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What was the experience of cooking with American poultry meats like?
It was amazing. Not only is the quality of the meat great, the packaging is also hygienic and tamper-proof. Upon thawing, the meat was plump, had a beautiful pink colour, and smelled exactly like fresh meat. Not a single bird has any scratches. What impressed me the most was that every single bird weighed the same, which then gave me the same yield for the dishes each time.
How familiar are you with these ingredients?
I have been working with poiltry from the US for the last three years and so am very familiar with the ingredients. We have done the turkey challenge previously. We have worked with the chicken at Byg Brewski, Bengaluru and currently at Saby’s Deli we only use US chicken. Being the brand ambassador for the Great Indian Turkey Challenge, I did a lot of work with turkey. Last year, I did a poultry programme in Atlanta with Chef Chris and created a lot of Indian recipes. So I am also pouring in all of that experience into this.
Are turkey and duck amenable to Indian cuisine?
Both duck and turkey work beautifully with Indian cuisine. Once deboned, turkey meat can be used for boneless dishes, and also made into a keema. The boneless pieces can be turned into nice boti pieces that most Indians like to use. The great quality of duck breast lends itself to mild Indian curries, especially southern and eastern ones. The duck leg works for classic dishes such as the duck biryani we prepare at Saby’s Deli.
What spirits or wines would you suggest pairing the menu with?
For the kababs and keema khari I strongly suggest cocktails, something along the lines of the jamun cocktail, a part of ‘Savour the Flavour: US Poultry & Eggs with Desi Tadka’. The jungle maas works great with white wine or white spirits. Our duck mussalman biryani and chicken ghee roast are best paired with matured red wines, whiskies and malts.
How is American chicken different from our good ol’ broiler?
The meat is of a much superior quality. Not only does it have a gamey flavour, it’s meatier, and gives a very high yield.
Even the desserts were special. not only did the chocolate mousse with old monk pack a punch, it heaved with nostalgia. How important is memory for you as a chef?
Storytelling is an important part of my food. Without that, I feel the food is incomplete. One cannot experience the food 100% or, let’s say, the way it needs to be, without a story.
Gorai’s favourite picks from the ‘Savour the Flavour Menu’
Duck Mussalman Biryani
With a plump duck leg as its centrepiece, this fragrant biryani comes laced with caramelised onions and tastes as authentic as they come.
This fiery Indian classic, which keeps the hunting tradition of the maharajas alive, gets an American twist with turkey leg slow cooked in an earthen pot.
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