We’ve had our fair share of tasty food reviews at House, but this was a first. We had been invited down to Purewell Electric’s show kitchen, to enjoy a ‘how to’ demonstration, where the very talented ‘Sarah Ali Choudhury’ (remember that name folks!) taught us the ins and outs of Indian Cuisine.
The space itself is stunning. A state of the art show kitchen complete with the latest kitchen tech: induction hob, self-cleaning ovens, and glossy worktops. Not to mention the fully stocked cupboards, packed with all the utensils one could ever wish for. The kitchen is set up almost like a theatre, with tiered seats and all lights pointing at the main event – the kitchen. As we wandered in, Sarah, our demonstration chef for the day, welcomed us with open arms and talked us through our afternoon agenda.
After getting cozy in the front row, we began our journey into the heart of Indian cookery. As Sarah began expertly slicing and dicing the medley of garlic, onions and ginger, we couldn’t help but pry as to what brought her to cooking. Besides an endless passion, it was actually her family that influenced her decision to swap the clipboard for an apron. As a young girl she helped out at her parents restaurant, little jobs here and there for pocket money – but by the age of 19, she had conquered the art of hospitality and was managing her parents restaurant full time. Not fully comprehending her achievement at the time, she decided to reroute her career path and sought to make a living in luxury property.
Whilst she did enjoy some very fruitful years in this industry, the allure no longer pulled as it did before. It was time to go back to her roots and utilise her years of experience in the restaurant trade, her passion for authentic food has led her to a totally new venture. Only this time she wouldn’t be front-of-house, or solely a proprietor: she would be the master and creator – the chef. I’ll hold this story here for a moment as we continue through our cooking demonstration…
Now for the spices: an aromatic blend of traditional herbs and ground flavours went in to the sizzling pan one by one. The perfumed steam that arose was to die for. With my eyes closed suddenly I’m transported to a market in South Asia, the hustle and bustle, the tradition, it’s all so beautiful and culturally rich (aaaaaand back in the room). Next up are the prepared lamb pieces and tomato paste. As they enter the mix the smell intensifies and I am hypnotised once more.
I can easily see why Sarah has high ambitions for her future. Though confident, Sarah is also a very grounded person. In fact I was rather carried away with her unrelenting motivation. I imagine she could inspire almost anyone to go forth and fulfill his or her hopes and dreams.
In addition to the lamb curry, Sarah began creating a tasty vegetarian alternative: a sweet and spicy butternut squash dish. Perfectly blended with a minimal amount of spices, she created a truly incredible dish, with minimal effort. Hence the name ‘Easy Curry’. Whilst it takes some serious skill to make a meat dish of restaurant standard, it takes true talent to bring a simple vegetable dish to life. When we got to try this dish it didn’t disappoint: it was soft without being squishy and the spices added a totally new dimension of flavour. As we continued watching and listening to the demonstration, we got to find out about another venture on the cards.
The issue with recreating authentic Indian food is heavily due to the spices used. When you dine out at a local restaurant, or enjoy your favourite take-away, whilst they maybe delicious in their own right, these dishes are deliberately tailored to the European pallet. Odd, when you think about it, as so many of us yearn for authenticity in almost every aspect of our lives. Sarah wants to help home-cooks pack more original Asian flavour into their food, by creating a fresh, new line, of easy-to-use seasonings. The brand is ‘Easy Curry’ and she is currently in negotiations with some major retailers, we hope to be seeing it on our supermarket shelves very soon!
Sarah can even be booked as a private chef, at an upcoming event you might have, or even just a special evening in with friends. It makes for a really exciting experience for you and your guests and takes away the hassle of cooking. Don’t miss out on Sarah’s next cooking event at Purewell on the 31st August 6-8pm, tickets are £15 available now from Eventbrite.
Sarah would like to give a special thank you to Andrew Plant for his fantastic work photographing her food, for more information about his work visit www.andrewplantphotography.com
By Charlotte Williams
Contact Sarah Ali Choudhury at Easy Curry
t. 07967 409191