Indian Home Dining by Paloma Lacy

Never have so many been so keen to ‘ring out the old, bring in the new’, as the old song goes. After yet another challenging year, we’re all hoping for a better 2022, even if it gets off to a shaky start. For those choosing to mark the occasion with restaurant-grade dining from the comfort of their own home, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Indian food. Don’t be put off by the name of the recently-launched at home dining arm of West Dulwich restaurant, Heritage.

Jhakaas means Epic in Hindi.

Coming from chef Dayashankar Sharma, there was little doubt it would be anything but.

Not content to wow foodie audiences with his modern take on some classic dishes at his restaurant, he’d made his way into people’s homes and further into their hearts.

Inspired by India’s four major cities – Delhi, Bombay, Kolkata and Chennai, the Rajputana Vegan set meal for two showcases dishes such as Tofu Saag, Lasooni Tadka dal and Kalkatta Bigan Bhaja – shallow fried aubergine – with Champaran beans and baby corn, as well as a selection of indulgent plant-based breads, rices, and chutneys.

This menu is priced at £40 for two people.

The a la carte menu showcases a selection of innovative vegan small plates to choose from.

Highlights include wild mushroom kofta (mushroom dumplings, smoked tomato, melon seed gravy), Tofu Saag, (grilled tofu and garlic tempered spinach) and Calcutta Baingan Bhaja, (pan fried spiced aubergine with tangy masala).

Meat options are also available.

Based in Brockley, delivery radius is three-and-a-half miles, increasing to five miles for orders placed 24 hour before.

Main Picture: Chef Dayashankar Sharma

Pure Indian

It’s the month for unusual restaurant names, with Pure Indian in Fulham up next.

I wasn’t sure what it meant when I first heard about it and am not really any clearer now.

What I can tell you is that it is innovative Indian fine dining that’s sure to blow your socks off.

Headed up by Shilpa Dandekar, who previously worked as head chef under Raymond Blanc, she brings a creative flair that has to be experienced to be believed.

With big plans for her menu in 2022, dishes will include scallops with strawberry, fresh mint and roasted almond, and Mangalorean Chicken cooked with coconut and byadgi chillies.

I was thoroughly impressed at how well her food travelled, maintaining high quality restaurant standard to my own kitchen table, even the Chilli Fried Squid arriving crispy.

Pure Indian

Lobster Pulao, which, it should be pointed out, is not the same as biryani, owing to its high-spice ratio and absorption cooking method, wowed even before tasting.

The visual impact of lobster shell as decoration worked on the taste buds instantly. Delicately spiced, soaking up all the flavours of this most luxurious of fish, it was a show stopper of a dish on so many levels.

Other favourites included a sharing board, with meats cooked in a tandoor, including Chicken Methi Malai and Chicken Tikka, and the most delicious curried cashew nuts.

With such a huge vegetarian population, I never ceased to be amazed by the interesting treatment of vegetables in Indian cooking.

The flavour combinations used to create mouth-watering dishes, using okra and aubergine were first class.



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