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Sarah Ali Choudhury, The Tale of A Rising Star

So tell us Sarah, how did you get into Indian cooking?
I was born into the Indian catering industry and at the age of 15 I used to help out at my parent’s restaurants but only at the front of house. I was recognised as the first Asian female to run an Indian restaurant at the age of 19. I got into cooking more recently due to staff shortages. Every time I go to visit my mum she’s busy in the kitchen. So I thought, might as well join in! I feel the need to create recipes that are new, exciting and delicious but more importantly, quick to conjure up.

What’s your favourite dish and why?
My favourite dish is crab curry with a touch of coconut cream. It’s my favourite because it’s cooked with crab claws, and the meat is retained inside the shell which gives the curry sauce the most awesome flavour. Once ready, you take out the tender meat and devour, I love it!

You’re becoming well known for ‘Easy Curry’ – can you tell us what you mean about easy curry? Making a curry has always sounded really long and complicated to us.
Easy Curry does what it says on the label! It makes cooking curry very easy. Less fuss, more taste. I think people have the impression that if they are going to attempt cooking a curry they actually take a chunk of time out of their day for preparation and planning when it really doesn’t need to be complex at all. Follow me, I’ll show you the way!

We understand you’re available to cook in people’s homes at dinner parties etc? We love the idea of this at House Magazine! Tell us what you offer and how people can book you Sarah?
That’s absolutely correct, so, if you have guests coming for dinner and would like to do something different you are able to book me to come to your house and cook the meal for you. This is also available as a cookery class where I can demonstrate my cooking in your own home. This is real, authentic, full flavoured, delicious home style Indian cooking in the comfort of your own home. You can book me by visiting my contact page on my website: www.sarahalieasycurry.com

Have you travelled the world to develop these tastes that you’re becoming well known for Sarah? If so, how has this reflected in your cooking?
I wouldn’t say I have travelled the world although I would love to be able to do that. My father is from Assam in India, and my mother is from Guyana, South America while my husband is from Bangladesh. We travel to my parents’ villa in Goa regularly too. This means that I am able to also cook (and teach) West Indian food and Bangladeshi food. Although Indian and Bangladeshi food can be very similar, different regions of India produce completely different flavours. I was born in Bournemouth (so cosmo!!). I have travelled to all these places amongst others including Dubai, Barbados, Trinidad. This has definitely given me more understanding of different foods, tastes and flavours and how to achieve them.

What’s your favourite Indian meal to cook Sarah?
I love cooking Okra with prawns and dried shrimp. I love eating it more!

So how can people contact you to find our more Sarah?
I have some really exciting events coming up where I would love to meet people who love a good curry!

  • Sunday 4th September I will be doing a live cooking demonstration at The Dorset County Show in Dorchester at 2.30pm.
  • Saturday 22nd October I am doing a Children’s Curry Workshop for 8-16 year olds at Purewell Cook Shop from 11am until 1pm.
  • Saturday 22nd October I will also be at Wimborne Food Festival doing a live demonstration at 3pm.

You can contact Sarah via her website:
www.sarahalieasycurry.com or call 07967 409191

I am also on social media:
Facebook @sarahalieasycurry
LinkedIn @ sarahalieasycurry
Twitter @saraheasycurry
Instagram @sarahalieasycurry/

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

Try one of Sarah’s simple recipes for yourself…

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Spiced Sea Bass with Onions & Tomatoes (Serves 2)

INGREDIENTS:
For grilled Seabass
I whole seabass
2 tsp Garlic granules
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Fresh or Dried Curry leaves
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper
Squeeze of Fresh lemon
1 tlsp Olive oil

For the tomato and onion base
1 large shallot (finely chopped)
3 small plum tomatoes
Fresh coriander
Pinch of Salt

METHOD:
Make incisions along the sea bass on both sides, sprinkle some of the garlic granules, salt and pepper directly onto the fish on both sides. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice onto fish. Then sprinkle the cayenne pepper.

Heat some olive oil on a baking tray. I do this by putting the tray directly on top of the cooker with the flame on a medium heat. When the oil is hot add some mustard seeds and curry leaves and allow them to pop and sizzle. Add some garlic granules and cayenne pepper to the mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Add the seasoned fish directly onto the heated tray into the spice mixture for about a minute or two and then turn the fish onto the other side to seal it. Add some more olive oil onto the fish and then place the tray into the grill.

While the fish is in the oven, heat a wok with olive oil and add the chopped shallot and tomatoes and allow to soften. Add some salt and pepper and cook slowly.

After about 5 minutes you can take the tray with the fish from the grill to add the oil from the fish into the tomato and onion mixture in the wok. Put the fish back into the grill for a further 10 minutes or until the fish crispy and golden. Remember to turn the fish over so that both sides of the fish are cooked thoroughly.

Stir the tomato and shallot mixture occasionally, when cooked pour onto a plate. Place the grilled seabass directly onto the onions and tomatoes and garnish with fresh coriander.

Enjoy!

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