Michael Buerk is joined by chef Paul Ainsworth to celebrate royal food inspired by the days of India and Empire, using recipes hidden in the royal archive.
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The royal family are steeped in tradition,
and throughout history, the royal tables
have showcased culinary excellence.
'In celebration of royal food...'
We know it was the Queen's recipe
because we've got it in her own hand.
'..from the present and the past...'
That is proper regal.
'..we recreate old family favourites.'
Now, the Queen Mother had this really wicked trick with these.
What a mess!
'We sample royal eating alfresco...'
-That is what you want.
'..and revisit the most extravagant times...'
Pheasant, stag, turkey, salmon, oysters
and turbot dressed in a lobster champagne sauce.
-'This is Royal Recipes.'
Hello. I'm Michael Buerk and welcome to Royal Recipes.
This is Audley End, one of Britain's finest stately homes,
built in the style of a royal palace and once owned by a king.
'In the splendour of the gardens,
'halls and kitchen at this grandest of country houses,
'we'll be recreating the food served at the highest royal tables.'
And it all starts here, with this gem,
a royal kitchen maid's cookbook,
the only surviving recipe book of its kind in the royal archive.
This is an exact copy of the original,
which is kept at Windsor Castle.
Inside, the recipes of Mildred Nicholls,
who worked at Buckingham Palace in the early 1900s,
and for the first time in over 100 years,
we'll be bringing these recipes back to life.
This time, we're cooking royal recipes
inspired by the days of India and Empire,
during the reign of our present Queen's
It was the start of a fashion for curry
still enjoyed by today's young royals.
Today on Royal Recipes,
historian Dr Annie Gray heads to the Isle of Wight to discover
how Queen Victoria's passion for the Raj
got us all hooked on Indian food.
But it's fair to say that Queen Victoria was one of the people
to elevate curry to something that truly was fit for a queen.
The chef who was called to Buckingham Palace
to create dishes for the Indian President.
I got massive feedback from the guests
and the royalty as well.
And chef Paul Ainsworth cooks up curry, Prince Harry style.
Prince Harry had this stuff when he was serving in Afghanistan.
And the Gurkhas, they'd cook up fiery goat curry.
In the historic kitchen wing,
we're returning to the reign of Queen Victoria,
and the Indian dishes served on her menus.
We're here in the magnificent old kitchen
with the magnificent old Paul Ainsworth,
-Two... Bah! Two British greats.
Yes. Yeah, Queen Victoria.
Queen Victoria and the Indian takeaway.
And the popularity of the one owes an awful lot
to the popularity of the other. She loved curries, didn't she?
-And you're going to cook one of her favourite recipes.
Yeah, one that she really enjoyed, which is a quail and potato curry,
and it's absolutely delicious and really simple.
In the royal archives, where we got the recipe,
it's "cailles aux pommes de terre a l'indienne".
They don't call it that, I have to say, at the takeaway.
So, what I've done here, Michael,
is we're going to get going straightaway with a lovely base.
So, we've got some onions that we've cooked in butter, ghee.
Just clarified butter, it's a lovely flavour
and the temperature gets nice and hot.
I've added in the curry powder first
because I want to cook that out, so it's not gritty,
we want to really cook that curry powder out.
-But you're using curry powder?
-Bit of a cheat, isn't it?
-Well, not really.
We've got to use a spice, so the cheat would be getting the jar,
we're making our base from scratch.
-So, we've got our garlic in there, our chilli,
our curry powder and our lovely caramelised onions,
so now we're just going to turn that heat up,
turn that heat up a little bit and really get going.
Some grated ginger, absolutely delicious, nice and fragrant.
Just going to grate that in there like so.
But the key to it is the sauce, isn't it?
-The key to...
-And actually, "curry" comes from the Indian "kari",
which I think means sauce.
Now, this is a really important part of this dish,
this is what gives us that wonderful colour of the sauce, and tomatoes,
I mean, for me, they play a massive role in cookery itself
because they're just so delicious,
and that's what gives us that real body, depth,
wonderful acidity, nice sweetness.
So, you can see already we've got this wonderful base
starting to form together,
so now we're going to add in water, not stock,
because we've got that wonderful flavour.
Bring that to the boil.
And then we're going to add the legs, Michael.
-The legs first?
The legs are super, super tender,
but they need cooking before the breasts.
If you think with most animals, Michael, you've got, like, say,
duck, chicken, you need to put the legs first
because they're going to cook down
because they're the bit on the animal that work the most.
And that's it, that's our sauce.
So, now we would leave that to simmer for about an hour,
hour and ten minutes, and those legs would be beautiful and tender.
It's pretty exotic for royal food, isn't it?
-It is, it really is.
-I mean, the queen, Queen Victoria,
really had very exotic tastes.
They called her the greedy Queen, I think,
because she liked all this kind of stuff!
Well, and it really is a delicious recipe.
So, Michael, after an hour of really slow-cooking, a gentle,
gentle simmer, these are our legs that we've done earlier, OK?
And we're just going to pick the meat off, and in the meantime...
-It's falling off.
-Falling off, absolutely delicious.
And in the meantime, we've then blitzed this
wonderful sauce that we've made,
and what's beautiful is that now we've got this lovely sauce.
So, can I get you to grate me an apple, please?
-Yeah? Peel it and then grate it.
-A position of trust, this.
So, bit by bit, Michael,
I'm going to add in my beautiful quail leg meat.
-Here we go.
-We're going to add in our breasts.
Like so, and if the sauce gets too thick,
just let it down with a little bit of water.
-You're using water all the time rather than stock, aren't you?
Absolutely, yeah, water's so important in cooking,
really important, because it's nice and neutral,
and sometimes you don't want to confuse flavours.
Now, you can start to see it's coming together,
becoming beautiful and thick.
We're going to add in our potatoes.
Now, these potatoes have just been partly cooked.
What about the breasts, how long do they take?
Breasts will just literally take a couple of minutes.
-Really, in that sauce?
-Yeah, because they're so thin.
And the potatoes are just taking on that wonderful flavour.
Now, if we just take a bit of your apple...
-There it is.
-Perfectly done, isn't it?
All we're going to do is just grate some apple...
It is perfectly done, absolutely!
Now, the apple is giving you fragrant acidity, delicious,
especially a lovely English apple like this, like the Bramley.
It's a beautiful, clean taste, isn't it?
And, look, the juices of the apple as well.
It really is a delicious curry.
Now, that there is cooked, believe it or not, we are cooked.
Those breasts are cooked? Just a couple of minutes.
As quick as that, just a couple of minutes.
You've got two pots on there, Paul, what's in the mystery one?
You can't have a beautiful curry without some lovely side dishes,
so in here, we've got some wonderful spinach, a pinch of salt, butter.
It produces its own steam, spinach, because it's got so much water,
as a lot of vegetables, over 80% water.
-You don't put water in first?
-Nothing, just in naturally,
and you can see, we'll just turn it over - see that, Michael?
And it's just literally wilting down.
Delicious vegetable, spinach. Full of iron.
And then, of course, you can't have a curry without rice,
so we've got some wonderful, just some wonderful steamed rice, OK?
-Is it ready?
-Yeah, let's chop some coriander.
Let's chop some coriander and we're good to go.
-OK, so plenty...
-That bit of finger that you chopped off.
Yeah! Plenty of herbs!
And now, we're just going to move that over here and fold it in,
and let's plate up. If you just stir that in gently for me.
-I'm going to get the side dishes ready.
So, we've got our wonderful steamed rice, our lovely spinach.
It's good to be right over it, isn't it?
Absolutely. OK. Let's plate up.
-So, we're going to have some lovely spinach.
Do you do much Indian food yourself?
Yeah, I do, especially stuff like this,
I mean, this would be great to do at home with the family, and I love...
Do you know what I love about Indian food?
I love the way that... I love the way that you eat like this,
sharing round the table, everyone getting stuck in,
passing food around.
So, we've got that lovely rice.
It is extraordinary, isn't it,
when you think that our national dish
is kind of inherited from the subcontinent?
This is my favourite style of curry. I mean, look at that!
-And the smell...
-You don't want it sloshing around?
No, you don't, you don't.
And when you did the legs and the breasts separately,
does that mean that they're going to taste like different meats?
Yeah, because you've got that lovely braised leg,
but then the texture of that breast
will be just almost like a steak texture.
-Are you ready to taste?
-Oh, am I ever!
Some lovely rice.
It's just the smell.
See those potatoes? Just slightly soft as well.
Cooked all the way through.
Nice bit of breast there on top.
And that lovely deep green spinach.
-And there we are.
-There we go.
Quail and potato curry.
Do have some yourself, Paul.
Thank you. That's very kind of you!
Oh, it's good, isn't it?
-It's so deep.
I keep saying it, but it's the acidity.
-It's those tomatoes, that apple.
Yeah, yeah. There is that, yeah. A lovely bit of acidity with it.
-But they're really round, deep...
And I love the potatoes
-because they've just sucked up all that flavour.
Would Queen Victoria have approved?
When you've finished?
Queen Victoria would have been amused.
-Fantastic. Thank you.
Quail and potato curry, created for Victoria,
Queen of England and Empress of India.
There's no better place to explore Victoria's passion for India
than at Osborne House,
the royal family's retreat on the Isle of Wight.
As Dr Annie Gray explains,
it's here that she chose to showcase the imagined glamour of the Raj.
Queen Victoria never actually went to India.
Instead, she had India brought to England in the shape of this room,
the Durbar Room, which was constructed to expand the palace
and give her entertaining space.
But I think if I'd been present at one of those entertainments,
I'd have struggled to keep my attention
on what was going on on the stage,
because my jaw would be too busy hitting my chest
as I ogled all this incredible decoration.
Designed by prominent Indian architects of the time,
the room is like a maharajah's palace,
full of elaborate Indian craftsmanship and symbolic motifs.
And Victoria's homage to the subcontinent didn't stop here.
In 1887, across came the first
of what would prove to be a procession of Indian servants.
And they came across to be personal attendants to the Queen.
The Indian servants were seen as exotic imports.
They were beautiful, resplendent, standing beside the Queen.
But the household did not exactly welcome them.
In the main, most of them were accepted,
but one man in particular grew to be
one of the Queen's most hated servants.
He was called Abdul Karim,
also known as the Munshi, and in the later years of the Queen's life,
he became one of her closest confidants and friends.
She elevated him from the position of a mere personal attendant
and made him into her close personal secretary.
One of her attendants did suggest
that the reason she liked him so much was because he annoyed
the rest of the household so much.
And as the Queen grew older,
she needed to inject a bit of excitement in her life.
He may well have been right.
The Indian cooks weren't much liked either.
They introduced Victoria to authentic Indian cuisine
and as a result, the kitchens at Osborne
had to accommodate their ways of working.
We know from the diaries and memoirs of Gabriel Tschumi,
who was one of the apprentices in the kitchen at the time,
that the Indian cook or cooks had their own ingredients sent to them,
live animals, presumably to be butchered by them
in the way they deemed fit, and also whole spices.
Tschumi was very sniffy about this habit
of grinding their own spices from fresh.
He said that the royal kitchens were very well provided for
with the best-quality curry powder,
so why on earth would these cooks from India need to grind their own?
But grind them they did and it appears that the food they produced
met with Queen Victoria's satisfaction,
and the words "Indian dish" appeared regularly on her menus
in the 1880s and 1890s.
Her favourite curries were usually chicken or fish
and her passion for this cuisine
fired up the taste buds of the nation.
But it's fair to say that Queen Victoria was one of the people
to elevate curry or at least Indian food from being a mere leftover dish
beloved of the middle classes
to something that truly was fit for a queen.
Victoria is said to have eaten dishes cooked by her Indian chef
most Sundays and Tuesdays.
The same can't be said for the rest of the household.
Although Osborne House was designed primarily as a private residence,
certain hierarchies still had to be maintained
and that meant that everybody ate separately.
This was the Queen's dining room.
The Queen would have a menu comprising of all
of the best kind of dishes
and sometimes that all-important Indian dish, the authentic curry,
which she liked to eat.
The household would have a very similar menu
but they never had that curry.
That was reserved for the Queen and her nearest and dearest only,
so one can imagine perhaps the lower servants from time to time
looking at the menus for those above them and thinking...
.."I just wish I could have a little bit
"of that rather fancy Indian chicken dish!"
The relationship between royalty and Indian food continues today.
And Indian chef Atul Kochhar is one of the latest chefs
to work with the royal family.
Atul is one of Britain's top Indian chefs.
He's worked closely with Prince Charles
and has also been called upon by the Queen
when she entertained guests from the subcontinent.
OK, guys. Get on with it. Thank you.
When the President of India was the guest of Her Majesty,
Atul was invited to assist the chefs of Buckingham Palace
as they prepared the menu for the state visit.
Sea bass was one of the dishes.
Pan-fried sea bass, mussels, a great coconut sauce called moilee,
and a masala mash.
When President of India was visiting the United Kingdom,
I was invited to cook this dish.
I felt very honoured and this recipe has become a kind of recipe
close to my heart, which I absolutely adore
and I cook it time and time again.
So, let's make the sauce first.
So, start with mustard seeds.
And they crackle immediately.
Some sliced garlic.
And I also like to add a little bit of ginger.
And some shallots.
I got congratulated for my recipes.
I was very, very happy.
I need green chilli, and the way I like to use my chilli is
I remove the seeds, because they have all the heat.
With his inside knowledge of the royal taste buds,
Atul could get his spicing spot-on,
prioritising flavour rather than heat.
When I have such a high-profile function to cater for,
and especially cooking in England,
not everyone is fond of green chillies and red chillies,
so I took the heat out, and that way I have the flavour but not the heat.
Coconut milk. And that goes in.
And a large pinch of salt in this.
Now, believe it or not, my sauce is ready.
So, the masala mash, it's really easy.
Same ingredients but different result.
So, I've just added mustard seeds to the pan.
Followed by a little bit of garlic.
Add a few curry leaves.
Some chopped ginger.
And I've got mashed potatoes...
which go in.
I know the royal family is not keen on garlic,
so whenever I'm cooking for them, the garlic is off the recipe.
It's very simple. That's how you handle it.
I also like to add a dash of red chilli
and a small pinch of turmeric.
It's a really simple recipe.
I must taste it before I set it aside.
Beautiful. And that's looking really good.
And we can go and pan-fry our fish.
I'm pressing the fish down so that it remains flat and nice.
And pan-frying fish -
what you want to achieve out of it is A, of course you want to cook it,
but also you want to achieve the skin
to be absolutely crisp and nice, so for that, what we do as a chef,
I would watch how the meat is getting cooked,
the protein of the fish starts becoming opaque
and starts travelling towards the centre of the fish.
When it's right in the middle,
that's the time I know the skin is absolutely crisp.
I'll flip it over and follow the recipe beyond that.
Just to double-check, I will lift it slightly and see.
OK, that's actually beautiful.
From here, I will need to add the mussels quickly in the pan.
Four or five mussels will do.
A blob of butter.
It's a complex dish and takes a bit of skilled organisation
to serve on a grand scale.
When we do this for a special banquet
where you're feeding 300 people, so obviously, it's a conveyor belt.
OK? And there are a large number of chefs helping you.
You're not doing it alone.
I think the fish is beautifully cooked.
All I'm going to do is just take the fish away and leave the mussels
in the pan for a few seconds.
And we're ready to plate.
That goes right in the centre.
A few mussels, you can put them aside.
So, the potato mash also goes...
A mussel can rest on it.
Pan-fried sea bass, mussels,
masala mash and a beautiful coconut moilee sauce.
It's as simple as that.
I was incredibly happy the way this dish went, the way people liked it.
I got massive feedback from the guests
and the royalty as well.
Atul went down really well. He's hot stuff, isn't he?
He is. Atul is the spice master.
-He really is.
-Right, what are you cooking?
Prince Harry loves a fiery goat curry,
so we're going to cook a dish...
-Is this the one he learned from the Gurkhas?
And we're going to cook a dish inspired by that.
So, here we have some onions cooking down, and in Nepalese cookery,
they love to really darken the onions,
and it's fantastic and what happens, you get real deep flavour.
So, you see here, Michael? The reason they're going dark,
see, all that is pure flavour.
That's the sugars that come out of the onion.
They caramelise and that's how the onions get nice and dark.
Apparently, Prince Harry had this stuff
-when he was serving in Afghanistan.
He was a forward air controller, and the Gurkhas, apparently,
providing cover, you know, guarded him while he was doing it
during the day, and at night, they'd cook up...
-Fiery goat curry!
Fascinating. Right, so here we have
garlic, chilli and ginger.
The smell is delicious.
-Lovely, isn't it?
So, we get that nice and blitzed up, so it's lovely and fine.
And straight away, we're going to get...
-You like blitzing.
-Cooked down. I do, I love it.
-You're a blitzer!
-I'm a blitzer. Right, get that.
That's really brown, those onions, aren't they?
-You call them caramelised.
-Flavour, flavour. Yeah, yeah.
You might say burnt, we say caramelised!
OK, so now we're cooking.
Right, over here, this is really interesting,
and really kind of important to this dish is when we dry-fry the spices.
Now, just quickly as well,
can you see where the juices came out of the garlic and the ginger?
See how now it's kind of just lifted that off?
Takes it even darker. So, again, great base.
-Have a smell of that.
-Pity you can't get smells on television.
-I know, I know.
Here, we've got an array of amazing spices.
-What you got?
And the reason for that is spices contain oil.
So, they dance. They come alive.
And then you just let them cool and then blitz them again.
-There's that blitzing again.
We've got some asafoetida, we've got some beautiful clove.
-I've never heard of that!
-Yeah, it's got a nice kind of
-almost an onion sort of taste to it.
-That one there?
That's the bright yellow.
Clove, which is really interesting in this dish.
Fenugreek. So, they have been dry-fried,
left to cool and then blitzed like that.
-Have a smell.
So again, the flavours starting to work in this dish are amazing.
Star anise - wonderful, wonderful kind of aniseed...
-But it looks lovely.
-Yeah. It's gorgeous. But it's really good.
-Aniseed flavour, like aniseed balls?
-Absolutely. Bay leaf.
Just give them a little nip to let those oils come out.
-Yeah, and cinnamon.
And you can already see, just very quickly,
we've got one beautiful base starting to come together.
Here we go with those magic tomatoes,
full of acidity, nice sweetness, they go straight in.
So important in this type of cooking.
Absolutely delicious. Get those all in there.
Now, onto our goat.
I have to tell you, I'm not mad on goat.
-I worked a lot in Africa and I ate a lot of goat.
This is the shoulder, OK? We're going to add that straight in.
We've just browned it off previously
and that's just again to get that lovely flavour.
-So, we add that in.
Because in India, I think, they talk about mutton and mutton curry
and things, but quite often, it's not lamb, it's actually goat.
It's goat, yeah. Really mature goat.
The reason why you wouldn't want to use, like, a really young goat,
like, the kid in a recipe like this
is because you've got so many flavours.
As you do with this kind of cooking,
you've got all the spices and you would just lose it,
so you need something that's going to hold its own.
-Yeah, and a kid would be too delicate.
In with the water.
Like that. Don't...
With any recipes like this, don't drown it in water.
Just enough to cover.
You can add more but don't dilute that flavour.
Could you do this with lamb as well?
Could do this with lamb, could do this with beef,
and when you're cooking like this, use those real working cuts.
Shoulder and stuff like that. Legs, beautiful working cuts.
Why do you call them working cuts?
Because it's the part of the animal that works.
-Oh, the animal's muscle?
Normally along the back are the tender cuts.
The legs, the shoulders, they're the working cuts,
so they're the things that need cooking longer.
-Right, so that's everything in the pan.
We're just going to put the lid on.
-Get that in the oven.
-Fiery goat curry.
-Now, are they just showing off or is this really going to be hot?
-Is it going to be a vindaloo?
-It's not going to be a vindaloo,
because you've got lovely fragrant spices in there,
but it's going to have a nice bit of kick
with the lovely chilli powder there.
-Right, onto the side dishes.
For me, probably one of my most favourite salads
and it's the kachumber.
You've got this lovely rich kind of curry
and you want something to really clean the palate,
so you've got lovely, clean cucumber, tomatoes,
red onion, some nice green chilli, some garam masala.
We're going to finish that with a little bit of lime
and some fresh coriander, so you can imagine, rich, hot,
and nice temperature contrasts as well.
It's as easy as this.
Make sure everything's quite thinly sliced,
because you don't want it to be sort of big chunks of red onion.
OK? Just a light seasoning, all right? Not too much.
-That's the garam masala.
-That's the garam masala.
-Why are you putting that in?
-It's just a lovely spice, garam masala.
-And it's a clean taste.
-Really, really clean taste, yeah.
OK? Some lime juice.
Some lovely coriander.
And then, just, you know, you can get your fingers in there.
For you, Michael, I'll be very polite.
And just a nice, gentle stir.
And what's that other dish you've got in front of your kachumber?
So, the traditional cucumber raita, this is yoghurt, mint and apple,
and the apple - because you've got the cucumber in the kachumber,
the apple in there is delicious.
That's an interesting variety on the usual raita, isn't it?
-Right, shall we serve up?
-I think we should.
-Yeah? Let's do it.
And over here
is our delicious goat curry.
Look at that!
That's the bit, lifting the lid off,
-putting that in the middle of the table.
That is magnificent, and do you know what we'll do?
We'll just finish that with some more fresh coriander.
OK? And we're just going to now stir that in.
Wonderful, rich, dark brown.
Look at it. Honestly, it's incredible.
-OK. Now, we're just going to serve up.
-Yeah, come on.
Oh, my word. That looks good, doesn't it?
Delicious, isn't it? Absolutely delicious.
Do you know what? There is an art as well to cooking meat like this,
as well, it shouldn't be falling apart,
it's just cooked within an inch of its life.
It should still have texture.
-And still be chunky.
-Would you like some kachumber?
-I just like saying...
-I know you do, I know you do!
Right. A bit of kachumber for you, Michael.
OK? A nice bit of that lovely apple and mint raita.
And there, we have my inspired version of the fiery goat curry.
This is the first time I've had goat by choice.
By choice! Dig in.
-Here we go.
-Get stuck in.
Ooh, I say!
-So rich, isn't it?
Nice different take on the raita with the apple.
-Yeah. Not bad?
-Do you want some?
-Yeah, go on.
I think, like you say, it's the richness
and then you've got these things here giving you the acidity
and cutting through it all. It's such a great dish.
I have to say, Prince Harry has got good taste.
Fiery goat curry is just one of a huge range of curries
available to British people as well as princes.
The British passion for curry has grown and grown
since the days of Queen Victoria,
so much so that Anglo-Indian cuisine is now considered
to produce some of the best curries in the world.
Brick Lane in London's East End is a hotspot for British curry
and home to a thriving Bangladeshi community,
the driving force behind modern Anglo-Indian cuisine.
This is the onion stock.
This is just a little garam masala.
When leading restaurateur Enam Ali
arrived here from Bangladesh in 1974,
the restaurants may have been called Indian,
but the food wasn't quite what Enam was used to back home.
It was really different then.
I was shocked to see it's called Indian restaurant,
Indian curry house but they used to sell roast chicken, peas,
and the whole menu, 70% was all English dish.
In the '70s, the chefs started to adapt to authentic recipes
to suit British tastes, even inventing dishes.
Then you're putting the tandoori masala sauce.
The tikka masala sauce.
They included the famous chicken tikka masala
that is creamy rather than spicy, perfect for the British palate.
Chicken tikka is actually from Pakistan and Bangladesh and India.
It was cooked in clay oven
and then, when chicken tikka was served,
people find it's too spicy, too hot
and then somebody said, "Put some tomato puree, put some cream.
"Put something sweet."
It's just an amazing success story in Britain,
so that I regard this as a British curry.
It's still number-one dish in the country.
This new wave of Indian curry houses started to serve their cuisine
in a more recognisable way.
The poppadom replaced bread and butter.
In this country, when you go to any, you know, restaurant,
they serve you bread and butter.
So, they came up with the idea of poppadoms.
Normally, poppadom back home
is same as you maybe eat here a packet of crisps.
The way of serving, the way of thinking,
is totally different than what I had, actually, back home.
So, it was really shocking me.
And Bombay aloo, a potato curry dish, replaced the chip.
Bombay aloo, I believe, is also idea come from when people keep on
eating chips and the chips,
and they also may be asking for same question again.
"Can't you find something spicy? Can't you find something different?"
Bombay aloo was born and now, one of the fastest-selling in this country.
If you go to India, ask for Bombay aloo,
they might not understand.
"What is Bombay aloo?"
And the onion ring became the onion bhaji.
Early '70s, early '60s, when they were making onion ring,
they come up with the idea of similarity of pakora.
So, what they do, they chop the onion,
and making onion rings and they chop again,
and make this together and making a big cricket ball.
And put all the spices and everything in, making onion bhaji.
The people who work in the curry industry in the first generation,
because of them we are here, and because of their idea
today we selling onion bhaji to India, poppadom,
they start selling in India.
What a fascinating story!
Even though I don't know who invented this,
I'd like to salute them, because of them,
to the whole world is enjoying British curry.
By the late 1980s, the first fine-dining curry restaurants
began to appear in the UK.
In 1989, Enam opened Le Raj,
one of the first to achieve Michelin-star stations.
When I see my name listed on the Michelin Guide,
I was very honoured and privileged, and when I realised
that the first generation, what they've done, and still
I can't run this restaurant without their contribution.
So, I just thought I should stand up and say thank you
to recognise people who contributed enormously.
In tribute to these innovative curry restaurateurs,
Enam set up the British Curry Awards,
now the Oscars of the curry world,
with 430 million viewers worldwide.
One of the most coveted awards is for Best Takeaway
and it was recently won by a restaurant in Brighton
with no South Asian heritage.
Being received at the British Curry Awards
when not being Indian is fabulous.
It feels like a huge celebration of Indian cuisine and Indian dining
and it acknowledges everybody that's in the industry, and Enam Ali
has really pushed it forward and put it to the forefront
of people's attention as well, which is great.
And Enam has also won recognition from the Queen
for his work promoting Anglo-Indian curry cuisine.
I am very touched by
that she honoured me and I got the MBE
for contributing to the British Curry Award.
The royal family definitely enjoy the real good curry.
Britain has so much to offer and people don't have to go to India
for a curry, they will come here for a curry.
It's official, we're a nation of curry lovers.
And it all dates back to Queen Victoria,
who inspired her own family as well as her people.
I'm here in the house's magnificent library with Fiona Ross,
who's a food historian who writes a lot about the royals.
We all know Queen Victoria had this real interest in India,
in particular Indian cuisine, Indian culture.
What about her successors?
Well, her successors continued that, very much so -
Bertie, her son, and then his son George V.
George V, despite being rather a dull monarch, at least food-wise,
came to adore Indian food.
-And India itself.
-And India itself, yes.
He shifted position from being the sort of monarch
who would always eat the same thing every day for breakfast,
to becoming somebody who was a real advocate for India,
who felt an enormous sense of responsibility
for the Empire in itself.
Originally, he just hated the idea of leaving Britain, didn't he?
Yes, when he first married Mary,
he insisted that they honeymoon in Sandringham, telling her,
"I've been abroad and it's not good!"
-But then he went to India.
-But then he went to India, in 1905,
and he and Mary travelled 9,000 miles, spent 18 weeks there.
And he was not only impressed by the magnificence of the landscape -
you know, Mandalay, Rangoon -
but he also felt a real sense of himself
as the first monarch to visit India.
He was the first Indian emperor.
He was kind of notoriously unimaginative about food normally,
but not when it came to Indian food.
That's right, yes.
He moved from being somebody who would punctually eat
the same breakfast every morning every day of the week
to a lover of Bombay duck with curry sauce!
And it was during his reign that the Empire Marketing Board
tried to somehow bring all these exotic foods from Empire
and Commonwealth into Britain.
Yes, they did.
The Empire Marketing Board was established in 1926
and it was headed by the Colonial Secretary, Leo Amery.
They had an enormous budget for the time
in order to promote Empire produce
from the colonies and the dominions of the British Empire.
It was an enormous publicity campaign for its time.
There were over 200 Empire marketing posters produced,
which had brilliant slogans, such as,
"The jungles of today are the gold mines of tomorrow."
Housewives were encouraged to cook for the Empire.
There was always a sense of having an ethical responsibility
in what you bought and cooked with.
But were they being urged to cook really exotic Indian dishes
or Jamaican dishes or something else?
No, the grandly named Women's Patriotic League
focused their attentions mostly on the Empire pudding.
They started the first Empire Shopping Week in 1922
and they managed to persuade Harrods and Selfridge's
to give over areas of shop floor to marketing the Empire pudding,
and the idea was that women could even buy the pudding in its...
ready-made in its bowl, so all you would have to do
is sort of stir it or steam it.
But what's funny is they're being invited to have
all these wonderful exotic things and squeeze them into
a traditional British dish!
Yes, that's right. There's no sort of...
They're not transgressing any boundaries there.
-Not doing anything too dangerous!
-Yes, that's right.
Look at this, Paul. This is the Empire Christmas pudding.
"According to the recipe supplied by the King's chef, Mr Cedard,"
by "Their Majesties' gracious consent."
And we've got currants from Australia,
sultanas from South Africa,
it's got candied peel from South Africa,
Demerara sugar from the West Indies, cinnamon from India,
from absolutely all over.
The Empire Christmas pudding. Amazing!
This is the recipe book of Mildred Nicholls,
who was just a few years earlier than this,
she was a kitchen maid at Buckingham Palace, as we know.
And one of the most fascinating entries in her recipe book,
which we got hold of, is the plum pudding, the Christmas pudding.
-And on one side, this is the fascinating thing about it,
on one side, it's the royals' plum pudding.
And on the other side, it's the servants' plum pudding.
-What's the difference?
-Well, this is the point.
There isn't a difference except quantity.
I mean, look how much more, you know!
It's a small one for the royals,
but the servants', it's got 40 pounds of beef suet, 40 pounds of flour.
It just goes to show how many servants were actually working
-in Buckingham Palace.
-40 pounds of beef!
As a starter. There we are, Mildred Nicholls' plum pudding.
So, what are your ingredients?
We've got that lovely dried fruit, sultanas, currants, raisins,
mixed peel, beef suet,
which I love in these old-fashioned steamed puddings.
All of them, they're absolutely fantastic.
Demerara sugar, dark brown sugar, nutmeg.
We've got some beautiful cinnamon, breadcrumbs,
some rum and some brandy.
-I was eyeing that.
-So, absolutely delicious.
And if you just look in there, what I love is the suet.
That's what really, for me, kind of just brings it all together,
-Ties it in.
Absolutely. Very simple, pudding basin.
We've just lined it with some butter.
So, we're just simply going to spoon this mix into here, Michael.
And you can see it's quite a firm mix,
so the important thing is, as you're doing it, push down,
because we don't want to create any air pockets.
-It's really quite splodgy, isn't it?
-It is, yeah.
So, don't just whack it all in there and, like, from the top -
do it stage by stage, so we've got all that mix in there.
-Well done, don't waste any.
-I'm just going to have to get you
to give me a little hand, because we're going to put
-the tinfoil on top.
-I'm Mildred now!
And then we'll put the string round.
So, again, like a traditional steamed pudding.
So, just all the way to the outside,
so it all cooks nice and evenly.
-Really smoothing it off.
-Really smoothing it off.
You've seen my tinfoil, I've lined that with butter as well,
so everything has, like, kind of got that lovely butter line,
-so it's not going to stick.
Simply on top like that.
Go push it on, so the butter then sticks to the pudding mix, OK?
And then, just, this bit is really important.
You don't want to allow any moisture to get in, or water to get in there.
-Shall I hold it up?
Yeah. If you can just hold it in place from the bottom.
Like that, and then I'm going to... That's it. That's fantastic.
-If I put my finger on that...
-Put your finger on there. OK.
-This is teamwork.
-That's bubbling away.
-So, in here, we've got a nice, deep pan,
lots of steam and I've got a saucer turned upside down
just to kind of elevate it, so the heat's going all the way around.
And then, just really carefully drop your pudding in there,
sit it on top of the saucer, just like that.
And it's about up to what level?
-Basically, it's about a quarter full.
Cos we don't want it to move, we just want steam.
Lid back on.
The steam is trapped in there now
and that is just going to steam-cook for eight hours.
-A long job.
Tip, just keep an eye on the water, because it will boil dry,
even though the lid's on there.
-And that's it.
-Yeah. It was pretty industrial scale
in the palace, wasn't it?
I think they'd make as many as 150 of these things in the palace.
-Yeah. Hats off.
-That's quite a production line, isn't it?
Hats off, yeah. And you remember, that's all by hand.
No machines or mixers, everything by hand.
It's incredible. And that's going to cook for eight hours.
-I'm not going to wait eight hours.
-No, you haven't got to.
Lucky for you, I've been slaving away.
Yeah, yeah. And here it is.
-Here it is.
-Go on, cut it, Paul! Cut it.
You are excited. Do you like puddings?
-I do, actually, yeah.
-Right, we'll take a nice wedge.
-You do that so well.
-Look at that.
-Look at the steam.
Suety pudding stuffed with fruit.
Stuffed with fruit. And do you know what else?
-Well, did I need ask?
-The low-calorie version.
-You're doing that with a hot spoon?
A hot spoon, yeah.
Just so it comes off my spoon and goes up nicely like that.
Tricks of the trade. Look at the presentation.
I'm not going to look at the presentation for long.
-Look at that!
-I'm not going to look at it, I'm going to eat it.
-Here we go. Are you going to have one?
-Yeah, I am.
Got a real wedge of brandy butter.
-Come on! Come on, you devil.
-Go on. Get in there. Get in there!
All the taste buds standing to attention, they are.
-How good is that?
-It is good.
-It is, isn't it?
There's something to be said for the servants' hall, you know.
If they've got monstrous Christmas puddings,
then they can have more and more of this.
Oh, yeah. Mildred, happy Christmas!
Mildred, I love you.
That's it from our celebration of food from India and the Empire.
See you next week.
Michael Buerk is joined by chef Paul Ainsworth to celebrate royal food inspired by the days of India and Empire. Using recipes that have been hidden in the royal archive for over a hundred years, Paul cooks up quail and potato curry, said to be a favourite of Queen Victoria.
Historian Dr Annie Gray visits Osborne House on the Isle of Wight where Queen Victoria, Empress of India, showcased her grand passion for the Raj, and even hired her own Indian chefs.
Plus Britain's first Indian Michelin-starred chef Atul Kochhar cooks a dish fit for an Indian president and a British queen.