vrijdag 14 augustus 2009

Indian curry from the Scottish Highlands

It is amazing what one can eat anywhere in the world these days. I suppose if you were really trying hard,you could find a plate fried cod 'n chips in Tibet or a stamppot peen en ui in Uagadougou. But of course I don't travel to those regions. Too far away and what on earth can one do in places such as those?

So what did I find in the picturesque metropolis of Bermejo, Andalusia?
A curry dinner, cooked by a man from Glasgow, with a Danish partner. Right beside a swimming pool in de depth of the Andalusian foothills.

Imagine: Dusk. The setting sun throwing a watermelon pink eil across the hot spanish sky, inviting the stars to come out and play.
I'm holding a vino tinto, sitting beside the swimming pool of this wee house belonging the one of the nicest wee couples: Billy Bob, the not-so flying Scotsman and Betty Sue, his lovely Danish partner.Also present were assorted pets(2 boys, 2 cats 2 dogs and a painter-drummer Scot). Rod Stewart squeaking out of a box in the backgrond, asking if we think he's sexy...

Aahhhh.....Perfect ambiance for a fun and relaxing evening.

And it's not just any evening. It's an evening to enjoy a curry dinner cooked by Billy Bob himself, helped by is very able assistant, Betty Sue

Billy Bob is a laid back Scotsman, borrowing smokes of a cigar from his scottish buddy, drinking a few beers, waiting till it's time to heat he dishes he prepared in advance. Billy Bob says it takes 5 hours to prepare all that. Wow!

What is "All that" ?

2 types of chicken curry: 1 slightly spicey and one not at all spicey (korma), plain rice, pilav rice, curried chick peas, spiced lentils cooked with tomatoes, chapattis, poppadums, onion relish, tomato relish and raita, the well-known mint and yoghurt sauce to accompany the curries.

It was a feast, laid out invitingly. I'm not one to wait for an invitation. I just grabbed a plate and helped myself.

So, what did it taste like?
First, I must compliment Billy Bob on making 2 different curries with chicken breast. In my experience it's so easy to make the base sauce and add either meat or fish to give the curry another name. The taste however, would not differ much.

In Billy Bob's case, the 2 curries did taste differently, so that was excellent.
One mildly sharp and one very soft and creamy.

The chick pea dish was really good.you could taste each spice very well. I liked that a lot.
The chapattis were truly excellent! I truly loved them. Restaurant quality. Mmmmm...
The spicing of the pillav rice was again of restaurant quality. Very good indeed!

Cardamon, cumin, onion, garlic, tumeric, etc etc. The Alladin's cave of spices that make a curry. Wonderful.

On a more personal note, I would have preferred my curries more spicey (like: take-the-roof-off-my-mouth-hot!)and the sauce thicker, more condensed so that the spices hae even more colour on my palate. Perhaps the rice could have used 1 minute longer in the cooker as it had a bit too much bite to it for my taste.
But of course others have to be able to enjoy them as well, so he really chose the best options.

Please take note that this is my personal taste and maybe I seem churlish and nit-picky (and perhaps I am) but Billy Bob did ask me to give my honest opinion on this blog, so here it is.

But aside from these minor details, really, I loved the meal. Otherwise I would not have gone back for more twice afterwards!

Would I recommend that Billy Bob make a curry for you? Yes I would!!

It was a wonderful evening, surrounded by a warm, welcoming couple. They both great hosts, with a good sense of humor and empathy. I felt at home immediately.

So how many peppers for food, service and ambiance?

8 peppers!!

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