Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Last weekend I went to Coventry, England to visit my friends Ritaban and Aruneema. The photos from the trip have been posted into the following blog -

In this post here, I will cover a typical English food I had there - namely Cornish Pasty. As is evident from the name, this dish had its origin in the county of Cornwall located in the extreme south western peninsula of the British Isles.

It is an oven-cooked pastry case traditionally filled with diced meat—nowadays beef mince (ground beef) or steak. It has a semicircular shape, caused by folding a circular pastry sheet over the filling. One edge is crimped to form a seal. The filling of a Cornish Pasty has evolved over the years to include all kinds of combinations - in fact it is jokingly said that even the Devil fears to enter Cornwall because he might end up as a Cornish Pasty filling himself!

Tradition claims that it was originally made as lunch for Cornish miners who were unable to return to the surface to eat. The story goes that, covered in dirt from head to foot, they could hold the pasty by the folded crust and eat the rest of the pasty without touching it, discarding the dirty pastry. Additionally, the dense, folded pasty stayed hot until lunchtime and, when carried close to the body, helped the miner stay warm.

Tradition also has it that the original pasties contained meat and vegetables in one end and jam or fruit in the other end, in order to give the hard-working men 'two courses'. Cornish housewives also marked their husband's initials on the left-hand side of the pastry casing, in order to avoid confusion at lunchtime. This was particularly useful when a miner wished to save a corner of his pasty until later.

As for me, I thoroughly enjoyed the Cornish Pasty for it was perfect,quick 'takeaway lunch' - it was filling, hot, tasty and not messy. I guess the satisfaction must have been very visible on my face because another tourist happenned to come down where I had got hold of a hamburger in the Warwick Castle. It took a clooser look for her to realise that it was a not a hamburger but a very traditional 'takeaway' food I was having - a Cornish Pasty :-)

That's all for now...keep tuned for more..

Friday, November 11, 2005


Lot of time to spare now.....hardly any work these days, so though might kill some time writing this blog regularly...not sure if anyone would read these though :-)

This blog is about mainly about food so I guess it is best to start with a food topic....There was Greek food in the lunch today.

Over the last few months I have started to become a afficianado of Greek food. I feel it is a wonderful balance between Asian and Continental cuisines. By having close interactions with Turkey over its history probably contributed to the fact that the Asian trait is very much visible in their cuisine - kebabs are a regular feature on Greek menus as is the use of spices like cardamom, cinnamon etc in their food. On the other hand, the Continental influence is also evident - the use of various kinds of cheeses and the presence of salads in their menus.

The first taste of Greek food that I had was of course when I visited Athens in May, 2005. For once I did not have to go throught the ordeal of having to eat at McDonalds when on a holiday trip in Europe. In Athens the best fast food to have is 'Souvlaki'. This is a close cousin of our very own Calcutta mutton roll - rolled bread with salad and meat inside. The major difference is that the bread is not deep fried as in back home but it is baked. Another wonderful dish is Kalamari - which are rings of squid, deep fried in butter. A tip here - try Kalamari with a squeeze of lemon juice - that makes it even better!

This page is an authentic guide to Souvaki -

Today we had Moussaka and Tzatziki for lunch. Moussaka is a traditional Greek aubergine based dish. In the standard (3-layer) Greek recipe, the bottom layer consists of aubergine slices sautéed in olive oil, the middle layer is ground lamb cooked with mashed tomatoes, and the top layer is béchamel sauce (or sometimes potatoes or cream). I have heard that this dish is also eaten in the Balkan countries and also the Middle East and that each of these regions have their own variations of this dish.

Tzatziki in Greek cuisine is exactly what Raita is to Indian food. Tzatziki is a appetiser and also widely used as a sauce or dip. It is made of yoghurt, cucumbers, onion and garlic for taste. The flavour of garlic is pretty predominant in Tzatziki.
Another fantastic feature of Greece is it's very own coffee - which is called Frappé. It is a way of life in Greece and a fantastic way to have coffee. It is essentially cold coffee whipped with ice to so that it has a thick, frosty consistency. I would suggest that you have exactly the way it is served - do not add more sugar to it and make it sweet. It is the slightly bitter taste that gives the kick.

I think that is all for now. Going to the UK this weekend. Early flight to catch tomorrow! Will post photos from that tour right here...