Cooking

Made some Indian dishes for guests last weekend.  I strive to produce new and unusual dishes each time I have guests, and although the Hyderabadi pullao was a little under-cooked, the brain-nihari went down very well, as well as the fish kebabs and cucumber-garlic-mint-yoghurt.

Bengali-style bhajya, made with potatoes.  The chaat masala on top was a great hit.

Fish kebabs.  Wrapped up in a chapatti with some sliced red onion, a daub of yoghurt and a squeeze of lime, they were quite good.Unfortunately stuck in my little Japanese kitchen, the grill is a little unpredictable so the fish gets cooked a little unevenly.  They would have been greatly improved if cooked over wood or charcoal. 

Whilst not visually particularly stunning, the most popular dish was by far the Muslim dish beef nihari.  I used no pre-prepared spice mixes or pressure cooker, and simmered the meat for at least 36 hours over two days, to achieve a tenderness and flavour I hope would not disappoint a finicky Lucknavi or Delhi-walla.  Not in the photo is the slices of brain, lime and also shredded ginger and extra chillies that diners would add to the nihari as is their wont. 

The brains, before being sliced like sashimi and served with the nihari.  I think I have now settled on a method that removes some of the nasty strong brain-odours, leaving a very mild, smooth and creamy ingredient.

The proceedings were ended with a Hyderabadi-style Qubuli pullao (rice and split peas), cooked in a stone pot. 

4 responses to “Cooking

  1. Amazing spread! Your guest are very, very lucky!

    I love brain, though I haven’t had it in a while now. In Croatia, my mum fries it in a pan with some oil, then seasons it with salt and pepper. The result is very creamy, almost like scrambled eggs. Gorgeous.

  2. Hi Maninas,
    Well the guests did justice to the dishes, so I am always happy to cook for proper eaters. No food-fiddlers or painted maypoles at my table.
    Yes I was just recently reflecting how similar the brain is to scrambled egg when whipped up in a frying pan. I must try that some time!
    Is it even possible to buy brain in the UK now?
    Cheers,
    Adam

  3. Now that you mention, I’ve never seen brain for the sale here in the UK.

    Good to hear your guests did justice to the dishes! I love people like that!

  4. Maninas, yes so do I. I even asked one of my diners to bring his own tupperware.

    I remember as a kid brain was always on sale, even at supermarkets, but after the various “we are all going to die” healthscares in the UK they disappeared from the shelves.

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