ADVERTISEMENT
Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » Food » The English Legacy: a recipe guide to Anglo-Indian cuisine

Anglo-Indian Recipes

The English Legacy: a recipe guide to Anglo-Indian cuisine

The Telegraph looks into dishes that are born out of the confluence of British and Indian palates

Durri Bhalla | Published 26.06.22, 01:08 AM

Anglo-Indian cuisine developed during the British era in India when the expatriate officials began marrying Indian women. The brides who were used to their own cuisine had to adapt their palate and to suit that of their husbands’ and that called for some degree of improvisation. Anglo-Indians in India are people of mixed Indian and European ancestry. They were listed as an official minority group in India’s Constitution in 1950. They are mainly settled in Mumbai and Kolkata and their cuisine is a lovely blend of Indian and British cuisines.

Anglo-Indians love dancing and singing. They are truly full of love and fun. I remember that in my young days in Mumbai I had an Anglo-Indian instructor who taught me the jive, the waltz and the tango. Here I have shown a few very popular dishes although the cuisine includes a long list of delicious and unique combinations of delicacies.

CHICKEN POT ROAST

This particular dish is made when the whole family comes together on Sundays or festivals. It is always accompanied by a variety of side dishes. I have shown some of them. But you can add any number of vegetables according to your choice. Accompaniments can include cheesy cauliflower, cabbage, roast potatoes, sauteed tomatoes and peas.

#Chicken Roast

Ingredients

  •  Chicken: 1 whole
  •  Oil: 2-3tbsp
  •  Onions: 2 big, roughly chopped
  •  Ginger: 2-inch piece, roughly sliced
  •  Garlic: 4 big cloves, chopped
  •  Peppercorns: 1tsp
  •  Dry chilli: 2 whole, broken in halves
  •  Cinnamon sticks: 2
  •  Bay leaves: 4
  •  Lime: ½, cut into half
  •  Mint leaves: ½tsp, chopped
  •  Flour slurry: 2tbsp
  •  Coriander leaves: 2tsp, chopped
  •  Green onion: 1, roughly chopped
  •  Oil: 4tbsp

Method

  •  Prick and rub with ¼tsp each of salt, pepper and paprika.
  •  Heat 2tbsp oil in a large pot. Put the chicken and sear it on all sides till nice and brown.
  •  Now put the onions, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, peppercorns, 4tbsp oil and ½tsp salt and paprika each.
  •  Saute the onions moving the chicken around a little and flipping it once till the onions turn light golden brown.
  •  Now add 4 cups water and after the first boil put the flame on low and cover and cook the chicken for at least 45 minutes.
  •  When it is halfway cooked, add the coriander and spring onions. Flip the chicken and cover and continue cooking.
  •  When a little water remains and the chicken is tender, remove and keep the chicken aside.
  •  Strain the gravy into another pot. When straining, press the ingredients well to take out all the juice. Then discard the ingredients.
  •  Put the gravy on low heat and mix the slurry. Stir so that no lumps are formed. The gravy should be smooth. In case it becomes thick you can add a little hot water and cook for 2 minutes.
  •  I like to put 1tsp of sugar when cooking the gravy. Check for seasoning. Remove into gravy bowl.
  •  When serving the chicken you can pour the gravy over the chicken.

#Cheesy Cauliflower

Ingredients

  •  Cauliflower: 1, cut into florets
  •  Butter: 2tbsp
  •  Maggi cube: 1, soaked in 1tbsp of hot water
  •  Onion: 1 big, finely chopped
  •  Garlic: 4 big cloves, minced
  •  Cheese: 2 cups, grated
  •  Flour: 1½tbsp
  •  Milk: 2 cups
  •  Salt: To taste
  •  Pepper: To taste

(Cheese is salty, so be careful when putting the salt)

Method

  •  Cook the cauliflower florets in salted boiling water for exactly 5 minutes. Drain and keep aside on tray cloth.
  •  In a pan heat 2tbsp oil and fry the cauliflower till light golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
  •  In the same pan add butter. When melted, add the onions. Once it turns translucent add the garlic. Stir for 1 minute.
  •  Now add the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Then add milk, stirring all the time. Season with ¼tsp salt and pepper. Now add the Maggi cube.
  •  Add coriander. And when the sauce starts to bubble add the cheese. Lower the flame and keep stirring.
  •  Now it’s time to add the cauliflower. Cook on low flame for 5 minutes. The gratin should not be runny or lumpy.
  •  Remove onto a serving dish.

#Cabbage

Ingredients

  •  Cabbage: 1 whole, thinly sliced
  •  Oil: 2tbsp
  •  Butter: 2tbsp
  •  Onion: 1, sliced
  •  Ginger: 2tsp, minced or jullienned
  •  Salt: For seasoning
  •  Pepper: For seasoning
  •  Chilli flakes: For seasoning

Method

  •  Heat 2tbsp oil with 2tbsp butter. Add one sliced onion. Add 2tsp minced or jullienned ginger. Cook for 1 minute.
  •  Then put one whole thinly sliced cabbage. Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes.
  •  Cover and cook on low flame for 10 minutes. Do not add water. Let it cook in its own juice. Cabbage will be done.

#Roast Potatoes Without Oven

Ingredients

  •  Potatoes: 4 large, peeled
  •  Oil: 3tbsp
  •  Garlic: 8 chopped, chopped
  •  Salt: For seasoning
  •  Red chilli powder: ½tsp for garnishing
  •  Coriander leaves: Some, chopped
  •  Green onion: 1 stalk

Method

  •  Boil the potatoes in salted water for 7-10 minutes. Drain and put in a bowl.
  •  Heat 1tbsp oil and fry the garlic till brown. Drain the oil onto the potatoes and discard the burnt garlic.
  •  Sprinkle a little salt and the red chilli powder. Mix some chopped coriander leaves and one stalk green onion. Marinate for 10 minutes.
  •  Heat 2tbsp oil and fry the potatoes only (discarding the other ingredients) till nice and golden brown on both sides.

#Tomatoes

Ingredients

  •  Tomatoes: Cut in halves
  •  Salt: For seasoning
  •  Pepper: For seasoning
  •  Oil: 1tbsp

Method

  •  Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and pepper.
  •  Heat 1tbsp oil in a pan and grill the tomatoes cut side down. Then flip over and cook till a nice char appears. 3 minutes in total.

#Peas

Ingredients

  •  Peas: Boiled
  •  Virgin olive oil: 1tbsp
  •  Salt: To taste
  •  Pepper: To taste

Method

  •  On boiled peas drizzle 1tbsp virgin olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Give it a good stir.

MEATBALL CURRY WITH YELLOW COCONUT RICE

Meatballs, aka koftas, are minced meat balls that are slow-cooked in a perfectly spiced tomato gravy and is usually served with aromatic coconut rice. It is a perfect meal for any occasion.

#For meat balls

Ingredients

  •  Mutton (can also use chicken or beef) mince: 500g
  •  Green chillies: 2, finely chopped
  •  Coriander leaves: A fistful, finely chopped
  •  White bread: 1 slice, soaked in a little water and the water squeezed out
  •  Egg: 1 beaten
  •  Ginger: Paste of 1-inch piece
  •  Salt: To taste

#For the gravy

  •  Oil: 3tbsp
  •  Onions: 2 large, finely chopped
  •  Peppercorns: 8
  •  Cloves: 6
  •  Cinnamon: 2 sticks
  •  Curry leaves: 2 stalks
  •  Coriander leaves: 1 small bunch
  •  Tomatoes: 4, pureed
  •  Tomato paste: 2tbsp
  •  Garam masala powder: ½tsp
  •  Salt: To taste

#For masala paste to be blended

  •  Garlic: 4-5, cloves
  •  Ginger: 2-inch piece
  •  Turmeric: 1tsp
  •  Red chilli powder: 1½tsp
  •  Cumin seeds: 1½tsp
  •  Coriander seeds: 3tsp

Method:

#For meat balls

  •  Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs well for at least 4 minutes so that everything is well combined.
  •  Grease the palms of your hand and make balls according to the size you want. It should be not very big or too small. Keep them aside.

#For the gravy

  •  Heat oil. Add the whole garam masala. Stir for a few seconds. Then add the onions and saute till golden brown.
  •  Now add the curry leaves and the blended masala paste. Saute for 5 minutes.
  •  Now add the tomato blended and the tomato paste. Stir well. Add the garam masala powder. Saute for 5 minutes.
  •  Add salt to taste. Saute till oil separates. (At this time you can remove 2tbsp of the masala to add in the mince when making the balls. This is optional.)
  •  Turn on the gas and add 2 mugs of water and let it come to a boil on high flame.
  •  Now lower the flame to simmer and then start adding the meatballs in the simmering gravy. Stir very carefully.
  •  Let it simmer for 20 minutes. (In case you feel the gravy is less you can always add ¼ cup hot water.)
  •  Garnish with coriander leaves and cover and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

#Yellow coconut rice

Ingredients

  •  Basmati rice: 2 cups, soaked in water
  •  Coconut milk: 1 can, add water to it to make 3½ cups of coconut liquid
  •  Turmeric powder: 1tsp
  •  Ghee: 2tbsp
  •  Onion: 1 chopped
  •  Cloves: 6
  •  Green cardamoms: 6

Method

  •  In a pot, heat the ghee. Add cloves and cardamoms. Then add onions. Saute till light brown in colour.
  •  Now add the rice and fry for 1 minute. Add turmeric and salt 1tsp or to taste. Stir well. Lower the gas and cook for 2 minutes.
  •  Now add the coconut milk with water. When it comes to a boil lower heat to its lowest.
  •  Cover the pot with aluminium foil. Put the lid on and cook for 20 minutes. To make sure that rice does not burn at the bottom, you can put it on a thin tawa and cook it for the last 10 minutes.
  •  Enjoy the meatball curry over coconut rice.

MUTTON VINDALOO

Vindaloo is probably one of the most popular Anglo-Indian dishes. It was originally brought in by Portuguese sailors and in the 18th century was adopted by the British during their rule in India. In order to preserve meat for a long time, the Portuguese developed a unique style of cooking known as carne de vinha dálhos or meat in wine /vinegar and garlic. This is a result of that.

Ingredients

  •  Mutton: 1kg

#For the blended paste

  •  Garlic: 1 pod
  •  Ginger: 2-inch piece
  •  Turmeric: 1tsp
  •  Red chilli powder: 2tsp (or to taste)
  •  Cumin seeds: 2tbsp
  •  Mustard seeds: 1½tbsp
  •  Vinegar: ¼ cup
  •  Dry garam masala
  •  Cinnamon sticks: 4
  •  Pepper corns: 1tsp
  •  Cloves: 1tsp
  •  Salt: To taste

Method

  •  Marinate the mutton with the masala paste. Add 1½tsp salt. Keep aside for 6 hours.
  •  In a pot heat 3tbsp oil. Add cinnamon, cloves and peppercorns. Saute for 1 minute.
  •  Now add the marinated meat and saute for at least 25 minutes. In between, keep stirring so that nothing sticks to the bottom.
  •  Now lower the heat. Add 2½ mugs of water. When the water boils, lower the flame and cook till meat is tender. The gravy should be of somewhat thick consistency.
  •  Enjoy with rice or a crusty bread.

CHICKEN JHALFREZI

Jhalfrezi is another very popular Anglo-Indian dish. Jhalfrezi means hot fry. It consists of a main ingredient like meat, chicken or vegetables, stir fried and served in a thick spicy sauce that includes green chilli peppers, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes. This dish is packed full of flavours, and yet not too spicy.

Ingredients

  •  Chicken: 500g boneless, cut into pieces
  •  Onion: 1, chopped
  •  Tomatoes: 2, chopped
  •  Ginger paste: 1tsp
  •  Garlic paste: 1tsp
  •  Turmeric: 1tsp
  •  Cumin powder: 1tsp
  •  Green chillies: 2, finely chopped
  •  Chilli powder: 1tsp
  •  Bellpeppers: 2, cut into bite-sized pieces
  •  Oil: 100ml
  •  Coriander leaves: 2tbsp, fresh chopped

Method

  •  Heat oil. Add onions and saute for 3 minutes till translucent and lightly brown.
  •  Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes till mushy and well-combined.
  •  Add salt, chilli powder, turmeric, ginger, garlic paste and cook for 3 minutes.
  •  Add 100ml water, mix well and cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  •  Add chicken and mix well with the masala and cook for 10 minutes.
  •  Now add the bell peppers and cook for another 7 minutes on low flame.
  •  Then add ginger julliennes and green chilli.
  •  Garnish with coriander leaves.
  •  Serve with rice or pav. The gravy is not thin. It has a thick gravy. Check the seasoning.

POTATOES AND MINCE CUTLETS

This Anglo Indian dish is greatly influenced by the British, French and Portuguese cooking styles and is extremely popular and very delicious. Anglo-Indians usually have this cutlet with green chutney, or with yellow dal and rice. I have also seen some Anglo-Indian friends of mine make a grilled sandwich with it. And that too with the square griller on an open flame.

Ingredients

  •  Potatoes: 5, big
  •  Mutton: 500g, minced (ask the butcher to mince it at least 2-3 times.)
  •  Onion: 1, big, chopped finely
  •  Tomatoes: 2, chopped very fine
  •  Coriander leaves: A bunch, finely chopped

#For the masala paste

  •  Garlic: 1 pod
  •  Ginger: 2-inch piece
  •  Cumin seeds: 1tbsp, roasted
  •  Mustard seeds: 1tsp
  •  Red chilli powder: 2tsp
  •  Turmeric powder: ½tsp

#For the green chutney

  •  Coriander leaves: A fistful
  •  Mint leaves: A fistful
  •  Fresh grated coconut: ¼ cup
  •  Raw mango: ¼ cup, peeled and chopped
  •  Green chillies: 6
  •  Garlic cloves: 4
  •  Cumin seeds: 1tsp roasted
  •  Lemon juice: Of ½ a lemon
  •  Sugar: ¼tsp
  •  Salt: To taste
  •  Water: For blending

Method

  •  Boil, peel and mash the potatoes nicely.
  •  Blend the ingredients of the masala paste with a little water till it is smooth.
  •  In a pan heat oil. Add onions and saute till brown.
  •  Add the blended masala paste and saute till oil separates. It will take 4-5 minutes.
  •  Now add tomatoes and saute for 5 minutes. It should be blended well.
  •  Now add the mince. Season with salt. Saute the mince well for about 2-3 minutes.
  •  Now add ½ cup water and keep cooking till the meat is tender and dry. Add some coriander leaves and mix well. Keep aside to cool.
  •  To the mashed potatoes add 2tbsp olive oil, ½tsp salt and some coriander leaves.
  •  Mix it well and knead like you do for dough for at least 2 minutes.
  •  Portion the potatoes into equal balls.
  •  Grease the palms and take one ball and flatten on your palm to make a katori style.
  •  Put some mince and cover it properly. See that it is sealed on all sides and no mince is coming out. Flatten a little to make a patty shape. Then brush with beaten egg and shallow-fry in a frying pan till brown on both sides.
  •  Serve with green chutney.

#For the green chutney

  •  In a blender put coriander and mint leaves, grated coconut, raw mango, green chillies, garlic, roasted cumin seeds, lemon juice, sugar, salt and a little water. You should get a smooth chutney.
  •  Adjust seasoning and lime juice.
  •  Pour into a bowl and serve with the cutlets.

Durri Bhalla is a cookery expert and author of Indian Bohra Cuisine and Inner Truth To Good Health And Weight Loss. You can find her on InstagramYouTube and Facebook

Last updated on 26.06.22, 11:50 AM
Share:
ADVERTISEMENT

More from My Kolkata