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Origin India previews James Beard dinner

6 years, 7 months ago 0

Masala-Banana-Stuffed Potato Barrel

In preparation for his James Beard dinner in New York, to be presented on February 20 at the Beard House, Origin India’s Chef Kuldeep Singh offered us a sneak preview of his five-course extravaganza. And what an extravaganza it was!

It began with passed hors d’oeuvre of Roasted Tomato Rasam Soup with Tomato Foam served in a shot glass. It was a much lighter version of tomato soup and we were delighted with the way the globe of roasted tomato puree bobbing in the soup warmed the back of our throat as we shot it back.

The evening’s most impressive hors d’oeuvre presentation was the Spicy Crab Momo with lemongrass, pickled onions, and roasted-sesame seed chutney that was cleverly displayed on a wooden serving platter in a bed of candles nestled in dry lentil beans.

Also intriguing was “street food” served in the form of Potato and Garbanzo Bean-stuffed Crispy Dumplings with a shot of Masala water. The shot of Masala water really allowed the spices in the dumpling we had just popped in our mouth to explode across our palate. We understand the dumplings will soon be served at the bar but paired with a vodka shot.

Our first dinner course started off with a bang. The Masala Banana–Stuffed Potato Barrel with Spicy Ajwan Potato Dumpling, Mint Sauce, and Banana Chips combined for a flavor explosion and the potato barrel was an unexpected success. The dish paired wonderfully with the Spicy Indian Lady cocktail, which reminded us of a more subtle and thinner Bloody Mary — and we do love a good Bloody Mary.

The second course was milder, offering our palate some relief. It was a Panfried Five Spice–Marinated Barramundi Fillet with Tomato Risotto. It was definitely a table favorite.

Lamb Curry with onion rings

Our third course of Old Luckhnow-Style Slow-Braised Nihari Curry with Lamb, Saffron, Aromatics, and Pilau Rice revealed a depth of spice we hadn’t experienced yet. The tender and piquant lamb rested in a flavorful gravy and was topped with onion rings breaded in chickpea flower resulting in another creative presentation.

We ended with Panfried Masala Duck with Mixed Peppers, Jalfrezi Curry with Baby Corn, and Ajwan-Scented Bread. One of my dining partners noted that it was her favorite course because “it was unexpected for Indian food.” That probably means James Beard devotees will dig it.

Although we were somewhat skeptical of the dessert of Vermicelli Panna Cotta with Alphonso Mango Jelly, it was very soothing after the spicy dishes. It offered a very delicate flavor that was light and not especially sweet.

Origin India is located at 4480 Paradise Road, #1200 (in mall at northeast corner of Harmon)
Phone: 73.INDIA (46342)
Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily

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