My quest for locating rare cookbooks written in India has paid off to a point of finding some real culinary gems. Recently on my blog I posted the rare and out of print Indian Cookery Book written in 1884, and published by Thacker and Spink a press also defunct long ago. I have now found a few more books hidden away in archives that are proof of how Anglo Indian, Indian and Colonial food publications existed even in early 19th century. Obviously, they would, why wouldn’t they? It’s just that no one realizes it. These books are a grand testimony to a type of Indian-Colonial culinary tradition that one doesn’t find in restaurants. Take for example this book “The Curry Cook’s Assistant, Or, Curries, How to Make Them in England.”
This book was written by one “Daniel Santiagoe, son of Francis Daniel, butler and fiddler, of Colombo, Ceylon, and the Ceylon Court. In fact, these rare books provide a lot of insight to the geo-origins of some Anglo-Indian dishes and settles a debate once and for like Mulligatawny is very much a south Indian dish, including pepper water.
Here’s what one review had to say about this book
NOTE ABOUT “CURRIES” IN “SATURDAY REVIEW,” OCTOBER 22, 1887.
“Everybody who likes Curry, and who can get it (the pamphlet, not the Curry), should invest in a little pamphlet by “Daniel Santiagoe, son of Francis Daniel, butler and fiddler, of Colombo, Ceylon, and the Ceylon Court, Royal Jubilee Exhibition, Liverpool.” It is written in delightful pigeon-English (or whatever other bird may be more appropriate to Ceylon’s isle), is quite unpretentious, avows the author’s very legitimate, and, indeed, laudable desire to “make a small fortune” by its sale, and contains admirable receipts. Mr. Santiagoe is much less cynical than the apocryphal Mrs. Glasse. He says, after recommending the more excellent way of the Curry Stone, “The best and easy way is to buy from your respected grocers, which, I should say, ought to be of two colours—one is brown and the other is yellow, and the red is cayenne pepper (if required, hot curries).” He is a little plaintive about mulligatawny. “Why English people always spell this word wrong? Everybody knows this—mollagoo, ‘pepper;’ tanney, ‘water.’” So the reformers who call it “mulligatunny” are just as bad as we devotees of mumpsimus and mulligatawny ourselves. We note with special pleasure a receipt for “chicken moley”—evidently the same genus as that “mollet” which puzzled Mrs. Clarke. And all the prescriptions are interesting. “Maldive fish” seems to take the place of “Bombay duck” in these southern regions, and the number of Vegetable Curries is particularly noteworthy. Nobody need think from the specimens we have given that Mr. Santiagoe is unintelligible. His English may be “pigeon,” but it is a much more easily digestible tongue than the high and mighty gobble-gobble of some of our own professors of style and matter.
[True copy from “Saturday Review.”]
INTRODUCTION BY J.L.SHAND ESQ
PREFACE BY AUTHOR DANIEL SANTIAGOE
PREFACE PAGE 3
AUTHOR’S NOTE ON FIRST EDITION
CONTD-NEXT PAGE CONTENTS AND RECIPES