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Handy recipes from Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal's No Reservations class

When I walk into APB Cook Studio in Andheri East on Gandhi Jayanti, I am convinced that by the end of the No Reservations cooking class that I am previewing, skipping breakfast will be worth it. Started by foodie Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal over a year ago, the studio will conduct a short course on useful tricks and tips to whipping up global menus. The recipe sheets include Quinua Salad, Soy Satay, Pad Thai and Spanish Empanadas. “You’re going to get your hands dirty,” Ghildiyal tells me, with a warm smile as her assistant Minal passes me a black-and green-apron.


Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal guides the writer to saute the onion garlic paste for the soya satay sauce. Pics/Sameer Markande 

“This concept class germinated from the idea of armchair cooking, which basically means dishing out food from all over the world in your kitchen. Earlier, we never got fresh mushrooms, kaffir lime or many of the veggies needed to make a Thai dish. But today, with all ingredients available locally, it makes sense to make your own curry pastes and batter at home,” explains Ghildiyal.

For the preview, many of the ingredients have been kept prepared so that the focus is more on picking up the technique and (hopefully) replicating it back home.

We begin with Soya Satay (see recipes). Guided by Ghildiyal, I pour some oil on to the frying pan and add the onions and garlic. The sizzle is music to the ears. “The point is to have fun. Some people despise chopping vegetables, so when they come to learn a dish here, we keep most of the ingredients chopped and ready in exact proportions so they can concentrate on the cooking,” she says, sharing a tip to soak the satay sticks in water before putting them on the frying pan to prevent them from catching fire.

“Also, one should soak the soya in stock instead of water, as it makes it more flavourful. When we dip something in water, it dilutes the flavour,” she says. As I add the rest of the ingredients and pour some coconut milk into the mixture to thicken it. All the time, Ghildiyal is giving me tips that seem handy in the kitchen.

When we make the Pad Thai, Ghildiyal insists that one should make only two servings at a time. “The wok is all about quick cooking so it should be served fresh. It cannot be reheated. Keep all the ingredients and sauce ready when you are tossing.”

The last dish, the quinua salad, I make looks simple but is bursting with flavours when I try it at the end. Here come another tip: look out for the white rings on the quinua grains when you cook it. It’s a sign to take it off the heat. “Food is all about making what you like. I’ll give you my kitchen secret. I can never follow a recipe. That’s what makes cooking so much fun!” Ghildiyal signs off.

As for my cooking feat goes, we licked the bowls clean. Howzzat!

Today, the studio is conducting an open house session. For information on the World Cuisine Festival and of APB Cook Studio, mail info@apbcookstudio.com or call 42152799.

Quinoa salad

Ingredients
>> 80 g quinoa
>> Juice of two lemons
>> 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
>> 4 tbsp chopped corriander
>> 4 tbsp chopped parsley
>> 4 tbsp chopped mint
>> ½ cup pomegranate arils
>> ½ cup mixed peppers, chopped

Method
>> Cook quinoa by boiling it to double the quantity of salted water or stock for about 10 minutes, until it appears to have sprouted
>> Drain well and tip into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the lemon juice, a splash of the extra virgin olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper
>> Once cool, add the herbs, peppers and pomegranate to the quinoa and chill

Pad Thai noodles

Ingredients for the Sauce
>> 1 ½ cup tamarind pulp
>> ¼ cup palm sugar
>> 1 tsp veg oyster sauce
>> 1 tsp chilli flakes
>> 1 tbsp oil
>> 1 tbsp garlic
>> 1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)

For the Noodles
>> 1 cup dried rice stick noodles
>> 1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
>> 1 tbsp garlic, minced
>> ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
>> ½ cups tofu
>> 1 egg
>> ¼ cup carrots, match sticks
>> A small handful of green onion, chopped diagonal in half- inch segments
>> ¼ cup moong bean sprouts
>> ¼ cup cilantro
>> ¼ cup toasted peanuts, chopped
>> 1 lime wedge

Method
>> For the sauce, heat oil and fry garlic till golden
>> Add chilli flakes, tamarind pulp and palm sugar and cook till it turns thick. Add fish sauce (optional)
>> Boil the noodles for four to five minutes and drain, immediately rinsing with cold water for a few seconds. Noodles should be firmer than Al dente
>> Heat oil in a wok on high, cook tofu and keep aside
>> Add garlic and red onions to the hot pan and stir fry for one minute stirring the mixture
>> Add noodles and stir for one minute and add three to four tablespoons Pad Thai sauce continually stirring noodle mixture until well coated with sauce
>> Add cooked tofu back and fry for two to three minutes
>> Move the noodle mixture to one side of the pan and crack an egg on the other side. Scramble the egg and cook for 30 seconds
>> Add carrots, green onions, and sprouts and cook for one more minute
>> Remove from heat and garnish with remaining raw carrot match sticks, spouts, cilantro, toasted peanuts, and a wedge of lime

Soya Satay

Ingredients for satay
>> 1 tsp brown sugar
>> 1 tsp soya sauce
>> Salt to taste
>> 1 tsp chilli flakes
>> 1 ½ tsp Madras curry powder
>> 1 tsp cumin
>> 1/2 tsp black pepper
>> 1 tsp coriander powder
>> 2 tbsp oil
>> 2 tbsp coconut milk
>> 50 gm soya chunks
>> Satay sticks

For sauce
>> ½ cup onion finely chopped
>> ½ cup garlic finely chopped
>> 1 tbsp ginger finely chopped
>> 1 tbsp lemongrass finely chopped
>> 1 tbsp red thai curry paste or red chilli paste
>> 1 tbsp peanut butter
>> ¼ cup peanut crushed
>> 1-2 tbsp tamarind pulp
>> 2 tbsp jaggery
>> ½ cup coconut milk
>> 1 leaf kaffir lime chopped

For cucumber relish
>> ½ no Cucumber
>> 20g vinegar
>> 30g sugar
>> 5 g salt
>> 5 gm coriander leaves chopped
>> A pinch Thai chilli chopped

Method
>> For the Satay, mix all ingredients together to make a marinade
>> Soak the soya for five minutes in warm water, squeeze out the water and marinate it
>> Arrange on skewer sticks and pan-fry till evenly golden in colour
>> For the sauce, heat oil in a non-stick pan and stir fry the onions and garlic paste till golden brown
>> Add ginger and lemongrass
>> Add red thai curry paste and peanut butter and mix well until combined
>> Add the jaggery and coconut milk and stir it well to dissolve. Add a little water to pan if required. Cook sauce till it thickens
>> Add peanuts, tamarind pulp and kaffir lime
>> For the Cucumber Relish, peel and slice the cucumber in very thin half moon shape
>> Except for chilli and coriander leaves bring the rest to a boil till sugar dissolves and cool down
>> Add chilli, coriander and cucumber 

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