If you are looking for an ingredient that is versatile, tasty and healthy, then fish is hard to beat. It has been on the menu for many millennia, with our ancestors honing their fishing skills as a means of survival. Fast forward to modern times and fish still features on the weekly (or even daily) menu for many people around the world. In the UK, there are plenty of us who have grown up eating fish and chips from newspaper packets with our fingers.
But despite our love of fish, if you went into an Indian restaurant in the UK less than 15 years ago looking for a delicious fish dish, you’d be forgiven for thinking that fish didn’t feature in the Indian diet at all. The reality, however, is the exact opposite;with a coastline of more than three thousand miles and numerous rivers and lakes, fish is very much part of the culinary culture in India.
Traditionally, Indian restaurants have served dishes of north Indian origin. The cuisine of the North focuses on meat and poultry rather than fish and seafood – and therein lies the confusion. Dishes from the southern states of India (including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa and Karnataka) and Bengal in the east are renowned for their emphasis on fish but it is only in the last decade or so that we are getting a taste of these regional cuisines on our shores.
As an island, the UK is surrounded by sea,meaning a variety of fish is readily available. Indian restaurants are taking advantage of both this and the fact that fish consumption in the UK is on the up. Some of the most exquisite fish dishes now appear on a number of London’s fine dining Indian restaurants. Menus feature fish and seafood as varied as salmon, plaice, turbot, monkfish, lobster and scallops. Once upon a time this list would have read more along the lines of pomfret and prawns.
Not that there is anything wrong with pomfret or prawns. They are perfectly matched to Indian cuisine and taste great whether added to curries, grilled, baked tandoori-style, or fried. The trick, however, is to be bold with the choice of ingredients and never shy away from experimenting with flavours, textures and techniques.
One fine dining Indian restaurant that caters to the tastes of fish and seafood lovers as well as meat-eaters and vegetarians is Amaya. This Michelin-starred restaurant, located in London’s Knightsbridge, offers a unique experience with its cutting-edge style of food and cooking techniques. The open grill kitchen area creates the sense of drama and complements Amaya’s avant-garde approach to Indian fine dining.
Moving away from convention, but never forgetting the roots and traditions of Indian cuisine, our experienced and dedicated chefs combine the freshest of ingredients with a fresh approach to creating mouth-watering dishes. Amaya was the first restaurant of its kind to explore these kinds of culinary combinations and remains an innovator in this style of cuisine. From fresh, seasonal fish dishes and masala lobster, to seafood platters featuring prawns, oysters and scallops,every dish tells a story.