Chef Rishi, on grilling

Mention grills to Chef Rishi, and he’ll begin to tell you about feasting on post-cricket kababs as a child and learning how to make marinades as a young chef. To celebrate the launch of our all-new Grill Kits, ideal summer party food for the BBQ (or the kitchen grill as little monsoons occur often in the UK) thanks to how easy they are to make, it feels only fitting he share some of his mouthwatering memories.

As a thirteen year old boy in Delhi with endless energy and appetite, I treasured Sunday mornings. I’d wake up early, jump on my rickety Hero Cycle bicycle and hurriedly pedal five miles to a park close to Shantivan and Raj Ghat. There, me and my friends would set-up makeshift stick stumps and play cricket for hours… or until our minds and bellies turned (inevitably) to food. 

This particular park held special importance for me, partly for the cricket, but mainly for the grills. After our sporting endeavours, we’d pack up and queue up outside our favourite grill vendor, waiting for the coals to be lit. As soon as they were ready, we’d eat a champion feast of sheekh kababs, murgh malai and chicken tikka covered in spicy-sour marinades and cooked on the open grill. We were more often than not the first customers of the day to pile in – loyal, some would say but perhaps it was more an over-fondness for food.

My life is peppered with rich memories of grills. The scent of charcoal wafting on the morning air as my father lit coals for the tandoor on our terrace (it was there that I pulled my first naan at the age of 6!). Balmy evenings spent in Colaba, Bombay, watching skewers of meat, seafood and vegetables smoke and sizzle and spit on open flaming grills as chefs toss and stretch dough to make fresh rotis. Deep enjoyment, guaranteed!

In my experience, and after enjoying many kebabs, I have learned that the finest grills are made up of three key steps:

  1. The very best starting produce – be it meat, fish or vegetables. 
  2. An ideal marinade. A balance of spice, sour and, in some cases, a little bit of sweetness make the best coating for your grill of choice. When I was training to be a chef, we would make the murgh malai marinade by vigorously whisking cheese, yoghurt, cream, egg, salt and cornflour by hand for half an hour until we had a smooth paste. Mercifully, modern-fancy appliances have made such chores much more simple though they cannot help with the marinating time. Grills must be left for at least 12 hours (though 24 is actually best) to slowly soak up the marinade not only for flavour but texture as well. Indeed, at Dishoom our Spicy Lamb Chops are twice marinated over 24 hours for extra sweet-sour harmony. 
  3. The perfect char. Charring is part of grilling and key to the very best flavour. In my humble opinion, the best way to cook grills at home is on the BBQ, if you can. Though domestic grills also work well. 

The above will give you grills fit for a feast. And if time (and fridge space) are not on your side, then you may be happy to learn of our all-new Grill Kits, in which Dishoom chefs have deftly taken care of the marinating process, leaving you to simply turn on your grill or, fire up the BBQ – optimal for summer parties when time is better spent chatting to friends than cooking. Then within 30 minutes, you’ll be tucking into a plentiful spread of succulent Spicy Lamb Chops & Murgh Malai or vegetarian Paneer Tikka paired with Soya Chaap & Pineapple Tikka. Soya Chaap is one of my most-loved street foods in India and when coupled with pineapple, this grill has a sense of sweet surprise.

Vibrantly fresh green chutney is very often served with hot grills, for dipping and daubing as you see fit, so we’ve included our Coriander-mint Chutney (Tomato Chilli Jam and Chilli Chutney add an addictive bit of heat for those who like things a little spicier) along with our House Black Daal, Kachumber and a soft fluffy Naan reminiscent of the ones I used to make on the terrace as a child. If I’m hosting a summer party then I like to round it all off with a cold Dishoom IPA or refreshingly lovely India Gimlet.

And I should add, those lazy-hazy days of playing cricket and eating delicious grills with my old friends have certainly paid off – not as premier cricketers I hasten to add – but rather, we’re now all chefs.

The Grill Kit is positively treat-worthy for two – choose from Lamb & Chicken or vegetarian Paneer & Soya Chaap. Orders are available with nominated day delivery.

Prepared with love by Dishoom chefs, kits are delivered nationwide* before 10pm on your chosen date. For every kit you enjoy, we donate a meal to Akshaya Patra.

Order now
A little more detail on the Grill Kits…

Lamb & Chicken Grill Kit

Spicy Lamb Chops – four top-quality chops of generous proportions that have been marinated in warm dark spices, ginger, garlic and lime juice

Murgh Malai – richly marinated, mildly spiced chicken thigh meat which has been steeped in garlic, ginger, coriander stems and a little cream

Paneer & Soya Grill Kit

Paneer Tikka – a cheese with a soft and forgiving nature that picks up flavours wonderfully. Marinated with spices and yoghurt then gently charred under the grill with peppers at home.

Soya Chaap & Pineapple Tikka – a top vegetarian couplet of marinated spiced soy kabab and pineapple

All-important trimmings

House Black Daal – the Dishoom signature dish, dark, rich, deeply flavoured. It is cooked over 24 hours for extra harmony (though it will take mere minutes in your own kitchen!)

Kachumber – a messy to-do of cucumber, onion and tomato

Kabab Masala – the house spice mix that finishes many Dishoom dishes: kababs, vegetables, meat and more

Naan – made by hand. Optimal for mopping up juices.

Coriander-mint Chutney – fresh, cooling chutney as served in our cafés

Salted Butter – milk of renowned quality, churned in the traditional way in Somerset

Order Grill Kits

*Delivery area covers the UK mainland (except Northern Ireland), with some exclusions in Scotland and Channel Islands due to the transit time required. Regretfully, no changes or substitutions can be made to this kit. Must be consumed within two days of delivery.

** Kindly note:⁠— Grill Kits are delivered anytime before 10pm on your chosen day, so be sure to select the day before you plan on enjoying.

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