Speedy Crab Cakes

April 16, 2013

crab cakes 550

Shubho Noboborsho to you all. As I was going about my business towards the end of the Bengali year, I got a cryptic email in my inbox. It was on behalf of none other than Patak’s, the British Indian curry sauce people.

Now Patak’s and I have a long history together. Mostly involving my early days in England at university, when I first discovered housework, illegal substances and the horror that I would have to feed myself. I slowly made my way from Taj Mahal takeaway to boil-in-the-bag rice and yep, Patak’s curry sauce jars for sustenance.

Somewhere since then, I stumbled upon Jamie Oliver and mother’s very own chicken curry recipe. The rest as they say is history. But while the curry sauce jars fell off my weekly shopping list, I still reached for Patak’s Mango Pickle and shook my head dutifully at their “when I was a little boy” adverts.

What exactly did they want? Request no 1:  Would I like to be one of the faces of a new campaign for their curry pastes? A loaded question. Here I am, preaching the joys of cooking Indian food from scratch, savouring the pleasure of adding each spice lovingly to sizzling oil and watching oil ooze through pores on fresh masalas. Yes I would. Everyone needs a bloody night off. I need several.

Request no 2: Would I mind sharing a platform with my friend and professional chef, the better looking and far more sensible Maunika? Would I ever? I’m just hoping some of her eventually rubs off on me. (NOT like that, behave)

Request no 3: Please could I bring some bright coloured clothes to the shoot. That basically killed my entire current wardrobe. And no, animal print did not qualify as a “vibrant pattern”.

So I settled on a denim shirt. Knocked back a glass of Lansons and went for it cooking three recipes, with two spoons of a jar of Patak’s masala paste. Or something. The resulting dishes were delicious: Crab Cakes, the perennial favourite Palak Paneer and Karwari Jhinga, a coconut prawn curry.

A jar of Patak’s masala paste will now join the lofty ranks of the Thai Green Curry Paste well by its use by date in my fridge. The video is here for your viewing pleasure. Poor mother has racked up 1,000 clicks on it alone. I’ll be standing against a fence waiting for the rotten tomatoes to land.

Do me a favour: try one of the jars to see what you make of it and tell me what you do on your night off. Will you?


44 Responses to “New look, new book, old me”

  1. nags Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 10:49 am

    this is awesome!! Congrats :)

  2. Sra Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Whee! Book looks good. Congratulations on that and micro mini Basu too! Thanks for thinking of me.

  3. Silvara Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 11:41 am

    OMG!! Congrats on….everything!!! The book, the fantastic new look and LOL micro mini Basu :D

    I am so glad you said the book was available in Australia – I’ve been using your recipes to cook quick indian food for ages and loved every one :D Will check it out asap!

  4. Maninas Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Doulbe congratulations, dear Mallika! :D

  5. Ritika Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Hey Mallika,
    Many, many congratulations… God, do u have a full life.. and yeah can’t wait for the book to hit the stores in India.. and congrats again :)

  6. teresacooks Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    Congratulations on all of your big news! Think the book will be released in the states?

  7. Naomi Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Congrats on ALL of it!

  8. meeso Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Congratulations & Congratulations :) I will definitely check out the book!

  9. radioactivegan Says:

    May 3rd, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Congratulations on both!

  10. indosungod Says:

    May 4th, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Lots of Congratulations are in order. Have to get the book in my hands soon.

  11. sulagna Says:

    May 4th, 2010 at 5:20 am

    wow!!! girl..way to go!!! i was on amazon last noon trying to figure out how to book..you have to have to let me know of the india launch and how can i get myself a copy..lots of love to mini basu and the lil one on her way …once again congratulations on the very well deserved book :) and fame

  12. Eeshani Says:

    May 4th, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Congratulations, Mallika! How exciting!

  13. Bhagyashri Says:

    May 4th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    Congrats on the book & micro mini basu too! You certainly have your plate full, havent you?

    BTW, the new look is fantastic.

  14. Arundhuti Says:

    May 4th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

    Congratulations Mallika!!

  15. manik Says:

    May 5th, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Congratulations on all accounts !!!!
    great new look !!

  16. Grant Says:

    May 5th, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Stumbled on your book yesterday by accident. Bought it straight away as I’m curry- & cookbook-daft. Am reading before taking it to the kitchen, but am dribbling slightly with anticipation! Entertaining read and looking forward to trying out the recipes. Refreshingly simple approach. Thanks!

  17. asha Says:

    May 6th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Hi sweetie! What a pleasant surprise, will look for this book in Amazon. Great job! :)

    My blogs are recently fixed, so I am back. Thanks for your acknowledgment of me, I am honored!
    Happy Mother’s day to you. Hugs! :))

  18. dolly basu Says:

    May 6th, 2010 at 6:10 pm

    cant make up mind , enjoy reading the book or enjoy cookin first . i was laughing all the way . ha ha ha

  19. Mamatha Says:

    May 6th, 2010 at 7:09 pm

    Congratulations on the micro mini Basu and the book.

  20. Cool Lassi(e) Says:

    May 7th, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Hey Dear,
    I am a first timer to your space but it certainly won’t be the last. Made a beeline from Susan’s space(thewellseasonedcook) to here. Congrats on the book launch and baby#2. Checked out a video and a couple of posts..Lovely dhal clip by the way. While I was watching you cook, I was also wondering what shade of Nail Polish you had on your nails.Care to enlighten me? They look fantastic! Perfect for summer. Lol.

  21. Mona Says:

    May 7th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Congratulations Mallika!

  22. Lavanya Says:

    May 7th, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Congrats Mallika on all the good news!!! When I read on your site that Miss Masala was available to buy on Amazon I bought it immediately and I love it, in fact am reading it just now with a Vodka cocktail in hand!!! Love it thank you and congrats again
    on your book launch and the great news about micro mini Basu.

  23. harshika Says:

    May 8th, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Hey Mallika,

    Double whammy! Of the good kind though! Huge congratulations on concieving the book and micro mini ,both! How accomplished are you! Am totally complexed now..again mean it in a nice way…
    Lovely everything. Go girl!


  24. Aviva Says:

    May 9th, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Hi Mallika, Congratulations! Am really happy for you! Plan to buy a copy of your book as soon as it hits India! More power to you! Besto, aviva

  25. Ren Says:

    May 14th, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Just discovered your blog and can’t wait to get your book!Love cooking Indian food for my Roman friends!

  26. PJ Says:

    May 17th, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    HI Mallika.Came thro Susans blog and love your space.Double congrats-for the book and the lil one.Will get a copy of ur book once it reaches India. :)

  27. Shilpa Says:

    June 16th, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Hi Mallika- heard all the big news and of course saw the uber-fantastic pictures. congrats on all fronts!! heaps of love from across the pond.

  28. mandira Says:

    June 24th, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Congratulations Mallika! congrats on everything, looking forward to reading it.

  29. cheese recipe Says:

    June 30th, 2010 at 11:07 am

    Congrats! Me gonna buy this today itself!

  30. Mary Says:

    July 7th, 2010 at 5:06 am

    Hi Mallika,
    Love your book. Thank you so much. I’ve been waiting and waiting for it because your recipes from the website are always so good. Now I am enjoying the book too. Many many thanks. Best wishes for you and your growing family. And thanks again. You’re a lifesaver.

  31. Glass Bottles Says:

    July 16th, 2010 at 3:18 pm

    Congrats! I have to get me a copy of this! Looking forward to it!

  32. Srivalli Says:

    July 27th, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    New look is great Mallika, I thought I replied to your mail, will check again..:)

  33. rakhee Says:

    August 17th, 2010 at 8:57 am

    You have a wonderful blog going out here. Its every blogger’s dream to publish something in print in one’s lifetime. Hats Off to you as you have achieved that in a very early stage of your life. I just wanted to enquire where in UAE is your book available? Is it thru any site? Keep the good work going!!!!

  34. Shohini Says:

    August 17th, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    Congratulations!! New book, new baby, so excited for you. You must let us know when the book will come to Canada.

  35. Shabs Says:

    September 2nd, 2010 at 2:20 am

    Hi mallika,
    came here thru FB.Nice to meet you!I just dropped in to say congrats on release of your book!So much of work goes into making it ha?…..i have been thinking of making a book too, but the amount of work that goes into it is laying me back…BTW, I too live in UK, so one day We might bump on each other.

    oved your blog and recipes. Let me browse through the rest now.


  36. nurez Says:

    October 29th, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    out standing blog will try to find the book today at Chapters GOOD JOB

  37. meeso Says:

    January 13th, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I love your book!

  38. gypsydutta Says:

    January 14th, 2011 at 5:29 am

    love your blogs always.looking forward to read your book also.

  39. Jo Says:

    September 29th, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    1st read your blogs which pointed me to your book.
    Absolutely love our book can.t wait to try your recipes.
    It reads more like a novel than a cookbook which makes it so much fun to read, love ya style!

  40. Ankan Says:

    October 31st, 2011 at 11:11 am

    nice blog and congradulation..

  41. Ankan Says:

    October 31st, 2011 at 11:13 am

    I liked your book..

  42. Charles Amundsen Says:

    February 8th, 2012 at 2:55 am

    Hello i am kavin, its my first time to commenting anyplace, when i read this article i thought i could also create comment due to this good piece of writing.

  43. Audrey Says:

    September 9th, 2015 at 4:29 am

    For the Hara Bhara how does the amount of spinach compare with the peas or potato? I would use fresh and don’t know what 4 cubes of frozen would be.

  44. Srinivas Says:

    September 30th, 2015 at 1:00 pm

    Just wanted to say this is a beautiful blog. Being a food lover, I love the presentation and can almost taste them through your blog:)

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