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City food experts marry Indian flavours with western cooking techniques

We got four city food experts — Antoine Lewis, Pooja Dhingra, Saee Koranne-Khandekar and Juliano Rodrigues — to reveal recipes where the east meets the west to create some stellar dishes.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2012 18:09 IST
Sumedha Deo

Indian flavours lend themselves easily, and quite well, to western recipes, which is probably why we’ve all heard of masala pastas and tandoori turkeys.

We got four city food experts — Antoine Lewis, Pooja Dhingra, Saee Koranne-Khandekar and Juliano Rodrigues — to reveal recipes where the east meets the west to create some stellar dishes.

(Juliano Rodrigues, chef, Out Of The Blue)

10 gm chopped onion
5 gm chopped ginger
5 gm garlic
5 gm coriander seeds
5 gm cumin seeds
Kashmiri red chilli
20 gm coconut
5 gm poppy seeds
2 gm fennel seeds
2 gm mustard seeds
5 gm cinnamon
3 cloves
5 gm peppercorn
Star anise
250 ml coconut milk
250 gm cheddar cheese

Pour some oil in a kadai. Add the poppy seeds, coriander, dry coconut, onion, ginger, garlic and dry chilli and cook the mixture to create a tadka. After cooking it, ground the whole preparation like chutney and leave it aside. Take some more oil in the kadai now and add some curry leaves and ginger-garlic paste for taste. Now mix the chutney mixture in the kadai, with the rest of the ingredients and add some salt as per taste.

Add some water to make the gravy and while it is getting heated, add a little bit of tamarind water in the end. Add some ghee and black whole pepper and let it boil for a while. Strain the paste. Serve with vegetables, toast or meat.

(Antoine Lewis, blogger at

Basic Ingredients
4 papads (whatever flavour you prefer)
6 tbsp crème
fraîche (if you don’t have crème fraîche, then substitute with thick, hung curd)
2 slices of slightly spicy roast beef per taco

Ingredients for pico de gallo
3 tbsp onions, chopped
1 tsp lime juice
5 tbsp tomatoes, chopped
3 tsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped
3/4 tsp fresh green chilli, minced
Pinch of salt

Method for pico de gallo
Mix the chopped onion with the lime juice and keep aside. After about five minutes, when the onion has softened slightly, mix the remaining vegetables.

Finally, toss in the salt and mix well. Keep the mixture in the fridge to chill. If you want the pico to be even spicier, prepare it a few hours in advance. The longer the mixture sits with the green chillies, the more pungent it becomes.

Method for assembly
Heat the roast beef in a microwave or frying pan. Cut into thin strips. In a frying pan or tawa, dry roast the papads. When they are cooked, but still hot and pliable, carefully fold them gently to form a shell.

The papads are going to be really hot and you need to hold them in your hands till they harden so this step will involve some discomfort.

Arrange the roast beef strips at the bottom of the papad shell. Top evenly with about a 1 and 1/2 tbsp of crème fraîche and about 1 and a half tbsp of pico de gallo. Serve, and eat immediately.

(Pooja Dhingra, owner, Le 15 Patisserie)

Ingredients for macaroon
100 gm powdered sugar
100 gm almond powder
70 gm egg whites
65 gm castor sugar
3 gm green food

Ingredients for chocolate filling
115 gm white chocolate
90 gm heavy whipping cream
15 gm butter
1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Preheat oven to 180 degree Celcius. Whisk powdered sugar and almond powder together and make sure there are no lumps. Beat the egg whites till they froth.

While whipping, add the castor sugar until it forms firm peaks. Mix the stiff egg white meringue with powdered sugar and almond powder.

Add food colouring. Then pipe batter onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, evenly space them one inch apart. Let the tray sit aside for 30 minutes.

Bake for 15-18 minutes. Cool completely before removing from the baking sheet.

Method for the filling
Place the chopped chocolate in a stainless steel bowl. Heat the cream and cardamom in a saucepan, bring to a boil.

Pour boiling cream over chocolate and allow it to stand for five minutes. Stir in butter, until smooth. Cool.

Method for assembly
Spread a bit of chocolate filling with the use of a spoon or piping bag, on the inside of the macaroons then sandwich them together.

Store them in an airtight container. Can be refrigerated for a maximum of three days.

(Saee Koranne-Khandekar, food blogger)

2 cups Surti paapdi (strung and split)
1/4 cup fresh toor (if available)
1 cup mixed root vegetables (elephant yam, purple yam, sweet potato, baby potatoes), peeled and diced
1-2 baby purple eggplant, diced
1/2 ripe Kerala plantain (optional), diced
3-4 readymade methi muthiya; soaked in water for 5 minutes
1/4cup fresh coconut, grated; 3 green chillies; 3-4 fresh green garlic, roots cut off
1/2 inch fresh root turmeric (or 1/4 tsp turmeric powder)
Coriander leaves
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ajwain (carom seeds)
1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the masala, grind the coconut, coriander leaves and seeds, garlic, turmeric, and green chillies in a mixer.

Heat a litre of water in a pot and blanch the root vegetables in it until half done. Remove and drain. In the same water, blanch the Surti papdi and toor. Drain.

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the vegetables and the plantain and drained methi muthiya with the green masala. Add salt and sugar. Cut two heart-shaped pieces of parchment, about 8 inches in length. Fold them in half.

Now, open one half of the parchment heart and spoon the undhiyu mixture on each piece, leaving about half an inch of space along the sides. Heat the vegetable oil in a small tadka pan and add the ajwain. Turn off the heat.

Spoon the tadka on each serving of undhiyu. Now quickly fold the other half of the heart over and seal the edges shut by folding the paper.

Slide the parcels onto a baking tray and bake at 200 degrees centigrade for about 25-30 minutes. Serve hot, in the parcels.