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Machan: A culinary journey down memory lane

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Taj Mahal Hotel
Photo Credit www.swantour.com

New Delhi, Oct 28: It has been 40 years of Machan, the fine diner with the ambience of a safari, at the iconic Taj Mahal Hotel located at 1, Mansingh Road. It was one of the few 24×7 restaurants in the national capital when it opened its doors in 1978.

Although over the years many of the dishes have been tweaked, new flavours have been incorporated and there have been innovations in the art of presentation, what has remained intact are the memories associated with Machan.

And to mark this occasion, the eatery has brought back the culinary offerings of the era in an attempt to pay tribute to Machan’s legacy through an extravaganza that promises to take patrons on a trip down memory lane.

But it’s not just Machan that is celebrating its 40 years. It is also Chef Tapash Bhattacharya, who has been associated with the place since its inception.

“It is now my home. Forty years is too long a time to call it my own. I have seen three generations of families coming here. And surprisingly, the youngsters ask for dishes which used to be served some 30 years ago. It feels good,” Bhattacharya told IANS.

“The ambience, interiors and presentation might have changed, but we try to maintain the legacy of taste as much authentic as possible,” he said.

A special lunch hosted by Machan was an opportunity to relive the flavours of the early days of the eatery. The culinary journey began with mutton cutlet, prawn cocktail, chicken in a basket as a non-vegetarian starter. For the vegetarians, it was scrumptious crumbed fried idly and crispy mushroom served on an iceberg nest with a blue cheese dip.

Then came Paloc soup — a cumin and tomato flavoured Hungarian lamb soup with string beans and potatoes. For vegetarians, it was melange of mushroom soup scented in truffle oil to satisfy the appetite.

The main course, as expected, was a heavenly delight. It was time to indulge in chicken Monte Carlo — a signature dish of Chef Bhattacharya where the chicken breast is stuffed with corn before being cooked and sprinkled with Gevrey-Chambertin and Manzanilla wines before being served on a bed of spaghetti with olives. Also, served was Hazratganj biryani — aromatic basmati rice with lamb, cooked in a sealed clay pot and served with raita and salan.

But the highlight was easily the dessert. A plate with orange flavoured crème caramel, kulfi and apple strudel was a perfect way to end the meal. For those who have a sweet tooth, satisfying the appetite without needing to repeat the dishes would be an easy choice.

Since Machan will be serving these iconic dishes till the end of this month, gobble the delicacies down before it’s too late.

IANS

Cities

Kissing contest banned in Siddo-Kanhu fair in Jharkhand

The competition in the fair, organised in Littipara block in Pakur district, had created controversy last year after photos and videos of 18 tribal couples locking their lips in public went viral.

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Kissing contest in Jharkhand

Ranchi, Dec 15 : The Pakur district administration in Jharkhand has banned the kissing contest this year in the Siddo-Kanhu fair.

“The Siddo-Kanhu fair beginning Saturday will have no kissing competition this year as it has been banned and there will be no such contest taking place in any public place,” Jitendra Kumar Deo, Sub Divisional Officer (SDO)of Pakur district, told reporters.

The competition in the fair, organised in Littipara block in Pakur district, had created controversy last year after photos and videos of 18 tribal couples locking their lips in public went viral.

Supporting the competition, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) legislator from Littipara Assembly seat, Simon Marandi, who was the chief guest at the fair last year, said, “It’s an expression of love.”

The BJP had criticised the kissing competition saying it is not part of the tribal culture.

— IANS

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Lifestyle

Evening walk may not cause sleep issues as previously though

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walk-walking

London, Dec 14: Engaging in moderate physical activity including walking, cycling or jogging in the evening does not cause sleep problems, suggest researchers.

The research challenges previous studies that suggested that sleep quality can be improved by avoiding exercise in the evening.

The findings showed that doing exercise for four hours before going to bed does not have a negative effect on sleep.

However, vigorous training within an hour before bedtime may have a negative effect on sleep.

“If doing sport in the evening has any effect on sleep quality at all, it is rather a positive effect, albeit only a mild one,” said Christina Spengler, Deputy Head from the ETH Zurich in Switzerland.

In the study, published in the journal Sports Medicine, a small group of people after taking part in some kind of sport in the evening, spent 21.2 per cent of their sleeping time in deep sleep, compared to 19.9 per cent following an evening without exercise.

However, those who completed an intensive training session shortly before bedtime took longer to fall asleep.

The reason could be because they were not able to recover sufficiently in the hour before they went to bed. Their hearts were still beating more than 20 beats per minute faster than their resting heart rate.

Although the difference is small, it is statistically significant. Deep sleep phases are especially important for physical recovery, the researchers noted.

“Moderate exercise did not cause sleep problems in any of the studies examined, not even when the training session ended just 30 minutes before bedtime.

“However, vigorous training or competitions should be scheduled earlier in the day, if possible,” said Jan Stutz, doctoral student at the varsity.

IANS

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Make your tea special this International Tea Day

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Tea International Tea Day
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New Delhi, Dec 14: Tea as a drink has come a long way and is slowly established as more than just a usual drink across cafes and restaurants in India. This International Tea Day on Saturday, why not add some variety to your sip by trying some new recipes?

Cheg Gregory Bazire at Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea House explains how to make Chocolate Chai Liegeois.

* Chocolate Chai Liegeois (serves 4)

Chocolate chai base:

* Ingredients: 200g couverture chocolate 55 per cent; 40 gram sugar; 25 gram corn flour; 200 gram fresh cream; 200 gram milk.

* Process: Warm the cream and add the chocolate in broken pieces and melt it lowly. Warm up the milk and sugar, add the corn flour and pour into the cream with chocolate. Keep on stirring until thickens; Pour into a transparent cup and reserve in the fridge until use.

Vanilla Cream:

* Ingredients: 250 ml fresh cream; 70 gram icing sugar; 1 vanilla pods.

* Process: Remove the seeds from the vanilla pods and add them to the cream; Whip the cream until good consistency and add the sugar and whip again a little; Keep chilled until use.

So before you enjoy the your liegeois, top the chai cream with a good amount of vanilla cream, add a few chocolate vermicelli and why not a few almond slivers.

-*-

The second recipe is Tea Smoked Salmon curated by Jaydeep Mukherjee, Brand Head at Smoke House Deli, Impresario Handmade Restaurants Pvt Ltd.

* Tea Smoked Salmon (Serves 4)

Ingredients: 4 numbers of Salmon fillet with skin, portioned (160 gm); Salt to taste; Black pepper crushed, to taste; 50 ml Olive oil; Thyme – few sprigs; 2 numbers of garlic crushed; 15 gram butter; 40 gm Organic Jowar, boiled; 40 gm Organic Barley, boiled; 40 gm Organic Bajra, boiled; 40 gm Organic toasted buckwheat, boiled; 80 gm Bellpeppers, deseeded, finely chopped; 30 gm Seaonal peas; 20 gm Parsley, chopped; Zest and juice of 1 lemon; 20 gm onion chopped; 4 cloves garlic chopped; 30 ml olive oil; Lime chili aioli; 300 gm Seasonal greens, cleaned, torn; 4 cloves Garlic sliced.

* To smoke: 100 gm Rice; 50 gm Assam tea.

* Process:

* To smoke the salmon; Score the skin, then season the salmon with salt and pepper. In a heavy bottom wok or kadai, place 4 sheets of aluminium foil, then top with the raw rice and tea. Place on a high heat and wait for it to start smoking. Once it starts to smoke, place the fillet, skin side down on a bamboo steamer or wire rack and place in the wok. Reduce the flame to medium. Cover well with the bamboo cover or wrap in aluminium foil. Keep on the flame for 5 minutes. Then take off the flame and leave on the side covered for 10- 15 minutes.

* Warm multigrain salad – Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan on a medium flame. Saute the chopped onion and garlic till translucent. Add vegetables and toss quickly. Then add the boiled grains and toss. Season as required. Finish with chopped parlsey, lemon zest and lemon juice.

* Wilted greens – Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add the sliced garlic and cook till a light golden brown. Add the seasonal greens to the pan. Add salt and pepper as required and toss off the flame.

* Assembly – Heat olive oil in a pan. Add the crushed garlic and let it flavour the oil. Remove the salmon from the smoker and place in the pan, skin side down for 2 minutes, or until the skin is crisp. Add thyme and butter, and baste the salmon. Turn the salmon on the flesh side and keep in a warm place to finish cooking to your preferred doneness.

In a plate, spoon the lime chilli aioli. Place the warm multi-grain salad and wilted greens next to it. Place the pan seared smoked salmon on it, crispy skin side up. Serve with lemon wedges and a drizzle of Extra Virgin olive oil.

IANS

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