Roger Bissell prepares Indian Dish With Chef Sujan Sarkar

TRY THIS AT HOME: Millet and Butternut Squash Khichdi

For as long as I can remember I have been obsessed with learning about every single culture in the entire world through their food, arts and wine (if they make it). My zealous pursuit of knowledge and yearning for the authentic cuisine which so many times in America is diluted or lost in translation brought me to the far corners of the world. My insatiable appetite for all of these things also drove me to want to know more than anyone and fully immerse myself in other cultures by learning their language, music, food and drink.

Roger Bissell prepares Indian Dish With Chef Sujan Sarkar

Friend’s Indian Wedding

For most of my professional career, I have always befriended people from all around the globe which brought me immense happiness. I would like to think I have brought others happiness as well. One of my favorite places in the world is India.

India is such an anomaly and in many ways, similar to Italy in terms of subtle differences in cuisines when you moving 10km. I also love Indian cuisine and many other Asian countries for that matter for their ability to layer in flavors. Indian cuisine takes time and patience and is extremely well balanced when done correctly. It is one of the only areas in the world where they can hit every single level of flavor in just one dish – sour, sweet, spicy, savory, umami etc. Over the coming weeks, I will share with you some of the recipes I have learned while on my travels or with one of my collaborations with amazing chefs from around the world.

Chef Sujan Sarkar cooks a vegan indian dish on Unwined Live with Roger Bissell

One of these collaborations featured Chef Sujan Sarkar who hails from India. He is an incredibly talented Michelin experienced chef who has worked in many countries around the world and opened many of his own here in the United States. You can find Rooh in Chicago, San Francisco and Columbus and his gastro pub Baar Baar NYC in New York City.

Many of you have been asking about the classic Indian, vegetarian dish Khichdi we cooked on a previous episode of the Unwined Live Show that featured Chef Sujan. Khichdi is a healthy vegetarian dish that can be served as your main meal or as a side dish to salmon, chicken etc. I have finally included this recipe here on the blog for your cooking delight at home. As always, if you have any questions with any type of cuisine or need pointers please feel free to contact me for more answers. I hope you enjoy this flavorful dish and I shall continue to try and share one recipe per week with you.

Please Note: The Khichdi pictured above has been modified with a delicious piece of wild salmon and some greens.

Millet and Butternut Squash Khichdi

(recipe courtesy of Chef Sujan Sarkar)


Organic KODO millet – 100 gm
(soak in water for 1 hour; boil until cooked and then strain)

Organic Proso millet – 50 gm
(boil until cooked and then strain)

Indian Yellow Lentil (Moong Dal) – 100 gm
(dry roast on a pan, no oil, until golden then boil until 50% cooked)

1 Butternut Squash
(peel and cut into 1 cm cubes)

1 Red Onion – thinly sliced
6 garlic – 2 cloves – chopped
Fresh Ginger – small piece – chopped
1 Tomato – chopped
Canola Oil – 50 ml
Clarified Butter – Ghee – 50 gm
Turmeric Powder – 1 tb
Red Chili Powder – 1 tb

(Kajmiri Mirch or Rashampati) 
Cilantro – half a bunch, chopped
Sour Cream – 5-6 tbps

Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp

Coriander Powder – 1 tb

Garlic Paste
Curry Leaf (optional)



Start with 2-3 tablespoons of Ghee in a pan on medium heat.

Add chopped ginger and chopped garlic to the pan until they start to get golden.

Add tomatoes and saute until soft.

Add all of the spices and stir in letting it cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add Moong Daal and both Millet and 2.5 cups of hot water and cook until the water is reduced to even with the grains.

Push off of the heat and in another pan put 2 TB of Ghee once hot whole cumin seeds and garlic paste with 4-5 curry leaves and saute for 90 seconds.

Add onions and cook until caramelized. Add this to the other pot and mix together.

Serve by putting some in a bowl. Garnish with a spoonful of sour cream and a handful of chopped cilantro.

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