Flavours of Pakistan at Galadari

By Sarasi Paranamanna
The authentic Pakistani dishes are known for their aromatic flavours and richness.
Hence, I sat down to the traditional Pakistani dinner hosted by the Galadari Hotel, together with the Pakistani High Commission in Colombo, expecting a rich treat of traditional cuisine.
The Pakistani salad, coupled with a rich white salad dressing and zucchini gave a perfect start to enjoy the dinner. The creamy white dressing was sweet and thick and the cooling effect of Zucchini with the salad dressing, which was prepared with yoghurt, made the salad all the more delectable. The salad is the perfect starter when you enjoy it with crispy bread roll.

The main meal consisted of two kinds of rice. One was purely vegetarian and the other was mixed with chicken. The sindhi biriyani, which is a Pakistani authentic biriyani, was rich with colour, aroma and the taste. The peas and other delicacies were tossed in with the basmati rice giving the dish quite a unique rich flavour. The dish was spicy just enough and the richness of the ingredients was filled our appetites as we enjoyed the treat.
There were tandoori rotis and peshawari naans too. The naan was a favourite among many because the crispy and soft delicacy was appealing to all taste buds.
Grilled meat is a significant item in the Pakistani cuisine and quite rightly the traditional dinner included lamb kebabs. The highly seasoned kebabs were aromatic and sizzling soft meat, hence a favourite among many. The use of spices is a common feature in South Asian cuisine and Pakistani food too is prepared with a lot of spices. The tantalising aromas appealed to the nostrils as well as the taste buds, as the curries that were served with rice were seasoned with spices of different kinds. The rich colours made the dishes very appealing, while some dishes were very spicy. The rich sindhi basmati was at its best when it was tasted with both gravy and dry curries of chicken, lamb, potatoes and paneer. The most delicious and mouth-watering curry was the Karahi and the chicken Karahi that was spiced up with garlic, chillies cardamom and various other dry spices was the ideal curry for the biriyani.

The most interesting feature was the dessert table as it had many sweet treats. If one has a sweet tooth then he or she is bound to fall in love with Pakistani desserts. Watalappan was served as usual, but the gulab jamun and halva could not be beaten by any other sweet treat. The gulab jamun, which was dipped in sweet syrup was a heavenly treat and it added a difference to the appetite after the spicy curries. Gajar halva, which was made of carrot, was the best out of the two types of halvas served. The sweet delicacies which melted away were a sweet treat which was not to be missed. Kheer which was a type of rice pudding was also a dish which most enjoyed as it was sweet and cream, just to the right limit.
All the treats indeed made us fall in love with Pakistani food. The delicacies were all uniquely different from one another. However, the richness is quite consuming. Hence, make sure you have a hearty appetite the next time you go for a Pakistani food festival to fully enjoy Pakistani cuisine.


Winemakers’ night with Italian cuisine at MLH

The wines of Castello Banfi are generally characterised by a strong structure with full body, fruity yet low in sugar content. The grapes used in making the wines are grown along the slopes that lie between the medieval hilltop town of Montalcino in the region of Tuscany, Italy, and the Mediterranean Sea, and uniquely carry notes of fruits like lemon, banana and grapefruit that give the wines their aromatic hint.
“This is the uniqueness of Banfi wines which we have to retain. Wines are evaluated by the consumers’ senses, not by industry parameters. Many a time, we drink wines without understanding what wine is and how it is to be approached. Drinking wine is for pleasure; it is not a must-have like water. The key concept we are investing in, through Castello Banfi wines, is that a wine must be a consumer’s choice,” explained the General Manager of Banfi, Enrico Viglierchio.
Viglierchio will now visit MLH on February 27 for an exclusive Castello Banfi winemakers’ dinner organised jointly with Alpha Orient at the Maitland State Room.
“We like to minimise it to 40 guests with a six-course dinner featuring Italian cuisine from the regions of Tuscany and a few dishes synonymous to the Mediterranean Sea Regions especially created to match the selected wines.” The price is set for Rs.4,500, which includes food and beverage and an experience of a lifetime.
The creations will be whipped up by our very own Italian Chef Riccardo Rizzoli who has more than 10 years’ experience in Italian cuisine, and who is now the Executive Chef in Vakarufalhi: The Mount Lavinia Hotels and Resorts property in the Republic pf Maldives.
As Anura Dewapura, the General Manager says: “It is about putting diners in touch with other people, for some light hearted conversation over great food and wine. The first winemakers’ night was a great success hence we thought to continue it to make people happier. Some people would see it as a more relaxed form of networking accompanied by the chef and wine connoisseur to add some insights into the dining experience. So why not join us for a very special event when Chef Rossilli prepares a masterful, multi-course, gourmet dinner paired with Castello Banfi winning wines with our objective being to establish a unique experience that the discerning public can become involved in.”
The menu for the night
Carpaccio di Manzo Con Rucola e Scaglie di Grana
Beef Carpaccio with Rucola & Parmesan Leaves
“Castello Banfi Serena Sauvignon Blanc”
Tartare di tonno Con Gambero in Tempura
Tuna Tartare with Jumbo Prawn Tempura
“Castello Banfi Fontanelle Chardonnay”
Risotto Con Tartufo Nero e Porcini
Black Truffle Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms
“Banfi Tuscany Col Di Sasso”
Aragosta al the verde con zabaione di Anice e Filetto di
Angus Grigliato Con Cestino di Verdure al Burro
(Green Tea Lobster with Anis Sabayon &
Angus Beef Fillet Grilled with Vegetable Butter Basket)
“Banfi Tuscany Chianti Classico”
Bavarese al Grand Marnier &
Tortino di Nocciole Con Zabaione
Grand Marnier Bavaroise
Hazelnut Tart with Sabaion
Café / Grappa
Please call 2711430 for reservations


Food and nutrition for pregnant women

Nutrition during pregnancy is important. Pregnant women’s food has an affect on the pregnancy, on the foetal development and also on the health of the mother and child.
The foods a pregnant woman eat are the main source of the nutrients for the baby. But what foods should pregnant women eat? What foods a pregnant woman should avoid?
It is important for pregnant women to understand what kind of food is best for them and their baby.
Here are the Swiss Association for Nutrition’s recommendations for correct nutrition for pregnant women. If followed, they will fully protect the health of the mother and provide optimal growth and development of her unborn baby.
A pregnant woman’s nutrition directly influences the course of the pregnancy and normal foetal development, and also the long-term health of the mother and child. In the first half of pregnancy, nutrition requirements mainly concern quality, while in the second half, quantity is also an issue, to ensure foetal growth. Proper nutritional habits should already be established at the start of this second life – if possible even before conception.
The increased demand for minerals and vitamins during pregnancy can be satisfied by an adequate, varied, and balanced diet. Attention should be paid to folic acid, calcium, and iron in particular, since these are often deficient.
More Calcium
A substantial transfer of calcium occurs between the mother and the foetus throughout pregnancy, allowing the baby’s bone and teeth formation. In the first six months, the mother stores up calcium in her own bones. When its skeletal growth reaches its peak in the last three months, the foetus draws on the mother’s store. This is when the consumption of high calcium-containing foods such as milk and milk products must be increased, since a calcium deficiency will damage the mother’s teeth and make her bones brittle.
More Iron
The demand for iron, essential for blood formation, is also increased during pregnancy because the mother’s blood volume increases, and the foetal red blood cells have to be developed. Iron is available in meat, fish, egg yolk, whole-grain products, and vegetables. Iron of plant origin is not as well assimilated as iron of animal origin. However, if you ingest vitamin C from raw food during the same meal, iron is more easily absorbed.
More folic acid
This vitamin promotes the development of the foetal central nervous system and prevents developmental defects of the neural tube (spina bifida). Folic acid is contained in vegetables, wheat germ, tropical fruits, and in eggs. However, routine nutrition does not always supply enough folic acid (vitamin B9) to meet the requirements of a pregnant woman. Additional folic acid intake is necessary in the months before pregnancy and during the first trimester.


Different types of bread

There are three main kinds of bread in the world: Those that rise highest and so have to be baked in pans, those with a medium volume, like rye and French breads, and those that hardly rise at all and consequently are called flatbreads.

Wholemeal bread
Wholemeal and wheatmeal breads are popular. In New Zealand wholemeal breads must have 90% or more wholemeal flour in the recipe used, and wheatmeals any level of wholemeal flour mixed with white flour.
Processing of these differs in two ways from that of white bread. During mixing the amount of water added to make an optimum dough consistency needs to be increased because the bran in the wholemeal absorbs more water. The dough is weaker because the bran particles break up the strong protein bonds in the bread dough, and this weakens the dough structure. This means the dough could collapse when it rises. Extra protein, called gluten, is added to make the dough stronger and stop it collapsing.
Wholemeal bread contains higher concentrations of minerals and vitamins than white bread as it retains the bran and germ of the wheat.

It is an excellent source of dietary fibre, containing twice that of white bread and more than multigrain breads.
Multigrain and kibbled bread
Mixed or multigrain breads are made from a mixture of wholemeal, white or rye flour and may contain wheatgerm, honey, gluten, non-fat milk solids, cracked and whole grains of wheat and other cereals such as rye, oats, corn, barley, rice millet and triticale.
A wide choice of multigrain breads can be achieved by blending various grains, vegetable pieces, nuts, seeds, fruit and spices.
There are “light” and “heavy” multigrain breads.
“Light” multigrains have an openness similar to white bread, with small kibbled grains, oats or other wheat mixed through the bread.

“Heavy” multigrain breads are characterised by small volume, dense texture and a high grain content.
“Light” breads are similar to white bread in terms of composition, whereas “heavy” breads are similar to or denser than wholemeal bread.
Multigrain bread contains whole grains of different types. Kibbled bread contains kibbled grain which is grain that has been broken into smaller pieces. Many types of grain can be added to the bread including rye, barley, oats, corn, millet, soya, alfalfa and rice. The grain should be soaked in water for several hours before mixing because unsoaked grain in bread is hard enough to break teeth. This bread also needs extra protein (gluten) to make the dough stronger and hold up the extra weight of the grains.

Rye breads
Rye bread is a wholemeal bread made from rye or a mix of rye and wheat flour. It was originally developed in Europe and is made in a wide variety of styles and shapes.
Rye flour is different from ordinary flour. It contains only small amounts of dough strengthening proteins, therefore producing weak dough. Rye flour also has more amylase enzyme which breaks down starch into sugars.

Rye doughs are made with less water than dough from ordinary flour, so they are stiff and keep their shape. Moulding, proving and baking also need to be modified to handle the weak, sticky dough. As with most grain and meal breads, some white flour or gluten can be used to improve the dough strength.
The traditional way of making this bread includes several proving stages to raise the acidity and kill the amylase. This stops the bread being doughy and sticky. The sour dough method is the most popular means of making bread the traditional way.

Fruit bread
Fruit breads use a normal bread recipe to which fruit and often sugar are added. Popular fruits used are raisins, currants, dates, orange peel and dried fruits such as apricots. Hot cross buns, eaten at Easter, and many fruit breads, also have spices added. Ingredients used to enhance appearance and flavour of breads includes cinnamon, nutmeg, egg wash and sugar/water wash.
(Bake Info)