Pigeon junglee maas

  • 2
  • 60 minutes plus 2 hours to simmer the stock

Pigeon is simply chargrilled and served with an aromatic Indian sauce from Rajasthan flavoured with over ten spices in this delicious, vibrant dish. The recipe uses up the whole bird by making a stock with the bones to use in the sauce, ensuring no waste from the animal. You can prepare the stock and sauce in advance to make things easier, and be sure to freeze any leftover stock for uses in sauces, gravies or soups.

First published in 2021
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Pigeon

Pigeon stock

Sauce

Equipment

  • Blender

Method

1

Begin by preparing the pigeon and making the stock, as this can be done in advance. Carve off the breasts and legs and season them with the lemon juice and a pinch of salt, then set aside in the fridge. Reserve the leftover carcasses for the stock

2

Preheat an oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5. Roughly chop up the carcasses (don't use a good knife for this!) and place on a roasting tray with a drizzle of oil. Roast for 30 minutes or until a deep golden colour

3

In the meantime, place a large stockpot over a medium heat with a drizzle of oil and once hot, add the onion, carrot and garlic. Cook for 6–8 minutes, stirring so that the vegetables don't catch but start to caramelise

4

Once the bones are ready, add to the stock pot with the coriander stalks and bay leaves and then cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, skim off any scum then gently simmer for 2 hours. After this time strain the stock and reserve 2 ladles of it for this dish – the rest can be frozen

5

To make the sauce, heat the sunflower oil in a large pan and add all of the whole spices. Cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes until they start to release their aroma, moving the spices around in the pan to avoid burning

 

6

Add the onions, ginger and garlic pastes and cook over a low heat until soft and caramelised. This will take at least 8–10 minutes, so be patient

7

Once the onions are nicely browned, add the chopped tomatoes and ground spices and simmer until you have a thick sauce

8

Whisk in the yoghurt and the 2 ladles of pigeon stock, add the salt then simmer again until you have a thickened sauce. Leave to cool a little then transfer to a blender and blitz into a smooth sauce. Set aside to reheat before serving, or keep warm

9

To cook the pigeon, place a griddle pan over a high heat with a dash of oil. Pat the pigeon legs and breasts dry with kitchen paper, then once the pan is smoking hot, add the meat to the pan skin-side down first. Cook until medium rare (this should only take around 3-5 minutes), then leave to rest for around 5 minutes whilst you reheat the sauce (if needed)

  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
10

To serve, carve the pigeon into smaller pieces and divide between serving dishes. Spoon over the sauce and garnish with dill fronds

First published in 2021
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After leaving India to perfect his cooking in the UK, Avinash Shashidhara worked his way through restaurants including The River Cafe before opening Pahli Hill Bandra Bhai, where he serves ingredient-led Indian dishes inspired by traditional recipes.

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