In the first episode of Raja Rasoi Aur Andaaz Anokha, celebrity chef Ranveer Brar delves into the flavours and essence that come with changing seasons. He gives us an insight into how everything we eat affects our health and overall wellbeing. Over the centuries, numerous fruits and vegetables have not only satiated our appetite but also cooled us down in the scorching heat of summers. Perhaps thats when recipes like Dahi Pakhal, Aloo Poshto and Suran Fry came into existence and helped us cope with climatic conditions. Watch the maverick chef whip up some delectable summer recipes to beat the heat.
Sometimes simple things bring back beautiful memories. And Chef Ranveer Brar has this epiphany while basking in the glory of daybreak. In this episode of Raja Rasoi Aur Andaaz Anokha, he extols the several virtues of modest, comfort food. He recreates Goan Ka Swaad with two delectable, wholesome dishes: Ragi Mudde and Litti Chokha. Hailing from Karnataka, Ragi Mudde is a powerhouse of multi nutrients that can be cooked with only two ingredients including Ragi finger millet flour and water. Famous for its rustic taste, Litti Chokha is a Bihari delicacy where the Littis are balls made of whole wheat flour, stuffed with sattu powder from black chana, herbs and spices, whereas Chokha is a mix of grilled eggplant with chilies, onion tomato, cumin powder, coriander and turmeric powder.
While in exile, the Pandavas were obligated to live incognito for a year. Foodlover at heart, Bheem disguised himself as a chef called Vallabh in the kingdom of Virata during this period. According to one legend, when Vallabh assumed his duties, he didnt know how to cook so he whipped up a dish with an array of available vegetables that came to be known as Avial. In another story, the King of Travancore hosted a great feast but ran out of food and what was hurriedly cooked together became Avial. Chef Ranveer Brar elaborates on these exciting narratives and on stories of the origins of the term ladoo from Mahabharata as he prepares Avial and Bheem Ka Ladoo in this episode of Raja Rasoi Aur Andaaz Anokha.
A dish beloved across the country is the Biryani. And amongst Biryanis one that stands apart is the Lucknowi Biryani. In the fourth episode of Raja Rasoi Aur Andaaz Anokha, Chef Ranveer Brar brings to you two delectable recipes: the first one is the Lucknowi Biryani and another dish that hails from Hyderabad, Haleem. He discloses lesserknown tips to cook an authentic Lucknowi Biryani and speaks of TurkAfghan imprints on Hyderabadi cuisine.
When it comes to planning long journeys, food is an essential part of the itinerary. In the fifth episode of Raja Rasoi Aur Andaaz Anokha, chef Ranveer Brar whips up the perfect travelfriendly meal comprising delicious dishes like Jahaazi Korma, Thekua, Bimbli ka Achaar and Thepla.Just like its name hints at, Jahaazi Korma was a dish invented to meet hunger pangs of Haj pilgrims who set out their journey on a jahaaz ship.Chef Ranveer also narrates some beliefs associated with Thekua, the dish that is prepared during Chhath Puja and as he prepares the Bimbli ka Achaar he elaborates on the preservative qualities of some ingredients like oil, jaggery and black pepper.
The British are now long gone, but they left behind a lasting effect on the Indian cuisine that is evident even today. Particularly reflective in the northern parts of India, you can see a proper blend of the Mughal and British influence on the culinary legacy and trends. In the sixth episode of Raja Rasoi Aur Andaaz Anokha, chef Ranveer Brar brings you two such recipes born in India and inspired by British dishes namely Mutton Ishtu and Ladykeni. He mentions how the former dish is a North Indian colonial dish that derives its name from a cooking process called Ishtu involved in preparing it, which means stewing in English, while Ladykeni is a popular Bengali sweet dish.
Fast foods comprise of the food items that are quick in terms of preparation as well as hunger satiation. When it comes to Indian fast foods, one would find a buffet of region specific fast foods items that have travelled and spread its taste from its origin to other places, throughout the country. Chaat is one such Indian fast food item that brings in the chatpatahat into the Indian cuisine. Chaat in varied forms are available in almost every place in India, but the authentic taste of the actual recipe can be tasted from its place of origin. Chef Ranveer Brar brings on the authentic chatpata recipe from Banaras of Tamatar ki chaat, a perfect blend of potato, tomato, tamarind and spices. Well, its thoughtful that, what were the chaat items prepared before the advent of potatoes into India This is answered by the variety of starchrich yams or tubers, which have been in India since long. Chef Brar prepares one such inherited chaat item, Kachaalu ki chaat, which includes Kachaalu a tuber type found in India. In order to enhance the taste of these chaat items, he also prepares two unique chutneys, Amrood ki chutney and Mooli ki chutney.
Accidents might generally be undesirable, but as far as culinary accidents go, we cant help but grin about some. Chef Ranveer cooks and reveals the story behind two unintentional delicacies from different states of India. To make something exciting from split milk, he gives the predictable paneer a miss, and instead prepares Chenna Poda. A simple yet brilliant dessert from Odisha that was a result of leaving an ingredient forgotten in the tandoor. In a mood to embrace harmless accidents, the chef also confesses his own kitchen accident story. On this Galti Divas, he unfolds the delightful tale of the real inception of Sambhar.
As Chef Ranveer gushes about the sheer scale of Kerala’s cuisine, the Sadhya, a vegetarian Brahmin feast is in order. Originally inspired by the Thaal culture of Gujarat, Ona Sadhya could have as many as 64 items, all served on a plantain leaf. However, the one he creates for us is smaller. He first cooks the vegetable Thoran with its innovative use of coconut. He then demonstrates the Pachadi, a kind of raita one from pineapple and another from the underrated beetroot. For something sweet, he chooses Adai Pradhaman a heavenly combination of coconut, palm jaggery and cardamom. Apart from these dishes, Sambhar, Rasam and Avial are in prep too. Filling and soulsatisfying, the layered recipes of Kerala are true soul food.
Emperors and their oddities, cooks and their kitchen secrets... Chef Ranveer is feeling a little royal. To prepare something shaahi and uncommon, he chooses the Pardaiyen Raan, a recipe which is apparently 2300 years old. Its a dish that was cooked at King Alexanders feast. Chef Ranveer encrusts the mutton leg in a mask or pardah made from salt that he himself fetches from the local salt pans. He then prepares the Murg Musallam, a recipe in which the chicken is cooked as a whole. Its a classic Mughal dish and he confesses the ingredient that makes the Musallam truly authentic. Filled with some believable and some outrageous tales from the Shaahi Dastarkhwaan, we get a taste of meaty stories about Rajas and their Rasois. Chef Ranveer shares the shaahi daawat with Manu Bhai and divulges what actually makes a meal royal.
The land of Goa is blessed with its delicious seafood, spices from its foothills and fruits and vegetables from its plains. Its food has been influenced by diverse local and foreign communities. In this episode, Chef Ranveer forays into recipes from the Goud Saraswat Brahmin community of Goa. He starts by prepping for a Halwa with the nutty and special plantain from Moira itself. Then, he fries the faminefriendly Breadfruit, its slices covered with masala and rice flour. Later, he cooks the deceitfully simple Tonak, a coconut based gravy with some shrimp. Theres also time for the pulpy Goan mango based dish called Saansav. Whats more, he has a special guest to help him cook, Mrs.Sardesai, who has authored a book on traditional Goan recipes.
To reap a jackfruit, Chef Ranveer climbs up a tree With this ancient Indian fruit, he makes Katthal Ka Muzaffar, a sweet rice dish. He whips up a chaat from boiled jackfruit seeds, mint, coriander and spices. Then, using grated raw mango, he makes Kachche Aam Ki Kheer laced with gulab jal. A Pineapple and Prawn Curry Yes, thats what Chef Ranveer makes next. We learn that the use of certain spices and pineapple is common in the Tamilian recipes of India and Sri Lanka. For this dish, he creates the superstar Jaffna curry powder from scratch. An integral part of language, scriptures and kitchens in India, there is more to fruits than just their sweetness. Chef Ranveer finally brings home the possibility of cooking innovatively with raw fruits.
With an uncle who was an Officer in the army, Chef Ranveer had the chance to share meals with soldiers as a child. From the many interesting dishes that he had then, he recreates the phenomenally spicy Andhra style Green Chili Chicken. He also makes a dish that used to be made in the barracks of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Its a creamy potato and shallots soup inspired by the French soup Vichyssoise. Lastly, he makes Chawal ki Pinni. These ladoos used to be made for Sikh soldiers stationed in France fighting for the British Imperial Army. Talking about sepoy meals and the mess culture in Chennai, Chef Ranveer reminds us that be it war or peace, food writes its own kahaani.
The northeast of India is remarkable for its simple, earthy flavours and aspiring way of life. Enthralled by the same, Chef Ranveer visits a Manipuri restaurant in Goa called Meiphung. Manu Bhai is amazed by uncommon ingredients from there like Bhut Jolokia, the spiciest chili in the world, Naga Dal and Devils Eggplant. Chef Ranveer tries his hand at Manipuri cooking with a chicken and bamboo shoot curry, and two salads called Singju and Eromba. With farm to table, sustainability and respect for the earth, the northeast of India sure makes us proud.
A common mans dish which snuggled its way into the royal kitchen of the Nawabs, the Nihari is a mutton stew from Lucknow. As it takes hours to cook, its only fitting that Chef Ranveer is up in the wee hours of the morning to prepare this delicacy. One of the baffling traits of a Nihari is the Nihari masala. Its a mix of 28 spices, each of which is named by Chef Ranveer from memory As dawn finally appears, its time for this Lucknowi breakfast with Manu Bhai. Chef Ranveer also makes a flaky, crispy and soft Ulte Tawe Ka Paratha laced with ghee. Theres even a Kashmiri Chai which funnily has very little to do with Kashmir.
Indian mythology is replete with tales in which food plays an interesting role. With mythologist Devdutt Patnaik as his special guest, Chef Ranveer plans a meal of Vidur Ka Saag, Maach and Bhaat. The saag has an unsuspecting ingredient chopped banana skins Devdutt tells Ranveer about the significance of Vidur ka saag in Mahabharat. Ranveer is suitably impressed. For the maach, its fish with a spread of raw mango and mustard, steamed in a patori style. And theres delicious Gobindobhog rice to go with it. Devdutt Patnaik talks about various gods and the foods they like to eat and how nonvegetarian food is significant for many deities.
Sometimes recipes get lost over time. Almost. Chef Ranveer gets his hands on a 10 year old recipe of Murg Choley, hand written and signed by the chef who created it at a small hole in the wall eatery, at New York. Chef Ranveer also cooks the yummy Mutton Beliram. Its namesake Chef Beliram was a very soughtafter street chef of Lahore but heres a twist he was vegetarian. Manu bhaiya is suitably bewildered and impressed with the taste.
In a mood to eat Shikari food, Chef Ranveer makes a trip into the jungle with Manu Bhai He makes Junglee Maas, a simple royal dish which was innovated in the forest. He speaks of the hunting history of Rajasthan and invader influence on its cooking methods.Like the Bedouin tribes hot stone cooking, Chef Ranveer prepares Patthar ka Gosht on a stone slab with patthar ke phool. Upon seeing all this, Manu Bhai gets nostalgic and breaks into a beautiful rustic song.
Talking about traditional Indian medicine, Chef Ranveer turns our attention to our own backyard, quite literally. In the olden days, food itself was medicine for everything. All we had to do was look in to our kitchens and kitchen gardens and be aware of whats around. With neem leaves from Juliet auntys backyard, Ranveer makes a catfish curry with neem leaves and shares the medicinal properties of catfish and neem. The recipe is from a tribal region in Chattisgarh. He makes sure the dish has enough elements to counterbalance the bitterness of neem. Chef Ranveer also makes an amazing black rice kheer, from a northeastern variety of black rice.
Chef Ranveer is surrounded by an exciting variety of fruits, vegetables and spices on his friends farm. He cant possibly leave without cooking. So there he is, making a pumpkin curry. He is fascinated not just by the versatility of pumpkin but also by the fresh spices he will use in the curry. Fresh kokum, fresh nutmeg, fresh black peppercorns and clove leaves. He roasts some mackerel in galangal and banana leaves and speaks about the tradition of cooking in leaves present throughout Asia. For a salad, he puts together roasted beetroot, cashew apple, star fruit, and kokum juice.
Colva Beach in the south of Goa, with its Portuguese heritage is where traditional fishing families reside. With the very sturdy mackerel, Chef Ranveer prepares Bangda Cutlet, a local delicacy. He smokes the fish with a marinade of local pepper Tirphal. He also cures whitebait fish, cooking it in a hot sand pit. And then talking about the culture of eating dried fish, Chef Ranveer fries dried king fish in coconut oil. With so many cooking techniques and types of fishes, its a feast on the beach.
Chef Ranveer makes Kahwa from Kashmir in the traditional Kashmiri kettle called Samovar. With cinnamon, cardamon, saffron and almonds, the slow teabrewing creates a pahadi ambience. He then makes Yarkhandi Pulaao which came to India through the ancient Silk Route. He also talks of the different teas in the high mountains. Speaking of millets in India, Ranveer makes a Jhangore ki Kheer from barnyard millet, a millet that he came across in a small village in Rishikesh. The Chef also talks about going to the mountains to slow down and truly experience the value of time.
Chef Ranveer is thrilled to be invited for lunch at Chef Urbano Rego’s home. Chef Urbano is popularly known as the pioneer of signature restaurants in India and is a legendary seafood chef. Ranveer bakes toddyfermented bread for the legendary Chef in woodfired oven at a Portuguese bakery or padaria. The two chefs prepare delicious dishes of Portuguese heritage like Caldo Verde soup, Coriander Prawns and Chicken Cafreal.
Manu Bhai is absolutely thrilled as the day of making kebabs is here Chef Ranveer prepares Bihari kebab, a rustic kebab that was very popular in East Bengal during the rule of the Nawab of Murshidabad. He then makes the coarse Chapli kebab, also known as Pishauri kebab which came from Afghanisthan to Peshawar. He deconstructs the lazzat e taam, the mix of 32 spices that are used in the making of the Galouti kebab from Lucknow aromatic, sharp and earthy. He regales us with stories of the origin of the name 39galouti39 kebab and the hierarchy of cooks in the Nawabi kitchen. Chef Ranveer and Manu Bhai set up a kebab stall in the market as he gets nostalgic about Muneer Ustaad.
Chef Ranveer makes Bouillabaisse, a Pondicherry rendition of the French soup Bouillabaise. Its a soup with Indian flavours but with French technique and Chef Ranveer shares the interesting story of how Bouillabaise was invented. The Pouillabaise has in it Toki machli, calamari, red snapper, shrimp, clams, mussels and also some sherry wine. To go with the soup, there is French bread with a spread of rouille. Chef Ranveer also prepares Chả Giò rice paper rolls with a seafood filling. The Chả Giò are a tea snack which came to Pondicherry with Vietnamese merchants. Chef Ranveer makes a quick dip with the rolls.
10 January 2019