I thought I’d share with you my passion for Indian food, to understand the love that I feel for this cuisine. I’ll share some recipes that I’ve adapted through college years at a later date as I’m absolutely shattered after playing Airsoft on Sunday, and Monday hasn’t been kind enough to remove the aches and pains of exercise.
I, like many of my British compatriots, love a good curry. A curry easily rivals Fish & Chips or a Roast Dinner in my personal list of favourites. The aroma that comes out of the wok when you’re cooking a curry can make you salivate from a good distance. It’s an instantly recognisable scent that grabs your tummy by both nostrils and screams EEAAT MEEEE in your face. There is no escape from it, it is impossible to resist. You could say a curry is comparable to a Borg with an incredibly attractive and compelling personality. It will be assimilated.
To witness the effect a curry can have on people all you need to do is turn up at your local Indian or Thai restaurant on a Friday or a Saturday night. You’ll witness people studying the menu like dedicated scholar’s, they will debate every menu item with an enthusiasm equivalent to their support of their favourite football team. They can’t think straight, their eyes will be larger than their stomach and nothing will ever be too hot to try. I am as guilty of any and probably all of this as much as anyone else and I am not ashamed to admit it.
You will never be able to resist the challenge of a curry menu, and the contentment and sense of achievement that washes over you after eating will linger for a long time. Nothing, and I repeat nothing at that point in time matters, other than the choice of side dish to accompany your main. It is a meal amongst others (Christmas dinner for example) that can generate that ‘I love you food’ moment. Witness the sigh of contentment, the belch of satisfaction and the groan of the insatiated trying to cram that last morsel into their mouth lest some curry thief grabs it.
I love the variety, the different textures, the flavour of the spices, the delicate mix that goes into each dish. The third or fourth cookery book I ever owned was The Madhur Jaffrey Cookbook reprinted in 1992 by Mackays of Chatham, I still have it as you can see and if I remember right, I bought it the year it came out in the shops.
It was my curry bible in college, with two books in one; Eastern Vegetarian Cooking and An Invitation to Indian Cooking. When I wasn’t studying or playing a guitar I was reading this book. It doesn’t have any fancy pictures, it doesn’t need any, there are no ‘this is what it should look like’ pictures, it is left up to you how to present the results of your endeavours. It has plenty of sketches but its main attraction for me is the encyclopaedic knowledge of food that, at that point, I’d never come across before. It was this book amongst others that lit the spark of my culinary adventure, I learnt that not everything is volcano hot and that there is beauty in a delicately spiced dish. I know that whenever I need to re-ignite the cookery bug in me I can return to this book, open it to any page and cook up something that will taste great.