I do not care for out-and-out veganism, but it is January and so on we go. There’s a lot to be said about the broadening nature of cheffy vegetables, and restaurants cashing in on Britain’s insatiable desire to eat avocados.
New to the UK is Matthew Kenney, a very American-looking chef, famous in
the States for plant-based menus.
I hadn’t heard of him until my inbox pinged with an invite to his new place at Selfridges on London’s Oxford Street. It’s called Adesse, and on the menu are dishes such as jackfruit ‘crabcakes’, cacio e pepe made with kelp noodles, and mushroom and root vegetable burgers.
I will visit because there’s no need to be unnecessarily cynical about these things and I am fond of inventive and fresh cookery, vegan included. And I
can always have a steak the next day.
One of Kenney’s dishes that caught my eye was avocado tikka, which comes with grilled potato flatbread and curried yoghurt. I’d exist perfectly comfortably were I to never eat a mouthful of avocado again, but you’ve got to hand it to whoever’s marketing the fruit, haven’t you? Good God, it’s up there with any track by Drake and Fila trainers in terms of cultural significance these days.
Also, I love potato bread. And I miss it, because at the moment I’m trying to avoid carbs to reverse the sudden arrival of man-breasts.
Anyway, here the potato bread acts as a gentle mattress for avocado, which absolutely welcomes flavours like curry powder, vadouvan, and cashews.
I should say, Kenny, as a chef, is not only plant-based, but super health-conscious, so uses things like “filtered water” here. I reckon you’d be alright
AVOCADO TIKKA, POTATO BREAD, CURRY LEAF YOGHURT, CURRY LEAF OIL, TIKKA POWDER
35g mixed salad leaves
For the CURRY LEAF OIL:
5g (around 1tsp) Curry Leaves, no stems
100ml Grapeseed oil
Pinch of sea salt
Mix everything together in the blender, strain through chinois or muslin cloth
For the CURRY LEAF YOGHURT:
300g soaked cashews
100ml filtered water
35ml apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp curry leaf oil (see recipe above)
2 tsp sea salt
Blend all ingredients until very smooth and with yoghurt consistency.
With the blender off the motor, scrape down the sides of the blender beaker at least once during the process for best results. Slowly drizzle in the curry
For the POTATO BREAD:
170g potatoes, cooked and peeled
170g plain flour (if GF, buckwheat flour)
Handful of dill
40g curry leaf yoghurt (see above)
Pinch of salt
Peel the potatoes and place in heavily salted water with a big handful of dill
leaves. Cook the potatoes until tender. Remove dill from the potatoes and drain, mash or put through a ricer. Add one cup of potatoes per one cup of
flour by volume and mix together with the yoghurt until smooth. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes, until it gets a bit moist.
Shape the potatoes into balls of desired weight. Roll the balls out with a rolling pin and place directly on a griddle, turning when ready, or grill both sides
For the TIKKA POWDER:
1 tsp onion powder
¼ tsp ground fenugreek
¼ tsp ground cumin
Pinch of turmeric
¼ tsp hot paprika
1 tsp curry powder
1tsp citric acid (available from health food shops)
Pinch of salt
Thoroughly mix all ingredients together
Swirl some of the remaining yoghurt around the plate and dust with tikka
Place half an avocado on top of the yoghurt, then top with the salad leaves, dressed with a little of the remaining curry oil and salt.
Serve bread on the side for mopping up.