Sunday, 31 January 2016

Bharwan Bhindi #sikandalouscuisine

This is another easy and delicious way of making stuffed bhindi . No fixed recipe - go with a masala stuffing that works for you .I am not an amchoor fan , though I accept a touch of tang tastes good here , so I like to balance that out with crushed fried onions added to the masala stuffing.
Masala for filling - quantity will vary with the number of bhindis you plan on making , this is the suggested ratio of flavors. I do many versions and here is what we did this time:
1 Teaspoon Amchoor
1 Teaspoon Crushed Fried Onions - This gives a superb flavor**
1 Teaspoon Dhania Powder.
1 Teaspoon Jeera Powder.
1/4 Teaspoon Haldi Powder.
A Dot of Hing ( Optional ).
Red Chili To Taste
**Slice 1 small onions fine , fry till golden brown , cool , crush and use that in the filling.
Basically you wash and dry bhindi and snip off ends .Make a slit in the middle almost the entire length. Now take masala and gently coat the inside of the bhindi with it.In a nonstick with very little oil over medium heat cook the bhindi uncovered , gently turning the bhindis once or twice till done.You may garnish with dhania leaves while the bhindis are hot to infuse flavors.

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Saturday, 30 January 2016

Farzi Cafe in Connaught Place took me by surprise . I wasnt expecting this fabulous space when I walked in . Spacious , well conceptualized and styled the restaurant comes with many columns ( old building )  which actually work in its favor by creating many individual spaces and nooks . You get that feeling of privacy while being in the midst of all the action . The best part - an expanse of windows which overlook the green center of Connaught Place and on a windy day you see National Flag sway gracefully .
The bar has a prominent place and for all the right heady reasons. A huge collection of malts , fun Bunta drinks and some clever cocktails / mocktails all priced exceedingly well . My focus remained the food as always so lets talk food ! Chorizo & Scallions " Paddu Yaki " on Smoked Tomato Parmesan Appams and Delhi Belly ( pork ) Tikkas are a must do , this is the best pork tikka I have eaten  . Tempura Fried Prawns with Nimbu Mirchi ' Air ' saw me take two portions.Crunchy and flavored brilliantly.

Hand pulled Rogan Josh in a red bun colored with Kashmiri Onion gave you that farzi Twist . I loved the patty , melt in mouth perfection. Bheja Fry is a must order again . I normally dislike Bheja , but this one was brilliant as was Mutton Irachi Pepper Fry. Slow cooked Lamb Shanks wont leave you disappointed I assure you.I am not a dessert person , but simply loved Nolan Gur Baklava .
I really like this new Farzi Cafe a lot . Saurabh has taken the food to a new place . Less on gimmicks and big on techniques and flavors Saurabh Udinia has come into his own beautifully . When I met him at the restaurant he was radiant and confidant - glowing with his well deserved success . Farzi Cafe to my mind is perhaps one of the best dining destinations today and all on a pocket friendly budget . Do head there - you will love it.
Atul Sikand
Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Proprietor Chef And U -
Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Chicken & Noodle Soup #sikandalouscuisine

A good stock is the soul of all good soups and sauces . This is my standard stock , and I have small batches frozen which I use to make my soups in a jiffy. With a good stock in place , 90% of your work is done.

2 Liters Water.
500 Grams Chicken Thigh / Legs / Wings / Neck ( With bone ).

1 Spring Onion Chopped.
8-10 Cloves Garlic - Crushed.
1 Carrot Chopped.
2 Stalks Celery - Chopped.
10 Peppercorns.
1-2 Bay Leaves.

Simmer the above covered on low heat for about an hour.Strain and reserve the stock, retain chicken , discard the rest.This is your beautifully flavored stock which will be reduced to approximately 1.5 liters .Adjust seasoning.

De bone and chop the boiled chicken to bite
sized pieces.
4 Dried Shiitake mushrooms
Boiled Noodles - Depending how noodly and thick you want your soup.
2 Stalks Celery
1 Tablespoon Butter.

Soak mushrooms in hot water for a few hours , they will increase in size and become spongy . Cut to size. You may use any mushrooms you wish to - go with what is handy.

Heat a bit of butter , saute mushrooms ,
noodles and chicken for a few minutes on low heat .Add boiling hot stock and celery, and gently simmer for a another
minutes ,and take off with a twist of lemon juice if desired.Shiitake mushrooms
here give a mysterious woody earthy flavor . Hearty , wholesome and total comfort food

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Chandani Murgh ‪#‎sikandalouscuisine‬

Inspired by a lamb preparation called Chandi Kaliyan in Jiggs Kalra's Cookbook PRASHAD , I adapted the recipe using boneless chicken thigh meat with a few tweaks . The result was a subtly flavored delicious chicken .

1 Kg Boneless Chicken - Cube and marinate in 2 tablespoons garlic paste and 2 tablespoons curd . I did so overnight.

150 Grams Ghee.
5-7 Green Cardamons.
Make Chandani Paste :
2 Tablespoon Garlic Paste.
150 Grams Onions - Pureed . I used white onions.
6-8 Green Chilies - Puree with a bit of water.
40 Almonds - Soak a few hours and remove skin.
Make a paste of the above ingredients .
1/2 Cup Whisked Yogurt.
40 Ml Cream ( adjust depending upon the sourness of your yogurt ).
1 Heaped Teaspoon Freshly Powdered Green Cardamons.
1/2 Cup Chopped Coriander Greens ( step not in recipe ).
A pinch of Saffron ( step not in recipe ).

The idea here is to not brown onions or garlic as you want a white looking dish. Heat ghee , add whole cardamons , then add Chandani Paste - and lightly bhuno 3-5 minutes without allowing it to color.Sprinkle water as needed.I cooked it covered.

Add chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes without browning , then add in the whisked curd , add salt and cook covered till done.Now add warmed up saffaron and cream , simmer 3-5 minutes to marry flavors . Take off heat , stir in freshly powdered green cardamons and all the chopped dhania greens mixing well.Cover and set aside for flavors to marry.

A delectable dish - rich and beautifully flavored.
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Chow Chow Thoran #sikandalouscuisine

750 Grams Chow Chow - Cut small after peeling.
1/2 Cup Channa Dal - Soak for 2-3 hours with haldi . Drain , boil till just under cooked .
1 Onion Chopped.
1 Heaped Teaspoon Garlic Paste - Or more !
1 Cup Coconut Milk.
2-3 Tablespoons Grated Coconut For Garnish.
2  Teaspoons Rai Seeds
1 Teaspoon Haldi.
Whole Red Chilies.Curry Leaves.4 Tablespoons Oil.
Make Paste:
1/2 Coconut
10 Green Chilies.
1 Teaspoon Jeera.
10-15 Curry Putta Leaves.
Heat oil , splutter rai seeds , then add curry putta and after 30 seconds add onions . When onions begin to soften , add garlic paste . Cook 2-3 minutes , add haldi and dried red chilies.Now tip in Chow Chow , mix well , add salt and lightly bhuno for 3-4 minutes.Splash some water and cook covered on low.Keep checking it , giving it a stir.
When Chow Chow is 75% done add the paste , stir in well , add dal and cook another 5 minutes.Now add coconut milk , simmer open till milk is absorbed . Your delicious dish is now ready !
Please note - chow chow and the dal must be cooked but firm , not mushy. This is super delicious

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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Alu Poori #sikandalouscuisine

250 Grams Potatoes

1 large Onion - Minced.
1 Tomatoes - Chopped Fine.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
1 Teaspoons Garlic Paste.
Curry Putta.
1 Teaspoon Rai Seeds .
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Roasted Fennel Powder.
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Roasted Black pepper - Powdered.
1 Heaped Teaspoon Pao Bhaji Masala ( optional )
4 Tablespoon Whipped Sour Curd
Chili Powder ( Fresh green - your choice ).

Heat mustard oil, when hot add the rai seeds . When they stop spluttering  add hing onions and curry leaves. When onions just about begin to change color add haldi  and add ginger , garlic , salt , chilies and tomatoes . Cook over low heat till oil separates. Now add curd , mix well then in go the boiled potatoes , bhuno in the masala for 5-7 minutes then add pao bhaji masala and fennel & pepper powder and gradually add the desired amount of hot water to make a gravy of your choice .

A pinch of Kasoori Methi tastes great here - in which case add when you add the potatoes to the masala .Some kitchens like to add amchoor / lemon juice for that tangy taste , which please do at the end .OR half a teaspoon of mango pickle masala tastes great too .Add fresh dhania leaves .Tweak and bring on some nice hot poris like I did !
This is my ideal Indian Breakfast / Nashta in winter

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Saturday, 16 January 2016

Baked Pumpkin Apple Soup #sikandalouscuisine

​ Vegetables and fruit pair very well while cooking - unfortunately they are seldom used ​together. To take flavors to another level if you bake them , you end up with delicious results . Here I baked apple and the vegetables at 200 C for 20 minutes or till soft.
200 Grams Peeled and Cubed Pumpkin.
1 Carrot Chopped.
1 Green Apple - Core and chop. Red apple works well too.
1 Onion Chopped.
7-8 Cloves Garlic.
1 Green Chili.
Herbs - I used Thyme.
Crushed Black Pepper.
5 Cups Flavorful Chicken Soup - or use cubes.
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Drizzle apple and vegetables with olive oil , cover with foil and bake them at 200 C for 20 minutes or till soft. Cool and blitz to pulp.Add seasoning and herbs and simmer in stock for 10 minutes. Adjust flavors. Flavorful and delicious.

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Friday, 15 January 2016

Stir Fry Green Chicken ‪#‎sikandalouscuisine‬

This is one of those quick fix recipes and will work with just about anything . Adjust flavors , I make mine very spicy.

250 Grams Boneless Thigh Meat - Cube and marinate in 1 teaspoon garlic paste and 2 tablespoons lemon juice for 30 minutes.

1 Cup Coconut Milk.
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar.

Make Green Paste:
1 Cup Chopped Coriander Greens.
8-10 Green Chilies.
10 Cloves Garlic.
10-15 Curry Leaves.
1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds.

Heat oil , stir fry the green paste for 2-3 minutes , now add chicken , mix well , cook on high for 3-4 minutes , then add salt and cook covered on low. Add coconut milk in bits during the cooking till done. Should be ready in 15 minutes .Make it dry or in a gravy - this comes out delicious.

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Makar Sankranti Khichri #sikandalouscuisine

I am very happy seeing all these wonderful posts celebrating Makar Sankranti We are the keepers of our culture and traditions and its upto us to pass them down to the future generation , just as they were passed down to us .
This Khichri is traditionally made for Makar Sankranti at home.This is the Nepali version we make , which I suspect is akin to our Indian one.

1 Cup Rice.
1 Cup Urad Chilka Dal.
1/2 " Ginger - pound it.
1 Teaspoon Freshly Grated Haldi.
Tempering :
4 Tablespoons Ghee.
1 Teaspoon Jeera.
Dot of Hing.

Soak for an hour dal and rice in four cups of water , add haldi and salt to taste.
Bring to a boil , when half done add ginger .Cook covered till done.
Heat ghee , splutter jeera , add dried red chilies and hing and transfer into the khichri , stilr and allow it to rest 10 minutes covered.
It's rustic and delicious.

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Monday, 11 January 2016

Dal Wale Karele #sikandalouscuisine

I am a huge Karela fan and forever experimenting with karela combinations/ recipes - this is one such delicious experiment that I share with you .
6 Karela - Scrape and remove seeds , retain some skin shaving and seeds for stuffing if you like . I do.Lightly saute in mustard oil till almost done.Set aside.
200 Grams Dhuli Mung Dal.
1 Onion Chopped.
1.5 Teaspoon Minced Ginger.
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic.
1 Teaspoon Jeera Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Dhania Powder.
2 Tablespoons Chopped Tomato Chopped ( Optional ).
Minced Green Chilies.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi.
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice.
Dot of Hing
Mustard Oil

Soak Dal in haldi water for 1-2 hours , boil uncovered till just about done , you want to retain a bite.Strain and spread. Meanwhile make your masala . Heat oil , add jeera , and then add hing along with ginger , garlic , onion and tomato.Saute till onions are soft and and tomatoes get limp.

Now add chilies and salt , add karela scraping if you are using  and stir fry the boiled dal in this masala for just 2-3 minutes , add lemon juice .Set aside after adjusting flavors.Nicely fill the karelas with this dal , and lightly cook the stuffed karels till done.That simple and so delicious !

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Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Macaroni #sikandalouscuisine

Macaroni In Baked Vegetable Sauce #sikandalouscuisine.

The kids ( including me ) at home are very fond of Maggie , however that gets a bit boring as there is just that much one can do with it , so I introduced them to macaroni a few months back and have them hooked on ' elbow ' pasta , which I would dole out in all different sauces.

A post by Katie Shevchenko where she had grilled peppers to make meatball sauce got me thinking . That was exactly how I made soups - so why not adapt the same to sauces too ? This is what I did and it came out delicious. All quantities are approximates , will depend upon how much you are making .
4 Cups Boiled Macaroni - As per instructions , but keep then slightly under cooked - retain 1/2 cup of the water.
1/2 Cup Grated Cheese - I used a mixture of Cheddar and Parmesan.
2 Red Bell Peppers - Remove seeds , cut in chunks.
1 Large Carrot - Peel and chop.
8-10 Cloves Garlic.
4 Large Tomatoes - Cut in chunks.
1 Onion - Cut in chunks.
Salt And Chilies.
Olive Oil
Take all the vegetables , drizzle olive oil and flavor with salt and chilies , mix well and bake covered with silver foil for 30 minutes at 170C . Cool , blend to desired consistency , add 1/2 cup pasta water , add basil leaves , simmer gently for 3-4 minutes. Taste , adjust consistency and flavors then add in pasta ,simmer for 2-3 minutes then stir in cheese and serve immediately .
 I personally like my pasta just about coated in sauce , not drowning in it . Do try making your sauce this way - it comes out delicious !

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Monday, 4 January 2016

Makhana Ki Meetha #sikandalouscuisine

Many months ago on a whim I bought a bottle Natural Dates Syrup which I chanced upon while grocery shopping . It sat in my fridge as I am not really into sweet stuff . Anyway I guess it's time had come as one fine day I decided to make a kheer with it - then changed my recipe halfway as I also spotted an unopened packet of Makhana - thus managing to use up two unused ingredients deliciously.

2 Measuring Cups Makhanas / Lotus Seeds - They are bulky so you will get maybe 30-40 pieces.
2 Liters Full Cream Milk.
3 Tablespoons Jaggery Powdered ( Adjust ).
4 Tablespoons Date Syrup ( Adjust ).
1 Tablespoon Ghee.
Heat ghee add makhanas and lightly stir fry till aromatic and they change color , about 5 minutes .They will also harden .Set aside.When cool crush to half and quarters .
Reduce milk by one forth by gently boiling it , then dissolve sugar and the syrup.Add makhana , simmer 2-3 minutes , and adjust flavors .That simple and delicious.
Date syrup gave a superb flavor . I realize it wont be available easily , so you may simply use jaggery/brown sugar or innovate and stir in a suitable fruit pulp at the end - Chikoo I feel would give a super flavor too.

Innovate and eat sikandalously !

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Saturday, 2 January 2016

Burmese Mushroom And Tomato Salad #sikandalouscuisine

This delicious salad is an adaption from a post that Promilaa shared - Smashed green beans salad . The photograph looks so tempting that I knew I had to make it . However beans I was done with so I adapted it to use mushrooms and tomatoes . The result was delicious ! I take the liberty to give this a Burmese tag .
2 Tomatoes - De seed , cut in fingers and then halve.
40-50 Grams Assorted Dried Mushrooms- Wash them very well as they have dirt  , then soak them in hot water for 2-3 hours.They will more than double and become soft.Cut to desired size.
2 Teaspoons Roasted Besan.
2-3 Tablespoons Roasted Groundnuts- Coarsely Ground.
5-6 Large Cloves of Garlic - Mince with skin on.
5-6 Green Chilies - Mince.
1/4 Teaspoon Haldi - I used some freshly grated haldi.
1 Onion- Thinly slice in half moons.
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice.
Fistful of Chopped Coriander Leaves.

Saute minced garlic and green chilies together in some oil and when golden brown, add turmeric .Add mushrooms and salt , saute one minute. Cool.Add tomatoes and lemon juice , gently mix , then add all other ingredients and the salad is ready to serve. That easy!

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Friday, 1 January 2016

Laal Maach #sikandalouscuisine

This recipe borrows from a lot of posts I have seen here - and the result was delicious . Kokum here added this lovely color and a mellow tangy flavor , which explains the name ! Go with the concept and adjust ingredients to taste .

250 Grams Singhara Steaks - Apply salt and haldi ,after 15 minutes lightly fry . Set aside.
1-2 Petals Kokum - That gives this beautiful color . Or use Impli.
1/2 Teaspoon Rai Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Kashmiri Chili Powder ( Color )
Curry Leaves.
1 Mug Coconut Milk  - or as per gravy.
100 Ml Hot Water.
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar.
Mustard Oil
Make Paste:
1 Medium Onion.
4 Dried Red Chilies - Soak in minimum hot water for 30 minutes.
6 Cloves Garlic.
1 Teaspoon Rai Seeds
Heat oil , splutter rai seeds , add curry leaves then add in the paste  and kokum and saute till oil comes up.Now add water , and then the fried fish. Saute another 2-3 minutes . Gradually keep adding coconut milk till desired gravy.Add sugar , and adjust flavors.
This comes out delicious , and tastes the best the next day , by which time kokum further adds its brilliant hue to the gravy.

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