At Copper Chimney, most recipes have emerged from a small backyard in Lahore, from a mother’s humble chula, carried across the border on a train to India by a refugee. On crossing over to India with only bare essentials and a passion for cooking, this young refugee was able to scatter the years of his childhood only in the world of cooking. With the intention of keeping the flavours of his childhood alive, the young refugee or restaurateur J. K Kapur started the iconic Copper Chimney which is 50 years old this month.
The restaurant has aged over the years, but what has ceased to age is the secret recipes, formulations and cooking techniques of the late filmmaker and restauranteur J.K Kapur. At best, every dish is a bridge back to a childhood lost in the crevices of time.
On the occasion of the restaurant’s 50th anniversary, a Limited Edition Autograph Menu has been curated. The menu features Kapur’s secret recipes, new, scrumptious additions to the old menu and 27 of Copper Chimney’s best selling classics. In celebratory spirit, a special 50% discount is being offered for the first 50 guests for dinners every day, during the entire month of November.
Inside the menu
The sepia toned Kashmiri soda comes bubbling in a mason jar which tastes as good as it looks — tangy with the right proportions of sweet and a dash of salt. The drink draws inspiration from the colourful bubbling sodas sold by handcart vendors in the lanes of Lahore.
The soda was followed by an overwhelming curation of dishes. Starting from the Kadak Roomali, Iranian Chelo Kebab, Burrah Chops from the Khyber Pakhtunwa region, Afghani Kabuli Naan, Subz Akhrot ki Seekh from Kashmir, Himalayan Gucchi Pulao , Raan Peshwari from the region of Peshawar, Royal Chicken Kofta from the Maharaja’s kitchens in the Punjab Province, Pashtuni Chicken Yakhni Pulao, the restaurant’s signature Cheese Kebab and undivided Punjab’s Baked Dhoda.
Every dish serves a side of history and nostalgia. . Tender and succulent meats, fluffy and melt in the mouth paneer, spices and their distinct whiffs and tastes which do not threaten to dim each other’s essence but bleed and blend into one another in a delicate synthesis.
Karan Kapur, grandson of JK Kapur and Executive Director of K Hospitality Corp, remembers his grandfather very affectionately. “I remember fondly how meticulous he was about quality; he had a backbone of select suppliers and vendors to source ingredients. He took great interest in the communities around him and believed that food brought people together.”
When asked about how the secrecy of each recipe is maintained, Kapur comments that “Spices used, adhere to a secret formulation and proportion which is not revealed.“
Further, what stands out about the restaurant is the courteous hospitality which seamlessly complements the food. What’s more, for every order (including online orders) the restaurant has compiled a set of signature Copper Chimney recipes which can be replicated at home, taking the age old recipes beyond the confines of restaurants.