Pâté derives from the French word "patette" which means paste. It was originally used to describe any paste filling used in pastries. Pâté was originally seen in 16th-century France and was developed as a way for the chef to preserve meat, particularly hunted game meat as it was so prized. It gained popularity amongst the rich nobles, especially the royal courts. Today it is still considered one of the classic elements of French cuisine and is served on special occasions. The most indulgent and famous of the pâtés is of course foie gras which is made from fattened goose livers.
Pâtés come in a few styles. If it is baked in a crust it is called pâté en croûte, and it if it is cooked in a terrine it picks up the name of the baking dish as a terrine.
This is a very traditional pâté in how it is made. However, it pops with Indian flavours, spicy and elegant. The traditional light spices are swapped out for chillies, garlic and ginger giving the pâté a wonderful bouquet and taste. I like to serve it on bread and/or crackers and complement it by some sweet-acid in the form of sweet pickles or cornichons.
A beautiful cookbook of contemporary Indian flavors. The chef has taken a variety of fabulous recipes and presented them in a modern setting, like this raita. I recommend this book to those who want something different on their table.
For more wonderful recipes from this cookbook, click here.
For the tandoori masala:
11/2 cups yoghurt
1 heaped teaspoon ginger paste
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon mustard oil
1 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
Juice of 1 - 1 1/2 limes
Salt, to taste
1/2 lb chicken livers, cleaned and cut
Mix all the ingredients for the tandoori masala well in a bowl. Add the chicken livers and marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Heat a saucepan or wok. Add the marinated chicken livers and cook for 15 minutes till the yoghurt has broken down and firmed a sauce. test a liver piece to make sure that it has cooked completely. Do not overcook the livers or they will turn rubbery. Cool completely.
Add the livers and liquids to a small blender and purée till very smooth and fluffy.
Remove to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours for the pâté to firm up,.
Serve at room temperature.