Monday, 27 February 2017

Paneer Kadhai Masala #sikandalouscuisine

Back from Jaipur after binging on Laal Maas , Kala Maas , Hara Maas and perhaps Peela Maas too , I wanted to see no Maas -  so asked for vegetarian food to be made for dinner . I would have preferred a yellow dal and alus but Gyan Singh my cook has his own fixed ideas as to what I want to eat (!) and I ended up with this delicious though rich paneer. - not complaining , it's our regular non fuss recipe and tastes yum.
400 Grams Paneer - Cube and dip in hot water while the rest cooks.
1-2 Crushed Green Cardamon.
1/2 Teaspoon Jeera Crushed.
A few Black Pepper Corn Crushed.
1 Medium Onion Minced .
2 Tomatoes Pureed.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Minced.
1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1 Teaspoon Kashmiri Mirchi Powder.
1 Teaspoons Dhania Powder.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi Powder.
A Pinch Kasoori Methi
1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
Ghee/Mustard Oil/White Oil -  Go with the flow , I prefer mustard oil.

Heat oil add green cardamon , peppercorn & jeera. Once they emit their delicious aroma add ginger , saute a minute and then add pureed tomatoes , onions and all masalas holding back the garam masala for later. Cook covered on low till oil separates and tomatoes are done.

Now add garlic paste along with paneer and  ' bhuno ' in the masala for 5 minutes -7 minutes on low . Mix in garam masala as you take the kadhai off the heat .If you want a slight thick gravy , add 180 Ml boiling water , cook covered on low for a maximum of 2 minutes .Adjust flavors .

Atul Sikand
DirectorAsian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
​ #asianhawkersmarket​

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
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Thursday, 23 February 2017

Fennel, Khumb & Barley Risotto #sikandalouscuisine

Inspired by Chef Abhishek' Fennel, Khumb & Barley Khichadi I ordered Pearl Barley online to make the same . I had all good intentions of making his recipe , however a crop of leek and celery arrived from my farm and my khichdi took an international route!
1 Cup Pearl Barley - Soak in salted water for a few hours.
1 Tablespoon Butter + extra for later.
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil.
1 Teaspoon Crushed Black Pepper.
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds.
1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds.
A few Red Eye Chilies - use any.
2 Leek - Cut in discs , use some green portions too.
2 Sticks Celery - Slice diagonally.
10 Cherry Tomatoes - Cut into two.
1 Small Cup Shittake & Flower Mushrooms soaked in water for an hour to rehydrate.10-12 Basil Leaves.
​A squeeze of Lemon Juice.

1. Heat butter and olive oil. Add black pepper and cumin seeds. When they sizzle, add chili. Stir for 30 seconds. Now add fennel seeds.Tip in spring onions , lightly cook 2-3 minutes , now add the mushrooms and saute 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, and cook till they are soft. Then add barley along with salt . Cook a few minutes to coat each grain , add enough hot water to cover barley and simmer covered 15-20 minutes till barley is done , but has a bite.
3. Take off heat , add another knob of butter , basil leaves , mix and allow the dish to rest  for 5-6 minutes.This came out so delicious , I didn't need cheese or cream in here ! 
This was the best way to inaugurate the first of my #lecreuset stainless steel cookware 

Atul Sikand
DirectorAsian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
​ #asianhawkersmarket​

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Monday, 20 February 2017

Orange Polenta Cake #sikandalouscuisine

This recipe is from BBC GoodFood. 

I hadn't planned on baking a cake , was actually surfing for recipes where I could use up my polenta which had expired last month ! I chanced upon this recipe and it sounded perfect - it came out light and super delicious. 

However I wish such reputed publications would list out ingredients more accurately though... Saying ' juice of two oranges ' is way too vague , ml must be specified . Here I used 120 Ml in the batter as 100 was retained for the topping which I increased to 200 ml and reduced to 100. I also added orange zest to the topping which wasn't a part of the recipe.

250 Grams Unsalted Butter.
250 Grams Golden Castor Sugar.
4 Large Eggs.
140 Grams Polenta.
200 Grams Flour / Maida
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder.
2 Oranges ( I used 3 ) Juice & Zest  - reserve 100 ml juice for glazing- I reserved 200 for glazing and used 120 Ml in the cake batter.

For Orange Glazing :
200 Ml Orange Juice.
100 Grams Golden Castor Sugar.
2 Tablespoons Orange Zest.

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Line the base and sides of a round 23cm cake tin with baking parchment. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly. Once the mixture is combined, add all the dry ingredients and the zest and 120 ml orange juice .
  2. Transfer the mixture to the tin, spread evenly, then cook for about 45 mins or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  3. To make the glaze, put the 200 ml orange juice and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for 5 mins, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Drizzle the orange glaze over the top of the cooled cake. This cake was sensational !
Atul Sikand
DirectorAsian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
​ #asianhawkersmarket​

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Meat Luga Lipta #sikandalouscuisine

​Luga Lipta is a Hindi term to describe a preparation where the gravy isn't flowing and just about wraps itself around the main ingredient - be it potatoes or in this case mutton.I like such recipes as you get a full hit of all flavors with each bite. This is more or less a standard recipe at home , we adjust gravy depending upon what else is cooked that day , so you can make this wet or luga lipta like I am sharing today.

​500 Grams Mutton Marinated in :

1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi Powder.
1 Teaspoon Ginger paste
​ ​T
 Garlic Paste
1 Tablespoon 
​Mustard ​
​Other Ingredients :​
 Onions - Chop , saute till darkish brown then 
​coarsely ​
grind to a paste.
 Tomato - Pureed
spoon Garlic Paste.
​1 Tea
spoon Ginger Paste.
​ Teaspoon Mustard Seeds - Optional.​
Make Dry Masala
1 Teaspoon Jeera
1 Teaspoon Dhania Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns.
1 Teaspoon Sauf.
Bhuno the dry masala till aromatic , cool and grind to a powder.
Dried Red Chilies
​ - Break into bits , as per taste.​
45-60 Ml Lemon Juice
​ -Optional

Heat oil
​splutter mustard seeds if using , then ​
add tomato puree along with ginger and garlic paste .When oil separates add half the onions and dried red chilis , tip in the marinating 
 , and give it a gentle and long bhono - cook covered - about 
At this stage the meat is 75% done , now add balance onion paste 
​and ​
the dry masala .Add 200 Ml water , and cook another 10-15 minutes.You should be left with tender meat and just enough gravy masala to coat it nice and thickly.
​ ​
At this stage adjust flavors , tip in lemon juice 
​if needed.​

Atul Sikand
DirectorAsian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
​ #sikandalouscuisine​

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Friday, 17 February 2017

Mooli Aur Hara Saag #sikandalouscuisine

00 Grams Sarson Sa
g - Clean , use tender stems too- thats where the real flavors of any saag lie.
200 Grams Spinach
​ - Same logic with the stems as above !​
 Grams Fresh 
​Mooli Leaves​
​1 Cup Grated Mooli / Radish​
1/2 " Ginger.
Green Chilies To Taste.

The Tempering:
1 Inch Ginger - Thin juliennes.
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic - Optional.
1 Teaspoon Jeera.
Dried Red Chilies
Pinch of Hing.
2 Tablespoons Ghee

1. Wash and chop greens fine.
Heat ghee , splutter jeera , add in the rest of the tempering ingredients , cook for 1 minute , 
​add the greens only, ​
cook 12-15 minutes till greens are nearly cooked.
​2. Now tip in the grated mooli ​
and cook another 
 minutes on low 
​.​ Mooli added this late into the cooking process keeps the bite and flavors alive . 

Atul Sikand
Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
DirectorAsian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
​ #sikandalouscuisine​

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Jardaloo Sali Murg #sikandalouscuisine

Chicken in a Tangy Sauce With Apricots
​Recipe Credits Chef Anahita Dhondy

Another gem from the sikandalous cuisine master class with Anahita Dhondy - Don't let the long list of ingredients intimidate you . Once you have everything around you , the cooking is actually effortless.

​1 Kg Chicken - Cut to desired sized pieces. 
2 Onions- Finely chopped.
4 Green Chilies Slit - I chopped mine.
2 Tablespoons Ginger & Garlic Paste.
1 Teaspoon Parsi Sambhar Masala.
1 Teaspoon Garam Masala .
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder.
1 Teaspoon Dhania Powder.
1 Teaspoon Haldi.
1 Teaspoon Jeera Powder.
1/2 Cup Yogurt.
2 Star Anise.
Black Peppercorn.
1 Bayleaf .
1" Cinnamon Stick.
50 Ml Oil - I used ghee too.
1/4Th Teaspoon Saffron.
5 Tomatoes Chopped.
1 Teaspoon Vinegar.
1 Teaspoon Jaggery.
7-8 Dried Apricots Soak in water for a few hours and I pureed half of them.

1. Marinate chicken with ginger garlic paste , yogurt , saffron , and salt for a few hours.
​2. Brown onions in oil and add all the masalas.
3. Add green chilies and chicken , bhuno well , then add tomatoes. After 10 minutes add the apricots , whole and pureed.
4. Add water , cook till chicken is done . Now add vinegar and jaggery and cook another minute.
5. Serve garnished with Sali / Potato Sticks.

​The dish
 was so vibrant with flavors .. tangy , hint of sweet and yes that kick of chili too .
​ Loved it !​

Atul Sikand
DirectorAsian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
​ #asianhawkersmarket​

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Gooey Chocolate Fudge #sikandalouscuisine

 I adapted this recipe from a NYTimes recipe with some twists which I have marked. This is so easy and tasted great . Here is what I did.

60 Grams Butter .
400 Grams Dark Chocolate - I used Morde.
1 Can Condensed Milk - 400 Grams.
1 Tablespoon Orange Zest ****
2/3d Cup Chopped Nuts.
1 Shot Espresso Coffee. ****
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Vanilla.****

1.Butter an 8-inch-square baking pan. Line with parchment or wax paper, letting edges of paper hang over sides of pan.

2. In top of a double boiler or a metal bowl set over (not resting in) simmering water, combine all ingredients except nuts. Mix just until melted and well combined. (Alternatively, use a microwave on low power to melt ingredients, stopping every 10 to 20 seconds to mix well.) The mixture should be heated as little as possible. Mix in nuts, if using.

3. Scrape mixture into prepared pan. Refrigerate until set, about 4 hours or overnight. Lift fudge on paper out of pan and use a large knife to cut into squares. As this is a gooey fudge and not a hard one you wont get perfect squares , which is okay.

​**** Not in the recipe but I think these ingredients are the real taste makers here.

Atul Sikand
DirectorAsian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
​ #asianhawkersmarket​

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Bahoor Special Vadai #sikandalouscuisine

What I love about our group is how much we learn here . I was chatting with our member Ramaa Shanker who apart from being a food historian has also authored Festive Offerings To The Gods - Divine Soul Recipes. This book showcases ' PRASAD ' or temple cuisine of South India , the rituals behind food selection , preparation and presentation.Prasad a healing food that satisfies the palate and soothes the soul !

That one key ingredient in these vadai was Banana Flower and that intimidated me and I nearly gave up the idea of making the dish. I then thought , how would I learn more if I stick in the comfort zone of known and tested - so we began to clean banana flower after watching a youtube. It was so worth it !

3/4 Cups Channa Dal
1/4 Cup Toor Dal.
1 Cup Minced Palak.
1/2 Cup Banana Flowers - Cleaned and choped.
1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds.
2 Onions Chopped.***
2 Pinches Hing.
3-4 Red Chilies Minced.
4-5 Curry Leaves Chopped.
1" Ginger Minced.
2 Cloevs Garlic Minced.***
1/4 Cup Coconut Grated.
A Pinch Soda - Not in recipe , but made them lighter.
Oil .

1. Soak both dals for 2-3 hours and grind to a coarse consistency adding chilies , salt , fennel seeds and hing.You wont need water .
2. Add all other ingredients and mix well .
3. Shape the vadai - I didnt keep mine flat but made them round.
4. Deep fry over medium heat for 4-5 minutes till they color a golden brown.
Serve these delicious vadai with chutney - which I didn't need as these were so well flavored and came out crisp from the outside and tender from within . 

Truly a celebration food !

*** When served as prasad , onions and garlic aren't added.

Atul Sikand
DirectorAsian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
​ #sikandlouscuisine​

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Andhra Prawn Masala #sikandalouscuisine

This recipe is from Bilkees Latif's The Essential Andhra Cookbook . Originally a fish recipe , I used prawns and it came out yum . This is a spicy semi dry curry .

500 Grams Shelled Prawns.
8 Curry Leaves.
1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds.
1/2 Teaspoon Kilonji.
1/2 Teaspoon Haldi Powder.
2 Medium Onions Finely Sliced.
1.5 Teaspoons Ginger Paste.
1.5 Teaspoons Garlic Paste.
2 Teaspoons Red Chili Powder - The spicy one .
Tamarind Pulp To Taste.

Dry Roast & Make Powder:
1 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds.
1 Tablespoon Jeera.
1 Teaspoon Chironji Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Sesame Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Poppy Seeds.
1/2 Dry Desiccated Coconut

​1. Heat oil , fry curry leaves , then tip in mustard and kilonji seeds.When aromatic add onions , brown , now add salt , red chili powder and haldi along with ginger garlic paste.Cook 2-3 minutes.
​2. Add in the ground powder paste , cook covered on low heat , sprinkle water if needed till you see oil on the side.
​3. Now raise heat , add some tamarind pulp , mix well , tip in prawns and saute on medium heat 2-3 minutes till prawns are done. Taste and adjust flavors including sourness. This was finger licking good .​

Atul Sikand
Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
DirectorAsian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd.
​ #asianhawkersmarket​

Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At ,

Friday, 3 February 2017

Var #sikandalouscuisine

I first tasted Var at a Kashmiri food festival at The Grand Hotel where my friend Sunil Tickoo had curated and catered the meal . I fell in love with the flavors of this dish which I believe is served at Kashmiri Pundit weddings when they receive their guests.This is how I made it as per Sunil's recipe.

250 Grams Mota Tukda Rice.
1.5 Ml Water - Water will depend upon the rice you are using . I used Parmal so used less.
1 Tablespoon Sonth Powder.
30 Grams Var Tikki Masala - Garam Masala is a substitute.
2 Tablespoons Hing Water or a generous pinch of hing.
Tadka :
250 Grams Mustard Oil
1 Tablespoon Shahi Jeera.
5-7 Walnuts - Break into nail size pieces.
Boil rice till half done , then add sonth powder,powdered var tikki masala and hing water along with salt.Cook covered on low till done , then add the tadka heating up mustard oil , tip in jeera , when aromatic add to the var along with some walnuts and cook for a few minutes to marry all flavors , and garnish with remaining walnuts.

Essentially you are making a khidri , but keep it on the loose side. I added a teaspoon of ghee while taking it off the fire. This dish tastes heavenly - no wonder its served on such special occasions !

Atul Sikand
Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd. #sikandalouscuisine
Administrator  & Owner Sikandalous Cuisine
More About My Work At , http://sikandalous-cuisine.blogsp