EST. India

est india

A whistle stop tour of Indian food with a few Anglicised twists and turns right here in London.

est indiaIndian food has grown so much in the UK. Dishes that were made here are now being cooked out in India and we have evolved from choosing a sauce of varying spiciness and adding meat, fish or shudder vegetables. We now have regional cuisines, Michelin stars and fabulous Indian street food.

Est. India was a collision of all of this. It was eclectic and exciting. The menu had influences form the Punjab to Kerala, over to the Bay of Bengal and all the way back to the UK.

We stared out with naan bread stuffed with keema (a traditional lamb mince and pea curry) and a spicy green chutney (£5.50). It was soft, hot and fresh. Next was a papri chatt (£4.50), a very traditional street snack of rice puffs, tamarind, yogurt and chickpeas. This was stunning. Spicy, sweet, sour, crunchy and creamy – if you have not tried this please give it a go!

Next came a chicken dosa(£7.80). The pancake was a little floppy for me, but the chicken filling was beautifully spiced with lots of chaat masala and chilli. The traditional accompaniment of sambar daal was tangy and delicious, and an innocent looking coconut chutney was wickedly hot.

Kashmiri lamb chops (£10.80) transported us north. They had been marinated in yogurt and spices and cooked into an utterly divine smoky, hot-mess.  Stuffed paneer (£4.75) felt a little over cooked and I am not a fan of raisins so it was never going to be a winner for me.

Then came their lamb burger (£7.90), made from leg of lamb slow cooked in spices and tomatoes and served in a bun with creamy slaw. The bun looked a bit sad, bring me a brioche anytime but the filling was a triumph – this was modern Indian food, with an Anglo twist and I loved it.

Finally we had ‘curries’ A Bengal prawn curry (£9.75), that was rich and tangy and fragrant with curry leaves, mustard seeds and loads of black pepper, and a brilliant Bhutani lamb (£9.30). The lamb and onion glory had been slow cooked in spices and a deliciously obscene amount of garlic and topped with copper coloured onions. It was sensational. The curries were low on oil and big on flavour and although we were utterly stuffed it felt light at the same time.

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