Friday Night is Curry Night.

Friday 29/10/2004

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Diary and Notes

Due to my odd upbringing I have eaten probably more curry than anyone I know. I grew up eating curry when the rest of our little island scoffed fish and chips. Curry is my comfort food, it's what I eat when I'm ill and it's what I think about when my belly rumbles. I love all curry. Curry, to me, can be compared to sex; when it's good, nothing beats it, but even when it's bad, it's better than most of the other options.

Now curry eaters are a proud bunch and everyone claims that his/her town is where the best curry comes from. I have lived in far too many places to have such an attachment to any one place. I know of excellent curry houses all over our island gem in the Atlantic and have even had good curry here in Göttingen and some excellent tandoori chicken in Paris, but I will have to say that if you want a curry experience like no other, go to (Rusholme) in Manchester. Rusholme is a Mecca for Northern curry eaters and was my home for some time. There are (at my last count) over 50 Indian restaurants/kebab shops and fast food take aways, all lined up with glowing neon along Oxford Road. Rusholme is one of the wonders of the curry world and every curry lover should make his Haaj at least once in his life.

You may have surmised that there will be quite a few different styles of curry on my blog over the next year. Today's is simple and uses some ingredients I had lying around (some minced lamb bought when I was cooking shepherd's pie for instance). But do not be fooled by the 'using what I had line' this is not slumming it. Kofta are a delight, perhaps the finest meat for curry you can get. They are always moist and juicy and unlike other meats they themselves can be spicy, so you get more flavour than just sauce. Don't try to use minced beef, it just doesn't work. For general comments on why I'm using curry paste etc... see 21st oct blog. I was going to make some chapattis, but as I had to sit this awful German exam, I didn't have time.

I had trouble getting the Ahmed's mixed pickle. When I first arrived in Göttingen I went to Poorana's Asian shop and asked after it. They only had Patak's. When I went back yesterday the industrious and ever helpful people had bought two cases of 1 litre tubs. I of course bought a tub and will be eating it with roti for breakfast until I leave in December.

And what with being in Germany, I couldn't get a bottle of Cobra, so had a Beck's Gold instead. It was almost as good.


  • Kofta with peppers in tomato sauce,
  • Mushroom and pea bhaji,
  • Basmati rice,
  • Cucumber and tomato salad,
    Ahmed's mixed pickle.

  • Becks gold.


  • Kofta: Minced lamb, ghee, onion, garlic, ginger, chillis, green peppers, tomato ketchup, tomato puree, black pepper, fresh coriander, green cardamom, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds, curry paste, garam masala, chilli poweder, salt.
  • Mushrooms: Mushrooms, peas, ghee, curry paste, black pepper, garam masala.
  • Salad:Cucumber, tomato, fresh coriander, lemon juice, black pepper, pinch of sugar.


  • Kofta: To make the kofta put some garam masala, black pepper, salt, chilli powder and chopped coriander in a mixing bowl. Mix in the minced lamb, really get your hands in to make sure it's all well spread about. Form into small balls and put aside. Finely dice the onion and fry in the ghee. When the onion is soft add (one by one so as not to break them) the kofta. Fry them too until browned all over. Add the garlic, ginger and dry spices. Fry a little longer. Put in all the other ingredieants with a little water, cover the pot and cook for at least an hour over a low heat. Just before serving stir in a little more fresh coriander.
  • Mushroom and pea bhaji: Fry the mushrooms in ghee. Stir in the peas and curry paste. Add some black pepper, sprinkle with garam masala just before serving.
  • Salad: Dice cucumber and tomato really small, make a dressing from the other ingredients and mix together.