Food Club March 2017

March is the time for experimenting with new produce, smelling the daffodils and watching the spring lambs gambolling in the fields. It is a month of delicious vegetables that you have either grown yourself or that are rapidly appearing in greengrocers, market stalls or on supermarket shelves.

Certain types of fish are also at their best, so we have taken the opportunity to tell you the best ones to buy in March.

We also take a look at the changing face of Indian food. Gone are the days of Chicken Tikka Masala – move over, new, bright and creative dishes are hitting restaurants all over the country. You can still enjoy the old favourites, but dishes like chicken tikka masala, that once occupied the No. 1 spot, have been knocked off the top of Britain’s favourite foods, and now languishes around No.20.

Eat the season

Here are the best of the ‘bunch’ to be eating in March!

FRUIT VEGETABLE FISH
BANANA BRUSSELS SPROUTS COD
BRAMLEY APPLE CABBAGE HALIBUT
GRAPEFRUIT CAULIFLOWER MUSSELS
LEMON CELERIAC OYSTER
ORANGE JERUSALEM ARTICHOKE SALMON
POMEGRANATE LEEK
RHUBARB ONION
PAK CHOI
PARSNIP
PEPPER
PURPLE SPROUTING BROCCOLI
RADICCHIO
SPRING ONION
SWEET POTATO

 

How about a pomegranate and bulghar wheat salad or a rhubarb panacotta? For savoury, try a cod and leek gratin, or a halibut millefeuille – these dishes are not only delicious, but relatively healthy too.

Eat your way through the produce of March, and enjoy local British at its best.

The changing taste of Indian food

Spring is on its way, and so are more new and exciting food twists. Even if you have never eaten Indian food and grimace at the thought of it, the bulk of people will still be able to reel off countless items on the menu – Tikka Masalas, Baltis, Rogan Josh, Biryanis et al – but more or less the only place you will still see these names with regularity is at your local Indian takeaway.

Chefs such as Atul Kochar, Cyrus Todiwala and numerous other celebrated masters of their art have long since been adapting Indian food to be more subtle, have more finesse and a ‘bit more Britishness’ to our ever challenging palates. Not many of us knew that the Indian food we know and love aspired to only a few spices, not the wealth available that never reached our cupboards or our stomachs.

More restaurants in the larger towns and cities are using the ‘small plate’ method, to enable you to try many more different dishes that the new and up and coming, as well as our Michelin Star boys have started to feature. Dishes such as Scallops with Goan Sausage (a twist on Scallops with Black Pudding or Chorizo) with delicate spices that tempt, but not burn your taste buds.  Crab with Garlic Butter and Seaweed Poppadoms are a foodie delight, and a take on the great British pie is also on offer – all of course with those ‘oh so subtle’ spices and twists.

Street food is going the same way – how about a bacon ‘buttie’ but it’s a naan roll, or a Sloppy Jo, but it’s made with mutton-keema. Here are some places to try, if you live nearby:

Jikoni (Marylebone), Kricket (Soho and Brixton), Mowgli (Liverpool and Manchester), Dishoom (Edinburgh), Gunpowder (Spitalfields, London).

Not only that, one of our gods of Indian food, Atul Kochar is now trying to rival Jamie Oliver with his ’30 Minute Curries’ – I am sure his latest book is going to be a real winner, and you have no excuse not to make delicious curries in a short time at home!

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