Sunday, 30 August 2015

No Frills Baked Vegetables by ‪#‎sikandalouscuisine‬

There is no recipe as such , nor any fixed vegetables to use . Go with the concept and adapt to availability and taste . This is what I do , and I make this almost 2-3 times a week - fills my stomach lightly and healthily .

1/2 Red Bell Pepper - Chop 1/2" pieces.
1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper - Chop 1/2" pieces.
10-12 Mushrooms - Cut in large chunks , they will shrink.
4" Ghia - Peel & cube.
4-5 Baby Onions.
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic.
5-7 Whole Cloves of Garlic.
1 Tomato - Cut like peppers.
This way use vegetables of your choice.
For this quantity I made a sauce:
1.5 tablespoons light Soy Sauce
Crushed Black Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar ( use any )
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil - lovely smoked flavor .
1/2 tablespoon Honey.

Add fresh/dried herbs if you want . Mix this all up , add the vegetables , put in oven proof dish , cover with foil and bake at 180C for 20 minutes.

Eat this hot as a side , or cool it down and plate it on salad leaves, as you can see in the other pic where I have ( at another time ) added Corn and Bocconcini Cheese too and eaten this as a salad chilled.If using these vegetables for a salad bake them 5-7 minutes less to retain the crunch .

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Kadhai Gravy Masala by #sikandalouscuisine

6 Tablespoons Ghee ( 75 Grams )
5 teaspoons Garlic Paste ( 30 Grams ).
7 1/2 Teaspoons Coriander Seeds ( 15 Grams ).
10 Whole Red Chilies.
4 Green Chilies.
1/2 Cup Ginger ( 45 Grams ).
675 Grams Tomatoes.
1 Tablespoon Kasoori Methi ( 5 Grams ).
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
Pound coriander seeds and red chilies.
Wash chop green chilies ,ginger and tomatoes .
Heat ghee , add garlic paste , saute over medium heat till light brown.Add pounded spice , saute another 30 seconds then green chilies and ginger , cook another 30 seconds and lastly add tomatoes and bhuno till fat separates.Lastly add all spice and take off the fire.

This is a delicious Master Sauce / Masala , goes great with fish , chicken , prawns , paneer , potatoes etc

Kadhai Paneer #sikandalouscuisine

There was an interesting discussion on Kadhai Paneer and authenticity the other day . That got me thinking and I read up a few books and zoomed into Jiggs Kalra's book  to go into the recipe in detail and also understand our cuisine better . Jiggs Sir made some interesting observations - the obvious like recipes were handed down from generation to generation , but never recorded ( literacy ) . This is the reason that Indian culinary art despite 1000  of years of refinement is relevantly unknown as compared to the cuisines say of France or China . As as a result of this non documentation every recipe is open to interpretation , however innovation is often mistaken for originality !
So let's get cooking Kadhai Paneer which Jiggs Sir describes as chili hot , semi dry and colorful  in his cookbook PRASHAD .
Note - this is a rustic dish , that's why we chop , not liquidize tomatoes to keep the textures and flavors.ONLY 25 Grams Capsicum is added , that too right in the start , that flavors the oil and that is where the role of capsicum ends . It's not a a vegetable here , but a flavoring agent. I make this pount to differentiate between Kadhai Paneer and Paneer Silma Mirch / Capsicum.
The timings aren't correct , I took an hour nearly to make this delicious gravy masala ...
600 Grams Paneer - Cut to size.
3 Tablespoons Ghee ( 40 Grams ).
1 Capsicum ( 25 Grams ) - Remove seeds and make julienne / thin long strips
5 Whole Red Chilies.
2 1/2 Teaspoons Coriander Seeds.
4 Teaspoons Ginger ( 15 Grams ).
550 Ml Kadhai Gravy ( recipe below )
A pinch of Kasoori Methi .
1 Teaspoon Garam Gravy Masala.

Scrape ginger , reserve some for garnish , mince the rest. Pound whole red chilies and coriander seeds together.
Heat Ghee , add capsicum , and saute for 30 seconds over medium heat. Add pounded masala and ginger , cook 30 seconds , then add kadhai Masala , bring to a boil till fat leaves the sides. Now add paneer , cook 2-3 minutes , sprinkle kasoori methi and garam masala , adjust seasoning and to serve garnish with ginger julinnes and coriander greens .

Kadhai Gravy Masala:
6 Tablespoons Ghee ( 75 Grams )
5 teaspoons Garlic Paste ( 30 Grams ).
7 1/2 Teaspoons Coriander Seeds ( 15 Grams ).
10 Whole Red Chilies.
4 Green Chilies.
1/2 Cup Ginger ( 45 Grams ).
675 Grams Tomatoes.
1 Tablespoon Kasoori Methi ( 5 Grams ).
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala
Pound coriander seeds and red chilies.
Wash chop green chilies ,ginger and tomatoes .
Heat ghee , add garlic paste , saute over medium heat till light brown.Add pounded spice , saute another 30 seconds then green chilies and ginger , cook another 30 seconds and lastly add tomatoes and bhuno till fat separates.Lastly add all spice and take off the fire.
This is a delicious Master Sauce / Masala , I made it in twice this quantity and have it in the fridge and will use it with other recipes soon.

Atul Sikand
Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator and Owner , Sikandalous Cuisine

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Khichuri by #sikandalouscuisine

A Bengali friend very generously sent me Govindo Bhog Chaal / Rice and a recipe to make this awesome Khichuri . The only change I made was to not add sugar , but slipped in some whole green chilies towards the end .
250 Grams Rice - Wash well.
250 Grams Roasted Mun Dal - Roast well , when slightly colored and fragrant take off heat , wash .
Soak rice and dal together for about 30 minutes minimum while you get cooking .
1 Onion Sliced - Fry in mustard oil till brown to garnish ( Optional ).
250 Grams Cauliflower - Medium Size Florets fry in mustard oil till lightly colored.
200 Grams Potatoes - Cut one into four pieces after peeling and then Medium Size Florets fry in mustard oil till lightly colored.
100 Grams Peas.
1.5 Teaspoons Jeera Seeds.
2 Tej Putta.
5-7 Green Cardamon.
2" Cinnamon Sticks Broken.
1 Large Tomato Grated.
1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger.
1 Teaspoon Sugar .( I avoided )
Red Chili Powder
5-6 Whole Green Chilies ( make a slit - not in recipe )
1 Heaped Teaspoon Jeera Powder.
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala.
Ghee to drizzle at the end.
Heat mustard oil , crackle jeera , add tej putta , cardamon , cinnamon and cook till aromatic - 30 seconds , then add tomato and ginger and cook till oil separates.Now strain dal and rice and slowly saute for 5-7 minutes. Add haldi , salt and red chilli powder to taste.

Next tip in about 6 cups ( 1.25 liters ) boiling water and cook khichuri covered. When 75% done , add some green chilies , fried potatoes , peas and jeera powder. Cook another 4-5 minutes then tip in fried cauliflower , after two minutes or so stir in garam masala , drizzle lots of ghee and take off heat .Garnish with fried onions.This was like super delicious .

Atul Sikand
Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator and Owner , Sikandalous Cuisine
Mobile +91-9810003296

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Indigo Winter Menu - A sneak Peep #sikandalouscuisine

I spent the afternoon with Anurag Katriar and the very talented Executive Chef of deGustibus Hospitality - read Indigo , Nitin Kulkarni who fortunately wouldn't take no for an answer and kept sending us not so small portions of Indigo's soon to be introduced Winter menu .

Don't go near their breads if you want to keep some space for your meal - their bakery and desserts are fabulous . We started with a small shot of a delicious Lobster Bisque with a Lobster Salad and then the most amazing and beautifully plated Brie Custard with Forest Mushrooms . It was like fantastic . Next came a 'small' portion of Chicken Liver Pate with Raspberry Coulis , Red Onion Jam and Candied Beets - the photograph tells your the delicious story.

For mains we ate Scallops with Parsley Puree and Parsley Chips - amazing stuff and the most perfect Lamb Chops , while Anurag went through his sous vide cooked beef - cooked at 64C for 6 hours. I sneaked in a bite , it melted in my mouth .

Our desserts were again a work of art and tasted as good as they looked . This was a perfect meal - I think Indigo has now got everything well sorted and what Nitin has in store for us is a winner .

I will let these photographs do the talking this point onwards !

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Ottolenghi's Roasted Aubergine with Saffron Yogurt ‪#‎sikandalouscuisine‬

I quote from the Cookbook Ottolenghi, The Cookbook : "Robust contrasting flavours, vibrant and vivacious colours, fresh herbs and nuts – laid out to create the most impact, we recommend that you serve it from a communal plate brought out to the dining table. It makes an exciting starter and doesn’t need much else beside it."
3 Medium Aubergines, cut into slices 2cm thick, or into wedges.
Olive Oil For Brushing
2 Tablespoons Toasted Pine Nuts
a handful of Pomegranate Seeds
20 Basil Leaves
Coarse Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Saffron Yogurt:
a small pinch of Saffron Strands
3 Tablespoons Hot Water.
180g Greek Yogurt
1 Garlic Clove, Crushed
2½ Tablespoons Lemon Juice
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Lets start with Saffron Yogurt . Infuse hot water with saffron , meanwhile whisk the rest of the ingredients and five minutes later add saffron water. Chill . Adjust flavors after chilling .This can be made 3 days in advance.
Slice Aubergine , rub olive oil salt and pepper , now you can grill them at 220C for 20 minutes or pan fry till done . This can be made 3 days in advance.
Arrange aubergines on a platter , overlapping one another , drizzle yogurt sauce over them , sprinkle pine nuts , pomegranate seeds and basil leaves and serve . Aubergines are at room temperature while yogurt sauce / dressing is drizzled chilled .The end result - the brilliance of Ottolenghi's creativity on your platter !
Sikandalous Cuisine

Friday, 21 August 2015

Pasta Stew by #sikandalouscuisine

This dish started off as a soup . I bake my vegetables ( sealed ) in the oven when making a vegetable soup . The end results are delicious and flavorful. This time when I took out the pot from the oven and saw this sea of flavors and colors stewing in the pot I thought of adding pasta to the dish and making it one big wholesome meal - and it turned out to be more than that ! This is what I did.
Set Oven 180 . Cooking Time 1 Hour.
1 Big Red Bell Pepper - Cut into chunks , remove seeds.
1 Large Carrot - Peel and cut into 1/2" Discs.
6" Ghia - Peel and cut like the rest .
8 Baby Onions - Peel and leave whole.
4 Large Tomatoes - Cut into chunks with seeds.
Chili Paste to taste .
1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic - use more , can't hurt!
1 Teaspoon Sugar.
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar ( use any or lemon juice too )
1 Teaspoon Asian Sesame Oil - Smoky and heavenly.
Basil Leaves - As many and keep some for later.
Salt / Soy Sauce To Taste.
15 Tubes Penne - Use any paste.
Boil Penne till just about under done and keep aside - it will cook in the ' stew ' too later.
Take all other ingredients , put in a pot with a tight lid and put to bake for one hour. You don't need to add water at this stage as vegetables will release their juices and stew in them.
Remove the stew and place on fire , add 1 cup of water , or as much to get the desired gravy , add boiled penne and basil leaves . Gently cook 2-3 minutes .Take off heat , leave covered for 4-5 minutes for penne to take in flavors and serve in a big deep bowl after adjusting flavors.
This was a super delicious dish , I had thought of adding cheese at the end , however the flavors here were wholesome and pure which I didn't wish to alter . While my vegetables were baking , I foil wrapped some potatoes and ate them on the side with some garlic and chives infused hung curd .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Channa Dal Aur karela Ka Milan by ‪#‎sikandalouscuisine‬

I love karelas and am always on the lookout for a new way to make them - this was one such experiment and it worked beautifully . Here is what I did.

6 Karelas - Lightly scrape and cut into half moons or discs ,retain 2 tablespoons of the scraping.
2 Onions cut like Karelas have been
1 Measuring Cup Channa Dal - Soak 2 hours and boil till nearly done.Strain.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi.
1 Teaspoon Jeera.
1 Teaspoon Dhania Powder.
3-4 Dried Red Chiles.
Pinch of Hing.
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice .

Heat oil splutter jeera with dried red chilies , add onions and saute till they begin to color . Then add dhania powder , haldi and salt and tip in karelas and karela shavings. Cook Till Kerelas are done - maybe 6-7 minutes.

In another pan heat a teaspoon of ghee/oil , add hing and saute channa dal ti dal is done yet firm - maybe 2 minutes.Return Karelas to heat ,sauteed cooked dal , lemon juice , gently mix , cook another 2-3 minutes for flavors to marry .
A delicious coming together of flavors and textures here - not to forget colors too !
I don't salt my karelas if they are tender . Retain karela shavings to use in dals or any other dishes , they give a great flavor and have lots of health benefits.
Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Punjab Grill Review #sikandalouscuisine

Punjab Grill was a great discovery for me . I must confess I was floored by the experience and the very humble and supremely talented Chef Gurpreet Singh Gehdu . We sat down to feast on some amazing kababs and curries and ended with some very creative deserts .
Sourish had told me to expect some great food , what unfolded was delightful to the palate , non greasy and delicately flavored dishes , what I would call tasted like fine home cooking .
Masala Chaamps fell off the pone and Salmon Tikka was a winner all the way - Here totally under spiced allowing this delicious fish's natural flavors to come through. Chicken Tangri and Dahi Kababs were superb too . I loved the Butter Chicken and the Meat Curry . Gucchi Pulao , again delicate in flavors was outstanding .I think the parathas were chur mur or some such name and tasted fantastic . Ajay Singh forgot to count his calories which will tell you how great the meal was. I have to mention the Kur Kuri Bhindis and alus - a winner all the way.
Desserts were fantastic , fresh and innovative. I loved all the kulfis but the Phalsa one .Do go armed with your Gourmet Passport and feast on some delicious food at Punjab Grill , I doubt very much if you will walk away disappointed .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Dak Bungalow ( Meat ) Curry #sikandalouscuisine

In her quest to revive and preserve the vibrant culinary legacy of her people , Bridget White Kumar  has put together many books including her brilliantly researched cookbook ,Anglo Indian Cuisine - A legacy Of Flavors From The Past . From this book I give you Bridget's vision of the much celebrated Dak Bungalow Meat Curry.
1/2 Kg Mutton
1 Teaspoon Spice Powder / Garam Masala Powder.
3 Teaspoons Chopped Garlic.
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder.
3 Onions Sliced.
q/ Teaspoon Haldi Powder.
1/2 Teaspoon Pepper Powder.
2 Tablespoons White Oil.
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice.
1/2 Cup Curds ( Optional )
Mix all the ingredients above ( I did use curds ) and marinate meat for 1 hour ( I kept it overnight ) Place pan on medium heat, cook closed for 5-6 minutes, lower heat , add 1 mug water and cook covered 40-50 minutes till done and the gravy is thick.
It's that simple ! You get wholesome flavors of meat , enhanced with the slow cooking . There are no confusing flavors here - just wholesome deliciousness !

​ I cut one large potato into eight pieces , deep fried it and added the pieces into the curry during the last 10 minutes .This was my deviation from the original post .​

Sikandalous Cuisine

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Potato and Egg Flan by #sikandalouscuisine

Heat Oven to 170C Bake 20 Minutes

A wholesome meal , a wonderful snack , Potato and Egg Flan is somewhere between a Spanish Omelet and a Quiche . You need no great skills , nor fancy ingredients to make this delicious dish - just eggs , potatoes and your imagination !

5 Large Eggs.
3 Tablespoons Cream ( optional )
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder.
3 Large Potatoes - Peel and cube. 1/4"
Green Chiles and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
1 Large White Onion - Chop 1/4" .
2 Leeks - Chop in discs ( when available in season )
1/2 Red Bell Pepper - Chop 1/4"
1/2 Cup Bacon - Chop 1/2" - Bacon is optional , a delicious option or else add 1/2 Cup cheese if you like , or use both . No fixed rules.
2 Tablespoons Green Herbs - Chopped Coriander , Parsley - your choice , I used Garlic Chives.
4 Cloves Garlic - Leave whole but bruise by pressing gently with the flat side of a knife .
1 Tablespoon Butter + 1 Tablespoon Oil.

Heat oil and butter , add garlic , cook garlic gently till brown , you are doing this to infuse oil with garlic flavors.Discard garlic.
Add bacon if using , and cook for 2 minutes , if not add onions ,potatoes green chilies , black pepper and over low heat gently cook covered till soft - maybe 15 minutes.Towards the end add bell peppers and herbs .Take off heat and cool down ( the mixture , not you ! ).

Whip up 5 eggs with cream , add cheese and salt - salt will depend upon how much cheese /bacon you are using .Add baking powder.Give a final whip , and mix in the potato onion mixture.

Take a flan . I used an 8" round one , grease with butter , pour in the mixture and bake for 20 minutes till done. Cool , remove from the mold and get ready for the treat of your life !

If yoiur don't have an oven , no issues , make this like a Spanish Omelet - potr the mixture onto a suitable sized non syick pan , cook on low heat covered till omelet sets - place on tawa and let it cook slowly .

There is no fixed recipe - use corn , leftover chicken - it's your recipe , go make it to please your palate and the family - and wow friends along the way as this looks real fancy too !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Corn Bhel by #sikandalouscuisine

This is one of those snacks that just happened - and I am glad it did . I saw this offer of a buy 1 get 1 free of a premium frozen corn kernel packet offer and went for it . Each time I opened my freezer  these 2 bags of cleaned corn kernels kept staring me.So imagination came to play as did the need to eat a jhatpat ( wake up John N Anu​ ) recipe.

Go with the flow - adjust ingredients , here is what I did .
2 Cups Corn Grains / Kernels.
1 Large Onion Chop to corn size approximately.
2 Large Tomatoes - Remove seeds and chop to corn size.
3 Cups Puffed Rice / Murmuras.
3-4 Tablespoons Chopped Green Coriander / Dhania
Lemon Juice - To taste . I used 3 Tablespoons.
Green Chilies to taste .
Generous Dots Hing
1 Teaspoon Mustard Oil.
1 Tablespoon Mustard Oil

Heat 1 teaspoon mustard oil , add corn and hing . Saute 1-2 minutes JUST to warm up .Take off heat ,add everything else except for puffed rice and chopped dhania , when ready to serve add them too - adjust salt , spice and chilies - add the remaining raw mustard oil. Serve at once while puffed rice retains its crunchy bite. It cant get tastier , healthier or more delicious !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Bhindi Bhujiya

This is one of those recipes that happened due to lack of bhindis ! It's the end of bhindi season and I got just 10 sad looking bhindis from my farm the other day , and so we got thinking ... the result was delicious . I was in two minds about sharing this recipe - but then I figured its a useful one when you need to stretch a dish , or simply eat eggs in a different way !
10 Bhindia - Cut into 1/4 " Pieces.
1 Small Onion - Chop to size.
1/3d Teaspoon Ajwain ( optional )
1/5th Teaspoon Haldi
1/3d Teaspoon Salt.
Chili Powder
Heat oil , splutter ajwain , add onions and haldi . When onions loose shape add the rest , cook bhindi till its done but still firm . I never cover my bhindi , cook it in an open wok.Set aside.
Egg Bhujiya
2 Egg Whites - Whip up.
1/2 Onion Chopped .
2 Green Chilies Chopped.
1 Tablespoon Green Dhania Chopped
Heat oil , add onions and green chilies , when onions get limp add whipped up egg whites and saute - eggs will be done in 2 minutes  , now add the cooked bhindi , gently mix with egg bhujiya cooking for 2-3 minutes , add chopped dhania , adjust flavors and enjoy this with a paratha or muchri roti !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Top Chef Awards , Season 2


Top Chef Awards , Season 2 were kicked off at the Le Meridien Gurgaon by our very eminent jury - to quote Sourish " The best in the business are coming together on Monday to nominate the best of the future at Le Meridien Gurgaon, Delhi-NCR "

Our eminent jury was welcomed by Samrat Banarjee and co chaired by Chef Manjit Gil and Vir Sanghvi . The other jury members were Chef Ravitej Nath , Chef Girish Krishnan , Chef Manisha Bhasin , Chef , Manish Mehrotra , Chef Neeraj Tyagi , Ritu Dalmia , Magandeep Singh , Rajesh Namby , Yangdup Lama , Sid Mathur and Osama Jalali.
We sat down to some serious deliberations in between delicious small bites Tanveer kept sending us from his kitchens . Some categories the jury was unanimous in there choices , and some were much debated - the end result is a fair representation of what the jury thought was the best in each category .
We thank David Hopcroft , General Manager Le Meridien , Gurgaon  for once again being our venue partners and for hosting the awards for which you , the members of Delhi Gourmet Club will soon be voting .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Monday, 10 August 2015

Bisi Bele Huli #sikandalouscuisine

This morning when my cook Gyan Singh began his normal raga of what I would like to eat at breakfast , lunch and dinner -  yes all three must be decided in like 30 seconds or he starts all over again , I recalled reading the recipe of Bisi Bele Huli in a much treasured cookbook amongst my 500 odd cookbooks - Cooking At Home With PEDATHA- Vegetarian recipes from a traditional Andhra Kitchen. That took care of lunch and we got cracking on making Bisi Bele Huli !

1 Cup Rice .
1 Cup Split Red Gram Dal.
1 Teaspoon Haldi Powder.
1 Large Onion.
1 Medium Potato.
1 Medium Carrot.
7-8 French Beans.
3 Tablespoons Thick Tamarind Paste.
2 Green Chilies.
10-12 Curry Leaves.
4-6 Tablespoons Ghee.
2-3 Tablespoons Oil.
1st Powder:
1/2 Cup Bengal Gram Dal.
1/4 Cup Split Black Gram Dal.
1/4 Cup Coriander Seeds.
6-8 Dried Red Chilies.
3" Cinnamon.
4 Cloves.
2nd Powder:
1/2 Cup Dried Coconut.
1/4 Cup Coriander Leaves.
The Tempering:
1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds.
1/2 Teaspoon Methe Seeds.
1/2 Teaspoon Hing.
1. Boil rice till done.
2. Boil dal with haldi and salt in 3 cups of water till done , churn well.
3. Chop Vegetables in medium size pieces.
4. Dry roast 1st Powder ingredients ( not cloves and cinnamon ) , then grind all to a powder.
5. Dry roast coconut with a bit of oil till light brown , then make a paste with coriander greens .
6. In a wok , heat up ghee , splutter tempering ingredients , add all the vegetables and cook covered till vegetables are done , add water if needed.
7. Make a gravy with tamarind pulp , the 1st powder ingredients , mix into cooked dal , make sure there are no lumps.Add into the vegetables , cook for 3-4 minutes.
8. Add cooked rice , green chilies and curry leaves into the dal mixture and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
9. Heat Ghee , add whole chiles , I added cashew nuts too, coconut coriander mixture , cook 1 minutes , mix into the entire rice dal mixture , stir well , cook another minute , adjust flavors and sit down to a delicious meal !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Lost Recipes of the Moughal Era at 361

While many of our talented chefs are working overtime to deliciously plate us the miracles of Molecular Gastronomy where smoke tastes like mutton tikkas , the Jalali's as a family have been working silently dedicating their time to rediscover and revive some of our lost culinary history , cooking techniques , recipes and spice .Osama's wife went about meeting food historians , old khansamas , grandmothers and keepers of some of our undocumented culinary history , to put together lost recipes to which there were many references but not many recipes as such.
Osama told me how they sourced seldom used spice like Nag Kesar , Chadila , Kabe e Khanda , restricted the use of modern substitutes in spice and stayed true to what they believed was used. You wont find much use of ginger , but a lot of flavoring through other spice , like peppercorns in their various hues and strengths.

Armed with what was shared with her , Osama's wife along with Ammi and Osama began to recreate these dishes - many of which had no reference points to go to to figure out what the taste and texture may have been .Reading up old books , speaking with respected historians Salma Husain , they did a lot of research , trials till they came up with what they felt was ' authentic ' .
The Yakhni Kabab while it looked ' regular ' tasted like something not eaten before , Luleh Kababs influenced by Humayuns Persian wife was a melt in the mouth kabab rolled in cardamon flavored naan with cucumber and anar .Patode with Arbi leaves were outstanding , crunchy and perfect , as was the broken wheat and Lentil kabab , Kabab e Burghul.
This 14 course ( excluding desserts ) tasting menu had many a gems - Parinda mein parinda - here whole birds stuffed in birds and skillfully cooked we had a quail stuffed in a chicken which was stuffed in a duck and the end result was three different birds from one dish , each tasted different .Kancha Kofta had a marble like void in the center a result of frozen ghee placed there which melts while cooking , Piston ka keema a creation from the Bahadur Shah era .Arbi ka salan was close to being my favorite as was Amba Qaliya , lamb with mangoes .
Motia Pulao , a class apart - egg whites filled in small intestines of lamb , tied an inch apart to resemble pearls  after they were boiled - a delicacy from the kitchens of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah , a difficult cooking technique , not seen in restaurants or homes today was the showstopper of the evening . I am not very fond of sweets but it didn't take much to 'convince ' me to go through all that was offered including a keema halwa !
Lost Recipes has the backing and support of The Oberoi group. Executive Chef Ravitej Nath and Osama Jalali have made it possible for us to relive some fine culinary moments of our rich culture and history through this endeavor .They want to bring to us some of our lost culinary history which now will be showcased at Threesixtyone , The Oberoi , Gurgaon . Do head here for a memorable experience.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Green Peas Upma by #sikandalouscuisine

2 Cups Rava Upma
1 Tablespoon Ghee.
2 Teaspoons Mustard Seeds.
1 Onion Sliced.
1 Teaspoon Minced Ginger.
7-8 Green/Red Chilies Chopped.
1& 1/2 Cup Shelled Peas.
Juice of 1 Big Lemon.
1/2 Cup Grated Coconut.
Dot of Hing.
2-4 Tablespoons Coriander Greens .
4 Cups boiling Water
With a dot of ghee dry roast upma in a wok , slowly and for long ,till aromatic and a light brown. Slow roast is the trick to pull out its delicious flavors.Remove from heat.
In a wok add ghee , splutter mustard seeds , and onions and fry till golden brown , (retain some onions for garnish) then add ginger and green chilies along with hing, cook 30 seconds , add peas , saute 2 minutes and pour in boiling water , lemon juice and salt .When peas are 75% done , slowly stir in roasted rava and cook till rava absorbs all the liquid - maybe 1 minute.
Take dish off heat , add in half of the coconut and coriander green , leave the dish covered to allow flavors to develop -5 minutes .When serving garnish with balance coconut , coriander greens and fried onions. A delicious way to kick start your day .

Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Stuffed Tomatoes Curry # sikandalouscuisine

A wonderful recipe from Ruchira - which showcases select Maharashtran Vegetarian Recipes by Kamalabai Ogale . Do try it , it tastes as delicious as it looks !

10 Large Firm Tomatoes .
5 Medium Sized Potatoes - Peeled and chopped fine - (I used 3).
3 Large Onions - Grated -( I used 2).
1 & 1/2 Katoris Peas.
6 Green Chilies - Chopped ( Adjust ).
1 Teaspoon Grated Ginger.
1 Katori Chopped Coriander Greens ( I used 2 tablespoons ).
3/4th Katori Yogurt ( I used 200 Grams )
3 Teaspoons Beasn.
1 Teaspoon Sugar.
1 Teaspoon Coriander Powder.
1 Teaspoon Jeera Powder.
Chili Powder to taste.
2 Teaspoons Poppy Seeds ( I used 2 level tablespoons ).
1/2 Teaspoon Peppercorns.
2 Black Cardamon.
1" Stick cinnamon.

1. Whip curd , add besan , coriander powder and jeera powder , blend lightly and set aside .

2. Remove the top section of each tomato , scoop out the pulp , lightly level the base so that they stand.Reserve pulp and immerse tomatoes into chilled water while you cook , till needed.

3. Heat oil in a wok , add onions , cook till light brown , add half the tomatoes ( original recipe doesn't include tomatoes at this stage ) , when tomatoes leave oil add potatoes and peas , chili powder and salt and cook till done.

4. Gently dry out tomato shells / cases and fill them with the above stuffing , and place the ' caps ' back on each .

5. Heat oil , splutter peppercorn , cardamons and cinnamon till aromatic , add green chilies , ginger and poppy seeds and 30 seconds later add the curd mixture along with salt , chili powder. Gently cook for 2-3 minutes.

6. Place stuffed tomatoes in a dish , pour yogurt gravy around , cover and cook for 10 minutes on low. I baked covered at 175 for 20 minutes , tomatoes came out soft , retaining their shape.

Garnish with coriander greens and enjoy a delicious visual treat !
Sikandalous Cuisine

Monday, 3 August 2015

Curds Pohe Balls / Ladoos by #sikandalouscuisine

These days I am on a Poha kick thanks to my treasured Saraswat Cookery Book - RASACHANDRIKA , a book with a difference- classics from the Saraswat Kitchens of the 40's. Easy to follow - I believe this book was was responsible for the culinary journeys of generations of housewives . This recipe is a fine example of the simple style cooking of that era .

3 Cups Poha/ Beaten Rice.
3 Cups Curds.
1/4 Coconut Grated.
8 Green Chilies.
1 Cm Ginger
1 Tablespoon Mustard Seeds.
Curry Leaves.
2 Teaspoons Powdered Sugar.
2 Teaspoons Ghee.

Wash Poha and squeeze out water.
Make a coarse paste of coconut , ginger and green chilies.
Whip up curd , add the masala paste , sugar and salt , add poha.
Heat ghee - splutter mustard seeds , whiole chilies , and curry leaves and incorporate to the curd poha mixture.
Allow the dish to sit for 20-30 minutes or till poha soaks in curd and it becomes thick.
Make balls of the dahi pohe and you have a super healthy super delicious breakfast ready !
Dahi Pohe balls / ladoo are offered to Lord Krishna on Gokulastami.
I am sure that naughty boy loved these too !

Sikandalous Cuisine

Super Moist Banana Walnut Cake by #sikandalouscuisine

Set Oven 170C 

190 Grams Flour.
170 Grams Castor Sugar
100 Gram Butter
60 Ml Oil
60 Ml Milk.
2 Eggs.
1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence ( I used fresh from the pods )
2 Overripe Bananas Mashed.
2 Bananas Sliced ( Decoration )
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder.
100 Grams Walnuts - Crushed and dusted with flour.

Cream butter for 4-5 minutes using a hand mixi then add sugar and cream again for a minute , then add oil and vanilla , mashed bananas , blend well , slowly add eggs and milk .
Fold in maida gently using a spatula , don't over mix , and last of all add baking powder.Pour into a greased mould , decorate on the top with banana pieces , gently pressing them half in.Bake 50 minutes , or till done . This was like amazingly light and delicious.

Tips I read online :
1.waiting until the end to mix the wet and dry goods is that many leavening agents (baking powder/soda) begin to act as soon as they get wet, and all of their leavening power will be gone by the time the goods hit the oven/griddle/whatever if they are mixed too early.
2. Take your time creaming the butter, beat/cream for at least 4-5 minutes to get lots of air into the butter. Add the sugar and beat/cream really well again.
3. Dust nuts and fruit with flour before adding to batter , they wont sink to the bottom while baking .