“I thought of an Englishman in India,” Bruce Le Favour says in tracing the origin of his recipe for Bombay Madness. “He’s almost delirious from the heat and dreaming of England’s coolness. The recipe’s a blending of those Eastern and Western influences, of hot and cold.” And so you have the juxtaposition of steamed hot steak with hot curry butter melting over it, surrounded by such accompaniments as cucumbers marinated in yogurt and creme fraiche, and pickled sweet onions. It’s a deliriously wonderful combination.
- Steak Filets - four, 1-inch-thick
- White peppercorns - cracked
- Lemongrass - 1 stalk, chopped
- Fresh Ginger - 1-inch piece, thinly sliced
- Black peppercorns - 20, crushed
- Curry Butter
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 pound, at room temperature
- Fresh Ginger - 2 thin slices, chopped
- Shallot - 1 large, chopped
- Garlic Clove - 1 small, chopped
- Green Hot Chili - 1 small, seeded and chopped
- Garam Masala (spice mixture) - 1 tablespoon, 1 tablespoon Garam Masala (spice mixture) or 2 tablespoons curry powder
- Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon
- Pinch of ground turmeric
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Sweet Onions - 8 small
- Vinegar - 1 cup
- Cucumbers - 2 small
- Plain Yogurt - 1/4 cup
- Creme Fraiche - 1/4 cup
- Pinch of chili powder
- fresh mint chutney
- Papaya - 1, peeled, seeded, and sliced
- Banana - 1, sliced into thin circles
- Baby Carrots - 12, blanched
- Baby Zucchini - 4, blossoms still attached if possible, blanched
To prepare the beef: Remove the steaks from the refrigerator at least 2 hours before cooking; steaks should be at room temperature. Press a generous amount of white pepper into the surfaces of the steaks. Wrap with plastic wrap. Prepare a steamer by placing lemongrass, ginger, and black peppercorns in a roasting pan. Fill half way with warm water. Unwrap the steaks and season lightly with salt. Place on a rack which will hold them above the water in the pan. Bring the water in the baking pan to a boil and place the rack in the pan. Cover the pan with aluminum foil; punch several holes to let the steam escape. Boil 3 minutes only. Remove from heat and open the foil.
To prepare the butter: Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.
To prepare the accompaniments: Peel the onions and trim the tops and bottoms. Slice thinly and place in a non-aluminum bowl. Salt heavily and toss; let stand for 1 hour. Drain thoroughly. Bring the vinegar to a boil and pour over the onions. Set aside until cooled.
Slice the cucumbers thinly. Toss with salt in a non-aluminum bowl and let stand 1 hour. Drain thoroughly, pressing gently to expel water. Mix the yogurt and creme fraiche with the chili powder and pour over the cucumbers; toss to coat. Set aside.
To serve: Arrange accompaniments in a circle on each serving plate. Place a filet in the center of each. Top with curry butter. Serve immediately.