Posts Categorized: curry

Curry: At lunch with Atul Kochhar

Spice crusted scallops, grape and ginger dressing You can’t beat a good curry. The question is in Australia, where can you find a good curry? Some 15 years ago there were hardly any curry houses and even though now they are spotted around everywhere, few offer a really great dining experience. Usually what we are served is anonymous cuts of meat in generic curry sauces heated up to order. It’s miles away from the wonderful dining experiences of other ethic cuisines – from Thai to Turkish – where the ingredients are fresh and the microwave isn’t the cooking tool of choice. Spiced goats cheese toastie, honey mustard yoghurt and pickled walnuts But right now curry lovers are in for a treat. Atul Kochhar, who is one of the first Indian chefs to have be awarded a Michelin star for his Indian food in London, is in Melbourne and cooking up curry as part of the Melbourne food and Wine festival. Even better you can get the one Michelin star experience for $50 for two courses, or $60 for three, a Breezes on the 3rd floor of Crown Casino until Monday 14 March. He grinds all his own spices and cares about the provenance of his ingredients. You’ll find all the spice flavours are fresh and distinct – subtle even – in curries as you’ve never tasted or seen them before. There’s no muddying of flavours here. It is also worthy trying the vegetarian selection for an awesome dahl. I was lucky enough to eat there ( on Crown I should declare). Here’s a sample of what we were served. Roasted roe deer fillet, venison biriyani, sesame peanut sauce Tandoori chicken supreme, lentil sprout salad, saffron korma Tandoor grilled pineapple with pistaccio milk

The best chicken tikka known to humanity

As most of us know, curry is an English invention, Indian food being spicy but very different and regional in its styles. Chicken Tikka Massala, the national dish of England now, is apparently a Scottish invention. If you are lucky the chicken tikka element is made in a tandoor oven and the sauce is defrosted as the dish tastes okay. At Nisha on the main drag at Phgonsavanh, the sauce also seems to be prepared freshly. Cream doesn’t drown out what spicy flavours are in the sauce. In fact this chicken tikka is very spicy which is why I like it; it has body and flavour. This isn’t your run off the mill cop out for people who don’t really like spicy food (as Baileys is the cop out for people who don’t realy like alcohol). The only problem is that on this cold windswept night the restaurant is open to the elements. Beer is too cold for somebody who is wearing every item of clothing brought on holiday. Instead I drink the Massala Tea, which warms me for at least the walk back to our icy hotel room. There are also branches of Nisha at VangVieng and Luang Prabang. It’s very much a back packer restaurant. But it serves great curry and is worth a try.