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Plado

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  1. I am not sure why there is so much fuss made about colouring in food. I saw a documentary about some regular festival in India where dozens of people throw powder paints bright red bright orange and florescent colours all over each other and then chuck buckets of water at each other and the massive mess that ensues rather negates the comments about the Indians not using colouring. They use dyes all the time in clothing and cloth. Where food is concerned nobody ever got poisoned from cochineal red colouring added to desserts to make the milk pink. Turmeric has been used in India and everywhere else to colour rice yellow. Indian restaurants made rice more attractive by adding yellow orange and red colouring and mixing up the grains with un-coloured white rice. Birianis look more festive with colour. As for Tandoori, well an authentic recipe in a book I have makes Tandoori Murgh Masseladahr using pureed red plums or papaya fruit. This added to turmeric for the marinade causes the chicken portions to roast to a rich red colour and it's utterly delicious. It has both sweetness and spicy taste with plenty of hot chilli or mustard seeds. Anyone who is squeamish about colouring in food is obviously thinking of bad additives in Western foods by manufacturers of processed foods who throw in some pretty awful muck to give food colour. Many still add MSG as a "flavour enhancer" and I often tell them that if the food was any good or had decent quality in the first place - the flavour shouldn't need enhancing. It was in my view a practise that was introduced to make Fish Fingers and Burgers addictive to children so they would bully their parents into buying more. The practise continues in far too many British food manufacturers and in Chinese Take-Aways and Restaurants where they chuck MSG powder into everything despite many people being allergic to it. So I say forget worries about colouring; the Indians are well aware of steering out of the way of toxicity in foods and when you're making your own - use turmeric fresh or dried for getting a yellow colour; use beetroot juice for bright red; use a mixture of the two for orange colour. Plenty of foods will add colour if you look around - even broccoli cooking-water strained adds green if you want green! Good Currying -- Plado
  2. Well I think there is only one recipe I particularly bought the book for and that's the Lamb or Beef Curry because some 55 years ago one of my schoolfriends by the name of Godfrey became interested in cooking when his mother ran off with another man! He was welcomed into our household regularly and he was only 13 when he went to London 20 miles on the train and found all the spices he needed to make a Lamb Curry - and then offered to come to our house and make the curry to demonstrate to my mother how to make a real Indian curry. He wasn't Indian but loved curry. It took him 4 hours to prepare and we were totally hooked from that moment on. I lost touch with him after we left the Greater London area and moved to Dorset in 1966 and then found him again on the internet around 2003 living in Norfolk in his late mother's house. I asked him if he still had the recipe for the curry and he said sadly no, but he had got it from the Harvey Day's book and so I straight away searched the internet and found a copy on sale on Ebay I think or may have been Amazon and bought it. Soon I tried the Godfrey curry and it brought back some memories. In the book also was a recipe for Koofta (Meat ball curry) where the author had said, "Now with floured hands, take a spoonful of the mixture and form into small balls about the size of a large walnut". I seem to sense something familiar about this instruction and looked up in another book I have and found a similar recipe that instructed "Now take a spoonful of the meat mixture and form into little balls with floured hands the size of large walnuts". Clearly someone had copied that recipe and re worded it without quite a perfect grasp of English but it was very amusing none the less. The good thing about the Harvey Day book is there are recipes for making your own curry powder or several types too according to purpose and some for curry pastes. The latter saves a lot of time when cooking. There are plenty of books around today that do just as well but the fact that the Day book is so early an example of good Indian food that I find I refer to it for some superb basic stuff. There comes a time if you make curry regularly, that you need to make a curry to copy those you get in Indian Restaurants and for this purpose I have several books written by Pat Chapman who formed "The Curry Club" in the UK and his books are full of restaurant favourites, We have a much stronger tradition of curry making in the UK than the USA for example due to the immigration from India that began around the 1950s or possibly just after WWII and so Bengali Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities set up shops not only in areas where there was a concentration of Indian immigrant families but also mixed in with the English and Scottish towns so we now have many Indian Restaurants all over including London Birmingham Manchester Yorkshire Scotland and just about every town of any size and every City. I feel a bit smug about it as I was visiting Indian Restaurants around London Hampstead Fulham Cheltenham Salisbury Plymouth Bristol back as far as 1964 and by 1971 I was making my own and therefore no longer needed the Restaurants but Indian food has taken off so well in Britain that at one time Chicken Tikka Masala became the National Dish ! Knocking Pizza into second place. Long may that last. Another funny that was rather quaint was when an Indian Waiter in East London said to me as I was perusing the menu "You have meat bhoona it very hot and potato isn't it" So I had the meat bhoona and it was very hot and potato! -- Plado
  3. Well is it likely anyone still contributes to this thread or has it gone for ever? I was attracted to the discussion here about Harvey Day's Book of Curries which I found a copy of around 10 years ago and wondered if anyone took this conversation any further after 2003. The book has some really authentic Indian curry recipes and makes entertaining reading. A lot of Indian recipe books published since the days of the Harvey Day book have lifted recipes from it and published them as their own which is par for the course i suppose. I'm just testing the water here to see if anyone is still following this thread. Plado (SW England)
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