I have a passion for all things good in life- be it travel, food, watching plays& films, photography, drinking champagne or just getting pampered in a Spa. Luckily being a Hotel Management graduate, an ex-chef, nutritionist and a journalist, I am eminently qualified to do my job of writing and sharing experiences. My blog is my world and my posts are my straightforward thoughts...come along with me on my culinary voyage!
‘I remember getting
dressed in new clothes and going with Mom and Dad for Sunday service which
started at 11 Am post which we had Lunch cooked by the members of the church;
but my favourite part was the Sunday School at the Church where we were told
interesting stories from the Bible, there used to be an Easter Hunt where real
boiled eggs were hidden and we hunted for them with the given clues. We also
painted eggs in school and it was a whole lot of fun’, is a really sweet anecdote, my husband Bakshish shared with me of his
childhood memories of Easter…
For me as a kid,
Easter had always been about Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies. I recall
begging my mother to buy me an Easter egg from Flury’s when we lived in Kolkata
and after that, she would buy me an egg and a chocolate bunny every Easter. I
am a Hindu by birth, married into a Punjabi Christian family, got baptized after
several years of my marriage in Bethany at the same spot where Jesus was
baptized, ( an urge the place being so pure and blissful) and now belong to both religions, that said we as a family just
follow one rule, God is one and teaches the same thing ...no matter what
religion and we celebrate all festivals with great gusto. I feel lucky to have
grown up with parents who loved celebrating things and gave me the full
spectrum of experiences. You may have noticed I have inherited that sense
of celebrations and fortunately for me, my husband has been brought up the same
way as well.
For those who do not know, Easter Sunday
is the most Exuberant of the celebrations because it holds the miracle, faith
and aptitude of the Resurrection!
I am sure you must be curious
to know, how we celebrate Easter. Well,we celebrate all festivals with great gusto and as a
rule believe in spreading happiness among street and Orphan kids. On Easter we
distribute chocolate Easter eggs to these kids with a little goody bag and
there’s no better joy when these kids give you back a smile and sometimes a
kiss and our daughter Akanksha
has been instilled with the same values.
a family of foodies , we still make our traditional food during the Holy week
at home, but what has changed is that previously we used to invite friends and
family over at home, but now we go out for Easter Brunch with the family,
though we try and stick to traditional food ….for example this Easter we have
booked a table at Bernardo’s as they have a special Goa Kerela theme and since
Easter is big in both the regions, we are sure …it’s going to be an Easter well
For Punjabi Christians, the traditional
cuisine is very Desi…there are NO cakes
or pastries. Meat Aloo curry, mutton or Jeera pulao, Raita, a Veg dish, Salad and
halwa was an integral part of the meal. If it was a smaller congregation, the
meal comprised of Meat curry, Jeera Pulao and Halwa and if it was a really
small congregation then Puri & halwa for that perfect savoury and sweet
mix. Things have changed slightly, now
instead of the church members cooking, there are caterers hired and the menu
has additions of western influenced dishes like cakes and other sweetmeats.
A FEW TRADITIONAL PUNJABI CHRISTIAN EASTER
Hubby Bakshish Dean
MEAT POTATO CURRY
Makes 4 Portions
Mutton: 1 Kg; Potatoes: 400 Gms; Ghee: 125 Gms;
Ginger: 20 Gms; Garlic: 20 Gms; Green chilly: 3-4 no.; Onions: 500 Gms;
Tomatoes: 250 Gms; Cardamom (Black): 4 nos; cloves: 4 nos; Bay Leaves: 2 –3
nos; Black peppercorn: 2.5 Gms: Cinnamon sticks: 2 sticks; Turmeric: ½ tsp; Red
chilli powder: as desired; Fresh Coriander: 25 Gms; Salt: to taste.
] Buy mutton in mixed pieces of Chaamp, Puth and Nalli
] Cut Potatoes into quarters lengthwise; finely chop ginger, garlic and
] Finely chop onions and tomatoes.
] In handi heat ghee, add the whole Garam masala, when it
crackles, add chopped ginger, garlic & green chilies. Then add mutton,
onions, turmeric, red chili & salt. Fry on medium heat till light brown.
] Add Potatoes, sauté for a bit, add water (about 2 ½ cups), cover &
simmer on slow flame till the mutton is tender. Remove mutton & potato
pieces from gravy & keep aside. To the gravy add tomatoes and cook till it
leaves oil, add about a cup of water & simmer. Put the mutton and potato
pieces back into the gravy and give it a boil. Add water as per desired
consistency. Check seasoning. Garnish with finely chopped coriander.
Makes 4 portions
Basmati rice: 250 Gms; Ghee: 100 Gms; Black cardamom:
2 nos; cloves: 3-4 nos; Cinnamon stick: 1 no; Bay Leaf: 1 no; Mutton with bone
(Nalli): 500 Gms; ginger: 5 Gms; Garlic: 5 Gms; Green chilly: 5 Gms; Onions
sliced: 125 Gms.
] Clean mutton; finely chop ginger, garlic and green chilly.
] Wash & soak rice.
] Heat Ghee in a handi, add whole Garam Masala, when it crackles, add
finely chopped ginger, garlic & green chili, add the sliced onions and
mutton, add salt and “Bhuno” well. Add water and simmer till mutton is
almost done, adjust water so that it is double the quantity of rice, bring it
to a boil, correct salt and add the soaked rice
] Stir gently to mix well, correct seasoning if required
] Cover the pan after it has gently boiled for a few minutes, lower the
] Cook slowly until rice is cooked and the stock completely absorbed.
Remove and keep aside covered, rest the pulao for
about 15 minutes then serve.
Clipping of the Easter Story by Prerna Gauba in Today's HT CITY
A step back in time to dine in the
world’s oldest restaurants is a fascinating experience.
setting is quaint, along a medieval row of restaurants that line the Plaza
Mayor. Botin is crowded with tourists and locals, it’s just crowded!
Established in 1725, there is a reason this place is still in business, the
food is fantastic and their service is world class and so is the wine! It is
the oldest restaurant in the world and they have a Guinness book of world records
certificate in the restaurants front window to prove it! The Botin experience
takes one behind closed doors on a guided visit of the restaurant’s history and
its anecdotes. The kitchen with clay ovens, date back to 1725, where they cook
suckling pigs even now. Do peek in at Bodega and the room where Ernest
Hemmingway sat to write.
ZUR LETZTEN INSTANZ, BERLIN
banqueting with the dreamy echo of a clan abode, ‘Zur Letzten Instanz’,
Berlin’s oldest restaurant precisely reads into the last resort and has done a prosperous
business since 1621 with such genuine indigenous fare as roast pork knuckle and
Bouletten (Berlin-style meatballs) that go best with a mug of frothy
On the menu is genuine and native German cuisine showcasing Berlin
specialties, and interestingly each dish is baptized after a lawful process, for
example‘Beweismittel’ which translates into Evidence and actually is a
cabbage roll with mashed potatoes and salad. Another enjoyable creation is the
‘Zeugen-Aussage aka witness testimony’ the pork knuckle set flawlessly together
with the farmhouse bread, sauerkraut, pureed split peas and smoked bacon.
CASA PASTEIS DE BELEM, LISBON
Do make a stop at
the No 1 rated egg tart place in town. History has it that a little before the
18th century, Catholic Monks at the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos of Belem, created
this creamy dessert. As you stand in the serpentine queue outside you will discover
that the service is swift, and you will move along the line very quickly. Order
at least 2 tarts each and make yourselves comfortable on the table. They are
decadent to the core with a warm (just out of the oven), light crispy pastry
shell enclosing vanilla scented mouthful of custard which is luscious and one
can choose to sprinkle it with cinnamon and powdered sugar. Definitely worth
BIN ATEEK, MUSCAT
The restaurant has a
few floors, divided into private rooms, named after various places in Oman. One
is made to seat on the carpeted floor and the meal is brought on large
traditional round trays to be eaten community style, just like at the home of
any Arab. The highlight being the shuwa which is lamb cooked for up to two days
wrapped in banana leaves in an underground clay oven while marinated in herbs
and spices such as red pepper, garlic, cumin and coriander. The Mashuai aka
spit roasted fish served on a bed of lemon rice is another great choice. Not to
be missed is also Maqbous, a saffron flavoured rice dish cooked over white or
red meat, their version of our Biryani. The other native curry dishes, based on
various meats such as beef with green beans and potatoes or spicy fish in lime
and coconut milk do not disappoint either.