A Curry Book

Last weekend we spend two happy days relaxing in Wales. We went to Hay-on-Wye, a small town crammed with about forty bookshops. Naturally we spent most of our days browsing in these shops.
In one of these shops I came across  an interesting cookbook called A Curry Book (Ludlow Cook Books) by Henrietta Hervey. She  lived in India with her husband Henry Hervey who was in Indian army, first in Madras Presidency and then in Bombay Presidency. On her return to England she wrote this book in 1985. In her words the book was about  'Anglo-Indian cookery at home: a short treatise for returned exiles'. 
From what I could find out in the internet is that Ludlow Cook Books were a series of cook books written by returned English men and women like Ludlow and Hervey.  This book was first published in 1895 by Horace Cox. 
It is a thin book of about 83 pages, republished in 2006. There are the usual staple Anglo Indian recipes like Mulligatawny Soup, kedgeree, railway mutton stew, various lentil soups so on and so forth.  The publishers in their introduction say that these more than100 year old classic recipes still work and as tasty as ever.
What I found more interesting was the introduction that Henrietta had written for the book. There were tips on how to banish 'the smell of dinner' from the English homes by opening the windows when possible, how to place a curry stone (shil nora) on the kitchen table, how to manage heavy handed English servants and train them to be as nimble handed as their Indian counterparts, specially while chopping vegetables. It seemed like she had carried a huge quantity of spices and curry powders back with her. Also she had provided substitutes for Indian ingredients like tamarind whenever possible.  Clearly there were no Gujarati or Bangladeshi grocery stores doing brisk trade during those days. She also mentioned that in order to continue cooking Anglo Indian food in London she had to bring her dekchis (large aluminium pots usually used to cook meat or rice in Indian kitchens) with her. She sure was one enthusiastic curry cook!
Her introduction easily takes us back to India and London of 1880s and her recipes are clear and precise.
I am charmed with the book, wish I had bought it.
I wonder hundred years or more from now if people would read our food blogs and wonder about us in the same way.
N.B. The photo of the book is taken from the internet.

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