Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What is your Intent? Post today-

Dr. Deepak Chopra has been a great mentor, supporter and friend of mine for years. His vision of body, soul and cosmic energy had lead us to our meditation classes for staff at Junoon. His thoughts on Holy Kitchens have given a huge dimension of depth to our films.
I am honored to be a contributor on his website
Read more on my posts

Flavors First Cookbook coming soon, everywhere

Our upcoming book "Flavors First" is based on my journey from my Biji's kitchen to cooking in New York. I am honored to be a part of Lake Isle Press family.
Pre-order on amazon

7 Spice Lamb Shank in Time Out New York

Today in Time Out: 7 Spice lamb shank at Junoon. I was inspired with this medley of spices as they combine perfectly.

The Spice that changed the World

This ingredient change the World forever: Peppercorns. As I was touring through the peppercorn fields of India, it was hard to underestimate the power of these peacefully growing vines of peppercorns.
Its a part of our daily life now that we take its journey to our dinner tables for granted.
Black pepper is such a common pantry item th...ese days, it may be hard to believe it was once so valuable that it was used as currency. We take it for granted, but the vast majority of savory recipes include some form of black pepper as an ingredient.
Pepper is ranked the third most added ingredient to recipes, with water and salt leading the race. To get basic ground black pepper, one must begin with whole peppercorns, not as commonly used nowadays, but definitely a culinary experience extraordinaire.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Raving review of Junoon in NY Times

I am humbled and very thankkful to Mr. Sam Sifton for a very encouraging review of Junoon in The New York Times today. I owe this to everyone in our team who work SO hard everyday. I am proud of each one of them.
I dedicate these stars to my Biji.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I was born again on Mar 29, 1984 when I ran for the first time in my life. Thx Mama ji for another beautiful spring.

me born: Again on March 29th, 1984

I was born on Nov 14th 1971 to Bindu and Davinder Khanna. This time was very critical during the India-Pakistan war of 1971. The nurse noticed that I had strange (misaligned) legs and the doctors thought that I might never be able to walk properly ever. My mother is "Indra Gandhi" to all who know her. The woman of iron will who would even fight with Gods for her kids, and hearing that her son would not be able to walk was impossible for her to hear.
So, she takes me to Delhi (in the middle of war) and gets my legs operated. (this picture was taken right after the operation).
She made me wear the shoes with braces. I loved-hated those shoes that were always tight and I hated my feet growing bigger. But I would never complain to my mother to buy new ones as they costed a lot of money. But she knew it when they were too tight and would always manage to get new ones.
Also, I could never play like other kids, and always stayed at home. Oh man! When I entered my classroom, they sounded like thunderstorms and even louder than all the kids laughing together when they saw me.

I loved them because during Diwali, I could almost break crackers with them and make everyone jealous. And also, because staying at home allowed me to stay in the kitchen. I found me peace and center there. And later learnt cooking from my Biji (grand mother) in the same kitchen.

I was entering teens by 1984 and loved the moment when my doctor said that you are FREE. I thought free for what. He said to run, as I did not need to wear the braces anymore.
On March 29th, 1984 my mother took me to Company Bagh in Amritsar right after the happy news and asked me to run. I still remember the huge statue of Gandhi with fountains and running around them.
It was just the beginning of spring and I had found new freedom. Not just to run, but just to be free.
Thanks Mama for another beautiful spring.

Vikas Khanna is the Spice Man | Food Republic

I learned to cook at my grandmother’s side. One of my first jobs was grinding the spices. She had a large, heavy brass mortar and pestle. it was one of her most treasured possessions. She patiently taught me the importance of slowly dry roasting the spices and letting them cool before grinding them in the mortar. If I ever over-toasted the spices she would make me throw them out and start over again.
She was patient and kind, but believe me, my Biji had high standards of quality. We ground the spices fresh for every meal. My connection to the world of spices was handed down to me through my grandmother and by extension, from all the cooks who came before her. I love having this connection to my ancestors.
A distinguishing characteristic of Indian cooking is our extensive use of spices, both whole and ground in making sauces. As a home cook there are three important lessons to be learned:
  1. Buy your spices in small quantities so they don’t lose their flavor. For home use, I only buy an ounce or two at a time, but I admit that I am spoiled because I am close to so many excellent purveyors of fresh spices. Spice oils are sensitive to light and heat and quickly lose their potency, so store them in a cool, dark place to preserve their freshness.
  2. Find a place that is busy and turns over its inventory frequently to assure that the spices are fresh. The best way to tell if the spices are fresh is to smell them. If they smell pungent, they’re fresh. If the smell is faint or musty, the spices are past their prime. 
  3. Buy all your spices whole and only grind them as you need them. As soon as spices are ground, the flavor begins to dissipate rapidly. Within an hour, much of the flavor is lost. Today’s coffee grinders are super for turning whole spices into powder. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to use—just label one for spices only and make sure never to use it for coffee.
If your recipe calls for a teaspoon of ground cumin, for example, lightly toast a heaping teaspoon of whole cumin in a dry skillet over medium heat until it smells fragrant and then remove the cumin from the pan and let it cool before grinding in your coffee grinder. The reason we toast spices is to activate the essential oils that the spices contain; it makes the flavor more vibrant and exciting. The only spices that we don’t typically grind ourselves are cinnamon stick, dried ginger, and turmeric. Only a very powerful industrial grinder can turn thesd spices into a fine powder.
An easy method of using spices to add flavor to dishes is infusing oil to be used on marinades or as a salad dressing. 

Metro NY - Vikas Khanna: The hottest chef around

Read Article Here

Published: February 23, 2011 6:11 p.m.
Last modified: February 23, 2011
 6:14 p.m.

Learn more about Vikas Khanna and Junoon (27 W. 24th St.) at

Although we’ve had our sights set on Vikas Khanna to be Metro’s Hot Chef for a while, it seems like we’re not the only media outlet to find the executive chef of the upscale eatery Junoon eye-catching: The readers of Eater NY just voted him the hottest chef in New York (he’ll now compete with chefs from San Francisco, L.A., Portland, Miami, Austin and Chicago for the title of Hottest Chef in the Country). Let’s check in to see what makes him so delish, shall we? What is the most misunderstood thing about Indian cuisine? 

People think that Indian cuisine is much more spicy and complex than it really is. Many of our dishes are very mild and easily made. Most feature just a few spices in different amounts that change the balance and perception of a dish.
What is your absolute favorite thing to cook at Junoon?

Lentils — it makes me feel connected to my grandmother, who taught me to cook. It was the first dish that my Biji let me make for the family when I was still a boy. I feel such a sense of comfort when I have lentils and it reminds me of the humble place I come from.
What is the most important thing your grandmother instilled in you about cooking? 

When I first began my catering company, she took me aside and advised me to always have good intentions in my heart, no matter who I was cooking for. She told me that people will forgive the mistakes in your life if they believe in your best intentions. I have found this to be true.
What is your favorite element about the physical space of Junoon? 

Our meditation room. It’s a space we set aside for the staff and we hold meditation sessions there. I think that caring for the staff is the most important thing in creating a successful restaurant. The most important thing is our relationships and taking care of each other. I want everyone here to feel valued because they are all important to our mission of hospitality.

Can you tell us about your short film series “Holy Kitchens,” which focuses on religions and their relationship with food? 

Our next “Holy Kitchens” film will have its premiere at the New York Indian Film Festival, taking place May 4–8. It’s called “From Karma to Nirvana” and it focuses on the life of Krishna and the food-sharing traditions in Hinduism.

Vikas on Twitter

Please follow us at Vikas Khanna (VikasKhanna1) for udates

Vikas on the Martha Stewart on the Hallmark Channel

See complet show  - Martha Stewart Show

Turmeric: Health Benefits

Health benefits of has been used for over 2500 years in India as a major ingredient for cooking and in ayurveda. My garndmother (biji) used to boil it with milk and give it to us when we were kids before sleeping. A small paste was applied when we would cut ourselves and also considered auspicious in ceremonies.

Here are 20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet: Courtesy HealthDiaries

1. It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2. When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.

3. Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4. May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5. Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6. Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7. May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup in the brain.

8. May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9. It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Kerela: Amma and Spice Market

During my recent trip to Kerala, I had 2 things on my agenda.
To seek Amma's blessings before opening Junoon and secondly to walk through the Spice Streets.
Amma (also known as the hugging saint) has inspired millions around the World and is a subject of our upcoming film "Karma to Nirvana". Her blessings mean a lot to me. She had once told me that feeding people is feeding the divine. She touches every plate of food she serves and when I asked her why, she said "I pray that may this food satisfy your soul" I loved it so much, that I try to do the same at Junoon.....well, I try my best to touch every plate that leaves to the dining room.

Secondly, my journey was to understand the power of the flavors and blessings of Mother earth known as "SPICES".They have impacted our lives since the beginning of time.Kerala became the center of the spice route and the New World was discovered because of them.

It is the several hundred pounds of spices from the oldest spice markets, that I use in my spice room at Junoon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A sunny day at farmers market, magic of spring

Zucchini Blossoms

One of my Favorite Spring Time Vegetables  - Zucchini Blossoms.
Here is a simple recipe of crispy zucchini blossom with with rice 
flourbatter. A gluten free recipe with lots of flavor

Zucchini or other squash blossoms
2/3 cup rice or all purpose flour
cup club soda
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
teaspoon ground cumin
teaspoon cayenne pepper
Oil for frying

Whisk flour into soda – adjust proportions so batter is the consistency 
of heavy cream or slightly thicker. Add the salt, black pepper, cumin  and 
cayenne. Heat the oil to 350 F.

Coat blossoms in batter, and shallow fry in hot oil.

Drain on paper towels and serve with Rhubarb Chutney

Vision of Palate

"Vision of Palate" are our award winning workshops developed to educate
people with visual disbilities about the sense of taste, flavors and aromas.
Learm more:

Holy Kitchens Series - Moon of Eid (ISLAM)

The Moon of Eïd is a part of Vikas Khanna's series of Holy Kitchens. It will explore
 these traditions of the holy month of Ramadan along with the Five Pillars of Islam
and talk with Muslims about the spiritual sharing of food in Islam.

A Day at Junoon (in Images)

Traditions, Rituals, Comfort........a childhood memory

Friday, March 25, 2011

Infusion of spices.......more flavors

Click Above to Read full Article

Ready to take that Indian dish to the next level? We hit up executive chef Vikas Khanna of the hot new Manhattan Indian restaurant Junoon—not to mention the guy that Eater readers recently voted the sexiest chef in NYC—for an easy method of adding flavor to dishes by infusing oil. The oil can be used as a marinade or even as a salad dressing and can be made well in advance of its use, and it's sure to put a little Punjab punch into whatever you're making. 
Ever experimented with infused oils? Tell us about it in comments.
Ground spices at Junoon
Photo: Courtesy of Junoon Hospitality
Ground spices at Junoon
Servings:2 cups


2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
3 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
1 two inch piece cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
10 whole green cardamom pods
5 bay leaves
1 tablespoon ground tumeric
2 cups grapeseed oil (or other mild oil), warmed to 150 degrees
  1. In a medium sized heavy bottom pan over medium heat, combine the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, clove, cardamom and peppercorns and heat to toast about two minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and cool. Then pour the toasted spices into a clean, dry spice grinder with the bay leaves and turmeric and process until finely ground.
  3. Pour the ground spices into a stainless steel container and slowly add the oil, stirring to combine and then cover the container tightly. Leave the oil in a cool, dark place to infuse for at least two weeks.
  4. Strain the oil through a fine meshed strainer lined with cheesecloth and store in a cool dry place for up to one month.
Level of Difficulty: 

More Recipes at Recipes

One of my favorite spring ingredient- Rhubarb. 
A simple Rhubarb with Fennel Seeds and Himalayan Salt.


red onion, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
tablespoons fennel seeds
cup white wine
tablespoons white wine vinegar
cup packed light-brown sugar
teaspoon Himalayan salt
pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

In a medium saucepan combine onion, lemon zest, fennel seeds, wine, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes.
Add rhubarb, cover and reduce heat. Simmer gently until rhubarb is tender and the mixture is thick, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Chill until needed.

SAKIV: In support of Clinton Foundation

Our Foundation SAKIV is proud to be a supporter of 
President Clinton's Millennium Network.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Holy Kitchens: True Business -Chardi kala Award

I am very grateful to everyone at Plainview Library for their hospitality, love and support for the Holy Kitchens Film. 
I loved the "Chardi Kala Award". The word signify a perennially blossoming and optimistic attitude to life and to the future. Thank You all.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Holy Kitchens: Karma to Nirvana (Hinduism)

FIRST LOOK at our cover poster of "Karma to Nirvana"
Credits: Claude Renault (one of my favorite photographer)
Details coming soon.

Donna Karan's Notes on Junoon


Eat Out New York: NYC TV

Had a great shoot with Kelly Choi (NYC TV’s Eat Out NY).
 Just brilliant energy.

Holy Kitchens: True Business ( Sikhism)

Today is the screening of Holy Kitchens in Plainview, Long Island followed by Q and A, and an Award Ceremony. 

Vikas Khanna's "Holy Kitchens" is a series of films connecting Faith to Food. The True Business or Saacha Sauda a story about "langar," the Sikh tradition of offering meals to the community, started by the Spiritual founder of Sikhs
 "Guru Nanak Dev Ji"

THANKS to eveyone for organizing it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Enjoy the new images of Junoon and food....

Spring Menu Ideas

Le Cordon Bleu Fresh Vegetables

More Recipes at Spring Menu Ideas

Serves 4

bunch asparagus, peeled, trimmed and tied with a kitchen twine
baby carrots, peeled
snow peas
tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
10 to 12
ripe cherry tomatoes
red radish
Salt to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
teaspoon cayenne pepper
Sprigs of dill

Fill a large pot with 4-inch high with salted water. Place asparagus and carrots and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until asparagus are crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve.
To the same water add snow peas and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and reserve.
In a medium pan heat the oil and add all the vegetables and stir fry for 2 minutes.
Add the salt, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and dill and mix well.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Holy Kitchens: True Business ( Sikhism) - Screening Schedule

Very excited for our upcoming screenings of Holy Kitchens
at Harvard, Princeton, Cornell University and lots more coming soon!
Plainview Gurdwara: March 23rd
Princeton University: April 16th
Harvard University: April 18th

Thanks everyone who is working so hard to organize these events, langars, performances, etc

For more Information visit