I have been enjoying Delhi food after a long time! Today, I went to Moet’s (a restaurant in Defence Colony, Delhi) and shared a chicken sizzler and roomali roti-kakori kebab combo with my mom-in-law. Kakori kebabs are these extra delicate lamb kebabs that are generally marinated with raw papaya and wrapped around skewers and grilled. Their name comes from a village by the same name near Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (a state in northern India). The Nawab (ruler) of Kakori village developed these kebabs to address the complaints of the British (who were ruling India at that time) that the meat was very tough. Well, besides railways and introducing us to the English language, I think this is another thing I am grateful to the British for! Thanks to them and their complaints, we get to eat melt in your mouth delicious kebabs!
On Sunday, I went to this Italian restaurant, Tonino’s that is on Mehrauli-Gurgaon road, and had amazing chicken chops with al dente spaghetti. My mom-in-law ordered a grilled fish which was very nicely cooked and flavored. For dessert we had a chocolate lasagna (I know!)- layered chocolate cake with hot chocolate sauce spread in between each layer and served with vanilla ice cream. Not only was the food good, so was the ambience. The restaurant is like a Tuscany styled villa with a verandah, outdoor seating, and trees all around. At night they put candles everywhere and make it a really romantic place to take your loved one! Alas, I went with my in-laws, which wasn’t bad either but the romantic setting could not be tested!
I remember when I was in Moscow for two years and visited Delhi on a month’s break I had made a list of places/things I wanted to visit/eat. On the list were Khan chacha’s rolls (at Khan market), Nizam’s rolls (at Connought Place), Choor choor naan that you get outside LSR (my under-grad college) and chicken momos either from Sarojini/Dilli Haat, and the oily, greasy chowmein that is popularly known as Indian-chinese! I have already ticked off IIFT dhaba’s paranthas and The Big Chill. The list would be incomplete without mentioning Dal makhani, butter chicken and butter naan. (Well, butter chicken can also be ticked off since I had it at Saket the other day with my friends) And I also would like to have gol gappas and a better version of aloo-tikki chaat (I had the latter at a wedding but wasn’t too impressed). Yes, I am on a mission!
Anyway, coming back to what I have been cooking. Well, practically nothing! I make tea regularly (if you would consider that cooking! and I know some of us actually do!) but besides the chicken biryani and what I cooked for the party at my parents place- I have not been cooking in India.
So, the other day when my mom-in-law got some chicken legs from Khan market, I thought of making some grilled chicken legs as an accompaniment to a glass of chilled beer. Instead of making plain tandoori chicken I thought of giving the chicken a coriander flavor. Now, I have been experimenting with my in-laws microwave and today gave their grill a try. It took longer than I expected to cook- but once cooked, the chicken was soft and delicious. We were out of lemon, but I’m sure some lemon juice on top would have made an excellent appetizer. And the glass of chilled beer- well it was the icing on the cake!
I had made these yesterday evening and could not take any pictures since the lighting in the house is all yellow and it was not flattering to the dish. I saved two pieces thinking I would make them as an afternoon snack but we were out the whole day. The moment we came back and since there was still some daylight I quickly went to bake/grill the kitchen. But by the time they were ready it was dark outside. Man, the trouble I go through to get a good click. So anyways, I was stuck with another yellow click. A little photoshop helped reduce the yellow but still doesn’t do justice to the dish! Well, when I make it the next time, hopefully I’ll get a good shot!
P.S: This post was written more than a week back, but due to no internet connection for the past few days and the fact that I had been travelling I have not been able to post it till today. Not that anybody cares, or do they???Hmmmm……
GRILLED CILANTRO CHICKEN
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 inch piece ginger
- 1 tsp roasted cumin seeds
- 6 tbsp yogurt
- 6 tbsp oil
- Juice of a lemon ( I used 1 tsp chilli vinegar instead)
- 4 green chillies
- 1 bunch coriander/cilantro (feel free to put more or add a little mint)
- 6 chicken legs
- Grind together the cloves, ginger, cumin seeds and green chillies into a paste.
- Mix the paste and the rest of the ingredients except the chicken in a bowl.
- Add the chicken legs and marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Since I used the microwave, I let the chicken bake for 20 minutes at 220 C in a baking dish with the marinade paste and then grilled the chicken legs on the grill for another twenty minutes till the chicken turned brown. While grilling, I kept basting the chicken with marinade every 5 minutes.
- Serve with onions and lemon wedges.