For years a fan of Indian food, Hannah Talmage was wowed by Shilpa Dandekar’s modern take on her national dishes
I was intrigued when I arrived at PURE Indian Cooking in Fulham, the simple, pared back décor could be mistaken for any another curry house but miss it and you would be missing out on somewhere rather special. The food is far removed from your average Indian cuisine and the approach is much closer to fine-dining than Saturday-night curry. Visionary Chef-Patron Shilpa Dandekar creates delicious food with passion and creativity adding her own twist to each dish. Shilpa’s training is impressive, having worked as head chef for maestro Raymond Blanc at Brasserie Blanc and sous chef at the Michelin-starred Quilon.
First glance at the menu and you will recognise many of the dishes but take a second look and you’ll realise Shilpa has added her own signature using seasonal and fresh ingredients to combine traditional Indian dishes with modern techniques found across Europe. Her creativity and confident experimentation sets her dishes apart and you can see how she has gained the well-earned reputation as one of London’s leading female chefs.
My companion and I poured over the extensive menu for some time unable to decide, everything looked delicious. We started with a couple of Shilpa’s most popular dishes, the Patra Chaat, colocasia leaves served with creamy yoghurt, date and tamarind chutney and sprinkled with generous helpings of pomegranate. Fresh and punchy with flavour and vibrant with colour brightening up a gloomy October evening.
We couldn’t resist the sound of the Andhra shrimps in a spicy fennel masala – and they didn’t disappoint. Spicy but not overpowering and delicious paired with the cool, fresh Patra Chaat. We cleaned our plates in minutes and I could easily have devoured it again.
Next we chose the flavour-packed crab with ginger, green chilli and kokum and the Nalli ghosht, perfectly slow cooked lamb shank with a mild spice combination that literally melted in the mouth. We opted for a side of asparagus with mustard and curry leaves and a fluffy nan to mop up the delicious sauces.
Our feast at PURE Indian Cooking in Fulham surpassed my expectations so don’t be put off by the simple exterior and pared back interior, you are in for a treat.
PURE Indian Cooking, 67 Fulham High Street, London SW6 3JJ. 020 7736 2521