To clear up any confusion caused by the title, let us begin by explaining S.N.E.N. is the short version of Spice ‘n Everything Nice. A Fanatic Kitchen Studio Lunch @ Fanatic event featuring Chef Amit Raval and his tasty blends of Indian flavors. A good name if you ask us, because it was spice, it was everything and it was nice.
Even in brief conversation with Chef Amit, one can get a sense of how deep his love for Indian cuisine goes. Apart from his formal culinary training, his exploration of India and its cuisine and traditions handed down to him from generations, he is simply fascinated by the range of flavors produced by the spices and techniques involved in Indian cooking. And that’s what he showcased at the S.N.E.N. (Just trying to get the most out of the acronym there.)
The first dish raised expectations to wow levels immediately. A nice twist on the simple Samosa.
Beetroot and Coconut filled, these were nice starters that could have easily worked as dessert. Very versatile, but most importantly, very delicious.
Right on the heels of that win came another home run. Firewood Smoked Duck Spring Rolls. The idea was to mimic a duck a la river lime and wrap it in a crispy shell to contrast with the tender meat. Mission accomplished. Served with a Curried Onion Chutney, it was more-ish to say the very least.
Now these things right here were fun. Pani Puri. A very common street food in India, kinda like how Doubles is to us in Trinidad & Tobago. It’s a little disk that pops up into these crispy balls when fried. Then a hole is made at the top. Here’s why:
It’s filled with these things: Masala Chickpeas, Spiced Aloo, Red Onions, Potato Crisps a series of chutney and a mild pepper sauce. Served family style to be made by the guests. In other words, a dish that made it ok to play with your food. But there was no playing. Everybody got down to serious business here.
The finished item was like a little, crispy bite of a hybrid Doubles. It was easy to understand why this street food item is so popular. (Get it? POP-ular? Because you pop it into… ok, never mind.)
Maybe it’s just on our side, but when Indian spices and Indian food comes up, we don’t have soup at the forefront. So this Masala Seafood Bisque was a slightly unexpected treat. A nice transition from the appetizers to the main. Chunks of fish and shrimp in a spicy masala soup, finished with some cream. Nice!
The main course was kinda like a culinary tour of flavors featuring lamb two ways…
Chicken two ways…
And pure deliciousness all ways! It was, as the menu described it, a Continental Curry Tasting.
Lamb Biryani. That should speak for itself. Tender chunks of lamb in a pelau of a rice dish.
Then the tender Lamb Chop, smothered in a rich dark curry.
On the chicken side, the chef produced the more known Chicken Tikka Masala, which brought a nice creamy element to the plate.
And the chef rounded off the dish with a tangy Chicken Curry, creating a nice balance of flavors on the plate.
And of course, he had some Plain and Whole Wheat Roti to help grab the sauces the rice didn’t get.
The main course definitely didn’t mean the end of the fun. Nah! Chef Amit had more vibes to bring to the table. A three-item Indian inspired dessert.
Started off with a slow cooked Rice Pudding, topped with pistachio and Spanish saffron. Nice and creamy to bring the taste buds back down from all the wild flavors.
Freshly made Methai on some fresh Peach slices. A little fruity/nutty action there.
And a chilled Mango Mousse to mellow everything out. Closing on a cool, sweet note.
After a long wait to taste Chef Amit’s creations, we were definitely not disappointed. Thanks to the chef and his Amtar Fine Foods team and to Fanatic for inviting us to this excellent event. Click here to see what else is on at Fanatic.