England’s Indian food ambassador turns grill expert for Barbeque Nation
KNOWN as the ‘curry king’ in his native England, chef Pat Chapman is no stranger to India. In Bangalore in what is his 44th visit to the country, he’s cooking up a new line of marinades for restaurant chain Barbeque Nation. We caught up with the man who ‘baltified Britian’ as he shares his secrets.
Tell us more about your connection to India.
My mother and grandmother were born in India. My grandmother especially had a repertoire of recipes picked up from her time spent at army bases across the country. I learned from her, and started cooking Indian food before it was popular in the UK, when it was still difficult to get ingredients. We used to have to get cardamom from the chemist!
On Indian food’s popularity in the UK now.
India has such a wonderful conglomeration of food, so there is something for everyone. In 1947, there were only six Indian restaurants in the UK; now there are over 9,000! I started the Curry Club in 1982 to share information with people who also appreciated Indian food, and it became incredibly successful. I was approached by a publisher to write a cookbook, and since then, my books have sold over 1.5 million copies.
On devising these marinade recipes.
There are seven vegetarian recipes, and seven non-vegetarian, sourced worldwide. I use authentic ingredients, so for example, the Mighty Hot Mai Thai Fish marinade uses lemongrass paste, galangal and fish sauce.
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— Maegan Dobson Sippy