Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Jamavar: An Indian Jewel in the Heart of Mayfair

Mayfair’s Michelin-starred Jamavar takes guests on an exquisite culinary journey, showcasing the unique flavours and secret recipes from different parts of India, from the Royal Kitchens of the North to succulent dishes of the Southern shores, exploring pan-Indian flavours using a masterful range of authentic culinary techniques by chef Surender Mohan, culinary director of Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts. Named after the intricate and vibrant 16th-century shawls of Kashmir, Jamavar is the jewel in the crown of the award-winning Indian hotel group. Set across two high-ceilinged floors, the stylish interior was inspired by the Viceroy’s house of New Delhi with delicate colonial flourishes and a rich celebration of traditional Indian textiles, precious marble, mirrors and dark wood panelling. 

An intoxicating combination of glamorous design and refined cuisine, Jamavar achieves that rare and precious balance between style and substance: the food tastes even better than everything else looks. Behind every dish is a team of highly experienced chefs, each a culinary master of a distinct regional cuisine, and the menu is a delicious journey of sensory discovery and culinary delight, with dishes such as Venison Samosas with crispy cauliflower, chutney and pickle; ‘Old Delhi’ Suffolk corn-fed butter chicken; Eight-hour slow-cooked Hampshire lamb shank with Rajasthani chilli; Jamavar Dal made with slow-cooked black lentils; Dal Chawal Aur Achaar, one of their most popular dishes, composed of crisp lentil and rice dumplings with green chutney and heritage carrot pickle. Celebration of Indian cuisine is fundamental to Jamavar, and with secret recipes of the founder's mother Leela, after whom the luxury hospitality chain is named included in the menu, this stunning restaurant in the heart of Mayfair has established itself as one of the top Indian restaurants in London.

Jamavar London is the culinary jewel of The Leela Group, first conceived in the late nineties by Dinesh Nair, co-chairman and managing director of The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts

Designed by London's Fabled Studios, Jamavar is a rich celebration of marbles, dark timber panelling and gilded lincrusta wall coverings offset with brass accents and hand-cut marquetry 

Jamavar main floor dining room

The stylish interior of Jamavar's downstairs dining room designed like chaturanga, 
ancient Indian chess boards

Jamavar's menu showcases the unique flavours and secret recipes from different parts of India, 
from the Royal Kitchens of the North to succulent options of the Southern shores

The elegant bar with brown emperor marble and brass accents

'Flying Scott Gin & Tonic' made with Hendrick’s Gin, fresh cucumber, rose petals and burlesque bitter

Vodka Martini with olives

Mixed Papadam

Assorted chutneys served with the papadam

Venison Samosas with crispy cauliflower, chutney and pickle

Dal Chawal Aur Achaar with crispy lentil and rice dumplings, green chutney and heritage carrot pickle

Indian Lager

Methi Gosht with goat, spinach, cinnamon and fresh fenugreek leaves

Old Delhi Butter Chicken made with Suffolk corn-fed, char-grilled pulled chicken, 
fresh tomato and fenugreek

Jamavar Dal made with slow-cooked black lentils

Assorted Naan and Kulcha

Complimentary desserts served on a banana leaf in a hollowed out wooden server

Culinary Director and Chef Surender Mohan

Dal Chawal aur Achaar
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of chef Rohit Ghai, Jamavar

1 oz toor dal

1 white onion, chopped
2 oz tomato, chopped
1/2 oz ginger, crushed
1/2 oz garlic, crushed
1/2 oz green chilli, chopped
1 1/2 oz rice
1 tsp whole cumin
1 tsp turmeric
4 tsp oil
1/2 oz panko breadcrumbs
3/4 oz cornflour
salt, to taste

For the tadka dahl:
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp green chilli, chopped
3 curry leaves, chopped
3/4 tbsp oil
Pinch turmeric
Salt, to taste

Soak the rice for 20 minutes. Boil the rice and keep it aside. Soak the toor dal and boil with a little salt and turmeric to taste. Once cooked, keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan, add cumin, ginger, green chillis and saute. Add the chopped onion and cook until golden in colour. Add chilli powder, turmeric and salt, and cook for a while. 
Add the chopped tomato and cook down until the tomatoes become mashed. Add the boiled dal and chopped coriander. Stir in the cooked rice and turn off the heat. Once cool, check the seasoning and if required, add salt and ginger, further green chilli and coriander.

Next, prepare the tadka dahl. Whisk yoghurt in a bowl, add a little salt and keep aside. 
Heat oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they start to crackle, add a pinch of turmeric, chopped ginger and green chilli. Sauté and gently stir in the yoghurt. Remove from the heat and serve.

Andhra Podi Prawns
Serves 2
Recipe courtesy of chef Rohit Ghai, Jamavar

For the prawns:
12 peeled prawns
2 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp corn flour
1 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 pepper powder
2 tsp mild red chilli powder
2 sprigs curry leaves finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
2 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
salt and water as needed
Podi powder
Oil for deep frying

For the Podi powder:
1/4 cup chana dal
1/4 cup urad dal
1/4 cup sesame seeds
6-8 red chillies, or to taste
1-2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp cumin
1/4 cup dried or desiccated coconut
2 sprigs curry leaves
Salt to taste

First, prepare the prawns. Wash the prawns and drain completely. Marinate the prawns with the chopped curry leaves and 1 tsp of red chilli powder and lime juice, and keep aside.

Next, prepare the Podi powder. Wash the curry leaves, leaving the sprigs on a clean kitchen cloth to dry. Clean all the ingredients, pick off any debris and discard. Dry roast the dals and red chillies until crisp, and set aside. In the same pan, add the curry leaves and roast on a low heat until they turn crisp. Set aside. Switch off the stove. Add the sesame seeds and cumin to the hot pan and roast. Add the coconut, garlic and toss. Set aside as well to cool.

Powder the red chillies and dal, add the other ingredients and a sprinkle of salt and transfer to an airtight jar for storing. Next, make a batter using rice and corn flour, garam masala, salt, red chilli paste, ginger, garlic and chopped coriander leaves. Add water as needed. Deep fry the prawns until golden. Set aside on a kitchen towel. Serve hot with a dollop of tomato chutney and sprinkle Podi powder on top.

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