Showing posts with the label Food

Biryani with a Persian twist

Biryani with a Persian twistAnyone who likes Indian cuisine is familiar with the Biryani. Few know that the word Biryani is derived from the Farsi word "Birian". Some believe that the dish could therefore have originated somewhere in erstwhile Persia.
Today's attempt was to make a biryani with a persian twist, right from the choice of meat to the spices. So, I used mutton and only persian dry spice powder.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 11. December 2016

IngredientsSalt (to taste)Crushed black pepper Persian dry spices1 cup natural/greek yoghurt2 cups of basmati rice500 gm of mutton chops 2 tablespoons of olive oil2 tablespoons of clarified butter (ghee)1 large onion chopped into juliennes10-12 cashew nutsAssorted whole spices - mace, cinnamon sticks, cardamom and star anise InstructionsMarinate the mutton in salt, pepper, persian dry spices and olive oil for 10 minutes.Heat a wok and add the clarified butter.Once the butter is melted, saute the onions. A…

Single Malt infused Burger

Single Malt infused BurgerI have been fascinated with the various barbecue sauces from America. There's a wide variety of them ranging from the Kansas City, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas. Largely, they use similar ingredients with some regional variations. 
I thought of making a variation of the Tennessee sauce by using Single Malt instead of an American bourbon.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 02. January 2016
IngredientsSalt (to taste)Crushed black pepper 2 tablespoon Tabasco sauce200 ml Tomato puree1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (or to taste)2 chicken breasts 2 tablespoons of olive oil1 tablespoon of Apple Cider vinegar1 tablespoon of Soy sauce2 tablespoons of Glenfiddich 12 year single malt 1 finely chopped onion2 burger buns InstructionsHeat the oil in a wok.Saute the onions. Add the salt and pepper. Add the various sauces as you continue to saute the onion.After a few minutes, add the tomato puree.Finally, add the Glenfiddich to the sauce. If you want, …

The People's Chef

Today is the 6th death anniversary of one of the most famous chef's - Keith Floyd. He was a chef, restaurateur, author and businessman. 

It was in the early 1990's that satellite television took off in India. And, one of the first channels to make it's foray was the venerable BBC. Keith Floyd's TV shows like - Floyd on Spain, Floyd on Italy, Floyd on France etc. opened up new cuisines and experiences for the Indian audience.
He was probably one of the first chef's who wanted to spread the joy of food among people. His energy and passion for all things food and cooking was only far too evident. In addition, he expressed an almost childlike enthusiasm for different cultures and experiences.  
So, here's to you Mr. Floyd. May you have a good time wherever you are, with your trademark 'splash and a dash'.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed Bell Peppers Recently Tastemade app was launched on Apple TV. There are some interesting indie chefs and hosts worth watching on Tastemade. Some of the programs reminded me of England. So, this recipe is inspired from typical English ingredients like worcestershire sauce and 'sharp tasting' cheddar cheese.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 09. August 2014

IngredientsRock salt (to taste)Crushed black pepper 1 cup of cooked rice (can be left over)1 tablespoon of port wine1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce (or to taste)2 diced piri piri chicken sausagesHandful of chopped fresh coriander leaves (or mint leaves)1-2 tablespoon of olive oil1 red bell pepper3-4 thin slices of cheddar cheese1 toothpick for presentation! InstructionsSlice the top of a red bell pepper. Scoop out the insides of the pepper.Roast the pepper and the top in a preheated oven at 220C for about 15 minutes. Take the pepper out to cool once the skin starts to blacken.Meanwhile, in a pan, he…

A melange

A melange Sometimes, we get saddled with random vegetables in the kitchen. I had bell peppers, indian cottage cheese and baby corn at my disposal. Here is a paneer jalfreez with all these ingredients.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 17. October 2014

Ingredients1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)1 tablespoon of crushed black pepper 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste2 chopped red onion250 gm diced indian cottage cheese2-3 chopped red chilli1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder1 teaspoon of turmeric1/2 teaspoon coriander powder1/2 tablespoon of garam masala powder1/2 teaspoon asafoetida1 cardamom1 cinnamon4-5 tablespoon of vegetable oil2 chopped bell peppers6 chopped baby corn1 teaspoon cumin seeds InstructionsHeat oil in a pan or a wok.Add asafoetida powder and cumin seeds.Once the oil is hot, add the chopped onions, baby corn and bell pepper. Saute in medium heat for a while.Add all the powders, ginger garlic paste and spices. Continue to saute.Add salt to taste.Add the cottage che…

Beat the Heat

Beat the Heat Summer is marching on this year and leaving behind parched throats. A simple and popular summer cooler is made all over India with yogurt. It's called by various names - "lassi" and "chaas" in the north and "more" in the south.

Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 30 March 2014

Ingredients1 chopped green chillies 1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon mustard seeds3 chopped ginger3 cups natural yogurt1 cup milk InstructionsDry roast the mustard seeds, chopped ginger and green chillies in a pan for a minute.Blend the salt, yogurt and milk.Mix the yogurt with the spices. Serve with ice cubes.

Happy drinking.
Further details Serves 3-4 people. Preparation time is approximately 5 min. Cooking time is approximately 5 min.

Complex tastes

Complex tastes This dish has been inspired by the food from the street vans of the world. Street food often showcases the unique creativity of the vendors. This dish has a complex taste and is a medley of four different dishes.

Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 01. September 2013
Mushroom and beans Ingredients10 whole mushrooms8 - 10 chopped long beans 1 teaspoon salt1 teaspoon crushed black pepper1 teaspoon olive oil InstructionsHeat the oil in a pan.Season the pan with the salt and pepper.Add the mushrooms and beans.Saute the vegetables on a high flame for a few minutes until they begin to brown.
Sausages Ingredients3-4 chopped sausages1 teaspoon crushed black pepper1 chopped coriander InstructionsRoast the sausages in the pan until they are lightly brown.Season them with black pepper and garnish them with the fresh coriander.
Sweet and sour sauce Ingredients2-3 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar2 tablespoon of soya sauce1-2 tablespoon of thai sriracha sauce1-2 tablespoon …

Cups of joy

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well." ~Virginia Woolf
One of the recent trends all over the world has been the popularity of cupcakes.  I suppose people are becoming more health and wallet concious. Added to that is the creativity from the deli and patisserie establishments.
I have found baking always a bit tricky because one doesn't often have a chance to course-correct if there are any mistakes in the cooking. You get to see the results only at the end. So far, my attempts at baking have been hit-and-miss.

So, I thought of giving a bakery class a shot. I went for a weekend class at Spoonful of Sugar in Bangalore.  If you are in Bangalore, you should give this class a go. Chef Yuvna Damani took us through all the steps in making the cupcakes and the icing. All the participants then had to make their own too. We made vanilla, chocolate and red velvet cupcakes with various icing on them. The three rules of baking seem to be - measuremen…

Food for a king

Food for a king The galouti kebabs are known to be first cooked in the kitchens of Awadh royalty. One could say that, they are an indian version of meat patties. They are supposed to be very soft and legend has it that the dish was first created for a 'toothless' nawab in Lucknow.

This recipe is my take on this legendary kebab. They can be had on their own with chutney or as a filling in a burger or kati roll.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 17. February 2013

Ingredients1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)1 tablespoon of crushed black pepper 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste1 chopped red onion3-4 diced cubes of raw pumpkin1 chopped green chilli1 teaspoon red chilli powder1 teaspoon of turmeric1 tablespoon of garam masala powder1 cardamom1 bay leaf1 mace1 teaspoon of fennel3-4 tablespoon of butter or clarified butter500g of chicken mince InstructionsSeason the chicken mince with salt and black pepper and knead it well.Mix the remaining chopped chilli and spices and g…

Savour the time

Savour the time Turin is one of Italy's foremost industrial and cultural centres. Befitting that status, the slow food movement started from this city. Turin recently hosted the international slow food festival.
Today's recipe is a tribute to the slow food movement. As much as the food, it matters that you also savour the time you spend making it. Sambar is a pretty common dish in south India. Here is a variation with some mango in it.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 25. November 2012
Ingredients1 green chilli2 tablespoon vegetable oil1 chopped red onion1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste1 sliced drumstick2 diced small aubergines1 diced raw mango1 diced tomato 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)1 teaspoon of turmeric1 tablespoon of sambar powder1 teaspoon of red chilli powder1 cup of moong daal (split yellow lentil)1 teaspoon of asafoetida1 tablespoon of crushed black pepper  InstructionsSoak the moong daal in two cups of water for 10-15 minutes.Throughout the cookin…

Summer Soup

Summer Soup Usually in the summer months, I prefer light food. Soups fit the bill perfectly. I tried a soup with a fruity twist to it.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 29. July 2012

Ingredients1 green chilli2 tablespoon olive oil1 chopped red onion3 peeled garlic cloves2 diced carrots20 diced pieces of pumpkin3 slices of musk melon1 tablespoon of olive oil with dried basil8 pieces of chopped ginger 1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)1 tablespoon of crushed black pepper 1 peeled and sliced cucumber InstructionsHeat the olive oil in a pan.Sauté the onions, green chilli and garlic for a few minutes.Add the carrots, pumpkin, cucumber and musk melon. Cook them until they are softAdd the salt and black pepper and cook for a few more minutes.Remove the vegetables from the heat and allow it to cool.Blend the vegetables in a food processor. Add water or milk based on the consistency you want. Serve the soup in a bowl.Garnish the soup with the basil infused olive oil and chopped ga…

Banana Spread

Banana Spread Bananas are probably the favourite fruit for most people, I am no exception. I had a few bananas going very ripe, so I had whip up something quickly with them. Here is an easy recipe to make a spread out of bananas.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 12. July 2012

Ingredients2 ripe bananas1 teaspoon cinnamon powder3 peeled cardamoms2 tablespoon honey InstructionsRemove the seeds from the cardamom pod.Add all the ingredients and mash them using a hand blender.Ensure that the mash has a thick spread like consistency.Refrigerate the spread overnight.The spread can be used as a topping for bread, pancakes, cornflakes, oats or ice cream. Happy eating. Further details Serves 3-4 people. Preparation time is approximately 5 min. Cooking time is approximately 5 min.

Frittatas for breakfast

Frittatas If you are looking for an easy breakfast for a Sunday morning, frittatas fit the bill perfectly. It is healthy, filling and easy to make.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 20. May 2012

Ingredients1-2tablespoons olive oil1 chopped garlic1teaspoon pepper1 chopped onion1 diced carrot1 diced potato1 chopped mushroom1 chopped tomato1teaspoon of salt (or to taste)3 eggs1/2 cup milk InstructionsPre-heat the oven to 175 C for 5 minutes.Mix all the vegetables in a baking dish.Add salt, pepper and olive oil and toss all the vegetables.Bake all the vegetables in the oven for 10 minutes.Meanwhile, whisk the egg and milk together.After the vegetables are cooked, pour in the egg and milk mixture into the vegetables.Bake for a further 15 minutes and the frittata should be ready.Happy eating. Further details Serves 3-4 people. Preparation time is approximately 10 min. Cooking time is approximately 25 min.

Chicken Kebabs

Chicken Kebabs Recently, I saw a cooking programme on TV showing street food. I thought, I will try own version of a middle eastern classic - chicken kebabs. It's perfect for a dinner with friends.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.

Published 06. Feb 2012

Ingredients4-6tablespoons olive oil1tablespoon  garlic olive oil1tablespoon chilli infused olive oil4 chicken legs1teaspoon turmeric powder1teaspoon red chilli powder1teaspoon mixed peppercorns1teaspoon cumin powder1teaspoon of garam masala powder1teaspoon of coriander powder1teaspoon of nutmeg powder1teaspoon of coarse black pepper1teaspoon of dried mixed herbs (basil, thyme, rosemary)1-2teaspoon of rock salt (or to taste)1 chopped onion2 chopped garlic cloves1 sliced ginger InstructionsIn a bowl, add the olive oil, garlic olive oil and chilli infused oil.Roll the chicken legs in the bowl and coat it with the oils.Use a mortar and pestle to grind all the spices to a fine powder.Coat the chicken legs with most o…

Okra Fry

Okra Fry Here is the first recipe of this year. It's quite simple and spicy. Normally, I don't use much oil for any of my cooking. For this dish however, oil is the main ingredient. So, be prepared to use plenty.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.

Published 02. Jan 2012

Ingredients8-10tablespoons vegetable oil25sliced okra1teaspoon mustard seeds1pinch of asafoetida powder1teaspoon of turmeric powder1/2teaspoon of garam masala powder1teaspoon of coriander powder1teaspoon of red chilli powder1-2teaspoon of salt (or to taste) InstructionsHeat the 4 tablespoon of oil in a pan.Add the mustard seeds and pinch of  asafoetida powder.Add the sliced okra to the pan and start frying them.Add the turmeric, garam masala, coriander and red chilli powder to the okra.Saute the okra and keep adding the remaining oil.Finally, add the salt.Cook the okra in medium heat for a few minutes until fully cooked.
Serve with naan/chappatis/rice. Happy eating. Further details Serves 2 adul…

Simply Prawns

Simply prawns It's been a while since I made any sea food. I thought a I will try a quick prawn curry. The ingredients are quite basic and somehow they just seem to be good enough for the prawns.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.

Published 01. Dec 2011

Ingredients4tablespoons vegetable oil3sliced green chillies1 teaspoon of ginger and garlic paste
1sliced onion
2 chopped tomatoes1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder1 teaspoon of chilli powder300 gm prawns1-2teaspoon of salt (or to taste) InstructionsHeat the oil in pan.Add green chillies, onions and saute them.Once the onions are golden brown, add the ginger garlic paste.Add the tomatoes to the pan.Add the turmeric and chilli powder to the pan.Keep frying the ingredients until they become like a paste. Add more oil if required.Add the prawns and reduce the heat.Cook the prawn in medium heat for a few minutes.
Serve with naan/chappatis/dosa/appams. Happy eating. Further details Serves 2 adults.

A simple vegetarian curry

A simple curry Here is a simple curry recipe for the busy week days.
There are no particular vegetables or ingredients that you need for this recipe, just put together any set of vegetables or spices that you may have.

Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.

Published 27. Nov 2011

Ingredients2diced potatoes
2diced carrots1 cup of green peas1 sliced green beans2sliced green chillies1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste
1sliced onion
4tablespoon vegetable oil
1handful of coriander leaves
1 clove
1 cardamom
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder1cup of fresh single cream
1-2teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
InstructionsHeat the oil in pan.Add cumin seeds, green chillies and onions and saute them.Once the onions are golden brown, add the ginger garlic paste and the remaining spices.Add the turmeric and chilli powder to the pan.Add all the vegetables and cook until they are soft. Add a few table spoons of water, if required.Lastly, stir in the single …

A simple dish from God's Own Country

Vegetable stew The vegetable stew from Kerala, God's Own Country is a versatile dish. It can be used as a side dish for chappatis or dosa / appam. It is quite easy to make. And as all stews go, it is very filling and satisfying after a long day of work.
Other vegetables that go well in this dish are cauliflower and carrots. For those interested in meat, chicken or lamb can be substituted instead

Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.

Published 07. May 2011

Ingredients2diced potatoes
2sliced green chillies
4strips of ginger
1sliced onion
4tablespoon vegetable oil
1handful of curry leaves
1 clove
1 cardamom
1cup of peas
1cup of coconut milk
1-2teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
InstructionsDice the potatoes and cook them until they are soft. This can be done quickly in the microwave.Heat the oil in pan.Add onions, ginger, curry leaves, clove and cardamom. The clove and cardamom help flavour the oil.Saute the onions until they are golden brown.Now add the potatos and cook them until they are mashed.…

Fancy lunch

Pan fried sea bass This weekend I had orders from my wife to cook something different. So, off I went looking for all the ingredients we had at home. This dish is mish-mash of different items. This recipe also happens to be the first one where I have used hrecipe tags.
Contributed by Rajan Manickavasagam.
Published 20. Mar 2011

Ingredients2 potatoes
1 egg
50grammes of bread crumbs
1spoonful of oregano
1spoonful of thyme
1spoonful of basil
3 bell peppers
1cup of diced carrots
1cup of peas
7-8spoonful of olive oil
2slices of sea bass
2-3spoonful of salt
2-3spoonful of pepper
You can use some Mayonnaise or Tartar sauce as well.
InstructionsBoil and slice potatoes.Dip the potatoes in egg and then bread crumbs.Fry the potatoes in olive oil for a few minutes.Slice the bell peppers.Coat them in olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over them.Roast the bell peppers in the oven at 160C.Add water to carrots and peas.Boil the carrots and peas until they are soft.Coat the sea bass in salt and pepper.H…

A dual dish

Here is a salad my wife and I made. It serves a dual purpose, as a side dish during lunch or dinner and you can use it the following day for breakfast with slices of bread.

You can use any vegetable you want. Ensure that you slice them thin or dice them small.


1. Chopped lettuce - 5-6 leaves

2. Diced baby tomatoes - 6

3. Sliced avocado - 1

4. Diced broccoli - 1

5. Sliced cheddar cheese - 5-6

7. Mustard sauce - 1 teaspoon

8. Salt - 1 teaspoon (or to taste)

9. Pepper - 1 tablespoon (or to taste)

10. Mayonnaise - 1-2 tablespoon


1. Steam or roast all the vegetables until they are cooked.

2. Mix the mayonnaise and mustard sauces.

3. In a bowl, add all the vegetables and add the salt and pepper. Toss in the vegetables together.

4. Mix the sauces with the vegetables.

Tip: As a variation, feel free to add some other vegetable like - baby corn, mushrooms or carrots. For meat lovers, instead of vegetables, try adding boiled egg, chicken, lamb or prawn. You can add other se…