New Zealand cook off with ABP cook studio

The spread (2)
The spread (2)

The food scenario in India has never been more active, with more and more people getting involved in many innovative ways. Social media too plays a major part in the popularizing of this wave. Cuisines from far off lands are making their presence felt on the tables of an Indian diner. New and innovative ways are being invented to popularize these cuisines using social media, bloggers networks and the overall global passion for food.

One such event, organized recently by Rushina Ghildiyal Munshaw of ABP Cook Studio in partnership with the Food Bloggers Association of India and Beacon Holidays, was the New Zealand cook off! The event started off as a quiz on the FBAI facebook page asking the members to send a small comment on what they would like to do in New Zealand. A group of 6 lucky winners made their way to ABP Cook studio on the 19th of April for a cook off using ingredients from New Zealand.


The contestants were to create dishes using NZ Lamb and Kiwis. The expected NZ Lamb chops, however, were quite conspicuous in their absence; nevertheless the contestants made the most of the available ingredients by preparing their versions of Shepherd’s pie, Lamb Patties, Kiwi Pavlovas and a Kiwi based cooler. ABP cook Studio had provided all the ingredients to cook with and the neat and tidy kitchen of the studio was a bustle of activity when I reached the place. It was a fun experience to hang out with my fellow bloggers over heady aromas from the kitchen and delicious wines from New Zealand. Rushina’s team was gracious enough to throw in some snacks for us while we waited for the contestants to finish. Corn and cheese tarts, a Peanut and sesame mixture and a very interesting Rice puff and Peanut mixture tempered with Kaffir lime leaves were offered while we waited.


Traditionally New Zealand cuisine is a mix of several Asian and British influences that include versions of meat pies, burgers, Fish and Chips, grills etc, but at the cook off, the contestants restricted themselves to the tried and tested Shepherd’s Pies, Patties and Kiwi sauces. I must say that the contestants did quite well recreating their versions. The winner of the afternoon was Aarti Basrur who was one of the last contestants to finish her dish – a very flavorful pomegranate lamb patty with a kiwi based salsa which won her the first price of a free trip to New Zealand with a 3N and 4 days stay in Queensland.

For our readers, we are glad to publish the winning recipe from Ms. Aarti Basrur:-

Pomegranate Lamb Kebabs


The winning marinade
The winning marinade

•           1/4 cup pomegranate juice

•           1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

•           1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

•           1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves

•           1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

•           1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

•           1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

•           1/8 teaspoon dry mustard pd

•           1/2 kg lamb minced shoulder or leg

•           Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

•           2 tsp chilli flakes / paprika

•           2 – 3 finely chopped green chilles

•           2 – 3 grated cheese (cheddar or mozellerla)

•           2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

•           1 tablespoon lemon juice

•           1 red and yellow bell pepper

•           3 tbsp cornflour

•           Breadcrumbs for coating

The winning Patties
The winning Patties


Whisk  pomegranate juice, olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar, rosemary, thyme, chillie flakes/ paprika, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, allspice, salt, pepper and dry mustard in a bowl. Add this to the lamb mince and let marinate for ½ hours – 45 mins.

Stuffing: Mix together grated cheese, finely chopped green chilles, finely bell pepper (red and yellow) and salt to taste

Remove lamb from the marinade with a slotted spoon and place on a large platter. Make into small flat puri and stuff the filling. Now form this into small kebabs. Coat these kebabs in the cornflour, dip them in water and then coat them into breadcrumbs.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough olive oil to the hot pan to barely coat the bottom. Sear the lamb kebabs, turning only once until browned on each side. Serve hot with Kiwi chutney, lemon and


Contestants hard at work
Contestants hard at work

Kiwi Chutney


•           kiwifruit, peeled and sliced

•           1 sweet onions, chopped fine

•           Grated zest of 1 lemon

•           Juice of 3 lemons

•           1 cup brown sugar

•           1 teaspoon ground ginger

•           1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

•           1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

•           1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

•           2 tbsp white vinegar

•           2 – 3 tsp raisins or dates

•           Salt to taste

•           Few coriander leaves

The winner
The winner


Place kiwifruit, lemon zest, brown sugar, ginger, raisins/dates, cayenne pepper, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and white vinegar into a heavy saucepan.

Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer uncovered until thickened. Let this mixture cool or comes to a room temperature. Now grind this into smooth paste with coriander, lemon juice.  Remove this in a bowl and add finely chopped onion for the crunch. Serve with the lamb kebabs.

1 Comment
  1. Nice way of writing about New Zealand’s food. I was not aware of such things but got the information from here. Thanks for this beautiful information.