Lake Isle Press

A Taste of Chef Vikas Khanna

"Are you jetlagged?"

"Oh, I don't ever feel jetlagged because I am always moving around.  It never has time to catch up to me!"

And it's true, Vikas Khanna has not stopped moving since he hopped on a plane from India to New York.  Yesterday. After checking in at his beloved Michelin-starred restaurant Junoon, Vikas stopped by Lake Isle Press to answer a few questions from his fans (check our Facebook!) and chat about Indian harvest festivals, his grandmother, and, of course, food.

Meeting Vikas for the first time is a bit overwhelming.  He is passionate.  He is generous.  And, most of all, he is completely fascinating.  As he gets excited his words speed up, his hand gestures become more dramatic, and his smile stretches wider and wider.  No matter what he’s talking about, everything Vikas says comes back to life and food.  Because, to him, the two are one and the same.

Later that night we went to Junoon for an appetizer tasting. 

Before eating there, I hadn’t known that Indian food could be so subtle, sophisticated, and complex.  Each dish was so interesting and perfectly balanced, yet deeply comforting.  Here are a few photos (excuse the weird lighting!) of some of our favorite plates.

Noorani Kebab: Two-layer kebab of minced lamb and chicken with Junoon Garam Masala, chile, and cilantro.

Lahsooni Gobi: Crispy florets of cauliflower with chili flakes and garlic tomato chutney.  My favorite dish! 

Coconut Rice Pudding: Bruleed bananas, dates, rum glaze, candied almonds, and ginger ice cream.

Seasonal Trio of Kulfi: Pumpkin, Fig, and Cardamom.

If you liked the look of these dishes (we sure did), be sure to check out Vikas's cookbook: Flavors First.  It features delicious, authentic Indian recipes that are sure to satisfy your cravings.  Includes a comprehensive spice guide as well as stories from Vikas’s childhood and adventures in his beloved India.

Saffron & Almond Milk

Soybean Sprout & Persimmon Salad

Squash & Green Lentil Medley

 

by Catherine Lamb, intern, student, food-obsessor.  Check out her blog at http://lamericainegourmande.wordpress.com/

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