Its my Blog anniversary! One year ago, on this day I started blogging just for the fun of it. I had started one years ago but lost interest within a month or so and I don’t even remember the name of that blog! Fast forward to this day and I am here getting busier and busier each day! Blogging has opened up a new whole world in front of me and I cannot wait to explore the adventurous journey!
Todays’ post is about meeting the Michelin Star Chef, Chef Vineet Bhatia at Saffron Lounge, Katara, as part of Food Blogging and learning a recipe from him.
Saffron Lounge by Vineet epitomizes traditional Indian cuisine in the cultural village of Katara. The food served here comes from North, South, East and West India and is mostly traditional recipes though gastronomic science is applied to some aspects to attain modern sophistication in dishes.
The event ‘Blogging with Chef Vineet’ was a great informative interaction with the Chef himself. Every chefs have tips and tricks to make a recipe and Chef Vineet was not short of it too. The rhythmic style of his presentation on how to cook and his explanation of using our senses while cooking made it really interesting.
The event started off with a selection of canapes at the tea lounge with different types of welcome drinks that ranged from lemon mint to blueberry lassi. The bite sized canapes included Smoked chicken, Hyderabadi Prawns, Scallop Poha, Seekh Kebabs and a vegetarian Potato/ chickpeas on a mini tortilla. My favorite was the Seekh Kebab and smoked chicken.
There was a quirky moment when the Chef presented Pappads and cheese crisps on a comb! It was hilarious as we all had a good laugh! Something which will not be forgotten for a long time!
After the brief starter session we headed outdoors where the Chef showed us a recipe with live cooking. He presented to us the dish ‘Coconut Chilli Prawns’ and a LOVE dish. Scroll down to see what the LOVE dish was!
Coconut, chilli and prawns, is a match made in heaven. I love prawn curries. In fact when I was a kid my Mum used to make this all the time for me. She knew I would be happy if I see prawn curry when I got back from school. I miss my Mum’s curry now! So here is the recipe;
COCONUT CHILLI PRAWNS
Prawns – 250 g
Kafir lime leaves – 1
Chopped garlic – 1/2 tsp
Chilli garlic paste – 2 tsp
Tomato pulp – 1/4 cup
Oil – 2 tbsp
Coconut milk – 1 cup
Coriander leaves and grated coconut to garnish
- Heat oil in a pan and add the Kafir lime leaf. Just tear the leaf into two.
- Add garlic and saute till raw smell disappears.
- Add the chilli garlic paste.*
- Saute well for a minute and add in the tomato pulp.
- Turn heat down and saute till the tomato pulp is cooked.
- At this stage add the coconut milk. First add half cup and if the color of the gravy is dark add a bit more. Thin the gravy with a little water.
- Add the prawns. Cook the prawns on low heat for 7 – 8 minutes or until the meat turns white and is bouncy.
- Check seasoning. Sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves.
LOVE dish ( Leftover Vegetables etc )
Chef Vineet shared recipes that used leftover rice or vegetable. He lovingly calls it LOVE dish and this is a beautiful way of cooking your leftovers. His recipe was Coconut Rice;
Steamed rice – 1 cup
Butter – 2 tsp
Coconut Milk – 1/4 cup
Coriander leaves – chopped
- Add 1 tsp butter into a pan on low heat. When it melts add the coconut milk. Keep stirring.
- After a minute add the cooked rice and lightly saute with a spoon. Wait for the coconut milk to be absorbed by the rice. It will be a little sticky but nothing mushy or so. Add the remaining butter.
- When the butter is all melted the rice looks shiny. As the cooked rice has salt there is no need of salt in the dish. Sprinkle coriander leaves and serve.
* Chilli garlic paste is made by soaking some whole red chillies in warm water for 15 minutes and boil them with sea salt and garlic. Boil for 20 minutes and discard the water. The spiciness disappears and the cooked garlic imparts a sweet flavour. Grind this into a fine paste. You can save this upto a week in the refrigerator. Since this paste has salt added to it, Chef Vineet did not use any salt in the prawn dish.
We were served a portion of the dish and we weren’t satisfied to be honest. The prawn was cooked to perfection and the curry had the best balance of flavors. It was not spicy and the coconut milk beautifully complemented the dish.
We were served a trio dessert platter after the meal. Traditional Indian desserts served in a new way using some gastronomic science. The flavors were good but the star of the day was the Coconut Chilli Prawns. Thank you Chef Vineet for the awesome recipe.
One thing I knew was that I wanted to make this dish at home as soon as possible and within a week I cooked the dish and was so happy that the flavors turned out really well. Mr. M loved the curry!
You can find Saffron Lounge on Zomato here.
Disclaimer: I was invited by Saffron Lounge for the cooking session with Chef Vineet Bhatia. However all opinions are mine.