Achari pheasant, spiced aubergine, caviar and poppy seed-pheasant cake
This remarkable Indian pheasant recipe from Vineet Bhatia has a number of stages to it and requires a reasonable amount of preparation plus overnight marinating, but the end result is fabulous. It is unlikely that guests will have had such an interesting game dish with spiced aubergine caviar before. The mustard oil and the chat masala can easily be found in an Indian supermarket or from online retailers.
    Passive Time
    Passive Time
    1. For the archari pheasant breasts, make 4 light slashes in each pheasant breast. Mix all the ingredients for the first marinade together in a bowl and rub them on to the pheasant breasts. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes
    2. 4 pheasant breasts
    3. 1 tbsp of ginger paste
    4. 1 tbsp of garlic paste
    5. 1/2 lemon
    6. 1 pinch of salt
    7. 2
    8. For the second marinade, roast all the cardamom, coriander, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, dried chilli, black onion seeds, fenugreek seeds in a heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Shake and stir them constantly until a shade darker
    9. 1 tbsp of fennel seeds
    10. 1 tbsp of coriander seeds
    11. 1 tbsp of cumin seeds
    12. 4 cardamom pods
    13. 1 tbsp of black onion seeds
    14. 1 dried chilli
    15. 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
    16. 3
    17. Crush them coarsely in a mortar and pestle then add to the Greek yogurt, along with the ginger paste, garlic paste, green chilli, mixed pickle, mustard oil and garam masala. Lastly, add the turmeric and salt to taste – the pickle contains turmeric and so you don’t want the sauce to be too yellow
    18. 300g of Greek yoghurt
    19. 1 tbsp of ginger paste
    20. 1 tbsp of garlic paste
    21. 1 tbsp of green chilli
    22. 1 tbsp of turmeric
    23. 3 tbsp of vegetable oil
    24. 2 tsp garam masala
    25. 3 tsp Mixed vegetable pickle
    26. salt
    27. 4
    28. Rub the second marinade on the pheasant breasts and leave in the fridge to marinate for 6 hours
    29. 5
    30. To make the Tikki you need to start with the pheasant confit. Place all the ingredients in a deep pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the meat is falling away from the bone
    31. 4 pheasant legs
    32. 2 garlic cloves
    33. 1 tbsp of ginger
    34. 1 green chilli
    35. 1 dried red chilli
    36. 2 sprigs of curry leaves
    37. 2 tbsp of coriander stalks
    38. salt
    39. 6
    40. Remove the pheasant legs and leave them on a wire rack to drain and cool completely. Bone the legs and cut the meat into pea-sized cubes
    41. 7
    42. Boil the potatoes until tender, cool then grate. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. When they splutter, add the garlic, ginger and green chilli and sauté for a minute
    43. 300g of Désirée potatoes
    44. 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
    45. 1 tbsp of cumin seeds
    46. 1 garlic clove
    47. 1 tbsp of ginger
    48. 3/4 tbsp of green chilli
    49. 8
    50. Add the diced pheasant legs and sauté for 2 minutes over a medium heat. Add the grated potatoes and some salt and mix well. Remove from the heat and leave to cool
    51. salt
    52. 9
    53. Mix in the coriander leaves and check the seasoning. Shape the Tikki mixture into 4cm cakes, about 1.25cm thick. Coat them in the poppy seeds and then chill for 30 minutes to firm up
    54. 2 tbsp of fresh coriander
    55. 8 tbsp of poppy seeds
    56. 10
    57. To make the spiced aubergine caviar, put the aubergines on a baking sheet and brush with a little oil. Place in an oven preheated to 200°C/Gas mark 6 and roast for 20 minutes or until they are lightly charred and completely tender. Leave until cool enough to handle, then peel off the skin. Chop the flesh finely to form a paste
    58. 2 aubergines
    59. 3 tbsp of vegetable oil
    60. 11
    61. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds. As they begin to crackle, add the chopped garlic, ginger and green chilli and cook until the garlic turns golden
    62. 1000ml of vegetable oil
    63. 1 tsp cumin seeds
    64. 1 garlic clove
    65. 1 tsp fresh ginger
    66. 1 tsp green chilli
    67. 12
    68. Then add the onion, tomato, grated ginger, crushed garlic, turmeric, chilli powder and ground cumin and coriander. Stir the spices together and sauté over a medium heat for 4 minutes, until the raw aroma has gone
    69. 1 onion
    70. 1 tomato
    71. 1 tsp ginger paste
    72. 1 tsp garlic paste
    73. 1/2 tsp turmeric
    74. 1/2 tsp chilli powder
    75. 3/4 tsp ground cumin
    76. 3/4 tsp ground coriander
    77. 13
    78. Add the aubergine flesh, stir to combine thoroughly with the spice mixture and season with salt. Cook for 7-8 minutes, until the excess moisture has evaporated. Add the chopped coriander and stir
    79. 2 tbsp of fresh coriander
    80. salt
    81. 14
    82. Combine all the ingredients for the red onion, tomato and cucumber relish in a bowl and mix well. Chill
    83. 1 red onion
    84. 3 tomatoes
    85. 1/2 cucumber
    86. 1 tsp green chilli
    87. 2 tbsp of fresh coriander
    88. 1/2 tsp chaat masala
    89. 1 lemon
    90. salt
    91. 15
    92. Heat the vegetable oil to 180°C in a deep-fat fryer or a deep pan. Take the Tikkis out of the fridge and deep-fry for about 2 minutes, until the seeds turn crunchy. Drain on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil
    93. 1000ml of vegetable oil
    94. 16
    95. Pre-heat the oven 190°C/Gas mark 5. Remove the pheasant breasts from the marinade, thread it on to skewers and place them over a roasting tin so the meat is suspended above the tin
    96. 17
    97. Roast in the oven for 9 minutes, until cooked through, basting occasionally with the excess marinade. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 2 minutes before serving
    98. 18
    99. To serve, place the aubergine caviar in the centre of 4 plates and spoon the red onion, tomato and cucumber relish around it. Place the pheasant breasts on top of the aubergine and garnish with the pheasant tikki and some chives
    100. 2 2/3 handfuls of chives