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[The Bridget Diaries] Anglo-Indian Christmas Grub – Part Deux

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While we wrap up Bridget’s top-10 Christmas dishes, we are also getting up close and personal with her today. Getting to know the real person behind the cult figure we have grown to love. Also, there’s one more post coming because of the requests you guys have been sending in.

Dishes like Railway Mutton Curry, Bad Word Curry, Dak Bungalow Curry, Grandma’s Country Captain Chicken and Colonel Sandhurst’s Beef Curry are all available in her cookbooks or blogs (links provided below) but the more interesting requests are being compiled in a wrap up post right now. Stay tuned.

Bridget White-Kumar may today be the queen of Anglo-Indian cooking but there’s a lot more hidden behind that gentle smile.

She is known far and wide as the “go to” not only as an expert on Anglo cuisine, but, also as one who has painstakingly over the years, compiled this huge repository of knowledge into a number of cookbooks. Books that have gone on to to dot bookshelves across the world. They are today considered the gold standard; the bible for foodies – Anglo or otherwise.

But, did you know that this legend, who spent her whole life in the mining fields of Kolar, actually began this herculean task only after taking voluntary retirement from Canara Bank around 2000? She was encouraged by her daughter who went overseas armed with a collection Bridget’s handwritten recipes.

Anglo Indian Cuisine is more than Dak Banglow Chicken or railway mutton

“She came back and told me how much her friends liked it and asked me to put all the recipes I had collected together in a book.”

Today, this warm and welcoming lady conducts masterclasses, hosts food festivals and travels the world putting the spotlight solely on the something she wholeheartedly loves – traditional Anglo-Indian recipes and its preservation. All this while running her blogs, social media accounts and YouTube channels by herself.

Needed inspiration today? Here you go.

“I have self-published eight cookbooks and a book of memoirs on KGF. Self-publishing isn’t easy as it involves a lot of work and investment. However, it’s very rewarding as it gives one the freedom to write and be creative and there’s no fear of an editor cutting out anything from the manuscript. It’s very rewarding to see one’s efforts in print.” Photo: Pothi.com

Without further ado, here’s Bridget…

Accompaniments  could be Mash Potato, Steamed or Grilled Veggies, Bread or Dinner Rolls or even a simple spiced rice dish.

  1. Homemade Salt Beef
  2. Pepper Pork Short Ribs
  3. Meat and Vegetable Brown Stew
  4. Mutton / Lamb Masala Chops
  5. Devilled Meat Balls

HOME MADE SALTED BEEF

Salted Beef is usually prepared from a cut of beef, usually the Round section and is soaked in brine solution for a period of time. In addition to Brine and Saltpeter, a little sugar is also added to the Brine solution. The sugar prevents the meat from becoming hard while soaking in the brine solution.  Before using the prepared Salted Beef, you may need to soak it in water because the brine solution may be particularly salty.

(If Saltpeter is not available, it can be substituted with either lime salt or black salt)

Ingredients

1 chunk of Beef from the “Round” portion weighing about 3 kgs

1 teaspoon saltpeter or lime salt

8 tablespoons table salt or powdered salt

3 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons vinegar

4 tablespoons lime juice

Mix the saltpeter (black salt / lime salt), table salt, sugar, lime juice and vinegar together. Rub this mixture on the Meat and prick all over with a fork.

Keep in the fridge for 4 or 5 days turning it over and rubbing it well several times a day.

On the 6th day boil in a suitable pan or pressure cooker with all the residue and a little water till the meat is soft.

Cool and store along with the residue and use whenever required.

PEPPER PORK SHORT RIBS

Ingredients

1 kg Pork Short Ribs

1 teaspoon Coriander Powder

2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons oil

Salt to taste

2 or 3 teaspoons ground pepper powder

3 onions finely chopped

Marinate the Pork Short Ribs with the coriander, pepper powder, and salt for one hour.

 Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onions and chopped garlic till golden brown.

Add the marinated Pork Short Ribs and mix well. Add a little water if required and cook till tender.

Serve with rice or Bread.

MEAT AND VEGETABLE BROWN STEW

Ingredients

½ kg beef or mutton cut into medium pieces

3 carrots, 4 French beans, ½ cauliflower, 2 potatoes,

½ cabbage, washed and cut into medium pieces

4 green chilies slit lengthwise

2 medium size tomatoes chopped

1 big onion sliced

2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste

2 cloves, 2 pieces of cinnamon

6 or 7 pepper corns

A few mint leaves

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons flour

Boil the meat with the pepper corns, green chilies, tomatoes ginger garlic paste, salt, cinnamon, cloves, mint in sufficient water till the meat is cooked.  

Add the vegetables and cook till the vegetables are just tender. Take care not to over-cook.

Make a thin paste of the flour with about ¼ cup of water.

Heat the oil in a suitable pan and fry the onions till golden brown.

Add the flour paste and fry along with the onions for some time.

Now add the cooked meat and vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve hot with bread or hoppers.

Note: For Dumpling Stew, make dumplings as follows and add along with the meat and vegetables while cooking.

To make the dumplings, you will need 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon butter and a pinch of salt.  Mix all together with a little water to form soft dough.  Form into small balls and flatten slightly.  Add to the stew while cooking.

MUTTON / LAMB MASALA CHOPS

Ingredients

1 kg good chops either mutton, beef or veal

2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 large onions sliced fine

2 or 3 green chilies sliced lengthwise

3 tablespoons oil

1 teaspoon mustard paste or powder

4 cloves

2 pieces of cinnamon

1 teaspoon pepper powder

1 teaspoon chillie powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

Salt to taste

2 large potatoes boiled and peeled and cut into quarters

Marinate the chops with all the above ingredients for one or two hours.

Heat oil in a large pan and add the marinated chops.

Cook on high for a few minutes.  Add sufficient water and cook till the chops are done and the gravy dries up. 

Add the boiled potatoes and mix in gently.

Garnish with onion rings.

DEVILLED MEATBALLS

Ingredients

1 kg Meat Mince either Beef, Lamb, Mutton, Pork

3 onions chopped finely

3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves or chopped parsley

2 teaspoons chillie powder

1 teaspoon pepper powder

4 tablespoons breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons tomato sauce 

2 tablespoons flour

Salt to taste

4 tablespoons oil

Mix the mince with the chopped onions, coriander leaves / parsley, chillie powder, pepper powder, salt and bread crumbs and set aside for one hour.

Squeeze out all the water.

Divide into equal size portions then roll into balls.

Heat oil in a nonstick pan and fry the meat balls gently till they are brown. Remove and keep aside.

In the same oil add 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon pepper powder, a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons tomato sauce and mix well. Add 1 cup of water and bring to boil.

Add the fried meat balls and shake the pan gently so that the gravy covers all of them. Simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes till the meat balls are firm. The gravy will be quite thick.

Serve with bread or as a side dish

Bridget up close

Bridget (On the triycle) with cousins
Bridget (On the triycle) with cousins in KGF

She is from the Anglo-Indian Community and grew up with this cuisine.

I was always interested in cooking and I had a lot of handwritten recipes and old printed recipe books that my mother and aunts gave me. These old recipes were just written offhand with no specific quantities for the ingredients, etc. Moreover, many of the old dishes that were cooked by the older generation were becoming extinct as the younger generation was not interested in cooking them. It, therefore, became my passion to record these recipes and preserve them for posterity. I have been bringing out my self-published recipe books since the year 2014.

Bridget believes in maintaining the authenticity of every recipe and hence never tweaks or makes changes just to suit others palates. Her recipes are those that have stood the test of time and endured over generations.

Bridget White-Kumar

For those who dream of writing a recipe book, Bridget says it isn’t easy. A lot of hard work goes into it since one has to get the recipe right after many, many trials and errors. Once a recipe is written, it will be the guide to be followed by many. Only when one has mastered the dish, can a foolproof recipe be written.

Follow Bridget @ http://anglo-indianfood.blogspot.com & https://memoriesofkgf.blogspot.com/

Bridget-White Kumar

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Cookery Book Author, Food Consultant and Culinary Historian


Bridget was born and brought up in Kolar Gold Fields, a small mining town in the erstwhile Mysore State (now known as Karnataka), India, which was famous for its Colonial ambiance. She comes from a well-known Anglo-Indian family who lived and worked in KGF for many generations.

Bridget has authored 7 Recipe books on Anglo-Indian Cuisine. Her area of expertise is in Colonial Anglo-Indian Food and she has gone through a lot of effort in reviving the old forgotten dishes of the Colonial British Raj Era. Her 7 Recipe books are a means of preserving for posterity, the very authentic tastes and flavours of Colonial ‘Anglo’ India, besides recording for future generations, the unique heritage of the pioneers of Anglo-Indian Cuisine.
Her Cookery Book ANGLO-INDIAN CUISINE – A LEGACY OF FLAVOURS FROM THE PAST was selected as Winner from India’ under the Category: ‘BEST CULINARY HISTORY BOOK’ by GOURMAND INTERNATIONAL SPAIN, WORLD COOK BOOK AWARDS 2012.

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Bridget is also an Independent Freelance Consultant on Food Related matters. She has assisted many Restaurants, Hotels and Clubs in Bangalore and elsewhere with her knowledge of Colonial Anglo-Indian Food besides helping them to revamp and reinvent their Menus by introducing new dishes which are a combination of both Continental and Anglo-Indian. Many of them are now following the Recipes and guidance given by her and the dishes are enjoyed by both Indian and Foreign Guests.


Follow Bridget @ http://anglo-indianfood.blogspot.com & https://memoriesofkgf.blogspot.com/

All photos courtesy: Bridget White-Kumar

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