Monday, May 29, 2006

More from Flavors of India

Makhmali Kebabs

I went back to Flavors of India today to go after some of those dishes I missed last time. The first item I got was the Makhmali Kebabs, or chicken marinated in cheese and spices. Hmmm...chicken marinated in cheese, eh? I imagined something like the yogurt-marinated chicken, but instead this thing turned out nothing like it...they looked more like cylindrical tubes of rice toasted on a fire (almost like cylindrical yaki onigiri), and yet they still had chicken inside the crispy cheese coating. I don't know how else to describe wasn't bad, although not as tasty (nor as kebab-like) as I would have hoped.

Clockwise from left: Dhal Makhni, Zaffrani Chawal, and Noor JahaniNext I grabbed what was allegedly one of the greatest things here: the noor jahani, or fish stuffed with minced meat and almonds and simmered in a delicate cream sauce. When I heard "cream sauce," I was thinking of something like a carbonara sauce. Instead, this was red in color (a bit like butter chicken). And just as with above, it wasn't bad, but my expectations were probably set too high. Fortunately, the dhal makhni, or creamed Punjabi dhal lentils with mild spices and butter, pulled through. This finally was what I was looking for: something to rival the greatness of Bukhara's dhal. While not as amazingly spicy nor rich as I remember Bukhara's to be, this still did the job with a good amount of flavor and heartiness. Nice one. Finally, I got a zaffrani chawal, or Basmati rice cooked with saffron and spices to finish it off. It wasn't that much different from Shahi Persian Pilaf aside from missing the orange peel and fried onions. I'm glad I at least found the dhal.

No comments: