Founded by Huzefa and Hamza Sajawal, originally from Mumbai, the first Fatt Pundit restaurant opened in 2019, with another having opened this year. Operating from sites in Soho and Covent Garden, the restaurants showcase the traditional food cooked by the founders’ grandmother, specialising in Hakka cuisine. Celebrating the Indo Chinese cooking originating from Kolkata, after the Hakka people migrated to India from the Chinese province of Canton, the Hakka cuisine served at Fatt Pundit centres around the style’s various textures of ingredients, which are brought together when preserved, braised, stewed, or fermented. Traditional Chinese techniques are paired with bold Indian flavours. Highlights from the restaurant group’s menus include the likes of crackling spinach rich with yoghurt, pomegranate seeds, and date and plum sauce; decadent monkfish curry with a buttery sauce; venison wrapped in pancakes; and the Fatt Pundit sticky sesame vegetables.
Crunchy, savoury, sweet, and generously spiced, the Fatt Pundit sticky sesame vegetables comprise carrot, cabbage, green beans, and onions, pressed into patties, cloaked with a simple batter, and deep fried before being cut into smaller pieces and fried again. The fried vegetables are then finished with a sauce of Acacia honey (or agave nectar to make the dish vegan), dark soy sauce, tomato ketchup, and chilli.
This recipe also calls for the vegetables to be deep fried, using a wok. While woks are great for deep frying, considering their shape, it’s also important to exercise caution while deep frying on the hob, especially avoiding overfilling the pan with oil or adding too much food to the oil at once.
- 100 g carrot cut into thin strips
- 200 g cabbage cut into thin strips
- 100 g green beans
- 100 g onions thinly sliced
- Oil for deep frying
For the batter
- 5 tbsp cornflour/corn starch
- 5 tbsp refined flour
- Salt to taste
For the sauce
- 4-5 cloves garlic chopped
- 5-6 whole dried red chillies
- 50 g spring onions chopped
- 2 green chillies finely chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp acacia honey alternatively substitute agave nectar to make the dish vegan
- Salt to taste
- Toasted sesame seeds to garnish
- Mix the cornflour, refined flour and salt in a bowl with enough water to make a thick batter. Add the vegetables and mix so that all the vegetables are well coated. Make palm sized flattened cakes of the battered vegetables.
- Heat enough oil in a wok and deep fry the vegetable cakes in batches for 1 – 2 minutes, just until they begin to change colour. Drain on absorbent paper and set aside.
- Once the cakes are fried, cut them into bite size pieces and deep fry again until they are golden brown and crispy.
- For the sauce, heat two tablespoons of oil in a pan or wok until smoking hot. Add the dried red chillies to get the smoking flavour in the pan/wok, then add garlic, green chilli and sauté until brown in colour.
- Add the ketchup, soy sauce, honey, spring onions and salt, then sauté́ for 30 seconds or so. Add all the fried vegetables and mix well until the vegetables are coated with the sauce.
- Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve hot.