Desserts define Indian tastes, there are as many different types of creations as there are may be cities in the country. Look at this really simple sweet dish for example–the puran poli. Every state has its own way of making it. Where people in Maharashtra use channa dal (gram), those in Gujarat use toovar dal (split pigeon pea), people in the Konkan belt (where Goa is situated) add coconut to it and those in Karnataka serve it with a tamarind chutney to enhance the flavours. Just one dish, but so many variations. What’s more almost every house cooks some of these traditional sweets during festive occasions, and this puran poli definitely belongs to that category of ‘must makes’. Traditionally its made during Holi, just after the bonfire is lit.
This simple classic dish, can be made in a million different ways, why in India itself there are many ways of creating this lip smacking delicacy. The Kerala Egg Curry is subtly spiced sauce made with coconut milk; the Mangalorean recipe calls for use of boiled eggs, coconut and red chilies; the Punjabi Egg Masala or anda curry is a spicy curry with boiled eggs,spices and cooked in onion, tomato gravy; the Kolhapuri egg curry has robust flavours and is made by grinding spices along with poppy seeds, the Shahi Egg Curry is rich and is made with cream and sprinkled with kasturi methi and the Gujarati egg curry…am joking most Gujarati’s stay away from all things non-vegetarian, unlike me. My recipe is a combination of flavours I have come to love and understand better over time.
A quick fix hearty meal, is what this is. Jalfrezi is a type of Indian dish in which pieces of vegetables are fried in oil and spices to produce a dry, thick sauce. Since there is no gravvy involved, it can be stirred up in a matter of a few minutes. Jalfrezi can be made as spicy as you wish and in that lies its success to cater to different tastes. The other main ingredients include capsicums, onion and tomato. History dates the Jalfrezi back to the British Raj and according to a new poll, the Jalfrezi is the most popular choice in Britain’s 10,000 Indian restaurants. This is not the traditional way of cooking this dish, but this quick fix recipe has all the flavours intact without being doused with oil.
This is as traditional as it gets! A Sunday afternoon lazy lunch with piping hot dal-dhokli. Its a perfect combination of proteins and carbs or rather dal and roti, but all mixed into one dish…the Indian pasta as my cousins often call it! Just like pasta, this dish needs to be made on the spot and served hot to really relish it. What’s more it can be enjoyed as a one-pot dish or you can enjoy it with some steamed basmati rice too. Either way, this is one dish that grows on you and can be made as festive as you wish–with simple easy additions of broken cashew nuts, raisins and dried dates (kharek).
I love desserts. And I like them even better if they are easy to make and come with fresh ingredients–something I’ve learnt to indulge in post my die-hard fascination for MasterChef. Yeah I am a sucker for food shows and to meet Gordon Ramsay stands very high on my Bucket List. But till then I am happy to devour every cookbook of his and lay my hands on every recipe he has published. He seems to have the right knack of simplifying the most horrendously tricky procedures and making it super simple! But enough about my gushing love for him…
This is not one of his recipes, but is a version of Martha Stewart’s creation. And what I like about it, is its simplicity. My first restaurant, Skie Grille, in Utorda Goa was all about food off the grill, may be that’s why this recipe is close to my heart. Or may be it’s just the ease in creating it–all it takes is 5 minutes and can be made with ingredients found in every pantry.
This is one of my favourite sauces. Add it to a grilled chicken salad, fry onions in it for a sandwich or top it on chips or stuffed tacos…it lends flavour to any entrée.
If you are looking to jazz up this sauce a wee bit more, feel free to add some whisky or rum to it, giving yourself enough time to burn the alcohol off during the cooking process.
If you use dark brown sugar, you will get a darker shade of sauce.
If you use whole grain mustard, the sauce will be denser, but you can use English Mustard too. The best way to make a sauce is to keep tasting it, and making your notes as you add ingredients. Once you find the right proportions to tickle your taste buds, your recipe and variations with help you achieve the same product, time after time.
Burgers have to be sloppy. There’s no other way to devour this gigantic piece of absolute delight. But that’s not where the expectations end! Every teeny-weeny morsel has to burst with a unique marriage of flavours that comes from its spicy, sour, tangy, meaty, creamy and fresh ingredients.
When I started creating these burgers, I knew little about flavours and textures and it was all about slamming a seasoned meat patty between 2 slices of a toasted bun. With French fries, tomato ketchup and mustard for an accompaniment, the meal was basic but filling and left me satiated.
However over time, I started to experiment with flavours and textures. Minced pork was added to minced beef, minced beef was mixed with minced chicken, pork and chicken were minced together with garlic and believe me each one of these different combinations, ticked different taste boxes.
So, how does one start making a tandoori dish without a tandoor?
Leave that for the oven to figure out.
All you need to care about is–buy the best (read freshest) fish available, gut it, clean it, slash it and marinate it in this five-minute marinade.
The coolest thing about it, is the longer it is marinated the more robust and enhanced are the flavours. Which makes it perfect entree for a party. The crispy skin, golden glow tandoori fish is quite a “pick-me-up” on any dinner table. What’s more you can garnish the plate with some onions that have been left soaking in vinegar, sugar and salt till they have achieved a pinkish tone; and freshly chopped tomato and cucumber to create an absolute down to earth, homely and eye-catching platter.