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Suvir Saran
in the moment
Chef/Author/Teacher/Consultant
Interests: music, travel, animals, entertaining, cooking, movies, reading, eating
Recent Activity
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All three of my cookbooks have a recipe for Kaddu (pumpkin). In the US I love using butternut squash for the recipe. You can use green pumpkin or sweet ripe pumpkin. They are both used in India. This recipe/video is made using green kaddu (green pumpkin). Charlie and almost every friend that ever eats this, falls in love with it instantly. It is a dish that is made for special occasions when pooris (puffy bread) is served with special potato curry and channas (chickpeas). Also made to mark festivals. My father loved it and so it was made on a... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Suvir
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Read my April 4th Slice of Life column in Mail Today, or continue here. Covid-19 Leading to Harsh Awakening Human behavior has shown an altricial manner that makes its actions and reactions more animalistic than those one would expect of mankind. Animals are more precocial, independent from birth, but we have ascribed greater intelligence and brilliance to man, whom we assume will be conditioned into performing at much higher levels of being than other creatures. But assumptions, like comparisons, are odious and mere hypotheses. If our behavior does not rise above that of the animals, we are hardly living up... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Suvir
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Chanda Aloo cannot be made in enough quantities at our home. Two people can finish what a dozen people might eat at a fancier meal where everyone is being a tad more formal. Such is the beauty and comforting deliciousness of this simple potato dish. It goes back to my grandmother’s family’s table in Kurwaar. A recipe that has been passed down generationally. It now has fans across the continents. Friends and family members have taken it with them. Chanda Aloo Serves 4-6 You can add asafetida into the potatoes with the cumin if you want even more heft of... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Suvir
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It isn't every day that my friend Vani Tripathi Tikoo asks for something. Hers is a personality that gets glues to ones heart and being. She is what one calls "good people". Hers is an inclusive world in a world where we are all being torn apart into isms. She lives and loves with open arms and table. She gives herself with boundless empathy and a large heart. This biryani, a recipe from American Masala, is also bold, beautiful and soulfully flavorful. When Vani asked for its recipe just by looking at the photo, I had to oblige, and was... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Suvir
This is a dish I saw at our table more often that I wished for it to be there. A favorite of my grandmother. It was made almost daily. It also grows in abundance. Is as local as local can be. It defines the epitome of what it means to be local and sustainable. Vegetables that grow together should stay together. Both bottlegourd and tomatoes grow in abundance. No wonder that this dish was abundant at our table. Make this your foundation and add to it as you wish. This is a basic form that is wonderful as a side... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2020 at Suvir
You can use whatever lentil you have at home, and in whatever mix you want. Today I used arhar, chana, dhuli moong and urad, and moong chilka. Dal is something most Indian homes eat in some way, shape or form daily. It is a staple in our homes. Inexpensive, nutritive and delicious. Serves 6 1.5 cups of lentils (mix of any and all that you wish), cleaned and soaked while you prepare all other ingredients 2 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil Pinch of asafetida (heeng) 3 dried red chiles 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 3 onions (one minced fine and two... Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2020 at Suvir
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Locked in, with grim scenarios spelled out across television screens and mobile apps, no place to run or hide? Under these circumstances, it almost seems facetious to say, don't worry, so we won't. But what we can do is bring you a series of comfort food recipes put together by some of the most celebrated Indian chefs in the world. These may qualify as comfort food, but it's definitely not ordinary. Our star chefs will tell you the magic ingredient that will nudge it up a notch to qualify as gourmet. This recipe of mine is the first of a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 28, 2020 at Suvir
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At The House Of Celeste, my restaurant in Gurugram, Haryana, we cannot make enough of these crispy, smooth, oozing with cheese beet balls. We serve them tossed in Tamarind chutney. At home you can serve them that way, or with the chutney at the side. I know friends who would devour them as is, and others who would dunk them in ketchup and be in comforting heaven. This is a recipe that is wonderful for those festivals/fasts when meat is forbidden, and onion and garlic are also restricted. While the recipe is vegetarian, it is far from shy in depth... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2020 at Suvir
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Floyd Cardoz, an international restaurateur and the first chef to bring the sweep and balance of his native Indian cooking to fine dining in the United States, died on Tuesday at Mountainside Hospital in Montclair, N.J. He was 59. The cause was the coronavirus, his family said. Read full Obituary here from the NYT here. It was 1998 when I first heard of and tried Floyd Cardoz's food at Tabla in NYC. It was also about the time that I had begun my own career in the world of food. US News and World Report wanted to do a feature... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2020 at Suvir
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Click here to read my Slice of Life column in Mail Today for India Today for March 21, 2020. Or read below. Corona: An Untoward Journey Towards Life Every slice of life has been touched by the Corona virus in some way, shape or form. We are in the grips of a pivotal moment in the history of mankind. A strange time, a scary time, a viscerally disruptive time. Mob mentality as important to question as the mistruths about mob immunity. China was the beginning, and China might also be the nation that is most connected to the virus until... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2020 at Suvir
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As tricky as these times are, there is nothing remotely tedious about the enjoyment of comforting foods. It is most natural to feed ones cravings and find deeply satisfying satiety. Nothing brings Charlie and me more pleasure than a bowl or two, or even a pint of delicious ice cream. Real ice cream isn't easily found anywhere today. New Delhi is no better than New York it seems. Might only be worse. Hence it ought to be no surprise that I have hoarded up on 10 plus kilos of deliciously indulgent and brilliantly crafted Cold Love ice cream. Ice cream... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2020 at Suvir
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Click here to read my Slice of Life column in Mail Today for India Today for March 7, 2020. Or read below. Life: A Loot of Discoveries Life has rich, colorful magic waiting to be discovered. We only need to be mindful and paying attention. If we are mindful, a rainbow of colors turns life into a kaleidoscopic journey of bright, erudite, simple, nuanced gossamer and mysterious moments and much in between. Life and death—water and vapor—shall spark an interest, nurture, and provide till our own time comes to move on in the cycle. Life is cyclical. Life is ever... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2020 at Suvir
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My column for 25th January from Mail Today by India Today. Faith, Hope, Courage and Love When one lives with faith, hope, courage and love, one lives and breathes without struggle. Faith is never to be mistaken with creed, dogma, cult, worship, or credo. To have faith is to have the wisdom that mere mortals cannot change every outcome in life. Faith makes us comfortable in knowing who we are and who we are not. Faith stands by us when all else is failing us. Faith is our friend when friends leave us by. Faith begins where tangible transactions fail... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2020 at Suvir
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2020 couldn’t begin on a better note for us. We find ourselves safely at home in New Delhi. Surrounded by loved ones. Pooches at our side. Living in a new home, built on land where the home of my birth existed before. Finding ourselves comfortable in the city that I left at 19, when I went to school in Manhattan. The city to which I came back yearly when going back home to family. A city that is as old as history and as richly diverse and full of opportunities as the best in the world. New Delhi is the... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2020 at Suvir
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Slice of Life, my column for December 28th, 2019, Mail Today. Searching For Home In The World Going abroad for studies, I found myself, I found home. Arriving in Manhattan at age twenty to study at School of Visual Arts, I was confronted with questions about identity, race, religion, and sexuality like I had never been before. Suddenly I was removed from the safety net of familial surroundings and familiar locales. One long flight abroad had turned my world upside down and shaken my grounding. A few seconds in America, and I was beginning to question my self; I was... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2019 at Suvir
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My Mail Today, Slice of Life column from December 14th 2019. Visit the papers site linked above or read in full below Wheres and Whats of Life Where are you from? Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school? Once a person has found out your name, these are most often the questions that follow. Why do we ask these questions of another? Why do these details from a person’s past matter? How do the answers to these questions inform our interaction with this person? The questions are easy to ask, the answers easy to provide. Much... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2019 at Suvir
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Our human collaborative is a celebration when seen through the lens of plurality and diversity. Pluralism that cherishes and values diverse ethnic, racial, religious and social groups. Where all members are able to develop and maintain their cultures and special interests within the confines of one collective civilization, while proudly retaining their individuality. At Modern School, Vasant Vihar where I schooled, inclusion was a way of life in the ’70s, ’80s, and earliest of ’90s. We sang “ham sab Bhartiya hain”, celebrating as Indians our individuality and common destination. We learned that, “bikhare bikhare deepak hain ham, lekin jhilmil ek... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2019 at Suvir
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From day one at my restaurant in New York City, Manchurian Cauliflower had been a huge success. It’s sweet and spicy, tender and satiny, and looks as sultry and seductive as cauliflower could ever hope to become. In the restaurant, we fry the cauliflower and then toss it with the sauce and finish it in the oven. Here, I’ve simplified and lightened the recipe by roasting the cauliflower and then tossing it with the sauce midway through baking. Healthier, easier, and more accessible, you could make a double batch of this recipe and still never have leftovers! Serves 8 3... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2019 at Suvir
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When I arrived in NYC in 1993, Manhattan was a very different place than it is today. The taxi drivers were Russian, Greek, and some even Irish. But this was rapidly changing. More and more frequently I encountered Haitian, Dominican, Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi drivers. With this demographic change, there was a burgeoning of restaurants that catered to the culinary proclivities of these men—and also some women—on the move. Read this piece I wrote for the Economic Times here. Or continue below The changing nationalities of taxi drivers is a fascinating barometer of the immigration waves that hit a city.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2019 at Suvir
Suvir Saran added a favorite at Suvir
Dec 1, 2019
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Much in our lives today polarizes our human collective into disparate tribes. The climate is such that it is easiest to sit divided, blame the other, and find flaws in the views of those we deem different. Even within family units one can find utter lack of parity when it comes to the choices that define us most viscerally. We prefer to be deafened by silence rather than risk a dialogue, because we fear that we will be torn apart by the revelations these conversations bring forth. But when we indulge in culinary bounty at the table, listen to the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2019 at Suvir
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The third of my fortnightly column from Mail Today, by India Today. What’s in a name, what’s in a word?!? Chauvinism begins at birth. Our birth certificates are written, and by one printing of a document, our name, our life’s course, a mapping of our identity, what choices we make as we come of age, what influences we give weight to, and how we think and envision the world—all are given structure and form. My place in the planetary charts was assigned by the time and date of my arrival into this world. Born on November 29, 1972, I was... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2019 at Suvir
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The earliest memories I have of Diwali are of my grandma sitting on a chair and instructing Panditji and mom in the art of making Gujias. I never understood how someone who didn’t themselves cook, be the person giving instructions. How naive I was at that young age of 4 or 5 years. Much cooking happened in my grandma's/our household when I was a young boy. Rituals were celebrated as pedantically as one could imagine. Traditions past lived as if time had never changed. My grandma’s whims and our families celebration-dogmas were the fancy of my mother and the staff... Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2019 at Suvir
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Love and life, music and religion, dreams and aspirations - it is in these that we see the oneness amongst our human collective. When we let go of organized chaos, rules and rituals, dogma and prejudices, generalizations and fears; we become one with self and the other. Tolerance is ones capacity to endure pain and hardship, it speaks of stamina and fortitude, it is about endurance. It is not tolerance that helps us rise to greater heights as a human with humanity. For that we need to learn and appreciate acceptance. Alfat, the new album by Sonam Kalra, teaches us... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2019 at Suvir
Suvir Saran added a favorite at Suvir
Jul 12, 2019