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Culinary Corner: Chef Kalyan’s Tongue Twister Treat From Hungary

A young Chef stepping in Bhubaneswar and offering Chimney Bread aka: Kurtoskalacs, Trdelink,  Kurtosh, Makara and Baumstriezel is commendable. Here we are talking about Chef Kalyan Byapari. He is in his early twenties and dishing out the best Sweet Bread, which is sweet, crunchy, fluffy, irresistible pastry in variants of savoury and sweet. This pastry or bread refers to a stovepipe (Kurtosh), since it is served fresh and steam coming out of the truncated cone resembling a hot chimney. It is also known as Kurtoshkalacs – Kurtosh Kalach that is a spit cake specific to Transylvania, Hungary and regions of Hungary speaking Romania.

The sweet treat, took birth in the 15th century was initially a snack for the Hungarian nobility and then a festive bake. It has now become a much-loved street snack across Hungary. This traditional gastronomic preserved by generation-to-generation, found way to everyone due to tourism and international migration, Kurtoskalacs is no longer a solely Szekler or Hungarian symbol, but rather a European gastronomy.

This brioche kind of yeast dough is a sweetened treat; the thin yeast pastry is wound around a wooden cylinder, which tapers towards the end, while sprinkled with sugar to give a caramlised crust. The Kurtosh are baked to order and handed over still warm and smoke emanating by Chef Ranjan. The dough, are also freshly made in batches to ensure a perfectly crisp funnel cake, using seven ingredients including yeast, flour and another five, the rest are Chef’s secret ingredients. It is then baked for around nine minutes with over 275 degree to 300 degree centigrade.

The Chef has curated his own sweet version of Kurtosh or Chimney Bread with Oreo, Nutella, Cheese, Berry Compote, Pecan, Tiramisu and Chocolate with Pecan & nuts. Apart Chef Ranjan also has some savoury flavours upto his sleeves which are filled with salads, vegetarian and non-vegetarian mix of, spinach, chicken, macroni, paneer, cajun spiced chicken & sausages.

The sweetened ones are flavoured with sweet spices with cinnamon, topped with walnuts or almonds, sugar or desiccated coconut. The savoury variants have a generous smearing of cheese, garlic and dried herbs – parsley, thyme, tarragon, and oregano that are used for colouring, flavouring and seasoning.

Whether sweetened or savoury, Chef Kalyan can create any permutation and combination depending on ones palate. It may be exotic herbs, nuts, spread, ice cream, compote, meat and other exotic fillings.

Chef’s favourite: Nutella curl with chocolate for those who swear by chocolate. Tiramisu which is served with an equally crispy and soft cone dusted in cocoa powder and filled with vanilla ice cream. The coffee-based dessert is just the right side of sweet and an ideal balance between the pastry and creamKurtosh or Chimney Bread is very new to the city and is only known to few – for those who have travelled a lot in Europe. The Chef is confident that with time it will be well accepted by the foodies in the City .

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