If I eventually make it to Mumbai, even for a day, and will have to choose only one restaurant for dining out, I would, no doubt, pick Busaba. Nikhil Chib, its chef and owner, has been a big inspiration for me since I came to
. Due to his TV show I became fascinated by a versatile Asian cuisine – with its variety of rather simple, yet flavourful and pungent dishes; I have learnt about such condiments as oyster and fish sauce, yellow and black bean paste, rice paper and cellophane noodles – which, in the long run, earned a place in my home pantry; I discovered that there are actually two types of soy sauces – light and dark – but it’s not such a big deal to figure out the difference between them; I seized to believe that there should be a misprint in a recipe that calls for using sugar in a savory dish – now I can easily put a generous spoonful of it into my soups and curries and enjoy the hint of sweetness in them. India
One of my favourite recipes that I learnt (and slightly adapted) from Nikhil is stir-fried lamb with fried rice. I guess I cooked this dish a dozen of times since then (which is, believe me, a good characteristic for a dish produced in my kitchen considering the fact that I try new recipes more often than stick to the old ones).
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves
3 tbsp oyster sauce
4 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
a few mint leaves
2 tbsp oil
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup carrot, chopped
¼ cup babycorn, cut into
2 cm pieces
¼ cup green beans, cut into
2 cm pieces
½ cup cabbage, shredded
1 cup of cooked rice (one day old)
dab of sesame oil
dab of dark soy sauce
dab of white wine
a few spring onion greens
- For lamb, heat oil in a pan and sauté garlic for a minute. Add lamb and sauté for a few more minutes. Add yellow pepper and cook till it starts to soften. Stir in sugar, oyster, fish and soy sauce followed by red pepper and mix well. Cook till the vegetables are soft and the meat is done. Remove from heat and sprinkle with mint leaves.
- For rice, heat oil in a pan and sauté garlic for a minute. Add vegetables to the pan and cook till they are almost done. Add rice and stir-fry for a few more minutes. Add soy sauce and white wine and toss well. Sprinkle with sesame oil and remove from heat. Garnish with spring onion greens.
- The original recipe called for a greater amount of sauces but personally I find them too salty and overpowering. Start with less (especially if you are not used to Asian cuisine) and add more if you are comfortable with strong flavours.
- If you have mutton instead of lamb, braise it till it’s almost done (you can even precook it a day before), then proceed with the above recipe.
- You can cook chicken in the same way. Use basil instead of mint.