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Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Chp 396. Networking dinner II: Mediterranean

For the second time since becoming a member, I took part in the “Networking dinner” held at India’s leading Ad film maker Prahlad Kakkar’s bungalow at Bandra last Saturday, organized by Coral. The theme was “Mediterranean Cuisine”.

The eight participants of last Saturday’s exclusive networking dinner were –

Deepak Goel – Founder of Drizzlin Social Media Solutions
Sushil Cherian – Social Media junkie and Founder of Pet Pujaris
Snigdha Manchanda - Tea Sommelier and Chief Storyteller at Story Ninja
Joanna Irzabek – Journalist at Polityka, a renowned Polish newspaper
Neha Toteja - Corporate planning and BD at Times Television Network
Pawan Deokule – Managing Director at Digicat Digital Marketing Pvt Ltd
Megha Goyal – Founder of i2Cook and Head Chef at Coral Networks
Kima – Lover of Old Monk


Most of the pics below were taken by Megha from i2Cook. In fact, photography was her initial passion and she started the company i2TakePhoto, but the name didn’t hit off well, so she switched to cooking… just kidding :D

[Click on the pic for higher res. The ones Meg took are extremely huge by the way, warning you…]

After the initial introduction and exchange of pleasantries (the usual “Oh you work there? Do you know so and so? Oooooh!”), I was welcomed with this exquisite “gazpacho” shot, which is a cold Spanish tomato-based raw vegetable drink. It’s apparently very popular in Spain, Portugal and parts of Latin America. All I say is, it was really good and refreshing and I could feel my stomach agreeing with the solution immediately. The taste still lingers in my mouth as I sit in office writing this blog post.

Now a little flashback: The last time I took part in “Coral: A Networking Dinner” was on June 3, 2011. That was during the time I was on my “One Month No Booze” pledge. I even live-blogged about that event at my Posterous blog (which was dedicated to the pledge). That night was a Coorgi cuisine theme, and the Coorgi Pandi Pork was awesome. But unfortunately for me, I did not have that much fun that night because since I was on my no alcohol pledge, all I could think about was the alcohol everybody’s having while I sat there like a shipwrecked sailor on a dry deserted island, mouth watering and hallucinating.

But this time, there was no such pledge, so alcohol really helped a lot in socializing with the others.

As we all sat around the table discussing about Mediterranean food options in Mumbai, which was the official topic of discussion, Meg served us with starters – Greek style zucchini fritters with tzatziki, and Spanish sausages along with Turkish yogurt hummus and lavash. They were très excellent!

Meg made the tzatziki from strained yoghurt mixed with cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, pepper, lemon juice and parsley. She served it cold, just like how it’s supposed to be, and the zucchini fritters blended perfectly well with the paste. It was amazing eating the zucchini fritters that look so much like potato pancakes, except there was no potato used in this.

And if you think the zucchini and tzatziki have too much of veggies for a hardcore carnivore like me, then there was the other starter - Spanish sausages with Turkish yogurt hummus and lavash. For the Spanish sausage, Meg used Chorizo (available from Nature’s Basket, Hill Road, Bandra) which she sautéed with some red wine, oregano & pepper. Once I started eating it, it was extremely difficult to stop because it was so good that I could literally feel the Heavens opening up and a chariot of gold descending amidst the loud beating of drums and trumpets, to tell me that my time on Earth is over because I have tasted the food of the Gods.

I shamelessly kept gobbling up the Chorizo while the rest talked about their favorite Mediterranean recipes, the best way to make Polpette using extra virgin olive oil, cheaper places in Mumbai where one can buy Sombrassada sausage etc. And of course the discussion went from food to politics to sports to digital marketing and so on. All in all, I had an extremely good time with the discussion.

Soon it was time for the main course.

For the main course, Meg served Moroccan meatballs with herbed couscous garnished with feta cheese. Vegetarians were given an option of sautéed zuchinni served on a bed of couscous and there was also an option of basa fish served on a bed of couscous.

Couscous – oh how I love thee! First of all, I love the name! Pronounced “kus-kus”, it consists of many tiny granules made from steamed and dried durum wheat. It’s a North African staple diet and is used instead of rice and bread as the main course in countries like Algeria, Morocco, Libya and Tunisia. It went extremely well with the Moroccan lamb meatballs Meg served, especially since the couscous had been garnished with awesome feta cheese.

I’m not a food expert here, but if the “suzi” we eat in Mizoram or the “upma” in South India is prepared dry, then it would taste quite similar to couscous I think.

Here is me enjoying the food. In fact I loved it so much that I never tried the other main courses -  sautéed zuchinni and basa fish, a decision I regret now because an opportunity like that will not come again in the near future.


The dinner ended with desserts - Poached strawberry with cinnamon spiked ricotta cream cheese. I am not a big fan of strawberries, but poached strawberries were definitely something else. And the ricotta cream cheese blended so well that I had to go for seconds. The hint of cinnamon is what I liked the most. A simple yet exquisite dessert that was not too sweet for my taste buds.

As we bid farewell to Prahlad Kakkar’s cottage, I gave a high-ten to the scuba diver hanging from the ceiling.

I really love the way he had decorated the place, especially the lounge. Hell, I even took a pic inside his loo! :)

We ended the night with the usual complimentary gifts from Coral Networking Dinner. This time I got Pink Mustard and Pesto (crushed garlic, basil and European pine nuts blended with olive oil and Parmigiano Reggiano). They go extremely well with bread, for those lazy hung-over Sunday mornings, or even with pizza and scrambled eggs.


So it was really great meeting Deepak, Sushil, Snigdha, Joanna, Neha, Pawan and Megha, and getting to know them. Until the next Coral Networking dinner then. Cheers y’all. :)


Kay said...


The food looks really scrumptious. Where exactly in Bandra is this lounge?

Mizohican said...

Thanx for the comment Kay. It's not a lounge. The cottage belongs to Prahlad Kakkar, and CORAL uses it to throw their theme-based dinner events. For further information, please click on the CORAL Facebook link in this post. :)

The place is on Hill Road, Bandra. Walking distance from Globus.

daniel said...

All looks delicious.

Mizohican said...

They indeed were :)

thegirlinthefadedbluejeans said...

nangma rongbol ai cuan tui zok dawn nih hi..hahahhihuhu

Mizohican said...

lolz lal alvina, ka siam kha a tui feeeeee zawk :P

Mimi said...

slrrp...uncle kim.. next time you have to have to take me along

Mizohican said...

lolz mims. Definitely :)

H.Vangchhia said...

Looks yummy, any left overs? :P

Mizohican said...

sorry, all went to my stomach :D

LR Hlonchhing said...

No comment coz arsenal are out of UCL, it's really hurt me. That's what on my mind always...

Mizohican said...

yeah that hurts me too :(

luliana said...

Tui hmel...btw, uihawm tawk vel turin kan han chhaih che u anih kha :P

luliana said...

Tui hmel...btw, i ui awm...kan ip deuh chawih chawih mai mawle...duh aiin a teuh mah mah :P

Philo said...

I guessing you had some high-end medditeraaneean (shucks, my spell checker went off!) fare cause the one I had was a little on the dry and meatlover side. Very chic pad there!

mnowluck said...

lucky you.. tel ve chakawm ve.....lover of old monk lai tak khi lol

Lal Jo-a said...

Ka van tel ve chakkkk!!

Mizohican said...

@ luliana: Uihawm tak a ni! :(

@ Philo: Well, it was 1200 bucks per head so I guess it was a bit high end. But I really think that was worth the taste and conversations we ended up having :)

@ mnowluck: hehehe :) khi khi a nih khi, ka designation chu :P

@ Joseph: Rawn tel ve rawhhhhh :P