Archive for August, 2014

Memories of IFBM2014 & The Sparkling Himalayan spritzers

As I watch the rain pouring down outside my window, all I can think of is that the last time it rained this heavily, I was on my way to the first ever Indian Food bloggers meet. Excited and enthusiastic to meet my ‘friends’ the journey from Nasik to Bangalore via Mumbai did not seem as boring . Any apprehensions I had about the IFBM ,were put to rest with the warm ‘Hi’ from Deeba & Sanjeeta, as soon as I stepped into Aranha home, our abode for the next two days. (Thank you Sanjeeta for all your efforts in organising & co-ordinating for our accommodation)That night the residents in & around Aranha home had to bear with some very high decibel , nonstop banter intercepted only by fits of nonsensical laughter, from a bunch of mad Food bloggers. The last time I had such a hilarious time was when I stayed in a hostel during my Masters. We also managed to squeeze in a late night trip to Adigas for the famous filter Kappi.

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Even the heavy Bangalore traffic did not dampen our spirits as we maneuvered our way to Adiyar Anand Bhavan for an early morning breakfast –both days I had crisp Dosa accompanied with an array of chutney’s. I specially loved the Curry leaf chutney.

After exchanging pleasantries with the ever helpful and courteous staff of the stunning Aloft Hotel Cessna park (the IFBM venue) all I remember is being engulfed with warm hugs and Hi’s from all my ‘Friends’ I have known through their blogs for years.

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The rest of the two days went in a daze, with some candid moments captured by my lens and others etched forever in my memory. Though the highlight for me was meeting all the bloggers, I also returned back motivated by the knowledge exchanged during the inspiring sessions by eminent bloggers, panel discussion and the Masterclasses by the two Masterchefs .

And yes we brought back cartloads of Goodies. I had to buy a bag in Bangalore even after sharing some of the goodies with my friend there.A huge thank you to all the generous sponsors.

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When I decided to be a part of the IFBM, I had thought of it as a great opportunity to meet all the bloggers whom I had interacted with over the years. But IFBM 2014 was much bigger and grander than what I could imagine and exceeded every possible imagination. Everything was so meticulously organized, thanks to the awesome organisers{Arundati (Escapades) and Aparna (My Diverse Kitchen), Revati (Hungry & Excited) and Nandita (Saffron Trail)} who worked tirelessly to make it such a grand success. Hats off to you ladies  and Thank you once again for all the hard work .You rock!

A special mention for the amazing staff and management of Aloft Hotel Cessna park, Bengaluru. I was overwhelmed by their hospitality. Each meal was carefully planned around a brilliant theme and tastefully created .The stunningly display instantly put all us Shutterbugs to work. Thank you Aloft Hotel, Cessna Park, there couldn’t have been a better place to host the first ever IFBM!

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I have been experiencing withdrawal symptoms post the IFBM. This post was long pending, but how do you put such an exhilarating experience into words?This is just a snapshot of my euphoric experience at the IFBM2014. Food blogging for me will not be the same again. I have come back refreshed, inspired and motivated- all things much needed for this blog here. The media coverage post the event was like the icing on the cake. You can read a detailed account of the conference and the media coverage on the IFBM FB page

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Many of the contests related to the event are still on. The one from Soulfull won me a gift voucher! The sparkling Himalayan contest is still on.  We were gifted a bottle of sparkling Himalayan water at the IFBM and the bottle safely made its way back to Nasik.

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With the of Betel/‘Pan’ leaves creeper thriving in the rains, I am trying to use the flavourful leaves wherever possible. I tried recreating the Indian ‘Meetha pan’ flavor for a refreshing Meetha Pan spritzer with the Himalayan sparkling water.

starfruit

Every time I see the star fruit at the fruit vendor’s stall, I have to buy it. The starfruit was then paired with cucumber & some Jal jeera masala for a very Chatpata Starfruit-Cucumber spritzer

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 Meetha Pan Spritzer

Makes about 1 tall glass

Ingredients

2 young Betel leaves torn into pieces

½ tsp Fennel seeds

1 polo ring crushed

1 tbsp Rose syrup

2-3 tbsp fresh pomegranate juice (I added this just for the colour)

2 tsp fresh Lime juice

A bottle of Himalayan Sparkling water

4-5 Ice cubes

Rose petals for garnishing

Method

Rub a lemon wedge around the rim of a tall glass.

Turn the glass upside down & dip the rim in caster sugar.

Invert and add the torn Betel leaves, crushed polo ring  and Fennel seeds.

Use a muddler to lightly crush and mix everything.

Add the Rose syrup,Pomegranate juice & Lime juice (you may adjust quantities to your taste)

Add ice cubes to the glass and pour sparkling Himalayan water over it.

Garnish with fresh rose petals and serve immediately.

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Chatpata Starfruit- Cucumber Spritzer

Makes 1 glass

Ingredients

3-4 slices of starfruit

4-5 round cucumber slices

1 slice of a tangerine cut into wedges

½ tsp Sugar

5-6 mint leaves torn

1 tsp Jal jeera powder

1 tsp fresh lime juice

1 pinch crushed black pepper

4-5 Ice cubes

 Method

Muddle together the starfruits, cucumber,Tangerine wedges & mint leaves in a serving glass

Add  the Jal Jeera, sugar, Lime juice,crushed black pepper and mix.

Add ice cubes & pour sparkling Himalayan water over it

Serve immediately

August 23, 2014 at 10:46 am 3 comments

Soulfull 8 years!

The blog officially turned 8 this August! Still on a high after attending the first ever Indian Food bloggers meet, I almost forgot that it’s been 8 long years since the Food blogging bug first bit me! I can still vividly remember the day, long long ago when I discovered this wonderland through the gorgeous Mahanandi.

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This gastronomic journey, more than anything else, has been such a precious learning experience for me. On my way I have also discovered my passion for baking and a whole new world of Food photography. Reading, learning and imbibing everything shared by all the talented, generous and ever encouraging Food bloggers has enriched my culinary life and opened up many new avenues for me. So a big Thank you to all my Food blogger friends, for being so inspirational and encouraging throughout this ride.

thanks

A huge THANK YOU to all the readers of My Foodcourt. To those who have stuck around for a long long time- posts or no posts. Thank you to all the new readers and to those whose comments & message are ever so encouraging. To those who check on me when the blog is silent for long- everyone Thank you very much.

And now to today’s Soulfull post. Of the cart load of Goodies we received at the #IFBM2014, the one from Soulfull was tried, tasted and over as soon as I returned back. I had heard great reviews about Soulfull from Food blogger friends, mostly on Twitter. This got attested when the fussy daughter finished the Soulfull Choco fills-Nagli bites without any fuss and was asking for more. I immediately checked with them if they deliver products in Nasik and to my delight they do! The son loved the Granola bars and I did not get even a glimpse of the bars.

The Adai mix packet at the outset did not receive such a warm response. The fussy one declared- not another dosa. I promised her, no dosa.

soulfull

Both kids love Appe – dosa + veggies in a cuter Avatar. The Appe pan/ Aebleskiver pan is currently my favourite pan to use. The kids love their ‘Pancake appe’ made with the Appe pan. The Adai mix, instead of being served as a plain old dosa was dressed up with some veggies and served as cute little cocktail bites. I made an Indian version of the Chimichurri sauce- a Cilantro mint Chimichurri sauce, which was relished with the Veg Adai Appe.

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From no more Dosa to more ‘Cocktail Adai Appe’ pls,the Soulfull Adai mix was a hit with the kids. I particularly liked the predominant flavor of Asafoetida in theAdai mix.

This is one of those dishes that has to be served and savoured as soon as it is made. A perfect rainy weather snack- here’s the recipe for Cocktail Adai

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Cocktail Adai with Soulfull Adai mix Recipe:

Makes~ 10-12 Appe

Ingredients:

1 cup Soulful Adai mix

½ cup homemade buttermilk

1 cup water to make a thick batter (or as needed)

2 tsp fine semolina/Rava

A handful of (total)veggies (I added Sweetcorn, chopped onion,chopped Spinach and grated carrot)

1 tsp chopped coriander

Oil for drizzling

Method

Mix the Adai mix,Rava, buttermilk and water and keep aside for half an hour.

Mix in the veggies.

Heat a Appe pan/ Aebleskiver pan ( I use a non-stick one)

Drizzle oil in the cavities.

Drop spoonful of the batter in the Cavities.

Cover and cook on low flame for 3-4 minutes or till the bottom is golden brown.

Use a wooden skewer to turn each Appe and cook on the other side for 1-2 minutes.

Serve immediately.

 

Cilantro-Mint Chimichurri Sauce recipe

Makes~ 1 ½ cups

 Ingredients

1 cup firmly packed fresh Cilantro/Coriander

¼ cup mint leaves

3-4 garlic cloves

½ small onion chopped (~2 tbsp)

1 Tbsp lime juice

1 Tbsp wine Vinegar

¼ cup olive oil

½ tsp Crushed black pepper/ Red chilli flakes

Salt to taste

 Method

Pulse together the onion, garlic in the blender/food processor.

Add the Cilantro and mint leaves and pulse till just crushed

Take out the mixture in a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients and mix.

Refrigerate if not using immediately.

 

 

 

 

 

August 20, 2014 at 6:51 am 10 comments


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