Dum, chowk, thandai, tunday, kababs, paan…The mere mention of Lucknow usually triggers hunger pangs of the most visceral kind. Though a culinary outing to the former capital of Awadh is always a good idea, if you are in Mumbai this month, you could head to Taj Lands End in Bandra for a dose of food-coma. The Masala Bay at the Lands End is celebrating Awadhi cuisine, and the man in charge of the kitchen is Janaab Sabir Ali — a khansama. The menu includes muffrah (a drink made of saffron), kewra (a concentrated oil made from pandanus flowers that is used as a flavouring agent in meats and beverages), sandalwood and nagarmotha (nut grass rhizomes), taranumi paneer (cottage cheese stuffed with pomegranate and nuts steeped in gravy), sheermal, shahi tukda and, of course, gosht biryani. A perennial Lucknowi classic, Chaamp ka Qorma too is on offer. Here is Sabir Ali’s recipe:
1kg – Lamb chops
250g – Raw onion paste
100g – Fried Onions
20g – Ginger paste
20g – Garlic paste
6 green cardamom
2 cinnamon sticks
2 blades of mace
100g – Curd
1 tbsp – Red chilly powder
40g – Fried cashew nut paste
150g – Refined Oil
5g – Mace cardamom powder
2 drops of Meetha Ittar (Food perfume)
1/2 tsp – Kewra water
* Wash and pat dry the lamb chops. Set aside in a strainer, and let all the moisture drain.
* In a heavy bottomed copper vessel — preferably lagan — add refined oil.
* Once the oil starts to heat, add the meat.
* Start sauteeing. Add the whole spices.
* Add the raw onion paste, and saute till the paste gets cooked.
* Next, add the ginger and garlic pastes. Saute till the pastes are well cooked.
* Now, sprinkle salt and red chilly powder and add the fried onions.
* Saute for a while and add the curd.
* Cook for a couple of minutes and add the fried cashew paste.
* Add a little bit of water and cover the utensil with a lid. Place kneaded dough on the rim of the utensil to seal the vessel.
* Let the meat cook on dum.
* Remove the dough and the lid. Check the meat for its tenderness.
* Now, cook further to reduce the gravy as required.
* Sprinkle mace cardamom powder/meetha ittar and kewda water.
The Awadhi cuisine promotion at the Taj Lands End in Bandra, Mumbai, will run till March 1, 2016.