PHOTOS: 15 Amazing Manish Mehrotra Recipes As Indian Accent Opens In New York

11/03/2016 8:43 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:26 AM IST
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Courtesy Indian Accent Rohit Chawla

Restauranteur Rohit Khattar’s Indian Accent has been winning accolades since its launch at The Manor in New Delhi for its sophisticated and delectable fusion of classic Indian flavours with global ingredients and techniques. It was recently named India's best restaurant in a list of Asia's best restaurants.

The maestro behind Indian Accent's contemporary menu, chef Manish Mehrotra, has published the Indian Accent Restaurant CookBook ahead of the restaurant's launch in New York and it features some classics that home cooks can try out as well. The book features some terrific pictures by photographer Rohit Chawla.

Here are 15 popular recipes from the book-–a rich mix of appetisers, desserts and main course. Aside from some eye-catching mentions such as the blue cheese naan and mishti doi cannoli, he has included the meetha aachar spare ribs, which will also be featured on the menu in the New York flagship that launched just two days ago.

These recipes from the book are reproduced here with Chef Mehrotra's permission.

  • Arbi Bitterballen, Shallot Kasundi Chutney
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    Arbi, or colacassia, is a very meaty root vegetable. As a child I was never fond of arbi, because if not cooked well, it can result in a very slimy dish. Now I eat it quite frequently and in my house arbi is used to prepare a variety of dishes – arbi cootu, arbi kadhi, arbi vade, or simple grilled arbi with ajwain and other spices. My first encounter with a Belgian bitterballen was in a pub in London. It was love at first bite, and I soon became a frequent customer at the pub, more to eat the bitterballen than to taste the variety of Belgian beers available there. On one such visit, inspiration struck, and I decided to use boiled, mashed arbi to create this dish, particularly for vegetarians who will never be able to taste a real bitterballen. This Indian Accent version tastes quite similar to the non-vegetarian version. Ingredients For bitterballen Arbi 100 gms Ghee 1½ tbsp Ginger-garlic paste ½ tbsp Brown onion paste ½tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder ½ tsp Garam masala powder ½ tsp Green cardamom powder ¼ tsp Mace powder ¼ tsp Cashew nut paste  ½ tbsp Double cream 1 tbsp Tempura batter 2 tbsp Panko breadcrumbs 100 gms Salt to taste Oil for frying For shallot kasundi chutney Mayonnaise 2 tbsp Kasundi (Bengali mustard) 1 tbsp Shallot, chopped 2 tsp Lime juice ½ tsp Salt to taste Method Prepare the bitterballen: Wash arbi carefully, removing all the mud. Boil in hot water with salt. Ensure it is cooked through, though not mushy. Cool, peel and finely grate.Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan. Sauté ginger-garlic paste till golden. Add brown onion paste. Sauté. Add red chilli powder and grated arbi. Sauté on a low flame till arbi is completely mashed and begins to leave the sides of the pan. Add garam masala powder, green cardamom powder, mace powder, cashew nut paste and cream. Adjust seasoning. Remove from heat. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly.When chilled, remove from refrigerator and divide the mixture into eight equal portions. Shape into round dumplings. Dip in tempura batter. Roll in panko breadcrumbs and keep ready. Prepare the chutney: Roughly chop shallots. Mix with kasundi (Bengali mustard), mayonnaise and lime juice. Add salt, if required, as per your taste. Serve: Fry the arbi bitterballen in hot oil till golden brown. Serve hot with shallot kasundi chutney.
  • Baby Idlis, Cashew Coconut Chutney, Madras Gunpowder
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    Idli and chutney is a very traditional South Indian dish. At Indian Accent, the presentation and accompaniments are different from the way the dish is traditionally served. I share my mother-in-law’s recipe for Madras gunpowder. Ingredients For rava idli batter (to make 20 idlis) Semolina 100 gms Yoghurt 5 tbsp Baking powder ½ tsp Salt to taste Water 30 ml Roasted cashew nuts, broken 1 tbsp Butter 1 tsp For tempering idli batter Oil 1 tsp Split urad dal 1 tsp Chana dal 1 tsp Mustard seeds ½ tsp Curry leaves 3-4 nos. For gunpowder Oil 1 tsp Mustard seeds ½ tsp Chana dal ½ tbsp Split urad dal, washed 1 tbsp Rice ½ tsp Dry whole red chilli 1 no. Curry leaves 3-4 nos. Garlic pod, peeled 1 no. Sesame seeds 1 tbsp Fine sugar a pinch Vegetable broth powder 1 tsp Salt to taste For cashew coconut chutney Oil 1 tsp Mustard seeds ¼ tsp Split urad dal ½ tsp Curry leaves 2-3 nos. Coconut milk 50 ml Roasted cashew nuts 1 tsp To serve Salted butter 1 tsp Ginger, chopped ½ tsp Garlic, chopped ½ tsp Green chillies, chopped 1 tsp Roasted cashew nuts 1 tsp Roasted coconut flakes 1 tbsp Coriander, chopped ½ tsp Spring onions, chopped 1 tsp Method Prepare tempering: Heat oil in pan. Add mustard seeds. Allow to crackle. Add chana dal, split urad dal and curry leaves. Sauté briefly. Prepare idli batter: Mix semolina, yoghurt, baking powder, salt and cashew nuts with water in a mixing bowl. Add tempering to the prepared idli batter. Keep aside for 15-20 minutes. Prepare idlis: Coat the idli moulds with the butter. Pour the mixture into the idli moulds and steam for 3-4 minutes till the idlis are cooked through. Keep warm. Prepare gunpowder: Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, chana dal, rice, urad dal, garlic pod, whole red chilli and curry leaves. Sauté for a while. Add sesame seeds, and continue to sauté for 4-5 minutes, or till lentils are browned. Allow to cool and grind to a coarse powder in a blender/mixie. Add a pinch of fine sugar, vegetable broth powder and salt. Mix well. Do be aware though that vegetable broth powder contains ajino moto. Prepare cashew coconut chutney: Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, split urad dal and curry leaves. Allow to crackle. Add coconut milk and roasted cashew nuts. Simmer for a minute. Switch off the heat and allow the mixture to cool. Blend into a tahini consistency chutney. Serve: Heat butter in a pan. Sauté chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies. Add the prepared idlis. Sprinkle the gunpowder. Toss well till all the gunpowder coats the idlis. Add roasted cashew nuts, coconut flakes, chopped coriander and spring onions. Arrange the coated idlis on a plate. Serve hot with cashew coconut chutney on the side.
  • Bharwan Mirch, Chilli Aam Papad Chutney
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    This dish is a take on all the different kinds of mirchi ka pakoras (chilli fritters) made in various parts of India – the Jodhpuri mirchi vada, green chilli bhajiya in Mumbai, or mirapakaya bajji in Hyderabad, to name just a few. Mirch, or chillies, are not native to India. The mirch was brought to India in 1498 by the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama, and barely 30 years later it had permeated our cooking. Today, the world identifies Indian cuisine as “chilli hot”. Indian food though is not about chillies, but spices, used in an unending variety of ways. Ingredients For chutney Black aam papad, finely chopped 1 tbsp Thai sweet chilli sauce 2 tbsp For filling Goat cheese 4 tbsp Red capsicum, finely diced 1 tsp Yellow capsicum, finely diced 1 tsp Mint leaves, chopped ½ tsp Roasted cumin powder ½ tsp White pepper powder to taste For bharwan mirch Green chillies 2 nos. Besan 3 tbsp Ajwain ⅓ tsp Red chilli powder ½ tsp Turmeric powder ⅓ tsp Salt to taste Panko breadcrumbs 250 gms Oil for frying To serve Cucumber, seedless 1 no. Method Prepare chutney: Mix the finely chopped sour, black aam papad with Thai sweet chilli sauce. Prepare filling: Mash goat cheese with finely diced red and yellow capsicum, roasted cumin powder and white pepper powder to prepare the filling. Prepare bharwan mirch: To make this dish, use the larger green chillies. Cut the chillies, along with the stem, length wise, into two pieces. Remove seeds. Blanch the cut chillies in water to remove pungency. Pat dry and keep aside. Stuff the green chillies with the goat cheese filling. Refrigerate so that the mixture hardens a little (but do not refrigerate for more than 30 minutes). In a bowl, add besan, ajwain, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix with water to make a smooth batter. Take the stuffed green chillies out from the refrigerator. Dip them in the prepared batter. Roll in panko breadcrumbs. Dust off excess breadcrumbs. Deep fry in hot oil till golden brown. Serve: Slice the seedless cucumber. Arrange on a plate. Serve hot, crisp panko crusted bharwan mirch with aam papad chutney on the side.
  • Blue Cheese Naan
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    This recipe defines the concept of Indian Accent. It is one of the first recipes we created for the menu, and has become the restaurant’s signature dish. We serve it as soon as diners are seated, and many regular patrons impatiently wait for it to be served. Ingredients Blue cheese 3 tbsp Mozzarella cheese, grated 1 tbsp Oil 1 tsp Onion seeds ½ tsp Coriander leaves, chopped 1 tsp Salted butter 2 tsp Kulcha dough 100 gms Method Prepare stuffing: Crumble blue cheese with hand. Add grated mozzarella cheese. Mix well and keep aside. Prepare naans: Divide dough into 25-30 gm dough balls. Equally divide stuffing into the same number as the number of dough balls. Make a hole in the centre of each ball. Fill with stuffing and reshape into a ball. Apply a little oil over the dough balls to prevent them from drying out. Flatten each dough ball with your hands into a 3-4 cm long irregular shape. Sprinkle onion seeds and chopped coriander on top. Place the naans in a hot tandoor and cook till golden brown. Remove carefully, taking care not to break the naans. Drizzle with butter and serve with cashew coconut chutney.
  • Chutney Lotus Root, Sesame Salt
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    India has created its own school of Chinese cuisine, called “Indian Chinese”; not quite Sichuan or Hunan, but a unique spicy Indian taste to noodles and rice. This is an Indian-Chinese dish served at Indian Accent – lotus root coated in a chutney of tamarind, sweet chilli sauce and spices. Ingredients Lotus root, uncut 150 gms Cornflour 6 tbsp Oil for frying For sauce Thai sweet chili sauce 2 tbsp Tamarind chutney 1 tbsp Garam masala powder ½ tsp Garlic, chopped ½ tsp Ginger, chopped ½ tsp Oil 1 tsp For sesame salt White sesame seeds ½ tsp Black sesame seeds ½ tsp Sea salt ½ tsp To serve Coriander, chopped 1 tsp Chives, chopped 1 tsp Method Fry lotus root: Clean and peel lotus root. Make sure all the holes are free of mud. Slice into 3 mm thin slices using a mandoline slicer. Pat dry. Dust with cornflour. Shake the pieces to dust off excess cornflour. Deep fry in hot oil till golden and crisp. Keep aside. Prepare chutney: Strain the sweet chilli sauce. Heat oil in a pan. Sauté chopped garlic and chopped ginger. Add sweet chilli sauce, tamarind chutney and garam masala powder. Simmer for a minute, or till the mixture becomes a sticky consistency. Keep aside. Prepare sesame salt: Dry roast black and white sesame seeds in a pan along with some sea salt. Crush coarsely in a mortar and pestle. Serve: Take the chutney back to the pan. Allow it to simmer. Add the fried lotus root. Toss well. Add chopped coriander and chives. Place on a platter, and garnish with sesame salt.
  • Dal Moradabadi
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    Lentils are a staple of Indian cuisine, and in no other country are they used in so many ways to make such a variety of dishes – stews, fritters, salads, snacks and this chaat. Made with the humble split moong dal, often derided as the diet for the sick, or elderly, this famous chaat from Moradabad (a small town in northern India) is a favourite of mine. My mother hails from Moradabad, and when we visited my maternal grandparents during vacations, we looked forward to eating Dal Moradabadi, rushing out to buy it from the chaat-wala, ringing his cycle-bell to announce his arrival on our street. At Indian Accent, I temper the boiled dal with a variety of ingredients. As the dish is thick and pasty, it is accompanied with a chur-chur paratha. Ingredients Split moong dal 3 tbsp Turmeric powder ½ tsp Ghee 1 tbsp Cumin seeds ½ tbsp Asafoetida ½ tsp Ginger, chopped 1 tsp Green chillies, chopped ½ tsp Salted butter 1 tbsp Coriander leaves, chopped 1 tsp Cloves 2-3 nos. Black salt ½ tsp Water 300 ml Salt to taste To serve Tamarind chutney 2 tsp Green chutney 1 tsp Onions, chopped 2 tsp Tomatoes, chopped 2 tsp Lime juice ½ tsp Fried moong dal (as garnish) 1 tbsp Bhuknu masala ½ tsp Method Clean and thoroughly wash the dal. Soak for at least 1 hour. Boil the soaked dal with turmeric powder in a heavy bottom pan till it is pasty. Stir continuously as the dal is boiling to avoid it sticking to the bottom of the pan. Heat desi ghee in a heavy bottom pan. Crackle some cumin seeds. Add asafoetida. (Asafoetida, or heeng, is a uniquely Indian spice.) Add chopped ginger and green chillies. Sauté briefly, and add the tempering to the dal. Cover the pan immediately so that the tempering infuses the dal. Add butter and chopped coriander.Pour the hot dal into a serving bowl. Drizzle some tamarind and green chutneys over it. Sprinkle chopped onions and tomatoes. Add a dash of lime juice. Garnish with fried moong dal, chanachur, dal moth, or Bombay mix. Finish with bhuknu masala. A specialty from Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, this is a type of chaat masala with a strong flavour of hing. Bhuknu masala can be substituted with regular chaat masala.
  • Indian Accent Kulfis
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    A variety of sorbets to cool off on a hot summer’s day. Each recipe makes at least four kulfis. Pomegranate Kulfi Ingredients Fresh pomegranate juice 100 ml Anardana churan ½ tsp Castor sugar 10 gms Method In a mixing bowl, add anardana churan, castor sugar and pomegranate juice. Mix well till all the ingredients are well blended in the juice. Pour the mixture into kulfi moulds and freeze overnight. Peach Kulfi Ingredients Fresh peaches 100 gms Apricot marmalade ½ tsp Castor sugar 10 gms Method Peel and chop peaches. Cook chopped peaches, marmalade and sugar in a saucepan on low flame till the sugar melts and the mixture becomes thick. Remove the mixture into a bowl and allow to cool. When cooled, pour into kulfi moulds and freeze overnight. Strawberry Kulfi Ingredients Fresh strawberries 100 gms Castor sugar 20 gms Chaat masala ½ tsp Anardana churan ¼ tsp Method Wash and chop strawberries. Place chopped strawberries and sugar in a saucepan and cook on a low flame till the sugar melts and the strawberries are cooked. Remove the mixture into a bowl and allow to cool. When cool, add chaat masala and anardana churan into the strawberry mixture. Mix well. Pour the mixture into kulfi moulds and freeze overnight. Mango Cranberry Kulfi Ingredients Sliced alphonso mango 150 gms Mango puree 50 gms Dried cranberries 15 gms Lime juice 3 ml Method Finely chop alphonso mango and cranberries. In a mixing bowl, add chopped mango, cranberries, mango puree and lime juice. Blend well. Pour the mixture into kulfi moulds and freeze overnight. Lassi Kulfi Ingredients Hung curd 100 gms Chopped pistachios 15 gms Castor sugar 20 gms Rose water 2-3 drops Cardamom powder a pinch Method Take all ingredients in a mixing bowl and blend well. Pour the mixture into kulfi moulds and freeze overnight.
  • Meetha Aachar Spare Ribs, Sun Dried Mango, Toasted Onion Seeds
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    I’ve always pictured pork spare ribs as a sticky, sweet and juicy dish. This dish raises a toast to my first job as a chef in a South-east Asian restaurant. I have added an Indian twist with a sweet mango pickle sauce, and this dish has become a best-seller at Indian Accent since we started the restaurant. I chose the sweet mango pickle as it is available in almost every Indian housewife’s kitchen all through the year. For this dish, use meaty pork ribs without too much fat. Ingredients For spare ribs Pork spare ribs 200 gms Cornflour 3 tbsp Coconut milk 500 ml For mango pickle sauce Ginger, chopped 2 tsp Garlic, chopped 2 tsp Toasted Onion seeds 1 tsp Fennel seeds ½ tsp Crushed black pepper ½ tsp Sweet mango pickle, chopped 1½ tbsp Red chilli flakes ½ tsp Salt to taste Oil 1 tbsp To serve Lime juice 1 tsp Coriander, chopped 1 tbsp Aam papad, chopped (as garnish) 1 tbsp Method Prepare spare ribs: Boil the whole rack of ribs in very thin coconut milk. This not only adds a rich, sweet taste to the meat, it also helps reduce the fatty smell, which the Indian palette is not very comfortable with. If you prefer, you can boil the rack in water. I prefer not to cut the rack into individual ribs before boiling, as then the meat has a tendency to disintegrate off the bone. When boiled, remove and place the rack in a refrigerator to chill. This will make it easier to cut the ribs, which otherwise may have a tendency to break if cut when hot. When cooled, carve out individual rib pieces. Dust with cornflour and fry till golden brown. Prepare mango pickle sauce: Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Sauté chopped ginger and garlic, onion seeds, fennel seeds, crushed black pepper and the mango pickle. Add a spoon of water to make it a syrupy, textured thick sauce. Add red chilli flakes and adjust seasoning. Serve: Toss the fried ribs in the sauce till all the pieces are well coated. Take off the flame. Add chopped coriander leaves, and a dash of lime juice. Arrange on a platter. Serve garnished with chopped sweet or sour aam papad.
  • Mishti Doi Cannoli, Amaranth Laddoos
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    This recipe is one of my personal favourites. Both mishti doi and amaranth laddoos were a large part of my childhood in Bihar. I loved it when my mother served amaranth laddoos for breakfast. Eating mishit doi till the last spoonful from an earthen pot is a sinful pleasure. This dish can also be made with shrikhand, as both mishti doi and shrikhand are thick, flavoured yoghurt desserts, one from the eastern part and the other from the western part of India, reflecting the wonderful regional variations in Indian cuisine. Ingredients For mishti doi Full cream milk 1 litre Sugar 6 tbsp Jaggery 2 tbsp Yoghurt 2 tbsp For cannoli shells Refined flour 150 gms Jaggery, chopped 1½ tbsp Ghee 2½ tbsp Water 1 tbsp For amaranth laddoos Toffee sauce 2 tsp Popped amaranth seeds 2 tbsp Method Prepare mishti doi: The given ingredients will prepare approximately 500 gms of mishti doi. Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan. When it starts to boil, add half the sugar and all of the jaggery. Allow it to simmer, stirring constantly to avoid the milk sticking to the bottom of the pan. Remove when reduced to half. Take the remaining quantity of sugar in a saucepan. Add 1 tbsp water. Mix well and cook till golden. Remove from heat and add this caramel sugar slowly to the milk. Bring the mixture back on the flame, and simmer for 5 minutes ensuring the caramel is well blended with the milk. Remove and allow to cool till lukewarm.Mix yogurt into the lukewarm caramel milk mixture to set the mishti doi. Transfer to an earthen pot and allow to set. This will take at least 5-6 hours in warm weather. Place 100 gms of the prepared mishti doi in a cloth sieve and hang for 15 minutes to remove excess water. Refrigerate the hung mishti doi to keep chilled. If using shrikhand, you will not need to remove excess water as it is already prepared from hung yoghurt. Prepare cannoli shells: Make a smooth, soft dough using refined flour, chopped jaggery, ghee and water. Rest the dough for 15-20 minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 2 mm thick sheet. Cut discs of 4 cm diameter using a round cutter. Roll each disc around a stainless steel pipe (of ¾ inch diameter). Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180oC, for 8-10 minutes (or until golden brown). Allow to cool on a wire rack. Prepare amaranth laddoos: Mix the popped amaranth seeds and toffee sauce. Prepare a small, round ball (laddoo) with the mixture and keep aside. Serve: Spoon the chilled mishti doi into a piping bag. Pipe the doi into the baked cannoli shells. Arrange on a plate and serve with amaranth laddoos.
  • Pani Puri, Masala Cous-Cous, Five Waters
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    Pani puri, puchka, golgappa, pani ka batasha, gupchup – all names for a very popular street food in India, each with a different name but with one heart. I think the world got the idea of a sphere filled with a liquid centre for molecular gastronomy from this street food of India! As a child, I used to compete with my friends to see who could eat the most puchkas, insisting the puchka-wala make it as chilli hot as possible until our eyes watered. In this variation of the popular street food at Indian Accent, we serve both flour and semolina puchkas with a variety of waters – sour, minty fruity, and yogurt-based – so that diners can make their own combinations. In place of the traditional potato filling, I have experimented with a masala cous-cous filling to add texture to the dish. Ingredients Pani puri (from an Indian grocery store) 10 nos. For mint water Coriander leaves 90 gms Fresh mint leaves 2 tbsp Green chillies 2 nos. Lime juice 1 tbsp Jal jeera powder 2 tsp Ginger, chopped ½ tsp Water 100 ml For tamarind water Cumin seeds ½ tsp Black cardamom 1 Star anise 1 Cloves 1 Tamarind 50 gms Water 150 ml Cinnamon powder a pinch Black salt a pinch Jaggery, chopped 1 tsp For pineapple water Pineapple 100 gms Roasted cumin powder a pinch Ginger, chopped ½ tsp Mint, chopped ½ tsp Green chillies, chopped ½ tsp Pineapple juice 2 tbsp Black salt a pinch For pomegranate water Fresh pomegranate juice 6 tbsp Cinnamon powder a pinch Black salt a pinch Red chilli powder a pinch For yogurt-based water Yogurt 3 tbsp Salt to taste Green chilies, chopped ½ tsp Curry leaves 2 nos. Garlic, chopped ¼ tsp Ginger, chopped ¼ tsp Roasted cumin, powder a pinch For cous-cous filling Cous cous 2 tbsp Water 5 tbsp Chick peas, boiled 1 tbsp Coriander, chopped ½ tsp Chaat masala a pinch Roasted crushed cumin seeds ½ tsp Method Prepare the five waters: Mint water: Wash and clean the mint, coriander and green chillies. Chop finely. Blend with lime juice, jal jeera powder, chopped ginger and water in a blender. Strain prepared water through a muslin cloth. Keep chilled till ready to serve. Tamarind water: Pan roast cumin seeds, black cardamom, star anise and cloves. Soak 50 gms of tamarind in 150 ml of warm water for about 30 minutes. Squeeze out the tamarind pulp. Throw away the seeds, skin and pith. Simmer the tamarind juice with the roasted spices. It the juice begins to thicken, add some water. The tamarind extract should neither be too thin, nor too thick. Add black salt, cinnamon powder and jaggery. Mix well. Strain prepared water through a muslin cloth. Keep chilled till ready to serve. Pineapple water: Clean and peel pineapple. Cut into large chunks. Roast in a hot oven 200oC for 15-20 minutes, till the edges are charred. Muddle with roasted cumin powder, chopped ginger, mint and chopped green chillies. Add pineapple juice and black salt. Strain prepared water through a muslin cloth. Keep chilled till ready to serve. Pomegranate water: Mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Strain prepared water through a muslin cloth. Keep chilled till ready to serve. Yogurt based water: Blend all ingredients together. Strain prepared water through a muslin cloth. Keep chilled till ready to serve. Prepare masala cous-cous filling: Take cous cous in a bowl. Add boiling hot water. Cover it and leave aside. Cous cous will be done in about 30 mins. Mix cooked cous cous, chick peas, chopped coriander, chaat masala and crushed cumin seeds to prepare the filling. Serve: Arrange the pani puris on a plate. Make a hole on the top of each puffed pani puri, and fill with a little masala cous-cous. Pour the chilled waters into 5 separate shot glasses. Serve the filled pani puris with the five waters, allowing the guests to combine the waters, pour it into each pani puri and eat whole.
  • Potato Sphere Chaat, White Peas Mash
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    Chaat is one of the most loved street foods of India. Every Indian has a favourite and feels the best chaat is available in their city. To me, chaat is a perfect dish, combining different ingredients and tastes – salty, sour, sweet, spicy, crunchy – in one mouth-watering delight which satisfies all our senses. Listening to the myriad requests made by customers to a chaat-wala, which are all miraculously (or so it seems) satisfied by him without a mistake, I have realised that the one common request is for the potato patty to be crisp. At Indian Accent, we have replaced the potato patty with a crisp potato sphere,topped with yoghurt and spicy chutneys, to make a delectable starter. Ingredients For potato spheres (4 spheres) Potato (Russet potatoes, or White potatoes) 200 gms Oil For frying For white peas ragda Dry white peas 50 gms Onions, chopped 1 tbsp Tomatoes, chopped 1 tbsp Green chillies, chopped ½ tsp Fresh coriander leaves 1 tsp Lime juice 1 tsp Chaat masala ½ tsp To serve Sweet yoghurt 2 tbsp Green chutney 2 tsp Tamarind chutney 1½ tbsp Chaat masala a pinch Sliced watermelon as garnish Cress, or pea shoots (optional) as garnish Method Soak the white peas for at least 2-3 hours in water. Make white peas ragda: Take the soaked peas in a saucepan. Add water. Boil for 20-30 minutes, or till the peas turn almost completely mushy. Drain excess water, if any. Add onions, tomatoes, green chillies, coriander, lime juice and chaat masala to the boiled peas. Mix well. Adjust seasoning to taste. Make potato spheres: We use potatoes that are have less sugar content so that the potato spheres do not darken when fried. In India, though, it is difficult to find potatoes with low sugar content. Grate the potatoes, not too fine or too thick. Remove excess water by pressing between paper towels. Fill individual, round, fine mesh moulds with the grated potatoes. Heat oil, place the moulds in the oil and deep fry till the sphere is golden brown and turns crisp. You can fry the potato spheres in a deep fat fryer too. Serve: Place the mashed, spiced peas in a single line on a long platter. Place the crisp potato spheres on top. Press the spheres lightly into the mushy peas so that they hold when the platter is carried. Pour yoghurt, green chutney and tamarind chutney on top. Sprinkle chaat masala. Garnish with cress, or pea shoots and a small slice of watermelon. The watermelon helps wash down the palette.
  • Tadka Vegetables, Roasted Sesame Salan
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    The inspiration for this dish again comes from my background in pan Asian cooking. Stir fry vegetables, a common preparation across East Asian cuisine, are a tasty, health way of eating vegetables. In India, vegetables are usually over-cooked, which destroys the natural texture of the vegetable. I must admit that I created this dish for my health-conscious customers, who would invariably request a lighter, non-spicy dish, particularly if they were on a diet! Ingredients For salan Sesame seeds 1 tsp Roasted peanuts 1½ tbsp Coconut, freshly grated 1 tbsp Whole red chillies 1 no. Coriander seeds ½ tsp Cumin seeds ½ tsp Yoghurt 2 tbsp Mustard seeds ½ tsp Curry leaves 5 nos Ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp Baby spinach leaves 100 gms Jaggery 2 tsp Tamarind pulp 2 tsp Salt to taste For tadka vegetables Baby carrots 20 gms Fresh green zucchini batons 20 gms Red bell peppers, diced 20 gms Broccoli florets 20 gms Asparagus tips 20 gms Olive oil 1 tbsp Cumin seeds ½ tsp Ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp Masala gravy 1 tbsp Roasted sesame seeds ½ tsp Chopped coriander 1 tsp Salt to taste To serve Roasted sesame seeds as garnish Greens (fresh cress, pea shoots, lettuce) of your choice as garnish Method Prepare salan: Dry roast sesame seeds, peanuts, coconut, whole red chillies, coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Allow to cool. Add fresh yogurt and blend to a smooth paste. Pass the blended mixture through a sieve. Keep aside.Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Allow to crackle. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté. Add the blended yogurt mixture. Simmer for 4 minutes. Add water if you feel the salan is too thick, or is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add baby spinach leaves. Finish with salt, jaggery and tamarind pulp. Prepare vegetables: While I have listed a number of vegetables, you can prepare this dish with any assortment of vegetables; seasonal vegetables are always the best. It is also a good way of using up small quantities of vegetables left in the crisper, which are not sufficient in quantity to make an individual dish. Clean, cut (in equal/similar size) and blanch all vegetables. Heat oil in a pan. Crackle cumin seeds. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté. Add masala gravy. Add cut vegetables and stir fry till done. Adjust seasoning to taste. Add roasted sesame seeds. Finish with chopped coriander. Serve: Mould the stir fry vegetables in a bowl or shallow platter. Pour the prepared salan on the side. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and greens of your choice.
  • Tamarind Glazed Pork Ribs, Steamed Potato Chilli Salad
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    The meetha achaar spare ribs were inspired from South East Asian cuisine and the flavours were sweet, not smoky. This dish is inspired from western, smoky BBQ ribs with a sticky glaze. What better than a whole rack of ribs with a hint of tamarind accompanied with spicy potatoes? This is a soul-satisfying dish. Ingredients Pork spare ribs A rack of 5-6 ribs For marinade Ginger-garlic paste 2 tsp Garam masala powder ½ tsp Oyster sauce 1 tsp Coconut milk 200 ml Water 500 ml For tamarind sauce glaze Oil 1 tsp Onions, chopped 2 tsp Garlic, chopped ½ tsp Ginger, chopped 1 tsp Tamarind chutney 5 tbsp Tamarind paste 2 tsp Green chilies, chopped ½ tsp Garam masala powder ½ tsp Oyster sauce 1 tsp Crushed black pepper ¼ tsp For chilli potato salad Salted butter 1 tsp Cumin seeds ½ tsp Garlic, chopped ½ tsp Boiled potatoes, diced 3 tbsp Kashmiri red chili powder ½ tsp Salt to taste Chaat masala ½ tsp Lime juice ½ tsp Coriander, chopped ½ tsp Method Cook ribs: Mix ginger-garlic paste, garam masala powder and oyster sauce. Apply the mixture on the whole rack of ribs. Place in a heavy bottom pot. Add coconut milk and water. Boil the full rack. Remove when cooked. Prepare tamarind sauce and glaze ribs: Heat oil in a pan. Sauté chopped onions, garlic, ginger and green chillies. Add tamarind chutney and tamarind paste. Add water, if required. Add garam masala powder, oyster sauce and crushed black pepper. Allow the sauce to simmer for 2-3 minutes on a low flame. Place the rack of ribs in the sauce, while the pan is still on the flame. Ensure the sauce coats the ribs well. There is no need to add salt, as the oyster sauce has sufficient salt. Remove the coated ribs and keep aside to allow the glaze to soak in. Prepare chilli potato salad: Heat butter in a pan. Add cumin seeds and allow to crackle. Sauté chopped garlic till golden. Add boiled, diced potatoes along with red chilli powder, salt and chaat masala. Mix well. Finish with lime juice and coriander. Keep warm. Grill ribs: Remove the ribs from the sauce and place on a hot BBQ grill. When the sauce falls on the hot grill, it will give the ribs a smoky flavour. When you remove the rack, it should have some nice grill marks. Serve: Place the grilled rack of ribs on a plate. Spoon any remaining sauce on the ribs. Serve with potato salad on the side.
  • Warm Doda Barfi Treacle Tart
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    Doda barfi, a sweet with a grainy, fudge-like texture, is not very popular, except during Diwali when it is included in the boxes of sweets that are distributed among friends, colleagues and family. A piece of doda barfi warmed in the microwave with a drizzle of cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream is usually how I eat it. Creating a dessert using doda barfi which would be liked by all was the challenge. Living in London in 2007-08, I was reminded of doda barfi when I ate a Sainsbury’s treacle tart for the first time, and inspiration struck. When customers ask the staff to recommend a dessert, and we offer doda barfi treacle tart, most of them tend to be wary. However, once they taste it, they become converts, making doda barfi treacle tart the highest selling dessert at Indian Accent. Ingredients For tart shell White Butter 5 tbsp Castor Sugar 3½ tbsp Eggs 1 no. Refined flour 150 gms For filling White butter 5 tbsp Golden syrup 280 gms Single cream 2 tbsp Eggs 1 no. Chocolate sponge cake, crumbled 4 tbsp Doda barfi, crumbled 5 tbsp To serve Vanilla ice cream 1 scoop per slice Prepare the tart shells: Cream butter and sugar till soft and smooth. Add the egg. Mix till fluffy. Fold in the flour. Avoid over-mixing. Knead into a soft dough. Chill the dough overnight in the fridge, not freezer. Next morning, the dough should have hardened. Prepare a 9 inch flan/tart mould and line it with the chilled, hardened dough. Blind bake (filling the shells with beans or metal coins to retain the hollow tart shape) in a pre-heated oven at 180oC for 15 minutes until the dough is half baked. Remove the baking weights. Bake for a further 8 minutes until the pastry is light golden brown in colour. Retain the tart shell in the mould. Prepare the filling: Reduce white butter in a saucepan on a low flame till the butter melts and turns light brown in colour. Add golden syrup. Mix well and remove. Stir in cream and eggs. Add crumbled chocolate sponge cake and crumbled doda barfi. Mix well. Bake the tart: Fill the prepared tart shell with the filling and bake the tart in a pre-heated oven at 170oC for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve: Cut the tart into equal slices when cooled to room temperature. Place a slice on a plate and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Wasabi and Cucumber Raita , Pomegranate and Avocado Raita , Pink Peppercorn Raita
    Indian Accent/ Rohit Chawla
    These raitas have been playing musical chairs, on the Indian Accent menu since the restaurant opened, they offer a variety of tastes to the palette. Make the raitas fresh and serve immediately. Use Greek yoghurt preferably. Otherwise, use full fat cream yoghurt. Wasabi and Cucumber Raita: Cucumber and yoghurt are cool and summery tastes. Wasabi adds a pungency different from the pungency of chillies. Cucumber, chopped 50 gms Yoghurt 150 gms Sugar to taste Roasted cumin seeds, pounded ½ tsp Salt to taste Wasabi paste 2 tsp Mint, chopped ½ tsp Clean and de-seed cucumber. Chop into small pieces. Mix yoghurt with sugar, salt and roasted cumin seeds. Adjust seasoning. Add wasabi paste according to taste. The wasabi flavour should not be too strong. Mix in chopped cucumber. Garnish with crushed wasabi peas and chopped mint and serve. Pomegranate and Avocado Raita: Pomegranate gives a crunchy taste in total contrast to the rich, smooth taste of avocado. Yoghurt 150 gms Sugar 4 tsp Roasted cumin seeds, pounded ½ tsp Pomegranate pearls 2 tbsp Avocado, chopped 3 tbsp Salt to taste Mint, chopped ½ tsp In a mixing bowl, mix yoghurt, sugar, pounded cumin seeds and salt. Add chopped avocado and fresh pomegranate pearls. Garnish with chopped mint leaves and serve. Pink Peppercorn Raita: Pink peppercorn, commonly known as Peruvian peppertree, is a berry. It gives a mild sweet flavour to the smooth yoghurt. Yoghurt 150 gms Sugar to taste Roasted cumin seeds, pounded ½ tsp Salt to taste Pink peppercorns 1 tbsp Mint, chopped ½ tsp In a mixing bowl, mix yoghurt, sugar, pounded cumin seeds and salt. Adjust seasoning. Mix in pink peppercorns. Garnish with chopped mint leaves and serve.

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