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Thursday, March 21, 2019
Getting Curried Away in Clonakilty
Richy's Indian Foodesessy
Last week, we were in Bangalore, enjoying the local cuisine, including Sagu and Alulugedda. Not really in Bangalore! But in Richy’s in Clonakilty at Week 3 of an 18-month culinary journey around the states of India, courtesy of Head Chef Meeran Gani Manzoor.
Meeran, an accomplished chef with very high-level experience, is from the state of Chennai in the south-west and that city, capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, was featured on the opening night of the Curry Club with Beef Madras taking pride of place on the Thali* that also included Carrot Cauliflower Pickle, Lemon Rice and Dosa. On Thursday 26th Feb, the food was from Kerala, India. Malabar Fish Moilee, Coconut rice and other local dishes featured.
Richy told me this tasting tour around India with the Curry Club, takes place every 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month, for the next 18 months or so! “We will travel up the coast, showcasing authentic dishes from each state each time. Including a cooking demonstration and food presented in theatre-style, a real sense of community can be felt. Come and join us for a night like no other!”
Bangalore (also known as Bengaluru) as you may know is the technology capital of India. It is the capital city of Karnataka, the largest state with a population of over 12 million. Last Thursday’s curry was presented on a Thali with a circle of small bowls.
The main feature was perhaps the Korri Gassi, the chicken curry. There was also a Pudhina Chutney (a mint chutney), a very tasty Sagu (a mixed vegetable curry), Alulugedda (spuds!) and a Bisi Beli Bath (a traditional Indian rice lentil dish). So quite a bit of curry but all moderate, used more for flavour than spice. The only “jarring” note came from the Lemon Pickle and then only if you tried it on its own. Mix it in with some of the others and it became part of a delicious harmony of flavours and textures.
And we even had dessert on the Thali. It was called Kesari, a Millet pudding with cream, cardamom, cloves, pumpkin seeds, cashew nut, and raisins. It’s not very photogenic but is deliciously sweet and not at all cloying. Quite a way to finish off this leg of the curry club trail that is going down very well indeed with Richy's customers.
Next stop on the Curry Club trek comes on March 28th with the spotlight on Andhra Pradesh. No menu available yet but the state is known for Chicken Biryani, spicy Tamarind rice, Fish Curry, with the light and delicious Curd Rice as dessert. No doubt Chef Meeran will come up with another superb selection on the night. Well worth the twenty euro!
Meeran Gani Manzoor, Head Chef at Richy’s Restaurant in Clonakilty since last year, is a graduate in Culinary Arts Management from the University of West London. His broad international experience has been acquired while working around the globe, in countries such as Belgium, UK and USA.
* Thali simply means plate and indeed, there is a friendly Nepalese restaurant, on Pope’s Quay, called Thali.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
I like the cha cha cha
They like to cha cha cha, they like to cha cha cha
Everybody likes to cha cha cha
I used to love that old Sam Cooke song and now I got another Cha Cha Cha in my life. For the past few days I’ve been sampling three Cha green teas that I bought from Fixx Coffee in Dublin.
Cha Very Berry Tea received the accolade of a Gold Star in the Great Taste Awards 2012. They are handpicked and sourced from single estates at the foothills of the Himalayas. “Our Cha Teas are organic and certified by the EU Regulatory Authorities”.
Opened up the packet and picked the Golden Mango, with naturally extracted flavours of Mango and Vanilla, for the first tasting. The aromas were absolutely fantastic. But would they be too much for the flavours. No. Sure, I still savoured the smells but also loved the flavours. Wow. What a winner! A delicious flavour enjoyed either hot or cold, I’m told, but I haven’t tried it cold yet.
Then on to the Spring Mint. The aromas here were unmistakably those of spearmint, really cool and clean. A beautiful cup, fragrant and cooling. Must make sure I have some in for the summer.
The teabags are made from non chemical bleached filter paper and each tin contains 25 x 1.5g teabags (Tin Size 37.5g).
Finally, it was the turn of the Pure Green. Pure tea, boy, supple and dry, unhindered by any fancy flavours yet doing the job in a firm yet calm and relaxing manner. That it is full of antioxidants helps!
Cha Teas perform best when brewed for 2-3 minutes at 90C and served in a 250-300ml cup. Keep an eye on your cuppa – use a timer! You don’t want to spoil a good thing.
The teas were part of an offer on the Fixx Coffee site and naturally there was also some coffee on offer. I tried their Cubita Roasted Beans. They said this “is an exquisite coffee that has strong earthy tones, with a hint of smokiness and a caramel finish, it is the most popular brand of coffee in Cuba”. Must say I agree one hundred per cent with the tasting notes here. A classic in a cup!
So now I move from Cha Cha Cha to Bolero: the music beating insistently out in the sun, load conversastions, a cup of cubita on the table and an eye out for the señoritas. Only an eye though as mi señora, who also loves the cubita, is keeping an eye on me!
Saturday, September 22, 2012
India at the Farmgate
Jaipur Restaurant Dublin came to Cork’s Farmgate for Culture Night and their team of chefs got a surprise. “We’re doing okay but no one told us about these queues,” one said. And they did more than alright as the punters flocked in last night. And so too did the Farmgate team, keeping the flow going and organising seating for everyone.
Jaipur showcased the pan-Indian way of serving a complete meal at the local market eateries – The Thaali. Food is a very communal experience in India and Jaipur applied their flair and expertise to recreate the flavours of India in Cork’s historic food market, The English Market.
And, from all around me, I heard the diners praising the essence of ‘India on a Plate’!
The Plate for a tenner:
Samosa & Chole…Punjab
Gram pearl’s Raita with Cumin & Rock Salt Simla
Old Delhi Style Railway Chicken Delhi
Yellow lentils with young garlic, tomatoes and raw mangoes Jaipur
White Cabbage, crushed peas Foogath.....Chennai
Aged Basmati rice with Tellicherry Pepper & thyme Kerala
While, for me, the Farmgate event was the main one, there was a lot more going on in the Market with lines of people building up at every stall that was serving food. Not to mention drink. Bubbles Bothers reported a mad mad night. Maybe we should do it more often!