Fish Indian Style by Atul Kochhar – review

Chef and restaurateur Atul Kochhar is one of the better known Asian faces on food TV in the UK. His restaurant, Benares, holds a Michelin star and he has recently opened another two restaurants. I think we can safely conclude that Atul understands food.

Fish Indian Style Fish Indian Style is a sumptuous book with wonderful photographs by David Loftus who shows off Atul’s dishes to best advantage but also adds striking close-ups of the stars of this book, the fish.

Although a fish eater, I must admit that it is, more often than not, bland. Chefs will try and persuade you that the lack of taste should be considered as “delicate”. But many of us prefer more robust flavours that if well chosen can enhance fish, and Atul has chosen well.

Fish Indian Style offers over one hundred superb and unique recipes for all kinds of fish and seafood. Most of the dishes have several alternatives to suit the seasons. Trout might be substituted for salmon, sea bass or sea bream. Atul has recipes for every occasion and for every taste.

Atul’s ingredients marry well

Fish isn’t cheap so it’s good to be able to be flexible. There are all kinds of fish, from the pricey for when you feel like pushing the (fishing) boat out, to cheaper choices like mackerel which is so often overlooked. Lobster might be beyond you at the end of the month but you could substitute prawns.

Indian food is a great love of mine and these recipes don’t disappoint. The food of the subcontinent isn’t always fiery hot but is often aromatic and subtle. Atul’s ingredients marry well to produce delicious dishes that are both exotic and simple. The spices are not expensive and you’ll probably already have them to hand.

There are quite a few recipes here that I would consider outstanding. Chilli-fried potted shrimps, which is a rework of a British classic, and Crayfish Samosas, which is a new take on an Indian classic. They are both simple recipes but produce lovely results for starters or even an Anglo-Indian brunch or supper buffet. Konkani Fish Curry in a Spicy Coconut Sauce is perhaps one of my (many) favourites. Its combinations of spices and coconut typify the flavours of Indian cuisine, and this is a traditional recipe.

Fish Indian Style will be well received by those of us who want to do more with fish. It’s an exceptional book with inspiring ideas that will encourage you to experiment…and probably to eat more fish!

Fish Indian Style
Author: Atul Kochhar
Published by: Absolute Press
Price: £20.00
ISBN 9781904573838


Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018


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