'A Dish Fit For A Toothless King’
Arup says ‘This dish was created hundreds of years ago for a king who had no teeth. The idea behind it was that, as soon as you put it in your mouth, it should melt. It should be so tender that you need only to use your gums, not your teeth, so it literally melts in the mouth.’
'In India, they use 2 varieties of mushrooms: button and gucchi. Gucchi is a Kashmiri morel but they’re very expensive and difficult to acquire because they’re only foraged during a short season. If you are lucky enough to source some, you wont be disappointed. However, if you can’t, that’s not a problem, as most supermarkets have a fantastic selection of mushrooms available. The key is to consider different textures and water contents. I like to use Portobello mushrooms and sepps too as they add a meatier, more robust flavour to the dish.'
100g Gucchi Morels
700g Button mushrooms
200g Portobello mushrooms
250g White onion
250g Fried cashew paste
5g Garam masala
5g Elaichi (Cardamon)
15g Deggi mirch (Medium-hot red chilli powder)
50ml Kewda water
1 Large boiled potato, grated
120g Roasted chana (Chickpeas)
150g Desi ghee (Special butter)
5g Clove powder
5g Turmeric (Haldi)
1. Blanch the button and Portobello mushrooms in haldi water. Soak Gucchi (morels) until soft.
2. Fry the cashews, then add the onions and continue frying.
3. Soak the white onion and cashews. Once soft, make a paste.
4. Pour some kewda water in a small bowl. Add the saffron to dissolve. Set aside.
5. Cook the desi ghee, degi, chilli and turmeric in a large, thick bottom at a low temperature until all of the water has evaporated and the mixture resembles a thick paste.
6. Add the cashew and white onion paste, followed by the roasted Chana powder, garam masala, Elaichi and clove powder. Mix.
7. Add the finely grated potato (no lumps). Mix everything together.
8. Whilst the mixture is still warm, make a hole in the center of it to create a smoking bowl. Then, using hot coal, add desi ghee and clove powder to create a smoke. Cover the container and let the smoke infuse with the mushroom mixture for 2 mins max.
9. Remove the cover, mix well and make into patties.
10. Cook the patties on a hot griddle. (Note: You can cook the patties immediately or pre-prepare and chill in the fridge before cooking. Best cooked at room temperature to ensure that they remain firm but hot throughout.)
Arup Dasgupta is the Executive Chef at The LaLiT London - a fabulous 5* boutique hotel near London Bridge.