Nov 30, 2009

Murg Massallam and Rogan Josh...Turning back time


Don't you sometimes watch old movies...and by old I neither mean oldies nor period films, but movies ..of a common man..about times, say of the last century or early part of this century, and think that  if you could just turn that clock back on time and go right back there, whence and where, things were seemingly less competitive, in a sense maybe, even less complicated than our times ?  I certainly do wish like that. And no matter how weird this sounds, I will say it nonetheless. At such moments, I intensely hate my life like it is now. I hate how I wear a particular item of clothing, I hate the way the sound, I hate myself for all things that has everything and nothing to do with me.

Till.. of course reason lays a cold hand on me and I look around.. to see traffic lights, cafes,  thoroughfare, cars, cribs, mommies and daddies..but most of all how peaceful everything looks on the outside. And how it would not be so great nor feel good to be an anachronism. And then my reflection  in the mirror looks fine and acceptable...okay, maybe I just really need is a new pair of shoes :) or at most a few more bangs :)

Talking of such moments and movies and times moving back...or even actually having stopped.. and what not impossibilities it is that we dwell on, there is one way to literally turn back time and loose really nothing. You got it food!  And that reminds me I haven't told you about my culinary adventures over the Thanksgiving break :)

Over the course of the entire 4 and half day holiday period, I made two dishes which transcends time and generations . I am not going to write about any of the two recipes, which has no contribution from me. On second thoughts, I couldn't contribute to something which was from another century! But I must tell you about them. For making them was so much fun. I did everything which I never do. These were both spicy, took so very long to make and ended up rich and delectable. It was like dressing up for a fancy dress party or Halloween. To be what what you are not!

One was Murg Massallam. This is one recipe, which I believe, was a speciality of British Indian period and was handed down from the Mughal period. So mind you. This dish, as heavy sounding as it is, is a direct connection between you and me- Lord Mountbatten et al- emperor Akbar and his progeny. A heavy lineage. Is it true that the longer the history with the dish, the heavier it is? :)

Anyway this is just a cornish hen basted with oil/butter and a savory mix of yoghurt and spices, cooked slowly in a tandir oven. I, of course did it with olive oil in a regular oven. Turned out quite a looker. But the cool part is, R suggested ( he tells me that his grandfather is one who actually told him so) that it is best to put in some boiled eggs inside the hen. I couldn't find any recipe which suggested that. But we went ahead and stuffed the eggs in.  Must say..it was fun to do so :)

So here it is: An egg-stuffed cornish hen, basted in spice and yoghurt handed down across generations and centuries.  A thanksgiving feast :)





The next one is Rogan Josh. Posted by Nat loves baking. This one is lamb ribs, slow cooked in a lovely and rick gravy of red lentils and a plethora of spices and yoghurt. Apparently Rogan Josh literally translates into 'spicy oil'. And this one was handed down to the Mughals by the Persians...wow..this  transcends even longer times :)

Nat, it was brilliant. The smell took a while to wisp away. And I hear the taste never did :)

So here is Rogan Josh



Happy eating and happy reminiscing :)

18 comments:

Fairy Footprints said...

Oh I would love to try the Ragon josh that looks yummy.


.•:*¨¨*:•.Blessings*¨2 U 4¨**¨¨*the holidays .•:*¨¨*:•.

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Chow and Chatter said...

oh i love this yum yum, do you like to watch bollywood movies by the way have you seen jodha akbar i love it

Palidor said...

Both of those look really tasty. I think stuffing the cornish hen with eggs was brilliant. Seems like there might be something symbolic about stuffing a fowl with eggs... Love the rogan josh too. Why didn't you invite me to dinner? ;-)

I don't think you're crazy either. I can't say that I've watched old movies (me not really into movies), but there are many times when I look around the world and wish it were different. But, I suppose all-in-all, it's not so bad.

Tasty Trix said...

I totally know what you mean! I can really find myself lost and wanting to be of another time ... then I remember the advances in dental care and wrinkle creams, and I'm ok with the now!! I love rogan josh, but I do a meatless version with eggplant instead.

The Japanese Redneck said...

Both recipes sound very good. I've only recently tried lamb for the 1st time. I liked it.

Bridgett said...

The lamb looks absolutely delicious and your photos are amazing! Thank you for visiting my blog as it lead me here. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Jhonny walker said...

hello all!

Palidor..I would have invited all of you over, if only I knew how :)

Trix..eggplant would be even better. I don't eat meat..so that is an EXCELLENT idea.

Ramona: I guess it is very delectable if you like meat.

Bridget: I loved your blog a lot too!

Natalie said...

I echo Palidor...Invite me me me for dinner !!! :)... Such a fancy feast...I love everything !... Cornish hens stuffed with eggs sounds like a totally novel idea to me...and how elegant to make the rogan josh with ribs...oh my favorite...! I need to try that variation next time... you are a genius not only in the lab...! but also in the kitchen : ) !...

As for the old movies...I am a huge little house on the prairie fan...i love the simplicity of the old days...only i suppose it was rather inconvinient for those folk...so when I look at it from that perspective, i find it in me to appriciate the vivacity / convenience of living the city life...

Nice Post J! : )

A Year on the Grill said...

I think i wear out TCM channel. And I have already watched, "It's a Wonderful Life and The Alastair Sim version (the perfect one) Christmas carol.

As an old history major, I know too much about the hygiene of the past, so I am not sure I would actually want to live there, but I digress... and I digress one more time...

Have you ever heard of the author Jack Finney... He writes several different stories where a modern man travels back to live in the past ... his best, TIME AND AGAIN is set in NYC during the 1800's. It sounds like something right up your alley... Local library will have this, and worth the read

Love this post

girlichef said...

They both sound fabulous. I was craving the Rogan Josh when I saw it at Nat's place, too...YUM! :)

Jhonny walker said...

Hello

Nat: Your comments mean a whole lot! Thank you for sharing this one!

@ Girlchief: Iam told it is worth drooling over :)

@ Year on the grill: Jack Finney is one of my very favorite authors. I also have wriiten about these things..a short story if you will

But do tell about the hygiene of food! I am so curious. I am so glad that we met.

Jhonny walker said...

Okay..I have to correct you. Jack Finney is my favorite to-read authors along with Chekov. Thing is whenever I go to a bookstore..something or the other catches my eye before and I forge about my sojourn. This time I won't!

tasteofbeirut said...

I can totally relate to what was written in your introduction~ that's why I am big fan of old movies and watch them a lot!
I love these dishes you mention and the use of spices as well as the historical background behind them.

Katherine Aucoin said...

I'm a lover of old Hollywood movies, especially the classics!

Both of your recipes look so elegant and delicious! Gorgeous photos!

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

Your egg stuffed hen sounds most intriguing! And the Rogan Josh looks so delicious and kind of fancy the way you plated.

I find myself wishing I lived in times and worlds that don't even exist. I read too much fantasy fiction!

Yasmeen said...

Excellent dishes.I didn't cook so grand on the holiday but did get to watch a grand movie " Jodha Akbar " :D

3 hungry tummies said...

very tasty looking!!! yum!!

Anonymous said...

One word.. Great! Two words.. Very awesome!