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Lifestyle Food and Recipes 20 Jul 2019 Cooking the Unconven ...

Cooking the Unconventional Way

Published Jul 20, 2019, 12:13 am IST
Updated Jul 20, 2019, 12:13 am IST
Chef Hemant Oberoi undertakes a gastronomical journey to explore traditional martabaan cooking which has got lost amidst modern methods.

An interaction with Chef Hemant Oberoi is like opening a treasure box of culinary experiences where tales of remarkable dishes abound. The Chef who has been awarded for his expertise in multiple cuisines strongly believes in innovation, “My dream is to keep on innovating till I can. One has to keep evolving and change is the only thing which is consistent. Yes, even my style has been evolving, trying out innovative dishes, concepts and presentations,” he explained.

Instrumental in bringing about the evolution of the culinary industry in India, with four decades with The Taj group, helped him elevate the fine dining culture. Talking about his latest innovation Chef Oberoi states, “I have worked on a new concept called ‘Martabaan cuisine’ where food is slow cooked in a martabaan (an earthen pot) and served in the same. I would like my discerning diners to watch out for many firsts in this genre e.g. ‘Innovation of Chocolate Shawarma’ will be a tribute to Middle East. It will also be the first time probably that a Roller Kulfi equipment will be used for instant kulfi.”


The Chef shares four recipes straight out of his secret Martaban pot. The best part about these dishes are that they can easily be made in your kitchen even if you don’t have a martabaan pot available.



  • Ghee 20 gm
  • Salt, to taste
  • Butter 5 gm
  • Two brinjals
  • Tomato 500 gm
  • Coriander 10 gm
  • Onion 200 gm
  • Deghi mirch 5 gm
  • Black salt 10 gm
  • Ginger 20 gm
  • Green chillies 20 gm


  • Roast brinjal in a moderately hot clay oven for eight-10 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
  • Peel the skin of the brinjal and mash.
  • Heat ghee in the martabaan and add ginger, green chillies and chilli powder and sauté for 30 seconds.
  • Add tomatoes, onions. Cook till the tomatoes are soft.
  • Add the brinjal mash and let it simmer.
  • Finish with butter and pinch of black salt.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.

Chicken Tikka Fondue




  • Boneless chicken cut in cubes 500 gm
  • Hung yoghurt 50 gm
  • Salt to taste.
  • Ginger and garlic paste 10 gm
  • Garam massala powder 5 gm
  • Chilli paste 10 gm
  • Mustard oil 20 ml
  • Lime juice 10 ml
  • Gruyere cheese 150 gm
  • White wine 50 ml
  • Crushed pepper 5gm


  • Marinate the chicken with salt, pepper, lime juice, and a pinch of garam massala.
  • Mix yoghurt with ginger garlic paste, chilli paste, garam massala , salt and mustard oil. Put marinated chicken pieces in the yoghurt and let it sit for an hour.
  • Place chicken pieces in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius till the chicken is char grilled and completely cooked.
  • Add butter in a non-stick pan and sauté ginger and garlic paste. Gradually add wine and water to the pan and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • Add grated cheese and let it melt to thicken the sauce.
  • Serve the cheese in fondue pots garnished with crushed pepper corns, fondue forks and chicken tikka pieces.

Martabaan ka Meat




  • Mutton 500 gm
  • Oil 50 ml
  • Cumin seeds 5 gm
  • Chopped onions 250 gm
  • Chopped tomatoes 200 gm
  • Ginger paste 15 gm
  • Garlic paste 15 gm
  • Cloves  6 pcs
  • Cinnamon stick small
  • Green cardamom 6 pcs
  • Turmeric powder 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder 15 gm
  • Coriander powder 15 gm
  • Salt to taste
  • Whole red chillies 3 pcs
  • Pickle mix- fenugreek seeds powder/chilli powder/mustard seeds powder/salt /mustard oil


  • Slit the red chllies and dry in the sun. Stuff with pickles mix and pour mustard oil and keep in a pickling jar for few days.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom.
  • When the spices split add chopped onions and sauté it till golden brown.
  • Add ginger and garlic paste followed by chopped tomatoes. Cook till tomatoes are soft.
  • Add chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and cook till oil leaves the masala.
  • Add mutton cubes  and water. Cover with a lid and let it cook till the meat is tender.
  • Bring it to a simmer and add pickled chillies. Serve hot.





  • Ginger 3 gm
  • Asafoetida 1tsp
  • Oil 4 tbsp
  • Garlic 5 gm
  • Salt to taste
  • Tamarind 2 gm
  • Black pepper 5 gm
  • Green chillies 5 gm
  • Lemon Grass 100 gm
  • Button chilly 15 gm
  • Mustard seeds 5 gm
  • Curry leaves 10gm
  • Tur Dal 50 gm
  • Tomato 250 gm
  • Cumin seed 2gm


  • Soak tur dal for a couple of hours prior. Cook the lentils for half an hour with plenty of water.
  • Strain out the excess lentil water and keep aside.
  • In a sauce pan, heat half the oil, then add mustard seeds, cumin seeds , garlic ,curry leaves, asafoetida and button chillies.
  • Add green chillies, ginger and lemon grass.
  • Add cut tomatoes, crushed pepper corns and lentil water and let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • Add more water to create gravy for the dish and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Soak tamarind in hot water for 20 minutes. Strain and remove the seeds, then add the pulp to the soup.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste and let the soup simmer. Serve hot.