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ANGLO-INDIAN RECIPE BOOKS by Bridget White

ANGLO-INDIAN RECIPE BOOKS by Bridget White
ANGLO-INDIAN RECIPE BOOKS by Bridget White

NO COPYING ALLOWED FROM THIS SITE

All the recipes and Photographs on this Site are old Family Recipes and tried and tested by the Author. Please feel free to try out these old recipes, and relish them, but desist from copying and using on other sites without the prior permission of Bridget White-Kumar. Any infringement would amount to Plagarism and infringement of Copy Right punishable by Law

Saturday, July 27, 2013

THE RATION BOX / PROVISION CHEST IN THE OLDEN DAYS



 
Another kitchen appendage that has also disappeared with the older generation is the ‘Wooden Provision or Ration Box / Chest which occupied pride of place in the passage just outside the kitchen door. This Provision Chest / Box  was about 5 feet in height and 4 feet in breadth and housed tins of the various provisions and condiments that were required for Anglo-Indian cooking.  It was divided into many compartments for rice, and dry provisions such as Dhal / Lentils, Red Chillies, Cumin seeds, coriander seeds, spices, jaggery, etc. While these ingredients / provisions, gave out their own unique smells, a combination of all of them together was just heavenly. The smell from my Nana’s Provision Box still lingers in my mind even after all these years!!
In the old days, kitchens were warm and cozy places, with a pot of stew or soup always on the hob so that a meal was always ready to be served to anyone who dropped in. Most Anglo-Indian ladies were excellent cooks and were adept in baking a variety of cakes and pastries. The enticing aromas of food cooking on the hobs and cakes baking in the ovens were always part of an Anglo-Indian Home.
Sadly all these old appendages such as the Ration Box / Provision Chest, Meat Safes, Meat Mincers, Coconut Scrapers, Wood and coal fired ovens, etc are slowly fading into oblivion.

THE MEAT SAFE / FOOD SAFE - A COMPULSORY PIECE OF FURNITURE IN ANGLO-INDIAN HOMES IN THE OLDEN DAYS




A meat safe was a compulsory piece of furniture in Anglo-Indian homes in the olden days and every family a couple of them. The Meat Safes were wooden storage cupboards with wire mesh on all four sides. The cooked food and milk and vegetables was usually stored in them to keep fresh over night  as there were no refrigerators at that time. The ‘Meat Safe or Food Safe’ was also quite necessary to protect the food from cats, mice, and insects as well. In order to deter ants from crawling up and attaching the food, The four legs of the Meat Safe was placed in four small containers of water or ant powder. It was as if the Food was protected by a moat.
The Meat Safe or Dooley is now a part of history as it is rarely seen in homes these days.

Monday, July 22, 2013

BRIDGET WHITE-KUMAR -FEATURE IN THE LUCKNOW TRIBUNE 17TH JULY 2013

Her Most yummy mummy! 17 Jul 2013

The Lucknow Tribune Team
Bridget White-Kumar was born and brought up in a well known Anglo-Indian family in Kolar Gold Fields, a small mining town in the erstwhile Mysore State now known as Karnataka in South India.Kolar Gold Fields or K.GF as everyone knows, had a large and predominant British and Anglo-Indian population. Her life too was influenced to a great extent by British colonial culture.




In her own words Bridget tells The Lucknow Tribune that her food habits are typical Anglo-Indian.Breakfast was normally a bowl of oats porridge, toast with butter, jam and eggs. Sundays saw sausages, bacon or ham on the breakfast table. Lunch was a typical Anglo-Indian meal and consisted of steamed rice, beef curry with vegetables, pepper water or dhal curry, and a vegetable foogath or side dish. Dinner was always bread or dinner rolls with a dry meat dish. It was an unwritten rule that no one ate rice for dinner. We normally had either beef or mutton every day, fish invariably on Wednesdays and Fridays and Pork or Chicken or Fowl on Sundays.
My mum was en exceptional cook and even the most ordinary dishes cooked by her tasted delicious. She was very versatile and imaginative when it came to cooking. She would improvise and turn out the most delicious curries and side dishes with whatever ingredients were on hand. Every dish she prepared was delicious even if it was just basic rice and meat curry that was cooked every day. Mummy had a procedure for everything. The onions had to be thinly sliced and the green chillies and coriander leaves chopped finely. Even the tomatoes for the curry were scalded first and the skin removed, then chopped into bits and strained through a sieve so that only the pulp was used and the seeds and skin thrown away!
While everyday lunch was considered simple, lunch on Saturdays and Sundays was special. Saturday lunch was invariably yellow coconut rice, mince ball curry or bad word curry as the word ‘ball’ was considered rude or a slang and was served with Devil Chutney. My mind still recalls and relishes the taste of the mince ball curry and coconut rice that my mum prepared on Saturdays for us. On Saturdays we had only half-day school so we were home by 12.30 pm, ravenously hungry and assailed by the delicious aroma of coconut rice and the tasty mince ball curry even before we reached our gate.The mince for the ball curry, had to be just right, so the meat either beef or mutton was brought home fresh from the butcher shop. It was cut into pieces, washed and then minced at home and formed into even sized balls. Then it was dropped into the boiling curry, simmered till the mince balls were cooked and the gravy reached the right consistency.
The yellow coconut rice was always prepared with freshly squeezed coconut milk, a few whole spices, bay leaf and butter. This delightful rice preparation formed the perfect mild subtle base of our Saturday Special Anglo-Indian Meal.
As a child I would always try and help my mum to chop vegetables and onions, mince the meat or help her stir the delicious curries that she cooked for us. I would be the first person to help my mum churn the batter and cut the fruit for the Christmas cakes and puddings and help to roll out and form the Kul Kuls and other delicacies at Christmas time.In a way, my mum greatly influenced my passion for cooking and encouraged me to do things myself. My favourite past time was to cut out recipes from old magazines and paste them in my scrap book. My hobby was to try out the old recipes from my mum’s handwritten recipe books.
Some of the old colonial dishes with their quaint names such as the Railway Meat Curry, Meat Glassey, Devil Curry and the Dak Bungalow Roast had at special fascination for me and I was keen to keep these dishes alive.Hundred of yearsAnglo-Indian cuisine evolved over many hundred years as a result of reinventing and reinterpreting the quintessentially western cuisine by assimilating and amalgamating ingredients and cooking techniques from all over the Indian sub-continent. Thus a completely new contemporary cuisine came into existence making it truly “Anglo” and “Indian” in nature, which was neither too bland nor too spicy, but with a distinct flavour of its own. It became a direct reflection of the multi-cultural and hybrid heritage of the new colonial population.
However over a period of time, Anglo-Indian cooking became more Indian than British and more regional based. Local ingredients and flavours of a particular region were incorporated in the dishes while the basic ingredients remained the same through out the country. Coconut based curries were popular in Anglo-Indian dishes in the south while mustard oil and fresh water fish were popular ingredients in Anglo-Indian dishes of Calcutta and West Bengal.A strong Muslim or Mughalai influence seeped into Anglo-Indian dishes cooked in Lucknow and parts of North of India.It is the extremely unusual blend of tastes that makes this cuisine so unique. Many of the dishes have rhyming alliterative names like Doldol, kalkal, Ding- Ding and Posthole. The very nomenclature of the dishes is unique and original, and synonymous only to the Anglo-Indian community. It is a true reflection of both worlds where the Indian oriented curry is given as much importance as the English roasts and bakes.
Gourmet's delight!
However, I'm sad to say that due to the influence of various factors, colonial Anglo-Indian cuisine, which is a gourmet's delight, is slowly getting extinct. In these days of fast food and instant mixes, many people do not find the time to cook even a simple meal everyday leave alone the old traditional dishes of our forefathers. Many of the old traditional colonial dishes are not prepared in Anglo-Indian homes these days as the recipes for many of them have died with the older generation who cooked with intuition and memory rather than from a written recipe.
In a world fast turning into a Global Village, with many Anglo-Indians migrating out of India and the younger generation not showing interest in traditional food, I felt it had become imperative for me to preserve for posterity those very authentic tastes and flavours and record for future generations the unique heritage of the pioneers of this cuisine.
With this in mind I have published six recipe books exclusively on Anglo-Indian cuisine.This personal collection of recipes is compiled with the intention of reviving the old tastes of the colonial era, and thereby preserving the old Anglo-Indian flavours and tastes.This is my small way of helping to preserve the culinary culture and heritage of the Anglo-Indian Community.Moreover these old traditional recipes are not found in any other typical Indian cookery book, except for those books published by me which are .
Anglo-Indian Cuisine - A Legacy of Flavours from the Past
A Collection of Anglo-Indian Roasts, Casseroles and Bakes
Vegetarian Delicacies
Anglo-Indian Delicacies
The Anglo-Indian Festive Hamper.
The Anglo-Indian Snack Box
For more information about our delicious Anglo-Indian food, and more about my Anglo-Indian Recipe Books at:
http://anglo-indianfood.blogspot.com
http://anglo-indiarecipes.blogspot.com
- See more at: http://www.thelucknowtribune.org/news.php?cat=913#sthash.e7IBBa7p.dpuf

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

OLD LUNCHEON MENU OF FIRPO CATERERS

Some Nostalgia -
An old Menu dated Friday the 30th March 1945 of A FIRPO LTD CATERERS, CALCUTTA.
A 3 Course Luncheon Spread with Coffee costed just 2 Rupees and 12 Annas only. The Diner was also given a choice of soups and starters while ...the Main Course featured Seafood, Meat and Poultry. The Luncheon was rounded off with a Dessert, Fruit and a Cup of Coffee!! Truly a feast for a King.
The old dishes mentioned on the Menu are not served in any Resturant today.

Friday, July 05, 2013

MULLIGATAWNY SOUP - LAMB / MUTTON MULLIGATAWNY


Mulligatawny Soup was actually the anglicized version of the Tamil “Melligu -Thani”. (“Melligu” meaning pepper and “Thani” meaning water). As the name suggests it was originally Pepper Water.
The original Mulligatawny Soup can be traced back to the early days of the East India Company in Madras to around the 18th century. It was originally a soup made with chicken or mutton/lamb stock. Mulligatawny Soup had no history in India before the British Raj. Supposedly, it was simply an invention to satisfy the Britishers, who demanded a soup course for dinner from a cuisine that had never produced one till then. The Tamil servants in those days concocted a stew like dish, that contained pepper and  water on the lines of their local “Rasam” or  “Melligu –Thanir.  It was an interesting mix of East meets West, and was the nearest thing to soup in the cuisine of Colonial India.
In course of time a lot of other ingredients such meat, chicken, coconut, turmeric and other spices were added to give it a completely different flavour. A variety of  “Mulligatawnies”, then came into existence which quickly became popular throughout the Common Wealth. Recipes for mulligatawny were quickly brought back to England by the British and its popularity spread through out the country. It has made a lasting impression on British cuisine right down to the present day, though it has undergone many changes. It is still an excellent “Comfort” dish on a cold rainy day and will surely lift the spirits when one is down in the dumps.
The Mulligatawny Soup of today bears little resemblance to the original “MELLIGU -THANI”. And despite the name, pepper itself is not an important ingredient in the dish.
Though purported to be a classic Anglo-Indian dish since it came into existence during the Colonial Era, and was very popular then, Mulligatawny is not a typical Anglo-Indian dish. The real dish we Anglo-Indians call "Pepper water" is actually closer to the Tamil  Rasam than Mulligatawny.  Mulligatawny ultimately culminated into our very own Breast Bone Pepperwater.

An easy recipe for Lamb / Mutton Mulligatwany Soup is given below. You can substitute the lamb /mutton with beef, chicken, veal, etc if desired.

Lamb / Mutton Mulligatawny Soup
Serves 6       Preparation time 30 minutes
Ingredients
1 kg lamb or mutton with bones preferably from the breast portion
1 handful Masoor dhal (Red Gram Dhal)
2 cups coconut milk
2 tablespoons oil
3 green chilies
2 teaspoons red chillie powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt to taste
8 to 10 curry leaves
2 medium size onions sliced
2 tablespoons chopped mint for garnishing
 
Cook the meat and dhal with sufficient water till tender. Whisk till the dhal is smooth. Heat oil in a big pan and fry the curry leaves, green chilies and onions till slightly brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté for a few minutes. Now add the chillie powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and turmeric and fry for a few minutes till the oil separates from the mixture. Mix in the cooked mutton and dhal and mix well. Slowly add the coconut milk and salt to taste.  Add 2 more cups of water and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the lime juice. Garnish with mint leaves. Serve as a soup or with bread or rice.