Delectable histories

Clockwise, from top left: kurma/quorema, adapted from ‘The Indian Cookery Book’ (1869); Madhur Jaffrey’s pork vindaloo; Madhur Jaffrey’s lamb korma; pork vindaloo, adapted from ‘The Wife’s Help to Indian Cookery’ (1888)

In what is easily a personal best, I made four curries today – and all at the same time. It may have been for an assignment, but nevertheless, I’m still feeling pretty baller right now. Two of the recipes are from modern day icon of Indian cuisine Madhur Jaffrey, while the others are from Anglo-Indian cookbooks published in the 19th century. Those puddles surrounding the curries on the left are the massive amounts of ghee (a kind of clarified butter) used in older recipes (I’m guessing all that fat was to help preserve the food, although I wouldn’t put it past 19th century colonialists to simply have preferred it that rich and greasy). Jaffrey’s vindaloo was probably the best of the bunch, although I did really enjoy the intensely sour flavor of the historic korma. According to the author, however, true gentlemen would not have been served such a pungent curry, as it would offend their delicate sensibilities.

Lesson of the day: proper men eat like wimps.

You can view the entire text of The Indian Cookery Book here.

1 Comment

  1. Madly impressed at your ability to make four different curries at one time. I’m going to check out the book link you provided. I’ve always used Julie Sahni’s books for recipes, but it will be interesting to see how 100 years has made a difference. I am so hungry right now…

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