Churn­ing hap­pi­ness

Restau­rants across the city are go­ing old-school to churn craft but­ter in-house

Mid Day - - FOOD - NASRIN MODAK SIDDIQI smd­mail@mid-day.com

IT’S true when they say you haven’t lived un­til you’ve tasted freshly made but­ter. Although it might sound like a lot of labour, the good news is restau­rants in the city are churn­ing out fresh, rich and creamy spreads that are so full of flavour that you will never want to go back to store­bought but­ter.

“Craft but­ter is es­sen­tially ma­nip­u­lat­ing milk solids and milk fat into some­thing far more flavour­ful than the tra­di­tional pack­aged but­ter avail­able in the mar­ket,” says By­culla restau­rant Goyaa’s Chef and owner Sid­dharth So­maiya. The diner makes vadou­van but­ter where a kilo of but­ter is slow­cooked with or­ange peel and 14 dif­fer­ent spices like fen­nel, cumin, turmeric, mace, gin­ger and chili flakes for three hours till it turns a beau­ti­ful nutty brown. This but­ter is served in-house along with sour­dough bread and is also used to roast cau­li­flower flo­rets.

Churn it well

Rishim Sachdeva, head chef, Olive Bar and Kitchen, Ban­dra, be­lieves mak­ing but­ter is rea­son­ably straight for­ward as long as you have good qual­ity in­gre­di­ents and can con­trol the tem­per­a­ture. He uses cul­tured cream for the but­ter and a bit of home­made bread miso (made from koji rice and stale bread) to add salti­ness. “In­cor­po­rat­ing th­ese flavours lives up to our vi­sion of clean and healthy eat­ing. Mak­ing our own but­ter al­lows us to con­trol the flavours and be cre­ative with ba­sics,” ex­plains Sachdeva, who en­sures fresh but­ter is churned ev­ery day at the restau­rant.

Dishkiyaoon, BKC, too, makes their own makkhan (but­ter) with heavy cream and later strong flavours of Kash­miri chilli is in­fused with it. “Home­made but­ter gives rich­ness and im­pro­vises the flavours of the dishes. It’s great for pre­sen­ta­tion too. We use it to soften up the prepa­ra­tions of chicken and lamb as well as for gar­nish,” says sous chef Chef Sunny Pun­jabi.

Not an easy craft

“Craft but­ter has to be mon­i­tored con­stantly. If the heat is too high even for a minute it will burn the but­ter and turn black and you will have to start all over,” says So­maiya. In fact, Kelvin Che­ung, cor­po­rate chef and F&B di­rec­tor, Aal­lia Hos­pi­tal­ity says they stopped churn­ing but­ter in-house at Bas­tian, Ban­dra, a year ago due to the in­con­sis­ten­cies in the dairy avail­able lo­cally. “While I love us­ing or­ganic lo­cal milk brands, even the high­est qual­ity brands un­for­tu­nately do not have a con­sis­tent fat per­cent­age which makes mak­ing but­ter a chal­lenge.”

Flavour­ing it right

Bas­tian now makes flavoured but­ter in house, though. “We cur­rently use Pres­i­dents but­ter and in­tro­duce flavour in mul­ti­ple stages de­pend­ing on what dish the flavoured but­ter will be used for. Some re­quire a sim­ple mix while oth­ers re­quire smok­ing the flavour in or us­ing the sous vide tech­nique,” adds Che­ung. They use the smoked honey truf­fle but­ter for gluten-free red hot chicken and waf­fles on the brunch menu, and kim­chi but­ter for dishes re­quir­ing a more pun­gent com­po­nent.

At O Pe­dro, ex­ec­u­tive chef Hus­sain Shahzad says the sour­dough poee is best en­joyed with but­ter that has Por­tuguese-in­spired flavours like choriz but­ter (ren­dered choriz fat, Goan vine­gar and choriz bits) and kalchi kodi but­ter (co­conut milk, kokum, red chill­ies, co­rian­der, and gar­lic). In the method, the flavour­ing in­gre­di­ents are first pre­pared and fully sea­soned, and then cooled down. The salted but­ter is whipped till soft and then the flavour­ings are whisked in.

If you are con­cerned about its shelf life, the flavoured but­ter when un­con­tam­i­nated will last for weeks in the fridge. “We’ve never had to push it past a week as we make ours in fresh small batches ev­ery week. It is ex­tra work, but to­tally worth it,” says Che­ung.

PIC/ATUL KAM­BLE

The craft but­ter made with home­made bread miso at Olive Bar and Kitchen.

PICS/PRADEEEP DHIVAR

Chef Sunny Pun­jabi at Dhishkiyaaon uses Kash­miri chilli for flavour.

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