Saturday, 7 January 2012

Dishoom Keema Pau

While in my last job as a restaurant agent I had the opportunity to do a Masterchef style day at Dishoom restaurant in London's West End. I was up against a number of other surveyors from the leisure property world and fancied my chances.

The first challenge was to recreate their 'Keema Pau' dish having watched a chef demonstrate the technique. After a slow start browning the onions and seeing a number of my competitors confidently complete the task within a few minutes (this was no race, the idiots...) i happily pulled everything together and stood back to watch the judge take a mouthful of my dish into his mouth and look me in the eye with a knowing nod that i had done the recipe justice.

Unfortunately the second challenge was a quiz and not food related but about property in London, having been in the capital for all of a few months i didn't fare too well and crashed out of the competition before the final.... Still proud that i'd created the dish of the day and even happier that i had an extra hour to sup down a few more of their incredible Chaijito cocktails!

Below is the recipe as good as i can remember it, minus the bread they serve it with, i always use naan at home and serve it with whatever Indian chutney i have in the cupboard.

This is a dry dish so if it's swimming in juices you've done something wrong. Keep it relatively dry as you go through the stages and you shouldn't go too wrong. You're basically caramelising the onions at the start so cook them for longer than you'd expect to make sure they're lovely and browned, the pan shouldn't be too hot for this stage but not too low as you don't want them to just sit there and sweat. Lots of oil is important too, this is an Indian dish!

Ingredients -
400g Minced Lamb (Lean, if it's too fatty you may have to remove some of the juice from the pan and it'll also make your kitchen smell for a week... trust me)
Veg Oil
Tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 Large Onion, finely chopped
1/2 Heaped Tsp Ginger Paste
Heaped Tsp Garlic Paste
Tsp Red Chilli Powder
Heaped Tsp Cumin Powder (Plus extra to taste)
1/2 Tsp Garam Masala
4 or 5 Tbsp Chopped Tomatoes (or 3 tbsp of tomato puree and a little water)
Fresh Coriander Leaves

  • Heat approx 3 tbsp of oil in a frying pan until hot, add cumin seeds until they start to crackle
  • Add onions and fry until golden brown, don't under cook it's important to get them nicely browned
  • Add ginger and garlic pastes and saute until oil separates
  • Add a little water (2 tbsp approx)
  • Add all dry spices and saute, sprinkle with a little more water
  • Add chopped tomatoes and saute until the oil separates
  • Add the lamb mince and saute on a high heat until it dries up and becomes brownish
  • Add a little extra water and simmer
  • Add generous amounts of coriander leaves
  • Check the seasoning (adjust with salt and / or extra cumin)

Serve garnished with extra fresh coriander with your choice of Indian bread and chutney.

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