WHEN IT COMES TO FOOD, AMARI HAS BEEN KNOWN TO CHURN OUT DELICACIES TIME AND TIME AGAIN

Good food coupled with the ambience created at Amaya by Aamari Dhaka, their signature dining restaurant serving exquisite Asian dishes throughout the day, you have the recipe for an amazing time! The vibrant colours, ample lighting and best in class service are guaranteed to make you visit them again and again. Here are some of their selection of the finest Thai and Indian recipes and their best-selling dessert.

THAI MASSAMAN LAMB CURRY

Ingredients
1 to 1.5 pounds of lamb meat
1/3 cup onion (diced)
3 bay leaves
1 to 2 potatoes (cut into chunks)
1 whole star anise
¼ cup fresh basil
Curry Sauce:
1 thumb-piece ginger (grated)
4 to 5 cloves garlic
1 red chili, sliced
1 tsp. whole cumin seed
1 tsp. turmeric
⅛ tsp. cardamon
1 can (14 oz./400 mL) coconut milk

Instructions
Gather the ingredients. Place water in a large pot over high heat. Add the meat, onion and bay leaves. Bring to a boil then reduce to low, until you get a nice simmer. Cover or partially cover with a lid and simmer 40 to 80 minutes, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender or near-tender. Add all ‘curry sauce’ ingredients, stirring with each addition. Also, add the potatoes and whole star anise. Return to boil, then continue simmering 30 more minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir occasionally. Taste-test curry, adding more salt for increased flavour/saltiness, or more chilli if you want it spicier. If too sour, add a little sugar. If too spicy, add more coconut milk. Transfer to a serving bowl, or plate up on individual plates or bowls. Enjoy your dish.

GRILLED PRAWN SALAD

Ingredients
Dressing:
1 clove garlic
1 Red chilli
1 Green chilli
1 lime – juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar

Shrimp:
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound uncooked shrimp
1 medium shallot thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro leaves and stems

For serving:
Sliced cabbage
Sliced carrots 

Instructions
Dressing:
Mince the garlic, half of the red and green chilli and place in a small bowl. Slice the remaining chilli half into thin rings and add it to the bowl, along with the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional ingredients if needed. Stir well and set aside.

Shrimp:
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the shrimp until it is cooked through and fully pink. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp and dressing, toss gently. Serve on top of sliced carrots and cabbage. 

GOLDEN FRIED FISH WITH PAPAYA SALAD

Ingredients:
2 sea bass fillets
2 cloves garlic
½ red chillies
1 tbsp sugar
1-2 tbsp tamarind juice
1-2 tbsp fish sauce
Handful of peanuts
Sliced papaya
Sliced carrots
Sliced tomatoes
Julian green-bean

Instructions
Sea Bass Fillets:
Prepare the sea bass fillets by unwrapping them and scoring the skin several times. Pat the skin dry with kitchen paper and leave them skin side up to dry out completely. Rub a little salt onto the skin of the sea bass. Place your pan on medium-high heat and when it feels hot add the sea bass, skin side down. Turn the heat down to medium. Do not move the fish. Season the fish with plenty of salt. Once the skin is well-cooked and crispy flip the fish over and cooks the flesh side for a minute. Any longer and the fish will become hard and start to dry. Take the fillets out of the pan and serve them skin side up on top of the salad.

Thai Salad Dressing:
Add garlic, chillies and sliced tomatoes to make them into a paste by mashing up the ingredients. Now add the fish sauce, tamarind juice, sugar and give everything a thorough mixing to dissolve the sugar. Check the seasoning and the balance of flavours. If it is too hot, add more sugar. Too salty, add more lime juice. Too sour, add some salt. Add beans and peanuts to the dressing by mashing them up a little.

To serve the salad, place the sliced vegetables on plates, add the dressing with the beans and peanuts to cover the vegetables. Finally, top with the sea bass fillets.

NALLI NIHARI

Ingredients
1 kg of mutton, preferably shank portion (cut into 8-10 pieces)
4 tbsp  Ghee/ Clarified butter
2 medium onions, finely sliced
1 tsp  ginger paste
1 tsp  garlic paste
Salt  to taste
2 tsp  coriander powder
1/2 tsp  turmeric powder
3 tbsp  wheat flour
3 tbsp  nihari masala

Nihari Masala:
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dry ginger
5-6 green cardamoms
2 black cardamoms
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
1-inch cinnamon stick
8-10 black peppercorns
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

Instructions
To make your own Nihari masala from scratch, dry roast all the whole spices for the masala; cool the roasted spices; and grind them into a fine powder. To make Nihari curry, heat Ghee in a deep bottom stockpot. Once the ghee is hot, add the sliced onions and fry till they start to turn brown. Add mutton pieces, ginger paste, garlic paste, coriander powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well to coat the mutton in ghee and spices. Sauté for 5 mins. Add the nihari masala and 8 cups of water. Mix well, cover and cook on very low heat for about 4 hours until the meat is tender. Keep checking in between. The way to know that the meat is cooked is when it breaks easily with a wooden spoon. Dissolve wheat flour in half cup of water. Make sure there are no lumps. Slowly add it to the gravy. Stir to mix it well in the gravy and let it simmer for another 10-15 mins till the gravy thickens. Sprinkle some lime juice and garnish with ginger strips and fresh coriander leaves. Serve while it’s hot. 

DUM KA MURGH

Ingredients
500 gm chicken legs
1/4 teaspoon ginger paste
2 cashews
4 soaked overnight almonds
1/2 tablespoon ghee
1/4 teaspoon garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 inch cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 green cardamom
1 tablespoon refined oil
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon chiraunji
1/2 cup yoghurt (curd)
1/2 cup onion
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon crushed to paste green chilli
salt as required
1 teaspoon coriander leaves
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder

Instructions
Wash and put the chicken pieces in a big bowl, add the onion (grate them first), ginger and garlic paste and mix well. Cover and set it aside for about an hour. Heat the pan, pour oil and when it smolders, put the sugar and let it char. It will give a golden colour to the food. Now cumin, bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon and allow them to crackle. When a nice aroma starts emanating from the oil, slit the green chillies and fry a little. Keep the flame low or the chillies will burn and impact the taste. Roughly chop the tomatoes and fry them over a gentle flame for a minute. Once the tomatoes form a gravy, put the marinated chicken into the pan. Keep the heat low, and keep on frying. It would take about 15 minutes. Keep on frying and toss and turn the chicken pieces, till the oil gets separated. Add salt and turmeric. When the chicken becomes golden in colour, add half a cup of water. If you feel the gravy is too thick, add a bit more. Cover the pan and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, make sure to toss and turn the chicken pieces in between. When you feel it is cooked, serve sizzling hot with steamed rice or hot rotis. 

RED VELVET CAKE

Ingredients
Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking soda
1½ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons salt
4 large eggs
1½ cups milk
1 1/4 cups warm water
½ cup of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 tablespoons red food colouring
Frosting:
16 ounces cream cheese softened
1 cup butter softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter three 9-inch cake rounds. Dust with flour and tap out the excess. Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a stand mixer using a low speed until combined. Add eggs, milk, warm water, oil, vanilla, vinegar, and food colouring. Beat on medium speed until smooth. This should take just a couple of minutes. Divide batter among the three prepared pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the cake meets the toothpick test (stick a toothpick in and it comes out clean). Cool on wire racks for 15 minutes and then turn out the cake onto the racks and allow to cool completely before frosting. Make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer for best results. Add in vanilla extract. Beat until combined. Beat in powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time until frosting is smooth. Assemble and frost the completely cooled cake. Enjoy your scrumptious Red Velvet!

*Photographs by Eivan Sardar