Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Delhi Sweet Centre, Curry Mile, Manchester

On the Curry Mile
On my travels yet again - I really do need to get some Bradford Curry in.  Slacking!

So here we are in bandit country - Manchester, on another weekend away racing push bikes, and, following a few celebratory post race drinks the previous evening, in need of a curry breakfast.

Delhi Sweet Centre on the Curry Mile seemed to fit the bill.

Sunday Breakfast Special - Chana, Puri and Halwa

Not much to say other than perfectly acceptable Chana Puri.  We also indulged in the Halwa - like a bowl of sweet semolina 'stuff' - nice.  A bowl of Chana, a bowl oh Halwa, and more puri's than you can shake a stick at came to £4pp.  Excellent value and just what was needed.

Trying to work the curry off!
Hopefully... soon... back to the the Bradford Curry.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

A Curry Hunt - Tiffin Box, Guiseley

The Tiffin Box

AAarrrghhh!  Hungry!  

A Sunday afternoon to early evening in-laws wedding anniversary party, with some associated drinking, had left me starved!  By the time we'd got home, and got daughter Izzy to bed, the wife Lynda had flaked out asleep, it had started snowing and it was getting late.  Also, had no cash and, crucially,  desperately needed a curry.  

Seemingly exhausting the often utilised  computer/takeaway/credit card options - a task beyond my comprehension at this hour on this day, I booted up and set out on foot into the blizzard.

Up until recently all the curry outlets in Guiseley were proper restaurants only, so there has never been an option for a cheap and quick, basic sit down curry locally.    This has changed to a degree with the opening of The Tiffin Box.

Curry needed

Lamb and Spinach, and Garlic Naan


To be honest, The Tiffin Box is definitely more takeaway than curry house, but the introduction of a few tables and chairs in the shop front, adorned with sauces etc, certainly makes it more inviting for a sit down.

On a Sunday night mission - bang on the Northern Soul
and off we go
Wandering in I got the immediate impression they were about to shut up shop, but I was warmly welcomed non the less, and asked what I fancied.  Feeling awkward, I just ask for what ever would be easiest for them... but nothing seemed too much trouble, and not being in the mood to peruse the menu, I just went for my staple Lamb and Spinach, and Garlic Naan.

I took my seat and patiently waited.  I wasn't sure what to expect, whether my food would just come in a takeaway foil container, and would sit and eat it from said receptacle or whether it would be plated?

Snowy Guiseley
I was pleased to see my curry arrive steaming hot on an actual plate with accompanying naan adjacent.  Both looked very fresh and good quality.  And indeed they were, and as good as anything served in my favoured Bradfordian eaters.

Thick and full of meat and herbs, it was definitely in the camp of the more modern looking curries, with many of the ingredients on display, rather than homogeneous mass.  There was heat there too, and it was, not to put too finer point on it, quite lovely.

I may have found my new local curry takeaway/cafe stop.  Watch this space.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

A Taste of Trinidad, Leeds

Big Tone finishes his Rice and Peas with
the Dhalpouri Roti in the foreground

No, but sometimes for the well travelled Bradford Curry eating aficionado such as myself, eating in the Curry Capital of Britain is not always possible and, when out and about in neighbouring Leeds - a cool place but notoriously bad for eating I find - I try to get some Windies food in.  Hence A Taste of Trinidad (AToT).

I appreciate Bradford curries from many of the giants such as Akbars, Aagrah, Newaab, Mumtaz can be procured in Leeds, but only in the evenings and, to me, it just doesn't seem quite right?  I don't know why?  Please note, however, A Taste of Trinidad isn't exactly Leeds city centre - nor are any of the other likely sources of West Indian fodder in Leeds - and you are looking at a good 10min drive/35min walk from City Square.  So a little bit of dedication is necessary.  But it's worth it.

I spotted AToT during the Capletown Carnival last summer.  It looked good, and I was keen to make a visit.  However, I'm not called John the 'Speedy' Bradford Curry Blogger, and my return to the area to sample the the food has been some what leisurely!  And the buffet lunch - I spotted advertised on AToTs facebook page over the Christmas period - seemed like the perfect opportunity to sample their fare, especially with my increasingly fussy little girl in tow!

We arrived to be told the buffet was no longer being run!  Not enough interest apparently!  WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE OF LEEDS!  We were informed by the very friendly proprietor that there were also a few other issues with availability of certain things on the menu - such as the children's meals!  Eeek!  He offered to do the Fry Bake - basically some crispy fried flat bread - with red sauce, and he also chucked in some chicken nuggets.  Izzy seemed to quite like it so we were happy.

Curry Goat - as part of the Goat Dhalpouri Roti
Thankfully there was no issue with the Main Courses, and Big Tone ordered the Chicken Curry with Rice and Peas, and I ordered the Goat Dhalpouril Roti.  Many of the words seem pretty familiar don't they?  Dhal, Pouril and Roti, all have roots in Indian food.

Big Tone's dish is fairly self explanatory, and tasted fantastic.  The flavour of sunshine oozed from the dish, with abundant smooth and sweetish coconut.  The chicken added a lighter note to the dish compared to the traditional goat version I tried in the past.  Bit spicy too.  Yum Yum!  My Goat Dhalpouril Roti may need a little more explanation?  It needed describing to me that's for sure.  It comprised a puri type flat bread stuffed with crushed 'stuff' - I presume the dhal?  With a bowl of Curry Goat, which was embellished with some chickpeas and potato.  It was quite delightful.  The curry, like the chicken version, possessed a full rich flavour of coconut, and some heat too.  The goat added a much richer, and stronger meaty flavour to the dish and melted in the mouth.  I enjoyed it very much.

I love these Caribbean curries, and A Taste of Trinidad do a very good version.  They make a refreshing change to the usual, and I'll be making a return visit. 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Pakeezah Samosa Chaat

I'm a big fan of the Pakeezah Cafe.  Nice food and very very good value for money.

Samosa Chaat
It was nice to pop in for a quick dinner the other day whilst visiting Bradford.  And what better dish to have for a quickly than Samosa Chaat.  I've written quite a bit about this dish already here and there, as it is one of my favourites   I love the textures of the smashed samosoa and chickpeas, and the hot/cold thingy.  Also the sweet/sour combo from the curry and the tamarind is excellent.  Then there is the heat.  Normally served with freshly chopped chilli's on top, it can be quite eye watering at times.  All round great dish.

It was noted during our visit to Pakeezah, that the nice big booths, which I thought added an excellent dimension to the Pakeezah Cafe eating experience (see here), had been removed, and the cafe area reduced in size to accommodate more sweet counters and fridges.  Seems a shame, but obviously Pakeezah seem to think it better for their customers.  

The quality for price of their cafe food has not been affected.

Sheesh Mahal Christmas Special

The perks of mixing with the top brass curry eating gliterati - Hector Curry Heute and entourage - are many, and here, during this Christmas time visit to the Sheesh Mahal,  the full blown Sheesh Mahal experience was experienced.  An experience not to be missed.  More of this.... er, experience, lower down.

Hector had been in Yorkshire for a few days already - mainly over Huddersfield way - for New Year, and had already squeezed several Bradford Currry's in (Sheesh and International I think) prior to our arranged lunch time visit.  This guy is seriously dedicated, and I highly recommend checking out his website for all things curry.

Mutton Patia
On arrival, the Sheesh was all shut up?  Contrary to the recent new(ish) 11:30am opening time, this seemed slightly puzzling.  Thankfully, just as we were stood outside formulating a plan B, the staff came jogging round the corner.  Unnecessary apologies for their slight lateness were ushered away, and we ventured inside.

All the usual high standard Sheesh customer service was in evidence, with complimentary poppadoms and pickles, and also the willingness to to prepare dishes off the cuff.  Fish seemed the order of the day amongst a couple of our dining party and, although not strictly offered as an option on the menu, the request was greeted with a 'you only need to ask' expression.  I should perhaps mention here that the Sheesh had unfortunately had a break in overnight, and some of the staff were slightly preoccupied.  Understandable, and in no way effected the service we received.

I decided to try something different from the menu this time, rather than my staple, and gorgeous Methie, and selected a Mutton Pathia.  All our dishes arrived in good time and, as usual, I was not disappointed.  My Pathia was, in all fairness, fairly similar in both appearance and taste to my usual Methie.  It was dark and dry, and flecked with green herbs.  The taste was in the same ball park too, but, as per the menu description, a tad sourer, and also hotter.  All the hallmark Bradford Curry tastes were there, and I felt refreshed post meal from the pummeling my taste buds had received.  With two fresh, soft and crispy at the same time, rotis, ample food was ordered.

Kashmiri Tea

Then the promise of something special - a 'dish of the day' so to speak, was offered to the table.  We had to guess the food!  Not too adventurous me, at the best of times, I was a little nervous, but the dish duly arrived.  I shirked at first, and after hearing from the more gung-ho, that the the dish was in fact tripe, I continued my shirk!  Chicken drumsticks and a partha were brought too - all on the house - and these were very good, but I could not bring myself to try tripe!

All this was finished off with Kashmiri Tea and a small plate of sweets!  I'd never had Kashmiri Tea before, and I am well and truly hooked.  It was lovely.  Slightly pink, delicately spiced, sweet and warm.  Very good.

All this for about £7pp!  You just couldn't make it up!