For foodies and cooking enthusiasts, here are some recipes by New York-based celebrity Indian chef Vikas Khanna who has just brought out his new book “Flavors First”.
1. Chai-Infused Emperor’s Green Rice
Ingredients: 1 cup of emperor’s green rice, 2 table spoons of unsalted butter, 4 bay leaves, 4 white cloves, 2 three-inch long cinnamon sticks, 6 green cardamom pods, 1 two-inch long fresh ginger (peeled and minced), and one and a half cups of water.
Darjeeling tea bags or strong black tea bags (remove the paper tags), one teaspoonful of salt and half cup finely chopped fresh cilantro will also be required.
Process: Rinse the rice in cold water, drain and then soak for 30 minutes in cold water. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 Farenheit in a medium pot with a lid. Melt butter over medium heat.
Add bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. Stir until fragrant for about two minutes. Add rice and saute for a few minutes until rice and spices are well combined. Add the water, tea bags and salt – bring to a boil, cover with a damp kitchen towel and a lid.
Bake for 12-15 minutes until the liquid evaporates. Remove tea bags carefully without tearing them. Fluff with fork and garnish with cilantro.
2. Masala Honey Cornish Hens
Ingredients: 4 one-pound Cornish hens rinsed well and patted dry, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, juice of 2 lemons, 1/4th cup garam masala, 1/4th cup of lavender powder ground, sprigs for garnish and 1/4th cup olive oil.
Process: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Season the (whole small) hens with salt and set aside for 10 minutes. In a medium mixing bowl, combine honey, soy sauce, lemon juice, garam masala and lavender flowers.
Rub the hens with the marinade. Heat oil over medium high heat and sear the hens from all sides so that the oil enters. Transfer hens in a roasting pan and roast in oven till hens are tender. Insert thermometer in the thigh of hens and wait till it reads 165 degrees F. Arrange on platter and garnish with lavender sprigs.
3. French Breakfast Radishes with Mustard Dressing
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4th tablespoon of cumin seeds, 1/4th tablespoon of black mustard seeds, 1 small red onion minced, 1/4th tablespoon turmeric, 1/2 tablespoon salt, 2 cups of small and sliced French breakfast radishes, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1 cup roasted peanuts, 1 tablespoon of chopped cilantro.
Process: Heat oil in small saucepan with a lid. Add cumin and mustard seeds. Cover and shake the pan till seeds sputter. Add onion, turmeric, salt and cook. Remove from heat and then cool. Use it as dressing. Place radishes in a bowl and add radishes with lemon juice. Serve with peanuts and cilantro.