Saturday, 31 October 2015

Sarson Da Saga #sikandalouscuisine

This recipe is from The Dhabas of Amritsar - a simple and informative book that along with recipes shared by the dhabas also brings you some history of these iconic eateries.Bharawana Dhaba is allegedly the oldest dhaba of Amritsar and this recipe is shared by the owner Subhash Vij. BTW this ' dhaba ' is now a swank clean air conditioned place and still serves you food made like it was 50 years ago I believe.
1 Kg Sarson Ka Saag.
8 Green Chilies.
6 Red Chilies.
400 Grams Palak.
50 Grams Soya Greens.
150 Grams Bathua.
1- Grams Makki Da Atta ( I avoided ).
125 Grams Desi Ghee.
50 Grams Ginger Sliced.
10 Cloves Garlic Chopped ( Not in recipe ).
Cut and grind all the greens and Green chilies.
Put in handi and cook slowly for 2 hours , add water only if needed.
Heat Ghee , splutter some red chilies and ginger - and garlic if using.
Pour over cooked saag, cook another 10 minutes .
Serve with white butter .
Delicious !
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Thursday, 29 October 2015

Besan Aur Chawal Ki Kheer #sikandalouscuisine

A successful first attempt at making Besan Ladoos had me all enthu about my new found talent in making meetha , so we donned the chef's cap and came up with this delicious Besan Aur Chawal Ki Kheer , it truly is a must make.

2 Liters Full Fat Milk.
1 Cup Gobindobhog Rice / Use any broken thick grain .
1/2 Cup Grated Jaggery / Gur.
1/2 Cup Castor Sugar .
1 Teaspoon Green Cardamon Powdered.
3 Tablespoons Besan.
1 Tablespoon Ghee.
Dry Fruits.

1.Soak washed rice in minimum amount of water for an hour. Don't strain.
2. Dissolve Jaggery in enough hot water to make paste.
3. Boil milk , after 10 minutes add the rice with water into milk and cook till rice is done.Milk too should have reduced somewhat .
4. While milk is boiling heat wok , lightly saute besan for 5-6 minutes , add ghee , saute another minute or so , then add besan into milk.Mix well , cook another 5-7 minutes , add jaggery and sugar.Simmer 4-5 minutes.Add Cardamon powder.
5. Take off heat , when a bit cooler taste , adjust sweetness , stir in nuts , then set to chill.
Different and delicious !

Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator & Hawaldar of
Sikandalous Cuisine
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Potato & Artichokes Pie #sikandalouscuisine

Preheat Oven 170C             Bake 20 Minutes
I had this can of artichokes sitting in my fridge for the longest waiting to be used. A few days prior to making this dish I had eaten an artichoke baked dish which I loved - taking inspiration from that I worked out this recipe and got to use up the artichokes too . Here you can replace artichokes with whatever is handy and strikes you as workable . This is what I did.
4 Potatoes - Boil , peel and crumble in largish chunks with your fingers , lightly flavor with salt , oil and herbs of choice.
5-6 Bok Choy - Tear into 3-4 pieces.
4 Tablespoons Thickly Chopped  Leek / White Onion / Spring Onion
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic.
5-6 Pieces Canned Artichoke Hearts.
8-10 Cherry Tomatoes halved - or add tomatoes chopped large.
8 Tablespoons Grated Cheese - I used a mixture of Cheddar and Parmesan.
Crushed Black Pepper / Seasoning of Choice.
3 Egg Whites OR 2 Whole Eggs + Light Seasoning .
8 Tablespoons cream .

1. Heat olive oil , add black pepper and garlic , don't allow garlic to color , then add chopped leek / onion , saute for one minute just enough to soften , add bok choy and take off heat .You don't cook the bok choy.

2. Oil a baking dish , lightly pat crumbled boiled potatoes to cover the base .Sprinkle some grated cheese on the potatoes.Don't press the potatoes , keep it light.Dot 2-3 tablespoons cream on the surface.
3. Top potatoes with sauteed greens. Add a light layer of cheese on to the greens . Dot with 2 Tablespoons Cream

4. Top Green with artichoke hearts and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle cheese , dot 2 tablespoons cream on the surface , season and randomly add crumbled potatoes on top - don't pat to cover fully.
5. Now whip up your eggs , season them with salt etc , add cheese , add the balance cream, pour over the potatoes to cover - some will seep through which is what we want .Bake till done - maybe 20 minutes.

Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator  &
​ Hawaldar of​
Sikandalous Cuisine

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Chettinad Mutton Curry ( Adapted ) #sikandalouscuisine

A mutton dish inspired by a biryani - on the lines of Chettair's cuisine this is fiery hot and flavorsome .

500 Grams Mutton marinated in :
2 Tablespoons Ginger.
2 Tablespoons Garlic Paste.
Paste of 5 Green Chilies.
1/2 Cup Curd.
1 Tomato Chopped.
Make A Coarse Powder :
1 Tablespoon Jeera.
1 Tablespoon Black Peppercorn.
2 Tablespoons Sauf.
Add this powder to the above marination and keep overnight cling wrapped in the fridge.

Other Ingredients:

5-6 Green Cardamon.
4-5 Dried Broken Red Chilies.
1 Bay Leaf
2" Cinnamon
2 Onions Sliced.

Heat ghee , splutter bay leaf , cinnamon , cardamons and add chilies.When aromatic add onions and fry till golden brown.Now add mutton and some salt , cook on high for about 10 minutes , then cover and allow it to cook on low, add water if needed.Cook till done.This comes out tender and delicious.
Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator & Hawaldar of
Sikandalous Cuisine

Delhi Club House #sikandalouscuisine

I finally made it to Marut's Delhi Club House after hearing a lot of wonderful things about the place. This 98 seater restaurant is beautifully done up - classy is the word actually as it's a wee bit understated which works well for me.Lots of light and feeling of open spaces , comfortable seating and some interesting touches - old fashioned ceiling fans and apt lighting , you enter and you get some strong good vibes . The only thing that didn't work for me was the crockery - it should have been club style with an emblem as all clubs have - not thob colored ceramic .
Menu - it's fun,  a mixture of canteen dishes , dishes from various clubs pan India to some Anglo Indian favorites - lots of nostalgia here .Cheese Souffle was brilliant , light and airy beautifully flavored with a mildly spicy cream sauce , A must order . Fish Finger Orly served with a home made Tartar Sauce and a Mustard Wasabi Mayo was excellent- like super good. Amritsari Kulchas were again good , cholas could do with a bit of a kick I thought .Prawn Masala I really enjoyed , while Railway Mutton Curry hit the right spot beautifully - I loved the flavors here.Excellent stuff.
Lemon Cheese Cake was just not happening . No flavors whatsoever. The staff heard us discuss this and a chef came to get a feedback then and there - which I thought was brilliant. They took it off the bill . Trifle pudding could do with more custard and sponge , presentation was excellent and taste was good no doubt , but not quite there. Molten Chocolate Cake was brilliant - perfectly made and delicious.
Pricing is excellent -every dish plated superbly .Service is fabulous - and very well informed which is a huge asset to any restaurant . I loved my experience on the whole and will head back soon . Super well done Marut , you have a winner here and one more fan !

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Besan Ladoo #sikandalouscuisine

This was my first attempt at Besan Ladoo's and I really was pleased with the flavors and consistency - the ' look ' left a lot to be desired as you can see ! I guess I am too impatient to get into pretty plating and shapes , something I should change considering all the efforts.
2 Cups Besan.
2/3d Cup Ghee.
2/3d Cup Castor Sugar
1/3d Cup Grated Gur / jaggery .
3-4 Tablespoons Crushed Walnuts.
1/2 Teaspoon Elachi Powder

Anyway so here goes . The trick is to roast besan lovingly and slowly and for as long as you can - almost till your arms fall off .You then get a super slightly dark color and some fantastic aromas .I added crushed walnuts at this stage , and gave another 3-4 minutes of roasting . Walnuts added a beautiful flavor - dense and delicious.

At this stage add ghee , bhuno away for another 10-20 minutes on low heat. Then cool besan down totally for a few hours. Add sugar/jaggery and ilachi powder , mix well , form small ladoos after greasing your palms with ghee - and leave to set . Delicious .

Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator  & 
​Hawaldar at​
Sikandalous Cuisine

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Sabudana Tiffin Wala #sikandalouscuisine

Deliciously feasting and fasting go hand in hand in India ! Celebrating Navratras ones kitchens and creative juices come alive and the walls of sikandalous sizzle with delicious dishes from members kitchens to our computers !
Here is my twist on my regular Sabudana Khichri - more like a spiced up chaat - perfect tiffin / snack food. I took my standard old recipe and gave a few twists - Was quite happy with the results.

Moisten sabudana in buttermilk and leave it overnight. Added to buttermilk is salt, green chilies , minced ginger and dhania leaves to soak sabudana in. I soaked overnight .
200 Grams Sabudana - Soaked in 300 Ml Buttermilk.
2 Large Unpeeled Potatoes - Cube unpeeled , lightly fry with whole red chilies.This adds smoky chili flavors.*
1 Heaped Tablespoon Rai Seeds.
2/3rd Cup Unpeeled Peanuts - Saute in a bit of oil with curry leaves - When done , cool peanuts and crush once.*
1/2 Cup Chopped Dhania Leaves.
Chilies to taste- don't use chili powder.
Hing , Salt & Lemon Juice - To taste .
Next morning fluff up sabudana with a fork and set aside while you get assembling the dish.
Heat ghee , add rai seeds and when they stop spluttering add salt , hing , chopped chilies , the cooked potatoes and peanuts.Saute gently for 4-5 minutes.Next tip in sabudana , and gently cook till all is well incorporated - about 5 minutes. Take a taste , adjust salt , add lemon juice , add chopped dhania , mix well . Another delicious f(e)asting dish !
* My twist - brilliant infusion of chili and curry leaf flavors.
Atul Sikan

Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator  & 
Sikandalous Cuisine

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Idyappam / String Hoppers With Egg Curry #sikandalouscuisine

How can anything that has eggs not be delicious ? I felt like pampering myself over breakfast - wasn't inclined to go the standard egg and toast route though I knew it was egg that I wanted - so headed Southwards and came up with this delicious Idyappam / String Hoppers Egg Curry dish . What made it different and delicious was that I used Ragi , Jowar and Rice Flour to make idyappams/ string hoppers and added sambar powder to my egg curry.
Idyappam / String Hoppers.

I watched a couple of YouTubes initially and got the hang of making these yummies , now they are a permanent part of my life . I have to thank Veenu Chopra for one day surprising me and sending me the idyappam press ! Today I experimented by adding different flours to rice flour - I love the flavors Ragi and Jowar added here.
1 Cup Rice Flour.
1/2 Cup Jowar Flour.
1/2 Cup Ragi Flour.
Salt to taste.
Hot water - NOT boiling hot but like around 70-80C .
Mix flours and salt , slowly add in hot water and keep stirring , you want to end up with a thick almost solid mass , more like mashed potatoes. Rest this 5-6 minutes while you prepare your idli steamer .
Put flour mass into the Idyappam press which should be lightly greased , press and form these hoppers directly on to the idli lightly oiled moulds and steam 5-6 minutes till done.
Egg Curry:


6 Boiled Eggs - Peel and make slits on the surface only.

1 Onion Chopped Length Wise.*
1 Onion Chopped Small.*
2 Sprigs Tender Curry Leaves.
1 Tomato Cut Length Wise.*
1 Tomato Chopped Small.*
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic.
Dried Red Chilies To Taste.
1 Heaped Teaspoon Sambar Powder.
Red Chili Powder - Color and taste .
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi.
Dot of Hing.
2 Teaspoons Rai Seeds.
2-3 Petals Kokum/1 Teaspoon Tamarind Paste.
Mustard Oil.
Heat mustard oil , splutter rai along with dried red chilies , then add all the onions  and curry leaves, garlic and hing , when limp add in tomatoes and all other ingredients , cook covered 5 minutes on low till oil separates.

Now add eggs , saute 3-4 minutes , then add desired amount of water to form the gravy you need. I kept mine thick and less. Now give it all a nice boil , simmer , adjust flavors and eat with piping hot Idyappam/string hoppers.
Quick easy , different and delicious !

Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator  & 
​Hawaldar at​
Sikandalous Cuisine

Friday, 9 October 2015

Avocado & Goat Cheese Sadwich #sikandalouscuisine

A delicious concept that worked very well for me - flavors , colors and texture . You may replace ingredients to suit your palate and availability - this is as tasty as it's eye catching .
Bread of your choice.
Goat Cheese / Feta.
Avocado Slices.
Tomato Salsa per sandwich:
2 Tablespoons Chop Cherry Tomatoes/Tomatoes.
Garlic to taste.
Salt & Crushed Pepper.
Chopped Fresh Herbs - I used Basil.
1/2 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil - Optional.
Mix Salsa ingredients and pound once just to release all juices.
Lightly toast bread , place a thick layer of cheese , on top place avocado slices and finally top with salsa.Eat this as an open sandwich , a covered one or cut into bite size squares - A delicious snack.

Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator  & 
​Havaldar at​
Sikandalous Cuisine
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Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Matter Mushroom #sikandalouscuisine

While growing up I recall  my mother's constant worry was what to give vegetarians at parties ! Those were simpler days , one or if there were two non veg items then that would rock the table , however vegetarians would be stuck with Makhani Dal and Paneer in various ' shahi ' forms. Then Mushrooms happened and life became easy . Veggies got yet another ' exotic ' option and my mom a breather ! Here is our full on Punju Mattar Mushroom !
200 Grams Mushrooms - Cut to size , not too small ( remember guests had to see them ! )
300 Grams of Shelled Peas.
1/2 Cup Liquidized Tomatoes.
1/2 Cup Grated Onions - fry till brown and grind to paste.
1 Teaspoon Grated Ginger.
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1/2 Teaspoon Ajwain.
2-3 Black Ilachi.
1 Tej Putta
4-5 Green Cardamon / Ilachi.
1" Stuck Cinnamon.
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi Powder.
1 tablespoon Dhania Powder.
Chilies & Salt To Taste .
1 Teaspoon Kasoori Methi.
2 Tablespoons Grated Khoya ( I avoid )
2 Tablespoon Ghee.
Heat ghee , add tej putta , cardamons and cinnamon along with ajwain and cook 30-40 seconds till aromatic . Add ginger and garlic , and then tip in tomato puree.Reduce heat and cook covered till oil separates ,then along with some water add dhania powder , haldi chilies and salt , in go the peas and saute peas 5-6 minutes , till nearly done.

At this stage add onion paste , mushrooms , kasoori methi and khoya - increase heat to high , saute 2-3 minutes only , pour hot water to give you the desired gravy .Cook 2-3 minutes for flavors to marry . Stir in garam masala , remove from heat and serve garnished with dhania leaves. Party dish for veggies ready !

Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
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Sikandalous Cuisine
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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Avocado & Artichoke Salad ‪#‎sikandalouscuisine‬

Finally I scored some ripe ready to use avocados , something that can be a challenge in Delhi at times . I also had a can of artichokes hearts in my fridge so got creating this wholesome and delicious salad.Here the dressing is king - so use that with any available salad friendly ingredients .
Salad Dressing:
30 Basil Leaves - Tear in two.
4 Cloves Garlic - chop.
1 Green Chili - chop.
7-8 Cherry Tomatoes - Cut in two / use 1/2 a regular one chopped .
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Lemon Juice - Optional , I found tomatoes did the job.
Take all the ingredients , zap in a blender just twice . You want a coarsely chopped dressing .Add 30ml water or more oil if needed , adjust flavors and spoon over your salad.

I mixed the salad dressing with :
1/2 Avocado - Cut in Chunks.
2 Artichoke Hearts - Cut into 4 pieces each.
Salad Leaves.
Blanched and strung Snow Peas .
Yellow Peppers
Cherry Tomatoes.
Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator & Havaldar
Sikandalous Cuisine
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Saturday, 3 October 2015

Rosti Burgers - Desi Ishtyle #sikandalouscuisine

Rosti , which many Swiss regard as their national dish is the inspiration behind this delicious desi burger . Rosti traditionally has two ingredients , par boiled grated potatoes and butter. Here we have gone bang on desi and given a lot of flavors and punch from the Desi Rasoi .
This is what I did , measurements and ingredients are only indicative. Go with the flow .
200 Grams Grated Potatoes - I didn't par boil.
100 Grams Assorted Cubed Vegetables - I used corn , beans , carrots , onions in equal quantities .
1 Teaspoon Minced Ginger.
1 Teaspoon Garlic Minced.
Green Chilies To Taste.
2 Tablespoons Dhania Leaves Chopped.
1/2 Teaspoon Jeera.
1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala.
3 Tablespoons Grated Cheese.
 1.5 Tablespoons Besan / Maida flour.
Paste of flour to coat burgers.
Freshly Made Bread Crumbs .

Heat oil , splutter jeera , add onions and garlic , when they turn soft add all the rest other vegetables and potatoes , add salt cook covered 4-5 minutes till done.Take off heat , mix in cheese and 1.5 Tablespoons besan / Maida , taste and adjust .

Make patties to desired shape , roll in flour paste , roll in crumbs and lightly deep fry . Your full full Desi Rosti Burger is ready ! This isn't a fancy looking patty , it's rustic - just as the Rosti inspiration behind it is .

Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator  & 
​Havaldar at​
Sikandalous Cuisine

Top Chef Awards Season 2 Winner Chiquita Gulati , Best North Indian Cuisine - Standalone Category.

Chiquita Gulati, chef-owner of Gulati Spice Market, was recently named the Top Chef at Delhi Gourmet Club’s Top Chef Awards Seasons 2 in the Best North Indian Cuisine - Standalone Category.

Plush hotels, well-groomed hotelier, grandeur of fine dining all fascinated Chiquita while growing up in Mumbai where she was also influenced by several regional cuisines through her family, friends and neighbors.Les Roches International Hotel Management School in Switzerland was, therefore, a natural choice to gain professional expertise .Chiquita then went on to train at the Four Seasons, London and Hyatt Regency, Denver.

After marrying her college sweetheart Sumit Gulati whose family has been running the Gulati Restaurant at Pandara Road successfully for over five decades , Sumit & Chiquita moved back to India and got involved in the family business .She credits her father-in-law Mr Vinod Gulati for helping her gain in-depth experience & technical know-how of the restaurant trade in Delhi.

Chiquita, along with Sumit upped the ante and opened the highly acclaimed and successful Spice Market, a Pan Indian restaurant in 2008. At Spice Market she got to showcase her talent , passion and perspective of Indian cuisine and then present it in a way that not only uplifts the dish artistically but also brings about a balance to the whole experience.

 A mother of two , her boys share her passion for cooking and they often accompany her to work - I can see the foundations being laid to carry forward this great legacy !
We at Delhi Gourmet Club are proud to have presented Chiquita the Top Chef Award for Best North Indian Cuisine - Standalone Category . Super well done Chiquita !

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

Friday, 2 October 2015

Pasta With Baked Vegetables #sikandalouscuisine

Another delicious vegetarian pasta , this time I baked my vegetables well sealed at 180C for 30 minutes to delicious results. Easy and no fuss , but full on with flavors . Here is what I did :

Assorted vegetables together weighing 175- 200 grams :
Cubed Yellow Pumpkin.
Cubed Red & Yellow Bell Peppers.
Cubed Carrots.
7-8 Small Cauliflower Florets.
7-8 Cherry Tomatoes.
1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil.
Crushed Black Pepper.
1 Slit Green / Red Chili.
1 Teaspoon Grainy Mustard Paste.
1 Tablespoon Grated Parmesan Cheese .
Basil leaves.
Use your own flavors - the idea here is to get you to use sealed grilled vegetables where their juices play taste maker ! This is relatively oil friendly too .
Mix the above well , remember vegetables will release their own juices and flavors too - it will all come together beautifully with grated cheese at the end , which is when you can also adjust to taste .This you bake sealed for 30 minutes at 180C.
 Boil Pasta as your vegetables bake sealed in the oven .
When pasta is done Al dente ( with a bite ), strain and retain the liquid.
20 minutes into the baking of vegetables add in 2-3 tablespoons of the water from boiling pasta.
When done , taste the vegetables after adding in grated cheese.Adjust .
Plate pasta , spoon on vegetables and some juices and sit down to a superb meal .

Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator  & 
​Havaldar at​
Sikandalous Cuisine
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Thursday, 1 October 2015

Perch Wine & Coffee Bar

Perch - a total delight ! I went with high expectations after reading all the rave feedback on Facebook , I dint walk out disappointed at all . I do feel they could pay a bit more attention to the overly ' casual ' look to the place - they need more seating which they can accommodate and perhaps improve upon it a bit too. However the feel of light and space , the ficus tree inside , fresh herbs growing in pots all add to the places charm.
I have read a lot about this being a Wine and Coffee Bar - As I had neither of those , here I share my food experiences.
Was told their menu was limited , we found the selection ample - guess we still expect that ;' Volga ' type of 8 page menu ! The menu has small plates and big plates along with starters . I like the idea of small plates , you can do a lot more sampling and sharing . For starters we ordered Salt Cured Salmon and a Avocado & Palm Heart Salad . Both superb , fresh and brilliantly flavored. Large portions .There was a basket of Lavash Sticks with Chunky Tomato to keep us going while our mains arrived.
2 Portions of Roasted Garlic Gnocchi , yup it was so good we got a second portion . We also ate a winner of a Artichoke & Camembert Cheese Cake.My niece ate a Sea Food Barley dish , soupy and loaded with large pieces of Calamari which she said was perfect .Perch is well priced , the service tops and informed , good sized portions and a super experience . Will happily head back for more. Fine European Cuisine , a must do .

Perch Wine & Coffee Bar, 71, Khan Market, they answer at- 8373976637, Rs 5000 for a meal for four .

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