A Taste of History – My Discovery in India

From the British, the Anglo-India population learned the roasting process and acquired a taste for stews and exotic fare like oxtail soup and braised lamb or beef tongue. Though curries of all kinds made it to the table in the Anglo-Indian home, they took special pride in English dishes that had an Indian touch.

Few communities in India use organ food such as the tongue. But Christians in Goa are known for delicacies made from cured tongues. Over the decades the food the British enjoyed in India became more Indian than Anglo. Stews became spicier and the British made their version of Rasam, a watery soup of lentils and spices – even adding meat to it and calling it Mulligatawny Soup.

From their British ancestors, Anglo-Indians learned to make a variety of hybrid dishes. Fish was a popular breakfast item, a trait probably learnt from Bengalis. One of the culinary inventions of the 18th century was kedgeree. The following recipe is from Edward Palmer’s INDIAN COOKERY published in the 1930s. Palmer was the founder of the famous Veeraswamy restaurant in London.

Cold cooked fish (flaky fish preferred)
Cooked Basmati rice
A finely sliced clove of garlic
Ground turmeric
Hard boiled eggs
Salt Green or red chillies

Cook in sufficient butter for a few minutes (but do not brown) the onions and garlic. Add a teaspoonful of ground turmeric and cook this mixture for a few minutes longer. The rice and flaked fish is then added and the mixture should be very lightly tossed together until warmed through. Add pepper and salt to taste.
Serve piled on a dish garnished with slices of hard boiled eggs and green and red chilies cut lengthwise.

Enjoy! Daksha