Dining in Muscat: Redefining Indian cuisine at Jashn restaurant

Lifestyle Monday 16/May/2016 16:58 PM
By: Times News Service
Dining in Muscat: Redefining Indian cuisine at Jashn restaurant

Tucked in a quiet corner of Al Khuwair, Jashn restaurant, known for its fusion food, brings molecular gastronomy to its kitchen.

The restaurant always known for its amazingly interesting fusion combinations and serving the same old mundane Indian food with an interesting twist, has now been revamped, with the introduction of famed celebrity Chef Ajay Chopra being an important part of it. Chef Chopra juggled his way between hotels and restaurants before becoming a known face on the silver screen. He became a household name soon after being featured in the popular TV show Masterchef India as the judge, and doing other shows such as Food Food in Hi Tea, and Northern Flavours in Living Foods. He also has his own channel on YouTube called Chop Chop Chopra. But as he says, “the glitz and glam of being a TV star is butter chicken, but my dal chaval or basic needs will always be restaurant or hotel. That’s what defines me”.
Having started at a very young age, the chef very ably could channelise the magic in his hands onto a plate effortlessly. And with time, experience, and his unwavering zest and zeal he started innovating and creating things that weren’t only new, fresh, and different but were truly Indian. And that is exactly what he has brought to Muscat with Jashn being the medium. While many of us may consider culmination as an art, the science of food is what is trending in the kitchens across the globe currently. Popularly known as modernist cooking or molecular gastronomy, this is food science which pushes creative boundaries of the chef to produce before you, food, the science behind which is way beyond your imagination. From the khandvi jellies to the cappuccino shorbas to the lotus-ice cream biscuit dessert, every bite is an explosion of delicious surprises. One such interesting innovation of his was the pithaud cakes, which is a modern Indian food that is far from usual. If you don’t understand the concept of modern Indian food then all you need to do is take a bite of the pithaud cake and the meaning and essence of this creative concept will dawn on you, making you fall in love with this culinary invention. [email protected]

Pithaud Cake with Masala Green Peas and Kadhi
For masala peas

1tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
3/4 cup green peas
1/2 tsp lemon juice
For pithuad cake
1 cup yoghurt
1/2 cup gram flour
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tbsp kadahi powder, dry roasted and coarsely ground coriander, fennel, mustard, fenugreek seeds, ground red chillies, cumin, black pepper, and bay leaves.
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1tbsp ghee + for greasing
Oil for shallow-frying
For the kadhi
11/2 cups yoghurt
1/2tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/2tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2-3tbsp gram flour
200ml water
1tbsp olive oil
7-8 curry leaves
1tsp mustard seeds
• For the peas, heat olive oil in a non-stick pan. Add cumin seeds, ginger, green chillies and sauté well.
• Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, mix well and add little water, mix well. Add salt and green peas, mix well and cook till done.
• Mash lightly with a masher and add lemon juice. Mix and switch off heat.
• For the pithaud cake, take yoghurt in a bowl, add gram flour and whisk.
• Add ginger-garlic paste, kadahi powder and whisk well.
• Add salt, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and whisk again. Heat ghee in a non-stick pan and add yoghurt mixture, stir to mix and cook for about 10 minutes or till the mixture thickens.
• Transfer the mixture into a greased tray and spread. Refrigerate for half hour till set. Cut into round shapes and grill it for 2-3 minutes from both sides.
• For kadhi sauce combine yoghurt, turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste and gram flour in a bowl, mix well.
• Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan, add curry leaves and mustard seeds and let them splutter.
• Add yoghurt mixture and water, stir to mix. Let it boil for 15-20 minutes.
• Arrange the pithaud cake. Top with some green peas masala and place one more pithaud cake on it. Drizzle the kadhi sauce and garnish with orange zest, basil leaves, coriander, and dill leaves. Serve.-Recipe by Ajay Chopra