Saturday, 28 February 2015


The Chinese were mad ar us for taking their cuisine and Chinjabi - fying it - so they took our sacred idli and gave it a Chinese twist - The results were absolutely superb , so we can forgive them this one time I think.
I took the contents of an idli packet , split it into two , added red color in one lot and yellow in the other .Steamed idlis as per packet instructions
While idlis were steaming I made a Sweet & Sour Sauce which is delicious :
( Recipe BBC GoodFood )
2 oz/ 50g Brown Sugar
2 oz/ 50g Malt Vinegar
6 oz / 150g Tomato Sauce or Ketchup
1 small tin pineapple chunks in juice
1 tbsp light soy
2 sliced spring onions (optional)
Combine all the ingredients except for spring onions , simmer for 5 minutes and garnish with spring onions - comes out delicious.
Now to assemble Chinidli:
1/2 Capsicum Cut 1"
1/2 Red Bell Pepper Cut 1"
1 Large Onion - Cut 1"
1 Large Tomato - Scooped , Cut 1"
To Assemble
Lightly stir fry all vegetables in the wok , spoon on sweet and sour sauce to taste , now add the ChinIdlis stir fry a minute or so , pull out your chopsticks and sit to a delicious Chinese Idli Thaali !

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Potato Leek Celery Gratin



This delicious meal takes no time to make - looks fancy and tastes even more divine . I went with an addition of celery , you can go with just potato and leek if you like .

Bake at 180C 10 Minutes. Grill on Maximum for 5 minutes , or till colored.
Serves 2 Flan Size 6"

2 Large Potatoes - Boil , peel and crumble .
3 Tablespoons Chopped Celery.
3 Tablespoons Chopped Leek.
75 Ml Cream
75 Ml Milk.
4 Tablespoon Grated Cheese.
Parsley.
1/5Th Teaspoon Garlic Paste ( NO MORE )
1/2 Teaspoon Salt.
Chilies.

1. Warm up milk and cream , bring to a gentle boil , then add all ingredients other than potatoes.Take off heat and rest 30 minutes for flavors to infuse.
2. Oil a baking dish , loosely spread 75 % of the potatoes , do not pat into place , just spread .
3. Spoon on 75 % of the mixture onto the potatoes .
4. Add balance potatoes to remaining mixture and spoon on top .
5. Bake for 10 minutes loosely covered by foil.
6. Remove foil , grill to color.
Sit down to a delicious meal !

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A very Hearty Soup



Stock:
2 Liters Water.
2-3 Chicken Breasts.
1 Spring Onion Chopped.
8-10 Cloves Garlic - Crushed.
1 Carrot Chopped.
1-2 Stalks Celery - Chopped.
10 Peppercorns.
1-2 Bay Leaves.
Salt

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.Chop the boiled chicken in medium sized pieces and set aside.
The vegetables - Use what you would like to basically .Try and chop vegetables evenly . I tried to match the corn for size.
I added :
1 Table Spoon Chopped Red Peppers.
1 Table Spoon Chopped Chopped Carrots.
3 Tablespoons Chopped Celery.
Some Cherry tomatoes and leftover Bamboo Shoot.
Heat a bit of butter , saute celery for 1 minute , add the rest of the ingredients including chicken, toss for another minute.Take off heat and pour boiling hot stock over the vegetables. At this stage add green herbs, leave the pot covered 5 minutes to infuse flavors , and spoon out a hearty meal .

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Potato Leek Celery Gratin




This delicious meal takes no time to make - looks fancy and tastes even more divine . I went with an addition of celery , you can go with just potato and leek if you like .

Bake at 180C 10 Minutes. Grill on Maximum for 5 minutes , or till colored.
Serves 2 Flan Size 6"

2 Large Potatoes - Boil , peel and crumble .
3 Tablespoons Chopped Celery.
3 Tablespoons Chopped Leek.
75 Ml Cream
75 Ml Milk.
4 Tablespoon Grated Cheese.
Parsley.
1/5Th Teaspoon Garlic Paste ( NO MORE )
1/2 Teaspoon Salt.
Chilies.


1. Warm up milk and cream , bring to a gentle boil , then add all ingredients other than potatoes.Take off heat and rest 30 minutes for flavors to infuse.
2. Oil a baking dish , loosely spread 75 % of the potatoes , do not pat into place , just spread .
3. Spoon on 75 % of the mixture onto the potatoes .
4. Add balance potatoes to remaining mixture and spoon on top .
5. Bake for 10 minutes loosely covered by foil.
6. Remove foil , grill to color.
Sit down to a delicious meal !

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Methi Aur Kala Chana


A marriage made in gourmet heaven channa and methi , two unlikely suspects actually pair deliciously . I kept my recipe onion and garlic free .
250 Grams Kala Chana - Soak a few hours in just enough water with Tej Putta and Cardamons this infuses flavors through and through . Pressure cook strain and reserve the liquid.
Clean and Chop 250 Grams Methi - salt for 10 minutes , wash nicely.
3 Tomatoes Pureed .
1 Tomato Chopped.
1 Heaped Tablespoon Chopped Ginger.
1.5 Teaspoons Lightly Roasted Jeera Powder
1 Level Tablespoon Dhania Powder.
1 Heaped Teaspoon Chili Powder.
2 Teaspoons Curry Powder/ Kitchen King Masala
1 Teaspoon Ajwain.
Haldi.
Salt.
Mustard Oil
Heat some mustard oil , splutter ajwain , add methi and saute 4-5 minutes till almost cooked - Don't overcook and kill the flavors.Keep Aside.
Heat more Mustard oil , add tomato puree and chopped tomato , ginger and all the masals ( but jeera powder ) , cook covered till oil separates ,Now add the strained channa , and bhuno for 5-7 minutes till chanas are well coated and look cooked. This is important .

Next add the methi , and continue to cook chana and methi for 4-5 minutes adding a bit of the reserved liquid channas were boiled in . Add just enough to get a thickish gravy , now add jeera powder mix - taste and adjust .This dish comes out super delicious !
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Thai Hard Boiled Eggs



These come out delicious ! I got this recipe from the cookbook Essential Thai Cookery .
6 Hard Boiled Eggs.
4-5 Tablespoons Oil.
4 shallots Chopped.
120 Ml Tamarind Paste.
2 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoon Dried Red Chilies Chopped - I used 6 Birds Eye Chilies.

Boil and shell eggs.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil , fry chilies till crisp. Remove from oil.You would have by now infused oil with chili flavor.
Add remaining oil to the wok gently fry the whole eggs till somewhat colored.- Remove eggs from oil.
Fry shallots in the same oil till golden brown - remove from oil.
Now add tamarind paste to the oil along with soy sauce , cook 2-3 minutes .
Cut eggs lengthwise , arrange on a serving dish , pour the tamarind sauce onto the eggs and sprinkle fried chilies and shallots .
A delicious way to eat eggs !
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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Posto-Narkel'er Bora / Poppy Seed paste & grated Coconut Fritters



Recipe by Pritha Datta
Ingredients :
Posto/Poppy Seeds - 3 heaped tbsps, ground into a fine paste with about 4 green chillies
Grated Coconut - 1 cup .
Onion - 1 large (finely chopped)
Flour/Maida - 1 heaped tbsp ( I used 1/2 Tablespoon Rice Flour & 1/2 Tablespoon Maida )
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Salt to taste
Mustard Oil for deep frying
Process :
Mix all the ingredients mentioned above with hand and make small patties with the mix. The quantity mentioned above should make about 10. Deep fry till golden brown.A fabulous and delicious snack !

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Friday, 20 February 2015

Ramen Burgers @ Guppy


We weren't supposed to head to Guppy for lunch - I had all good intentions to try out Fish and Chips that Anurag Katriar bragged were best at Indigo , but the place was sold out for a mammoth ladies lunch so we headed to comfort zone - Guppy by ai . My mom loves it too , so that makes both of us agree on something for a change.
Anyway this time I opted to try Guppy's version of the Ramen Burger - The original Ramen Burger being the 17 Most Influential Burgers of All Time according to time magazine.

I went in for their BBLT Ramen Burger - An total feast for a pork lover - here Guppy's signature pork belly along with bacon lettuce mustard miso sauce , sesame seedsall come together between the Guppy Ramen bun - a total pig out ( no pun ! )

I also got to sample a bit from their Hanami Festival - A celebration of Japanese Spring - Salmon and Avocado tartare was not just exquisite to look at but delicious too .

Chinjabi Bhej Fried Rice


Inspired by Sharmistha Mukherjee Cheema's Mixed Vegetable Pulao I remembered I had some baby corn and a few odds and ends sitting in the fridge that needed to be used up - so I got making a ' Chinese ' Fried Rice that no doubt would make the Chinese squirm , but it sure did wonders to my Punjabi palate ,came out delicious , I was tempted to eat it with mango pickle but thought that may create too much tension on the borders !
1 Cup Sela Basmati Rice - Wash and soak in 2 Cups water to which I added two tablespoons Soya Sauce and 1 heaped teaspoon Garlic Paste - That flavors rice beautifully.After 30 minutes boil , cook till done and spread the rice out.Meanwhile work on the vegetables.I used what I had :
10 Cloves Garlic - Chopped .
10 Baby corn - Slice diagonally into 1/2" pieces.
1/2 Large Red Bell Pepper - Sliced.
1/2 Cup Frozen Corn.
1 Large Onion Sliced .
10 Cherry Tomatoes - Sliced into two.
2 Eggs Bhujiya - Or make an omelet and slice .
Soya Sauce - To taste.
Chili Sauce - To taste
Oil ( NOT Mustard ! )

Heat oil , lightly brown onions , then tip in all the ingredients other than rice and cook covered on high for two minutes or so.Now add the rice ( which will be lightly garlic flavored and salty too with the soya added in the water ), gently stir to evenly mix the vegetables and rice  - cook about 4-5 minutes , that way the flavors and vegetables spread evenly . Taste , adjust and sit down to a Chinjabi bowl of happiness - eaten with chopsticks or hands !

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Thursday, 19 February 2015

Soy/ Dill Aur Palak Ka Saag


Another flavorful green , not to be confused with fennel is this soya g/ dill reen which makes a superb saag . This is another winter special in Delhi and again aten with Makki or bajra ki roti at home . Recipe is basic , rustic and end results are delicious !
250 Grams Soya / Dill Greens - Chopped.
150 Grams Spinach / Palak -Chopped
10-15 Cloves Garlic -Chopped.
Dried Chilies to Taste - Break a few.
1 Teaspoon Crushed Jeera.
100 Ml Mustard Oil
Salt

Heat oil , splutter garlic and jeera along with dried red chilies . Add the greens , saute well , then leave to cook half covered  till done - maybe 10 minutes .Another delicious winter green.

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 !

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Spicy Stir Fried Pork.


 Adapted From Essential Thai Cookery )
Another easy to make and deliciously flavored dish from Thailand , and as always with beautifully balanced flavors .
350 Grams Pork Sliced - I used 2 boneless fatty chops and sliced them thinly.
2 Tablespoons Butter + 1 Teaspoon Oil.
1/2 Teaspoon Salt.
1/2 Teaspoon White Pepper.
1 Tablespoon Black Peppercorns.
1 Teaspoon Palm Sugar.
1 Teaspoon Fish Sauce ( Optional )
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce.
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice.
Optional - Sliced Vegetables
Coarsely Pound Together :
10 Cloves Garlic Sliced Lengthwise.
1" Ginger Sliced Like Garlic.
5-6 Thai Red Chiles.
1 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin.

Rub pork with a bit of salt and white pepper powder - stir fry over medium heat till lightly browned , remove pork from wok and set aside.
In the same oil , lightly fry ginger and garlic , when lightly browned add coarsely pounded spice mix and cook just a minute or so , Now add the pork back with all other ingredients , gently cook for another 2-3 minutes .Take off heat , allow pork to rest covered 5 minutes , adjust flavors and that is your delicious Spicy Stir fried Pork.


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Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Choliya Kay Patta Ka Saag


In Delhi we get some interesting greens during our brief winter season . Hara Choliyas are a much cherished winter vegetable , but what is even better is when the young choliya bush is used to make saag - downside of course is that you sacrifice the hara choliyas themselves as this bush is used when young and tender.
500 Grams Choli Greens - Get young tender ones and mince them , stems included.
50 Grams Channa Dal.
Salt
Tempering:
Mustard Oil
Hing
10-15 Cloves Garlic.
Dried Red Chilies To Taste.
Nicely wash these tender greens and mince finely .Add channa dal and salt and boil till dal is done.Cool and mash randomly .
Heat mustard oil , add garlic and dried red chilies , don't allow garlic to burn , take off the flame , tip in hing , add this all to boiled greens , cook a few minutes and enjoy this delectable saag with Makki Ki Roti.
This is all village food - made simply due to perhaps unavailability of expensive masalas - or more likely the guys who grow these greens also know how to bring out the best flavors by keeping the cooking basic .


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Monday, 16 February 2015

Kathal Ki Subzi


Vegetarian mutton - that's how kathal is best described as it does have a bit of that mutton taste specially when deep fried and then cooked in masala .While deep frying gives the best results , the downside is the largest waistline in town too ! So I take the middle path , steam and bhuno in masala .Some homes make this in a curry , we make ours more like a ' dry curry ' or what we call in Hindi - Luga Lipta .
500 Grams Peeled Kathal - Cut in desired size.
I plunge kathal into boiling water , boil for 3-4 minutes , strain and leave covered ( that cooks it further ) while my masala is made.
Masala
Pretty much go with how you would make a curry masala - I use a standard ' Punjabi ' no brainer masala paste :
3 Onions - Slice , fry till golden brown , strain and puree.
4 Tomatoes - Puree.
1 Heaped Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
2 Teaspoons Garlic Paste.
Spice Mix :
1 Teaspoon Jeera - Lightly roasted
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns - Lightly roasted
1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds - Lightly roasted
3-4 Green Cardamons.
3-4 Laung/Cloves
Wet Grind The Above
Oil
1 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds Powdered - Lightly roasted( save till end )
Salt
Chilies
Haldi
Heat oil , add tomato puree along with ginger paste , once oil separates add onion paste , cook together with 2-3 tablespoons water , now add Salt , chilies and Haldi , add kathal and bhuno gently in the masala sprinkling water for about 15 minutes.Bhuno on medium heat and covered .
Add spice mix , bhuno some more , and add 2 mugs hot water along with garlic paste .Cook covered till done .Take off heat , add fennel powder , allow flavors to develop - taste and adjust.Meaty and delicious .

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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Thai Two Spice Soup


 Serves 4
Thai cuisine lays emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromas where the 3-5 elements -SWEET , SOUR , SALTY , SPICY and occasionally BITTER come to play to produce magic in the wok .Adapt the balance of these 5 elements to suit your taste buds , but just remember in this cuisine less is more , so keep your recipes/ingredients simple for the best results.
Stock:
2 Liters Water.
2-3 Chicken Breasts.
1 Onion Chopped.
3 Stalks Lemon Grass - Bruised & Coarsely Chopped.
3" Galangal Crushed .
1-2 Thai Chilies.
3-4 Kaffir Lime 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.Chop the boiled chicken in medium sized pieces and set aside.
Ingredients:
10-Mushrooms - Sliced.
Fresh Bamboo Shoot - Soak in water and rinse out a few times as here we get it heavily salted , probably to preserve.
5-6 Baby Corn - Sliced
Diced Chicken - Used to make the stock.
2 Tablespoons Green Curry Paste ( It's very mild ).
1 Tablespoon Red Chili Paste -Made from 2 Thai Red Chilies - You can avoid this if you prefer a milder spiced soup - I like the kick and the balance with green curry.
1 Tablespoon Palm Sugar.
Light Soy Sauce / Salt to taste
60 Ml Lemon Juice.
500 Ml Coconut Milk
Basil Leaves.

Heat oil in a wok , saute green curry paste along with the red chili paste for 20-30 seconds , now add all the vegetables and chicken pieces. Saute another minute or so , add stock and bring to a boil.Tip in all other ingredients , simmer 4-5 minutes.Take off , and adjust flavors.Make a good balance between sour and spicy with an almost unnoticeable touch of sweet.


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Friday, 13 February 2015

Bacon & Mushroom Quiche



150 Grams Flour.
A Pinch of Salt.
1 Teaspoon of Herbs
120 Grams of Chilled - Cut butter into small cubes.

Mix salt and herbs into the flour and then using your fingers and thumb rub the chilled butter into the flour to get a  'breadcrumb' type consistency.Add 3-4 tablespoons iced water , however remember you want a crumbly mixture not a dough as in for rotis . Now gather the pastry dough and pat it into a ball ,it should be moist enough to just about hold.This will ensure a delicious khasta/flaky crust when you bite into it.

Method

Cling wrap the ball of pastry in the fridge for 45 minutes, This is an important step as it allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which again helps make the baked pastry more flaky.
You now lightly roll out the pastry and put in your flan tin. Prick the base of the pastry all over. You can even pat smaller pieces into the mould to cover the entire base and sides .

In a preheated oven ( 180C ) bake the quiche pastry for 10 minutes , take out and set aside to cool . Don't unmould at this stage .

The Filling

You can use bacon , sausage or plain mushrooms ..Or use red peppers cut pea size - just use what works for you including broccoli florets.
Here is what I used:
10 mushrooms cleaned and cut into 4 pieces with stems trimmed  .
1/3 cup chopped leeks including some of the green part.
6-8 Rashers of Bacon.
3 Eggs .
100 Grams cream .
1 Cup or less grated cheese , I use a cheddar and mix some Parmesan .
1/2 Teaspoon of black pepper .
Some chopped fresh chopped parsley .
1 Teaspoon baking powder .

In some olive oil over high heat add the crushed black pepper and chopped, stir 2-3 minutes then add all the vegetables and cook another 2-3 minutes.Leave everything half done.Remove from heat and cool totally .Beat up the eggs and cream . Add all other ingredients . Mix in the cooked filling. Pour into the pastry flan .Bake at 170C for 25 minutes till done .
Eat warm or cold .I can't walk past the fridge when I know there is leftover quiche calling me !
 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Chicken & Coconut Soup


A delicious and flavorful Thai soup with a kick !
Stock:
2 Liters Water.
2-3 Chicken Breasts.
1 Onion Chopped.
3 Stalks Lemon Grass - Bruised & Coarsely Chopped.
3" Galangal Crushed .
1-2 Thai Chilies.
3-4 Kaffir Lime 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.Chop the boiled chicken in medium sized pieces and set aside.
Soup Ingredients:
50 Grams Mushrooms Sliced.
1 Carrot Sliced Fine & Long ( Preferably )
Equal Amount Pumpkin - Done same way.
2-3 Red Chilies Chopped.
Basil Leaves.
400 Ml Coconut Milk.
Juice of One large Lemon.
1-2 Teaspoons Palm Sugar / Brown Sugar
Salt.
Heat stock , add coconut milk , salt , sugar and lemon juice , bring to a boil for 2 minutes then add the vegetables - simmer covered for just one minute take off heat , add basil leaves , leave cover to rest soup for 5 minutes .Taste , and serve . Delicious !


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Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Gooseberry Pie


The Filling :

1 Kg Gooseberries washed and cut half into two .
200 Grams Sugar ( Keep adjusting )
1"  Cinnamon Stick.
1/2 Teaspoon Clove powder .
1 Teaspoon Allspice Powder ( Optional )
1 Tablespoon Cherry Brandy ( Optional )


In a large sauce pan over very high heat cook the gooseberries and cinnamon stick only, they will soon leave lots of juice , continue cooking till the berries are soft - not dead ! 

Now strain the berries retaining the juice  , add allspice and cloves , simmer the syrup till you have about 1/4th of the syrup left .Add the sugar , when its dissolved add brandy , add the berries amd cook just one minute to marry flavors . You will get a good idea of the taste which you can adjust according to the sweetness needed .You should now have a jam like consistency . The taste should be sweet and sour.
The Pastry :
150 Grams Flour.
A Pinch of Salt.
2 Tablespoons Powdered Almonds
140 Grams of Chilled - Cut butter into small cubes.

Mix salt and almond powder into the flour and then using your fingers and thumb rub the chilled butter into the flour to get a  'breadcrumb' type consistency.Add 3-4 tablespoons iced water , however remember you want a crumbly mixture not a dough as in for rotis . Now gather the pastry dough and pat it into a ball ,it should be moist enough to just about hold.This will ensure a delicious khasta/flaky crust when you bite into it.

Cling wrap the ball of pastry in the fridge for 45 minutes, This is an important step as it allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which again helps make the baked pastry more flaky.
You now lightly roll out the pastry and put in your flan tin. Prick the base of the pastry all over. You can even pat smaller pieces into the mould to cover the entire base and sides .

In a preheated oven ( 170C ) bake the quiche pastry for 20 or till done minutes , take out and spoon in the filling - put back into the oven for 5-7 minutes , Take out and unmould when cool
Normally served warm with ice cream .

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Sunday, 8 February 2015

Fun With Eggs


I ' wisely ' skipped dinner last night as lunch was very heavy - Woke up ravenous and read to eat just about anything that came my way - fortunately eggs , a rasher of bacon and some fries did !

This is just a fun breakfast - no recipe.I took:
2 large onions , sliced long .
10 Cloves Garlic - Sliced in half lengthwise .
1 Lonely Rasher of Bacon - Chopped.
As many fries as you like .
Chilies.

Fry your fries ( ! ) and keep aside .
Heat oil , add bacon and cook till done , remove with a slotted spoon - You now have a pan with oil and bacon fat - yum !
Fry onions and garlic in this oil , when done , add the fries on top of onions , some parsley / basil/nothing , gently break two eggs , cover pan and cook 5-7 minutes till done.
That's breakfast for you !


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Saturday, 7 February 2015

Town Hall - Khan Market - A Review










Master Sushi chef Augusto Cabrera's Town Hall was a lovely experience for all of us . I don't know why I hadn't been there before after hearing mostly very good things about this 160 seater restaurant which to my surprise was a multi cuisine restaurant that served not just Japanese ( as I had imagined ) , but also kababs , pizzas ... some Thai and Italian too . Looking back 3 tables around us were actually not eating Japanese but other cuisines .Pizza on the next table looks delicious !
Armed with recommendations I ordered Tanuki Salmon - Scottish Salmon with tempura flakes which was out of the world as was Shokunin .The Shashimis both, Hotate and Kampachi were  excellent  too .We then moved to Dim Sum and ate the most delicious Fish Balls with Black Beans Dim Sum and an okay Chicken & Prawn one. Edamame I have eaten far better though .
The food is excellent , I loved the sushis and fish ball dim sums specially and will happily head back for another slow meal , hopefully not on a dry day like today . The slight minus was service . Augusto heas created a wonderful space called Town Hall - worthy of all the great things said about it.


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Dahi Bhalla


A favorite in our home as in many I bet these soft and delicious bhallas are sure hit whenever served .You can make them in batches and freeze them , which is what we do at times at home . The recipe I am sure varies home to home , the essence remains the same.
200 Grams Urad Dal - Soak 5-6 Hours.- Drain the dal and grind coarsely , you may not need to add water.To this batter add :
2 Teaspoons Minced Ginger.
Minced Green Chilies - To taste.
1 Teaspoon Lightly Roasted Coarsely Ground Jeera.
Salt.
A Dot of Hing.
1 Tablespoon Very Hot Oil.
Nicely whip up the batter , allowing it to aerate, Allow it to sit covered ( if you have the time ) for 1 hour .
Heat oil in a kadhai , and gently with your hand semi cupped drop in the batter , or use a spoon.Gently fry til lightly colored.
Remove with a slotted spoon into a bowl of hot water and allow them to sit for a while before squeezing out the water and adding them to whipped flavored curd.
I add a dash of raw garlic paste , chopped green dhania , some salt , coarsely ground black pepper  to the curd - Flavor it to taste .
I normally don't like adding chutney /sonth to my bhallas as that takes away from the delicious  flavors of these delicate dumplings .



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Thursday, 5 February 2015

Beri Ka Choora / Achar



This was one of those delicious flukes that cam out of an error ! Pritha Dutta had posted a fabulous looking Ber relish / pickle which I wanted to make - so I showed the picture to my driver who went off to but them and came back with these very tiny wild beri that grow on thorny shrubs . 


I gave them a good wash , dried them , and then ended up making a delicious chooran like thinggy - I kept adjusting flavors over the 10 days as these Beri would leave water from God knows where and kept growing in size ! Here is what I did - this is approximates 1 Kg Beri 
3 Tablespoons Salt. 
In a large wide tub salt Beri in the sun for 2-3 days , they will keep leaving juices. After 2-3 days make a powder of  : 
2 Tablespoons Lightly Roasted Methe Seeds. 
3 tablespoons Lightly Roasted Jeera Seeds. 
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder. 
2 Tablespoon Lightly Roasted Black Peppercorn 
8 Tablespoons Sugar.
1 Tablespoon Hing.
Make a powder of the above , mix into salted Beri - sun for 5-7 more days - they taste divine - as I said like chooran !
The annoying thing is the tiny seeds inside , but totally worth it .

BTW that is a soup spoon with one fresh beri to give you a clue on the size.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Som Tom Khao Pod / Thai Raw Papaya & Corn Salad.






I wish I had the patience to cut and plate and do this fabulous salad the visual justice it deserves . Do look beyond the picture and get into the flavors of this beautiful tangy , spicy with hints of sweet salad we learnt at the sikandalous master class at Neung Roi , Radisson Blu Plaza , Mahipalpur. Corn here lifts this recipe and does amazing things to the palate !

Serves 4

200 Grams Shredded Raw Papaya.

20 Grams Shredded Carrots.

200 Grams Corn Kernels.

40 Grams Whole Garlic

30 Grams Small Thai Red Chilies.

60 Grams Roasted & Slightly Crushed Peanuts.

60 Grams Tomatoes - cut into 1/2 inch pieces , with seeds.

60 Ml Lemon Juice.

1 Small Lemon - Cut into 4 , remove seeds and leave skin.

30 Grams Palm Sugar.

60 Ml Fish Sauce

1. In a mortar add garlic and chopped chilies , pound till mashed , add tomatoes and pound to break up tomatoes -You don't want a paste but a chunky mass.

2. Add lemon juice , palm sugar , fish sauce and pound 4-5 times. I added 2 lemon wedges too , Chef didn't.

3. Add shredded vegetables and lemon wedges and pound just a few times to release some juices .

Now add corn , roasted peanuts , gently mix and sit down to enjoying the most amazing salad !

1.Palm sugar looks a bit like jaggery / gur - if you don't have it , use brown sugar or regular sugar .
2. Vegetarians can avoid fish sauce and still make it - in which case add salt to the pounded ingredients .
3. Soak the shredded vegetables in regular cold water to make them really crunchy - Drain before plating .
4. Used regular tomatoes - I added cherry tomatoes as I had them handy .
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Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Hara ( Green ) Cholia .


A MUST in most Punju homes in the winter months these delicious cholias are eaten raw or the entire shrub is roasted and most commonly made somewhat like peas and eaten.The main point in my opnion is to retain a good bite in them , so cook them minimum. To attain that desired bite I plunge cholia into sugared water ( keeps them looking nice and green ) for NOT MORE THAN 20 seconds , drain and then add them to the masala and ' bhuno ' them for 3-4 minutes . At this stage they are ready , if you want gravy add water , I like mine ' luga lipta ' / as a 'dry curry ' .
200 Grams Green Cholia
1 Onion - Chop fine
2 Tomatoes - Puree
1 Teaspoon Minced Ginger.
1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1/2 Teaspoon Jeera.
1/2 Teaspoon Sauf Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Roasted Jeera Powder.
2 Tablespoons Chopped Dhania Leaves
Chilies.
Salt
Heat oil , add jeera , once it splutters add onions , garlic and ginger.Cook till onions get translucent .Now add tomatoes salt and chilies.Cover and cook till oil separates. add par boiled cholia and ' bhuno over high heat for 3-4 minutes.If you want gravy , add some water ...when you finish cooking add dhania leaves ,jeera and sauf powder stir in and take off heat and let this sit 4-5 minutes for flavors to marry .You want the dhania leaves in the cholia gravy to flavor it , not sprinkled on top.
That's about all it takes to make these delicious cholias.



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