Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Sabudana Wadi / Tikki


1.5 Measuring Cups Sabudana - Soak in a wide container / dish in minimum water ( 4-6 hours is fine overnight is better ) almost covering the grain.
2 Potatoes - Boil , peel and coarsely mashed.
5 Tablespoons Peanuts - Lightly friend , cooled and broken randomly , not powdered.
2 Tablespoons Lemon juice.
1 Small Onion Chopped.
Chopped Green Chilies.
Chopped Dhania Leaves .
Salt



Lightly squeese out the water from sabudana the next day , mix all other ingredients . Now gently mix in sabudana .Shape gently ( don't squeeze into a hard lump ) and deep fry over medium heat till lightly colored. You may shallow fry them too , but I prefer the robust deep fried ones.
 This chutney was used with Sabudana Wadi - below you see it with Alu Bonda

Golbhenda Ko Achaar ( Nepali Tomato Chutney )
4 Red Tomatoes.
3-4 Flakes Garlic.
3-4 Dried Red Chillies.
A pinch of Timur Powder. ( Make w/o if you don't have it )
5-7 Green Chilies ( With Slits )
80-100 Ml Mustard Oil.

On a hot tawa / pan dry roast the red chilies till they change color , for that smokey flavor you can char one . Set aside for later use.
Roast the tomatoes on the tawa till the skin shrivels and they break . Charred skin is an asset here ! Retain all pulp and juices.
On a sil grind the red chilies and garlic , then mash the tomato pulp into it , make a semi lumpy paste .Add salt and timur powder. Place the chutney in a bowl .
Next heat the oil , when smoking add the green chilies and keep for a few seconds on the flame and pour it all over the chutney . Mix and eat with just about anything , it's delicious ! Keeps forever in the fridge . Don't hold back on the oil !
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Saturday, 27 September 2014

Ghia Aur Paneer Ki Kheer.



1/2 Kg Lauki / Ghia - Peel , remove seeds , grate from the large hole and leave to drain , don't squeeze- for the duration that the milk simmers.
1 Ltr Milk - Boil 15 minutes to reduce to 750 Ml , the add the sugar.
6-7 Tablespoons Sugar.
250 Grams Grated Paneer.
3 Tablespoons Chopped Nuts & Raisins .
1 Teaspoon Cardamon Powder.
2 Tablespoon Ghee.
Heat ghee , lightly saute nuts and raisin , take out .
In the same ghee saute ghia for 3-4 minutes , then add the paneer , and cook 5-7 minutes till ghia is soft.Slowly add the reduced milk that sugar has been added to , cover and simmer.When ready , add nuts , cook another minute , adjust sweetness.Add cardamon powder , mix , and allow the kheer to cool down .Serve chilled.


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Friday, 26 September 2014

Makhane Ki Kheer



1. Cup Makhanas - Maybe 30 pieces , more won't harm .
2 Tablespoons Ghee.
1500 Milk.
6 Tablespoons Grated Gur.
3 Tablespoons Khoya.
3 Tablespoons Soaked Almonds- Peeled after an hour and then chopped.
4 Green Cardamons Powdered.

Heat ghee , saute makhanas till light brown - maybe 4-5 minutes , then take off the fire.They will have become crisp.Crush into two pieces randomly.Set Aside.
Carefully reduce the milk to half , it will thicken to an extent. I like my kheer a bit soupy and not thick.
When you have the desired thickness , add khoya and gur , gently simmer 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors. Add maknanas and almonds , cook another 2-3 minutes , taste , adjust sweetness , and serve chilled .
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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Tian -A review

 
 
In Taoism Tian is loosely translated as Heaven and that is exactly where Vikramajit Roy transforms you to as he weaves his magic , not just in the kitchen but on your table too. The cuisine seamlessly combines different flavors and creates an experiences as never seen in this city before.
The feast was endless - Watermelon spheres with roasted chilies , Tofu with spicy miso  - all superb stuff.California Apple Salad in a Chickiang ( Chinese vinegar ) reduction with a hint of paan . A Duet of Dehydrated Lotus Stem along with soy cream and herbed tofu in tamarind jelly . An aptly named earthy mushroom soup- Purity of Earth ,infused with flavors of fresh Shiitake Mushrooms .Crispy Prawns on a bed of Guacamole ,  Conft Duck Carpaccia , orange ice and ponzu jelly , all superlative .
Herbed John Dory was my favorite and a close second was Vikram's vision Chicken Green Curry .The ultimate was our dessert - dramatically a sheet of glass appeared and chef got busy , his hands moved all over spreading and plating chocolates , fruits and reductions ...Vikram asked me to break this chocolate ' urn ' filled with liquid nitrogen and BOOM  smoke happened as did an amazing dessert which was polished off in no time.
Tian is a game changer - do head there and experience what talent is all about !


Location :Tian - Asian Cuisine Studio - ITC Maurya Sheraton , New Delhi
Food Cost - Aprox Rs 2000/- per head w/o alcohol



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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Basil Infused Roast Chicken



Preheat oven to 170C
1 Whole Chicken With Skin - Aprox 900 Grams
Seasoning :
50 Grams Soft Butter.
1/2 Cup Basil Leaves - Torn
1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
Salt & Freshly Pounded Black Peppercorns.
Mix the marination ingredients , apply on the skin of the chicken , under the skin where possible and inside the cavity.Truss the chicken.

Chop 2 carrots and slice 2 onions , add 8-10 cloves whole garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mix all of this and put in the bottom of a casserole and place the chicken on top of the veggies . Tightly seal the casserole ( I used a le Creuset dish with  a heavy lid ) and bake 45 minutes. Open once , baste the chicken with its juices and cook another 30 minutes sealed.By now the chicken will be beautifully roasted.You can if you desire open the lip in the last 10 minutes to get the skin slightly crackling.Rest the bird for 20 minutes and sit down to a delicious meal !


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Saturday, 20 September 2014

Clams in Whole Spice



400 Grams Clam - Wash them and wash them well - any sand / grit and you will ruin the dish.
15 Black Peppercorns - Pounded.
1 Onion Minced.
1 Tablespoon Ginger Minced.
Masala
1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes.
5 Laung / Cloves - Powdered.
2 Star Anise - Powdered.
350-400 Ml Thick Coconut Milk.
1 Tablespoon Tamarind Paste .
Salt
Heat 3-4 Tablespoons white oil in a wok , add crushed black peppercorns , saute 20 seconds till aromatic then add onion and ginger , cook 1 minute on low heat till soft then add masala ingredients and salt along with half of the coconut milk.Cook covered on low heat till you see some oil - maybe 2-3 minutes.
Add clams , mix gently and cook covered 5-7 minutes. At the end add balance coconut milk to get the desired gravy , then add tamarind , cook 1-2 minutes allowing flavors to blend in . Garnish with dhania leaves . Delicious !
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Gnocchi in Vodka Cream Sauce




The recipe for this gnocchi was what Tanveer Kwatra taught at the sikandalous cuisine master class at La Riviera , The Pullman Hotel , Gurgaon. The recipe uses baked potatoes and that's what makes a huge difference in the flavors and textures of the dish.The amount of potatoes you will use will depend upon how many people you are cooking for.Vodka cream sauce is from another recipe I use for pasta.

Bake 4 Potatoes - While still hot cut in half and scoop out the flesh , pass through a potato ricer and allow it to cool after you season it with salt and a dash of nutmeg.Next add 1 tablespoon Parmesan , gently fold in , then add 50 Grams Ricotta Cheese. Gently work the dough , don't knead it - and add no water. Remember gentle handling is the key to light and fluffy gnocchi. At this stage taste and adjust the flavors. I add chopped basil / parsley to the gnocchi dough.

Divide the dough into 3 balls and on a lightly floured surface , roll into a 1 cm thick log . Cut into 1 cm pieces and make a gentle dent in each piece.
Bring a large saucepan filled with salted water to a boil , put 7-10 pieces to boil , after 1-2 minutes the pieces will come to the surface , allow another 30 seconds and then with a slotted spoon transfer gnocchi to a chilled bath.When cool , drain .

Vodka Cream Sauce
6 tomatoes - Blanch 1 minute , cool and remove skin, peel and coarsely chop , retaining the juices.
2 Tablespoons Chopped Shallots.
1 tablespoon Minced Garlic.
45 Ml Vodka ( Optional , us Cognac , Whiskey or nothing ! )
50 Ml Cream - Or more , even better
50 Grams Ricotta or some mild cream cheese.
Freshly Grated Pepper
Salt.
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Herbs

Heat oil , add black pepper and garlic and 1 minute later add onions and tomatoes , Cook covered on low heat till pulpy .

Increase heat to maximum , add vodka , cook 30 seconds and add cream and cream cheese along with herbs.Cook covered on low for 1 minutes , and adjust flavors - Keep flavors a bit high to balance gnocchi.

When ready to seat , lightly saute gnocchi in butter - at this stage gnocchi is totally delicious and you can go without the sauce option too . If not , gently spoon in the sauce cooking one minute on low heat . Take off flame and allow flavors to blend.Remember the sauce is only to coat the gnocchi and isn't a gravy !

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Monday, 15 September 2014

Traditional Goan Fish Curry ( Caril De Peixe )



This gem of a recipe was taught to us at the sikandalous cuisine master class held at The Pullman Hotel and taken by Chef Crescentia Scolt Fernandes of Bernardos . This curry is fabulous - it's how I know curry made in local Goan homes , not the shacks !
500 Grams Fish - Slice & sprinkle with salt.
Paste Ingredients:
1 Cup Grated Coconut.
8-9 Kashmiri Chillies ( I used 12 , gave the perfect color and kick for my palate ).
1.5 Teaspoons Coriander seeds.
3/4 Teaspoon Jeera.
1/4 Teaspoon haldi.
1 Teaspoon Ginger & Garlic paste ( I used 1 each ).
Make a paste of the above paste ingredients.
1 Onion Sliced.
3-4 Green Chilies , Slit.
3-4 Pieces of Kokum or 1-2 Teaspoons Tamarind Paste.
Mix all ingredients ( not fish ) , add 2 cups hot water and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Once you have the right balance of flavors add the fish and cook another 5-7 minutes.Allow to rest and flavors to develop . Tamarind / Kokum will release some more flavors as it rests .Add salt to taste - Adjust and enjoy this with some nice thick Goan rice
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Sunday, 14 September 2014

Keema Muttar


To get a great tasting keema dish you must ensure that you buy mutton and get it minced in front of you and not use the ready made one available . Personally I don't like mine minced , but get it chopped - you end up with more flavors and a bite. Add mutton bones to keema when cooking it , flavors go to different levels . Most important , a long and slow bhuno is what will be the deciding factor in how good your dish will taste.
500 Grams Keema + some bones /pieces of mutton on the bone.
1 Black Cardamon + 3-5 Black peppercorns ( to flavor the oil )
5-7 Dried Red Chilies.
1 Large Onion Chopped.
2 Tomatoes Pureed.
1 Heaped Teaspoon each Ginger & Garlic Paste + 1 teaspoon freshly ground jeera powder + 1 Tablespoon Dhania powder + red chili powder made into a paste with some water.
Freshly Made Garam Masala :
5-7 Black Peppercorns.
2-3 Green Cardamons.
4-5 Laung.
1" Cinnamon
Grind the above to a powder without roasting.
1/2 Cup Peas - Blanched 10 Seconds.
Lots of Mustard Oil
Smoke mustard oil , take off heat , add black cardamon and peppercorns and then return to heat and 5 seconds later add dried chilies. Next add onions , cook till medium brown , add keema + bones , bhuno over high heat for 5-7 minutes to dry out the water , then reduce heat to medium low and bhuno well for 15-20 minutes till keema changes color to darkish brown and looses that raw smell, sprinkling water IF needed.

 Now add salt and haldi and tomatoes along with the ginger garlic paste spice mixture , cook covered till oil separates - maybe another 10 minutes . Again add a splash of water if needed.When keema is 90% cooked , add peas and the freshly made  garam masala . Cook over high heat for 3-5 minutes  to give a final bhuno , add a dash of water if needed.When done take off heat adding 1 teaspoon of ghee .Allow to stand covered 10 minutes , adjust flavors . Totally divine .




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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Tamarind Leaf Podi


After a rather successful attempt at making curry leaf podi / powder I thought why not now use tamarind leaves to get some tangy results ? So I Googled a bit and came up with some delicious tamarind leaf mixture that I sprinkle on my salads and food. Remember not to use any souring agent here as these leaves have a natural sour taste - imli grows on these trees !
2 Cups Tamarind Leaves.
1/3d Cup Peanuts With Skin.
8-10 Dried Red Chilies.
2 Tablespoons Dhania Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns .
1 Teaspoon Jeera.
10 Cloves Garlic Slice Thin.

Wash leaves and dry in sun , then in small batches with 1 teaspoon oil dry them up in a wok - you can sun dry them I read but I want instant results always ! Spread the leaves , they will cool down faster and can be crushed easier.
Lightly roast all the spice till aromatic and cool down totally .
Lightly roast peanuts and cool down totally.
Saute garlic till it colors - cool.
Zap Peanuts and garlic till it all looks like breadcrumbs - set aside.Zap the spice coarse and mix with peanuts.Lastly do the leaves and mix it all . Add salt and there you are , a beautiful heap of delicious tamarind leaf Podi

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Monday, 8 September 2014

French Bread With Herb Butter




I use a long french bread / baguette , make slits as shown in the pic till 75% , don't cut till the base.

Herb Butter / Garlic Butter:
Take 100 grams soft butter , add 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste , salt and pepper and butter the slits of the bread with it on both sides.Wrap in foil and put in the oven at 200C for 15 minutes , or more depending on how you like the bread.


If you wish , add some minced herbs into the garlic butter- in which case reduce the garlic a bit .I use chopped coriander leaves or basil leaves , depending on availability .This is a wonderful accompaniment with soup or the main meal , which is how I like it . The recipe is simple and totally flexible , adjust to taste.



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Friday, 5 September 2014

Mango Cranberry Cheese Cake


1 Cup diced Mango + 1/2 Cup Mango Puree.
1/2  Cup Mango Puree ( for decorating ,see pic topping )
1 Can Condensed Milk.
2 Packet Philadelphia Cream Cheese - 225 grams.
1/3d Cup Cranberries - I used dehydrated packet ones - they soaked in the cheese cake mixture while setting and were delicious .
Lemon Juice To Taste.
2 1/2 Tablespoons Gelatin  ( dissolved in minimum amount of hot water , and strained when using )


If you are using a spring form pan and want a base take digestive biscuits and crush them till they resemble thick bread crumbs . You will need about 2 cups for a standard 8" pan . Next lightly mix the crushed biscuits with 100 grams butter , don't knead , simply crumble and pat onto he base of the pan , refrigerate for 30 minute and then pour the cheesecake mixture .

Lightly blend the cream cheese ,with condensed milk and 1/2 cup Mango puree - mashing it rather than over whipping it . When you have a soothe paste , add the chopped mangoes and cranberries . Taste . Add lemon juice depending upon the sweetness of your mangoes , a sweet and tangy flavor is what you are looking for . When satisfied with the taste add gelatin  , mix and set in a dish and put in the freezer for 30 minutes to just about firm up the surface . Then decorate the surface with mango puree which has some gelatine in it , cover with cling wrap and set overnight in the fridge .


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Smokey's at Cyber Hub , Gurgaon



Spacious with great energy Smokey's took me by surprise . I did expect the food to be more than just good as had spoken very highly of the place - what came on our table was truly delicious. Ajay Singh forgot to count calories - and THAT is big !
When the sliders sampler arrived we noted how perfect the buns were . They are baked in house daily and that made all the difference . Same with the hot dogs .Between bites of various slider burgers - chunky chicken , smoked lamb , pulled tenderloin and lamb n bacon , Shivkaran mentions that he doesn't use cheese or jalapenos as they take away from the sliders - a point I totally agreed with as the sliders were loaded with super flavors , they do use 11 other forms of heat though .
Hot dog sampler too was superb , my personal favorites were Andhra style tenderloin and spicy chicken which were washed down with a must order cucumber Spritzer. Smokey's Super Dog - Pulled & Sliced Tenderloin is another must order.This delicious meal ended with a Molten Chocolate cake - it took a bit of time to come as it's freshly made , and so worth the wait .
Much has been written about the smoke infused cocktails at Smokey's - Sourish shared a wonderful write up on that .I tasted a lemongrass one which I loved and soon will be savored in larger quantities one evening .The good news is that they have a Cocktail Festival - Happy Hours on all Cocktails everyday 12pm to 8pm .

Shivkaran Singh's growth as a restauranteur has been very interesting , with Smokey's I think he has found his niche and is looking good - this 65 seater restaurant was buzzing at 3 this afternoon .
Do head to Smokey's for a delicious time , the food is fantastic - and oh yes , fries here are the best I have eaten - we ordered 2 rounds .






Thursday, 4 September 2014

Wallnut Hummus



Dark Seductive & Mysterious walnuts are the oldest known food tree and supposed to have originated from Persia where they were served to Royalty - Hence the name The Royal Nut ! This delicious hummus is a part of Israeli breakfast quite often and in my opinion far better tasting than the commonly known version of Hummus.Most walnut hummus don't use tahini - I have added some to suit my palate - you can happily leave it out.

1 Cup Chickpeas - Soak in abundance of water overnight , discard water , add  1 cup fresh water - pressure cook for 3-4 whistles , drain.
1/2 Cup Walnuts - Roast 3-4 minutes , cool , crush and set aside.
3-5 Cloves Garlic.
3-5 Green Chilies /Cayenne Pepper.
2 Tablespoons Tahini Paste.
60-80 Ml Lemon Juice.
60 Ml Extra Virgin Olive oil.
6 Tablespoons Iced Water
Salt
Take chickpeas , half of the walnuts along with garlic chilies tahini paste and lemon juice. Blend to a paste . Add iced water towards the end to help lighten up the emulsion. Now stir in the balance walnuts and allow humus to rest for 30 minutes for flavors and textures to develop.Adjust flavors to taste . When ready to serve ( at room temperature ) sprinkle olive oil on top and kind of cut it in.
This little known dark and seductive walnut hummus is amazing to taste.
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Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Fish in Tomato and Curry Leaf Gravy


400 Grams Fish Fillets - Cube and rub haldi and after 10 minutes lightly saute till half done .
1 Onion - Chop , saute till light brown then make a paste.
1" Cinnamon.
4 Green Cardamons.
1/2 Teaspoon Whole Black peppercorns.
3 Tomatoes - Puree
1 Teaspoon Minced Garlic.
1 Teaspoon Minced Ginger.
1 Teaspoon Red Chili powder.
1 Tablespoon Curry Leaf Powder ( Adjust )
Haldi
Salt - add last
Heat oil , add cardamons black peppercorns and cinnamon . Ad tomato pure along with ginger garlic .Cook covered till oil separates , next add onion paste and red chili powder.Add 1 Cup boiling water and simmer for 10 minutes covered.
Now add the fish , cook another 3-4 minutes , then add curry leaf powder.Take off the heat and allow flavors to blend.Adjust seasoning.You may add curry leaf powder again if needed. Add salt right at the end as the curry leaf powder has some too.
Remember this curry leaf powder is loaded with flavors , so allow flavors to marry before adjusting at the end

Spicy Curry Leaf Powder / Karivepaku Podi
I have to thank Putli Rao for being the inspiration behind this recipe - she sent me some delicious home made curry leaf powder when she was in Chennai - one taste and I was hooked .So I did some net research , she sent me a recipe and between all that I made this .


Sprinkle this on rice ,idlis , add it to your curries , it tastes delicious in every which way .
2 Cups Curry Leaves - You can use tender stems too.
1 Tablespoon Channa Dal .
1 Teaspoon Urad Dal.
1 Teaspoon Jeera Seeds.
1 Tablespoon Coriander seeds.
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns.
1/2d Teaspoon Methi Seeds.
1 Tablespoon Imli - remove the seeds , dont use paste.
20 Whole Red Chiles - adjust to taste.
Salt.
In a wok using 1 teaspoon oil lightly roast the dals till aromatic and lightly colored - 3-4 minutes.Set aside.
Remove dals and roast the seeds adding 1 more teaspoon oil . I roasted all together , towards the end break chiles and add them along with imli , roast 1 minute.Set aside.
Now the slow part , I did this in 3 lots - add 1 teaspoon oil , and saute the leaves till they dry out and you can hear them crackle . Do patiently over low heat , took about 3-4 minutes per lot.Set aside and cool down the leaves by spreading them out .
Now grind all the Masalas to a fine powder , then start adding in the leaves till you come to what this picture looks like. Now add salt and you are in a delicious place !



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Monday, 1 September 2014

Spicy Curry Leaf Powder / Karivepaku Podi



I have to thank Putli Rao for being the inspiration behind this recipe - she sent me some delicious home made curry leaf powder when she was in Chennai - one taste and I was hooked .So I did some net research , she sent me a recipe and between all that I made this .
Sprinkle this on rice ..idlis , add it to your curries , it tastes delicious in every which way .

2 Cups Curry Leaves - You can use tender stems too.
1 Tablespoon Channa Dal .
1 Teaspoon Urad Dal.
1 Teaspoon Jeera Seeds.
1 Tablespoon Coriander seeds.
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns.
1/2d Teaspoon Methi Seeds.
1 Tablespoon Imli - remove the seeds , dont use paste.
20 Whole Red Chiles - adjust to taste.
Salt.

In a wok using 1 teaspoon oil lightly roast the dals till aromatic and lightly colored - 3-4 minutes.Set aside.
Remove dals and roast the seeds adding 1 more teaspoon oil . I roasted all together , towards the end break chiles and add them along with imli , roast 1 minute.Set aside.

Now the slow part , I did this in 3 lots - add 1 teaspoon oil , and saute the leaves till they dry out and you can hear them crackle . Do patiently over low heat , took about 3-4 minutes per lot.Set aside and cool down the leaves by spreading them out .

Now grind all the Masalas to a fine powder , then start adding in the leaves till you come to what this picture looks like. Now add salt and you are in a delicious place !

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