Mix in a little Indian

Back in Sydney The Turk was a bit of a chef.  His pizza was legendary.  His BBQ’s were famous from Palm Beach to Penrith and his Turkish food was spectacular.  Since arriving in his homeland I hate to say it but he has become slack in his culinary efforts and has basically left it to me to do the cooking and remember I have said it before – I can’t cook!

When we packed up our lives to move here I slipped a couple of extras items into the moving boxes.  2 jars of Pataks Butter Chicken paste, 2 jars of Tandori paste and 2 boxes of pappadums.  I knew I would not be getting any Indian food in Turkey.  We went through those curry pastes pretty quickly and sadly found ourselves returning to Turkish cuisine.  Doesn’t that sound ridiculous?  I love Turkish food but here it is just food.  There are foods from home, foods that are uniquely Sydney that I craved.  Pub lunches – I craved these.  Bacon – well of course I craved bacon.  Sunday night pizza.  BBQ’s on a hot summer night.  Manly Italian with the girls.  Indian banquets with Carls and Tracy.  Damn but I drooled over those curry pastes.

While rummaging through the pantry the other night I found a jar of Pataks paste that hadn’t been opened!  A forgotten jar of Butter Chicken curry paste!  I nearly pee’d my pants I was so excited and, yes, we had Butter Chicken that night for dinner (with yogurt instead of cream).  I made a Garlic Naan (of sorts) using Pide bread, Indian onion salad (no coriander) and cucumber raita.  No pappadums sadly and of course it is a curry paste not real curry but after not having had Indian since September at my favourite Indian Restaurant in Epping my kitchen smelled divine, my tastebuds were excited and I was in foodie heaven.


I have to say I offered my curry extravaganza to all my Turkish relo’s but none would partake.  They looked, sniffed and screwed up their noses left, right and centre.  Excellent – more for me!


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18 thoughts on “Mix in a little Indian

  1. I love the bit about offering it to your relatives – I thought that maybe it was just my cooking but mine do the same with anything non Turkish that I cook. The faces they pull – its hilarious and then they play with the food like a child avoiding the vegetables!!


    • My father in law eats at our home most nights but ensures that the food is provided by anyone other than me (unless I am making spaghetti bol). He actually went door to door and told all his daughters in law that I am not to cook for him! Classic!


  2. Our visitors from abroad always come laden with spices from their travels (India, Pakistan, Mali etc). Failing that, 2-3 times a year we get UK sourced visitations, and I pre-order stuff from Amazon.co.uk for them to haul over 🙂

    Btw… found an excellent Indian restaurant in GOP (Ankara) this year 🙂


  3. I totally agree that Turkish food is amazing, but wow I couldn’t live without a great Indian Curry on a regular basis, or Thai for that matter! Hard to please some people isn’t it! 😉


  4. Enjoy your fleeting luxury. About a decade ago, Mersin actually had a restaurant that served quite a decent butter chicken. It was run by a Turkish-Australian couple with Australian being of South Asian origin. As with most things that didn’t conform in Mersin, the restaurant’s life was quite brief.

    As your anecdote illustrates, the average Turkish person is quite close-minded when it comes to food, being unwilling to try new things.

    I remember hearing from a friend that when he went to Thailand with a Turkish tour group, not only did the group take a heap of Turkish food on the plane, they brought a Turkish chef to cook it!

    Thank goodness there are many exceptions to the rule. I also found that people I associated with often (flatmates, colleagues, close friends) were more willing to try my non-Turkish concoctions.


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