Nadiya heads to an indoor, urban farm in a London industrial estate. Nadiya helps co-creator Kate Hofman feed their fish and harvest watercress, and then cooks a fish curry.
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I'm a busy mum, and I cook every day.
So I try to keep my food exciting.
I like to experiment with new flavours and ingredients.
Is that yummy?
But, I've always wanted to find out more about the food
I feed my family.
So in this series, I'm travelling the length and breadth
of the country, to meet the fishermen...
-There's a Dover sole.
-We've got a fish, we've got a fish!
-Has anyone ever gone in?
-Yeah, I have!
..the chefs, and the producers who go the extra mile
to make British food some of the best in the world.
I'll explore some familiar foods...
That is so pretty!
I feel totally inspired.
And try some that are totally new.
You have to be completely bonkers to cook like this!
And I'll be creating brand-new recipes...
..inspired by their produce...
-Hope you're hungry!
-It smells amazing!
..as I go on my British Food Adventure.
This time, I'll be in one of the top food capitals of the world.
It's a melting pot of cultures, tastes and smells,
and a city at the cutting edge of cuisine...
..where pioneering people go to extremes to tickle our taste buds...
This is just astonishing.
..and dazzle our senses.
It's like being back in the science lab in year eight!
It's lovely, isn't it?
But before the extravagance of the big city,
I'm going to make something simple,
which, for me, captures London's everyday spirit.
It can be found on every street corner,
one of the most popular takeouts in the Big Smoke,
fried chicken and chips.
I remember the first time I had chicken and chips.
My dad said that we couldn't have takeaway,
so we did exactly what we do when Dad says we can't do something.
We did it anyway! So we went out and we got chicken and chips -
it was the best thing I ever had.
My own recipe, crispy chicken with sweet potato fries
and barbecue beans, is lip-smackingly good,
and the perfect Saturday night treat.
And it starts with a pan of boiling water.
It's just going to render off some of the fat from the skin,
which means that when I go to fry it, it will be lovely and crispy.
And I got this tip right from the High Street,
but I'm not telling you where.
After a few minutes, take them out, pat them dry and get flavouring.
First in the bowl, some sweet chilli sauce.
I'm not using it as a sauce, I'm using it as a marinade.
This is about getting flavour in layers, in every nook and cranny,
and so that chicken is going to taste spicy and sweet,
and it's going to be all the way through.
While the chicken sits in that lovely chilli sauce,
I need to make a dry spice mix.
Flour, salt, cayenne, garlic and onion powder.
And finally, my magic ingredient, baking powder.
I don't actually know what the science is.
All I know, when baking powder touches moisture,
it has a fizzy effect, and somehow that works really, really well
to crisp up chicken.
Now introduce the chilli-soaked chicken to the spiced flour.
Get in there.
Move it around, give it a good coating.
With the chicken prepped, it's chips time.
This is definitely one of the kids' favourites, and my husband's.
My sweet potato wedges get a dusting of garlic powder mixed with salt and
paprika, then a coating of olive oil.
This is the best bit. Get your hands in, and mix it all up.
Whenever I make these, I know which fry has the most spice,
and so I put that in a place where I know I'll find it,
and as soon as they come out of the oven, that's the one I'll eat.
That one is mine.
I'm going to put it just there.
Flavour's guaranteed, now to get the crispiness.
Fried chicken shouldn't make me smile, but it really does,
from the inside out.
I'm not cooking the chicken through on the hob.
This is just about adding colour and all-important crispiness.
Look at that!
Now, that is what you're looking for.
Crispy skin makes me so happy!
This is the best bit.
We get it all in at once, and dinner will be ready all at the same time.
25 minutes at 180 should do the job.
But as any fast food fan knows,
chicken and chips needs a side order of proper barbecue beans.
I've got brown sauce, and putting together is cooking as well.
Smoked paprika completes that authentic barbecue spicing.
And so if anyone asks me, did you actually make those beans?
I say, yes, yes I did!
That's a nice smell to be greeted by.
That smells just like the chicken and chips
that I used to buy at the takeaway. Lovely and crisp.
If you can hear that skin, you've got it.
And that is the one that I saved for myself.
Mmm. So sweet!
That is bound to put a smile on my kids' faces.
Inspired by my favourite takeaway, their favourite meal,
crispy chicken with sweet potato fries
and a side order of barbecue beans.
Are they yummy?
My food adventure in London starts in an unlikely spot
in the industrial East End.
Sandwiched between a builder's and a wallpaper warehouse
is London's first commercial farm, an innovative project
designed to feed the city's ever-expanding population.
-Hello, I'm Kate.
-Come on in!
It's the brainchild of Kate Hoffman,
who's offered to give me a look around.
I mean, we've got our wellies on.
A farm, you expect to be wearing your wellies.
But I feel like we, with these white jackets on,
we are about to go off and do some sort of experiment.
So I guess this farm is probably more of a combination
of a science lab and a traditional farm.
This farm with a difference produces tilapia...
..a freshwater fish, popular in Asian cooking.
When I think of tilapia,
I think of the fish that my mum will go to the Asian supermarket,
that's come all the way from Thailand,
that's racked up some serious air miles.
Zero air miles on these!
Yeah, this is definitely probably the most local tilapia
you're going to find in London, and there's a big market for it.
It takes just six months for tilapia to grow to full size,
and they are seen as a sustainable alternative to UK cod and haddock.
We have about 400 fish in each tank, and I know that sounds like a lot,
but compared to most other fish farms
that's actually quite a low stocking density.
Again, because we think that's better for the fish.
What you can see is, as the water's flowing round,
the fish sort of get into a pattern of just, kind of,
swimming against the current, and that's how you know that they're
chilled out and they're happy.
I think it's a really nice fish. It's got quite a mild flavour to it.
Yeah. Do you think if we flavoured these with salt and vinegar,
that they'd taste like salt and vinegar,
and we'd just cut out one process altogether?!
That is definitely an experiment that I think we should run
on one of these tanks.
But the tilapia is only half the story of this urban farm.
They're a fundamental part of a larger ecosystem,
hidden behind these doors.
This is what it looks like.
Wow! This is like a greenhouse/warehouse.
Yeah, kind of.
In this artificial environment,
each year they grow 20,000kg of fresh herbs and salads
bound for restaurants and supermarkets.
I mean, part of what we're doing in this room is we're recreating the
ideal conditions that a plant needs to grow.
We've got all of our LED lights here,
and that's providing the exact light spectrum
that these plants need to grow. So it's actually better than sun,
it's more effective than sunlight.
There's also no soil.
The plants are fertilised by the nutrient-rich waste from our fishy
friends next door.
All that waste water from the fish farm comes through
and provides the nutrients for the plants,
and that's how they grow so well.
So it's the power of poo that has made this...
I mean, you can yield such a beautiful, amazing crop.
-So, what kind of things are you growing?
So, we've got some micro-radish growing here,
with that really nice red stem.
These are our sunflower shoots growing here.
-Yeah. They're actually used in Thai cooking,
and they've got the most amazing nutty flavour to them.
Yeah. That's one thing when walking in here,
I'm overwhelmed by the smells. There's a lovely...
It's aromatic, but there's a spicy-type smell in here.
The flavour and the smell that we get from our crops is really strong.
It looks as if this could be the way forward
for food production in our cities,
so I can't wait to give it a proper taste test.
I think you could have these as a snack.
I'm going to use the farm's tilapia to make a curry,
but I'm going to need some watercress
from the top of this high-rise, high-tech field.
Just watch your head.
I never have that problem!
How fast does this thing go?
Don't worry, it's not going to go too fast!
I was hoping for some speed! Oh!
This is so cool!
Whoa, OK! I'm not scared!
Thankfully, despite my diminutive stature,
I do have a head for heights.
So you probably want to cut it about an inch from the bottom.
-That's it, yeah, perfect.
This is going to be the freshest curry I've cooked...
-..in my life.
-I can't wait!
-Literally, everything from under one roof.
I'm off to an equally unusual but appropriate setting to cook.
The car park rooftop where this urban farm began.
I'm making a speedy tilapia and watercress curry
with lemon couscous for Kate and all of her team.
Now, I'm serving my curry with couscous as pure defiance towards my
mother. Whenever she cooks a curry, it has to be,
we have to always serve it with rice.
So if my mum's watching this, she's going to hate this!
When cooking couscous,
there are just a few rules that you've got to follow.
A tablespoon of butter adds flavour,
and then I'm just going to top it off with some water.
Stop pouring when I've got a centimetre of water
at the top of the couscous. Now, cover that with cling film,
and just leave it on the side to just soak up all that liquid.
I've got this gorgeous tilapia.
Now, if you can't get tilapia,
I like to use fish that is quite firm
and that doesn't flake very much.
So something like sea bass, maybe even prawns.
Really entirely up to you.
So this, my mum will be happy with,
because this is how she taught me how to cook fish.
I'm going to add turmeric, and a little bit of paprika.
And I want to cook this on a really high heat.
What I do want is a lovely crisp skin on the outside.
As much as I love cod, and I love white fish,
that smell that tilapia has is the reason why my mum
will go to the ends of the earth to find fresh tilapia.
With the fish all crispy and delicious,
it's time to move on to the sauce.
Now, I'm going to start with three cloves of garlic.
I'm going to add my onion.
It can be quite confusing when you go to a supermarket
and they've got so many different types of chillies.
How do you know what chilli to use?
The smaller and tighter the chilli is,
it means it's packed with seeds,
which means it's probably a lot spicier.
The bigger and less packed that the chilli is, it's probably less spicy.
So it really depends on who you're cooking for.
If I'm cooking for me, I like this one,
because I don't like my food to blow my head off.
Finely chop the chillies...
..and add to the pan, along with a teaspoon of ground coriander.
Half a teaspoon of turmeric, and half a teaspoon of ground cumin.
Get all that water in.
I've got my lovely peppery watercress.
Finely chop, and add it to the pan.
You've got to just leave that watercress,
and let it just cook down nice and gently.
In some strange way, this feels like I'm cooking in a modern Bangladesh.
I've got the smell of curry, and I've got the smell of fumes,
all mixed into one.
But I'm in London, on the roof of a car park!
Add that fish back.
So I'm going to leave the fish on the pan on a low heat,
and I'm going to finish the couscous,
and then our meal will have been ready in 20 minutes.
Season the couscous, then bring it alive with the zest of a lemon.
I mean, that looks lovely, but it smells even better.
There's nothing nicer than topping a hot dish with fresh herbs.
It's got that lovely spicy aroma,
and with the lemon couscous, it just all works.
It's great to think this exotic tilapia and watercress curry
is made with ingredients produced right here in the middle of London.
It doesn't get more local than that.
-Hope you're hungry!
It smells amazing!
Oh, I'm excited, I can't wait to see what you think.
Yes. It's delicious!
How's there suddenly so many of you?
I start cooking some tilapia, and suddenly you all multiply!
-Here you go.
I know it sounds like a strange thing to say,
but it tastes really authentic.
It tastes like the fish is meant to go with the spices.
Definitely yummy sounds!
Whoever's making them yummy sounds, thank you very much!
It was fantastic!
In a place the size of London, there's all sorts of exciting,
experimental stuff going on, especially when it comes to food.
I'm on my way to Holloway, North London,
to find out more about one of the latest dining experiences
to hit the capital.
I love tinkering in the kitchen,
and experimenting with different flavour combinations.
So when I heard about this chef who likes to take scents
that you would normally find on a perfume counter,
and flavour his food with it, I had to meet him for myself.
-Come on, come into the garden.
Pratap Chahal and his wife Nik run a supper club
to showcase this radical approach to cooking, using smell as a flavour.
My curiosity is just bubbling over right now.
Take me right back to the beginning.
I spent 14 years working in mostly French Michelin restaurants
in London. But I just wanted to do something a little bit different,
and create an edible perfume.
He's like a mad scientist!
One of my favourite things is this little thing in here.
So this is oud.
Not just bark from the tree back there?
No, about £600 worth of wood in there.
-Have a smell of that.
-Does it change value if I sniff it?
-Does it take anything away?
-Each sniff is going to cost you!
That is intense!
I can't smell that and imagine eating that.
The biggest challenge was, to taste the perfume,
or to taste this very new flavour,
but not have it overpower your mouth.
-You know? So, that was the biggest challenge.
Let's go and cook.
To help me get my head round this unusual approach to cooking,
Pratap's going to make me one of his signature dishes.
Rump of lamb with frankincense and pomegranate.
Effectively, these are scents inspired by the ancient Spice Route.
So, there's a little bit of cinnamon there,
so just put a couple of pinches of cinnamon.
A little bit of salt.
I've got some beautiful pomegranate molasses.
Ooh! That's intense.
-Is this going in here?
I put a couple of teaspoons' worth.
You're a chef, you don't measure, do you?
-I'm slightly afraid of chefs!
That is a sinister laugh, that is!
Perfect. So this is how frankincense looks.
The best frankincense comes from Oman.
At one point, frankincense used to be worth its weight in gold.
-This was currency.
You just need a tiny little bit.
-And that's enough?
If you just crush it up a little bit.
-Is that all right?
Wow! That's the biggest blowtorch I've ever seen!
So that's just a little bit of charcoal.
The frankincense then goes on top of the burning charcoal,
and placed next to the rump of lamb.
It's like being back in the science lab in year eight!
There you go! And you can smell that, the smell coming off it.
-It's lovely, isn't it?
That's going to translate into taste.
-Because it's going to seep into the lamb,
and that's one of the ways of translating a smell into a flavour.
Once the meat has been left to infuse for ten minutes,
Pratap vacuum-seals it...
..and cooks it in a water bath to preserve as much of that lovely
frankincense aroma as he can.
This is just to give it that nice smokiness
that comes from caramelising the meat in a hot pan.
When I smell it, I mean, you have to be completely bonkers
to cook like this! I think that's a compliment for you.
-It is, absolutely.
-So, shall we try it?
Let's get stuck in.
This is absolutely delicious, but,
if someone didn't tell me that you'd scented this food,
I'd just think you were an amazing cook...
-That has done something to it,
but I can't quite put my finger on it.
Exactly. That's exactly the effect that I want.
That, Pratap, was scent-sational!
-Do you like what I did there?
-I love it!
That makes me really, really happy. That makes me really happy.
Seeing Pratap use scent in his food so successfully
has inspired me to try my own version.
An orange blossom and fresh herb-scented polenta cake.
It's going to smell as good as it tastes.
My cake begins with 180ml of light olive oil.
And now to the bowl, I'm going to add some caster sugar.
Then add three eggs.
Crack that in, and then give that a quick beat.
And gradually mix in 300 grams of ground almonds.
Now for the first of many fragrant, citrusy elements.
I'm using the zest of four mandarins.
And by adding the zest, you're really getting most of that flavour,
because all that oil, that gorgeous, delicious flavour,
is actually in the skin.
I mean, look at that. That is like a pot of gold, that is.
Rosemary has got this lovely, earthy smell to it, and it works really,
really well with the mandarin.
Well, suddenly I'm feeling a lot more like Pratap,
with my little brown bottle.
This is my orange blossom water.
It's not very citrusy, but it's got this very strong pollen flavour.
If you're experimenting,
I can almost guarantee that you will go overboard at some point,
but it's about paring it back.
But I've done the paring back for you, so it's OK,
just follow the recipe, it'll be absolutely fine.
I'm going to add three teaspoons.
I mean, that is already smelling absolutely amazing.
I've got 150 grams of polenta here.
To that I'm going to add one teaspoon of baking powder.
Quick stir through, and then add that, and give that a quick whizz.
Using polenta instead of flour makes this cake gloriously dense and
sticky, as well as gluten-free.
Now for a fragrant flavourful syrup to drench the cake with.
I've got my mandarin juice, four tablespoons of orange blossom honey,
and four sprigs of thyme.
This is the really boring, almost sciencey bit.
But there is a compound in thyme called thymol,
and mandarin is the only citrus fruit that has that in as well.
And that's why mandarin and thyme work really, really well together.
Warm the syrup to let all those aromatic flavours infuse.
After about an hour, your cake should be ready.
Well, that smells absolutely delicious.
It's taken over the whole kitchen.
You can smell the rosemary, you can smell the mandarin.
For even more scented indulgence,
I'm icing my cake using my secret ingredient, pistachio oil.
I'm adding this instead of water to my icing sugar.
It smells like pistachio, but it's got a lovely smoky smell,
and, I mean, it's such an intense flavour,
and it works so well in an icing.
I've got these lovely pistachio nibs.
These are like beautiful green jewels. Be generous.
There it is, my very own aromatic cake,
using fresh herbs and orange blossom oil.
It smells amazing!
I just hope Pratap and Nik love it as much as I do.
Oh, my God. You know what, I was not expecting the smell,
the aroma of the beautiful light, delicate orange blossom
to come through, but it does.
And also, just with that smoky, nutty pistachio,
-Have a taste.
-I'm going in, guys.
-Oh, my God.
-That is delicious.
I've learned something today. Honestly!
The capital has revealed mavericks and new food trends that awaken the
senses, while its diversity offers flavours from practically anywhere
in the world.
For my final recipe,
I want to cook something which captures the city's essence,
by marrying an old tradition with a taste of the new.
This London-inspired recipe is a classic steak and kidney pie,
but I'm taking this pie to North Africa.
I'm mixing it up with ras-el-hanout,
a delicious blend of sweet and hot spices,
and a staple in Moroccan cooking.
Start by grating two cloves of garlic and a thumb of ginger.
I mean, garlic and ginger in a steak and kidney pie?
There is nothing normal about this pie.
I'm just going to chop up my onion.
Add the onions first, and then add the ginger and garlic.
I've been soaking some lambs' kidneys in milk,
to give them a milder taste.
I grew up on offal. We had offal maybe four, five times a week.
So, adding it to bulk meat out,
it makes such a difference to the flavour.
So don't be afraid of offal.
I'm combining it with beef braising steak.
This is a great cut of meat if you're doing a long, slow cook.
Next, add some chestnut mushrooms.
This is where I take the steak and kidney pie to North Africa.
This is ras-el-hanout,
and this particular blend has got a mixture of cumin, coriander seeds,
turmeric, mace, cinnamon, and lots of rose petals.
This symphony of flavours will give my pie a hint of the Moroccan souk.
Oh, if we had smellovision,
you'd be knocking that door down.
Traditionally, a steak and kidney pie is made with beef stock,
but I've got a clever twist that adds even more spice.
Leave that on a medium heat,
and let it cook down until all of that liquid has evaporated,
leaving you with a sweet, gingery, spicy, thick sauce.
Seeing as we're going completely off-piste,
let's add some spring onions to it!
That smells lovely!
So, I want the filling to be completely cool,
so I'll set that aside and get started on the suet pastry.
Mix together flour, butter and suet.
Then add cold water.
You'll see those bits of suet are going to try and escape.
Oh no, they're going nowhere.
Push them straight back into the dough.
For the top.
Set that aside.
And then I'm going to roll out my pastry.
Place it into a greased loaf tin.
And then be sure to get into all the corners.
Let's get on to that filling.
It's all thickened up.
It looks even tastier now.
The one thing I've learned about a pie, is it's great,
up until you can't get it out of the tin.
So by tucking the pastry edges inwards,
you can almost guarantee that it's coming out.
There'll be no spooning pie, not here, oh no.
I'm going to bake and steam the pie at the same time.
So by adding boiling water to the base of the pan,
it'll stop the pie from baking unevenly.
That goes into the oven for two hours.
Look at that!
That looks absolutely amazing.
Let's cut into it.
That looks so good!
That aroma of the ras-el-hanout is just so subtle, yet so satisfying.
It's a meeting of two worlds, the traditional tastes of old London,
and the modern multicultural one, all wrapped up together.
The capital has excited my senses,
and shown me some cutting-edge trends.
But it's not the only place making its mark on the food we love.
Next time, I'll be in Yorkshire
to experience some ancient traditions...
-Do you ever sleep?
-If fishing's good, it doesn't matter about sleep!
..and I'll be discovering some new ones.
Would like to start with the massaging.
That makes me so happy!
To discover cutting-edge food, Nadiya heads to London. Her first stop is Grow Up - an indoor, urban farm in an industrial estate. Nadiya helps co-creator Kate Hofman feed their fish and harvest watercress. Nadiya then cooks a fish curry for the farm staff.
Next, Nadiya visits Pratap Chatal, a chef who cooks with fragrances. He makes her a lamb dish spiced with frankincense. Nadiya then creates an aromatic cake and a Moroccan twist on a steak and kidney pie.