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Tried and tasted: Visit this eatery for tasty and healthy North Indian cuisine

In this week’s column, let’s take a look at Karma Kismet, a progressive north Indian restaurant in New Delhi, which shows how food can be tasty without dripping in oil.

more lifestyle Updated: Jun 24, 2018 08:35 IST
Rahul Verma
Rahul Verma
Hindustan Times
Tried and tasted,Food,Street food
The grilled pomfret at at Karma Kismet comes with white butter sauce.(HT file)

That little yellow slab in the refrigerator, which gave me much pleasure on my hot toast, has been banned. The tin of oil in the kitchen has been orphaned. The two villains — butter and oil — have been shown their rightful place: the corner, facing the wall. And the focus now is on healthy food.

But what actually surprises me is that I have no complaints — well, almost no complaints — about the taste of food cooked without oodles of oil or butter. Just a brush of oil can add as much to the taste as ladles full, I have now discovered.

The feeling was reinforced when I went for a meal recently to a new restaurant called Karma Kismet in the GK II M Block Market. The restaurant describes its food as progressive north Indian. They stick to the original taste of a dish, but give it a little tweak that adds to the flavours.

Take, for instance, their grilled pomfret. This is a dish that you will find in many restaurants. But here it is called the Burnt butter pomfret, for it comes with some beurre blanc— white butter sauce. I avoided the sauce, but found the grilled pomfret delicious — and healthy to boot.

The restaurant has been started by three partners — Tushar Jagota, Chetan Kaushal and Dipankar Khosla. The three young men enjoy their food, love to experiment with it and have experience in the industry. I liked the fact that they did not compromise with the taste of a dish when they introduced a new element to it. So their murgh tikka masala — called Kala murgh malai — was a creamy concoction that melted in the mouth, but also successfully pushed the envelope. The chicken had been marinated with smoked paprika and butter milk and cooked with cheddar cheese and activated charcoal, which gave a smoky taste to the dish.

Since I was resolutely staying away from rich gravies and sauces, I was encouraged to try out their Murgh khush pardah — a roasted spring chicken with a curtain of dough over it and served with peppers and Tabasco. The chicken was tender, and the sauce just nicely piquant. And what was nice was that none of these dishes was dripping in oil.

Of course, a butter sauce is a butter sauce, but my point is that grilled pomfret marinated with the right seasonings and masala can be delicious even without too much oil. And these dishes can be cooked in a grill or a tandoor — or even on a lightly oiled tawa. Try them out — you have nothing to lose but inches!

The chicken had been marinated with smoked paprika and butter milk and cooked with cheddar cheese and activated charcoal, which gave a smoky taste to the dish. (HT file)

Recipe: Tandoori fish

Ingredients: 2 whole pomfrets, ½ cup hung curd, 1tbsp lemon juice, 1tsp garlic paste, 1tsp ginger paste, 1tsp green chilli paste, ½tsp turmeric powder, a pinch of garam masala powder, a pinch of ajwain seeds, 1tsp red chilli powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, salt and chaat masala according to taste, oil for the marinade

Method: Mix turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt, lemon juice and oil. Make narrow slits on the fish and apply the mixture over it and into the slits. Keep aside for an hour. Mix the hung curd with the remaining masalas (barring the chaat masala) and then apply over the fish. Keep aside for two hours. Put on a lightly oiled tawa over medium heat. Flip the fish after 10 minutes or so and then cook the other side for another 10 minutes. Sprinkle chaat masala over the fish and serve hot.

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First Published: Jun 24, 2018 08:33 IST