Remnants of The British Raj: Scotch Whisky & Anglo-Indian Lamb Curry



Two hundred years of British Raj in India. First, the East India Company and then the Queen herself ruled this nation. Although the relationship was more, one of a bully than a friend, some things that the British left behind are still appreciated and enjoyed by us. For instance, the beautiful Victorian buildings built by the British, Tea, the English language, trains and Whisky.


Not only is whisky savored and appreciated because of its flavour but also because it was the drink of the rulers. Whisky, in India has always been associated with power, wealth and style. The rich people, people in power, enjoyed this drink; it remained connected with an aspirational feeling for the common Indian man. To wait for the day when he would be able to sit free, proud and powerful in his chair and enjoy a glass of Scotch whisky like the Bada-Sahib.


This also brought about a strong connect between the food that was served to them at the time and the whisky that they preferred. You see Indian food connoisseurs created what is today known as Anglo-Indian cuisine, to suit the British palate. We added gravies to our kebabs, we served our dals as soup and we toned down our use of hot spices. We created delicacies like the Dak Bungla Chicken, Mulligatawny soup and delicate kakori kebabs while entertaining the English.


The English as we all know, love their Scotch whisky. This made gravy and whisky a somewhat inseparable couple. This combination is not only loved and appreciated but also passed on over generations in India. It is quite important then to choose the perfect brand of whisky. I think that the history of Black Dog and its association with India is in sync with the whisky drinking tradition. Sir Walter Millard, who went in search of the perfect blend of Scotch in the late 1800s, was stationed in India at the time. So his choice of whisky in many ways is in keeping with India and the Indian palate. Also, the association of this brand with a man of his stature is in keeping with our aspirational wishes back then.


The whisky for today, however, demands something more, something in keeping with the preferences of the current generation. Triple Gold Reserve by Black Dog is a whisky that preserves a part of tradition and adds a fresh perspective, to create a Scotch whisky for young people like me. The anchor of trust in the Black Dog brand keeps our loyalty intact and we appreciate the interesting spectrum of flavours that adds new dimensions to the whisky.


The idea of enjoying Anglo-Indian food from that period, for me, is the perfect food pairing with Scotch whisky. Whisky drinking was a warm and soothing experience on a cold winter’s evening or a chilly night on a Hill station. Brown lamb curries spiked with spices, hearty mashed potatoes are the perfect combination that a good Scotch wants.


My personal favourite Anglo-Indian delicacy to go with Black Dog is Mutton Glace Chops, this is lamb cooked in its own juices with spices, served with gravy and some mashed potatoes. It is a delicacy I learnt about while reading about Shimla, and how the Maharaja of Kapurthala liked to entertain the British in his palace there. This dish is a legacy passed over generations, rich in taste, history and culture.


It is indeed in every way the perfect accompaniment with the Black Dog Triple Gold Reserve whisky, because it mirrors the Raj. This is a dish from the days of Colonial rule in India and Black Dog whisky also represents that time perfectly, a marriage of two very different ethnicities and a symbol of culmination in peace. Not only that but also that spices and lamb give warmth to the body, just like whisky and nothing tastes better with whisky than red meat, preferably braised, so it has the robust flavours, cooked in its own juices. If your mouth is watering, like mine is, don’t waste anymore time, just look up some recipes of Anglo-indian food.


Disclaimer: The content in this article is meant only for readers above 25 years of age.


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