Chef Bal’s gourmet journey began more than a decade back via the greenrooms, the centre stage and the Ramp. Before he took to the wok, he was already ruling the ramp in India and the fashion magazines of India. Today, Chef Bal is known for his
What have been your life’s lessons from the world of kitchen?
That the pursuit of perfection often take a lifetime. Perseverance and belief is everything.
Do you find anything similar between modelling and Food?
Well..models eat well. And it stops there.
What about cooking, irks you the most?
The having to stick to a recipe each time. And the no holidays in general.
Whats your favorite time for cooking?
Nothing like early mornings to get started.
Who/what inspired you to take up Food Industry as a career option?
The desire to have control over my professional output and destiny in general. To have a direct relationship with my craft and livelihood.
Put a spice(name) to these:
Your best friend, basil
your Boss no boss
your neighbor hing
your partner lavender
your sibling fennel
your mom cinnamon
your dad chili
your pet allspice
What really inspires you about life?
The beauty and miracles of nature. And the gift of life.
24 fresh mussels (scrubbed well and de bearded)
¼ glass white wine
2 cloves garlic
For the butter:
60 gm soft butter
¼ bunch basil leaves
3 dry red chillies
5 cloves garlic peeled
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp olive oil
1 lime plus 2 more limes cut into wedges for serving
1. The first thing we need to do is make the flavored butter. Dry roast 5 cloves of garlic, the pepper and dry red chillies in a small frying pan until they have released their natural oils and are wonderfully aromatic. Transfer them to a heavy mortar or spice grinder, add the basil, salt and olive oil and grind all the ingredients to a semi fine paste.
2. Put the softened butter into a bowl, add the herbed paste and squeeze in the juice of one lime. Combine the butter and herbed paste with a fork, making sure the ingredients are really well mixed together. Cover and chill the butter until ready to use.
3. Now, to cook the mussels. Heat a large wok or frying pan until nice and hot, chop 2 cloves of garlic fine and add them to the wok, then add the white wine. Cover the wok and let cook for a couple of minutes. Shake the pan vigorously every now and then to help the mussels open up properly.
4. Turn down the heat and continue cooking on a medium heat till the mussel shells have opened and the mussels are half cooked. Turn off the heat and transfer the opened mussels to a bowl. Throw away any mussels that remain closed.
5. Strain the mussel jus into another small bowl and reserve.
6. To finish the mussels. Pre heat your ovens broiler/top grill to 160 C. while its heating up, we need to separate the mussels from their shells. Take a small sharp knife and pry the mussels loose from their shells, (they should come away quite easily) then place one mussel in each half shell and place in a large roasting tray.
7. Take the butter out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Put a teaspoon of the herbed butter on each mussel, then top with a drizzle of the reserved mussel jus. Put the mussels into the oven and grill them for 5 to 6 minutes or until the mussels are cooked through and the butter is bubbling and melted.
8. Remove the mussels from the oven and serve them in the roasting if you like, or on a nice white platter for a more formal presentation with lots of lemon wedges to squeeze over. Simply sublime!!
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