So for winter we are doing a curry night on the last Friday of every month. I have spent the last year trying and testing curries on Dave (it’s a tough job….) and myself, of-course and have come up with some pretty special, really authentic curries, with complex mixes of spices. Really nerve wracking to have the first one, as we were as full as we could be with only two of us working. All Brits (well, two Belgians), so a tough crowd who know their curries, and I really wanted to live up to their expectations and not let them leave disappointed. Here is the menu:
You will have to zoom in on that, I think! We had Indian music (some great stuff by AR Rahman, the composer of Slumdog Millionaire), we had cocktails; ‘Mangalore’ liqueur based – an amazing find with Indian spices and chilli – a bit sweet, but really aromatic and with a subtle kick of chilli. We had Bombay mix, we had it all! I have forgotten what bloody hard work it is to do these set menus – cooking for 30 or so is tough- loads of chopping, arranging, and the cooking pots are heavy and dangerously hot to get in and out of the oven…very hazardous and lengthy. Also, a bit of a phenomenon we didn’t expect was that people came in relatively bit groups, tables of 10, 8 etc, and they arrived more or less together, so I ran out of plates (!) and trying to get out lots of plates all together in my tiny space and all hot requires a fast action! However, despite some onion bhaji stress (for some reason at the last minute they decided to just disperse in the fryer, ending up with hundreds of little onion bits all over the fryer, arghh!), comments were positive, hooray!
My one disappointment is the presentation of the curry – all plated a bit ’70’s fashion. What I would give to have some of those cute little balti dishes, you know, like the little mini woks. However it represents a bit of an investment that would negate the curry nights. Shame.
Good thing, though, I discovered what an absolute joy it is to cook with all thses wonderful spices and flavours. I am absolutely in love with Indian cooking, so much so that Dave is a bit worried we are going to transform into an Indian restaurant!