrating the mango season with an over-the-top meal featuring the raw and ripe fruits in every dish seemed just the thing to do at a time when the heat had invaded even the usual pleasant climes of Bengaluru. The Grand Mercure, nestled in a quiet side street of Koramangala showcases the king of fruits in a mango festival every summer and this year we decided to head over and see what the fuss was all about.

Grand Mercure Mango2

The meal started with a light appetizer – a vegetarian Mango Caprese salad (above bottom-right). This was beautifully plated and looked really pretty. We enjoyed the pairing of juicy slices of mango with halved cherry tomatoes and the more intensely flavoured slivers of sundried tomatoes, mild mozzarella, crisp lettuce and micro greens. The non-vegetarian version (above top right) had shrimp and raw mangoes, with a soy chilli dressing. Both the salads were fairly lightly dressed and it would be good to call for some extra dressing on the side so that the flavours come through.

The other item on the appetizer menu is the Mango poppadams, in a choice of Falafel or Chicken (above left). The falafel version wins this one hands down. The bite-sized crispy falafels, with a light mango salad and creamy tzatziki dressing went well together and looked cute in the little dish made of papad. The chicken version could have used a little more seasoning..it lacked a little something to make it pop. Eat these quickly since the papad bowl starts to get soggy with the salad inside!

Grand Mercure Mango1

The mango-based cocktails that we had were a tad disappointing. They lacked the zing and freshness that one might expect from a fresh mango drink, and also perhaps, a garnish or two to up the glamour quotient. We sipped on the cocktail on the left in the picture above; this had mango and apricot juices, with a lot of pulp messing with the consistency of the drink. The Aam panna (Non alcoholic, but the version we tried had vodka in it) had a nice punch to it and was assertively spiced.

Grand Mercure Mango3

The vegetarian entrees were definitely the highlight of the mango menu. The balsamic grilled vegetables (above left) were tender-crisp and nicely glazed. They came perched on a scoop of Parmesan Mango Polenta that was really creamy and flavourful. The ravioli (above top right) had spinach, ricotta and raw mango inside and was served with a mango sauce..again this dish was enjoyed by everyone.

We’re always happy to see a good Thai curry (above bottom right) and this one was done really well, with succulent chunks of sour raw mango providing a nice twist to the regular curry. This was served with a wonderfully fragrant jasmine rice.

Grand Mercure Mango4For the non-vegetarian entrees there was a choice of fish, chicken and tenderloin. The Chicken breast stuffed with raw mangoes and mushrooms (above left) was delicious. The Grilled Fish with raw mango piccada (above top right) had a lot of elements on the plate but somehow lacked oomph and the sprouts that it was topped with struck a slightly discordant note in the dish. 

Grand Mercure Mango The eagerly awaited mango dessert course had some hits and misses. The Mango Panacotta with the Basil Raspberry Coulis (above left) was not set too well but the cubes of fruit with the custardy creaminess of the pannacotta were pleasant enough. The Passion fruit and Mango Tart had a hint of rosemary and came topped with thick slices of fresh mango..a little doughy-ness in the bottom crust needs to be addressed here. We did find the Thai inspired Kaffir lime leaf crepe stuffed with fresh mangoes and drizzled with a mango sauce a little heavy on the kaffir lime but folks who enjoy the intense flavour might like this dish.

It was definitely a novelty and a pleasure to savour the flavours of the season’s best mangoes highlighted in each and every dish. Mango lovers will enjoy this menu and the chef’s efforts to present the King of fruits in new and delicious avatars.

Promotion Period: Available everyday from 2nd May 2014 – 17th May 2014, 7pm to 11pm
Phone: 91-80-4512 1212
Accepts Cards: Yes
Parking: Valet
Address: 12th Main Restaurant,
Grand Mercure Bangalore,
12th Main, 3rd Block, Koramangala,
Bangalore- 560034 
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Restaurant Review: Monkey Bar, Indiranagar

Monkey Bar1

Monkey Bar has been on our must-go list ever since we moved back to Bangalore. We’ve heard and read so much about Chef Manu Chandra, the quirky Monkey Bar ambiance, the superb food, and of course the cocktails. So, it is safe to say that we were pretty kicked about being invited to check out their new restaurant in Indiranagar, Bangalore.

First impressions..the decor looked warm and interesting but not overly cluttered. Small and large knick knacks were scattered around, the odd carved wooden frame sharing space with rustic chalk boards, wacky posters and framed pop art, scooters and liberal doses of the trademark monkey accents. The seating was casual, a few booths and the bar at the ground floor and more seating in the mezzanine floor that also houses pool and foosball tables for those inclined towards a slightly more active rendezvous with friends.

Monkey Bar2

We started off sampling a couple of the cocktails. Wild Leaf with vodka, lime leaves, passion fruit and orange was pleasingly citrusy and refreshing. The Ginger Rogers in the cute ceramic cup with gin, ginger ale and peach juice in it had the expected kick from the ginger and a nice background fruitiness.  

Monkey Bar3

There’s no dearth of conversation starters at Monkey Bar; every wall, window and niche has something to remark on, and your table top is no exception. Blair’s Sudden Death Sauce was what we chatted about while waiting for the food to arrive. This of course led to the sweetish sauce served with the first appetizers being kicked up with a healthy dollop of the aptly titled Death Sauce and the results were really not pretty to watch. This sauce comes with a skull and crossbones on the label and several well-deserved warnings. It should ideally be served out with a tiny medicine dropper!

Monkey Bar4

There’s really nothing that one can gripe about when handed a plate of hot and crisp fried dumplings. The Crab Rangoon, with real crab meat and cream cheese are an American-Chinese classic, with the volume turned up by the chef. The brown and crunchy edges, the gooey, melted cream cheese and a nice, sweet crab flavour inside all combine to make this dish a real winner.

We ate a lot of the mild and slightly sweetish Thai-style deviled fish since it was one of the first dishes served, and we were ravenous at that point. The Tempura Calamari that came next was great for slow snacking, the fried calamari tossed in a dry mixture of green curry, wasabi and plenty of green onions.

Monkey Bar5

We loved the Sloppy Joe! The shredded pork had been mixed with just the right amount of (not too sweet) barbecue sauce and served with crunchy coleslaw and a pickle on the side. A paper cone of sweet potato crisps completed this delightful platter.

Another sandwich that we tried was the Goan Chorizo Pao, this had a vinegary and garlicky filling. The Polish-style Pierogis (pan-fried dumplings) served with sour cream come with a choice of chicken, chilli cheese or pork sausage fillings and reminded us of the popular Mom and Pop Pierogi joints in Chicago strip-malls that we used to frequent.

Monkey Bar6

If you can’t rise from the table without partaking of a rice dish, there is a very hearty Parsee Orderlies’ Mutton curry served with savoury rice and finished with a sprinkling of cheese (Amul?)! The Berry Pulao – an Iranian-style pulav with chunks of chicken and a generous measure of nicely caramelised onions is perfectly cooked and very tasty.

We also tried the Pork Belly sliders that were not overly fatty and come in share-able mini portions, but if you’re going for a pork dish then the Sloppy Joes mentioned earlier would get our vote.

Monkey Bar7

The desserts featured two of our favourite flavour combinations – chocolate with caramel and lemon with strawberry. Both the sweet plates were quite delectable. We’d love to carry a bucket of the Monkey Bar caramel popcorn to our next movie date! The Chocolate Pot de Creme that it was served atop was chocolaty, lush and very satisfying. The slices of a slightly dry cake served with this dessert seemed unnecessary though, and didn’t really stand up to the bold chocolate-caramel flavours and the textures of the dish.

The Lemon Cake is a lemon lovers delight and has several components that help amp up its no-holds-barred tartness. It is served with a scoop of ice cream and sliced strawberries (and again, a couple of lady finger cookies that were really not needed on that beautiful plate).

Yes, Monkey Bar at Indiranagar gets our thumbs up, it is a pretty cool place to spend an evening with friends and linger over the cocktails, small plates and big flavours.

Address: #610, 12th Main, HAL 2nd Stage, Indiranagar, Bangalore (Diagonally opp SBI Bank)
Phone: (80) 44114455
Cuisine: Mix of flavours from everywhere, Breakfast
Alcohol: Yes
Accepts Cards: Yes
Parking: Valet



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Crackling & Crisp: Khara Biscuits


It’s amazing how a little cookie can be the key to a flurry of memories. Memories that are awash with the most endearing pastiche of smells, tastes, textures, and sights – of butter, spice, sweet, crumbly, golden brown, crisp, carom, cumin, laughter, and lips smeared with crumbs that stuck on to tell a tale or two. Butter cookies, both the sweet and savory varieties, were hot picks for evening snacks all through the growing up years in India. In the pre-oven era, they were made right on the stove top, with a bed of sand warming up in a heavy-bottomed pan, and the doughy blobs, neatly placed on a tin sheet over the sand, heaving and puffing slowly, before reaching a mesmerizing light brown edge.

With a few tweaks here and there, years hence, this is the way our Khara Biscuits crumble, having careened from rudimentary kitchens and ovens to slightly more refined ones.


Crackling and Crisp: Khara Biscuits
(Yield: about 15 biscuits, depending on size)

  • All-purpose Flour/ Maida – 1 1/2 cups
  • Whole Wheat Flour – 1/2 cup (WWF can be substituted with Spelt Flour too)
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Butter, softened – 1/3 cup
  • Sugar – 3-4 tsp
  • Thick Yogurt (at room temperature) – 2 tbsp
  • Green Chillies (minced) – 1 tsp (or according to taste)
  • Coriander Leaves/ Cilantro (minced) – 1 tbsp
  • Roasted Cumin Seeds/ Jeera – 1 tsp

Preheat the oven to 170 C. Line the baking tray with parchment or grease with butter/ oil. Set aside.

Sift the flours and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, cream butter and sugar till soft, add the 2 tbsp yogurt and continue to beat. Add the flours and mix slowly, adding a little bit of extra yogurt if required. Mix in the chopped chilies and coriander leaves/ cilantro and roasted cumin/ jeera.

Roll the dough to preferred thickness and cut with cookie cutters of your choice. Place on baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and transfer to an air-tight jar when completely cooled.


Posted in Cookie Jar, Snack Attack | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bring out the Salsa! Brown Rice, Mexican-style

Ever since the words Mexican Pink Rice appeared in a newspaper article, replete with a recipe, several years ago when we were starry-eyed eager beavers for Sunday specials to feed our families, we’ve had a thing for, well, Mexican Pink Rice.

While the Pink in it really refers to the flush skinned Pinto beans they use, the flavors running through the course of it are really what make it delectable and they’re not very different from what comes off the spices we experiment with in our everyday cooking. We took that idea as a key to work around and came up with our own spicy and slick version, with beans on the side.

Mexican Brown Rice

Brown Rice, Mexican-style

(Serves 4)

  • 1 Cup quick cooking brown rice (We used Daawat brand)
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 1 Large onion, minced
  • 1 Red bell pepper, chopped
  • 6 Spring onions, white and green parts chopped separately
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-3 Jalapenos, minced (to taste)
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ Teaspoon red chilli powder/cayenne
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • 5 Medium tomatoes, blanched, skin removed and pureed
  • Approx 1 cup of water or vegetable stock
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ Teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
  • 2 Teaspoons lemon juice
  • ¼ Cup grated cheese
  • Sour cream, red or black beans, tomato salsa and tortilla chips to accompany the rice
  1. Wash and soak the brown rice for 15-30 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pressure cooker and add the onion, bell pepper and spring onion whites. Add a couple of pinches of salt and cook the vegetables on medium-low heat, stirring often, for about 5-6 minutes. Now add the garlic and jalapenos and stir for another minute. Toss in the cumin, chilli and turmeric.
  3. Add the drained rice to the pan and toast it, stirring gently.
  4. Meanwhile measure the tomato puree and add water or stock to make it up to 2 cups*. Bring this mixture up to a boil.
  5. Carefully pour the liquid into the rice. Stir well. Add salt and sugar.
  6. Pressure cook the rice until done* – bring the cooker up to pressure, reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes. Allow the steam to release then open the cooker. Allow the rice to cool slightly. Stir in the lemon juice and coriander leaves. Garnish with the reserved spring onion greens and grated cheese.

* – Adjust the amount of liquid and cooking times to your brand of brown rice, as per the directions on the pack or your experience.

Mexican Brown Rice

Serve the rice in a shallow bowl with a scoop of beans, a dollop of sour cream and plenty of salsa. Add a few tortilla chips for crunch.

Mexican Brown Rice

Posted in Mexicana Munch, Rice 'n Spice | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Restaurant Review: Soup, Salad & Sorbet at The Market, Ritz-Carlton

The Market

We could not find a better way to kick-start the week than stopping by to sample the Soup, Salad and Sorbet spread at The Market, an all-day buffet restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore. The restaurant has a light and open feel to it – over-sized windows and a complimenting colour-scheme of navy and silver, with bunches of red carnations providing splashes of colour.

The Market

There were four soups on the buffet to choose from that day. The pork and barley chowder was warm and wholesome, with carrots and celery providing the veggie quotient. Right after that we tasted the spiced Inji or ginger rasam. Since it was served as a soup the rasam had been homogenised into a soupy smooth consistency, with a pleasant sourness and a kick from the ginger.

There was also a cold gazpacho on offer, this seemed mild and something one could sip on along with the salads too. Rounding up the quartet was a wonton soup with prawns from the Asian counter. This was a clear soup and the broth seemed to lack flavour though the vegetables and dumplings were perfectly cooked.

The Market

Beckoning us invitingly to the next course was the elaborate salad bar with its array of crisp veggies, meats, dressings and add-on goodies, to concoct one’s own bowl of fresh, crunchy goodness. There were also several prepared salads, the onerous work of pairing and tossing the ingredients having been done by the chefs behind the scenes. We enjoyed quite a few of these, and appreciated the fact that there were no heavy, cream-swamped calorie bombs here.

The Market

The salad options included a choice of crispy chicken, lamb and marinated prawns and it was the latter that we relished the most, the prawns, having absorbed a ton of the light dressing had become really juicy and flavour-packed.

The Market

One can also enjoy a selection of mezze on the side – a scarlet beetroot hummus was on offer that day along with marinated figs, olives and more, with crispy lavash and grissini to scoop these up.

The Market

The highlight of the meal for us was the two salads served at the table – a rocking Caesar with shards of Parmesan and a beautiful quail’s egg on top. The egg, sadly was a mite overcooked but the salad itself was lovely and had us finishing every single bite. The other stunner was a simple plate showcasing fresh tomatoes – halved red and yellow cherry varieties with a single slice of a purple beauty. With nothing but a smear of the creamy cheese to dress them, they tasted like summer on a plate.

The Market

There’s no denying that the Sorbet part of the trio was what had drawn us to The Market that day. We tried all of the six sorbets on offer. The vibrantly coloured beetroot-cumin sorbet tasted quite like raw beets and could perhaps have worked as a savoury offering since it was very marginally sweetened. It was definitely not dessert. Texture-wise the sunny yellow pumpkin sorbet nailed it for us, and is perfect if you like..well, pumpkin. The pineapple flavour was delicious, as was the green apple-mint, though this one had an icy texture, reminding us of a granita. The plum with brandy rounded off the sorbet tray nicely, again with a more grainy texture.

The Market

There are also myriad options to pump up your cup of sorbet, including fresh fruit, candy, wafers, ice-cream cones, marshmallows and such. Though we do love to pile on the toppings on our ice cream sundaes, the lightness of sorbets is something we like to savour on its own. At our request the chef plated the six sorbets beautifully, and we enjoyed photographing these.

Overall, the Soup, Salad and Sorbet meal at The Market is great for a light working lunch. With summer-like weather hitting Bangalore mid-February it also seems a fitting way to welcome the hot months lying ahead. We do wish that the chef would add some more interesting and perhaps slightly out of the ordinary soups to the buffet. The lightly dressed salads with their just-picked quality of vegetables are definitely an attraction. The sorbets did leave us craving something a little more for dessert. Some of these could be sweetened a tad more, at least to suit our tastebuds, and perhaps prepared with a smoother texture, since they are serving as dessert here.

Address: The Market, The Ritz-Carlton,
No. 99, Residency Road, Bangalore 560025
Phone: +91 80 4914 8000
Hours of operation: 6:30 am to 12:30 am
Valet parking, Credit cards accepted
Soup, Salad and Sorbet: 1200/- plus taxes, not including beverages or other items on the buffet
Available: 17 – 21 February and 24 – 28 February 2014 with a break over the weekend. 
Posted in Restaurant Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Saying it with Strawberries

Strawberries and Cream Mousse

There’s little else in terms of a wholly satisfying experience in the kitchen than laying your hands on the season’s freshest produce to work wonders with. Plump strawberries that glisten like rubies in the sunshine dappled shacks of the local vendor, call out to you from a distance, this time of the year. You bag a load of them faster than your culinarily inclined mind could line up the things you can do with them. Cupcakes and milkshakes are passé, but cheesecake and mousse cannot entirely be ruled out. And with Valentine’s Day just a blink away, there has to be one choice and it has to be made now. You get to work and you make magic, naturally. You hold up your creation: lush, velveteen depths of berried deliciousness, brimming with creamy, chocolatey strains, topped off with a magic carpet of red and a cloud of white – and all else comes to a stand still. The little hands that reach out for this gem of a dessert, armed ably with a spoon and an enviable appetite, almost makes up for being left with very little of it for yourself.

Strawberries and Cream Mousse

Strawberries and Cream Mousse 

(Serves 6-8) 

  • 1 Cup strained strawberry puree, divided*
  • 200 gm white chocolate, chopped fine
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin, divided
  • 450ml heavy whipping cream (such as Milky Mist or Nilgiris brands in South India)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 3-4 strawberries, halved, for garnish, optional
  1. Place the white chocolate in a large glass bowl and melt it in 30 seconds bursts in the microwave at low power. Stir until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Sprinkle 1.5 tsp gelatin over a shallow bowl containing 1/8 cup cool water.
  3. Stir together ¼ cup of the cream and the 1/2 cup icing sugar in a small bowl. Add the gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve the gelatin. You can heat this mixture slightly to help the gelatin dissolve, if needed.
  4. Make sure that the chocolate is still melted and smooth. Now, slowly pour the cream-gelatin mixture into the bowl of melted chocolate, and stir until smooth. Whisk in 3/4 cup of the strawberry purée, reserving the remaining ¼ cup.
  5. Whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form. Reserve a little of the whipped cream for garnish, if desired.
  6. Fold the whipped cream into the strawberry mixture. Scoop the mousse into the serving bowl or individual cups. Refrigerate.

For the topping-

  1. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 tsp gelatin over a shallow bowl containing 2 tbsp cool water. Let this soak for a few minutes. Heat gently until the gelatin melts.
  2. Stir the gelatin into the reserved strawberry puree along with the remaining 2tbsp icing sugar. Pour over the mousse in a thin layer. Refrigerate until set.

Garnish with the reserved whipped cream and halved strawberries.

* To make the strawberry puree – Place about 300gm washed and hulled strawberries in a mixer and process briefly until smooth. Strain and discard the seeds.

Strawberries and Cream Mousse

The mousse is also lovely when made in individual portions, or perhaps portions for two, to share with your sweetie.

Strawberries and Cream Mousse

Adapted from –http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/strawberry_white_chocolate_mousse/


Posted in Festive Fare, Summer Coolers, Sweet Treats | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments