Beginning at the Hyatt Regency, Kolkata, the festival sees a selection of top British chefs travel to India to cook European interpretations of traditional Indian dishes.
Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is considered the birthplace of British curry so it seems fitting that these award-winning chefs should return there with the UK’s finest recipes.
So important are the cultural links between the UK and India that even Downing Street is getting excited about the festival. David Cameron said “Curry, which of course originated in the Indian subcontinent, is now one of the most popular foods in the UK and has become part of the British way of life. And, those involved in the industry enliven our high streets, boost local economies and contribute to local communities.”
Labour leader Ed Miliband MP also gave his support, saying “We all know that curry is at the centre of much of British life these days, both on the high street and in our kitchens. Britain’s curry sector has not just changed our taste buds, it has also enabled thousands to build businesses, learn new skills, train apprentices, create jobs, build community, and bring people from different cultures together.”
The festival will run for nine days.
Among the chefs is Michelin starred Dominic Chapman, head chef at The Royal Oak, Paley Street. Along with six others, Chapman will cook over 70 dishes during the festival, including high street favourites such as British Chicken Tikka Masala and Bengal Lancers Shrimp Curry.
Editor of Curry Life Magazine and festival organiser said “It might sound a little odd taking curry to its birthplace but the festival has had an enthusiastic reception in the past from countries as far afield as America, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Spain, UAE and Eastern Europe”.
Serves 4 persons
Preparation time 10 minutes; cooking time 30 minutes
400g boneless chicken
200g chopped onions
150g fresh tomatoes
15g garlic & ginger paste
2g garam masala
2g naga chilli paste
3g turmeric powder
2g cumin powder
3g coriander powder
3g tamarind sauce
salt to taste
fresh chopped coriander for garnishing
Cook the onions in the oil until golden brown, add the garlic and ginger paste and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add all the spices, garam masala, turmeric, cumin and coriander and cook the masala, add tomatoes and cook further for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 10 minutes. Add tamarind sauce, sugar, naga chilli paste and salt and cook for 5 minutes or until the chicken pieces are cooked and tender.
Remove from the heat and add chopped fresh coriander and serve with hot rice or naan.