Each month we explore a restaurant trend, explaining its key dishes and ingredients. This month, Harneet Baweja, founder of Madame D in London’s Spitalfields (madame-d.com), explains what you need to know about Himalayan cuisine, which is a fusion of Chinese, Nepalese, Tibetan and Indian.
Sukuti (sookh-tea) A way of preserving meat in an area where refrigeration is often extremely unreliable. The meat is first cooked in spices before fully drying out and storing.
Paneer A fresh unsalted white cheese made by heating milk and lemon juice to form curds before straining and pressing through a muslin cloth. Paneer has a mild milky flavour and a dense, smooth texture which makes it perfect with the spices from the
Himalayan region. Newari (Nepalese) pickles An essential part of most Himalayan meals and a way of preserving fresh fruits and vegetables for months where they may not be available. Nepalese pickles are a total flavour revelation spanning from cucumber and radishes to ginger and lemon. Momos These streamed dumplings are found everywhere throughout the Himalayas, but are most popular in Tibet and Nepal. In a similar way to Japanese gyoza, the dumplings are stuffed with spiced meat and vegetables and shallow fried. Naga Chilli From Nagaland in North Eastern India, Naga Chillis are some of the spiciest in the world. Whole chillies are often cooked with beef and served with potatoes and plain rice. Thukpa Meaning ‘noodle’ in Tibetan, this is a warming traditional soup eaten throughout the Himalayas in the winter months and is often served alongside momos.
Timur A Nepalese pepper from the same family as Sichuan peppers but with intense grapefruit notes that has a numbing effect on the tongue.
Tangra An area located in Kolkata housing large tanneries and restaurants traditionally run by descendents of Chinese people. It is known for being the only real Chinatown in India, there you can find specialities such as sweet and spicy pork sausages served with a variety of pickles and dipping sauces.