Anglo-Indian cuisine

Anglo-Indian cuisine is the cuisine that developed during the British Raj in India, as the British wives interacted with their Indian cooks.[1]

The cuisine introduced dishes such as kedgeree, mulligatawny and pish pash to English palates. One of the few Anglo-Indian foods that has had a lasting impact on English cuisine is chutney.

Anglo-Indian cuisine was brought to England in the 1930s by the Veeraswamy restaurant, followed by a few others, but not by typical Indian restaurants.


Anglo-Indian cuisine was documented in detail by the English colonel Arthur Robert Kenney-Herbert, writing in 1885 to advise the British Raj's memsahibs how to cope with their Indian cooks.[1][2] Many of its usages are described in the "wonderful"[1] 1886 Anglo-Indian dictionary, Hobson-Jobson.[1] More recently, the cuisine has been analysed by Jennifer Brennan in 1990 and David Burton in 1993.[1][3][4][5]


Well-known Anglo-Indian dishes include chutneys, salted beef tongue, kedgeree,[6] ball curry, fish rissoles, and mulligatawny soup.[1][7][8]

Chutney, one of the few Anglo-Indian dishes that has had a lasting influence[1] on English cuisine, is a cooked and sweetened but not highly spiced preparation of fruit, nuts or vegetables. It borrows from a tradition of jam making where an equal amount of sour fruit and refined sugar reacts with the pectin in the fruit such as sour apples or rhubarb, the sour note being provided by vinegar. Major Grey's Chutney is typical.[9]

Pish pash was defined by Hobson-Jobson as "a slop of rice-soup with small pieces of meat in it, much used in the Anglo-Indian nursery." The term was first recorded by Augustus Prinsep in the mid 19th century.[10] The name comes from the Persian pash-pash, from pashidan, to break.[11] A version of the dish is given in The Cookery Book of Lady Clark of Tillypronie of 1909.[1]


Some early restaurants in England served Anglo-Indian food, such as Veeraswamy in Regent Street, London, which opened in 1926, much later followed by their sister restaurant, Chutney Mary, which opened in 1990.[12] E.P. Veeraswamy described his "Indian Cookery" in a book of that name in 1936.[13] Many Indian restaurants, however, have reverted to the standard mix-and-match Indian dishes that are better known to the British public.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Alan Davidson (2014). Tom Jaine, ed. The Oxford Companion to Food (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 21–22. ISBN 0-19-967733-6.
  2. ^ Wyvern (1994) [1885]. Culinary Jottings for Madras, Or, A Treatise in Thirty Chapters on Reformed Cookery for Anglo-Indian Exiles (Facsimile of 5th ed.). Prospect Books. ISBN 0-907325-55-6.
  3. ^ Brennan, Jennifer (1990). Encyclopaedia of Chinese and Oriental Cookery. Black Cat.
  4. ^ Jennifer Brennan (1990). Curries and Bugles, A Memoir and Cookbook of the British Raj. Viking. ISBN 962-593-818-4.
  5. ^ Burton, David (1993). The Raj at Table. Faber & Faber.
  6. ^ "Sustainable shore - October recipe - Year of Food and Drink 2015 - National Library of Scotland".
  7. ^ Roy, Modhumita (7 August 2010). "Some Like It Hot: Class, Gender and Empire in the Making of Mulligatawny Soup". Economic and Political Weekly. 45 (32): 66–75. JSTOR 20764390.
  8. ^ "Cooking under the Raj". Retrieved 30 January 2008.
  9. ^ Bateman, Michael (17 August 1996). "Chutneys for Relishing". The Independent. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  10. ^ "pish-pash". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  11. ^ Davidson, Alan (2014). The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford University Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-19-967733-7.
  12. ^ Vaughan, Tom (12 July 2007). "Indian restaurants: Where it all started and where it's all going". The Caterer. Archived from the original on 16 November 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  13. ^ E.P. Veeraswamy (1936). Indian Cookery: For use in all countries. London.

Further reading

  • Patricia Brown. Anglo-Indian Food and Custom. ISBN 0-14-027137-6.
  • Henrietta Hervey (2006) [1895]. A Curry Book (Anglo-Indian Cookery at Home). Ludlow: Excellent Press. ISBN 978-1-900318-33-4.
  • Pat Chapman (1997). Taste of the Raj. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-68035-0.

External links

Anglo-Indian (disambiguation)

Anglo-Indian is a term used to refer to a community of people of mixed British and Indian ancestry. Historically, these people were called "Eurasian" and "Anglo-Indian" meant people of European descent born in India.

Anglo-Indian may also refer to language topics such as:

Indian English

Regional differences and dialects in Indian English


Indian English literature

List of English words of Indian origin

List of English words of Persian originAnglo-Indian may also refer to:

Anglo-Indian Wars

India–United Kingdom relations

Anglo-Indian Canadian

Anglo-Indian cuisine

British cuisine

British cuisine is the heritage of cooking traditions and practices associated with the United Kingdom. Although Britain has a rich indigenous culinary tradition its colonial history has profoundly enriched its native cooking traditions. British cuisine absorbed the cultural influences of its post-colonial territories - in particular those of South Asia.

In ancient times Celtic agriculture and animal breeding produced a wide variety of foodstuffs for the indigenous Celts and Britons. Anglo-Saxon England developed meat and savoury herb stewing techniques before the practice became common in Europe. The Norman conquest introduced exotic spices into England in the Middle Ages. The British Empire facilitated a knowledge of Indian cuisine with its "strong, penetrating spices and herbs". Food rationing policies put into place by the British government during the wartime periods of the 20th century are widely considered today to be responsible for British cuisine's poor international reputation.Well-known traditional British dishes include full breakfast, fish and chips, the Christmas dinner, the Sunday roast, steak and kidney pie, shepherd's pie, and bangers and mash. People in Britain however eat a wide variety of foods based on the cuisines of Europe, India, and other parts of the world. British cuisine has many regional varieties within the broader categories of English, Scottish and Welsh cuisine and Northern Irish cuisine. Each has developed its own regional or local dishes, many of which are geographically indicated foods such as Cornish pasties, the Yorkshire pudding, Cumberland Sausage, Arbroath Smokie, and Welsh cakes.


Chutney is a sauce or a dry base for a sauce, originating from the Indian subcontinent, used with the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent, that can include such forms as a spicy coconut dip, a tomato relish, a ground peanut garnish or a dahi (yogurt), cucumber, and mint dip.

An offshoot that took root in Anglo-Indian cuisine is usually a tart fruit such as sharp apples, rhubarb or damson pickle made milder by an equal weight of sugar (usually demerara or brown sugar to replace jaggery in some Indian sweet chutneys). Vinegar was added to the recipe for English-style chutney that traditionally aims to give a long shelf life so that autumn fruit can be preserved for use throughout the year (as are jams, jellies and pickles) or else to be sold as a commercial product. Indian pickles use mustard oil as a pickling agent, but Anglo-Indian style chutney uses malt or cider vinegar which produces a milder product that in western cuisine is often eaten with a hard cheese or with cold meats and fowl, typically in cold pub lunches.Nowadays, the making of some pickles and chutneys in India has been passed over to commercial production, whereas at one time it was done entirely in people's homes. The disadvantage of commercial chutneys and those produced in western style with vinegar and large amounts of sugar is that the main aim of sugar and vinegar as preservatives is to make the product safe for long-term consumption. Regular consumption of these products (as distinct from the original Indian array of fresh relishes) can add to total sugar consumption being increased to unhealthy levels.

Chutney Mary

Chutney Mary is a fine dining Indian restaurant in London, founded in 1990 by Ranjit Mathrani & Namita Panjabi through their restaurant company whose current name is MW Eat. It has received considerable critical acclaim over the years. It was originally in Kings Road Chelsea, but relocated to St James's, London in 2015.

Chutney Mary pioneered in redefining the public face of Indian cuisines by showcasing the gourmet foods from 6-7 different regions of India at any one time. It had the rigorous philosophy that the foods of the different regions could best be cooked by the chefs from that region. It was an extremely ambitious undertaking and akin to having a pan European gourmet. Chutney Mary was probably the first Indian restaurant in the world to trace the regional provenance of each dish. Chutney Mary was also pioneered as an Indian restaurant in taking wines seriously, and led the way in the pairing of Indian food and wine.

The regional provenance and the dishes on the Chutney Mary proved the trailblazer for the supermarket packaged foods – e.g. Waitrose which from the mid 90's started prepared dished with the regional provenance and with names from the Chutney Mary menu.

Country Captain

Country Captain is a curried chicken and rice dish, which is popular in the Southern United States. It was introduced to the U.S. through Charleston, Savannah, New York and Philadelphia, but has origins in India. The dish was once included in the United States military Meal, Ready-to-Eat packs, in honor of it being a favorite dish of George S. Patton.

It has also appeared on television shows in both the United States and in the United Kingdom, with chefs Bobby Flay, Atul Kochhar and Cyrus Todiwala all cooking the dish. Todiwala served his version to Queen Elizabeth II as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Curry powder

Curry powder is a spice mix originating from the Indian subcontinent.

Dishoom (restaurant)

Dishoom is a small group of Indian cafe/restaurants initially based in London, England. The first cafe opened in Covent Garden in 2010. As of 2018, there are seven cafes open around the United Kingdom, with locations in London, Edinburgh and Manchester.

English cuisine

English cuisine encompasses the cooking styles, traditions and recipes associated with England. It has distinctive attributes of its own, but also shares much with wider British cuisine, partly through the importation of ingredients and ideas from the Americas, China, and India during the time of the British Empire and as a result of post-war immigration.

Traditional meals have ancient origins, such as bread and cheese, roasted and stewed meats, meat and game pies, boiled vegetables and broths, and freshwater and saltwater fish. The 14th-century English cookbook, the Forme of Cury, contains recipes for these, and dates from the royal court of Richard II.

English cooking has been influenced by foreign ingredients and cooking styles since the Middle Ages. Curry was introduced from the Indian subcontinent and adapted to English tastes from the eighteenth century with Hannah Glasse's recipe for chicken "currey". French cuisine influenced English recipes throughout the Victorian era. After the rationing of the Second World War, Elizabeth David's 1950 A Book of Mediterranean Food had wide influence, bringing Italian cuisine to English homes. Her success encouraged other cookery writers to describe other styles, including Chinese and Thai cuisine. England continues to absorb culinary ideas from all over the world.

Indian cuisine

Indian cuisine consists of a wide variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to the Indian subcontinent. Given the range of diversity in soil type, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substantially from each other and use locally available spices, herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Indian food is also heavily influenced by religion, in particular Hindu, cultural choices and traditions. The cuisine is also influenced by centuries of Islamic rule, particularly the Mughal rule. Samosas and pilafs can be regarded as examples.Historical events such as foreign invasions, trade relations, and colonialism have played a role in introducing certain foods to this country. For instance, potato, a staple of the diet in some regions of India, was brought to India by the Portuguese, who also introduced chillies and breadfruit. Indian cuisine has shaped the history of international relations; the spice trade between India and Europe was the primary catalyst for Europe's Age of Discovery. Spices were bought from India and traded around Europe and Asia. Indian cuisine has influenced other cuisines across the world, especially those from Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, the British Isles, Fiji, and the Caribbean.


Kedgeree (or occasionally kitcherie, kitchari, kidgeree, kedgaree, kitchiri, or khichuri) is a dish consisting of cooked, flaked fish (traditionally smoked haddock), boiled rice, parsley, hard-boiled eggs, curry powder, butter or cream, and occasionally sultanas.

The dish can be eaten hot or cold. Other fish can be used instead of haddock such as tuna or salmon, though that is not traditional.

In India, khichari (among other English spellings) usually refers to any of a large variety of legume-and-rice dishes. These dishes are made with a spice mixture designed for each recipe and either dry-toasted or fried in oil before inclusion. This dish moved to Victorian Britain and changed dramatically to the recipe described above.

Kutti pi

Kutti pi (pronounced 'cootie-pie') is a dish from Anglo-Indian cuisine, consisting of the flesh of an unborn fetus from an animal, usually goat. It is unique to the Anglo-Indian community, where it is considered a delicacy despite being abhorred as taboo by both parent cultures.The flesh of a fetus is not regular table-fare in any culture, except balut, a common food in countries in Southeast Asia, which is a developing bird embryo (usually a duck or chicken) that is boiled and eaten from the shell. The non-Anglo-Indian butchers' markets make efficient use of all other portions of the animals, but since the fetus is considered taboo by most Indians, even when goat fetus is available, those who seek it may not be able to buy it without difficulty.

List of chutneys

This is a list of notable chutney varieties. Chutney is a sauce and condiment in Indian cuisine, the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent and South Asian cuisine. It is made from a highly variable mixture of spices, vegetables, or fruit. Chutney originated in India, and is similar in preparation and usage to a pickle. In contemporary times, chutneys and pickles are a mass-produced food product.

Major Grey's Chutney

Major Grey's Chutney is a type of chutney, reputedly created by a 19th-century British Army officer of the same name who, though likely apocryphal, presumably lived in British India. Its characteristic ingredients are mango, raisins, vinegar, lime juice, onion, tamarind extract (occasionally), sweetening, and spices.It has been described as a mild chutney compared to others that have a spicier flavor profile. In 1982, Major Grey's Chutney was described as being the most popular type of chutney used in the United States.

Manju Malhi

Manju Malhi (born c. 1972) is a British-born chef and food writer, specialising in Anglo-Indian cuisine. She was brought up in North West London where she grew up surrounded by Indian culture, traditions and lifestyles. However, she spent several years of her childhood in India where she explored and experienced the vast and varied cuisines of the country. Malhi has come up with her own self-styled "Brit-Indi" style of food, which mixes Indian and Western influences.

Malhi came to prominence in 1999 when she won a competition to find a guest chef for the BBC's Food and Drink programme and cooked with Antony Worrall Thompson on the show. She was later invited back for a second appearance.

Manju’s Simply Indian series was aired on the Taste Network in early 2001, and this was followed by her award winning debut book Brit Spice, published in 2002 by Penguin Books. She has also made guest appearances on several other programmes, on ITV’s This Morning, Channel Five’s Open House and The Terry and Gaby Show, Sky One, UKTV Food’s Great Food Live and the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen.

In 2004 Malhi published a second book, entitled India with Passion, which covers regional Indian home cuisine, and a third, Easy Indian Cookbook, was released in April 2008. She is also currently working on a 40-part series on British food for Indian broadcaster NDTV.Malhi also writes on Indian food for newspapers and magazines, and has provided voice overs for BBC News 24, BBC World and the BBC Asian Network. While writing and researching for her books, she does live continuity announcing for BBC Two television, and is the voice of the BBC Food channel. She also works with the VSO charity to promote their annual Big Curry Night campaign.


Mulligatawny [ˈmɐlɨɡəˈtɑːni] (listen ) is an English soup which originated from South Indian cuisine. The name originates from the Tamil words miḷagāy (Tamil: மிளகாய் 'chilli') or miḷagu (மிளகு 'pepper'), and taṇṇi (தண்ணி, 'water'). It is related to the soup rasam. Due to its popularity in England during British India, it was one of the few items of Indian cuisine that found common mention in the literature of the period.

Recipes for mulligatawny varied greatly over the years, and there is no single original version. Later versions included British modifications that included meat, though the local Madras recipe on which it was based did not. Early references to it in English go back to 1784. In 1827, William Kitchiner wrote that it had become fashionable in Britain:

By the mid 1800s, Wyvern, the pen-name of Arthur Robert Kenney-Herbert (1840–1916), wrote in his popular "Culinary Jottings" that "really well-made mulligatunny is ... a thing of the past." He also noted that this simple recipe prepared by poorer natives of Madras as made by "Mootoosamy" was made by pounding:

a dessert-spoonful of tamarind, six red chillies, six cloves of garlic, a tea-spoonful of mustard seed, a salt-spoonful of fenugreek seed, twelve black peppercorns, a tea-spoonful of salt, and six leaves of karay-pauk. When worked to a paste, he adds a pint of water, and boils the mixture for a quarter of an hour. While this is going on, he cuts up two small onions, puts them into a chatty, and fries them in dessert-spoonful of ghee till they begin to turn brown, when he strains the pepper-water into the chatty, and cooks the mixture for five minutes, after which it is ready. The pepper-water is, of course, eaten with a large quantity of boiled rice, and is a meal in itself. The English, taking their ideas from this simple composition, added other condiments, with chicken, mutton, &c., thickened the liquid with flour and butter, and by degrees succeeded in concocting a soupe grasse of a decidedly acceptable kind.

Rose Cookies

Rose Cookies is the typical Anglo Indian cookie and the favorite among Indian Christians during Christmas season.

These are similar to European Christmas fruit cakes served during Christmas eve meals.

Toad in the hole

Toad in the hole or Sausage Toad is a traditional English and Scottish dish consisting of sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter, usually served with onion gravy and vegetables. Historically, the dish has also been prepared using other meats, such as rump steak and lamb's kidney.


Veeraswamy is an Indian restaurant in London, located at 99-101 Regent Street. It was opened in 1926 by Edward Palmer, a retired Indian Army officer and the grandson of an English general and an Indian princess. It is the oldest surviving Indian restaurant in the United Kingdom. In its early years, Veeraswamy served Anglo-Indian cuisine, but in recent decades, based on the popularity of authentic Indian food in the UK, has served a menu of regional Indian cuisine, including dishes from Punjab, Lucknow, Kashmir, and Goa. Edward Palmer used the name E. P. Veeraswamy for his food business and the book; Veeraswamy was his grandmother's family name. Initially it was spelled Veerasawmy, it became Veeraswamy because of a printing error.


Vindaloo is an Indian curry dish popular in the region of Goa, the surrounding Konkan, and many other parts of India. It is known globally in its British Indian form as a staple of curry house and Indian restaurant menus, often regarded as a fiery, spicy dish, even though it may not necessarily be the spiciest dish available.

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