The thing about great chefs is that apart from fabulous food, they also serve interesting stories. Chef Sanjeev Kapoor too has many such tales. One of his favourites is about a man he met in a remote area in Pakistan who treated him to what he calls, the best daal ever. Naturally, he managed to get the recipe, and thus was born the Lalla Mussa daal – a green moong daal dish which Sanjeev named in the honour of its creator, and brought all the way to Dubai. This story about the journey of a traditional recipe was narrated to us not by Sanjeev but by his protégé, chef Chandrachur Chamoli, even as he treated us to the new modern twist that he had introduced to the eclectic menu with molecular gastronomy.
A food trend that has caught on in several Dubai restaurants, chef Chandrachur's take is nevertheless a novel one. The idea, he says, is to give a new texture to age-old dishes and create visual drama. Thus, we had the desconstructed papdi chaat where the crackers literally exploded in our mouth the moment we popped them. Instead of going the whole nine yards, the molecular experimentation was restricted to only a few items on the menu. Thus flavour and softness of the hammour kebab, chicken tikka, lamb chops and dal galouti (our starters) were retained as we always knew it, but the ‘experimental’ palate cleansers were subjected to the molecular treatment – special mention must be made of the mango and raspberry sorbet where the berries were churned, right in front of us, in liquid nitrogen, turning them into tiny, icy balls before being added to the sorbet.
The mains consisted of the aforementioned buttery, slow-cooked daal and old favourite prawn curry served in coconut shell. But the finale was left for the dessert. Coconut cream was placed in the middle of our table and it was surrounded by berries, mango, passion fruit, lychee, peanut butter, noughat, tiramisu and finally, dark and white chocolate mousse dipped in liquid nitrogen. In other words, the preparation and plating was carried out in our presence. A treat for the eyes and the palate!
Deconstructed Pani Puri
Hammour Kebab, Chicken Tikka, Lamb Chops and Dal Galouti
Lalla Mussa Daal
Prawn in coconut curry