Curry Club Close-Up: Some Pilau Talk With Sir Spicy Lover

Everyone in the Glasgow of Curry brotherhood loves curry – that's a given. But wouldn't it be intriguing to discover more about the men behind the menu choices? In this occasional Q&A series, we'll be journeying into the curry-obsessed mindpans of prominent members, continuing with a relatively recent recruit who rapidly introduced us to the restorative power of a good Whisky Mac.

Nickname: Sir Spicy Lover

So how did that nickname come about? On my recent travels, a waiter, worried about the chilli content of my requested dish, asked politely if I was a “spicy lover”. What can I say? Well, if the spice is right. As Curry Club names go, it's fairly average. Rumpole Of The Balti, now that's a name! [Editor’s Note: The Tramp, upon first hearing Spicy Lover’s nickname, instinctively added “Sir” … and since The Tramp obviously has the power to bestow curry knighthoods, it has since stuck.]

Favourite Glasgow curry house: Mother India's Cafe. I used to live just around the corner. It was like a home from home. Except the queue was shorter to get into my own home.

Second favourite Glasgow curry house: I’m yet to find one. Still very much a plump, fluffy pakora virgin of the Glasgow curry-loving scene. Looking for the wise brethren of the Curry Club to show me the light. But the nae frills charm of Edinburgh's Kebab Mehal is still second to naan. Chicken Madras and Tark Dhal. Mmmhh ...

Favourite Glasgow curry takeaway: The Ashoka. But the rest of the curry brethren are constantly recommending the Shish Mahal, and it's just down the road from where I live now. The Shapla on Easter Road was my local in Edinburgh and it was as good as any proper curry restaurant. How many times can I use the word “Edinburgh” before I’m barred? [Editor's Note: You're barred.]

All-time favourite curry dish: Lamb with Spinach (Paalag Gosht) or Sour Chickpeas (Khatte Chhole). Love dhals too.

All-time curry idol: Susie Curry? Nah, it has to be curry guru Madhur Jaffrey. Her Curry Bible is essential bedtime reading.

Rice or naan? I'm more of a chapati man myself. But I'd probably go for rice.

Favourite curry lager: I recently discovered the joys of Lal Toofan at my first Curry Club outing. Superb pint glass too. But there’s nothing much wrong with Tennent’s cooking lager to help dowse the flames.

Favourite post-curry whisky: Edradour. Highland Park. Or a wee cocktail: Whisky Mac or Rusty Nail. Enjoyed from a hipflask ... it tastes sweeter.

What's the most exotic place you've had a curry? The Banana Leaf Apolo in Singapore. I had read and dreamed about their famous fish head curry (pictured) for many moons. Big, juicy (but rather ugly) heads of red snapper are scooped out of a cauldron and an industrial-sized ladle generously spoons lots of deep, red, spicy gravy all over them. The only way to find all the hidden bits of flesh in the head is to get stuck in with your hands. Finger-lickin' great! And Mel Gibson apparently agrees ...

(The Kisimul Cafe on the Isle of Barra serves a mean curry too. Does that count as exotic?)

Can you actually make a decent curry yourself at home? I try, and have lots of fun in the process. Not sure how authentic they are but they certainly taste half-decent.

If so, can we all come round for our tea? Aye, of course. Just bring the beers.

If you could enjoy a curry dinner-for-two with anyone, either alive or dead, who would it be? Johnny Cash.

What creature or object would you say best symbolises your personality (which will also determine the picture at the top of the post)? According to my special lady friend, a “hairy-faced sloth”.

A valuable insight, there, into the mind of Sir Spicy Lover. Notice how he discreetly reinforced the idea that "Cash" is king. To be honest, that more than made up for any Edinburgh curry chat. Comments, etc, below.


Trampy said...

I am very intrigued by the fish head curry, which looks pretty tasty in the accompanying picture. You dinnae eat its poor eyes, though, do you? That might give me the boak ...

Max Rockatansky said...

I ate mine whole. Beyond the Thunderdome was inspired by the aftershock.