“It’s the classic Indian chaat snack – they have been present in every single family celebration,” Loyal says.

“Whether it’s a birthday, someone passing an exam, or someone moving into a new house – dare I say it, even when sad things happen, we will have samosas because everyone knows they’re the thing that will lift people up. So I feel very nostalgic about samosas.”

But that doesn’t mean he isn’t up for giving his own spin on the classic recipe. In his debut cookbook, Mother Tongue, Loyal makes new versions of some of the most-loved recipes of his childhood. “My samosas in the book are harissa, paneer, fennel seed and pistachio – so mixing in Middle Eastern flavours and paneer into my own take on a samosa.”

The remixed recipes don’t stop there. He’s given the British classic, roast chicken, a global interpretation with curry leaf, lemongrass and Aleppo pepper, and then there are the fishcakes.

“I think you can preserve your heritage by putting your own spin on things,” Loyal reflects.

“I wasn’t overly concerned with preserving things exactly as my mum did them, because she did them different to her mum, and her mum did them different to her mum – they all put their own stamp on things.”

Loyal recognises food can be “such an emotive and emotional facet to identity”, but says: “That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out and be adventurous and curious. It’s about having a genuine curiosity and interest in the community you’re going to borrow from.”

Stilton and tamarind Mumbai toastie


(Makes 2)

For the tamarind potatoes:

1tbsp ghee

1½tsp coriander seeds, crushed

1½tsp fennel seeds, crushed

1 large potato, boiled and mashed

1 small red onion, very finely chopped

1 green chilli, very finely chopped

1tsp fine sea salt

2tbsp gunpowder masala, or garam masala, plus 1tsp

4tbsp Tamarind, Date & Mint Sauce, or bottled tamarind table ketchup, or brown sauce, plus more to serve

2tbsp chopped coriander leaves

For the toasties:

4 thick slices of white bread

2tbsp unsalted butter, very soft, plus more for spreading

4tbsp thick sev, plus more to serve

150g Stilton cheese, crumbled


1. To make the tamarind potatoes, gently heat the ghee in a saucepan, then add the crushed coriander and fennel seeds, sizzling for one minute. Mix in the mashed potato, red onion, green chilli, salt and gunpowder or garam masala. Turn up the heat to medium, add the tamarind sauce, ketchup or brown sauce and cook for two to three minutes. Finish by mixing through the coriander, then leave to cool.

2. Heat a toastie maker or sandwich grill so it’s hot. (If you don’t have one, these can just as easily be made in a griddle or frying pan).

3. Spread the inside of two pieces of bread with butter, then spoon over a thick layer of the tamarind potatoes. Sprinkle over the thick sev for some crunch. Butter the other slices of bread then generously crumble over the Stilton. Press the two slices together.

4. Mix the two tablespoons of very soft butter with the one teaspoon of gunpowder or garam masala, and spread over the outsides of the sandwiches. Grill for three to four minutes, until the bread is nicely toasted and the Stilton oozing out. Serve with extra tamarind sauce for dipping and thick sev for even more crunch.

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

Kasundi keema lasagne rolls


(Serves 4)

For the kasundi keema:

2tbsp ghee

2 large onions, finely chopped

1tbsp coriander seeds, crushed

1tbsp black mustard seeds

1tbsp cumin seeds

8 garlic cloves, very finely chopped

2tbsp finely grated fresh ginger

2tsp chilli flakes

500g minced lamb (20% fat)

2tbsp garam masala

2tsp fine sea salt

5tbsp tomato purée

2tbsp dark brown sugar

3tbsp apple cider vinegar

½ 400g can of chopped tomatoes

For the cheese paste:

200g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

2tsp cumin seeds, crushed

3tbsp coarse semolina

1tsp coarsely ground black pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

For the greens:

200g cavolo nero, coarse stalks removed

1tbsp English mustard

4 garlic cloves, very finely chopped or grated

4tbsp lemon juice

For the lasagne rolls and tarkha:

10-12 lasagne sheets

500g jar of tomato pasta sauce

2tbsp vegetable oil

30-35 fresh curry leaves

1½tbsp black mustard seeds

1tsp chilli flakes


1. To make the keema, heat the ghee in a large pan, add the onions and cook for seven to eight minutes until golden.

2. Next add the coriander, mustard and cumin seeds, cooking for another two to three minutes, before adding the garlic, ginger and chilli flakes. Now add the lamb, browning for four to six minutes before mixing through the garam masala and salt. Finally add the tomato purée, sugar and vinegar, along with the tomatoes. Simmer and reduce for five to seven minutes, then set aside.

3. To make the cheese paste, combine all the ingredients together into a crumbly mixture.

4. For the greens, boil the cavolo nero in salted water for five to six minutes until tender, then blend with the mustard, garlic and lemon juice into a thick smooth paste. Add a little water if needed, then let it cool.

5. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan.

6. Cover the lasagne sheets with boiling water and leave for four to five minutes to soften a little. Slice each lasagne sheet down the middle lengthways, making two strips ready for rolling.

7. Take one pasta strip, spread with one tablespoon of the mustard greens, sprinkle over some cheese paste and finally add a spoon of keema. Roll up tightly into a snail. Repeat to form all the lasagne rolls.

8. Pour the jarred tomato pasta sauce into an ovenproof dish and tightly pack in the lasagne rolls.

9. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for a final 10-15 minutes, until piping hot and crusty on top.

10. Meanwhile, for the tarkha, heat the vegetable oil in a pan, then add the curry leaves, mustard seeds and chilli flakes. Sizzle for one minute, then drizzle over the baked lasagne rolls just before serving.

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

Chocolate orange jalebi


(Makes 25-30)

For the batter:

180g plain flour, plus 1tbsp more if needed

1tbsp cornflour

2tbsp rice flour

1tbsp fine cornmeal

2tbsp natural yogurt

1L sunflower oil, plus 1tsp

1tbsp lemon juice

¼tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the syrup:

400g granulated sugar

2tbsp finely grated orange zest

10 green cardamom pods, split

2-3 drops orange extract

15 saffron strands

2tbsp orange juice

1tbsp lemon juice

To serve:

200g milk or dark chocolate, melted

Pistachio nibs

Thin orange segments, or finely grated orange zest

Sea salt flakes

Silver leaf (optional)


1. To make the batter, whisk the 180 grams of plain flour, the cornflour, rice flour and fine cornmeal together in a mixing bowl. In a separate jug, whisk together the yogurt, one teaspoon of sunflower oil, the lemon juice and 185 millilitres of cold water.

2. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking for two to three minutes until you have a smooth dense pancake batter; if needed, add another 25-50 millilitres of water. It should be pourable, but also thick enough to drop in smooth ribbons, so the coiled spirals keep their shape when fried; you don’t want it too runny or too thick.

3. Cover and rest for 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, to prepare the syrup, put the sugar, orange zest, bashed cardamom pods, orange extract and saffron in a deep frying pan, along with 275 millilitres of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for three to four minutes, until the syrup reaches a one-string consistency. Finally, add the orange and lemon juices, whisking well. Keep warm over a low heat to one side; warm syrup will soak into the fried jalebi shells more easily.

5. Heat one litre of oil to 160°C in a deep frying pan or wok. Keep it at this temperature, not too high, or the jalebis will cook too quickly.

6. Add the bicarbonate of soda to the rested batter and whisk thoroughly, then pour into a squeezy bottle with a small (three millimetre) nozzle, or a plastic piping bag snipped at the end. When the oil is ready, swiftly pipe the batter into the hot oil in spiralling snail shapes, pressing the bottle hard as you coil from the inside out, then coil back from the outside in. The swifter you are, the better the shapes will be! Only fry two to three at a time; the batter will sink at first, then quickly rise and puff up. If the batter is scattering in the oil, thicken it with the extra one tablespoon of flour.

7. Fry for two to three minutes on each side until golden and crispy. Use tongs to remove the hot jalebi shells from the oil. Drain on kitchen paper, then immediately drop into the warm syrup. Leave for three to four minutes to fully absorb the sugary liquid, flipping over halfway. Pile on to a plate and cool to room temperature.

8. Dip the cooled jalebis into the melted chocolate, then sprinkle with pistachio nibs, orange segments, orange zest and sea salt flakes. You could even add some silver leaf, if you want. Let the chocolate set hard, if you like, although that’s not essential.

Credits: PA; Author: PA;

Mother Tongue: Flavours Of A Second Generation is published by Fourth Estate.