Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Indian Food

When we were FOB's (Fresh of the Boat!) it didn't take long to suffer withdrawal symptoms for Indian Food.  The English are totally hooked on the flavors of the sub-continent, having been its rulers up until 1947, when we were uncharitably asked to leave.  From the 1960's in the UK, Indian restuarants began to appear and soon people were flocking to them.  Adding a couple of spoons of curry powder to a dish does not make it an Indian experience, I can assure you.  I fact in real Indian cooking curry powder is rarely if ever used.

Of course, India and Pakistan together represent a huge landmass and there are well over a billion living there.  It is to be expected therefore that there is also a great diversity of cooking.

But once hooked it's hard to forget, and the desire for a "Good Indian," is much the same as the desire for a good steak by a Texan.

Our arrival in California found us living close to an Indian restaurant, but it was overpriced and frankly not very good. There was nothing for it but to learn to cook it ourselves, and this we did as there was an Indian bazaar a few blocks away.

In the last thirty years there has been a steady stream of Indian immigrants here, and I'm glad to say we have several more Indian restaurants to cater to their needs and also to those of us wanting such dishes.  They're pretty good too.  But I have to thank Mrs. Patak for her cooking pastes and sauces.  Although on their own they can taste canned, if you add some fresh ingredients and extra spices they can pass as decent replicas.

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