• 27th February 2012 - By Indian Accent Restaurant

    A new front in the decades-old standoff between India and Pakistan, Foodistan, an Indian reality TV show, pits the best chefs of the dueling nations against each other in a cross-border cook-off. In this showdown, tactical deployment of spices is what “curries” the day. A food fight or a recipe for peace?


    Poppy Agha is the lively and talented chef behind the popular Pakistani TV show The Taste of Fusion, and founder of the first professional culinary institute in Pakistan. Agha is one of the Pakistani chefs featured on Foodistan.

    Manish Mehrotra, trained under master chefs from Thailand at the Taj President, Mumbai, and is known for creating an award-winning menu at Indian Accent at The Manor, in New Delhi. He is part of the Indian team competing on Foodistan.

    Ira Dubey is the sparkly co-host of Foodistan. An actress and self-professed foodie, she brings her love for all things tasty into the tense culinary face-off between India and Pakistan.

    Chef Manish shared his recipe


    Nariyal and Soya Paneer Vada, Thayir Sadam and Tomato Chutney (starter)
    Coconut and tofu croquettes flavoured with herbs and spices. Served with chutney made out of spicy tomato pickle.


    • 2 cups fresh tofu, grated
    • 4 tbsp paneer, grated
    • 3 tbsp ginger, chopped
    • 1 tbsp green chillies, chopped
    • 3 tbsp garlic, chopped
    • 1 tsp curry leaves
    • salt to taste
    • 1 tbsp fine sugar
    • 1 tsp garam masala powder
    • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
    • 1 tsp white pepper powder
    • 5 tbsp coconut milk powder
    • 7 tbsp almonds, peeled and chopped
    • 1 pkt tempura batter mix
    • 10 tbsp panko bread crumbs
    • oil (for frying)
    • 2 tbsp tomato pickle
    • 1 cup mayonnaise
    • 7 tbsp cooked rice
    • 1 tbsp oil
    • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
    • 1 tbsp urad dal
    • 3 onion, chopped
    • 4 cucumber, chopped
    • 2 tbsp coriander, chopped
    • 5 tbsp hung yogurt
    • 2 tbsp cream
    • 2 tbsp raw mango

    For plating (optional):

    • 1 coconut, whole
    • 1 banana leaf


    For soya and tofu vada:
    Squeeze tofu and paneer in muslin cloth to remove maximum amount of water.

    In a mixing bowl, cream tofu and paneer to a smooth mixture so that there are no lumps left.

    Add chopped ginger, green chilli, garlic, salt, fine sugar, garam masala, cinnamon powder and white pepper powder and coconut milk powder.

    Mix it thoroughly and place it in chiller for mixture to harden a bit.

    Give tofu mixture a shape, dip in tempura batter and first roll in almonds, then in panko breadcrumbs.

    Deep fry and serve with tomato pickle chutney, curd rice.

    For tomato pickle chutney:
    Whirl the tomato pickle in mixer and pass through conical strainer.

    Add mayonnaise and adjust the seasoning.

    For curd rice:
    Prepare the south Indian tempering of curry leaves, black mustard seeds and urad dal and strain to remove oil.

    In a bowl, take rice. Add south Indian tadka, chopped onion, cucumber, coriander, ginger, raw mango and green chilli.

    Add hung curd, salt, fine sugar, and if required some cream as well.

    Mix thoroughly and chill.

    Break the coconut and serve the curd rice in the shell.

    Tellicherry Pepper Prawns Fry, Saboodana Papad (main course)
    Black tiger prawns cooked with freshly crushed black tellicherry pepper and other spices


    • 10 black tiger prawns (approx 1/2 kg), head off & shell off
    • salt to taste
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
    • 1 pkt tempura batter mix
    • 2 tbsp oil
    • 1 tbsp ginger, chopped
    • 3 tbsp garlic, chopped
    • 15g oyster sauce (optional)
    • 1 tbsp Maggi bhunna masala
    • 2 tsp black pepper powder, coarse
    • 2 tbsp coriander, chopped
    • 30g mashed potato (optional)
    • chilli flakes to taste
    • 2 saboodana papads
    • 2 tsp garam masala
    • oil for frying


    Devein the prawns and give a butterfly cut.

    Wash thoroughly and pat dry.

    Marinate in half oyster sauce and half lemon juice.

    Add little tempura batter (2 tbsp) to the prawns.

    Fry in hot oil till golden.

    In a pan, heat oil and sauté chopped ginger, garlic and bhunna masala.

    Add water (6 tbsp) and add salt to the remaining oyster sauce.

    Add crushed peppercorn and garam masala.

    Reduce the sauce to coating consistency.

    Add the crisp fried prawns and toss to coat evenly.

    Add chopped coriander and finish with remaining lemon juice.

    Add chopped coriander, salt and little black pepper to mashed potato.

    Fry saboodana papad.

    In serving plate, place quenelle of mash potato and stand the fried sabodana papad on it.

    At the other end, stack the prawns and serve hot.

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