Chef Sumitra Kalapatapu Concludes Pop-Up Andhra Kitchen At WelcomHotel

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of partaking of a special Telugu Brahmin meal, curated by Chef Sumitra Kalapatapu for Jacaranda, the restaurant at Welcomhotel by ITC, Bangalore. I was at WelcomAndhra, a 10-day pop-up kitchen by Chef Sumitra at Jacaranda. The experience, I must say, was quite lovely!

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Chef Sumitra Kalapatapu at the pop-up Andhra kitchen at Jacaranda

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Chef Sumitra Kalapatapu, a well-known name in South India, specialises in the preparation of food from Andhra Pradesh, and is well known for her traditional vegetarian dishes, chutneys and pickles, not to forget her warm hospitality. She is the force behind the famed Sumi’s Kitchen, which operates from Vigyannagar, Bangalore. She undertakes catering for events, hosts meals at her place and also does pop-ups at restaurants.

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Chef Sumitra Kalapatapu with the Jacaranda, Welcomhotel, team at the pop-up

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Mr. Dhawal Ajmera, Chief Executive Chef at ITC Limited – Hotels Division, strongly believes in encouraging the talents of home chefs like this by enabling them to set up pop-ups such as this one. A great and welcome initiative, I must say!

I would also add that for a home chef to cook in a large-scale commercial kitchen for 10 days, serving a different menu every single day, is no mean feat. Chef Sumitra pulled it off beautifully, the hugely talented persona that she is.

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Assorted pickles by Chef Sumitra at the pop-up

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On the last day of the pop-up, when I visited, Chef Sumitra served some typical Andhra home-style vegetarian food that was as finger-lickingly delicious as it was simple. It was wonderful to see the way this simple, home food stood out amidst the extensive buffet at Jacaranda!

So, getting down to the nitty-gritties, what all did I try out at WelcomAndhra?

Top Left: Cabbage Vadas (Picture Courtesy: PhenoMenal World); Bottom Left: Stuffed Mirchi Bajjis; Bottom Right: Kobbari Tomato Perugu Pachadi; Top Right: Tomato Pachadi (Picture Courtesy for the two chutneys: Sumitra Kalapatapu)

Cabbage Vadas The good ol’ urad daal vada with chunks of cabbage in it! Served piping hot, straight off the stove, these were so very good!

Stuffed Mirchi Bajjis Chef Sumitra took some plain old-fashioned chilli bajjis and jazzed them up with a lovely onion stuffing! Apparently, this is the way mirchi bajjis are served on the streets of Vizag, where she hails from. A few of them were super spicy, but man, were they delicious?!

Tomato Pachadi This one was a tad on the saltier side, but was extremely delicious. It was so very well done! The tomato chutney reminded me of one that an Andhra neighbour of mine used to prepare for me, growing up – it brought back some very fond memories!

Kobbari Tomato Perugu PachadiThis tomato chutney with yogurt was sheer beauty. With just the right amount of tangy and spicy, this was a pleasure to eat. The mustard in the chutney took the taste of the chutney up quite a few notches.

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Clockwise from top left: Palakoora Pappu, Vankaya Jeelakarra Kaaram, Mukkala PulusuAratikaya Aava Petti Koora, Pulihora

Palakoora Pappu – This was a simple Andhra-style preparation using spinach, and it tasted quite lovely. The dish was very well executed, all the flavours in perfect harmony with each other. It made for just the perfect accompaniment with plain steamed rice.

Vankaya Jeelakarra Kaaram – This was an Andhra Pradesh specialty, eggplants cooked simply with assorted spices. This was decent, but I am not a big fan of eggplant cooked this way, so this did not take me to the high heavens.

Mukkala Pulusu – This sambar cooked with mixed vegetables was simple and homely. Again, it was a very well-made dish, with the flavours melding beautifully with each other. I thoroughly enjoyed eating this, mixed with steamed rice.

Aratikaya Aava Petti Koora – I would say this was the star of the show for me – the dish that stole my heart. This was a raw banana curry cooked with ground mustard, in Andhra Pradesh style. This was so, so, so beautiful! I absolutely adored this, and am going to try making this pretty soon.

Pulihora – The Andhra Pradesh Pulihora was quite different from the Tamilnadu- and Karnataka-style puliogare that I am used to. It was brilliant, just tangy and spicy enough to tantalise your tastebuds. It had me going back for seconds!

There was Rasam on the menu too, but I simply couldn’t manage to taste it. My tummy was way too full! I heard it was extremely lovely, though. I couldn’t manage any of Chef Sumitra’s wonderful pickles either – I guess I should visit her place soon for that! 🙂

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I relished most of the Andhra fare that was served as part of the pop-up! With its simplicity, subtle spice levels, and bright and beautiful flavours, the food was a refreshing change from the usual rich, rich, rich restaurant fare! My perception about Andhra food now stands completely changed. 🙂

 

Cheese & Chutney Corn On The Cob

Corn on the cob is a hugely popular snack across India, one you will find being sold on the streets almost everywhere. The most common way to eat it, though, is boiled or char-grilled, with a generous dose of salt/chaat masala/red chilli powder and lemon. Today, I present to you a different way of eating corn – Cheese & Chutney Corn On The Cob.

Here, I have slathered boiled corn with spicy green chutney, which bursts with flavour, and eliminates the need for any other spices. The corn has also been sprinkled generously with grated cheese. This is an indulgent snack, an extremely delicious one, though.

The inspiration for this recipe for Cheese & Chutney Corn On The Cob comes from the street-side food carts of Ahmedabad, which I have grown up frequenting. Many of these street carts offer unimaginable varieties of corn on the cob – from the simple Butter-Lemon Corn to Schezwan Corn and Cheese-Chutney Corn. While those street carts typically use huge pots of boiling water to cook the corn, I have pressure cooked the cobs. I have also used my own version of green chutney, and grated cheese instead of the cheese spread that is commonly used by these carts.

I hope you like this simple, but delectable snack!

Ingredients (serves 2):

  1. 2 fresh cobs of sweet corn
  2. Spicy green chutney, as needed (See notes for the recipe)
  3. 2 cubes of cheese, grated, or as needed

Method:

  1. Peel the cobs of sweet corn and remove all the silk.
  2. Break each cob into two and place in a large vessel. Add in just enough water to cover the corn cobs.
  3. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 4 whistles. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
  4. When the pressure has completely gone down, remove the cooked corn cobs from the water. Shake them gently to drain out all the excess water.
  5. Spread spicy green chutney evenly over the cooked corn cobs.
  6. Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over the corn cobs. Place on a serving plate. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  1. Click here for the recipe that I use to make the spicy green chutney. Make sure you don’t add too much water while making the spicy green chutney. Only then will you be able to spread it well on the corn cobs.
  2. Use as much or as little spicy green chutney and grated cheese as you want to.
  3. I have used Amul Processed Cheese in this dish. You can use any variety of cheese that you prefer, instead.
  4. Make sure the corn is served immediately after preparation. Don’t let it sit around for too long once you have spread the spicy green chutney and the grated cheese over it.
  5. You can even char-grill the corn or roast it on the gas stove, instead of pressure-cooking it like I have done here.

Did you like this recipe for Cheese & Chutney Corn On The Cob? Do tell me, in your comments!

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Foodie Monday Blog Hop
This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘recipes using corn’.

I’m also sending this recipe for Fiesta Friday #230, co-hosted this week by Diann @ Of Goats and Greens.