Born and brought up in India, I moved to the UK in 1992 with Sangeeta Bhargava, my wife (and co-author in this case); having an interest in history I was immensely encouraged by this project.
I was always interested in history and am also studying Food History at Brunel University; this project allowed me to merge fiction with research in an interesting manner. We eat food every day and that is perhaps one of the most personal and numerous of all human activities, to see how the history of food evolved in the UK, linking India, Empire, Spices and UK was fascinating.
I loved the way the project systematically took us around the various museums, introduced us to how to do historical research and writing. Fascinating learning.
The story is about the first Indian recipe published in the UK. Hannah, a struggling dressmaker, finds fame and fortune when a recipe book she has written, does exceptionally well, owing to an Indian currey recipe, given to her by a complete stranger. Unfortunately, good times does not last forever and she finds herself floundering yet again, when her daughter Margaret is struck by a terminal illness.
The Curious Tale of the First Indian Currey Recipe
'Martha curtsied and left the room. She barged into the kitchen with the note, followed by Hannah, picked up a pan and slammed it on the kitchen table. Everyone stopped what they were doing and looked at her in surprise.
“Anything the matter?” asked one of the maids.
“It’s all right for his lordship to write out the recipes in that foreign language but how’s the poor English cook supposed to make sense of it all?” said Martha.
“What language is it?” asked another maid, trying to read the note.
“French, I s’pose,” said the first maid.
“He may be all fancy with his nightingale tongues and fancy pork shoulder cuts, but he ain’t the man who’s be cooking, is he? ” '
B r i c k L a n e C i r c l e