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A smokin’ hot treat!

We tell you how to throw in some fun into your regular dishes by flavouring food with charcoal smoke.

india Updated: Sep 06, 2013 02:01 IST
Torsha Sen
Torsha Sen
Hindustan Times

Smoking can’t be bad all the time. Now before you get us wrong, we’re talking about the age-old process of smoking — flavouring and cooking food — by exposing it to smoke from wood or charcoal, to make it delicious. “The uniqueness of the flavour comes from smoke and its bitterness, which gives fiery charcoal-barbeque taste,” says chef Ashish Joshi of Jaypee Siddharth.

In Indian cuisine, it is called dhungar flavour and is used to make kebabs such as Gilawati. In the Western cuisine, smoking technique was traditionally used for meats and has now also found its way to dairy products such as cheese. Do keep certain points in mind when smoking foods at home. “Smoke only those foods that can handle the assertive smoky flavour: beef, lamb, pork, poultry and oily fish. Don’t keep lifting the lid, as the smoke will escape and ruin the flavour,” says Dinesh Arora, owner, Elf Café lounge. Here are some recipes for you to try.

Smoked Chicken Curry

1kg chicken, 2 tbsp ginger paste, 2 tbsp garlic paste, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp lime juice, 100gm fried onion paste, 1 to 2 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder, 1 tbsp turmeric powder,
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, 120gm thick curd, 10gm garam masala powder, 1 tbsp salt, 5 cloves, 5 cardamom, 15 gms melted ghee, 1 piece hot coal.
Marinate chicken and keep aside for 2 hours. Transfer the marinated chicken into a deep dish and keep a tight lid or aluminum foil handy. Meanwhile, heat a piece of coal on fire till red hot. Keep a small steel curry bowl in the middle of the chicken pieces and put cloves and cardamom in it. Carefully place the red hot coal inside the curry bowl and pour melted ghee on top of the hot coal and quickly cover the dish with lid or aluminum foil. Leave the dish unopened for 15 minutes to get a deep, intense smoked flavour in the chicken. Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Bake the chicken in pre-heated oven for 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly. Garnish with chopped onions and serve hot. This is best served with Indian breads/ghee rice/jeera rice.
Chef Gurmeet - Grills & Platters Pind Balluchi

Smoked up Khumbh Galauti

50 gms clarified butter, 25 gms ginger, 1½ tsp chopped green chilli, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 75 gms cottage cheese, 200 gms mushroom, 50 gms potato, 50 gms onion, 2 tsp coriander leaves, salt to taste, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1tbs oil
Heat ghee in a pan, add ginger, chillies, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, cottage cheese, blanched mushroom and boiled potato. Mix well. Add browned onion, coriander leaves, salt and garam masala powder. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Cool and mince the mixture. Place the mixture in a bowl and in the centre, in a smaller bowl, put a piece of live charcoal, pour ghee on the charcoal and smoke for 5 minutes, tightly covered. Heat some vegetable oil in a shallow pan. Shape the mixture into flat roundels and cook till brown. Serve hot. Garnish with onion rings and mint leaves.
Chef Tyson — Cafe Delhi Heights.

Smoky-licious Lassi

1 cup smoked yogurt, 2½ cup water, grated green chillies, ginger & coriander leaves, 1 tsp roasted and ground cumin, 1 tsp salt and mint — to garnish
Boil the milk and let it cool down to room temperature. Put charcoal in a small bowl and let the bowl float on the curd. Now add 2 cloves to the charcoal, and half a tbsp of desi ghee, and cover the bowl well. Let the smoky flavour of charcoal get absorbed for the smoked curd to get ready. Dry roast some cumin seeds in a pan on medium heat until its golden brown and releases a nice aroma. Allow it to cool and then crush. Blend all the ingredients except mint until smooth. Check the seasoning. Pour into servings glasses and garnish with mint. Serve chilled!
Executive Chef Ashish Joshi Jaypee Siddharth

Spicy Smoky Eggs


6 eggs, 1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 tsp cajun spice, 1/8 tsp tabasco, 1/8 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, paprika for topping, foil pan, coriander for garnish


In a saucepan put eggs and submerge them in water. Heat until they boil and cover the pan with a lid for 10 minutes. Now place whole eggs into a foil pan and put them on the smoker —already preheated at 200° C for 45 minutes to flavour the eggs with smoke. Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half and scoop out the yellow yolk with a spoon. Put the yolk in a bowl along with mayo, cajun seasoning, tabasco, and salt and pepper and combine all the ingredients thoroughly. Put your mixture back into the holes in the eggs and then sprinkle Paprika as a topping and garnish it with leaves.

Executive Chef Bhaskar - Elf Café Lounge

First Published: Sep 05, 2013 17:09 IST