‘Cooking with alcohol is fun’

‘Cooking with alcohol is fun’

Chef Santa Bir Rana

I was inspired by my mother’s and grandmother’s cooking as a child. I can’t pinpoint the reasons but the magic they created in the kitchen was just awe-inspiring.

I know I can’t cook as well as they do, but I strive to please people with my creations. My family in Darjeeling used to run an Oriental restaurant and cooking was ingrained in me. I started cooking when I was in school and helped around the restaurant, which is when I realised the joy of making food.

I started off professionally as a waiter at a small place in Goa but moved on to the kitchen and cooking at a shack. Having been in the industry for 13 years now, I have noticed that people like trying new things. I’ve been with Sotally Tober only for a few months but I’m glad that there’s so much room for experimentation and innovation. Bengaluru has a crowd which likes checking out new things. I strongly believe that food, like any other industry, calls for new styles of preparations and mixes. We should try new tastes, and tweaks to traditional recipes are the need of the hour.

I love cooking food with alcohol infused in it. The recipe of #SoTo Jhinga is inspired from another recipe which was ‘Sharabi Jhinga’. In the original recipe, the prawns are cooked with gin, but this recipe is prepared with rum, which is perfect for the season and new tidings.

Happy eating, everyone!

SoTo Jhinga



- Prawns - 200 gms

- Salt - 2 gms

- Ginger garlic paste - gms

- Lemon juice - 5 ml

- Dark rum - 10 ml

- Unsalted butter - 10 gm

- Kebab seasoning - 1 gm


Step 1

Prepare Tandoori red marination

For this you will need:

- Hung curd - 100 gm

- Kashmiri chilli powder - 4 gm

- Ginger garlic paste (equal parts) - 10 gm Garam masala - 1 gm

- Jeera powder - 1 gm

- Star anise - 0.5 gm

- Cooking cream - 10 gm

- Mustard oil - 5 ml

- Kasuri methi - 1 gm

- Mix all ingredients together.

- Rest the mix in refrigerator for 30 mins.

Step 2

Recipe for Kebab masala

- Chaat masala - 5 gm

- Black salt - 2 to 3 gm

- Kashmiri chilli powder - 1 gm

- Kebab chinni - a pinch

- Kasuri Methi powder - a pinch

- Add all ingredients together.

Step 3

- Clean prawns and marinate with ginger garlic paste, salt, lemon juice, Kashmiri chilli powder, 5 ml of dark rum and mustard oil.

- Rest the mix for 30 mins

- Add the red marination into the prawns.

- Rest it for another 15 mins.

- Skewer the prawns in the ‘Tandoori seekh’.

- Cook in a clay oven. ( If cooking at home, use a regular oven at 180 degree celsius).

- Remove from the oven after cooking for 5 to 7 mins depending on how the prawns are cooking.

- Remove from skewer, spray with 5 ml of dark rum and sprinkle kebab masala.

- Serve with Tandoori salad and mint relish.


Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox