India’s Taste of Britain Curry Festival 2015
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Britain’s top chefs to showcase curry dishes in Chennai at annual festival
Taste of Britain Curry Festival event takes place at five-star Hyatt Regency Chennai.
The popular annual Taste of Britain Curry Festival 2015 kicks off March 6 through 14 in Chennai, India. The nine-day festival bridges British and Indian culture’s mutual love of curry, with the U.K.’s top chefs showcasing the best of British curry in the food’s home territory.
Resident chef for this year’s festival is Mark Poynton, the Chef Patron for the Michelin-starred Alimentum in Cambridge, England. This trip marks Poynton’s first visit to India.
“I am a very big fan of curry, and what really excites me even more is that I will be with a team of some the best curry chefs from the U.K.,” Poynton says. “I am really looking forward to working alongside them and flying the flag for British cuisine in India.”
Mark will present his “Best of British” dishes at the festival, including
cod rolled in onion ash with onion salad and red lentils; roast breast of duck with charred and puréed broccoli, peanut and lime, and crispy black rice; chicken breast with butternut squash pickle, purée, and roast in creamed cabbage jus gras; and pumpkin risotto with watercress, pumpkin seed, and blue cheese salad.
Taste of Britain Curry Festival event takes place at five-star Hyatt Regency Chennai, and guests should expect both British-inspired Indian dishes and traditional favorites (e.g., chicken tikka masala and jalfrezi) by Mark and other top chefs from the U.K.
India’s Taste of Britain Curry Festival 2015 - Recipes
Indian curry in London
By Vijay Rana, former producer at the BBC's Hindi service and editor of historytalking.com
Chicken tikka masala is Britain's favourite curry dish and it is said to have been invented by a Bangladeshi chef.
It is supposed to be an Indian dish, yet nobody in India knows about it. Meanwhile in Britain, Marks & Spencer sells about 19 tonnes of the chicken tikka masala curry every week and 23 million portions a year are sold in Britain's more than 8,000 Indian restaurants, half of them located in and around London.
A curry is the generic term for almost any kind of meat or vegetable cooked in a spicy gravy.
Chicken tikka masala, in particular, is a simple preparation of chicken cooked in tomato sauce, cream, yoghurt, with lots of turmeric and cumin.
Apparently, an English man was served with curryless chicken and wondered: "where is the curry?" A quick thinking chef apologised and soon returned with a well-cooked chicken dipped in creamed tomato sauce and of course doubled in price.
Today it is impossible to imagine a high street in the UK without an Indian restaurant offering curry. But the Indian restaurants are not really Indian as more then 65% of them are owned by Bangladeshis.
Their forefathers began to arrive in London, from what was then the Bengal province of India, as early as the mid-17th century.
They were in fact seamen, employed in the East India Company's ships. As these ships went back to India, some of these Indians were left behind, often through neglect. Many of these destitute people died in the cold climate others may have started cooking meals.
According to The Epicure's Almanac it was Dean Mahomet, a gentleman from Patna, Bihar, who opened the first Indian restaurant, the Hindostanee Coffee House in Portman Square in 1773. He offered for the 'nobility and gentry' the enjoyment of 'Indian dishes of the highest perfection'.
Recommended areas and dishes
A couple of miles north of Portman Square is Drummond Street, where one can find Indian sweets the finest fish curry, which is called maharashtrian bhelpuri, and, of course chicken tikka masala.
When it comes to sheer volume of restaurants, nothing can beat Brick Lane. Almost every other shop has been transformed into a curry restaurant, decorated with flashing neon lights.
In front of every restaurant one finds polite British-born Asians from the Bangla Town inviting you to enjoy the curry experience. You can find inexpensive curry meals and you will be allowed to wash it down with your own pint of beer.
Curryholics who dare to venture into suburbs will also be rewarded with regional Indian food. Ealing Road in Wembley has almost every variety of food that you would find in the western Indian state of Gujarat, for example.
Punjabi food: Southall
If you love the hot Punjabi food, you will have to visit Southall in west London, endearingly called Little India.
Like any traditional Indian bazaar you can have freshly made hot jalebis for morning breakfast or samosa and aloo ki tikki as afternoon snacks. In the evening, have a pint in the Glassy Junction – the only pub in England that accepts payment in India Rupees.
Recently, the money making potential of curry has been recognised by the big stores. Marks & Spencer and Sainsburys have more than 70 kinds of dishes on their shelves.
Their specialist teams are scurrying from Kerala to Kashmir to Gujarat to Bengal to find out about regional Indian food and bring it back to Britain.
To have such a wide choice of foods one would have to travel thousands of miles in India. In London, however, you have every regional Indian food within a thirty mile radius.
Address: Drummond Street, London NW1. Tube: Euston.
Brick Lane, E1. Tube: Aldgate East.
The Broadway, Southall, UB1. Rail: Southall Rail.
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Scientists reveal secret of why Indian food is so delicious
It was in the 1780s, when curry powder was commercialised, that Indian cuisine first began to make its mark in Britain. Back then, dainty corseted ladies found curry a little on the spicy side - but our palates have now evolved to adore the rich, savoury, complex melting pot of flavours that is synonymous with Indian food.
Chicken tikka masala, jalfrezi, bhajis, naan, dhal and kulfi Indian ice cream have won even the most pickiest of palates over, but how? Just what is it about Indian food that make it so rich and tasty?
It turns out that it's because there are so few overlapping flavours in the dishes.
A group of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology in Jodhpur trawled through the Indian recipe database Tarla Dalal, examining 2500 recipes to find out just what it is that makes Indian food so flavoursome in comparison to Western dishes.
"We found that average flavour sharing in Indian cuisine was significantly lesser than expected," researchers Anupam Jaina, Rakhi N K, and Ganesh Bagler reported.
In typical Western dishes, ingredients that share similar flavours are paired together - for example, beer is often paired with roast beef - which, when combined, give a distinct, unified taste.
Indian dishes however contain, on average, at least seven different ingredients, none of which share any similar qualities. This means each ingredient brings its own unique flavour when incorporated into the final dish.
The researchers concluded that Indian cuisine is characterised by strong negative food pairing: "The more the extent of flavour sharing between any two ingredients, the lesser their co-occurrence.
“Each of the spices is uniquely placed in its recipe to shape the flavour-sharing pattern with the rest of the ingredients, and is sensitive to replacement even with other spices.”
Here I am sharing some of the recipes that you can try on the occasion of Holi.
Apple Gujiya Recipe
Holi Recipes: Apple mawa gujia
It is a tradition in many parts of India to make gujiyas for the festival of Holi. Apple Gujiya Recipe helps to make delicious gujiyas with apple and mawa filling. Gujiyas are crispy sweet dumplings that are traditionally filled with mawa and nuts. But you can give a fruity flavor to the gujiyas. This apple gujiya recipe takes some elements of apple pie. Read detailed apple gujiya recipe.
Gajar Ki Kanji
Holi Recipes: Gajar ki kanji
Fermented food has traditionally been a part of diet of almost all cultures. The present generation has gradually moved away from healthy natural food towards high calorie, rich in carb unhealthy food. Fermented foods go through the process whereby natural bacteria feeds on starch and sugar present in the food and forms lactic acid. Nutrients present in the food are preserved and broken down into more digestible form in this process. During festival of holi it is a tradition to serve kanji to the guests. It serves as a good digestive after everyone has had a fill of rich and fried food during the day. Read detailed recipe of gajar ki kanji.
Thandai in Hindi literally means a coolant. It is a milk based drink that is perfect for summers. It is associated with spring festivals of India – Shivratri and Holi. When winter starts to give way to hot weather, this drink cools down the body. Nowadays thandai syrup and powder are easily available in market. But the problem with these is that many of them do not taste good as they use artificial flavorings. Goodness of thandai lies in the healthy ingredients that are used in it. You can make concentrated thandai syrup at home. It does not require too much of effort. Make syrup in bulk and store it in bottles. Just add chilled milk to a small amount of syrup, and thandai will be ready. Serve chilled thandai and impress your guests. Read detailed thandai recipe.
Easy Milk Powder Gulab Jamun Recipe
Holi recipe: Milk powder gulab jamun
Gulab jamuns along with kheer are traditional and one of the most popular sweet dishes in India. These gulab jamuns are drenched in flavored sugar syrup, and are enjoyed hot or cold. They are sometimes served with rabadi and in summers hot gulab jamuns can be served with ice-creams. Gulab jamun is traditionally made with khoya or mawa. If khoya is not available, it can be made with milk powder (milk extract/milk solids) with this easy milk powder gulab jamun recipe. Gulab jamuns come out soft and spongy with this recipe. Read easy milk powder gulab jamun recipe.
Kanji Vada Recipe
Traditionally, people make and serve Kanji vadas in Holi. Prepare Kanji few days in advance, and then soak vadas in this kanji. Make these Vadas (small fritters) with split green gram skinned (dhuli mung dal). Watch detailed kanji vada recipe video.
Rajasthani Mirchi Vada Recipe
Mirchi Vada is a traditional street food of Rajasthan especially Jodhpur. For this Rajasthani mirchi vada recipe, use large chillies that are not very pungent. Spicy potato mixture is filled in these chillies. They are then dipped in gram flour batter (besan batter) and fried to make mirchi vada/bada/bhajji. Serve these mirchi vadas as snacks on the occasion of Holi. Read Rajasthani mirchi vada recipe.
Easy Falafel Recipe
Falafels are very easy to make. This recipe uses chickpeas to make falafel. Serve these falafels with hummus and tahini sauce. Here is an easy falafel recipe. You can also see a video on how to make falafel at home very easily. Read easy falafel recipe.
Kale chane ke kabab
Kale chane ke kabab are perfect to serve on the occasion of holi. Make the paste of kebabs in advance and serve freshly made kababs to your family and guests. These tasty vegetarian kebabs are easy to make and cannot go wrong. Read recipe of kale chane ke kabab.
This is a healthy and delicious dish from Gujrat, called khandvi. It is made with gram flour (besan) and yogurt. It is gluten-free, and is rich in proteins. Traditionally people eat it as a side dish, but it can be taken as a snack as well. They look very attractive, and can uplift any table arrangement. Read detailed Khandvi recipe.
Chana Masala Recipe
Holi Recipes: Chana masala
This popular street food from Punjab is easy to make, and very filling. Serve Chana masala with freshly made paneer kulcha, baturas, puris, rice, or simply on their own. It is a very filling dish. Read detailed chana masal recipe.
Sunset Glory: Pineapple Mocktail
Holi Recipes: Pineapple mocktail
Make this attractive and delicious thirst quencher on the occasion of Holi. Come summers, and most of us lose appetite for hot beverages such as tea or coffee. Cold drinks and juices are the most sought after. For variety make this pineapple mocktail. It is delicious, refreshing, and looks beautiful. It has lovely red hue along with orange and yellow reminding us of sunset. Read recipe of Pineapple Mocktail.
Kiwi Cucumber Mint Mocktail
Holi recipes: Kiwi cucumber mint mocktail
The weather has started to become hot. It is necessary to keep ourselves hydrated in this hot weather. In order to keep hydrated, and at the same time enjoy something satiating as well as healthy, try this fresh fruit based kiwi cucumber mint mocktail. Read detailed recipe of kiwi cucumber mint mocktail.
Eleanor Grantham's Victorian curry
- Chop onions and fry in dripping well
- Take them out and put curry powder into the same dripping and fry
- Then fry the two sour apples chopped in the curry powder
- Then fry ½ lb of lean meat - cut up not too small and sprinkled with flour with the apples and curry powder
- When done add the onions, a breakfast cup of milk and a little cornflour and put in a stew pan with a little sugar and salt
- Simmer for 2 hours or longer is better, stirring frequently
Mohammed Aslam, head chef at Yorkshire-based Indian restaurant chain, Aagrah, said Ms Grantham's recipe is an example of how a traditional Indian curry has evolved over time.
"Lamb and apples is one of the oldest recipes," he said. "It's a southern [Indian] style of cooking, because what they do in the south is seasonal - what they grow, they use, like apples.
"At that time, it would be classed as a modern recipe, but not authentically Indian. The dripping is unusual. There's no dripping on the subcontinent, so that's the influence of British cooking.
"In olden days we would use mustard oil or ghee as it's common in the villages to have a cow. In the East Riding, maybe not."
Ancient Nettle Pudding
Recipe courtesy of Ancient Craft and Celtnet Recipes
According to Celtnet Recipes, “when most food was boiled in a large pot, adding dumplings or ‘puddings’ to stocks (was) a good way of putting starch in the diet. These large dumplings are flavoured with wild herbs and nettles.”
- 1 bunch of sorrel
- 1 bunch of watercress
- 1 bunch of dandelion leaves
- 2 bunches of young nettle leaves
- Some chives
- 1 cup of barley flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- Chop the herbs finely and mix in the barley flour and salt.
- Add enough water to bind it together and place in the center of a linen or muslin cloth.
- Tie the cloth securely and add to a pot of simmering venison or wild boar (a pork joint will do just as well). Make sure the string is long enough to pull the pudding from the pot.
- Cook the pudding until the meat is done (at least two hours).
- Leave the pudding to cool slightly, remove the muslin, then cut the pudding into thick slices with a knife.
- Serve the pudding with chunks of barley bread.
*The pudding can be served along side the meat with which it was cooked, or it can be served as its own stand-alone dish.
 Pappas, S. (2012, September 28). Ancient Burial Shroud Made of Surprising Material, Scientists Find. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
Mavinakayi Chitranna Recipe - Spiced Raw Mango Tempered Rice
Mavinakayi Chitranna Recipe is a delicious and slightly tangy South Indian preparation of rice with green mangoes that you get in the summers and is especially prepared during the Ugadi festival. A quick tasty recipe which can be served for lunch with some chutney, raita and papad on the side.
Mavinakayi Chitranna Recipe is a delicious preparation of rice from the raw green mangoes that you get in the summers. The tartness of the mangoes along with the green chillies and the seasonings, brings out the flavors of this classic South Indian Rice recipe.
While you’re probably enjoying the beautifully luscious ripe mangoes of the season, don’t forget to enjoy your share of the raw mangoes too by trying this Mavinakayi Chitranna Recipe. Summer feels incomplete without getting enough of the tangy hit of raw mangoes, balanced by hot spices,salt, lime and the right tempering, raw mangoes are delicious in a range of preparations.
Serve the Mavinakayi Chitranna along with a Tomato Onion Cucumber Raita or High-Protein Peanut Chutney and a roasted papad for lunch or even for dinner. The Mavinakayi Chitranna makes a great picnic lunch too.
If you like this recipe, here are a few more Mixed Rice recipes:
South Indian Style Vegetable Rice Recipe
South Indian Style Vegetable Rice is a very healthy and easy to make rice variety without much masala ingredients. Very unique in taste and quick to make for Kids lunch box. Unlike our conventional veg fried rice or veg pulao, this vegetable rice is unique because of the freshly ground spice mix added to this rice. The spice powder adds a distinct flavor to this rice. Onion and mixed vegetables are sautéed and tossed with freshly ground spice powder and cooked rice to get this delicious Vegetable Rice. We can make this vegetable rice with freshly cooked rice or with left over rice. This vegetable rice has perfect balance of nutrients making it a perfect healthy rice.
Tips for making Vegetable Rice:
- We use cooked rice for this rice. We can use freshly cooked rice. Just spread the cooked rice in a broad plate so the rice is fluffy without sticking to each other.
- Adding salt while the veggies are getting cooked, helps to bring out the moisture making the vegetables to cook faster without any water.
- Adding peanuts to the grinding ingredients is optional. If you are allergic to nuts, exclude peanuts.
- Coarsely grind the spice powder. It adds more flavor than grinding it to smooth powder.
- Do not over cook the vegetables. A little crunchiness to be retained.
- While mixing rice with vegetables and spice powder, gently mix so that the rice doesn’t get mushy.
If you like this Vegetable Rice, then you can also try other Rice Vaieties
Making the Cookbook: An Invitation to Indian Cooking
"This book has been written as a gradual maneuver of self-defense," Madhur Jaffrey wrote in the introduction to her groundbreaking 1973 An Invitation to Indian Cooking, expressing her exasperation with the limited number of Indian recipes available in the U.S. at the time. Then an award-winning actress, Jaffrey went on to write a modest mountain of cookbooks, most relating to Indian or vegetarian cuisine. Here, she explains how she introduced the world to Indian food.
I was an actress doing odds and ends with writing, but mainly acting. I was just beginning to feel that there’s no one that represents Indian food at all. Nobody talks about it, nobody knows what it is. And aside from this vague idea of “curry,” people have no understanding of the vast areas of regional variation within this world of so-called curry. I hadn’t really thought of doing a cookbook, but I had started cooking a lot, and entertaining people at home. As a result of a film that I had done called “Shakespeare Wallah,” for which I had won the best actress award at [the Berlin International Film Festival]—Craig Claiborne of the New York Times was asked if he would be interested in interviewing me as an actress who likes to cook. So he did. He did a huge write-up. Because of that, I was approached by a freelance editor who asked, "Would I be interested in doing a cookbook on Indian food?" And I said, Well, sure.
A friend approached Knopf for me. They called Judith Jones and said, "This is a cookery book and maybe you should look at it." She took a look and said, "Yes, I want the book." I thought it would take me three months to write it. I actually took five years. Because I’d never measured anything before. I didn’t cook at all when I was in India. And then I was at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as a student, and realized that there was no good food for me to eat—no Indian food to be had anywhere in Britain at that time. We’re talking about the 50's, late 50's. So I started writing to my mother for recipes, for simple things like rice and tea—I just didn’t know how to make anything.
I thought I would stick to the food that I knew really well, which was the food of my hometown, Delhi. The first cookbook is really the food I knew from my childhood, and that too, as I look back on it, was a smart decision, because it was a good way for me to start—to start with what I knew, and then go on to write about other parts of India, which I had to learn, because I didn’t know all of it. Nobody really knows all of India.
A lot came from my family. It happens that I have one sister who’s married to a Gujarati, so that takes me out of the Delhi area. I knew her food and her husband’s food very well. I had one brother that’s married to a Bengali, so I had a very close relationship with Bengali food as well. And then I had a cousin who is married to a Kashmiri. But the core of that first book is really the food of Delhi. In India, these things are very clear-cut: There are distinct regional foods. People speak different languages in different parts of India and have their own culture, and their own foods. So that was something new to get across: these vast variations within Indian food. I started with Delhi because that’s what I knew, and then in other cookbooks I went beyond.