Food Bloggers Meet-up at The Chutney Co.

By: Rajdeep Bhattacharjee

July 22, 2015

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There are so many great south Indian restaurants in the city, but not all spaces are conducive for spending a couple of hours with your family or friends over simple food, great coffee and lovely ambience. At this humble spot, you’re always ensured a consistently good cup of coffee, alongside bites like their Mysore Idli, Tomato Savaii (rice noodles) or Paper Dosa. Situated above great eastern electronics store which is right opposite of Lalit Great Eastern hotel, you might miss The Chutney Co. if you don’t look out for it.

 

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The Chutney Co. coffee grinding machine

 

I was invited by Anuvrat Pabrai, owner of ‘Pabrai’s Fresh and Natural Ice Cream’ to attend ‘Good Vegetarian Food of Kolkata’ group’s food blogging meet and share my feelings about food blogging. Due to the bad weather and conveyance problem I reached there 45 min late, but the moment I entered the meeting space I was welcomed by a fair tall man with warm smile in his face. That was the first time I met with Mr. Pabrai face to face and after the basic introduction, I also got introduced with Devashis Kuthari (Admin of Good Vegetarian Food), Abhishek Chamaria (Fervent food photographer), Anirban Halder (author of Kolkata Curry blog), Navin Agarwal, Vishal Goyal, Subrata Ghose, Vinay Menon, Namrita Sharma … and many more.

 

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Four Chutney’s with south Indian platter

 

While got seated, I watched Anirban Halder flawlessly explaining about how to create a blog page, though I missed out most of his speech due to my late arrival. Then during discussion we got served a south Indian platter which consists of Tomato Savaii, Molagapodi Idli, Vada, Paneer Fritter and four kinds of special chutneys.

 

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South Indian Platter

 

Paneer Fritters were uniquely prepared with, chilli garlic flavoured paneer coated with crushed papad and deep-fried to perfect golden brown. Paneer Fritters was perfect appetizer for any gathering in a rainy day. Molaga Podi Idli is a staple in most South Indian homes (especially in Tamil Nadu) and a subject of intense fascination for non-South Indians. Molaga podi means chilli powder, served with fair amount of ghee this idli was definitely a spicy one. I tried Tomato Sevai and found its magnificent, sevai are a type of rice noodles popular in South India especially Tamil Nadu and sevai preparations include coconut, lemon and tomato.

 

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Mysore Idli

 

Then Mr. Abhishek Chamaria enlighten us how to take snaps properly with mobile, also how to make it looks interesting. He showed us few pictures which he took during this meet and explained about mobile photography. Step by step demonstration was just brilliant, after his session we learnt how to take attractive snaps with a mobile.

 

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with Mysore Idli

 

Now it’s time to enjoy one of the Karnataka delicacies, Mysore Idli. After first bite I realised that this idli was very soft and melt in mouth type. Every time I dipped in different chutneys it was giving diverse sensation in my taste buds, truly enjoyable.

 

Another name worth mentioning was ‘Pooja Baid’, our beautiful host. It’s a pleasant feeling when someone takes so much care of the guests, without giving any kind of pushy feeling. She explained us regarding every dish we got served, rotate chutneys so that every one of us can taste nine different chutney flavours, even politely advise us to enjoy food while it’s warm. Her hospitality and knowledge about south Indian food was really impressive.

 

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special coffee beans

 

In The Chutney Co. you should try-out all nine chutneys but with every dish, maximum three kinds of chutneys you can cherry-pick. From traditional chutneys to latest fusion chutneys, all are available to enrich your taste buds. Among the nine chutneys; Coconut, Spicy Coconut, Mysore, Coriander, Spicy Tomato, Sweet Onion-Tomato, Peanut, Raw Mango and Curaikkay Chutney, I specifically liked mango, peanut, curaikkay and coconut chutney.

 

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Chocolate Cake

 

A happy ending desert was Chocolate Cake. Normally I prefer my chocolate cake served little bit warm and it could not be better if it’s topped with chocolate chip ice cream. Here chocolate cake served, was really just endless, so thick and gooey and even better from being warm. After first bite I was astonished as I had no idea it would be this incredibly rich, chocolaty and overwhelming.

 

Finally it’s time to share my experience on the subject of food and travel blogging. These three years of blogging I went through many situations and learnt many tips & tricks. I told everything in very simple way also made sure that I kept it short. I also faced few questions from participates and tried to give answer open heartedly. My motto was to make people understand that if they were giving their efforts and time to blogging, please expect something in return, because time is not for free.

 

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Paper Dosa

 

A photo shoot session happened after my speech (Mysore Idli & Paper Dosa). Also we get to know about their freshly brewed coffee and their in house coffee grinding machine. For the more serious coffee drinkers, you even got to specify a brewing method of choice for their special coffee beans. For a sweet treat, choose from their range of desserts in their display, and sit back with a strong coffee to enjoy your time.

 

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Mysore Idli

 

It’s too early to comment that they serve best south Indian food in the city but food was no doubt delicious, especially their innovative Chutney’s made them more interesting. As we all know, no new restaurant can proclaim that they have signature dishes, it’s the review of patrons who turn their regular dishes to ‘Signature Dishes’ with due time. I will definitely try out this place once more and run through their other dishes also. Not the cheapest, but check them out for the high quality of food served. My best wishes with The Chutney Co. for their future success.

 

N.B. – I was kindly invited by Anuvrat Pabrai, owner of ‘Pabrai’s Fresh and Natural Ice Cream’ to attend ‘Good Vegetarian Food of Kolkata’ group’s Food Bloggers discussion event.

 

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About Rajdeep Bhattacharjee

A ravenous eater, a thirsty drinker, an enthusiastic traveller and a very sound sleeper – once a wannabe hacker and now a Government employee, is an aspiring food critic and travel blogger. He hates the loose use of the word ‘foodie’ and prefers, instead, the expression ‘food devotee’. For him, good food and honest people are the biggest motivators.

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1915940_101100699948573_1759232_nRajdeep Bhattacharjee wears many feathers in his cap. A ravenous eater, a thirsty drinker, an enthusiastic traveller and a very sound sleeper – Rajdeep, once a wannabe hacker and now a Government employee, is an aspiring food critic and travel blogger. He hates the loose use of the word 'foodie' and prefers, instead, the expression 'food devotee'. For him, good food and honest people are the biggest motivators.

He is the founder of Gourmets Travel Guide, a website devoted completely to food and travel. Rajdeep is an avid blogger and one can find many of his sojourns aptly expressed on the website www.gourmetstravelguide.com.

Rajdeep had been recently chosen by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to board the inaugural flight from Kolkata to Bangkok (TG – 336) and received accolades for wonderfully recounting the experience, from start to finish, in his blog. In fact, his travelogue was featured in Hangla Hneshel, one of India's foremost Bengali magazine dedicated completely to food and travel. Rajdeep doesn't stop there! One of his undersea walks also got featured in The Telegraph, one of India's leading dailies. He is also one of the chief curators and a selector for chefs and restaurants for Channel One's Resto Ranna episodes.

Zomato ranks Rajdeep among the top ten food connoisseurs in the city. He has also been ranked number 5 and 6, in this year's Network 18 and Burrp surveys respectively, as one of the discerning food critics in the country.

Rajdeep loves eating out at different restaurants. A true blue Bengali at heart and gut, experimenting with food and palates come naturally to him. And he doesn't mind leaving an endearing word or two for chefs who have displayed their talents on the plate and the restaurant management for the inviting ambiance of an eatery.

Rajdeep counts is as his forte the wonderful rapport he shares with different media houses. Thus his writings have already been picked up by top food journals and news dailies apart from the exposure he has to talk about them on social media. Reputation management of his clients come naturally to him be it on the virtual platform or in print.

He has been blogging for the last three years. When he is not writing on food and travel or working as a Government employee, you can most certainly catch him with a camera slung around his neck and travel gear ready to satisfy his inner wanderlust.