A little feature in Femina magazine this week
What are the odds of bumping into a British lady in the gullies of purani dilli, gleefully tucking in cholé kulchas, and daulat ki chaat, as if soon they’ll be out of fashion? Pretty high, if you go by the contents of Pamela Timms’ blog Eat and Dust.
Journalist and columnist, Pamela has been living in Delhi for five years now: tasting, eating, and chronicling Indian street food. In conversation with Rajani Mani, Pamela talks about her delicious obsession with India’s streets.
What inspires you to blog about food?
“I’ve been blogging now for just over a year. I started Eat and Dust simply to chronicle all the wonderful food I eat in India. I’ve always been obsessed with food but I also felt that Indian street food is often overlooked despite being some of the best food in the world. I wanted to put that right and urge people to come away from food courts and get back out on the street.”
So what’s it like being out on the streets in Delhi?
“I think the Old Delhi-wallahs are quite amused at seeing an expat lady stopping at all the backstreet joints although some of them know me quite well now.”
What’s your favourite street food?
“One of the most memorable street food dishes I ever had was the Chole Kulcha at Old and Famous Kulcha in Amritsar. I’m also a huge fan of the Korma at Ashok and Ashok in Sadar Bazaar and Bade Mian’s kheer in Lal Kuan.”
And your favourite cooking smell?
“I love the smell of anything being baked and I especially like the smell of raspberry jam being made – it reminds me of my mum’s kitchen. When we were kids we used to picks tons of raspberries during our holidays in Scotland and my mum used to turn it into jam for the inter.”
What are you craving for, at the moment?
“My ultimate comfort food is probably some kind of stew with dumplings and a huge pile of mash… or a perfectly-cooked steak with fries and béarnaise sauce and an extremely good red wine. Having said that, a good Chole Bhatura is what I most often find myself craving these days.”
Where are you most likely to source your recipe from?
“I do occasionally use the internet for recipes but I’m a bit old school – I still much prefer cookbooks and return over and over to old favourites like Elizabeth David, Jane Grigson and Claudia Roden. I’m also a huge admirer of Ottolenghi, the British-based Israeli chef. I also have a huge collection of recipes I’ve cut out of magazines over the years.
Here’s a wonderful, summery recipe, a fresh cherry cake from one of my favourite old cookbooks, ‘La Cuisine Pour Tous’ by Ginette Mathiot.”
GATEAU DE CERISES
600g black cherries, washed, stalks and stones removed
125g caster sugar
125g peeled and finely ground almonds
100 – 150g leftover brioche
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C
1. Melt the butter.
2. To the melted butter add the sugar, salt and ground almonds. Beat well to mix.
3. Put the brioche in the milk to break it up then mix it into the butter mixture.
4. Beat in the eggs one by one then mix in the cherries.
5. Butter a tin (it should be a Charlotte mould but I use a deep rectangular baking tin) then pour in the mixture.
6. Bake for 30-45 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
7. Serve cold, sprinkled with Kirsch.