Surkh Tandoori Aloo

Aloo or potato is a perfect addition to most meals. The perfect potato in this case is a baby yellow gold ,they are so creamy and melt in your mouth,which is great considering the spice used here is a blend available in most Indian stores called Kashmiri red chili paste ,it is hot,spicy and delicious. Once again this dish is prepared in a tandoor or placed in an oven to roast.

20 baby Yukon gold potatoes

2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus for deep-frying

1/2 cup plain Greek yoghurt

2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili paste

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/2 tsp roasted ground cumin

4 tablespoons gram flour

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Heat plenty of oil in a pan and deep fry the potatoes till they are half-cooked. Drain on absorbent paper and set aside.

Place the yogurt in a bowl. Add ginger and garlic paste ,chili paste,dry spices,salt lemon juice, oil and gram flour.Mix well.

Add the fried potatoes to the marinade and stir gently. Set aside, refrigerated for about 1 hour.

Thread the potatoes a little apart onto skewers  and roast in a preheated 400*F for 6 to 8 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

Serve hot


Thai vegan green curry

Of all the Thai coconut based curries,Green is my favorite. It is spicy but not explosive as the paste is made with green chilis as opposed to red which  is a really acquired taste. I often buy a can of Maseri brand paste which does not contain any shrimp paste typically contained in store-bought pastes. Any number of vegetables can be added to the curry and it goes surprisingly well with green vegetables such as snow peas,peas or green beans. For protein I often add firm tofu or mock duck. In Thailand the curry is either served alongside Jasmin rice or hot Indian bread called rotis.

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

Serves 4

1 can Green curry paste or 3 tbsp home-made curry paste

2 cups coconut milk

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1/3 cup vegetable stock

1 tbsp palm sugar or brown sugar

2 cups cooked vegetables of your choice,such as green beans,mushrooms,baby corn,snow peas etc

1 block firm tofu, drained,dried and cut into cubes

6 kaffir lime leaves

1/4 cup fresh Asian basil,torn

Heat a wok and add in 2 tbsp of thick coconut cream.Allow the cream to heat and add the curry paste.Cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes,stirring. Add in the rest of the coconut milk, the stock, soy sauce and sugar. Allow to come to a simmer while you add in the torn kaffir lime leaves.Stir well and allow to simmer (DO NOT BOIL) for about 5 minutes.

Gently stir in the vegetables and tofu. Simmer 2 minutes ,more.

Check for seasoning and adjust.

Pour into serving bowl and garnish with basil.Serve with a bowl of steamed Jasmin rice or hot Indian Chapatis.

Salmon in hot bean sauce

This fantastic recipe was taught to me at culinary school years ago and is still one of the most requested dishes both by my family and friends .it has the best combination of flavors but is very Chinese seafood dish I have made. Originally this dish was made with Carp but I switched over to Salmon,a more widely available fish and touted for its great vitamin content. The best point with this dish is it can be under cooked and heated and finished cooking just prior to serving.

Photograph by Ashish Mahtani

2 lb Salmon        1  1/2 tbsp chopped ginger root ( fresh please)

2 tbsp chopped fresh garlic

3 scallions,diced

2 tbsp hot bean sauce ( available in Asian markets)

2 tbsp dry Sherry or Rice wine

1  1/2 cup stock

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tbsp water

2 tsp vinegar

1/2 cup peanut or corn oil ( I use Canola oil)

Clean the fish and pat dry with paper towels. Make 3 cuts on each side of the fish.

Put ginger,garlic and hot bean sauce on a plate.

Combine Sherry or Rice wine, stock , sugar and soy sauce in a cup.

Sprinkle salt on both sides of fish just before frying . heat a wok until hot. Add 5 tbsp of  oil and swirl it around. heat it until very hot. Slide the fish into the oil and fry until golden brown. Turn and brown the other side. Remove the Fish and oil.

Add 3 tbsp fresh oil and heat until hot. Add ginger and stir fry until fragrant. Add the hot bean sauce. Stir fry a few times.

Add the fish, the stock mixture . Bring to a boil. Cover and cook in medium heat for 5 minutes. Turn fish over and cook 5 more minutes or until done. Remove fish to a serving dish.

Restir the cornstarch mixture. Add it to the sauce,stirring all the while until it thickens. Add the vinegar, scallions, stir and pour over the fish.

Thai crab salad with fresh mango

In the summer I am obsessed with freshness,from fruit to seafood. I adore the simple abundance of herbs in my small herb garden,especially the fresh green chilis,cilantro and Thai basil.Wish I could grow tropical fruit such as Lychees and Mangoes but….the market will have to supply those. While away at college,yearning for a home cooked meal,my son,Ashish e mailed me a list of items he would love to eat during his summer home,this crab salad was one of the first requests.It is best to prepare this with the freshest of ingredients,as it is a simple salad and each ingredient contributes to its explosion of taste in your mouth.

Chef Tony Wrigley,Rockfish restaurant,Phuket Thailand

Photograph by Ashish Mahtani

Serves 1

1/2 cup cooked crab meat

1/2 diced mango

2 to 3 sliced Thai chilis

2 green onions,sliced

a few sprigs cilantro,roughly torn

a few Thai basil leaves,roughly torn

1/4 cup ry roasted peanuts

2 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp canola oil

juice of 1 fresh lime

some chili sauce for presentation

Gently toss all ingredients so as not to break the crab meat. Taste to adjust seasonings. Serve.

Easy grilled mint shrimp

These shrimp are as great to look at as to taste.Whenever the weather turns warmer we chose to grill,its easy clean up it the greatest incentive. I typically marinade these shrimp at least 1/2 an hour before grilling but no more than 1 hour.You could use either shelled or unshelled shrimp,but,I always find the shrimp to retain more moisture when grilled shell on.

1  1/2 lb  shell on jumbo shrimp (unshelled shrimp would be about 1  1/4 lb)

1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves

1 to 2 serrano chillis,minced

4 cloves garlic,minced

juice of 1/2 small lime

1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper or white pepper

salt to taste

zest of 1 lime

1/8 cup canola oil.

Combine all ingredients together,except for shrimp, in a food processor to blend well.

Place shrimp in a plastic resealable bag and pour marinade over. Seal bag and gently massage marinade on to shrimp, making sure each piece is coated. Refrigerate for 1/2 hour.

Heat grill to medium hot. Grill shrimp about 2 minutes per side, DO NOT OVER COOK.

Place on serving dish and squeeze lemon or lime  before serving.

Sriracha Asian grill pork tenderloin

Today the weather was picture perfect and we decided to spend time outdoors grilling. As my family loves all types of hot sauce,it was decided to try out a recipe from Bon Apetit magazine featuring the popular hot sauce Sriracha.This sauce is smooth and hot and lends great flavor to just about everything you add it to. I amended the recipe to suit our taste and grilled vegetables alongside as well. I took the balance marinade and cooked it down till slightly thickened,stirred in some butter and finally burbon,just awesome!!!

Recepie adapted from Bon Apetit magazine

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

2 pork tenderloins

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1 to 4 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

2 star Anise pods

1 ” piece ginger,thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic,thinly sliced

4 fresh Kaffir leaves,sliced down the center

1/2 cup cilantro stems,tied together with twine.

1/4 cup Burbon

ground white pepper

Wash and throughly dry pork tenderloins.Set aside.

Mix all ingredients together except the pork.

Place pork in a resealable bag.Pour on half the marinade. Seal the bag and remove any air. Massage pork through sealed bag making sure the pork is well covered with marinade. Place in refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours.

Pour balance marinade in a heavy bottom pan.Turn on flame and cook down sauce till thickened.Off heat and stir in 1 tablespoon of cold butter.Pour into a saucepot.

Preheat grill to 350*F

Grill pork until done.

Remove from grill and tent with foil for 5 minutes allowing the pork to rest.

Place on cutting board and slice thinly. Place on serving dish and drizzle with sauce and fresh cilantro.Serve

“Dali Chicken”

My sons are huge fans of the popular chain PF CHANG. We do not have one close enough to visit and eat there with the frequency they would enjoy,especially to eat their favorite Dali Chicken.Today I tried to replicate the dish and,looks like its as close as its going to get!!! there are a few renditions on the internet,but this,by far comes the closest,at least that’s what the family says!!

Dali Chicken Clone

Photograph by Rahul Mahtani

1  lb chicken breast,thinly sliced

1 yukon gold potato,thinly sliced

2 scallions, sliced

6 to 8 dried chili pods

1 tsp ground, toasted cumin

2 tablespoons chicken stock

2 tablespoons Oyster sauce

1 tablespoon dry sherry

1 tsp grated ginger and garlic

2 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 tablespoons chili garlic paste ( Sambal Oelek)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil for stir frying

Black sesame seeds for ganish (optional)

Mix stock,garlic,ginger,oyster sauce, Sherry, vinegar, Soy sauce and chili garlic paste in a bowl and combine.Set aside.

Heat a wok or saute pan and add oil. Add potatoes and stir fry until  almost cooked. Push aside in pan and add dried chilies. Cook until pods darken slightly .

Add chicken and bring potatoes back into center of pan to stir fry with chicken. Continue to fry on medium high heat. Add in cumin and continue to stir fry until chicken turns opaque and cooked.

Stir in the reserved sauce and stir fry until the sauce fully coats the chicken and potato.

Stir in the scallions or leeks. Off heat.

Serve sprinkle with black sesame seeds (optional)