You have seen her on the silver screen in Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin, Bombay Boys and now you see her in that red apron cooking up a storm. Long story short, launching her cook book A Sense for Spice in the Capital, Tara Deshpande Tennebaum took on the Culinary Club and taught us a few recipes from her Konkan Kitchen.
With tales and tastes from her grandmother's kitchen, Tara's book attempts to bring some signature dishes to the table that are authentically Konkani. She talked about the spices, the traditions, the usual practices of the kitchen while she whipped up four recipes from her book - the Bangbang Batata (crispy potaoes with chilly and garlic), Kakdi Chi Kochimbri (cucumber and peanut salad), Koliwada Prawns and Chicken Xacuti (Goan chicken curry).
The meticulously recorded recipes by her grandmother, some dating back to the 1800s, have all been adapted to modern kitchens to bring to life the sounds, smell and tastes of the Konkan coast.The authentic flavours have not been compromised with at all. While the guests asked their questions - 'Can semolina replace rice flour in Koliwada Prawns?' or 'Can chicken stock be used instead of water in Chicken Xacuti?' - Tara answered that it is a wonderful amalgamation of various flavours from areas around the coast. While olive oil is not a staple on Konkani dishes (except in some pickles as Tara pointed out) and there are more than 80 kinds of dosas that Konkani people eat.
Aided by Chef Prem Kumar Pogakula, Executive Sous Chef, Tara made all her recipes seem very easy. 32 sessions old, the Imperial Culinary Club is all about bringing new cuisines to the people and offering them a chance to learn the most from it and Wednesday afternoon was no different.
The session was followed by a scrumptious lunch at Daniell's Tavern comprising of some select recipes from the Tara's book. The Koliwada Prawns get our vote - hands down!