Dick Pringle's Gujarati Sensations - Recipes and Delicious Food!

Dick's Delights - Gujarati Feasts!

Dick Pringle was born in the centre of what is now Birmingham's Balti Triangle. This article describes the wonderful Indian foods (mostly Gujarati) that he wants everybody to taste. He also gives his heavenly, fusion recipe for Bombay Potatoes. Dick, now a millionaire, has been bailed as "the new chef on the Celebrity kitchen block"

Food glorious food!

Dick Pringle, the inspiration of this piece was born in Moseley, Birmingham, in what has become the centre of the *Balti Triangle. He was born in 1960 when Indian cuisine wasn't readily available but saw from early childhood how Indian cuisine developed from a little known alternative hippy food into the mainstream take-away and restaurant food it is today. Dashing Dick has tasted the best curries and accompanying dishes throughout the UK and recommends the cities of Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester for foreign visitors to try curry dishes. Dick has enjoyed a curry evening most weeks with his extended family for more than a decade. Here he describes some of his favourite Indian foods and suggests some dishes you should try and offers his best fusion recipe.

Humble but Incredibly Delicious - the Sag Aloo.

Sag Aloo. This simple spinach and potato curry is delicious and cheap. It makes a great introduction to curry as it shows, better than words ever could, how simple ingredients can be transformed into a delicious meal by the addition of spices. "I hate to admit it but, in the spirit of Nigela Lawson I will, Sag Aloo is even more delicious when eaten cold as a breakfast" Dock Pringle admitted on radio recently. As with all spinach dishes, don't forget to check your teeth after your meal.

Dick's Ultimate Food Delight is a Masala Dosa

Masala Dosa. This is a no-egg pancake that is cooked freshly. A dish that has nothing for those with wheat allergies and gluten intolerance to worry about. A Masala Dosa is the vegetarian dish that the meat eaters will wish they had ordered. The, oh so, light pancake is stuffed with spiced, cooked and crushed potato and rolled up. Two sauces are added before you tuck in. The first is a piquant curry sauce, quite sharp and chilli hot. To this you add a coconut sauce, mild, fresh and creamy. There is nothing to compare to this food experience. The textures, crunchy thin pancake dissolving in one's mouth to reveal scrumptious spuds, the battle of the tangy sauce juxtaposing - a magnificent marriage - with creamy coconut. The aromas, the flavours, the satisfaction and appreciation of the eaters - all for £2.30 a head! If you're ever in Birmingham you can try them from The Milan - Dick's most highly recommended Sweet Centre - they only do take-away and they shut early too. The original Milan is in Stoney Lane, Balsall Heath but there's one in Handsworth too. For optimum satisfaction, you should eat a Masala Dosa immediately - this can cause problems if you're not prepared to eat it in your car. Dick beseeches you to find a restaurant where you can sample one as a matter of urgency. Dick's Tip: Most Gujarati restaurants serve Masala Dosa.

Browse and Buy at an Indian Sweet Centre

Samosas, pakoras, stuffed battered chillies and capsicums, pin wheels of potato spiced with ginger, sweets like you've only dreamt about - spheres of spongy loveliness served swimming in a light syrup - kulfi a much more satisfying alternative to ice cream. You can go to the Milan and other Indian Sweet Centres and point out what you want from their counter. Try everything! Savouries, sweets and snacks. Matar Paneer (paneer is a cheese), Sag Aloo, things with aubergine - either deep fried in batter or in a curry. Once you've tasted their array you'll have several favourites to order when you next visit. Your selection is deep fried while you wait. You can take it home and oven bake or deep fry it yourself if you wish. If you're doing this Dick's tip is to get a bag fried for your journey home - you'll need 2 samosas or the equivalent to drive 12 miles! Microwaving this food is not recommended. Don't forget to buy a few pillows of their chevda too - this alternative to crisp and nuts is probably the most delectable snack ever invented and comes in various shapes, sizes and flavours.

Dick's Meaty Recommendations

Dick Pringle's favourite Indian dishes above are Gujarati and so are all vegetarian. Other Indian food uses meat. Tandori chicken and fish the famous Chicken Tikka Massala Balti has been developed to cater for the western pallet but should be tried because of this rather than ignored. Beyond all doubt this is Birmingham's most eaten curry dish and that's a huge recommendation.

Anglo-Indian fusion food

There's a fish and chip shop in Digbeth, Birmingham that deep-fries fish in a coating of curry spices - it's spiced deep fried deliciousness. It's a marvellous fusion of English Brummy and Indian food. The fish is so unlike the battered cod you get in traditional chippies. Chippy fish has a thick batter that is often too greasy. If you have to try it when you're in England you should try it with curry sauce. Curry sauce was introduced in most fish "n" chip shops as far back as 1982 to Dick's recollection - another sample of fusion food.

Dick Pringle's Fusion Bombay Potato

This, according to the menu Dick Pringle first saw offering it, was "curried roast potatoes" and marked the only occasion, when tasting an Indian dish, that Dick found disappointing. Dick loves, yes loves, roast potatoes - crisp, with crunchy bits - and this is how he envisaged the Bombay Potato to be. In fact the potatoes were more sauted than roasted. To right this wrong Dick developed his own recipe based on a tray of firstly par-boiled, then perfectly butter roasted and basted Maris Piper potatoes. He take the aforementioned tray of heavenly delightful roast potatoes and adds his favourite vegetable curry. Use your favourite blend of herbs and spices that you've perfected over the years, chilli, curry powder, coriander, cumin, and tumeric feature in Dick's. Dick adds them to fried-down, almost caramelised onions and garlic and just before he uses it (this can be prepared in advance and reheated) he adds some double cream - this with the tumeric gives a golden colour. This sauce is tipped, without any palaver, over the roast potatoes. The dish should be eaten immediately when the roast potatoes are still crunchy. For the ultimate fusion sensation serve ice cold coca-cola with it.

The foods Dick has covered above are rather indulgent and should be enjoyed in moderation.

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