Anjali Pathak is the granddaughter of LG Pathak who founded the Patak business over 50 years ago. Arriving in London in 1957 with just £5 in his pocket, Mr. Pathak began selling authentic Indian snacks and sweets to support his family. The following year, he was able to open a small shop in Euston’s Drummond Street.
Anjali’s father joined the business when he was 17 and then he married Meena who also later joined the business where she was responsible for creating new recipes.
Anjali was involved in the Patak’s business from a young age taking inspiration from her mother – she now is a renowned chef and food writer and has put up some of her own favourite recipes on MyDish. I met Anjali in Othlenghi’s , she is passionate about everything food but especially Indian cuisine and I asked her to write something for our members and this is what she wrote.
I love the Summer! The weather is beautiful (well mostly) and there is excellent seasonal produce widely available at markets that mean we can have a play and be very experimental. I can’t help but get excited thinking about what I can make with fresh ingredients but more importantly about how I can spice them up.
With so much choice it’s hard not to create something wonderful. I have been invited to so many BBQ’s recently and I always like to take something with me as a token of appreciation. And because it’s me it is something foodie and usually something to throw on the charcoals. The weather can be unpredictable and so I usually make something that we can easily cook indoors just in case the heavens open. These are a few of my favourite recipes that are great to cook for the kids, especially whilst they are off school. I always add a little spice to everything I create as I grew up surrounded by spices (literally!) and the great thing about using a spice paste is that you don’t need to worry about having a stocked spice tin and figuring out what blends well together. The perfect shortcut store cupboard is essential.
Seared Wrapped vegetables – Wraps are always a winner in summertime. Paneer is India’s favourite cheese and can be found in the chiller cabinet in most supermarkets, especially asian supermarkets.
Anjali’s Tip: Aubergines begin to discolour when cut so plunge them into cold water with a twist of lime until ready to use.
Stuffed Jalfrezi Peppers
Stuffed peppers are a great mid week supper to feed the family, and this tastes wonderfully different as it packs all the flavour of those fantastic jalfrezi spices.
This dish tastes great with salmon but you can use your favourite seafood.
I was invited to The Cooking Academy to be taught Indian Cuisine by Kumud Gandhi so that I could try and help her change the perception of Indian Cooking.
Before I share with you her tips and what I learnt let me plug her cooking course as an excellent gift if you are stuck for what to give your father on father’s day ( also makes a great birthday or Christmas gift!!!)
After taking as through the different spices, we focused on dry Indian dishes and made a marinade . In a plastic bowl we made Black pepper and garlic marinade to maninate fish – any chunky white fish works well or a fillet of salmon which we used. We made the marinade and then put 2 pieces of salmon into the bowl and shmeared the salmon with the marinade and let it sit for 20 minutes while we prepared the rest of the dish.
We made a second marinade, Chili & Fennel for chicken kebabs which works really well either for a barbecue or as a starter.
Both marinades start with a tablespoon or oil and a tablespoon of lemon juice and then the different balance of spices create the 2 different dishes and they did taste so fresh and so different.
I created a dish that was so flavoursome and so different from anything I had had in an Indian restaurant. We made cucumber and yoghurt dressing and set it aside and then finely sliced an apple and put in a bowl with lemon and black pepper.
We put the salmon skin down in the oven for 10 minutes ( no need to turn over and it comes out cooked but lovely and moist.
To make fabulous Bombay potatoes we boiled new potatoes for 10 minutes and cut them in half. Then I learnt the meaning of Tadka which means popping seeds. In a wok we heated some vegetable oil and put in a tablespoon of mustard seeds and put the lid on leaving it to “pop”. Then adding the rest of the spice before tossing in the potatoes for a few minutes.
To create the dish, and presentation is really important, First on the plate I put togther a large helping of rocket leaves. I spooned over the yoghurt dressing, placed a few pieces of the apple on top. I then lay the fillet of Salmon over the leaves and apple and spooned some Bombay potatoes onto the side.
It was so light, so delicious and my husband has asked me to make this for him once a week!
It was a real delight to phone up our user scarlet_magpie and tell him he had won the Patak’s competition this month.
This member is a bloke from West Yorkshire who saw Dragons Den loved the whole concept of MyDish and joined up. He said that he loves making his own Indian food and when he saw the competition he entered for fun – like all of us not really thinking he was in with a chance and then just forgot about it.
A couple of months later I called him up to tell he had had been chosen by the team at Patak’s – probably one of the nicest tasks I have had to do since setting up MyDish.
Scott of West Yorkshire (aka scarlet_magpie) said
“I was absolutely astounded (and still am) and over the moon – it’s turned me into a bit of a show-off!” He was so chuffed that he made up his own recipe using Patak’s paste with pieces of chicken and the reduced veggie of the day from his local supermarket (being sugarsnap peas) and he said it all turned out fabulously. Watch this space – we have asked Scott to do it again and take a photo!