Chef Irfan Pabaney of SodaBottleOpenerWala shares his go-to recipe, Curried Couscous With Toasted Almonds
Chef Irfan Pabaney has helmed some of the most notable restaurants in the country and abroad. Born in Bogota, Colombia, he moved to India in 1980. After graduation, he went on to head Under the Over at Kemps Corner, Seijo and the Soul Dish, Hakkasan and Yauatcha. It was in 2012 that he started his restaurant — The Sassy Spoon. He was associated with it till 2017 before finally moving on to SodaBottleOpenerWala (part of the Olive group) as country head where he currently runs eight restaurants pan India.
When we asked the celebrated chef for his go-to comfort food recipe, he told us about the Curried Couscous with Toasted Almonds. He says this simple dish can be paired with prawns, squid, and even chicken. “You can also customise it according to your own liking, play around with the ingredients and vegetables like french beans, broccoli, and corn,” adds the chef who studied Hotel Management from Sophia Polytechnic, Mumbai.
Couscous – 1 cup | Curry powder – 2 tablespoons | Olive oil – 2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons | Chopped garlic – 1 tablespoon | Assorted bell peppers (red, yellow and green) – 1 cup (cubes) | Chopped Cilantro – 1 tablespoon | Chilli flakes – 1 teaspoon | Toasted almonds – 10 to 12 pieces (chopped) Salt - As per taste | Pepper powder - As per taste | Lime Juice - 1 lime
● In a bowl, mix the couscous, curry powder, and 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
● Pour boiling water to cover the couscous and cling wrap it.
● After about 10 minutes, the couscous will absorb all the water. Use a fork to fluff the couscous up so it doesn’t form lumps.
● Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a nonstick pan on a low flame.
● To this, add the garlic, chilli flakes, and peppers. Toss and fry for three minutes.
● Add the couscous, and stir well. Season with salt and pepper.
● Finally, add cilantro, lime water and give it a nice mix.
● Garnish it with toasted almonds and serve it hot.
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes.
Serves 2 people.
Can be served as an appetiser.