Sunday, 31 May 2015

Keri Methi Channa Pickle

Hrushikesh got me this delicious pickle when he came to Delhi to attend Harjeet's Master Class at Diya . Sadly the kanjoos got such a tiny portion that by the time I tasted it , it was over and left me longing for more . So Google Ji was evoked and between all the YouYubes and Kamla's Kitchen and Kanta Bai's Kitchen I managed to replicate what I ate quite closely . Everything is by approximates.I read you don't wash anything , just wipe clean .
1 Measuring Cup Black Channa Dal.
1 Measuring Cup Methi Seeds.
1 Large Raw Mango - Leave peel on , remove seed and cut to small bite sized pieces .
2 Tablespoons Sauf
3 Cups Mustard Oil.
Heat mustard oil - just heat it , add everything - shift into a jar , shut the lid tightly and sun for 1 week, turning upside down a few times a day .This delicious pickle is ready to eat - Channa retains a bite , methi and fennel flavor the oil that channa soaks in as does the raw mango add the sour touch.
The pickle Mr K got me had 80% methi 20 % black channa , however I liked the taste of the channas so much that I changed the ration. This pickle is now a month old , channas still have a bite and it's fabulous !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Alu Chops

This is one of my favorites . For the stuffing you can use minced chicken , mutton or even fish . As a vegetarian option add mushrooms or mixed vegetables - something for every taste bud here . Also a very nice way to recycle leftovers . I used Mutton mince out here .

Make your mince to suit your taste .

400 Grams Mutton Mince .
1 Medium Onion- Copped fine.
1 Medium Sized Tomato Chopped
6-8 Cloves Minced Garlic.
1 Large Tomato - Pureed.
4 Tablespoons Chopped Dhania Leaves.
1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala.
Red Chili Powder / Minced Green Chilies
Olive Oil.

Heat oil , saute onions till the just about become limp , add garlic and tomatoes , cook till oil separates. Now add the keema , bhuno a few minutes ,add all the spice , add some water and cook till done - ensure you dry out the water and its moist but not runny . Lastly add dhania leaves.Keema must be totally cold when you start making the cutlets.

Boil enough potatoes , when cool mash with a bit of butter , salt and pepper . You may add herbs etc .Potatoes too should be totally cool when you start making the cutlets.

Make a potato ball , flatten on your greased palm. Add keema in the center , encase with the potato , pat into shape .
Roll the cutlets in beaten egg white , and then in crumb . I use crumbs made out of fresh bread that has been left out a few hours .Refrigerate covered for 20-30 minutes.

When ready to eat , shallow fry . These taste delicious , and I make mine spiced up Indian Keema style .You can roll them in rice flour too - come out crunchy and they soak less oil.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Friday, 29 May 2015

Bombay Canteen - A review

One of my happiest recent restaurant discoveries unfortunately is 2000 miles away .. Bombay Canteen , and who put's it better than them when they describe their space as a place where you can toast the old times and celebrate the new ? For me this is the restaurant of the year , it has something for everyone , loads of positive energy , a happy buzz , great music , super service that does justice to the innovative yet tasty food they serve.

They have introduced Chintus, Chhotas, Badas and Patialas , not drinks but
a selection of mini, small, large and extra-large dishes
making it an exciting journey on a plate . While you sit around going through the menu trying to figure out your drink and food this guy carrying a tray of Chintu's comes to your table - we settled for very happening Indian Deviled Eggs which set the tone for the evening .

Seafood Bhel - Calamari and prawns made full full bhel style with mango date chutney was brilliant .Pumpkin and Paneer Sheekh on Apple Walnut Moli Chutney were good too .Pork Vindaloo Taco were excellent - pork melts in your mouth and this would have been that big O moment for the toothless nawabs for sure .

Eggs Kejriwal made differently from what one is used to at Wellington Club
had that wow element and yes , lived upto the reputation - looked calm on the outside , and them became super runny ! A Kerala inspired Red Snapper teamed with Coconut Rice which was served in a banana leaf was the perfect end to our meal.

Bombay Canteen have got their act together and deliver beautifully - I do hope we get to enjoy this Indian Cafe & Bar in Delhi soon too.

ChutneyMary Alus

Fun with leftovers - this came out fabulous and I ended up using boiled potatoes that were in the fridge along with

No brainer recipe - but a fun one . I used my carrot chutney - you can go with a regular green chutney or any that you please . This recipe works great with Paneer. All quantities approximates , the recipe is just a suggestion.
250 Grams Boiled Potatoes - Crumble with your hands.
4 Tablespoons Carrot Chutney Chutney - Will depend upon the chili factor of the chutney used.
1 Teaspoon Rai.
Dried Red Chilies.
Curry Leaves.
Heat oil , splutter rai seeds . Once they stop bouncing all over add curry putta and dried red chilies , 30 seconds later add the chutney along with equal amount of water , bring to boil , add salt and alus , cook covered for 3-4 minutes till water evaporates and you are left with deliciously coated spicy alus !

Carrot Chutney
Delicious and very versatile , this chutney is a must make . Garlic and chili you adapt to suit your palate .
250 Grams Carrots - Peel and cube.
6-8 Dried Red Chilies.
6-8 Cloves of Garlic.
1 Tablespoon Oil .
1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice.
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar.
1/2 Cup Water

Heat oil , and add garlic , carrots and chilies . Saute 2-3 minutes , add 1/2 cup water and cook covered till carrots are soft- 4-5 minutes.
Now add lemon juice salt and sugar - cook another minute. Allow this to cool and blend without adding more water.Adjust flavors.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Mango Fool

Why something so delicious is named such , I have no clue - but Mango Fool is the actual name of this drink which must have 1000's of versions . A fool is an English dessert. Traditionally, fruit fool is made by folding pureed stewed fruit (classically gooseberries) into sweet custard ( net sources ).The one I grew up drinking as a kid and then made decades later last week is made out of raw mangoes - probably an Indian version. The recipe depends upon your taste - balance sweet and sour to suit .
Boil enough raw mangoes to get 2 cups of mango pulp - so pressure cook unskinned raw mangoes , cool , peel and remove the pulp.Take half the amount of chilled milk or cream to pulp and blend the two.Add sugar and salt to taste.I add some freshly ground black pepper too , the consistency is thick like a smoothie  .Chill Mango Fool a couple of hours ,when ready to serve , salt the rim of your glass and pour in this sweet , tangy and delicious drink.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

The Guppy Pop-Up At Olive Bar and Kitchen , Mumbai

At a recent event I did in Mumbai the client wanted The Guppy Pop-Up At Olive Bar and Kitchen as the venue , but didn't want mainly Japanese food . I was like , how is it going to work ? I Left my problem on Vikram Khatri​ kitchen table and within 2 hours we had a menu that worked for all .

Mediterranean pass arounds  , Vikram sneaked in his famous sushi which were the first to go , and in the mains we did a mix of mainly Mediterranean dishes - Spaghetti Rustica - Gralic and Basil infused along with Peperoni , and delicately flavoverd Fuselli Curry Cream Sauce with Prawns. Guppy specials inc the much celebrated Black Cod , Fillo Wrapped Bked Vegetables , Their Tofu  Curry Rice.

I was super impressed by his starters , which is what I am sharing here . Tomato Basil and Feta Crostinis , superb Arancini , Charcoal Roasted Mushroom - amazing flavors here . The big winners for me were the Wasabi Prawns and the Enoki Wrapped Bacon .Pizzas were Olive standard - superb as always .We ended up with a fantastic evening and the best of Guppy and Olive under on roof . The service as always was impeccable .

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Purani Dilli's Al Karam Kebab House was an exciting discovery for me - A cosy restaurant with delicately flavored delicious food . My issue with food in places like Karim etc has always been the overpowering use of Kewra and other essence that for me takes away from the food . Here at Al Karam Kabab House our collective experience was really great .

We started on Zarakhush Tikka's- Zarakhush being the root of Khas - you can now get a sense of the taste ! This followed by melt in the mouth Reshmi Kababs and Reshmi Sheekh Kababs - both something to head back for .Chukandar Ghosht wasn't quite to my taste , however the Murgh Lowaba more than made up for that with it's delicious thick gravy .Hakimi Chicken tikkas were again fantastic , but for me the show stopper was the Zafrani Biryani .

Badam Pasanda a rich gravy made with almond paste, cream and coriander was yummy . The Kakori kababs here would get a round of applause from the toothless Nawabs for sure !

The diner evokes a quintessential Jama Masjid feel and offers you the experience of Purani Dilis delicious cuisine in the heart of Gurgaon . Their menu is vast , the pricing most reasonable . Do check it out , we guys left vary happy with our experience.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Carrot Raita

I had made carrot Chutney / Relish and used some with hung curd as a dip - that was a big hit with my guests . It then it struck me that this would be fabulous when incorporated and used in a raita , so I experimented to delicious ends.

Carrot Raita:

500 Grams Curd.
1 Cup Grated Carrots.
Chopped Onions To Taste.
Green Chilies To Taste.
Chopped Dhania .

Carrot Chutney / Relish
250 Grams Carrots - Peel and cube.
6-8 Dried Red Chilies.
6-8 Cloves of Garlic.
1 Tablespoon Oil .
1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice.
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar.
1/2 Cup Water
Heat oil , and add garlic , carrots and chilies . Sauté 2-3 minutes , add 1/2 cup water and cook covered till carrots are soft- 4-5 minutes.
Now add lemon juice salt and sugar - cook another minute. Allow this to cool and blend without adding more water.Adjust flavours.

Whip up thick curd , add the vegetables and salt .Remember you will be incorporating carrot chutney too - so flavour raita on the lower side . Now Set the raita to chill - Then do your drama with the chutney by covering half the bowl with the chutney , and when ready to serve , take a forks and mix in the chutney while your guests look on with admiration .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Review of Latest Recipe - Le Meridien , Gurgaon

Latest Recipe - and your partner in the Gourmet Passport , Le Meridian Gurgaon's All Day Dining world cuisine restaurant with five interactive kitchens to complement the buffet which is extensive and well thought out . Sushi and Dim Sum , Oriental Grills to Delectable Tandoori dishes share space with a fine selection of Charcuterie to choose from , to name a few.

We stayed with the buffet and were impressed by the sushi - specially the Salmon Cream Cheese Cracker Rolls. Tandoori Batair on Appam with Coconut Malum was excellent . A succulent Braised Lamb definitely called for a second visit. My favorite was the salad selection - Spicy Mushrooms was out of the world .

Food comes onto the buffet in small portions so you have nothing stewing away or wilting - everything is plated fresh.What we ate could have been a la carte . I ended my overeating with a warm and just sweet enough Apple Pie , Teppanyaki Ice Cream which is a must have and loads of cheese from the cheese section.
Do head to Latest Recipe and use your Gourmet Passport 2015-2016 vouchers for their buffet - lunch or dinner , not valid Sunday Brunches .

Carrot Chutney

Delicious and very versatile , this chutney is a must make . Garlic and chili you adapt to suit your palate .
250 Grams Carrots - Peel and cube.
6-8 Dried Red Chilies.
6-8 Cloves of Garlic.
1 Tablespoon Oil .
1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice.
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar.
1/2 Cup Water
Heat oil , and add garlic , carrots and chilies . Saute 2-3 minutes , add 1/2 cup water and cook covered till carrots are soft- 4-5 minutes.
Now add lemon juice salt and sugar - cook another minute. Allow this to cool and blend without adding more water.Adjust flavors.
I use this as a topping on grilled fish , as a chutney with my food - and comes out lovely with curd and rice.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Social Offline - Restaurant Review

Social - Defense Colony , my first visit here and like the HKV one this Social too is fabulous . They have it worked out perfectly - good food at very reasonable prices with excellent service and good open seating . An ideal work place during the day and I believe life gets quite social after 6 !

Shwarma, Yo Mama turned out to be a deconstructed Shwarma , I think I prefer the original oily one much better .

Vada Pao Bao with garlic chutney and mayo was delicious as were the Unda Shammi Paos . Loaded Potato Skins , nice and firm - total comfort food.We ended our meal with Butter Chicken Biryani , a superb concoction , brilliant flavors and a must order .

I would love to see many more such socials all over the city - it's a brilliant concept , very affordable and nothing is compromised by way of quality or service.

Rara Avis - Restaurant Review

Rara Avis needs no introduction . If you are looking to eat genuine french food without burning a hole in your pocket this premier bistro is your answer. Osama and I sat down to some serious eating most of it was truly delicious . We shared a French Onion Soup - fabulous stuff , next time no sharing of this soup for me , tomato soup wasn't such a palate pleaser though.
Duck liver Pate was pure joy , no other words to describe that sensation when I tasted it . Chicken Aspic , beautifully plated was good too , balanced well with tomato and onion , the Pork and Duck Terrine I felt was a bit dry.
Chicken liver another total winner as was the Zucchini Gratin - cooked just right , there was a bite and a delicious cheesy  tomato sauce to bring it all together.Spaghetti with Turkey Balls - homely and hit the right spot . Osama's Veal looked great.

No meal at Rara Avis can be complete without Douzaine d’Escargots -Snails in garlic butter , decadent and delicious , guilt was tucked away for the moment as we dipped crusty bread to mop up the garlic butter , yum! We ended our meal with Creme Caramel which was sheer work of art .

The food is honest French Cuisine - nothing adapted to ' Indianise ' flavors . If you understand and appreciate the cuisine then this is where you should be with your Gourmet Passport - makes the meal that much better ! I walked out very satisfied and impressed , a superb meal and great company .

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Sarson Maach Masla

Adapted from Harjeet Sir's Sarson Jheenga Masala , this gem of a recipe was so easy to make and tasted divine .
I had no prawns at home so took the fishy route to delicious ends .Let me add , browned garlic shines in this recipe.
Prawn 500 gm
Onion chopped 3 tbs
Tomato chopped 2 tbs
Garlic chopped 2 tsp
Ginger chopped 1 tsp
Chopped green chilli 1 tsp
Curry leaf 6 n.
Spring onions chopped 3 tsp
Lemon juice 2 tsp
Mustard oil 2 tbsp
Mustard seed 1 tsp
Jeera whole 1/2 tsp
Black paper crush 1/2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander power 1 tsp
Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Add cumin,mustard seeds jeera sauté for 2 minutes until the seeds begin to pop.
Add garlic and sauté until golden brown add onion and curry leaf sauté for 5 minutes then you add all spices and tomatoes again sauté for 10 minutes
Add prawns stir until the masala mixed completely . Check seasoning add lemon juice & chopped spring onion then remove from heat and serve with any kind of breads or rice .

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Aloo potol er dalna / Aloo parwal ki rasedar sabji

​Recipe by Sharmistha Cheema ​, this is a winner all the way . I used freshly ground haldi which game me this awesome color .

​3 Big Potatoes Cubed​
500 Grams Parmal - Scraped and halved.
2 Tomatoes Grated -Or use equal quantity of curd and tomato.​

​1/2 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
1 Tablespoon Cream ( I didn't use )​
1/2 Teaspoon Sabut Jeera.
​Sugar & Salt to taste.
1/4 Teaspoon Garam Masala.
Lots of Mustard Oil.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi Powder ( I used fresh haldi )
1 Teaspoon Kashmiri Chili Powder.
1 Teaaspoon Jeera Powder.​

Heat mustard oil and deep fry the potatoes and parwal separately till they 
a golden tinge. Remove keep aside.
Now take 1
​ tablespoon of Mustard Oil, heat it , add the cumin seeds, tej patta and sugar. Once the jeera splutters add the grated tomato , curd and ginger paste. You can add two to three green chillies for flavor.

Add haldi , chilli and jeera powder. Fry till the masala leaves oil. If the masala becomes too dry sprinkle some water . Add the cream too and saute the masala well. Now add the fried potatoes and parwal and bhuno for a minute or two. Then add water to make the gravy. The quantity of water depends on the amount of gravy you want. Let the gravy come to a boil and cover and cook on sim for 5-6 minutes or till the potatoes are done. Sprinkle garam masala and ghee. Serve hot. Utterly delicious !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Spicy Fruity Fish in Mushroom & leek ​Creme épaisse

Okay so you have the base recipe of  Mushroom & leek ​Creme épaisse given below . Now the delicious twist !
Take boneless fish fillets , lightly stir fry and set aside , Take some jam , a tangy one , add in green chili paste to the jam to suit your palate , now add the jam to the fillets and give a 1 minute stir fry , then add the previously made Mushroom & leek ​Creme épaisse to the wok , cook 30 second to marry flavors and you have a delicious dish , hints of sweet and spice and everything nice ! Two plating options here for you .
200 Grams Thickly sliced Mushrooms
1 Cup Leek - Chop 1/3d " discs and use the firm green parts too - they have an amazing flavor.
Diced Chili - To taste.
Black Pepper - To taste.
1 Tablespoon Butter + 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil.
2 Tablespoons Chopped Herbs - I use parsley or Basil or even green dhania
4-5 Tablespoons Thick Cream.
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese.
Use the largest wok - the reason is you don't want a crowded dish as mushroom need to be cooked super fast , and cooked minimum to ratian flavor and bite.
Heat up butter and oil add diced chilies and crushed black pepper , 30 seconds later add leek , cook one minute till leek just about begins to get soft , now increase heat to max , add mushrooms , herbs and stir fry one minute , take off heat and stir in cheese ,cream and salt to taste.
This is a delicious base sauce / topping or a side dish on it's own .Should be made when ready to eat .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Friday, 15 May 2015

Mushroom & leek ​Creme épaisse

Measurements are approximates - the taste is divine !
200 Grams Thickly sliced Mushrooms
1 Cup Leek - Chop 1/3d " discs and use the firm green parts too - they have an amazing flavor.
Diced Chili - To taste.
Black Pepper - To taste.
1 Tablespoon Butter + 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil.
2 Tablespoons Chopped Herbs - I use parsley or Basil or even green dhania
4-5 Tablespoons Thick Cream.
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese.
Use the largest wok - the reason is you don't want a crowded dish as mushroom need to be cooked super fast , and cooked minimum to ratian flavor and bite.
Heat up butter and oil add diced chilies and crushed black pepper , 30 seconds later add leek , cook one minute till leek just about begins to get soft , now increase heat to max , add mushrooms , herbs and stir fry one minute , take off heat and stir in cheese ,cream and salt to taste.
This is a delicious base sauce / topping or a side dish on it's own .Should be made when ready to eat .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Kandi gunda/ Tur dal Masala Powder

We are so blessed by the treasure trove of spice , flavors and recipes our rich Indian Cuisine has to offer , this podi is a fine example to what dal can do to ones food when used as a podi !

I first tasted this divine powder from Andhra a few years ago , and then last year Putli Rao sent me some - that had me hooked all over again. Last week I finally made some after checking the net for recipes and used Amma's Recipes ( Net ) as the base to which I adapted by adding curry leaves more chilies powdered along with adding whole roasted chilies in the jar with the Kandi Gunda to infuse that lovely smokiness .
1 CupTur Dal
1/2 Channa Dal
1/2 Cup Mug Dal
1/4 Cup Groundnut
20 Curry Leaves
8 Red Chillies ( I used 20 )
1 Teaspoon Jeera/ Cumin Seeds
Teaspoon 1/2 Hing/ Asafotida
3-4 Dried Red Chilies Roasted & Left Whole ( optional )
On medium heat add each dal , groundnuts separately and dry roast till each is golden  brown in colour.
Dry roast red chillies , curry leaves & jeera
Grind the above ingredients into a powder adding hint and salt , adjust flavors.
Pour into a jar , add whole roasted chilies to give a smokey flavor .
It is a great combination with plain rice and ghee .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Monday, 11 May 2015

Diva Spiced - A review

Diva Spiced turned out to be a superb experience the second time around. First time too I ate some delicious Pork Belly skewers but didn't quite enjoy the Noodle Bowls and kept eying the salads the neighboring table were eating - so this time Akshat Kapoor who is a vegetarian and I went for essentially a tapas experience and ate all veg.The choice couldn't have been better at 40C

We started off Wild Mushroom Roasted Chives and Carrot Dumplings - Bang on target - a translucent light skin , flavors of the stuffing came across beautifully .Grilled Asparagus with Spicy Hoisin Sauce was as you can see by the pic of superb quality - cooked to perfection , good bite , juicy and delicious flavors. I will always order this as I will the Bomras Salad - perhaps inspired from Bomras of Goa , but nothing there is a patch on this exquisite salad.

Spicy Mushrooms which I had eyed the neighboring table eat on my last visit were a bit not happening for me . We ended the meal with a stunning Young Papaya Curry , hints of kokum , Lychees and served Crispy Ginger and Rice Noodles - a winner all the way , as was the exceptional Salted Caramel dessert.
The service was excellent - and very well informed . I asked for a slow paced meal as we wanted to chat and it worked out beautifully . The food I ate yesterday was truly fantastic . Very high quality of ingredients , lots of play with interesting flavors and everything was light, fresh and perfect !

The place is reasonable - all these 6 dishes and 2 fresh limes for 3500/- for two - you couldn't ask for anything better .


A Gem of a share - I had great pleasure in making and eating ! Changed nothing but used less onions and retained a bit of the gravy . This was delicious ! Thank you Harjeet sir - another masterpiece from you , to which I hope I did justice .

Lamb chops 500 gm
Sliced onions 400 gm
Ginger paste 1 tsp
Garlic paste 2 tsp
Tomato purée 2 tbsp
Cherry tomato 50 gm
Baby onion 50 gm
Chopped coriander 3 tsp
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder
Turmeric power 1 tsp
Coriander power 2 tsp
Mustard oil 2 tbs
Garam masala power 1 tsp
Kasuri methi power 1 pinch
Dhai yogurt 1 tbs
Heat oil in a pan then add onion and cook till golden brown add lamb chops ginger garlic paste and all spices and cook for 10 -15 min then add yogurt then cook again after few minutes add tomato purée along with water then cover for half an hour, take out mutton from pan,reduce the water till semi dry consistency add some baby onion and mutton peace, cook for 5 minutes,
Afterward that add some cherry tomato and toss

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Moplah Ghost Tari

This recipe is a total cheat one . Chef Harjeet Kumar had taught a Moplah Biryani recipe at the sikandalous cuisine master class which I had made and shared here. I recalled how delicous the mutton itself tasted - so this time I did away with the rice part this time - and here is Moplah Ghost Tari ! Just mix everything up - allow it to marinate and slow cook till done ! No bhuno , no drama !

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.

Potato Crusted Runny Eggs

I was served these eggs in one of the ultimate Game Reserve near Kruger National Park in South Africa , at 6 in the morning when we took a breakfast break in the midst of the jungle . The safari jeeps stopped in a predesignated area - a mobile kitchen arrived and bingo I witnessed these eggs being made - the memory lingered on but somehow I couldn't pluck up the guts to handle and peel such soft cooked eggs .Am still to perfect the art - and my success rate is 50 % still - but the end result is so satisfying.
Boil and mash potatoes , flavor them to taste and keep ready.
Keep a FREEZING bowl of water and ice cubes ready.
Egg Wash to coat potatoes beaten and ready.
Crumbs / Rava ready to coat crusted eggs.
A kadhai with hot oil ready .
Bring sufficient water to boil , adding salt and a tablespoon of vinegar to it , gently spoon in 3-4 eggs and bring allow them to boil 4 minutes by the stopwatch ! Remove from water , dip into freezing water for 30 seconds and get peeling them - this is the tough part as they are semi cooked and wobbly like my belly .
On greased palms flatten mashed potato and gently encase an egg.Smooth out the surface , dip into egg wash , coat with crumbs - remember your oil has to be medium hot and waiting and give the eggs a DEEP fry till colored - maybe 30-45 seconds.
Remove from the oil , allow the egg to rest a minute to harden the crusted surface - say a prayer VERY SINCERELY as you deftly cut the egg open !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Friday, 8 May 2015

Deliciousness @ Indigo

Friend and Club member Sagar Kapoor was visiting from Singapore and he didn't wish to eat Indian at lunch ..Chinese / Thai naturally ruled out as he lives in Singapore so I posted requesting ' conti ' options . There were very few -this segment can do with more . However  a post by Urvashi Malik on her Indigo experience and the debut of the Gourmet Passport use by her brought back memories of my fantastic meals at Indigo and my decision was made.

Excellent service - real good , and the food was outstanding . We went through two bread baskets chatting - their bread id feather weight , crunchy and the best I have eaten , served with three different flavored butter.
We shared Salmon Three Ways - A stupendous trio of techniques and flavors - Brulee , Confit and Tartare . For mains we went with Potato crusted Rawas  nesting on a brilliant Carrot and Ginger puree brought together cleverly with a slightly sour Kairy Curry and I ordered Arugula & Goat Cheese Ravioli - Superbo !
Gourmet Passport worked like a dream - Sagar got away cheaply and just as we were leaving Abhishek came and insisted we try the most amazing Salted Creme Brulee with Banana Ice Cream ... I really mean this was an outstanding dessert- which was very kindly complimented .
Thank you Jenifer , Chef Nitin and team Indigo for yet another memorable meal  My friend flies back to Singapore highly impressed !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Soya Haleem

Haleem is a popular curry prepared during Ramzaan with meat and various dals. Here's a vegetarian version of it made with soy granules.A recipe that Vicky Ratnani taught at the sikandalous cuisine master class at MySquare.

8-10 cloves of garlic
30 gm of ginger
3 green chilies
3 Tbsp olive oil
250 gm onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp red chilly powder
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 cloves
5-6 black peppercorns
2-3 cardamom pods
2-3 tsp cumin seeds    
2-3 bay leaves
1 cup soy granules
30 Grams  Oats
3 Tbsp green gram
3 Tbsp red lentil
3 Tbsp black gram
40-50 gm whole wheat or cracked wheat
200 ml vegetable stock
1 tsp  jeera powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp  garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A few chopped coriander leaves
A few chopped mint leaves
2 Teaspoons Freshly Ground Kababchini

In a blender add ginger, garlic and green chilies and blend into a rough paste.

In a hot pan, fry the onions till golden brown in olive oil. Transfer some into a bowl. Leave the rest in a pan.

Add the red chili powder and the ginger, garlic and green chili paste to the onions in the pan. Stir well till lightly combined.

Add the other spices like cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns, whole cardamoms, cumin seeds and bay leaves.

Now add the soy granules to the above and saute well.

Then add the green gram, red lentil and black gram. Give it all a nice mix.

Then add the cracked wheat and the leftover cooking water of the dal and 200ml of the vegetable stock.

Mix well till all the ingredients come together.

Add the powder spices- cumin powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder and garam masala.

Season it with salt and some fresh coriander.

Cook well till all the stock is absorbed and the dal and broken wheat are soft enough to mash or blend.

Garnish it with fresh coriander, mint leaves, chopped green chilies and lime.
My notes:
Soak lentils / Wheat overnight.
Soak Soy 30 minutes and squeeze out water.
I used Ghee
Kababchini takes this to wonderful heights.
Infuse a lot of fresh Pudina/Mint leaves towards the end and if needed finish with a twist of lemon juice.
I cooked everything long and slow on a tandoor which I had to bring inside the house as it was 43C yesterday !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Review of Chi - ni ,Chinese restaurant at Dusit Devarana

Chi-ni - or ' to eat ' in Chinese , headed by Executive Chef Nishant Choubey is the soon to launched Chinese restaurant at Dusit Devarana . Inspired by the much celebrated Michelin Star Restaurant , Kai of London , Ankur Bhatia along with Bernard Yeoh of Kai have created a masterpiece - Fine dining amidst beautiful surroundings ,Chi-ni boasts not just of it's fine cuisine and crockery ( as never seen in Delhi I assure you ) but of the biggest tented roof adding that wow factor to the restaurant and experience.

Chinese Master Chef Ban showcases his skills by bringing together a wonderful amalgamation of traditional Chines Cuisines with modern touches .His food is delicious . Lightly spiced and dynamic in flavor, innovation and mastery of ingredients was evident with each dish we tasted.Chef Ban will take Delhi by storm.

Vegetarian Goose in plum sauce , Wasabi Mushrooms and Soft Shell Crabs in a superbly flavored crunchy batter were the perfect starters.A Hot and Sour Soup , dark and dense with Chin Chin Vinegar made with fermented beans - a bit too thick for me , but delicious nonetheless.

For mains we went with a super 3 Chili Chicken , crunchy Garlicky Greens and baked Chilean Seabass in a spicy, sauce which was outstanding . All this came Vermicelli Noodle and a flavorful bowl of Ginger Rice. A special mention of Chef Ban's 6 hour slow cooked XO Sauce made with Parma Ham and a baked yogurt berry compost topped dessert - subtle and a visual delight.

Sourish and I was totally bowled over by our meal and the humble Chef

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Barley ( Mushroom Bacon Celery Leek ) Risotto

Inspired by what we were taught at the sikandalous cuisine master class with the very talented Celebrity Chef Vicky Ratnani I made risotto for the first time using Pearl Barley - it came out delicious as barley has a wonderful nutty flavor . Go with the flow , use what you like and try this.
1 Cup Pearl Barley - Washed and soaked in water for 12-24 hours along with 1 bay leaf.
3 Cups Stock Vegetarian / Chicken.
! leek Chopped .
15 Mushrooms Chopped Large.
4 Fleshy Shitake Mushrooms Chopped.
1 Stick Celery Chopped.
4 Tablespoons chopped Bacon ( Optional )
2 Tablespoon Butter.
5-7 Large Cloves Garlic - Slice long.
2 Tablespoon Cream ( Optional - a good one ! )
Ground Pepper.

Heat some Olive Oil , saute garlic till brown , then add mushrooms and lightly brown them.Remove and set aside.
In the same pan warm up butter add bacon , cook 2-3 minutes yhe add crackle pepper , tip in the vegetables you are using , after they are well coated , with butter and bacon fat add strained barley and saute 5-7 minutes over low heat.Now add half the stock , and cook covered on medium heat till barley is soft with a bite - about another 20 minutes .Keep ' feeding ' barley stock as and when needed.When barley is done , mix in most of the fried mushrooms and garlic , allow flavors to marry . You can add cream at this stage -When serving garnish with some mushrooms and parsley
As I had soaked my barley 24 hours , I needed less stock and my cooking time too was shorter.What you add to your risotto is your choice - just cook it slowly and sit down to a delicious meal in a bowl.

Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

White Butter -Utterly Butterly Delicious

If you get good full cream milk - read pure milk , you will get a lot of malai / cream that sets on top after boiling and cooling the milk. Scoop off this cream / malai and collect it in a bowl in your fridge.When you have a good amount - say 500 grams collected over the days  get started making your own white butter.
In a food processor us the plastic blade , put the cream / malai and 150 mls water, give it a good churn over low speed for 2 minutes - your butter is ready ! Now add some chilled water give it another churn for a minute and soon butter separates from the milk. You can also use a hand mixi exactly the same way.
Gather this butter , make a ball , press out as much moisture / liquid as you can - you now have your own home made white butter . The milk that remains - can be set as curd .Alternatively you can add some curd to the cream / malai , let it set for a few hourse and then make white butter.This liquid that remains is ' matha ' - delicious to drink or to cook with.
How utterly butterly delicious is that ?

Sikandalous Cuisine

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Baingan Ki Katli

An outstanding dish By Chef Harjeet taught to us at the sikandalous cuisine master class at Diya , Leela Ambience Gurgaon. The flavors here will get your taste buds in a tizzy - that's my guarantee.
Tomato Relish:
250 Grams Tomatoes - Chop small.
50 Grams Onions - Chop small.
Black Salt to taste.
1 Teaspoon Onion Seeds.
2 Teaspoons Fennel Seeds.
2 Tablespoons Sugar.
300 Ml White Vinegar ( I used 100 to taste as I was using Desi tomatoes which are tart. )
1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder.
Heat oil add tomatoes and onion , cook gently till soft.Then add vinegar , salt , sugar and chili powder.
Meanwhile broil fennel seeds and Onion seeds till they crackle.
Add seeds into tomato relish , cook another minute or so till you have a thickish relish.
Garlic Yogurt.
250 Grams Hung Curd.
10 Ml Garlic Juice ( I used garlic paste to taste )
Mix the above.
Brinjal Masala
2 Round brinjals sliced.
2 Teaspoons Mustard Oil.
1/2 Teaspoon each - Chaat Masala , Black Salt , Red Chili Powder , Haldi , Amchoor Powder.
Juice of 1 Lemon.
Mix all ingredients , coat baingan slices nicely and after 10-15 minutes lightly fry till done.
Assembly is your choice.Do make this dish , it's fabulous .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Friday, 1 May 2015

Dal Makhani

A favorite in our home this no fuss recipe is best made in a slow cooker if possible. However there are no rigid rules to cooking so go with what works with you . This recipe is adapted from Sir Jiggs PRASHAD - with Chef Manjit Gill

120 Grams Urad Dal.
30 Grams Rajma.
3.5 Teaspoons Ginger Paste.
3.5 Teaspoons Garlic Paste.
120 Ml Tomato Puree.
1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder.
120 Grams White Butter.
120 Ml Cream.

Wash and soak the lentils overnight- Drain.Put lentils in 1.5 liters water and cook till soft . I pressure cook 2 whistles , allow the pressure to come down naturally ,then mash the lentils with a ladle.Add all other ingredients except for cream and slow cook for 45 minutes. ( I slow cook it 2 hours adding 1/2 cup water ) .When ready to serve , add cream ( often I don't ) , adjust seasoning - Delicious !

Sikandalous Cuisine
— at Sikandalous Kiitchen.