Sharmi on the Trot

Travelling, Exploring, Eating…

Archive for the tag “Spain”

Review: Mahou Clasica now in India

Among my friends, most I know love their malts while others prefer rum and vodka. There really aren’t that many beer drinkers. For the sake of experimentation, one might pick up a light one watching a game of football or cricket but would soon change to their own poison. But with the recent influx of beers in the Indian market, things might soon change.

For someone who likes a hearty ale, the refreshing Mahou Clasica is a surprise. It’s fruity and mild (4.8%) taste, clear and light golden colour and smooth after taste will leave even the hardcore beer-haters accepting this premium beverage. IMG_3148

The yeast is the secret ingredient which makes this lager well-loved in Spain for over a century. A family-run company, the yeast in flown in to the brewery in Rajasthan (the only one of the seven the company runs outside of Spain) where production is based. “We are here for the long run,” says Erik Eduard d’Auchamp, Mahou India CEO.

Why specifically tapping into the Indian market though? “It has great potential. Whereas the per capita consumption is most countries are about 8 litres, in India it’s about 2 litres,” Erik adds.

Apart from Clasica, the company is offering two other beers at the moment – Mahou 5 Star and Daredevil. The latter is specifically brewed keeping the Indian market in mind and is classified as semi-premium.

How to best enjoy Mahou Clasica?
In the 200ml shot glasses (cañas) along with tapas (bite-sized delicacies enjoyed in Spain along with drinks). Should be served at 3-5 degree C.

Pocket pinch: Rs 150 (650ml)
Location: The Pint Room, Vasant Vihar

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In photos: Eating My Way Through Spain

Have I mentioned earlier how much I adore Spanish food? If not, let me clarify — I love food from Spain. The spicy chorizo, the creamy Valencia paella with meat, the gorgeous saffron-flavoured seafood paella from Barcelona, the delicately spiced prawns drenched in olive oil perfect with bread, deep-fried churros dipped in hot chocolate, jugs of sangria to accompany every meal… I can go on and on.

I had the opportunity to visit to Spain in November last year. The week-long work-vacation was a wonderful experience. Though it was my second time visiting the gorgeous sun-kissed country, I can never get bored and will probably end up visiting Spain again in the future.

As in every other country, the cuisine differs from region to region. With such a vast history starting from Roman conquests to introduction of chocolate and paprika during the 15th century, Spanish cuisine is richly diverse and gorgeous in flavour. This time I had the opportunity to visit Valencia and Barcelona. No trip to Spain is ever-complete without learning about Gaudi the genius. But just like his beautiful creations, Spanish cuisine is complex in character, texture and taste. Every bite leaves you wanting more. Here’s my ode to one of my favourite countries…

How can you not have churros when in Spain? The deep-fried delight with oodles of sugar is sinful as it's delectable.

How can you not have churros when in Spain? The deep-fried delight with oodles of sugar is sinful as it’s delectable.

One of the most gorgeous veggie dishes ever. Lettuce drenched in olive oil and tomatoes.

One of the most gorgeous veggie dishes ever. Lettuce drenched in olive oil and tomatoes.

No meal is complete without delicate slices of Jamón...

No meal is complete without delicate slices of Jamón…

Pulpo a la gallega... Boiled octopus with sea salt and paprika

Pulpo a la gallega… Boiled octopus with sea salt and paprika

Piping hot Croquetas!

Piping hot Croquetas!

The icing on the cake: Seafood paella in La Rambla

The icing on the cake: Seafood paella in La Rambla

Over loading on fried prawns, calamari and mussels at La Boqueria

Over loading on fried prawns, calamari and mussels at La Boqueria

The olive love story!

The olive love story!

Seafood salad and lots of it

Seafood salad and lots of it

I love cheese don't I?

I love cheese don’t I?

Hello happiness - Sangria can melt away all your troubles. And the background helps too!

Hello happiness – Sangria can melt away all your troubles. And the background helps too!

And ending on a sweet tooth - colourful and delicious

And ending on a sweet tooth – colourful and delicious

The Paella craving

I don’t know about you but Facebook is suddenly flooded with this thing known as ‘which city should you live in’. And, almost everyone on my friends list keeps posting Barcelona as their choice. Well, that got me thinking, dreaming about my summer in Barcelona. Gaudi, beaches, sangria, Camp Nou and heavenly paella. What more could I ask for?

Every country has a famous rice-based dish. What biryani and pulao is to India, paella serves the purpose in Spain. Though it started off as a humble dish, visitors flock to Spain every summer just to soak up the sun and taste paella.

Each day in Barcelona was something new for me. Friends, unbelievable architecture… it was such a gorgeous city. I spoke to a friend living there two days ago and she kept asking me to visit soon. Well, someday I know I will go back but this winter evening I needed the warmth and comfort of paella to make me smile. The perfectly cooked saffron-scented rice, the tangy lemon juice sprinkled on every mouthful… Every bite made me long for the city and I thought, just for a moment, I was back at Parc Guell admiring Barcelona which lay before me in all its glory.

Home cooked chicken paella

Ingredients

250 g boneless chicken (cut into bite sized pieces)

4 tb olive oil

1 cup rice (medium grain works best)

1 carrot (chopped)

Handful of french beans (chopped)

1 capsicum (chopped)

3 cups chicken stock

1 onion (chopped)

1 tomato (chopped)

3 cloves garlic (peeled and chopped)

saffron (be generous, it gives the gorgeous golden colour)

salt to taste

Serves: 2

The method

Heat oil (about 2 tb) in a flat pan and brown the chicken. Keep aside and add the remaining oil. Saute the onion and garlic. Then add the tomato and cook till tender. Then, add the carrots and beans. Add salt at this point. Once the vegetables are tender, put in the rice and toss about till every grain is nicely coated with the oil. Now comes the best part. Pour in the stock (hot but not steaming) and add the saffron. Put the browned pieces of chicken back in. Put the heat on medium and cover pan with a lid. Let the steam work its magic. 20 minutes later, take off the lid to see fluffy golden rice. Garnish with coriander and lemon. Serve hot!

Paella!

Paella!

PS: I prefer extra veggies when its a chicken/meat paella. Healthy living you see!

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