Baburchi Cuisine

Fine Indian Food

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Curries from Around the World!

I know that curry is usually accepted as a traditional Indian dish but it is also true that variations have been created for many years all around the world. 

Here’s a quick whistle stop tour of some of the worldwide types of curry:

•Burma.  Burmese chicken curry closely resembles a Punjabi style curry but is made without tomatoes or peppers.

•Ethiopia.  The Ethiopian curry is called wat and includes vegetables and any meat other than pork.

•Indonesia.  The famous national dish called rending is a dry curry, the type which has its sauce simmered down to a minimum.

•Japan.  Japanese curry was invented in 1912 and typically incorporates onions, carrots and potatoes.

•Malaysia.  Curries made in Malaysia involve use of traditional spices and ingredients such as chillies, coconut milk, garlic, ginger and turmeric.

•Nepal.  The Nepalese dish called masu is spiced or curried meat and gravy served up with rice.

•Sri Lanka.  There are three common types of curry; white, using coconut milk, red, incorporating plenty of chillies and black which is made with dark roasted spices. 

•Thailand.  They have numerous types of curry in Thailand including gold curry, green curry, jungle curry, khao soi, massaman curry, panang and red curry.

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Celebrate Pulses at Bristol’s Dal Festival!

 The British Dal Festival runs at a variety of venues throughout Bristol starting on 19th March and culminating on Sunday 25th March in a Grand Dal Finale.

Dal is a Hindu word meaning either a split pulse, such as lentil, bean, pea or other legume, or a soup or stew made with any type of pulse, whole or split.  Whilst the various dal dishes are traditionally the fare of the Indian sub-continent, the festival also celebrates pulse dishes from around the world, including Mexico’s refried beans, the fava dips of Greece and Britain’s own pease pudding and mushy peas.

 A number of events have been organised for the festival kicking off with a Dal Trail around the city.  Many restaurants and eateries have agreed to take part, offering their own signature dal dishes up for tasting.

At Bristol’s Farmers Market on Wednesday 21st March there will be a free ‘Its Dal-icious’ lunch offered in association with The Thali Cafe and community organisation 91 Ways.  Schools will be involved as well receiving educational packs prepared for them by Jenny Chandler, author of Pulse and the United Nations Pulse Ambassador for 2016.

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Ex-Pat’s 500 Mile Take Away!

I can sympathise with the plight of a group of ex-pat Brits living in the south of France, pining for a taste of the old country.  A good curry, in other words!

James Emery has decided to solve the problem by specially chartering a plane to fly food in from the Akash Indian restaurant in Southsea, Hampshire.

James explained that whenever he returns home he visits the restaurant.  “I have been a loyal customer of the Akash for close to 20 years”, he told the Metro newspaper.  “Every time I popped in for a meal I would complain about the bland and uninspiring version of Indian food we get in France.”

A plan was hatched and Mr Emery and restaurant manager Faz Ahmed have now teamed up with the Iroise Aero Formation, a professional flying school based in Brest.  Every Saturday a small plane will set off from Solent Airport, near Portsmouth, and flies 500 miles south to land at Saucats Airfield just south of Bordeaux. 

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Chicken Tikka Masala No Longer UK’s Number 1!

In the run up to National Curry Week at the end of last year I noted that a survey carried out by popular Indian beer brand, Kingfisher, had found that UK diners no longer chose chicken tikka masala as their favourite dish.

Despite holding the number 1 slot for many years, it has been toppled by the new people’s favourite; the much milder korma.  Nearly a fifth of those asked named a creamy korma as their number 1 choice ahead of the previous favourite with madras coming in third.

Other facts about our Indian dining habits were also revealed and it seems that as far as the British are concerned variety is definitely not the spice of life. 

The survey revealed that around one third of people always choose the same thing when ordering an Indian meal.  In addition nearly two thirds confessed they had never tried a vindaloo, one third has not eaten an onion bhaji and a quarter have yet to try a naan bread.

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Celebrating Christmas in India!

India is renowned as a multi-cultural nation and some 2.3% of the population are Christians.  Because of the size of the population, however, this still amounts to around 25 million people!

In India we do love a celebration and many non-Christians enthusiastically join in the festivities.  Shops and businesses gear up for the occasion well in advance and deck their premises with colourful ribbons and decorations.

The traditional Xmas is commonly found in homes and businesses.  Snow may be in short supply but the trees are decked with cotton wool to give a suitable effect.  Many schools stage nativity plays and smiling Santas can be spotted around the cities.

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Gordon Ramsey Insults all of South India!

I know Gordon Ramsey is not one to curry favour or mince his words but a recent tweet of his appears to have upset an entire country.

Ramsey invites people to send him photos and descriptions of dishes they create.  In turn he gives them a review which, it is hoped, is amusing but can also be quite scathing.

To this end a Twitter user known as Rameez submitted a picture of a dish called Medu Vada, a traditional breakfast meal comprising deep fried spiced lentils served with lentil curry and coconut chutney.  Rameez asked Ramsey to rate his dish and received the response “I didn’t think you can tweet from prison”.

Rameez appeared satisfied by the comment, responding that his “mission had been accomplished”.  Others, however, were far from amused.

Tagged in: chutney curry India spice
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Indian Food Breaks the Rules – that’s Why it Tastes so Good!

I spotted an article recently about the theory of food pairing.  Originated by popular chef Heston Blumenthal and Francois Benzi, described as a ‘flavour chemist’, it argues that food with matching flavour molecules combine to make the tastiest food.

Apparently an average food ingredient contains some 50 matching flavour molecules while complex substances such as red wine may contain over a thousand.

It is argued that the two main factors that combine to produce a dish’s flavour are ingredients and technique.  Ingredients can be divided into two groups, ‘quiet’ ingredients such as butter, milk, paneer and rice and ‘loud’ ones which include chillies, horseradish, rosemary and tarragon.

Tagged in: cuisine food indian spices
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National Curry Week is Coming!

It is that time of year again when we can look forward to National Curry Week in the UK.  This year it falls between 9th and 15th October and celebrates its 20th anniversary.

National Curry Week has the obvious object of promoting the great variety and diversity of curry dishes available throughout the country.  People are encouraged to visit their local curry houses or make their own versions of the dish at home.

At the same time, the aim is to raise funds for various charities concerned primarily with battling hunger, poverty and malnutrition.  People are encouraged to join in, engaging with fun challenges and events, and making donations. 

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Combat Bowel Cancer with Hot Curries!

The Journal of Clinical Investigation has published a study which suggests that a chemical compound found in spicy curries can help prevent the risk of developing bowel cancer.

Capsaicin is what gives chilli peppers their heat.  In an experiment it was given to mice by scientists.  It triggered a pain receptor in cells in the lining of the intestines which resulted in a reaction reducing the likelihood of developing colorectal tumours.  In fact it was found to extend the life of the subject mice by up to 30%.

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The Magnificent Seven – Curry Facts & Myths!

The internet is a wonderful tool, as we all know.  Here are seven interesting facts and myths about curry that I have come across in my googling.

1.    The earliest known curry is believed to have been made in Mesopotamia in around 1700BC.

2.    The word ‘curry’ is thought to have derived from the Tamil word ‘kari’ meaning spiced sauce.

3.    Korma is probably the most misunderstood curry in the world.  The word means slow cooked or braised rather than the British understanding of it as a mild curry.  Indeed, it can be very mild or fierily hot, depending on the ingredients used.

Tagged in: chilli curry indian sauce
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Amazing Meal Deals including Free Bottle of Wine!

We have a couple of fantastic offers for you at the moment.

Firstly, we are running a great Meal Deal every day.  Here’s how it works:

1.    We provide a splendid starting platter for one comprising onion bhaji, shish kebab, chicken pakora, meat samosa, chicken tikka and lamb tikka.

2.    Following that you can choose a main dish from over 100 featured on our menu, complete with a portion of rice.  And if you are still hungry after that, you can choose a further main dish for free! 

Our chef prepares all our delicious dishes using fresh and locally sourced products wherever possible.

Tagged in: curry deal offer rice
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School Kids Grow Their Own Curry!

I am pleased to announce that for the second year the British Curry Club are helping primary school students to grow their own curry ingredients.

Selected schools have already received packets of seeds supplied by Sutton Seeds.  The hope is that the chosen schools will form gardening clubs and post news of their crops on their respective websites or social media pages.  

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50% of Curry Houses to Close within the Next 10 Years!

I was shocked to read a report in The Daily Telegraph quoting Yawar Khan, chairman of the Asian Catering Federation (ACF).  He forecasts some 17,000 Indian restaurants will disappear from our High Streets in the next 10 years – that equates to one in two of the restaurants existing today.

I have talked before about some of the problems besetting our industry, including chef shortages and rising costs, but Khan identifies other factors too; failure to respond to changing customer demand and to keep up with modern technology.

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Kingfisher Beer – the Real Taste of India!

I know a lot of people like a glass of wine with their curry or even a jug of water but the majority seem to prefer beer and Kingfisher is renowned as one of the most popular brands of Indian beer in the world today.

The origins of stretch back to one of the oldest established and best breweries in India.  Castle Breweries first began brewing beer in 1857 in the magnificent city of Mysore.  Carts drawn by bullocks carried the huge barrels of beer, known as hogsheads, through the narrow streets.  In time Castle allied with four other brewers to become United Breweries.

In the 1970s United Breweries began to concentrate on exporting their beers to other countries and it is now found in over 50 countries around the world.  The Kingfisher brand was launched in 1978.  The premium lager is brewed in the UK to the same authentic Indian recipe.

Today United Breweries are recognised as the leading brewer in India, with around 50% of the home market.  Kingfisher Strong is the largest selling beer in the country and one in every three beers sold in India is a Kingfisher.

Kingfisher is heavily involved in sports sponsorship including their own F1 team, Force India.  They are also a sponsor of several Indian cricket teams.

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UK Curry Restaurants Feeing Let Down by Brexit

I read with interest the feelings of prominent leaders of the UK curry restaurant industry who believe their support for the Leave campaign has been betrayed.

Restaurants are facing closure as they are unable to recruit UK chefs with the required skills.  If they recruit from the subcontinent the current immigration requirements are that they need to guarantee an annual wage of £29,570 which is beyond many restaurants budgets.

The hope was that these requirements would be replaced by a points based immigration policy being introduced, similar to that operating in Australia.  This would pave the way for more Asian chefs to be able to obtain visas.

The Financial Times reports that Pasha Khandaker, president of the Bangladesh Caterers Association who campaigned heavily for the Leave campaign, was “very disappointed” by the government’s refusal to adopt this policy, despite it being a key proposal in the run up to the referendum.

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Save Money while you Eat with the Baburchi Loyalty Card!

I appreciate the loyalty of my regular customers and so I have decided to give them a reward with the first ever Baburchi Loyalty Card (BLC).

Starting on 1st January you are able to purchase a BLC for £40.00 or £20.00.  This can be immediately used to get 50% off your food and drinks bill to a maximum of £40.00 for four people or £20.00 for two people.

The real bonus, though, is that thereafter you can use your BLC to get 2 meals for the price of 1 or 4 for the price of two!  That’s eating in or takeaway.

The deal applies to main course dishes only with the cheapest dish free.  Buffet and set menus are not included.  Take a look at our website for the full terms and conditions. 

You can use the card throughout the year except on certain dates specified on our website.

So sometimes there is such a thing as a free lunch – or dinner if you prefer!

To sample Indian food at its best in Gloucester, visit Baburchi Cuisine.  Contact us on 01452 300615 or explore indianrestaurantgloucester.co.uk  to view our eat in and take away menus. 

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Sweet Treats for Xmas!

In India there is a tradition of sweet making at Xmas.

It is a family affair and often all the women in an extended family will gather together to make sweets over a weekend or two.  Many of the treats originated in Goa and were subsequently adapted by other parts of the country.

Collectively known as kuswar, they include traditional fruitcakes and rose cookies.  Another favourite are kidiyo, which translates as “worms”.  Fortunately no actual worms are involved, just deep fried balls of dough covered with icing sugar.

Newrio are sweet dumplings stuffed with grated coconut, sesame seeds and palm sugar.  Other delights include banana chips, cardamom and cashew macaroons, and chaklis, a round deep fried savoury made with lentils.   

As with many things Indian, there is a broad cultural background to the sweets.  The fruitcakes, for example, resemble British plum puddings and even the traditional English Xmas pudding.  Rose cookies are of Dutch origin and many of the other treats are grounded in the cuisines of Portugal and France.

We at Baburchi Cuisine would like to offer you the compliments of the festive season.  For some of the best Indian food in Gloucester, give us a call on 01452 300615 or explore our extensive take away and eat in menus at indianrestaurantgloucester.co.uk.  

 

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Flying Curry Chef Prepared to Korma Long Way!

I was amused to read of an unnamed curry-loving millionaire arranging for a chef to fly from Wales to North London to provide an Indian feast, a total of 160 miles.  That’s some take away!

Chef Mofur Miah is based in Wrexham but was flown from there with his pre-made tasty dishes to be re-cooked for the banquet.  The food supplied comprised:

•    Five chicken tikka biryanis
•    Five meat biryanis
•    Five Bombay aloo
•    Five saag aloo
•    Ten chapatis
•    An assortment of side dishes

He travelled with the food on an aircraft and re-cooked it on his arrival at the North London venue.

It is not the first time he has flown with his food.  He also caters for high-flying weddings on a converted aeroplane which is used for traditional Bangladeshi marriages.  Jokingly he and his colleagues refer to themselves as North Wales’ fourth Emergency Service!

We at Baburchi Cuisine are pleased to offer everything that appears on Mr Miah’s millionaire menu.  For some of the best Indian food in Gloucester, give us a call on 01452 300615 or explore our extensive take away and eat in menus at indianrestaurantgloucester.co.uk

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The Korma Chamaeleon!

Here in the UK a korma curry is usually described as very mild and comes with a thick, rich sauce.  That is not the only way of serving this versatile type of curry, however, as it can adapt itself to different combinations in different circumstances.

The word korma is derived from kormah, a Hindu word meaning to braise which in turn comes from the Turkish kavurma which simply means cooked meat.  The dish in India can be traced back to the sixteenth century invasions by the Mughals.

Traditionally a korma dish consists of meat or vegetables that have been braised in water and stock, usually with yoghurt or cream added.  As is typical of many Indian dishes it is the combination of spices that give the dish its distinctive flavour.  Ground coriander and cumin are the main spices used.

The dish would have been cooked slowly in a pot over a low fire with charcoal put on top of the lid to ensure all-round heat.  Despite its mild reputation today in the UK, there is nothing to stop a korma from being spicy or fiery, providing the dish as braised as suggested.
An interesting vegetarian variation is the Navratan korma.  Navratan means nine gems and the dish traditionally incorporates nine different vegetables. 

We are pleased to offer various kormas on our extensive menu.  For some of the best Indian food in Gloucester, give us a call on 01452 300615 or explore our extensive take away and eat in menus at indianrestaurantgloucester.co.uk

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Celebrate National Curry Week!

Did you know that National Curry Week is fast approaching?  

This year’s events run from 10th to 16th October.  National Curry Week originated in 1998 and aims to promote curry while raising funds for various charities concerned primarily with battling hunger, poverty and malnutrition.

During the week people are encouraged to visit their local curry houses or partake of the dish at home, whilst engaging with fun challenges and events, and making donations.  Asda have been announced as the lead sponsor and official retailer for the 2016 campaign.

Events arranged include a world record attempt at constructing a tower of poppadums, samosa and poppadum speed eating contests and the Great British Curry Quiz

Some people are so excited by the idea that they challenge themselves to eat a different type of curry each day!  While that won’t suit everyone, I would encourage you to take the opportunity to try a new dish – you might surprise yourself!

For some of the best Indian food in Gloucester, give us a call on 01452 300615 or explore our extensive take away and eat in menus at indianrestaurantgloucester.co.uk.  

 

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