Dinner with Rishi Desai, Pondicherry Café & His Signature Recipe

Last week was a bit of a blur for me and maybe thats why its taken me a while to recover and post this follow-up to my Interview with Rishi Desai of MasterChef Australia fame!

Rishi was in India all of last week and after a couple of days in Delhi, he arrived in Mumbai. And I got a chance to accompany him on his culinary exploration! Since he wanted to eat seafood, we headed to Highway Gomantak in Bandra for a sumptuous meal of tisrya (clams) masala, surmai (king fish) curry and bangda (mackerel) fry. This was of course accompanied by chapatis and rice and we washed down the meal with couple of glasses of sol kadi. We decided to head to California Pizza Kitchen for dessert and wolfed down their scrumptious red velvet cake :)

During dinner, Rishi regaled me with stories of his experience on the show. Since the auditions were not aired on the show, I asked him about what he made to impress the judges. In Rishis words - The audition was two-part. We had to first bring in a cold dish and I made the Maharashtrian classic snack suralichya wadya, which the judges loved. In the second round we had to make a hot dish; I made a Karwari fish curry, which earned me my place in the competition. Rishi made a modern variation of this dish on the show recently, to highlight how much he has learned during his stay in the competition. 

Image courtesy Sofitel
Rishi was staying at the Sofitel in Bandra Kurla Complex and I was invited for a special dinner that the hotel had organised at their Indo-French restaurant Pondicherry CaféThe restaurant does a buffet dinner and Rishi had developed 4 recipes especially for that nights service. On the menu were three fusion dishes and one modern Indian dish, which is Rishis cooking style. 
Image courtesy Sofitel
The lamb burgundy was a very hearty dish with perfectly cooked lamb. The tagine and couscous made a perfect combination and the unusual flavours of the Karnataka risotto were quite interesting a Frenched up version of the humble bisibele bhaat. But as they say on MasterChef Australia, the dish of the day was the mussel soup. Rich and coconutty, the warm soup absolutely hit the spot. The mussel soup is my kind of modern Indian cooking and you will find the recipe in my upcoming cookbook said Rishi. The book is out next year, so stay tuned!

As I mentioned in my earlier post, Rishi has quite generously shared the recipe of his signature dish. So here goes

Slow-cooked Goat with Cauliflower Puree and Pappadum

This dish serves 4 people.

Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 30 minutes (pressure cooking) OR 2 hr 30 minutes (slow cooking)

You’ll need:
For the Curry Paste
For the Cauliflower Puree
How to:
For the Goat
For the Cauliflower Puree
To serve, smear the cauliflower puree on a plate. Add the shredded lamb and put roasted pappadums on the side. Garnish with pea sprouts.

Image courtesy Rishi Desai

Disclosure: I was invited by Sofitel to experience this offering. 

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