Trampy And The Tramp's Curry *Loves* Of The Year

Has it really been a year since Trampy and The Tramp (and, by extension, the entire TATTGOC brotherhood) were voted Curry Lover(s) Of The Year at the Scottish Curry Awards 2010? Time certainly flies when you're seeking out hidden-gem restaurants in the UK's official Curry Capital every month, then diligently writing up the experience and interspersing the rest of the weekly blog updates with posts about piquant music, exciting new curry products and detailed telegrams from Foreign Curryspondents in far-flung places. Phew!

But while the blog always thunders forward like Bob Seger on his hog in Roll Me Away, TATTGOC's recent (and surprising!) repeat nomination has put the Tramps in an uncharacteristically reflective mood. Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. So what been some of their personal highlights of the past 12 months? Trampy and The Tramp's Curry Loves of the Year, if you like? Here's a top three ...

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The first one is easy: getting to hang out with the rest of the Curry Club every month, that impressive cadre of rum-looking coves galvanised by a shared spirit of blazing adventure. And if they have an astonishing hunger for curry, it's easily matched by their appetite for banter. At TATTGOC's spicy monthly salon, the discourse is lively, the opinions heartfelt and the laughter genuine. And it's especially heartening when original currynauts who have moved away from No Mean City unexpectedly return to Glasgow just for the monthly expedition (like high-flyin' Karahi ... CHOP!). Camaraderie and curry: like Ravi Peshwari says, ye cannae whack it.
The bold D Diamond, owner of dynamite chat
Second? Probably the opportunity to interrogate some of TATTGOC's personal heroes in the inspiring, educational Pilau Talk: The Legends interview series, where nine of Scotland's most notable curry lovers – Tom Shields, Fred MacAulay, Ian Cowie aka Mr Snax, Diner Tec of the Evening Times, Roy Beers, Iain Banks, Norman Blake, Tam Cowan and Dominik Diamond – offered up personal anecdotes and fiery recommendations. As you might expect, there was plenty of dynamite chat from the public-eye patter merchants, but it was equally interesting to hear wily veterans like Roy Beers talk about the Glasgow curry scene of the 1970s, the legendary places where The Tramp's old man and Trampy's old maths teacher eagerly went to get their spicy fix.

And finally? It has to be a curry. The Tramps have been to some pretty great curryhouses on official TATTGOC business over the past 12 months – including personal favourites Cafe Salma and Alishan –  and the fare has generally been of a high standard. But if they had to choose just one personal curry experience above all others, it would have to be an intimate, candelit (!) and technically non-TATTGOC visit to the Mother India mothership in March of this year. The ginger crab and prawn dosa was to die for, but it was the raan – a whole leg of lamb patiently cooked with whole spices then finished off with an almond sauce, creating a sweet, spicy, melt-in-the-mouth delight – that brought tears to the eyes of the Tramps. The picture above really doesn't too it justice (blame those candles). We're not sure how Monir Mohammed does it but this was one of the best curries Trampy and The Tramp had ever tasted. And so, inevitably, we salute him.

A memorable experience! A memorable year!

The Monday Side Dish: Scottish Curry Awards 2011 Nominees!
STOP PRESS! Scottish Curry Awards 2011 Nominations Close Today
The Monday Side Dish: April 11
The Monday Side Dish: March 14