Diwali in Milan: this is how people celebrate at Cittamani – Italian Cuisine


Cittamani tells about India and its Festival of Lights, with the wishes of a chef who straddles two cultures


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Today also in Milan the Indian Christmas is celebrated, Diwali. Indian chef Ritu Dalmia tells us about some dishes she prepared to celebrate him in her restaurant, the Cittamani in Milan.
is the female figure of the Buddha. In Milan it is also the restaurant opened in 2017 by the Indian chef Ritu Dalmia, author of cookbooks, famous TV face with dedicated programs and well-known entrepreneur in her country, with eight places that are part of the Diva Restaurants group, restaurants inspired … Italy, because this extraordinary chef is in love with our cuisine, to the point that one of her television broadcasts in her homeland is called Italian Khana. Passionate about the cuisines of the world, ambassador of the excellence of gastronomy and Italian products in India, Ritu Dalmia – who defines herself as a food teller, a storyteller of Indian food – today divides her time between her motherland and our Peninsula, where in addition to Cittamani she opened, with Viviana Varese and also in Milan, Spica, ethnic cuisine from all over the world.

Ritu Dalmia
192565 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2021/11/diwali-ritu-dalmia-@salepepe.jpg "width =" 245 "style =" float: left; "height =" 368Stuck in India for months with the advent of the pandemic, Ritu devoted herself to researching and studying ingredients she didn't know much about, making them her own and incorporating them into her dishes, with excellent results. "At the time, I knew and used what I now consider a limited number of spicesExplains Ritu«Now I can infuse a true symphony of flavors into my recipes". A forced break that has fortunately transformed into personal and professional growth, an evolution of tastes and colors that today characterizes Cittamani's dishes, which after a long period of delivery only has reopened its doors in Brera, in Piazza Mirabello.

Cittamani is confirmed as a place of comfort, ideal for eating but also chatting, for having a drink, for discovering a new flavor, for sharing a culinary experience with a friend. To celebrate, like today.

Diwali or Festival of Lights
Every autumn, India lights up to celebrate one of its most significant and heartfelt holidays, the Diwali, or Festival of Lights. On this occasion, houses, courtyards, gardens and roofs are illuminated by the light of candles and traditional lamps called diya, to celebrate the victory of Light over Darkness, of Good over Evil. A party that also celebrates health and well-being, a wish for economic prosperity. On November 4th, chef Ritu Dalmia presents a special menu at the Festival of Lights, with dishes like the Badam ka halwa (his favorite dessert) or the Kheer. The chef gives us both the recipe.

Badam ka halwa
192560 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2021/11/Badam-ka-halwa-diwali-@salepepe.jpeg "width =" 210 "style =" float: left;Ingredients for 3-4 people:
200 g of almonds – 200 ml of milk – 200 g of sugar – 100 ml of ghee (clarified butter) – 5 strands of saffron, soaked in 2 tablespoons of water – 4 pods of cardamom, crushed in a pestle and mortar, discarded the peel – 100 ml of water – Flaked almonds for decoration – 20 ml of ghee to add at the end

1) To do the day before: soak the almonds in water overnight.
2) The next day, remove the peel, set aside some almonds for decoration. Grind the almonds with half the milk to form a smooth paste.
3) Subsequently dissolve the ghee in a saucepan. Add the water and bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and add the sugar, until it dissolves completely.
4) Then, turn the heat back on over low heat, add the almond paste and balanced with cardamom milk and saffron. Keep stirring over medium heat.
5) You will see thehalwa begin to thicken, on the one hand it will dry out and begin to crack. Continue to mix for about 15-20 minutesuntil it turns a nice brown color. Add the ghee, mix well and serve hot with the almond flakes.

192561 "src =" https://www.salepepe.it/files/2021/11/kheer-diwali-@salepepe.jpeg "width =" 210 "style =" float: left;Ingredients for 5-6 people:
80 g of white rice – 1l of semi-skimmed milk – 100g of white sugar – 10g of almonds – 10g of raisins – 10g of unsalted pistachios – 10g of peanuts – 10g of ghee ghee) – 5g of green cardamom – Saffron in pistils for decoration

1) Soak the rice in a bowl with water for 2-3 hours.
2) In another pot, bring to a boil the milk, add the cardamom and rice, and cook over low heat until the rice absorbs 3/4 of the milk, then remove the cardamom.
3) Mix frequently so that the rice does not stick to the bottom.
4) Meanwhile, in another pan, caramelized dried fruit with ghee.
5) At this point, add the rice, sugar and to the pan stir for 5 minutes. Then add half of the dried fruit and mix for another 5 minutes.
6) Remove from heat e let cool. When it's cold, decorated with the rest of the caramelized dried fruit and the saffron in pistils. To be served cold.

November 2021
Francesca Tagliabue

Posted on 04/11/2021


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Christmas menu for a few people – Italian Cuisine

Christmas menu for a few people

We can only celebrate in a cozy way, but it is still Christmas and the table must still be special. Here are our tips

This year we will all celebrate Christmas inintimacy of the family, a family certainly less numerous than usual.
Someone will be alone, someone in two, someone in the company of only the dearest loved ones.
Let's not lose heart though and let's prepare something special to be enjoyed perhaps in front of a screen in connection with distant relatives and friends.

Intimate Christmas: single portions as many as I can

What we suggest is to cook small portions, maybe more things you like, and then freeze for days to come. This organization applies both if you are alone and if there are two or three of you at home.
You will not find yourself having to cook at the last moment and you will have time to dedicate to yourself to enjoy a little relaxation.
So get some containers with hermetic closure and then all the ingredients you need.
Cook in advance if you can, then you just have to heat up and above all do not overdo it.
Also think about side dishes that can last for multiple days and that they can become appetizers, such as grilled vegetables and pan-fried vegetables to be placed on a bruschetta of bread with a little mozzarella and accompanied by a glass of wine.
If even for a year the menu will be a little reduced, it doesn't matter, just prepare special dishes that warm the heart.

First for Christmas: lasagna for everyone, even if few

Buy the sheets of pasta for lasagna which are cooked directly in the oven and prepared different toppings: one for Christmas Eve, one for Christmas lunch and possibly one for Boxing Day.
Here are our tips.
For Christmas Eve we propose a classic of the classics: the smoked salmon.
Cut it into banners and cook it in a pan with some thinly sliced ​​radicchio and a knob of butter.
Then add the béchamel and the filling of the Christmas Eve lasagna is ready.
For Christmas, opt for a classic ragù, white or red, and certainly not wrong.
Maybe you make a pan a little bigger to eat on Boxing Day and if it is left over, freeze it for New Year's.
If you want a special menu also for 26, fill the lasagna with mushrooms and zucchini or do i cannelloni, always ready to be cooked directly in the oven. If you want more inspiration read 5 lasagna recipes to try.
Another interesting first is the baked pasta that you can do in many ways and prepare in advance.
Also in this case we suggest you look for inspiration in this piece: 10 ways to make baked pasta.

Easy seconds for Christmas Eve

A simple and tasty second could be a baked fish as rhombus or one sea ​​bass with potatoes, or simply with salt with a side dish.
Otherwise prepare a cod and potato pie which you can then eventually freeze.
Boil the potatoes and cut them into slices and alternate them in layers in a pan with the cod cooked in boiling water with celery, carrot and onion.
Also add chopped breadcrumbs, oil, garlic and parsley between one layer and the other and sliced ​​tomatoes.
Season with oil and a little salt and complete the last layer with fragrant breadcrumbs.
This pie cooks in a static oven at 200 ° for 25-30 minutes if you prepare a small portion.
If you cannot give up something as enjoyable as theRussian salad, And you love cold seconds, try the Fake fish.
Just mash boiled potatoes and tuna in oil with a handful of capers and add a few tablespoons of mayonnaise.
Then give this mixture the shape of a fish and serve. You can also try the version of fake fish in the oven.

Seconds for Christmas

You can really indulge yourself with the main courses for Christmas lunch.
If you celebrate with the children, prepare some cutlets with chips is battered vegetables and you will make everyone happy, or white meatballs with lemon. A somewhat homely and simple menu, but special for the little ones.
If you want something more Christmas, cook one very classic stew to be served with mashed potatoes or one French stew in white.
Even the veal with tuna sauce it is an excellent solution and you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days, to be served with grilled vegetables or potato salad.


There is never a shortage of sweets during the holidays so don't worry about preparing anything extraordinary.
Get yourself a good one artisan panettone and serve it with one mascarpone cream very classic or take a look at our recipe of filled panettone covered with chocolate.
If you don't like panettone, opt for a good pandoro and prepare one English cream light or one custard.
Finally, surprise the children with a cute pandoriccio.

Set the table for a party

Even if you don't have guests, make it there party table a little bit special, do it just for yourself.
Choose a nice tablecloth and use the dinner service for special occasions that must be dusted off once a year.
Turn on one candle in the center of the table if you don't want to prepare a scenographic composition and choose a special musical background.
Enjoy your lunch or dinner and take all the time you want between one course and another.
Time passes slowly and there is no rush on holidays.
It will be a less noisy Christmas, less crowded, perhaps less fun, but still Christmas!

The 4 mistakes people make when preparing and serving tea – Italian Cuisine

The 4 mistakes people make when preparing and serving tea

The goodness of a tea does not depend only on the quality of the infusion. Here is a series of errors which, in Italy, are repeating themselves. Not only at home, but also in bars

In a country historically coffee oriented finding places to drink good tea is really one mission impossible.
But the problem is not due to the quality of the tea, but to the type of service with which it is offered to customers of bars, clubs and hotels.

Because you don't drink good tea in bars in Italy

Tea is the most drunk beverage in the world after water, but unfortunately it is a fact that culturally in Italy it is not considered adequately.
In a country like ours, a master in the art of cooking and tasting, where there is a ritual for every consumption, why is tea not treated with the right attention?
Let's think simply of wine: when it is brought to the table with a serving temperature or too high or too cold, do we not immediately demand a correction? The same should be true for tea.

THE 4 most common mistakes in the tea service

The teapot as an option
Think about it: when you ask for tea at the bar, how does it usually arrive?
Most of the time the waiter brings a nice cup of boiling water, with a tea bag next to it or, even worse, with the bag already drowned in and left to drown indefinitely.
Or, if you are luckier, a teapot will always arrive filled only with hot water, with the tea bag or a selection of different bags next to it.

Infusion times: these strangers
Starting from the principle that each tea needs an infusion with water temperature and precise times, the correct practice would be to have the customer choose the variety of tea and then go and prepare it respecting the infusion times. As soon as it's ready, you should remove the sachet or strain the leaves before serving it to the table.
If this were not possible, it would be appropriate to indicate to the customer the recommended minutes for the infusion.

The boiled tea
It is common (sadistic) practice to add tea as soon as the water begins to boil, so as soon as it reaches 100 degrees. While the correct temperature for infusion is between 70 and 80 degrees, depending on the types of tea.

A water like any other
In Italy, tap water is usually used, or even worse in bars, boiling water inside the coffee machines, stagnant there for who knows how long!
For an optimal infusion it would be correct to use water with a very low fixed residue and therefore low in minerals. Since the waters of the aqueducts are often calcareous and with added chlorine, it would be better to avoid.
Using natural bottled water, where the fixed residue is shown on the label, would be optimal and should also be a practice in the premises. In short, even the finest and most quality tea can become unpleasant due to bad service.

A hope for the addicts?

Go to one tea Room. Where you can relax and not risk any discomfort, rather appreciate the different varieties at their best and enrich your taste and culture on the subject.

An example of an ideal place? The boutiques of The Tea Route, historic Italian brand of the art of tea, born in Florence in 1961 from the dream (still well understood today) of Mr. Alfredo Carrai: to bring the culture of tea as a gourmet product to Italy too.
For almost 60 years, his family has been spreading the culture of tea in Italy by also providing training to its customers' premises, to guarantee the final consumer the correct tasting experience.

La Via del Tè always describes this product historically imported from the East with skill and poetry. As for the new line The Ladies of the Camellias, collection inspired by the tea plant Camellia Sinensis and to six women of literature and history who have had a special relationship with this flower, including, just to name a few, Gabrielle Coco Chanel and Lady Emma Hamilton, to whom we owe the first Camellia plant in Italy.
It is said that he arrived in 1760, apparently at the Royal Palace of Caserta, as a token of love from Admiral Nelson to Lady Emma, ​​his mistress, who was the wife of the English ambassador to the Bourbon court in Naples. A delicious blend of black tea from India and China with the aroma of lychee, lemon and ginger was dedicated to her.

Even today in Italy there is a need to train staff of all categories, from bars to high-end hôtellerie. A few simple tricks would be enough to give the right dignity to the most drunk drink in the world.
Meanwhile, this little revolution from tea lover can start with a simple question to the bartender or waiter on duty: "How do you serve tea here?"

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