Trailing Through Tuscany

One of the many reasons I love the power of food is it’s ability to make you travel. One bite of a dish and you are immediately transported to bustling cities or calming coastlines or old school villages – depending on the origin of that dish. I have never been to Tuscany, or Italy for that matter, but was looking forward to a foodcation at Prego, The Westin Mumbai. Their ongoing ‘Tuscan Trail’ at the hotel’s famed Italian restaurant, Prego, is where I would board my flight to Tuscany’s hearty and simplistic fare. I’ve had a spectacular meal at Prego previously, and I could not wait for this one to begin. 

A wonderful evening filled with warm company, delightful conversation, and freely flowing wine – but the food was the real star here. Executive Chef Rahul Dhavale excitedly chatted with us about his newly conceived menu highlighting the best of what Toscano has to offer – Farm Fresh local produce, truffles, sea food, meats, soups, cheese, steaks, ethnic pastas & wine inclusions. Cuisine from Tuscany is simple and hearty with the produce being highlighted. No overdose of cheese, no addition of unnecessary spices, and definitely no overcooked pasta here – everything is as authentic as you can get. I’ve never really been to Italy, but I’ll take his word for it.

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Chorizo Fried Rice Recipe – The Lazy and Easy Version

The universe was dropping far too many signs that the time had come. It was time to experiment with a chorizo fried rice recipe that I had read ages ago but never got about to actually cooking it. 

Sign Number One: A packet of succulent chorizo sausages sitting patiently in my freezer from The Seafood and Meat Co.

Sign Number Two: My favorite food and travel blogger, The Tiny Taster, posted a really yummy sausage fried rice recipe recently that got me drooling on my laptop screen. This recipe is a modified version of the one she blogged about, and an easy sausage fried rice recipe I found online.

Sign Number Three: The final nail in the coffin was going back to Imbiss in Bandra (gosh, how I love that place!) and ordering a schnitzel instead of my favorite chorizo rice and regretting my decision for days to come.

So you see, it was time to make some chorizo fried rice of my own. I’m a fan of this Spanish spicy sausage cooked in all its forms, and I love a good chorizo rice, so I was going to be the toughest critic of my own cooking. And I can proudly say the rice turned out delicious. And it’s just the easiest to make!

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My Granny’s Prawn Patio Recipe – The Lazy and Easy Version

Meat and seafood is integral to Parsi cooking, so much so that we consider eggs as vegetarian. If you’re a Parsi or know one closely, you’ve grown up eating Mora Dal Chawal with Prawn Patio. Roughly translated to yellow dal rice with a sweet-spicy tomato based prawn dish. The patio serves as a pickle and provides heat, to the staple dal rice combo. 

Each family has their own version of a Prawn Patio, some more complicated than the other. I belong to a family of lazy cooks, and this patio version that my granny came up with is really the easiest to make. It may not be as authentic or complicated as a lot of the other Patio recipes but to me it tastes just as good as any other.

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Drink Up: Antioxidant Cooler Recipe

It’s getting increasingly difficult for me to juggle work, blogging and trying to eat healthy. In between all of this the wonderful people at Diet Unlimited came as saviors. In addition to the wonderful three day diet plan and counselling they chalked out for me (read all about it here) they gave me an easy, peasy recipe for an ‘Antioxidant cooler’ which I have added to my daily regime and thought I would share with you guys.

The debate if antioxidants are real or simply a myth to sell health products will continue, and I really don’t have a stand on this. Antioxidants are necessary to reduce the levels of oxidative stress that happens in our body, which can have detrimental effects. A lot of natural foods have antioxidants which are helpful for reducing harmful free radicals in the body and this recipe employs a lot of those foods. 

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New Zealand lamb arrives in Mumbai

Some ingredients take a long journey from farms to our plates. This journey may be as long as across the seven seas. And those ingredients make dining even more special. It’s like taking a trip abroad just with your taste buds. We were the lucky few who got to sample New Zealand lamb from Silver Fern Farms when they introduced quality lamb range to the food service industry in collaboration with Empire Foods, who are the sole distributors of Silver Fern Farms lamb products in the country. 

About Silver Fern Farms

Silver Fern Farms is a leading New Zealand processor and marketer of lamb, mutton, beef, venison and associated products to more than 60 countries. They promise freshness, tenderness and great taste, all naturally. The lamb is premium, and naturally raised by expert farmers on open green pastures of one of the safest meat producing countries in the world. The perfect climate coupled with free-grazing cattle and high levels of food safety, make these products sought after worldwide. They have a ‘plate to pasture process’ that means the needs of consumers and customers drives them to produce products in the best possible manner.

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Colaba introduced the lamb to diners over cocktails and an interactive session with the team at Silver Fern Farms and Empire Foods. We had a lovely chat with Stu Donald, Regional Head of Silver Fern Farms, who educated us on their products. He spoke about how the lamb they produce are all free-grazing which means they are fed on natural grass as opposed to synthetic grains. Because after all, ‘you are what you eat’. He also said that the Indian meat eating market has great potential and will grow in the coming years.

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