How did the British view Indian food?

Possibly the best known example of the Victorians embracing Indian-inspired cuisine is kedgeree. Traditionally Khichdi or Khichari is a rice and lentil dish served to babies in the north of India and as the Victorian middle and upper classes loved nursery food, they quickly took to it.

It seems to be Eliza Acton who anglicised it in 1845 by ditching the lentils and adding smoked fish and boiled eggs but the basic spices and method used to make kedgeree are pretty much the same as the original.

I can only imagine the absolute horror and despair an Indian chef felt when told about this.
 
You know, I stopped reading the Black Butler manga when it showed Victoria and British people practically floating through clouds from curry. Victoria hated curry but they made some in her kitchen each day incase some Indians might drop by. In the old British cookbooks they had curry powder being added to food after it was cooked, rather than being mixed in and cooked during it.
 
Possibly the best known example of the Victorians embracing Indian-inspired cuisine is kedgeree. Traditionally Khichdi or Khichari is a rice and lentil dish served to babies in the north of India and as the Victorian middle and upper classes loved nursery food, they quickly took to it.

It seems to be Eliza Acton who anglicised it in 1845 by ditching the lentils and adding smoked fish and boiled eggs but the basic spices and method used to make kedgeree are pretty much the same as the original.
I grew up eating Indian food, and I can tell you that is the most puzzling dish I know of. I love Khichdi, but Kedgeree seems like something from an ATL or something.
 
My great uncle, been told my great grandad. loved Indian food. Both posted there, but 40 years apart. Great grandad form 1898-1909, NWF, off and on and my uncle in the 1940's, in the east, against Japan
You know, I've always had the impression that the British were somehow completely isolated from the Indian populace when they were occupying the land, and had no interaction with Indian cuisine or culture. It's quite interesting to know that this was not necessarily the case.
Are you open with telling us more about your great-uncle and Great grandad's time in India as it sounds quite interesting.
 

Opo

Monthly Donor
I grew up eating Indian food, and I can tell you that is the most puzzling dish I know of. I love Khichdi, but Kedgeree seems like something from an ATL or something.
I've no idea how accurate it is but Jennifer Paterson of Two Fat Ladies fame said that it was brought back to England by a Colonel who told his cook, "This is what we had, now you make it". And that's what the cook came up with. There's another origin story that the original was made with duck because the English cook who made it had never come across Bombay Duck before and didn't know it was a fish.
 
You know, I've always had the impression that the British were somehow completely isolated from the Indian populace when they were occupying the land, and had no interaction with Indian cuisine or culture. It's quite interesting to know that this was not necessarily the case.
Are you open with telling us more about your great-uncle and Great grandad's time in India as it sounds quite interesting.
Don't know that much, but neither were officers, think they both made Sargent, maybe my great grandad made CSM, don't know. I do know he was in India for quite a number of years, 8 I think, Back home for 2/3 years then back to India for a couple more, then First World War. After that he may have gone to Russia, again not sure. But he was in the army from 1898 to 1923.
As for my great uncle, Second World War, North Africa, Italy then the Far East including Eastern India/Burma.
Another great uncle was in the Far East and was a POW, spent quite sometime on the Burma Railway! He died from his wounds in 1967
 
Sorry this is my third post, but I find this question to be really fascinating since I cannot even imagine Puritans or Victorians eating Indian food 🤓 and it honestly feels ASB.

The Victorians did eat curry. It was extremely mild curry, as in one teaspoon of "curry powder" in a dish meant for a large family and still considered spicy and exotic, but they did.


 
Top