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How to tell a bisque from a biscuit

The Guide enlists the help of an expert, so that you can acquire the confidence to wine and dine like a pro

Losing one's appetite over intimidating food terminology in menu cards is not unusual. With restaurants spilling cooking techniques and serving terms to describe their dishes, reading and pronouncing these can give even a French man the jitters. Chef Kedar Bobde from a leading suburban hotel helps us get our menu fundas straight.

Tartine
Often confused with the similar sounding 'tart', a tartine is an open-faced sandwich found on deli menus. This dish is of French origin and can be either sweet or savoury. Peaches, salmon, cheese and cold cuts are common toppings in a tartine.


Tartine of Camembert and Truffle with Fig

Braised
Braised is a technique associated with cooking meat. It is a combination of two techniques: searing and simmering. The food is first seared at a high temperature in a little fat and then cooked covered over
a gentle flame. The technique helps impart a tender, succulent texture and flavour to the meat.


Braised Lamb

Pan seared
Often seen on Italian and deli menus, pan searing is a cooking technique that requires high heat to help seal in juices of the food being cooked. The term is typically used for cooking soft, juicy ingredients such as mushrooms, fish and chicken. Pan searing gives the food a beautiful brown or black crust that works to create a contrast of textures between the crusty exterior and the soft interior.


Sungta Chi Kismur (A Goan dish in which the prawns are pan seared)
Pics/ Satyajit Desai


Bisque
Often seen in the soup section of a menu, bisque is a thick, creamy soup of French origin. The soup is typically made with crustaceans such as lobsters, which are cooked twice to extract maximum flavour.
The heavily seasoned soup is a classic.


Lobster bisque with Garlic Bread

Coulis
French for 'strained liquid' and pronounced koo-lee, this is used to describe a thick sauce made of soft fruits such as berries, pineapples, kiwis, and even certain vegetables. Sweet coulis is often served as a garnish on cakes. The savoury one is served with (meat) roasts.


Steamed Lobster with Veg Coulis

Pate 
The word literally translates to paste. Pate is typically flavoured with herbs and spices and served cold. It is best enjoyed spread over crusty bread or with roast meat. Liver, eggplant, olive, avocado, asparagus and mushroom pate are readily available in the city.


Chicken Liver Pate

French for 'strained liquid' and pronounced koo-lee, this is used to describe a thick sauce made of soft fruits such as berries, pineapples, kiwis, and even certain vegetables. Sweet coulis is often served as a garnish on cakes. The savoury one is served with (meat) roasts.

Char grilling
Char grilling is a common technique in Indian, Lebanese and Mediterranean cuisines. It involves the use of dry heat. In this technique, the food is cooked over a charcoal grille, which imparts the food with a distinct smoky flavour and a slightly burnt crust.


Char-grilled Chicken with Olive Mash Potato

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