Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Gosht Moplah Biryani

    Cooking biryani or rice for that matter isn't my forte , so with great hesitation I set out to replicate this superb biryani that Harjeet Sir taught us at the sikandalous cuisine's master class at Diya . The result was fabulous and I am pretty chuffed with my efforts.I played a bit with his recipe but 90% stuck to the original.The list of ingredients is long , but don't let that intimidate you as the end results are worth it.

    1 Kg Mutton Marinated in :
    1 Cup Hung Yogurt.
    2 Teaspoons each Ginger & Garlic Paste.
    3 Teaspoons Kashmiri Mirchi Powder.
    1 Teaspoon Haldi.
    1 Teaspoon Yellow Chili Powder ( use normal if unavailable ).
    1/2 Teaspoon Minced Green Chilies.
    1/2 Teaspoon Shahi Jeera.
    1 Teaspoon Ginger Juliennes ( I forgot )
    2-3 Teaspoons Desi Ghee.
    3 Teaspoons Cream ( I didn't have )
    4- Medium Sized Onions Sliced and Browned.
    15 Mint Leaves.
    3-4 Slit Green Chilies.
    3 Teaspoons Minced Coriander Stems.
    4-5 Tablespoons Refined Oil ( I used 3 Tablespoons Ghee )
    100 Ml Coconut Milk ( I added mine not to the meat but to boiling rice when half done ).
    50 Grams Mixed Whole Spice.
    10 Grams Curry Leaves.
    2 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds .
    Salt to taste
    I marinated mutton overnight - Chef said 30 minutes was enough.

    I then cooked my mutton in a dutch oven at 170 C for 45 minutes . You can cook it covered over low heat till done.

    1 Kg Rice soak for 30 minutes.
    I prepared the water by bringing it to a boil , then added whole spice and star anise boiled it covered for 5 minutes and allowed the whole spice to sit in the water covered - 1 hour to heavily infuse water with the aromas of these delicious spice. I strained the whole spice , brought water to a boil , added salt and the rice and when rice was halfcooked I added coconut milk to the rice and cooked the rice till 75% done.

    3 Teaspoons Mint Leaves.
    1 Gram Saffron - lightly roasted and soaked in 120 Ml Milk / Water.
    2-3 Tablespoons Ginger Juliennes.
    6-8 Tablespoons Fried Onions.
    Coriander Greens.
    Sliced Chilies.

    Place 1/3d rice in a dish , sprinkle ginger juliennes , green chilies , mint and coriander greens. Cover with 1/2 of the mutton.Top with 1/3d Rice , sprinkle ginger juliennes , green chilies , mint and coriander greens.Top with balance mutton , cover with rest of the rice and sprinkle sprinkle ginger juliennes , green chilies , mint and coriander greens.Dot saffron milk on the surface . Seal with foil and bake at 160C for 30 minutes or 10-15 minutes kept on a flat tawa.Garnish with fried brown onions when ready to eat .
    This is one spectacular recipe and seriously a must make .

Sikandalous Cuisine presents Vicky Ratnani Master Class

    Sikandalous Cuisine briefly went deliciously veg with a rocking master class taken by Chef Vicky Ratnani assisted by Mohit Nautiyal ! Dashing as always , Vicky had everyone attention with his warmth and wit . He discussed a few techniques as he walked us through an amazing tasting Soy Haleem , which had all but a few swear they would have thought they were eating a meat based one had they not known we were working with Soy and not meat .

    We did Mushroom and Barley Risotto - here Shiitake mushrooms lent their warm woody aroma to the dish which was finished off with orange juice as we weren't using wine - Again an incredible recipe - which you will see here soon. The tag line here was you cant ever use enough of cream or cheese - so go guilt free and cook to please your palate !

    We got to taste Beetroot and Arbi Falalfel - Arbi transformed into a sweet sauce paired with pickled vegetable and deep fried falafel chunks . Vicky's approach to cooking is freshening - he doesn't apologise for innovations and fusions. Has no qualms about admitting that he isnt a puritan when it comes to cooking and one should work with what one has at home , that suits the family rather than rigidly following a recipe.

    Some photo ops while Vicky signed our gifted cook book kind courtesy My Square along with a value card worth Rs 400 /- was the perfect end to a class full of fun , laughter and learning .I will work closely with My Square when possible - these are short and fun sessions and naturally we will continue with our regular format of master classes too .

    A big thank you to Vicky Ratnani , the management of Select City Mall and My Square for this wonderful class and all our goodies ! I hope you guys had as much fun as I did .

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Olive Qutab's Summer Menu Reviewed

Olive's New Summer Menu can be described as art on a plate .Each dish was visually spectacular , light and super delicious. We started off on virgin cocktails while Dhruv sent out a Beetroot Salad .Slow roasted , pickled with an outstanding beet sorbet , all flavors coming together beautifully , this is a must order.
Next cam Tuna Tartare with diced avocado and pickled vegetables - again something really really special , I think this was Sourish's favorite.
Seafood Escabeche on a chickpea tomato and roasted garlic sauce , not too sure about this dish . However what followed was a stunning Tenderloin Carpaccio served with a rocket and tomato salad was another not to miss dish - Plated beautifully and was melt in the mouth delicious - Perhaps my favorite.
As Ajay Singh can't do without Fish and Chips we were treated to an old favorite  , perfectly fried fish with fries - total comfort food . The last dish was another stunner - John Dory served with green pea sauce , confit potatoes and chard - the photograph says it all. The grand finale was Mango served with a subtle vanilla Pana Cotta , textures of mango and slivers of meringue - brilliant.
Olive Qutab will soon roll out their new summer menu - Chef Sujan Sarkar has created a masterpiece  , do head there and treat your senses to some amazing experiences .

Monday, 27 April 2015

Chicken Shiken Curry

1 Kg Chicken.
1 Tej Putta
2 Black Cardamon.
1 Teaspoon Kilonj Seeds.
2 Teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chili Powder.
1 Teaspoon Dhania Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi.
2 Onions - Puree.
2 Tomatoes - Puree.
Dried Red Chilies - To taste.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
1 Tablespoon Garlic Paste.
1/3d Cup Chopped Dhania Stems.
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
Make Powder:
1 Teaspoon Fennel.
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns.

Heat mustard oil till smoking,  splutter kilonji seeds and add tej putta and black ardamons ,when aromatic  remove from heat and dried red chilies , add red chili powder , haldi and dhania powder . This will give you a lovely color .Return to heat , stir in 60 ml water , cook 30 seconds , add onions and cook till brown.
Tip in chicken , increase heat to maximum , and cook 5-7 minutes to sear .Add tomatoes and salt cook covered on medium heat another 10 minutes till oil separates and then chick in 90% done.
Now add ginger garlic paste along with powdered fennel and peppercorn , add water to get the desired gravy , cook covered another 5-6 minutes till done.
Take off heat , stir in lemon juice and chopped dhania stems , and leave covered for dhania to flavor your chicken beautifully .Garnish with dhania leaves.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Master Class at Diya , Hotel Leela Kempinski , Gurgaon

Sikandalous Cuisine's master class was an earth shattering one - we just about settled down to making Baingan Ki Katli after marinating the mutton for Gosht Moplah Biryani when things started to move about on their own - we were hit by an earth quake that didnt seem to end .

Very responsibly the hotel evacuated everyone - staff and guests and we waited outside a good 45 minutes till we were given an all clear to head back. We settled down to cooking after soothing our nerves with chilled white wine and some delicious kababs .

Indian Master Chef Harjeet Kumar and his talented team put up a superb master class while Restaurant Manager Sankhadeep and his boys ensured that everyone was well taken care of , pampering us with snacks , coffee and wine .
Baingan ki Katli has everyone's attention - the flavors amazing - you will see many made soon.

Next came dahi kababs Panko coated , crunchy from the outside and creamy from within - what amazing flavors . By now everyone had forgotten the earth quake and a few glasses late were happily taking in the aromas of Biryani which was under bhaap and Murg Awadhi Korma still warm on the stove.
Green apple Shrikhand was delicious and so easy while the asparagus coconut & mint shorba had our palates in a tizzy.

We then sat down to a feast - not just these dishes , there was a delicious palak , dal , paneer and various rotis that completed a wonderful and eventful day of learning and feasting . I am so happy we held the class at Diya - which I maintain is one of the finest restaurants in Delhi/NCR . The ambiance , food and service all so special . Thank you Harjeet sir - as always you rocked !

Hospitality with responsibility

Hospitality with responsibility - Today sikandalous cuisine held a master class at Diya - Hotel Leela Kempinski , Gurgaon with Chef Harjeet Kumar . We had just about begun the class when we started to feel strong tremors of today's earth quake - the worst in 81 years . Within minutes we were asked to evacuate Diya and were ushered to predesignated safety zones outside the hotel .

All guests , staff were evacuated with no signs of panic.Trolley's of chilled water bottles were in place outside . The hotel kept us posted on what feedback they were getting.

Next door Ambiance Mall - life went on .. while we stood outside we watched in shock , the mall allow entry to shoppers - weekends I know are profitable days , but what about the value of life and safety ?

Finally when we were allowed to go back in - the hotel management swung into action as if nothing had happened , everything went on seamlessly . Members of sikandalous cuisine were pampered with wine and kababs while we waited for the class start again - this hospitality I haven't witnessed too often. I was very impressed when the staff told me that the hotel has a monthly safety drill .
I am sure other hotels too have procedures in place - I witnessed this first hand , and the horror of what the mall was allowing next door was doing which is what prompted this post .

Alu Raita

I had curry leaf powder which I had made a few weeks ago so decided to sex up my alu raita with it . The end results were delicious . If you don't have curry leaf powder which I know most wont , make the raita without it as we have a few twists in here still.
200 Grams Potatoes - Boil - cool , peel and cube.
5-7 Green Chilies + 7 Cloves Garlic - Make paste.
500 Grams Curd + 100 ml water - whisk . Add chili garlic paste .
Add potatoes to flavored curd adding black pepper and salt.At this stage add 1 tablespoon curry leaf powder if using.
Mix potatoes and cling wrap till meal time , keep chilled in the fridge.

When ready to eat start The Tempering:
10 Cloves Garlic - Cut in thin discs fry till brown along with brooken red chilies , take off heat and add chopped green chilies(optional) along with chopped coriander greens to the hot oil and immediately  mix into Alu Raita . Garlic here takes alu raita to another level.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Friday, 24 April 2015

Pineapple Raita

Another delicious fruit based raita where we marry pineapple with a garlic and spice to delicious results. Vary quantities to suit your palate.

Make Paste :
1 Tablespoon Rai.
6-8 Green Chilies.

1 Cup Pineapple Pulp. ( add pineapple pulp to paste )
500 Grams Curd - well beaten with 1 cup water and add the above paste with salt. Allow this to stand covered in the fridge a few hours if possible for flavors to develop.

2 Cups Diced Pineapples.
1 Tablespoon Rai
Whole Red Chilies
1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.

Heat oil , splutter rai seeds , add garlic paste , dried chilies and garlic along with diced pineapple. Saute 2-3 minutes , long enough to warm up the pineapple to release flavors.Take off heat , stir in the raita , allow the dish to sit a while and feast on some amazing flavors.
Sikandalous Cuisine

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Hydrabadi Murgh Korma

Delicate and delicious this recipe is adapted from PRASHAD - A wonderful cookbook put together by Jiggs Kalra . Every recipe I have tried from here works beautifully.
450 Grams Boneless Chicken - Cut to size.
112 Grams / 1 Cup Yogurt.
60 Grams / 1/4 Cup Ginger Paste.
30 Grams / 5 Teaspoons Garlic Paste.
160 Grams/1 cup Onions 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder ( I used Green Chilies as I wanted a white Korma )
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi ( I didn't use )
25 Grams/1/3 Cup Coconut - Grate.
75 Grams / 4 Tablespoon Cashew Paste.
10 Grams / 4 Tablespoons Sesame Seeds.
1/3 Teaspoon Nutmeg.

Make a mixture of the above and marinate chicken - Book said 30 minutes , I went with 4 hours.
120 Grams Ghee.
10 Green Cardamons.
10 Cloves
1" Stick Cinnamon.
1 Bay leaf .
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice.
Heat ghee add all the garam masala , when aromatic add the chicken by shaking off some marination.Saute 5-7 minutes , then add all the marination  and salt, mix well , add green chilies, cook covered on low heat till done . I didn't need to add any water.Once cooked , add lemon juice and adjust flavors.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Mulberry Jam

I have this fabulous Mulberry tree in my garden that the birds and kids have been feasting upon .This year I figured I would try my hand at a jam - my first jam actually if I am not mistaken.

Anyway the net threw up many fancy options - I went with my instincts and came up with a winner.There is no recipe - sugar and lemon juice you will need to keep adjusting as the sweetness of the fruit will vary.
1 Kg Mulberry - Wash , remove stems.
2 Cups Sugar.
1/3d Cup Lemon Juice.
1/2 Teaspoon Salt

Put mulberries in a heavy bottom pan, mash them up slightly with a spoon or your hands and let them simmer away on low heat - They will soon release a lot of their juices and will become pulpy .When the pulp has reduced by a third add sugar , salt and lemon juice , cook till sugar dissolves .Cook till pulp reduces a bit more , it will be a thick slurry - that's fine as it will set as it cools down.Adjust sugar and lemon juice to taste , take off heat and when cool store in airtight jars. Delicious !
Paired with Feta 

Sikandalous Cuisine

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Nepali Tomato Mooli Chutney

Another gem from the Nepali kitchen , this chutney is made by Pooja and Priya's mom . There is no cooking involved here and quantities are an indication.What is important is that you use a sil butta and coarsely mash the mooli , that is essential.

Photo 1
4-5 Garlic Cloves
1/2" Ginger.
4--5 Green Chiles
Grind the above to a paste on a Sil Butta

Photo 2
2 Medium Size Moolis - Slit down the center and smash with a silutta along with the paste .

Photo 3
Add 1 Large Grated Tomato to the paste.

Photo 4
Transfer the mixture into a bowl , add juice of one lemon , salt .

Photo 5
Serve with love - a delicious tomato Mooli Chutney !

Beetroot Raita - Beetroot Thayir Pachadi

Adapted from Sumeet Nair's The Bangla Table this gem of a share is a must make.I have made it a couple of times and now got the flavors to suit my palate.I share the original recipe and in brackets my changes ) . Do try this - it's amazing .
2 Teaspoons Black Mustard Seeds ( I used three to get more of a punch )
2 Green Chilies ( Not in original recipe )
400 Grams Beetroot Peeled & Grated.
2 Teaspoons Sugar ( I don't use any now as I find the beet sweet enough )
500 Grams Yogurt
Whisk ogurt and keep aside to chill.
Grind mustard seeds with green chilies then add the paste with salt and sugar to grated beets , mix gently.
Add yogurt to the beet mixture , gently stir in , and set to chill for about 30 minutes before serving.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Parsley Dust

I had loads of Parsley growing , more than I could possible use or distribute so I experimented with drying this delicious herb , with very successful results.
All you need to do is wash parsley well , layout to dry in the sun covered with a brown paper . Make sure air can circulate.Covering herbs helps preserve their color and keeps them dust free.

In 3-4 days my parsley completely dried out - got 2 short zaps in the food processor and now is sprinkled on just about everything.
My very talented friend Chef  Rahul Galdwin Massey suggested I add some Parsley Dust to Olive Oil and use that for cooking / basting - and in my soups which I do to delicious results.
So next time you have some herbs drying out , chop dry and preserve them !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Monday, 13 April 2015

Sarson Maas

This is one of the most delicious meat dishes I feel we make at home , I hope you enjoy it too .
Recommended marination of 4-6 hours .
500 Grams Mutton
1 Medium Onion - Slice and fry in mustard oil till light -medium brown .
Make Paste of ingredients listed below :
1 Tablespoon Yellow Mustard Seed.
1 Tablespoon Black Mustard Seeds.
4-6 Green Chilies.
10 Cloves Garlic.
1" Ginger.
1 Teaspoon Jeera Seeds.
4 Tablespoons Hung Curd.
2 Tablespoons Mustard Oil

 Into this paste mix in fried onions and salt.Marinade mutton for 4-6 hours.
When ready to cook - bake in a dutch oven for 40 minutes at 180C. OR cook under pressure / covered in a wok till done.You don't need to add water .
If you are adding potatoes to the dish , take one large potato , cube , fry in mustard oil , add salt and 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste - cook till potato is done , then mix into cooked mutton and cook covered 4-5 minutes for potatoes to take in the flavors.I also add chopped green chiles when I add potatoes.
The end result here is delicious .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Mustard Fish

Two Thick Steaks of Singhara / Rohu - Aprox 250 Grams
Mustard Paste:
2 Teaspoons Black Mustard Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Yellow Mustard Seeds.
4 Green Chilies.
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1 Tablespoon Thick Curd
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
Add 2 tablespoons Mustard Oil to the above paste along with 1teaspoon Haldi Powder and 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice - Marinate fish for 20 minutes.
I placed the fillets in a dutch oven and baked them tightly sealed for 20 minutes at 180C - you could also fry them covered in a non stick with splashed of water.
Pour another tablespoon Mustard Oil  one the fish while serving - Delicious !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Narkol potol/ Parwal with coconut

A brilliant recipe shared by Sharmistha Mukherjee Cheema - Parmal have never tasted so good in my home !
500 gms parwal scrapped and cut into halves
3 tbspn grated coconut
1 big tomato grated
1/4 tspn ginger paste
2-3 tej patta
1/2 tspn Whole jeera
1 tspn sugar
Salt to taste
Chilli pwd , haldi pwd
1/4 tspn Garam masala
1/2 tspn Ghee
Mustard oil

Heat Mustard Oil in a kadai and add tej patta and jeera. When they infuse the flavor add the parwal and saute on high heat for a 5 minutess. Once they start to colour add the ginger paste and tomato. Saute for a minute or two. Add the salt, sugar, haldi and chilli pwd. Cover and cook on low flame till the parwal is cooked. Now add the coconut and little water. Cover and cook again for three to four minutes. Once the parwal is totally cooked and the masala becomes lipta hua then add the garam masala and ghee.
Sikandalous Cuisine

Instant Rava Dhokla

Thank you Anita Mokashi for a superb recipe . I made some adaptions whichh I added in capital letters in the recipe . This is a superb recipe and I was thrilled with the results.

Soft, spongy and instant rava dhokla made in just 30 minutes.
1 cup Fine Rava (sooji / semolina)
1 cup Sour Curd
1/3 cup Water
1 teaspoon Eno
1 teaspoon + 1 teaspoon Cooking Oil
For Tempering:
1 tablespoon Oil
1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon Sesame Seeds (til)
A few whole red chilies
4 to 5 Curry Leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped Fresh Coriander Leaves

Mix rava, curd, water and salt in one bowl and beat until smooth. Make sure that there are no lumps. Let it set for 15-20 minutes.  ( I ADDED MINCED GREEN AND RED CHILIES AND DHANIA LEAVES TO THE BATTER )
Add approx. 1 large glass water in steamer and heat it over medium flame. Grease its trays (thalis) with 1-teaspoon oil. Add 1 teaspoon oil and Eno in batter.( I ALSO ADDED 1/2 TEASPOON BAKING POWDER  )
Mix well until it starts to bubble on surface or for approx. 1 minute, make sure not to over mix it.
Pour it into a greased tray until its half capacity and place in steamer. Steam it for 3 minutes over high flame and then 12 minutes over medium flame.
After 15 minutes, insert knife or toothpick in it and check if it comes out clean. If it does, then it is ready. If not, then steam it 2-3 minutes more.
Take out trays from steamer and let it cool for 3-4 minutes. Cut prepared suji dhokla into small squares.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pan for tempering. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds in it. When they begin to crackle, add sesame seeds, green chilli and curry leaves and sauté for few seconds and turn off the flame. ( I DIDN'T ADD CUMIN SEEDS )
Pour prepared tempering over rava dhoklas and garnish them with chopped coriander leaves.
Recipe source food viva

Sikandalous Cuisine

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Baked Channa Kababs

The other day I made Channa Gosht and found myself with some unused boiled Channa Dal which soon got a facelift and bingo we got Channa Dal Kababs - and that too baked !
1 Cup Boiled Channa Dal
1 Onion Chopped.
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1 Teaspoon Minced Ginger.
Chopped Green Chilies To Taste.
4 Tablespoons Chopped Coriander Greens.
1 Tablespoon Oil
2 Tablespoons Thick Curd.

Lightly pound channas dal to look like bread crumbs.Mix all ingredients.Shape one kabab and fry to check flavors.Adjust if needed .Now oil a cupcake tray mould , make kababs to size and bake at 220 C for 10 minutes , Brush the top of the kababs with oil , flip them over and bake another 5 minutes.You use under 2 tablespoons oil to make 16 delicious kababs !

Sikandalous Cuisine