Goat on a limb and open the door.
Merry Christmas. I’ve been wondering how bedouins celebrate Christmas. I reckon they’d eat one of their baby goats.
While bedouins ate their flocks by night, all seated on the ground, the angel of the Lord came down, and glory shone around.
I could imagine them slowly roasting it in a pit with fiery coals. They’d certainly put some za’atar and sumac and cumin and coarse salt on the tender barbecued meat, rub some Aleppo chillies on their mountain loaves sit around an untidy fire, wrapped in their airy robes and kufiyas. Perched on their camel hide cushions with their many wives and many falcons around them, they would eat their Christmas dinner.
I have poured myself the better part of a bottle of wine, forgetting that I need to buy curtains for the living room and sat down to type out this post. For the first time in 29 years, I am not home for the holidays. A 13 minute and 29-second conversation with my father, mother, sister and grandmother later (the dog did bark in the background), I am ready to reconvene my thoughts back to meat and seafood.
This post will not be 900 impassioned words about the aforementioned meat and seafood. Instead, I am going to share a few of my favourite things and then leave you with some visual treats.
Favorite thing number 1
Vyal Adhye proclaims that his company has a cut for every gut. When people say things like that, it reaffirms my choice of friends and brands I love. So my hungry gut trawled The Seafood & Meat Co. website and shed a holy tear. A year ago when they launched I remembered ordering in from them and being rather impressed at the effortlessly clean produce, in vacuum packed bags, along with prompt delivery. Then on their first anniversary, they sent out a very humble and very polite email thanking their customers. And I wrote back, congratulating the team and offering to celebrate the cuts for every gut!
Favorite thing number 2
Recently, a friend quoted me on her food blog. She asked me what my favorite protein was and here is what I said. ‘Baby Goat! My emotional attachment to said creature comes from a healthy diet of mutton curry at Sunday lunches after the Sung Eucharist church service. My mother has successfully taught me how to use this protein in a curry, in a stew, in a pie and on a skewer. Till the day I live, and until my arteries allow me, I shall continue enjoying the meat of baby goats.’
Mutton shoulder – with Basmati rice and achar.
Alan Richman in his essay “The Great Texas Barbecue Secret” said,
Because the meat is seldom pricked during cooking, the fat accumulates, sizzling and bubbling. Slice, and the drama unfolds. Think of a bursting water pipe. Better yet, imagine a Brahman bull exploding from the gate at a rodeo.
That is how, dear readers, goat meat should be consumed. The flavours of the spices, along with the richness of the meat should explode in your mouth, much like a brahmin bull exploding from the gate at a rodeo.
Favorite thing number 3
This winter achar is a heady explosion of turnips, carrots, cauliflowers soaked in a mustard-wasabi-esque pungency and sharpness. It is the only sort of assault on my senses that I love. This winter pickle has been made by my favourite food writer in India. Vasundhara Chauhan, who writes fortnightly for The Hindu. Her columns make me laugh, sigh, and gasp in pure enchantment. Why can’t more food writers be as authentic and humorous as her? Apart from waiting for her columns with bated breath, I’m waiting to meet her in Delhi in January and feast on her Afghani Mutton.
Favorite thing number 4
Butter Garlic Prawns, there frankly is no need to say more. The Seafood & Meat Co. cleans, vacuum packs and delivers these chubby little cherubs to your kitchen counter.
The Seafood & Meat Co. sent me two other beautiful pieces of seafood. Three eager-eyed mackerels and packed-with-personality fillets of Ghol fish.
Favorite thing number 5
The maid? No, the maid who shall rub salt into their wounds, and in a skillet with curry leaves and chilli tempered oil, fry them till the skin crisps up, the flesh turns white and the smell of Kerela wafts towards my dining table where a giant vase of tuberoses welcome the fried mackerel. A generous squeeze of lemon and the fish shall be ready for consumption.
Favorite thing number 6
These fillets have so much personality. They are richly marbled, quite plump, meaty and satiny. They want to be crisply fried and planted between burger buns, they demand to be soaked in a coconutty broth, they insist on being rubbed all over with spices and fried in flavoured oil.
The faboosh meat and seafood are courtesy The Seafood & Meat Co. Go shop online, their butchers not only serve up all sorts of contemporary cuts, they even clean your meat and fish and vacuum pack and home deliver it!
Thank you to Sahil and Fahad for being rather industrious photographers. If you like their work you can contact them here.
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