Sarah Ali Choudhury, the award-winning Indian food columnist and TV chef from Dorset, has been named Influential Woman of The Year at The Venus Award National Finals at the stunning Audleys Wood Hotel.

Sarah won Influential Woman of The Year at The Dorset Awards back in November and has now gone on to win nationally, coming out on top against all the other regions.

The national win has been the cherry on top on what has been a great year for the popular Indian chef, proving once again the influence she has both regionally and nationally.

The Venus Awards applauds and rewards working women to celebrate their achievements. Considered the “Working Women’s Oscars”, Sarah was perfectly positioned to win this award as she is not only a figurehead for women in business but is also the youngest Asian woman to run her own restaurant at the age of just 20.

“Words cannot describe what it feels like to be a national winner for Influential Woman," says Sarah.

"It has been a phenomenal experience to be a part of what the Venus Awards and Tara Howard has designed. This incredible platform for women allows them to showcase themselves and progress to unlimited heights "Thank you to Martin White and the team from Sandown Mercedes Benz of Poole for their continuous support as sponsors for my category.

“I urge women in business to get involved and become leaders in your field.”



2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tbsp mustard seeds

1⁄2 inch ginger (peeled and grated to a paste)

4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

1⁄2 medium or 1 small onion (finely chopped)

1⁄2 tsp turmeric

1⁄4 tsp chilli powder or chopped chilli (according to taste)

1 tsp coriander powder

200ml water

200ml coconut milk

1 tsp tamarind paste

2 fillets of firm- fleshed white fish (cut into 2-3 inch pieces)

Salt to taste

1 tbsp chopped coriander (optional)


Heat oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. When hot add the mustard seeds and fry until sizzling. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook until the onions start to soften (2-3 minutes).

Stir in the turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder and fry for about 2 minutes. Turn the heat down if there is any sticking.

Add the water, coconut milk and tamarind paste. Once boiling, add the fish, cover the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle coriander if using and serve.



4 tbsp oil

2 tsp Panch phoran

1 medium onion (peeled and chopped)

1 inch ginger (peeled and grated)

5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

1 tsp salt (or to taste)

1 tbsp coriander powder

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp tomato puree

1 potato (peeled and cut into 3⁄4 inch cubes)

1 aubergine (cut into 1⁄4 inch cubes)

2 peppers green and/or red (cut into 1 inch pieces )

2 cups (500ml water)

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander


Heat oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. When hot, add the panch phoran and cook until sizzling. add the onion, ginger and salt, stirring occasionally. When the onion starts to soften, add the coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric and tomato puree and continue stir frying until the oil comes to the top of the mixture.

Add the potatoes and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add the aubergine and peppers, stirring for another 2 minutes. Pour in the water, cover the pan and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Finish by adding the fresh coriander.

Other seasonal vegetables can be used, such as courgettes and tomatoes.