Toss the boxed macaroni and cheese. For something with a little more zip, look to the talent behind ROOH Palo Alto's cuisine and cocktails, which combine traditional Indian sensibilities with seasonal ingredients and international techniques and influences. Below, award-winning chef Sujan Sarkar and head mixologist Chetan Gangan have shared favorite recipes so you can recreate ROOH’s flavors at home. 473 University Ave., 650.800.7090, roohpaloalto.com
ROOH’s Tandoori Spiced Maitake with Polenta Upma and Parmesan Tandoori Marinade
3 Tbsp. mustard oil
1 tsp. Madras curry powder
1 tsp. ginger paste
1 tsp. garlic paste
½ tsp. Kitchen King masala
Salt to taste
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 cup Greek yogurt
4 heads (4 oz. each) organic maitake mushroom
1. Warm the mustard oil.
2. Add the curry powder, ginger and garlic paste, masala and salt
3. Add the yoghurt and mix really well.
4. Cut mushrooms into halves and rub the marinade gently over the mushrooms.
3 Tbsp. canola oil
2 oz. (chopped) onion
2 tsp. (finely chopped) garlic
1 sprig curry leaves
4 oz. polenta
1 cup milk
1 cup water
Salt to taste
2 tsp. cilantro chopped
4 oz. butter
3 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
Truffle to finish (optional)
1. Heat the oil and add the chopped garlic and curry leaves. Cook until they splatter.
2. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes. Then add the polenta and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add warm milk and water. Then cook until polenta is soft and creamy.
4. Add cold butter, grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice and chopped cilantro to finish.
1. Place maitake halves on a grill and cook for a few minutes. Then place them on a baking pan and cook in a preheated (350 F) oven for another 5 minutes.
2. Remove from the oven and place each mushroom half on polenta upma.
3. Grate some extra Parmesan cheese and fresh truffle (optional) on top and serve.
ROOH’s Whistle Podu Cocktail
“Whistlepodu” means to cheer by blowing a whistle. The Whistle Podu Cocktail—ROOH’s take on a Bloody Mary—is made with traditional rasam, a spicy and sour tomato soup from Southern India. (Apologies to those whose skill is limited to “open and pour.” This recipe is involved but very satisfying.)
2 oz. smoked rasam (recipe follows)
¾ oz. honey
¾ oz. lime
1 oz. soda
1 curry leaf (for garnish)
Ingredients for rasam
1. Smoke the tomato rasam for 1 hour
2. Mix all ingredients and then carbonate
3. Serve in a rock glass and finish with a garnish of fried curry leaf
Chef Sujan Sarkar
Photography by: Food image Mercado Hospitality; drink image by Marc Fiorito; chef portrait by Kelly Puleio