About Us!

I’m an Indian cook, food writer, and the author of two books Masala: Indian Cooking for Modern Living (Bloomsbury, 31 May 2018) and Miss Masala: Real Indian Cooking for Busy Living (Harper Collins, 2010). I write a regular column for the London Evening Standard, as well as ad hoc cookbook reviews, restaurant and travel pieces. Born and brought up in Kolkata, in a high-profile political family, I was despatched to England for my undergraduate degree by my family, with the recipe for one chicken curry and one dal. I didn’t even know how to boil an egg when I arrived at university. After my Master’s degree, I started trying to replicate the gorgeous and wholesome food I grew up on in my very own, and thoroughly modern, Indian kitchen in London. I started my working life as a journalist, moving on to a successful career in Public Relations before indulging my love for Indian cookery and food writing with a food blog. Since then I have featured on Madhur Jaffrey’s Curry Nation TV comeback programme, and on Jamie Oliver’s online cookery channel FoodTube. I am also one of the Government’s “Food Pioneers” for its Great British Food Campaign, alongside leading chefs, food entrepreneurs and cookery personalities. When I’m not planning global domination (!), I am mother to two feral but fabulous children and wife to a very talented photographer.

Our Recipes

Pataks Curry Paste Recipes

Dice the thighs into large bite sized chunks and marinade in the Rojan Josh spice paste, ginger and garlic for at least an hour, more if you have the time. If you are using bamboo skewers, now is the time to soak them in water. Next, chop the onion and deseeded pepper into large pieces, and slice the courgette into 1cm thick slices. Toss them up in a bowl with the juice of half a lemon and salt added to your taste. Now turn the grill onto 200 degrees centigrade (400 Fahrenheit) and get on with the assembly job. Thread the vegetables and chicken cubes onto the skewers, packing them together so the chicken enjoys the moist goodness of the vegetables as they cook. I did onion, pepper, two chunks of chicken and onwards. If you keep a systen to the threading, the shashliks will look all the prettier when they are done. Then layer the skewers on a lined baking sheet and grill for 25 minutes, turning carefully a couple of times.

Simple baked salmon curry

Arrange the salmon fillets in an ovenproof dish large enough to snuggly hold them. Then bring a large frying pan or saucepan to heat on high with the oil. Add the onions to the oil when it starts sizzling around a wooden spoon. Saute the onions for about 10 minutes until they caramelise to a golden brown. Now add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves, and saute for 10 seconds. This is controversial, as it would be more usual to add them in the hot oil, but I find that adding them earlier can get in the way of cooking the onions at a higher heat and the oven baking helps plenty to extract their flavour anyway. Next, toss the tomatoes and the chilli powder in and stir vigorously until they disinegrate. This will take another two minutes. Then, stir in your coconut milk and tamarind paste, add salt to taste and leave to simmer for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Finally, pour the curry on the salmon fillets, cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes for your simple baked salmon curry.

Roasted Nalli Gosht

Nalli Gosht is lamb shanks in a spicy and rich yoghurt based curry. Hailing from Lucknow, the lamb is stewed until it is meltingly soft and literally falls off the bone. The combination of Kashmiri chillies, earthy garam masala and yoghurt sets off the lamb beautifully. If you can be asked, freshly milled garam masala if just the ticket in this recipe but a dash of the store bought stuff will suffice. In a little twist, I like to marinate the lamb and then shove it en masse into the oven to make this meltingly soft roasted Nalli Gosht. That way it can roast in its own juices while I get on with life. No death by stirring! Don’t forget to factor in the overnight marinating time into your planning. Serve this with warm rotis. Place the two shanks in a casserole pot. Peel the onion, ginger and garlic and blend them along with the yoghurt and green chillies adding enough water to get a smooth paste. Add the turmeric and salt to the paste according to your taste and then pour this over the lamb. Leave the lamb to marinate overnight. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade, and cook the lamb covered for two hours giving it a stir an hour and half into cooking time.

Tandoori chicken

Skin the chicken, make three parallel sideways slits – two on the thigh and on the leg – and place in a rectangular dish. Peel the ginger, garlic and finely grate into a small mixing bowl. Add the spice powders, the yoghurt, half the lime juice and stir into a smooth paste. Mix salt in to your taste now. Next, smother the chicken leg portions with this marinade making sure they are well coated. Then seal the dish with cling film and chill until you’re ready to eat. I would recommend a marinade time of at least four hours. Take the marinating chicken out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature before you’re ready to eat. Mix together the remaining lime juice and oil, using this to baste the chicken every ten minutes as it cooks on a charcoal BBQ. They will take 10 minutes first in the hottest part of the BBQ, then a good half an hour to get charred and cooked through on the cooler edges. But make sure you open one up and check that the chicken juices run clear (not pink) before feeding people! Finally, pour the curry on the salmon fillets, cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes for your simple baked salmon curry.

Sublime Patla Murgir Jhol

Everyone needs a go to 3 in 1 meal. Mine is chicken curry, or Patla Murgir Jhol, cooked the Bengali way: a lightweight, flavoursome dish steeped in gentle spices that saves time, heals the belly and nourishes the soul. Did I mention a large pot of this deals with two meals and more? And no one will compain about leftovers either! This recipe is from my little sister's mother-in-law, which is a very close relation in India, I will have you know! She was over in sumer and cooked this for all of us. Coat the chicken pieces with the yoghurt and set aside in a mixing bowl. Bring the oil to heat on high in a large pot, and while it’s warming up peel and chop roughly the onions. When the oil is hot, add bay leaves, cardamoms, cloves and cinnamon. As they splutter, add chopped onions. Saute the onions for five minutes, then add ginger and garlic paste. Saute this for another 5 minutes. Then add chicken pieces and stir through for 10 minutes. Next, add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, coriander leaves, salt and sugar. If using tomato, puree it or grate it finely and add it with the chilli powder now. Saute for a couple of minutes time. Now add a cup of hot water, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked. Finish by stirring through the nutmeg and garam masala. Taste for salt and add more if you need to. Sprinkle the chopped coriander and serve the Patla Murgir Jhol with steaming hot Basmati rice and sliced lime.

Sizzling Masala Lamb Chops

Nothing like a bit of ambition. So when our Barrister neighbour announced he was going to attempt his first barbeque, featuring Indian kebabs he had never previously attempted, for an important weekend luncheon party, I couldn't resist offering my services. Not before I'd told him he was bloody nuts, of course. Feeding people is fraught with problems at the best of times. Feeding important people, with untested recipes, using an all new contraption is a whole different ball game. And then there are toddlers to consider.Mince the onion, ginger and garlic together in a food processor and tip into a shallow serving dish. Mix the paprika, salt and Worcestershire sauce into it and taste to make sure the marinade is strong and pungent. Now lay the lamb leg steaks in the serving dish, coating them liberally with the marinade.Leave this to sit for as long as you can, minimum an hour and maximum overnight. When you are ready, cook the lamb steaks for about eight minutes on either side. You want this to be well cooked through as the raw masalas won’t be as good as when cooked. Baste with the oil if using a barbeque, or dot the oil on top of each lamb steak before placing under a medium hot grill. Flip over once during cooking. Serve this with a simple pulao and raita, or a root vegetable mash for a quick weekday dinner.

Our Team

Mary Jane

Head Chef

Peter Parke

Head Chef

Jennifer Watson

Head Chef

Steven Wilson

Head Chef

  • So I made it and was really delicious (but i still cannot compare it with the tandoori I ate onece in India). But the recipe i pretty easy and the only annoying thing was cleaning the oven grill 🙂 I am just still not sure how to find the best consistency od the marinade (when it is too thin, is falls down from the chichken). There are big difference in yoghurt in my country and the “greek joghurt! is sometines not very thick without fat..

    John Smith - Founder
  • The heat was moderate but building over time, moderated by the sweetness of the onions and the fruitiness of the apple cider vinegar I used. It was divine! though you really need to stir this at least every 10 minutes and watch carefully for burning. at least on my Electric range I did. Thanks Mallika for the recipe and this website and Thanks Jamie for introducing me to her.

    Divide Rule - CEO

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