India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Wine & Dine
December 10, 2015

Your Cheat Sheet to Whipping Up a Royal Meal

Text and images by Tejal Pandey

Verve decodes the secret behind some of the trademark dishes at The Lalit, Mumbai. Plus, recipes, so that you can enjoy these treats at home!

Mushroom Cappuccino
Where: 24 x 7
True to its name, this simmering broth is both smooth like coffee and yet retains the texture of its main ingredient – fresh field mushrooms. Served just like your regular cappuccino in a wide white cup, it’s easy to mistake  the dry porcini sprinkle on the foam to be powdered cocoa or coffee.

Recipe:

Ingredients
For the Soup: Field mushroom, 100 gms; Porcini dry, 10 gms; Onion chopped, 20 gms; Garlic chopped, 10 gms; Leeks chopped, 10 gms; Thyme fresh, 5 gms; Extra Virgin olive oil, 10 ml; Milk, 10ml; Cream, 25 ml; Butter, 20 gms; Crushed black pepper, 5 gms; Vegetable stock, 200 ml; Dry porcini powder to sprinkle; Salt to taste.

Method
In a soup pan sauté the chopped onion, chopped garlic, chopped leeks in olive oil. Add sliced field mushrooms and soaked porcini, sauté well. Add salt, thyme sprig and pepper corns, cook till onions translucent and mushrooms are soft. Remove the thyme sprigs out and fine blend the mushroom mixture to a smooth paste. Add vegetable stock to the mixture and check seasoning. Bring it to a boil. Strain the mixture and finish with cream and butter. Pour the soup in a coffee mug and top it up with milk foam.  Sprinkle with some porcini dust.

Jhinga Zebunissa
Where: Baluchi
This well marinated crustascean is the lobster’s fresh water cousin – the scampi, available at the restaurant all year round except during the monsoon season. The buttery meat can be easily scooped out and is best had with a dash of the fresh green mint chutney served alongside.

Recipe:

Ingredients
Scampi (medium sized), 6 no; Ginger garlic paste, 30gms; Bedige chili paste, 10gms; Salt to taste, 5gms; Carom seed, 5gms; Hung curd, 50gms; Mustard oil, 15 ml; Coriander powder, 3gms; Roasted cumin powder, 3gms; Garam masala, 5gms; Lemon juice, 5 ml; Butter (for basting), 10gms; Chaat masala to sprinkle.

Method
Take the scampi and clean with cold water, remove the extended tentacles. Slit the shell from centre with scissor. Pat dry and keep refrigerated. Marinate the scampi meat with hung curd, lemon juice, ginger garlic paste, red chilly powder, salt, carom seed, coriander powder, roasted cumin powder and mustard oil. Add Bedige chilli paste to the marination and keep it refrigerated for at least four hours. Take the scampi, skew them and wrap them with aluminium foil, and cook in tandoor. Once cooked baste it with butter to keep the scampi moist. Place it on platter and serve hot.

Afghani Nalli Nihari and Dal Baluchi
Where: Baluchi
As a meat lover, one simply cannot miss out on this meal of tender lamb cooked in a deep red brown gravy. If the sight is not mesmerising enough, then the tantalising spice-enriched aroma will definitely lure you in. In terms of the dal, a cooking period of over twelve hours straight gives this traditional lentil recipe its flawless velvety texture with a rich, robust flavour.

Recipes:

Ingredients for Afghani Nalli Nihari
For the  Nihari: Lamb shanks, 16 nos; Red Onions, 400 gms; Yellow chilli powder, 20 gms; Salt, 15 gms; Ginger-Garlic paste, 25 gms; Cooking oil, 50 ml; Garam masala powder, 15 gms; Mace Powder, 5 gms; Green cardamom powder, 5gms; Curd, 50 ml; Saffron, 1 gm; Kewra water, 10 ml; Lamb stock, 250 ml; Bay leaves, 4 ea; Green cardamom, 4 ea; Cloves, 6 ea; Black pepper corns, 6 ea.
For the Mutton Stock: Lamb bones, 1 kg; Water, 2 litre; Bay leaves, 2 ea.
For Garnish: 5 Gms Ginger julienne, 5 gms; Chopped mint, 5 gms; Chopped cilantro, 5 gms; Lemon (for juice), 1 ea; Brown onion, 10 gms

Method
For the Lamb Stock: In a thick bottom pan put washed lamb bones and cover with water. Add bay leaves and allow simmering on a slow heat for a minimum of four hours so that all the flavours are extracted. Strain and keep aside.
For the Nihari: Take a thick bottom vessel, fill it with oil and brown the onions (keep aside some brown onions for garnish). Mix the lamb shanks with salt, brown onion, ginger garlic paste, cooking oil, and curd. Add bay leaves, green cardamom, cloves and peppercorns. Put all the above in the handi, pour the lamb stock, place a tight lid on top of it, and place it over slow flame. Cook till lamb shanks are tender, once the lamb shanks are tender, take them out of stock. Add garam masala powder, kewra water, saffron, mace powder and cardamom powder. Once the boil comes, strain the gravy. Pour the strained gravy over the shanks and simmer again for five minutes. Service and garnish: Arrange the shank in serving bowl, pour the gravy on the shank and garnish with ginger julienne, chopped mint, chopped cilantro, brown onion. Squeeze the juice of a lemon on top and serve hot with Khameeri kulcha (yeast leavened flat bread cooked in tandoor). 

Ingredients for Dal Baluchi
Whole black dal, 500 gms; Tomato puree, 400 gms; Butter, 250 gms; Cream, 250 gms; Ginger garlic paste, 50 gms; Deghi mirch, 25 gms; Kasoori methi , 25 gms; Salt to taste.

Method
Wash the lentil with small amount of salt at least three to four times to remove any dirt. Soak the dal in cold water for six hours. Put the soaked dal in a thick bottom vessel and boil overnight on slow fire. In another vessel add butter and ginger garlic paste. Cook it till the paste turns golden yellow. Add tomato puree and deghi mirch powder, kastoori methi powder and keep stirring till masalas are cooked. Add boiled dal and cook till the dal turns creamy brown by stirring occasionally. Finish with cream. Serve best with mirch ka paratha and garlic naan.

The Lalit Signature Pastry
Where: The Pastry Shop
This multi-layered dessert is a treat to the eyes as much as to the palate. A superb ensemble of mud cake, pink almond financier, pale yellow butter scotch and hazelnut chocolate cream, this colourful confection makes for a classic end to any good meal.

Recipe:

Ingredients
For the chocolate mud cake: Butter 500, gms; Milk, 400 gms; Dark chocolate, 400 gms; Eggs, 8 ea; Sugar, 500 gms; Cocoa Powder, 60 gms; Salt, 10 gms; Baking soda, 8 gms; Vanilla essence, 10 ml; Flour, 450 gms
For the financier: Almond powder, 150 gms; Icing sugar, 250 gms; Butter, 6 ea; Egg, 300 gms; Flour, 125 gms; Honey, 100 gms; Red color, 10 gms
For layering: Ellen’ vire cream, 500 gms; Butterscotch sauce, 200 gms; Nougat, 100 gms; Hazelnut paste, 200 gms; Chocolate truffle, 200 gms

Method
For the mud cake: Melt butter and chocolate and mix together. Whisk the sugar and eggs in the planetary mixer, add melted butter and melted chocolate. Add dry ingredients in to the mixture. Fold in nicely to avoid any air bubble. Line a baking tray with butter paper and pour the mixture. Bake it at 160 degree for 25-30 minutes.
For the financier: Separate the egg yolk and white, melt the butter allow it to cool. Mix all yolk with rest all ingredients together. Add melted butter and egg white, line a baking tray with butter paper and pour the mixture. Bake it at 180 degree for 10-15 minutes.
Service and garnish: Layer mud cake soaked with sugar syrup, apply hazelnut cream and chocolate truffle. Put financier sponge on it, soaked in sugar syrup. Layer butterscotch cream and nougat on top of financier. Put another mud cake layer on top coating with chocolate truffle.

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