Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Dum Karela #sikandalouscuisine

Adapted from K.P Dar's Kashmiri Cooking this recipe came out delicious even though I didn't have any Kashmiri Succh Bari , so I improvised and added in Garam Masala - the result was delicious , even though perhaps not as great as it would have been with this Bari , I do think adding regular North Indian Garam Masala did the trick .

5 Karelas - Scrape and cut into fingers , remove seeds - Fry in Mustard Oil till light brown , not done .
​3-4 Potatoes - Peel and cut like karelas - same size same quantity - Fry potatoes in the same way.

​70-80 Grams Mustard Oil.
70-80 Grams Ghee.
Pinch of Hing.
1 Teaspoon Jeera.
1/4 Teaspoon Methe Dana.
1/4 Teaspoon Kilonji.
1/2 Teaspoon Sonth Powder.
1 Teaspoon Sauf - Crushed.
Kashmiri Red Chili Powder.
Green Chilies to taste .
1" Ginger Crushed.
1 Teaspoon Dhania Powder.
1 Teaspoon Powdered Succh Bari - I used Garam Masala .
​Heat Ghee, add hing , jeera , methe dana and kalonjig . After a few seconds add fried vegetables.Tip in half cup water , the rest of the spice including crushed ginger.Simmer for 15 minutes , 
Add in Hara Dhania​
​ and cook ​
till water has evaporated
​ , shake the wok often to evenly coat all veggies with the spice.
Atul SikandFounding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
DirectorAsian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Sakleys The Mountain Cafe #sikandalouscuisine

Sakleys the mountain cafe in GK -1 is something you have to experience for yourself , though I will prod you along ! Named after a bakery in Nainital , this superb space is on two levels , the top floor where we sat is known as the Secret Garden which could be a stately country cottage library , a bit retro perhaps , all coming together to engulf you with a warm happy feeling . It is this space I write about.

Amit Rekhi the owner is passionate about the outdoors and all things nature - evident all around you from the names on the menu to the decor. Amit's enthusiasm is so infectious , you know you are in good hands. Farm to Fork is a concept close to his heart and thankfully they work wth local ingredients helping them keep prices pocket friendly and portions over generously.

Then you have Parul , not just the prettiest lady chef I know but someone I do count amongst the very best too. Her passion pours into the fabulous food she plates - She is a trained chef from ITC with fine tuned French- Italian home style cooking techniques . When you get to speak with her , you know what ' cooking with love ' is all about !

Lets talk food ! Melt in the mouth Minced Lamb Skewers with a pomegranate ' ketchup ' told me I was in good hands.Next came Louisiana Chicken Wings in a home made BBQ Sauce , again excellent stuff - sticky fingers and all ! An excellent Mozzarella and Pomelo Bruschetta - deep fried basil giving that defining texture and flavour , was followed by a Maple Bacon Salad - Bacon cooked in maple syrup and put together with a homemade Dijon Dressing , bacon remained tender and that stood out beautifully . Duck Salad in Buttermilk with a second layer of favouring from Beet and Pickled Onions was outstanding again . I would head back for these two salads alone . 

While on salads - they have 8 different ones , and no dressings are similar - all dressings /sauces made fresh daily. Grilled Summer Vegetables in home made Basil Pesto and Parmesan - Trust me seriously great stuff , I asked for the dish to be left on the table as space was made for the mains .

Lamb Shanks slow cooked with a lot of patience and process in the old fashion way - no sous vide and other gizmos in this kitchen , just patience and process , two golden words that describe the mantra of their kitchen . Honey Glazed Pork Chops were my favourite with sage lending its earthy peppery flavours. Another winner was Pekin Duck , again slow cooked 6 hours in Chicken Jus , finished in cream - irresistible ! 

A lot of attention to detail goes into what they serve, which may even go unnoticed , but the two perfectionists would have it no other way . Their fries for example are made with lady rosetta potatoes and none other ! Hand churned ice creams - a cheese cake flavour - a delicious twist , and the other with a perfect Salted Caramel topping.

My meal at Sakleys was one of the finest Continental meals I have eaten in a long time . Full focus was on serving you beautifully cooked and perfectly flavoured dishes - no over plating , no drama just a lot of deliciousness served up with love ! Parul is very generous , she shares recipes and techniques as we discuss what we eat , in her words- if you don't give it away , you don't make space for new things ....
I must add , while yes I sat with the big bosses and service was exceptional , I noticed how attentively others were being served around us and the genuine happy the staff appeared too - which tells you a lot ... Well done Amit and Parul - a perfect 10 from me and I hope I have prodded and poked you enough to head to Saklys too , you will love it !

Atul Sikand
Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
DirectorAsian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Dhaba at The Claridges #sikandalouscuisine

The making of Dhaba - some interesting facts that went unknown and some useful tips to make those delectable Galati Kababs too - Executive Chef Sahil Sabhlok generously throws in tips on how to ' finish ' kababs infusing them with further flavors - read on and enjoy it in his voice and words !
Rashmi Khanna's dream of bringing the best of the dhaba's of North India to Delhi under one roof took a lot of research and over 200 visits visits to various dhabas , tasting the food with cooks from the hotel and bringing some of the dhaba cooks to cook in the kitchens of The Claridges . They worked with the same ingredients , but not with the same results , till one dhaba cook pointed out that he couldn't work standing ! So the kitchen was modified , and in his familiar position he rolled out what he did from his own Dhaba !
A special mention to chef de partie Karan Singh and demi chef Bhagwat Singh , the custodians of Dhaba's signature dishes who have ensured that authenticity and quality were never compromised .Today Dhaba celebrates 30 glorious years , with a menu that remains 85% the same as it did 30 years ago .Unfortunately the prices did change with times !
A makeover some years ago saw this iconic restaurant renovated now better lit with more comfortable seating , a different but still ' dhaba ' look and yes that truck never got towed away fortunately and still forms the backdrop of their kitchen and very much a part of the restaurant .
Lets talk food , my favourite topic . Galati Kababs which won many new fans at Top Chef Awards that were hosted by the Claridges were as always delectable. Mutton Seekh Kababs and Chicken Tikkas are special here - cooked in the tandoor , ' finished ' on a pan , in the case of seekhs with some gravy while the chicken tikkas get their special flavours and hint of sour with javatri ilachi , nimbu juice and no doubt some secret ingredients !
Chicken Tikka Capsicum came in a copper tiffin box with ajwain paratha , this to my mind could have done with some more defining flavours. Dhaba Mutton Curry - an honest no fuss curry cooked with stock was divine . I didn't think I would , but I loved the Tomato Paneer - one of the best I have eaten. Dal Fry , again couldn't have been better. Desserts again are superb here , and close to my Punju Palate . A must order Malpua with a Malai Kulfi hit all the right spots. Orange Goli and Kala Khatta , the perfect sweets to walk out with after this exceedingly satisfying meal. Take a big bow Sahil , the meal was a perfect 10 .
Atul Sikand
Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
Administrator & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine

Mustard Coriander Fish #sikandalouscuisine

An aromatic and refreshening no fussy fish , more like a dry curry , balance the flavours to suit your palate. 

250 Grams Fish - I used Rohu - apply haldi , and salt . After 10 minutes very lightly fry to half cook.
1/2 Teaspoon Kilonji.
2 Heaped Tablespoons Onions.
Lemon Juice / Imli Paste to taste , if needed- I added 1/2 Teaspoon Imli paste .
Make Paste:
1 Tablespoon Mixed Black & Yellow Mustard Seeds.
3-4 Green Chiies.
1/2 " Ginger.
4-6 Tablespoons Coriander Greens.

Heat Mustard Oil , splutter kilonji add whole chilies if using ,sauté onions till limp and just about colouring , now tip in the paste , cook another 2-3 minutes with splashed of water and then add in the fish , cook another 3-4 minutes till flavours marry and fish is done , adjust seasoning and tip in some lemon juice if needed , add a splash of water , bring to a rolling boil and take off heat .

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Caldine Potato Curry #sikandalouscuisine

I had cooked Caldine Fish the other day , and made extra Caldine Masala Paste to try the vegetarian version which came out delicious ! Potatoes and Onions were my choice of veggies to be used - and yes one lonely Baingan in the fridge too . Here is what I did .

Caldine Curry Paste:

1 Measuring Cup Coriander Greens - The recipe uses mainly leaves , I added stems too as thats where flavours are.
1/2 Coconut Grated.
10-12 Mint Leaves.
2 Laung.
4-6 Green Chilies - I added 8.
1 Heaped Teaspoon Roasted Coriander Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Jeera .
4-6 Cloves Garlic.
1 Tablespoon Concentrate Imli.
1 Teaspoon Haldi Powder.

On a sil butta / grinder make a paste of the above.Heat oil , take one onion chopped , saute , add additional minced garlic 1 teaspoon , when onions soften add the caldine paste and cook gently till you see some oil.Your paste is ready and can be kept in the fridge for a week or so.

Caldine Potato Onion Curry.
4 Large Potatoes  - Peeled and boiled - Cube when cool.
2 Onions - Slice Slightly Thick lengthwise.
4 Tablespoons Caldine Paste ( adjust ).
2 Cups Water - or use some water some coconut milk.
Salt as needed.
Dried Red Chilies / Fresh Green Chilies - Optional
Heat oil , add whole chilies ( optional ) , sauté onions and boiled potatoes for 3-4 minutes , now add in caldine paste.
Gently cook for another 2-3 minutes , gradually add in water/coconut milk to get the desired amount of curry,
Enjoy with red Goan rice !

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine

Monday, 19 September 2016

Caldine Fish Curry #sikandalouscuisine

Calcine curry  is a mild and flavoursome curly from Goa . There are many versions to this - here I share with you the Hindu Calcine Curry as given to Tanveer Kawatra and me by the famous Vinayak Restaurant in Vagator , Goa . The curry it's is mild , but that's for you to adjust to taste , and this goes great with fish . chicken and prawns as it  does with vegetables.

​Caldine ​Curry Paste:

1 Measuring Cup Coriander Greens - The recipe uses mainly leaves , I added stems too as thats where flavours are.
1/2 Coconut Grated.
10-12 Mint Leaves.
2 Laung.
4-6 Green Chilies - I added 8.
1 Heaped Teaspoon Roasted Coriander Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Jeera .
4-6 Cloves Garlic.
1 Tablespoon Concentrate Imli.
1 Teaspoon Haldi Powder.
On a sil butta / grinder make a paste of the above.Heat oil , take one onion chopped , saute , add additional minced garlic 1 teaspoon , when onions soften add the caldine paste and cook gently till you see some oil.Your paste is ready and can be kept in the fridge for a week or so.

Caldine Fish Curry.
200 Grams Fish - Cubed and lightly apply haldi , leave aside for 10 minutes.
4 Tablespoons Caldine Paste ( adjust ).
Heat oil , add whole green chilies ( optional ) , sauté the fish for one minute , then add in caldine paste.
Gently cook for another minute , gradually add in water/coconut milk to get the desired amount of curry.
Enjoy with red Goan rice !

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Nebu Korma Recipe Credits Dr Izzat Husain

1 Kg Mutton
150 Grams Desi Ghee
2 Cups Fried Onions.
4 Teaspoons Red Chili Powder.
6 Teaspoons Coriander Powder.
2 Teaspoons Ginger Paste.
2 Teaspoons Garlic Paste.
8 Green Cardamon.
10 Cloves.
2" Cinnamon Stick.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Powder.
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala.
5 Teaspoons Lemon Juice.
100 Grams Amul Cream
Step One; wash mutton properly, add one tea spoon salt, one tea spoon red chilli powder, one cup fried onions, ginger powder and lemon juice mix well and in a side to marinate for one hour .

Step Two; put a pan on slow fire, pour desi ghee add bay leaves, cloves, cordomom, cinnamon .When aromatic add red chile powder , after 15 seconds add coriander powder and ginger garlic paste cook till that raw smell goes then remaining one cup fried onions and pre merinated mutton, add some more salt according to taste with  

Now add cream and gram masla powder cover your pan or pressure cooker keep on very slow fire for 40 to sixty minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves serve with crisp Rot or with long grain rice.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Erissery #sikandalouscuisine

I saw this delicious recipe by Ambili Kurian and knew I had to make it which I did for Onam . I tweaked flavour balance to suit our tastebuds . This is what I did.


1 Kg Yellow Pumpkin.
1 Coconut ( 2/3 used for paste , 1/3d used for tempering )
1 Heaped Teaspoon Haldi Powder.
10 Green Chilies.
5-7 Cloves Garlic.
1 Teaspoon Jeera.

For Tempering:
1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds.
4-5 Dried Red Chilies.
1 Onion Sliced.
1/3d Balance Grated Coconut.
Curry Leaves.

1 Kg Yellow Pumpkin - Skin , cube , add 1 heaped teaspoon Haldi Powder and salt . Pressure cook with 1/2 cup water for two whistles . Set aside allowing pressure to drop naturally.Mash pumpkin randomly

Make paste of  2/3d Coconut with 10 Green Chilies , Garlic and Cumin .Mix this paste with mashed pumpkin and simmer over a medium flame while you get on with the tempering.

Heat oil , splutter Mustard Seeds , add Dried Chilies , Curry Leaves. Add sliced Onions , begin to brown then add balance Grated Coconut and cook till brown.Mix this into the pumpkin coconut blend , cook for a minute or two for flavours to marry . Adjust seasoning .

This came out brilliantly .

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Methi Dana Pulao #sikandalouscuisine

Many moons ago I read this recipe online and fell in love with the idea of using methi seeds and not methi greens in a methi pulao . Year later , a few additions and modifications and here is what I did .

2 Tablespoons Methi Seeds - Soak overnight in 1 cup water.
2 Measuring Cups Rice - Soak an hour.
1 Large Onion - Sliced long.
10-15 Clack Peppercorns.
5-7 Laung.
1/2 Cup Peas.
1 Teaspoon Kasoori Methi.

Strain rice and set aside.
Strain Methi Seeds , keep the water. You can use the water in the pulao or elsewhere.
Heat ghee , crackle whole spice , now add onions and cook till brown , take out a few for garnish if you like.
Next add rice and methi seeds ,saute 2-3 minutes , then add peas and cook another 2-3 minutes.Add salt.
Add 3.5 Cups water ( adjust if using methi water too , I used 1 cup ) bring water to boil , cover , reduce heat and cook till rice is done.
At that stage add in kasoori methi and cover the pot leaving it under ' DUM' till ready to eat.
This came out super delicious .

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Station Wale Alu #sikandalouscuisine

250 Grams Potatoes - Unpeeled ,and cubed .You can use boiled or uncooked , only cooking time will vary .

2 Tomatoes - Pureed.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
1.5 Teaspoons Garlic Paste.
1/2 Teaspoon Jeera.
1/2 Teaspoon Roasted Jeera Powder.
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Crushed Black Pepper.
1 Heaped Teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chili Powder ( Color )
Chili Powder ( Fresh green - your choice ).

Heat ghee/oil , when hot add jeera seeds ,when they stop spluttering add hing ,haldi , red chile powder and pepper powder , cook 15-20 seconds and add ginger , garlic , salt and tomatoes . Cook over low heat till oil separates. Now add potatoes , bhuno in the masala for 5-7 minutes and gradually add the desired amount of hot water to make a gravy of your choice , cooking till potatoes are done, stir in jeera powder.Mash some potatoes , bring to a boil and take off the heat .

Some vendors 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 poories or muchri rotis like I did.Boiled potatoes can also be used.

AD Singh's Message at Top Chef Awards Season 3


Saturday, 3 September 2016

Nepali Alu Tareko #sikandalouscuisine

This dish is almost a must at every meal in a Nepali household .Tareko means fried , and the more oil you use , the better it gets - Alas !!

400 - 500 Grams Potatoes-Peel and cut like thick French fries.
200 Ml Mustard Oil.
1/2 Teaspoon Ajwain Seeds.
1/5Th Teaspoon Methi dana.
4-5 Green Chilies - Dried red chilies can be used too .

Make a coarse paste using 1/3d cup water :
1.5 Teaspoon's Ginger Paste.
1.5 Teaspoon's Garlic Paste .
1 Tablespoon Dhania Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Jeera .
1 Heaped Teaspoon Red Kashmiri Chili Powder
Pinch Of Timur powder ( optional )
Remember your paste should be coarse .

Smoke the oil , add methi seeds ajwain . When they crackle sprinkle some chill powder in the oil to get the oil coloured and then add potatoes haldi and salt . Cook over high heat to lightly brown , then reduce heat and continue to cook uncovered , minimum handling to avoid breaking.

When the potatoes are 75 % done remove the potatoes from the wok and add the paste and green chilies in the wok and fry till oil separates . Reintroduce potatoes into the masala and cook uncovered till crispy and done - Absolutely delicious !

Administrator & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,
 — at Sikandalous Kiitchen.