Sunday, 29 June 2014

Shahi Paneer


At one time many decades ago Shahi Paneer was a must at parties at my parents home , then better sense / taste prevailed and it vanished from our table . Last week I was at moms and leafing through her book I saw the recipe and revisited it - quite liked it I must confess !
400 Grams Paneer.
2 Onions - Chop in half , boil 5 minutes , discard water , cool and puree.
4 Large Tomatoes - Blanch peel skin off and puree.
1" Cinamon.
4 Cloves.
1 Teaspoon Green Cardamon Seeds Powder ( I blitzed the entire thing with skin ).
1 Bay Leaf.
1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
1 Teaspoon Roasted Poppy Paste .
Chilies to Taste.
1/3d Cup Curd - Well mixed with 1 Teaspoon Sugar + Juice of 1 Lemon
1/2 Cup Cream.
Heat oil , splutter all the spice( not green cardamon powder ) ,then add onion paste.Don'y allow onions to color so after 2-3 minutes add the ginger garlic and tomato puree. Add salt and red chili powder too and allow the gravy to cook till oil separates.
At this stage add paneer and cook the paneer in the gravy , you may add some water if you want more gravy .After 3-4 minutes stir in the curd mix and poppy seed paste , gently mix well and let this cook 1-2 minutes on low heat .Take off the fire and mix in cream and the cardamon powder.
Let it sit covered for 4-5 minutes then serve - cardamon flavors get infused beautifully into the gravy.


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Saturday, 28 June 2014

A Review of Dakshin - Gastronomic Feast !

 
 



Chef  Venu comes from an agricultural background , his family have all been farmers. He is a farmer at heart too and fondly discussed his organic farm in Servarayan Hills , Tamil Nadu as I sampled his delicious food , which is a special and I think on till Sunday only .
The menu is designed keeping the cuisines (1) Cochin - fabulous Kerala Syrian Chrstian style prawns . (2) Pondicherry - An almond based vegetarian Kurma . (3) Chennai which showcased the Meva Biryani and chicken keema  - the Biryani was super yum and unusual , an emsamble of  mutton , dry fruits , and rice dumplings - a must have if you head there this week end.(4).Mangalore where slow cooked Pandi Curry was the star .I forget what I ate from Kanya Kumari !
A first for me were delicious Setu Dosa - thick dosa with cooked egg on top and steamed  , and Sannas - yummy fluffy rice and coconut toddy cakes . I went through many more small bites which I am sharing in the collage .
If you are looking for a gastronomic fest , head to Dakshin at Sheraton Hotel .




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Paneer Charvela Eda Sathe- Eggs ooked With Paneer



I got this recipe from Jamva Chaloji - a fabulous book by Katy Dalal .
When I read the recipe at first I thought it was strange as I never in my wildest culinary dream would have made scrambled eggs with paneer . Having made this once we are all hooked onto the recipe . I don't know what the dish is supposed to look like - there is no pic in the book - all I do know is that this comes out delicious.
200 Grams Paneer - Chopped Finely / Grated - I crumble with my fingers.
6 Eggs.
1 Onion Finely Chopped.
1/2 Teaspoon Each Ginger Garlic Paste.
1/2 Teaspoon Green Chillies Finely Chopped.
1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder.
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper Powder.
1 Tablespoon Butter .
2 Tablespoons Dhania Leaves.
Salt.
Heat butter and saute onions till limp but not colored.
Toss in black pepper , ginger and garlic .
Cook on low for 2-3 minutes .
Now add the crumbled paneer , mix well with the masala and cook covered on very low heat .While paneer is gently cooking whip up the eggs with salt and chili powder and gently stir into the onion masala.
Keep stirring , don't allow it to set. At this stage I add half the dhania leaves ( not in recipe ).
Cook eggs till just about done , the consistency should be soft spongy .Sprinkle balance dhania leaves and eat immediately without allowing the eggs to dry out.Tastes yummy on toast .
The changes I made , I doubled all ingredients other than onions , eggs and paneer as I thought the recipe was under spiced.

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A Review of Coastal Food at Dakshin

 
 
Chef  Venu comes from an agricultural background , his family have all been farmers. He is a farmer at heart too and fondly discussed his organic farm in Servarayan Hills , Tamil Nadu as I sampled his delicious food , which is a special and I think on till Sunday only .
The menu is designed keeping the cuisines (1) Cochin - fabulous Kerala Syrian Chrstian style prawns . (2) Pondicherry - An almond based vegetarian Kurma . (3) Chennai which showcased the Meva Biryani and chicken keema  - the Biryani was super yum and unusual , an emsamble of  mutton , dry fruits , and rice dumplings - a must have if you head there this week end.(4).Mangalore where slow cooked Pandi Curry was the star .I forget what I ate from Kanya Kumari !
A first for me were delicious Setu Dosa - thick dosa with cooked egg on top and steamed  , and Sannas - yummy fluffy rice and coconut toddy cakes . I went through many more small bites which I am sharing in the collage .
If you are looking for a gastronomic fest , head to Dakshin at Sheraton Hotel .



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Friday, 27 June 2014

Pork Ginger Fry


400 Grams Pork With Fat.
Make a Paste of 6 Green Chilies and 8 Cloves ( Lwang ) Add 2 Tablespoons Grated Ginger.
Marinate the pork in the above for a few hours / overnight.
Heat sesame oil in a wok , add pork and stir fry on high for 5-7 minutes ,
Add 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce and 1 tablespoon Garlic paste. Cook covered another 20 minutes on low heat - splash water if need be.
By now the pork will be ready , add 1 teaspoon freshly coarsely pounded black pepper and some chopped greens if using.
Mix and cook covered 5 minutes. Take off heat and allow to sit covered till ready to eat .
This came out superb


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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Kala Nimbu Ka Achaar ( Black Lemon Pickle )


A recipe from my mom , hand written in her recipe book as a young bride , which would make the book 65+ years old . A lot of homes in North India will be familiar with this pickle - I suspect it's a dyeing ' art ' now.

5 Kgs Lemons.
250 Grams Red Chili Powder.
125 Grams Black Cardamon.
25 Grams Cloves.
25 Grams Cinnamon Sticks.
12 Grams Hing Powder.
25 Grams Jeera.
800 Grams Salt.
700 Grams Sugar.
Soak limes in water for 24 hours .Wipe dry and sun for a few hours.
Grind all the masalas .
Cut Lemons in halves .


Mix all the masalas + salt and apply all over the lemons.Now keep the lemons covered in a big wide dish in the sun for 3 days.Stir every day . On fourth day add the sugar , and transfer everything into jars tightly sealed , I use a ' martaban '.Sun for 2 weeks.
Take the jars and put away for a year .

Bring out to sun , taste , adjust salt / chilies / sugar , and put away for a couple of years .
Technically this achaar is ready after 1 month . But to get the true taste and all the medicinal benefits you eat it sparingly after a few years .

This photograph is of a 14 year old pickle - treasured and guarded . I have 4 batches going which are from 2 to 5 years old.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Pork Ginger Fry


400 Grams Pork With Fat.
Make a Paste of 6 Green Chilies and 8 Cloves ( Lwang ) Add 2 Tablespoons Grated Ginger.
Marinate the pork in the above for a few hours / overnight.
Heat sesame oil in a wok , add pork and stir fry on high for 5-7 minutes ,
Add Soy Sauce and 1 tablespoon Garlic paste. Cook covered another 20 minutes on low heat - splash water if need be.
By now the pork will be ready , add 1 teaspoon freshly coarsely pounded black pepper and some chopped greens if using.
Mix and cook covered 5 minutes. Take off heat and allow to sit covered till ready to eat .
This came out superb


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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Mushroom & Corn Salad - Full Full Desi Style



This salad came to my mind from nowhere and I a glad I tried it out - It's healthy and delicious - And yes , caters to my full full Desi taste .Play with the flavors to suit your taste buds.

200 Grams Mushrooms Thickly Sliced.
1 Corn on the Cob - Pressure cooked till soft , 2 whistles.Remove the kernel off the cob
1 Teaspoon Rai Seeds.
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic.
Curry Leaves.
Whole Chilies .
Hing.
Juice of 1 Lemon.
Salt.

Heat 1 tablespoon mustard oil , add rai seeds , when they stop dancing about add garlic , chilies curry leaves - and a dash of hing.
When garlic begins to get soft , not discolored , add the corn and salt and saute over high for 1 minutes and then cook another 1 minute covered over low heat - just to marry flavors.Sprinkle water if you need to.
Next increase the heat to maximum , add mushrooms and lemon juice , gently mix once .Cook uncovered no more than a minute.Take off the heat and spread the salad in two plates to cool - the idea is also to keep the mushrooms with a bite and make them stop cooking and loosing liquid.
Cool , adjust flavors and eat this at room temperature. Comes out delicious .

This is best cooked in your largest wok/kadhai
Heat must be high when you add mushrooms - you want minimum cooking , just enough to get flavors to marry
Remember to spread out the salad to prevent mushrooms from cooking further from within.
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Jungli Maas




This photograph is what Mohit Balachandaran shot of the Jungli Maas I made for him - you will see the YouTube of the same soon - hopefully soon Mohit ?
Jungli Maas was originally the hunt brought in  while traveling or on shikar  . As there was little access to ingredients during travel the maas was  cooked using ( non perishables  ) pure ghee, salt and red chillies. 


500 Grams Mutton Cubded.
4 Tablespoons Desi Ghee.
15-20 Red Chilies ,
1/2 Mug Water.
Rock Salt / Pahari Namak

Heat ghee , add the meat , bhuno well for 10-15 minutes . When the meat is browned and well sealed salt and  dried red chilies added . Cover and cook on simmer . Half way through- say about 25 minutes later add 1/2 mug of water and gently let the meat simmer till succulent and tender - the idea is to keep the balance between ghee and water , there shouldn't bee too much water at any time . Don't let the quantity of chilies intimidate you , this dish remains medium hot and absolutely melt in the mouth delicious.



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Nepali Khichdo ( Khichree )


A delicious khichri from Nepal - don't hold back on the ghee ! I made this for 10 people , so do adjust quantities .
750 Grams Split Black Gram.
500 Grams Rice.
150 Grams Ginger Grated.
50 Grams Fresh Haldi , Grated.
For Tarka:
200 Grams Ghee ( or more )
Jeera
Hing
Dried Red Chilies
( I haven't mentioned tarka quantities as that will vary with what you cooked )
Soak dal and rice with salt for 30 minutes , add haldi and bring to a boil - once boiling reduce heat and let the khichdo gently , keep adding hot water as needed.
When the rice and dal are 80 % done , add the grated ginger.Cook till done .
Now heat ghee , splutter jeera and broken dried red chilies and hing , pour over the khichro - cook another 1 minute , adjust flavors and allow the dish to stand 20 minutes covered before eating.
This is a basic and simple recipe - ginger added at the very end along with loads of ghee give a special taste .


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Monday, 16 June 2014

Delhi Gourmet Club's Dinner @ Varq , paired with the best from the Diageo repertoire



Members of Delhi Gourmet Club met first at Ricks to warm up the evening over
Drappier champagne and whiskey cocktails , shaken , not stirred by the talented and ever smiling restaurant manager of Ricks Pankaj Balachandran.
We then moved to Varq to be wow by Hemant Oberoi's classics paired with the best from the Diageo repertoire which set the mood for the evening . A special mention for hard work put in by Executive Sous Chef Nilesh Dey and his team, the perfect execution by Varq's Manager, Nilon Joy.
A big thank you to Zbigniew Zapert , Brand Ambassador North of UB Spirits for making all this possible for us - Deeply appreciate the time you took to spend with all of us which made the evening that much more special with all the bits and pieces of information you shared apart from the laughs shared .

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Sikandalous Cuisine Master Class at Neung Roi





30 members of sikandalous cuisine met at Hotel Radisson Blu Plaza Delhi for a master class with Chef Yenjai Suthiwaja at Neung Roi , what I would rate as Delhi's finest Thai Cusine restaurant .The class was beautifully organized , including a projector screen which made it so much better .Chef Yenjai ( doesnt mind being called Chef Meow ! ) was witty and fun as she skillfully lead the class and taught us how to make :
1. Goong Pan Takri - Prawns & Lemon Grass skewers ) - Delicious , soft and succulent to the core.
2. Som Tum - The famed Raw Papaya Salad - the technique was an eye opener as was the taste.
3. Tom Kha Gai - hicken & Coconut Milk - subtle and delicious - a drop of chili oil on top uplifted it to places !
4. Massaman Kea - Lamb & Potato Curry - Hints of sweet and again super succulent meat cooked to perfection.
5. Gaeng Kiew Wan Pak - Mixed Vegetables in Green Curry - Delicate and subtle flavors in a thin curry .
Saku Melon - Sago in Coconut Milk + Fresh Melons .
We then sat down to a wonderful meal of what had been taught - served with great style and care . The service specially deserves a mention as it was superb. Wines , cokes and juices - warm hospitality and an amazing culinary experience .
I have eaten here a couple of times and its always been a exceptional meal - and we were fortunate enough to be taught by the chef - who is a lovely chirpy person as she is a bundle of talent .
Thank you team Radisson , General Manager Cheema , Executive Chef Sreenivasan G , Ritul Yadav , Sumit Bansal , Ninan Mathew and our star Chef Meow for a fabulous master Class .


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Eggs Kejriwal


No no , don't get me wrong , the name misleads . Am not inspired by anyone and haven't dedicated this dish to anyone - although mind you these eggs too are ' runny & slippery ' ! So next time you see an egg , resist the urge to throw it on someones face and get cooking !
I ate this dish at Sodabottleopnerwala at Cyber Hub  with Mohit Balachandaran and totally fell in love with it .Saw the youtube of my very young and talented friend Saransh Goila ( who won the cookery show "Food Food" ) and saw his hilarious YouTube and stole his recipe - approximately .



1. Egg.
1/2 Teaspoon EACH Onions , Tomatoes , Dhania Leaves Chopped ( Adjust )
2 Green Chilies chopped.
1 Cheddar Cheese slice / Grated Cheese.
1 Pao / Bun
Butter , Salt & Pepper.
Cut pao in half , lightly butter and toast on tava to warm up.Place the cheese on it and set aside.
Make a fried egg sunny side up ( runny ) , sprinkle chopped vegetables , salt and pepper , cook covered 1 minute on low.
Plave the egg on the pao , put egg in a hot oven JUST to melt the cheese - 1 minute , or place the pao loaded with the egg back in the pan cook covered for a minutes or so till cheese melts.
This Kejriwal egg is a good egg and owes it's origin to  Mr Devi Prasad Kejriwal , a Mumbai Marwari gentleman whose family was strict vegetarians, so eggs etc were cooked at home. This Kejri too being a rebel of sorts got the chefs of Mumbai's Wellingdon Club to make his snack - cheese on toast, topped with a fried egg and sprinkled with chopped green chillies . Supposedly that is how this recipe came to be .
So remember guys - eggs are to be eaten and not thrown - and though these look exotic trust me , Eggs Kejriwal are totally easy and for the AAM adami .

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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Kala Gosht ( Black Mutton )



1 Kg Mutton - Marinate in 4 tablespoons curd 12 hours.

Lightly roast and make a powder of the 7 spice ingredients listed below:
10 Small Cardamons.5 Cloves.
20 Black Peppercorns.
1 Tablespoon Jeera.
3 Black Cardamon.
1 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds.
5 Dried red Chilies
2" Stick Cinnamon.
         ~~~~~~~~
4 Large Onions Chopped.
1.5 Tablespoons Garlic Paste.
1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste.
5-7 Dried Red Chilies.
4 Tablespoons Hung Curd.
200 Ml Ghee

Heat ghee , brown onions , add ginger paste and brown till oil separates .
Add ground spice and salt , mix well and add mutton.Bhuno for 20 minutes till oil separates. Sprinkle water if need be.
add curd , dried red chilies and garlic paste , cook over very low heat till mutton is done.You may need to sprinkle water .
This is essentially a dryish dish - and tastes delicious.
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Sunday, 8 June 2014


 

Jim Lahey's No Knead Bread ( Adapted )

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting ( I used 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 1/2 cup wheat bran )
6 Teaspoons Mixed Seeds - Flax eeds & Pumpkin Seeds ( not in original recipe )

1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
Cornmeal or wheat bran, as needed

Directions

  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, and seeds and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees
  2. Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest about 15 minutes.
  3. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers, gently and quickly shape dough into a ball. Generously coat a cotton towel (not terry cloth) with flour, wheat bran or cornmeal; put dough seam side down on towel and dust with more flour, bran or cornmeal. Cover with another cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  4. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under towel and turn dough over into pot, seam side up; it may look like a mess, but that is OK. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
Makes one 1 1/2 pound loaf.
This is an amazing recipe - delicious artisan bread.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Restaurant Review - Made in Punjab Revisited


Anurag & Promlla returned to India for their vacation and on their list was Made in Punjab which I promised them Sourish and I would take them to . As always the rest were late , so Ajay Singh and I demolished a platter of kababs waiting for them. That set the mood for the evening as my taste buds went into a tango !
Butter chicken there is exceptional - Veenu Chopra first pointed that dish out to me , which naturally was a part of our meal . We started with gol guppa shots , how they mixed with the wine these guys were drinking I still am trying to figure out , then they laugh at me for putting ice cubes in my wine !
Starters were palak ki chaat ( my always must have ) , chicken tikka and salmon tikka - the latter I think was Promiila's favorite. That followed by gucchi kabas which everyone loved. A short break and we moved on to amazing drop off the bone lamb chaamp , a signature dish there , butter chicken , MIP mutton curry - nice and spicy , gucchi pulao with yummy burani raita .Desserts was their signature paper thin crispy jalebis with rabri .
I have never had a bad experience in Made in Punjab and am real happy Anurag & Promiila loved the meal too . Our very discerning Bong buddy Samrat gave it a thumbs up - so I know we were on safe grounds . Thank you Chef Zahir Khan , Chef Pradeep and team MIP for making our evening so special .

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Friday, 6 June 2014




Chaprikh is a Pashto word that means flat, and chapli is a derivation of this particular word - a flat round kabab.There is a debate whether atta or besan is used and an even bigger debate as to where these kabobs originated from . At first I thought Pakistan , now after reading up I tend to think Afghanistan.Whatever the origins , these rustic kabobs are delicious

Chapli Kabab
Recipe by Seema Hussain
Ingredients:
qeema (minced meat ) 1/2 k.g
ginger garlic paste 1-1/2 tsp
raw papaya paste 1 tsp (heaped)
pomegranate seeds 1 tbsp
coriander seeds 1 tsp (coarsely crushed)
cumin seeds 1 tsp (coarsely crushed)
spring onion 1/2 cup (chopped)
onion 1/2 cup (chopped)
fresh green coriander 1/4 bunch (chopped)
green chillies 1-2 (chopped)
egg 1
tomatoes slices as required
gram flour (besan) 3 tbsp (slightly roasted )
red chilli flakes 1 tsp
red chilli powder 1 tsp
salt to taste
Method: take a fine mutton qeema add raw papaya paste,ginger garlic paste, cumin,coriander seeds,salt ,both chillies pomegranate seeds, mix well.
now marinate the qeema at least for 2-3 hours in a refrigerator.
now add all chopped green fresh masala (onion,coriander,spring onion,green chilles, besan, egg, mix well.
In a non stick pan heat some oil ,make round shaped kababs, put some tomato slice on it and shallow fry them on low heat from both sides till golden brown.
serve hot with coriander,mint chutney.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Nepali Bhutwa Revisited ( Dry Mutton )



1 Kg Mutton ( Pichla Raan ) 
1 Small Onion
10-12 Dry Red Chilies.
1.5 Tablespoon Garlic Paste
1.5 Tablespoon Ginger Paste
1/2 Teaspoon Methi Seeds
1 Teaspoon Ajwain Seeds
3 Tablespoons Dhania Powder
1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Timur  ( ground to a  paste If you can get hold of this superb herb )
Salt
Whole Spice :
2-3 Black Cardamons
A Stick Of Cinnamon
A Bay Leaf
8-10 Black Pepper Corn

About 150 -175 Ml Mustard Oil ( Never can be too little oil ! )

Cut the mutton into small size pieces . 

Smoke the mustard oil , add the whole spice , once they crackle throw in the methi seeds ( they will get dark in a few seconds ) and immediately the ajwain and dried red chilies . Again immediately add the onions . When onions are almost dark brown add the mutton and salt . The salt will seal the meat and the juices within .

'Bhuno' ( wok fry ) the mutton on a medium high flame for 10-15 minutes till it changes color and gets a bit dark , bhuno well scraping the bottom and evenly cooking the mutton . Next add about 100 ml of water and cook covered over medium heat till the mutton is 90 % done.

Meanwhile mix the garlic , ginger and dhania powder in enough water to make a flowing paste . Tilt the wok to a side to get the oil to one side into which you pour the paste . Cook in this position a minute or two till paste is nearly cooked . Blend the paste back into the mutton , add the red chilli powder and cook covered over low heat for another 15 minutes or so till the oil separates .When the mutton is nicely cooked add timur ( if you are using ) , cook another minute to blend in . Your Bhutwa is ready !
Bhuno it well - that is the trick in this version as I dry up all the water and ensure that the masala is nicely wrapped around each piece as the photograph shows you.
You can never have enough oil in this dish !

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