Spices have always enticed me — be they Indian or belonging to any other country. The aroma, texture and taste of spices inspires me like nothing else to create new dishes in the kitchen.
Spicy wheat lamb is one such dish that uses the unusual kotla seasoning (an enticing mixture of taro leaves, black gram, white sesame, fenugreek seeds, chillies, tamarind, salt, coconut, onion, and more).
I enjoy cooking African cuisine, which is full of spices and generally quite hot, but try to tweak the recipes a little sometimes to suit the Indian palate. From Africa, I also find the charmoula (of Moroccan origin, made with herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemons, garlic, chili peppers, saffron, etc.) and fiery peri peri seasonings very tasty and flavourful.
The desserts of this continent are also quite interesting, and I enjoy cooking the Ghana banana dessert, which is mainly made of banana, chocolate and cinnamon.
Food when served should not only be appealing to look at but should also have that incredible aroma that makes you want to sample it immediately… such is the magic of spices, when used appropriately and in the right manner — they can simply transform an otherwise boring dish!
(As told to Anjali.Shetty@timesgroup.com)
Spicy wheat lamb
• Cashewnut paste: 250 gms
• Onion: 300 gms, sliced
• Tomato: 300 gms, sliced
• Mutton: 1 kg, cut
• Whole garam masala: 10 gms
• Ghee: 100 gms
• Cream: 100 gms
• Aromatic seasoning: 2 gms
• Kotla seasoning: 2 gms
• Red chilli powder: 10 gms
• Turmeric powder: 5 gms
• Coriander powder: 5 gms
• Jeera powder: 5 gms
• Beetroot: 100 gms, boiled
• Salt: to taste
• Put the ghee, garam masala and ginger-garlic paste in a pan and cook well
• Add the sliced onions and mutton and cook for around 35 minutes
• Once cooked, add the cashewnut paste, boiled beetroot and other ingredients
• Add cream, kotla and aromatic seasoning at the very end
• Serve piping hot with biryani rice!
► Originally from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, Chef Bhupit Singh has always been fascinated by the clink and clatter of utensils in the kitchen.
A shy introvert as described by colleagues, Bhupit first joined Barbeque Nation in Indore, moved to Chandigarh under the same banner, and finally settled in Pune for the launch of the restaurant’s new outlet in the city