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Baked Oysters with Saffron-honey Glaze
Kesari Kalamakai

By Vikas Khanna

This dish comes from North Kerala, a southern coastal state of India. One year, while planning a Valentine’s menu I introduced a pre-fixed menu based on aphrodisiac foods.

The deep flavors of saffron, honey, and oysters became an instant finger-licking favorite.

This is from my book, "The Spice Story of India"

I remember I had created this dish on Valentine's Day while still at Salaam Bombay. This recipe was also part of my dinner  - "KhannaSutra":

Serves 6

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup dry white wine

1 teaspoon saffron threads

1 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons honey

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

24 freshly shucked oysters, left on half shells

Preheat the oven to 500°F.

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté till transparent—about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour over the onions and garlic and stir thoroughly to avoid any lumps. Add white wine, saffron threads, heavy cream, and honey and slightly reduce the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring to boil and check the consistency of the sauce. If too thin, thicken with cornstarch and water mixture, or if thick, bring it to the desired consistency by adding a little water.

Spoon the sauce over the oysters, fully covering them. Bake the oysters until piping hot—about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

A chef by profession, Vikas Khanna’s food is a blend of his traditional Indian Culinary Background and the flavors and history of the highly diversified New York food culture. He is owner/executive chef and consultant to several restaurants and has won acclaim from the prestigious James Beard Foundation.
Vikas is the founder of New York Chef Chefs ’Cooking for Life’, a non profit organization that brings together celebrated chefs of New York City, for tasting events to raise funds for relief efforts around the world. The proceeds of the events benefit organizations such as Save the Children, Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, and many more.
Based on his research on the power of the palate, he has created, Vision of Palate, a series of food tasting workshops, designed to educate people with visual disabilities about the complex flavors and aromas of spices and herbs
Through SAKIV (South Asian Kids Infinite Vision), Vikas reaches out to different EYE foundations around South Asia. ’SAKIV- world’ was established in 2005 to host vision expos all around the world. Vikas is an honorary member on the Board of the World Peace Society, New York.
He is the compiler and illustrator of the book,’The Cuisine of Gandhi: Based on the Beliefs of the Legend’, a selection of Gandhi’s writings on food. His forthcoming book ’The Spice Story of India’, is his journal of recipes that are a result of his experiences while working with culinary masters.
Vikas is a graduate of the WelcomGroup School of Hotel and Hospitality Administration, India. He has also studied restaurant management at Cornell University, Food writing at Culinary Institute of America and Food Styling at The New School. He has taught at The New School Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales, New York University, and Harvard Extension School.

To know more about Vikas Khanna and his work, please visit

Honey Ganache

By Uzma Sharif

(Courtesy of Love in Disguise Chocolate -

Ganache= A French word for a mixture of chocolate and heavy cream.

Yield 75-100 medium sized truffles.

1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
8 ounces chopped Dark chocolate (64%)
8 ounces chopped Milk chocolate
5 tablespoons Honey
Dash of love

• Place the chocolate in a medium sized mixing bowl.
• Bring the cream to a boil.
• Pour hot cream over chocolate.
• Let stand a few minutes so the chocolate melts.
• Once the chocolate has melted begin to stir
• While stirring slowly add the honey and of course the love!

Once the ganache has cooled you can pipe into molded truffle shells or let rest in the mixing bowl for 24 hours. Once the ganache has set using a melon baller or a spoon, scoop a quarter size amount into hand and begin to form into a ball, once formed you can dip in white, milk or dark melted chocolate or roll in chopped nuts.

Chef Uzma received her culinary education at the Colorado Mountain Culinary Institute (CMCI). She furthered her education by specializing in pastries and graduating from the French Pastry School in Chicago, Illinois. Chef Uzma further refined her craft by studying and working with renowned pastry chefs. Chef Uzma has answered a calling in line with her grandfather who was a renowned pastry chef in Pakistan, where he also owned a bakery. It is with this cultural history and her modern education that her beautiful creations are born. Her education in pastry is evident in the delectable, silky and rich chocolates. It is her history and culture that is evident in the beautiful, hand-painted decorations. The henna designs that she creates are a direct reflection of the designs created in Pakistan.

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in these columns are solely those of the interviewee(s) and/or authors and do not necessarily represent those of the editor/publisher.


 All Material © Copyright Kavita Chhibber and respective authors.

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