ANGLO-INDIAN MASALA CHOPS / BEEF OR VEAL MASALA CHOPS
Serves 6 Time required: approx 1 hour
1 kg good beef or veal cut into chops with a little fat (Flatten them)
3 or 4 potatoes, (boiled, peeled and cut in half lengthwise)
4 big onions sliced
2 green chilies slit lengthwise
2 teaspoons mild chillie powder
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons oil
Marinate the chops with all the above ingredients (except the onions and potatoes) and keep aside for 2 hours.
Heat the oil in a suitable pan and add the marinated chops and mix well. Cook the chops with sufficient water till tender letting some soup remain. Mix in the sliced onions. Keep cooking on low heat till the soup dries up and the meat is a nice brown colour.
Just before turning off the heat add the boiled potatoes and mix once so that the mixture covers the potatoes.
Garnish with browned onions
Serve hot with bread, rice or chapattis
½ kg beef or mutton cut into medium pieces
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
4 green chilies
1 cup chopped coriander leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cloves, 2 cardamom, 2 pieces of cinnamon
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons oil
½ cup coconut paste
3 potatoes pealed washed and cut into quarters
Grind the green chilies, coriander leaves, coconut, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cumin seeds to a smooth paste in a blender. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and fry the onions till golden brown. Add the meat and turmeric powder and fry for some time. Now add the ground masala and salt and mix well with the meat. Keep frying on low heat till the oil separates from the mixture. Add the potatoes and sufficient water and pressure cook for 15 minutes. Serve hot. This curry is good with ghee rice or Palau rice.
COLONIAL ANGLO-INDIAN CUISINE FOOD PROMOTION EVENT AT K 3, J W MARRIOTT HOTEL NEW DELHI AEROCITY – THE MEMSAHIB’S KITCHEN
It’s been an awesome and amazing experience being part of the Colonial Anglo-Indian Food Promotion Event #thememsahibskitchen at K3, J W Marriott Hotel New Delhi Aerocity.
Thank you so much J W Marriott Hotel for giving me the privilege of recreating and bringing back to life old forgotten foods and simple dishes of yore that were innovated and invented by the khansamas and cooks in those early days of the Colonial period.
The rustic and robust flavours of dishes that were served by the cooks at the Dak Bungalows and Inspection Bungalows to the British Officers while on their official tours across the country such as the Dak Bungalow Chicken Curry and fry.
The delicious Railway Lamb and Vegetable Curries that were first served on the Great Indian Peninsular Railway also known as The Blue Train that began its three day journey from Bombay’s Victoria Rail Terminus to Calcutta via Allahabad for the first time on 7th March 1870 covering a total distance of almost 4000 miles.
Then the East India Company legacies of lamb chops, Bread and Butter pudding, Roly Poly Jam Pudding and steamed ginger pudding, besides other dishes associated with British colonial cooking such as Kedegeree (the anglicised version of kichidi, a rice dish cooked with pulses then mixed with quartered hard boiled eggs), Rissoles, Potato Chops and Pantras, Cutlets and Croquettes.
The Portuguese legacies of Vindaloo and Tangy Curries and Sweets, the Dutch Fish and lamb Mince Friccadels and not forgetting the other old dishes such as Grandma’s Country Captain Chicken, lamb Mince Ball (Kofta) Curry, Saffron Coconut Rice, Anglo-Indian Tomato Pilaf, etc.
Thank you J W Marriot Hotel New Delhi Aerocity, Executive Chef Vikram Bhatt, Executive Sous Chef Ishika, Mr Rohit Sharma and Mr Nikhil Nair for this wonderful opportunity.
My special thanks to the wonderful team of Chef Kamal Sen, Hardik Narang, Akanksha Dean, Hitesh and others who were so eager to learn this new cuisine and recreate these old dishes for the festival. God bless you all.
SPECIAL FEATURE – FOOD LOVERS MAGAZINE WINTER 2015
Preserving Colonial Flavours
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tags : Anglo-Indian Cuisine, Baked Beans, Bangalore, Bay Leaves, Beef Curry, Bread And Butter Pudding, Bridget White-Kumar, Calcutta, Chicken, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coconut Saffron Rice, Colman’s Mustard, Colonial Cuisine, Coriander, Cumin, Devil Chutney, Devilled Beef, Ding-Ding, Doldol, Duck, English Cuisine, Fusion Cuisine, Ghee, Indian Cuisine, Kalkal, Karnataka, Kolar Gold Fields, Kraft Cheese, Krishanu Chatterjee, Meat Jalfreze, Mince Ball Curry, Mughlai, Mulligaatawny Soup, Mysore, Nutmeg, Oats, Pepper, Pork, Posthole, Rice, Tuna Fish