Punjab Rifles vs Bengal Lancers, Curry Cooking Competition

Friday 18/3/2005

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Diary and Notes

It's curryday again (I have stopped using the F word to describe the last day of the working week) and I am having a real treat: curried duck. I wasn't planning on having duck but I was walking past my local butcher's and noticed they had whole 2kg ducks on special offer for 5 quid. Only an idiot would pass up such a tasty bargain so I bought one, used the legs for my curry, took the breasts off and froze them for later use and made stock with the rest. I also have some spicy oil now (from roasting the legs - see below) with which I might cook some fantastic potatoes tomorrow.

Some poeple have been suggesting that it isn't actually feasible eating curry every curryday for a whole year and not having the same dish twice. I have been doing some research and have found the most fantastic Indian Cookery Book on the web, which fills me with both hope and insipiration. The book from about the year 1900 is perhaps the greatest website I have ever found. The recipes are obviously from the British Raj and demonstrate just how much variety traditional Indian cuisine has. You can understand from this, why the British Tommy was reluctant to come home to Britain - what would you rather, sitting in the sun eating spicy fish moloo followed by Mussoor daal chur churee, chicken country captain and rice, or the grimness of early 20th century Briatin and a plate of tripe and onions?

I would never have come home.


Today I recived word that this years Darwin Awards were out. For those who don't know the Darwin awards "Salute the improvement of the human genome, by honouring those who accidentally kill themselves in really stupid ways. Of necessity, this honour is generally bestowed posthumously."

This years winner was:

Two local men were injured when their pickup truck left the road and struck a tree near Cotton Patch on State Highway 38 early Monday. Woodruff County deputy Dovey Snyder reported the accident shortly after midnight Monday. Thurston Poole, 33, of Des Arc, and Billy Ray Wallis, 38, of Little Rock, were returning to Des Arc after a frog gigging trip.

On an overcast Sunday night, Poole's pickup truck headlights malfunctioned. The two men concluded that the headlight fuse on the older-model truck had burned out. As a replacement fuse was not available, Wallis noticed that the. 22 caliber bullets from his pistol fit perfectly into the fuse box next to the steering-wheel column. Upon inserting the bullet the headlights again began to operate properly, and the two men proceeded on eastbound toward the White River Bridge. After traveling approximately 20 miles, and just before crossing the river, the bullet apparently overheated, discharged, and struck Poole in the testicles.

The vehicle swerved sharply right, exiting the pavement, and striking a tree Poole suffered only minor cuts and abrasions from the accident, but will require extensive surgery to repair the damage to his testicles, which will never operate as intended. Wallis sustained a broken clavicle and was treated and released.

"Thank God we weren't on that bridge when Thurston shot his balls off, or we might both be dead," stated Wallis.

"I've been a trooper for 10 years in this part of the world, but this is a first for me. I can't believe that those two would admit how this accident happened," said Snyder.

Upon being notified of the wreck, Lavinia (Poole's wife) asked how many frogs the boys had caught and did anyone get them from the truck?

(Though Poole and Wallis did not die as a result of their misadventure as normally required by Darwin Award Official Rules, it can be argued that Poole DID, in fact, effectively remove himself from the gene pool.)

Cake Blog

Chocolate gateau from the Northcote Theatre bar. Very chocolatey with a cream filling.


  • Curried Duck with Coconut Sauce
  • Naan Bread
  • Basmati Rice
  • Major Grey Mango Chutney
  • Lime Pickle


  • Duck legs, coriander, cumin, chilli powder, salt, black pepper, turmeric
  • Sauce: Desiccated coconut, onions, garlic, fresh ginger, ghee, chilli powder, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, green cardamon, fenugreek seeds, black pepper, dried fenugreek leaves (methi), fennel seeds, mustard seeds, bay leaf, cinammon stick.
  • Mushrooms, red pepper, fresh coriander leaves.


  • Cut slits in the skin of the duck legs and rub the spices in the skin. Roast slowly for 1 1/2 hours until the duck is soft. Drain off the oil every half an hour whilst cooking to keep it dry.
  • Place the coconut in a jug and pour over boiling water, leave to plump up. Chop the onions and ginger and fry in some ghee. Add the coriander seeds, cumin, fenugreek, pepper, chilli powder, and fry for another 5 mins. Liquidize the whole lot and put back in the pan. Add the rest of the spices, bay leaf etc... and fry for another 5 mins. Add water to make a sauce and the coconut and simmer gently for 1/2 an hour.
  • Fry some mushrooms and pepper in a little ghee, add the cooked duck legs and pour over some curry sauce. Simmer gently for 5 mins then add some fresh coriander and serve straight away.