What is a curry Is it a British dish or Indian Or do you believe Canadian American author Colleen Taylor Sen is right in saying that the definition of curry is &lsquoelusive and controversial&rsquo For the answers, head to the &lsquoTaste of Britain Curry Festival&rsquo, which is being hosted by Kolkata&rsquos boutique hotel RaajKutir at their East India Room, until July 8.
Curry, it seems has come to be the UK&rsquos number one national food, outselling even fish and chips, according to many reports.
This globe-trotting event is being presented by the UK-based Curry Life Magazine as part of their strategy to promote culinary skills of British curry chefs and highlight their role for making this food popular in the UK and beyond.
Festival founder and organiser, Syed Belal Ahmed, Editor, Curry Life Magazine, said, &ldquoHopefully this festival will create the opportunity not only to showcase the best of British cuisine, but also help our chefs from Britain bring fresh ideas to their own menus by working alongside the culinary masters of India.&rdquo
The tasting menu was ample proof of the collaboration between the British chefs and the home chefs of RaajKutir.
We started with a typical English Green Peas Soup with whipped goat cheese and truffle oil. The non-vegetarian appetiser consisted of seaweed cured bekti garnished with horse radish, fish roe and tapioca crisp, which was comfortable to the Bengali palate. The vegetarian segment consisted of a serving of cheesy veg kebab, British onion bhaji (similar to our onion pakora but with a hint of &lsquosaunf&rsquo in it) and tamarind chilli paneer.
The mains, which are being served as part of the festival menu too, consist of poached and roasted chicken leg, button mushroom, Pomme Ana and roast juices the very British Chicken Tikka Masala the Chinigura Pulao the Balti Bekti and Shatkora Lamb. The ingredients probably had a Bangladeshi bias (the use of Chinigura variety of rice and the use of Shatkora, a citrus fruit found and typically used in Bangladeshi cooking) as the team of chefs (other than Michelin Chef Mark Poynton) were predominantly of Bangladeshi origin. For desserts, we were served traditional Queen&rsquos Pudding and Classic Banoffee Pie.
As we called it a day, Debnath and Poynton sat down to chalk the menu for the grand sit down dinner at RaajKutir&rsquos ballroom, Rang Manch to be held on July 7.