“This is an awesome adaptation of a British classic. Indian chips have a typically deep golden, come-hither look. The batter is a gluten-free gram batter and, remember, it is heavier and slightly softer than a Western batter, so don’t expect the brusque bite,” says Nisha.
4 large Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and sliced into chunky chips
1 tbsp plus
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp sea salt
120g chickpea flour, plus extra to sprinkle
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄8 tsp chilli powder
4 white fish fillets, such as cod or haddock
lemon wedges, to serve
For the Mowgli Chutney:
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
5 curry leaves
6 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
1cm/½ inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tbsp chilli powder
½ tbsp ground turmeric
2 green chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 tsp salt
Make the Mowgli Chutney first by putting the vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan set over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves and fry for around 30 seconds until the cumin seeds turn dark brown and release their fragrance.
Add the tomatoes, ginger, garlic, chilli powder, ground turmeric and green chilli and stir well. Turn the heat down to low and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to soften.
Add the salt, then cover the pan and cook gently for 15 minutes until the tomatoes have cooked down and released their liquid. At this point remove the lid and stir until a smooth sauce forms. Continue to cook for a further 5 minutes so the relish thickens slightly. This can be stored in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to a month. Once open, refrigerate and eat within a week.
For the fish and chips, bring a large saucepan of salted water up to the boil, reduce the heat to low and completely submerge your chips, simmering for 8–10 minutes until they start to soften around the edges but are still firm. Drain in a colander and sprinkle over the tablespoon of ground turmeric and the salt. Give the potatoes a good shake to make sure they are covered in the turmeric.
While the potatoes are boiling, make your batter. Sift the gram flour into a mixing bowl with the salt, baking powder, ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric and the chilli powder and mix, then slowly start to pour in 200ml water, whisking all the while. You’re looking for a thick batter consistency.
Heat a deep-fat fryer to 180°C or set a saucepan over a medium-high heat with about 4cm of oil. You know the oil is hot enough when you drop a small amount of batter into it and it floats to the surface. Using a large metal slotted spoon, carefully submerge the chips in the oil and cook for 8–10 minutes until golden and crispy. Once cooked, remove gently and place on paper towels to drain, then set aside.
Sprinkle the fish with a little gram flour, then dip into the batter and shake off any excess. Carefully lower each piece of fish into the deep-fat fryer and fry for around 4 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Serve immediately with lemon wedges and Mowgli chutney.
Mowgli Street Food: Stories and recipes from the Mowgli Street Food restaurants, by Nisha Katona. © Nourish Books, 2018. Hardback, £25. Commissioned photography © Yuki Sugiura