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One Chef One recipe: Ker Sangri, Chef Neelabh Sahay

Chef Neelabh Sahay, Executive Chef, Novotel Kolkata Hotel & Residences shares his recipe for Ker Sangri ki sabzi, part of the Marwari Kitchen menu launched for home delivery

As a child Chef Neelabh Sahay thought he would grow up to be an engineer as that was the only profession acceptable to his middle-class family. But having not scored high in mathematics in class 12, changed that. It was by chance that he applied for a hotel management course and got selected at IHM, Pusa in New Delhi. “I haven’t looked back since then,” he says. He discovered his passion for food and for creating art from food. Before joining Novotel, he worked with the Oberoi Hotels & Resorts for nine years, having started his career at The Oberoi Vanyavilas. “It was a blessing in disguise for me because it is there that I was mentored by the chef to take on more than I could handle and that made me an expert at multi-tasking,” he says.

Chef Neelabh Sahay, Executive Chef, Novotel Kolkata Hotel & Residences.

Chef Sahay refers to himself not as “a specialist in any one cuisine but as a master of almost everything because of my varied exposure”.

Novotel Kolkata Hotel & Residences has recently launched a home delivery menu called The Marwari Kitchen. Ker Sangri is a traditional Rajasthani dish, especially popular in the Marwar region. It is made using ker berries and sangri beans.

Do try cooking this at home for a taste of Marwari cuisine.

Ker Sangri ki Sabzi

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Dried Ker Sangri – 100 gm
  • 2 tsp Green Chilies
  • 2 tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 5 slice Dried Raw Mango
  • 1.5 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Mango Powder
  • 3 tbsp Yogurt
  • 1.5 tsp Pickle Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • Salt To Taste

For Tempering

  • 1/4 cup Mustard Oil
  • 1 tsp Cumin seed
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel Seed
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 5 Dried Whole Red Chilies

Preparation:

  • The authentic flavor of this dish can be achieved by washing and soaking ker sangri in enough water or thin buttermilk overnight, add 1/2 tsp turmeric to the water
  • The next morning wash it 3-4 times in normal tap water till all the dirt get removed from the soaked ker sangri
  • In a handi add ker sangri and enough water to cover it; cook on medium heat till it becomes soft
  • Let it cool down completely then drain all the water from ker sangri; wash it again with water
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan. Add whole red chilis, cumin, fennel in the oil when it starts crackling add a pinch of asafoetida
  • Now add chopped green chilies and boiled ker sangri in it and saute for a minute and then add all the dry spices in it and saute for a minute

Add beaten curd and mix well; simmer it for 5-10 minutes by covering the lid for it to absorb more flavours.