This week's Weekend Project come to us from Troy MacLarty, chef/owner of Portland, Oregon's insanely popular Bollywood Theater. We met up with the Chez Panisse alum when he was in New York recently to teach a class at De Gustibus, and talk about his bright and authentically Indian street food inspired cuisine. While asparagus isn't a traditional part of Indian cuisine, MacLarty and his team also try to utilize fresh produce from local farms. "We spend a lot of time having conversations like 'If an Indian cook had fresh asparagus ..." he explains. "We try to keep the spirit of the food and flavors and and treat it with honor, while staying true to the products of our region."
For the Asparagus:
3 bunches of asparagus, snapped and peeled
canola oil, as needed
kosher salt, as needed
"It's really hard to get flavor into asparagus" explains MacLarty as he heavily salts the water. "You almost can't put too much salt in the water here. " Blanch the asparagus in extremely salty water until 1/2 cooked. Cool on a sheet tray. When it's time to eat, toss asparagus with canola oil and salt and grill over hot coals.
Garlic and Fresh Turmeric Curry:
1 Tbsp minced garlic
4 tsp chopped fresh, tumeric, peeled
canola oil, as needed
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Kashmir chile powder
lemon juice, to taste
salt, to taste
Saute garlic. "I like to start garlic in a cold pan" explains MacLarty " and I don't want to it brown here, just for it to get aromatic and start cooking." Add the tumeric until aromatic. Add the cream — which helps carry the flavor — paprika, and chile powder. Bring to a simmer and slowly reduce, allowing the flavors to develop. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Garam Masala Oil
Heat 2:1 ration garam masala to cayenne in canola oil.
For example, 1 tsp garam masala to 1/2 tsp cayenne in 1/2 cup canola oil. After it has heated thoroughly blend for one minute. Strain through oil filter to finish.
1/4 cup dried currant
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 whole natural almonds, fried at 300 degrees for about 7 minutes then chopped
4 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup pureed Major Grey chutney
Plump the raisins and currant in hot water, drain excess water. In a mixing bowl, add chopped almonds, cilantro, and chutney to taste.