2 Recipes to Broaden Your Indian Food Horizons

These flavoursome Indian recipes allow the family to enjoy food created by a gourmet expert while feeling right at home.

With all those exotic ingredients, magical spices and that palette of tongue-tingling flavours that unites spicy, sour, sweet and hot all at the same time, Indian cuisine is definitely one of the most exciting food experiences.  And luckily for us, Chef Altamash Iqbal has shared some of the recipes from the special Diwali menu he recently created for guests at Cara, the signature fusion restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre.

To celebrate the Hindu festival of lights, the chef, who has over 12 years of expertise in gourmet cuisine and has worked at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong and The Ritz-Carlton Bangalore, presented Murgh Dum Biryani. The mouth-watering, hearty and succulent chicken dish is synonymous with the traditions of Hyderabad. The second creation by Altamash, who passionately and artfully blends epicurean principles and has a deep respect for fresh and tasty ingredients, is Palak ki Shammi. The simple vegetarian patties bring to life the flavours of the Indian Subcontinent.

Murgh Dum (Chicken) Biryani


  • 2 kg boneless chicken, cubed
  • 1 kg Basmati rice, rinsed
  • 300g curd, beaten
  • 10g turmeric
  • 20g red chilli powder
  • 10g cardamom powder
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 500ml milk
  • 20g whole garam masala
  • 10g mace powder
  • 10g coriander powder
  • 25g ginger garlic paste
  • 35g desi ghee
  • 1g saffron
  • 25g mint, chopped
  • 25g coriander powder
  • 10g ginger, julienne
  • 10g chilli, julienne
  • 50g cream
  • 50g butter
  • 500g onion, sliced
  • 3l water
  • Salt, to taste

Place desi ghee and onion in a pan and sauté the onion until it looks golden, then add the ginger and garlic paste. Continue by adding the turmeric and red chilli powder. Put in the chicken cubes and sauté for a while, then add the curd. Once cooked, add the cardamom, mace, ginger and chilli. Then, put in the cream, saffron, coriander, mint and butter. Next, put the water in a pot and add the whole garam masala, white wine vinegar, milk and salt. Once you bring it to a boil, add the rice. When the rice is about 70 percent cooked, remove it and layer it with the biryani base. Finally, cover with foil or parda and cook for another 20 minutes over a low flame. Allow it to cool for about one hour, then remove the covering, check the seasoning and serve hot.

Palak Ki Shammi


  • 2 kg spinach, blanched and puréed
  • 200g potato, boiled and grated
  • 50g gram flour
  • 5g cumin seeds
  • 5g garam masala
  • 20g garlic, chopped
  • 20g desi ghee
  • 10g green chilli, chopped
  • 5g chat masala

For stuffing:

  • 30g hung curd
  • 10g mint, chopped

Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan, add cumin, garlic and gram flour, then sauté. Next, add spinach purée and cook until it becomes thick in consistency. Then, put in the potato, green chillies and adjust with seasoning. Continue by removing from the flame and letting it cool down. Make the patties, stuffing them with the hung curd and mint, then pan-fry them. Finally, sprinkle with chat masala and serve with your choice of chutney.

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