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?


10 Responses to “If the spice is right”

  1. Asha Says:

    July 9th, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    Hey!! How can you not dance for us? May be Moroccan or even Bollywood style will do!;D

    Morocco sounds great to me.I saw a show on Food Network channel had few weeks ago on Moroccan cuisine, wonderful Tajine and Couscous dishes! You must get one of those Tagines from there.I bought a teeny weeny Tagine here, still hasn’t used it.
    Have a great time, see you in September.I will let you know when I get my spanking new kitchen photo over there!:)

  2. arundati Says:

    July 10th, 2008 at 1:57 am

    loved that bit about the half naked belly dancers after the couscous!! hope you had a wonderful time…..waiting to see what you will be cooking up!!

  3. JennDZ_The LeftoverQueen Says:

    July 10th, 2008 at 7:36 am

    I am dying to go to Morocco. It is one on the top of my list of places I’d like to visit in the not too distant future. Sounds like fun! The best is being the bellydancer! ;)

  4. mycookinghut Says:

    July 10th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I went to Marrakesh more than a year ago. I love Moroccan food. Tagines and Cous Cous… just so nice. I love their mint tea too!!

  5. mycookinghut Says:

    July 10th, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    I was in Marrakesh more than a year ago and what else I could say but love Tajine and couscous. Love their mint tea too!!

  6. Deeba Says:

    July 10th, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Ooh how exotic. Morocco, Istanbul etc…all lands of my dreams, complete with spice markets! You must be GLAD to have gotten away for the hustle-bustle! Of course I am VERY envious of the saffron, spices etc Mallika…but will now wait to see a burst of yummies once you return. Have a great trip!!

  7. Deeba Says:

    July 10th, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    BTW, forgot to ask you…did you eventually shake a limb?? LOL

  8. Geoff Says:

    July 11th, 2008 at 2:04 am

    I went on the same trip and I too was amazed by the spice souks. Knowing little about spices I opted for a bag of ‘meat’ tagine mix and a bag of ‘fish’ tagine mix. Unfortunatly I couldn’t fit a tagine in my bag though!

    Now they’re still sitting in the cubord unused. Any good recipies to try? I fancy getting a tagine, would it work on a hotplate? I.e. a rayburn.

  9. Mallika Says:

    July 11th, 2008 at 3:04 am

    I was mercifully spared by the ladies. LOL.

    Geoff – I figured I could simply use my pressure cooker. Just caramelise an onion, add two tsp of the powder, and 500gm of lamb. Then when the meat is soft, stir in a few olives or prunes. You need an intense steam on a medium flame so a hotplate wouldn’t really work.

  10. Bharti Says:

    July 14th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Lucky girl…Morocco!

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