saira malhotra

La Mitraillette (Belgian Machine Gun) Sandwich Recipe

By Saira Malhotra | July 3, 2012

La Mitraillette

Powerful in name and taste, La Mitraillette (Belgian Machine Gun) Sandwich is one fully loaded burger topped with ketchup, caramelized onions and…French fries? Clearly this is something that hails from Belgium.

This recipe for La Mitraillette comes from Petit Abeille, the Yves Jadot-owned Belgian cafés in New York, and home to American classics with a decidedly French and Belgian twist such as Croque Monsieur (Belgian ham and cheese sandwich with béchamel) and Vol au Vent (chicken pot pie). And now La Mitraillette.

Indian Potato Croquette (Alu Tikki) Recipe

By Saira Malhotra | June 12, 2012

Alu Tikki

Street food is a big part of India’s landscape. No matter what time of day it is, there is an appropriate snack to match. The streets bustle with shops, people and ‘halvais’ – people who make desserts by profession. A halvai’s destiny is pre-determined by the caste he was born into–he makes Indian sweets and snacks, as did his father and grandfather and as will his children. Their set up is small and dramatic and their stands boast brightly colored barfis (Indian fudge), milk cakes, and jalebis (bright orange, Indian funnel cake-like sweets).

On the savory-side, there are huge Indian skillets ‘tawas’ with sizzling snacks of channa masala (chickpea curry), spicy cakes, crispy tortilla-like snacks drizzled with yogurt and  tamarind sauce and my favorite, ‘alu tikki’. Alu tikki is the Indian croquette. Spicy disks made from potato and flour, these snacks can be eaten on their own, thrown in to a burger bun or even as a side.

Saira Malhotra is a classically trained chef and graduate from the French Culinary Institute. Saira brings her European, Asian and American background together via the palate and communicated through her food blog:

Photos: Saira Malhotra


Spiked Butterscotch Tart Recipe

By Saira Malhotra | April 27, 2012

spiked butterscotch tart

Butterscotch has a vintage-like presence in our dessert selections. It occasionally makes an appearance at the ice cream stand or perhaps takes the form of a hard candy (offered, no doubt, by the hands of a grandparent), but that is about it!

This week, I had the craving for something buttery and smooth. I sought a dessert that tasted like a Werther’s Original but with an ‘adult’ edge to it. What could fit the build better than a ‘spiked’ butterscotch tart? The result: a creamy toffee-tasting tart with a ‘hum’ of warm scotch.


Spiced Vegan Chocolate Mousse Recipe

By Saira Malhotra | March 26, 2012

Photo: elana's pantry

A few weeks ago Shivani Vora, friend and renowned journalist, invited me to a dessert tasting by a company called Vegan Divas. Since I heard the word ‘vegan’ I assumed that I wouldn’t be eating all that much. After all, how were desserts like chocolate mousse going to provide aeration with the absence of whipped eggs and where would that creamy mouth feel come from, that so indulgently coats the mouth, without cream? Read More


Korean Chicken Wings

By Saira Malhotra | February 2, 2012

Photo: moonberry

Photo: moonberry

By: Saira Malhotra

Bonchon chicken is all the rage in New York and for good reason. This franchise has made its name by pumping out consistently delicious little crispy drumsticks that flaunt some classic Korean flavors. These do-it-yourself Korean chicken wings are finger-licking-good, as their combination of sweet and spicy  flavor gives the Southern alternative a run for its money. This double-fried chicken is crunchier, more explosively flavorful and a lot less greasy.

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Trout en Papillote Recipe

By Saira Malhotra | January 27, 2012

Photo: Hellebardius

Photo: Hellebardius

While we have become accustomed to a perfectly filleted piece of fish with neither bone nor scale, it has come with compromise of ‘flavor’ and quite frankly ‘fun’ too. The skin adds wonderful texture to the fish, which contrasts perfectly against its flaky flesh, while the bones, typically used for fish stock, reinforce its natural flavor during the cooking process. During these cold winter months, whole baked or steamed fish will begin to pop up on menus everywhere.

Today’s dish is inspired by ‘wholesome’, using every part of the fish and a few simple ingredients to maximize flavors. The term ‘en papillote’ is a French cooking technique where the fish is wrapped in a paper pouch. The fish cooks in its own steam in the oven with a few sliced vegetables and a splash of white wine. Read More


Detox Recipe: Japanese Hot Pot

By Saira Malhotra | December 2, 2011

Photo: Sifu Renka

Photo: Sifu Renka

Today’s dish is detox personified. A Japanese hot pot made with fresh ginger, mushrooms, tofu and a very key ingredient ‘Bok choy’. Bok choy provides many health benefits, such as a good source of calcium, beta-carotene and is known as a lung cancer risk reducer. What does this mean for a detox diet? Bok choy protects the liver, freeing it from the harmful impact of stress and pollution and ultimately facilitates detoxification. Read More


Tibetan Momos Recipe

By Saira Malhotra | October 18, 2011

Photo: stephen

Today’s street food dish takes us to the high altitude of Tibet. This is a mystical place with serenity and a spiritual vibe, yaks roaming around, and little children with pink cheeks dressed in woven outfits. Tibetans are humble and their mindset is as far from chaos as their Buddhist way of life. As the saying goes, ‘art imitates life’ and in Tibet, one could say the same about the cuisine. Since there are few crops that grow here, the food is unapologetically basic. Stews made of yak and potatoes, dumpling soups, and noodles are some of the staple dishes.  One of my personal favorites is the Tibetan dumpling ‘momos’ sold on the streets in large vat-like steamers. Momos, similar to dim sum, are pretty parcels of dough wrappers stuffed with ground meat or vegetables. The stuffing ingredients are raw as they cook in their own vapor in the steamer and topped with a tangy chili-garlic tomato chutney called ‘Tsal’. Read More


Ginger, Cherry, and Chili Cocktail Recipe

By Saira Malhotra | October 14, 2011

Photo: Greg Peverill-Conti

As the season changes and dusky moods replace light and effervescence, desire beckons sultry alternatives.  The cooler weather makes us prime candidate for earthy tones and scents which tickle the back of the throat and ultimately, warm it up. Despite the ice, this ginger cocktail will do exactly that. Ginger is a palate pleaser and yet its responsibilities go beyond taste. A healing hand, this magical ingredient is considered to nudge that autumnally challenged immune system in the right direction. Today’s glass of bliss personified with muddled ginger, cherries and a kiss of cayenne, may prompt you to have more than just the one. Salut! Read More


Trinidadian Chicken Roti Recipe

By Saira Malhotra | October 5, 2011

Photo: Sifu Renka

Photo: Sifu Renka

This month is all about taking it to the street! Taking a wander through the streets of Trinidad, one could certainly expect to find people scoffing all kinds of savory and spicy snacks. One particularly popular item is ‘Roti’. Roti, is bread brought by the early Indian settlers of the sub-continent and over a period of time has morphed in to this island delicacy. Wrapped tightly around various braised curries of chicken, shrimp, chick peas, and sweet potato, this dish is the perfect meal on the go; after all, there are places to go and people to meet. Just a word of advice: this dish is not for the faint-hearted and be sure to have your bottle of water on-hand.

Adapted from Chicken Roti Recipe

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Whether it’s finding the best goat tacos in LA, spotting a well-worn vintage bag in Sweden, or interviewing the “crab man” selling seafood on a corner in Harlem, we tell stories seen from Chef Marcus Samuelsson‘s point of view. strives to create conversations about food, nutrition, culture, art, and design. We want to find Read More


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