Monday, June 11, 2012

Take a Culinary Journey Through India

Don't be fooled by the construction outside. The Bombay Club is alive and well! Throughout June, Washington’s famed power dining location is featuring menus from the different regions of India. I got a taste of the Goan/Manglorean menu. 

If you missed it, make sure to check out Rajasthani, June 11th through 16th; Mughlai, June 18th through 23rd and Hyderabadi, June 25th through 30th. This culinary journey is priced at $52 per person or $78 with wine pairings (excluding tax and gratuity) for each of the dinners.

Located along India’s West Coast along the Arabian Sea, Goa is India’s smallest state by area and fourth smallest state by population. The region is known for its seafood, fresh coconut milk, rice and local spices. Goa has a tropical climate and the cuisine is influenced by its Hindu origins, Portuguese colonialism and modern techniques. 
We began the meal with a round of cocktails.  I opted for the tropical Mirchini with chipotle infused vodka, mango liqueur and mango puree.  

The Scallop Caldine was perfectly cooked in coconut and spices.  I loved the Crab Xec Xec with toasted coconut, onion and toasted spices.  We also tried dishes such as the Pork Vindaloo with onion and peri peri masala, as well as Cauliflower Sukkem with mustard, curry leaves and ginger. For dessert, my favorite was the Indian rice pudding called the Elaichi Kheer.  The pairing options were the ideal compliments to the meal.  Hurry in to check out the other regions before the end of the month.

Don't miss:

Rājasthān is the largest state within the Republic of India. Located in the Northwest corner of India, Rājasthān encompasses most of the Great Indian Desert. The cooking in this region is influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in this arid region. Due to the scarcity of water and fresh vegetables, people of this region had to preparee food that could last for several days. Dry fruits and nuts, spices and yogurt are used in many delicacies. Standout dishes from this region include Kheere Ki Kachori with cucumber, flour and yogurt; Achari Titar with yogurt, mustard, cumin, fennel and onion seeds; Handi Bootha with lamb, onion, cashew, garam masala; Rajasthani Gatte with gram flour, yogurt and chili peppers; Mangodi Pulao with rice and lentil dumplings, as well as Dal Panchmel with five lentils, onion and tomato. For dessert, guests can enjoy Shrikhand with yogurt and candy sugar, or Dal Badam Halwa with almond, lentil and sugar.

Mughlai is a style of cooking used in Northern Indian, specifically in the regions of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. The cuisine is strongly influenced by the Muslim, Persian and Turkic cuisines of West and Central Asia, and has in turn strongly influenced the regional cuisines of Kashmir and the Punjab region. The tastes of Mughlai cuisine can vary from extremely mild to spicy. Dishes have a distinctive aroma and the taste of ground and whole spices. Moghal chefs are known for perfecting an aromatic cream sauce made with ghee, cream, garlic and onions. Menu highlights from this region include Murgh Parcha Kebab with chicken, ginger, garlic and spices; Paneer Pudina Tikka with mint, yogurt and garlic; Awadhi Murg with chicken, yogurt, onion, almonds and mace; Dum Ki Macchli with fish, roasted gram flour, yogurt and cashews; Khumb Kasoori Zafran with shitake, fenugreek, saffron and yogurt, as well as Bharwan Shimla Mirch Ke Anar with peppers, potatoes, peas, paneer and tomatoes. For the perfect ending, guests will enjoy Seviyon Ka Muzaffar with vermicelli, milk and almonds, or the Phirni with rice, milk and pistachios.

Hyderabad is the capital of Andhra Pradesh, India and is known by many as the City of Pearls. The cuisine in this region is heavily influenced by Turkish, Arabic, Mughlai and Tandoori cultures, incorporating ingredients that are carefully chosen and cooked to the perfect temperature. Utmost attention is given to selecting the right spices, meat and rice to use in a dish. Therefore an addition of herbs, spices and condiments add a distinctive taste and aroma. The key flavors of this region are coconut, tamarind, peanuts and sesame seeds. Dishes featured will include Shikampuri Kabab with lamb, lentils, caramelized onion and garam masala; Shrimp Moille with onion, coconut, curry leaves and clove; Achari Gosht Ki Pasliyan with lamb chops, onion, yogurt, mustard, fennel and onion seeds; Chicken Chettinad with onion, coconut, fennel, tomato and curry leaves; Aloo Dhaniya Korma with potato, coriander, yogurt and onion, as well as Mirch Baingan Ka Salan with eggplant, jalapeno, sesame, coconut and coriander. For dessert, guests will enjoy Khubani Ka Meetha, stewed apricots, or the Pal Payasam with milk, rice and jaggery.

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