Rediff.com
Print this article

What Vikas Khanna cooked for NaMo

Last updated on: October 07, 2015 14:25 IST

Master Chef Vikas Khanna served a seven-course, 26 dish, meal for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dinner for Fortune 500 CEOs in New York.

His recipes, exclusively on Rediff.com

At the Fortune 500 dinner hosted in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's honour at the Waldorf Astoria hostel, Master Chef Vikas Khanna -- who has won a Michelin Star five times, the latest on September 30 -- conceived a delicious seven-course meal.

There were 26 dishes on the menu, each representing a festival in India, presented in a way that delighted both Modi and his guests.

Presenting the top recipes from Vikas Khanna's kitchen:

Shigmoutsav Sol Kadi and Pongal Coconut Chutney Mousse 

Shigmoutsav Sol Kadi

Photograph: Courtesy Chef Vikas Khanna

All along the Konkan coast you will encounter some form of Sol Kadi -- a smooth pinkish-mauve liquid with a complexity of flavours that dance on the tongue: The sourness of kokum, the silky sweetness of the coconut milk and then a burst of spice that surprises and delights all at once.

Served in a glass or in a small bowl with your meal it is both aperitif and curry, depending on whether you want to whet your appetite with its cool tang or pour it over steamed rice.

Kokum is the dried rind or peel of a purplish red fruit (Garcinia Indica) in the mangosteen family.

The sour pulp of the fruit is eaten with salt, but it is prized for its rind, which is dried in small petal shapes to add as a souring agent in curries and vegetables dishes.

Kadi, or Sol Kadi, as it is known outside Goa, has many regional variants: Green chillies, fresh coriander and garlic may be added, or it may be seasoned with fried mustard or cumin seeds; it may also be served chilled, warm or at room temperature.

The coconut chutney here is the basic recipe, which can accompany any South Indian snack.

It contains no peanuts, just grated coconut and spices.

Coconut Chutneys can be as dry and firm or as runny as you like.

Most Indian homes have a special coconut grater that extracts the coconut flesh from a coconut half in neat curls.

Table-top graters have replaced the traditional metal ones fitted into wooden planks or benches, with the grater at the end of a long curved arm that also doubles up as a sharp knife for cutting vegetables and fish!

South Indian chutneys usually call for a final burst of flavour and texture that is provided by spices tempered in oil, as does this one. You can also add a few split black lentils or split chickpeas to the seasoning for added crunch.

Ingredients

For Sol Kadi

For Coconut Chutney

Method

For Sol Kadi

For coconut chutney

To assemble

Cheti Chand Papad Subzi Crisp

Papads or poppadoms are an integral part of Sindhi cuisine.

A meal without the lentil crisp would be inconceivable in a Sindhi household.

Papads are made in a range of sizes from small cocktail bites to large crisp platters, and flavours from garlic to pepper and mixed spices.

While most papads are made of a single lentil or a combination of lentils, a variety of rice papad called Kheecha is a particular Sindhi favourite.

Papads are eaten with breakfast lunch and dinner and for many Sindhis a meal begins and ends with papad.

Not only are they eaten on their own or as a snack, papads are also crushed into salads, and soaked in curries adding their flavour and texture to the dish.

So central are papads to a Sindhi way of life that guests are welcomed into a Sindhi home with a glass of water and a crisp roasted papad.

Ingredients

Method

Kolhapur Smoked Chilli Pearls

Ingredients

Dry elements

Powders

Oil Bath
1 cup of oil

Method

Onam Beetroot Poriyal

Onam Beetroot Poriyal

Photograph: Courtesy Chef Vikas Khanna

The parade of spiced vegetables during a sadhya continues with one delectable dish following the other. One of the courses is Thoran.

Thorans or Upperis are vegetables that are stir-fried or steamed with spices and coconut and belong to the same family of dishes as the Poriyals of Tamil Nadu and Foogaths of Goa.

The traditional method of softening the vegetables is to cook them in their own steam without water, by covering the pan with a deep lid with some water in it.

The steam generated by cooking condenses when it hits the lid and falls right back in allowing the vegetable to cook without any additional water.

The vegetables are then stir-fried with coconut until all the water has evaporated.

The idea is to keep the vegetables as crunchy and fresh as possible. Any vegetable can be cooked as a Thoran, including leafy greens.

Ingredients

Method

Baisakhi Paneer Tikka

Paneer Tikka

Photograph: s4's world/Creative Commons

Tandoors do more than grill chicken and bake bread.

A host of other foods are grilled to smoky perfection in the cavernous clay ovens.

Tikkas are cubes of meat, seafood or vegetable that are marinated in spices and fried or grilled.

Usually served as an appetizer or snack, these small bites are popular in Punjab.

The marinade for these Cottage Cheese Tikkas is similar to that used for Tandoori Chicken, which is why Paneer Tikka is considered to be a vegetarian Chicken Tikka.

Baisakhi is the perfect occasion to serve these Tikkas, as Sikhs and Punjabis maintain a strictly vegetarian diet for the major part of the day.

Ingredients

Method

Rosh Hashanah Ginger infused Pumpkin Mousse

Ingredients

Method

Vikas Khanna