Köln – Royal Punjab – Four Weeks Later

Dr. Stan announced last night that he had not booked Breakfast so that he could join me for Curry-Heute. Steve was not sure if he would want Curry again, why does he persist in kidding himself? The three of us set off just after noon to Friesenplatz, Royal Punjab (Venloer Str. 4, 50672 Köln, Deutschland) is about one hundred metres from the U Bahn.

Entering first, I went to the far end of the Restaurant to greet Mein Host. I said I would be back, the Fisch Kolkata (€13.50), effectively a Fish Sabji served here last month impressed. I was back for the Lamm Methi (€13.90).

I had described the Buffet to Steve and Dr. Stan previously, it was worth a look. I had seen diners pile Keema high on their plates along with the various Daal and Vegetable options. The Buffet here is decidedly different from the usual range of Blandness one encounters. One pays for either a Large Plate – Grosser Teller (€8.50) or a Small Plate – Kleiner Teller (€6.50).

The Chaps went up to examine the Buffet, they were sold. Drinks were sorted, Orangensaft (€4.90) for Dr. Stan, Steve and I both had 750ml Bottles of Sparkling Water (€5.90). Once the Drinks arrived The Chaps were up, my Opperchancity to be Paparazzo. Whilst their plates were being filled I showed my review of Visit #1 to Mein Host. This sparked a genuine interest, he asked for my email, I would leave another Calling Card.

The Buffet

Keema aside, everything else looked to be very – Soupy. I had to establish exactly what they were eating and record their comments, perhaps to the detriment of my own meal when it arrived.

A Daal Makhani with Aloo was very much appreciated, I have never seen Potato served in this manner. A Mixed Vegetable Curry had Broccoli and Cauliflower.

Quite a lot of Veg – remarked Steve – your five a day.

Spicy – was an early statement from Dr. Stan who was certainly enjoying his selection. The Keema was good – he confirmed.

Chicken was mentioned also, however, I did not establish in what form though it does appear in the photos..

Was your plate big enough? – I asked Dr. Stan.

Mmmmm – the customary reply.

It may be a Buffet, however, the etiquette appears to be – One visit only.

I couldn’t eat another thing – said Steve – better than your average Buffet.

A very pleasant way to start the day – exclaimed Dr. Stan.

How else would you start your day?

Lamb Methi

The first glimpse saddened my eyes, another Lamm Sagwala? Maybe not. Indeed, this was another Creamy Curry, but then was it? I had to take care of the Rice, way more than one person would ever eat, a common observation across Europe. Having decanted enough Meat to start me off, I could only see the Thin Milky Shorva residue at the bottom of the Karahi. Where was the Masala? There was nothing identifiable as an Onion base, I had to question if I would actually classify what I had as – Curry.

I had asked for – Scharf – this Dish certainly had a – Kick – but was Under-seasoned. I counted ten pieces of Lamb many of which I had to halve. The Meat was on the Chewy side, this would take some time to eat. The somewhat Large Ginger Strips gave a – Crunch – and confirmed that the Hector Taste-buds were still operating. This was a classic example of Spice and no Flavour. Where was the Methi Blast? The Dish was decidedly Herb Rich, but what was the green stuff? Hector may well be wrong but suspects this was Spinach not Methi; the Tart Flavour from Fenugreek was not there.

This – Curry – was nothing like a Lamb Methi as served in the UK.

The Bill

47.60. (£42.13) The Water will be dearer than the Curry – Steve speculated.

Not quite, but not far off it.

The Aftermath

The Restaurant had filled up considerably since our arrival. Mein Host was busy, the Calling Card was left, our thanks declared. I suspect my fellow diners will be happy to return here, Hector will have to experience the Buffet.  There are also many more Lamb Dishes to consider.

Is Methi an issue in this city? Reading  my reviews of other venues, it could well be.

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Köln – Indisher Curry Hut – Spinach & Cream

Why all the travelling? – asked Curryspondent Raymond a couple of weeks back.

It’s in the blood, and because I can.

For the last decade, possibly longer, Hector has been making timeous visits to the Weinachtsmarkt in Köln. Being able to visit midweek has certainly simplified matters. And yes, I was here four weeks ago to see Anthema.

Before a day on Glühwein and Kölsch, there has to be bunkers. Last month I was surprised to note how many Curry Houses have sprung up in recent years, today was an Opperchancity to expand the Köln coverage on Curry-Heute.

Indischer Curry Hut (Aachener Str. 16, 50674 Köln, Deutschland) is located near Rudolfplatz, which with nearby Friesenplatz, is the Curry Core of Köln. Royal Punjab impressed last time, the plan is to return there tomorrow.

With Dr. Stan waylaid somewhere between his Eurostar and Köln, it was up to Steve to accompany Hector for Curry-Heute. Arriving at Indischer Curry Hut around 15.00, the place was empty. The long and narrow Restaurant is far from the Curry Cafe the name had planted in the mind of Hector. Having been to the Chit Chat Restaurant in Jaipur which really is a – Hut – today’s venue was well upmarket in comparison.

Having studied the Online Menu I was surprisingly drawn towards the Lamm Sagwala (€11.90). The photo suggested a suitably Dark Curry without the Cream that is a common feature of Spinach Curry in Europe. I then remembered the next page had a list of Keema Dishes, Keema Saag (€9.90) it would be with inclusive Rice accompanying. Steve took the Lamm Sagwala option with a Naan. Once more, the Naan was included in the price of the meal, something more British Restaurants should consider.

Steve fancied a Bier, the first (bottled) Kölsch of this Trip – Früh. (€2.60 for 330ml) As established last month, Water can be more expensive than Bier in this city. For Hector, a much needed 750ml Bottle of Sparkling Water (€5.20) felt like good value.

The wait was appropriate, two Karahi were placed on the table, which was which?

The Waiter knew, the Ginger Strips may have been the code. Steve touched his plate, found it was cold, and so decided to eat directly from the Karahi. I had no choice but to decant. A near sensible Portion of Rice was provided, I scooped the Keema across.

Creamy – was Steve’s next remark. Indeed, both Dishes were.

Lamm Sagwala

The Masala was suitably Thick and Rich in appearance. There was more Cream than this Dish would appear with, even on the Continent.

The Quantity was fine – confirmed Steve – Spicy – he continued – The kick is one you get when adding Nandos Chilli Sauce, not Fresh Chillies. Most of the Meat was chewy, not the way I expect Lamb Curry.

The Naan was a decent size for one person and decidedly – Plain.

It’s alright – was Steve’s verdict.

Keema Saag

There was plenty of it, a too Wet and too Creamy Mass. Rice was the correct accompaniment for this Curry, at least it soaked up the excess moisture. The Spice Level impressed, sadly the Curry was Under-seasoned and so the hoped for full on Herb Flavours did not come across. The Keema Saag was – Pleasant – but there was nothing to become excited about.

*

The Bill

26.00 (£23.00) A fair price given the Drinks.

The Aftermath

The Calling Card was given to the Waiter and the Curry-Heute Website shown.

How was it? – the Waiter asked.

OK, nothing special – was my reply.

I showed him the Slider on the HomepageThis is how I like my Curry.

Should I ever return to Indischer Curry Hut it will be to see if their Keema Matter can be served – Dry – and with Extra Methi.

And so to other things…

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Glasgow – Yadgar Kebab House – Another Landmark Curry

For the second week running, Jim’s day off meant Curry-Heute, Yadgar Kebab House (148 Calder St, Govanhill, Glasgow, G42 7QP) was the chosen venue. Shkoor (Mein Host) was contacted with the request – to feed five. Dr. Stan and Alan would join Jim, Jonathan and Hector for a Feast, Yadgar style.

The Baked Haddock Starter always goes down well, the Salmon equivalent ain’t too shabby either. For the Mains, it was time to introduce some of The Company to the Namkeen (White) Karahi, served on-the-bone. The famous YadgarGoshat Karahiwould accompany, but served – Boneless – as this is some people’s preference and to guarantee the bulk. Two kilos of on-the-bone Karahi might be demolished with ease by five of us.

The meal was booked for 15.00, Alan and Jim were at the window seat adjacent to the only other Diners we would see this afternoon. Dr. Stan and Hector arrived at exactly 15.00. None of us is slender, another table was chosen to accommodate us in greater comfort. Shafiq gave the usual Yadgar Welcome and took the Drinks order, Jonathan missed out on this arriving a few moments after.

Shafiq started the process of covering the table with our Banquet, commencing with five Hot Plates. Spiced Onions and Mango Chutney were followed by Hot Chilli Sauce and Raita. A Comprehensive Salad featuring my favourite Pickled Chillies plus Black Olives with the Poppadoms might have been enough, Shafiq had other ideas. A plate of Bhel Puris were brought with a Chickpea Salad and Tamarind Sauce. Shafiq demonstrated how to create the hollow then fill them. This was a first for the majority, though Hector has had this, most recently at Ambal’s in Aberdeen.

Whilst making my notes, the LG pinged with a notification of a comment on Tuesday’s Curry at Sheerin Palace around the corner. Dr. Ed was congratulating me on reaching the – 7 Million hits mark. I knew it would happen at some point today. Thank you to all my readers and the Curryspondents in particular.

This was Alan’s first visit to Yadgar, he had been warned, he did not expect to see the platter of Fish materialise in front of him. Four pieces of Haddock and two slices of Salmon. Alan declined the Salmon which made the sharing simpler. The Feast was well under way.

The Haddock is amazing – I remarked.

The Salmon is stunning – Jim added.

On previous visits it has always been either/or. Both are wonderful, to experience both simultaneously was even more Special: Shkoor, you spoil us as always.

So far everything was a bonus and a healthy one at that. What followed explains why we do not go to Yadgar every week, tempting as the thought of this is.

Five more Hot Plates were brought then the two Karahi arrived, the Boneless Goshat Karahi and the on-the-bone Namkeen Karahi. A kilo of each was ordered, both Karahi had way more. A couple of large, thin Chapattis accompanied, Shafiq brought more as they became ready.

Namkeen Karahi

The Namkeen Karahi was in front of Jim and Hector, this is what we started with. The Three hardly made a dent in the Goshat Karahi, we were already in trouble.

The Masala was Delightfully Thick, slightly more pale than its counterpart. Prepared with Salt and Pepper and nothing – Red – this was simply Yadgar Karahi at its best. The Lamb without Bones was served in Large Pieces, so Tender. The Sucky Bones with the attached Lamb were the highlight. So much Flavour.

Goshat Karahi

The Karahi were exchanged, time for the more familiar Goshat Karahi. Still Excellent, however, once one had tasted the Namkeen, this was the lesser of the two. It was also Boneless which confirms yet again the importance of cooking Lamb on-the-bone.

Shafiq offered more, – Cauliflower – was mentioned. A second stomach please – has become my standard reply.

The Karahi were returned to their starting positions. Alan stopped eating. One suspects he might have been full. We were all getting there. Back to the Namkeen, this was as good as Curry gets.

For the sake of consistency, I shall point out that the Spice Level and Seasoning have not been mentioned in the above. There is little need, at Yadgar both are pitched to Perfection.

Now for some quotes:

My first time having this Dish (Namkeen), it was awesome. I would certainly recommend it – Jim.

My eyes were bigger than my belly – Alan.

Both dishes were superb, that Salt and Pepper Karahi was an eye opener – Jonathan

Indeed so – Dr. Stan. Certainly impressive, any ideas how it’s made?

It is the Yadgar Secret. Ironically the former Yadgar Chef who now works at Lasani Grill around the corner passed by, twice. He knows. He suggested that one day he might tell me.

I have offered my labour free of charge at Yadgar a couple of days a week to come and wash up and watch the Chef. Maybe someone will take me seriously one day.

The Bill

£75.00 was assembled, I took it to the counter. Is this enough? – I asked Shafiq. It was.

The Aftermath

Combined, we probably were left with a standard portion at any Curry House. Shahbaz, who had been manning the shiny new counter throughout most of our visit took away the remnants. These went back to Paisley.

I felt a photo was in order, Chef Arshad appeared from the kitchen right on cue.

I’ll be back soon, maybe for a solo visit to enjoy their pre-cooked creations. There’s a Big Number of visits looming. Those wishing to attend this Landmark Curry early next year, let me know.

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Glasgow – Sheerin Palace – Mother Approves!

One day Hector and Mother will sit down together to savour Kofta Anda. Today is not that day. Having promised Mother – something different – we arrived at Sheerin Palace (300 Allison St, Govanhill/Crosshill, Glasgow, G42 8HQ) after our Lidl Shop. This was Mother’s first visit here, there was no Kofta Anda.

Mein Host was behind the counter only too briefly, he was in the middle of taking food through to the two Diners already in situ. I parked Mother at the table behind them so that she could benefit most from the portable gas heater between the tables and went up to order.

Two portions of Aloo Gosht, one Rice and one Chapatti – were ordered. The price is only ever established at the time of paying.

Sheerin Palace is very much a Glasgow Curry Cafe, one comes here for the Excellent Punjabi Cuisine, not the ambience. I was therefore surprised when Mother commented on the – colourful pictures – on the wall. Mein Host brought a Modest Salad with Raita and two dinner plates. Mother touched one of the plates, both were sent back, too cold. Mother likes hot plates.

A Steaming Hot plate of Chicken Biryani was placed on the table along with a large Chapatti. Two bowls of Aloo Gosht arrived soon after, all was set. I dished out a Mother Portion of Rice for Mother leaving still more than I required. We had a Chicken Thigh each served on-the-bone. As I did two weeks ago when here with Clive, I divvied up the Salad also then left Mother to choose how much Curry she desired on her plate at any time.

This is lovely – announced Mother from the off. She had said she was hungry and was about to prove it.

I’m going to bring Mary here – was her follow up. Two Glasgow Grannies out for Curry in Allison Street, that would be a sight worth seeing.

I decanted the Tender Lamb and covered the Rice leaving some of the accompanying Shorva in the bowl. Today I would dip the Chapatti into the Shorva rather than let it all become totally absorbed by the Rice. There was enough Shorva to moisten the Rice and fulfil my objective. Today I would be able to differentiate between the Flavour from the worthy Biryani and the Curry.  A subsequent Diner ordered a plate of straight Chicken Biryani and was happy to sit with this.  Cinnamon Bark and Black Peppercorns featured in the Shorva, simple, effective.

The Lamb reached double figures with a Sucky Bone and a Knuckle being the principal bone components. The two large pieces of Potato each could be cut as and when to provide Diversity.

The Spice Level was Moderate, this would have been a Bog Standard Curry had it not been for the Seasoning. The experience was made – Special – because of the Seasoning giving the Shorva the distinctive Flavour that is attained at Sheerin Palace.

The Bill

£14.00. We had quite an array of food on the table for this modest price.

The Aftermath

Mother was keen to tell Mein Host that she will be back with her friend.

Posted in Sheerin Palace | 2 Comments

Aberdeen – Lahori Karahi – Best Curry in Aberdeen?

The – Silly Season – has commenced, this evening Hector is at Lahore Karahi (145 King St, Aberdeen, AB24 5AE) in the company of Graeme and Euan. After Thursday’s Meatfest at Karahi Palace (Glasgow), Vegetables were at the forefront of Hector’s mind. To have a Vegetable Main Course, a Side? On the Golden Coach north this afternoon I spotted a photo of a Rice Dish served at Lahore Karahi, it looked particularly – Rich. I would enquire. I fancied Lamb on-the-bone, but not the Lamb Karahi that is on the Menu.

Arriving first, two of the three Young Chaps on duty smiled in recognition, one was Mein Host. Three Menus were set on the table and some Tap Water. One day they will stock Sparkling Water.

I enquired if Methi Gosht on-the-bone was doable. I have had this Curry here on and off the bone (£8.50) on previous visits. The one-the-bone version would have been Perfect had it been served Hotter. Having consulted the Kitchen, my request was confirmed as possible once again. I showed the photo of the aforementioned Rice Dish, Lamb Biryani (£8.00), I was told, a Main Course. Peas Pilau is not on the Menu, I asked, it would be created, but only after there was a realisation that Chana (Chickpeas) Pilau (£5.25) had been recorded initially..

Graeme announced Fish Curry (£9.00) with Mushroom Pilau (£3.00). The Menu gave no clue as to what this might contain, other than Fish. We both had Mushroom Pilau in the summer, the first time I have had Rice at Lahori Karahi. The Parathas are so good here, Bread has been the norm.

This was Euan’s first visit to Lahore Karahi, he played safe. Chicken Jhalfrezi (£7.95) would be accompanied by Pilau (£3.00) and a Peshwari Naan (£2.40).

The Restaurant was about one third full, the majority of customers were sat at the wall tables. I watched a parade of Curry Pots being served to the people sitting behind me. It was simple to work out when we were next.

The three different Rice Dishes were set before us, an impressive Quantity, enough to share, manageable by one, just. Graeme sampled his Mushroom Plau before decanting his Fish Curry.

I’ll just eat the Rice on its own – he said, tongue in cheek.

The Peshwari Naan was a Sensible Size. Stuffed with a layer of – something orange, I declined a piece when Euan offered.

If there’s Coconut it will not go with my Curry.

Euan did not think there was. When Graeme accepted the offer, he confirmed the presence of Coconut.

There is Coconut. It is very sweet. QED.

Methi Gosht on-the-bone

The Peas Pilau was much more than Peas and Rice, it had a Flavour of its own. The Meat and Masala was arranged on top of the Rice. I was pleased to find the Curry was Hot, as was the Rice. The Sucky Bone was a standout, this Curry had potential. The Thick Masala had Methi mixed through, exactly as I like it. There was no point counting the Tender Lamb, there was Loads. This was far from the Modest Portions of a few years back. From somewhere came a Blast of Citrus, I found a piece of Orange Rind. Graeme sourced it from the Rice. The Spice Level was good without being demanding.  A sliced Large Green Chilli had been added as a Topping, this gave a welcomed Kick. The Seasoning raised this Curry to the Premier League. There are no negatives here. This was the Best Curry I have ever been served at Lahore Karahi. Given this is the Aberdeen Curry House I have visited most, I have to conclude that this was an outstanding Methi Gosht.

Fish Curry

I noted the Thick and not Excessive Masala as I took the photo. I suspect this will be Hector’s Curry of choice next time. We speculated as to what the Masala Fish might be. We would ask. Meanwhile, Graeme was thoroughly appreciative of the blend of Curry and Mushroom Rice:

Very, very good – said Graeme. Flavoursome, if anything it could have been stronger.

Excellent Curry with very good Rice.

The Waiter was asked if he could identify the Fish:

Haddock – was his assured reply. 

Chicken Jhalfrezi

Not too oily – was an early statement from Euan. With the Curry, Rice and Naan, Euan had taken on quite a Quantity of food.

Generous – was how he described the Plain Pilau. The sauce was quite refreshing.

Later, with pint in hand, he announced – I would certainly go back, especially since it’s BYOB.

The Bill

The price of the Peas Pilau was unknown until The Bill was presented. I had to challenge the £5.25 charge, presumably for the previously recorded Chana Pilau. The Bill was taken away and a new one issued. £37.95. The Peas Pilau had been reduced to £4.00, still steep. Mushroom Pilau (£3.00) next time for Hector.

The Aftermath

Bill sorted, we left with no fuss. The Prince of Wales awaited.

Later, walking along Union St., I spotted that Cumin Tandoori is now – The Essence Indian Cuisine – and finally I saw this poster. Starting today! Hold me back…

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Glasgow – Karahi Palace – Traditional Scottish Fayre on St. Andrew’s Day

At Noon today, Hector was informed that Jonathan and Jim were heading to Karahi Palace (51 – 53 Nelson Street, Glasgow, G5 8DZ) for Lunch. Why not?

Hector walked in to Karahi Palace punctually for the 14.00 rendezvous, The Chaps were perusing the Menu, not for much longer. Ayaz (Mein Host) informed us:

No Lamb, only Lamb Chops.

Are we having Starters? – I asked.

Apparently we were – Lamb Chops (£6.00), three portions.

Jonathan accepted the offer of Keema, we assumed it had to be Chicken Keema (£5.50), a Naan (£1.50) would accompany. Jim had spotted Lamb Korma Spicy (£6.50). No Lamb, Ayaz reminded him. Jim followed Hector’s lead:

Lamb Chops Karahi (£8.50) with extra Methi, Chapattis (£0.70) to accompany.

Can one have too many Lamb Chops? I suspect this may well be the first time I have had Tandoori Lamb Chops followed by Tandoori Lamb Chops Karahi. I feel a Vegetable backlash next time I go out for Curry. Ironically on the radio whilst driving to Tradeston, the preparation of Aloo Gobi was being described. I must try to cook this sometime.

The Modest Salad was brought to the table with a bowl of Raita and the Hot – in temperature – Chilli Sauce.

We’ll keep this for the Chops which will hopefully arrive whilst it’s still hot.

Two weeks ago the Lamb Chops took an age, then Karahi Palace was busy. Today three portions arrived in good time. Time to get gnawing.

Initially, nothing was said, nothing need be said. The Chops were well fired yet retained their succulence. I took a slice of Green Chilli and immediately coughed. That was a Fierce Chilli. Moments later Jim had the same experience. Jonathan took the Chillis in his stride. Jim was finished first, I congratulate his dentist.

The door kept opening, the Delivery Man. Flour, Rice, Oil, Tinned Spinach and boxes of French Fries were piled up on the floor. I was keen to note the brand of Vegetable Oil, alas this was quickly obscured.

Qaiser had arrived in time to bring the Mains.

Minced Chicken Curry

Chicken Keema – Jonathan confirmed. They had no Lamb, though Ayaz did suggest that it would arrive in the next hour. Jim commented upon the Quantity of Foliage covering the Chicken Mince. The Lamb Chops Karahi looked fierce. Four Tandoori Chops in the Hottest of Masalas.

*

*

Lamb Chops Karahi

Hot! – exclaimed Jim.

Watch the expert – suggested Jonathan – use the Chapatti as a handle.

Once again I pointed out the anomaly of our mouths being able to tolerate temperatures our fingers cannot.

Presumably prepared in the same manner, the Chops took on a different Flavour when soaked in the Oily Masala. Pieces of Chapatti were then used to scoop up the Masala, possibly the most Tomato-rich Masala that Chef Rashid has ever presented. Fresh Green Chillies had been added at the time of serving, some had also been cooked in. With the requested Herb content, the Spice, Seasoning and Flavour was everything I have come to expect at Karahi Palace.

Jim commented upon the Ginger content, the Ginger Strips were doing their job.

That looks like a Mountain – I said to Jonathan who was still eating.

A lot for lunchtime – was his reply.

The Naan was served halved as were the Chapattis, I have seen few Naans at this Restaurant, this looked to be nothing special.

The Naan did not look outstanding – I put to Jonathan.

This he confirmed, however – The Chicken Keema was.

Eventually Jonathan had to admit defeat. That was a first.

An inspirational choice – Jim proffered anticipating my request for a quote.

Fan-Dabby – he added.

This was Jim’s first visit to Karahi Palace.

The Bill

£45.00 Two cans of Diet Coke (£0.80) were included.

The Aftermath

Jonathan spotted the brand of Vegetable Oil – White Pearl.

I will have to look for this, as with KTC used at Ambala, the Oil at Karahi Place is a standout.

There was a suggestion we visit Yadgar next week. Hector is long overdue a return.

Meanwhile as I write I hear that Kebabish on Victoria Rd. is in flames.

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Pork Vindaloo – Hector’s Recipe with a few Tweaks

Contrary to what some think, Marg is not fed Curry every night. It is eight months since Hector cooked Curry at home, the Hector interpretation of Pork Vindaloo went down a treat, so much so that I hardly had any. This evening this was redressed.

My own Recipe was consulted to jog the memory. Cumin Seeds were omitted and a piece of Star Anise introduced along with a tablespoon of Tamarind Sauce and two tablespoons of Yoghurt. Smoked Paprika and recently acquired Dried and Smoked Red Chillies would hopefully attain the South Indian Flavour that a Vindaloo technically should have.

The Onions were cooked oh so slowly to set up the perfect Masala Mash. I eventually discovered that the hand blender is not suitable in a Wok, tall pot next time.  Button Mushrooms were added near the end along with Fresh Coriander and cooked in.  More Fresh Coriander was added at the table.

If one has never tasted a Hector Curry then order Lamb Desi Karahi at Charcoals Indian Restaurant (Glasgow), they are remarkably similar.

Sweetness was my major worry having cooked a Curry without Methi. Marg immediately declared this Pork Vindaloo to be – Bitter. Success. Two Smoked Chillies did not create the intended result, more next time. Sainsbury’s Red Wine Vinegar did not add the Richness of Flavour as that bought at KRK (Glasgow).  The Spice Level was never commented upon by Marg proving Vindaloo need not be – Silly.  The Masala attained the Thickenss I seek in my own cooking and in Restaurants. The Seasoning of course was – Spot on.

Having trimmed much of the – Fat – from the Pork Cutlets, Marg was not happy to find any, she did.  The Potatoes were Perfect!

Not a bad Curry, though it was way better last time. If you are tempted to try this, follow the Recipe.

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Glasgow – Karahi Palace – Something Different for Hector

Hector is back at Karahi Palace (51 – 53 Nelson Street, Glasgow, G5 8DZ) four days after an afternoon of indulgence. Dr. Robin requested a midweek Curry outing, he chose the venue. Hector would hardly criticise his choice, so it goes.

Having discussed a need to get here more often, today was the Perfect Opperchancity to try something different. In Hector’s case, return to the Dish which first made me take note of this venue – Karela Handi Gosht.

At 16.00 this Wednesday afternoon, Qaiser was once more front of house, Chef Rashid was in – his spot. A Chap who may have been a customer sat at an adjacent table, he turned out to be a New Chap. All was set.

Dr. Robin was happy to stick to the tried and tested – Lamb Karahi (£7.90). I had Qaiser confirm that Karela was available then showed him the archive photo on Curry-Heute of this Wondrous Dish. Karela Handi Gosht (£7.50) was ordered, though I was informed that it would be served in a Karahi, the Ceramic Pots have long disappeared at Karahi Palace. Chapattis (£0.70) completed the Order.

There was no Salad today.

Lamb Karahi

I have described this Perfect Curry oft. Read any other revue of Karahi Palace and the chances are this Dish features.

Dr. Robin appreciated the – Blend of Spices – as he ate.

Spicy without being too Spicy – was his contribution to today’s Blog.

Karela Handi Gosht

This is a Demanding Curry. Karela, – The Bitter Gourd – is not for all. The Minimal Masala looked even Thicker and Drier than the above Dish. More Salt required – was my first note, followed by – Big Spice Hit. The Bitterness was to the fore, then I realised, with more Salt, this Curry would not work at all. I have enjoyed Stuffed Karela at Punjabi Charing Cross courtesy of – Hari’s Wife, it was Intensely Flavoured.  I have watched Yvonne struggle with this Dish at Ambala Deli Bar, the balance of Meat to Vegetable has to be judged carefully else one ends up with too much of the latter.

The customary Toppings of Chopped Green Chillies, Ginger Strips and Fresh Coriander were complemented by Whole Chillies cooked in. The Spice Level should therefore not have been a surprise. No problems here.

The Tenderest of Lamb on-the-bone was a combination of Ribs and Sucky Bones. There was a proverbial mountain of Food before me. The Tomato-based Masala Mash also featured Karela Seeds which had to be fished out. As ever, the Oil collected at the base of the Karahi. A Magnificent Curry.

The New Chap approached us, and spoke. He asked if we required more Chapattis. Dr. Robin was nearly finished his, another one was ordered to share. It came in good time to revitalise the end game.

The Bill

£17.50. Why pay more?

The Aftermath

A promise to myself, no Curry this weekend.

Posted in (New) Karahi Palace | 1 Comment

Glasgow – Charcoals Indian Restaurant – A Fishy Tale from The Monday Club

With Clive’s flight back to Gatwick mid afternoon, there was time for Curry-Heute in the City Centre. Charcoals (26A Renfield St, Glasgow, G2 1LU) is just around the corner from the St. Vincent St. bus stop for the 500 to Glasgow Airport, sorted.

It was exactly Noon when we arrived, opening time, a family was already in situ at a window table. Clive and Hector were given the other window table, window dressing. Despite the improvements in décor to Charcoals when Mein Host – Sultan – took over the business, the doorway remains a bottleneck. All subsequent Diners have to pass by, we see them, they examine our Curry. Despite this, Clive commented on the Ambience:

This is a cut above the normal type of venue you bring me to.

Curryspondent Neil had made Hector aware of the availability of Fish Curry at Charcoals. Fish on a Monday? Mother warned me about this in my formative years. Studying the Online Menu before embarking, I had spotted a Dhansak equivalent that should suit Lord Clive.

A Lunchtime Menu (£6.95) is available from Noon until 13.45. Thereafter a Pre-Theatre which makes Charcoals a very popular venue early evening. One should book. The Chap on duty did not offer us the Lunchtime Menu, he has served me before and knows of Hector’s exacting requirements.

Would you like Poppadoms and …..? – we were asked. These were declined. Had Sultan been present they would simply have been provided.

Fish Masala (£11.95) with Mushroom Pilau Rice (£3.25) was ordered with the usual caveat. I was promised no Capsicum. The Dhansak here is called Charcoals Goldie (£9.95) and features five different Lentils. That should make a Happy Clive who ordered Chicken Charcoals Goldie.  Paratha was not on the Menu, a Keema Naan (£3.50) completed the Order. Mince with Chicken? Ah well, each to his own.

Two features of the Menu are worth highlighting. Firstly, a sticker states:

No leftovers for takeaway please.

A bit brutal, it’s not as if there’s a Buffet. Secondly:

10% Service Charge applies on the bill.

So no – Tips – expected then?

More customers arrived, a Lady came in to book for a Work Night Out. Who would drag the Colleagues for Curry on such an outing?

Fish Masala

Hector’s heart sank, – Yellow. OK, better than – Red? A Blended Creamy Masala is not what Hector thinks about when ordering a Fish Curry. This remains – The Challenge. The Aroma – wafted – in the way that Aromas do – Smoked Chillies! Mmmm. A South Indian influence, this could be good after-all. Was there Coconut?

The Mushroom Pilau was served in the Metal Pot in which Curry is often presented; a Mass of Rice, more than a Hector could eat. Onions were mixed through as well as Fresh Mushrooms.

Topped with chopped Green Chillies and Fresh Coriander, nine large pieces of Fish were placed on top of the Rice. Each had to be halved initially, as the appetite waned so the pieces were cut smaller still. The Quantity of Fish seemed to be approaching Biblical Proportions, the more I ate the more there was. I was down to Flakes, eventually.

If there was Coconut in the Creamy Masala this was Minimal, not noticeable thankfully. The Masala itself had a decent Kick, the Green Chillies added extra bite sporadically. The underlying Smokey Flavour persisted, this was a Tasty Curry. I would certainly have this again. Marg would love it, very much in her style.

Chicken Charcoals Goldie

The Masala was most certainly Thick with Lentils. The Chicken was in Shreds, not the solid pieces one expects in Halal Chicken.  There was a complex array of Toppings, the Lemon wedge remained unsqueezed.

Exceedingly hot – was Clive’s opening remark. He is becoming good at giving a commentary.

This is what it says on the tin, full of Lentils.

The right level of spice, maybe could go a bit more.

Very pleasant, Maggie could eat this.

The Keema Naan was served in quarters, why not whole? There was a mass of discrete brown Mince particles. This was a Quality Naan.

Excellent, really good – said Clive as he used the last quarter to wipe first his plate and then the bowl.

Our Chap came to verify that we were finished, the last grains of Rice were abandoned.

Do you know what the Fish was? – I asked, not expecting an answer.

Haddock – was the assured reply.

That was a first.

The Bill

£31.15. Well within acceptable parameters, and no sign of a 10% surcharge.

The Aftermath

We were bade farewell on departure as the three steps to the doorway were taken.

Hector needs a day off, no Curry with Mother tomorrow.

Posted in Charcoals Indian Restaurant (Renfield St.) | Leave a comment

Glasgow – Sheerin Palace – A Day to Remember Robin

This would be a two Curry Day. Yvonne had Aloo Keema Mutter waiting for us to be served at a mutually agreeable time. Having followed Hector’s Recipe, what could possibly go wrong? She did add extra Green Chillies then worried that she may have overdone it. Fear not, we can handle everything, well most of us. There was a Baby version. I shall dwell no more on what was a private memorial for Robin who was taken from us suddenly last week.

Those who appreciate the significance of – The Vase – may well be spooked by the fact that it met its demise today.

This explains why Lord Clive of Crawley is in residence at Hector’s House this weekend. Before embarking on an afternoon liquid refreshment there had to be Bunkers. Few venues are open Sunday Lunchtime in Glasgow. I had to find a venue which was open and en route to Shawlands which would serve something worthy. Sheerin Palace (300 Allison St, Govanhill/Crosshill, Glasgow, G42 8HQ) ticked the boxes. Walking along Alison Street I noted that Desi Cafe – Desi Curry Palace had been open since very early to serve Breakfast. Lasani Grill was open too. Clive may well find himself here in future visits.

At Sheerin Palace one chooses from what has been prepared. Actually I have never tested them to see if they would prepare a Dish from scratch. Kofta Anda is always hoped for, there was one last remaining portion, I felt it better we have the same Curry. Mein Host talked us through the other Dishes on offer, Kidney Bean Curry? Maybe as a Side another time. Aloo Gosht was the most appealing, Chicken Biryani would provide the Accompaniment, the easiest way to get Rice.

I had forewarned Clive that Sheerin Palace has even fewer frills than the Curry Cafes I visit most often. We took a table in the adjacent dining area, a family soon took up another table. At 13.00 on a Sunday, Sheerin Palace was doing good business.

A Jug of Water and a Modest Salad were presented with a decent sized bowl of Raita, these remained untouched initially. Two substantial plates of Aloo Gosht were brought followed by a single plate of Chicken Biryani. There was more than enough Rice to share. A piece of Chicken each was quite sufficient given the impressive portions of Aloo Gosht. I counted ten pieces of Meat with a few pieces on-the-bone. I had one Large Potato, Clive may have had two smaller. The Curry could have been served Warmer, fortunately the Rice was Hot.

A Curryspondent put Hector in his place after an early visit to Sheerin Palace, I dared to comment negatively on the Shorva. I have come to accept that if a Curry is cooked in this style then this is deliberate, it is – Desi Curry. When I complain about Soup (Shorva), it is when there is an excess of Blended Masala with a few bits of Meat in there somewhere. The Curry at Sheerin Palace is far from this, behold genuine Desi-style Cuisine.

The Shorva soaked into the Rice making the latter even more Flavoursome.  The Spice Level was no more than – Moderate – as ever the Seasoning was Perfection. The odd Clove was picked out of the Melange before I decided to make more of a Dog’s Breakfast. The Salad began to look appealing. I took half and passed the remainder to Clive who copied my actions. Now we had Meat, Potato, Rice and Salad on the plate plus the solitary piece of Chicken. The Chicken, also on-the-bone was taken care of. It did nothing for me.

There’s a level of spiciness in the Rice – remarked Clive as he started. Thereafter we were too busy enjoying the Fayre. This may be as close to the Curry served in Manchester’s Northern Quarter as I have encountered in Glasgow. Simple food, served in a near instant with no ceremony.

No frills but very tasty – was Clive’s summation.

The Bill

£13.50. This is for two.

The Aftermath

Mein Host asked if we had enjoyed our food. I may not be here often, but I know Sheerin Palace is always worth consideration.

As always.

And so to the deeper south where Aloo Keema Mutter was served at 17.00. No problem.

Posted in Home Cooked (by others), Sheerin Palace | 2 Comments