This month we bring you a simple and vibrant take on the nation’s favourite dish (not fish and chips, although that’s in there too), courtesy of Nisha Katona’s Mowgli Street Food Cookbook
The UK’s relationship with Indian food is an odd one. Aside from Tikka Masala being invented in Glasgow and George Osborne’s Rowan Atkinson-esque brag about “curry chefs trained here in Britain”, you can’t help but feel that British ideas of Indian food are lacking authenticity. One person that’s always happy to bust any lingering Indian food mythology is Mowgli Street Food founder, Nisha Katona.
Since launching Mowgli on Liverpool’s Bold Street in 2014, Katona has gone on to set up restaurants nationwide, write cookbooks (prior to this one) and even find time to become a fully-fledged TV foodie. Not bad for someone who made the risky decision of swapping a career as a barrister for a leap into the restaurant ‘biz. Despite the ‘street food’ tag, which never fails to muster up images of tattooed hipsters flipping burgers in Shoreditch car parks, Mowgli is more a venture in replicating home-cooked Indian food in a restaurant setting.
That means a little more variety than simply [insert large chunks of said meat here] in gloopy sauce, but also flavours, freshness, simplicity and an emphasis on vegetables. The results, as regular visitors of Mowgli will happily tell you, are divine. Regular visitors will also be happy to hear that those recipes can all now be found in one helpful book. Gunpowder Chicken, Chat Bombs, Temple Dahl and even the restaurants array of cocktail and Lassi options are available to try at home. There’s even a Mowgli take on fish and chips.
For our recipe of the month however, we’ve opted for Mowgli favourite, Mother Butter Chicken. With a slightly longer cooking time than other recipes in the book, the assorted spices in the sauce make for an uncompromising flavour bomb that’s worth putting the time in for. EJ
Mowgli Street Food: Stories and recipes from the Mowgli Street Food restaurants (Nourish) is out now
Words by Davey Brett
Image Credits by Yuki Sugiura