India: Suvir Saran, Devi
MENU: Lamb shammi kebabs with green chutney, grilled vegetable-and-fruit salad, pavlova with fresh berries
While many a backyard barbecuer’s thoughts turn to hot dogs and hamburgers around this time of year, Devi’s Suvir Saran starts thinking kebabs. “Kebabs are excellent for summer,” he says. They’re fun and festive and, done Saran style, fairly bursting with fresh mint and cilantro, just like the ones sold on the streets of Northern India from the guys stoking the portable tandoor ovens. With his lamb kebabs, Saran aims to pique the taste buds, not overwhelm them. The key is to play it cool and keep it light (the spicing is subtle, to highlight the flavor of fresh summer herbs). That goes double for the accompanying yogurt-enhanced green chutney, not to mention the crunchy grilled-vegetable salad, which is given extra zing by the addition of sweet apples and pears. What’s typically Indian for dessert? For casual entertaining, nothing beats a good old English pudding, according to Saran, except for his Indian mother’s Australian pavlova.
On the Grill
Lamb Shammi Kebabs with Green Chutney
On the Side
Grilled Vegetable-and-Fruit Salad
Pavlova with Fresh Berries
To cool off from the spicy kebabs and salad, Saran suggests combining half a Krait Indian beer with half a good Jamaican ginger beer, such as Reed’s, for a tangy postcolonial English ginger-beer shandy.
Where to Shop
Foods of India
(121 Lexington Ave., nr. 28th St.; 212-683-4419). A vast selection of spices, rice, beans, breads, and fresh vegetables.