A Comforting Christmas Feast of Sausage and Rice by Way of India

The Red Tea Detox

Christmas dinner is usually an elaborate feast with a platter of roast meat and a plethora of sides. But this isn’t a typical Christmas. This winter vacation on the finish of a nerve-wracking yr requires consolation meals, with out sacrificing that special-occasion really feel. Fortunately, much less touring means extra time to prepare dinner, and smaller gatherings make it much less daunting to interrupt away from the classics and strive one thing new.

For a Christmas recipe match for this unprecedented season, flip to chef Manish Mehrotra, whose Indian Accent eating places exemplify that stability between comforting and dazzling. With places in New Delhi and New York City, the eating places showcase Mehrotra’s signature, modernized strategy to Indian delicacies in a fine-dining setting. “It’s more of a global Indian food,” he tells Wine Spectator. “At heart, it’s Indian food, Indian flavors, Indian spices and everything, but the combinations are a bit different … it is challenging, but it’s also fun.”

Born within the small metropolis of Patna in japanese India, Mehrotra attended hotel-management faculty in Mumbai and labored with a number of hospitality teams earlier than opening the unique Indian Accent in New Delhi in 2009, and then its U.S. sibling in 2016. In addition to drawing inspiration from different worldwide cuisines, each outposts spotlight native components from their respective areas. In New York, there’s a baked paneer with child turnips and ghee-roasted lamb with roti pancakes among the many à la carte choices. In New Delhi, tasting-menu dishes embrace paneer with roast pepper and coriander curry, and confit duck kabab with crispy sevai (a rice noodle fashionable in southern India that’s just like vermicelli).

Another dish that has been featured on Mehrotra’s New Delhi menu is the one he suggests for this vacation feast: Bengali rice kitsch-ree with mustard oil–fried sausage and masala mash fritters. The focus of the dish is the kitsch-ree, which is Mehrotra’s riff on khichdi, an Indian dish of rice and dal (dried break up peas, lentils or mung beans cooked till delicate) that has historically been seen as removed from connoisseur. “It is, or was, India’s comfort food, long before Maggi noodles arrived on our shores,” he says. “Every community has its own khichdi recipe, but the two basic ingredients do not change.”

According to Mehrotra, khichdi “for too long has been confined to the home kitchen in India” and is now making refined appearances on menus from Indian cooks in London. The traditional model is vegetarian, a weight loss plan Mehrotra’s household practiced in his family rising up. But as he recollects, “nobody stopped us from eating it outside the house,” so he has lengthy been incorporating animal proteins into his delicacies.

Chef Manish Mehrotra standing in front of his restaurant’s Indian Accent sign

Chef Manish Mehrotra is understood for presenting comforting Indian meals by means of a fine-dining lens. (Courtesy of Indian Accent)

For his non-vegetarian model, Mehrotra suggests utilizing any “good, meaty pork sausage,” however hen sausage can be an possibility. He likens the hearty, warming dish to the British staple of bangers and mash, although the completed product has extra complexity. “The sausage is a bit spicy, but not a blow-your-mind kind of a spicy, with a very comforting, risotto-type [kitsch-ree] … and you garnish it with a papad (a thin, crisp flatbread, also known as papadum), so it gives a different crunch to the dish,” he says. “It’s a flavor explosion in your mouth, but still in a subtle way.”

While making this at dwelling requires a bit of advance planning, the result’s a whole, satisfying, well-rounded dish. And although the recipe might characteristic some unfamiliar components, comparable to asafetida (a pungent, powdered herb extract that provides oomph to the opposite flavorings within the dish), fenugreek leaves (milder than the seeds) and moong dal (dried break up mung beans; lentils could possibly be substituted), these might be simply sourced between Indian grocery shops and main retailers like Whole Foods and Amazon.

Mehrotra’s solely phrase of warning is to make sure you’re making a kitsch-ree with a clean and silky texture that’s nearly like a porridge. “There should not be any lumps in it, so make sure you keep on stirring while cooking and that it’s mixed very well.” The kitsch-ree may even be made a day upfront and reheated on the range. “The only thing is, when you’re reheating it, you have to add a little bit of water and mix it nicely and remove all the lumps.”

The masala mash fritter combination might be prepped as much as 4 hours upfront, then fried simply earlier than serving for optimum freshness.

For a complementary palate-cleansing wine, Mehrotra pulls Hudson Vineyards Chardonnay Napa Valley Carneros 2016. “This dish is buttery and silky in style and texture, and the sausage is a bit smoky and pickled. So a pleasant semi-dry Chardonnay goes very properly with it,” he explains, to assist clear your mouth if you eat the kitsch-ree and let you benefit from the taste within the sausage.

Alcohol consumption continues to be a bit of a taboo in India, the place it’s extremely regulated and restricted. Nevertheless, Mehrotra developed an affinity for wine and a knack for pairings, and Indian Accent’s New Delhi location manages to supply thoughtfully curated wine pairings, regardless of sourcing challenges. “You are dependent on government agencies and wine importers to supply you wines,” he says. “We really have to work really hard.” He credit his casual wine training to his worldwide travels, which uncovered him to many various areas and kinds. “That is what really helped me to pair my menu in India with the wines, even if we have a limited selection.”

The location in New York, the place international wines are rather more accessible, includes a listing so spectacular that it holds Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence. Overseen by wine director Anibal Calcagno, this system contains practically 450 alternatives with highlights in France, Italy, Germany, Austria, California, Oregon and Madeira. Accessibility is a crucial issue within the reasonably priced wine program, and additionally a key cause behind Mehrotra’s choose of a “universally liked” fashion of Chardonnay to match this dish. Because within the remaining stretch of a tricky 2020, few issues sound higher than a crowd-pleasing wine alongside an enormous bowl of consolation meals.

Bengali Rice Kitsch-ree with Mustard Oil–Fried Sausage and Masala Mash Fritters


For the masala mash fritters (makes about eight fritters):

  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1/four teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/four teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/four teaspoon ginger, chopped
  • 1/four teaspoon Thai inexperienced chiles, chopped
  • 1 pinch asafetida
  • 2 tablespoons boiled potatoes, mashed
  • half of teaspoon chaat masala (a tangy Indian spice mix)
  • 1/four teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt, to style
  • 1/four teaspoon garam masala powder (an Indian floor spice mix)
  • half of teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 1/four teaspoon lime juice
  • 2 cups tempura flour
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the masala gravy (makes about 2 cups):

  • three half of tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 half of teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium pink onions, chopped
  • 1 half of tablespoons store-bought ginger-garlic paste
  • four teaspoons kashmiri pink chili powder (delicate in warmth)
  • half of tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 2 massive tomatoes or three medium tomatoes, chopped
  • Salt, to style

For the rice:

  • 2/three cup Gobindo bhog rice (an fragrant, short-grain, sticky white rice selection fashionable in Bengal) or any Indian rice
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon ghee (this clarified butter might be purchased jarred or made at dwelling)
  • Salt, to style

For the dal:

  • 1/three cup moong dal (dried break up mung beans)
  • three/four cup water
  • 1/four teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt, to style

For the kitsch-ree:

  • 2 teaspoons ghee
  • half of teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon contemporary ginger, chopped
  • half of teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • half of teaspoon Thai inexperienced chiles, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons masala gravy (see recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons tomatoes, deseeded by halving and then scooping out the seeds, and chopped
  • 1/four teaspoon kashmiri pink chili powder
  • half of teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/four teaspoon garam masala powder
  • Salt, to style
  • Boiled dal (see recipe)
  • Cooked rice (see recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons salted butter

For the sausage:

  • four pork sausages
  • 2 teaspoons mustard oil
  • eight teaspoons masala gravy (see recipe)
  • four tablespoons uncooked mango pickle (non-compulsory)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice

To garnish:

  • Pieces from one or two papads, roasted primarily based on bundle directions


Start the masala mash fritters:

1. Heat ghee in a big pan over medium. Add cumin seeds, coriander seeds, chopped ginger, Thai inexperienced chiles and a pinch of asafetida. Add boiled, mashed potatoes and chaat masala. Sprinkle in turmeric powder, salt and garam masala powder. Sauté properly till the potatoes begin to persist with the underside of the pan, 12 to 15 minutes, however watch out that they don’t burn. Finish with dried fenugreek leaves and lime juice. Set apart to chill.

2. Add tempura flour to a big bowl and slowly combine in water, utilizing the quantity of water that’s listed within the directions of your tempura flour of alternative. Whisk properly till clean and put aside.

Prepare the masala gravy:

1. Heat oil over medium in a kadhai, non-stick wok or any medium-to-high–sided, massive skillet. Add cumin seeds and bay leaf. Add chopped onions and sauté till golden brown, three to four minutes. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for an additional minute. Add pink chili powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder. Sauté for only a few seconds earlier than including chopped tomatoes and salt.

2. Continue to sauté till droplets of oil seem and masala thickens, about 12 to 15 minutes. The gravy needs to be nearly a paste, not of pouring consistency. Set apart.

Prepare the rice:

1. Wash the rice in chilly water a minimum of twice. Place in a bowl and cowl with simply sufficient water to high the rice. Soak for 30 minutes.

2. Add to a pot with three/four cup of water, ghee and salt and boil for time listed on bundle directions. Drain the water, and hold the cooked rice apart.

Prepare the dal:

Boil moong dal with turmeric and salt, in accordance with bundle directions. Set apart.

For the kitsch-ree:

1. Heat ghee in a pan over medium warmth. Add cumin seeds and enable to crackle for 1 minute. Add chopped ginger, garlic and Thai inexperienced chiles. Fry for five to 7 minutes. Add masala gravy, chopped tomatoes, pink chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and salt.

2. Pour within the boiled moong dal and add the cooked rice. Mix properly and cut back warmth to a simmer, letting it simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Add a bit of water if you happen to discover it’s turning into too thick. The completed kitsch-ree needs to be creamy and runny in consistency. Stir in butter and put aside.

Cook the sausage:

1. Make carefully spaced gashes that penetrate the pores and skin of every sausage to forestall the pores and skin from curling when the sausage is cooked. Either depart the sausages complete or minimize them into items, relying on desire.

2. If utilizing the non-compulsory mango pickle, take away the pith from the mango items within the pickle. Puree mango pickle in a blender and pressure to make a clean paste.

three. Heat mustard oil in a frying pan over medium-high till it begins to smoke. Add masala gravy and mango pickle paste, if utilizing. Fry for four to five minutes. Toss the sausage into the pan. When the sausage is cooked by means of, take away from the warmth and end with lime juice.

Fry the masala mash fritters:

1. In a big pot, warmth oil to 340° F. Add panko breadcrumbs to a large and shallow dish. Shape the fritter combination into medium-sized dumplings (every fritter ought to weigh about three/four of an oz.), dip in ready tempura batter and coat with panko breadcrumbs.

2. Working in batches if wanted so the fritters don’t overlap, deep-fry in sizzling oil till golden and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes, flipping midway by means of to make sure even cooking. Remove with tongs and gently shake off the surplus oil and then switch to a plate.

To serve:

For every serving, spoon the kitsch-ree right into a pasta bowl, or on to a plate. Place the sausage on high, with masala mash fritters on the facet. Garnish with roasted papad of your alternative. Serves four.

eight Palate-Cleansing White Wines

Note: The following listing is a variety of excellent and superb wines from just lately rated releases. More choices might be present in our Wine Ratings Search.


Soave Classico La Froscà 2016

Score: 91 | $34

WS overview: A wealthy, creamy Soave, with vanilla and spice hints accenting the glazed apricot, biscuit and pastry cream notes. Sleek acidity provides this definition and focus, making a flippantly mouthwatering impression on the smoke-tinged end. Drink now by means of 2024. 1,650 circumstances made. From Italy.—Allison Napjus


Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley Estates Collection 2018

Score: 91 | $35

WS overview: Open-textured and lush, with toasty accents to the glazed pear and lemon meringue flavors. The buttery end exhibits a savory richness that lingers with smoky hints. Drink now by means of 2024. 9,293 circumstances made. From California.—Kim Marcus


Alto Adige Cuvée Terlaner 2018

Score: 91 | $31

WS overview: Rich flavors of melon, Gala apple, grated ginger and stony mineral are layered with smooth acidity, all framed in a svelte, elegant kind. This is finely balanced and medium-bodied, with a lingering, mouthwatering end displaying hints of spice, smoke and apple blossom. Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Drink now by means of 2025. 18,333 circumstances made. From Italy.—A.N.


Rully Montmorin 2017

Score: 89 | $29

WS overview: This white begins out creamy, turning leaner and extra centered as the brilliant acidity emerges. Apple, butterscotch and vanilla flavors prevail by means of the reasonably lengthy end. Drink now by means of 2023. 2,000 circumstances made. From France.—Bruce Sanderson


Chardonnay Robertson Bon Vallon 2019

Score: 89 | $20

WS overview: An elegant, well-knit white, with vibrant acidity behind the lemon and apple flavors, revealing delicate hints of salted butter. The clean texture and good focus give this allure and intrigue. Good size. Drink now by means of 2026. three,000 circumstances made. From South Africa.—Aleksandar Zecevic


Chardonnay Napa Valley Los Carneros Single Vineyard 2018

Score: 89 | $29

WS overview: Custardy hints accent the freshly minimize inexperienced apple and pear flavors, backed by agency acidity. Toasty notes and inexperienced spice particulars present on the end, with buttery hints. Drink now by means of 2024. 1,200 circumstances made. From California.—Ok.M.


Chardonnay Monterey County 2018

Score: 88 | $18

WS overview: Fleshy and well-spiced, with snappy acidity backing the freshly minimize Gala apple and poached pear flavors. The toasty end bears buttery accents. Drink now by means of 2023. three,000 circumstances made. From California.—Ok.M.


Chardonnay Napa Valley 2017

Score: 88 | $20

WS overview: Apple and almond tart flavors characteristic citrusy accents on this minerally fashion. Smoke and spice particulars present on the end. Drink now. 13,500 circumstances made. From California.—Ok.M.

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