Archive for July, 2009

Posted by Chef John Berry of MenuMagic
August 2009 Edmontonians

It all started out as a love story, but has since blossomed into one of the greatest success stories on Edmonton’s food scene.
When Ramesh Devangodi landed at the Edmonton International Airport from India several years ago, he had no idea what was about to happen to him. Harmeet Kapur had hired Ramesh to be his new chef at the New Asian Village on Saskatchewan Drive. He sent his young daughter, Sonia, to pick-up the eager, good looking chef. Before you could say, “I’d like some coconut naan,” it was all over. Love at first sight. Harmeet chuckles about it to this day.

New Asian Village-32ramesh2
Ramesh Devangodi

“She went to pick-up a chef, and brought home a husband.”
After two years of working together, flirting and dating, the two tied the knot. I emceed the wedding reception, and it was easy to see the love in their eyes. But, as all of Harmeet’s children have, they longed for a place of their own—a chance to carry on the great traditions and excellent flavours nurtured by their father. So in 2004, they bought an old bakery on 100th Avenue and 175th Street, made the necessary renovations, and hung the New Asian Village shingle on the door. The rest is pure magic.
Ramesh’s culinary expertise and creativity have made the restaurant an incredible success. He utilizes only the freshest ingredients with a low fat content and unique Indian flavours. According to Sonia, “People like coming here because the food has a calming affect on them.”
She calls it the “hidden gem” of the west-end, and is eager to share plans for a bigger and better location. It is about to morph into an East Indian palace, with four containers of artifacts and hand-crafted décor due to arrive any day. The restaurant, encompassing the entire building, should be transformed by the end of September.
The New Asian Village empire has grown to four restaurants, with a fifth in Sherwood Park due to open soon. Harmeet just marvels at his daughters’ successes. Monica is running the one on Saskatchewan Drive, and has just completed major renovations. She’ll also manage Sherwood Park. Veronica and husband Bobby run the Millwoods operation. Sonia and Ramesh also have the new 137th Avenue and Manning Freeway New Asian Village.
But the girls admit that if it hadn’t been for their father saying, “If you’re going to do it, do it right. If you can’t, then take the New Asian Village sign down and be done with it”… then it wouldn’t have worked out.
Sonia says, “I think we’ve learned a lot from my Dad.”
It’s easy to see why this highly successful and fast growing chain is the leading Indian restaurant chain in Canada. And it’s ours to enjoy and savour. Ramesh shared the recipes for a couple of the dishes served at Edmontonians’ 20th anniversary reception for its contributors.


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Posted by Chef John Berry of MenuMagic
August 2009 Edmontonians

New Asian Village-14New Asian Village West Chefs Shanti Pal, Manvar Singh, Ansuya Prasad, Kedar Singh and Gireesh Prasad

Ground lamb with spices is wrapped around skewers and roasted on hot charcoal embers.
Babur hired Hindu cooks who ground goat meat and spiced it up, wrapped around iron rods, slowly cooking it over open fire making Seekh Kebabs. The original skewers were made of iron rods with a diameter of about 1/2″. Both ends of the rod were pointed to help threading meat. In late 1950s, I remember waking up to smell of roasting Seekh Kebab outside Jaama Masjid in Old Delhi. Normally, Seekh Kebab is cooked on hot charcoal embers. We will bake them in the oven. We will also use Bamboo skewers in place of metal skewers. You can use this recipe with mutton or beef as well. 

Ground lamb: 2 Pounds
Finely Chopped onions: 1/4  cup
Minced Garlic: 1/4  cup
Finely chopped ginger: 1/4  cup
Finely chopped Serrano: 2
(remove seeds and white membrane to reduce heat as desired)
Ground Cumin Powder: 1 Tablespoon
Ground Coriander: 1 Tablespoon
Ground Cloves: 1/2 teaspoon
Ground Cinnamon: 1 teaspoon
Ground Lal Mirch (Cayenne Powder): 1 teaspoon
Salt: 1 1/2 teaspoon
Lime Juice: 1 Tablespoon
Dahi Yogurt: 2 Tablespoons
Besan (chickpea flour): 1/4 cup
Bamboo Skewers (Water soaked): 10

Mix all the ingredients except Besan. Sprinkle Besan, one tablespoon at a time to knead the mixture like dough. Adjust amount of Besan for dough-like consistency. Let it rest for two hours. Pinch about 4 ounces off the mixture. Cover the Bamboo skewer with the mixture about 1/4″ thick along the length. The meat will look like a cigar which has been pierced length wise by the skewer. Preheat oven to 375º F. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve hot.

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Posted by Chef John Berry of MenuMagic
August 2009 Edmontonians

New Asian Village-29Ramesh Devangodi

Chicken: 1/2 kg, boneless, cut into 1-inch pieces
Onion: 2, medium size, finely sliced
Ginger: 1/2-inch size, finely chopped and crushed
Garlic: 2 beads, finely chopped and crushed
Tomato: 1, big size, fully ripe, pureed;
or alternatively use 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce
Green chillies: 3, medium size, medium hot, finely chopped
Capsicum: 1, sliced length-wise
Red chilly powder: 1 tsp
Black pepper powder: 1/2 tsp
All purpose flour: 2 Tbsp
Soya sauce: 3 tsp
Vinegar: 2 tsp
Salt: 1/2 tsp
Oil: 1 Tbsp

Mix well the flour, chilly powder, black pepper powder, soya sauce, vinegar, tomato puree, ginger, garlic, and salt. Add the chicken pieces to this marinade and marinate covered for 2-4 hours in a refrigerator. Heat oil in a fry pan and when the oil is very hot, add the onions and sauté until slightly golden. Add the marinated chicken pieces and capsicum and sauté on low heat for 30 to 35 minutes or until the chicken is tender, taking care not to burn the chicken pieces by stirring continually. Sprinkle a little hot water as needed while cooking. Serve it hot garnished with onion rings, lemon wedges, tomato slices, and/or fresh green chillies as a main entrée or as appetizing snacks. Enjoy.

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