Michelin-starred chef Vineet Bhatia feels champagne is "unnecessarily restricted as a luxury drink" when it can be used more regularly with Indian food. "It’s a myth that Indian food doesn’t go well with champagne," he says, adding "Sour, crispy and light Indian food is not acidic and hence it can go well with champagne." The chef also recommends usage of coriander and curry leaves in food items that are not too creamy and milky.
Bhatia, who runs Ziya at the Oberoi, recently prepared an elaborate Indian meal to go with Dom Perignon champagne for a dinner hosted by Queenie Singh. His eclectic Indian meal- champagne combination garnered appreciation from Sushmita Sen, Bandana Tewari, Natasha Poonawala, Kabir Bedi and others who had come for the dinner. Though, this was an invitation-only affair, foodies can now get a taste of Bhatia’s signature dishes, which are available on prior order at Ziya.
Ask him why he didn’t partake in Masterchef India this year, he says, "I was doing another travel-food show for Fox History called the Twist of Fate. We travelled to 13 cities and showcased local food with a modern twist."
Try these signature Recipes the next time you pop open a bottle
Crisp roti wrapped lobster with tempered idli chat (serves 10)
Lobster 1,500 gms; Fresh coriander 10 gms; Fresh chilli garlic sauce 20 gms; 2 curry leaves; 8 chopped gingers; 20 shreds of spring roll sheet; idli 300 gms; 1 litre oil for frying; 1 cumin seed; 1 mustard seed; 6 green chillies; 0.5 gms turmeric; 2 gms red chilli powder; 100 chopped ; 150 chopped tomatoes; tamarind pulp 20 gms; tomato ketchup 40 gms.
For Crisp Lobster:
Clean the lobster and de-shell it
Make a marinade by mixing coriander stems, chilli garlic sauce, and chopped curry leaf, chopped ginger
Marinate the lobster with it and keep aside for one hour
Finely shred the spring roll sheet, roll the lobster in the shreds and press tightly
Line a clean tray with butter paper and keep the wrapped lobster refrigerated for three hours
For tempered idli chaat
Heat oil, add mustard seed and let them crackle. Then add cumin seeds,chopped green chillies,curry leaf and turmeric
Add finely chopped onion and saute it till it is brown. Add chopped tomatoes and red chilli powder
Add the idli to the above mix sprinkle tamarind pulp and tomato ketchup
Saute the idli gently and finish with fresh chopped coriander leaves.
Heat oil deep fry the lobster
On a flat plate arrange the idli one behind the other
Place the crisp lobster on the side garnished with fresh coriander
(By Vineet Bhatia)
Wild mushroom chestnut vaati with idli chat (serves 10)
Shitake 100 gms; white fungus 75 ; black fungus 75 gms; button mushroom 1 00 gms; porcini 50 gms; oyster mushrooms 100 gms; chilli garlic sauce 50 gms; chopped coriander 3 gms; filo sheet 100 ; idli 300 gms; oil 1 gm, 1 cumin seed; 1 mustard seed; 6 green; turmeric 0.5 gms; red chilli powder 2; onion 100 pieces chopped; 150 chopped tomato; tamarind 20 gms, tomato ketchup 40 gms
Wild mushroom chestnut vati
Soak white fungus and black fungus and shitake and porcini
Chop them into small dices
Sautee the mushrooms in oil
Add chilli garlic and chopped potato. Keep aside to cool.
Cut the filo sheets in rectangles of 10 x 10 cms
Apply butter on each filo sheet
Put them into a ring mould
Bake the filo sheets at 170 centigrade till they turn light brown in colour
In a round plate place the filo basket in towards the edge of one corner
Fill the filo basket with sautéed mushroom
Arrange the idlis one behind another on the plate
(By Renji Raju, Senior sous chef at Ziya, Oberoi)