Friday, 31 July 2015

Adrak Methi Paneer by ‪#‎sikandalouscuisine‬

250 Grams Paneer
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
1 Tablespoon Ginger Minced.
8-10 Baby Onions
1 Tablespoon Thick Curd.
1 Tablespoons Thinly Sliced Ginger.
1 Onion - Slice , fry till brown , and make paste.
1 Tablespoons Kasoori Methi.
3-4 Tablespoons Chopped Green Dhania.
Whole Chilies
3 Tablespoons Ghee
Heat ghee , add whole chilies , pepper ,minced ginger and sliced ginger , saute one minute , now onion paste ,baby onions , salt , sprinkle some water and cook covered on low heat for 5-6 minutes till onion begin to loose shape , they will also release their sweet juices which go towards flavoring your dish . Now add curd , and after one minute add paneer and kasoori methi,and bhuno paneer in the masala for 3-4 minutes.
When done add chopped dhania , mix .Take off the flame , allow dish to sit covered for 10 minutes , then taste and adjust flavors.
Flavors here are beautifully Balanced - hints of bitter and sweet come together beautifully .

Mamagoto Revisited

A meal at Mamagoto is always special for me - As you enter any of their restaurants you cannot but smile at all the happiness blasted all over the walls by way of quaint artwork .Delicious Asian fusion food , no MSG used , quality ingredients at affordable prices with great service - what more could you ask for ?
 Quinoa Salad - tangy and zesty set the mood going as we then tasted an amazing Goat Cheese Ravioli with Mango Tamarind Sauce .Their  dumplings are excellent ,they come in different sauces which flavor them beautifully - very superior stuff , I loved the Jungle Shrimp Dumpling and the Peking Chicken one even more.
I didn't care much for the Saigon Bowl.  Singapore Race Club Curry Prawns served with Fried Mantau (?) Buns were superb -  sweet and sour and a must order.The big winner for me was the Thai Go Go Yellow Curry - spicy and this had the most wonderful delectable flavors , I can't imagine not ordering this again.
I have eaten at Mamagoto quite often - Gurgaon , Delhi and Mumbai and am impressed by the consistency and quality of their food . Easy on the pockets , a delight to the palate - this is one place that never fails to amaze or deliver . I nearly forgot - you have to order the most happening Rock Shrimp Tempura -  This would impress the Japs too !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Monday, 27 July 2015

Polenta Bites

I had this packet of Polenta sitting for the longest time , I had no clue what to do with it . Net threw up some interesting ploenta recipes including thick finger chips which is what I set out to make . Halfway creative juices stepped in and I ended up with some delicious polenta bites - a perfect finger food and snack .

1 Cup Polenta
4 Cups Water.
1 Tablespoon Butter.
A Pinch of Hing.
3-4 Tablespoons Chopped Onions ( Adjust ).
Green Chilies Chopped - Add to Taste .
3-4 Tablespoons Chopped Dhania ( Adjust ).
1 Tablespoon Rai ( Adjust ).
1 &1/2 Teaspoons Sesame Seeds/Til ( Adjust ).
More Chopped Chilies - For Tarka.

Boil water , add salt , hing and butter , slowly drizzle in polenta , stir frequently to prevent lumps. Once all the polenta is in , cook on low like you would a halwa , stirring constantly to a very thick batter like consistency for about 8-10 minutes, towards the end , last 2 minutes or so add onions , green dhania and chilies .When done , you can taste for salt etc .

Grease a baking dish , pour polenta batter into the dish , and when it cools down , place it in the fridge for a few hours to set. I kept it overnight . At this stage too polenta is perfectly cooked and tasty .

Next day I heated oven to 180C , brushed a bit of oil on the set surface , covered with foil and baked polenta for just 12-15 minutes.

Heat oil , splutter rai , add sesame seeds and chopped chilies , when aromatic and before they darken take off heat , add green dhania to the pan , mix well and spread over polenta - allow this to rest a few minutes , then cut to desired size. Delicious !
Sikandalous Cuisine

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


The only time I has eaten this was a month ago when Hrushikesh and Maya took me to Tosa a restaurant that specializes in the ultimate Gujrati , Marwad & Kathiwadi Cuisine. I was wowed by the method , flavors and simplicity of the dish . This is my first attempt at recreating it - next time a thinner batter will ensure a more ' lacy look I think . The taste was divine.
1 & 1/2 Cups Rice Flour
2 Tablespoons Urad Dal Flour.
3 Tablespoons Curd.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi.
1 Teaspoon Jeera - Coarsely pound it.
Coarsely Grated - 2 green chiles 1/2 " Ginger
1.5 Tablespoons Melted Ghee
1/2 Sachet Eno Salts ( Eno needed ? Different recipes used or didn't use on the net )
Mix everything up , leave covered to lightly ferment an hour or two . You are looking at a dosa / pancake batter consistency .
Meanwhile prepare banana leaves by cutting them into approximate 6 X 6 " squares or bigger.

Take 2 cut pieces of banana leaves , apply oil on one side of each cut leaf piece.
Lightly spread batter on one oiled side of one leaf. Cover with the other oiled side on the batter - the batter between 2 oiled surfaces.

Place on tawa , cook on medium low for 90 seconds on each side.
When it's cooked the leaf will peel off beautifully .
This is a gem of a recipe , I plan to make it a lot and hope to perfect the look soon .

Monday, 20 July 2015

Fish - Dhakai Style

Adapted from Oh ! Calcutta Cookbook , this was supposed to be fish tikkas made in the oven . I cooked these covered in a non stick pan and later added a bit of water to get a gravy - the end result was delicious.
200 Grams Fish - Without Skin
Marination :
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice.
1 Tablespoon Green Chili Paste.
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala.
4 Tablespoons Thick Curd.
2 Tablespoons White Oil
1. Marinate the fish for an hour .
2. Heat up oil ,  add fish , reserve some marinade.
3. Cooke fish 3 minutes on one side , turn , pour reserved marinade on top and cook covered for another 5 minute.Towards the end add 90 Ml water , allow flavors to mix , and plate a delicious dish .
The original recipe calls for baking fish for 4 minutes at 250C - Remove fish from oven and strain liquid . Turn fish , brush with melted butter and bake another 8 minutes , take out , brush more butter - the picture of this looked great too .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Royal China , New Delhi - A Review

Royal China - You could be floating in the sky 250 ft above eating their sublime dim sum creations along with the much celebrated signature Aromatic Crispy Duck while taking in the spectacular view of Delhi's Skyline .I like the food at Royal China - they keep it quite authentic with just enough of ' Indian ' to cater to my palate , and I mean that in the nicest way .

Known for their Dim Sum , some say the best in town , their main courses don't get the attention they deserve .While there was no way I would bypass the dim sums , this visit we focused more on the mains . But first the dim sum , Seafood Dumpling with Ginger Chili Oil , Prawn Dumplings poached in soya and Chicken & Prawn Siu Mai were all outstanding .

Sauteed Prawns Chili Oil and Chicken with Chili & Black Bean Sauce were an excellent introduction to their mains.Exotic Vegetables were nice and flavorful , came cooking in some salt like thing. Sauteed Deep Fried Prawns in Salad Sauce was great .Roast Duck Honey Black Pepper was a winner all the way and did wonderful things to my taste buds .

The biggie for me was their newly introduced Crunchy Oats Pomfret garnished with deep fried curry leave - I mentioned they do just enough for the ' Indian ' in me ! This dish was innovative as it was commendable - I saved a tiny piece to eat after I ate dessert ( BTW they do the meanest Creme Brulee in town ) as I wanted this to be the last flavor in my mouth.....

You get the perfect experience at Royal China - fantastic Dim Sum and many a delectable selection of main plates , which seriously they should promote better as they have some great stuff which few seem aware of .

Friday, 17 July 2015

Megu is a fabulous looking restaurant , chic with well defined spaces , a sushi bar , their stunning Kimono Room , the main dining area with the much written about gigantic crystal Buddha and a huge 600 kg bell above , all come together to create this superb restaurant.  Amidst all the serenity of the restaurant and there is lots , there also are subtle elements of drama at play.
Lets talk about the food - I was relieved my choices were relatively easy as I dreaded wading through unheard of and unpronounceable dishes -  we were introduced to their newly launched Signature Obento Selection Menu priced at a very reasonable all inclusive Rs 2500/- per head - guaranteed to arrive on your table within 10 minutes of your making your selection .
Sashimi - a selection of three , I opted for King Salmon , Sea Bream and Mackerel , fresh and excellent .Shiitake skewers were again of another level as were the Pork Belly ones. In mains we sampled succulent Pork Spare Ribs and even better was the Salt Grilled Salmon with the most perfectly crackling skin.I could have gone through another portion but knew there was plenty more to come from the menu.
Miso Soup is the best I have eaten , Crispy Tofu was superb ,  Miso Aubergine  were amazingly delicious and you wouldn't have guessed what you were eating had you not read it . Yellow tail carpaccio and , Sakana Pepper Rolls -chopped tuna, salmon,yellow tail mixed with white & black pepper, garnish with onion thread and - all took the experience to another level.

I walked out hugely satisfied , one of my finest
​ meals ​
and I mean that . There were no negatives , everything from the well informed gracious service to all we ate was outstanding .
This wasn't
​just ​
a meal , but a sublime experience , do go an experience 
too .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Adrak Methi Gosht

500 Grams Mutton.
1 Teaspoon Kasoori Methi
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
1 Tablespoon Thick Ginger Paste.
2 Tablespoons Thick Curd.
Cling wrap and marinate mutton in the above for a couple of hours - mine stayed overnight in the fridge.
2 Tablespoons Thinly Sliced Ginger.
1 Onion - Slice , fry till brown , and make paste.
1 &1/2  Tablespoons Kasoori Methi.
Whole Chilies
1 Large Potato - Cut into eight pieces and deep fry - seta aside . Using potato is optional
4 Tablespoons Ghee
1. Heat ghee , add mutton and whole chilies , sear till medium brown cooking for about 10 minutes .
2. Add onion paste and sliced ginger , and salt - cook covered over low till almost done . Sprinkle water as needed.
3. When done add kasoori methi and potato if using - cook over high for 3-4 minutes adding a bit of water to get the desired consistency .Take off the flame , allow dish to sit 10 minutes , then taste and adjust flavors.
Kasoori methi and ginger work beautifully here , delicately and aromatically flavoring the dish . You get to taste the mutton too for a change , as it's not in a heavily spiced gravy .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Restaurant review - Soleil by La Plage

This must be the first review on Sula where wine isn't mentioned , but do read on , Cheers !

I recently spent three days in Nashik and stayed at Beyond the picturesque resort owned by Sula . The place is beautiful , very peaceful and if you are lucky to get your rooms overlooking the pool , nothing could be better .

Three KM away is their winery where they also have quite an amazing restaurant, Soleil by Goa's famed La Plage transported all the way to Nashik .The menu at Soleil has some of the La Plage classics and a few Goan favorites too , all in all the experience is of relaxed fine dining .

Their Tawa Prawns , Chicken Lollypop and Brochettes make excellent starters . Goat Cheese Balls , Tomato Tart - the like I am yet to eat elsewhere are out of the world as are the most succulent Lamb Chops ever. They also do a perfect Moroccan Stew with Couscous .

Chicken Cafreal I felt totally lacked what one gets in Florentine , Goa . Pastas are great here - more so if you go for the pesto ones made from their own organic herbs . For that sweet tooth , Chocolate Mousse and Apple Tart are a must have .
The interesting concept of Soleil however, is the use of their farm’s organic ingredients and produce like asparagus, goat’s cheese, free-range chicken , most of the herbs etc in their dishes , offering you an authentic “farm-to fork” dining experience .All in all superb food here and personally I rate it way higher than the original La Plage in Goa .

Next - I will share the fabulous food of Taj Gateway , Nashik - this city has nailed it with food and wine .

Ghia Aur Quinoa Ka Milan

Nothing like leftover boiled Quinoa and a bad tummy to get ones creative juices flowing . Fed up of a ' eat light ' diet I got inspired and assembled this delicious dish - am mighty pleased with the taste and look .
1 Cup Quinoa - Soak for 1 hour in hot water with a dot of hing then boil for about 5-7 minutes till done , strain and set aside.
1 Cup Grated Ghia.
1 Onion - Minced.
1 Teaspoon Green Chilies Minced.
2 Teaspoons Minced Ginger.
2 Teaspoons Rai
Chopped Coriander Greens .
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 Cup Curd
2 Green Chilies.
2 Tablespoons Chopped Coriander Greens.
Blitz the above raita ingredients , add boiled ghia , season and set aside
1/2 Cup Grated and Boiled Ghia.
1. Heat oil , splutter rai seeds , add ginger and onions . When onions begin to weep add ghia and minced green chilies , cook 30 seconds , add ghia , add salt and cook for two more minutes till ghia is soft.
2. Separate some cooked ghia for topping to be used later .
3. Add boiled quinoa to the ghia , cook two minutes to marry flavors , taste and adjust seasoning.Stir in lots of chopped coriander greens while its hot.
You can now eat this as is , or assemble it as I have in a ring , topped with the reserved cooked ghia ( step 2 ) and surrounded with that delicious ghia raita.This not only looks superb , but tastes fabulous too
​warm or at room temperature as a salad .​

Sikandalous Cuisine

Poha Vada

A bored mind isn't always a devils workshop ! Was wondering what snack to make when this idea came to my mind , so I experimented using uncooked poha to make vadas . This is what I did .

1 Measuring Cup Uncooked Thick Poha.
1 Medium Sized Boiled Potato Grated.
1 Medium Sized Onion Chopped.
1/2 " Ginger Minced.
1 Teaspoon Kasoori Methi.
4-5 Tablespoons Chopped Dhainia Greens.
2 Minced Green Chilies.
2 Tablespoon Rice Flour.
1 Tablespoon Besan.
1 Tablespoon Hot Oil.
1.Wet poha and leave to drain while you chop up all ingredients.
2. Mix all the ingredients to desired shape - do so lightly .
3. Deep fry one vada to check if it holds and for flavors - adjust accordingly and then deep fry the rest .
These came out nice and crunchy from the outside and soft from within - super delicious !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Sunday, 12 July 2015

The Artful Baker

The Artful Baker, ( right now as a pop up ) at My Square Select City is a delightful patisserie and old world baker café. Delicious sour dough breads , cakes, loaded croissants , macrons , muffins and sandwiches are some of the brand chef Chef Sahil Mehta 's creations on offer at very affordable prices with no compromise to quality and taste .

Sahil is India's First Certified Bakery, Pastry and Chocolate Expert from Lenotre, France , and is also the man behind many renowned patisserie brands such as Choco Diva, Renaissance and L’opera.

They will open in Khan Market next month - a complete Cafe with a wide range of artisanal breads , breakfast & bakeries, salads and sandwiches, pizzas, mains & grills, picnic baskets, desserts, drinks and a selection of beers & wines I am told .

I loved the Ham & Cheese Croissants , Paris Brest a choux pastry with hazelnut custard , Monte Cristo- blend of Dark chocolate and French cream, mixed with Praline crunchy, on an almond sponge and the taste of their breads made from a 75 year old starter imported from France. The Chicken sandwich was may all time favorite where chicken is marinated in Dijon Mustard, herbs , Caramelized Onions and baby tomatoes tossed in Red Wine. Need I add more ?

Keep up the great work Sahil - there is magic in those hands !

Murg Dhania Methi


1 Chicken 800 grams-1kg - Cut to size.
4 Tablespoons Ghee.
2 Onions - Sliced.
2 Tomatoes - Pureed.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
2-3 Green Chilies.
5-6 Tablespoons Chopped Dhania Leaves.
1 Teaspoon Kasoori Methi
10 Cloves Garlic.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi.
Red Chili Powder ( color ).
1" Stick cinnamon
1 Bay leaf.
5-7 Black Pepper.
4 Cloves.
1 Teaspoon Jeera.
3 - 4 Green Cardamons .
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice - or less depending on final flavors.
1. In two tablespoons hot ghee fry the onions till they turn nearly dark brown the add garlic towards the end and fry another 30-40 seconds , cool and grind to paste along with dhania leaves , green chilies and kasoori methi.Set aside.( All this is known as onion paste for later ref )

2. Heat balance 2 tablespoons ghee , add whole spices , splutter till aromatic then add chicken and fry over high heat to lightly sear - 10 minutes. I like cooking in a big kadhai / wok for better searing.After you sear the chicken add salt, cook covered and on medium heat , slowly extracting all the juices.

3. Next add the tomato puree , ginger paste along with haldi .Cook 10 minutes till oil separates . Now add onion paste mixture , red chili powder.Cook covered till chicken is done.Maybe another 7-10 minutes.Towards the end add hot water to get the desired gravy. I keep the gravy thick and less.If you aren't on a diet , add1 tablespoon of ghee as you take this off the heat , we make this as a rich curry and it comes out delicious each time . Taste , adjust and add lemon juice if needed.
Please sprinkle water as and when needed through the bhuno . Whole green / dried red chilies etc are optional

Sikandalous Cuisine

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Ghia Ki Khichri

Starnge that this khichri sounds , let me assure you its equally delicious . A bad stomach necessitated some healthy thinking - the only tummy friendly vegetable at home was ghia so I donned my thinking cap and miraculously came up with a winner. Adjust Ghia and Rice ratio to suit your taste buds.
Here is what I did.
1 Mug Grated Ghia.
2/3d  Mug Cooked Rice.
1/2" Ginger Minced.
1 Teaspoon Jeera.
Torn Curry Leaves.
1 Medium Onion Sliced Long & Thin
1/2 Teaspoons Haldi
A dot of Hing
1/2 Mug Whipped Curd.
Salt To Taste
Chilies to Taste
1 Teaspoon Ghee.
Heat up a wok , as you have very low ghee begin to dry roast jeera , then add ghee , add hing , ginger , curry leaves and onions.Cook covered on low for 2 minutes then add ghia and stir fry 2-3 minutes.

Next add salt haldi and chilies, ghia will release some water , cook covered for 2-3 minutes and add the cooked rice.Mix gently and cook covered another 4-5 minutes, then stir in curd , cover , and take off heat after a minute.
This came out superb in all its simplicity , don't overcook it as you want to retain a bite in the ghia .


Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Peas Usal

I got this delicious and simple recipe from the cookbook Ruchira by Kamlabai Ogale . This book is a must have if you are a Maharastran Vegetarian Cuisine fan and I read the book in Marathi has been a consistent best seller for the past 25 years . This is my adaption just tweaking quantities , the recipe and ingredients remain unchanged.

400 Grams Shelled Frozen Peas.
1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds.
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric.
1/5 Teaspoon Hing.
4 Teaspoons Oil.
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice or To Taste.
Green / Dried Chilies to taste
1 Teaspoon Sugar.

Make Paste:
8 Green Chilies.
Green Dhania Chopped - Equal volume as Coconut.
1/2 Coconut.
2 Teaspoons Poppy Seeds.
2Teaspoon Jeera.

Chopped Green Dhania For Garnish
Grated Coconut Fro Garnish.

Heat oil , splutter mustard seeds , add hing and chilies , add peas , haldi , sugar and salt.Cook covered 5 minutes on low heat , then add the paste and lemon juice, gently mix , cook another 3-4 minutes . I took off the heat , mixed in some grated coconut and dhania leaves to infuse fresh flavors - left the dish covered for 5 minutes.Served garnished with more coconut and dhania leave.
Light , flavorful and so delicious !

Monday, 6 July 2015

Sabudana Mango Delight

Essentially go with the flow - use as much sweet / mango / sabudana .....this recipe is a delicious concept - tweak it to suit your palate .

1 Cup Sabudana .
1 Liter Full Cream Milk.
1/2 Can Condensed Milk.
6 Tablespoons Sugar.
2 Mangoes - Make pulp
1 Mango - Chop
6-8 Strands Lightly Roasted Saffron.
6 Tablespoons Assorted Nuts & Raisins.
1/5Th Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
1/2 Teaspoon Green Cardamon Seeds.
Skin of green cardamon used to get seed ground with sugar to make a powder.
Sugar to taste .
2 Tablespoons Ghee.

Sprinkle water on sabudana and keep over night - next day they should be fluffy individual pearl like grains.

Boil milk for about 10 minutes add sugar , take off heat add saffron ,condensed milk and after 5-7 minutes while milk is warm add sabudana .
When milk is cold add cardamon skin powder , mango pulp and pieces . Mix well , taste and adjust sweetness.

Heat Ghee add black pepper and cardamon seeds , 20 seconds later add dry fruit - cook another 20-30 seconds , stir into Sabudana Mango Delight - Serve chilled.Delicious !
Sikandalous Cuisine
Sahiba - A gem of an eatery in Nashik came strongly recommended to me by my local friends and the management of Sula for an authentic gastronomic experience . Armed with directions Saransh Goila and I headed off to this centrally located eatery for lunch . The place seats 150+ , it's clean and the service is all out to guide and please - I saw this happen on the tables around too.
Down to basics , we let the manager choose our dishes while he poured oil on the most deadly Mirchi Thecha Chutney that had undertones of ginger that was placed on our table.We ate Methi Lasani - lived up to it's name garlicky and delicious - a bit oily  but hey that's half the fun. Next were green baingans in a rich gravy - okay okay types .
The non vegetarian stuff was brilliant - Chop Nali Fry - mutton dish that came with liver , nali , chops and keema all in one - finger licking good as was the Chicken Bhuna . All this was eaten with Jowar & Bajra Bhakris , making it easier to mop up all the delicious gravy !
If you find yourself in Nashik - you must try out Sahiba , this super meal and some terrible looking pink drink which Saransh drank came for Rs 665/-

Sikandalous Cuisine

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Review of Tosa - Gujrati , Marwad & Kathiwadi Cuisine

This probably is the only time I have come to Mumbai and not headed out to eat Mumbai's famed Coastal food which I so love as friend Hrushikesh and his sister Maya Paranjape had other plans in mind for me which worked out superbly - we headed out to Tosa where I ate the most amazing Gujrati , Marwad & Kathiwadi vegetarian food . Tosa is on my never to miss out on list for a while for sure.
We started with Panki - a Gujrati specialty , I think rice flour batter , lightly fermented and steamed between banana leaves and eaten with a spicy red hot Sambhariya powder - Delicious .This was followed by Handvo a super spicy lentil cake , steamed and fried.
Khinchu was another delicious discovery - rice flour slowly added to the mix of green chilli, cumin seeds and sesame seeds in boiling water until thick like soft dough and then cooked with a steam , finally eaten with groundnut oil and chilies . We then greedily worked our way through a plate of Dakor Na Gota is an age old recipe from the village of dakor - Besan and Rava balls deep fried with various spice.
Dal Dhokliwas my favorite - a combination of spiced whole wheat flour dhoklis simmered in Gujarati dal,spicy and with a gentle sweetness . This wasn't the end , we actually ate a bowl of Pithla and finally ended wit a Rajastahani sweet - Mohanthal - rich , evil and so delicious !
I highly recommend a visit to Tosa to take in the delicious flavors of these lovely cuisines . This was my first proper introduction to Gujrati and Maharashtrian food and I would rate it as one of my best meals in Mumbai across cuisines.