Book launched on coastal Maharashtrian cuisine

February 3rd, 2012 - 8:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 3 (IANS) A mouth-watering ensemble of dishes from the coastal villages of Maharashtra, exquisite wines, and a winter evening - it was the perfect ambience for the launch of chef Michael Swamy’s new book “The East Indian Kitchen” here Wednesday.

Hosted at the coastal cuisine restaurant in south Delhi - Zambar, Swamy’s book is a compilation of recipes from the little known Maharashtrian-Portuguese cuisine.

The book’s name comes from the first Portuguese settlers who used the term East Indies for India, and it developed when the Portuguese flavors merged with traditional Maharashtrian recipes.

The starters included Balchow cutlet which looked exactly like the north Indian tikki but was a potato patty filled with spicy, pickled prawns, followed by lightly spiced fried chicken strips and Aubergine (egg plant) slices, dipped in a light batter and fried, served with a tomato dip.

The main course began with juicy, mixed vegetables, cooked in a smooth green coconut curry, followed by a fiery mutton Vindaloo, traditional Chinchoni fish (pickled fish) curry and saffron flavored Arroz, the light Spanish pulao, with an Indian ‘tadka’ of caramelized onions and nuts.

The bread basket included regional favorites like Rasam and Malabar Paranthas.

Desserts were novel and decadent. While the Shingada Peethacha Sheera (waterchestnut flour pudding) was rich and flavourful, the lightly sweetened Nevries pastry, with a filling of grated coconut and fruits was simply a melt in the mouth.

The restaurant served an excellent selection of wines to wash down the feast.

Pleased with the diners’ enthusiasm for the little known traditional fusion cuisine, which had been limited to a few coastal villages in Maharashtra, Swamy said, “It is my aim to take this cuisine to an international level.”

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