Curry for comfort

Curry for comfort

British touch

Curry for comfort

It was the perfect amalgamation of British culture and cuisine as Shakespearean theatre joined hands with a feast comprising myriad British curries.

A team of six British chefs from the UK headed by Michelin star chef Mark Poynton whipped up a brilliant spread of British style curries like ‘chicken tikka masala’, ‘balti’ and ‘jalfrezi’ at ITC Windsor recently.

Preceding that, the students of Christ University put up an impressive performance of excerpts from two of Shakespeare’s plays, ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘The Taming of the Shrew’.

“The hotel is architecturally styled on the British Regency era and has a very Victorian feel. The ‘Taste of Britain Curry Festival’ that we are hosting goes well with that theme.”

 “To add to the flavour of the festival, we have also invited the acclaimed theatre group from Christ University to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the bard through his renowned works,” said Shekhar V Sawant, general manager, ITC Windsor Bengaluru.
The two plays of 25 minutes each set the mood for the evening. Skillfully directed and enacted, they received great appreciation from the audience.

The students presented the show with much aplomb, keeping the spirit of Shakespeare alive. As Shradha Raj, actor and co-director of ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, put it, “It was a great opportunity for us to perform outside college. It is an event that will be remembered for long.”

This paved the way for the carefully crafted culinary extravaganza. Dominic McAllister, British deputy high commissioner in the city, expressed, “Presently, there is a culinary revolution that is taking place in the UK. There are a lot of Indian restaurants, especially from Karnataka and South India, that are getting popular there. This festival will present a British twist to Indian curries and we want to see how it’s perceived here — whether people will like the style and accept it or simply find it weird and peculiar.”

  Chef Mark Poynton remarked, “I am a big fan of curry and truly excited to showcase my dishes here along with the other chefs. I aim to offer diners a memorable experience using the best quality ingredients.”

The curry menu, highlighted Uchit Vohra (executive chef, ITC Windsor), is subtle in taste with a balance of spices. The starters comprised items like ‘Oregano chicken tikka’, ‘Chilli marinated fish’ and ‘Shoti kebab’ (minced lamb skewered and tied with a thread cooked on a charcoal grill).

“Take the ‘chilli marinated fish’ for instance. It has less yogurt and more green chillies yet it is balanced in terms of spices,” he said.

The main course had delicacies like ‘British chicken tikka masala’, ‘Naga fish balti’, ‘Shatkora lamb’, ‘Paneer tikka masala’, ‘Chana dal spinach’ and ‘Kacche gosht ki biryani’. Further elaborating on the judicious use of spices, he added, “The fish preparation is an interesting one with a special ‘balti’ paste.

While the ‘shatkora lamb’ is a fragrant, mildly spiced curry which is delicious in its own way and one doesn’t miss the spices here. The ‘paneer’ too is cooked in a subtle
tomato onion based gravy.

We have had a good learning experience with these chefs.”

The curry festival is on for dinner (ala carte) at ITC Windsor from 7 pm to 11.45 pm till July 24. Chef Mark has also curated a special pub grub comprising signature British dishes for the pub ‘Dublin’.