New Delhi: As we celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day this year, it’s interesting to look at regional cultural ideas, each with their own unique customs, traditions, language and cuisine. Food is central to the quintessence of Indian culture, and to tap into its rich culinary heritage, IANSlife interviews five chefs to find out what regional cuisine means to them.
Chef Rajesh Kumar, Executive Sous Chef, The Claridges New Delhi; Chef Prasad Metrani, Culinary Director, Conrad Bengaluru; Chief Mayank Kulshrestha; Chef Sahil Arora, Executive Chef of Hyatt Regency Dehradun and Chef Prakash Joshi, Chef of Kynd Cafe at Colossal Hospitality talk about their love for regional cuisine.
Chef Prasad Metrani, Culinary Director, Conrad Bengaluru
“I am very proud of how our country has grown from a captive nation to one of the fastest growing economies. The 75th Independence Day and Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav is a momentous victory for all of us,” says Chef Prasad Metrani, Kitchen Manager, Conrad Bengaluru, who has 17 years of experience in the industry, “The kitchen region is extremely diverse and in my 17 year journey I have been fortunate enough to see how the varied ingredients and spice notes blend together. Goan food, Maharashtrian food and South Indian breakfast dishes are my favourites. Indian regional cuisine is very ingredient specific and has a certain flavor and aroma. Each regional dish has a star ingredient that plays a major role, giving your dish a unique flavor. This year, Kerala-style Chemmeen curry flavors are my favorite, says chef Prasad.
For the coconut curry paste:
Turmeric powder 5 g
Red chilli powder 20 g
Coriander powder 30g
For the prawn curry:
Coconut oil 50ml
Garlic 3-4 cloves, sliced
Green peppers 10 g
The curry leaves a sprig
Coconut paste the above quantity
Coconut oil 1 tablespoon
Half a teaspoon of mustard seeds
Fenugreek seeds 3-4
Shallots 1 tbsp, thinly sliced
3-4 curry leaves, torn
Mix the coconut curry paste with a little water until smooth. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a frying pan, add the shallots, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves. Fry until lightly browned and fragrant.
Add the coconut curry paste, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add tomato and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes.
Then add the tamarind water and plain water and boil for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.
Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes.
In a small saucepan, heat the oil to temper. Add the other tempering ingredients. Turn off the heat when the mustard seeds crackle and the shallots are golden brown. Add to the coconut prawn curry and mix well.
Keep the curry covered for half an hour before serving.
Serve with rice, rotis or other Indian flatbreads like sodas, appalls, idiyappam etc.
Chief Mayank Kulshrestha
Chef Mayank Kulshrestha, who attended the regional cuisine haunt, recommended his favorite recipe of Kari Kozhambu, a traditional South Indian dish. He said: “The curry has the right combination of spices with desiccated coconut and poppyseed making it a mouthful of tastes. The tender mutton in this curry creates an appetizing aroma. I love eating it with Idiyappam.’
Ingredients I 4 servings (yield:- 1.5 ltr)
Cinnamon 2 x1′ piece
cloves 3 no
Cardamom 5 no
Chopped tomato 200g
Ginger garlic paste 30 g
Red chilli powder 25 g
Dried coconut / copra 60 g
Coriander powder 25g
Fennel powder 10 g
Cashew nuts 80g
Poppy seeds, paste 30 g
Coriander leaves 15 g
Mutton Curry cut 750 g
A few curry leaves
Diced potatoes 100 g
Drumstick (2 inches long) 100 g
Salt to taste
In a little oil, heat the whole garam masala, add the sautéed chopped onion until golden
Add the ginger garlic paste, add the mutton pieces and cook until it leaves water and turns pinkish
Add the crushed tomatoes to the mutton, then the spices and the curry leaves
Make a paste of poppy seeds and copra and add to the sauce, cook well. Add the diced potato and drumstick to the mutton sauce and simmer until cooked through.
Check the seasoning and garnish with coriander leaves
Chef Sahil Arora, Executive Chef at Hyatt Regency Dehradun
“Regional cuisines are deeply rooted in Indian heritage, with every few miles one can experience different flavors and ingredients cooked in local homes. I think it’s very important to preserve these local and regional flavors because they keep our country’s heritage and culture as vibrant as it is. My favorite regional dish is Aloo ke Gutke with Hara Pyaaz Parantha – a delicacy from the Garhwal region of India,” says Chef Sahil Arora, Executive Chef of Hyatt Regency Dehradun.
Take full advantage of your vacation to make this Spiced Bread Bombs with Saunth Chutney recipe shared by Chef Sahil at home and enjoy at your leisure!
INGREDIENTS I 2 people
boil mashed potatoes 0.012grm
0.002grm cumin seeds
coriander seeds 0.002grm
chopped coriander 0.01grm
mint leaves 0.005 grams
tomato cutlet 0.01 gram
chopped green chilli 0.005 grams
Hing 0.001 gram
oil for frying 0.2 grams
salt 0.005 grams
chaat masala 0.005 grams
white bread (6 slices)0.01 gram
Crack the cumin and the coriander seeds in the hot oil,
Add the green chilli, chop the tomato, cilantro and chopped mint.
Mix the grated potato to make the mixture, and add salt and chaat masala.
Simply dip the slice of bread in lukewarm water and stuff it with the potato ball.
Layer the potato dumpling with the slice of bread tightly.
Fry it in oil and serve it with a mint chutney.
Chef Rajesh Kumar, Executive Sous Chef, The Claridges New Delhi
Speaking of regional cuisine, Chef Rajesh Kumar, Executive Sous Chef at Claridges New Delhi, said, “Punjabi cuisine has always been an all-time favorite for me. It is rich, full of flavor and offers varieties of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Punjab itself, as a state, is rich in history and culture, so if I had to choose a cuisine to celebrate our Independence Day, I would definitely choose Punjabi cuisine and finish it off with a mithai.
To remember the dawn of a new beginning while indulging in the flavors of freedom, Chef Rajesh shares the Motichoor Laddoo recipe to sweeten the day.
2 cups besan flour/gram
2 tbsp Rava / semolina / suji (fine)
A quarter teaspoon of saffron food coloring
1 and a half glass of water
For the sugar syrup:
1 cup sugar
half a teaspoon of saffron food coloring
half cup of water
A quarter teaspoon of cardamom powder
half a teaspoon of lemon juice
2 tbsp Cashew/Kaju (chopped)
2 tablespoons pistachios (chopped)
Step 1 Prepare the boondi paste: To prepare this traditional Indian candy at home, take a large bowl to add 2 1/2 cups of gram flour, then mix in the orange color and mix well. Then add a little water and a little baking soda. Stir the mixture well and make sure there are no lumps. Once the mixture reaches the perfect consistency, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Step 2 Prepare the boondi: Now heat the ghee in a large deep frying pan. Place a perforated ladle (jhada) on top of the oil and add some of the batter. Slowly drop the boondi dough into the oil and cook over low heat until cooked through. Once done, place the boondi on tissue paper to remove excess oil.
Step 3 Prepare the sugar syrup and mix with the boondis: Then take a saucepan and add water and sugar, let this mixture boil until it reaches a two string consistency. Then add a little cardamom powder and cook. Then add the boondi and cook until the sugar syrup and the boondi are perfectly combined. Cover it with the lid and turn off the heat.
STEP 4Garnish and enjoy! Grease your hands with some ghee and start shaping the laddoos. Place them in an open tray and top them with some crushed nuts and indulge in the goodness.
Chef Prakash Joshi, chef of Colossal Hospitality’s Kynd Cafe
Joshi’s favorite regional dish is Vegetable Seekh Biryani made with carrots, beans, cabbage and a variety of other vegetables, says, “Each vegetable has a different taste and texture and that’s what I love. . There is so much freedom in flavor! Indian cuisine must be given prominence on this Independence Day because of the unanimity of the elements coming together!
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of India’s independence, Chef Prakash shares a vibrant color of Indian flag-like sushi recipe to make at home.
INGREDIENTS I SERVING: 9
Sushi rice 500 g
Japanese vinegar for sushi 50 ml
Nori sheet 15g
Pickle with ginger 500 g
Kikkoman Sauce 250ml
Wash rice at least three times or until water runs clear, fill rice cooker or pot with water to about 1 inch over rice, over high heat, cover and bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-high and boil vigorously for 20 minutes, Reduce heat to low and cook for another 20 minutes, Remove from heat and let stand, still covered, for another 20 minutes, In a small saucepan, slowly heat the Japanese sushi vinegar and sugar until very hot but not boiling. Stir in the “Su” (vinegar and sugar) with the hot rice. Carefully place the rice in a clean bowl, cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Divide rice into three parts, for red rice Combine carrots in processor and blend until smooth, for blanched green spinach in processor and blend until smooth.
On a sushi mat, place a sheet of Noori, Lightly tap the rice on the lower two thirds of the Noori. Sprinkle sesame seeds over the rice, place the avocado and fried tempura flakes over the rice, finish with a few drops of wasabi oil, roll the sushi tightly, moisten the edges to seal and let rest, cut the roll with a damp knife and drizzle with spicy mayonnaise. Serve with soy sauce, pickled ginger, spicy mayonnaise and a small amount of wasabi paste on the side.