11 April 2009

so you think you can tell ?

we've fu(&£d the chicken tikka and now have a gaping hole in the mooli's menu. will there ever be a chicken mooli that can match up to the heady heights attained by those small chunks of chicken breast, twice marinaded lovingly, charcoal grilled to perfection and served with pickled onions and a lovely mint and coriander chutney ?

sam and i tried our utmost. sam poured over his 1000 recipe book and came up with a chicken cooked in the north indian masalas that are used to make channa (chickpea) masala. all 26 of those spices (ok i exaggerate, but only a little) were clamouring for attention, and that lovely mint chutney was completely drowned. but it got several rave reviews in a tasting at home and at our 40+ tasting at ubs. but it had to go. sorry fab, thariel, jag and markus, we know you loved it.

so then i tried to make chandy chicken, a dish i have made at practically every dinner party i have ever thrown and have often been asked for its name (errr......chandy chicken?) and recipe. same problem though. flavours way too strong for a mooli. V, F, S & M strongly reject it. yes i know the chutney is only the chutney, but sam's patented mint chutney is truly special and has been, and will be, universally loved. we must not overshadow it with a strong chicken.

we're a bit disillusioned with the chicken at this stage. we blame the poor chicken breasts. "it is a sad piece of meat. dry. and tasteless." i am a thigh man. sam only partially agrees and insists that we hold on a little longer. "we must use breast. it is really popular in london". only in london?

raju has a very simple brief. conjure up a chicken that will make a great chicken mooli and will show off our special mint chutney.


"what & how?".

"you wait and see. don't worry".

he slices the breast with the finesse of a sushi chef. tosses it with a few simple (very simple!) spices. adds a few onions for crunch, red peppers for pulchritude (yes, it is definitely my word of the day) and hey presto, raju chicken is ready in about 12 minutes. its flavours are subtle yet beautiful, and yes, the mint chutney shines through very brightly. we don't need thigh, the breast is perfect. that is what you get from 12+ years of training at india's premier five star hotel group and a michelin starred indian restaurant in london.

yes, you really can tell.


thariel said...

you really need a chicken something, so am glad a replacement has been found. can't wait to try it! don't you need another round of home tastings sometime soon to approve menu revisions? drool...

sameer said...

thariel, you def. have to approve the chicken. we shall hold a chicken tasting (with new bread) very very soon! raju's chicken is great and the new mint chutney is really fresh. more fresh than any salsa!

mathew is dead right about the last chicken. there were too many flavours AND it wasn't cooked properly. but i can use the spice blend to make chole now for myself. i even made tamarind chutney. :D

sameer said...

mathew, your hyperlinking skills are quite something now.

TaB said...

Chicken keema with corn? Slight variation on a classic.