“your curry’s baw, mate”;

297 of 365: Can't Cook, Won't Cook
There isn’t much she can eat; but what she does, she does with feeling.

Now, I’m not a fussy eater…

*prolonged pause, while she waits for the laughter to die down at the back*

…but when I was a lass, I couldn’t eat curry. You may remember – those who know me in real life certainly will – my Three Cardinal Rules of Food (which have undergone some honing since I last posted them):

1. No foods that look like vomit or contain mayonnaise;
2. No foods with names so fancy you can’t actually tell what’s in it;
2. (a) Do not order a cheeseburger from a place where you have to specify that you would like it “well done”;
3. No fish. It’s a bit ming.

I remember the night that changed all that. It was the 18th birthday party of one of my friends from the supermarket where I worked for six and a half years, and her night out was planned for a local Indian restaurant. Not wanting to be a bother, I scanned the menu and came across a curry that I managed to equate in my head with a spicy pasta sauce. That was a chicken jalfrezi – a dish which even translates as “dry fry” – and it was absolutely lovely.

However, the Ashoka chain of restaurants in the Glasgow area seems determined to send me back to those pickier times of my teens. I’ve worked out that there are several traditional curry recipes I can comfortably eat, basically the ones in tomato sauce without any cream or yoghurt added. What that relies on is that particular chains don’t devise their own recipes and give them those names. I understood a jalfrezi to be a relatively dry dish, with peppers and chilli, as per the link above. However, the takeaway that arrived last night came in a putrid, peach-coloured creamy sauce with bloody raisins in it. I’ve now had a look at the menu online and discovered that a “jalfrezi”, as the Ashoka understands it, consists of “ginger, garlic, aromatic Indian spices, crunchy almonds, cashews, sultanas and a flourish of fresh cream and coconut cream”. Even my mum thought it looked like baby vomit.

And she was so upset. We’ve had problems ordering from Ashoka before, because their Rogan Josh comes with added cream. She’d spent all this money on a takeaway as a special treat for me, and in the end I could only fish out four bits of chicken to eat along with the rice. “I could be lactose intollerant,” I sighed. “Are you?” my mum asked before realising, “no… Starbucks.”

I’ve now printed off a copy of the Ashoka’s menu, and I am going to teach myself their weird-ass bollocks recipes before our next order. “You could call it WAB… or invert it to BAW, as in your curry’s baw, mate,” says my evil genius colleague.

Blogs are ace. Who needs to cover world politics when you can have a good old moan, eh?

[PHOTO: Day 297.]



  1. June 24, 2008 / 11:54 am

    I once took a customer out for a curry in Glasgow, where he proceeded to get so drunk he slopped curry all over his shirt. He looked a fair state the next day!

  2. June 24, 2008 / 12:07 pm

    Ahh, bless this city!

  3. Lola
    June 24, 2008 / 4:05 pm

    I can’t imagine living with your food tastes (though maybe it would do me good!) Some of the best foods ever come in creamy sauces!

  4. June 24, 2008 / 4:15 pm


  5. June 24, 2008 / 10:30 pm

    Not big on creamy curries myself. Chicken Tikka Balti is my current choice. I’d also have a look about for another curry shop if I were you. Some of the smaller takeaways are quite cheap and excellent value for money. The wee place at the bottom of my road (Adeel) is a case in point.

  6. June 25, 2008 / 9:14 am

    There’s nothing in Johnstone, unfortunately! Or at least, nothing that does home delivery 🙁

  7. Bobby.
    October 18, 2009 / 11:23 pm

    This is a bizarre (and out of date!) comment, and I know you’ve probably long since sorted out this issue, but I imagine biryanis would be perfect for you.

    • October 18, 2009 / 11:39 pm

      Apparently, what any other restaurant in the world would consider a “jalfrezi” the Ashoka call a “jaipuiri”.

      It is so good it transcends “nom”.

  8. December 23, 2011 / 9:51 pm

    Even later to the party, but in case you didn’t read my blog about it, Ashoka now has a cookery school, where they teach you how to make stuff. I did a class where they taught us how to make a Jaipuri out of ACTUAL STUFF.

    Don’t know how mine compared to what they’d serve up, but it was definitely nom! And a lot of fun. Keep an eye out on Groupon, Itison etc.

    • December 24, 2011 / 9:49 am

      In fact, from my cook school day I have the Jaipuri recipe. Will email it when I get a chance

      • lis is on her phone
        December 25, 2011 / 7:38 pm