Mouth watering Mexico!

By Vikas Khanna

(Photo courtesy of Shiva Photography)

Mexican cuisine is similar to Indian cuisine in many ways, especially breads, beans, rice, cilantro, and cumin, though real Mexican food is quite unlike the dishes found in most Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants here in the USA.

Mexican Eggplant Recipe

.2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup chopped red onion

One 16-ounce can tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground

One 4-ounce can green chilies, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 medium eggplants, sliced in 1/2-inch slices

5 to 6 ounces fresh spinach coarsely cut

8 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium heat and lightly brown onions. Add tomato sauce, cumin, green chilies and garlic and stir occasionally until the mixture is well mixed.

Spray 9 x 12-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and layer it with half the eggplants, tomato sauce, spinach, and cheese. Repeat the layers with the remaining ingredients.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Bake uncovered for 45 to 50 minutes and serve hot.

Mexican Style Tangy Chicken

This is a very easy to make recipe, the marinated chicken can either be stir fried or grilling it on medium heat.

1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for stir frying

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

2 (.7 ounce) packages dry Italian-style salad dressing mix

1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro

3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed

1 onion, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

In a large glass bowl combine the oil, vinegar, lime juice, dry salad dressing mix, and cilantro leaves. Mix together. Add chicken strips, onion and bell pepper. Cover dish and refrigerate. Marinate for 3 to 6 hours.

In a large skillet, heat oil. Remove chicken, onion and bell pepper from marinade and sauté in oil until chicken is cooked through (juices run clear) and onion is translucent. Serve it hot with the vegetables and the juices.

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

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