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  Age on Sunday   24 Sep 2017  Feast like a royal

Feast like a royal

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Sep 24, 2017, 12:16 am IST
Updated : Sep 24, 2017, 5:41 am IST

Explore some rare Rajasthani delights as chef Saurabh Udinia takes us on a culinary sojourn of royal dishes and their cooking techniques.

Bajre ki roti
 Bajre ki roti

India is renowned for its delectable regional cuisines and unique cooking styles. In this foodie’s paradise, royal cuisine commands a special place. And which better place than our very own Rajasthan to experience the luxury of royal feasting?

Typically, Rajasthani cuisine has an equal offering of vegetarian and meat-based preparations that have graced the great dining halls of Rajasthan’s royalty. Here are some culinary offerings in a modern and contemporary avatar that will leave your taste buds craving for more…

Thikra — This is used to cook Thikri ki dal, one of the oldest recipes from the state. It is made of lentil and has a stew-like consistency, which is cooked in a traditional clay pot. Thikra adds a palatable and earthy flavour to food.

Chulah — It is a classic handmade stove created out of mud and husks, which uses cow dung and dried shrubs as fuel. It lends a smoky flavour to food and is used to make bajre ki roti — a flaky Indian bread which comes with the goodness of wholesome nutrients.

Pit (khud) roast — Khud khargosh (roasted rabbit) is another popular and succulent classic delicacy of Rajasthan. Fresh rabbit meat is marinated and filled with spices and nuts, after thoroughly skinning and cleaning it. It is covered with dough, wrapped in a wet cloth and dipped in watered mud. Once the preparation is ready, an open wood-fired pit is used to cook the rabbit meat. Since it comes in direct contact with the fire, it imparts a unique roasted flavour to the marinated meat, due to the nuts and spices. Once ready, the cloth is removed and the succulent and mouth-watering Khud Khargosh is ready to be eaten with roti.

Patthar cooking — This is a unique technique where marinated chunks of meat are cooked on flat stone slabs and heated over burning embers. This is a popular technique used by people living in the desert, as well as hunters and travellers.

Sooley — Sooley refers to tender morsels of marinated meat. Sooley meat mostly comes from wild boar spare ribs (bhanslas), which is an expensive variety of meat in the region. The meat is marinated with hung yoghurt, browned onions, ginger, coriander, red chillies and kachri (a small pod which is used to tenderise meat). Kachri adds a distinct, sharp and sour flavour to the meat. Once marinated, the meat is spitted on skewers, and grilled over hot coals. The result is delicious smoked meat that is eaten with roti.

Dehydrated/dried pickles or magodi — Due to short supply of fresh vegetables, pickling vegetable produce is extremely popular in Rajasthani cuisine. The natives heavily rely on pickled mangodis and poppadums. Once the dried vegetables are spiced, they are then stored for winters.

Sigri — Sigris are lava stones or coal grills that are used to make Boti kebabs, tikkas and all other types of meats. The aroma and flavouring from the sigri has an inimitable smoky flavour.

Underground cooking — This is another traditional style of cooking where the whole meats — like goat and venison — are wrapped in leaves and muslin cloth, then placed in a sand pit which is freshly dug out and layered with burning charcoal. The meat is laid on the charcoal and more burning embers are used to cover the meat on the top. It is then buried in the sand for eight to 12 hours. When the meat is taken out of the sand pit, it is evenly cooked and is flavoured with the distinct charred aroma. It is succulent and juicy, and literally slides off the bones.

Khud Khargosh
500 gm yoghurt
250 gm ginger paste
250 gm garlic paste
200 gm chilli flakes
200 gm onions
1 gm cloves
100 gm turmeric
300 gm chilli powder
250 gm cashew nuts
100 gm papaya paste
20 gm green chillies
520 gm mustard oil
50 gm chopped coriander
Salt to taste
20 gm sugar
2 rabbit legs and breast
500 gm whole red chilli
1 can tomato paste
250 ml malt vinegar

Khud Khargosh

Method
Soak red chillies in malt vinegar overnight. Grind them by using a blender and make into a fine paste for marinade.     
In a medium hot pan, cook the red chilli paste by adding oil and cook it till the oil gets separated and keep it aside.              
For the marination, mix the dry ingredients together in a dish, thoroughly combined. Smoothen the rabbit legs, and transfer it into a pan covering it up with dough.
Once the marination is done, roast the rabbit in a pit by covering it up on even temperature. Once the rabbit is cooked, remove the dough and cloth. Keep it aside.        Transfer the rabbit on a serving tray with the juices left over in a pan.
Pour the juices evenly on rabbit and serve with hot breads and garnish.        

Bajre ki roti (on chulha)
500 gm bajra atta
250 ml water
100 gm maida
20 ml desi ghee
30 gm salt
20 gm white pepper

Method
Mix the bajra atta and maida evenly to make the dough.         
Mix all the dry ingredients together.         w Gradually add desi ghee for smoothness in the texture of the dough.
Slowly add water to attain the proper consistency of the dough.     w Place the dough to rest for sometime.
Roll it out evenly in the desired shape.    
Cook roti on chulah to achieve the desired taste.
Serve it with butter on the side.

Rajasthani Boti Kebab (cooked on sigri)
1 kg lamb boti
750 gm lamb fat
250 gm yellow chilli
200 gm mace
200 gm nutmeg
250 gm onion
100 gm poppy seeds
20 gm copra
20 gm black cardamom
100 gm green cardamom
20 gm coriander seeds
30 gm clove powder
50 gm shahi jeera
30 gm garlic paste
20 gm ginger paste
500 ml desi ghee
5 saffron
Salt to taste
100 gm raw papaya

Rajasthani Boti KebabRajasthani Boti Kebab

Method:
Cut even dices of lamb and marinate it using the above ingredients.         
While marinating, make sure the pieces are marinated well overnight.         
Prepare the sigri with an ambient temperature to cook the boti.             
Place the lamb boti in the skewers evenly and let it rest for sometime.         
Cook boti on a sigri when the desired temperature is achieved.     w While cooking, make sure that the temperature is maintained so that cooking is evenly done.     
Once cooked, take boti out of skewers and serve along with mint chutney and garnitures.

Chef Saurabh Udinia, head chef, Masala Library, Farzi Cafe & Masala Bar, Massive Restaurants Pvt Ltd

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