LOCKDOWN SPECIAL: CULINARY INSPIRATION with DIVYARATNA SINGH MASUDA

Updated: Jun 3


Looking for some culinary inspiration during the lockdown? Look no further.

“Cooking is a great stress-buster. Once you get into the kitchen and start cooking/ baking, you forget everything else and when you relish what you’ve made, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and the push that we are all missing in this lockdown”, says Divyaratna Singh Masuda, a 27-year-old who has been enchanting his friends and social media followers with the wonders churned out of his home kitchen in Ajmer. Known amongst his dear ones for his legendary jungli maas, he is a keen explorer of the rich Indian cuisine and enjoys preparing lamb burgers as his all time favourite recipe. 


An ex-Mayoite, Divyaratna completed his graduation from Sri Venkateswara College in Delhi, after which he began working in the field of PR and marketing for start-up restaurants. He then worked in the field of production before launching his own firm,

‘The Indian Roadster Co.’ to scout exotic, off the beaten tracks for inbound crews and those in search of unique travel itineraries around Rajasthan. A motorhead and rally enthusiast himself, Divyaratna has traveled across some of the remotest parts of the subcontinent. He is also a distinguished shooter with an impressive track record ever since he started shooting in 2008. 

When asked about the inception of his passion for cooking, Divyaratna says, “my inspiration for cooking came from my food enthusiast father, as well as my own love for food. The satisfaction of feeding your friends and family encourages me to cook, especially for those who appreciate good food. I think my travelling also played an important role- wherever I went. I wanted to try the local food and learn how they made it and what local ingredients they used, which made every dish taste so different.”


DIVYARATNA'S RECIPES : -



1. Adraki Chaapein

Ingredients 10 Lamb Chops 1 Cup Curd ½ Cup Onions, finely chopped 3 Tbsp Ginger, finely chopped 1 Tbsp Garlic, finely chopped 1 cup Tomatoes, peeled & finely chopped 1½ tsp Black Pepper (freshly roasted & coarsely ground)  Salt 4-5 Green Cardamoms powdered  1tsp Javitri powder 1 inch ginger cut into Juliennes 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice Preparation 1. Whisk yoghurt in a large bowl, add all ingredients, except cardamom, mace and lemon juice, and mix well. Evenly rub the chops with this marinade.  2. Arrange the chops in a skillet or frying pan, pour on the remaining marinade, cover and let it sit for two hours. 3. Uncover the skillet/frying pan with the marinated chops, place it on the stove, bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to low heat, cover and simmer until the chops are tender. Remove the chops and keep warm. Reduce the gravy until of sauce consistency. Then sprinkle the green cardamom and mace powder and stir.  Remove, stir-in lemon juice and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with ginger juliennes. 

2. Biryani Gulab-E-Nazakat Ingredients For the marinated mutton 250ml Curd 6 garlic cloves, finely crushed 2½in (30g/1oz) piece ginger, finely grated 3 green chillies, finely chopped, with seeds 1 tbsp Kashmiri chilli powder 1 tbsp ground coriander ½ tsp ground turmeric 500g Mutton  For the crisp fried onions 300ml oil 3 medium onions, thinly sliced For the gravy 100g ghee 10 whole cloves 2½inch piece cinnamon stick 5 green cardamoms 2 bay leaves 1 tsp cumin seeds 2 medium tomatoes, chopped Salt to Taste For the rice 600g basmati rice, soaked in cold water for an hour 2 tsp salt  To assemble 100g ghee pinch saffron soaked in 4 tbsp warm milk for 15 minutes 2 tbsp Rosewater 2 tbsp Kewra Water 10-12 Rose Petals  1 Chandi ka Vark  Preparation 1. In a shallow bowl large enough to contain all the Mutton pieces, combine all the marinade ingredients. Toss to coat well and then set aside to marinate for an hour. 2. For the crisp fried onions, heat the vegetable oil in a sturdy pan or karahi over a medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the onions and fry for 10–15 minutes, or until deep golden-brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper. Set aside. 3. For the gravy, heat Ghee in a Handi, Add the whole spices to the pan and fry for one minute. Add the mutton and its marinade, bring to a simmer, then stir in the tomatoes and salt. Simmer over a medium heat until the mutton is cooked through and there is a thick gravy. Keep it warm on a low heat while you cook the rice. 4. For the rice, drain the soaked rice and tip into a large pot of boiling salted water for 5-7 minutes, or until the rice is just tender but still firm. Drain well. The rice should be soft and break up at the edges, but stay firm in the middle. 5. Assemble the biryani straight away while the rice is still hot. First pour about three tablespoons of water and half of the ghee into a deep, heavy-based handi, then spoon in a third of the rice. Sprinkle over about a third of the saffron milk and rosewater, then spread with half of the Mutton mixture and a third of the fried onions. Add another third of the rice and repeat as above, using the rest of the mutton. Top with the remaining rice and splash with the remaining saffron milk and rose & kewra water. Set the remaining fried onions aside for now. Drizzle the remaining ghee around the edges of the rice so that it drips down the inside of the handi. Put it on dum for about 30 mins on a low heat.  Serve with Raita. 

3. Chocolate Fudge Pie Ingredients ¾ Cup plain flour ¼ Cup butter, chopped in pieces 2 tbsp icing sugar 1 tsp ground cinnamon 3 large eggs 1¼ Cup brown sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract ¾ Cup butter, melted 50g plain flour 50g cocoa, plus extra to serve 50g Walnuts, chopped 50g dark chocolate, chopped Ice cream to serve Preparation 1. Knead the flour, butter, icing sugar, cinnamon and 2-3 tbsp water until it comes together. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 mins. 2. Heat oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line a deep 9 inch loose-based tart tin. Leave the excess pastry overhanging the edges of the tin. Line with aluminium foil, fill with beans and chill for 15 mins. 3. Bake for 15 mins, remove the foil and beans, then bake 5 mins more until the pastry is crisp. 4. Beat the eggs and sugar together to create a mousse-like texture. Stir in the vanilla and melted butter, then fold in the flour and cocoa. Scatter the nuts and chocolate over the pastry case and pour the filling on top. Bake for 30 mins until firm with a slight wobble. Trim away the excess pastry and leave to cool.  5. Serve at room temperature or warm, with a scoop of ice cream. 


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Image, content and recipes courtesy: Divyaratna Singh Masuda

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