Curry Roux : Japan

So far in our curry series, we have examined Britain and Thailand’s take on the Indian curry, familiar yet different, a classic example of other cultures assimilating our cuisine and making it their own, a reverse Tangra chilli chicken or white sauce penne, if you will. In this final instalment, we turn our attention to…

Curry Paste : Thailand

Last week, we traced the origin of the word “curry” from its colonial roots to the skyrocketing numbers of curry houses in the UK. This week, we will examine about another distinct style of curry. Until just 1939, Thailand was referred to as Siam. Although Siam had never been colonised by the West, its cuisine…

Curry Powder : Britain

In this series, we will explore three global derivatives of the India’s most important culinary export. On the way, we will dabble in history and etymology, food science and philosophy, and a lot more. May is going to be all about the globalisation of curry. As an Indian, I absolutely detest the word “curry”. Think…

Eggplant : Flavour Sponge

Last week, we started our eggplant exploration, with a predominantly Eurocentric approach. The focus was more on the custardy texture of the eggplant and its seamless interplay with other members of the nightshade family. This time, we will focus primarily on the role of the eggplant as a sponge for flavours, with a journey through…

Eggplant : Nightshade Custard

With its purple watertight jacket encasing a firm white interior, the humble eggplant really doesn’t look like much. And indeed, on its own, it is pretty plain. But give it a stage and a couple of flavours to work with, and you will be marvelled by the things it can do. In this series, we…

Rituranga : Basanta-Grishma (Part 2)

Last time, we started our survey of the spring-summer Bengali meal, with a close look at the first course and the rice-dal duo. This time, we will explore the rest of the meal, starting with course the veggies, and one of my absolute favourite dishes. Aloo posto is an absolute delight. Cubes of potatoes are…

Rituranga : Basanta-Grishma (Part 1)

“Fragrantly scarlet on bare branches or covertly crimson amidst dark green foliage, the early flowers of spring arrive to signal an end to the mellow contentment of winter and to herald a brief, unsettling season……The variety of colours ranged on the trees and the fragrance of mango trees in blossom carried by the balmiest of…

Rituranga : Prologue

Seasonality is a big concept in the West. Using ingredients in their absolute prime and doing the bare minimum to it in order to showcase local seasonal produce at its best is the basis for many iconic restaurants, like Noma in Denmark and Chez Panisse in the USA. Their menus change with time, highlighting whatever…

Eggs 201 (Part 2)

Boiled, Scrambled, and Omelette Last time, we started our exploration of breakfast egg dishes by discussing the poached and fried eggs, delving deep into the level of controversy created by something as simple and ubiquitous as a fried egg. This week, we will explore three more egg classics, starting with the humble boiled egg. Thankfully,…

Eggs 201 (Part 1)

Poached and Fried “How d’ya like your eggs in the morning…”, sang Dean Martin and Helen O’Connell in a rather corny duet back in the 50s. Indeed, there are a lot of ways you can cook eggs. We’ve had a two-parter on eggs two and a half years back, the Eggs 101 series, which was…