Dastarkhan is a Turkic word meaning “tablecloth” or “great spread”, but has come to refer to many kinds of elaborate, multi-course communal feasts served across Muslim Central and South Asia. Not surprisingly, the Nawab, the fabulously wealthy Mughal governors of colonial South Asia developed a justly famous culinary tradition in their palaces. For this unique dinner, chef, culinary historian and accomplished food entrepreneur Abeda Oturkar presents a selection of special dishes from a gilded age of Indian nobility. A dastarkhan like this is served in a smorgasbord style, with all dishes placed out at once (vs. in courses) on the namesake cloth, accompanied by chutneys and condiments, for guests to enjoy at their leisure.
Chicken Reshmi Kabab
Typical of the refined dishes of the Moghul court, this decadent recipe features succulent pieces of boneless chicken that have been marinated in saffron-infused yogurt. #halal
Lamb Dum Pukht Biryani
The secret of this authentic recipe is the carefully crafted layers using only the choicest cut of meat, aromatic spices and long, elegant grains of basmati. Traditionally the pot would be sealed with dough to seal in the flavours and juices, and then be surrounded with glowing embers to slowly cook the dish through. #halal
Aubergine in cool yogurt sauce topped with golden fried onions, this absolutely irresistible dish is likely one of the many recipes brought by Persian wives favoured by the Moghuls.
Also known as pink chai, it is considered an after-meal refresher and digestive. A complex mix of spices, including cardamom and saffron, are steeped with Kashmiri green tea, sugar and often a pinch of pink Himalayan salt, then mixed with warm milk and sometimes thickened with ground poppy seeds or pistachios. Served with a small Indian sweet.
Abeda Oturkar is a veteran food entrepreneur who is equally passionate about preparing delectable recipes and providing foods that improve well-being. Over more than 11 years her Dubai-based food business, Spice & Aroma, grew to encompass a successful restaurant, catering business, cooking classes, consulting and culinary tours. All of Abeda’s endeavours are informed by her lifelong study of food, culinary history, spices and nutrition. She’s now bringing her culinary adventure to Ontario.
Every weekend The Depanneur invites a guest chef to host a fun, informal dinner party.