You will never look at Brussels sprouts the same way again after this you try this recipe. While they are not a traditional Indian vegetable, Brussels sprouts have found their way into my kitchen. Honestly, I first tried them to see why so many Americans disliked them!
Diwali in America is all about innovation and creating new traditions and each family follows its past rituals but also adds in new ones. Indeed, Floyd Cardoz, the celebrated chef of North End Grill in Manhattan, is a Catholic married to Barkha, a Hindu, and is an avid celebrator of Diwali.
“Even though Floyd and I come from different religious backgrounds, our kids are lucky and blessed to be able to celebrate both holidays,” says Barkha. “They absolutely love Diwali – we do Lakshmi puja in the evening and then it’s followed by the food that is a tradition from when I was a little girl – Pooris with aloo rassa, makhani dal, a paneer dish, gobi sabji, lots of mithai and then the all time favorite – sabudana kheer.”
(Barkha Cardoz with extended family at the Diwali table)
After being the chef at Vermilion, the acclaimed Indian-Latin fusion restaurants in Chicago and New York for eight years and the first Indian woman to be a competitor on The Iron Chef and The Next Iron Chef, what do you do for an encore?
Well, if you’re Maneet Chauhan, you take a break. You go have a baby, become a judge on Food Network’s ‘Chopped’, work on two cook books and plan a new restaurant in Nashville, TN, partnering with the M Street Restaurant Group.
Here Maneet shares her life and recipes with Lassi with Lavina readers!
Once upon a time three young rising chefs were handed shrimp, an immaculate kitchen. limited time and a medley of ingredients to orchestrate into an award-winning new shrimp masterpiece. They dashed and they mashed, they mixed and they fixed, they chopped and they pureed as a lineup of pedigreed judges and VIP guests watched with bated breath and hungry stomachs.
The event was Varli’s ‘Rising Star Chef 2012’ live competition at Junoon featuring chefs under the age of 35 – Bhavesh Patel (Moghul Caterers), Shravan Shetty (Urban Spice), and Sylva Senat (Tashan). Each created a signature entrée and served a tasting to the celebrity panel of judges – noted chef Jehangir Mehta of Graffiti and Mehtaphor; restaurateur Rajesh Bhardwaj, and award-winning cook book authors Monica Bhide and Ramin Ganeshram.
Sacrilege or a seduction? Chocolate Dosa!
The other day wandering in the pleasurable desi by-lanes of Jackson Heights, admiring the mounds of mangoes, lychees and papayas, I stopped at Dosa Delight, a small family-type vegetarian eatery. There along with the traditional idli, medhu vada and Pondicherry Dosa was – Chocolate Dosa!
Now this is not a gourmet city restaurant but a tried and tested homey Southern outpost. So how did something as contrary as Chocolate Dosa find its way here? And could I have a taste?
“It’s the simplicity of it. The humbleness of service. The server and the served work like a complete circle of Universe.
Sitting on the floor in simple lines define the equality of us all.
The way everyone prepares, cooks, the energy, the chanting is all about seva and sharing. It’s truly remarkable that how much pride Sikhs take in even cleaning. It’s a Utopian experience.”
– Vikas Khanna
At his new cafe Matt & Meera in Hoboken, NJ, noted chef Hari Nayak has Indianized American comfort foods with spices and ingredients. Here he shares his recipes for the Matt & Meera Lamb Burgers and masala chips, which are baked, not fried. Ah, the little bonuses in life!
There are not too many chefs who can cook for humans and the gods with equal panache but New York chef Vikas Khanna is certainly one of them. He has helped cook langar at the Golden Temple, exchanged hugs with Amma and also created gourmet dishes at the high-end New York restaurant, Junoon. Not to mention cooking a Satvic meal at the White House!
Yet this celebrity chef started out unsung and unknown in a simple, middle-class family in Amritsar. Growing up, Vikas’ life was different from that of other kids who would be running around, playing cricket and climbing trees. He had a disability as his feet were not aligned.
“Where I found my shelter was in the kitchen. Simple, home-cooked meals became like prasad for me, and Biji, my grandmother, my priest. She didn’t teach me recipes, she taught me the power of food to heal, to connect people.”
Chef Peter Beck of Benares Restaurant in New York shares his recipe for Sevai Tomato Kurma – mussels scallops, rock shrimp, fish and crab claws tossed in garlic tomato sauce over Iddi Appam, Indian-style rice noodles.
New York’s own rock star of an Indian chef, Vikas Khanna, is certainly going places. India, to be precise!
He is the new host and judge of Star Plus TV’s popular show Master Chef India Season 2 and is going to get a lot of eyeballs with the show which can be seen in India and the diaspora. The second season showcases different cooking styles and presentation of food, using Vikas Khanna’s food philosophy of fresh ingredients juxtaposed in innovative ways.
“And then there was the rainy season, and the accompanying sounds of the flirty breeze playing with the leaves of the mango tree in our backyard, the rustic smell of wet earth, and the thud of mangoes falling to the ground,” recalls chef Hari Nayak in his new book ‘My Indian Kitchen’. “We kids often dashed out to pick them up before the sky broke loose! This priceless robbery of ours would mean that soon spicy green mango chutney would be on our dining table!”
Enticing tales such as this, traditional home recipes explained lucidly and photography that’s luscious enough to eat make this a welcome addition to the books on Indian cooking.
Chef Hari Nayak, author of ‘My Indian Kitchen’ shares three delicacies from his book – two of them can be complete meals in themselves – one for the non-vegetarians – Coconut Shrimp Biryani, from Goa. The other is a rice dish much beloved by vegetarians – Black Eyed Peas and Rice or Lobiya Pullao. And what better ending to a meal than to top this satisfying meal with Pistachio Mango Ice Cream?
“This dish is one of the favorites on our appetizer list at Junoon. Its origins are in Goan cooking which evolved with considerable influence from the Portuguese who used Goa as a trading port for many years” Chef Vikas Khanna of Junoon
He did it! Floyd Cardoz is the new Top Chef Master and has won $1i0,000 to support his favorite charity, the Young Scientist Cancer Research Fund (YSCRF) at the Tisch Cancer Institute at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.
This grueling competition on Bravo had 12 award winning chefs competing for the title, participating in elimination style challenges. In each episode, money was at stake, and Cardoz, who is the former executive chef/partner of Tabla, pulled it off.
Love a good food fight? Then you’ve got to watch Bravo’s Top Chef Masters which has a dozen award-winning chefs battling it out for the title of Top Chef Master and $100,000 for their favorite charity. This includes, for the first time probably, two noted Indian celebrity chefs – Floyd Cardoz and Suvir Saran.
In each episode the Lords of the Kitchen sharpen their knives for cooking encounters and dish out their specialties. For celeb watchers it should be quite a treat – Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks, Pop/Rock Group Maroon 5 and Pop Star Kelis serve as Celebrity Guest Judges. Celebrity chef Curtis Stone hosts the series and judges include James Oseland and noted food critic Ruth Reichl. Celebrities and food – a potent mix!
Ah, foodies! When we’re not eating or cooking or fantasizing about food, we’re shopping for eats, obscure and exotic spices and the latest cooking contraptions. And when we are not doing all of that, we’re watching cooking shows on the Food Network or salivating over food blogs on the Internet. And forget about casting our votes for the president, we can now actually have a say in who becomes America’s Hottest Chef! Now that’s powerful – and universe changing!
Eater, the popular foodie website, has anointed Vikas Khanna of Junoon the hottest chef in New York, based on voting by its readers. That’s really a delicious choice because Vikas is a creative chef with some wonderful dishes to his credit.
For those who’ve lived in and loved Calcutta – or Kolkata as it’s now known – feasting is an important part of life. Here four Bengali-Americans share their best memories of the city’s innumerable, incomparable eats: Partha Banerjee, NY activist, talks of his favorite haunts in his favorite city; Mukti Banerjee, home cook, shares some delicious Bengali food through her meetup group in Brooklyn; Kriti Mukherjee, foodie and consultant, reflects on the importance of food in a Bengali’s life, and businesswoman Priyashmita Guha shares a tale about eating street foods with her father in Maddox Square.
What can be more soul-satisfying than legumes and lentils slow-cooked to creamy perfection, with a touch of Indian spices? In ‘The Indian Slow cooker’ Anupy Singla shares 50 healthy authentic recipes passed down in her family and which work well for busy lifestyles.