Great British Game Week 2020
In a seasonal departure from seafood and in celebration of Great British Game Week 2020 (23-29 November), #Game4Spice is a week-long showcasing of UK game served up in dishes from, or inspired by the cuisine of, various states of India. Each dish is partnered with regional vegetable accompaniments, all made with seasonal UK vegetables.
Shorshe Hasher Mangsho (West Bengal)
Monday 23 November 2020
This recipe is derived from one by Keith Floyd in the West Bengal episode of his TV series, “Floyd’s India”, and translates literally as “mustard duck meat”. Over the many years I have made this dish my recipe has evolved and here, in its most recent incarnation, it’s a suggestion for a curry using mallard breast. Mustard, being one of the characteristic flavours in Bengali cuisine is introduced through the use of mustard oil. If mustard oil is not to hand, just add mustard to the powdered masala in the recipe.
Tandoori Partridge (Punjab)
Tuesday 24 November 2020
Tandoori chicken must be about the most popular Punjabi dish in the UK and I have been making Atul Kochhar’s recipe, designed to approximate the results from a tandoor oven, for years using partridge, pheasant and, outside of game season, with quail. The mother of a school-friend of mine, a lady of Punjabi origin, kindly gave me her home-style recipe for this chickpea accompaniment. I served a meal along these lines at an end-of-season shoot lunch to the members and their families a few years ago.
Junglee Maas (Rajasthan)
Wednesday 25 November 2020
Junglee Maas (or “wild meat”) is a classic, traditional Rajasthani dish, here made with wild venison shoulder, hailing from the days of hunting as a sport amongst the affluent. Dried Kashmiri chillies and black cardamoms are absolutely essential in its preparation. As an accompaniment “Kacher Subji”, is a dry mixed vegetable curry spiced with caraway and soured originally with powdered “Kachri”, a desert cucumber, but here with Amchoor. Rice and a Rajasthani mixed dhal complete the meal.
Pheasant Cafreal (Goa)
Thursday 26 November 2020
Galinha Cafreal is a Goan classic: marinated chicken shallow-fried or cooked over a wood fire (or BBQ). This treatment suits pheasant beautifully and, once the Cafreal malasa is in the jar, is a very simple way to enjoy a piece of game meat. In the spirit of east-meets-west that so characterises the culinary repertoire of the Goan household, some spicy fried potato wedges and a zingy cabbage salad make the perfect meal for a BBQ in some autumn sunshine.
Chettinad-Spiced Pigeon (Tamil Nadu)
Friday 27 November 2020
This is a recipe from Atul Kochhar’s book, “Simple Indian”, adapted slightly for the cooking of boneless breasts of wild pigeon, and to serve two. The ”Chettinad” masala, however, I have left unchanged and will be enough for four servings and, once made, the dish is very easy to prepare. The masala will keep in a jar for the duration of the game season! The flavour of orange is an inspired contribution, but do note both the juice and the zest are used. The Beetroot Poriyal can be made ahead of time.
Cotolette di Coniglio alla Bengalese (West Bengal)
Saturday 28 November 2020
Quite obviously this is not a Bengali dish but it does champion the blend of five spices, Panch Phoran, so prevalent in Bengali cuisine. Here, I’ve scented an escalope of rabbit (prepared in Italian style with this fragrant spice mix, then panéed and shallow-fried it. Pheasant and partridge breasts work equally pleasingly treated this way. The accompanying kale and potato dish is a recipe I derived from the cookbook of Minakshie DasGupta, founder of "Kewpie’s", arguably the most famous restaurant in Calcutta. A spiced tomato and apricot chutney (also featuring Panch Phoran) is the perfect condiment but so would be any seasonal, spicy, fruity chutney.
Game Biryani (Lucknow)
Sunday 29 November 2020
The regal festive finale to the #Game4Spice tour with a recipe by the Empress of Indian cuisine, Madhur Jaffrey which I have adapted only in the sense of accommodating the shorter cooking time of game meat compared to mutton or even lamb. A meal in itself a biryani may be served with a yoghurt dish but a salad is also an ideal accompaniment.