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Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas cravings and chicken keema pulao

Well, I've been missing for a while. With good reason, thankfully. The restaurant was choc-a-bloc for the entire Christmas week and I got to meet a bunch of very old and very dear friends. All of whom ate the devil's chutney with such relish that I fear for their well-being the next morning.

In between all my hustle and bustle with Brown Sahib, I also managed to eat some of my favourite food in Delhi. The mutton fry and the chicken fry from Andhra Bhawan. All for the princely sum of Rs 80 for both. For all of those who haven't had the pleasure of tasting either of these yet - you should hotfoot it immediately to Andhra Bhawan. Simple, yummy, spicy fare.

Now that I've taken the evening off from the restaurant, I decided to get back to my favourite past-time - cooking. So tonight's dinner is chicken keema pulao and in true North Indian style, dal makhani. Such simple pleasures of life. Really.

Otherwise, life is carrying on. I keep hyper-ventilating over for what will come first, breaking even or breaking down. And I wake up daily and curse the Excise officers of Delhi. And then I plan the next weekend's brunch menu.  I'm currently torn between whether to include beef handi kebabs, which are superbly flavoured flattened beef kebabs which were cooked by the Bangladeshi muslim cooks in North Calcutta. If anyone has any thoughts on this, let me know.

In the meantime, in case you feel like whipping up a nice chicken keema pulao here's what you need to do.

Take 1/2 kg of chicken mince, wash well. Then soak 1 and a half cups of basmati rice in 2 cups of water. Chop up two tomatoes, finely slice 3 onions, take 3-4 green chilis and slit them and make a paste of a inch piece of ginger and a few cloves of garlic.

Now, take a pan, add a bit of oil and saute 3 cloves, 3 elaichis, a stick of cinnamon and 1 tsp of jeera/ cumin. Once they stop crackling, add the onions and saute till the onions change colour. Add the mince, cook for about 10 minutes, then add the ginger-garlic paste, tomatoes, 1tsp chili powder, stir for a few minutes and then add the rice. After sauteeing all these, add 3 cups of water and salt to taste, bring to a boil and then turn the flame on low and cover the pot. After 12 to 15 minutes, uncover the rice, and add a handful of chopped coriander leaves and a tsp of freshly ground garam masala. Stir again and cover and cook on a low flame for another 5 minutes. 

And ta-dah, it's all done. Add a raita, some kachumbar and a dal and you have a complete meal.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The devil on your plate

Aah, the joy of being back home with the beagle brats running riot around me.

I spent an extremely productive day at Brown Sahib today. Other than for signing many many cheques, which always fills me with great sorrow, I managed to cook and try out three new recipes. All of which turned out very favourably.

We've got a lunch planned for a large number of British travellers to India, who are on a culinary trip through India. I think I mentioned it in my last post. So I figured, why not give them a taste of the holy cow as they'd had it served up to them in their heydays in India. I cooked up a tangy coconut and tamarind Ceylon beef curry, which I'm hoping they'll love. And not get the runs from.

What I'm most excited about is the Devil's Chutney which I put together. This is a sweet and sour spicy chutney which was created by the khansamas (cooks in the days of yore) for the memsahibs. I'm planning on serving this with the Kedgeree on the menu. 

If any of you like to add a tangy pungent sweet-sour kick to your meals, I'd recommend you whip this up. It keeps for at least 3 weeks in the fridge, if you bottle it.


Take a cup of  raisins, add a spoonful of ginger, a couple of chopped green chilis, 2 tbsps of tamarind paste, 1 tbsp of vinegar, sugar and salt to taste. Puree in the mixer.

It's lovely with some masoor dal and rice.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Leaning doors and sauteed pork

So this is my first post on this blog. If anyone wants to know about the restaurant, you need to just visit

The day hasn't been too unkind to me and I have managed to emerge unscathed although a little unhinged. I spent the afternoon with a friend and my mother at Brown Sahib, tasting various things on the menu. We had  crepe suzette and bailley's banoffee pie, and the daab chingri (prawns in a sharp mustard gravy baked in a whole coconut) - which was to die for, although Mother thought the mustard was a tad too pungent.  

The unending wait for the liquor licence continues and I'm just hoping I get it before Christmas. What's Christmas without a glass of mulled wine after all.

The civil engineer I used seems to have outdone himself as far as incompetence goes -- one of the glass doors creaked strangely and started tilting into the other door when I walked in today afternoon. All has been sorted out though, and I've just written it off as routine excitement for the day.

I'm currently preparing a sit-down five course menu for a large group of Britishers who are visiting India on a culinary journey. Planning on serving them a lovely gastronomical romp through Anglo-India. Will post the menu once it is done, tomorrow.

I've always loved Country Captain which is chicken sauteed in ginger and salt and pepper and potatoes, delicate but spicy on the palate thanks to the ginger and slit green chilis. But I just chanced upon a lovely recipe for Country Captain Pork which I never knew existed. So here it is for those who want to try something new. I haven't tried the recipe yet, so I'm washing my hands of all responsibility in case it turns out to be putrid. It looks quite promising though. If you try it, tell me how it turned out.


1 kg pork cut into medium size pieces

3 large onions sliced finely

2 teaspoons chilly powder

1 teaspoon tumeric powder

2 tablespoons oil

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons garlic paste

2 sticks cinnamon

4 cloves

2 cardamoms

Wash the pork and boil with a little salt and 1 cup water till tender.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions lightly. Add the garlic paste. Saute for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add the chilly powder, turmeric powder, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and salt. Now add the cooked pork along with the soup and simmer for about 10 minutes till the gravy is thick. Serve with bread or rice.