Sify Ads - 728x90

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

Thursday, July 20, 2017

BRIDGET WHITE-KUMAR - Reminiscing and recreating heritage


A lovely feature by Divya Chandra on my recent Culinary Workshop in Coimbatore in THE HINDU dated 20/07/2017
THE HINDU 20/07/2017FOOD
Reminiscing and recreating heritage
http://www.thehindu.com/…/award-winning…/article19315262.ece
DIVYA CHANDRAN
JULY 20, 2017 14:57 IST
Award-winning cookbook writer Bridget White Kumar took her audience on an informative and mouthwatering tour of Anglo-Indian cuisine
Bridget White Kumar, an expert on Anglo-Indian cuisine and an award-winning author, was recently in town to curate and develop a menu for an upcoming property of VM Hospitality. A handful of us were lucky enough to dine on some of the sumptuous dishes cooked by her during the process and also get an introduction to Anglo-Indian food.
“In terms of cuisine, besides British and Indian heritage, Anglo-Indian also includes those with Portuguese, French or Dutch heritage. The Portuguese have contributed a lot to the culinary landscape of India. They are the ones who brought vinegar, coriander, tomatoes, potatoes and chillies to India. And in exchange we gave them pepper and other spices”, remarked Kumar. Vindaloo from Goa is a fine example of Portuguese involvement, with a heavy dose of vinegar in it.
Our meal started with the Dak Bungalow Dry Chicken, which is a throwback to the days of the traveller’s bungalows along postal routes in the north of India. Although some of the dishes looked fiery red, they were mildly spiced and easy on the stomach. “We use spices very judiciously. The number of ingredients in a dish is kept minimal so that the diner can taste every ingredient individually. Our dishes are simple and my recipes are easy to follow,” said Kumar.
In the last decade or so, Anglo-Indian restaurants have been popping up in the big metros in India. “In 2004, I published my first book. Now I have six books in total. On popular demand, I have also published a book with only vegetarian recipes. Anglo-Indians living around the world are buying my books to recreate fond memories from their childhoods”, said a beaming Kumar, who is happy to be part of this revival movement. She is striving to preserve an important element in the heritage of the Anglo-Indian community, for future generations to reminisce, appreciate and recreate.
“I work with club chefs to prepare roasts and puddings during the Christmas season in Bangalore,” noted Kumar. The old clubs that were started during the British period still hold on to their tradition of sit-down dinners, served with fine cutlery and crockery and a continental menu tweaked to Indian taste buds.
The Railway Mutton Curry is a signature dish. “Many Anglo-Indians worked as pilots and guards on trains in colonial times. The meat was cooked with extra spices and vinegar so that it would last longer as they spent long hours on the line and hence the name Railway Curry”, explained Kumar. Cutlets and croquettes are also popular.
Many of the names of Anglo-Indian dishes have an interesting history. The name Bad Word Curry was born since some of traditionalists refused to use the word ‘Ball’ in Ball Curry! A dish with lady’s finger is called Bandecoy, derived from the Kannada and Telugu words for Lady’s Finger: Bendekai. The famed Mulligatawny Soup derives its name from the Tamil term Milagu Thanni.
We were also served Devil’s Chutney that looked bright red and fiery but was in fact sweet, tangy and only mildly hot. Devil’s Chutney is made by puréeing raisins along with vinegar and chilli.
The final plate that arrived was a light and buttery Bread Pudding with a generous topping of shaved almonds and roasted raisins. It was among one of the best bread puddings I have ever tasted.
The afternoon ended with Kumar signing my copy of her international award-winning cookbook, Anglo-Indian Cuisine: A legacy of flavours from the past.

BRIDGET WHITE-KUMAR - Reminiscing and recreating heritage


A lovely feature by Divya Chandra on my recent Culinary Workshop in Coimbatore in THE HINDU dated 20/07/2017
THE HINDU 20/07/2017FOOD
Reminiscing and recreating heritage
http://www.thehindu.com/…/award-winning…/article19315262.ece
DIVYA CHANDRAN
JULY 20, 2017 14:57 IST
Award-winning cookbook writer Bridget White Kumar took her audience on an informative and mouthwatering tour of Anglo-Indian cuisine
Bridget White Kumar, an expert on Anglo-Indian cuisine and an award-winning author, was recently in town to curate and develop a menu for an upcoming property of VM Hospitality. A handful of us were lucky enough to dine on some of the sumptuous dishes cooked by her during the process and also get an introduction to Anglo-Indian food.
“In terms of cuisine, besides British and Indian heritage, Anglo-Indian also includes those with Portuguese, French or Dutch heritage. The Portuguese have contributed a lot to the culinary landscape of India. They are the ones who brought vinegar, coriander, tomatoes, potatoes and chillies to India. And in exchange we gave them pepper and other spices”, remarked Kumar. Vindaloo from Goa is a fine example of Portuguese involvement, with a heavy dose of vinegar in it.
Our meal started with the Dak Bungalow Dry Chicken, which is a throwback to the days of the traveller’s bungalows along postal routes in the north of India. Although some of the dishes looked fiery red, they were mildly spiced and easy on the stomach. “We use spices very judiciously. The number of ingredients in a dish is kept minimal so that the diner can taste every ingredient individually. Our dishes are simple and my recipes are easy to follow,” said Kumar.
In the last decade or so, Anglo-Indian restaurants have been popping up in the big metros in India. “In 2004, I published my first book. Now I have six books in total. On popular demand, I have also published a book with only vegetarian recipes. Anglo-Indians living around the world are buying my books to recreate fond memories from their childhoods”, said a beaming Kumar, who is happy to be part of this revival movement. She is striving to preserve an important element in the heritage of the Anglo-Indian community, for future generations to reminisce, appreciate and recreate.
“I work with club chefs to prepare roasts and puddings during the Christmas season in Bangalore,” noted Kumar. The old clubs that were started during the British period still hold on to their tradition of sit-down dinners, served with fine cutlery and crockery and a continental menu tweaked to Indian taste buds.
The Railway Mutton Curry is a signature dish. “Many Anglo-Indians worked as pilots and guards on trains in colonial times. The meat was cooked with extra spices and vinegar so that it would last longer as they spent long hours on the line and hence the name Railway Curry”, explained Kumar. Cutlets and croquettes are also popular.
Many of the names of Anglo-Indian dishes have an interesting history. The name Bad Word Curry was born since some of traditionalists refused to use the word ‘Ball’ in Ball Curry! A dish with lady’s finger is called Bandecoy, derived from the Kannada and Telugu words for Lady’s Finger: Bendekai. The famed Mulligatawny Soup derives its name from the Tamil term Milagu Thanni.
We were also served Devil’s Chutney that looked bright red and fiery but was in fact sweet, tangy and only mildly hot. Devil’s Chutney is made by puréeing raisins along with vinegar and chilli.
The final plate that arrived was a light and buttery Bread Pudding with a generous topping of shaved almonds and roasted raisins. It was among one of the best bread puddings I have ever tasted.
The afternoon ended with Kumar signing my copy of her international award-winning cookbook, Anglo-Indian Cuisine: A legacy of flavours from the past.

Friday, July 07, 2017

ANGLO-INDIAN PEPPER MINCE POTATO CHOPS



PEPPER MINCE POTATO CHOPS (PEPPER MINCE AND POTATO CUTLETS)

Serves 6  Time Required: 1 hour
½ kg finely minced meat either beef, lamb or mutton                    
1 medium sized onion chopped finely    
2 teaspoons pepper powder
1 teaspoon chopped mint                      
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons oil                                   
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs                 
3 large potatoes                 

Boil the potatoes, remove the skin and mash well.  Keep aside. 
In a pan add the mince, onions, mint, pepper powder and salt with a little oil and cook till the mince is dry.  Remove from heat and cool for some time.
Form the mashed potatoes into even sized balls. Make a depression in the center and fill with the pepper mince. Flatten each ball to form an oval cutlet.
Dip each potato chop / cutlet  in the beaten egg then roll in the breadcrumbs.
Heat the oil in a flat pan and shallow fry the cutlets on low heat till golden brown on both sides.
Serve as a starter or a side dish with bread or rice and sautéed vegetables such as green peas, carrots etc


Monday, June 26, 2017

FOWL CURRY IN COCONUT GRAVY



FOWL CURRY IN COCONUT GRAVY
(This is an old Anglo-Indian dish. In the olden days this dish called for country fowls and was cooked in a thick coconut gravy. It was left to simmer for many hours over a firewood oven. However, I have simplified the recipe and one could use any tender chicken instead of the country fowl).

Serves 6   Preparation time 45 minutes
Ingredients

1 kg chicken cut into medium size pieces (either broiler or country chicken)        
3 onions chopped finely
2 large tomatoes chopped                                 
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon coriander powder                             
1 teaspoon turmeric powder                                
½ cup grated coconut
2 small pieces cinnamon bark
3 cloves
2 cardamoms
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons chopped coriander leaves              
2 teaspoons chopped mint leaves
3 tablespoons oil                                                 
2 teaspoons chilly powder
2 tablespoons curds
2 potatoes peeled and cut into quarters 

Grind the coconut, cinamon, cloves, cardamom and half the onions to a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the remaining onions till golden brown. Add the ground paste and fry for about 5 minutes on low heat. Add the chillie powder, ginger garlic paste, spice powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and tomatoes and keep frying till the tomatoes are reduced to pulp. Now add the chicken and curds and mix well. Add salt, mint and coriander leaves, potatoes and 2 or 3 cups of water and simmer till the chicken is cooked and gravy is thick.  Serve hot with rice or chapattis.

Friday, May 12, 2017

FRIED FISH - FRIED POMFRET SLICES



FRIED FISH - FRIED POMPFRET 
Serves 6   Preparation Time 1 hour

Ingredients
1 kg good fleshy pomfret or any other fish cut into thick slices
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
2 tablespoons red chillie powde
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½  teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
6 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons vinegar


Mix all the ingredients together (except the oil) with a little water. 
Marinate the fish with this paste and keep aside for 1 hour. 
Heat oil in a shallow pan and fry the fish on both sides till brown. Use a little more oil if necessary. 
Serve with bread or as a side dish with Rice.

Monday, May 01, 2017

BOMBAY TOAST or FRENCH TOAST



BOMBAY TOAST or FRENCH TOAST
 French toast is also known as Bombay toast, German toast, gypsy toast, Eggy bread, etc. it is is a dish made of bread soaked in milk and beaten eggs and then fried
There nothing better than Bombay Toast or French toast for Sunday breakfast. Thick slices of bread are soaked in a mixture of beaten eggs, milk, cinnamon powder, vanilla extract / essence and sugar and then toasted with butter or ghee in a frying pan, and served with maple syrup, Jam  or condensed milk. It is surely one favorite, and most indulgent breakfast of all time. The Vanilla Extract / essence and cinnamon give it a rich flavor.
Any type of bread – white, whole wheat, multi-grain, sweet, French Bread, Fruit Bread, etc could be used to  make a delicious French Toast.
 Serves 4    Time Required: 30 minutes or less
Ingredients
8 slices sandwich bread
2 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
Butter or Ghee for frying
½ cup milk

Break the eggs in a bowl and beat well with the sugar. Add the vanilla essence and milk and mix well.
Heat a flat pan and add a tablespoon of butter or ghee and smear all over. When hot dip one slice of bread at a time in the egg and milk mixture and shallow fry each slice on both sides till golden brown. 2 or 3 slices can be fried at a time.
 Serve hot with Jam, honey, maple syrup, condensed milk or powdered sugar.

Friday, April 28, 2017

MINCE CURRY PUFFS



MINCE CURRY PUFFS
Mince Curry Puffs are old Anglo-Indian Tea time and Party snacks.  In the olden days, no Birthday Party, was complete without Mince Curry Puffs on the menu. The Puff s are prepared by placing a spoonful of stuffing, which usually consists of  prepared Minced Meat (mostly beef or mutton /lamb) on  small saucer shaped  rolled out rounds of dough, then deep fried in oil or baked in an oven. The filling or stuffing could vary as per choice – Shredded or scraped coconut mixed with sugar or jaggery was another popular filling, so also scrambled eggs, or a prepared vegetarian filling of peas, potatoes, carrots etc .
I still remember the fun we used to have as children, helping my mother to make the curry puffs in our mining house in Kolar Gold Fields .We would all gather around the dining table while my   mum would knead the dough and cut out the saucer shaped rounds of dough. She would then  instruct us to place a tablespoon of the already prepared mince filling on one side of the round  (not in the middle), then flip the other half over and seal the edges with a finger dipped in water. Our right hand pointy finger would have to just barely touch the water in a cup to seal the edges of the puffs, as too much water would make the dough soggy. She would then let us make our own designs with the fork around the edges and the raw puffs would have to be laid in neat rows in a floured tray ready to be fried by her to a lovely golden brown in the kitchen. The appetizing aroma of the mince puffs frying would fill the whole house. There was no greater joy than this as kids!! This recipe is featured in my Cookery Book A Collection of Simple Anglo-Indian Recipes. 

RECIPE FOR HOT MINCE CURRY PUFFS
Serves 6      Preparation and cooking time 1 hour

Ingredients for the Dough:
250 grams refined flour or maida
50 grams butter or dalda or any other shortening 
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Sufficient Oil for deep frying the puffs

For the Filling:
250 grams minced meat (Beef or Mutton)
2 teaspoons chillie powder
2 medium size onions (chopped)
2 teaspoons chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste

To prepare the pastry dough: Sift the flour with a teaspoon of salt and baking powder. Mix the butter with the flour and knead into a stiff dough using very little water. Keep aside.


To prepare the filling: Heat a tablespoon  of oil in a pan and sauté the onions lightly. Add the meat mince, chillie powder, ginger garlic paste, coriander leaves and salt. Stir well and cook on low heat till the mince is cooked and all the water dries up. Remove and keep aside to cool. 
Now take the prepared pastry dough onto a floured board and rollout into a thin sheet. Cut rounds of about 10 cm diameter with a saucer. Place a little mince on one half of the rounds and fold the other half over. Seal the edges by dampening with a little water. Make indents with the tines of a fork all around the edges to get a ridged look. Prepare the puffs in this way till all the dough and mince is used up.

Heat the oil for frying in a fairly deep pan till smoky. Slowly drop in the puffs one by one     (as many as the pan can hold). Fry till crisp and brown on both sides. Remove from the oil and drain. Serve hot as a party or tea time snack


Or One could bake the Puffs instead of frying if desired. These puffs in the photograph were baked 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

PORK PEPPER CHOPS


PORK PEPPER CHOPS
An old Colonial favourite, Pork Pepper Chops is a simple and easy dish to prepare and requires no elaborate preparation. You could have it as a main meal with mashed potatoes and steamed or sauteed vegetables or as a side dish with rice and dal 
This recipe is featured in my Cookery Book ANGLO-INDIAN CUISINE - A LEGACY OF FLAVOURS FROM THE PAST 
Serves 6 Preparation Time 45 minutes
Ingredients
½ kg good pork chops (Flatten them)
3 potatoes (Boiled, peeled and cut in half lengthwise)
4 big onions sliced
2 green chilies slit lengthwise
2 or 3 teaspoons pepper powder (as per choice)
Salt to taste
Pressure cook the pork chops with a little water till tender letting some soup remain. Open the pressure cooker and add the onions, green chilies, salt, pepper powder and oil and mix well.  Keep cooking on low heat till the soup dries up and the onions and pork are nicely browned. Just before turning off the heat add the boiled potatoes and mix well.

Serve hot with bread or rice as a side dish.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

ANGLO-INDIAN SAVOURY CHICKEN OVEN ROAST



ANGLO-INDIAN SAVOURY CHICKEN OVEN ROAST
A Roast is one of the most simple and easy-to-make Anglo-Indian dishes that require very little work and effort. When stumped over what to cook, most people usually just decide to make a Roast. When properly done, there’s no greater culinary pleasure than tucking into the juicy roasted meat. Even the leftovers have their uses. The brown burnt residue at the bottom of the roasting pan can be converted into a delicious sauce with a little butter and a dash of wine. The left over bits of meat can also be used in sandwiches, salads, etc.
Making a Roast is a real fulfilling experience and one could really innovate with the ingredients depending on individual taste. For a simple, uncomplicated version just pepper and salt would suffice. However a Pot Roast is very popular as vegetables such as potatoes, turnips, carrots, beans onions, etc could be added as well. These vegetables, make the dish truly delicious as they cook in the natural juices of the meat. Try out this easy recipe for a delicious Anglo-Indian Chicken Pot Roast that’s been in my family for generations “ So Come, lets raise a toast to this delicious Chicken Pot Roast”

Serves: 6   Time Required: 1 hour (Marinating Time:  2 to 3 hours)
Ingredients
 1 medium size whole chicken with the skin on
1or 2 teaspoons pepper powder
1 teaspoon red chillie powder
2 teaspoons lime juice or vinegar
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
2 dry red chillies broken into bits
1 small piece cinnamon
2 tablespoons Butter or ghee
A pinch of red food colour
1 tablespoon corn flour
Salt to taste
2 or 3 carrots, beans or turnips or potatoes or any other vegetables steamed 

1. Marinate the chicken with all the above ingredients mentioned above, ensuring that the marinade covers the chicken well all over including the inside cavity.
2. Tie the chicken’s legs together and leave aside in the fridge for a couple of hours.
3. Preheat the Oven to 200 Degrees C
4. Arrange the marinated chicken (and potatoes or turnips if desired) in a buttered oven proof dish.
5. Cover the dish with foil.
6. Bake for about 25 minutes at 200 Degrees, then remove the foil. Check with a tooth pick to see if the chicken is tender.
7. Baste the chicken with some more ghee or butter and roast uncovered (at 180 C) for 15 minutes more till the chicken is well roasted all over.
When the chicken is cooked, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so.
 To carve your chicken, cut away the string tied to the legs. First break off the wings then carefully cut down between the legs and breast, cutting through the joint, then pull the legs off. Cut each leg between the thigh and the drumstick. Carve the rest of the chicken and serve on a platter with the steamed vegetables, roast potatoes, etc

Hints: Its always better to roast the chicken with the skin on as the skin helps to retain the fat and keeps it moist within, besides giving it a golden brown look and texture.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

EGG AND BRINJAL CURRY
















EGG AND BRINJAL CURRY
Serves 4   Preparation and Cooking Time 1 hour
Ingredients

6 hard-boiled Eggs shelled and cut into halves
3 onions chopped finely
2 tomatoes chopped
¼ kg Brinjals cut into medium size pieces
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1 teaspoon chillie powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons oil
1 sprig curry leaves (optional)


Heat oil in a pan and sauté the curry leaves and onions till the onions turn golden brown. 
Add the ginger garlic paste, tomatoes and brinjals and fry till the tomatoes are reduced to pulp. Add the chillie powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and garam msala powder and mix well. Add salt and 1 cup of water and cook till the Brinjals are cooked. Lower heat and gently drop in the hard boiled eggs. Simmer for a few minutes till the gravy becomes thick. Serve with Rice, bread or chapattis.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

SIMPLE ANGLO-INDIAN CRAB CURRY



SIMPLE CRAB CURRY
Serves 6  Preparation Time 45 minutes
Ingredients
6 to 8 medium sized crabs or 5 big ones cleaned and shelled
2 big onions sliced finely
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons chillie powder
2 teaspoons ginger and garlic paste
Salt to taste
2 or 3 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon all spice powder or garam masala powder
2 tomatoes pureed or juice

Clean and wash the crabs well and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onions and ginger garlic paste for some time. Add the chillie  powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, all spice powder / garam masala power, salt, tomato puree (and a little water if necessary) and fry till the mixture separates from the oil.  Now add the crabs and mix well.  Add a little water. Cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes till the gravy is very thick. Serve with bread or rice.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

MACKEREL FISH CURRY


















MACKEREL FISH CURRY

Serves 6     Time required: 45 minutes

Ingredients

6 medium size mackerels cleaned and cut down the stomach 
2 big onions chopped finely                                    
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste 
1 cup thick coconut milk      
3 teaspoons chillie powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder                                       
2 teaspoons coriander powder
½ teaspoon turmeric powder  
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons oil 


Keep the mackerels whole or cut them in half. Clean the mackerels well and fry each one lightly with a pinch of turmeric to make it firm. Keep aside. 
Heat the oil in a shallow vessel and fry the  onions till golden brown. Add the ginger and garlic paste, chillie powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and a little water and fry well for some time.  Add the Coconut Milk, salt, and a little more water and bring to boil. Add the mackerels and cook for about 6 to 7 minutes. 
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and slit green chilies 
Serve with Rice or chapattis.

Monday, January 30, 2017

A COLLECTION OF SIMPLE ANGLO-INDIAN RECIPES by Bridget White




‘A COLLECTION OF SIMPLE ANGLO-INDIAN RECIPES’ is a revised, consolidated version of four earlier Recipe Books of Bridget White, namely Bridget’s Anglo-Indian Delicacies, A Collection of   Anglo-Indian Roasts, Casseroles and Bakes, The Anglo-Indian Snack Box &The Anglo-Indian Festive Hamper.

More than 350 Recipes of traditional, popular and well loved, Anglo-Indian Dishes have been specially selected from these earlier Cook Books and featured in this Omni-bus Edition. The huge selection of Anglo-Indian dishes featured in this Cookery book will surely take one on a sentimental and nostalgic journey down  memory lane of old forgotten Anglo-Indian Culinary Delights. All the old dishes cooked during the time of the Raj have now revived to suit present day tastes and palates. This Cookery Book would also serve as a ‘Ready Reckoner’ and a useful guide for teaming up dishes for everyday Anglo-Indian Meals as well as for festive and special occasions. 
Below is the list of recipes contained in this Cookery Book under different categories



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bridget White-Kumar, author of six Anglo-Indian cookbooks, reflects on culture and tradition from the Colonial Anglo-Indian Era - Food Lovers Magazine Winter 2015


45

SPECI

Bridget White -Kumar











I hail from a charming little mining town called Kolar Gold Fields, in the erstwhile Mysore State, now a part of Karnataka. I was born into a well-known Anglo-Indian family in KGF, tracing our roots back to British, Portuguese and Dutch ancestry. The Kolar Gold Mines were owned and operated by the British mining firm of John Taylor & Sons for almost a century.
 Four generations of my family lived and worked in the KGF Mines. The town had an old-world bonhomie about it, and was known for its affectionate and warm people. It was unique in its secular and egalitarian society. KGF was known as ‘Little England’ due to its colonial ambience, and European and Anglo-Indian population. Our lives were greatly influenced by the culture and ways of the Raj.
 There was no dearth of British goods in the 1940s and 50s. Goods were imported from England and sold through The English Ware House, Spencer’s Stores and various clubs in KGF. For as long as I can remember, there was always a good supply of Kraft Cheese, Tuna Fish, Polson’s Butter, Colman’s Mustard, Sardines, Baked Beans, Jams, Jellies and Quaker Oats, in our home.
Our food habits were typically Anglo-Indian. Breakfast was normally a bowl of porridge, toast with butter, jam and eggs. Sundays saw sausages, bacon or ham on the table. Lunch was a typical Anglo-Indian meal consisting of steamed rice, beef curry with vegetables, ‘pepper water,’ and a vegetable side-dish. Dinner was always dinner rolls with a meat dish; it was an unwritten rule that no one ate rice at dinnertime. We ate beef or mutton every day, fish invariably on Wednesdays and Fridays, and either Pork, Chicken or Duck on Sundays.

quote1(1)  My mum made asimple and delicious dessert, Bread and Butter Pudding, practically every Sunday. She followed an old handwritten recipe that was handed down to her from her grandmother. It was real comfort food; on a cold rainy night, I still feel nostalgic for my mum’s warm Bread Pudding. quote2(1)My mum was an exceptional cook; even simple dishes tasted delicious when she cooked them. She was versatile and imaginative in the kitchen. She would improvise and turn out the most delicious curries with whatever ingredients were on hand. Our Ayah would grind the masalas for the curry on the grinding stone; in those days everything was prepared fresh and from scratch. Ready-made curry powders were unheard of. And since we had no gas or kerosene stoves back then, every dish was cooked over a wood-fired stove, which only added to the wonderful taste!
Lunch on the weekends were special. Saturday lunch was invariably Mince Ball Curry, Saffron-Coconut Rice and Devil Chutney. On Saturdays, we only had half-days at school, so we were back home by 12.30 pm, ravenously hungry and we’d be assailed by the delicious aromas of mum’s cooking even before we reached our gate.

Cauliflower Foogath
Cauliflower Foogath

The mince for the Ball Curry, had to be just right. The meat was brought fresh from the Butcher Shop, cut into pieces, washed and then minced at home. Like every Anglo-Indian family, we had our own meat-mincing machine, which was fixed to the kitchen table. The freshly ground meat from the machine was then mixed with the required ingredients, shaped into even balls, then slowly dropped into the boiling gravy and left to simmer in a rich coriander and coconut sauce. The curry was famously known as ‘bad-word curry.’ The word ‘ball’ was considered a bad word in those days, and family elders wouldn’t dare utter it for fear of committing a sin. 
The Saffron or Yellow Coconut Rice was always prepared with freshly squeezed coconut milk and butter. Like the meat mincer, the coconut scraper was another important appendage of the Anglo-Indian kitchen, fixed firmly to the other side of the kitchen worktable. Sometimes, two fresh coconuts would be broken and grated for the Coconut Rice. The grated coconut had to be soaked in hot water and the thick milk extracted. For every cup of rice, twice the quantity of coconut milk was added – a little more would make the rice ‘pish pash’ or over-cooked, and a little less would leave the rice under-cooked. The raw rice and coconut milk would then be simmered with ghee or butter, saffron, bay leaves and a few whole spices of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves till the rice was cooked perfectly.

A recipe book from the early 20th Century, handed down to Bridget from her mother.
A recipe book from the early 20th Century, handed down to Bridget from her mother.

My favourite dessert was Bread and Butter Pudding. My mum made this simple and delicious dessert practically every Sunday. She followed an old handwritten recipe that was handed down to her from her grandmother. It was real comfort food; on a cold rainy night, I still feel nostalgic for my mum’s warm Bread Pudding. 
The Anglo-Indian community has a long history that can be traced back to the early part of the 16th Century, to the advent of the Portuguese, Dutch and Spanish, who came to India to trade in spices. Towards the latter half of the 18th century, the British made their presence felt with the establishment of the East India Company. With inter-marrying, a new multi-racial community came into existence, which evolved into the Anglo-Indian community.

quote1(1)  In a world fast morphing into a Global Village, many of the old traditional colonial dishes are not prepared in Anglo-Indian homes, as recipes have died with the older generation who cooked with intuition and memory rather than from written notes. quote2(1)

Anglo-Indian cuisine therefore evolved over many hundred years as a result of reinterpreting a quintessentially western cuisine by assimilating ingredients and cooking techniques from all over the Indian sub-continent. Thus a new contemporary cuisine came into existence making it truly ‘Anglo’ and ‘Indian’ in nature; neither too bland nor too spicy, but with a distinct flavour of its own. It became a direct reflection of the new colonial population.
 The British did not like Indian food and taught their khansamas to prepare dishes from their own hometowns. However, over a period of time, a few local ingredients were added to the dishes, and they experimented with making puddings and sweets using local ingredients. Their soups were seasoned with cumin and pepper, roasts were cooked in whole spices like cloves, pepper and cinnamon, and rissoles and croquettes flavored with turmeric and spices. Mulligatawny Soup, Meat Jalfraze, Devilled Beef and Pork were some of these early innovations.
 Anglo-Indian Cuisine is a gourmet’s delight mostly because it makes use of spices like pepper, bay leaves, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Indian garnishes like chillies, cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and vinegar are also added in moderation. Yogurt and milk are used in certain preparations to offset pungency. Many dishes have rhyming alliterative names like Doldol, Kalkal, Ding-Ding and Posthole! The very nomenclature of these dishes is unique and original, and synonymous only with the Anglo-Indian community. 
However over a period of time, Anglo-Indian cooking became more Indian than British and more regional. Local ingredients and flavours of a particular region were incorporated in the dishes while the basic ingredients remained the same throughout 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 the Anglo-Indian dishes of Calcutta and West Bengal. And a strong Mughlai influence seeped into Anglo-Indian dishes cooked in Lucknow and parts of North of India. But today, in a world fast morphing into a Global Village, many of the old traditional colonial dishes are not prepared in Anglo-Indian homes, as recipes have died with the older generation who cooked with intuition and memory rather than from written notes. With the intention of preserving those authentic tastes and flavours, I have published six recipe books exclusively on Anglo-Indian cuisine. This personal collection of recipes was compiled with the intent of reviving the old tastes of the colonial era, and thereby preserving the culinary culture and heritage of the Anglo-Indian Community.
Photography by Krishanu Chatterjee  
Posted: January 6, 2017