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Turn up the heat

Barbecue Not just American pork chops or Japanese mushrooms, even fruit kebabs and grilled broccoli can get smokin’ hot. Take your pick.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2012 12:12 IST
Sharon Fernandes

Not just American pork chops or Japanese mushrooms, even fruit kebabs and grilled broccoli can get smokin’ hot. Take your pick.

A few things celebrate the winter spirit like the sizzle and warmth of a barbecue at work.

The season’s perfect to sink your teeth into pork chops barbecued with brown pepper sauce, prawns dusted with spices or if you wish a fish like a Black Cod or a John Dory seared just right over a fire’s glow.

“Winters is for heavier meats to be barbecued, like lamb, pork and beef. Summers are great for lighter meats like fish and chicken,” says Saurabh Khanijo, CEO, Kylin Premier and Kylin experience restaurants that serves Japanese barbecues like Tobajan mushroom black cod miso and chicken peanut satay, along with regulars like Chilean Sea Bass and Tenderloin steaks.

But it is not just meats that can get a good barbecue party going, you can use vegetables and even fruits to liven up meals. “Fruit with less water content like guavas, apples, pineapples, bananas and veggies like broccoli, carrots and bell peppers can be used, “ says chef Min Bahadur Thapa of Barbeque Nation. “Barbecues are about getting the flavour of the wood, into the meat. It is different from a tandoor, as you are not completely cooking it like say a whole chicken,” says Thapa.

He adds that for a good barbecue the meat should be marinated for a couple of hours before it is put on the flames. “Avoid salt in the marinade, as it will draw out a lot of water,” says Thapa. But for a Japanese street style barbecue, or Yakitori, the sauces are applied after the meat has been barbecued, says Manu Mohindra, restaurant consultant for Zazen, which serves specials like Japanese Ebi Yaki (Butterfly prawn skewers with Yakitori sauce), Negima Tare (chicken and leek skewers) and Tsukune (chicken meat-ball) and Satay Kai (Thai grilled chicken satay served with warm peanut sauce).

“For winter the right meat is lamb, beef and pork. And the sauces have to be warming. The wood needs to have a hickory flavour,” says Mohindra, who also consults for restaurant Route 04 that has serves the American classics like grilled rack of lamb.

“The most popular wood used in India is mango wood. And if you are looking for charcoal for your barbecue, make sure you get ‘soft coke’ or lighter charcoal, that becomes white when it burns, the heavier charcoal will leave a bad flavour,” he adds.

But the real deal on why a barbecue is more popular than just grilling or pan searing, is that as the flames lick the meat, it seals the flesh and the juices remain intact. “A tandoor on the other hand, is like an oven that bakes it and makes meat dry,” says Mohindra.

Your first barbecue?

And if you are still setting a date for your first barbecue in your backyard or terrace, you can get a picnic, family or a party-sized charcoal barbecue, depending on your needs. Most come with a set of skewers. “We give a bag of charcoal as well, and a recipe book,” says Dattaprasad Joshi of Enzo barbecues (ucproductsindia.in) which supplies barbecues all over the country. He says, “Vegetables and fruits don’t take long to cook on a barbeque, so for a quick simple recipe for any vegetarian, try a fruit kebab (skewer different fruits, no papaya or watermelon) or just toss a banana on the grill with bits of chocolate on it, for dessert barbecue-style.” Happy roasting this winter!


If you’re doing a bbq at home...

King fish, pomfret, Sol fish and Basa are good for a barbecue.

Cooking time depends on the size of the meat. Chicken takes 8-9 mins. Lamb and beef take 10 mins or more. Vegetables and fruits take less than 5 mins.

Use wood with low resin content like mango wood, or soft charcoal and always barbecue in an open space.

Marinate meat for at least 6 hours (keep in lower deck of fridge for better marination).

Don’t use salt for marination for meat barbecues, it draws out water from the meat.

Keep a distance of maximum 1 inch and not less than 25 mm from the fire and the meat.

You can use spicy sauces for veg barbecues. These can be poured on the barbecue later or even used as a dip.


The Weekendfix guide

Plan to head out for a barbecue? Here is what some restaurants around town have to offer from their live grills

Zazen
Hot picks: Yaki Miso Phed (Tofu & Shiitake Miso). Satay Phak (grilled vegetable & cottage cheese skewers flavoured with curried coconut milk, accompanied with peanut sauce). Nasu negi (Eggplant & leeks with Wasabi mayo).
Where: ZAZEN, K-1 Dharam Palace, 2nd Floor, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Sec-18, NOIDA, 0120-4044700

Route 04
Hot picks: American grilled meat platter: grilled fish, chicken breast, bacon, with garlic bread & hash brown. American grilled BBQ prawns, BBQ spare ribs, grilled rack of lamb in chef's signature sauce with sauteed vegetables & steamed rice. Grilled American pork chops in brown pepper sauce with fries & sauteed vegetables.
Where: ROUTE 04, K2, Middle Circle, CP, 9717590444

Kylin Premier The teppanyaki Grill & Sky Bar
Hot picks: New Zealand chops, Chilean Sea Bass, John Dory, Tenderloin steaks.
Where: 3rd flr, Ambience Mall, Vasant Kunj, 40870572

Barbeque Nation
Hot picks: Mutton gillafi seekh, Murgh chutney wala, Lebanese chicken,coastal barbecue fish and Indonesian prawns.
Where: B1/623, Old Rameshwaram Bldg, near District Centre, Janakpuri and ground floor, Ansal’s Sushant Plaza, Sushant Lok, Block A, Sector 28, Phase I, Gurgaon, 0124-4044563