Nisha Katona is one of my favourite Asian chefs.  Her recipes are simple and delicious, and with her latest cookbook – BOLD –  she takes you on a new journey of culinary boldness

Armed with this book, friends and family will be wowed by some of the incredibly good dishes that you can create without spending hours in the kitchen, or a fortune at the supermarket.  This latest collection of her recipes has one thing in common: they have an element that takes them beyond the usual and familiar. 

From surprising ingredient combinations to incredible flavour twists, Nisha draws on her heritage and Lancashire upbringing, where she learnt both Indian and traditional Northern dishes.

Marrying a Hungarian and discovering the delights of Eastern European cooking have encouraged Nisha to expand her flavour horizons further still.  

About Nisha Katona

Nisha is CEO, executive and development chef of Mowgli Street Food restaurants and founder of the Mowgli Trust charity, which donates over £500k each year.

In 2014, she gave up the security of a 20-year career as a Child Protection Barrister, using her savings to open the first Mowgli Street Food restaurant in Liverpool.

She has grown Mowgli Street Food to over 20 restaurants. Nisha was awarded an MBE in 2019 for services in the food industry.

She’s written five cookbooks including Mowgli Street Food, 30 Minute Mowgli and Meat Free Mowgli.

She’s featured extensively as a business and food expert on the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 and Radio 4,  is a regular chef on ITV’s This Morning and a judge on the BBC’s Great British Menu and MasterChef

About BOLD

A chicken burger is given a makeover with crunchy nut flakes; an oxtail pie is pepped up with coffee; and delicious doughnuts are topped with a miso and parmesan cheese glaze.

There are tantalising sweets: a sweet fruity pavlova is accompanied by a savoury herb drizzle; a traditional Liverpool Tart from Nisha’s hometown is transformed with oranges and cardamon; and a Bourbon ice-cream is pimped up with salty and sweet candied bacon.

The book is broken down into chapters entitled Small Plates; Big Plates; Sweet Plates and Drinks. 

According to Katona, “Bold is all about being brave in the kitchen. It is about creating delicious, surprising, head-turning dishes. I want to show you that a little thinking outside the box in the way ingredients are combined, can change the way you cook forever!”

BOLD is published by Nourish Books at £30 (hardback) 

Here are a few recipes to show you how exciting and different the dishes are:



Anyone who has visited an Indian or Pakistani restaurant in Scotland recently might have seen this specialty on the menu: haggis pakoras.

A truly Scottish twist on classic Indian fare, it really works, as haggis (both the meat and veggie versions) makes a brilliant candidate for deep frying.

I thought I’d put a Glaswegian spin on things by enfolding the haggis in a batter imbued with every Scotsman’s favourite soft drink: Irn Bru.

These punchy bites are delicious served with a tomato chutney on the side and guaranteed to put hairs on your chest, or at least create a talking point to kick off dinner.

And if you don’t fancy the Irn Bru, try replacing it with the same quantity of beer or lager, which will work just as well.”

450g/1lb haggis
190g/61⁄2oz/13⁄4 cups gram flour/besan
1⁄2 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
1⁄2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
11/2 tsp garam masala
1⁄2 tsp salt
about 300ml/10fl oz/11⁄4 cups Irn Bru (or beer or lager) (you may not need it all)
vegetable oil, for deep frying

Remove the casing from the haggis and crumble it up into largish chunks in a small bowl. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix together the gram flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt. Slowly pour in the Iru Bru, stirring as you go. You need it to form a smooth, thick paste, so add the liquid slowly and stop adding if the batter’s getting too loose. Once you have a thick batter that pours at a slow ooze, stir in the haggis chunks.

Pour the oil into a saucepan to a depth of about 5cm/2in and heat to 180°C/350°F (or heat a deep- fat fryer to the same temperature). If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, the oil is hot enough when a small amount of batter sizzles and floats to the surface when dropped in.

Scoop tablespoons of the batter and carefully dollop them straight into the hot oil. Cook just a few at a time so you don’t overcrowd the pan and they can crisp up nicely.

Cook for 3–5 minutes until golden and crisp. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and leave to drain on a plate lined with paper towels while you cook the remaining batches. Serve hot.


(SERVES 2–4)

“Amchoor is a spice not frequently used in Western cuisine – it’s probably not something everyone has on their spice rack along with the usual cumin and coriander, but do give it a go if you can find it. This recipe is all about experimenting with new flavours – the sweet-and-sour sharpness the citrussy amchoor brings to this rich starter or light lunch is delightful.

Note: a large cauliflower should easily yield four steaks but you will have leftover cauliflower.

4 cauliflower steaks, each 2cm/3/4in thick
70g/21/2oz butter
1 tbsp amchoor
1 tsp ground coriander
1 large garlic clove, crushed
60g/2oz shelled pistachios
1–2 limes, halved
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

1 fresh ripe mango, peeled, stoned and sliced
dollops of thick plain yogurt
a large handful of fresh coriander/cilantro sprigs

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/Gas 7 and line a baking sheet with foil. Lay your cauli steaks on the baking sheet.

Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave (or in a small pan on the hob/stovetop) and stir in the amchoor, coriander, garlic and a good pinch of salt. Brush this mixture over both sides of the cauliflower steaks, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the pistachio crumb. Finely chop the pistachios, put them in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper.

Once the 15 minutes are up, turn the steaks over. Add the lime halves to the tray and return it to the oven for another 15 minutes, or until the cauli steaks are tender and really starting to take on some colour.

After this time, sprinkle the chopped pistachios over the tops of the cauli steaks and return them to the oven for about 3 minutes to toast the pistachios. Keep an eye on them as they can burn easily.

Serve the cauli steaks with slices of fresh mango, a dollop of yogurt, fresh coriander and a squeeze of the roasted lime juice.




“There is a lovely light texture to this velvety mousse. With its intensely floral hit of Parma Violets, it provides an unexpected flavour to liven up the tastebuds.

Ideal to serve to dinner guests when entertaining.”

150g/5oz dark/bittersweet chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped90ml/3fl oz/6 tbsp hot water
2 large eggs, separated
30g/1oz/2 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
a few drops of violet extract, to taste (I use about 6–7)
100ml/31⁄2fl oz/scant 1⁄2 cup double/heavy cream or whipping cream
1 small roll of Parma Violet sweets

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl, pour in the hot water and set the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl is not touching the water. Leave to melt for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Once smooth, remove the bowl from the pan and leave the chocolate to cool a little.

Meanwhile, put the egg whites in a perfectly clean bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Start adding the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to whisk until all the sugar is incorporated and the egg whites are glossy and stiff.

Stir the egg yolks into the chocolate mixture until well incorporated, then add the violet extract, making it as strong as you dare.

With a large metal spoon, beat a couple of tablespoons of the egg white into the chocolate mixture to loosen it. Then, add the remaining egg white and fold it in gently, being careful not to knock all the air out of the mousse. Divide the mousse between four ramekin dishes or glasses and leave in the refrigerator to set.

Before serving, whip the cream to soft peaks. Roughly crush the Parma Violets, leaving some larger pieces. Serve the mousse pots with a blob of cream on top and sprinkle with the sweets to decorate.