Why worry about a beer belly when you can have beer mussels instead? With a unique all-India boozey brunch making its last pit-stop in Mumbai, you can get a real kick from the variety of brew-based dishes local chefs have whipped up.
After tasting sessions in Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkatta, chef Karen Anand, who’s been creating the menu with local chefs, says that she was surprised by the variety that they came up with. “I was expecting repetitions of tempura and stews, since beer is used mainly as a batter or to tenderise meat. But all the chefs really used their creativity to invent new flavours,” she says. Among Anand’s personal favourites, were the cauliflower soup with beer that she tasted in Pune and the steamed fish with beer that was served in Hyderabad. She explains, “Lots of chefs went the Oriental route. But I tried an old chicken curry leaf recipe in Kolkatta, just to see if I could use it with beer, and I really like the result. It was good to bring an Indian flavour to the table.”Anand also mentions that a dessert-beer panacotta was a shocker. She says, "People were using it in desserts. You wouldn’t imagine beer adding sweetness to a dish. But unlike wine, which makes the food a little salty, beer does have a slightly sweetish taste to it."
Organised by Carlsberg beer, the brunch offers something for both, meat lovers and vegetarians. If you’re planning to try this at home, Anand recommends using beer to cook pork and beef for non-vegetarians, but vegetarians would do well to make tempura out of asparagus, which has a delicate bland flavour that complements the beer. Given the variety she’s tasted, is there anything she wouldn’t try? “The only thing I don’t think it works well with is salad dressing. And don’t worry about the beer giving you a buzz, all the alcohol evaporates during the cooking process.”
500 gms mussels
350 ml beer
50 gms chopped garlic
15 gms chopped onion
10 gms chopped parsley
75 gms butter
5 gms black pepper corn
1 lemon juiced
75 gms Parmesan cheese
75 ml olive oil
Clean the mussels well, ensure they are intact and not open, discard the mussels which are broken, smelly or not tightly closed.
Take a pan, pour oil and add the onion when the oil is hot. Add garlic and cook for few minutes.
Now add the cleaned mussels in to the pan, add the beer. Close the pan with a lid and let the mussels steam in the beer, keep stirring in between. Cook for five minutes. Check if the mussels are open.
Take the mussels out from the pan and place them on plate.
Let beer and shallot mix remain in the pan, check for any residue in bottom of the pan.
Heat the beer liquid, drop in the butter, thicken it and squeeze in the lemon juice and check for the seasoning.
Pour the sauce over the cooked mussels. Sprinkle chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.
The brunch will take place on December 19, 12.30 pm onwards, at Novotel Juhu Beach.