The Magic Of Anglo-Indian Cuisine


Anglo-Indian cuisine sums up the distinctive style of cooking found within the Anglo-Indian communities living in the UK, India and beyond. These Anglo-Indian communities and their cuisine can be traced back to the 18th Century when the British made their presence very well known in India. It is a style of cuisine that has evolved during the British Raj when Indian dishes were adapted and given a British twist to match the tastes of British officers.


Since then the UK has truly embraced the flavours of India and they make up an important part of the country’s culinary heritage. But there are certain Anglo-Indian dishes that are at risk of being forgotten completely, despite recipes having been passed down many generations.


The fusion of Anglo-Indian flavours can be a true delight and this mix of Indian and British food has produced a range of truly classic dishes. Whether it is spicing up the quintessential Sunday roast, giving hearty pies an extra zing or adding pizzazz to puds, no British food has escaped the magic that a bit of Indian fusion brings with it.


Many Anglo-Indian dishes have playful names such as ding ding (savoury sun-dried fried meat), pish pash (a comforting mix of rice, lentils and chicken) and kalkal (deep fried sweetened balls of dough that are popular during festivals).


Of course, when experimenting with fusion cooking, there are always going to be some dishes that don’t make the grade, but there are always plenty that do. Some of these include kedgeree, salted beef tongue, fish rissoles and mulligatawny.


It is thought that mulligatawny soup was created for fussy British officers who were keen on the rich flavours and spices of Tamil stews but would only eat them as a soup. Recipes for mulligatawny first appeared in British cook books during the reign of Queen Victoria. Since then, the ingredients included in the dish have varied, but curry powder, apples and chicken broth are generally the staples.


Another Anglo-Indian classic that will not be forgotten is kedgeree. First introduced by Scottish soldiers in Calcutta (since renamed Kolkata), it is the Anglicised version of the Indian dish kitchri (or kitchidi). Fish was often eaten for breakfast during the Raj, so kedgeree was (and still is) a great start to the day.


One dish you may not be so familiar with is mince curry puffs. These are made by placing a spicy mix of minced beef onto a small square of rolled out dough. These are then folded over and sealed to create a mini pasty shape. Served as a tea time snack and an essential at any child’s birthday party, these puffs are something the whole family could help make.


If you are looking for something to do as a family (after making your minced curry puffs), then a trip to one of London’s popular Indian brasseries is a great option. You might not find much Anglo-Indian cuisine on the menu but you will find an authentic slice of Indian cuisine at its best.


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