My engagement with The B Team took me to the launch of a debut cookbook – ‘What’s on the Menu’ by Celebrity Chef Shazia Khan in Pune. Published by Om Books International, the cookbook was unveiled by Chef, Food stylist and Food Photographer Michael Swamy and noted food connoisseur, Karen Anand. This was followed by a cooking demo by the chef herself where she tossed up a Fig and Asparagus Salad from her cookbook.
At the first glance what captures your attention are the stunning colour photos which depict food as the centre stage of celebrations. The book captures the essence of home-cooking. In this cookbook Shazia shares family recipes and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Look closely and inside are 90 recipes for both classic and contemporary cooking that are perfect for day to day extravaganza and special occasions with family and friends.
The Foreword is by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor where he writes about Shazia’s passion for good food and her never say die attitude in the kitchen. He calls this cookbook a delightful compilation of recipes of her favourite dishes. The forward leads to an Introduction by the chef herself who talks about importance of fusion in modern Indian cooking. The cookbook then takes you through salads, soups, and sections dedicated to vegetarian, chicken, mutton, seafood, and desserts. An introductory section teaches you how to put together masalas and other such ingredients necessary for the dishes.
All of the 90 appetising recipes include outstanding colour photos that are dispersed throughout the cookbook. The recipes are well written and easy to follow. The ingredients and instructions are written in a list format, which makes it easy to follow. A book for both novice and advanced cooks, it includes easy to make recipes with amazing flavours.
You can find delectable recipes like Ghost ka Sherwa (Mutton soup), Lemongrass Rasam, Twice cooked Baby Potato Salad, Roasted Corn, Raw Mango Salad along with the chef’s signature creations such as Tandoori Chicken Roulade, and Grilled Semolina with mushrooms and desserts like tender coconut jelly with coconut cream and Anday ki Mithai (Egg Halwa).
What caught my attention when I was flipping the pages of the book was a special recipe in the book – Tender Coconut Jelly with Coconut Cream and I bookmarked it immediately. The recipe looked easy and looked promising as a summer delight plus my pantry had the requisite ingredients. So here is a glimpse of how the recipe turned out:
Recipe: Tender Coconut Jelly with Coconut Cream
Author: Chef Shazia Khan
China Grass/ Agar-Agar – 10 gms
Tender Coconut Water – 3 cups
Sugar – 3 tbsp
Fresh Coconut Milk- 2 cups
Condensed Milk- 1/2 cup
Pomegranate seeds 1/2 cup to garnish
Mint leaves (a few to garnish)
- Soak the china grass with tender coconut water for 10 minutes
- Add sugar and bring to boil on low flame, till china grass dissolves
- Pour the mixture into a tray. Refrigerate and allow it to set
- In a separate bowl, mix coconut milk and condensed milk. Refrigerate
- Cut the tender coconut into cubes and put them in a serving glass, pour the cold coconut milk mixture on the cubes. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and mint leaves
So, the recipe turned out absolutely perfect after my initial anxiety of the jelly not setting, so remember all you need is a little patience, allow the jelly to perfectly set and please please don’t keep opening the refrigerator door time and again to check. My family loved this light on the tummy dessert with such subtle flavours.
I really enjoyed cooking from this cookbook. So, yes this book is absolutely cookbook shelf worthy and is a most welcome addition to my cookbook collection, lest you forget that I devour cookbooks. Trust me, you will want the cookbook – What’s on the Menu in your repertoire and will refer to it time and time again to make delicious recipes for your family.