Family that eats together...
Family outings are in, and restaurants are providing special family dinners
PHOTO: SATISH N
CULINARY BOND A family enjoying a meal in a restaurant
Hurry up! I am getting late. That is the commonest sentence heard in the mornings at most homes. And the day starts. Bread earners head to their work places, kids rush to their schools and colleges and homemakers get on with their chores. All busy in their own tasks with hardly anytime for each other except a small phone call here and there.
Take a break
Then for the full day, all seem too busy with their routine things thatfamily affairs have no choice but take a backseat.
Thankfully, most of us do realise that and importantly so, realise that the homemaker having spent the good part of the day at home, needs a break too. And what better way to make it up by having a family dinner somewhere outside, saving the spouse from the often-cumbersome task of preparing dinner for the family. That is exactly what is happening nowadays. What to eat and how to eat and where to eat are important but what is even more important is that the family gets to eat together. All true to the age-old adage of a family that eats together, staying together.
Open your eyes and during dinner you sure will see cars on the roads with families hitting restaurants, as per their budgets. So much so that it is hard at times to get a table for family in popular restaurants and one has to actually book a table at times. This is more obvious at the start of the weekend generally.
Fridays for families
Restaurants too seem to know it well. A lot of restaurants do declare Fridays as Family Dining Day with various packages for the family on offer. The menus of such restaurants are prepared in such a way that there are maximum number of dishes which can be called family-sharing dishes. It can be a jumbo family pizza, family nan bread, khad murg, ran Sikandari and even a family platter of kababs. Packages of beverages for the family are also very much in vogue and slowly but steadily catching up. Kids' mocktails are getting popular too. Some restaurants do even go to the extent of arranging a play area for the kids within the premises keeping the concept of three F's fun, food, family under one roof. Kid food specials are also displayed prominently on the menu. Laying out special buffets for family dining has been on the block for a long time now.
All these efforts are targeted to make you dine with family at leisure.
Now time for a recipe, which is exclusively for family dining.
1 leg of lamb (appx.1.25 kg)
1 inch ginger, peeled 2 cups of hung yoghurt 1/4 of a medium size raw papaya, mashed 8 garlic cloves, peeled 2 tsp whole garam masala 1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped 1/4 cup mint, chopped 6 whole red chilly, fresh
Salt to taste
Juice of 2 lemons 1/4 cup brown onion paste Oil for meat basting
Chat masala to sprinkle
Take the clean leg of lamb and remove as much fat as possible with the help of a sharp knife and lay it flat on a board. Make deep incisions from top to bottom at about 1/4-inch intervals.
These incisions should be as deep as possible, almost down to the bone. Turn the leg over and repeat the process.
Mix the lemon juice and the mashed raw papaya well and rub generously on the meat, ensuring that it enters the incisions well. Leave in the refrigerator for two to three hours.
Take the rest of the ingredients, except chat masala and oil, put them in a blender and make a smooth paste marinate.
Remove the meat from the refrigerator and rub this marinade into each incision, and then fill the incisions with it. Rub the remaining marinade all over the surface of the lamb on both the sides. Place in a covered container and leave it to marinate in the refrigerator for about 12 hours. Turn it over every 3-4 hours.
If not using the tandoor then pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees C/450 degrees F/Gas Mark 8. Place the lamb on a roasting tin, Cover the meat with an aluminium foil or use a covered roasting dish and cook in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes.
Reduce heat to 190 degrees C/375 degrees F/Gas Mark 5 and cook for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil and baste it with the oil with a good brush or with a piece of cloth. Cover and cook for a further 35-40 minutes, basting the meat occasionally while regularly turning over the meat. Take the meat out once it is tender. Transfer the meat on to a serving platter, sprinkle desired quantity of chat masala and serve hot with a choice of garnishes and mint chutney.
The meat is served in chunky pieces.
(The author is Executive Chef, Crowneplaza
He can be emailed at chefrk@crowneplazadelhi
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