I was invited to attend the Good Food Master Class at ITC Sonar, and after a last-minute confirmation, reached and found myself sitting with my friend SG, who had reached right on time too! After an initial bit of confusion, a kind attendant, V, showed us the place, and we walked down a long walkway flanked with pools filled with lotus and goldfish.
We were greeted and seated within a few minutes, our gazes fixed on the pool outside, and in contrast, the ingredients laid down in front of us. We were waiting for the rest of the participants to show up, and then started off as Master Chef Sunayan Pramanik begun our class. Our first recipe was a very interesting one, infusing Middle Eastern, Mexican and Bengali cuisine together to create Winter Green Pea Hummus with Gobindo Bhog Tortillas.
|Winter Green Pea Hummus with Gobindo Bhog Tortillas|
The tortillas were made with a mixture of Gobindo Bhog rice and maize flour, and the green pea hummus was zinged up with a dash of Labneh made with julienne of cucumber, hung curd, cream and a bit of lemon juice. It was a nice, unoffensive little thing which was there to whet our appetites and tickle the taste buds with subtle flavors. I found it slightly lacking in seasoning, a bit too subtle for me.
|Chef Pramanik explaining the way to make the best fish stock while poaching the fish in the stock|
His next dish was to use classic French cooking method, but give it a very Bengali twist yet again. The Poached Bay of Bengal Bekti in White Wine and Asparagus topped with Gondhoraj Lime Foam was yet again, subtle. The fish was marinated in a combination of white wine, basil, Gondhoraj lime juice and seasoning, and then cooked in a light fish stock.
|Poached Bay of Bengal Bekti in White Wine and Asparagus Topped with Gandharaj Lime Foam|
Chef Pramanik talked about never letting a fish stock come to a boil, rather always start with ice water and fish bones, and bring it to a temperature just under boiling and letting the bones release their flavors to infuse into the stock.
The Gondhoraj Lime Foam was made with a Nitrogen Charger, and although it can be replaced with whipped cream infused with Gondhoraj lime juice, olive oil and salt, Nitrogen gave it a fluffiness rarely achieved by whipping. We tasted some of the foam and the fish and I liked the subtle hints of lime, basil and clean, white fish.
|Chef Harpawan looking extremely pleased with the Suzette Sauce.|
Next, Executive Sous Chef, Bakery and Confectionery, Harpawan Singh Kapoor joined us for the two desserts on our Masterclass menu. This was the part I was quite interested in, for Chef tried to explain to us how one could make Marscapone Cheese with the aid of homemade chhana, and the first recipe was Chhanar Tiramisu Nostrano. This was a delicate concoction of meringue, marscapone, coffee liquor mixture, and cream, which created a gorgeous dessert when sprinkled with cocoa powder and grated chocolate and served with tiny Amaretti cookies. The Chhana (homemade cottage cheese) was used not just to give it a better texture but also to use a very common Indian ingredient rather than sourcing from outside.
|Chhana Tiramisu Nostrano|
His next dish was a twist on a personal favorite of mine – Crepe Suzette. Nolen Gur was added to this concoction, and it made this dish a delicate little thing. Although I love my Suzette with a bit of flambe in the end, finishing with some Grand Marnier, here there was no alcohol added. But the gur gave it a very nice, dark flavor, which I was pretty pleased with.
|Crepe Suzette with Nolen Gur|
I loved the simple directions and the way the Chef smilingly told, while cooking the Suzette sauce, that the only way you would be able to cook is with practice. No matter how much you read, without practicing and understanding the basics, cooking is not going to be an easy task.
Many pictures and fun moments later, it was time to go home, but we did have a gala time.
|Chef Sunayan Pramanik (L), Chef Harpawan Singh Kapoor (C), Chef Mayank (R)|
Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee was invited to attend the Good Food Masterclass at ITC Sonarby Windchimes Communications.