My go to food on any occasion would always be Indian.
Mouth watering, varied,vegan,vegetarian, just the aromas alone are enough to transport you.
I have eaten street food, restaurant food and really high end deliciousness at Atul Kuchers fabulous restaurant called Benares. I love it all.
The colours, the clever use of spices,garlic,ginger,fresh coriander,chilli.
I am not a massive fan of very hot chilli but I love spicy.
My introduction to Indian food was as a child, living in Kenya.
We lived about 3 hours away from the nearest shop so it was a great adventure to go and do out monthly shop. It was an exciting family outing.
The shop was owned by an Indian family, and because they knew we had travelled such a long way, they always prepared a huge feast for us. Special for the little kids ie me ,was a very mildly spiced baked bean and pea dish which I scooped up with delicious chapatis dripping with ghee. The adults were treated to much spicier and varied dishes ,always accompanied by chilled Tusker Beer.
I can to this day remember the smells , the yummy food and the fun we had sitting round a large table with the Shah family. We used to play a board game called East African safari. Never seen that game anywhere else.
We had a cook at our house in Kisumu and he used to make some strange sort of Anglicised curry. Very mild ,usually chicken, which he had probably killed that day , and there were lots of little dishes that accompanied it. Chopped hard boiled egg,raisins, desiccated coconut and finely chopped onion. Many years later I went back to Kenya and went to a restaurant on the beach near Mombasa and the same sort of dish appeared. Very nostalgic.
When I went to university in Manchester ,an area there known as Fallowfield was nicknamed The Curry Strip. This area still exists and is a bustling ,cosmopolitan area, with loads and loads of Indian restaurants.
As a student it was a favourite haunt as it was so inexpensive, as an adult it was a favourite haunt just because it was soooo delicious. My favourite was a mild chicken curry with chapatis accompanied by lime pickle.
I don’t think my grandparents had ever heard of chapatis and certainly never ate rice or anything with garlic in.
I am fortunate to have lived abroad , travelled widely and thoroughly enjoyed all types of Indian treats all my life. I have some very close friends who adore Biryani and that for them is a great celebratory ,festive dish that certainly brings to the fore an aromatic host of spices. It is actually a South Asian dish in which lamb,beef,chicken,seafood or a mixture of vegetables are layered with rice. It is a time consuming dish and really you feel very honoured to partake of the family’s favourite.
India is of course a huge continent and the style of cooking and use of spices varies from area to area. I have really enjoyed any of the food I have had be it Mumbai, Kerala, Shimla, Birmingham,Manchester, London or a Lytham.