There’s nothing like a good homemade curry, even if it’s an Anglicised version of an Indian classic. The British love of curry goes back centuries as I’ve found in the old cookery books I’ve acquired!
Dipping into Agnes Bertha Marshall’s Cookery Book, and as with most nineteenth century recipe books the back is full of adverts, mostly for Mrs Marshall’s own products and equipment, such as this curry powder. It’s praised not for its heat but its flavor – spelt in a way we now think of as American English. In her book she has a number of recipes for curry,
- curried chicken á la Simla (Agnes loved using French for her recipes)
- eggs á la Bengal
- lobster and other shellfish á la Sultan
- curried mutton
- curried pheasant, cold, á la Pondicherry
- curried French plums
- curry of rabbit, dry
- curry of veal
- curry rice, for
- curry sauce with cauliflower
The recipes do contain the spices we might use, for the curried pheasant á la Pondicherry, she uses ingredients we would be very familiar with – bay leaves, fresh thyme and 2 Jamaican peppercorns (how could their flavour be detected? Maybe the Victorians had a more delicate and refined palate than we have!) mignonette pepper (an equal mix of black and white peppercorns) corraline pepper (paprika) coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric and later in the preparation, tamarind. It’s also served with french plums, which I think are what we know as prunes. Most of the ingredients recommended were of Mrs Marshall’s own brand, what an entrepreneur!