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PIZZERIA LOCALE X RYE : FOOD FOR A CAUSE



I am a foodie and I am a Mom. So when I got the invite to check out a unique collaboration of two famous Chefs coming together, for a charity benefiting children, I knew I had to be there. Rye, is one of our favorite restaurants in town, and has been featured earlier in my Blog. And we fell in love with Pizzeria Locale, when we sampled their fare at the Foodie Chick Event. Two James Beard award winning chefs, Colby Garrelts(Rye, Blue Stem) and Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson(Pizzeria Locale) decided to bring their unique culinary styles together, for an unique creation.

Their delicious partnership is a part of a fundraiser for Child Protection Center(CPC),which has been serving the Kansas City area, for the last 20 years. The CPC is a child-friendly safe haven for children who are allegedly victims of child abuse, or who have witnessed homicide or extreme violence. As a mother, who is trying her best to explain her daughter, what could possibly be child abuse , almost every day, before she leaves for school, this collaboration rang close to heart.


What exactly is the specialty Pizza ?


Kansas city is after all the barbecue capital of the world, so this collaboration also pays an homage to that. Chef Colby brings his famous Barbecue Sauce, to pair with Chef Lachlan's four ingredient crust.




Its a white pizza, which is one of my favorites. The customary fur ingredient crust, chicken, red onion, garlic oil and the pizza goes into the oven. Baked to perfection its finished off with Rye's signature barbecue sauce. It could not have had a better platform to show off that fabulous barbecue crust. The pizzas are 11 inch personal pizzas and they fill your tummy and your heart.




It pairs very well, with a full bodied Red. Pizzeria Locale has a few wines on tap, and they really were good with their wine pairing suggestions.





This creative collaboration is on till October 10th , at any of the Pizzeria Locations in Kansas City. Both Chefs will be available at the Oak Park Mall location on October 10th, between 5 to 7 pm.



So if you are making plans of eating out , make sure you head to Pizzeria Locale and contribute to the cause. Not to mention that fabulous slice of goodness. I bet you will order yourself another pizza to take home with, once you have worked your way around one. 


PUMPKIN SPICE AND ALL THINGS NICE


Happy Fall y'all ! As I type away to glory, while grabbing my super late lunch, I cant stop and admire my Vino colored nails, fresh from this morning's Mani-Pedi at the Spa . That just seemed like the longest sentence I have ever written. Let me not get distracted now. 

 A visit to Louisburg Cider Mill has almost become an Annual tradition for our family. Especially if its the weekend of Cider Fest. Its fun to see how much Rii has grown from her first visit to the Pumpkin Patch . Gosh, how fast are the years flying by. We have had a few hectic weeks back to back ,with both personal amd professional committments. Not to mention to demands of student life, when you are nearing 40s. So even after initial planning, we decided to skip our annual visit to the patch. But it was the last day of Cider Fest and one of our friends had dropped in to collect something , she had left behind earlier. The toddler wanted to accompany our friends , who were headed to Cider Fest. So from PJs and nerd glasses, we got ready in the shortest amount of time, and hit the road. 

Yes, Me and Mini Me were twinning in our Denim Dresses, Wayfarers, and Brown Boots.  
  

Pumpkins, Corn Maze, Hay Wagon rides, trampoline. Not to mention digging into the best Cider Doughnuts and washing it all down with a few helpings of warm Apple Cider. 

Can a Fall day get any better ! What's your family's Fall tradition? Do mention in the comments. 













DURGA PUJA STYLE : ETHNIC OOTD

Durga Pujo is rolling on in full swing . As I type this day, Kolkattans are waking up to Nabami(9th Day morning ), and I am settling down to a dinner after class. Its quite a mental strength attending classes, when your mind is away in Kolkata. But I shouldnt complain. Luckily I stay in a city in North America, which has a size able Bengali community. And we wrapped up our Durga Puja celebrations last weekend. What is originally a 5 day long festival in India, is celebrated cover a convenient weekend, around the actual dates, every year. 

Durga Puja or just known as Pujo , is the biggest socio-cultural-festival of the Bengali speaking Hindus of the world. It celebrates the victory of good over evil. It celebrates the Female Force. I am more spiritual, than I am religious,and I celebrate the Durga which resides in all of us, providing us strength at every step. 

Outfit Planning for Pujo has its own nostalgia. When we were kids, it used to be one of the most aspects of the whole Pujo expereince. Counting our outfits gifts, comparing notes with friends, shopping for accessories, or even limping our way to the Pandals, with blisters from new shoes. Outfit Planning as an adult expat Indian is a different ball game, but has its own charm. 

As I do Outfit Posts every now and then, I thought of compiling my Ethnic Outfits for a Durga Pujo special post. My sarees are all hand picked and bought by my Mother. Needless to say she has great taste . My sarees ranged from Silks to Handlooms this Pujo. For my accessories, I paired them with everything from costume jewelery, to traditional Bengali Shakha -Pola and goyna gaati. Hoping you liked my Saree picks and I am waiting to see yours ! Share your Festive OOTD with me, in the comments section ! 















Shubho Sharodiya !

THANK YOU - PICTURES COURTESY :
Bodhisatwa Basu
Debashish Dasgupta
Michael Alvarado
Anirban Dasgupta
Amrita Mitra
Tanup Ghosh 

CHICKEN REZALA : KOLKATA'S ROYAL CHICKEN STEW


Durga Puja is knocking on the door. As a popular Bengali musician, recently pointed out, that "Pet Puja chhara ki ar Durga Puja hoy." Roughly translated, can you celebrate Puja without a gastronomical high. Bengalis are foodies by nature and hence we just need a reason to dig in. We are all set to celebrate Durga Puja this weekend in KC and many other parts of North America. And needless to say, we shall be indulging in a weekend long food fest.

But it also means, that I am away from Kolkata, for another Durga Puja. I am away from enjoying Pandal Hopping with my brother. Another year of not digging into CHICKEN REZALA with my parents at our favorite Mughlai Restaurants.

Rezala , is a rich stew, which is known for its royal roots originating in Kolkata. Legend has it that when Wajed Ali Shah was exiled to Kolkata, his royal chefs, created this aromatic stew. Rezala is popular with both Chicken and Mutton. I am a beef eater, and quite a few Kolkattan restaurants, do serve beef, but I don't think I have seen a Beef Rezala on the menu.

What makes Rezala different ? Its a white stew, flavored with Kewra and rose water, and slow cooks to perfection. Its a labor of love, and worth every minute spent in prep. Its marinated in yogurt, onion-ginger-garlic paste and its a white gravy. It can be compared to a Koram, with the addition of ground almonds, in the gravy. Years earlier I had done a post on Mutton Rezala. Its one of the most tried Recipe Posts on my Blog. If you want to read about it, then Click Here.  

Rezala is an experience which reminds you of Kolkata and its huge Mughlai food history. I cant remember a family trip to a Mughlai restaurant in Kolkata, where one of us didn't order a Rezala. But its something, which also hasn't had a pan Indian presence. Its proudly Kolkattan and we like it that way. There are various styles of biriyani available across India ,but there's just one Rezala, and its from the royal kitchens of Kolkata.

If you are foodie, and you love your protiens, give this a try. I will take the Thank Yous in advance. My picky eater toddler daughter, who generally isnt much of a fan of Indian food, loves her Butter Chicken with an extra shot of cream, but loves her Chicken Rezala, , without anything to add. That's where the success of an entree lies, when it can appeal to everyone, across the board.

CHICKEN REZALA :

Ingredients:
Chicken : 1 whole chicken. Skinless. Cut into medium sized pieces. If yo are sing boneless chicken, use chicken thighs.
Onion : 1/2 large - Paste
Ginger :  1 1/2 inches - Paste
Garlic : Half a garlic - Paste
Kewra Essence/Flavoring (available at all Indian grocery stores) : 1 tsp
Rose Water : 1/2 tsp
Dried Red Chilies : 3 to 4
Whole Peppercorns : 2 tsp
Almond Paste /Almond Powder : 3 to 4 tbsp
Ghee/canola Oil
Yogurt : 1 cup
Green Cardamom : 4 to 5
Bay leaves : 3 to 4
Salt : to taste

Procedure :
Marinate the chicken in yogurt, ginger-garlic-onion paste, black pepper powder overnight.

Soak the raw almonds in water for a couple of hours at least.


Before you start cooking, remove the skin of the almonds, by just rubbing them with your fingers. Grind to a fine paste.

In a non stick deep pan , or a dutch oven, heat some Ghee/canola oil on medium heat.

Add in the aromatics- dried red chilies, bay leaves, and green cardamom.

When they crackle, then your oil temperature is just right to introduce the meat.

With a pair of tongs, add in the chicken pieces, to the oil. Let them caramelize lightly on all sides.

Then introduce the rest of the marinate. Season with salt. Cook covered till the chicken is half cooked.

Add in the almond paste , Kewra essence/flavouring, Rose Water, and mix well.

Cover and cook till the chicken is cooked through.

The fat/ghee, should have realeased from the sides. Then you know you are in the right track. I dried up my gravy a bit too much, but you could keep it in between dry and runny.

Serve with Naan for an authentic Kolkattan Mughlai culinary experience.