Spice Up Your World

Atul Kocchar’s new cook book challenges curry perceptions

Posted: 26.03.13

You think you’ve tasted it all when it comes to curry but then comes Atul Kochhar’s new book Atul’s Curries of the World and everything you ever knew about the national dish gets thrown out the window. There’s no chiken tikka masala or lamb rogan josh here.
When he say’s he’s exploring global cuisine he means it! 

Any one for Duck Curry from Bangladesh, Red Hare Curry from Thailand, Partridge curry from Cambodia, Zambian Gazelle Curry or Bison curry from the U.S? Veggies aren’t left out wither, there’s Swahili Aubergine Curry, Burmese Butter Bean and Figglehead curry. No we’ve never heard of Figglehead either. It’s apparently an ‘uncurled fern leaf found in the US and rainforests of the Far East.’ Luckily Atul provides alternatives, like the fact you can use French beans instead. 

A cook book for the Come Dine With Me Generation, every recipe is a talking point. With bold, bright mouth-watering pictures and clear, easy to follow instructions, it may be one of the more flamboyant cook books on your shelf but it’s one that you will come back to, to keep satisfying curious tastebuds.

Here’s a sampler from the book to give you a flavour of what to expect!
It’s a fish dish, an area Atul is a pro in:

Baked Fish Curry (Pallu)

Pallu is a tropical type of oily fish, heavily prevalent in Bengali cooking and in the Sindh region of Pakistan. Black or sea bream would be a good substitute.

6 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 onions, chopped
2 teaspoons red chilli powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 tablespoons Tamarind
Water (see page 228)
2 tablespoons chopped coriander roots
4 bream fillets
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onions with all the spices, the tamarind water and the coriander roots until the onions soften. Remove from the heat.

Cut four 25cm squares of kitchen foil or baking parchment. Divide the onion mixture into eight equal batches. Place one batch in the centre of each piece of foil. Place a fillet of fish on top, then cover with the remaining onion mixture. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander. Seal the foil into parcels, then place on a baking tray.

Bake for 10–12 minutes or until the fish is cooked: check with the tip of a knife.

Serve with a salad of your choice.

Images: Mike Cooper

Atul's Curries of the World published by Absolute Press is out now.

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