As a true blue foodie, I was thrilled with the opportunity of going on a gastronomic journey with Chef Ethem at Azulia. The workshop was a delightful culinary experience with the man from Istanbul. The clattering of the dishes, inviting aroma and the busy atmosphere kindled my curiosity. The setting was such that the intricacies that went into each dish could be clearly understood by everyone who was a part of the workshop. Chef Ethem’s love for food was infectious as he went about presenting each dish for us to sample.
I was intrigued by the “Huta Batir Zalsa” despite not being a sea food fan. The fish was marinated so well in the red pepper, shallots and apple vinegar sauce that I never realised fish could taste or smell this sinful. Talking about sinful, the Baklava cakes were my personal favourite. I must confess, I’ve sampled them before but only to have an idea about Turkish cuisine. The copious yet delightful amounts of ghee and dry fruits almost make you grow a sweet tooth, even if you are not too fond of sweets. While white wine is good to sip, I realised it’s even better as a flavouring agent in the Risotto. Being a lover of mushrooms myself, I found the “Risotto Torfuto Fungi” quite delightful. The rice was perfectly cooked, so as to not disturb the overall creamy consistency of the risotto.
Most foodies would have sampled “khobuz”, a Mediterranean staple, but only a few would know how easy it is to prepare. The basic ingredients are the same, which go into most flat breads, flour, yeast, salt, sugar etc. But I must mention, looking at them puffing up in the oven altogether at the same time, was a rare sight. What was astonishing was when Chef Ethem mentioned that these dishes constituted only a few, amongst the thousand other recipes, that Turkey had to offer. It was like a feast fit for kings, and proving this thought, arrived the Badamli Peynir fitting the description of a royal snack quite perfectly. The cheese in the Badamli Peynir was an uncanny ingredient that made it taste wholesome and rich, complementing the crispy almond flakes. On the whole, it was one of the most wonderful and satisfying mornings, that would stay with me for a long time to come.
Vishal is a student of KM Music Conservatory.
Huta Batir Zalza
- Basa Fish 1 fillet
- Butter 50 gm
- Lemon Juice 15 ml
- Chopped Parsley 5 gm
- Salt & Pepper To taste
- Grilled Vegetables 100 gm
- Red Pepper (roasted and skin removed) 1
- Shallots 20 gm
- Garlic 30 gm
- Apple Vinegar 15 ml
- Tomato (without skin) 1
- Grind all ingredients to make a paste
- Marinate fish and keep aside
- Grill marinated fish in a non-stick tawa
- In another pan melt butter until it gets a nutty brown colour and add one ladle veg stock, lemon juice, salt, crushed pepper and chopped parsley
- Then reduce it and pour sauce over grilled fish and serve with grilled vegetables
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