The distinguished members of TATTGOC sure do love their curry, as evidenced by their current title of Curry Lovers Of The Year. But their ongoing quest for spicy satisfaction isn't merely limited to TATTGOC's regular excursions to some of Glasgow's hidden-gem curryhouses. If they happen across almost any curry-related foodstuff or product, Trampy and The Tramp feel compelled to take it for a spin – and thus was born the irregular feature Tastin' With The Tramps, where TATTGOC's burly founders crack open the Kingfisher and get their laughing gear round something fiery. What curry-related foodstuff or product is in the hot seat this time? None other than the mighty Chicken Ambala Curry Pie, a football-friendly collaboration between Mr Singh's India, McGhee's Bakery and Pars Foods. We know the Tramps love curry. We're certain the Tramps love pies. And we're pretty confident they know absolutely nothing about football. So as they say in soccer circles: let's get ready to rumble!
|Satty S, Kenny D and Bobby S: not being shy, showing their pies|
The Product: Currently on sale at Scottish Premier League grounds, this premium-looking offering presents the humble Scotch pie with some spicy competition. It's not the first curry pie to make it to market, but is certainly the first to be created in partnership with an acclaimed restaurant: in this case, Mr Singh's India, a Glasgow institution that has recently been riding high, not least because it was part of Glasgow's successful Curry Capital 2010 bid. The filling of the pies is based on one of Mr Singh's signature dishes, Chicken Ambala from the Punjab region. But since the pies are only available at SPL matches, the Tramps had to go cap-in-hand to the makers to hustle for some samples – and a fresh batch were kindly hand-delivered to TATTGOC HQ, courtesy of McGhee's, just in time for British Pie Week. Not a bad kick-off!
The Pitch: Perhaps because of the SPL connection, there was a very impressive squad of footballers and sportspersons at the Mr Singh's curry pie launch, pretty much enough to fill an entire Panini sticker-album from the mid-1980s.
Check out the video above, and try to resist the playground urge to shout "got!" or "need!" as the legends pop up, including Kenny Dalgish, Andy Goram, Ian Durrant and Gala boy John Collins. It wisnae just footballers either, with Stephen Hendry and boxer Ricky Burns tucking in too. Game on!
The Process: The pies looked good enough to eat straight out of the box, but The Tramp took it upon himself to heat up them up properly in the oven. When they emerged, they looked and smelled delicious. There was certainly some jockeying for position when they were brought into play ... but were our doughty tasters over the moon or sick as a parrot, Brian?
Trampy says: "I've been looking forward to trying this pie since I first heard about last year, mostly because I reckoned that no restaurant would put their name to a curry pie if it wasn't going to be at least half-decent. And I have to say, the Mr Singh's chicken ambala filling is delicious, really lovely and moist but not to the extent that it ruins the pie casing. And they've made no compromises in terms of heat, there's a lingering spicy aftertaste that would presumably see me all the way through to extra time. It's just a shame that I don't go to the footie ... hopefully they will roll it out beyond the SPL soon."
The Tramp says: "This pie seems like a high-quality piece of work from the start. It looks very appetising even before it's been heated up. I'm really impressed at how substantial it feels. The first couple of bites, I was almost getting a samosa pastry vibe, but then when I got to the proper filling it was fantastic, spicier than I would have imagined and much more authentic than you might expect a curry-based pie filling to be. I think these pies should definitely be made available beyond football matches, but then I don't like football. Except St Pauli games."
The Bulldosa says: "I was just at the football last night but I don't usually get a snack while I'm there because there's often a massive queue. This could definitely turn my head on a cold winter night, though, as it's much more tempting – and warming – than a traditional Scotch pie. I am actually surprised at how much heat there is in it. It tastes great and I'd definitely like to have it again. I think this would be a good reason to go to Firhill ... perhaps the only reason?"
EXTRA TIME! During the official tasting session, a heated argument broke out – but this wasn't anything to do with refereeing decisions or sectarian violence. Rather, guest taster The Bulldosa and Trampy got into an argument over whether you could, in true TATTGOC style, come up with enough Scottish footballer/curry puns to field a proper team. FIFA's World Punner Of The Year Trampy thought "no way", while The Bulldosa reckoned it would be a walkover to assemble a squad in under 24 hours. And here's the teamsheet he came up with:
Andy Garam (Andy Goram)
Pierre Naan Hooijdonk (Pierre Van Hooijdonk)
Dhaly McCoist (Ally McCoist)
Kenny Dhal-glish (Kenny Dalglish)
Roberto Onion Baggio (Roberto Baggio)
Basil Balti (Basile Boli)
Rogan Josh Thompson (Josh Thompson)
Marlon King-fisher beer (Marlon King)
Joey Fart-on (Joey Barton)
Ronald Cumin (Ronald Koemen)
Balti Vogts (Berti Vogts)
Coriander Diamond (Zander Diamond)
Chillie Dodds (Billy Dodds)
Gordon Puri (Gordon Durie)
Sounds convincing, right? But this is where the Tramps need your help ... would that list of punny names impress someone who knew the first thing about football, and cause them to half-smile and nod in approval? If so, The Bulldosa will be declared the winner. Let us know in the comments below. Anyway, back to those awesome pies ...
The Verdict: At the end of the day, Mr Singh's curry pies gave it 110% ... and deserved to take home the silverware. All three of our pundits gave these smashing pies a solid thumbs-up, and were hopeful that they might eventually become more widely available beyond our nation's football grounds. And at a time when Scottish football is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, it was nice to have something to celebrate. Now ... when's the second leg?
Do you have a curry-related foodstuff you're launching into the crowded modern marketplace where a recommendation from appropriate enthusiasts might help? If so, drop us an introductory line at firstname.lastname@example.org and see YOUR product featured on ... Tastin' With The Tramps!
PREVIOUSLY DEVOURED ON TASTIN' WITH THE TRAMPS
The Pot Noodle Fightback!
Mr Singh's Punjabi Chilli Sauce!
McCoy's Vs Golden Wonder!
The Nation's Noodle!