A  mixture of fresh and dried mushrooms in a New Deli kitchen.

A mixture of fresh and dried mushrooms in a New Delhi kitchen.

Sean and I descended on the market armed with a mental menu and an abundance of rupee. We walked past the hardware vendors and the mobile phone stalls and entered the vegetable and meat areas, looking for mushrooms and onions, and we found some, and corn, and we had duck breast and some beef tenderloin. We were assembling ingredients for a dinner that evening and we had everything we needed.

Sean and Surya – our hosts – a friend of theirs whose name escapes me (David?), and Angela and I would be at the table. Sean and I transported our goods back to their apartment and started prepping in the kitchen, assisted by Angela and Surya. I took care of the mushroom bisque, using both fresh and dried mushrooms. I base my method on a Thomas Keller method (which you can read about here), and it is among my favorite things to make. On top of the bisque I placed a few pomegranate seeds, which Sean patiently procured.

Sean has his way with a pomegranate.

Sean has his way with a pomegranate.

A small glass of richness.

A small glass of richness.

A table graced with good lighting.

A table graced with good lighting.

 

A man and his knife.Sean had some foie in a tin that a friend had left him, and he took care of that. (I had envisioned an amuse of seared foie gras with strawberries and a balsamic and Madeira reduction, and that is what we made.)

An appropriately rich beginning.

An appropriately rich beginning.

Sean and Surya’s kitchen is large, and has much light, which streams in from tall windows on the space’s rear wall. I liked cooking in that kitchen. We seared duck breast, and made a spicy corn and tomato “salsa” for the tenderloin. Sean grilled the beef to perfection.

Corn, tomato, and chili.

Corn, tomato, and chili.

Beef and arugula are always good company.

Beef and arugula are always good company.

Dessert was molten chocolate, ice cream, and strawberries. Surya enjoyed hers with relish.

Chocolate, strawberry, and ice cream closed the meal.

Chocolate, strawberry, and ice cream closed the meal.

A hostess can eat her dessert in any manner that suits her.

A hostess can eat her dessert in any manner that suits her.

Those days spent in Delhi in April of 2013 were good ones. The four of us shared other tables, most notably one at Indian Accent (about which more later). But no meal was more enjoyable than the one on that evening, when all was perfect and lively and warm.

Surya and Angela on the way to another table in New Delhi.

Surya and Angela on the way to another table in New Delhi.