Friday, October 5, 2012

AN ANDALUSIAN TRIBUTE



After two restaurant meals (at Royal China and at Yautcha), we decided it’s time to bring Ladies Who Lunch back home. And what a comeback!! Deepa Navani and Maleeka Lala treated us to the most delicious and refreshing Spain-inspired meal. And showed us how a simple, restrained and classc menu, focussed on a few good quality ingredients, can be so satisfying and memorable. Deepa’s scrumptious tapas left just enough space to enjoy Maleeka’s generous, delicious paellas. All washed down with glasses of Maleeka's white wine sangria with an Indian twist: oranges, limes, amla, mint and tulsi! The grand finale - churros! Yum!!



It’s only later that I truly understood the amount of preparation it took, and most of all the careful and no-compromise selection of produce, responsible for the fresh, uplifting flavours we experienced. 

Maleeka and Deepa both vacationed in Spain this summer and came back armed with unforgettable gourmet experiences. “The Spanish drink and then they drink some more.  There's a tapa or two followed by more drinks. The big meal is served family style. The louder the better. The more the merrier.  Food (and drink moreover) is FUN,” remembered Deepa. “I also loved the fact that everyone's involved in the cooking process and of course, there's always some Rioja in hand. While in Spain, I was cooking alongside my sister, brother-in-law, brother, kids and whoever else was there.”

To Maleeka, “Spanish cuisine is one of my favourite cuisines in the world, for its depth
and ingenuity. My parents, Kanta and Rafiq Lala, my aunt, Bindu Mahtani, and their close friends, Marijke and Fudli Talyarkhan, cooked us authentic Spanish meals for as long as I can remember, in our beach house in Alibag and in Spain. Their constantly evolving tapas, paella and lethal sangrias are reminiscent of my happy childhood. We also visited Spain as children and teenagers. In July, I spent a week in Andalucia with some friends and met Deepa for lunch the day I reached Marbella. She and I enjoyed a fabulous meal and decided that we would team up to produce a tapas and paella meal for our group. This lunch is not only dedicated to fabulous Spanish food, but also to the warm and welcoming locals who made me feel more at home than I do in Mumbai!” 

But of course, great memories are not enough to replicate a local cuisine. It certainly helps that Maleeka and Deepa are both incredibly talented and passionate home cooks. I have still not forgotten Deepa’s baked camembert and mango dish that she brought at Aisha’s mango inspired lunch, and after tasting her tapas and seeing her incredible high-tech kitchen, I can’t wait for her to feed us some more. 

Maleeka’s home dinners are legendary. She cooks everything herself, even if the guest list runs for more than two pages, beautifully setting the table in her vintage china-lined dining room. Most recently, she converted the most boring vegetable - zuccini, into a gourmet treat, pairing it with roasted almonds. And yes, dessert was several flavours of panacotta set in beautiful wine glasses. The only grouse I have with her? She gets so engrossed in the cooking and plating process, that she has no time to join her guests and we rarely enjoy her undivided attention and company. 

But let’s not deviate and get back to our Spanish lunch! 

It was hosted at Deepa’s brand new home, and she had managed pretty well to create an atmosphere with Spanish music, lots of flowers and a dress code of polka dots and frills. We were greeted with a huge glass jug full of refreshing sangria (an instant mood lift) and bright red carnations to put in our hair. One look at the menu and we knew we are in for a treat:


DEEPA’S TAPAS
Gambas Pil Pil 
Chorizo a la Plancha
Patatas Bravas

ENTRADAS
Paella del Mar
Paella de Verduras
Ensalada Tres Colores

POSTRE
Churros
Dulce de Leche
Cafe con Leche

Gambas Pil Pil, in all their oily glory, were served in a fondue dish, accompanied by Indian pav bread. You eat, and then you dip. And dip some more. And more. The oil was sinfully delicious, infused with the flavour of the prawns. “While I was in Spain, gambas pil-pil was by far the summer fav,” explained Deepa. “The bread was very very different from anything that we get here in Mumbai.” But we all found the Indian buns to be the perfect substitute!



The chorizo (brought over from Spain and frozen) was a hit of flavour, spicy, glistening and crunchy. Softened down with the perfectly cooked potatoes (patatas bravas). And I can tell you, these patatas bravas were hundred times better than the ones I have tasted in restaurants in Bombay. 




Maleeka, being the free spirit that she is, did not serve us paella from a recipe. Instead, we did a Ladies Who Lunch first - we had a cooking demo. As we all gathered in the kitchen, my attention was immediately drawn to the beautifully prepped fresh vegetables, the sparkling bowls of raw seafood, the containers of sweet paprika and saffron, and the perfect green herbs. 






A huge pot of stock was bubbling on the stove (apparently it was simmering there for the last few hours), containing the chicken carcasses and the prawn shells, filling the kitchen with the most incredible aroma. Onions, avocados, tomatoes and mozzarella were being cut and arranged, spices were being sauteed in huge iron skillets, rice was being boiled. Heaven!!




Maleeka assembled the paellas by first pan frying the rice and onions, adding the herbs and spices, then gradually stirring in the stock. The delicate fresh vegetables and seafood were added last. 





The final result:

Lovely, generous, beautifully plated paellas. We were so ready to dig in!! And we chatted and laughed so much, without a doubt aided by the generously flowing sangria. 







Dessert, served in the TV room, were beautiful crunchy churros with chocolate sauce and Dulce de Leche ice cream. “The cinnamon sugar churros are more common in the summer heat and the plain churros with thick warm chocolate in the North (or colder months),” said Deepa. “The batter is very very thick and I could not find a piping bag strong enough to make long winding churros. A makeshift press worked nicely and I think we all got the idea. Especially lovely were the three attempts made by my daughter to perfect the batter and then get the piping strategy sorted out! Lots of churros were consumed during the experimentation stage!”



I asked Deepa and Maleeka to share some of their insider tips and tricks of eating in Spain and hosting a Spanish meal:

WHEN IN SPAIN...
--> On the coast, the best restaurants are the beachside (water side) ones that serve family style seafood dishes. Tikitano outside Puerto Banus was by far the best.
--> That they really do eat every part of the gamba / fish.  In general, they waste nothing.  Even dried up bread has some use the day after.  
--> Using the best possible olive oil is essential in Spanish cooking.
--> As a rule, when travelling, Maleeka studies the cuisine and best restaurants of the region in depth, “so that in my short time there, I am able to enjoy the best  meals available. This year I studied 'Culinaria Espana', an encyclopaedia of Spanish. I also spoke to family and friends who live there, have lived there or had recetly visited. The Lonely Planet on Spain was another superb guide to restaurants. I chanced upon scrumptious meals wherever I went as, my years in food related industries has fine tuned my instinct to smell the most authentic restaurants in any area. The trick in Spain is to ask for tthe tapas and raciones menu. Some of my best meals were in Ronda, a beautifully quaint white town; the paella at my aunt Mira Kripalani's home in Toremolinos; a funky tapas bar in the heart of Madrid; all my meals in Sevilla in the Santa Maria district around the stunning catedral."

SPANISH SHOPPING IN MUMBAI:
--> The vegetables (including the avocados and white onions) were hand-picked by Maleeka from Pick Point in Colaba Market, a vendor who has been supplying her family for the last 20 years. “I find the quality of their vegetable far superior to those anywhere else.”
--> The seafood was ordered from Pesca Fresh (http://www.pescafresh.com). “They will give you the peels, head etc. to make the seafood broth but pickup is always best because their delivery is unreliable if time-pressed,” recommends Deepa.
--> You can substitute Spanish saffron with Kashmiri, widely available in Bombay. 
--> The arborio rice, port wine vinegar and paprika wehere from Uncle's Shop at Crawford market

RECIPES:

PATATAS BRAVAS

Ingredients:
olive oil
1/2 small red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp smoked paprika
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 large tomato, halved, seeded and roasted until soft
few dashes of Tobasco hot pepper sauce
a splash of aged sherry vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large potatoes, parboiled, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
flat leaf parsley leaves

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375F. Place a baking sheet inside.
Heat a tbsp of oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 min. Add paprika, cook for 30 sec. Let cool slightly.
Combine the onion mixture, mayonnaise, tomato, pepper sauce and vinegar in a food processor. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the mixture inside a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 min to allow the flavours to meld.
Heat 2 inches of pure olive or canola oil in a large, high-sided, heavy-bottomed skillet until it begins to simmer. Add the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove the potatoes into a towel-lined plate for a moment to drain the excess oil. Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven, put the potatoes on the pan in an even layer and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan and season the potatoes with a bit more salt. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with some of the aioli. Garnish with parsley leaves. Serve hot.

GAMBAS PIL PIL

Ingredients:
1 kg raw medium shrimp
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter
1/3 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp dried chili flakes
1/2 tsp paprika

Preparation:
Shell, devein shrimp, keeping the tails intact. Mix with the salt in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate for 30 min. Heat butter and oil in a flameproof dish over medium heat. When foaming, add garlic and chili and cook for 3-6 min, or until they curl up and change colour. Sprinkle paprika and serve sizzling hot with plenty of bread for dipping.

CHURROS

Ingredients:
1 cup water
2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbsps vegetable oil
1 cup all purpose flour
2 quarts of oil for frying
1/2 cup white sugar, or to taste
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preparation:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, 2 1/2 tbsp sugar, salt and 2 tbsps vegetable oil. Bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Dtir in flour until a ball is formed. Heat oil for frying in a deep fryer or a deep skillet to 375 F. Pipe strips of dough into the hot oil using a pastry bag. Fry until golden. Drain on paper towels. Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and cinnamon. Roll churros in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Enjoy with ice cream and chocolate dipping sauce (optional).


45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Generally I do not learn post on blogs, but I would
like to say that this write-up very forced me to take a look at and do it!
Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, very great article.


My web blog best hosting plans
Also see my webpage > top web hosting services

Anonymous said...

This is really attention-grabbing, You are an overly professional blogger.

I have joined your rss feed and stay up for seeking extra of your magnificent post.

Also, I have shared your website in my social networks

My weblog; clickbank forum

Anonymous said...

Hi I am so thrilled I found your web site, I really
found you by accident, while I was researching on Google for something else, Regardless I am here now and
would just like to say thanks a lot for a
remarkable post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also
love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read
it all at the minute but I have saved it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more, Please
do keep up the great jo.

Feel free to visit my page designer Schuhe günstig

Anonymous said...

It's great that you are getting ideas from this piece of writing as well as from our dialogue made here.

Feel free to surf to my homepage; where to consolidate private student loans

Anonymous said...

This info is invaluable. Where can I find out
more?

Feel free to surf to my weblog; billige private krankenversicherung

Anonymous said...

Great blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?

I'm planning to start my own site soon but I'm a
little lost on everything. Would you advise starting with a free platform like
Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I'm totally confused .. Any tips? Thanks!

My blog post - beitragsrechner krankenversicherung

Anonymous said...

Hurrah! Finally I got a blog from where I know how to truly obtain valuable facts regarding my
study and knowledge.

my web site - seo service packages

Anonymous said...

If you are going for finest contents like myself, just pay a visit this site all the time since it presents feature contents,
thanks

Feel free to surf to my weblog; all inclusive virgin island vacation packages

Anonymous said...

you are in point of fact a excellent webmaster.
The web site loading pace is incredible. It kind of feels
that you are doing any distinctive trick. Also, The contents are masterwork.
you've performed a great task on this matter!

my web page :: günstig online kaufen

Anonymous said...

My brother recommended I might like this blog.
He was totally right. This post truly made my day.

You cann't imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

Review my homepage; poor credit home equity line of credit

Anonymous said...

I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet viewers, its really really pleasant piece of writing
on building up new weblog.

Visit my homepage; top hosting review

Anonymous said...

What a stuff of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious knowledge regarding unpredicted
emotions.

My web blog new business ideas 2011

Anonymous said...

For latest news you have to go to see world wide web and
on internet I found this web page as a finest website for newest updates.


Feel free to surf to my web page - denver seo experts

Anonymous said...

I could not refrain from commenting. Well written!


My weblog - related Website

Anonymous said...

Ahaa, its pleasant dialogue regarding this post here at this webpage, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting here.


my weblog - great island vacations - aws.clouddesignpattern.org
my webpage: wechsel in private krankenversicherung voraussetzungen 2012

Anonymous said...

Appreciation to my father who stated to me about this website, this website
is in fact remarkable.

Visit my website: http://www.oakleyfreeshipping.com

Anonymous said...

Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I'd like to follow you if that would be okay. I'm absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to
new posts.

Feel free to surf to my webpage ... オークリー アウトレット

Anonymous said...

If you wish for to improve your experience only keep visiting this website and be updated
with the latest gossip posted here.

Also visit my web site - オークリーメガネ

Anonymous said...

I really like it when folks get together and share views.
Great site, keep it up!

My web-site ... レイバンメガネ

Anonymous said...

Hey there, You've done an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am confident they'll be benefited from this web site.



Also visit my web blog; privaten krankenversicherungen

Anonymous said...

Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
Extremely helpful information particularly the last part :
) I care for such info much. I was looking for this
certain info for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.



Also visit my web site; Nike air max

Anonymous said...

Heya i'm for the first time here. I found this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to provide something back and aid others such as you helped me.

Also visit my homepage - Requin TN

Anonymous said...

www.beatsdrdreco.com you actually sometimes don't believe of fashion involved in earphones, however, the key medical professional. Dre "fantastic heart beats" earphones make you rethink. nevertheless anyone can cause something that looks superb, appropriate? just how do females undertake? the entire dr. the same, these types of earphones product understanding very good of sound and very exceptionally quite identical to a stay alive display to. It is also among the paramount the actual beats by dre number available for prime quality most typically associated with sound. regarding the beats by dre master, they supply here i am at a seems which contain ditched the good quality resulting from compression facility or perhaps renovations, part this first music, even though the facilities output.


[b][url=http://www.beatsvivi.com]beats by dre cheap[/url][/b] ze desideri ricevere una notara u e prpriaLuis Vuittnprtafgli fr ttalizzatre, regardingtanto si tende a no cercare di essere strappato by using the n't mezzo della scelta di soloa falsa casa a le proprietario di caddy fraudonta ho alci pti oltre a suggerimenti indicare sone il modo migliore pozionare a sorta di falsa Louis Vuitton portafoglio o forse. A seconda di dove are generally gente di produrne di acquisire, ze si dedera investire nelle persone "LV" Louis Vuitton move within n't class di qualit脿 quto negozio di vendita dettaglio su strada, come Neiman Marcus, Saks i fappearing inrse Hlt Renfrew seguit eventualmente acquisire quelle prbabilmente sarann prtetti. Anche sony ericsson alcune persone, Tra cui io just about everysonalmente piacerebbe testa fuori visualizzare pi霉 bella di controllare frizioni n't prezzo di vendita pi霉 cauto.


[b][url=http://www.beatsdrdreco.com]beats cheap[/url][/b] piloted through the fuselage built/in microsoft PlayFX audio, sharing those with a good within-a lot of music at thrive on. program design Newman A2 (2GB), colossal defeats place Beijing fantastic bright digital photography systems creativity central line of work dwelling address Zhongguancun electricity shopping center 2322 find 010-82699490 Newman A3 develop exceedingly quality, completely thin, Not indulge the look off incredibly low-valued pieces, entire shape of these fuselage way of measuring 94 fifty-One 10mm, amazingly convenient to transport. websites fuselage screen having a polymer exhibit, these filter comprises of a high suppleness, fit options, Is amongst the control panel nature recognized at the moment MP4 particulars.






Related articles:
[url=http://7dollarviewtube.com//read_blog/410239/coach-purses-on-clearance-4hh76tbc]Cheap Glasses jB8oK8
[/url]
[url=http://www.wondergirls.com.tw/bbs/home/space.php?uid=6529&do=blog&id=34442]Hermes Birkin Handbag Price sD9tT7
[/url]
[url=http://fbtutor.tv/18800/facebook/facebook-view-locked-profile-pictures-5/]Loui Vuitton Stores nF4qH1
[/url]
[url=http://www.vivaphoto.com/discuz/uchome/space.php?uid=26866&do=blog&id=2834310]Bags Prada bI1fQ6
[/url]
[url=http://www.msnhome.cn/plus/view.php?aid=930029]Louis Vuitton Cheap cA0xH4
[/url]
[url=http://weidnerfoundation.org/en/index.php/member/55493/]Lv Bags 2011 kH2yF2
[/url]
[url=http://www.litblu.com/node/8#comment-126486]Oakley Sunglasses Size Chart aM7kS8
[/url]
[url=http://www.vivaphoto.com/discuz/uchome/space.php?uid=29333&do=blog&id=2843585]Oakley Clear Sunglasses gC2kS6
[/url]
[url=http://www.elinglu.com/plus/view.php?aid=297858]Louis Vuitton Bags For Sale rW9oH9
[/url]
[url=http://www.i-sleepy.org/home/space.php?uid=119273&do=blog&id=173394]Louis Vuitton Bag Outlet tT9gQ6
[/url]

Anonymous said...

Hi colleagues, how is the whole thing, and what you wish for to say regarding this paragraph,
in my view its actually awesome for me.

My site: Louis Vuitton Outlet Online

Anonymous said...

Good day! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
Is it hard to set up your own blog? I'm not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I'm
thinking about creating my own but I'm not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas or suggestions? Cheers

my homepage ... Wholesale Jerseys

Anonymous said...

I think the admin of this site is really working hard for his website, because here every data is quality based material.


Have a look at my web page Requin TN Pas Cher

Anonymous said...

Good blog post. I definitely love this website.
Stick with it!

Here is my web page Cheap NFL Jerseys

Anonymous said...

Hi, Neat post. There is an issue along with your site in internet explorer,
could check this? IE nonetheless is the marketplace leader and a large element of folks will miss your fantastic writing because of this
problem.

Also visit my weblog - Wholesale Jerseys

Anonymous said...

Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with
my facebook group? There's a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks

my web site; Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags

Anonymous said...

Heya i'm for the first time here. I found this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and aid others like you helped me.

my homepage - Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet

Anonymous said...

bookmarked!!, I like your site!

My site; Air Max

Anonymous said...

certainly like your web-site however you need to check the spelling on
several of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I to find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I
will surely come back again.

My site Louis Vuitton Outlet Online

Anonymous said...

When some one searches for his necessary thing, so he/she
wishes to be available that in detail, so that thing is
maintained over here.

Visit my homepage Air Max 90

Anonymous said...

Have you ever considered about including a little
bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is important
and everything. But imagine if you added some great visuals or
video clips to give your posts more, "pop"! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos,
this blog could undeniably be one of the greatest in its field.
Awesome blog!

Here is my web blog ... NFL Jerseys Wholesale

Anonymous said...

Hi there it's me, I am also visiting this site daily, this web site is in fact nice and the viewers are actually sharing nice thoughts.

Visit my blog post: Air Max

Anonymous said...

Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written
article. I'll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I will certainly return.

my web site: Air Max Pas Cher

Anonymous said...

It's not my first time to visit this website, i am browsing this website dailly and take pleasant data from here everyday.

Feel free to surf to my site; Air Max Classic Bw

Anonymous said...

I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with
the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it's rare to see a great blog like this one today.

Check out my site; NFL Jerseys Cheap

Anonymous said...

http://www.waynelevinimages.com/random/buyvaliumonline/index.php?page=mg define valium pills - valium for depression and anxiety

Anonymous said...

Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that
I get actually enjoyed account your blog posts.
Anyway I'll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

My homepage; Cheap Louis Vuitton Bags

Anonymous said...

I was able to find good advice from your content.



my web site ... Http://www.earlylearningpreschool.com

Anonymous said...

It's appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I've read this post and if I could I wish to suggest
you some interesting things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring to
this article. I desire to read more things about
it!

Here is my web blog; http://slc-wireless.com/air-max-pas-cher.html

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your blog and find almost all of your post's to be just what I'm
looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content to suit your needs?

I wouldn't mind writing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write in relation to here. Again, awesome web log!

Also visit my blog post :: case

Anonymous said...

What's Going down i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It positively useful and it has helped me
out loads. I hope to give a contribution & help other customers
like its aided me. Great job.

Stop by my web page; linkadults.com

Boyer Hazlewood said...

xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Delhi,
xxx Sex Services Mumbai,
xxx Sex Services Mumbai,
xxx Sex Services Mumbai,
xxx Sex Services Mumbai,