Eggs-otic Easter: Try treats from around the world, via Mumbai chefs
Hop away from the Easter bunnies and hunt down these restaurants that let you savour traditions from Spain, Mexico, Germany, Poland and Ireland.mumbai Updated: Mar 23, 2018 20:32 IST
Easter’s around the corner, and if you are fed up of gorging on hot cross buns, marzipan eggs and chocolate bunnies, it’s time to get a little exotic. People all over the world celebrate the festival with local foods from an all-green menu to a ‘blessed soup’. Take a look at how you can savour global Easter specialities without needing a passport.
- Where: Fratelli Fresh, Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre, Powai
- Cost: A part of the Easter brunch menu that starts at Rs 3,000 plus taxes.
White borscht or Bialy Barszcz is a Polish soup had on Easter Sunday morning. The reason this soup is usually made first thing on Sunday is because the ingredients – sausage, butter and eggs – are part of the Easter basket. “The basket is usually taken to church and blessed the day before Easter,” says Sahil Arora, executive chef at the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre, Powai. “It’s got only a few ingredients but is extremely flavoursome and tastes great both hot and cold.”
- Where: Xico, Lower Parel
- Cost: Rs 1,000 plus taxes
Catholics in Mexico usually stay away from meat and fish for 40 days before Easter. “But Mexicans love seafood, so a shrimp dish is usually a must on the Easter menu,” says executive chef Jason Hudanish of Xico, Lower Parel. Sometimes it’s in the form of patties or enchiladas. Xico will be serving mariscos enchiladas – shrimp, lobster and requeson cheese layered corn tortillas, baked with cascabel crema and roasted tomato salasita.
- Where: Malzheit, Bandra
- Cost: Rs 350 plus taxes
For Germans, Easter celebrations are centred around the colour green. In fact, Maundy Thursday is called ‘Gründonnerstag’ or ‘green Thursday’ and calls for having a lot of leafy vegetables, asparagus and herbs. “Technically, it’s also when the best herbs are available, so we generally make the traditional eggs in creamy, green sauce dish,” says Milan Pal, owner and head chef of Bandra’s Malzheit. “While most people love ending lent with meat, we thought of balancing it out with a simple, comforting egg dish.”
- Where: Seven Kitchens at St Regis, Lower Parel
- Cost: A part of the Easter brunch menu that starts at Rs 3,300 plus taxes
Yogendra Adep, chef de cuisine at St. Regis hotel, learnt about these piping hot, custard-filled flour pockets when he met a chef from Spain at a training session at the hotel. “He spoke fondly of how his family gathered before Easter and made empanadas along with soft Spanish doughnuts called bunuelos in Madrid,” he says. That’s what inspired Adep to add it to his Easter brunch menu with a savoury filling of mushrooms and cream cheese.
- Where: Lotus Café, JW Marriott, Juhu
- Cost: A part of the Easter brunch menu that starts at Rs 2,800
Much of Europe can’t imagine an Easter feast without a lamb dish. The lamb has traditionally been the sacrificial animal since before biblical times. Vishal Atreya, executive chef at JW Marriott, Juhu, serves roasted leg of lamb for Easter. “The leg is the meatiest part and we will be deboning it and stuffing it with rosemary, garlic and pistachio to give it a burst of flavour,” he says.
- Where: JW Marriott, Sahar
- Cost: A part of the Easter brunch menu that starts at 2,700 plus taxes
If it were not for its symbolic toppings, the simnel cake would just be any other rich, fruit cake with almond paste served at any time of the year. But for Easter, the Irish decorate it with 11 marzipan balls representing the 12 apostles of Jesus, minus the betrayer Judas. Santosh Rawat, executive pastry chef at JW Marriott, Sahar, serves it for Easter. “In Ireland and Britain, the dish became a staple because it was rich but still fluffy, with a thin marzipan layer.”