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Mumbai chefs share soul-warming steamed recipes to enjoy during the monsoon

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Even though the city has a love-hate relationship with the monsoon, Mumbaikars do step out to enjoy steaming hot food during this season. The weather demands warmth while enjoying nature’s beauty. Unfortunately, the last pandemic-marred year has held back people from visiting cosy restaurants and cafés. 

Welcoming the season with steaming food outdoors may still be doubtful in the coming weeks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it in the safety of your home. Soups may be on your mind but they are passé because almost everybody can ace them. It is time to test your culinary skills and try making dishes which will definitely be a treat worth bragging about. 

Mid-day asked chefs in the city to share their favourite recipes of steamed food. Spanning snack, main, and dessert courses, and covering Asian and Indian cuisines, these dishes should definitely be your mind the next time you plan your home menu. 

Khatta Dhokla
A popular steamed dish from Gujarat, Chef Ranveer Brar recommends the no-fail Khatta Dhokla because of its health benefits, especially during the monsoon. Brar says, “monsoon and change of season are when one’s digestive system is quite vulnerable. That`s where steamed foods come in handy, as they are not only healthy but easily digestible too.” 

Ingredients

For Fermentation
Kolum Rice (soaked) – 1 cup, split black gram (soaked) – ½ cup, sour curd – ½ cup

Others 
Coconut water – ¼ cup, Salt to taste, fresh green chilli paste – ½ tsp, oil – 1½ tbsp, fruit salt – ½ tsp, oil for greasing 

For Tempering
Oil – 2 tbsp, mustard seeds – 1 tsp, dry red chillies – 2 or 3 nos, curry leaves – 1 sprig

Method

For Fermentation
1. In a grinder jar add soaked rice, split black gram, sour curd and grind it into a proper paste.
2. Remove in a bowl and keep in a warm place to ferment for 4-5 hours.
3. After fermented, add coconut water, salt, green chilli paste, mix it properly.
4. Now take one portion of the batter and add mixture of oil, fruit salt in it and mix it properly with 
light hands.
5. Switch on the steamer, and also grease the mould or the plate then pour the batter in it and steam 
it for 10-12 minutes on high heat.
6. Once steamed remove and let it cool a little, then cut in the desired shape and pour the hot 
tempering on it and serve warm.

For Tempering
In a small pan heat oil and add mustard seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves, sauté for a minute and it ready to use. 


Tamarind, chilli spiced rawas with creamy coconut rice at The Sassy Spoon, across all outlets. Photo: The Sassy Spoon

Tamarind, chilli spiced rawas with creamy coconut rice at The Sassy Spoon
A snack may not fully satiate a craving, so feasting on a meal of tamarind and chilli spiced rawas, which is steamed in a banana leaf and served with coconut rice is best for when a big hunger strikes. Culinary director and chef Amit Bhatia, The Chocolate Spoon Company, says it`s a take on the South Indian fish curry and rice. 

Ingredients
Rawas – 1 fillet, banana leaf – ½ piece, tamarind – 1.5 tbsp, turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp, Kashmiri chillies – 8 nos, Madras onions – 2 tbsp, coconut oil – 1 tbsp, curry leaves – 10 to 12 nos, onion – 1 tbsp, Basmati rice – 1 cup, Coconut milk – ½ cup, butter – 1 tbsp, white wine – 2 tbsp

Method 

For the fish
1. De-seed the Kashmiri dry red chillies and roast them in the oven. Allow it to cool and then crush to powder.                        
2. Clean and de-seed the tamarind and soak it in warm water for a few minutes. Remove the pulp.
3. In a pan, heat coconut oil and sauté chopped onions. Add in the turmeric, curry leaves, Kashmiri chilli powder and tamarind. Cook on a low flame till the fragrance of raw masala disappears.
4. Now marinate the fish with salt pepper and apply the cooked masala marination. Wrap it in a banana leaf and steam it in a steamer for 12-15 minutes.    

For the coconut rice                
1. For the rice in a hot pan heat butter and add in chopped onion. Sauté for a while, add a splash of white wine, allow it to de-glaze and add in the cooked basmati rice.
2. Mix coconut milk in the rice, cook for five minutes till the rice gets nicely coated and check for seasoning.
3. Once the fish is steamed keep it on the grill for a minute or two on each side.
4. Serve the fish wrapped in banana leaf with coconut rice.    

Butter Garlic Momos at Social, across all outlets. Photo: Social

Butter Garlic Momos at Social, across all outlets 
As many street-side stalls in the city have disappeared, it is not as easy to stop and gorge on steaming momos while enjoying the rain. Make them at home instead. Glyston Gracias, city chef at Social recommends a twist to the classic with Butter Garlic momos. 

Ingredients:

For Dough:
Maida – 1 kg, salt – 20 gm, butter – 50 gms, water – 500 ml 

For stuffing:
Mushroom – 1 kg, baby corn – 1 kg, carrot – 1 kg, cabbage – 500 gms, French beans – 1 kg, garlic – 300 gms, Soya sauce – 150 ml, oil – 200 ml, aromatic powder – 100 gm, sugar – 100 gms 

Method 

For dough: 
Mix the above ingredients and make a soft dough

For filling:
1. Sauté all above vegetables with onion and garlic.
2. Add soya, adjust the seasoning.

For Momos:
1. Stuff the momos and shape.
2. Steam the momos for three minutes.
3. In well-seasoned Wok, add butter, chopped garlic, sliced red chillies, chopped bell peppers, basil.
4. Finish it with seasoning and lemon juice.
5. Serve warm.

Grilled Artichoke Bao at Plural, Fort. Photo: Plural 

Grilled Artichoke Bao at Plural, Fort  

For all those who love baos, it is time you try your hand at making these pillowy snacks. Vedant Shah, founder of the newly-opened Plural, recommends the artichoke bao from their menu. An idea picked up during his travels in South East Asia, he thinks it’ll be the perfect dish to enjoy in this rainy weather.   
 
Ingredients  
 
For bao dough: 
Red Lotus flour – 2 kg, maida – 1 kg, Caster Sugar – 300 gms, oil – 280 ml, baking powder – 20 gms, dry yeast – 25 grams, water – 1.4 ml (per bao), artichoke – 25 gms, parsley oil – 10 ml, garlic – 5 gms, Morning Glory – 2 gms.  
 
For Asian barbecue sauce  
Sriracha Sauce – 500 gms, tomato ketchup – 250 gms, chilli paste – 70 gms, garlic – 90 gms. 
 
Method  
 
For bao dough: 
1. Mix all the ingredients to make a bao dough. 
2. Roll the dough to a half moon pocket shape.
3. Steam the baos.  
 
For filling: 
1. Cut the artichoke in four pieces. 
2. Gently sear the artichokes in a frying pan with parsley oil and garlic. 
3. Then toss the seared artichoke hearts with an Asian barbecue sauce.
4. Toss the Morning Glory flower gently in a Nauc Cham dressing.  

Plating:
1. Gently place the baos on a plate and fill it with the filling of artichoke and Morning Glory.
2. Then top it gently with a few fried garlic chips.

Also Read: Miss eating roasted corn in the rain? These recipes will help you relive the experience indoors



Even though the city has a love-hate relationship with the monsoon, Mumbaikars do step out to enjoy steaming hot food during this season. The weather demands warmth while enjoying nature’s beauty. Unfortunately, the last pandemic-marred year has held back people from visiting cosy restaurants and cafés. 

Welcoming the season with steaming food outdoors may still be doubtful in the coming weeks, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it in the safety of your home. Soups may be on your mind but they are passé because almost everybody can ace them. It is time to test your culinary skills and try making dishes which will definitely be a treat worth bragging about. 

Mid-day asked chefs in the city to share their favourite recipes of steamed food. Spanning snack, main, and dessert courses, and covering Asian and Indian cuisines, these dishes should definitely be your mind the next time you plan your home menu. 

Khatta Dhokla
A popular steamed dish from Gujarat, Chef Ranveer Brar recommends the no-fail Khatta Dhokla because of its health benefits, especially during the monsoon. Brar says, “monsoon and change of season are when one’s digestive system is quite vulnerable. That`s where steamed foods come in handy, as they are not only healthy but easily digestible too.” 

Ingredients

For Fermentation
Kolum Rice (soaked) – 1 cup, split black gram (soaked) – ½ cup, sour curd – ½ cup

Others 
Coconut water – ¼ cup, Salt to taste, fresh green chilli paste – ½ tsp, oil – 1½ tbsp, fruit salt – ½ tsp, oil for greasing 

For Tempering
Oil – 2 tbsp, mustard seeds – 1 tsp, dry red chillies – 2 or 3 nos, curry leaves – 1 sprig

Method

For Fermentation
1. In a grinder jar add soaked rice, split black gram, sour curd and grind it into a proper paste.
2. Remove in a bowl and keep in a warm place to ferment for 4-5 hours.
3. After fermented, add coconut water, salt, green chilli paste, mix it properly.
4. Now take one portion of the batter and add mixture of oil, fruit salt in it and mix it properly with 
light hands.
5. Switch on the steamer, and also grease the mould or the plate then pour the batter in it and steam 
it for 10-12 minutes on high heat.
6. Once steamed remove and let it cool a little, then cut in the desired shape and pour the hot 
tempering on it and serve warm.

For Tempering
In a small pan heat oil and add mustard seeds, dry red chillies, curry leaves, sauté for a minute and it ready to use. 


Tamarind, chilli spiced rawas with creamy coconut rice at The Sassy Spoon, across all outlets. Photo: The Sassy Spoon

Tamarind, chilli spiced rawas with creamy coconut rice at The Sassy Spoon
A snack may not fully satiate a craving, so feasting on a meal of tamarind and chilli spiced rawas, which is steamed in a banana leaf and served with coconut rice is best for when a big hunger strikes. Culinary director and chef Amit Bhatia, The Chocolate Spoon Company, says it`s a take on the South Indian fish curry and rice. 

Ingredients
Rawas – 1 fillet, banana leaf – ½ piece, tamarind – 1.5 tbsp, turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp, Kashmiri chillies – 8 nos, Madras onions – 2 tbsp, coconut oil – 1 tbsp, curry leaves – 10 to 12 nos, onion – 1 tbsp, Basmati rice – 1 cup, Coconut milk – ½ cup, butter – 1 tbsp, white wine – 2 tbsp

Method 

For the fish
1. De-seed the Kashmiri dry red chillies and roast them in the oven. Allow it to cool and then crush to powder.                        
2. Clean and de-seed the tamarind and soak it in warm water for a few minutes. Remove the pulp.
3. In a pan, heat coconut oil and sauté chopped onions. Add in the turmeric, curry leaves, Kashmiri chilli powder and tamarind. Cook on a low flame till the fragrance of raw masala disappears.
4. Now marinate the fish with salt pepper and apply the cooked masala marination. Wrap it in a banana leaf and steam it in a steamer for 12-15 minutes.    

For the coconut rice                
1. For the rice in a hot pan heat butter and add in chopped onion. Sauté for a while, add a splash of white wine, allow it to de-glaze and add in the cooked basmati rice.
2. Mix coconut milk in the rice, cook for five minutes till the rice gets nicely coated and check for seasoning.
3. Once the fish is steamed keep it on the grill for a minute or two on each side.
4. Serve the fish wrapped in banana leaf with coconut rice.    

Butter Garlic Momos at Social, across all outlets. Photo: Social

Butter Garlic Momos at Social, across all outlets 
As many street-side stalls in the city have disappeared, it is not as easy to stop and gorge on steaming momos while enjoying the rain. Make them at home instead. Glyston Gracias, city chef at Social recommends a twist to the classic with Butter Garlic momos. 

Ingredients:

For Dough:
Maida – 1 kg, salt – 20 gm, butter – 50 gms, water – 500 ml 

For stuffing:
Mushroom – 1 kg, baby corn – 1 kg, carrot – 1 kg, cabbage – 500 gms, French beans – 1 kg, garlic – 300 gms, Soya sauce – 150 ml, oil – 200 ml, aromatic powder – 100 gm, sugar – 100 gms 

Method 

For dough: 
Mix the above ingredients and make a soft dough

For filling:
1. Sauté all above vegetables with onion and garlic.
2. Add soya, adjust the seasoning.

For Momos:
1. Stuff the momos and shape.
2. Steam the momos for three minutes.
3. In well-seasoned Wok, add butter, chopped garlic, sliced red chillies, chopped bell peppers, basil.
4. Finish it with seasoning and lemon juice.
5. Serve warm.

Grilled Artichoke Bao at Plural, Fort. Photo: Plural 

Grilled Artichoke Bao at Plural, Fort  

For all those who love baos, it is time you try your hand at making these pillowy snacks. Vedant Shah, founder of the newly-opened Plural, recommends the artichoke bao from their menu. An idea picked up during his travels in South East Asia, he thinks it’ll be the perfect dish to enjoy in this rainy weather.   
 
Ingredients  
 
For bao dough: 
Red Lotus flour – 2 kg, maida – 1 kg, Caster Sugar – 300 gms, oil – 280 ml, baking powder – 20 gms, dry yeast – 25 grams, water – 1.4 ml (per bao), artichoke – 25 gms, parsley oil – 10 ml, garlic – 5 gms, Morning Glory – 2 gms.  
 
For Asian barbecue sauce  
Sriracha Sauce – 500 gms, tomato ketchup – 250 gms, chilli paste – 70 gms, garlic – 90 gms. 
 
Method  
 
For bao dough: 
1. Mix all the ingredients to make a bao dough. 
2. Roll the dough to a half moon pocket shape.
3. Steam the baos.  
 
For filling: 
1. Cut the artichoke in four pieces. 
2. Gently sear the artichokes in a frying pan with parsley oil and garlic. 
3. Then toss the seared artichoke hearts with an Asian barbecue sauce.
4. Toss the Morning Glory flower gently in a Nauc Cham dressing.  

Plating:
1. Gently place the baos on a plate and fill it with the filling of artichoke and Morning Glory.
2. Then top it gently with a few fried garlic chips.

Also Read: Miss eating roasted corn in the rain? These recipes will help you relive the experience indoors

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