Chef Sambit Banick of Spice Kraft stirs up some boozy food! 

Every year, late October or early November, around the onset of winter, Indians across the country prepare meticulously to celebrate Diwali by arranging clay lamps (diyas) in a row (avali) to mark the triumph of good over evil. At the same time, some years ago, a band of B-School students would gather at a common friend’s house, well-stocked on cheap liquor, loads of packaged namkeen and a fresh pack of cards for a run-up to the big bad Diwali Taash Party. 

  • Published 19.10.17
  •  

Every year, late October or early November, around the onset of winter, Indians across the country prepare meticulously to celebrate Diwali by arranging clay lamps (diyas) in a row (avali) to mark the triumph of good over evil. At the same time, some years ago, a band of B-School students would gather at a common friend’s house, well-stocked on cheap liquor, loads of packaged namkeen and a fresh pack of cards for a run-up to the big bad Diwali Taash Party. 

Not that we were hardcore drinkers or backbench gamblers but the idea of friends getting together, having fun and actually betting to invoke the blessings of the goddess of wealth for the rest of the year would spur us to take a swig of bitter liquor and try our hand at teen patti. We probably drew inspiration from the story of Frederick W. Smith, CEO of FedEx, who saved his company from the brink of bankruptcy by scurrying off to Las Vegas to wager the company’s last bank balance of $5,000 and successfully win $32,000, which changed his ‘fortunes’ or rather turned it into a Fortune 500 company! 

But unlike Frederick, every year I would lose my hard-earned tuition fee, the onerously saved bus-ride fares and once even my uncle’s beloved red-and-yellow chequered ‘Govinda shirt’, which I wore that fateful night. But what I gained, forever, was the courage to take risks, which later helped me to switch careers, follow my culinary passion and lay the foundation of my restaurant Spice Kraft, without even thinking twice before giving up my cushy job. So, yes, it’s lucky to gamble on Dhanteras and perhaps even more lucky to lose! 

Therefore this Diwali, I plan to invite those same old friends settled across the world to a cosy Taash Party. Only this time, cheap liquor and packaged namkeen will make way for the best quality alcohol-spiked Diwali eats, which I have specially curated for them and t2 readers…

BUD WALI MAWA GUJIYAS 

Ingredients 

1) Budweiser beer 330ml 
2) Refined flour 500g 
3) Ghee 1litre
4) Sugar 500g
5) Mawa 300g 
6) Cashew, pista, raisins 50g each 
7) Cardamom, dry coconut, nutmeg 2tsp each
8) Sugar syrup 200ml

Method 

1) First make a beer dough by combining flour, little sugar, ghee and Budweiser beer to make a hard beer dough. 
2) To make the stuffing, fry mawa in ghee until light brown.
3) Add sugar, dry fruits, spices and cook on very low heat for 6 minutes. 
4) Now make 10-12 small discs from the beer dough. Put a little bit of the mawa mixture on one disc and put another disc on top of it. Gently seal them together by twisting the edges and now deep-fry in ghee. 
5) Drain the beer dough gujiyas, coat in sugar syrup and serve when cool.

OLD MONK KARACHI HALWA SANDWICHES 

Ingredients 

1) Old Monk rum 180ml 
2) Caster sugar 600g 
3) Cornflour 250g 
4) Lime juice 2tsp 
5) Ghee 100g 
6) Cashew nuts and almonds 50g each 
7) Strawberry and mango crush 20ml each 
8) Wafer biscuits 10pc

Method

1) Dissolve sugar in 3 cups of water and boil for 5 minutes. 
2) Add the cornflour and cook on medium heat to form a translucent lump.
3) Add lime juice, ghee and cook the lump for 3 minutes.
4) Now equally divide into 2 bowls and fold in the nuts, strawberry and mango puree separately to each lump. 
5) Cook them separately, remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.  
6) Just when the lumps tend to solidify, add the Old Monk and combine nicely. 
7) Now sandwich them between the wafers and serve at room temperature. 

SMIRNOFF INFUSED MATAR KACHORIS

Ingredients 
1) Boiled green peas 400g (soaked overnight in Smirnoff Vodka)
2) Refined flour 500g 
3) Ghee 1litre 
4) Baking powder ½ tsp 
5) Salt to taste
6) Red chilli powder 
7) Cumin 1tsp 
8) Coriander 1tsp 
9) Aamchur powder 1tsp 
10) Ginger-garlic paste 2tsp
Method
1) Sift flour, salt, baking powder and combine with water to make dough. 
2) Lightly saute vodka-soaked green peas with salt, spices and ginger-garlic paste to cook the stuffing.
3) Roll the dough into discs and stuff them with the cooked vodka-soaked pea-stuffing.
4) Seal edges and lightly roll again and deep-fry in ghee.
5) Serve hot with spicy aloo ki sabzi.

JACK DANIEL’S GATTE KI KADHI 

Ingredients 

1) Jack Daniel’s 180ml 
2) Besan 400g 
3) Curd 250g  
4) Salt to taste
5) Coriander 
6) Chilli
7) Fennel 
8) Carom (ajwain), hing and mustard seeds 1tsp each 
9) Soya oil 100ml
10) Curry leaves and bay leaves 2g each

Method 

1) Prepare gatte dough by combining besan, little curd with half the spices and oil to roll into a thin long cylinder, divide and cut into small pieces. Boil these, drain and keep aside. 
2) Now make the kadhi by whisking together curd, besan, little spices and salt. 
3) Heat oil and add remaining spices.
4) Now saute the curry leaves, bay leaves and add a little water.
5) Add the curd mixture and gradually cook for 3 minutes. 
6) Slowly add the boiled gatte and cook for another 2 minutes.
7) Put it on simmer and now gently add the Jack Daniel’s and after giving a quick stir, remove from heat immediately.
8) Serve hot with jeera rice and pickles.

Pictures: Koushik Saha

About
Author