Monday, June 8, 2015

Aga Khan Museum Culinary Event: Chef Mussa Khan

For two nights only, Diwan Restaurant at the Aga Khan Museum presented an exclusive culinary evening of Pakistani cuisine by featured guest Chef Mussa Khan from the Islamabad Serena Hotel in Pakistan. Raised in Hunza, a valley known for its spectacular scenery, majestic mountains and glittering lakes, Chef Khan grew up surrounded by the rhythm of the seasons and fresh produce from the fields, developing a keen interest in gastronomy from an early age. Mussa’s fascination with food led him to become a chef at 19, when his culinary career began at the Gilgit Serena Hotel before joining the Islamabad Serena Hotel where he spent his formative years training with renowned Chef Mark Wilson who helped him shape his style and depth of knowledge in cooking. Chef Mussa became executive sous chef at Egypt’s Steinberger Nile Palace in 2010, and the following year became Executive Chef at The Kabul Serena before returning to the Islamabad Serena Hotel in 2013. The recipient of several culinary honours including a letter of appreciation from the CEO during the visit of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan and Prince Charles to the Altit Fort, Chef Khan has also been awarded a certificate from Le Cordon Bleu Paris. As executive sous chef of the Islamabad Serena Hotel, Chef Mussa loves the freedom of expression that cooking gives him and continues to create innovative new recipes with vibrant flavours, as we experienced in the 'Art of Pakistani Cuisine' menu he created for Diwan's special culinary event.

The spectacular interior of Diwan at The Aga Khan Museum features 19th-century 
wooden panels hand-carved and painted in Damascus

The first to arrive at Diwan's culinary event featuring Chef Mussa Khan, 
the dining room was quiet before guests arrived

The Art of Pakistani Cuisine menu signed by Chef Mussa Khan

One of the first to arrive, we launched the evening with a glass of 2014 Spanish Canti Prosecco

The first course was Fried Cumin Pappadums garnished with diced tomato, red onion, 
cilantro and flavoured ghee

A representative of the Aga Khan Museum greeted guests and introduced Chef Khan

Chef Khan explained the dishes in his 5-course Art of Pakistani Cuisine menu

Appetizer of Crispy Mini Chicken Samosa, Beef Kebab and Spiced Paneer Balls served with Mint and Tamarind Chutneys garnished with fresh cilantro

Sweet Lassi house made by Chef Khan

Diwan's wine list features many wines available by the glass

A 2013 Cesari Fiorile Italian Pinot Grigio 

2011 California Cabernet Sauvignon from Trim Vineyards

Dow Do Soup, made with mutton broth and homemade noodles cooked with Pakistani spices, roasted cumin seed and fresh cilantro leaves

Pakistani BBQ Platter with Marinated Lamb Chops, Creamy Boneless Chicken Malai Botti, Tandoori Prawns and Peshwari Beef Tikka served with cucumber salad, fresh lemon and mint chutney 

Plump and juicy Tandoori Prawn

Marinated Lamb Chop

Creamy Boneless Chicken Malai Botti; Malai means cream and Boti which means meat, 
is a common delicacy in Pakistan

Peshwari Beef Tikka

Nargisi Kofty: Boiled Eggs coated with minced beef and chickpeas cooked in traditional spices

Chicken Biriyani with caramelized onions

Homemade Kalwanji Naan

Dessert was a combination of traditional Pakistani sweets including Besan Ki Barfi, 
Multani Halwa and homemade Jalebi

Chicken Malai Botti
Serves 4

1 lb boneless Chicken thighs
1 tbsp green chilies, minced
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste 
1 tsp whole cumin, roasted and crushed
1/2 tsp all spice
1 tsp whole coriander, roasted and crushed
1/2 tsp White pepper 
1 tsp crushed red pepper 
2 tbsp whipping cream 
2 tbsp plain full fat yogurt
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice 
1 tsp salt 
2 tbsp almonds, blanched and ground
Ghee, melted for brushing

In a large bowl, marinate the chicken with green chilies, ginger garlic paste, white cumin, all spice, coriander, white pepper, red pepper, cream, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and almonds for 2 hours. BBQ until nearly done, then brush with remaining marinade and BBQ for another 5 minutes. Brush with ghee until done and serve with cucumber salad and lemon rice.