Books – Kricket by Will Bowlby

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The focus at Kricket, from the start, has been to create seasonal, modern Indian plates and drinks, served in a relaxed space.  Combining British ingredients with the authentic flavours, aromas and spices of India.

Kricket was born in a 20 seat shipping container in 2015.  In 2017 they opened their first permanent restaurant in Soho. Spread over two floors, Kricket Soho features counter dining with an open kitchen, and a downstairs cocktail bar with large communal tables for reservations.

In his new cookbook, Will Bowlby shares over 80 mouth-watering recipes, combining the essential spicing of Indian food with modern, seasonal ingredients.  Drawing on inspiration from all over India – Goa, Bombay, Hyderabad – Will cleverly and expertly reinvents this classic and historic cuisine into accessible and elegant meals that are perfect for sharing with friends and family. 

 

KERALAN FRIED CHICKEN (serves 4)

This dish came about almost by accident, and has proved to be arguably the most popular dish on our menu. When we first opened Kricket inside a shipping container in Brixton in 2015, I learnt quickly that there was to be no room for a tandoor, only a fryer. So I adapted a basic tandoori marinade, made use of our small gas fryer and Kricket’s very own fried chicken was born. It is likely to remain on the menu for some time to come!

400 g (14 oz) boneless, skinless, free-range chicken thighs, cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) pieces

1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) vegetable oil, for deep-frying

100 g (3½ oz/generous ¾ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour

100 g (3½ oz/generous ¾ cup) cornflour (cornstarch)

1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chilli powder

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

a generous pinch of chaat masala per portion

80 g (3 oz) fresh curry leaves, lightly fried, to serve

200 g (7 oz/scant 1 cup) Curry Leaf Mayonnaise (see below), to serve

FOR THE SPICY MARINADE

300 g (10½ oz/1¼ cups) Greek yoghurt

100 ml (3½ fl oz/scant ½ cup) buttermilk

1 tablespoon Kashmiri red chilli powder

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

3 green chillies, finely chopped

1 bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

FOR THE PICKLED MOOLI

200 g (7 oz) mooli (daikon), peeled and thinly sliced

200 ml (7 fl oz/scant 1 cup) Pickling Liquor (see below)

To make the spicy marinade, mix the yoghurt, buttermilk, chilli powder, turmeric, green chillies and coriander together in a bowl. Turn the chicken thighs in the marinade so it is coated, cover and leave in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

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

Pour the vegetable oil in a deep frying pan (skillet) or kadai, and heat until it is about 180°C (350°F). The oil is hot enough when a cube of bread sizzles when dropped into it.

While the oil heats up, combine the flour, cornflour, chilli powder and turmeric in a shallow bowl.

Lift the chicken out of the marinade and coat in the flour-mix, shaking off any excess. Deep-fry in the oil for about 5 minutes until the outside is golden brown. To ensure the chicken is cooked through, test the middle of the biggest piece of chicken with a probe thermometer; it should be over 75ºC (167ºF).

Remove the chicken from the fryer and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle generously with chaat masala. Serve with the pickled mooli, fried curry leaves and the curry leaf mayonnaise.

 

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/4 CUPS)

500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) white wine vinegar

500 g (1 lb 2 oz/2 cups) 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 in the fridge until required.

CURRY LEAF MAYONNAISE

Depending on how much mayonnaise you want to make, you can change the volume of the oil and its tempering, as it stores well in the refrigerator for a week or so. You make the flavoured oil first, then use it to make the mayonnaise. The ratio is about 2 eggs yolks to 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) of oil. Adding a little lemon juice near the start can help to prevent the mayonnaise from splitting.

MAKES 1 LITRE ( 35 FL OZ)

FOR THE CURRY LEAF OIL (MAKES 2.5 LITRES (88 FL OZ/10 CUPS)

2.5 litres (88 fl oz/10 cups) vegetable oil

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

160 g (5½ oz) of fresh curry leaves

2½ dried Kashmiri red chillies

2½ teaspoons ground turmeric

FOR THE CURRY LEAF MAYONNAISE

4 large free-range egg yolks

a splash of lemon juice

1 litre (34 fl oz/4 cups) curry leaf oil (see above)

2 tablespoons black mustard seeds

a handful of fresh curry leaves

5 dried Kashmiri red chillies

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

caster (superfine) sugar, to taste

sea salt, to taste

To make the curry leaf oil, pour the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or kadai, and heat until it is about 180°C (350°F). The oil is hot enough when a cube of bread sizzles when dropped into it. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, chillies and ground turmeric, then remove from the heat and leave to cool and infuse.

To make the mayonnaise, put the egg yolks and lemon juice in a blender. With the motor running, gradually pour in the curry leaf oil and blitz together until the mixture thickens and emulsifies. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, chillies and turmeric, then season to taste with sugar, salt and a little more lemon juice if you like. The mayonnaise should be shiny and just hold its shape.

Store in a sterilised jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 

Kricket: An Indian-insired cookbook by Will Bowlby (Hardie Grant, £26)

Photography © Hugh Johnson

 

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