– Travel Food & Wine
It’s that time of the year when festivity is in the air amd your excited self is probably busy now listing out groceries to make scrupmtious Diwali sweets. How about we bring some twist to your mithais this festive season with the same rich flavours of your mithais in a new avatar are sure to dazzle your guests and make you talk of the town. Travel Food & Wine brings to you some amazing collection of Indian sweets with a contemporary twist by the best chefs around the world. Know these culinary wizards and explore their own intrepretationsof mithais sure to be loved and savoured this Diwali.
Junoon, which means “passion” in Hindi, delivers on the promise of its name with an authentic, yet elegant modern take on Indian cuisine. Restaurateur Rajesh Bhardwaj, who inspired to share his love for food and culture of his native India, assembled a talented team to create a world-class restaurant that would re-define how Indian cuisine is presented on the international gastronomic stage. That redefinition has been recognized from diners daily and contributed to the restaurant’s collection of Michelin Stars throughout the years.
From appetizers to entrees, Junoon overachieves on every level of creativity in the kitchen. The core of Junoon’s menu is found in the temperature-controlled glass spice room, where spices and blends are ground and prepared daily for service.
Junoon’s esteemed wine program separates its modern concept from the pack. The wine program, led by Wine Director Michael Dolinski, is constructed to be approachable for the novice and alluring to the enthusiast. The cocktail program, guided by Hemant Pathak (named India’s Best Bartender, 2011) embraces the flavors of Junoon’s menu using herbs, tea, and spices from Asia, especially those used in Indian Cuisine.
Junoon also holds for the last seven years the “Best of award of excellence“ by Wine Spectator. It is the only Indian restaurant to win the “Critics’ Choice Award” by World of Fine Wines and to have in been included in the Forbes Magazine‘s annual list of “New York’s Best Restaurants” since last five years in the three star category.
The Junoon Walk
You will need
Flourless Chocolate Cake
- 400g sugar
- 100g jaggery powder
- 320g egg yolks, whisk to frothy
- 480g egg whites
- 1g cream of tartar
- 140g cocoa powder
Chicory Root Chocolate Mousse
- 150g sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream room temp
- 8 gelatin sheets
- 200g Valrhona milk chocolate
- 100g Valrhona dark chocolate
- Pinch of salt and Pinch of green cardamom powder
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 tablespoons chicory-coffee instant mix
- 2 cups whip cream
Banana Shrikhand Mousse
- 375g hung yogurt
- 100g jaggery powder
- 100g mashed bananas
- Pinch of salt and pinch of green cardamom powder
- 1 vanilla bean
- 6 gelatin sheets
- 150g whip cream
- For the cake, in Kitchen Aid table mixer whisk yolks and sugar until incorporated, pass into a bowl. Insame cleam mixer bowl make a meringue with egg whites and tartar. Incorporate with a spatula the meringue into the yolk mixture. Lastly add slowly through a sieve the cocoa powder while folding it into egg mixture. Pour on a tall half sheet tray or baking pan with a parchment paper. Bake 325 degrees Farenheit for 10 minutes, turn around and make it for 7 more minutes until end of toothpick comes out clean.
- For the chicory mousse, put sugar on a pot, melt sugar until becomes dark caramel. Off heat and carefully and slowly pour the heavy cream on it. Mix well. Add the bloomed gelatin sheets and whisk well. On a big bowl put together the chocolates, chicory, salt, cardamom, vanilla. Pout the hot caramel into this and whisk until well incorporated. Wait until almost room temperature while whisking for time to time. Fold the whip cream until even. Pour this mousse on top of the room temp flourless cake. Put in fridge.
- For the banana mousse, in big bowl combine yogurt, jaggery, banana, salt, cardamom and vanilla and whisk until well combine. Melt in double boiler the bloomed gelatin until liquid. Whisk this into the banana mix. Fold the whip cream until incorporated. Pour this on top of the chocolate mousse and put back I fridge until firm. At least 2 hours.
- Take all this from fridge, unmold it from the tray/baking pan. Cut in 12 pieces. Enjoy with a hot cup of chicory coffee.
Junoon Shahi Tukda
You will need
Green cardomom rabri
- 2 quarts whole milk
- 1 quart heavy cream
- 1 cup condensed milk
- 1 tablespoon green cardamom powder
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon saffron threads
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- 2 pounds regular unsalted butter
For the garnish
- 1 cup toasted chopped pistachios
- 1 cup toasted shopped cashews
- 1/2 cup dry rose petals
- For the rabri put whole milk and cream in a tall pot, bring to a boil. Lower to medium heat for 45 minutes, then lower to medium low heat for another 45 minutes, whisking constantly. Will reduce by half. Take off heat and add the cardamom and condensed milk, whisk. Cool down in fridge with a lid.
- For the saffron syrup combine everything in pot and bring to a boil. Whisk enough to dissolve sugar. Take off heat and cool down.
- For the ghee (clarified butter) put the butter in a pot at medium low heat for 25 minutes. Skimming the surface from impurities. At the end pass through a strainer. Should have a nutty rich butter scent.
- Take a brioche loaf, Challah or Texas bread loaves and cut in 12 thick slices. Brush both sides of each slice with ghee and pan fry until light golden on each side. Cool down. Quickly soak each slice with the saffron syrup, put on paper towels to drain the excess. Finally before serving put slices only 30 seconds in microwave. Pour the room temperature rabri on each slice and top with pistachios, cashews and rose petals.
Chef Akshay Bhardwaj
Chef Akshay Bhardwaj was born in Queens, New York. Homemade Indian food was a daily ritual prepared by his mother which exposed him to the vast array of spices and vegetables used in the cuisine. Akshay found himself drawn to the restaurant industry at an early age. While attending Fordham University Gabelli School of Business in 2012, Akshay started an apprenticeship in the kitchen of Junoon under Chef Adin Langille.
His culinary career has been exclusively within the Junoon family. He began as an intern and worked his way up to Lead Line Chef training at different sections in the kitchen. Following a stint at Junoon Dubai, he returned to New York to become Junior Sous Chef and eventually Sous Chef in 2015. Along the way, he learnt French, Italian and even Japanese techniques working under various chefs, which he applies at Junoon to help push the boundaries of Indian cuisine. He was promoted as the Executive Chef in 2016. Chef Akshay’s cooking has a strong emotional component rooted in childhood food memories and how they made him feel.
In October 2017, Junoon was awarded and retained the Michelin Star for the seventh year in a row. The restaurant has received one each year since its 2010 debut. Junoon now holds the title of the only Indian restaurant in New York City with a Michelin Star and Executive Chef Akshay Bhardwaj is one of the youngest Indian chefs to be recognized for this coveted award at the of age 24.
Chef Gustavo Tzoc
Gustavo was born in Guatemala City. Moved to California at the age of 15 for high school and college. Later on he attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY where he earned his degree in savory applications. After graduating from the CIA He went on to work at some venerable Manhattan kitchens. His first post was at Jovia under chef Josh DeChellis. There, his roles were all on the savory side, but Tzoc soon followed his sweet passion and began working in pastry.
He wanted to explore and learn new cultures and cuisines. He was very attracted towards the world of Indian spices and flavors which brought him to Junoon. Here he works closely with Chef Akshay and uses his techniques and incorporates the herbs, spices and bolder flavors to recreate some Indian classics with his own twist.
Kricket Brixton – is the new permanent restaurant, test kitchen and bar by Chef Will Bowlby and Rik Campbell. A continuation of the lively Indian cooking found in Soho, the menu leans heavily towards Indian inspired street-food dishes and bar snacks to accompany a brimming cocktail and drinks list. Kricket Brixton will also serve as a test-ground for new dishes, encouraging the chefs to get creative with by-product from the Soho site.
Originally a Brixton-born concept, Kricket first took residence inside a tiny shipping container at POP, before opening their first full restaurant in Soho in January 2017. With an emphasis on using seasonal British produce, Kricket’s casual, creative and contemporary approach seeks to make Indian food and flavours ever more accessible and relevant to the modern-day diner.
Misti Doi with Pomogranate & Mint
This is a very straightforward recipe that originally hails from Calcutta. Be careful to follow the steps correctly and you can’t go wrong. The end result is a creamy, sweet set baked yoghurt with a hint of cardamom.
You will need
- 1 cup condensed milk
- 1 cup Greek yoghurt
- 2 tsp ground cardamom
- 50 g rose petals
- 1/2 cup sugar syrup
- 4 tsp of roughly chopped pistachio nuts
- seeds of 1 small pomegranate
- Fresh mint leaves, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC
- Place 4 ramekins (custard cups) in a large roasting pan and fill with hot water to come two-thirds up the outer sides of the ramekins.
- Combine the condensed milk, yoghurt and ground cardamom in a bowl and mix well.
- Divide the mixture among the prepared ramekins and bake in the bain-marie for 6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, soak the rose petals in the sugar syrup for a few minutes. Remove and place in a small bowl.
- Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and allow to cool before transferring them to a refrigerator to cool completely.
- Garnish with chopped pistachio, pomegranate seeds, sugared-rose petals and mint.
Jaggery Treacle Tart with Milk Ice cream
Our take on a treacle tart, with the jaggery adding extra richness and sweetness to the dish. You can buy jaggery in most Indian and Western supermarkets but if you don’t have any, you can use caster (superfine) sugar, instead.
You will need
- 1 cup golden syrup (light corn syrup)
- 100 g jaggery, roughly chopped
- a squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 1/2 double heavy cream
- 2 + 1/2 cup fresh brown breadcrumbs
- Himalayan sea salt, to serve
For the Ice cream
- 800 ml full-fat whole milk
- 75 g caster superfine sugar
- 100 ml condensed milk
- 1½ tsp glucose
- 1 gelatine sheet
For the pastry
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 1 + 3/4 cups plain all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- First, make the ice cream. Put 750 ml (25 floz/3 cups) of the milk in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat, stirring constantly. Add the sugar and simmer until reduced to 500 ml (17fl oz/2 cups). Turn the heat down to low, add the condensed milk and glucose and stir.
- Soak the gelatine in cold water until soft. Stir it into the warm milk mixture then add the remaining milk. Leave to cool completely.
- Transfer to an icecream machine and churn for 15–20 minutes, until thickened. Transfer to a freeze-proof container and place in the freezer.
- Make the pastry by lightly rubbing the butter into the flour, then mix in the egg. Using your hands, combine to form a smooth dough, adding a tablespoon of water if it’s too dry. Shape into a ball, flattern to form a disc, cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and set aside to rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC and grease a 23 cm (9 in) flan ring. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 5 mm (¼ in) thick and use to line the flan ring. Cover with baking parchment, and bake blind for 20 minutes.
- Remove the paper and beans and leave to cool in the flan ring.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 150ºC
- Heat a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat and melt together the syrup, jaggery, lemon juice and eggs. Once everything is incorporated, add the cream. Remove from the heat, then fold in the breadcrumbs. Spoon the mixture into the pastry case and return to the oven for 45 minutes until set and golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Sprinkle with a little salt and serve with the ice cream.
NOTE: If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, transfer the cooled liquid into a freezer container and put in the freezer for a couple of hours until it starts to solidify. Stir with a spatula to break up the ice crystals, then return it to the freezer. Repeat this process every 30 minutes until the mixture is set.
Chef Will Bowlby
Chef and Co-founder- Kricket, London
Born in 1988, Will’s passion for food started when he was 10 years old after being inspired by Jamie Oliver. When he was just 16, he set up his own private catering company called will2cook which he kept going throughout school and beyond, and it helped him fund his year abroad after collage and most of his university education. After university, Will worked in the kitchen at Le Cafe Anglais under the guidance of Rowley Leigh for two years. He gained experience in all aspects of the kitchen before he moved to Cheval in Mumbai as Head Chef for two years. Within a year the restaurant won ‘Best New European Restaurant’ in South Mumbai. Will also spent some time consulting on the menus at Khyber, the oldest and most established restaurant in Mumbai. He then travelled around Indian on a food tour for six months before returning to the UK in 2014. When Will returned to London he worked at the Cinnamon Kitchen under the guidance of Vivek Singh for eight months.
Will was inspired to set up his own Indian restaurant and in 2015 the opportunity arose. Joining forces with Rik Campbell, his best friend from university, together the pair opened Kricket at POP Brixton, a 20-cover restaurant set inside a shipping container. Only a year into trading, the small, neighbourhood restaurant picked up a string of accolades, with chef Will Bowlby nominated for Chef of the year at the 2016 YBF’s and labeled as a ‘chef to watch’. In 2017 the team closed their temporary Brixton location, and opened Kricket Soho, a two-level, intimate restaurant on Denman Street.
Will’s unique approach in marrying seasonal British ingredients with authentic Indian flavours continues to be revered within the industry. The accolades continue with Will most recently winning “Asian Chef of The Year”, at the 2017 Asian Curry Awards – where he was shortlisted against several top Indian chefs nationwide. Simultaneously, Kricket Soho won the “Best Newcomer” award, and has also received a Bib Gourmand 2018, from The Michelin Guide.
During his travels back to India, Anand journeyed to Lucknow in the Awadh region and fell in love with the flavors of the cuisine and the dum pukht slow cooking style popular in the region. Returning to New York, he found that no restaurant focused on traditional Awadhi cuisine. Once again, he immersed himself in a cuisine, learning its techniques and working with a chef from the region to provide an authentic culinary experience. Opened in May 2014, Awadh is a showcase for a storied region’s cooking and the realization of a dream to be among the forefront of Indian restaurateurs in America. Among other accolades, the Village Voice named Awadh “Best Indian Restaurant” that year. His other prospering restaurant ventures include Bhatti Indian Grill, Moti Mahal Delux and aRoqa.
Daulat ki Chaat (Saffron Mousse)
You will need
Daulat Ki Chaat (saffron mousse)
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup whipping milk
- Saffron, pinch
- 4 -6 slices Rum Baba Cake or sponge cake soaked in rum
- Berries handful
- Almond flakes
- Candied pecans
- Edibles flowers (optional)
- Boil the milk with the saffron so the color of the milk changes to a light yellow. Once cool, add cream and whisk till frothy in texture
- Layer pieces of rum baba cake in a bowl (or any other soft sponge like cake, soaked with rum) with the berries pour the cream froth mixture on top of the cake
- Garnish with almond flakes, candied pecans, edible flowers and serve.
Chef Gaurav Anand
Chef and Owner – AWADH, New York
Born into a family of lawyers and restaurateurs from New Delhi, Anand had his culinary path set before him at an early age. After graduating from college, where he studied business administration, he worked with his brother Saurabh’s catering company. At one event, he wondered why there was a delay in the food and inquired about it in the kitchen. The chef challenged him to cook the food himself if he didn’t like the pace and Anand realized that, to be a restaurateur, he would need to learn how to handle the kitchen as well. That is when his journey truly started.
Not formally trained as a chef, Anand learned by watching chefs and recreating their recipes. He would stand in the kitchen for hours as the chefs cooked, picking up techniques and forming the basis for his own style. He slowly learned how to mix spices, create marinades and explore ingredients that bring out flavors in vegetables and legumes like okra, eggplant and chickpeas. He worked with some of India’s master chefs, including leading restaurateur Jiggs Kalra, and soon had built a clientele list for his catering company and restaurant that included business leaders, politicians and celebrities.