Here are the pictures and recipes of our prize winning entries for the cookery competition at work last week.
Frankly, I had intended to do a big and long dramatized version of the two evening’s events, but unfortunately, I have a VERY early morning tomorrow (need to leave at 6AM for an out of town engagement) and I received all the pics by noon today. Though I had the time, I also had two tornadoes to handle and switching on the laptop in their presence is like entering a tiger’s cage with raw meat in your hands
Anyhow, I’ll start with the first round and then go on to the second round.
Here goes then -
Mocktail : Splitzy Splash
Almond Syrup (or any transparent almond flavoured syrup)
Kiwi Squash (we used Mapro)
Cherries, Lime slices, apple and fresh cream for garnishing.
Pour 1 Teaspoon almond syrup at the bottom of the mocktail glass.
Add 1 large teaspoon of Kiwi squash over the almond, pouring gently.
Squeeze half a lemon over the kiwi squash.
Top the glass with crushed ice.
Gently pour Limca over the ice making sure that the Limca does not rise over the existing crushed ice levels.
Beat fresh cream and gently place a dollop in the centre of the glass, right over the ice.
Decorate the glass with lemon slice and cherries. Provide a stirrer just before drinking.
So immersed were we in wrapping up our work in time that it never occurred to us to click snaps. This particular snap was taken nearly an hour after the mocktail was made, by which time the cream had melted away and our dear apples were on the verge of drowning . Luckily, the judges arrived in time to appreciate that little effort with the apple (by me) and those cute stirrer flowers by my teams mate DiCh
Chaat : Jhatpat – Chatpat
3 Types of base – Pani puri, papdi chat and Monaco biscuits.
Green coriander chutney
1 Onion finely chopped.
1 tomato finely chopped.
Coriander finely chopped.
2 boiled potatoes
1/2 cup of boiled black gram (kala chana) .
1/2 cup sev.
Salt, chaat powder, chilli powder.
Mash the potatoes with the black grams. Add salt,chaat masala and chilli powder according to taste.
Make a hole in the puris used for Panipuri and stuff it with the potato mix.For the puris used for Papdii-chaat, place the potato mix over it. The same goes for monaco biscuits.
Once the puris are done, decorate with green coriander chutney, tamarind chutney and curd. Top it all with a little bit of sev
Arrange on a platter.
The pic is not very clear, kindly excuse I have better pics in my cellphone, but don’t have a cable to download it. Confession here, my only contribution to this dish is in chopping the veggies and also making that centerpiece rose . I have never really made chaat before and this dish belongs to my two diligent team mates .
Apparently, the judges liked what they saw, enough to get us through the first round at least
PS : Thats me on t he left. Had to cut out my snap because I’ve rarely looked this hot, sweaty and flustered in public (Blame it on the air-conditioning in the cafeteria that was turned out at 6:30 pm itself. By the time the judges arrived at our table, it was 8 pm )
Dessert : Gorge-ous
1 Eggless cake
Fruits : Apple, mango,peaches,kiwi,cherries,sweetlime
1 bottle maaza
Chocolate syrup (Hersheys)
Dry fruits and nuts
cut away the brown sides, base and top of the cake. Crumble it coarsely.
Chop the rest of the cake in 1 cm cubes and pour a little Maaza on them (not too much though, don’t want the cake to become entirely soggy)
Add a spoon or two of this crumble to the dessert bowls.
Add a layer of chocolate syrup.
Pour a little fresh cream over it.
Add a few pieces of peaches over the cream. Top it with a little Kiwi squah.
Pour cream over it.
Add the cake cubes. Top it with fresh cut mango cubes.
Add chopped apples. Top it with scoops of jelly.
Decorate the top layer as you like with cherries, dry nuts, jelly and squashes.
Once again, the judges appreciated the decoration and those pretty spoon flowers made by my team mate
Side Dish : Cous Cous Hota Hai
1 packet (250 gm) Couscous
Capsicums : Red, Green and Yellow.
2-3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped cabbage
2-3 chopped babycorns
1 chopped tomato
1/2 cup cream cheese (Amul cheesespread would do)
1/2 cup olives (green and black). Set aside a few for decoration.
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1 packet Tortilla chips
Soak the Couscous in boiled water with half a lemon, 1 teaspoon Extra virgin olive oil and salt to taste.
Set it aside.
Finely chop halves of the green, yellow and red capsicums.Add them to a bowl. Add the juice of 1 lemon to it.
Chop the babycorns, olives and tomatoes to the capsicum. Toss it well.
Add the cream cheese to this mixture so that the vegetables are evenly covered.
Add the couscous. Mix well.
The mixture should be in ‘upma’ consistency. Since our dish was served to the judges an hour after it was prepared, it had dried out.
To prevent this, you can also add a spoon of salad dressing to the mixture.
Chop the cabbage and the rest of the capsicums.
Add the couscous mixture to the centre of the serving dish. Surround it with the chopped cabbage and capsicum mix.
Surround the cabbage with the Tortilla chips.
Top the couscous with olives for decoration.
Drizzle some olive oil over the mixture just before serving.
Thankfully, the judges had heard of couscous (unlike the rest of the populace who kept wondering what this secret item is all about. Once the judges left our table (after spending less than 5 mins with us), the audience demolished the couscous in minutes
Frankly, we were disappointed by the judges’ reactions. They spent far more time on other people’s tables than our’s. In fact, we had to force them to take at least a bite of the dessert . There were other tables where the judges had spent close to 20 mins!! We were a little disappointed initially but our mood was cheered up instantly when we saw that our entire project team had come to cheer us on
These were some of the dishes made by other teams :-
As you can see, these dishes were far more attractive and tempting than our’s. When the results were announced (starting from the two consolation and 3 positions), we were expecting the above entries to win. After the consolation prizes were called out, we dropped all pretense of expecting anything. It was clear that if we didn’t get the consolation, we weren’t getting anything! After the 2nd Runner up was announced, we even turned back to clean up our table and wrap up for the day.
So you can imagine our delight when at the 1st runner up position, our team was announced
It was much later that I found out the true reasons for our win Teamwork + Effort + Taste !!
The judges were impressed with the efficiency with which we three went about our work.
They appreciated our neat table and the extra work we had put in. Most of the other teams had come prepared beforehand. Like the two dishes above. They were prepared at home and decorated during the competition. We were the diligent ones to actually start from scratch, right from peeling onions to plucking coriander
Anyhow, this win would have been impossible without the contribution and efforts of Dich and RuSo.
So thanks Girls…it was wonderful to be a part of your team
Love you all