Rick Stein’s Indian Odyssey

Mon Jun 17, 9-10pm, BBC2

Episode one
He might have left the country as Rick Stein. But he’s going to be returning as Rik Waller if he’s not careful. This new series sees the chef taking a gut-busting culinary tour of India. And it’s hard not to feel intensely jealous – the smells and flavours of the country practically jump off the screen. So does India’s brilliant bedlam – wisely, Stein doesn’t fight India’s kaleidoscopic chaos but instead, allows it to feed into the show.

The result feels pleasingly organic; as any visitor will know, much of the pleasure of India is to be found in the happy accident, the chance encounter and the feeling of letting things flow. Tonight, Stein visits Kolkata and Chennai, sampling deep fried flour balls, curried eggs, mulligatawny soup and much more. He also makes a beef Madras; a partial homage to the Anglicised curries that first launched Britain’s love affair with the food of the subcontinent. Thoroughly enjoyable.