Grab yourself a free karahi with this week’s shop

It’s National Curry Week and to celebrate we’ve got a cracking offer for curry lovers. Thanks to Patak’s, you can add a free karahi to your trolley this week when you buy the ingredients for a slap up dish of your choosing.

We’ve also interviewed Manish Sharma, the Executive Development Chef from Patak’s, to find out more about the thinking behind the Patak’s range.

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Manish, what does your role involve at Patak’s?

I work as the development chef in the Innovation department for the brand Patak’s. I develop all the recipes i.e. pastes, sauces, pickles, chutney etc. or any other product sold under Patak’s brand for global market. I also work with third party manufacturers and develop products to be sold under this brand name. I work closely with chefs from different companies and teach them the basics of Indian cuisine.

I started cooking at a very small age just by looking at my mother, how she would cook different dishes. I would help her and ask her questions about the spices and cooking methods. From there my passion for cooking food took me to my catering collage and then to Taj Group of Hotels in India. I trained under the best of the Indian master chefs who taught me the advance skills of Indian cuisine. After working in India for 7 years I came to the UK. After working in different hotels and opening restaurants I started working as development chef in Kerry foods, S&A foods and now in ABWF.

Do you think the British taste for curry has evolved over the years? After all, the Patak family has been producing and selling Indian food in Britain for generations – you guys should know!

I think British taste has evolved a lot in past few years – that’s the reason Madras and Jalfrezi has taken over from Chicken Tikka Masala as the nation’s favourite curry. I think the British consumer is getting educated with a wide variety that Indian cuisine has to offer and the consumers are not scared any more of strong spice flavours. They want to try new and regional Indian dishes. 

What’s your desert island curry? The one you could eat forever if you had to?

My desert island curry would be a home-style chicken curry or a Dhaba Murgh (road side restaurant chicken curry). I like this one particularly as the flavours are real flavour of spices without adding any cream, coconut or butter. This is how you would make at home 2, 3, 4 times in a week. Humble chicken curry with boiled rice or a plain chapati is what I would have any time every time.

KormaMadrasJalfrezi etc. are loved all over the country. How would you use these sauces to create something more unusual, a little experimental?

These sauces I have used for making pasta dishes, pies, as base sauce for pizza, mixed with mayo and served as masala mayo. The list could be enormous. It’s all about creativity. 

We’ve waved our last farewell to summer. How does your cooking change as we move into autumn?

Autumn brings root vegetable curries and dry preparations complemented with some warming spices. Lots of breads instead of rice – in India, rice is considered to have cold internal properties. Meat dishes will be more lamb and chicken thigh preparations accompanied with fried breads.

So, in our latest offer customers can get a free karahi. Could you explain what that is and why we should be popping them in our trolleys?

Karahi means a wok. In an Indian kitchen this will be used to make some dry or semi dry dishes and stir fry dishes and most importantly for frying breads and pakoras. So you can make some dry bhindi Dopiaza i.e. okra Dopiaza, something like a karahi paneer with some peppers and crushed coriander seeds. 

Right, we’re going home to knock up a curry. What shall we put on the stereo to inspire us as we cook?

I like to listen some classic Indian instrumental music by some of the great artists India has given to this world.

Thanks for your time Manish!

Sophie – Ocado Marketing