Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Potato & Green Tomato Curry

Absolutely delicious , green tomatoes give a delicious tangy taste to this curry.
300 Grams Green Tomatoes.
300 Grams Potatoes.
1 Heaped Teaspoon Chopped Garlic ( Or more )
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala.
Dried Red Chilies.
Heat about 60 Ml white oil , add garlic and brown slightly , browning will not only leave a beautiful flavor but also a nice color.
Next add all ingredients , cook covered giving the dish the odd stir. When half done add as much water as you would like gravy and cover cooked till done.Tastes spectacular .

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Monday, 30 December 2013

Beetroot Salad

There is no recipe as such , just went with what came to my mind when I saw 2 sad looking beets sitting next to a couple of Bok Choy which was on the verge of wilting. Grill/boil beetroot ( pref grill ) , cool , peel and slice. Blanche bok choy for 10 seconds , set aside .Take some oranges , peel and remove the membrane , you can use any fruit .
Crispy fry finely sliced onions till they are a deep golden brown , do the same with chopped garlic- set aside to cool .
Take4-5 tablespoons orange juice + 1 teaspoon lemon juice, season with salt and pepper - this is your dressing .
On a bed of bok choy ( use any greens ) place the beet and some orange segments .Sprinkle the dressing , let the salad sit 3-5 minutes . When ready to serve , sprinkle the crispy fried onions and garlic.
You get this delicious sweet and sour salad with bites of crispy onion and burnt garlic. Superb .

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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Fried Arbi

Each home must have a few recipes for this vegetable , I am sharing one of the ways we prepare fried arbi .

Pressure cook arabi but don't over cook it. Cool and peel.
Take atta , season it with salt , red chili powder , roasted and powdered ajwain , roasted and crushed kasoori methi and amchoor.
Dip arbi in water , then dip into the atta mix nicely coating the arbi . Press gently with your hands . When all are coated shallow fry arbi on medium heat .Don't disturb the arbi while frying ,touch just to turn.
Comes out nice and crunchy and in season replaces potato chips as a snack at home.


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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Cauliflower Soup

Thank you Ruchi Airen for the inspiration behind this soup . A few twists and turns and out came a delicious healthy no fuss soup.
There are no quantities - will try regardless !
1 Kg Cauliflower .
20 Cloves Garlic.
10 -12 Spring Onions.
Olive Oil.
Salt / Pepper .
Soup Cubes
Clean cauliflower , discard the danthl , roughly separate florets as shown in the pic.
Chop spring onions in large chunks , use the greens too.
Keep garlic whole.
Take about 60 Ml Olive Oil and coat the vegetables with it .
Set oven at 180C , bake 20-25 minutes till cauliflower softens.
Some spring onions / garlic will burn , that's wonderful as that adds the flavor too, in fact scrape the burnt bits off the baking dish to use in the soup.
Cool the vegitables , take 1/3 and zap once in the blender to coarsely grind , leaving some chunks.Blend the rest into a semi paste.
Add water / soup cubes / stock - bring to a boil with the vegitables , season to taste ..drizzle some extra virgin olive oil just before serving.
Absolutely delicious .

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Friday, 27 December 2013

Tomato Soup

This soup was made for Shruti on her visit to Delhi .

In boiling water plunge 8 red tomatoes , take out in a minute , cool , peel ,de seed and chop into 4 pieces . Preserve any juices that you may loose while de-seeding .

Make a basic stock using salt , 1 bay leaf , 1" Galanga chopped , 2 celery stalks chopped and 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary .Simmer covered in 2 liters of water for about 30 minutes till reduced to half , strain and set aside. By now your house will be filled with the warm and delicious aroma of rosemary !

Chop one carrot , 1 medium sized onion , 2-3 cloves of garlic and simmer along with the tomatoes in the stock for about 20 minutes , cool and blend the soup .

Simmer another 10 minutes after adding 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil to emulsify the soup . Add some cream - about 50 ml , adjust flavors and eat this aromatic and delicious soup with some nice crusty bread !

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Thursday, 26 December 2013

White Chicken Korma

This is a lovely recipe from Camellia Panjabi's 50 Great Curries of India - I tweaked it to suit my mood and am reproducing the recipe as I made it .
1 Kg Chicken - Cut to desired size .
2+2 Tablespoons Ghee
100 Grams Almonds - Soak in hot water and an hour later remove skin.
200 Grams Onions Chopped.
1 Bay leaf.
4 Green Chilies Chopped Fine.
8 Green Cardamon - Seeds only.
1 Teaspoon Poppy seeds ( Soak in 100 Ml water , discard water after an hour and make a paste ).
200 Grams Full Fat Yogurt - Hand in a muslin for 1 hour.
4-5 Cloves.
1 Black Cardamon - Bruised.
2" Cinnamon Stick.
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic.
1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger.
1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg Powder.
1/2 Teaspoon Mace Powder.

Heat 2 tablespoons ghee , add almonds , cinnamon and bay leaf and gently cook 3-4 minutes , then add onions and cook covered over low heat 8-10 minutes till onions go limp allowing them to just about change color.Add chopped chilies and cardamon seeds , cook another 2-3 minutes and then add 200 Ml water and cook 10 minutes covered - all cooking so far over low heat.
Take pan off fire , when the gravy cools , discard bay leaf and cinnamon stick ( important ! ) and blend the rest to a fine gravy . Set aside.

Heat the balance 2 tablespoons ghee , tip in cloves ginger and garlic , a minute later add chicken and cook till chicken slowly releases water and changes color from pink to white.Cooke covered 3-5 minutes not allowing the chicken to brown.

Blend the gravy , curd and mace + Nutmeg powder , add to the chicken allowing the chicken to cook covered over medium heat till done. Add hot water to get the desired thick gravy .

This is a delicately flavored chicken - delicious as it is pretty to look at !


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Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Borscht - A soup from Ukraine

I adapted this from The Soup Bible.

This delicious soup is from Ukraine where the main ingredient is beetroot as it grows in plenty . In other areas the main ingredient beetroot is replaced with tomatoes - different tasting naturally , but quite tasty . This version is superb . Allow the soup to rest 12 hours and eat it the next day - tastes even better as flavors mature .

Serves 8

1 Onion Chopped.
4 Medium Sized Beets - Washed , peeled and chopped. ( Don't was beets after peeling ).
1 Packet ( 200 Grams ) Mushrooms - Clean and Chop.
1 Red Bell Pepper - Remove seeds and chop.
2 Stalks Celery - Chop.
1 Cooking Apple - Chop unpeeled.
50 Grams Butter.
60 Ml White Oil.
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds.
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
Juice of 1 Lemon . Tweak later to taste.
1 Bay Leaf.
8 Cups Stock / Water.

Take all ingredients ( not water/stock ) and place in a pot , add 4-5 tablespoons stock/water and cooked covered over low heat for about 20 minutes till beets are soft.
Add remaining stock and cook covered another 20 minutes on low heat.
Strain Vegetables , save the liquid !
Remove bay leaf and blend vegetables to a smooth paste.
Add pureed vegetables to the saved liquid , cook covered 5-7 minutes to blend flavors with the liquid.Adjust taste.
Garnish each portion with sour cream ( I used cream ) .
You can make this soup vegetarian as I did or use chicken stock.
It's yumm !


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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Maas Ki Tari

Maas Ki Tari
A gently flavored dish , this is a recipe from a friends home in Jaipur , don't know of the origins of it , all I do lnow is that once you put it to cook , you can take an hour long nap and wake up to a delicious mutton dish that can be made dryish or with a slight gravy
500 Grams Mutton
1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper Corn.
1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds.
Loosely tie the above in muslin .
Mix together :
500 Grams Mutton.
60 Ml White Oil.
15 Whole Garlic Cloves ( Not thick ones ).
3-5 Dried Red Chilies.
200 Grams Thick Curd.
1 Tablespoon Grated Coconut.
1 Teaspoon Poppy Seeds.
10 Shallots ( Peel and leave whole ).
1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger.
1 Large Red Tomato Chopped / Pureed.
2" Cinnamon Stick
1 Black Cardamon.
2-3 Green Cardamon.
A Few Cloves.
To the above mixture , add the potli of seeds tied in muslin.Put all the ingredients in a heavy bottom pan with a tight lid .OR secure & seal the lid with atta and cook in dum for an hour on low heat.You dish Must be sealed well.
When cooked , remove the seal , discard the potli and adjust flavors , gravy , cooking the dish another few minutes till the meat nearly falls off the bone. Delicious .

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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Swiss Chard Saag

Swiss Chard or any perpetual spinach - this leafy green has a delicious flavor and comes with a bite unlike most leafy greens . I retained the stems and the rib ( that's the ' bite ' ) and chopped it all not too finely . For about 250 Grams greens I crackled jeera in white oil - don't use mustard oil as it will overpower the flavors of the greens , once jeera is dancing around add minced ginger and garlic , a teaspoon each and some dried red chilies.Mix in the greens , cover and cook for 3-4 minutes over high heat .Don't add any water , and leave a bit undercooked .I cook most greens in the same manner . Came out delicious .

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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Paneer Lazzatdar

This is an interesting Paneer dish we learnt in the sikandalous cuisine master class at the Hyatt Gurgaon where dishes from Avadh were taught to us by Chef Sunil Gangwal. Chef informed us that as such no tomatoes or dhania leaves are used in Avadhi Cuisine and this recipe was created to give vegetarian options and is the exception as far as tomatoes go . List of ingredients are long , the recipe is easy and the makhani gravy here is special.

Makhani Gravy

2 Kg Tomato.
100 Grams Ginger Garlic Paste.
150 Grams Khoya.
10 Grams Kashmiri Red Chili Powder.
200 Grams Butter.
5 Grams Kasoori Methi.
5 Grams Garam Masala.
100 Grams Cream.
50 Grams Cashew Nuts.
2 Grams Cinnamon Stick ( use 2 large ones ).
4 Grams Green Cardamom.
2 Grams Cloves.
100 Ml Ghee
50 Grams Sugar.

This is for bulk cooking - adapt as I did too.
Boil tomatoes in just enough water along with whole spice , cool and grind to a paste .
Saute Cashew Nuts with ghee and make a paste with khoya.
Heat ghee , saute ginger garlic paste along with khoya and cashew paste , add all the ingredients along with the tomato puree , cook covered over low heat till oil separates and puree thickens , I let the gravy simmer for 30 minutes covered on very low heat , adding a little water - Strain the gravy ( I didn't ) and add cream sugar and butter .

200 Grams Paneer.
50 Grams Capsicum.
12 Grams Shahi Jeera.
250 Grams Makhani Gravy ( Recipe above ).
50 Grams Cream ( I avoided ).
50 Grams Ghee

Cut paneer in thick fingers.
Cut Capsicum slightly thinner.
Heat ghee add jeera , then capsicum , saute just till it softens , don't overcook , Add paneer , cook another minute or two , add makhani gravy , cook 5 minutes and garnish with cream

You will love this !

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Friday, 13 December 2013

Chicken in Banana Wraps

150-200 Grams Chicken Thigh Meat
Make a paste :
6 Garlic Cloves
3-4 Green Chilies ( I used birds eye red one )
1.5 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard Seeds.
2 Tablespoons Curd.
1 Tablespoon Mustard Oil.

Cube chicken and apply the paste. I left it to marinate 4 hours .
Cut banana leaves into large squares . Heat the leaf and the rib over a flame to warm and soften. With the back of a knife press the rib to make it more pliable.Add 3-4 tablespoons of chicken in the center of each square , fold to seal and steam for 20 minute . Comes out delicious .


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Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Sauteed Pork Curry

This recipe has been adapted from G Padma Vijaya's recipe in her lovely book titled Kerala Delicacies .

500 Grams Pork - Cut to size.
5-7 Green Chilies - Chopped.
1 .5 Teaspoons Garlic Paste.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
2 Onions Chopped.
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder.
1 Teaspoon Freshly Pounded Black Pepper Powder.
1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder.
Coconut Oil
Mix all ingredients but green chilies and onions ,and leave the pork to marinate in them for 1 hour.
Take 1/2 Cup water , and pressure cook the marinated pork for 1 whistle.Take off heat and allow the pork to cool under pressure - 20-30 minutes.
Heat coconut oil , fry onions till golden brown , add chopped chilies and the pressure cooked pork , stir fry 20 minutes slowly adding any liquid that remains in the pressure cooker . Saute the pork under medium heat till done .Adjust flavors . You may tweak with a bit of lemon juice if need be .

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Friday, 6 December 2013

Methi Alu

A winter favorite , no fixed quantities here . Normally I like a bit more methi than what's here in the pic.Also like using those small round potatoes which I then leave unpeeled and cut into halves or quarters depending upon the size. Keep same volume of chopped methi as of potatoes .

Dice methi , salt for 15-20 minutes , wash well.Heat some mustard oil , splutter a bit of ajwain or jeera , then add a few chilies and a dot of hing . Now add methi along with haldi powder and saute till methi darkens and emits that lovely aroma. Next the potatoes and salt , saute well , and cook uncovered till done .You can cook covered too , I prefer uncovered as the pototos tend to remain nice and firm . At times we add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice just before taking the wok off the fire - gives a lovely hint of sourness to balance out the slight bitterness of methi.

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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Maharaja Khichri

Maharaja Kichadi.

Prepare a watery khichri  using 200 grams each Rice and Toover Daal, with some Salt and Turmeric Powder and the juice of 5 lemons or more. This is a tangy khichri
For Tadka:
Heat Ghee in a Pan, and add Jeera, lots of cloves of un crushed Garlic, long slit green Chillies and Curry Patta. Then add chopped 2 Onion. Sauté till light golden. Add 4 chopped Tomatoes, Chillie Powder and saute till it releases the Ghee. Just before serving mix in the Rice thoroughly, check seasonings, garnish with fresh chopped Coriander, and dribble melted ghee. This Khichadi should have a tangy Lemony taste and a soggy consistency

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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Kerala Mutton Curry With Coconut Milk

This perhaps is the easiest mutton dish I have made . Once you put everything together on the fire you can almost forget about the dish for an hour while it gently cooks , rather stews in it's own juices .
500 Grams Mutton- cut to size.
2 Cups Coconut Milk
Make a paste of all ingredients listed below :
200 Grams Sambar Onions.
4 Green Chilies.
4 Dried Red Chilies.
12-15 cloves of Garlic.
1 " Ginger .
1/4 Teaspoon Haldi.
1.5 Teaspoon Garam Masala
2 Teaspoons Vinegar ( I used Kachampali Vinegar and it gave a great color )
2 + 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil ( use only 2 tablespoons in marination )
Marinate mutton in the paste for 4 hours . I cling wrapped and marinated over night in the fridge .
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil , add curry leaves and dry red chilies ( optional ) , add the mutton with minimum marination . Fry on high to seal for about 5 minutes . Add balance marination and 1 cup coconut milk - cook covered until done - 60 minutes or so ( OR pressure cook 3 whistles ) . When mutton is done , add the balance coconut milk to get the desired curry . Cool and adjust flavors.Although this is a ' curry ', there is a minimum amount of thick gravy . Super easy and delicious .
This recipe is the same as the Kerala curry but with coconut milk added . I have increased the chili factor to balance out the coconut milk.

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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Dal Bhati ( Rajasthani Cuisine )

Dal Bati

This recipe is thanks to Pushpita Singh , a friend and the author of Rajasthani Kitchen . The book is beautifully written . The recipes are easy to follow and there are some hidden gems and lost recipes to be discovered here .

Panchmela Dal

Black Gram ( Urad Dal ).
Bengal Gram ( Chana Dal ).
Green Gram ( Mong Dal ).
Red Gram ( Arhar Dal ).
Masur Dal.

50 grams of each Dal , soak for 1 hour , wash and cook with haldi ( turmeric powder ) and salt in just enough water till done. Don't allow the dal to mash up.

Tempering :

75 Grams Ghee.
A Pinch of Hing.
1/2 Teaspoon Jeera Seeds.
6 Cloves / Laung.
2 Onions Chopped.
1 Tablespoon Each - Ginger & Garlic Paste.
Red Chili Powder.
1 Teaspoon Chopped Ginger.
Chopped Green Chilies To taste.
3 Tomatoes Chopped.

Heat ghee , add hing jeera and cloves. A few seconds later add onions and cook till light golden brown.Add ginger & garlic paste along with red chili powder.Cook 2-3 minutes.Add chopped ginger , green chilies and tomatoes , cook till oil separates. Add the lentils and cook together for 4-5 minutes to marry flavors.Garnish with dhania leaves and Julienned ginger when ready to serve.


Traditionally Bati's are baked in ash , welcome to modern times and preheat your oven to 200C

500 Grams Maida / Bajra Flour.
1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste.
1 Tablespoon Garlic Paste.
1/2 Tablespoon Green Chili Paste.
4 tablespoons Ghee
Mix all the above and with very little water knead into a semi hard dough.
Make 14 balls .
Bake dough balls for 20 minutes or so , turning once.
Remove baked bati and dip in ghee and serve hot with Dal & Chorma

The dish is yummy and one of Rajasthan's better known and a much loved specialty .

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Saturday, 23 November 2013

Kerala Mutton Curry

Kerala Mutton Curry
This perhaps is the easiest mutton dish I have made . Once you put everything together on the fire you can almost forget about the dish for an hour while it gently cooks , rather stews in it's own juices .
500 Grams Mutton- cut to size.
Make a paste of all ingredients listed below :
200 Grams Sambar Onions.
2 Green Chilies.
2 Dried Red Chilies.
10 cloves of Garlic.
1 " Ginger .
1/4 Teaspoon Haldi.
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1 -2 Teaspoons Vinegar ( I used Kachampali Vinegar and it gave a great color )
2 + 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil ( use only 2 tablespoons in marination )
Marinate mutton in the paste for 4 hours . I cling wrapped and marinated over night in the fridge .
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons coconut oil , add curry leaves and dry red chilies ( optional ) , add the mutton with minimum marination . Fry on high to seal for about 5 minutes . Add balance marination and 1 cup water - cook covered until done - 60 minutes or so . OR pressure cook 3 whistles ,  cool and adjust flavors.Although this is a ' curry ', there is a minimum amount of thick gravy . Super easy and delicious .

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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Makhni / Butter Chicken

Makhni / Butter Chicken

This is how we make makhni chicken at home - comes out real nice and it is easy to make despite the lengthy looking recipe. No cream is added .
750-800 Grams Chicken - cut to size.
marinate in juice of 2 lemons , chili powder and 1 tablespoon mustard oil for one hour.
Second Marination for 2 Hours :
1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste.
1 Tablespoon Garlic Paste.
6 Tablespoon Solid Hung Yogurt.
4 Tablespoons Tandoori Chicken Powder.
2 Teaspoons Crushed Kasoori Methi
1 Tablespoon Mustard Oil
Combine all the above ingredients and marinate the chicken in the paste for 2 -4 hours , cling wrapped in a dish.
Set oven at 200 and bake on a tray . Turn once. The chicken will leave out juices which are enough to baste the chicken in.Cook about 15 minutes till done.Set aside covered to rest for 30 minutes.The chicken is ready and can be served as is if so desired.
Makhani Gravy
Aprox 750 Grams Tomatoes
10 Mace Flowers
8-10 Green Cardamon Crushed
10 Peppercorn
5-7 Cloves
Boil ( low heat and covered ) the above in 4 cups of water for about 25 minutes , when cool remove the tomatoes onto a plate . Peel and discard the shriveled skins , if some remain , it's also okay .Discard the mace etc from the water used to boil the tomatoes and puree the tomatoes with that water , pass through a sieve discarding seeds .Set aside for later use.
Heat up 75 Grams Butter + 1 Tablespoon oil  put in 1 inch stick of cinnamon till it turns brown , then add 1/2 teaspoon Ajwain /Carom Seeds and 10 seconds later add :
1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste .
1Tablespoon Garlic Paste
2 Medium Sized Onions Chopped Fine

Saute the above till onions are translucent , then add the tomato puree , cook covered on a very low flame till it all reduces to 1/2  , this will take about 20 minutes , you should be left with a semi thick gravy .
Now add  :
1/2 teaspoon Jeera Powder
1 Teaspoon Dhania / Coriander Powder ,
1 Teaspoon Red Kashmiri Mirch ( for color )
1 tablespoon Sugar.
1 Teaspoon Garam Masaala
1-2 Teaspoon2 Kasoori Methi.
Salt To Taste .
Cook another 4-5 minutes to blend flavors . Lastly add the chicken , simmer covered a few minutes for all flavors to develop only then adjust flavors as the chickens flavors will enter the gravy too .
Serve with some hot naans or rotis. I seldom add cream.

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Sunday, 17 November 2013

Mixed Veg

Mixed Veg

Mixed veg must be one of the most commonly made vegetarian dish in most homes - in some combination or another . I love it as this dish not only allows one to bring together different contrasting yet complimenting flavors in a dish , but also takes care of those odd bod leftover pieces of assorted uncooked veggies which otherwise would find their way into a Sambar of sorts ! This recipe is ' andaaz say ' / approximates .
2 White Radish - Cut Like Fingers
100 Grams Flat Beans- String and cut to size
200 Grams Potatoes - Cut / cube to size.
200 Grams Small Baingan- Cube to size.
1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1 Teaspoon Minced Ginger .
2 Tomatoes Pureed.
1 Tomato Chopped.
1/4 Teaspoon Methi Seeds.
2 Onions - Slice thin , fry till medium dark , strain , cool and make paste .
Garam Masala
Mustard Oil.
Heat oil , when it begins to smoke take off the heat add methi seeds , hing and dried red chilies . Next add the potatoes and chopped tomatoes , when potatoes are half done add the rest apart from the radish , cook uncovered - when almost done add the radish - you want to retain a bit of a bite - further cook till done . Adjust flavors after sprinkling garam masala . Comes out delicious.

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Saturday, 16 November 2013

Review of The Restaurant "Soda Bottle Openerwala" - Gurgaon.

Review of The Restaurant "Soda Bottle Openerwala" - Gurgaon.

Few understand the food scene as well as restauranteur A D Singh does . Sensing the gap for niche cuisine restaurants he along with Super Chef Sabyasachi Gorai has given Delhi / NCR two new gems , Guppy by AI ( Japanese ) and A whole new kind of Bombay Irani Cafe aptly named - Soda Bottle Openerwala , and in a master stoke filling tha gap for good authentic Parsi cuisine in Gurgaon/Delhi.

The moment you enter the restaurant you are transformed back to nostalgic times spent in Mumbai's Irani Cafes or the best known of all the iconic Britannia . Old odd bod pieces of furniture , cleverly matched antique lights , some kitch sofas , jars of namakpara along with toffees, retro music of the 60's all blend beautifully to create this lovely Bombay Irani Cafe .

To begin with we ate Vada Paos and Spicy Mushrooms on Khari which were washed down with excellent Ganna Nu Ras ( sugarcane juice ). A special mention is not out of place for the mushroom khar ( puff pastry ) . Next ordered was Aloo Aunty 's Veg breadcrumb fried cutlets which have a dash of rava adding that bite to them. The filling was interesting as it was chutney infused.Another very nice dish was Marghi Na Fracha - Parsi style fried chicken - wait for their bar license , a perfect snack .While we waited for the next round ( yes I have a great appetite ! ) we ordered yet another indulgence - Sekhan Je Bin - a nimbu based drink with chunks of plum and mint leaves .
What followed was a foodies dream . Sali Marghi , Chicken Beri Pulao , Keema Baida Roti and Bhendi Bazar Ke Sheekh Paratha . All of these were as I remember eating them years ago when Britannia had still retained it's sheen and flavors . We needed the good old fashioned whipped frothy espresso coffee to wash all this down .

The food follows its traditions . If the Keema called for sugarcane juice brewed natural vinegar - that and that alone is used or not made at all , nothing is compromised . Soda Bottle Openerwala has clearly raised the bar . I hope they maintain the quality and standard and look forward to the Dhansak next which I believe will be a Sunday special.Do check the place out , I don't believe you will come away disappointed .

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Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Roast Chicken

Roast Chicken

This is my first roast chicken and I am really happy with the results - came out delicious and juicy .

1.500 Grams Whole Chicken With Skin.

The marination - all approximates and to suit your taste tweak them:
150 mls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
50 Grams Melted Butter.
1 Tablespoon garlic Paste.
1 Cup Chopped Fresh & Green Parsley + Basil + Chives. ( Use Thyme or avoid herbs if you dont have any handy ).
2 Tablespoon Crushed Black Pepper.
120 Ml Lemon Juice
Wash and pat dry the chicken . Then take the marinade and gently but generously rub it all over - under the skin - be careful not to rupture the skin , and also huge dollops of the marinade along with about 10 - 15 whole unpeeled cloves of garlic and one lemon sliced - the slices all stuffed inside the cavity . The rest rub all over the chicken - be generouus with butter and oil !
Take a string and truss the chicken to tie it up as seen in the picture - Youtube this part if need be.

Chop carrots , leek / spring Onion ..many whole cloves garlic and butter and salt .. mix all , place them on the bottom of a baking dish . Place chicken on top . Bake at 190 C for 90 minutes , turning the chicken once and basting .I covered the chicken half way and cooked it like that - end result was delicious , soft and moist !


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Review of Lavana Restaurant - Hyatt , Gurgaon

Today Rocky Mohan and I attended a Master Class organised by Groupon at Lavana - Gurgaon's latest gem , the fine dining restaurant at Hyatt Gurgaon . The masterclass was an interactive one which made it all the more interesting . We watched Master Chef M Rehman and Chef De Cuisine  Sunil Kumar Gangwal take us through a delicious culinary journey and later ate in Nawabi style in their restaurant Lavana on what was cooked during the master class , apart from some other delicacies .
In the masterclass we watched the chefs make Chowk ki Tikki , Murg Kebabiyan , Paneer Lazzatdar , Murg Awadhi Korma , Navratan Biryani and Shahi Tukda. We later sat down to feast on all these dishes along with one of the best Nihari I have ever eaten . We also ate some brilliant kababs and amazing Sheermal and Gilafi Kulchas .The shahi  Tukda was outstanding - slowly cooked with love for over 20 minutes ....
Master Chef Rehman with his innovative culinary skills and extensive research has put together a menu that takes one on an gourmet journey across different regions , showcasing the best of Awadhi , Rampuri , Hydrabadi , Kashmiri and typically Mughali cuisines .
I believe Lavana , which means "salt" will be one of Gurgaon's finest restaurants if they sustain the standard that we experienced today .

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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Akuri - Masala scrambled eggs the Parsi way !

Akuri - Masala scrambled eggs the Parsi way !

It's an honor to cook a recipe of the legendary Dr Katy Dalal - A pioneer in every way, not only did she introduce buffets at Parsi weddings (as an option to the traditional sit down 'Patra' style) she also introduced a variety of dishes from Indian and International cuisines to the menus. She has authored sic cookbooks I think .
Rhea Mitra-Dalal thank you so much for sharing this recipe - as you can see I lost no time in preparing it ! I do hope I got it right - it sure tastes delicious !

Akuri- Masala Scrambled Eggs, The Parsi way..
4 Eggs
1/4 cup milk.
1 cup Tomatoes, Chopped
1 cup Onions, Chopped fine
fresh Coriander, Chopped Fine
A sprig of curry leaves
Ginger Garlic Paste
Jeera powder
Chilli powder

In a non stick frying pan heat oil and fry the onions on a medium flame till almost caramelized. Don't burn them. Add the tomatoes and the chillies, the sprig of curry leaves, a teaspoon of ginger garlic paste, half teaspoon each turmeric, chilli and jeera powders, mix well. Cook till tomatoes are cooked through and the oil is released. Lower the heat. Add salt and the chopped coriander and mix well.
In a cup or bowl beat the eggs and milk. Pour it slowly into the pan, stirring constantly till all is poured in. Keep the heat low or the Akuri will thicken too fast. Remove from heat when it comes to the consistency you like- loose and runny or firm or somewhere in between...
Serve with rotis, warmed Brun bread or with regular sliced bread.
The only change I made was to add butter as well as white oil while frying onions.

Sikandalous Cuisine https://www.facebook.com/groups/325180622895/

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Roghan Josh

Rogan josh was brought to Kashmir by the Mughals, whose cuisine was in turn influenced by Persian cuisine , and is one of the main dishes of the ' wazwan ' . Rogan means clarified butter or fat in Persian while Josh is heat or passion ! Another interpretation of the name rogan josh is derived from the word rogan meaning "red color" (the same Indo-European root that is the source of the French "rouge" and the Spanish "rojo") and josh meaning passion or heat- net sources . Whatever the origins of the name - this is one delicious and spicy dish .

I adapted the recipe from " Cooking Delights of The Maharajas." By Digvijaya Singh

500 Grams Mutton.
150 Grams Ghee.
2 Teaspoons Ginger - grated.
150 Grams Curd.
Hing - The size of a pepper corn ,dissolved in a little water.
Saffron - a pinch dissolved in a bit of water.
5-7 Dried Red Chilies ( Optional )
1 Teaspoon Kashmiri Mirch Powder - For color
Make Powder:
2 Large Black Cardamons.
10 Green Cardamons.
8" Cinnamon .
20 Black Pepper Corns
5 Dried Red Chilies - remove seeds if you wish to make it less spicy.
1 Tablespoon Whole Coriander Seeds.
Heat ghee add meat and hing water , stir on high heat to seal meat , cook covered on medium heat for 10 minutes till water dries out .
Add dried red chilies if using , whipped curd along with ginger - bhuno well and cook covered.
When meat is 90% done add all other spice , mix well .. and on a low heat cook covered for 30 minutes allowing the masalas and meat to cook under dum till the meat almost falls off the bone and only the ghee remains !
Here hing , ghee and lots of tender and slow cooking under ' dum ' play an important role - hope you enjoy this beauty of a dish just as much as I did .

Sikandalous Cuisine https://www.facebook.com/groups/325180622895/

Friday, 8 November 2013

Shalgam Masala

Recipe by Monica Gupta

Turnips/Shalgam – 500 gms, washed, cut into slices
Mustard oil – 3 tbsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
garlic paste 1 tsp
Salt to taste
red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
haldi powder 1/2 tsp
Dry Red Chillies – 3, deseeded, halved
Tikki Masala/garam Masala – 1/2 tsp,
Saunf Powder 1 tsp
Water – 1/2 cup

1. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
2. Add the asafoetida, turnips, salt.
3. Add the dry red chillies, garlic paste , red chilli pwdr and haldi pwdr and stir well.
4. Cook covered over a high flame till half cooked
5. Add the tikki masala/garam masala and water.
7. Stir well till cooked and dry .
8. Serve hot with rice /roti
It's divine and delicious !

Sikandalous Cuisine https://www.facebook.com/groups/325180622895/

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Japanese Restaurant Season

The Oishii Festival - Oishi in Japanese means delicious, and that's what the focus of the Japanese Restaurant Season is , to showcase their delicious food to lovers of good food in Delhi and Mumbai through select restaurants.I happened to take a friend to Guppy By AI for lunch where we discovered to our delight that the food festival was very much a part of their menu for a few more days.

For Rs 1200/- per head you are in for a scrumptious six course set menu which showcases a few spectacular vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. The food was exquisite as always at Guppy , and if you enjoy Japanese food do head out and treat yourself to a delicious Japanese meal .
This festival is also on at Sakae Sushi , Megu , Asia 7 and Izakaya apart from Guppy by AI


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Kerala Chicken Kozhierchi

800 Grams Chicken
4 Onions Sliced - Long.
2 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
2 Teaspoons Minced Ginger.
2 Teaspoon Coriander Powder.
2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
1 Cup Coconut Milk.
2 Teaspoons Mustard Seeds.
Curry Putta
Red Chili Powder / Dried Red Chilies.
Garam Masala.
Coconut Oil + White Oil.

Heat oil , splutter mustard seeds , add curry leaves and dried red chilies . When curry leaves begin darken add onions and cook 4-5 minutes till they soften - dont allow them to brown. Then add ginger garlic , saute a minute , add chicken .. and bhuno till chicken is half done.
Now add the rest of the spice ( not coconut milk or garam masala ) , and slowly bhuno the chicken by adding 2-3 tablespoons of coconut milk at a time , keeping the chicken covered ! This way use up the entire coconut milk and allow the chicken to cook in it over low heat . When the chicken is done and there is hardly any gravy left and the coconut milk has left it's oil as seen in the pic .. sprinkle the garam masala and adjust flavors. I tweak it with 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice.Anything slow cooked in coconut milk gives you delicious and succulent results !

Sikandalous Cuisine https://www.facebook.com/groups/325180622895/

Saturday, 2 November 2013

A Gourmet Dinner with Napa Valley's fiest wines hosted by Delhi Gourmet Club


Last night Executive Chef Ravitej Nath & his team wowed members of Delhi Gourmet Club with the spectacular meal, beautifully presented and served at your club's event at Amaranta , The Oberoi , Gurgaon .On behalf of attending members of Delhi Gourmet Club , Founding members Rocky Mohan and Sourish Bhattacharyya I would like to thank the hotel for pulling out all stops and ensuring we had a great evening . A special thanks to Rathijit Dutta for all care taken before and during the evening .
The service was great , Anshul managed the flow of the evening very well . The food was brilliant , and this is perhaps the first time I received not a single negative feedback !
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars showcased their hearty reds , some delicious and crisp whites and kept us in happy 'spirits' !

Friday, 1 November 2013

Paneer Aur Biristi

This is a regular paneer recipe with a twist . I add crushed fried onion ( Biristi ) while serving the dish and sprinkle some on top as a garnish . The end result is a delicious paneer with an interesting bite and flavor added by the fried onions. The recipe of fried onions is at the bottom and I quote directly from a post made by Rocky Mohan on sikandalous cuisine teaching us how to make Biristi perfectly.
250 Grams Paneer - Cubed.
1 Small Onion - Minced.
1 Small Tomato Chopped.
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1/2 Teaspoon Minced Ginger.
1/2 Teaspoon Jeera Powder
1.5 Teaspoons Kasoori Methi
Haldi , Salt , Chili Powder to taste.
1-2 Tablespoons Biristi ( 2 crushed lightly 1 left whole )

Heat oil , add onions , when they begin to change color add tomatoes , ginger garlic and dhania powder, Sprinkle water and cook covered on low till oil separates , now add Kasoori methi haldi salt and red chili powder , cook 1 minute and then add paneer , bhuno for 3-4 minutes , sprinkle jeera powder and adjust flavors .
When ready to serve crush Biristi and mix into the paneer and sprinkle some on top . The fried onions add not just a crunch but also an interesting sweetness that goes well with the flavors of Kasoori Methi

Biristi  - Thank you Rocky Mohan for sharing this detailed procedure with us :

"Biristi" or Fried Onions are an art to do. Thought I should share my take on doing so after I read Divya Rahimtula mention to "Biristi" in her wonderful recipe of Hara Masala Chops.
The key to crispy fried onions or Biristi is thinly sliced onions. They should be very thin and transparent.
Heat plenty of oil in a deep frying pan or a wok but on low heat. Add the onions and they should submerge in the oil. Wait for the bubbles and then turn up the heat to medium. Do not stir much till they start to get a color. Too much stirring leads to un-even browning. A fine balance to be maintained here to avoid burning. Once the onions turn light golden, watch carefully at this stage because they will go to dark brown very very quickly. Once they turn a light brown switch off the heat. The onions will continue to brown. Remove the onions and let them drain in a sieve rather than on a kitchen towel.
Then spread them out on a tray allowing them to go crisp. Toss them around while they cool. These can be stored in an air tight container for at least two weeks.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Punj Rattani Dal

I have reproduced this recipe as was given in PRASHAD , COOKING WITH INDIAN MASTERS , a fantastic must have cookbook by Jiggs Kalra . This masterpiece is a celebration of the foods of India through the culinary geniuses of some of the finest Chefs in the country.
30 Grams Whole Moong Dal.
30 Grams Whole Masoor Dal.
30 Grams Whole Urad Dal.
30 Grams Channa Dal.
30 Grams Tur Dal
( 30 Grams Dal = 1 Teaspoon )
6 Tablespoons Ghee
1 Teaspoon Balck Cumin Seeds.
50 Grams/1/3 Cup Onions - chopped
2 Teaspoons Coriander Powder.
1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder.
1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder.
1 Teaspoon Fennel / Sauf Powder.
1/3 Cup Chopped Green Coriander.
Wash dals and soak in water 1 hour , then drain.
The Tempering:
4 Tablespoons White Butter.
60 Grams/ 1/4 Cup Tomatoes - chopped fine.
60 Grams / 1/4 Cup Yogurt - whisked.
1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala Powder.

Heat ghee , add cumin seeds . When they begin to splutter add chopped onions , cook till light brown and then add all the dals / lentils and ' bhuno ' 5 minutes .Add 2 liters water , bring to a boil , clear any scum/dirt on the surface , then add coriander powder , haldi , red chili powder and salt . Cook covered over low heat until dals are cooked and water is down to 1/3d of the original quantity ( this is a thick dal ) .Lightly mash the dals against the sides , sprinkle cumin and fennel powder- mix well adjust flavors and cook another 2-3 minutes .
The tempering / Chownk : melt butter , add tomatoes yogurt and garam masala . Bhuno over medium heat till the fat leaves the sides.Add to the dal , cook another 1-2 minutes , garnish with coriander / dhania leaves and serve with rice / rotis.
Absolutely delicious !

Sikandalous Cuisine https://www.facebook.com/groups/325180622895/

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Thai Chicken Patties

Thai Chicken Patties

These patties are made using the same recipe that is used to make Larb Gai - the hot and spicy Thai Chicken Salad :
400 Grams Boneless Thigh Meat
4 Birdseye Red Chilies ( Adjust )
6-8 Cloves of Garlic - Chopped
1/2 " Galanga - Minced.
1" Fresh & Tender Lemon Grass - Minced
1 Red Onion - Chopped.
1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce ( Will work well with a light Soy Sauce too ).
Juice of 2 Lemons ( adjust ).
Bunch of Mint and Basil Leaves .
Look out for the ' twist at the end !
Using a knife roughly chop the chicken to make a coarse mince . Shouldn't be fine .
Marinate and cling wrap the chicken in all the ingredients but for the greens & oil for a couple of hours to infuse flavors .
Shape patties fry them covered them in a non stick using very little oil for 3 minutes on each side . Fry covered to retain all juices .

Now the twist ! Once patties are done , remove from pan , retain the juices /oil left after cooking them . Add a bit more oil if needed then add some minced garlic to the oil , salt and black pepper or any chilli flavoring ... saute 30 seconds ,then add 1/2 cup orange juice / grape juice or some wine ... cook over high heat to reduce to a few tablespoons , taste and balance flavors - add salt , chili , sugar or lemon juice IF needed , then add the patties back , cook covered 2 minutes on low heat after coating with the sauce and serve with some delicious greens !

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Sunday, 27 October 2013

Gujrati Spicy Dal

This recipe is from Christine Manfield's Tasting India . The list of ingredients looks like it's a lot of work , but once you have everything measured out the cooking process is a quick and easy one .
200 Grams Toor Dal.
1 Onion Grated.
15 Grams Grated Fresh Coconut .
Handful Coriander Leaves.
1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds.
2 Teaspoons poppy Seeds.
Curry Leaves.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
4 Green Chilies.
1 Tomato Chopped.
1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder.
chili Powder.
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar.
Wash dal thoroughly , boil in 500 Ml water till soft and water is almost absorbed . Takes 10-12 minutes , don't pressure cook into a mash .Set aside.
Heat oil , fry onions and coconut till they start to brown , Cool and grind to a paste with 2 green chilies and half the coriander leaves.
In a wok , fry all the seeds till they begin to pop , add curry leaves , ginger garlic paste , green chilies and tomatoes . Also add the onion / coconut paste , cook covered till oil begins to separate , then add all the spice and sugar . Cook 2-3 minutes .Add boiled dal , mix gently . Cook 3-5 minutes to marry flavors , adjust flavors and garnish with remaining coriander when ready to serve.
This is a slightly thick and delicious dal - nice and spicy . You don't really taste the sugar and the coconut flavors are underplayed here. I like this dal with roti .

Sikandalous Cuisine https://www.facebook.com/groups/325180622895/

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Stir Fried Bok Choy

Stir Fried Bok Choy

10 Baby Bok Choy - Separate some leave and leave some intact .
1 Small Onion - Thinly slice and fry till medium to dark brown , set aside to cool , it will become nice sweetish and crisp.
8-10 Cloves Garlic - Cut length wise and fry as above.
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic
1/2 Tablespoon sesame oil.
Wash Bok Choy , retain a bit of water on them. Heat sesame oil ,add minced garlic and seasoning , when garlic begins to soften (30 seconds ? ) gently mix in bok choy , cover wok with a lid and 30 seconds later shut the flame . Keep lid on and let the greens cook under the heat within - 5 minutes max.When ready to serve - mix in fried onions and garlic and serve at once.You gets wonderful crunch and semi sweet garlicky flavors with each bite !
I keep a jar of fried onions and fried garlic handy at all times , which makes these dishes easy to prepare in under 6 minutes .

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Thursday, 24 October 2013

Basil Crusted Fish

2 Boneless Fillets of Sole ( or any firm fish of your choice )
2 White Bread Slices .
Bunch Of Basil ( About 4 Tablespoons when minced )
Zest Of 1/2 Lemon . 
Juice of The Full Lemon.
1 Teaspoon Grainy Mustard .
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Paste
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil.

Marinate the fish in mustard , olive oil ,garlic , lemon juice , salt and about 1/2 teaspoon chopped basil for about 30 minutes .

Meanwhile prepare the bread crumb by breaking bread into pieces and in a food processor with the chopped basil and lemon zest blitz to make rough crumbs , not fine but rough .Essentially you give 2 short twirls to the processor !

Preheat oven to 190 . In a baking dish arrange the fillets . Press the crumbs firmly onto the fillets . Bake 10-12 minutes till done . Absolutely delicious !

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