Double Celebratory News

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Two. That’s the magical number. And it’s not about the two fleshy, Dungenes crabs that the brilliant young chef Srijith Gopinath is holding as we stand by the sun drenched SanFrancisco bay. Its about the two Michelin stars he has received. And here’s the amazing news…he is the only Indian chef in the world to do so. The night before, I tripped out on this soft spoken genius Keralite chef’s original Californian-Indian masterpiece in one of San Francisco’s most prominent century old, award-winning landmarks helmed by the dynamic and charming Ashrafi Matcheswala. Located in Campton Place, the throbbing heart of this beautiful city, everything is a hop step away. I dine at  Café Zoetrope owned by my hero Francis Ford Coppola (Godfather fame)  to the emperor of Peruvian cuisine Gaston Acurio’s La Mar. Luxuriate in the fleshy, shiny juicy cherries in season, dine at the hot new “Progress”, see the iconic play “Beach, blanket Babylon” . Finally, visit Café Buena Vista ( Irish coffee was invented here). We raise an Irish coffee toast to  chef Srijith. Two toasts.

Recipe: Chicken tagine with Dates and Honey

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Chef: Dev Malik

Cuisine: Moroccan

Category: Main Course

Serves: 4-6

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Prepn/Marin: 15 minutes


1 kg. Chicken, boneless

2 tbsp. Olive oil

2 Onions, finely sliced

4 Garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp. Cumin seeds

1 tsp. Ground ginger

1 tsp. Ground turmeric

1 tsp. Ground cinnamon

½ tsp. Chilly powder

¼ tsp. Nutmeg

375 ml Chicken stock

250 ml Water

85gms. Seedless dates, halved

60 ml Honey

80 gms. Blanched almonds, toasted.

1 tbsp. Chopped fresh coriander leaves.

As required Salt


Cut the chicken into strips. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a pan, add chicken in batches, and cook stirring until brown. Drain on absorbent paper.

Heat remaining oil in the same pan, add onions, garlic, cumin seeds and the other spices. Cook stirring until onions are soft.

Return chicken to pan with stock and water. Simmer covered for 10 minutes. Remove lid. Simmer about 10 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly and chicken is tender. Adjust seasoning.

Stir in dates, almonds honey and nuts. Sprinkle with fresh coriander.

Recipe: Chicken Pillows

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Chef: Shashi Mahesh

Cuisine: Continental

Category: Main Course

Serves: 4

Cooking time: 45 minutes                                                                    Prepn/Marin: 20 minutes


4 Boneless chicken breasts

250 gms. Fresh mushrooms, finely chopped

½ Onion, finely chopped

½ Cup Celery, finely chopped

1 ¼ Cup White wine

½ Cup Water

1 tbsp. Parsley, chopped

1 Chicken stock cube

2 tbsp. Curds

As required Salt and pepper

For frying oil


Remove skin from chicken breasts and lightly pound meat to flatten.

Place mushrooms in a frying pan with 1 tbsp. of oil and sauté along with finely chopped onions and celery. Add ¼ cup wine and seasoning. Simmer till liquid has evaporated.

Divide the mixture into four and spread on chicken breasts.Roll carefully and secure with a string. Fry chicken in oil till golden brown on all sides and place in an oven proof dish.

Add remaining wine, parsley, water, stock cube and seasoning to the frying pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the quantity a little and pour over the chicken. Cover and bake in the oven for 40 minutes at 180 C.

Drain liquid from casserole into a sauce pan. Return chicken to oven to keep hot. Boil liquid until reduced to half. Remove from fire and stir in the curd, pour sauce over chicken, garnish with parsley and serve hot.

Recipe: Chicken in Rum with Pineapple

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Chef: Shashi Mahesh

Cuisine: Continental

Category: Main Course

Serves: 6-8

Cooking time: 20 minutes                                                    Prepn/Marin: 5 minutes


1 x8 pieces Chicken

½ Cup Rum

2 tbsp. Lemon juice

½ tsp. Tabasco

As required Salt and pepper

1 tin (large) Pineapple

½ Cup Olive oil

½ Cup Butter

6 cloves Garlic (chopped)


Rub the cut chicken pieces with salt and pepper.

Melt butter and oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces until brown. Then add chopped garlic and fry

till golden. Lower the heat and add l/t cup rum, Tabasco, lemon juice and syrup from

the pineapple tin.

Cook on low heat till the chicken is tender

Before serving add remaining ¼ cup of rum and cook for about 2-3 minutes more.

Serve with glazed pineapple slices

To glaze : Sprin4e with some brown sugar and fry lightly in a little butter.

Chicken Escalopes Stuffed with Peanuts & Spinach Coulis Served with Bacardi Cococream

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Chef: Milind Sovani

Cuisine: Continental

Category: Main Course

Serves: 4

Cooking Time: 15 minutes                                                                     Prepn/Marin: 15 minutes



4                                                                                             Chicken breasts

200ml.                                                                                 Coconut cream

2 bunches                                                                           Spinach

100 gms.                                                                             Peanuts

50 gms.                                                                                Mozzarella cheese

4                                                                                             Jalapeno peppers

60ml.                                                                                    Bacardi Rum


For Seasoning

As required                                                                        Salt and pepper

A pinch of                                                                           Nutmeg powder

3 tbsp.                                                                                  Butter



Take a boneless whole chicken breast with a wing bone. Slit on side to create a pouch for stiffing. Repeat for the rest.

For the Stuffing

Blanch spinach and roughly chop it. Saute the spinach in a little butter. Add peanuts, salf, pepper nutmeg and mix.

Stuff each chicken breast with the stuffing.

Cook these escalopes in a little butter on both sides in a pan.

For the Sauce

Heat butter in pan, add the jalapeno peppers (cut into small cubes), toss. Add rum and reduce.

Add coconut cream, salt and pepper. Finally add grated cheese. This will thicken it. Reduce the sauce till it is creamy.

Place the chicken escalope in the serving platter and pour the sauce towards the tips of every escalope.

Garnish and serve .

Recipe: Chicken Corn and Cheese Souffle

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Chef: Vimla Philips

Cuisine: Continental

Category: Main Course

Serves: 8

Cooking Time: 30 minutes                                                            Prepn/Marin: 15 minutes



150 gms                                                                              Chicken, cooked and diced fine

50 gms.                                                                                Butter

1 ½ tbsp.                                                                             Refined Flour

150 ml                                                                                 Milk

3                                                                                             Eggs

80 gms.                                                                                Cheese, grated

As required                                                                        Salt and pepper

100 gms.                                                                             Corn, boiled in salted water and drained



Melt the butter over a moderate flame. Add flour and cook over low heat till the flour gets a light golden colour, Gradually add milk stining continuously till the sauce thickens.

Separate the egg whites and egg yolks. Beat the yolks one at a time into the sauce.

Stir in the chicken, corn, cheese and season with the salt and pepper.

Whip the egg whites till stiff, and gently fold them into the sauce.

Pour the mixture into a buttered souffl6 dish and bake 375F for 25 to 30 minutes or until well risen and the top is golden brown.

Serve with fresh salad.


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Is this real? Or is it a dream sequence?  Im on my way to Bangkok’s finest Thai restaurant. Time is standing still as I gently glide down the gleaming “River of Kings”. We do so in a beautiful wooden-carved long tail boat. At the other end of the bank an exquisite restaurant and authentic Thai food await me. It is here that I meet the brilliant chef   Uemporn Yuayaipong. Having trained in Saraburi Culinary school, she not only worked in  prestigious restaurants and hotels in Macao, Maldives.  Canada and Washington but also did many a Thai promotion in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, LA and many other cities. The charming Karn Puntuhong, a knowledgable foodie herself helps me by translating the chef’s explanations into English. They offer hands on, worth attending classes in Thai food. And through it all I go through some delicious learning.

CHEF Uemporn Yuayaipong and Karn Puntuhong with the vibrant Thai dips at Sala Rim Naam
CHEF Uemporn Yuayaipong and Karn Puntuhong with the vibrant Thai dips at Sala Rim Naam


Im on a perpetual high on Thai! But what exactly is Thai food? It’s a trifle complicated. For, just like the world considers pizza and pasta to be quintessential Italian food (when actually they are the dishes of the southern region of Campania) and tandoori chicken and naan are perceived as Indian food (when they really belong to Punjab), similarly, much of what we wolf down as Thai food comes from the country’s central region, the area in and around Bangkok. Every region here has its own signature dishes. The food of the rugged, colder and mountainous North (watered by plenty of rivers) are distinct from those of the South. Steamed glutinous rice, local sausages (sai ua, and nham), steamed meat, roasted pork, pork resin, fried pork, fried chick- en and vegetables are some of the Northern staples. The pre- dominant taste is salty, almost to the exclusion of the sweet and sour. The influence of neighbouring Burma is strongly evident.



It is here, that two of my passions come together in a sacred union…Thai food and English literature. And that too in the cacophonic, overcrowded, fascinating, exhausting Bangkok. Right there in this tumultuous city, there is a space which is not just  stunninglybeautiful and gracious but also a cocoon of comfort. Since over 140 years, this gorgeous Mandarin Oriental hotel has retained it’s essentially, stylishly Thai soul. I have been going back again and again past many decades and each time fall even more in love with it. Helmed by the dynamic Amanda Hyndman, it continues to breathe colonial charm and high end luxury. It is here that my most favorite authors, Somerset Maugham and Noël Coward regularly stayed. Suites, where they stayed areeloquent with memory and luxury . Once again, time stands still amid luscious silks and carved teak. I trip out on many of the dining options. I enjoy the classic British High tea, served in the Author’s Lounge (named after the many famous writers who have stayed at the hotel) as much as the Chinese and French specialty restaurants.But it’s the traditional Thai  with it’s tangy sweet-and-sour flavors  that ricochets on my taste buds, that I always make it a point to feast on. It’s the versatile palette of Thai dips that dazzle. I request the chef for the recipes. Here they are…




Versatile dips. Can sparkle your starters and salads and mains. Choice is yours.



Ingredients; for 2

6pc dried big red chili, seedless and soaked /100 gr hard tofu and chopped in small piece / 250g cherry tomato cut in half / 3g salt / 15g light soya sauce / 15g palm sugar

1tsp coriander root, chopped / 1/2tsp galangal, chopped / 1/4cup cooking oil / 10g       lime juice.



Pound dried red chili in the mortar or blander and add galangal and coriander root pound until they are mixing well then sit a side.

Heat a pan and add cooking oil brings the chili in the oil and stir until getting smell good.

And then add cherry tomato, salt, light soy sauce, palm sugar and lime juice, slowly cooked them and add tofu cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove and put in a serving cup. Then serve with fresh vegetables (Chinese cabbage, string bean, lettuce, cucumber etc.)



Cucumber relish

Ingredients; for20

Sweet chili dips

500gr white sugar / 312gr white vinegar / 23gr salt / 200gr Thai big red chili de- seed and blend it.

-mix all ingredients together in the pot and heat them in medium heat, after they are boiled, turn heat to low and continue until color becomes light yellow.

-add chili in and heat in 5 minutes.


Cucumber relish

Ingredients; for2

100gr sweet chili dips / 76gr (1cup) cucumber, sliced / 20gr (¼ cup) ground peanut /

20gr big red chillies, cut into rings / Some coriander leaves.


Combine all ingredients together and serve.


Ingredients; for2

230gr grilled chilis and de-skin / 8gr grilled bird’s eye chili / 40gr light soya sauce /

40gr lime juice / 230gr grilled long eggplant, de-skinned / 10gr syrup.



Crush grilled  chili, bird’s eye chili and grilled long eggplant in the mortar.

Season with light soy sauce, lime juice and syrup

Served with boiled and fresh vegetables.



Ingredients; for 4

200 gr meat of ripe sweet mango / 3gr red small chili / 2gr mint stalk / 20gr lime juice /

To test salt.



Peel sweet mango meat and mixed with red chili, mint stalk, lime juice and put a blender till smooth.

Add salt.


Recipe: Chand Ka Tukada

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Chef: Meher Dasondi

Cuisine: Indian

Category: Main Course

Serves: 4

Cooking Time: 30 minutes Prepn/Marin 1 hour 15 minutes

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Recipe: Chicken Crunchies

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Chef: Vimla Philips

Cuisine: Continental

Category: Starter I Main Course

Serves: 5

Cooking Times: 10 minutes Prepn/Marin 1 hour

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