We like Rose Cardamom ice cream, the new release from Café Spice Namasté in London, home of chef Cyrus Todiwala OBE and his wife Pervin. We three AFF girls were given a sneak preview of this smooth, delicately flavoured ice cream on our recent excursion to the big smoke in search of really good Indian food.
I am very picky about my Indian food having spent many years in India and finding the British version of Indian cuisine quite alien. Good, authentic Indian food is light on the stomach and full of subtle flavours. Cyrus serves up food predominantly in the Parsi tradition (a non-vegetarian style). The minute I took a mouthful of my starter, bhael puri, I was back in India: in a rooftop restaurant in Delhi, at a stall by the side of the road en-route to far flung destinations, at home eating with Indian friends.
The Parsi wedding dessert (yes, I had two puddings) confirmed the experience, the light flavour of pistachio, saffron and cardamom that is typical of the best Indian sweets but which is very hard to come by. The food was so delicious and the company so convivial that we all three ate rather too much, however – and this was the final test – we all slept very well indeed!
Our search for top notch Indian food began last year at Anand George’s Mint & Mustard restaurant in Cardiff where we were particularly impressed by the vegetarian dishes and fresh chutneys on offer. Mr George has his roots in Keralan cuisine and, like Cyrus, trained initially in Mumbai. South Indian food is extremely popular in India itself and it’s great to have another truly authentic Indian master chef bringing these largely unknown dishes to the UK.