Sunday, 4 December 2011


The inspiration that food can provide should not be underestimated and in this regard, food from India to my mind stands in a league of its own. Just think of the plethora of desserts that are essentially made with the very minimum of ingredients, most often milk, sugar, nuts, a fragrant spice such as cardamom, and the mastery of centuries old technique. Yet somehow the variety seems to be endless; halwas, puddings, gulab jamon, flavoured milks, kulfis, and burfis, to name a few; and even more astonishing made without the help of a cuisinart or other contemporary kitchen appliance in the cook’s arsenal. Something very curious, is the fact that in some of the poorest parts of India the typical daily diet consists of stunning homemade meals from the freshest of ingredients, something the first world citizen often would be more than a little dishonest if they claimed to relate to. Necessity can indeed claim to be the mother of all invention, and for that matter creativity on a whole. It should be inspirational; it is inspirational.

On his cross country culinary adventure through India, Chef Gordon Ramsay managed to accumulate recipes from places far and wide within the geography. The regional specificity and originality of dishes came to the forefront in his book “Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape”. The Malai chicken kebabs were particularly outstanding for two reasons: their simplicity and their authenticity. A couple things to note when making kebabs, the size of the chicken cubes are essential to ensure that they are cooked before the peppers are overcooked. Additionally, the time that goes into the marinating process cannot be substituted for if the desirable and idyllic depth and intensity of flavors is to be achieved. With these particular kebabs, although generally mild, Gordon suggests serving them with a raita on the side, to provide the contrast and balance that a dish should possess as part of its repertoire.

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