Mowgli Street Food by Nisha Katona

In 2014, barrister Nisha Katona wanted to build a restaurant serving the kind of food Indians eat at home and on the street. The first Mowgli restaurant opened in Liverpool in late 2014, blowing away the critics forming legions of fans. Nisha gave up her 20-year career to build Mowgli Liverpool and now there are six Mowgli locations in the UK. Nisha, a dedicated curry evangelist, is responsible for Mowgli’s growth and she still hand trains each new Mowgli chef.

The simple dishes on the Mowgli menu differ greatly from the curry stereotype. These dishes reflect real Indian food which is extremely healthy, often vegan, and always packed with fresh flavour. One hundred of those signature dishes are shared in her latest book, Mowgli Street Food: Stories and Recipes from the Mowgli Street Food Restaurants. I am a street food devotee and Indian food is one of my favorite cuisines so this book is a winner in my collection. The recipes here range from Gunpowder chicken, Mowgli rocky road (yes there are desserts!), Mowgli onion bhajis to cocktails and drinks. Measurements are given in weight and volume and the recipes are approachable and made with ingredients that aren’t difficult to procure.

Nadia has written two previous cookbooks, The Spice Tree and Pimp My Rice that should be on your radar. Special thanks to Nourish Books for sharing the following two recipes with our members today. Be sure to add them to your bookshelf and scroll to the end of this post to enter our giveaway to win a copy of Mowgli Street Food.   

Chinese Lettuce Salad 
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These big, crunchy, moist leaves are not a common Indian ingredient. They are, however, my favourite salad leaf. They are giant, generous, sweet torpedoes that work as well in salads as they do in soups or stir-fries. This salad formula is entirely transferable to your favourite leaves.

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 small Chinese lettuces, halved and finely shredded
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • ½ small bunch of fresh coriander/cilantro, leaves and stalks roughly chopped
  • ¼ tsp chat masala
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

1 Put the vegetable oil in a small frying pan set over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds and fry until they begin to fizz and pop. Remove from the heat and set aside until cool.

2 In a large bowl, add all of the remaining ingredients, mix well, check for seasoning and serve immediately.

Fish Pakoras
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Pakora is just another word for bhaji – another excuse for that gram flour batter. This is as close as Indians get to fish fingers. Play with the batter to make this a bespoke favourite. Lime zest and your choice of herbs finely chopped are a good twist.

  • 450g/1lb skinned white fish fillets, such as cod or haddock, chopped into 2.5cm/1 inch chunks
  • vegetable oil, for deep frying
  • fresh coriander/cilantro


  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2.5cm/1 inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cumin


  • 200g/7oz/12⁄3 cups gram/chickpea flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp garam masala

1 Mix the fish with the marinade ingredients, cover and set aside in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

2 Mix together the ingredients for the batter. Slowly pour 275-300ml/10-10½fl oz/ 1-1¼ cups water into the dry ingredients and mix well – you want it to form a smooth paste.

3 Heat a deep-fat fryer to 180°C/350°F or set a saucepan over a medium-high heat with about 4cm/1½ inches of oil. You know the oil is hot enough when you drop a small amount of batter into it and it floats to the surface.

4 Coat the fish pieces in the batter and carefully fry in small batches for 3-5 minutes until they are golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain thoroughly on paper towels.

5 Finish with fresh coriander and serve immediately.

Receipt excerpts used with permission from Mowgli Street Food: Stories and recipes from the Mowgli Street Food restaurants, by Nisha Katona. © Nourish Books, 2018. Hardback, £25. Commissioned photography © Yuki Sugiura


The publisher is offering three copies of this book to EYB Members in the US, CA and UK. One of the entry options is to answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.

Which recipe in the index would you try first?

Please note that you must be logged into the Rafflecopter contest before posting or your entry won’t be counted. For more information on this process, please see our step-by-step help post. Be sure to check your spam filters to receive our email notifications. Prizes can take up to 6 weeks to arrive from the publishers. If you are not already a Member, you can join at no cost. The contest ends at midnight on October 29th, 2018.

Post a comment


  • Kristjudy  on  September 12, 2018

    Gunpowder chicken

  • lauriesk  on  September 12, 2018

    I would try the Angry roast chicken

  • thecharlah  on  September 12, 2018

    Himalayan cheese on toast

  • EmilyR  on  September 13, 2018

    Mowgli paneer

  • etcjm  on  September 13, 2018

    Staff curry

  • greenvelvet  on  September 13, 2018

    Angry bird – I love cooking with chicken thighs and I love spices. Perfect!

  • KarenGlad  on  September 13, 2018

    Gunpowder chicken!!

  • merkusje  on  September 13, 2018

    Cauliflower and egg curry

  • NaomiH  on  September 13, 2018

    Mowgli paneer

  • sarahawker  on  September 13, 2018

    Mother butter chicken

  • Siegal  on  September 13, 2018

    The Mowgli sticky wings sounds greats

  • Foodycat  on  September 13, 2018

    It's hard to know where to begin, but i'm currently drinking masala chai, so I'd probably start with her chai latte.

  • janv  on  September 13, 2018

    Yogurt chat bombs

  • kmn4  on  September 13, 2018

    Tamarind treacle ribs

  • amyz218  on  September 13, 2018

    Lamb Keema 😊

  • riley  on  September 13, 2018

    Green Chili Pickles

  • Shelley.b  on  September 13, 2018

    Gunpowder chicken

  • kitchen_chick  on  September 13, 2018

    Black dahl

  • rchesser  on  September 13, 2018

    The Angry Chicken

  • ravensfan  on  September 13, 2018

    Nepalese steamed dumplings (Momos)

  • Thrasymachus  on  September 14, 2018

    Mother butter chicken

  • lapsapchung  on  September 14, 2018

    It would have to be momos, so my husband could see if they were like the ones he enjoyed when working in Nepal

  • sgump  on  September 14, 2018

    Definitely the lychee lassi!

  • elsid22  on  September 14, 2018

    Treacle tamarind fries…!

  • mpdeb98  on  September 14, 2018

    Gunpowder chicken

  • jifar  on  September 15, 2018

    Picnic Potato Curry

  • uk2nl  on  September 15, 2018

    There are so many I’d like to try but I’d start st the beginning with the Mowgli chip butty!

  • sywcindy  on  September 15, 2018

    Nepalese steamed dumplings

  • cake17uk  on  September 15, 2018

    Mowgli chocolate cake

  • shelswift  on  September 15, 2018

    Goan Fish Curry with Yogurt Chat Bombs… sounds like the bomb to me!!!

  • antpantsii  on  September 15, 2018

    Black dahl

  • PennyG  on  September 16, 2018

    Masala omelette wrap sounds perfect as a to-go breakfast!

  • Kelos  on  September 16, 2018

    Treacle tamarind fries sound delicious 🙂

  • Julia77  on  September 16, 2018

    Mowgli chutney

  • LSanders  on  September 16, 2018

    Lamb keema

  • MiMi60  on  September 16, 2018

    The classic Mowgli prawn curry

  • RSW  on  September 16, 2018

    Recipe Online
    Indian fish and chips

  • Ishtar  on  September 17, 2018

    Home-style aubergine

  • jmay42066  on  September 17, 2018

    Nepalese steamed dumplings

  • Steben  on  September 17, 2018

    The classic Mowgli prawn curry

  • jezpurr  on  September 17, 2018

    Gunpowder Chicken!!!^_^

  • matag  on  September 17, 2018

    Mowgli rocky road

  • Dannausc  on  September 21, 2018

    Angry bird

  • t.t  on  September 21, 2018

    Gunpowder chicken

  • Aproporpoise  on  September 22, 2018

    Nepalese steamed dumplings

  • sunset34  on  September 23, 2018

    The house chicken curry

  • banba1  on  September 24, 2018

    mowgli chip butty. I've always wanted to try a standard butty, and this sounds even better!

  • kelliwinter  on  September 24, 2018

    Tamarind chutney

  • cabrioler  on  September 25, 2018

    onion bhajis

  • maci234  on  September 25, 2018

    Gunpowder chicken

  • RoseMGenuine  on  September 27, 2018

    Cardamom coffee affogato

  • chris2468  on  September 27, 2018

    Which recipe in the index would you like to try first?

    Gunpowder Chicken

  • kkarin  on  September 27, 2018

    Bhel poori which my whole family loves.

  • adriancrook  on  September 27, 2018

    Fish pakoras

  • eatysmith  on  September 27, 2018

    Nepalese steamed dumplings!

  • kennethjohngilmour  on  September 27, 2018

    Mowgli Onion Bhajis

  • Laura1  on  September 28, 2018

    black dahl

  • milgwimper  on  September 29, 2018

    Gunpowder chicken

  • love2chow  on  September 29, 2018

    Mowgli sticky wings

  • monasli  on  September 30, 2018


  • RuthHarwood  on  September 30, 2018

    Mowgli sticky wings

  • clairew137  on  September 30, 2018

    Mowgli paneer

  • Livia  on  September 30, 2018

    I'd love the Fenugreek kissed fries (:

  • WCchopper  on  September 30, 2018

    Gunpowder chicken- yum!

  • Sfgordon  on  October 1, 2018

    I'd try Spiced broad beans

  • Gillian.Hitchen  on  October 1, 2018

    Gunpowder chicken

  • Lmocooks  on  October 2, 2018

    Mango Pickle

  • MamaEnki  on  October 2, 2018

    Cauliflower and egg curry

  • Sand9  on  October 3, 2018

    Fish Pakoras

  • tennyogirl  on  October 3, 2018

    Mowgli chip butty

  • sallycmc  on  October 5, 2018

    Cauliflower & Egg Curry

  • Pmatheson  on  October 5, 2018

    Chinese lettuce salad

  • demomcook  on  October 5, 2018

    Angry roast chicken

  • mmaji  on  October 6, 2018

    Sweet Delhi diazepam

  • fbrunetti  on  October 6, 2018

    Barbecue Bengali mackerel

  • lindaeatsherbooks  on  October 7, 2018

    I would like to try making the spiced butterfly prawns.

  • choppergirl  on  October 7, 2018

    Barbecue Bengali mackerel

  • Phil.Adams  on  October 8, 2018

    Staff Mutton Curry
    (Mutton is so under used!)

  • gden  on  October 8, 2018

    Black dahl

  • Kduncan  on  October 8, 2018

    Nepalese steamed dumplings (Momos)

  • LMS209  on  October 10, 2018

    Kohlrabi and ginger curry 🙂

  • bopper  on  October 11, 2018

    I`d try Bhel Puri

  • maria411  on  October 16, 2018

    gunpowder chicken

  • portkey  on  October 17, 2018

    black dahl

  • sheridarby  on  October 17, 2018

    Fish pakoras

  • herosky  on  October 17, 2018

    Green chilli pickles sound so good!

  • LaurenE  on  October 18, 2018

    Cauliflower and egg curry

  • zeenie  on  October 19, 2018

    Gunpowder chicken

  • DimensionAEB  on  October 19, 2018

    Cauliflower and egg curry.

  • yd1556  on  October 20, 2018

    Pink Himalayan Salted Caramel Ice Cream

  • HannahLI  on  October 20, 2018

    Gunpowder chicken

  • TheBlackLodge  on  October 20, 2018

    Angry Roast Chicken sounds fun!

  • orchidlady01  on  October 21, 2018

    Spiced butterfly prawns

  • auntietina  on  October 23, 2018

    Kohlrabi and ginger curry

  • MusicCityMissy  on  October 24, 2018

    Simple as it may be, I would try the tamarind chutney first because I love tamarind anything but particularly chutney. The tamarind treacle ribs would be next!

  • lgroom  on  October 26, 2018

    The angry chicken.

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