My search for the best Indian restaurants in Dallas brought me to Underground Indian Cuisine last night where I sampled some of the the tastiest dishes I have had in ages. What made it particularly special was the fact is was different than any style I have sampled to date. Underground is a northern Indian-style restaurant, which means they use a variety f meats, but also include many vegetarian options. I dined with a vegetaran friend last night and we both enjoyed the experience without heitation.
The chef Amit Paul studied in India under Master Chef Imtiaz Qureshi who has literally cooked for kings and presidents. The actual cuisine style Amit Paul has mastered is called Dum Pukth.
Dum pukht is a style of Indian cuisine that is slowly cooked over very low flames. Typically they will use a round, heavy bottomed pot, a handi, in which food is tightly sealed and cooked over a slow fire. There are two main aspects to this style of cooking; bhunao and dum, or ‘roasting’ and ‘maturing’ of a prepared dish. In this style of cuisine, herbs and spices play an extremely critical role. The process of slow roasting gently persuades each to release maximum flavor. The sealing of the lid of the handi with dough achieves that maturing. Cooking slowly in its juices, the food retains all its natural aromas and becomes imbued with the richness of flavors that distinguishes the dish. Continue reading