Food Talk by Pushpesh Pant: Currying flavours of the Raj : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

Food Talk by Pushpesh Pant: Currying flavours of the Raj

Food Talk by Pushpesh Pant: Currying flavours of the Raj


Pushpesh Pant

We are informed by the ever so vigilant social media that Britain celebrated the ‘curry day’ recently. This has triggered a debate on the origins of the curry. Most Indians think that curry belongs to them. Doesn’t it take its name from the Tamil kari that may well predate the beginning of the Common Era? How dare the erstwhile colonial masters appropriate it! The pedantic foodie scholars have jumped into the fray. Doesn’t the word ‘curry’ do injustice to our multi-layered cuisine that has the resplendent qorma, kaliya, salan, do pyaza and more?

We are reminded of the eccentric writer Gertrude Stein who had once quipped: “A rose is a rose is a rose!” Ditto for curry. Why are we so obsessed with establishing the swadeshi origin of everything? There is no doubt that the ‘curry’ as we know it today was created by the firangis. The gora sahibs had been seduced by the flavours of the subcontinent and tempered the spicing to suit their palate. The Anglo-Indian curry powder was inspired by the ubiquitous garam masala but was a very different creature. Can anyone deny that the mutton, chicken, fish and egg curries can’t be labelled qorma, kaliya and salan? The curries in course of time became the staple in dak bungalows, railway pantry cars and retiring rooms, Army messes and clubs. We think we shouldn’t grudge the Brits a bit of Raj nostalgia. PM Modi has ensured that the architectural and the vestiges of colonialism are erased permanently.

We share a recipe with our beloved readers that is a hybrid of dahi gosht or home-style mutton curry. If you keep the gravy thick like a draping sauce, the newbie foodie may even confuse it with a qorma. Enjoy with phulka, parantha or rice.

Mutton curry

Ingredients

Mutton (shank, chops and saddle) 600 g

Onions (sliced fine lengthwise) 150 g

Curd (whisked) 100 ml

Garlic-ginger paste 1 tsp

Coriander powder 1 tsp

Cumin seeds powder 3/4 tsp

Red chilli powder 1/2tsp

Yellow chilli powder 1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

Bay leaf 1

Cinnamon stick 1-inch piece

Cloves 3-4

Blah peppercorns 1 tsp

Brown cardamom 1

Green cardamom 2

Pipli piece (optional) 1 small

Salt To taste

Green chillies (slit and deseeded) 2

Coriander leaves (fresh) 1 small sprig

Oil/ghee to stir fry 1/3 cup

Method

Wash, pat dry and trim the mutton. Put the whole spices in a blender and grind coarsely. Heat oil/ghee to smoking point in pan or pressure cooker and add the sliced onions. Stir fry on medium flame till light golden in colour. Then add ginger-garlic paste and keep frying for another minute. Sprinkle a few drops of water if you feel the onions are burning. Put in the ground spices and continue stirring. After a minute, put in the meat along with salt, green chillies and 2 tbsp water. Keep on stirring till the meat is browned evenly and does not smell raw. Add a little water to the curd and pour in a steady stream on the fried mutton, stirring constantly to avoid curdling. Keep stirring on medium flame till fat separates. Add 1-1/2 cup of water and pressure cook for 8-10 minutes. Switch off the flame and let the pressure come down on its own. Remove the cooker’s lid, check seasoning, garnish and serve hot with phulka or steamed rice.


Top News

TMC manifesto promises several welfare measures, repeal of CAA

Trinamool Congress releases Lok Sabha poll manifesto; promises several welfare measures, repeal of CAA

The party also promised to provide ration at doorstep and 10...

US reacts to PM Modi's 'killing terrorists in their homes' remark

US reacts to PM Modi's 'killing terrorists in their homes' remark

In an interview, Rajnath Singh said if Pakistan's intention ...

Election Commission advises West Bengal Governor against visiting Cooch Behar, says it violates model code

Election Commission advises West Bengal Governor against visiting Cooch Behar, says it violates model code

The commission has also noted that the entire district admin...

10 killed as car rams into truck on Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway near Nadiad

10 killed as car rams into truck on Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway near Nadiad

Nadiad MLA Pankaj Desai said it is possible that the truck s...


Cities

View All