March 18, 2014

Sachin Style Dinner Menu

I am not the right person to write about Sachin as I am not a big Cricket fan, but I can definitely write about food, even if it happens to be Sachin's favorite menu. I recently read an article on Chef Girish and his 'Sachin Style Menu', I could not just ignore it as I have two Sachin fans at home who also happen to be big foodies :-). I made the full menu for a recent get-together and here are the recipes with my tweaks. I have to say that if these are really Sachin's favorites, he is in fact a simple man on and off the field. He must be pretty healthy too, looking at these simple, no-nonsense dishes which are mostly vegetarian and are made with an array of vegetables. There are a couple of non-vegetarian dishes too. Please note that Quick'n'Healthy only recommends buying and consuming organic free range chicken, organic dairy products and sustainable seafood, all in moderation.

Btw, here is what the Sachin fans at home wrote as tribute to him on his retirement:

Now back to the food, here is the menu...


Spinach Rice:



Ingredients: 
  • Rice - 2 Cups (I used organic Jasmine white rice)
  • Small red onion - 1 (chopped fine)
  • Spinach - 1/2 lb (I use 1/2 a box of organic spinach from Costco)
  • Virgin coconut oil - 2 Tbs
  • Cloves - 4-5
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
  • Whole black pepper corns - 15-20
  • Cardamom - 4-5 
  • Sea salt - as per taste
Directions:
  • Cook rice with 3 1/2 cups of water and enough salt (I use pressure cooker to cook rice) 
  • Grind the spices to a coarse powder using a coffee/spice grinder.
  • Heat coconut oil on medium heat and sauté onion till slightly pink.
  • Add the spices and mix well.
  • Add chopped spinach, and stir till the leaves are just wilted. (you can sprinkle some extra salt here if the rice is not salty enough) 
  • Add the rice and mix well and remove from flame. 
  • Serve warm. Enjoy! 


Bhindi Sabzi (Okra in spicy tomato gravy) 


Ingredients:
  • Okra - 1 lb
  • Virgin coconut oil - 2 Tbs.
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp 
  • Asaphoetida - a pinch
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Red onion - 1 medium 
  • Tomato - 2 medium
  • Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder -  1 tsp
  • Amchur (dried mando powder) - 1/4 tsp (see notes) 
  • Coriander leaves - 2 stems 
  • Sea salt  as per taste 
Directions:
  • Wash and trim tips from okra and cut each into 3-4 pieces.  Chop onion and tomato. 
  • Heat coconut oil on medium heat and add cumin seeds. 
  • When cumin seeds are slightly brown, add asaphoetida and turmeric and mix well.
  • Add chopped onion and sauté till slightly golden. 
  • Add cut okra and chopped tomato, add all the spices and stir well.
  • Cook covered for 5 minutes till okra is cooked half way thru.
  • Remove the cover, add salt and continue cooking stirring frequently till okra is done well and there is not a lot of moisture remaining. Take care not to overcook or break the okra pieces. 
  • Serve warm, enjoy!!


Churakka Sabzi (Bottle-gourd/Lauki in mild tomato sauce)



Ingredients:
  • Churakka/Lauki/Bottle-gourd - 1 (medium)
  • Tomato - 2 
  • Green chilly - 2-3
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Asaphoetida (hing/kayam) - a pinch
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Virgin coconut oil - 1 Tbs
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup (chopped)

Directions:
  • Wash and peel and the bottle gourd and dice into small cubes.
  • Chop tomatoes really fine. Chop green chillies. 
  • Heat coconut oil on medium heat and add cumin seeds. 
  • When cumin seeds are roasted, add turmeric, asaphoetida and green chilly an stir well.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and diced bottle gourd and stir well.
  • Cook covered for 10-15 minutes till bottle gourd is cooked well. Stir frequently to make sure it does not burn. 
  • Once the bottle gourd is almost done well, add salt. Continue till it is cooked well.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve warm.
  • Enjoy!

Green Chicken:



Ingredients:
  • Organic chicken - 1 lb
  • Coriander leaves - 1/2 of a medium bunch
  • Garlic - 3-4 cloves 
  • Red pearl onions - 3-4 
  • Green chilly - 2-3
  • Virgin coconut oil - 1 Tbs
  • Homemade organic yogurt - 1 Tbs.
  • Black pepper powder - 1/2 tsp (see notes*)
  • Garam masala - 1/2 tsp (see notes*) 
  • Fennel powder - 1/4 tsp (see notes*)
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp 
  • Sea salt - as per taste
Directions:
  • Wash and cut chicken into bite sized pieces. 
  • Grind coriander leaves, pearl onions, garlic, ginger and green chillies into a fine paste.
  • Heat coconut oil on medium heat and add the ground paste. Sauté till the raw smell of onion and spices go away, for about 5-10 minutes. 
  • Add chicken and yogurt and stir to coat the chicken with the paste well. 
  • Add the spices (see notes*), turmeric & salt and cook covered for 10-15 minutes till the chicken is cooked well.
  • Continue to cook without cover till required consistency is reached. 
  • Serve warm, enjoy!! 


* Garam masala: 
I don't buy or store pre-made garam masala or spice powders. Depending on the dish that I am making, I use a variation of spices and make my own spice mixes freshly, using my coffee/spice grinder. For this one above, I made a masala powder using 1/2 tsp of fennel, a small stick of cinnamon, 3 cardamom, 3 cloves and 1/2 tsp of black pepper.


Baingan Bharta (Grilled eggplant in a spicy, tangy gravy) 



Ingredients:
  • Italian eggplant - 2 small 
  • Virgin coconut oil - 1 Tbs + 1/2 tsp for the grill. 
  • Red onion - 1 big or 2 small 
  • Fresh ginger - 1 inch 
  • Green chilly - 1-2 
  • Tomato - 1 
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp 
  • Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Amchur (dried mango powder) - 1/4 tsp
  • Sea salt  as per taste
  • Coriander leaves - 2 Tbs (chopped) 
  • Cumin powder - a pinch (optional)
Directions:
  • Smear eggplant with 1/2 a tsp of coconut oil and prick on all sides with a fork. Switch on toaster oven at broil temperature and broil eggplant for 25-30 minutes. 
  • Once it is cooled down, remove the charred skin and dice into small chunks. 
  • Chop onion, tomato, green chilly and ginger very fine. 
  • Heat coconut oil on medium heat and add chopped onion and sauté till slightly golden. 
  • Add ginger, green chilly and tomato stirring continuously. Sauté till tomato is mashed well and most of moisture is absorbed. 
  • Add eggplant and stir well to coat everything well. 
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and optionally with a pinch of freshly ground cumin seeds. 

Palak Paneer (Cottage cheese in spinach gravy): 



Ingredients:
  • Spinach - 1/2 lb (I use the 1/2 a box of organic spinach from Costco)
  • Homemade organic paneer ~ 1 cup (cut into 1 inch squares)
  • Virgin coconut oil - 2 Tbs.
  • Ginger - 1 inch piece - minced
  • Garlic - 2 cloves - minced
  • Small red onion - 1 (chopped fine)
  • Green chilly - 1 (chopped) 
  • Tomato - 1 chopped
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala - 1/4 tsp (optional - see notes) 
  • Sea salt - as per taste
Directions:
  • Heat 1/2 of the coconut oil in a pan on low medium heat. Add the paneer squares along with a pinch of turmeric and salt. Roast for a minute or so, flip them without breaking the paneer and roast on the other side for a minute or so too. Remove and set aside.
  • Wilt spinach in a pan with 2 Tbs of water, once it cools down purée and set aside.
  • Heat coconut oil on medium heat and roast minced ginger and garlic. Add onion to the mix and sauté till slightly brown. 
  • Add tomato and green chilly and sauté till all tomato is mashed well and liquid is absorbed.
  • Add all the spice powders and salt. 
  • Add pureed spinach and turmeric powder and salt. 
  • Simmer for a few minutes on low heat, adjust salt level if needed. Optionally add a tablespoon of lemon juice at this point. 
  • Dip the paneer squares without breaking them. Remove from flame and keep covered for about 30 minutes before serving.
  • Serve warm, enjoy!

* Garam masala: 
I don't buy or store pre-made garam masala or spice powders. Depending on the dish that I am making, I use a variation of spices and make my own spice mixes freshly, using my coffee/spice grinder. For this one above, I made a masala powder using a small stick of cinnamon, 2 cardamoms & 2 cloves



Marathi Prawns Curry:

(Though the original recipe calls for prawns, I make this with shrimp, lobster tails or scallops)



Ingredients:
  • Shrimp/Lobster tails -  1 lb
  • Masala paste - 1 batch (see below) 
  • Virgin coconut oil - 1 Tbs.
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Red onion - 1/4 cup - chopped fine
  • Garlic - 2 cloves - chopped fine
  • Ginger - 1 inch piece - chopped fine
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Sea salt - as per taste
  • Tamarind - walnut sized ball (soaked in 1/4 cup of water)
Directions:
  • Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they pop, add onion, ginger and garlic and sauté for a few minutes till the onion if slightly brown. 
  • Add the ground masala paste along with turmeric powder, salt and 2 cups of water. (add more or less water depending on the desired thickness of gravy) 
  • Let it simmer for a few minutes, then add the shrimp.
  • Once shrimp is cooked, add the tamarind juice and simmer for a couple of more minutes. 
  • Remove from flame and keep it covered for about 30 minutes before serving.
  • Serve warm, enjoy! 
Masala paste: 
  • Shredded coconut - 1 cup 
  • Red chilly - 4-5
  • Coriander seeds - 2 Tbs
  • Garlic - 3 cloves
  • Green chilly - 1
  • Coriander leaves - 2 stems
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Grind everything to a fine paste. 

Mixed Dal Payasam (Channa dal-moong dal payasam)



Ingredients:
  • Channa dal - 1/4 cup (preferably soaked overnight)
  • Moong dal - 1/4 cup  (preferably soaked overnight)
  • Coconut palm sugar - 3/4 cup 
  • Fresh ginger grated - 2 tsp (adjust according to preference) 
  • Himalayan salt - a pinch
  • Homemade coconut cream- 1/2 cup (see notes) 
  • Homemade coconut milk - 2 1/2 cups (see notes) 
  • Homemade light coconut milk  - 2 cups (see notes) 
  • Cardamom - 8-10 pods (skinned and powdered)
  • Pure organic ghee - 1 Tbs
  • Fresh coconut slices  - 2 Tbs (chopped very thin)

Directions:
  • Drain and cook dals with 1 cup of water (use pressure cooker or a saucepan).
  • In a heavy bottom deep pan, add cooked dals and coconut sugar along with finely grated ginger and Himalayan salt.
  • Cook on medium heat stirring frequently till sugar is melted well, for about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add light coconut milk and simmer on medium heat till the liquid is reduced to half, for about 20-25 minutes. 
  • Add coconut milk and simmer on medium heat till the liquid is reduced to half, for about 20-25 minutes. 
  • Switch off and add cardamom powder and coconut cream. 
  • Heat ghee in a pan and fry the coconut slices till they are golden brown. Garnish this over the payasam. 
  • Let if stand on warm stove top for 30 minutes or so. 
  • Serve warm or refrigerate and serve chilled as per preference. Our family prefers warm payasam :-) 


Notes for coconut milk and cream: 
  • I make my coconut milk with organic dried shredded coconut.
  • Get coconut milk recipe here.
  • For this recipe I make coconut milk in 2 batches, one batch I use as is.  
  • Second batch is made earlier and kept refrigerated so that cream separated on top.
  • You can remove cream from top using a spoon and remaining will be your light coconut milk.




Recipes are adapted from the article 'Sachin Style Virunnorukkam' featured in Malayalm Magazine Vanitha

PS: I came across this article where Foodie Sachin Tendulkar talks about his love for food

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