How about putting a twist on traditional game dishes…

    …by spicing things up a little? Try this delicious recipe, inspired by the flavours of India

    Achari-Spiced Venison

    (Serves 2)
    Venison is a wonderfully rich, gamey meat that is also quite lean and therefore healthy. It has not, however, received the recognition it deserves over the years in the home kitchen. The richness of the meat lends itself well to being served as part of a special or formal occasion rather than an average weekday meal. And because of the strength of the meat flavour, the dish needs another boost to complement the rich gaminess. ‘Achar’ is the Hindi word for pickle, and it can be used to describe many different types. This recipe features a marinade which still has the main essence of Indian pickle. The marinade tenderises and flavours the meat, and the pungent dry spice rub adds aromatic flavour to the steaks.

    2 venison steaks
    MARINADE
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon natural/plain yogurt
    ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
    1 teaspoon gram/chickpea flour
    ½ teaspoon garam masala
    ½ teaspoon red chilli/chili powder
    ½ teaspoon fenugreek powder
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon dried chilli/hot red
    pepper flakes

    DRY RUB
    1 teaspoon onion seeds
    ½ teaspoon ajwain seeds
    ½ teaspoon rock salt
    ½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
    ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
    TO SERVE
    Mashed potatoes (add a pinch of saffron strands for extra flavour)
    Steamed vegetables of your choosing

    Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade together in a large mixing bowl, mix well and add the venison steaks. Coat the steaks in the marinade and allow them to marinate for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator. If you do not have the time, you can allow the meat to marinate for
    30 minutes at room temperature instead.
    Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.
    Mix together all of the ingredients for the dry rub and sprinkle as little or as much as you like over the steaks (bearing in mind that this rub is quite pungent and aromatic). A little sprinkle should be ample.
    Set an ovenproof frying pan/skillet over high heat. Seal the steaks in the hot pan on both sides, then transfer to a baking dish. Put the dish in the preheated oven and cook the steaks for 5 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
    Allow the steaks to rest for 3 minutes at room temperature, then serve. I like to serve the steaks with some ghee and saffron mashed potatoes and accompanying vegetables.

    Cookbook offer
    Recipe extract from My Modern Indian Kitchen by Nitisha Patel, Ryland Peters & Small (£16.99) Photography by Clare Winfield ©Ryland Peters & Small. Times readers can order the book for the special price of £11.99, including postage & packaging, by telephoning Macmillan Direct on 01256 302 699 and quoting the reference KB4