Getting taste of veggies is challenging, says chef

Getting taste of veggies is challenging, says chef

I started cooking at a very young age. We are three brothers and our mother raised us in a way that we did our household works ourselves. I was in-charge of cooking while my brother did other chores. My journey with the culinary world started from there. 

After high school, I thought of changing my passion into my profession. I went ahead and enrolled myself in a hotel management school in Kolkata. In 2010, I was recruited as the management trainee by The Raintree Hotel in Chennai and was put in all major departments of the kitchen like Chinese, Continental, European and North Indian. This was a stepping stone for me in the industry. 

I have worked under many chefs in the last nine years of my career and I have learnt something from each one of them. I will always treasure what they have taught me. 

Today, I am a multi-cuisine chef. My expertise lies in North Indian, Continental and European food. Apart from which, I also specialise in the frontier cuisines of India like Awadhi, Kashmiri and Rampuri. 

I like preparing vegetarian food as meat is easy to make but to get the taste out of vegetables is challenging. To get the best taste of vegetables, it is important to balance the flavours of the veggies and the masalas you are using. 

I like fresh, locally sourced ingredients as they bring out a burst of nutrition and exciting flavours in a dish.  

Talking about vegetables, I have a unique fondness for potatoes. It is the most versatile vegetable that our mothers fed us as kids. It also plays an integral part of the Bengali cuisine. Since I grew up in Kolkata, it has become a part of my diet too. One can create innovative dishes out of it. 

Today I am sharing the recipe of one of my favourite potato dish, ‘Bharwa Aloo Patohar’. It is a popular dish in the Patohar region which is now a part of Punjab province in Pakistan. It is a low-lying area and has the most tasty potatoes. It is dominated by Pathans and they have curved out this tandoori recipe.  I have followed the same recipe from the time I have started making this dish when I first came to the industry. For me, it is a classic. 

Recipe: Bharwan Aloo Patohar

(Serves three people)


Bharwan Aloo Patohar

Ingredients

- Potatoes 3 medium 

- Green zucchini (chopped) 100 gm 

- Yellow zucchini (chopped) 100 gm

- Carrot (chopped) 50 gm

- Ginger and garlic (Finely chopped) 2 tbsp

- Green chilli (chopped) 2 numbers

- Turmeric powder a pinch

- Mustard oil 1 ltr

- Hung curd 1 cup.

- Salt to taste

- Garam masala powder ½ tsp

- Kashmiri chilli powder ¼ tsp

- Paneer cubes50 gm

- Cheese cubes20 gm

- Whole garam masala 30 gm

- Saffron a pinch

- Chopped coriander 1 bowl

 
Method

- Peel potatoes and cut a thin slice from both the sides of each potato and scoop out the center to make a barrel.

- Blanch the barrel potatoes in boiling water by adding whole garam masala, turmeric, salt and green chilli in water. Cool it for 20 minutes by turning upside down.

- Heat sufficient mustard oil in kadhai, peel and fry the blanched potatoes till golden and crisp. Drain on absorbent paper.

 
For filling

- Heat 100 ml mustard oil in kadhai.

- Add chopped ginger, garlic and green chilli sauté for a minute.

- Add all chopped vegetables (zucchini, carrot), salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and dum cook it for 10 minutes.

- Cool the mixture, then add cubes of Paneer and cheese also add chopped coriander.

For marination to cover potato

- Mix hung curd, turmeric powder, mustard oil, salt, saffron, garam masala and curd in a bowl.

- Stuff the potatoes with fillings and place the potatoes in the marinade bowl. 

- Coat the with the marination mix from all the sides.

- Pierce the potatoes in the skewer and cook it in a tandoor for 8-10 minutes. 

- Remove the potato from the skewers and cut them into half. 

- Transfer on a serving plate and serve hot. 

 

Palvinder Singh
(Executive chef, Slo’ Food Co.2, Radisson Bengaluru City Centre)