The Augratine with chicken I had was basically an improvised one in a typical Kolkata way, but was absolutely, truly, madly, deeply, finger-licking delicious.
Augratine! Ever heard of it? Not many, I know.
Imagine a bowl full of tender tiny chicken pieces, dipped in thick melting cheese sauce.
Yes I know, by now you are making that sound, slurp! In fact, while writing this, I can also feel my taste buds craving for it.
But wait, that’s not all. There are more.
The whole thing has small pieces of baby corn, mushrooms, and a great amount of butter also.
Yeah, it’s that lethal combination to take your calorie count sky-high at one single shot. But, who cares about calories, when you have such an amazingly aromatic dish in front of you? At least, not me for sure.
The entire thing is baked and coloured as golden. Smells just too good and the upper layer gets slightly crusty with time, making it yummier.
Okay, that’s enough of taste bud teasing. It is called ‘Augratine’, named with inspiration from the French delicacy ‘Au Gratin’. This one I had for the first time in a pocket-friendly South Kolkata restaurant.
The original Augratine is not the one that I had at that restaurant but improvised in a typical Kolkata way. However, it one was absolutely, truly, madly, deeply finger-licking delicious.
So, if by now I am not making you bored, let’s talk about the history of the Au Gratin.
Gratin is a French word and it is basically a culinary technique, where an ingredient is topped with a browned crust. Chefs use breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg, or butter to make that crusty part. Gratin is usually cooked in a shallow dish. After putting the ingredients, the Gratin is baked or cooked under an overhead grill to create the golden coloured crust on top of it and is often served to the people in the baking dish pot.
There are special Gratin dishes available that come in form of a shallow oven-proof container.
In France, the birthplace of Gratin, ‘Potatoes gratine’ is one of the most common gratins. It is known by various names, which include ‘Gratin potatoes’ or ‘Gratin de Pommes de Terre’.
To prepare the dish, slices of boiled potatoes are put in a rich buttered oven-proof dish, sprinkled with cheese, and browned in the oven or grill. It may be baked under the steamed crust of potatoes.
The dish is differently named in North America, such as ‘funeral potatoes’, ‘potatoes au gratin’, or ‘au gratin potatoes’. French-speaking Canadians call it ‘Patates au gratin’. In Australia and New Zealand, the dish is referred to as ‘Scalloped potatoes’ or ‘Potato bake’.
Not only potatoes, but the Gratin can be made using various other vegetables such as eggplant, tomato, cauliflower, spinach, butternut squash, and onions. Many people use preserved fish to make this.
No wonder, these are enough to read to crave for a foodgasm!
Also Read: Chow mein! Wo ai chi