Metrolife: A twist to flavours

Mirch Methi Murgh Tikka

I grew up in a joint family in Punjab where the kitchen was never free. But I was always fascinated with that. Back in 80s, the tandoori, which people bought from hotels, was prepared at home. This triggered a lot of joy and excitement in us.

I was always inspired by my mother’s culinary skills; in fact, ours was a family of food lovers.

At the age of 16, I started learning cooking. As time wore on, I decided to take up Hotel Management at ITM, Bombay.

 I began my journey by specialising in Indian cuisines first and later in Continental.

Mention the word ‘kitchen’ and it unleashes a wave of excitement in me because I get to make something new every day and serve it to my guests.

The sense of satisfaction that I get out of it is what keeps me going. On the days I’m not cooking, I try out new dishes or drinks that have just hit the market and derive inspiration from these.

It helps me bring in new flavours or a different kind of blend into my dishes. Over the years, I have observed that food lovers have adopted a different approach towards Indian food. I think it’s only natural for tastes and preferences to evolve with time.

People now choose to have Indian food at a cafe or a bistro and not stick to the traditional format of eating only at Indian restaurants.

This is because Indian dishes are now served with different accompaniments, thus adding a modern twist to them. People are indeed embracing this culture. People now prefer less oil and less ‘masala’.

The trend has changed from red meat to chicken-based dishes. If mutton is being served, a smaller portion is expected.

Mutton reminds me of the ‘Mutton Yakhni’ my mother used to prepare. It is my favourite dish.

I’ve tried making it and the guests have loved it. But I feel that I can never match up to the way my mother makes it.

Another interesting dish is ‘Mirch Methi Murg Tikka’. This is inspired by ‘Malai Mirch Tikka’ which is cream-based chicken with a subtle constant flavour.

Here, the main ingredient is the spice mix that I thought of introducing to the dish. I reduced the cream content and added a spicy flavour to the chicken, along with methi, which gives a slightly bitter but nutty raw tempering.

This can be accompanied with bread or chapati. If not as a main course, it can be enjoyed as an accompaniment to a cocktail.

Ingredients

Chicken leg (cut into cubes): 200 gm

Kasuri Methi: 5 gm

Kali Mirch: 10 gm

Mustard oil: 40 Ml

Yellow chilli powder: 10 gm

Degi chilli: 5 gm

Lemon juice: 10 ml

Curd: 50 gm cream

Ginger garlic paste: 20 gm

Salt: 10 gm

Processed cheese: 30 gm

Method

Wash and cut the boneless chicken into small cubes. Marinate it with salt, ginger garlic paste, oil, lemon juice and refrigerate for half an hour.

Grate the cheese, mix it with curd and cream into the blender; make a fine paste.

Roast the methi slightly, soak in warm water and then chop it. Roast black pepper and crush it.

Add methi and black pepper to the chicken along with curd mixture and add yellow chilli, mustard oil, degi chilli, salt and check for seasoning.

Cook in tandoor or barbeque and serve it with olive pepper salad and mint mayonnaise relish.

Chef Harman

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Metrolife: A twist to flavours

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