The wonderful thing about British producers is the variety in our food culture.
You’ve all heard the Tikka Masala story I’m sure. While the exact origins of the dish are unclear, the gist of what’s seen as a ‘classic Indian dish’ by most Brits is that many believe the recipe was actually developed in the UK for milder English tastes. The popularity of Indian food (it’s a £5bn industry in the UK) and the subsequent prominence of curries in the country’s palate is so rich, that we’ve now got some amazing businesses making gorgeous Indian products.
I discovered one such business, Dips, at Kitchen Table Projects’ Artisan Springboard a few weeks back. Dips is a family run business, making Garlic Chilli pastes and chutneys using Managing Director Hershil Patel’s mum’s authentic, transnational recipes.
I also had a chat with Hershil after the event, which I’ll publish later in the week since he spoke with such passion about the provenance behind his brand that I think it deserves its own post.
I fell in love with their Nadiadee Lemon Chutney when I tried it at the Springboard’s first Kitchen Table Talks event, since the preserved lemons and expertly blended spices give it the most amazing, vibrant taste. I bought some immediately, and have been trying out different ways to use it ever since.
Last night we made lettuce wraps with the chutney, my absolute favourite so far; simply cobbling together some spicy meat, salads and then using the Nadiadee Lemon Chutney mixed with yoghurt as a drizzle.
The secret is to marinade the chicken for a decent amount of time. Simply add a teaspoon of your chosen spice mix to a tablespoon of olive oil and then brush the paste on to your chosen meat (or even a hardy veg like aubergine). This would also be BANGING with prawns. You can of course make your own spice mix, but I used Steenbergs, which trade in organic spices, loose leaf tea and organic cooking ingredients packed with flavour, aroma and provenance.
Based in Yorkshire, Steenbergs Organic is a family-run, friendly firm committed to Fairtrade, the environment and people. It was set up in 2003 by Axel and Sophie Steenberg in North Yorkshire, and is now in a purpose-built, ecofriendly factory, which is just 200 yards from where they started! They’re ethically sourced, organic, carbon neutral AND as environmentally friendly as they can possibly be. I’m a big fan.
Anyway, once your meat or veggies have marinaded for at least four hours, simply griddle them (or BBQ!) and slice into finger-size chunks.
Make a salad of any kind to add freshness; my favourite is fennel and pomegranate with a squeeze of lime and some salt. The jewels of pomegranate burst as you bite into the wraps.
Mix about 75g of yoghurt to three teaspoons of the chutney, and you’ll end up with an incredible sauce that serves two easily for a meal like this.
Layer the chicken (add this first, we discovered it makes them easier to eat through trial and error!), then add the yoghurt and chutney drizzle, salad, and finally a sprinkle of coriander.
Voila! TOTAL HEAVEN.