Christmas Turkey. Now be honest. Does the thought of it fill you with excitement? Does it make your taste buds stand to attention?
Probably not. Everyone seems to have a memory of a Christmas dinner that turned out appallingly – insipid meat, flabby sprouts – and the mere idea of cooking a roast fowl can send some people into a decline.
So naturally, we felt it was our responsibility to rescue Dishoom-wallas from this pit of turkey despair. A noble mission to turn this uninspiring meat into something amazing. Something that friends would squabble over the scraps of. A Bombay Party in your mouth, so to speak.
One of our absolute favourite Indian dishes is Raan, a whole leg of lamb, slow-cooked until the meat is so tender it’s falling off the bone. Much-celebrated and more than a little lavish, and therefore quite fitting for Christmas. And in a slightly inspired (read crazy) move we decided to try it with turkey instead – and the results were absolutely phenomenal. Our chef Naved Nasir could actually be a genius. Perhaps a superhero, like in that new Sharukh Khan movie. That’s going a bit far, but you get the idea…
Unlike a traditional roast, we marinate the meat and cook it slowly over a whole day to keep maximum moisture and flavour. We cover the turkey leg with a dry rub of salt and chilli followed by ginger and garlic paste, then allow it to rest and absorb the flavours. The marinated meat is braised over several hours in a rich stock spiced with star anise, black cardamom and bay leaves, before being grilled over charcoal. Finally, it is tossed with butter, lime and black pepper.
Rich, moist and packed with flavour, Flaming Turkey Raan is the antidote to every disappointing Christmas dinner you’ve ever had…
And let’s not forget the accompaniments – the turkey comes with a fiery-sweet chutney made with cranberries and red chillies. And zingy Bombay Potatoes and Masala Winter Greens round off an altogether pretty spectacular dish.
And no matter how full you feel, it will be impossible to resist finishing off your feast with a glass of Naughty Chai.
So this Christmas say no to dull-as-dishwater dinners, and come and try a Bombay Christmas feast in London.
With February comes a gladdening of spirits, lighter morning skies and discernibly louder birdsong. It is also the month to bid farewell to our winter cocoons (at least partially) and tune back into the world beyond our blankets. Allow us to ease the de-hibernation process, by sharing some of the things piquing our interest this month.
“Who wants to see some magic?” Chef Arun calls out. He flings the rolled out dough into the air, sending it soaring above the counter. It spins and twists, a graceful dancer in the air. The children watch its arc, their eyes wide with wonder, until it lands gently back in the chef's hands. The children shriek in delight.
January is a most divisive month. For some it heralds the hopeful turning over of new leaves; for others it is a month to trudge begrudgingly through towards the promise of spring. Whichever camp you find yourself in, we have plentiful diversions to share. See them as the cherry atop your already gleeful January cake, or a welcome distraction while you await winter’s end.
I AM HERE, dear reader, slovenly and slouched, staring into my drink at the end of the bar in our new restaurant in Battersea. My mind is still down and out, sifting around in the dregs of ’23 but of course it knows that I should really straighten my back, raise my chin and look squarely up into the cold new light of ’24. My drink – Choti’s Punch – clear and strong, sweet with a little salt, may help.