Authentic home-style Indian food and a touch of fine dining are the speciality of Asharaf Valappil, sous chef at
’s Indian restaurant, Daawat. Strand Palace
Asharaf’s cooking is influenced by the rich culinary heritage of Kerala, his homeland in south-western
India, otherwise known as the
‘ , so his repertoire of dishes
explodes with spice and rich flavour. Land of Spices
Also experienced in regional Indian, Asian, Thai and Italian cuisine, Asharaf works alongside
head chef, Martin Lynch, to recreate dishes from regions including the Indian Malabar coast, Goa,
Kashmir, and the Punjab.
Asharaf even offers an exotic version of very English Afternoon Tea or High Chai – a mix of spicy savouries, traditional Indian cakes, or dainty delicacies including good old British scones with a generous dollop of cream. Simply spiffing!
Prawn Balichow Recipe
- 100ml Vegetable oil
- 800 grams Prawns with shells
- 3 Plum tomatoes finely chopped
- 5 grams Turmeric powder
- 300 grams Banana shallots
- 10 grams Ginger garlic paste
- 1 sprig Curry leaves (optional)
- 3 Cloves
- 1 tsp Black mustard seeds
- 2 small sticks Cinnamon
- 3 Red chillies (less if you prefer mild)
- 100ml Malt vinegar
- 20 grams Sugar
- ¼ tsp Salt
Clean the prawns and remove their shells, then put to one side
Heat a pan and add 25 ml oil, the turmeric powder and prawns. Cook until the prwns are a light golden colour.
Next add the tomato, ginger, garlic paste, cinnamon cloves, red chillies and vinegar into a bowl and blend.
Heat a heavy based pan with 75 ml oil for tempering, then add the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Add the chopped shallots and sauté until golden.
Add the paste, cover and cook over a slow flame for 10 minutes until the oil begins to separate from the gravy.
Add the prawns and cook for 6-8 minutes until the prawns are thoroughly cooked, then add the salt and sugar.
Garnish with chopped coriander and finely chopped spring onion.
Serve with steamed rice.