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Stir it up magazine October 2014

Hot Stuff! THE MELTING POT >> The British have long enjoyed a love affair with curry. The first dedicated Indian restaurant opened its doors in London in 1809 and there are now over 10,000 throughout the UK. According to statistics from the Curry Club, the average curry enthusiast spends around £50 a month on takeaways and eating an Indian meal in restaurants – which equates to a staggering £30,000 in their lifetime! In fact, Britain’s curry restaurants serve approximately 2.5 million customers every week and, in London alone, there are more Indian restaurants than in Mumbai and Delhi combined! But you don’t have to be a dedicated Indian eaterie to serve up the nation’s favourite dish. Pubs, hospitals, care homes and schools are all spicing up their menus with ethnic offerings and so, with National Curry Week (October 13-19) taking place later this month, we’ve got lots of tips and advice from curry experts to ensure your menu is hot stuff… How to curry favour with your diners John Rudden, owner and master-chef of the Grassington House Hotel in Yorkshire (www.grassingtonhousehotel.co.uk) Tandoori chicken is a great favourite and a good way to ensure the best use is made of the bird with minimal waste. You can use the crown of the chicken for traditional Sunday roasting and turn the legs into a tasty curry dish which can be offered either as a spicy starter or main course alternative. John’s Chicken Marinade The secret is to marinade the legs, scoring them first to help them to absorb the flavours. Ingredients 1 tbsp tandoori paste 1 tbsp yoghurt 2 tbsps mint sauce ½ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp garam masala ½ tsp turmeric Salt and pepper Fresh or flaked chilli and half a crushed garlic clove are optional to give it an extra kick Method 1. Smear the mixture on the chicken and refrigerate for 24 hours. 2. Roast the legs on a wire rack so they cook evenly and the juices drip out. 3. If you have any cooked new potatoes spare, place them underneath to absorb it and make a delicious accompaniment. 4. Serve with cucumber raita as a starter or boiled rice for a main course with freshly chopped coriander and salad. Roy Shortland, development chef for Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s sauces and rice from Mars Foodservice, www. mars-foodservice.co.uk We know people like ethnic food, that’s now a given, but that’s not to say they will plump for a bland curry served with stodgy rice and no imagination, if that’s all that’s on offer. It’s not all about the chilli, but paying attention to the flavours you use can make all the difference between a curry diners can get anywhere and one that’s hot stuff and that they would come back for. After all, while consumers are enjoying curries, the British palate is not always ready for the intensity of some ingredients. Some red chillies, for example, are ferociously hot and, whatever the ‘vindaloo’ stereotype, may not be popular. A good curry doesn’t have to be overpowering, but packed with flavour. Think about the add-ons too, chutneys, pickles, different rices etc, and for that matter, how about a grazing board of accompaniments or even a grazing board of different curries in a tapas style, as opposed to serving up just the usual korma or tikka? You could present four or five small dishes of curry with different levels of hotness, something a bit different and presented in a more stylish way for today’s more discerning consumer. More than just a curry and a pint, although there is definitely still a place for that. You could even have a sharing option for two or four. Indian restaurants have set menus and there’s no reason why pub chains or independents can’t do their own take on it. “It’s not all about the chilli, but paying attention to the flavours you use...” 30 OCTOBER 2014 Roy Shortland’s lamb rogan josh Roy Shortland’s meatball madras


Stir it up magazine October 2014
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