The Third Book of Curries
THE THIRD BOOK OF CURRIES by HARVEY DAY Drawings by B. Gerry Contents Chapter Page 1 A LITTLE OF WOT YER FANCY 6 2 MISCELLANEOUS HINTS 10 3 DISHES OF BURMA 12 4 DISHES OF CEYLON 19 5 DISHES OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN 31 6 DISHES OF INDONESIA AND THAILAND 35 7 DISHES OF IRAN AND IRAQ 4 1 8 DISHES OF MALAYA 47 9 DISHES OF TURKEY 54 ADDRESSES OF CURRY-SPICE SUPPLIERS 62 INDEX 63 A Liffle of Wot Yer Fancy How a poor woman makes palatable Mince Pies of stinking Meat. None of the recipes in this book deals with the problem. They have no need to. But in the eighteenth century, before the advent of refrigeration, meat often went bad, especially in the homes of the poor who eked out their supplies over weeks and in his delightful little book, Meet Mr Ellis, Vicars Bell gives extracts, supplemented by comments, of life in Little Gaddesden, Herts, two centuries ago. According to Mr Ellis, a prosperous farmer, This is a poor industrious Woman that rents a little Tenement by me of Twenty Shillings a Year, who for the Sake of her Poverty is Every Week relieved, with many others, by the most noble Lord of Gaddesden Manour who killing a Bullock almost every week for his large Family, he has the Offald meat dressed, and is so good as to have it given to the poorest People in the Neighbourhood. But as it sometimes happes, through the Negligence of careless Servants, that this charitable meat is apt to stink in hot Weather, for want of its due cleaning, boiling, and laying in a cool Place. However, the Poor are very glad of this Dole, as it does their Families considerable Service. And to recover such tainted Meat, this Woman, after boiling and cleansing it well, chops and minces it very small, and when mixed 6 with some Pepper, Salt, chopd Sage, Thyme, and Onion, she bakes it This for a savoury Pye. At another Time she makes a sweet Pye of this flesh, by mixing a few Currants and Plumbs with it. But in either Form the Taint is so lessened that it is hardly to be perceived. People in the Far East, however, were never forced to eat tainted food, as tribes in more temperate climates were, for the spices in which they prepared meat, h and vegetables preserved such comestibles for days, if not weeks, and where mustard oil was used, for months Incidentally, according to C. C. Furnas, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, Yale University, and S. M. Furnas, formerly Instructor in Nutrition, University of Minnesota, putrefying food is not necessarily harmful and, indeed, many highly civilized peoples like certain dishes rather high. The organisms, say these gentlemen, which cause it putrefaction are for the most part not harmful to man and the eating of rotten meat is a relatively safe practice provided there has been no contamination of mans own making. Many primitive peoples in small communities thrive on it. Apparently its only the uncultured who, knowing nothing about gastronomy, like their food fresh. The gourmet rarely touches a medlar till it is soft and half rotten. To him jugged hare is a delicacy, and in the best clubs and restaurants grouse is hung till infested with maggots. In his fascinating autobiography, A Pinch of Pound Notes, John Dingle, a famous chef, describes how, when he was at the Junior Constitutional Club, one of his chores was to take down and salvage grouse past the peak of their prime. One evening two portions of cold grouse were ordered A toast canapk was made with a slice of toast loaded with pdtd de foie gras paste prepared from the hearts and livers of the birds. On this were mounted the half bird, small comets of ham filled with aspic jelly and gherkins. Beetroot salad with bouquets of cress comprised the garnish, with a few game chips. Later, a waiter descended to the kitchen and remarked, Ive never served grouse risotto cold before. What do you mean asked Dingle. Thats what it was, wasnt it No it was simply cold, roast grouse...
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