eat in my kitchen

To cook, to bake, to eat and to treat.

Tag: curry

Meet In Your Kitchen | Nik Sharma’s Goan Coconut Curry

Nik Sharma

Spices, aromas, and flavors, and a great portion of tradition paired with curiosity create an exciting mix in Nik Sharma’s kitchen. Two worlds woven into his life feed the man’s inexhaustible creativity: India and the USA. The first country marks his roots, the land where he was born and raised, the latter represents his life since he was 19 and decided to leave the known behind and start an adventure that lasts till today.

Nik established a renowned food blog over the past few years, standing out from the start, visually and culinarily. A Brown Table  is loved for its eclectic recipes and stunning pictures. As a cook, Nik makes you hungry, as a photographer, he creates a unique mood that is captivating, appealing in a way that you want to frame his photograph and hang it on the wall and at the same time go straight to your kitchen and cook and eat the dish. He won Best Photo Based Culinary Blog awarded by the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) two years in a row, quite an astonishing career for someone who only grabbed the camera professionally in his mid twenties.

The fact that his dad was a successful photographer in advertising might have influenced the young man’s feel for light and compositions, but Nik says there wasn’t that much of an exchange about his work between father and son, he only learned how to use a camera after he left home. But despite his parents’ warnings – they told him not to follow their footsteps – the photographer, blogger, and soon to be cookbook author did what many kids do: he did it anyway. His mother worked in hotel and restaurant management, she didn’t like cooking, but she had a huge folder full of recipes collected from newspapers and magazines. Nik was fascinated by the world of cooking and baking at an early age, he loved spending hours reading through Indian and western creations, he joined the family’s cook in the kitchen, and eagerly followed his maternal grandmother’s culinary activities. Her Goan heritage is still very present in many of his own recipes.

Reading the titles of Nik Sharma’s recipes makes your mouth water, you can literarily smell the warm aroma of cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and rosewater filling the kitchen: Imagine Masala Chai Pumpkin Cake, Khasta Kachori (Edamame-stuffed Fried Indian Bread), Honey Sage Turmeric Wings, Goan Coconut Cake, Cherry Black Pepper Cake, or his Toasted Pistachio Cake with Blood Orange Sauce. The recipe he shares with us for our Meet In Your Kitchen feature is a vibrant explosion framed in comfort food: Goan coconut curry with tender game hen and aromatic spiced rice.

The cook’s approach to food is scientific, Nik has an analytic mind and way to think about dishes, but at the same time he looks at things from a “feminine standpoint”, he likes curves and his styling reflects that. “I always think of ballet dancers when I shoot, I envision the dish being a solo dance performer on stage, the light’s only focused on the dance and everything else is dark. I always think of dance and curves, I find them very sensual, I find straight lines and diagonals a little harsh. Even if I do introduce them in my composition, you’ll see that there’s a circle cutting through, like a tangent. Again, I bring math into it because I’m a geneticist by training”.

You can be a gourmet, an aesthete, and share the beauty of life, but if you’re a critical mind, you know that there’s always more to talk about at the table: You can often see Nik’s hands in his photographs, to show the technique of a recipe, the preparation and instructions, but also to showcase that there are people from different backgrounds, that there is diversity behind the scenes of a restaurant. Nik says “We don’t really see them because they are never brought to the front”. There’s an imbalance in our society, a hierarchy in the way who works in the front or the back of a restaurant, and in the way people are paid and it’s our responsibility to talk about this imbalance and solve it.

Every Sunday you can find one of Nik’s beautiful recipes in his A Brown Kitchen column printed in the San Francisco Chronicle (if you don’t happen to live in the Bay area you can also grab some inspiration online on the newspaper’s website) and on October 2nd, 2018, his first cookbook Season will come out. Reflecting Nik’s unique style, the book combines the author’s roots and fascination for flavors with his journey as an immigrant in the US who lived in different states and experienced the culinary heritage from people coming to this country from all over the world.

And if you also want to eat in Nik’s kitchen, check out his supper club!

In the next months, I’ll share many new Meet In Your Kitchen features with you that took me to California, Italy, France, and Japan. Thanks to Zwilling for sponsoring these features for our culinary trip around the world! Thank you, my man James Hickey, for joining me on these adventures and helping me take pictures!

Nik Sharma


Nik Sharma

Nik Sharma’s Goan Coconut Curry

Serves 4

2 medium red onions, peeled
2 cups grated coconut (unsweetened)
1 cup (240ml) boiling water
1 inch-piece (2.5cm) peeled ginger root
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
8 black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cayenne powder
6 cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
2 whole garlic pods
2 Cornish game hens, patted dry
Kosher salt as needed
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
Boiled rice or bread (to serve)

Cut one onion into thin slices and keep aside until ready to use. Take the second onion and cut it into quarters.

Place coconut, water, ginger, turmeric, peppercorns, cayenne, cloves, cinnamon, and the quartered onion in a blender and pulse on high speed until smooth and combined.

Melt the ghee in a medium-Dutch oven (or a heavy pot) on medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and sauté until golden brown for about 8 to 12 minutes. Peel any extra paper off the garlic pods and trim about ½ inch (1 cm) off the top to expose the garlic. Add the trimmed garlic pods to the onion and cook for about 1 minute. Then add the ground coconut spice mixture into the pan and cook stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Place the two Cornish game hens in the pan snuggly and fill the pan with enough water to just cover the two birds. Increase the heat to high and bring the contents of the pan to a rolling boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until the birds are completely cooked and tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt. Garnish with the chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot with rice or bread.

Nik Sharma




Watch my interview with Nik in San Fransisco in September 2017:



Thank you, Nik!


Nik Sharma




Nik Sharma




Nik Sharma




Nik Sharma




Nik Sharma


Nik Sharma

Crispy Latke with Curry and Orange Cream

Pumpkin Hash Brown

It’s been a beautiful January morning. Blue sky, the air is crisp and clean and much to my surprise glowing with sunshine! I went to the park to enjoy the first sunny morning in 2014 and it felt like spring. This calls for a celebration, something equally warming and shiny on my plate: fried golden latke. I make mine with Hokkaido pumpkin and potatoes, a home made curry mixture and an orange, cinnamon flavoured cream.

At this time of the year, I often cook with my own curry mixtures. I guess it’s the cold, my body appreciates warming spices like cayenne and turmeric. For my pumpkin – potato mixture, I prepare a curry mixture that is not too hot, despite the inclusion of cayenne. I want strong flavours, but more on the sweet side, like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves. The cream gives a lighter feel to this meal, its milky sourness is a refreshing counterpoint to the fried latkes, the orange zest and spices reinforce it.

Pumpkin Hash Brown

Spicy Pumpkin and Potato Latke with an Orange Cream

I use around 600g / 21 ounces peeled potatoes and 400g / 14 ounces pumpkin for my latke mixture which is enough for 3 – 4 people:

For the latke

Hokkaido pumpkin (or any other pumpkin), grated, 400g / 14 ounces
(with peel, just scoop out the seeds and fibre)
potatoes, peeled, grated, 600g / 21 ounces
onion, peeled, grated, 2
plain flour 12 tablespoons plus more for mixing
organic eggs 3
salt 3 teaspoons
vegetable oil for frying

for the curry mixture (for the latke)
cayenne pepper, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
coriander seeds, ground, 1/2 teaspoon
black pepper, ground, 1/2 teaspoon
turmeric, ground, 1/2 teaspoon
cumin, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
cardamom, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
cinnamon, ground, 1/4 teaspoon
3 cloves, ground in a mortar

 For the cream

cream cheese 150g / 5 ounces
heavy cream 4 tablespoons
plain yoghurt 4 tablespoons
orange zest 3 teaspoons
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cayenne pepper (ground)
a pinch of cinnamon (ground)
a pinch of cardamom (ground)

Mix all the ingredients for the cream and season to taste.

Squeeze out the grated potatoes, pumpkin and onions and dry between kitchen paper (in batches) until you get most of the liquid out. Mix all the ingredients for the latke, add more flour if the mixture is too moist.

Heat a good amount of oil in a large cast iron pan. Form pancake shaped latkes and fry them in the hot oil, 1-1 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Take down the heat if they get too dark. When the latke is done, remove excess oil with kitchen paper and keep in a warm oven until you finish your last batch. Serve together with the cream.

Couscous with Orange, Ginger and 6 Spices

6 Spice Couscous

Two days ago I filmed a live session at a recording studio with electronic artist Jim Hickey . As there were five of us and we had to work till late, I wanted to prepare something nice for us to eat to feed the energetic mood.

I didn’t have much time to prepare, so a box of couscous caught my attention (5 minutes and it’s done!). My mother had just sent it to me a couple days before because, I think, something that has to sit rather than cook for just a few minutes didn’t quite satisfy her idea of cooking. I had half an hour to enhance it a bit so I decided to mix it with slices of leek and carrot and to add some strong exotic flavors – a homemade curry mixture with orange zest, ginger, turmeric, black pepper, cumin, cardamom, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. I mixed in some raisins to add some sweetness to the fruity spiciness of the curry mixture. Quick and easy – perfect food to wake you up (exactly what we needed at 11pm)!

6 Spice Couscous

 A Couscous with Orange, Ginger and 6 Spices

For 6 people you need

couscous 360g / 12.5 ounces
salty water 540ml (with 1 teaspoon of salt)
1/2 a medium sized leek, thinly sliced
spring onion, thinly sliced, 2
carrots, cut in small cubes, 4
raisins, a handful
olive oil, 3 tablespoons plus more for frying
butter, 2 tablespoons
sour cream, 3 tablespoons

Curry mixture

ginger, grated, 2 teaspoons
zest of an orange, 2 teaspoons
turmeric, ground, 1 teaspoon
black pepper, ground, 1 teaspoon
cinnamon, ground, 1 teaspoon
cardamom, ground, 1 teaspoon
cayenne pepper, ground, 1 teaspoon
cumin, ground, 1 teaspoon

Let the raisins soak in a cup of hot water.

Bring the salty water to the boil. Take the pot off the heat. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the water, add the couscous and mix immediately, close the lid (leave it off the heat). Let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the butter, mix and separate the grains with a fork.

Mix all your spices for the curry mixture (including the ginger and orange zest) and grind in a mortar. Warm some olive oil in a large pan and add the leek, spring onions and the carrots. Push the vegetables to the side after a couple minutes, pour some more oil in the middle of the pan and fry 3 teaspoons of your curry mixture for a minute on medium heat. Mix everything together and fry for another 1o minutes (keep in mind that the carrots shouldn’t become too soft). Season with salt.

Mix the couscous and the fried vegetables in a big bowl, add the sour cream and more of your curry mixture until you find the right balance of spiciness (I added another 3 teaspoons of the spices at that point, so 6 teaspoons in all). When you are happy with the result, take the raisins out of the water and sprinkle on top of your couscous.

6 Spice Couscous


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