“Food Glorious Food…”
Pratap Chahal is one the very finest desi chefs working in London right now, not to mention one my oldest and most insane friends from Saint Stephen’s College. Everyone knew that Pratap was destined to do something extraordinary with his life; perhaps write lyrics for Infected Mushroom? But Pratap moved to London and into the hard core sleep-two-hours-a-night cut-throat world of cheffing instead. And he has taken cooking to a new level of other-worldly experience- having been lucky enough to share a flat with him in London, I can say with a degree of authority that if the devil offers you one of this pastries in exchange for your immortal soul…you should take the pastry.
But here is the man himself, the sultan of cheffing, the madman himself…with some recipes to start you up…
The summer is here and here’s an easy recipe to cool you down.
Tomato and Green Mango ‘gaspacho’ with frozen coriander oil
20 – ripe tomatoes
4 – large green mangoes
2 – red onions
2 – red peppers (capsicum)
Few springs – basil (or tulsi if you cant get green basil)
Few sprigs – coriander
1 inch piece- fresh ginger
3 cloves – garlic
200 ml – water
1 tablespoon – ketchup
2 tsp – salt
2 tsp – sugar
½ tsp – cumin seeds
¼ tsp – ajwain
½ tsp – fennel seeds
250 ml – olive oil (veg. will do, but olive is much better)
1 bunch fresh coriander
For the soup, chop up all the vegetables and mix with the water and ketchup and leave to marinate overnight. The next day, blend the mix in a food processor and pass through a coarse strainer. In a pan, heat a little oil and fry the spices and add them to the soup. Check the soup for the seasoning and add more salt if needed. Chill well.
For the oil, gently warm the olive oil and add the chopped coriander and leave to cool down. After 15 minutes, warm the mix back up again the blend for a few minutes until the coriander is completely pureed. You can either pass through a fine sieve or leave as it is. Pour into ice cubes and freeze the mixture overnight.
To serve, pour a little soup into chilled bowls and place one ice cube of oil in the middle of the plate. Sprinkle a few toasted almonds around the soup and serve with a light salad or toasted brown bread.
There’s a bit of work involved here, but if you do it the night before for the next day, you wont be disappointed…I’ll be back soon with a very sexy dessert for the hot afternoons or even evenings! In the meantime, why not try freezing some ambi-panna and then scraping the ice with a fork to make a tasty granite? Heap it on top of some chilled lychees for a quick but very cooling fix!