Wednesday, 31 December 2014

sikandalous cuisine

My dear sikandalous family - I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a wonderful , healthy and happy 2015 . Sikandalous Cuisine is not just another group on Facebook - it genuinely is one large joint family where love , occasional fights (!) and goodies flow generously from all our kitchens to each others homes.Through this group I have come to meet and know many wonderful people who have touched my life in more ways than one - I am sure this has been your experience too .
I can honestly say that outside some human relationships , sikandalous cuisine is the most precious part of my life , and I treasure what you all have given to make us the success we are . I thank you all for your love and support , and I hope you don't judge me too harshly when I play the havaldar - I am sure you know how much you mean to me and how deeply I appreciate what you all have contributed to make us the big name we are.
Stay blessed my friends - God Bless your families and your table - may 2015 be YOUR year ... filled with health , love and laughter and delicious food ! You guys mean the world to me , thank you for being a part of my life .

Egg Kurma

Another gem from Sumeet Nair's The Bangala Table this recipe is a total winner all the way . Remember there is no runny gravy here , make it as you see it here and you cant go wrong with this recipe.
Wet Paste:
1.5 Tablespoons Oil.
2 Teaspoons Fennel.
1.5 Teaspoons Jeera.
3 Green Chilies.
4 Cloves Garlic.
1 Teaspoon Khus Khus / Poppy Seeds.
1 1/2 " Ginger.
2 Tablespoons Roasted Bengal Gram Dal.
6 Unsalted Cashews.
1/2 Cup Grated Coconut.
To make wet paste heat oil , when hot but not smoking ad fennel , jeera , chilies , garlic , poppy seeds and ginger , stir till aromatic , then add the rest and cook till coconut is light brown - will take 10 minutes on so . Do cook gently .Cool and grind to a paste.
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil.
2 Teaspoons Ghee.
2" Cinnamon.
3 Green Cardamons.
1 Medium Onion Chopped.
2 Tomatoes Pureed.
1 3/4 Cups Hot Water
5 Boiled & Shelled Eggs - Make slits in the whites but don't cut deep.

Heat oil and ghee , add whole spice , once they have plumped up nicely , add haldi and onions and cook till onions are translucent .Pour in the tomato puree and wet paste , mix well , add salt and cook till oil has separated from the masala . Now add 1 & 3/4th cups hot water , simmer on low for a minute , add in the eggs and cook another 3-4 minutes .Take the dish off heat and allow eggs to ' marinate ' in masala as these delicious flavors permeate.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Apple & Tomato Rasam

1 Cup Toor Dal.
4 Tomatoes - Chopped.
1 Red Apple Grated With Skin
Tamarind to Taste.
A Pinch of Hing.
2 Teaspoon Black Mustard Seeds
1 Teaspoon Toor Dal
1 Teaspoon Urad Dal.
Curry Le
Grind Together Coarsely :
2 Teaspoons Jeera.
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns.
A few Dried Red Chilies.
Soak daal for 20 minutes , add chopped tomatoes and give one whistle and shut.Leave under pressure till it cools , and lightly mash it all up with tamarind paste - you can keep adjusting the sourness later.Add 4 cups boiling hot water and salt . Set aside.
Heat oil add mustard seeds and uncooked daals , curry leaves . 1 minute later add ground masala ,cook 30 seconds and add the tomato tamarind daal mixture. Simmer covered on low heat for 5-6 minutes .Then add in the grated apples , cook just 1 minute more and take off heat.Allow the rasam to sit covered for 10 minutes for the flavors of apple to marry and blend in .Taste , adjust and enjoy a healthy hot drink this winter !
Sikandalous Cuisine

Monday, 29 December 2014

Paneer Ki Bhujia Revisited

Simple light and delicious , paneer ki bhujia is comfort food for me . No fixed ingredients , just keep it simple and let the fresh ingredients do their job.
Crumble 500 Grams Paneer , leave in a strainer 15-20 minutes for the water to run . Don't squeeze .
2 Large Red Peppers chopped ( as in the pic )
1 Large Yellow Pepper Chopped.
1/2 Large Onion Chopped Similarly .
2 Cups chopped Hara Dhania - the more the better . Some green chilies as per taste .
In a bit of oil / ghee cover and cook over very low heat peppers and onions till they begin to get a bit limp ,they must retain shape and a bite. Add in half of the dhania leaves along with some chopped / whole green chilies.Cook covered for 1 minute for the dhania leaves to warm up and release their delicious aroma . Now add the paneer and salt , mix well and cook covered for another 2-3 minutes to infuse the paneer with all the flavors .Take off the fire and add the balance dhania leaves , lightly mix it and keep covered for another 10 minutes - you end up with a delicious aromatic paneer ki bhujia .

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Mutton Podimas ( Keema )

I have adapted this recipe from Sumeet Nair's fabulous cookbook - The Bangala Table - its a gem of a buy and has plenty vegetarian recipes too.
Podimas means the mashing process , podi I believe means making into small bits - which is probably the reason why this keema dish is called such .
200 Grams Minced Mutton
Wet Paste
3 Dried Red Chilies - Preferably the milder Goondu Milagai .
1 Green Cardamon Pod.
1/ " Cinnamon .
1/2 " Ginger.
1/2 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns.
1 Teaspoon Fennel.
1 Teaspoon Cumin.
4 Teaspoons Grated Coconut .
7 Cloves Garlic.
Grind all the wet ingredients mentioned under ' Wet Paste '
1 Medium Onion Chopped.
1 Tomato Chopped.
Green Peas
Egg- My addition
Heat oil and fry some mutton bones till nicely browned ( my touch , not a part of the recipe ) - take your time doing this as they will release some wonderful flavors into your dish .

Then add onions saute  till translucent  add tip in the wet paste, haldi and salt.Cook gently till oil separates , now add tomatoes - I pureed them and cook another 2-3 minutes .At this stage add keema and give it a good bhuno - that gives you color and gets rid of that keema smell ( For some reason bhunoing isn't done much as per the recipe but do it ) .Now you can either pressure cook with some water or let it simmer covered .When nearly done add the peas/eggs and cook till done.
This keema is absolutely delicious - I upped spice to suit my taste and egg really enhanced the experience .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Chicken Terrine

Set Oven temp at 170C
( Inspired by Bhicoo Manekshaws book ' Feast Of Love ' )
A standard tin loaf 9" X 5" greased .
10-12 rashers of bacon ( optional )
If you are using bacon - trim the hard rind bits and line the sides and bottom of the baking dish with the bacon .
Set to chill in the fridge while you prepare the filling .
750 grams minced chicken .
1 large white onion chopped pea size .
2 - 3 tablespoons chopped red bell peppers .
2 - 3 tablespoons chopped celery .
1 tablespoon chopped garlic .
3 hard boiled eggs coarsely chopped .
2 Tablespoons cognac .
Freshly pounded black pepper to taste .
Salt to taste .
Fresh bread crumbs made from 8 - 10 slices of white bread .
Mix the above well .
Separately mix
100 grams cream
3 freshly beaten eggs .
1/4 teaspoon baking soda .
Gently combine the cream and freshly beaten egg mixture with the chicken mixture - minimum pressure while mixing.
Spoon this entire mixture into the baking dish , patting the mixture firmly to spread evenly .
Once filled seal the dish with silver foil - SEAL VERY WELL so that no steam enters it while cooking .
Place the dish in a Bain- Marie or in a large enough pot by resting the
baking dish on something so that it doesn't sit directly on the bottom
of the pot . Pour water 3-4 inches in the big pot - should not touch the
baking dish . Seal the big pot and set in the oven to ' bake ' for 90
minutes .
Remove to cool , refrigerate overnight .
Turn out on a platter . Slice some of the chicken loaf and serve chilled / room temperature .

* Fresh Bread Crumbs are made by trimming the sides of the bread and
running the bread 4-5 pieces at a time in a food processor - just enough
to make them crumble .
Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Christmas Cake -1

Merry Christmas Sikandalous Family - May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through .
This recipe was given to me by Eva Sud a few years ago - she gave me the recipe and cake . I use the recipe as a reference point and play with the ingredients. Each time it comes out superb.
I soaked all the candied fruits and raisins etc in 100 Ml Dark Rum & 150 Ml Peach Brandy along with Vanilla Pods in an airtight container for 3 days. You can use any on no alcohol.

Clean and finely chop 750-800 grams in total of Sultanas, Raisins and Currants.
100 Grams Walnuts and Almonds in total.
50 Candied Ginger.

Sift together:
250g Flour.
30g Cocoa
1 Teaspoon each Powdered Cinnamon,Cloves and Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon All Spice.
Lightly Beat together 4 eggs, 1/2 Teaspoon each Vanilla, lemon and Almond Essence and 1Tablespoonp Honey.
Cream together 225g Each Butter and Brown sugar.Gradually add egg mixture to butter mixture.
Fold in half the flour mixture and then the other half with the fruit and nuts.Add milk and rum to taste to make a soft dropping consistency.

Grease and line a large tin and make a newspaper mat on which to place it. Pour in the batter. Bake at 200 C for 1 hour and then lower heat to 150 C for another hour.
Check for readiness when a skewer comes out clean otherwise another 10 minutes on low heat should do it.
Cool and remove from tin.Wrap in foil and store. Can be made a couple of months before Christmas.
How much rum you wish to use is your choice , I didn't feed the cake any alcohol after it was made as I find that quite overpowering .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Quiche Lorraine

150 Grams Flour.
A Pinch of Salt.
1 Teaspoon of Herbs
120 Grams of Chilled - Cut butter into small cubes.

Mix salt and herbs into the flour and then using your fingers and thumb rub the chilled butter into the flour to get a  'breadcrumb' type consistency.Add 3-4 tablespoons iced water , however remember you want a crumbly mixture not a dough as in for rotis . Now gather the pastry dough and pat it into a ball ,it should be moist enough to just about hold.This will ensure a delicious khasta/flaky crust when you bite into it.


Cling wrap the ball of pastry in the fridge for 45 minutes, This is an important step as it allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which again helps make the baked pastry more flaky.
You now lightly roll out the pastry and put in your flan tin. Prick the base of the pastry all over. You can even pat smaller pieces into the mould to cover the entire base and sides .

In a preheated oven ( 180C ) bake the quiche pastry for 10 minutes , take out and set aside to cool . Don't unmould at this stage .

The Filling

You can use bacon , sausage or plain mushrooms ..Or use red peppers cut pea size - just use what works for you including broccoli florets.
Here is what I used:
10 mushrooms cleaned and cut into 4 pieces with stems trimmed  .
1/3 cup chopped leeks including some of the green part.
3/4th Cup Chopped Chicken Masala Sausages .
3 Eggs .
100 Grams cream .
1 Cup or less grated cheese , I use a cheddar and mix some Parmesan .
1/2 Teaspoon of black pepper .
Some chopped fresh chopped parsley .
1 Teaspoon baking powder .

In some olive oil over high heat add the crushed black pepper and sausage , stir 2-3 minutes then add all the vegetables and cook another 2-3 minutes.Leave everything half done.Remove from heat and cool totally .Beat up the eggs and cream . Add all other ingredients . Mix in the cooked filling. Pour into the pastry flan .Bake at 190C for 25 minutes till done .
Eat warm or cold .I can't walk past the fridge when I know there is leftover quiche calling me !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Tamatar Cut With Omelets

This is one of those recipes that just happened in my mind and now I use tamatar cut with paneer , fish and even potatoes - goes great with eggs too , so let your imagination run wild and use up what you have in the fridge . There are no fixed quantities - go with the flow ! We make this tamatar cut as a side dish . Tastes great with plain rice or on its own with roti - make it sweet or spicy , you are the boss of the dish .
Tamatar Cut.
250 Grams Onions - Peel and slice thickly
500 Grams Tomatoes - Puree half and cut half in chunks.
1 Teaspoon kilonji - at times I use Rai seeds or even Jeera.
2 Tablespoons Sliced Ginger - 1/2 " long.
2 Tablespoons Garlic - Roughly Chopped .
Lots of Whole Red/Green Chilies.
Curry Putta.
1 Tablespoon Sugar.
2 Teaspoons Kashmiri Mirchi.
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice.
Heat oil , splutter seeds . Add curry putta , ginger and garlic and whole chilies - cook till garlic becomes soft , maybe 2 minutes, next add the tomato puree , cook 2-3 minutes covered and then add the rest of the ingredients , gently mix , cook covered on low till tomatoes and onions begin to loose shape.That's it - your tamatar cut is ready.

Now you are the boss - so if you wish , serve this as is , or take 3 eggs , make an omelet , make thick slices and gently fold into the tamatar cut - or perhaps 3 boiled eggs cut into 2 !
Happy eating

Tamatar Cut Aur Paneer.

This is one of those recipes that just happened in my mind and now I use tamatar cut with paneer , fish and even potatoes - goes great with eggs too , so let your imagination run wild and use up what you have in the fridge . There are no fixed quantities - go with the flow ! We make this tamatar cut as a side dish . Tastes great with plain rice or on its own with roti - make it sweet or spicy , you are the boss of the dish .

Tamatar Cut.

250 Grams Onions - Peel and slice thickly
500 Grams Tomatoes - Puree half and cut half in chunks.
1 Teaspoon kilonji - at times I use Rai seeds or even Jeera.
2 Tablespoons Sliced Ginger - 1/2 " long.
2 Tablespoons Garlic - Roughly Chopped .
Lots of Whole Red/Green Chilies.
Curry Putta.
1 Tablespoon Sugar.
2 Teaspoons Kashmiri Mirchi.
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice.
Heat oil , splutter seeds . Add curry putta , ginger and garlic and whole chilies - cook till garlic becomes soft , maybe 2 minutes, next add the tomato puree , cook 2-3 minutes covered and then add the rest of the ingredients , gently mix , cook covered on low till tomatoes and onions begin to loose shape.That's it - your tamatar cut is ready.
Now you are the boss - so if you wish , serve this as is , or take 250 Grams cubed paneer , lightly saute for 5 minutes in some oil along with salt and chili powder - don't add any other masalas, then add the tamatar cut , cook another 5 minutes to marry flavors .Delicious !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Saturday, 20 December 2014

A Review of -Smokeys - Cyber Hub , Gurgaon

I love going to Smokeys - the place has a very happy vibe , some great food , and cocktails no restaurant can match - or that I have tasted elsewhere .All this with excellent not in your face service made our evening super fun . Normally I am a whiskey soda guy but here I make the exception as I love what their mixologist puts together - ingredients are in a drink NOT to give an obligatory twist but because they work and give you an experience that leaves you saying wow .

I started with a Vanilla Bourbon - pineapple and vanilla infused to deliciousness in the drink , that was followed with John's Maltini - Green apple with Glenmorangie and peach schnapps smoked beautifully - Tasted The New Old Fashioned - Jim Beam with fresh mandarin cucumber and God alone knows what else and ended with Lock , Stock & A Smokin' Barrel - Smoked smoked pineapple , cardamon and a killer shot of Absolut .

Thankfully there was plenty to eat in between and one walked out not looking too ' happy ' ! The food - now that is my first love always - and I must compliment the kitchen for some brilliant food. Chilli wings were finger licking good as were other wings we ordered - Reshambatti chilli (?) wings made with the deadly Bhavnagri chili . Pork meat loaf was tender and superb ( my best ), seriously good as were the pork and bacon burgers . Cheese and something loaded potatoes and super crispy ' samosa ' type cheese and corn made with phyllo pastry saw the veggies through the evening . I ended the evening sharing a pork chilli dog - pork sausage topped with mince pork and the works.

I love the food here - it's honest food - looks great , presented well and seriously delicious , - Do give yourself a treat at Smokeys .

Chewy Coconut Chocolate Nutty Cookies

Oven Temp 160C - Bake 12-15 Minutes.

1 Cup Flour.
1 Cup Quaker Oats.
3/4th Cup Brown Sugar.
4 Tablespoons Grated Unsweetened Chocolate .
1 Cup Grated Coconut ( Use large size hole ).
100 Grams Almonds ( Broken into bits ).
50 Grams Raisins ( Pref cut into 2 ).
100 Grams Butter
2 Tablespoons Oil.
1/2 Teaspoon Cooking Soda
3 Tablespoon Hot Water.

Combine all the dry ingredients ( except for the soda ). Melt butter , add hot water , stir well then add soda . Blend the butter mixture into the dry ingredients . Everything should be well combined .
Make small balls-  2/3d size of golf balls , lightly flatten the tops and place at a distance in a well greased baking tray or into individual small moulds and bake 12-15 minutes , till golden brown . When done take out of the oven .Place baking tray on a rack for 5 minutes to cool , then transfer cookies onto a wire rack , to completely cool down .

The cookies will harden as they cool and are deliciously chewy

Sikandalous Cuisine

Friday, 19 December 2014

Mutton Dhansak & Brown Rice

I received this recipe from Niloufer Dhondy who makes the most incredible Parsi food I have ever eaten . The recipe is uncomplicated and works beautifully . I am sure Dhansak is made differently in most homes with varying ingredients - here is what I made from her recipe and it tasted fabulous.
Part - 1
1.5 Cups Arhar Dal.
50 Grams Channa Dal.
50 Grams Red Masoor Dal.
50 Grams Black Masoor Dal.
50 Grams Pumpkin.
1 Small Bunch Fenugreek / Green Methi Chopped.
1 Small Bunch Coriander / Green Dhania Chopped.
1 Onion Chopped.
1 Potato Peeled & Chopped.
1 Tomato Chopped.
2 Tablespoons Garam Masala.
Soak the dals for one hour and pressure cook with all the above in just enough water - cook till done and not very liquidy .Sieve the dal in another pan - I was told it was okay to blend this all in a grinder which is what I did .

Part - 2
2 Tablespoons Parsi Sambhar Masala.
2 Tablespoons Dhansak Masala.
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder.
1 Tablespoon Cumin Ground.
2 Tablespoons Ginger & Garlic Paste.
2 Tablespoons dhania Powder.
Mint Leaves.
3 Green Chilies
Fry onion until brown , add all the masalas ( save some dhansak masala to add at the end ) , green chili , add a bit of water and fry. Now add mutton , bhuno and add anough water to cook it through making a little gravy. When nicely cooked add this to the dal , add the reserved dhansak powder , add water and simmer 5-7 minutes for flavors to blend.
A tip Niloufer gave me , she makes the mutton and strains it , collects the gravy and cooks that dal / veggie mixture along with the gravy.

Brown Rice:
1 Kg Basmati Rice.
6 Large Onions Sliced.
1 Tablespoon Jeera Seeds.
6 Cardamons.
6 Cloves.
3 X 1" Pieces Cinnamon Sticks.
2 Bay Leaves.
2 Tablespoons Sugar.
Soak clean rice for 2 hours.Heat oil , fry onions till brown , remove half the onions and keep aside.Now add the sugar and whole spice and let it brown until sugar is caramalized .Add water and rice and cook till rice is done.Serve with the remaining fried onions sprinkled on top.
This is my recipe :
500 Grams Coarsely Minced Mutton.
1 Large Onion Chopped Fine.
1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger.
Chopped Dhania Leaves.
Chopped Mint Leaves.
1 Tablespoon Garam Masala.
Minced Green Chilies.
2 Tablespoons Worcester Sauce.
3 Bread slices crumbled.
Mix everything up , allow it to rest for 1-2 hours at room temperature.Heat lots of oil in a wok , deep fry one kabab - check for flavors , when satisfied make even sized balls and deep fry.Serve on top of the brown rice.
Mix together 1 onion finely chopped , 1 romato chopped , green chilies chopped green dhania chopped - white vinegar to taste and salt.
Eat this along with your Dhansak.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Thursday, 18 December 2014

La Bodega , Khan Market , New Delhi - A review

At last the real McCoy ! La Bogeda , Delhi's only authentic Mexican restaurant is a must do , if for no other reason , then just to get that dreadful Tex Mex stuff out of our heads once and for all . The restaurant has a very happy and airy feel to it - white walls , cafe furniture and fun colorful sketches all come together to create a super ambiance.

We sat on the terrace and enjoyed our meal in the sun . The food is excellent , key ingredients imported to give consistency and authentic flavors. The presentation is superb.We started with palate teasers - Agua - flavored waters , tamarind and guava were excellent appetite builders .Tacos were beautifully presented , I loved the pulled pork and duck one.On tostada we shared a tuna and avo one and a mushroom one - again excellent starters as were the shrimp based one.Each of these were with different salsa bases.
For mains we ordered a red snapper and a grilled chicken which were again superb.I didn't much care for the corn on the cob however the chili relleno more than made up for it.Deserts were crunch churros and to die for three milk cake.
I must confess that I had heard mixed reviews of La Bodega , after eating their food I wonder why . This is a place I would head back to without a minutes hesitation - infact this is where my next sikandalous cuisine MasterClass will be - which should tell you how highly I rate the place .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Karelas Stuffed With Peas

At first this combination of peas and karelas looks odd - but if you think about it , it's a perfect balance of flavors - some bitter , some sweet and lots of deliciousness .

6 Karelas - Make a long slit , remove seeds , scrape the skin , retain the scraped skin.
100 Grams Shelled Peas .
1/2 Onion - Chopped.
1 Small Tomato Chopped
1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
Haldi .

In boiling water add 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 salt , plunge cleaned karelas in into the water and allow them to simmer 3-4 minute , then strain and dry  Karelas. Meanwhile make peas as per your recipe , I sauteed in a masala of tomato onions garlic and the spice mentioned. I also added 1 tablespoon of the scraped skin to this mixture.Cook till peas are done , you can add 2-3 tablespoons water , when done dry the mixture and lightly mash.

Take the peas mixture and stuff karelas , tie with a string as shown and lightly fry in a greased nonstick pan . You just need to lightly brown karelas , initial blanching did most of the cooking ! This recipe is very versatile - go with any stuffing , use leftovers , but do try this once with peas .
Sikandalous Cuisine

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Candied Ginger

500 Grams Ginger - Scrape and cut in even sized thin discs.
3 Cups Water.
400 Grams Sugar
100 Grams Sugar - to be used later - You can use thick sugar or sugar dust depending on what you prefer.
Bring water to boil and add ginger.Boil on medium heat for 25 minutes till almost soft.Strain the water - keep 1/4 cup for use , the rest add to daals / soups / tea / etc.
In a large pan add boiled ginger , 1/4 cup water and 400 grams sugar.Cook 10 minutes or so till sugar reduces to nothing ,turn off heat and add the balance 100 grams sugar , mix well to coat all the ginger and transfer ginger immediately onto a wire rack and allow to cool overnight . Candied Ginger taster delicious and can be added to your salads , tea , or eaten whenever you have an urge for something sweet .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Monday, 15 December 2014

Sarson Ka Saag - A delicious SAGA

Sarson Ka Saag- A delicious SAGA !

I got this recipe from Jiggs Kalra's fabulous cookbook titled PRASHAD . The recipe is simple with minimum ingredients . This is how it should be considering this is traditionally  rustic village food and stuff like tomatoes and khara / garam masala were added over the years by the affluent probably to justify it's place on their dining table !.
I have made a few adaptions which I have mentioned .
1 Kg Mustard / Sarson Leaves - Wash leaves , peel stem , discarding the hard ones. Chop leaves and stems coarsely .
250 Grams Spinach.
50 Grams Bathua Leaves ( My addition - not in the recipe ).
8 Green Chilies Chopped ( I added green chili powder too )
60 Grams Ginger - Sliced .
2 Tablespoons Makki ka Atta ( I don't add )
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder ( I used whole dried red chilies ).
225 Grams White Butter .
Jiggs Sir cooked the saag the traditional way by boiling it for 115 minutes , making puree , then adding half the butter , cooking more and then the tempering . Which is the method I too followed earlier - often getting it cooked 6-8 hours over a dyeing fire in my garden - now however all that is consigned to the flames and here is my method below.

I pressure cooked the greens , half the ginger and some chilies for 4 whistles , shut the flame and allowed it too cool down. Then I pureed half the saag , mixed it with the balance saag , added 100 grams of white butter and cooked it covered 20-30 minutes.
Next prepare the tempering - take balance white butter , heat , add rest of the ginger and chilies , cook for 2 minutes over low heat , poured this over the saag , cooked another 5 -10 minutes to blend in all flavors and when serving I added 2 more tablespoons of white butter on top of the saag in the serving dish.
Super duper delicious  - No fuss - 100 % swaad !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Sikandalous Cuisine

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Eggs on Fenugreek Leaves / Methi Ni Bhaji Per Eeda

A superb way to eat eggs... Bapsi Nariman's Traditional Pari Dishes has the recipe which I made for brunch today and fell in love with the way eggs and methi work together.
4 Eggs.
200 Grams Fresh Methi Leaves.
8 Cloves Garlic Chopped.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi
1 Teaspoon Sugar ( I didn't use )
1/2 Teaspoon Jeera.
2 Chopped Green Chilies.
1 Onion Sliced.
2 Large Tomatoes Chopped.
2 Tablespoons Chopped Dhania /Coriander Leaves.
Salt & Pepper.
2 Tablespoons Oil.

Heat oil , splutter jeera , add onions and garlic , cook till onions are golden .Next add chilies , all the greens , all the spice and saute till methi is half done.
Next add tomatoes and cook covered till methi and tomatoes are well cooked and semi dry.Taste and adjust .
Make four dents in the mixture , break an egg into each , cook covered under very low heat till eggs are cooked.
I left my eggs runny . Once you have clicked the pic and admired the presentation , break the egg , mix it all up and be in delicious land !
Sikandalous Cuisine

Bonny's - On the banks of Zurari River

The Zaurari bridge connects North and South Goa - it also leads you to one of the hidden gems - Bonny's which is perhaps the best place to eat a Christian Goan thali - apart from other catch of the day . The restaurant is set on the bank of the river and during good weather you can sit outside and take in the beautiful setting.Remember it's a thali joint not a chi chi place !!

Goan curry served with a sliver of fish was one of the best I have eaten as was the freshest and largest Lepo .We went through 4 plates of various fish and prawns , the latter not very well made . The rest of the food was super . If you find yourself driving to / back from the airport around a meal time do stop by and for some delicious serious feasting . I drove all the way from North Goa specially to eat here on Shaun Lobo's recommendation and will happily make this journey each time .

Friday, 12 December 2014

Parsi Bazar , Cyber Hub , Gurgaon

SodaBottleOpnerwala has organized ' Parsi Bazar ' at the Cyber Hub , Gurgaon , it's on till the 13th December and a nice way to spend a sunny winter afternoon eating some superb Parsi food . There are a few home caterers who were selling superb stuff like Dhansak , Keema Pao , Alu Bonda , Chicken Sali and chicken cutlets . A bit further at the Amphitheatre there were yet more stalls - Nilufer's Kitchen Secrets where you got to pick up super interesting masalas , pate , some zingy white wine mustard and homemade Dhansak & Sambar powder - you even got a recipe ! Yes Guava Jelly was much in demand too.
Bernados was doing brisk business, not surprisingly - that delicious Christmas Cake was selling like hot cakes , if you are in the market for some superb delicious Christmas Cakes  , this is where you will get it .
On the next counter SUGARAMA was perhaps the busiest - Macarons , chocolates  ( Chili , Ginger , brilliant stuff ) , Brownies and cookies - all real super stuff - watch out for Rama Chadha ( Sugarama ) this guy is going to hit it big time real soon . I was super impressed with his confectionery and his enthusiasm .There were also stalls selling book - cookies , Vietnamese Art etc.
Beautifully conceptualized and put together , everything was priced very reasonably and I strongly recommend  a visit tomorrow - great experience and delicious Parsi food .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Green Chili Powder

Hari Mirchi Powder / Fresh Green Chili Powder is fabulous ! Once you start using this you will forget the commercial red chili powder which is only fire hot while the green chili powder is not only more hot but has a wonderful aroma to it , which does great stuff to your food. Sprinkle it over daals , curd , add it at the end to your cooking and you will see the amazing results this chili powder produces.I add it to my popcorn !
Take fresh green chiles , wash and dry them in the sun - this takes 7 days or so for them to dry out totally , I then leave them in a warm oven - take the temperature to 50C place these chilies in and turn the oven off ,2-3 hours later take the chilies out , remove stems , and zap them a few times to make a sand like powder or a finer one if you like.
This chili powder is 2-3 times stronger than the commercially sold red chili powder and flavors everything beautifully ! Go for it !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Thursday, 11 December 2014

SodaBottleOpnerWala - Khan Market

A.D Singh has the eye for picking up the perfect property for his restaurants , the interiors are put together brilliantly which always sets the mood for a lovely meal - and that is what I experienced when I visited the very ' happy ' SBOW in Khan Market yesterday .We sat on the terrace taking in Delhi's beautiful winter afternoon and got down to serious business of eating - I focused on the vegetarian fare while Sourish Bhattacharyya Pablo Bartholomew and Ryan Bromley did full justice to the rest.

Alu Aunty Vegetable Cutlets came with a stuffing of cooked greens , were deliciously interesting and a great start to my meal while Chicken Pao was met with much appreciation as was Sali Boti , Parsi Mutton Roast , Dhansak ( I sneaked in a taste - it was delicious ) . Keema & Paratha I was told was great , Goan fish Curry initially lacked that killer punch till Mohit Balachandran came and waved his hand over it and bingo it tasted yum !
My focus was the vegetarian fare and I was not disappointed at all . A special mention for Breach Candy Awesome Okra - crunchy , unusual and fabulous .Tardeo AC Market Mama ji Grill Sandwich was again a must order if you like cheese and chili - two things I can live on .Paneer akori was majorly delicious , alu paratha the perfect sign off to the main meal , which ended with delectable mawa cake .
Do head to SBOW in Khan Market and take full advantage of the terrace , happy walls , great music and superb food . I didn't think Parsi knew how to spell vegetarian leave alone cook some super delicious vegetarian dishes !

Monday, 8 December 2014

Coconut Kokum Clams

400 Grams Clams - discard the other half of the shell that has no meat.
1 Coconut Grated.
10 Dried Red Chilies.
8 Kokum Petals - Substitute with imli.
2 Sprigs Curry Leaves.
1 Tablespoon Garlic Minced.
1 Tomato Chopped.
1 Onion Chopped.
4 Tablespoons Oil.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil and lightly saute coconut ,curry leaves and and dried red chilies till coconut begins to lightly color .Cool and zap in the blender 2-3 short shots , you want to end up with a coarse , thicker than breadcrumbs consistency crumble.
Heat balance 3 tablespoons oil , saute garlic till aromatic and soft then add onions , salt and tomato and cook covered till onions get limp. Add more chilies and curry leaves if you like.Now add zapped coconut mixture , add 60 ml water to kick start the cooking and add clams.Cook covered 6-7 minutes , taste the masala it will/should be tangy and spicy.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Mushroom Posto

I dont know if this is made traditionally - but here goes anyway !
200 Grams Mushrooms- Wash and slice.
150 Grams Poppy Seeds / Khas khas
1  Onion - Chop
6-8 Green Chilies.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi.
Salt to Taste.
80 Ml Mustard Oil.
1 Tablespoon Mustard Oil ( Optional )

Take  poppy seeds , some recipes soak them , some dry grind . ( I didn't soak them ), then add chopped green chilies and grind to a coarse powder like consistency.Add about 100 Ml water and zap once more.Heat mustard oil , add onions , whole chilies and cook till onions begin to color , now add haldi and salt and the poppy chili paste.Cook another 5-7 minutes on low till you can see the oil ,now raise heat add mushroom slices and cook just a minute not more - That way you retain the bite in the mushrooms . This tasted delicious.I then added 1 tablespoon raw mustard oil on top while serving - Heavenly !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Nepali Masu

Another gem from the Nepali Kitchen
750 Grams Mutton ( Pichla Raan ) -Cut the mutton into tiny size pieces .
1 Small Onion
15 Dry Red Chilies.
2 Tablespoon Garlic Paste
1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste
1/3d Teaspoon Methi Seeds
1 Teaspoon Ajwain Seeds
2 Tablespoons Freshly Pounded Coarse Dhania Powder
Teaspoon Red Chili Powder - To taste.
1/2 teaspoon Timur ( ground to a paste If you can get hold of this superb herb )
About 150 Ml Mustard Oil
Smoke the mustard oil , add methi seeds ( they will get dark in a few seconds ) immediately add ajwain and dried red chilies . Add the onions . When onions are almost dark brown add the mutton and salt 'Bhuno' ( wok fry ) the mutton on a medium high flame for 15-20 minutes till it changes color and gets a bit dark sprinkling water as needed , bhuno well scraping the bottom and evenly cooking the mutton . Next add about 100 ml of water and cook covered over medium heat till the mutton is 90 % done.
OR at this stage when you add water give it a pressure shot for 2 whistles and allow it to cool down.
When mutton is 90% done add ginger garlic and red chili powder and bhuno mutton another 15 minutes to blend all flavors.Take off heat - now add timur if you are using it and add the dhania powder - mix well and allow mutton to sit covered for 15 minutes.This is eaten at room temperature normally .

Monday, 1 December 2014

Review of Palate Fest , New Delhi

Delhi food scene became even more delicious with the three day Palate Fest organized by Aditi Kapoor and Ruchi Sibal - perhaps the most happening garden party ever witnessed by the capital.Some of the best restaurants participated showcasing new menus and old favorites . There was also live music , shops selling organic produce - a few home chefs at work. It was great to be able to be out in the open , enjoy your wine and beer - all very civilized .
New for me was The Toddy Shop - superb and delicious food , however they were just unable to cope with the demand - Do visit them at HK Village .Galauti burger at Farsi was great though I would have preferred it with less or no green chutney , nonetheless superb and a must try .TownHall and their yum sushi , Duck Paella at The Spanish Embassy stall were outstanding as were tikkas at Tikka Town . The Olive/Sodabottleopnerwala/Guppy enclosure was buzzing as were the crowds at Kylin and Royal China.
A suggestion for next year - there must be some toilets , a lot more seating with tables and perhaps the spread of restaurants / shops should be a little more compact .Actually this event is best mid December when it's not so hot, it did get a bit uncomfortable weather wise.

All in all a wonderful 3 day event which I serious urge you all to visit - tomorrow 30th December is the last day , so don't let this great initiative slip by and do visit it .
Take a bow Aditi Kapoor and Ruchi Sibal for putting together such a fabulous event and we at Delhi Gourmet Club are proud to be associated with The Palate Fest.

Eggs Masala Fry

Rustic and delicious - no other way to describe these eggs . There is no recipe as such , just go with the concept and tweak to taste.Here is what I did .
12 Eggs - Boiled - Peela and make cuts in all over.
2 Onions chopped.
2 Onions Sliced Long.
4 Tomatoes Sliced.
1 Tablespoon Chopped Ginger.
1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic.
1/2 Coconut Grated.
1/2 Coconut Pureed.
Curry Putta.
Loads of Whole Chilies.
Mustard Oil
Heat oil , add whole chilies , and grated coconut , saute till aromatic not colored , now add all the other ingredients , cook on low till oil begins to separate . At this stage add the eggs , saute them in the masala for 5-7 minutes and then lightly mash and go for it !Coconut puree is just to hold flavors together , and not added to make a gravy.

Sikandalous Cuisine