Ajay Sharma

‍‍‍Ajay is a chief research officer for a medical device company, saving the kidneys for now.  Curiosity has been his nature so he used to dissect earthworms and even toads as a child. That curiosity not only led him to be a doctor but also pursue doctoral studies. Food has been his longest passion, be it trying to replicate his grandmother's recipes or fusing different cuisines. Cooking for him is a meditation that helps him to find solutions to challenges or generate ideas. Having lived abroad he believes that food brings different cultures closer. Ajay isn't camera shy, he connects with the audience through his presence in commercial ads. In the past months, yoga has been his interest that not helps him chug through city dwelling but also brings a certain serenity. Saffron being the color of vibrancy he gives this Zaikaana feature a new flavor. So let's get cooking with Dr. Ajay Sharma.

Fig & Nut Curry (Recipe & Ingredients):

Fig-nut - saffron curry
Serving - 4
Preparation time - 2-4 hours
Cooking time - 12-15 mins
1. Dried figs- 20 no
2. Cashew nuts- 50 g
3. Prunes - 10 no
3. White button mushroom - 200 g
4. Fresh cream - 200 g+ water -100 mL
5. Cumin powder - 1 tsp
6. Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
7. Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
8. Fennel seed powder - 1/4 tsp
9. Salt- as per taste (approximately 1.0 tsp)
10. White pepper - 1 tsp
11. Ghee - 1 tsp
12. Saffron - 10-12 strands soaked in hot milk for couple hours.
The best man's nut & fig curry

Wash and soak cashews for 2-4 hrs, similarly soak figs and prunes with enough water to soak completely. Grind cashew nuts into a fine paste. Grind about 5 figs and 3 prunes also to a paste with the soaked water. Chop the remaining figs and prunes to quaters and half, respectively. Dice mushroom head into quaters or eights based on the size of the mushrooms.

Place a thick bottom pan or a non stick cookware on low-medium flame. Once warm add ghee, once the ghee turns warm add the fig and prune paste and mix. Turn the flame to medium high and mix to gently caramelize the dry fruit paste . Then add the cashew nut paste, mix and cook for couple more minutes. Turn down the flame to low- medium and add the diced mushrooms and cook until tender (approximately -5 mins), pierce with a fork to ascertain if cooked. Now start adding all the spices (cumin, coriander, fennel, pepper,garam masala)and cook for minute while mixing. Add the fresh cream+ water to the mixture and cook for another 3-4 mins. Make sure to mix thoroughly, once it starts to boil simmer and turn off the heat. Add saffron milk and mix. Serve with plain basmati rice or Ghee rice or nan bread.
Happy Eating! ☺

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