City Food – Julia Child Makes Esü in Hauz Khas Village
The great chef’s life in Delhi.
[Text and pictures by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Meet the Julia Child of Hauz Khas Village, a fashionable quarter of art galleries, studios and restaurants. Passionate about playing guitar, Aren Sanglir, 34, lives in neighbouring Green Park. She recently opened a restaurant in the village with her business partner Karen Yepthomi. Dzukoü, which means ‘cold stream’ in Angami, specializes in food from Nagaland, a state in North-East India that shares its border with Myanmar. Ms Sanglir hails from Mokokchung, a hill town in northern Nagaland, which, she says, is famous for “its beautiful girls.”
“Our Naga delicacies are never oily,” says Ms Sanglir. “They are either steamed or boiled.” Here is the recipe of Ms Sanglir’s ‘esü’, or smoked pork with dry bamboo shoots.
Esü is my favorite dish in the world. After I left my home to live in Delhi, I always longed for my oja’s (mother’s) home-cooked smoked pork, especially if she prepared it with bamboo shoots. Oja always made esü on Christmas. My face would light up just with the aroma of pork and bamboo shoots that wafted over from our kitchen. In Delhi, I often make esü for my homesick Naga friends. But I miss the juicy pork of Nagaland. Our pigs are generously fed, not only with wheat barn, rice, leftover vegetables and banana skin, but also with jackfruit, guava and papaya. The fat is so tender that it melts in the mouth.
Esü (for two)
300 grams smoked pork
3 gloves of garlic (chopped)
1 tomato (sliced)
1 sprig of ginger (chopped)
A half-sliced Naga chilli (raja mirchi, the hottest chilli in the world)
A handful of dry bamboo shoots
Mong-mong (Naga pepper) to garnish
Salt to taste
Heat three cups of water in a pot together with smoked pork, salt, raja mirchi and tomato. Cook until tender. Meanwhile, roast the bamboo shoots on a pan.
Add chopped garlic and ginger and let the dish simmer gently for five minutes. It should not be left watery.
Season with roasted dry bamboo shoots. Garnish with roasted mong-mong (Naga pepper).
Serve with hot steamed rice or Naga sticky rice.
Where Dzukoü, 13 A, Rooftop, Hauz Khas Village Time 12.30 pm to 12.30 pm, Tuesday closed Call for Reservation 9873306171, 8447703774
The making of esü