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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” 

Friday, January 6, 2017


Bridget White-Kumar is a Cookery Book Author, Food Consultant and Culinary Historian. She has authored 7 Recipe books on Anglo-Indian Cuisine. Her area of expertise is in Colonial Anglo-Indian Food and she has gone through a lot of effort in reviving the old forgotten dishes of the Colonial British Raj Era. Her 7 Recipe books are a means of preserving for posterity, the very authentic tastes and flavours of Colonial ‘Anglo’ India, besides recording for future generations, the unique heritage of the pioneers of Anglo-Indian Cuisine. 
Her Recipe book ANGLO-INDIAN CUISINE – A LEGACY OF FLAVOURS FROM THE PAST was selected as ‘Winner from India’ Under the Category: ‘BEST CULINARY HISTORY BOOK IN INDIA by GOURMAND INTERNATIONAL SPAIN, GOURMAND WORLD COOK BOOKS AWARDS 2012. This prestigious Award is ‘THE OSCARS’ for Cook Book Writers. Awards are given every year for various categories and genres ie for Cook Book Authors, Cook Books, Chefs, Wine makers, etc selected from all over the World and she won this award in 2012.
Being an Independent Freelance Consultant on Colonial Anglo-Indian Cuisine, Bridget has assisted many Restaurants, Hotels and Clubs in Bangalore and elsewhere with her knowledge of Colonial Anglo-Indian Food besides helping them to revamp and reinvent their Menus by introducing new dishes which are a combination of both Continental and Anglo-Indian. Many of them are now following the Recipes and guidance given by her and the dishes are enjoyed by both Indian and Foreign Guests.
She has conducted Cooking Workshops and Training Sessions on Colonial Cuisine of the British Raj, for the staff at The Oberoi Mumbai, Sujan Luxury Rajmahal Palace Jaipur and Sher Bagh Ranthambore, The Bangalore Club, The Taj Conemara Chennai, The Taj West End Bangalore, Vivanta by Taj Whitefield, Cochrane Place Kurseong Darjeeling, Bow barracks Bangalore, etc, etc., besides conducting and assisting at Cooking Demos and Anglo-Indian Food festivals at various places.
Bridget also conducts Cooking Classes and Demos on Anglo-Indian Cuisine in Bangalore and various places across the country such as Clubs, Restaurants, Women’s Groups, Corporate Offices, etc. Her One-of-a-kind Interactive and Hands on Culinary Training Workshops in Bangalore where participants learn the fine art of preparing delicious Colonial Anglo-Indian Dishes have been very well received and attended. She is always ready to share and talk about Recipes and Food.
These are the books authored by her.
 1. Anglo-Indian Cuisine - A Legacy of Flavours from the Past
2. Anglo-Indian Delicacies
3. A Collection of Anglo-Indian Roasts, Casseroles and Bakes.
4. The Anglo-Indian Festive Hamper.
5. The Anglo-Indian Snack Box.
6. Vegetarian Delicacies
7. Simple Egg Delicacies
8. A Collection of Simple Anglo-Indian Recipes
9. Kolar Gold Fields Down Memory Lane.

To order copies of the books she can be contacted on +919845571254
Email The books are also available online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc