Saturday, 31 May 2014

Indigo Deli

Indigo Deli's opening took Delhi by storm - literately , yesterday Delhi witnessed a freak storm that coincided with Indigo Deli's much awaited opening at Ambi Mall , Vasant Kunj. The efficiency of the service and the kitchen is remarkable , given that they had opened not even 36 hours ago.Excellent food - pizzas and salads get a high 5 from me oh yes lamb chops and some delicious smokey sticky chicken wings too. Sourish swore by the minestrone soup and eggs Benedict he ate the night before.
Generous portions , and delicious food - Rahul & Malinin Akerkar's warmth made the meal even more special. I plan to head there for breakfast next time , BTW breakfast is from 10 AM till closing time .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Fish in Raw Mango Salsa.

Tangy and summery this recipe has no fixed recipe so go with what is handy / what your taste buds tell you works for you.I had fish marinating in mustard paste so used that . However you don't even need to marinate the fish in anything as the flavors here are superb.
200 Grams Boneless Sole - Cubed.
4-5 Tablespoons Raw Mango Grated ( from large holes ).
1 Teaspoon Chopped Garlic.
1 Tomato Chopped.
1/2 Onion - Chopped.
1 Cup Dhania Leaves ( You cant have enough of them ! )
Marinate fish in the paste of 1 tablespoon mustard seeds + 2 Green Chilies for 20 minutes while you get the rest of the ingredients read.
Heat 2 Teaspoon oil , saute garlic , as it softens ( no color ) add onions and the fish.Saute and cook covered on medium heat for 2 minutes , the fish will be ready , now add salt , half the dhania leave , mango and tomato .Mix and cook covered on low heat for 1 minute . You want to just warm up the mango , tomatoes and dhania leaves for them to release their flavors and yet retain a bite.Chill , and add the balance dhania leaves when ready to serve.This make a beautiful looking delicious salad .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Parsee Red Chicken Curry

This recipe is from Camellia Punjabi's 50 Great curries of India , and lives up to it's name - It's seriously RED in color.

1 Chicken - 800 grams
10 Dried Red Kashmiri Chilies.
1 Tablespoon Tamarind Pulp.
1 1/4 Cups Grated Coconut.
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Sesame Seeds.
4 Cloves.
6 Peppercorn.
1" Cinnamon Stick.
1 1/2 " Ginger.
6 Large Cloves Garlic.
3/4 Cups Coarsely Chopped Onion.
65 Ml Oil.
1 Teaspoon Kashmiri Chili Powder ( Color )
2 Tomatoes Finely Chopped.
1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
Soak chilies in hot water for 15 minutes.
Extract milk from 1 cup coconut - 500 -600 Ml ( or use packet )
Put chilies , remaining coconut all the spice ginger , garlic and onions in a food processor and make a fine paste.
Heat oil , add the paste , cook 10 minutes till oil separates  and add chicken.Fry another 10 minutes , then add salt and tomatoes , cook covered till nearly done.
Now add the coconut milk , tamarind paste , red chili powder and sugar.Cook till you get the desired gravy.Adjust flavors.
I made mine much spicier and it came out delicious .
The color freaked me out !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Exotic Baked Pumpkin.

1. Experiment with what is at have . I took 1/2 cup parsley leaves , 1 teaspoon garlic paste , juice of 2 lemons , salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Zapped to a sauce/dressing consistency.
2. Take a tender pumpkin and cut off a suitable sized wedge as per requirement . Make slits in the pumpkin as shown in the pic till halfway to the base.

3. Spoon in the dressing into the slits . Fill whole cloves , and garlic cloves ito the slits as shown in the pic. Bake covered with foil for 20 minutes at 180C. Super healthy and delicious.

Keep the flavors of the sauce / dressing on the higher side as that will flavor the pumpkin. I sometimes add orange juice to the dressing , just 2-3 tablespoons.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Pumpkin Flower Fritters / Kaddu Kay Phool Ki Bhaji

Prepare filling of your choice . I boiled potato , peeled and mashed it with some salt and green chiles , chopped onions and a bit of raw mustard oil.

Make the batter - mix besan + 1 Teaspoon rice flour salt and chili powder with water , allow batter to rest 10-15 minutes. Now adjust consistency , it should be like dosa batter.

Wash flowers and remove stigma , dry . With your finger apply raw Mustard Oil lightly inside each flower. Set aside.

Gently hold the flower in one hand and spoon in the potato filling into the flower , slightly compact.

Now dip each flower in batter and fry , turning the flower once only.
Crunchy and delicious .
Sikandalous Cuisine

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Kaddu aur Channa Dal

I use tender green pumpkin for this recipe , and cook it unpeeled.This tastes best if the dal is thick and not watery.
1 Cup Channa Dal.
250 Grams Kaddu.
2 Onions - Sliced long.
3 Tomatoes - Chopped.
2 Tablespoons Chopped Garlic.
1 Teaspoon Each , Kilonji , Mustard Seeds & Jeera Seeds.
Curry Putta.
A Pinch Hing.
Dried Red Chilies.
Amchoor - To taste.
Mustard Oil

Soak dal for 1 hour , then boil it with haldi in 4 cups water.Cook till the dal is done . Mash a bit with a spoon . Set aside.
Heat mustard oil , when it smokes remove from the fire , splutter seeds , return to fire and then add onions and garlic. Cook till onions just about begin to brown , then add tomatoes and dried chilies and curry putta , add hing too and cook covered till tomatoes soften.Now add pumpkin , mix well and cook covered till pumpkin is done.
Pour the pumpkin into the dal , mix well , cook another 5 minutes for flavors to develop and blend in and you get the desired consistency .Add amchoor , cook another 1 minute - do a final adjustment and you ready with a delicious and kaddu daal .
I make this thick and like it with roti , not rice .

Monday, 19 May 2014

Sikandalous Cuisine's MasterClass @ Smoke House Deli

Smoke House Deli , Hauz Khas Village was buzzing at 10:30 this morning - 18 members of sikandalous cuisine attended a MasterClass by Chef Shamsul Wahid where we were taught some superb dishes .Today's class wasn't just a detailed cooking demonstration , Shamsul shared a lot of tips , techniques and had the riveted as he took to the drawing board or suddenly gave us a demonstration in Modernist Cuisine by showing us some molecular gastronomy techniques using liquid nitrogen to create a delicious vodka orange juice smoothie or a more doable smoking beets using ice and burning coal .
We learnt how to make Pomegranate & Aragula Gazpacho , Smoked Beetroot and Orange Salad , Red Onion & Goat Cheese Tart , Kathiya Wheat Fettuccine and Wild Mushroom Braised Chicken . We then sat down to this very delicious meal , washed down with wine . A fantastic class taken by a very talented and humble chef ! 

Sikandalous Cuisine

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Mutton in Ginger & Onion Paste

I thought up this recipe as I wanted something different from the regular stuff I have been making . It came out delicious.

Marinate 500 grams of mutton in 2 tablespoons raw mustard oil , 1 heaped tablespoon ginger paste , 1 tablespoon thick curd , salt and 4-5 broken dried red chilies.I cling wrapped and kept this for 4 hours.

I then took a pressure cooker , added the marinated meat with no water , and pressure cooked it for 2 whistles, took it off the flame and allowed it to cool down under pressure - 30 minutes , only when cool I removed the whistle .By now the mutton is 75% cooked and there was quite a bit of liquid in the cooker .

I poured the mutton and juices into a wok , added the puree of 1 medium sized onion and 1 tablespoon dhania powder AND 2 tablespoon raw cold mustard oil ! Then cooked covered over low heat till mutton was nicely done, I kept bhunoing it occasionally .
When mutton had cooked I added 1/3d cup water and 1 teaspoon jeera powder and 1 teaspoon of Kashmiri Mirch for the lovely red color , allowed it to cook covered 1 minute to blend flavors, then turned off the heat.

This came out delicious . There is no garlic or any spice other than dhania and jeera powder and nor did I miss any , there is a lovely ginger flavor - it's subtle but its there

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Pui Saag 0r Malabar Spinach

This saag isn't seen too often where I live so I rarely get to make it .Thick and juicy stems are cleaned and chopped along with the leaves and often this is cooked with other vegetables. I love the taste do don't add any other greens/ vegetables.
500 Grams Pui Saag.
1 Teaspoon Panch Phoron - A mixture of  fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seed in equal parts.
Paste of 1 tablespoon Mustard Seeds and 1 teaspoon Poppy Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Grated Ginger.
Whole Dried Red Chiles / Green Chilies with slits to taste.
2 Tablespoons Mustard Oil.
Heat Mustard oil , splutter seeds , then add the whole chiles and ginger  . After 30 seconds add the saag , haldi and salt. Cook covered.Saag will release water , to that add the poppy and mustard paste , mix well and finish cooking the saag . Total cooking time around 10 minutes , the saag comes out superb .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Review of Bijoli Grill

Bijoli Grill , Banga Bhawan - In my opinion the ultimate place for delicious non veg Bengali food , though my exposure to Bengali food is very limited I must confess. I happily left the ordering to my hosts Vaishali & Jayanta Das, and was not disappointed by the selection or the meal that was served . Starters we had Kabitaji Cutlets - a very special cutlet coated with an unusually prepared egg thread batter - the end result fantastic.We then ate Begun Bhaja ( Shanks of Baingan ), these looked very good but lacked flavor , I think they kept the salt low to avoid water loss and shape, followed by Bhaja Moong Dal and Alu Posto .

The feast for me began with Rui Macher Kalia - a fish preparation I believe served at weddings etc , followed by Pabda Shorshe - a fish served in a delicious mustard gravy and Pabda Jhal - a spicy and lightly tangy fish . The meal ended with a sweet and tangy yummy Tomato Chutney and Papad - no we had no place for any Mishti after this !
This is my second visit here - the place is privately run , clean and has great service - the food was by and large outstanding - specially the non vegetarian fare . Go early , they sell out and shut for lunch by 2:30 !

Monday, 12 May 2014

Oil Free mustard Fish

This is super delicious ,oil free and bursting with flavors .You wont miss the oil I assure you.
Recipe is andaaz say / approximates so adjust flavors .
2 Fillets of Boneless Sole , approximate total weight 150 Grams
Make a marinade by grinding to a paste :
1/2 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard Seeds
1/2 Teaspoon Black Mustard seeds
4 Cloves Garlic.
2 Green Chilies.
2 Tablespoons Thick Curd.
Marinate the fish in the above , 30 minutes later bake covered with foil for 20 minutes at 190-200 C. I sometimes add big chinks of leek and cooked with the fish .At other times eat this fish with:
Baked Vegetables:
Assorted vegetables cut in large chunks , prefer them unpeeled along with lots of whole unpeeled garlic , a generous splash of balsamic vinegar , soy sauce and 1 teaspoon oil.Mix all , put in an an dish , bake covered with foil for 20 minutes till done.You can adjust salt etc even after the vegetables are baked - I add prunes and orange chunks for sweet and sour flavors.
Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Dhaba by Claridges - Cyber Hub , Gurgaon

The moment you enter this restaurant , you cannot but help smile , a happy and cheerful atmosphere greets you - colors , paintings and nostalgia all rolled up in one to put together this fun and warm restaurant .The food is authentic North Indian Dhaba ka khana - full of ' swaad ' and is true to the cuisine found in Dhabas that dot our highways .
Today I was fortunate to be indulged by Chef Ravi Saxena who walked me through a delicious menu of starters , plated platters - vegetarian and nonn vegetarian followed by  the ultimate thaali service to end this feast with .We ate old traditional favorites , and some with a special twist yet remaining true to the original tastes and dish.
There was tawa chicken on toasted misi roti , delicious melt in the mouth baby galouti kababs on gilafi kulchas , toasted pao sticks with keema and the ultimate bun omlette - full full desi style .Balancing these proteins were mini vada cocktail sticks , kache aam ka roll and soy papadam cones.
Just when I thought I couldn't eat more , I feasted on dhaba prawns , mutton boti and tangri murg - followed by amazing drop off the bone balti meat , butter chicken and adraki chhap - oh yes there was a chicken tiffin too - did manage to taste an amazing baingan ka bharta , chili paneer , lasooni palak and bharwan guchi curry.
I just about tasted the Saffron phirni , Mango rasmalai roll and gulukand kay gulab jamun with rabri .
You know what , I think I may have just shared the menu of our next event which will be at Dhaba - Cyber Hub , Gurgaon .
Sikandalous Cuisine

Monday, 5 May 2014


Toovar Dal Dhumita or Smoke flavored dal . This recipe is from WelcomZest. The word 'Hindal' translates to conquer India , here appropriated to mean the conquering dal of India !

In a feast for his Persian hosts before his departure for India Emperor Humayun had his chefs turn out the finest of Indian dishes they could muster- amongst them was Dal Khuska**.Sharh Tahmasp found himself asking repeatedly for Dal Khuska , a food he had never tasted and this unassuming dish cast a spell on the entire Persian contingent - and also kick started the trade between the two countries in Ghee , Rice and Haldi !
Ingredients :
1 Cup Arhar Dal
1 Teaspoon Ginger Grated.
1 Teaspoon Green Chilies - Finely chopped.
1 Bayleaf.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi.
3 Tab;espoons Ghee.
1/2 Cup Yogurt.
A pinch of Saffron- lightly roast , and grind in a bit of water.
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice.

To Smoke:
1 Betal Leaf ( I didnt use )
Paste of 2 Green Cardamons + 2 Cloves.
A piece of Charcoal .

To Temper:
3/4th Teaspoon Jeera.
1/4 Teaspoon Methe Seeds.
Dried red Chilies.
2 Tablespoons Onions ( Finely chopped ).
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic ( Finely chopped ).
1/2 Tablespoon Jaggery Powder.
4 Tablespoons Diced Tomatoes.
Mint Leaves

Wash and soak dal for for 1 hour , drain well.
In 6 cups boiling water add dal , bay leaf , green chilies , ginger , haldi and half tablespoon ghee - boil over moderate heat covered tightly until done.Remove from heat , discard the bay leaf ,add salt , whisked yogurt ,dissolved saffron and lemon juice.Mix well and cook another 8-10 minutes on low heat.
Place a katori on the dal , on it place a burning piece of charcoal , on that add the paste and a bit of ghee , when it smokes cover the dal tightly with a lid and allow the smoke to infuse 10 minutes , then remove the katori and leave covered .
Lastly heat balance ghee in a small frying pan , splutter the methe and jeera , then add dried whole red chilies and onions & garlic and saute till golden.Now quickly add the jaggery , once it turns a rich reddish color add the tomatoes asute 10-15 seconds only and pour the tempering onto the cooked dal - stir and leave tightly covered till ready to eat .Garnish with mint leaves .
This recipe has to be experienced !

** Khuska is basmati rice cooked with desi ghee and some lemon juice.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Odiya Sour Fish

500 gm rohu fish cut into pieces 1/4 inch thick pieces
200gms Fresh Bhindi
4 Tablespoon Mustard Oil
1 Teaspoon Panch Photon
1 Tablespoon Turmeric Powder
1 Teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
½ Teaspoon Sugar
4-5 whole green chillies
2 pieces of dried raw mango or 1 Tsp aamchur powder.
3 Tablespoon Mustard & One tablespoon jeera soaked in water and made to a smooth paste
Clean the fish.Marrinate with Turmeric powder,Chillie powder and Salt.
If you're using dried mango piece then soak it in 1/2 cup of warm water.
Wash and dry bhenddi
Chop off the tip and the base of bhenddi n cut to one inch pieces.
Put the in a bowl and sprinkle with ½ of Turmeric and little Salt
Heat 3 Tbsp Mustard oil in a Kadai or Wok
Heat it.Deep fry the fish till golden colour on both side.Keep aside.
Add rest oil the whole 5 spices mix and allow to crackle.
Add the cut bhenddi pieces and the whole green chilli.
Shallow fry for 5 minutes
Now add the Turmeric and Chilli Powder,Aamchur powder and the mustard paste.
Cook open on low heat for 5 minutes.
Add the fish.Cook for another 5 minutes.
Evaporate any extra moisture,the mustard sauce should stick to the fish and bhinddi pieces.
Serve with Rice and Daal.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Sarson Aur Ghee wala Meat

This recipe was inspired by the Dahi Wala Meat I had shared a week ago , here the we pressure cook the marinated mutton ( in Mustard Oil ) , and then later cook it in a wok with ghee - the defining step is adding
500 grams Mutton.
2 Heaped Tablespoons Hung Curd.
1 Tablespoon Garlic Paste
2 Heaped Tablespoons Chopped Onions.
2 Heaped Tablespoons Chopped Green Dhania Leaves.
3 Pieces Star Anise ( or use 4-6 cloves )
1 Tomato Chopped.
1 Table Spoon Mustard Oil.
1 Tablespoon Ghee
2 Tablespoons julienne ginger sticks.

I took the same base recipe , added 1 chopped tomato , used 1 tablespoon of raw mustard oil in the marination - next day added ghee and pressure cooked the marinated mutton for 2 whistles - No bhuno nothing , jy=ust pressure cook.
I then let the cooker cool down , when opened the meat was 80% cooked
Next emptied the pressure cooker - meat juices and all in a wok and cooked over high heat for 10 minutes to bhuno . At the end I added 2 tablespoons of julienne ginger sticks , allowed another 2-3 minutes of cooking in a tightly covered wok . The end result was MAHA SWAAD - or super delicious .

This recipe is also influenced by a relatively unknown Nepali recipe called Kwap - where ghee and mustard oil are used together and the initial cooking is under pressure / tightly covered .

Sikandalous Cuisine