Friday, November 4, 2011

First Guest Post - Exotic Oriental Salad by Mukta!

Many of you readers have been aware of the year-long sabbatical I took from work to re-think, rejuvenate and re-organize my life. After much soul-searching, thinking of various new career paths and proclaiming aloud to all and sundry that I was done with media, I did just the opposite – got right back to a job in TV. Yeah well, best laid plans and all that…

But surprisingly, I find myself enjoying my work now. Maybe the break did me good… But more than that I think it’s the place I have joined. The Wizcraft TV team is crazy, noisy, raucous, buzzing with activity or gossip all day, and a veritable fish market if there ever was one! Yet, in media, it is one of the happiest, zaniest places I have seen. Like a friend and colleague pointed out, it is probably because we are all a bunch of extremely hard-working yet unambitious people!! :P
Whether that be true or not, the girls I work with put in a lot of hours and effort into everything. Be it work or discussions on movies, TV shows, food, cooking, shopping, etc - we do everything in equal measure! So much so that our team has been christened ‘Chandni Chowk’ thanks to all the hullabaloo!

And today, it is with great pleasure that I introduce a Guest Post by fellow Wiz and Chandni Chowk resident  - Mukta! 
Mukta is a potter, cook, media professional and a mother hen rolled into one. She is a very creative person, loves food, and I hope she will start her own blog someday… Till then, I’m more than happy to have her on board as a guest witer on my blog.  

Mukta Kunte


Usually at Wiz TV we cook up a storm with our shows. However, lately, we all have been cooking in our kitchens. Chandni Chowk(yes yes in Mumbai!) is buzzing with recipes of all kinds...Mustard chicken, Garlic mushrooms, Pomegranate raita, dips et al is being keenly heard and discussed over lunch. All thanks to Swati!
We all dream of having our own food blogs… after all we all  have recipes by the dozen! Lekin kaun roz roz blog likhega…So I shamelessly asked Swati to open the guest column on her blog and let us, other food lovers share our finger-licking formulae with everybody! Thank You Swati, for giving me this opportunity and here’s the first one for your guest column.

Sesame brings fond memories of my small town existence in Agra. Winter is incomplete without melt-in-the-mouth Morena ki gazak, tilpatti, til gud and til ka laddo. Not to forget the aloo cooked in ‘til ka tel’. Growing up, we were only exposed to the ‘Indian Chineje’. Even the most ‘swish’ restaurant in Agra – Kwality, served very ‘Indian’ Chinese and Continental food. So, the fact that sesame was an integral part of Oriental cuisine  was not known to me till I went to the bada sheher Dilli and fine-dines at the best South East Asian joints. A lot said about my big sesame discovery…now coming to the point – the recipe:



For the grill you need –
1 Carrot – peeled
1 Zucchini – Cut in big pieces lengthwise
Assorted  Bell Peppers – red and yellow (half of each)- Cut in pieces lengthwise
Broccoli – broken into pieces
Approx 150gms of Cottage cheese cut into equal sized cubes

For the marinade –
2 tbsp of white sesame seeds
1tsp of soy sauce
1 tsp of Tabasco sauce
Oregano/mixed herbs
Rock Salt/sea salt to taste
Chilli Flakes
1 tsp garlic paste/very finely chopped garlic (its best to use freshly made garlic paste)

Mixed lettuce for the Salad – iceberg, red, roquet
½ lemon

Mix all the marinade ingredients leaving aside the sesame seeds. Mix the chopped veggies together and add the marinade to this mix. Seal the bowl with a cling-foil and leave the veggies to marinate for about half an hour.

Roast the sesame seeds golden brown, gently crush them with a spatula just to release the lovely smoky flavor  and keep them aside. Heat some olive oil in a nonstick pan and neatly arrange the marinated veggies and paneer cubes on the pan (you could also grill them in the microwave). Turn the veggies and paneer as they get roasted. Pour the extra marinade left behind in the bowl on the roasted veggies and toss. A white wine flambé gives the sautéed veggies a distinct smoky flavor which I love. Lastly, throw in the roasted sesame in the tossed veggies.

In a bowl mix shredded  lettuce, sprinkle some salt and juice of half a lemon, pepper. Mix well.
In a salad bowl, arrange the greens on the base and then the sautéed veggies and paneer on the bed. Sprinkle some toasted sesame on top.