London’s Cinnamon Club is known for pushing the boundaries when it comes to Indian cuisine in the UK.
From taking the humble curry up-market to experimenting with offal, Executive Chef and CEO Vivek Singh and his head conjurer Rakesh Nair are known not only for their pioneering efforts but also pressing buttons that may cause discomfort at first.
The latest trick the duo have – literally – pulled out of their collective hat is the Squirrel Curry.
The venerable eatery has begun offering ‘Rajasthani Spiced Grey Squirrel’ as part of their lunch menu.
The legs and shoulders of the animal are marinated with coriander, cloves, chilli, garlic and pineapple juice before being cooked in the Club’s famous Tandoor oven whilst the animal’s belly is braised and made into a stir-fry.
The dish is then served with coriander chutney and garlic naan.
Chef Rakesh said: “We like to come up with creative and innovative dishes to surprise and excite our guests. We love cooking with game, and squirrel has got a great flavour, similar to wild rabbit, so we thought why not experiment with it in the kitchen!”
Squirrel meat was once a staple in the diet of working-class families in Britain before going out of favour – not least due the cute and cuddly nature of the animal.
However, the grey variety of the animal has become something of a nuisance breeding and spreading rapidly and endangering its red-coated cousins.
As a result, grey squirrel meat has become popular in recent years, predominantly as a stuffing for pies.