October 13th, 2008

Mark has missed the secret fifth ingredient in the British bank bailout: Balti curry. On the critical Friday night the Treasury negotiators fortified themselves with £245 worth of takeaways from Gandhi’s restaurant in Kennington (a fairly downmarket area south of the Thames).


The bank negotiators only got tea and biscuits. Probably by accident, this was good psychology: the days of expense-account bubbly are over.

Curry is now a first-resort comfort food for Brits.

Balti is half-indigenous: it’s a fusion cuisine developed in Birmingham by Kashmiri immigrants. It has nothing whatever to do with the real Baltis, ethnic Tibetans tucked away in remote valleys of the Karakoram, whose meagre diet is based on millet porridge and yak butter.

Whatever, Balti is a good style and easy to do. It’s basically a mild curry made by stir-frying. The essential ingredient and flavour is fresh coriander. Here’s a recipe for chicken, another for vegetables.

US Treasury please copy: “I’ll have whatever she’s having.”

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