Well folks, we’re onto another of our garam masalas! I hope you’ve enjoyed making some (or all, or none!) of these masalas. This week, as I said in my vegan blog last week, is my poultry masala. Well, as so much of my food is woven into my life here’s another little tale.
In 1995, my friend David Horton, an Englishman who lived in Australia, worked in a bank, loved Indian food (well, he is an Englishman!!) started a restaurant in a place called Noosa in Queensland (he was more passionate about food than money).
One day he called me and said, “I am staartin’ (sic) a restaurant, Ajoy, and I want you to do a cooking class on Indian food for me. You and Meera will fly down to Noosa stay with me and show the Aussies how to make a good khorma.”
According to David, the best khorma was made in London and the Aussies had to see and taste it, and I was going to make it in his restaurant as he felt that I was someone who could make it like they did back home (home in this case being the UK not India)!!
Done. We were both ready to go.
Now, not many of you know this but Meera is a damn good cook and a qualified chef from Bangalore. She is the ‘kitchen cabinet’ and the ‘Boss’ of nilgiris!
All of us, yes, including yours truly, work for the Boss but that’s another story for another time!!
But before all this happened Meera said to me in Noosa in 1995, “Ajoy, this is your chance to show the world that Indian food is no ‘curry in a hurry’. Do something that will make you and your ustaads proud. Go ahead and show them that the best khorma comes from Hyderabad!!”
So, what follows is my favorite chicken dish that uses a technique, the French call it confit, we Indians call it dum, a word derived from the Persian word ‘dum baksh‘ meaning ‘to give breath to’ or cooked in its own juices without the addition of any water.
Interestingly, this dish also has some Persian influences as you might notice. It uses ground sesame seeds, a.k.a. tahini, as a binding agent to hold the yoghurt together, preventing it from splitting.
The original recipe uses ground peanuts which are grown around that region but I use ground cashew nuts for the simple reason that cashew nuts are more acceptable than peanuts, a.k.a groundnuts, and many people who cannot tolerate peanuts can eat the cashew nut which, as we all know, isn’t a ‘nut’ as such.
Not sure how to slice onions perfectly? Watch the quick video below!
To watch my quick video on caramelising onions, click on the arrow below
Remember, cooking chicken, or any other poultry, this way has a number of benefits:
1. The meat is abso-bloody-lutely tender and juicy.
2. As there is no water in the dish, it is loaded with flavor.
3. The dish tastes better the next day (we have heard that one before, haven’t we?), because it is cooked well, and slowly, in its own juices (we did not know that before, or did we?!!).
For a one page summary of this recipe, click dum ka murgh recipe.
That is all for this week, happy cooking!!
See you next week and please do keep your comments coming in. I enjoy reading them and I absorb them all. If I haven’t replied, it’s because I am still mulling over your comment and, who knows?, your suggestion/comment might become a blog one week!
Anah Daata Sukhi Bhava!!!