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 .

Sikandalous Cuisine

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 .

Sikandalous Cuisine

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.

Sikandalous Cuisine

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.

Sikandalous Cuisine

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 .

Sikandalous Cuisine

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 !

Sikandalous Cuisine

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 .

Sikandalous Cuisine

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

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

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

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

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.