Minkey Business

"Over the cage floor the horizons come."

Category: Food

Restaurateur, be not afraid

One of my favourite things about Los Angeles restaurant culture is that it isn’t afraid to focus. I hate it when a city’s dining scene is too skittish to specialise, filled with generically “continental” or “pan-Asian” places, and when you do go to, say, the Vietnamese restaurant, you find Thai and Malaysian dishes on the […]

Cycling (and eating) through the Yucatan

Published in Tabloid, Gulf News, July 4, 2014. Read the online version here. The way to a country’s heart… Gautam Raja combines his love of food and cycling on this three-week bicycle tour through the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico A bicycle tour in a food-loving country is a painful reminder that human beings have evolved […]

The iron is hot

I’ve touched upon it here, but one day I’ll write a longer paean to cast iron skillets. The photo shows a recent dinner involving chicken roasted on a bed of potatoes, and a side-dish of Brussels sprouts, carrots and mushrooms. My new favourite dish? Roughly chopped roast chicken re-roasted with lots of garlic and green […]

Curried pig and I: Part Three

Continued from Part Two. Pandhi curry in, pandhi curry out. —Wisdom you don’t want to acquire the hard way Never eat pandhi curry before travel, or important meetings, or anything that’ll keep you more than ten seconds from a sturdy, well-ventilated loo. A group of friends and colleagues learned this the hard way on a […]

Curried pig and I: Part Two

Continued from Part One. This little piggy went to market. —Trad. Many Indian dishes, made the long way, involve toasting whole spices until fragrant and then grinding them. For pandhi curry though, you take those whole spices and torture them until they’re all black and nearly burned. Then you make a wet mixture of the […]

Cooking as metaphor. Food as love. Great, but who’ll do the dishes?

Do not be afraid of cooking, as your ingredients will know, and misbehave. —Fergus Henderson in Nose to Tail Eating Sometime in the year 2000, I was standing, sweating in a friend’s kitchen, trying to tear the meninges off a sheep’s brain. The organ, probably over-boiled, was refusing to separate from its outer layers, and […]

Curried pig and I: Part One

“The creatures outside looked from pandhi curry to man, and from man to pandhi curry, and from pandhi curry to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” —George Orwell in Animal Farm, writing about me ‘Pandhi’ means ‘pig’, and a translator would be forgiven for rendering it ‘pork’ in this […]