I am a traveller , recipe developer and an avid cook . I run my facebook cooking group called sikandalous Cuisine and also organise India's biggest Oriental food festival called Asian Hawkers Market .#asianhawkersmarket
Bigtime into nature and animals - and yes there is a fun side too waiting to be discovered !
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I chanced upon a bunch of haldi leaves in a vegetable shop when I went to buy drumstick for my prawn curry . I was in two minds about buying them as I had no idea what I would do with them at that time. However the price - Rs20/- for 20 leaves decided it for me and I picked up the bunch.
It didnt take long to figure out what I would do and I am glad I got to experiment with yet another leaf and method of cooking . The PASTE here defines flavors , so taste it and adjust. Keep the flavors of the PASTE strong as when applied on prawns it will all mellow down
1 Tablespoon Black Mustard Seeds.
5-6 Green Chilies.
6-7 Cloves Garlic.
1 Tablespoon Mustard Oil
1. Apply PASTE on prawns and set aside for 10-15 minutes.
2. Arrange Haldi leaves in a cross formation , apply leftover paste on the top leaf.
3. Place 2-3 prawns on the top leaf- make a parcel, secure with a string.
4. Steam the prawns. I arranged them as you can see in a container thats NOT touching the water, then placed in a cooker - shut the prawn container and weighed it down to make airtight.
5. Give three whistles in a pressure cooker, take the cooker off the heat and allow pressure to fall naturally.
6. Prawns come out beautifully cooked and your home smells divine of aromas of haldi leaf ! Drizzle more mustard oil if you like , and eat with plain boiled rice.
I saw this very unique recipe by Kalpana Ji and I knew it had to be made . There was some confusion as to whether to add water/milk while grinding the soaked dal , I added milk to get a thick batter like consistency and proceeded to bake it . Turns out as Kalpana Ji later pointed out that no liquid was to be added while grinding the dal.
However this much dal would then have produced very little as there was hardly any bulk or volume. I have to discuss this with Kalpana , meanwhile here is what I made - next time will understand the recipe better and make accordingly .
Ingredients : 1/2 Cup Chana Dal. 1/2 Cup Sugar.
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar - I added. 2 Tablespoons Pure Ghee. 1/8 Teaspoon Soda bi Carb- The embarrassing confession , I forgot ! 5. Salt a Pinch 5-6 Cardamom- I used 10 , but then the ones we get in Delhi arent that aromatic. 7. Nutmeg A Dash 1/4th Cup Chopped Dry Fruits - I used half a cup.
Method : 1. Soak the chana dal overnight. 2. Course grind the chana dal. 3. Powder the sugar and cardamom. 4. Chop the nuts: almonds, pista and cashew nuts. 5. Mix all the ingredients. 6. Keep some chopped dry fruits for garnishing. 7. Line a cake tin with ghee. 8. Pre heat the oven at 150 degrees C. 9. Bake the Chickse for 25 to 30 mins.
Kalpana Ji's recipe ended at step 9 , and I should have ended mine too here , but 1 cup ground channa dal gave no volume and wasnt flowing , so I added milk , increased sweet and dry fruit and baked as per her recipe. It was still tasty , and had I added baking soda the consistency would have been better . My guests enjoyed it . I need to make it again and more accurately.
Let me start by saying this is one of the most delicious biryanis I have eaten - its full of spices , with a hint of spice , read chilies. Now follows all the gyaan , do read !
A friend form North Kerala shared this recipe and insisted I use only Kaima Rice for this biryani. I headed to Rama Stores in Delhi and picked up this rice. Kaima is a short grained thin rice and traditionally is used in Thalassery Biryani . This rice is delicious on its own plain boiled and eaten with just ghee. Here in the biryani , it created magic in my wok !
A word of caution - Spice like cardamom , cinnamon , laung that we get in the North arent as aromatic or fresh most of the time - so perhaps we should keep that in mind when reading recipes ...Same applies for chilies , specially black peppercorn , mace , nutmeg and garlic.
While serving the biryani , spoon it out carefully without mixing to preserve the different layers of flavors ( I wasnt too good at that )- The rice here is cooked in a aromatic stock and has its own distinct flavor.
500 Grams Mutton - Pressure cook in 3 cups water adding : 2 Teaspoons Vinegar. 1 Bay Leaf. 4 Green Cardamon. 5-7 Black Peppercorn. 1" Cinnamon. Salt
Pressure cook the above till mutton is nearly done - I slow cooked covered on low .Strain mutton , reserve the stock.
Step 2: 2.5 Cups Kaima Rice , no need to soak .Cook 4 cups of stock with mint leaves and salt as required till 75% done .
Step 3: 1 Cup Onions - Slice thin and fry in ghee till light golden. 1/2 Cup Fried Onions - For Layering & Garnish , fry a bit darker.
Step 4: Grind to a smooth Paste MASALA 1: 1 Tablespoon Garlic Paste. 1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste. 7 Mild Green Chilies . 2 Dried Red Chilies - Not in recipe. 1 Star Anise. 1 Teaspoon Khas khas. 1 Teaspoon Sauf 1 Tablespoon Minced Coriander stems.
Step 5: Grind To A Smooth Paste MASALA 2: 5 Cashew Nuts. 5 Raisins. 5 Laung. 1” Cinnamon. 2 Slivers Mace. 5-6 Pudina Leaves. 3 Curry Putta. 3 Green Cardamon.
Add MASALA 1 to fried onions , add 1/2 Cup chopped tomatoes and bhuno gently till tomatoes are pulpy.Add mutton and saute 3 minutes.
Step 7: Add MASALA 2 - saute 3 mins. Add 1/4 cup or so thick curd whipped. Cook till Korma is well combined.
Step 8: In 1/3d Cup warm milk dissolve a generous pinch of saffron and a teaspoon of ghee.
Layering The Biryani : Alternatively with rice and Korma with generous drizzlesof a mixture of saffron dissolved in some milk and ghee sprinkle some mild garam masala. Sprinkle some fried onions and mint .Do this for each layer .Top layer Garnish with fried cashew ( I forgot ) and fried onions and sprinkle the balance of the saffron milk.Bake sealed in a 180 ° oven for about 20-25 minutes.
A rustic dish , kept simple the flavors come through beautifully .
300-350 Grams/ 1 Large Bunch Palak - Coarsely chopped.
2-3 Broken Dried Red Chilies.
1 Teaspoon Sarson / Mustard Seeds .
1 Teaspoons Chopped Garlic.
1 Teaspoon Minced Ginger.
A Pinch of Haldi.
A Pinch of Hing.
Oil - I used Mustard Oil.
1. In boiling water add 1/2 teaspoon sugar , blanch palak not more than 30 seconds , then plunge into an ice water bath to prevent further cooking .Sugar in boiling water helps greens retain their color. When cool , squeeze palak of ALL water - Set aside.
2. Heat oil , add mustard seeds , dried red chilies and hing , then tip in ginger garlic - allow both to just soften , not color . Now add haldi and then palak with salt.
3. Raise heat to maximum and saute palak 3-4 minutes to coat with masala , lower heat and cook covered for just 2 minutes. You arent looking for some mash type of palak !
Atul Sikand Founding Member ,Delhi Gourmet Club
Director, Asian Hawkers Market Pvt. Ltd. #asianhawkersmarket
I had saved this superb recipe a few months ago and finally got around to making it - make it we did , two days running , it's that good.Adjust the spice level to your taste , I am sure you will love this too .
1 Measuring Cup Kala Channa .
Salt - As needed
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Grated Coconut -1/2 Cup - Grate from the small hole.
To Roast & Powder
1 Tablespoon Channa Dal.
1 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds
1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorn,
1 Teaspoon Jeera.
2-4 Dried Red Chilies.
Asafoetida - A pinch.
1 Teaspoon Oil.
2 Teaspoons Oil.
1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds.
1 Teaspoon Urad Dal.
1. Wash and soak channa for 3-4 hours.I add hing and salt at this stage to infuse flavors.Pressure cook till done , you want them firm.Drain.
2.Heat oil , splutter mustard seeds and urad dal , then tip in hing , dried and broken red chilies and curry leaves.
3. Add in cooked channas , lightly bhuno for 3-4 minutes , now add in roasted masala and coconut. Cooke 3-4 minutes.Adjust flavors.
This is eaten at room temperature and is a super delicious.
This dish is truly sikandalous ! I conjured up the recipe at 10 in the morning, so I can't even blame this outrageous combination on alcohol ! What it turned out to be was delicious . Karelas have never tasted so good.
6 Medium Sized Karelas.
For The Stuffing:
1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds.
Few Curry Leaves.
Chopped Green Chilies.
1 Onion Chipped.
1 Large Tomato Chopped.
1 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
1 Teaspoon Sambar Powder.
1/2 Teaspoon Sauf Powder.
1.5 Teaspoons Dhania Powder.
2 Large Eggs Whipped. Salt
For The Gravy:
1 Large Onion - Chopped.
2 Tomatoes Pureed.
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Paste.
1/2 Teaspoon Ginger Paste.
1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder.
1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala. 1/2 Teaspoon Haldi.
Balance of the Stuffing.
Make Egg Masala Filling:
1. Scrape and salt karelas after making a slit . Remove seeds.Wash well after 15 minutes.Pat dry.
2. Heat mustard oil , splutter mustard seeds , then tip in torn curry leave and green chilies. After 10 -20 seconds add ginger garlic and then onions . Lightly brown onions , add tomatoes along with all masalas .Cook on low till tomatoes are soft.
3. Whip up eggs , add to this masala and proceed to make a dry egg bhurji.Taste and adjust flavors.
4. Stuff karelas with this egg masala , lightly tie and saute with minimum oil on low till done but firm.
5. Save the egg masala thats leftover.
6. Heat oil , add onions, garlic ginger , saute till onions are soft , now add in chili powder , haldi and salt , cook covered till your gravy is done. Add garam masala .Taste .
7. To the gravy add sauteed karels and simmer for 4-5 minutes for karelas to take in gravy flavors , also add in balance egg masala . You are looking for a luga lipta dry gravy here .
This was delectable ! Will be made very often for certain.
Surekha Tahsin had posted this classic Turkish recipe a few days back - something that was on my ' must make ' list for ages and ages but I never got down to till now - her beautiful post was the inspiration and this recipe is by Ozlem Warren in her blog ozlemsturkishtable .
The aubergines are gently poached in this dish with a generous mixture of onions, tomatoes and garlic.
2 Large & Slim Aubergines / Baingans.
1 Large onion - Halve & thinly slice.
3 Tomatoes - Finely chop.
3-4 Garlic - Finely chop.
Bunch of Parsley - Finely chop.
4 tablespoons Olive Oil.
Juice of Half Lemon.
2 Teaspoon Sugar.
1 Teaspoon Dried Mint - I used fresh mint leaves.
Salt & Black Pepper To Taste.
Extra Regular Oil - To fry baingans.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the aubergines length ways in zebra stripes, then cut the eggplants / aubergines in half lengthways. In each half of eggplant, cut a deep split length ways without cutting through to the skin on the opposite side and leaving 1/2″-13 mm- uncut at either end- This aids in cooking and balance I suspect .
Sprinkle salt (this will help the moisture come out) over the eggplants and leave for about 10-15 minutes to leach out the moisture and bitter juices of eggplants. After that, thoroughly drain and pat dry the eggplants with paper towel to get rid of this moisture, otherwise they will be soggy.
Heat some oil in a deep sided pan. Place the eggplants in the oil and shallow fry quickly on both sides until they are softened and have a golden brown color. Place some paper towels on a tray and transfer these eggplants there; the paper towels will absorb the excess olive oil.
Stir in the sliced onions and garlic in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, dried mint, salt and ground black pepper to taste. Knead this mixture with your hands for the dried mint and seasoning to blend well (this will also help the onions to soften). Stir in the tomatoes and parsley to the mixture and combine well.
Lift the eggplants to a chopping board and open up the split in the middle to create pockets. Spoon the mixture into these eggplant pockets, packing it in tightly so that all of the filling is used up (if you have any left over filling, I would simply cook them in the same pan next to these eggplant pockets).
Place the stuffed eggplants side by side in a wide, heavy pan. Mix the remaining olive oil with ½ cup water, lemon juice and sugar and pour it over the eggplants.Cover the pan with a lid and place over a medium heat to get the oil hot and create some steam. Once the cooking liquid is hot, cook the eggplants for about 45-50 minutes. Once cooked, they should be soft and tender, with a little of cooking liquid left in the bottom of the pan.
Leave the eggplants to cool and rest in the pan for the flavors to settle, then carefully transfer them to a serving dish and spoon the oil from the pan over the eggplants. Serve at room temperature or cold, with a wedge of lemon aside and extra garnish of parsley over them.
This recipe has been adapted from The Culinary Heritage of Goa - and the developer of the recipe is Chef Gopal of the legendary Hotel Mandovi which was established during the Portuguese rule.These traditional vegetarian recipes arent seen in many commercial establishments , and perhaps in this day and age , cooked in a few homes. This came out so delicious.
1 Kg Small Baingans.
2 Coconuts - Grate using small hole.
100 Grams Jaggery -Adjust.
1-2 Tablespoons Tamarind Pulp - Adjust
Separately Dry Roast & Make POWDER:
10 Red Chilies.
1 Tablespoon Coriander Seeds.
2 Teaspoons Black Peppercorn.
2 Star Anise - Not in recipe , added on an impulse.
1 Teaspoon Haldi.
1. Make a small slit in each brinjal , scoop out some seeds - I lightly oiled the surface of each baingan .
2. Add grated coconut to POWDER and stuff each baingan.
3. Heat oil in pan , add chopped onions and fry till translucent.
4. Place baingans on onions , along with any leftover coconut masala.
5. Add some hot water and cook till baingans are soft.**
6. Mix tamarind pulp and jaggery with 100 Ml water and spread over cooked baingans and cook another 4-5 minutes.
Sprinkle some green dhania and sit down to a divine Bharleli Vengun !
** I baked the baingans tightly covered after adding 1/2 cup water.
This superb recipe was given to me by Lirish - he runs the coorg Shoppe from where you get this Kuchampali and many other specialities online . I ran out of his Pork Masala so googled a substitute which is mentioned below - this masala worked very well.
I used boneless pork with very little fat as a result of which this delicious dish came out light and less oily unlike most pork dishes- here we dont use any additional oil. Keep it dry and it's the ideal finger food .
1 Kg Pork. 1 Teaspoon Red Chili Powder.Turmeric powder. 4 Onions. 1" Ginger . 15 Cloves Garlic. 7-8 Green Chilies. 1/2 Bunch Green Coriander Leaves.
1/2 Teaspoon kachampuli or 1-2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice.
Pork Masala Powder - Dry Roast & Grind: 2 Teaspoons Coriander Seeds. 1 Teaspoon Black Peppercorn.
1 Teaspoon Jeera.
1 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds.
1. Wash and drain pork , cut the pieces small . Add turmeric powder, salt, red chilly powder and marinate for about 30 minutes. 2. Grind coarsely sliced onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies, coriander leaves together. 3. Put the marinated pork in a thick bottomed vessel, add ground paste, mix well and cook in medium heat till soft. Then add the Pork Masala Powder and ½ tsp kachampuli (local coorgi vinegar) and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
Corn is a big favourite at home - while we mostly roast it , at time we make this delicious dry curry - Go with the flow type of recipe - you adjust flavors to suit your palate. This is what I did here :
1 Large Corn on The Cob - Pressure cook till soft.
2 Tablespoons Chopped Onions.
Lemon Juice To Taste.
A Pinch of Haldi.
Red Chili Powder - For color.
Make Coarse Paste: 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds.
3-4 Cloves Garlic.
Dried Red Chilies.
1 Chopped Green Chili.
Heat mustard oil , add in paste , sizzle for 20-30 seconds no more , add onions . When onions begin to soften , not color haldi and chili powder then tip in the corn .increase heat , saute adding salt for about 2 minutes , lower heat - splash some water , and simmer covered on low for 4-5 minutes.Add lemon juice , adjust flavors and serve at room temperature - We make this super spicy
I put together this recipe after reading some online . I retained the base recipe from what Zaver had shared for her lemon bars. This was my first apple tart - made lots of apple crumble though - and I must say I quite loved the results.
Am impatient with making things look pretty - later it struck me I could have used my mandoline slicer to slice apples neatly! My ' DUH' moment but one lives and learns . Do excuse the look - taste was mindblowing !
Bake at 180 C
For The Base: 175 Grams Flour. 125 Grams Chilled Butter. 25 Grams Grain sugar
2 Tablespoons Coarsely Ground Almonds.
1. Rub together flour and butter to breadcrumb consistency. Mix in the sugar and crumbled almonds. 2. Turn the mixture into the prepared tin and press down firmly. Bake in preheated oven for 20 mins till golden .
For Apple Filling:
1 Kg Apples - I used red firm ones from J&K.
2 Tablespoon Soft Butter.
2-3 Tablespoons Castor Sugar - Will depend upon apple sweetness too.
2 Star Anise.
2-3 Tablespoons Water.
Heat butter in a pan , sizzle star anise , cinnamon and cloves for 1 minute , then add peeled and chopped apples, saute a minute , add 2 tablespoons water and cook till apple are are soft.Add lemon juice and lemon zest, cook another minute and mash to a puree.
3-4 Apples - I used red firm ones from J&K.
2 Tablespoons Castor Sugar.
Diluted Jam For Glazing - I used spiced orange jam diluted with some water.
Crushed Almonds For Dusting - Optional.
Method: 3. Spread apple puree on the baked tart shell.
4. Peel and core apples , keeping their rounded shape, then slice them lengthways.
5. Arrange the apple slices in neat rings on the base which you have covered with apple puree ..overlapping them- this way cover the entire base.
6. Sprinkle castor sugar and bake apples for 30 minutes or till semi soft.
7. Spread the glaze over the apples - I kept mine thick as I wanted a second layer of flavor .Sprinkle some crushed almonds , bake tart for another 3-4 minutes.
Serve warm - it was delicious as is , though vanilla ice cream or creme fraiche is ideal.