TILDA NATIONAL CURRY

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There are surely few finer ways to kick off National Curry Week than with a Tilda feast of sauce and spice, conjured up by food writer, cookbook author, and all round kitchen extraordinaire, Mallika Basu.

For National Curry Week 2015 we invited a group of fabulous foodie bloggers to the kitsch and quirky Little Yellow Door in Notting Hill to celebrate. After introductions and appetisers were out of the way, the finishing touches were added to each dish and supper was served.

Serving a traditional Punjabi recipe, Chana Dal Khichdi, alongside Chicken and Vegetable Pulao proved to be a hit. A Hyderabadi Khatta Meetha Baingan saw sautéed aubergines bathed in a decadent sauce made from peanut butter; as satisfying as it sounds. The wonderful aroma preceded the next course of impeccably cooked cooked swordfish infused with a creamy wholegrain mustard sauce, followed by plump prawns in a spicy and sweet coconut curry.

Our guests were tempted by silken Kashmiri Tomato Paneer, in a perfectly balanced ginger and fennel sauce, before finding room for dessert. Saffron Cardamom Kheer partnered with Vanilla and Rose Firni nicely rounded off what was a true celebration Basmati Rice.

As the name suggests, it is roasted chicken native to Kerala. Chicken marinated in spices is refrigerated before frying in a low flame until it is golden brown. It is then cooked with vegetables and coconut milk until the gravy becomes thick. A must have!

The darker and crispier it is, the better it tastes. Made popular in Payyoli, located near the North Malabar coast of Kerala, this recipe is a signature dish at roadside restaurants. The cooking is simple but it is the spices that make it special!

Seafood in Kerala is second to none and Squid Fry is no different. Cut into rings, the squid is marinated and fried on medium flame until it is golden brown. The masala-coated rings have a tangy taste in the mouth!

For those who prefer their meat with gravy, squid is available in curry as well. It is the same preparation except that instead of being deep fried, the marinated squid is cooked with vegetables and coconut milk. The aroma is just as enticing as the taste!

For those of you who don't know, crab meat is as soft as it's shell is hard. The crab is cooked in local spices and masala until the shell turns orange. It takes some effort to break the shell and eat, but it's worth it!

Beef is synonymous with Kerala cuisine and Beef Dry Fry is a speciality. Seasoned with pepper, the beef is deep fried until it appears blackened. It is one of a kind!