Kricket

K

Not sure how many of you know about a restaurant called Kricket in London. It’s now in Soho in central London but I first heard about it in 2015 and happily schlepped all the way to Brixton, where I’d heard about an excellent young chef called Rik Campbell who had opened his first 20 seat restaurant in a shipping container in Pop Brixton – a “village” made of shipping containers overflowing with street food start-up stalls, mini restaurants, chic cafes and independent shops. I loved the food and the super cool vibe.

Will Bowlby, head chef and co-founder, has brought an exciting new vision to the UK’s Indian food scene. He was shortlisted for Young British Foodies  “Chef of the Year” category for two years in a row and awarded national chef of the year by the Asian Curry Awards.

As far back as he can remember, Will Bowlby has been passionate about food. From his early memories of his maternal grandmother’s East African inspired curry lunches, his entrepreneurial efforts setting up a one-man catering company whilst at school to joining the team at Rowley Leigh’s flagship restaurant, Le Café Anglais, was it any wonder that at the age of just 24, Will was approached to work for one of the oldest and most respected Indian restaurants in Mumbai, Khyber. For two years Will was exposed to the Indian palate – a many layered and complicated concept influenced by religion, ethnicity and cultural preference – whilst creating authentic dishes with a modern European influence.

After that he embarked on a three month road trip around India tasting  street food everywhere he went. I too am a big fan of Indian street food,  the variety is mindboggling. Will returned to the UK with lots more exciting ideas and a plan to serve traditional regional recipes with a modern twist, delicious, affordable and contemporary Indian food made with the very best seasonal ingredients.

Following two years in Brixton, Will and Rik moved Kricket to central London, opening Kricket Soho, which was awarded a Bib Gourmand by the Michelin Guide and won best newcomer in The Asian Curry Awards. Kricket has quickly attained a cult following and support from diners and chefs alike,

And now Kricket – an Indian inspired cookbook has been published so you and I can try to reproduce many of the exciting dishes we enjoy at the restaurant.

I’ve chosen just a few to tempt you but once you get a taste of Will’s recipes you will just have to have the book, published by Hardie Grant Books.

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KRICKET TORCHED MACKEREL WITH GOOSEBERRY CHUTNEY

 This recipe is inspired by the flavours of Bengal, where fish and mustard have been used together for centuries. Here we are using mackerel, which must be super-fresh for this dish to taste its best. I prefer to cook the fish using a blow torch, so that it is remains a little raw in the middle, however a hot grill (broiler) will work just as well. If the fish is fresh, you shouldn’t smell it at all, so take care in choosing wisely.

 

SERVES 4

4 large mackerel fillets, bones removed and filleted in half

3 tablespoons mustard oil

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

3 tablespoons Kasundi mustard or other wholegrain mustard

a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and finely diced

a generous pinch of sea salt

50 g (2 oz) flaked (slivered) almonds

2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chilli powder (optional)

a pinch of chaat masala

a few coriander (cilantro) leaves,

to garnish

 

FOR THE PICKLED CUCUMBER

1 cucumber, seeds discarded and diced

200 ml (7 fl oz) Pickling Liquor

 

FOR THE GOOSEBERRY CHUTNEY

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon onion seeds

1 Indian fresh bay leaf

2–3 green chillies, finely chopped

200 g (7 oz) fresh or frozen gooseberries

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

100 g (3 ½ oz/scant ½ cup) caster (superfine) sugar

sea salt, to taste

To make the pickled cucumber, steep the diced cucumber the in the pickling liquor for 1–2 hours, at room temperature, before putting in the fridge.

 

Prep the mackerel then mix together the oils, mustard, ginger and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Put the fish on a lined baking tray, spread the marinade over the flesh and leave for 30 minutes. For the chutney, heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan, over a medium heat, stir in the onion seeds, bay leaf, chillies, and gooseberries. Turn the heat down and cook for 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, sugar and a little salt, to taste. Continue to cook until half the gooseberries are broken up and the other half remain whole. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

 

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4).

Scatter the almonds on a baking tray, sprinkle over the chilli powder, if using, and shake to coat. Roast until browned and fragrant. Remove from the oven, toss with the chaat masala and allow to cool.

 

Take the tray of marinated mackerel and char the skin with a blow torch. The heat will refract from the tray underneath, allowing the fish to cook from both sides, leaving it slightly pink in the middle. Alternatively, you can use a grill (broiler). Arrange the fish on a plate, garnish with coriander leaves and serve with the gooseberry chutney, almonds and pickled cucumber.

 

PICKLING LIQUOR

I use this to use with all kinds of vegetables but cucumber is a special favourite. It will

keep in the refrigerator for several weeks – it keeps forever! If you want to make a smaller amount, the recipe is based on equal quantities of vinegar and sugar.

 

MAKES 1 LITRE (34 F L OZ/)

 

500 ml (17 fl oz) white wine vinegar

500 g (1 lb 2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar

2 star anise

1 cinnamon stick

4 cloves

2 fresh Indian bay leaves

 

Put all the ingredients in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat and stir occasionally until all the sugar dissolves.

 

Remove from the heat and set aside to cool before decanting into a sterilised jar. Store

 

From Kricket, An Indian Inspired Cookbook by Will Bowlby, photography Hugh Johnson, published by Hardie Grant Books

 

KRICKET OYSTERS IN COCONUT CREAM WITH GREEN CHILLI GRANITA

 On my most recent trip to Goa, I was introduced to a new restaurant hidden amongst  the trees, off the beaten path in the north. The menu here changes daily, according to what is on offer and fresh that day. Here I had my first experience of oysters in India, and the memory stuck with me. The local oysters were served raw with coconut and green chillies. We do the same in the restaurant, using native British oysters – Porthilly happen to be my favourites – with the addition of sweet little bits of pickled cucumber. To enhance the flavour of this dish, you can garnish the oysters with an oyster leaf, but they can be hard to come by, so if you can’t find them, don’t worry!

 

SERVES 10

20 fresh oysters of choice

200 g (7 oz) coconut cream

 

FOR THE GREEN CHILLI GRANITA

100 g (3 ½ oz) caster (superfine) sugar

a pinch of sea salt

200 ml (7 fl oz) water

4 green chillies

2 bunches of fresh coriander (cilantro)

 

FOR THE PICKLED CUCUMBER

1 cucumber, deseeded and finely diced

100 ml (3 ½ fl oz) Pickling Liquor

Begin by making the green chilli granita. Dissolve the sugar and salt in the water in a small heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add the green chillies and coriander to the cooled seasoned water and place in a blender and blitz to a paste. You should

end up with a vibrant green mixture. Place in a plastic freezeproof tub and place in the freezer. After 30 minutes, break up the crystals using a fork to stop it from solidifying. Do this for a few hours until you have the desired granita consistency.

 

To make the pickles, steep the cucumber in the pickling liquor for 1–2 hours at room temperature, then keep in the refrigerator until needed.

 

Open the oysters using an oyster knife, ensuring that you loosen the flesh from the shell but retaining all the liquid. To serve, arrange the oysters on a platter and spoon a little coconut cream on top of each oyster, followed by a spoonful of the chilli granita and then a little pickled cucumber. Serve straight away.

 From Kricket, An Indian Inspired Cookbook by Will Bowlby, photography Hugh Johnson, published by Hardie Grant Books

 

 

 

KRICKET MISTI DOI WITH POMEGRANATE & MINT

 This is a very straightforward recipe that originally hails from Calcutta. Be careful to follow the steps correctly and you can’t go wrong. The end result is a creamy, sweet set baked yoghurt with a hint of cardamom.

 

SERVES 4

250 ml (8 ½fl oz) condensed milk

250 g (9 oz) Greek yoghurt

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

50 g (2 oz) rose petals

100 ml (3 ½ oz) sugar syrup (see recipe)

4 teaspoons of roughly chopped pistachio nuts

seeds of 1 small pomegranate

a few sprigs of fresh mint leaves, to serve

 

Preheat the oven to 160oC (320oF/Gas 3).

 

Place 4 ramekins (custard cups) in a large roasting pan and fill with hot water to come two-thirds up the outer sides of the ramekins.

 

Combine the condensed milk, yoghurt and ground cardamom in a bowl and mix well.

 

Divide the mixture among the prepared ramekins and bake in the bain-marie for 6 minutes.

 

Meanwhile, soak the rose petals in the sugar syrup for a few minutes. Remove and place in a small bowl.

 

Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and allow to cool before transferring them to a refrigerator to cool completely. Garnish with chopped pistachio, pomegranate seeds, sugared-rose petals and mint.

 

 

SUGAR SYRUP

 A lot of my cocktails use a simple sugar syrup which can be made in advance, and kept in the fridge. It will last for about 1 month.

 

MAKES 750 ML ( 2 5 FL OZ)

750 ml (25fl oz) filtered water

750 g (1lb 10 oz) caster (superfine) sugar

 

To make a simple sugar syrup, just put the water in a large heavy-based saucepan with the sugar. Heat until the sugar dissolves, then boil for 15 minutes.

 

Leave to cool, then store in a sterilised glass bottle – a screw-topped wine bottle is excellent. Keep in the refrigerator until required. This syrup lasts for a very long time if stored correctly.

From Kricket, An Indian Inspired Cookbook by Will Bowlby, photography Hugh Johnson, published by Hardie Grant Books

 

 

 

KRICKET WILD GARLIC CHUTNEY

Every spring my mother gathers huge quantities of wild garlic from the woods around our Sussex home, in the UK. Kilos of the young leaves are brought to the restaurant and blitzed into oil and frozen, which we have found is the best way to keep wild garlic. It affects neither the colour nor the taste, and from there it can easily be made into a chutney.  Towards the middle of the season, the flowers of the plant are perfect for garnishes, with their hot, intense flavour, or they can be left to ferment for use later in the year.

 

MAKES ABOUT 1 KG ( 2 LB 3 OZ)

500 g (1lb 2 oz) fresh coriander (cilantro), stems and leaves

500 g (1lb 2 oz) wild garlic leaves

4 green chillies

a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger root

2 garlic cloves, peeled

200 ml (7fl oz) vegetable oil

5 tablespoons lemon juice

caster (superfine) sugar, to taste

sea salt, to taste

 

Put the coriander, wild garlic, green chillies, ginger and garlic in a blender, then, with the motor running, gradually pour in the oil until you reach a smooth consistency. Add the lemon juice and season to taste with sugar and salt. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

If you need to keep it for longer, omit the lemon juice and add just before serving.

From Kricket, An Indian Inspired Cookbook by Will Bowlby, photography Hugh Johnson, published by Hardie Grant Books

 

 

KRICKET GOOSEBERRY CHUTNEY (ONLY USE IF SPACE)

This chutney pairs beautifully with mackerel and can be used with other fish dishes, or even some game dishes.

 

MAKES ABOUT 450 G ( 1 LB)

200 ml (7fl oz) vegetable oil

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon onion seeds

3 dried Kashmiri red chillies

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

500 g (1lb 2 oz) fresh or frozen gooseberries

sea salt, to taste

caster (superfine) sugar, to taste

 

Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan, add the fennel and onion seeds and the chillies and stir, then add the ground turmeric and cook for a further 30 seconds, stirring constantly to prevent it from burning.

 

Add the gooseberries, reduce the heat and cook for 20 minutes until you achieve a jammy consistency.

 

Season to taste with a little salt and plenty of sugar to balance out the sourness of the gooseberries.

 

Store in sterilised jars and keep in the refrigerator until required. It will last for up to 2 weeks.

From Kricket, An Indian Inspired Cookbook by Will Bowlby, photography Hugh Johnson, published by Hardie Grant Books

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Darina Allen
By Darina Allen

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