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All the recipes and Photographs on this Site are old Family Recipes and tried and tested by the Author. Please feel free to try out these old recipes, and relish them, but desist from copying and using on other sites without the prior permission of Bridget White-Kumar. Any infringement would amount to Plagarism and infringement of Copy Rightpunishable by Law

Sunday, March 19, 2017


A Simple recipe for Prawn and Potato Cutlets from my Cookery Book A COLLECTION OF SIMPLE ANGLO-INDIAN RECIPES. it could be served as a snack at tea time, a starter at parties or a simple side dish with rice and pepper water. 
 Serves 6     Time required: 1 hour
300 grams cleaned and de-veined Prawns
3 potatoes boiled and mashed                                   
2 teaspoons chopped mint
1 teaspoon pepper powder                     
Salt to taste
1 egg beaten                                           
3 tablespoons oil                                      
3 tablespoons bread crumbs

Wash the prawns well and cook in a little water with some salt and a pinch of pepper and turmeric till tender. Remove and keep aside to cool.
When cold, mix in the mashed potatoes, mint, pepper and salt. 
Form into oval shapes and flatten with a knife.
Heat the oil in a flat pan. Dip each cutlet in the beaten egg, roll in bread crumbs, then shallow fry on both sides till brown. 
Drain and serve hot with Tomato sauce / ketchup and a salad if desired 

Thursday, March 9, 2017


A Croquette is a small cigar or cylindrical roll made with a filling of mashed potato mixed with either ground meat, fish, vegetables, cheese etc seasoned with a dash pepper, mint and other condiments, then dipped in beaten egg and crumb fired. It’s a popular party snack and easy to make finger food.
This recipe is featured in my Cookery Book  A COLLECTION OF SIMPLE ANGLO-INDIAN RECIPES
 Serves 6    Time required: 1 hour
500 grams fish fillets of any good fleshy fish
3 potatoes boiled and mashed
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1 large onion finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 teaspoon ground black pepper / pepper powder
1 egg yolk, beaten
Salt to taste
 For frying:
3 or 4 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
 Wash the fish and boil in a little salted water for 5 minutes.  Drain away the excess soup and keep aside. Mash the fish coarsely.
Mix the mashed fish together with the mashed potatoes, cumin powder, ginger garlic paste, onion, green chillies, pepper, mint, egg yolk and salt
Heat the oil in a shallow pan. Take small even sized balls of the Fish mixture and form into cigar shaped cutlets. Dip each one into the beaten egg, coat with the bread crumbs and shallow fry till golden brown.

Serve hot with tomato sauce or any other sauce.

Thursday, March 2, 2017


Serves 6    Preparation time 45 minutes

1 large seedless Brinjal / Aubergine / Egg Plant   
2 onions chopped,
2 teaspoons chillie powder,
½ teaspoon turmeric powder,
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste,
1 teaspoon cumin powder,
½ cup tomato juice / puree,
2 pieces cinnamon,
2 table spoons vinegar,
1 teaspoon sugar,
 Salt to taste,
3 tablespoons oil

Cut the Brinjal / Aubergine / Eggplant into medium size pieces and soak in a bowl of water to which a pinch of salt has been added.

Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onions till golden brown. Add the ginger garlic paste and cinnamon and fry for some time. Now add the chillie powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, sugar and tomato puree and fry till the oil separates from the mixture.

Add the cut the Brinjal (Aubergine / Eggplant),vinegar and a little water and simmer till the gravy is sufficiently thick and the Brinjal is cooked. Care should be taken not to overcook the Brinjal. Serve with Rice or Chapattis,

Thursday, February 16, 2017


This is an old time favourite - Meat and Lady's Finger Curry. In the olden days, lady fingers or okra was known as Bandy Coy by the previous generation. It came from the Tamil name Vendakai or Bendakai. Tastes yummy with steamed white rice and a dash of Brinjal Pickle. 
Serves 6     Preparation Time 45 minutes
½ kg Meat either beef / mutton / lamb cut into medium size pieces
½ kg tender Lady's fingers / Okra 
2 onions chopped finely
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
2 teaspoons chillie powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
2 medium size tomatoes chopped
2 tablespoons coconut paste or 3 tablespoons coconut milk 
2 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste
Wipe the lady’s fingers / okras with a dry cloth then cut them into 2 inch pieces. Discard the ends. 
Boil the meat with sufficient water and a little salt till tender. Retain the soup / stock. 
Heat oil in a pan and add the onions and fry till golden brown. Add the tomatoes, chillie powder, salt, coriander powder and ginger garlic paste and sauté for a few minutes. Now add the boiled meat and coconut paste / coconut milk and mix well. 
Add the left over meat stock / soup or 1 cup of water and simmer on low heat for about 7 to 10 minutes till the meat absorbs the flavours and the gravy is the required consistency. 
Now add the lady’s fingers / okras are cook for just 3 more minutes on medium heat till the lady’s fingers / okra are just cooked and still crunchy, taking care not to overcook them. Serve as a main curry with rice.

Sunday, February 5, 2017


Kedgeree is an Anglicised version of the Indian Kitchri or Kitchidi, prepared with rice, lentils, raisins, etc along with the addition of Fried Fish Flakes and hard boiled eggs. Fish, either steamed or fried was a regular item for breakfast during the British Raj and the cooks or khansamas of those times, tried to incorporate it with local dishes. Eventually the Fish Kedegeree became a hot cooked spicy dish, with the addition of various spices and was invariably included in the breakfast menu all over the Commonwealth.  However, it now finds a place on the Lunch Menu at many homes and restaurants serving Colonial Anglo-Indian Food.  Minced meat could also be added as a variation. 

Serves 6     Preparation and cooking Time 45 minutes

½ kg good fleshy fish cut into thick fillets
2 cups raw rice or Basmati Rice
4 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon ghee or butter
3 onions sliced finely
3 green chillies sliced lengthwise
4 tablespoons Moong dhal / green gram dhal
3 cloves
2 small sticks of cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin powder
100 grams Sultanas or Raisins (Optional)
3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
2 Bay leaves
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon chillie powder
1 tablespoon lime juice / lemon juice / vinegar
6 whole peppercorns
4 hard-boiled eggs cut into quarters.

Cook the fish it in a little water along with the bay leaves and salt for about 5 minutes or till the pieces are firm. Remove the fish carefully. Remove the bones and skin from the boiled fish and break into small pieces and keep aside.  Add sufficient water to the left over fish soup to get 6 cups of liquid.  Wash the Rice and lentils / dhal and keep aside.

Heat the oil in a suitable vessel and sauté the onions, cloves and cinnamon lightly. Add the slit green chillies, whole peppercorns, cumin powder and chillie powder and sauté for a few minutes. Add the rice and lentils / dhal and mix well. Now add 6 cups of the fish soup / stock, lime juice / vinegar, sultanas, chopped coriander leaves and salt and cook on high heat till boiling. Reduce heat and simmer covered till the rice and lentils / dhal are cooked and slightly pasty. Gently mix in the cooked fish, butter / ghee and the hard-boiled eggs. Cover and let the rice draw in the fish for a few minutes. Serve hot or cold with Chutney or Lime Pickle along with Egg Curry and Papads 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


When tired of frying or grilling sausages, turn them into this delightful curry. It goes well with bread, steamed rice or chapattis 
Serves 6      Preparation Time 45 minutes

500 grams sausages either pork, beef  or chicken        
2 big tomatoes chopped
2 large onions sliced finely                              
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste                                    
1 teaspoon chopped garlic                                                                      
1 teaspoon chillie powder                             
½ teaspoon turmeric powder                             
½ teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder                                
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon oil (optional) 

Slice the sausages into medium size pieces. Place the sausages and all the above ingredients in a suitable 
pan with1 cup of water and bring to boil. Reduce the heat and cook on low heat till the gravy becomes thick. Serve with bread or rice

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bridget White-Kumar, author of six Anglo-Indian Cook Books reflects on culture and tradition from the Colonial Anglo-Indian Era- Food Lovers India Magazine Winter 2015



Preserving Colonial Flavours

Bridget White-Kumar, author of six Anglo-Indian cookbooks, reflects on culture and tradition from the Colonial Anglo-Indian Era.
I hail from a charming little mining town called Kolar Gold Fields, in the erstwhile Mysore State, now a part of Karnataka. I was born into a well-known Anglo-Indian family in KGF, tracing our roots back to British, Portuguese and Dutch ancestry. The Kolar Gold Mines were owned and operated by the British mining firm of John Taylor & Sons for almost a century. Four generations of my family lived and worked in the KGF Mines. The town had an old-world bonhomie about it, and was known for its affectionate and warm people. It was unique in its secular and egalitarian society. KGF was known as ‘Little England’ due to its colonial ambience, and European and Anglo-Indian population. Our lives were greatly influenced by the culture and ways of the Raj.
There was no dearth of British goods in the 1940s and 50s. Goods were imported from England and sold through The English Ware House, Spencer’s Stores and various clubs in KGF. For as long as I can remember, there was always a good supply of Kraft Cheese, Tuna Fish, Polson’s Butter, Colman’s Mustard, Sardines, Baked Beans, Jams, Jellies and Quaker Oats, in our home.
Our food habits were typically Anglo-Indian. Breakfast was normally a bowl of porridge, toast with butter, jam and eggs. Sundays saw sausages, bacon or ham on the table. Lunch was a typical Anglo-Indian meal consisting of steamed rice, beef curry with vegetables, ‘pepper water,’ and a vegetable side-dish. Dinner was always dinner rolls with a meat dish; it was an unwritten rule that no one ate rice at dinnertime. We ate beef or mutton every day, fish invariably on Wednesdays and Fridays, and either Pork, Chicken or Duck on Sundays.

quote1(1)  My mum made asimple and delicious dessert, Bread and Butter Pudding, practically every Sunday. She followed an old handwritten recipe that was handed down to her from her grandmother. It was real comfort food; on a cold rainy night, I still feel nostalgic for my mum’s warm Bread Pudding. quote2(1)
My mum was an exceptional cook; even simple dishes tasted delicious when she cooked them. She was versatile and imaginative in the kitchen. She would improvise and turn out the most delicious curries with whatever ingredients were on hand. Our Ayah would grind the masalas for the curry on the grinding stone; in those days everything was prepared fresh and from scratch. Ready-made curry powders were unheard of. And since we had no gas or kerosene stoves back then, every dish was cooked over a wood-fired stove, which only added to the wonderful taste!

Lunch on the weekends were special. Saturday lunch was invariably Mince Ball Curry, Saffron-Coconut Rice and Devil Chutney. On Saturdays, we only had half-days at school, so we were back home by 12.30 pm, ravenously hungry and we’d be assailed by the delicious aromas of mum’s cooking even before we reached our gate.

Cauliflower Foogath
Cauliflower Foogath

The mince for the Ball Curry, had to be just right. The meat was brought fresh from the Butcher Shop, cut into pieces, washed and then minced at home. Like every Anglo-Indian family, we had our own meat-mincing machine, which was fixed to the kitchen table. The freshly ground meat from the machine was then mixed with the required ingredients, shaped into even balls, then slowly dropped into the boiling gravy and left to simmer in a rich coriander and coconut sauce. The curry was famously known as ‘bad-word curry.’ The word ‘ball’ was considered a bad word in those days, and family elders wouldn’t dare utter it for fear of committing a sin.
 The Saffron or Yellow Coconut Rice was always prepared with freshly squeezed coconut milk and butter. Like the meat mincer, the coconut scraper was another important appendage of the Anglo-Indian kitchen, fixed firmly to the other side of the kitchen worktable. Sometimes, two fresh coconuts would be broken and grated for the Coconut Rice. The grated coconut had to be soaked in hot water and the thick milk extracted. For every cup of rice, twice the quantity of coconut milk was added – a little more would make the rice ‘pish pash’ or over-cooked, and a little less would leave the rice under-cooked. The raw rice and coconut milk would then be simmered with ghee or butter, saffron, bay leaves and a few whole spices of cinnamon, cardamom and cloves till the rice was cooked perfectly.

A recipe book from the early 20th Century, handed down to Bridget from her mother.
A recipe book from the early 20th Century, handed down to Bridget from her mother.

My favourite dessert was Bread and Butter Pudding. My mum made this simple and delicious dessert practically every Sunday. She followed an old handwritten recipe that was handed down to her from her grandmother. It was real comfort food; on a cold rainy night, I still feel nostalgic for my mum’s warm Bread Pudding.

The Anglo-Indian community has a long history that can be traced back to the early part of the 16th Century, to the advent of the Portuguese, Dutch and Spanish, who came to India to trade in spices. Towards the latter half of the 18th century, the British made their presence felt with the establishment of the East India Company. With inter-marrying, a new multi-racial community came into existence, which evolved into the Anglo-Indian community.

quote1(1)  In a world fast morphing into a Global Village, many of the old traditional colonial dishes are not prepared in Anglo-Indian homes, as recipes have died with the older generation who cooked with intuition and memory rather than from written notes. quote2(1)
Anglo-Indian cuisine therefore evolved over many hundred years as a result of reinterpreting a quintessentially western cuisine by assimilating ingredients and cooking techniques from all over the Indian sub-continent. Thus a new contemporary cuisine came into existence making it truly ‘Anglo’ and ‘Indian’ in nature; neither too bland nor too spicy, but with a distinct flavour of its own. It became a direct reflection of the new colonial population.
 The British did not like Indian food and taught their khansamas to prepare dishes from their own hometowns. However, over a period of time, a few local ingredients were added to the dishes, and they experimented with making puddings and sweets using local ingredients. Their soups were seasoned with cumin and pepper, roasts were cooked in whole spices like cloves, pepper and cinnamon, and rissoles and croquettes flavored with turmeric and spices. Mulligatawny Soup, Meat Jalfraze, Devilled Beef and Pork were some of these early innovations.
 Anglo-Indian Cuisine is a gourmet’s delight mostly because it makes use of spices like pepper, bay leaves, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Indian garnishes like chillies, cumin, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and vinegar are also added in moderation. Yogurt and milk are used in certain preparations to offset pungency. Many dishes have rhyming alliterative names like Doldol, Kalkal, Ding-Ding and Posthole! The very nomenclature of these dishes is unique and original, and synonymous only with the Anglo-Indian community.
 However over a period of time, Anglo-Indian cooking became more Indian than British and more regional. Local ingredients and flavours of a particular region were incorporated in the dishes while the basic ingredients remained the same throughout the country. Coconut-based curries were popular in Anglo-Indian dishes in the south, while mustard oil and fresh water fish were popular ingredients in the Anglo-Indian dishes of Calcutta and West Bengal. And a strong Mughlai influence seeped into Anglo-Indian dishes cooked in Lucknow and parts of North of India. But today, in a world fast morphing into a Global Village, many of the old traditional colonial dishes are not prepared in Anglo-Indian homes, as recipes have died with the older generation who cooked with intuition and memory rather than from written notes. With the intention of preserving those authentic tastes and flavours, I have published six recipe books exclusively on Anglo-Indian cuisine. This personal collection of recipes was compiled with the intent of reviving the old tastes of the colonial era, and thereby preserving the culinary culture and heritage of the Anglo-Indian Community.
Photography by Krishanu Chatterjee  
Posted: January 6, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017




“The Joy of cooking begins with using the right ingredients”

In order to get the authentic and well remembered taste of   Grandma’s Anglo-Indian Curries and Side dishes, it is always advisable to use only the right ingredients that are called for in the recipe.
The secret of good, tasty cooking is the right proportion of ingredients that are to be used in cooking a particular dish. While preparing any dish, a perfectly balanced mix of the various ingredients should be maintained since adding even a little more or less can ruin it. Another important aspect is to extract the correct strength of a spice and never overstate it.

It is always advisable, to use good quality condiments and spices. Anglo-Indian Cooking specifically makes use of these commonly available ingredients: namely chillies, cumin, pepper, turmeric, coriander (either whole or in powder form) and whole spices. So ensure that the expiry date has not lapsed while shopping for these ingredients.
As far as possible use ginger and garlic paste that is ground at home in a blender using fresh root ginger and garlic. The readymade ginger and garlic paste available in stores around the world contain vinegar / acetic acid and other preservatives. These detract from the original taste of the Curry giving it a completely different flavour.

 If fresh homemade ginger and garlic paste is not available, then Garlic Powder could be used instead of fresh garlic. One teaspoon of garlic powder is equal to a whole garlic, so half a teaspoon would suffice. Ginger powder too can be substituted for fresh ginger. One teaspoon of dry ginger powder mixed with ¼ cup of water is equal to 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger paste, so half a teaspoon of ginger powder would be equal to 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger paste.

A good curry depends on the right ingredients and the time taken to fry the onions and other ingredients which give it depth and body. The onions should be chopped or diced finely. This will ensure that the onions will fry evenly and create a base for the curry by combining the flavours of all the other ingredients. Take care however, not to burn the onions and garlic while frying or the curry would taste unpleasant.

While using dry spice powders, always mix them together with a little water before adding them to fried onions. This spice mixture should be fried on low heat for at least 3 or 4 minutes, to eliminate their raw taste. The delightful aroma will let you know when the spices are fried enough. If the spice mix looks dry and starts to burn, add a little more water or chopped tomatoes if the recipe calls for it. When the oil starts to separate from the mixture you could add the meat and fry it in this spice mix for five to ten minutes. This helps seal the meat slightly and retain its moisture.

Care should be taken to cook fresh and tender meat whenever possible.  If the meat is marinated or mixed with the curry stuff or curry powder for some time before cooking, it not only locks in the flavours and juices but also helps to tenderize the meat so that cooking time is reduced considerably. 
Any good cooking oil could be used in the preparation of Anglo-Indian dishes such as Sun flower Oil, groundnut Oil or even Olive Oil depending on one’s preference. Use only White Non-Fruit Vinegar or Malt Vinegar in the dishes calling for Vinegar as fruit based vinegars could change the taste of the dish.
Avoid random garnishing of every dish with chopped coriander / cilantro / celery as these ingredients change the flavour and taste of a dish. Garnish only if the recipe says to do so.
Timing is also very important. A dish should never be under or over cooked or else it loses its flavours and nutrients
Finally, follow the recipe for each dish scrupulously. Don’t experiment by adding or changing ingredients as the dish wouldn’t taste the way it should have. Each dish calls for certain ingredients and the spices and condiments should be used judiciously in each dish, so as to bring out the flavour and strength of each spice or ingredient. Therein lies the secret of ANGLO-INDIAN CUISINE

To conclude in the words of Wolfgang Puck “Cooking is like Painting a Picture or Writing a Song. Just like there are only so many Colours or Notes, there are only so many flavours - It’s how you combine them that sets you apart”