A Merchant City staple since 2002, The Dhabba in Glasgow has consistently been named as one of the best curry destinations in the city, in particular, for North Indian cuisine. It wasnâ€™t until a few weeks ago that I tried it out for myself – would it live up to its reputation?
Itâ€™s no secret that I adore Indian food, however, dining in a restaurant that purely caters to North Indian was a culinary adventure. Personally, the most I know about the differentiation between North and South cuisine is rather basic. With Middle Eastern influences in the North, Biryani is one of the most popular dishes to come out of the region. North Indian curries usually consist of creamy, thick sauces; ideal for dipping chapati or naan bread into. Food in the South, as served in The Dhabbaâ€™s sister restaurant, The Dakhin, is generally spicer with coconut based sauces, seafood and vegetarian dishes playing a huge role.
Thatâ€™s where my knowledge ends.
Forget your Chicken Tikka Masala or Lamb Roganjosh, it was time to order some dishes and explore North India for myself, from the comfort of a rather elegant decorated restaurant in the heart of Glasgow.
A Glasgow institution since 1996, Mother India is the go-to destination for authentic Indian food in the city. From dishes such as Garlic Chilli Chicken to Lamb Raan, I’ve yet to find a dish that I dislike. In this post, I recreate one of my favourite dishes, Mother India’s Butter Chicken.
With the flagship restaurant Mother India in Westminster Terrace, Monir Mohammed created a gem. With commitment to cooking quality authentic Indian food with local produce, fresh herbs and the best whole spices, it is no wonder that the restaurant became a roaring success. Now with five outlets, including takeaways and a cafe in Edinburgh, there is no slowing down for the brand.
My parents and I have been known to drive 30 minutes to Dining In With Mother India (The Den) on Argyle Street to grab takeaway then drive all the way home. Is it worth the hour round trip? Without a doubt. Nowhere else in the area compares for me.
Who says Sunday lunch has to be traditional? I recreated one of my favourite dishes from Mother India in Glasgow, Raan Mussalam. A centrepiece to wow your guests, this can be prepared 24hrs in advance and is perfect served simply with rice and a tomato, cucumber and red onion salad.
When the weekend comes around in my house, its finally time that I spend time trying new recipes, developing and re-creating. Frankly, I’ve been bored lately with the “standard” Sunday lunch offerings and when my boyfriend, Ross, bought a reduced whole leg of lamb from the supermarket, I was adamant I wasn’t going to eat just any old roast lamb.
When I decided that I wanted to make Raan Mussalam, I wanted to do it justice and contacted Mother India for some tips. Be patient, cook nice and slow. Simple, right? Time is your friend. If you want more sauce, double the ingredients. Don’t want rice? Chapati would be a great substitution.
And now I’m drooling all over again!
So if you’re looking for something different to cook this weekend, why don’t you try this? The beauty of it is that you can prep the day before and leave it to cook in the oven when you’re having a well deserved Sunday snooze before dinner. Weekend perfection.
- 2.6kg whole leg of lamb
- 250ml natural yoghurt
- 100g almonds, grounded
- 500g shallots
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 6 cardamom pod seeds
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 inches ginger, grated
- Salt and pepper
- Toast the peppercorns, cardamom seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds in a small frying pan for just under a minute, ensuring they do not stick to the pan. Once toasted, grind the spices finely, either in a mortar and pestle or a food processor. Transfer to a bowl.
- Roughly chop ginger and garlic and then add ground almonds, chilli powder, yoghurt and into the bowl with the spices, mixing throughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer to a roasting tray, slice slots into the leg of lamb, before covering the entire leg in the marinade and bay leaves. Cover with cling film and pop into the fridge overnight.
- On the day of cooking, pre-heat your oven to 160c, remove cling film and leave lamb to rest in room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking. Cover the roasting tray in foil, transferring to the middle of the oven and roast for 3 hours.
- After 3 hours, remove foil and baste lamb with juices in the bottom of the pan. Increase the oven temperature to 200c and roast the oven for an extra 20-30 minutes until brown.
- Once ready, leave to rest for 20 minutes, covering with foil, while you fry shallots in oil until crispy brown.
- Pour curry sauce from the roasting tray on top of the lamb, along with crispy onion and almond flakes. Serve alongside some Basmati rice and a simple tomato, cucumber and red onion salad.
- You are guaranteed to have leftovers which help make superb shawarma, but I’ll save that recipe for another day!